Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Updates Cometh! Now taking requests...

I have some review ideas underway; but I will also start taking requests. Name any game out there you want to see a review for, and I will do my best to do it. At the moment, I am planning a review for the obscure Typing of the Dead for Dreamcast and also a review of the ADK game compilation for PS2. Leave your suggestions/requests in the comment box.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dynamite Headdy Review (Sega Genesis)

Time for a retro-review of Dynamite Headdy for the Sega Genesis. This game was designed by Treasure (Gunstar Heroes, Radiant Silvergun, Ikaruga, etc.) and stands as one of their earliest triumphs. Dynamite Headdy takes place in a fictional puppet world where the main star, Headdy, must defeat the evil Dark Demon and his keymasters to restore peace to the theatre. The game is a platformer much like Ristar; but with a twist. Headdy can switch heads to fight differently, these range from turning his head into a powerful hammer to more comical things like a pig that snorts projectiles.
The game's levels are fun and varied. Each stage in the game is wildly different and forces the player to use their head (sorry had to.) Bosses are insanely creative as well( just check out the first level's boss, a Giant Weenie Dog Float fighing to "The Nutcracker" theme.) The difficulty can be incredibly challengning toward the middle of the game onward; but the game stays fun. Dynamite Headdy also has alot of funny things thrown in to amuse the player, one example being the level titles. Levels are based on movie puns, such as one being called "Stair Wars" and another "Toys in the Hood".
As in most Treasure games, the graphics are outstanding. It is easily stands with Sega's best visuals of the era. The soundtrack is also very well done. Cool tunes are abound, Headdy's rival's theme, Trouble Bruin, will stick with you long after finishing the game. Sound effects are nice and weird, like a strange chipmunk voice saying. "You got a secret bonus point" at certain moments.
Dynamite Headdy is available in a variety of forms. The game was ported to the Master System, Gamegear, Sony PS2, , and Wii Channel, and most recently the PS3 and Xbox 360. Of these versions the import only PS2 port really stands out on the "Sega Ages Gunstar Heroes Treasure Box" (say that five times fast.) This version has a super play of the game, concept art, and has the Master System and GG ports included ( you also get Gunstar Heroes and Alien Soldier, helluva deal really.)
With so many ways to play the game there is no excuse to ignore it. Treasure fans probably own a few versions, and Sega fans should own at least one. If you enjoy a good, oldschool 2-D platformer look it up, you will be happy you did. For you modern gamers it was recently released on the Sonic Ultimate Collection disc for PS3 and 360, and runs you a mere $30; the discs also has Phantasy Star 1-4 and Streets of Rage 1-3...a steal for so many great games. Maybe one day Treasure will bless us with a sequel.

Random Stuff:
  • First Boss Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qiNF9KlGws&feature=related
  • Dynamite Headdy for the Master System was released only in Brazil, so it carries a high price tag among collectors.
  • Many regional differences exist between the Genesis and Megadrive versions such as one boss being changed from a massive baby doll to a killer robot for the U.S. audience.
  • Another regional difference is the game's secret ending. Instead of fighting a fictional theatre owner and thugs, players faced the President of Sega and his bodyguards!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Man vs. Super Mario World: The Final Battle

This incredible clip comes courtesy of Speed Demos Archive, a site dedicated to collecting the fastest completion times of your favorite games. This speed run is for one my all time faves, Super Mario World for the SNES. This clip was not made using a special emulator or any cheats/hacks, just one man's skill pushed to the limits. His name is Adam Sweeney, on the Speed Demo site he recalls this being his fifth speed run...his penultimate effort! Sit back, watch, and envy some truly hardcore skills at work.

original link:http://speeddemosarchive.com/MarioWorld.html

Support Deathsmiles

Head over to the Atlus forums and get on the bandwagon for this awesome looking 360 shooter. Let's get this game localized(damn region lockout...grrr!) Atlus link:http://atlus.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2435

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jojo's Bizzare Adventure Review (DC)

Today I will be looking at one of the Dreamcast's coolest fighting games, Jojo's Bizzare Adventure. The game is based on one of Japan's longest running manga series. The story has Jojo and his allies traveling from Japan to Egypt to face a vampire known as Dio. Dio has placed a curse on Jojo's mother, and the only way to break it is by beating the ever living sh*t out of him. Along the way Jojo and crew will face many henchmen including a man that turns people into kids and a dimension warping villain called Vanilla Ice ( not the rapper.)
This game includes Jojo's Venture and Jojo's Bizzare Adventure on one disc. Originally these titles were released at arcades running on Capcom's coveted CPS3 board( think Street Fighter 3.) Two versions were ported to home consoles one for the DC, and another for the PSX. The Playstation lacked the graphical capabilities of the Dreamcast but introduced a Super Story Mode with mini games like poker. The Dreamcast retained all of the CPS3's sweet animation and both games from the arcade. I have played both versions; the Dreamcast edges out it's competitor with it's 128 bit graphic capabilities.
The game is a fighter; but the stand out feature is everyone has a Stand (bad pun not intended.) A Stand is each character's unique guardian that can be called out to do battle for them. If you are familiar with the anime or manga, Jojo's cast have many unique stands. Dio's stand can stop time, Avdol blazes the screen with fire attacks, and Alessi makes his enemy a child temporarily to induce more damage; these are just a few examples. Some of their attacks are odd ( Dio drops a steamroller on his enemies) but really cool as well.
The graphics are beautiful 2-D like only Capcom can deliver. Animation is smooth, and some little effects look great like when you finish your opponent a giant manga image of them dying splashes across the backdrop. Jojo's music is pretty catchy, and some stage's themes are awesome (checkout Jojo's last stage in story mode, the music is so badass.) Little sound effects are cool too like Dio's Muda Muda Muda when he attacks.
If you are an anime or manga fan check into Jojo, you will probably enjoy the game and the series. Fighting games should check it out as well. The American version slightly censors some content; but has english for the story mode...so it is well worth tracking down. The Japanese version has better cover art, and leaves everything intact. Don't miss this strange and wonderful fighting experience.

Random Stuff:
  • Jojo occasionally smokes a cigarette in his victory pose in the Japanese version, this was edited from the US release
  • Jojo's Venture and Jojo's Bizzare Adventure are the only games to run on the CPS3 besides Warzard and the Street Fighter 3 trilogy
  • Many of the series' characters are named after famous American musicians such as Pet Shop (Pet Shop Boys), Vanilla Ice, and Mariah (Mariah Carey)
  • Cool combo from the game: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qbArvIqZzkI

Monday, March 23, 2009

Top Shop Review (PSX)

The first game I will look at is the little known Playstation One title, Top Shop. Top Shop is a Japanese game created by developer KID. This game was released in 1999 by A1 games in the US. It was a budget title; if I recall correctly I got it at Best Buy for like five bucks brand new. Why am I looking back at this old budget release...one reason: It's like Monopoly on crack.
The play mechanics are easy like Monoply. You buy property, increase the value of the property, get Chance type cards, and piss off your opponent whenver they hit your space.

You pick from several odd characters such as a kid in a frog suit and a dude with a mullet named Bro. After character selection you will be in a mall (think a giant sized Monoply board) and you roll a pencil with numbers then move to a space. There is a bank that is like the GO! space, whenever you pass it you get cash. Whoever achieves the required amount of money first wins.
The game modes are Free Mode or Story Mode. Story Mode is presented in wonderful Engrish and makes no sense. Story Mode allows you to unlock a few more characters, most notably Santa (mainly because when you are losing it gives you a reason to shout something strange or obscene like "F*ck Your Coffee Shop Santa!") Free Mode is where the game truly shines however.
In Free Mode you play multiplayer. You can have up to eight people or computer controlled bots play. The game is really entertaining when you are trying to reach the target amount and you or your opponent hits the bank with points. Points are obtained randomly throughout the game. Points allow you to do fun stuff to your friend like shut down one of their stores, bankrupt them, or even win the game if you save enough of them. This makes the game have more devious ( and fun) strategy over Monoply.
Top Shop has some problems: the music is pretty bad, some games take waaaaay too long to win, and the graphics are very...um...classic, alright it looks like a freaking NES game. The problems are not too big, and they shouldn't stop you from giving it a try. A sequel was never produced for this game, which is really too bad. I am sure with better marketing this game could have been a popular series.

Random Trivia:
  • In Japan this game was released under the Super Lite label as Tenant Wars Alpha
  • Tenant Wars initially saw release on the Japanese Sega Saturn console; but one year later was ported to the PSX with the Alpha moniker added to the title
  • The US version features fictional stores; but in the Japanese versions of the game players open actual businesses like Denny's and Lotteria

Saturday, March 21, 2009

My Focus or Why I Made a Blog

I love video games, past and present. Here we will be focusing on the games of the past. I will take a look back at the classic hits, hidden gems, and stains on the underpants of gaming's yesteryear. This is the first post, so make sure you check back soon for updates! Thanks for the visit.