Mega games get mega reviews in a megaly disordered fashion.

Saturday, 20 October 2012


You guys all remember playing Super Meat Boy, yes? Or how about N+ Way Of The Ninja? Any platforming game which is insanely hard? Hell, I'll accept any of the Trials games? If not, go play them so that you've at least got some understanding of how hard platforming games can get in the modern day and age. And then come and play this game: I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game. Yes, that IS the actual name. Be scared.

Nice bit of high quality WordArt. Anyone else remember WordArt?  LIKE THIS STATUS IF YOU REMEMBER WORDART!!!!!!!
The year: 200X. The story: The Kid wants to be The Guy so sets out to become The Guy. That's it. That's all the story there is. No names, no towns, nothing. Pure retro simplicity. John Carmack once said: "Story in a game is like a story in a porn movie. It's expected to be there, but it's not that important" and he was pretty much talking about this kind of shit-on-your-face platforming hell game. It doesn't matter about that though, as during the intro you see a giant 8-bit gorilla climbing the side of a skyscraper, so you know it's going to be good. And then you see your character: The Kid. A tiny, Alex Kidd-esque dude with a cape (and if you pick normal mode: a bow in his hair...cheers). Cool. Awesome. Kid with cape, best start the game, probably...

Ah, yeah, no. That looks nice and easy, eh? Just make your way down, learn the controls, right? No. Death ETA: imminent. 
Now, I don't want to spoil it but: I died about 5 seconds in. Then 10 seconds in. Then 20 seconds in. Then switched the game off. Then reloaded it. Then died 10 seconds in. The switched it off again and laughed for about 3 minutes. The game is brutally difficult. Maybe even insanely difficult. The problem is that every time you die you know that there's a perfectly visible and mostly logical way through the problems, even if you can't actually make your way through it. Not going to lie, it boosts the frustration levels pretty fucking high as you can imagine. Thankfully, similar to Super Meat Boy and Trials this game relies on constant comedy to keep you coming back for more. The way that you die is more often than not pretty funny, and overcoming those obstacles is crazy rewarding. More rewarding than any of your bullshit FPS games or FIFAs. Considering how many obstacles and curve balls are on the screen at once, it's impressive when you manage to work your way through them all. This makes reaching the next screen feel like some kind of prize; you cheer, you laugh, you cry, you look at the next screen and think:

What's wrong? Don't you like having no floor, walls fully covered in spikes, walls that attack you , invisible platforms and the game developers laughing straight in your face?
As for playing the game itself, it's delightfully simple. All that's used are your arrow keys, shift, Z and R for move, jump/double jump, shoot and restart. That's it. No useless sprint button (Super Meat Boy, looking at you...), somersaults, Tanooki skins, power orbs or anything. Just a pure platforming hellfest. To be perfectly honest the amount that you die would negate any cool button things you would have anyway, but that's not the point. The movement style is easy to manage, with none of the Mario-slide going on, no jump acceleration, no harsh Castlevania knock back from's pretty much as easy to control as you can imagine. Almost the opposite of the difficulty of the game. It feels good when you nail a jump between obstacles or invert direction mid jump to avoid death and the easy control system accentuates that. It's so easy that you know outright that any mistakes you make are entirely on YOU and not the game. Man-up, restart and play better. It's your own fault you died, unless it's your first time in that area in which case you can take that as a trial run. This ease of playing applies to the entire series: I Wanna Save The Kids and I Wanna Be The Guy Gaiden. They're pretty decent, but this is the first and best, don't forget.

"What did you say about me? Nice and easy to control? Then control your fucking way through this! THIS ISN'T EVEN MY FINAL FORM!"
Now, I love when games make you try hard. It makes me feel like a kid again, back when finishing a game was something to brag about in the playground and it feels good. I still think games need to bring more of this back, and thankfully Live Arcade and PSN are giving the opportunity for players to find this feeling again (as long as you can wade through the piles of shite). I Wanna Be The Guy has got to be the king of this games by not only being stupidly hard, but also by testing your reasoning skills, your reactions, your memory, your basic game knowledge, and your goddamn stamina. It's worth downloading for free, if only for the laughs you get from the first few screens (I assume there's more but...y'know...I've not got very far...) and the pop culture references. I can guarantee that you won't be complaining about the difficulty of your shoddy CoD games or your Need For Speeds with their difficulty curves. This has a difficulty CLIFF. And you will fucking love it. If not, you can always downgrade to Super Meat Boy and just watch a speedrun of this game on YouTube.

This never gets old. Every time you die this plays. And when you've been playing for a few seconds and this busts in: genius.


Links to download the game: Voila. Download and play, suckas!

Cliff Notes: It'll make you laugh, it'll make you cry, it'll ruin other games for you. I'm still not sure about it myself. It steps over the "Too Fucking Hard Line" and does a little dance. Hot damn.
Rating: 7/10 I loved it. But I've barely seen any of it outside YouTube vids and that makes me a bit sad. Realistically if I was better at games it would get higher...
Friend Recommend: Dude, it's free...why WOULDN'T you download it? 

Friday, 12 October 2012

KING OF DRAGONS: simplistic fun-funs

So my week of reviews (remember that thing, true believers?) ended embarrassingly quickly, like some kind of virgin's one night stand. It was my birthday so I'm going to go ahead and blame other people. Namely Sir Vodka and Miss Tequila. Best friends. <3

Anyway, thought I would just do the final review before kicking back and reviewing whatever whenever so here is KING OF DRAGONS. Enjoy.

NNNNRGH. It's like they looked up "90's nerd" and just copied and pasted the definition into art somehow.
Side scrolling beat 'em ups have been done to death, but even so there are very few that anyone can say are bad. Hell, just look at the success of Castle Crashers and you can see that there will always be a place in gaming for these games. A fairly unknown game in this genre is KING OF DRAGONS (or KoD. Fuck you, CoD, you don't own that word) which is a massive dissapointment due to it being an awesome game. It features your standard fantasy fighters (Elven archer, wizard, warrior, cleric, dwarf) in your standard fantasy settings of forests and castles fighting standard fantasy enemies like orcs, evil knights and hydras. Completely standard in every way. Except it's awesome. Like, CAPITAL LETTERS AWESOME.

I'd tell you about the story but I have no fucking idea what happens to be honest and I don't really care. You're making your way to a castle thing to save someone and kill a KING OF DRAGONS who I'm pretty sure lives in a crystal tower on a bed of gold, naturally. I'm not even sure why your character has to do this when he clearly has the means to butcher his way into power in another kingdom somewhere else and probably live peacefully with the KING OF DRAGONS in the neighbouring land.

This is like, the second or third boss. He's a piece of piss. Might as well just shake hands and ask if he needs any help, it'd be easier, more profitable and take less time. Except he doesn't have hands because he's a wyvern.
The fighting system is rather nifty. There's one button to attack. No combos. None at all. You don't need combos, combos are for wimps and losers. Each character has their own attack schemes, though, with the elf being long range but weak, the wizard being mid range and mid power, etc etc etc. As you progress you pick up and auto equip better equipment that looks snazzier and attacks cooler depending on the character type. If you want the best looking, check the wizard, he's badass. You also upgrade your offhand weapon, which in the case of the melee guys is a shield which you can use (I think. It never really comes up) and for the ranged guys it boosts attack speed (probably. Again, it doesn't matter). But fuck that. You'll soon learn that attacking while jumping is the only real way forward. There's a magic button too, possibly  but there's only really a point if you're the wizard. So ignore that, too. You won't need it.

Look! Here's the warrior again! Blocking like a champ. I think. I've never seen what blocking looks like, tbh...
The difficulty level of the game is intense but oddly manageable. I mean, I've never completed the game so...y'know... But each time you do get a little further. The enemies spawn in a recognisable pattern and learning this spawn style wins you the game. It'll have you using ability spheres like a champ and smacking down enemies quicker than they can attack. Unless you play cleric. NEVER DO THIS. He attacks with a flyswatter and it's just embarrassing to watch. Once you start to recognise attack patterns of both the enemies and the bosses you can start to power through some of the levels in a couple of minutes. The first boss is a good example: you can actually stand in-between his dual wielded chain-maces and beat him in seconds. It's amazing. Soon you can start hitting the last levels no problem and enjoy the ride. Also the quicker you do it the more points/exp you get leading to your character levelling up and being able to survive longer. In some respects this game is a weird race, even though it's an rpg beat 'em up. 

Some chests actually freeze/damage you. Serves you right, cleric, for not being a ranged guy. That puny elf down the bottom is having no problem at all. And is fully clothed (looking at you, warrior...)
There are some bad points as always. KING OF DRAGONS recycles enemies more than any other game I've played barring Dynasty Warriors. There's about 5 or 6 different enemies who just do the age old colour transformation trick as the game progresses. Even the bosses do this. Though this might be a downside, it kind of twists into a odd good side. You don't want to have to deal with new enemies all the time in a game like this. You want to learn how to move to save your ass, and the repeating enemies help this by making you finesse your attack system all the time. You can actually plan attacks the moment a colour comes on the screen, and it's reassuring to know how to handle a situation when you don't have a special move to save the day like in Streets of Rage or Golden Axe. The only irredeemable bad point is that the last boss, the KING OF DRAGONS is insanely hard. I play this game on easy, and I still haven't beaten him and his RIDICULOUS GODDAM MOVES FUCKSHITNRRRRGH. No-one should plan a game where the last boss just shits all over the preparation you have done so far. It's a sour end to an otherwise frikkin' sweet game. 

That's not a natural position for a head to be. Serious. Also, you're as big as the last boss's toe...
So yeah. I like this game, and this was less of a review and more of a praise session. But that's what I feel this game deserves. It's simplistic but in a way which demands that you pay attention. The bosses are nicely thought out and the progression through the (ridiculously) short levels is enjoyable and varied. If you've ever wanted to play an RPG and not fuck about with all the customisation and just get down to it then this game fits the bill. If you want something to do for an hour this is the thing. If you want to actually play a good game, then pick this beast up. Also, the arcade version of this game was one of the best arcade cabinet games that I played and that was in a hotel in Ibiza when I was 8.

Peace out.

Links to emulators and roms: I prefer Snes9x, personally, but whatever.

Cliff Notes: A truly excellent example of how Beat 'Em Ups are one of the most fun franchises around. And how nerds rule.
Rating: 9/10. That last one was taken off from the last boss and his stupid as fuck attack scheme.
Friend Recommend: Definitely. It's free. It's fun. No-one can dislike it. Download it now.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

PETA's "Games": How not to do irony right. Or anything right for that matter.

I have a confession to make. I fucking hate PETA. With every ounce of my being. This doesn't make me a bad person, just like how disliking organised religion doesn't instantly make you a satanist. There's loads of reasons for my dislike but the primary one is the way they've been butchering (geddit?) games in the name of irony. For an organisation that is against suffering they've been going out of their way to bring ridiculous and pointless grief to the gaming industry in the form of "parodies" which achieve absolutely fucking nothing. Like Mario Kills Tanooki. He gets his tanooki suit from a magic leaf, not through skinning animals. It's a glorified onesie. How can you use something like that to be a dick and protest things? It doesn't make sense! And Cooking Mama? It's the most inoffensive, delightful cooking game. And they've twisted it into an abomination and brought unpleasantness to the world. Good Job, you've increased the hate in the world by a little bit, PETA...

That one on the bottom right? That's Sea Kittens. PETA tried to rebrand fish as "sea kittens". No word of a lie. Fucking sea kittens. BECAUSE THAT'S GOING TO MAKE KIDS LIKE THEM, NO?
I'm going to ignore most of the games, because there's no way of washing the memories away without prescription drugs so I'll just stick to the big 'uns. Like: Super Tofu Boy. Most of you should know that Super Meat Boy is one of the most rewarding but fucking ridiculously hard games you will ever play next to Dark Souls. You play a cube of meat in a platforming world trying to save Bandage Girl from Dr. Foetus. I've died around 3,000 times in the game (honest. Probably more) due to the harsh but fair levels of the game. And I fucking love it. And then I played PETA's Super Tofu Boy. Nrrrrrrgh. As a parody it's decided it's target is going to be McDonalds, which is admirable I guess seeing as McDonalds is a douchehole company. BUT: they also take a swing at Meat Boy himself, labelling him as smelly, rotting and angry which is incredibly harsh seeing as meat is both natural and delicious and only rotting if you leave it out for ages. The insults don't stop there though. The game is so badly put together that getting to the end of a level is almost impossible thanks to the shoddy control system and overall mechanics of the game. I gave up in disgust after two levels as it was giving me so much fucking stress. I admire trying to change the world, but fucking hell this is a shit game. No message was carried across due to the inept and shoddy creation of the game. You can't make a point if people can't play the game. The offensive hit at SMB filled me with anger as well, until I heard about Team Meat's rebuttal: they released a secret character (Super Tofu Boy) in the PC version of the game. Super Tofu Boy couldn't sprint or jump very high making it impossible to finish the first level, in turn making it the single greatest parody of a parody yet. Parodception.

World's Greatest "FUCK YOU" awarded to Team Meat. Also, parodception is now copyrighted by yours truly.

So, that's the one of the most obvious of the games done (and the most humorous) but now to deal with the whole reason for writing this: POKÉMON: BLACK AND BLUE. Right, those of you who played/watched Pokémon will know that there has always been a fine line between companion and captive, and it's constantly being explored by the creators. Ash struggles between the social convention of "collecting" Pokémon and fighting with them, and them actually being friends. You can see this all the time but for those who don't remember: how about when Ash sacrifices his life to stop Mew and Mewtwo from fighting and is brought back to life by the magic tears of all the Pokémon? Or when he uses his body as a meat shield to save Pikachu from the Spearow attack in the very first episode? Or when he has to let Butterfree return to the wild to find a mate and he (read: all of us) has a good cry? It became such a big deal in B&W that the line between good and bad becomes incredibly blurred. The antagonists are forms of Pokémon freedom fighters leading to a storyline so big that it actually has a sequel (almost unheard of in the main Pokémon series). A summary: kids are taught by this video game that freedom of will for pets is important, that Pokémon are companions that should be treated right, that they have free will and emotions and feel pain, hurt, sadness and need to be treated as friends (much like real animals). And then PETA shits all over the entire series with the monstrosity that is Black and Blue.

I'm pretty sure that counts as fighting fire with fire. Which only works with forest/bushfires. And some forms of science.
So. The game itself. Pikachu escapes from Cheren, electrocutes him repeatedly, attacks Professor Juniper, repeatedly injures her, recruits Pokémon to his cause and then uses them to force his views on both Ghetsis and Ash using their unique powers over the elements to brutally injure them. Firstly: the fighting system. It makes no sense. Each Pokémon has four moves (good) except they don't follow any real Pokémon established scheme (bad). There is no recognisable effectiveness system, leaving you clueless for the most part. There is no healing system (I always healed my Pokémon in the games, kept them healthy and happy). You can't tell if the moves are buffs, special based or physical based. Hell, there's no real system to the monster set-ups at all, they could just be faceless nothings and achieve the same outcome which defeats the attempt at giving the Pokémon any kind of soul and actually backtracks slightly. Each battle is forced upon you removing the exploration and companionship of the games, killing the attachments you form. It removes the attempts of your character to better the world with his friends while at the same time learning how to better him/herself. For the entirety of the game you're bombarded with false advertising of cruelty in the series, with each of the characters claiming to not give a shit when in fact they're only trying to do good by the little fellas. The ultimate insult comes when they use "prizes" to spread propaganda of cruelty to animals in a game set for children. I find it hard to accept that using a fairly innocent and yet deep game for people of all ages including kids is the best medium for trying to almost brainwash kids away from enjoying games or the life altering friendship of a pet. "Prizes" should not be graphic and horrifying images of cruelty to animals. They can be far better and more thought out than that. If you want an example, play New Super Chick Sisters. It's poor, but it makes sense, is decently built, teaches you without being offensive and could be more easily called a parody.

Let's fight PETA's fire fighting by fighting the fire with fire. Because according to PETA that's now okay.  And so is ethically killing things, which I was pretty sure they were against. Or not. I'm confused about what PETA now stands for...
We all know that cruelty to animals is wrong, and if you DON'T then a piss-poor propaganda style "parody" of a gameboy game is not going to fucking change that, is it? And ethical-ness? Is it ethical to aim this kind of thing at children? Is it ethical to "free" pets from their owners by putting them down? Is it ethical to show that extreme violence towards "bad" people is the answer to the problems? Ruining games and acting like a dick does not win people to your cause. It just makes people think you're a dick. Because you are being a dick. And use a different medium that doesn't involve children, yeah? They just want to enjoy being kids and playing games. Leave the hard decisions for when they're older and can actually form their own opinions and not yours.

Never trust someone who uses The Situation  topless to advertise a message.
Fuck PETA. It pretty much shits all over it's own points and fails at forming coherent opinions on cruelty, resorting to base images of extreme events. And it ruins my favourite games which is the gravest insult of all.

Rant over. See you next time. And feel free to enjoy your food whether it be meat or vegetable, just make sure you know where it comes from and how it's made. You don't need PETA to achieve that.

Links to the "games". Play at your peril:

*UPDATE* I'm painfully aware that the factsheet thingy is tiny so: Link to the actual PETA fact sheet thingy: