Happy October everyone!
The leaves have hit the ground, Starbucks is offering the Pumpkin Latte, and I have a stack of my favorite (and not so favorite) horror movies all set to marathon from now until Halloween. I can’t wait to celebrate the best holiday of the year, and am starting this season off right with a highly underrated title: A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge!
In fact, ANOES2 is actually my favorite of the sequels. This may come as a surprise to some since it is considered by many fans to be the “black sheep” of the Nightmare movies. It does not add anything of canonical significance to the series (they say… I disagree, more on that later) as part 3 follows part 1 pretty well. If one were to skip part 2, nothing important to the overall story would be missed, since it is very much like a stand-alone movie.
It has been said that a work of art is only partially created by the artist, in that its overall meaning is reliant upon both the intentions of the artist and the conceptions of the viewer. In most works of art, whether it is a portrait or movie, the breakdown is usually around 60-70% artist intention, and 30-40% viewer perception. However, some forms of art completely ignore this balance, and put a much heavier burden on the viewer to make sense of what they are witnessing. Such is the case with crap-tastic postmodern art, and movies like Highlander 2.
Now make no mistake about it, I actually enjoy Highlander 2 a lot. In fact, it is my favorite of the sequels! I will concede that it is riddled with plot-holes, and was the product of studio pressure and overactive imaginations. Yes, it is a piece of crap, but with a bit of effort, it can make some sense and, dare I say, be enjoyed. Read more…
Heh I know I know, I mention this game and immediately people scream “WHY THE HELL WOULD YOU EVER GET THAT?!” Well, really there’s two reasons…
Last I read, the World of Darkness MMO is still slated to be released in 2012, and I couldn’t be more excited! I have been dying for some vampire-related gaming that’s NOT Castlevania. This anticipation, in part, caused me to grab Vampire Rain. a Vampire game in a modern-day setting that appeared somewhat similar to the style of WoD.
That was reason number one.
And yes, before purchasing it, I read the reviews… it has a score of 38 on Metacritic, with reviewers bashing the title for being “one of the worst videogames on the Xbox 360.” They criticized the game for its unforgiving gameplay – the enemies are too hard to kill, and the guns are ineffective. They claimed the game was “broken” because being spotted by a vampire pretty much means you’re as good as dead.
There’s reason number two!
As of right now the Fall issue of Senpai Magazine seems right on track, and I am done with writing my stuff. It will contain a lot of great articles including a 20th Anniversary look back (and forward!) at Sonic the Hedgehog. While I had a lot of fun writing it with my friend Ron, it was also very taxing.
There are so many Sonic games….
And while I have played most of them, there were plenty I hadn’t played or hadn’t played in awhile. The past month was dedicated to “research” (read: non-stop playing) the newer installments. When I say that, I know a lot of people are probably cringing in agony; many die-hards were upset with the new direction the Sonic story took after the Sonic Adventure series. I’ve even heard many point to this game, Shadow the Hedgehog, as where it all went wrong. Read more…
Graphics: 7/10 – Dated by at the time it was something we have not seen before. Compared to other FMV titles like Ground Zero Texas and Prize Fighter, the FMV quality was pretty good. As I mentioned in the video there was a version for the 3DO with better looking visuals, but the Sega CD version has glowing green crosshairs over most of the enemies, which helps the player to aim.
Sound&Music: 6/10 – The clarity of the music, voices, and sfx are cd-quality, which was also something that was new to gamers back then. However there really isn’t a lot of music in the game, and while I actually like the songs in Sewer Shark I can definitely see how, over time, they can get annoying.
Gameplay: 6/10 Very straightforward and fun, once you get the hang of it. However, I should mention that the instruction manual incorrectly describes how to turn the craft. It says that the player needs to hit the d-pad in that direction, then hit the B button. This will lead to a lot of fiery crashes… the correct way is that when a turn is coming up, the player needs to push the d-pad in that direction AND the B Button AT THE SAME TIME.
Throughout the game you simply need to follow your co-pilot’s directions while shooting what’s in front of you, fairly simple. However, at certain moments you will need to fire a special flare to ignite the flammable hydrogen ahead of your craft when needed. You’ll know when by the meter on the bottom of the screen and by Ghost, your co-pilot, telling you to.
Also watch your energy level. You can conserve energy by being conservative with your fire, especially at the start of the game. Also take advantage of recharge stations.
And that’s really all there is to it… Again, it would have been nice to have a section where you are in combat against another pilot. Also, in the middle of the game, Ghost brags about how he just totally pimped your craft (The Hole Hawg), but when you climb back inside you realize it’s exactly the same as before. C’mon, at least make your targeting crosshair a little bigger, or an extra turret, or even a new paint job inside, anything!
Still it is very inexpensive on ebay, I’ve seen it for $1-$5 bucks. It’s a nice piece of gaming history, challenging but not overly tough, and the acting is delightfully over the top.
Highly recommended, if you have a Sega CD, you probably have this game. If not, what are you waiting for Dog Meat? SHOOT THE TUBES!
– Furry Senpai
A couple weeks ago…
Me: I’m here to pickup my reserved copy of Marvel vs Capcom3
Gamestop Employee: Cool, and would you like to reserve anything else? Mortal Kombat perhaps?
Me: Well no… not yet at least, I’m somewhat on the fence. I lost track of MK around part 4. So I guess it’s good they’re getting back to basics with having it take place during Mortal Kombat 1 and 2… but then there’s Kratos…
Gamestop Employee: Yeah! He fits in so well!
Me: …. *I try to think how the heck Kratos fits into the already confusing storyline of MK, was he there the whole time?? Was he the super hidden character in Mortal Komat 1 if I beat the game with Ermac?*
Me: Er right, well maybe next time…
Gamestop Employee: Ok, well… *he struggles to try to think of another fighting game* Hm.. Fight Night Champion?
Me: Hehe… now you’re just reaching… although I have been tempted to reserve the 3DO… but maybe next time.
Gamestop Employee: 3DO? ….You mean the 3DS?
Me: Er yeah.. *but really, I think I would have been happier with a 3DO*
:::FAST FORWARD TO NOW, and cue my rant:::
Now I admit, I love a lot of things that deserved to be bashed, but the Sega CD is not one of those things. The 3DO was a symbol of a time of when cd-gaming technology was cutting-edge, and as a kid I so badly wanted my own system that could produce cd-quality music and cinema-worthy visuals. The 3DO was a bit too pricey at the time, but I did manage, one Christmas, to get a Sega CD…. and it was awesome,
I still have my model 2, and play it fairly regularly, to the confusion of my younger brother. Him, and gamers like him, consider the Sega CD to be a complete failure. Their common complaints:
– Long Load Times
– The FMV games are like movies… really bad movies!
– Needs its own AC power supply
– Terrible Library of games
Granted, I hate how it needs it’s own power supply, but the rest of the complaints are rubbish. First of all, one needs to keep in mind that the Sega CD is not meant to be a separate system, nor replace the Sega Genesis/Megadrive. It is an “add-on” that gives your Sega Genesis console the ability to play CD games and audio CDs. It’s just adding another dimension onto the existing hardware, and was never meant to replace it.
Now I’m going to test the first complaint about the long load time, back in a sec.
Ok, back, I timed the loading startup for Ecco the Dolphin CD at around eight seconds, rounding up. Not instantaneous, but HARDLY what I’d consider “Long”. If it is taking awhile for a game to load, it’s usually because there’s some blemish or small scratches on the disc itself, which might also cause the game to freeze every now and then. However this is not the fault of the system, but the owner’s responsibility to take care of their games.
Now I admit that the FMV games were like really bad movies, but who doesn’t like bad scifi movies? Sewer Shark, Night Trap, Double Switch and Wirehead are just a few examples of bad scifi done RIGHT.
However the Sega CD didn’t just have cheesy FMV to offer, but also plenty of other very good titles including:
Shining Force CD
Brutal: Paws of Fury (ok ok, it’s a personal favorite of mine)
Final Fight CD
Rise of the Dragon
I could go on, but one must admit that’s a pretty impressive list of A+ titles for an add-on that had such a short life. Terrible library of games? I don’t think so.
Also it is very easy to collect for. CD titles are very affordable (although there are a few of them that go for a lot, namely Snatcher) and the unit itself goes for pretty cheap on ebay. The only downside is that one should be wary of used games, since the slightest scratch on these old discs could really ruin the game. So try to get mint/near mint as much as possible.
If all of that still hasn’t convinced you that the Sega CD wasn’t terrible, then keep this in mind. You have probably heard of the Sega CD. How about some of its cd-based competitors?
Commodore Amiga CD32 (It was pretty revolutionary… but not nearly as successful as the Sega CD)
Jaguar CD (I love the Jag, but even I can’t defend that)
Neo Geo CD (The Neo Geo AES was not nearly as successful as it should have been, the CD addon had a similar fate)
So how exactly did the Sega CD fail again? I think some people get it mixed up with another Sega add-on that was doomed from the beginning…
Oh, and it’s March 1st. Happy birthday Chun-Li
– Furry Senpai