Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood (PS2)

I love Jojo.  Or I love what I've experienced of Jojo.  It is a really long running manga that would easily require more than 100 hours to fully consume.  Since Capcom's game about the 5th arc was so good, I picked up this game about the 1st Arc.  It's by Bandai-Namco and specifically PS2 era BN that loved making a mediocre but faithful licensed game.  That's pretty much the deal here.

The best part was getting a very good summary/display of the 1st story arc.  It taught me who Dio Brando was before becoming an immortal vampire.  I also got to meet the first Zeppeli which is a running name/family in the series.  Like the Capcom game the voice acting is terrific and they put a lot of money into a throw away game for that at least. 

As for the game you punch a bunch.  It's got some nice cell shading but mostly you are punching a bunch then using your super attack to end the fight.  Don't expect no Godhand.  It does have some objective based levels, but mostly those reduce to punch a bunch.

It has side modes where you can play as other characters, but the fighting system isn't that deep so I didn't look into it that much.  If you play a lot you can eventually play through the story as Dio.  That's a pretty good reward, but I did the calculations and decided it wouldn't pay off.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Kirby and more Kirby

I keep looking into the dark void that is Kirby games hoping I'll find something I enjoy.  I remain conflicted whether the item searching present in the Dreamland games is a good thing or a bandage on the low difficulty.  I tend to admire the sprite work and sound.  I like that Kirby's Adventure has a level made up like a gameboy game.

I've owned Hoshi no Kirby Super Deluxe (SFC) for several years.  I've finally sat down and played through all the games available.  I ended up coming off as indifferent to the game as I began.  It's solid, I would have liked a few more the mini-game mini games (and the DS version has them apparently?) 

In most of them you're still doing the Kirby thing, sucking in things and taking their powers.  When that gets boring you inflate like a balloon and pass over the whole stage until the end.  You'll almost feel bad and then you won't.  You'll then fight a boss.  The boss is usually well designed and yet your body is trained at that point to muscle through, and they usually give you enough energy to win by minimal effort and attrition.

Screenshots tell me Kirby's Epic Yarn looks great a Wii emulator.  It could stand to be sharper on an actual TV.  It's just not sharp enough on a Wii in 480p.  Everything already looks fuzzy on a Wii.  Super Mario Galaxy 2 kept asking me, "AREN'T WE HAVING FUN?"  Yarn kept asking me, "Isn't this nice?"  Yes it is.  You are very nice Epic Yarn.  Using the yarn lasso is very nice.  It's just not engaging.  In the best way possible the game is take it or leave it.  I was going to quit playing, but then there was a set of levels set on a cake.  I had to play levels set on a cake.  It didn't matter.  It still felt like the game was asking me to confirm it's niceness.  I eventually got tired of saying yes.

Retronauts lead me to believe Kirby's Dreamland 3 (SNES) had a really great art style.  It has a weird art style.  The backgrounds are that heavy pre-rendered 3D that is somewhat present in Super Deluxe and overpowering in Super Mario RPG or Donkey Kong Country.  I've gotten through the first world.  I play these games are research and I had to stop because I was getting nothing out of KDL3.  I was just playing it and then I win and then that's it?  It wasn't annoying.  It wasn't fun.  It was just nothing.

SHORT VERSION:  Man Ranger-X is pretty great and I'll talk about it soon.