Thursday, September 28, 2023

Portable Mortal Kombats, Part One

 

That's right, today I'm going to take a look at some of the lesser-known games in the franchise, specifically portable versions of Mortal Kombat 1+2. Are any of these actually gonna be good?

Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Mortal Kombat Trilogy (N64/PS1, 1996)

For a long time I was under the impression that Mortal Kombat 4 was the first one where you could actually play as Goro. While that IS the one where Goro returns in story canon, there's another game before that where he's playable (this one). More importantly, this is 2D Goro, the one we know, and not a different 3D version like in MK4. MOST importantly, it also gives us playable Shao Kahn, Kintaro, and Motaro. How did I miss this game all this time?

MKT here had the potential to be the pinnacle of the 2D chapter of the series. At least, I'm sure it was intended to be. It's got pretty much everything from the first 3 (areas, characters, etc). Problem is, the PS1 version has terrible loading times that really slow down the experience, while the N64 version is missing a bunch of key characters, so you're boned by some preventable issue either way. It may be the most "definitive" early MK on paper, but it's hard to give it too many props with the issues it has.

All of that said, I'm mostly just playing this to finally play as the bosses, something Street Fighter II Turbo did ages ago. Unfortunately the bosses are kind of half-assed. They aren't balanced, their specials don't work a lot of the time, and they don't have any fatalities. So yeah. Anyway enough essay, let's get going.


Sunday, September 24, 2023

Mortal Kombat III + Ultimate Mortal Kombat III (Super NES, 1995/1996)

Was never a fan of this logo. It's a step down from MK2 much like the game itself is. The dragon symbol is fine but it looks like the 3 is pregnant with it.

In any case, MK3 is where I start to think this series might be kind of overrated. Ultimate MK3 is a superior version and kinda what MK3 should have been from the get-go...well, in some ways. So I'mma combine the two here.

Monday, September 18, 2023

Mortal Kombat II (Super NES, 1994)

The biggest sequel since Terminator 2. And this time the Nintendo version has blood and guts. YOU HAPPY NOW, KIDS??

Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Mortal Kombat (Arcade/SNES/Genesis, 1993)


It's MORTAL MONDAY, and you know what that means.

It's been 30 years since Mortal Kombat landed on home consoles in the memorable day known as Mortal Monday. When I was a kid, this was a huge day, and all anyone could talk about for the entire school week was MORTAL KOMBAT. We'd go out on the playground at recess and act out MK fights, yelling "Get over here!" while pantomiming spears and freezes.

This really was a moment in time, and if you weren't there...well, I'll tell you all about it. While further posts will focus on whatever version of the game I played, this one's gonna run down all the home releases of Mortal Monday and hopefully give a sense of the lightning in a bottle that this game captured in 1993.

Sunday, September 10, 2023

Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Part 16 - The 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament (B-Side)

 

It seems like a lot of DBZ games count these last few episodes of DB (with older Gokou) as part of DBZ. The Super Famicom fighting games generally start with this fight, for example. I'd say this DLC is actually a really good place to start Kakarot, rather than the beginning of the main story, so it's kinda like the game got a new and much more exciting intro chapter.

In any case, here we go, last Kakarot episode...until they put out the final DLC.

Saturday, September 9, 2023

Dragon Ball Z Kakarot Part 15 - The 23rd World Martial Arts Tournament

I'm still doing these? I'm still doing these. The latest (and 2nd to last) DLC for The Best DBZ Game is the only one to actually go outside the realm of DBZ. The first couple DLCs were based on movies that could be "Dragonball Super movies" or "Dragonball Z movies" depending on how you want to measure them. This, though, is a retelling of the last few episodes of the original Dragonball series. Since Gokou is older in those episodes and there was a time jump, lumping them in with DBZ works for me.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Part 6 - Spike Gets Fired

 

Man, this game is GORGEOUS when it wants to be. The original Super Famicom version is too, as it came along in that late-era, Chrono Trigger timeframe.

Friday, September 1, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Part 5 - Alltrades Abbey Class Rundown

 

The game gives you basically no clue where to go next, and some players would be forgiven for thinking the game was over at that point with us on the victory lap. However, warp to the Dream World at this point and it drops you in front of Alltrades Abbey, which is NOT destroyed there like it is in the Real World.

This was originally the second half of the previous post. I wrote the whole thing on an airplane with no connection, so I couldn't open a second post and had to keep writing in the first, then kept it like that. It was way too long, though, so I'm splitting this off like it was supposed to be.

Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Part 4 - Brawl Out

 

Huge episode of Dragon Quest VI today as we slay Maou Mudo (again) and unlock class changes. Lots of class-change discussion here and in the next episode. I think I might just stick with the remake and see it through from here on out, then go back to the SFC version and sweep that up.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Part 3 - All In

 
This is hands-down the best hero design in this entire series, IMO. It's kinda too bad that such an awesome design was spent on one of the more middling games. Regardless, time to get in-depth and try to make some sense out of this game's convoluted plot.

Friday, August 25, 2023

Dragon Quest VI SFC, Part II - Mirror Mirror

 

Back to the SFC version. That's right, I'm going back and forth. This is as confusing as the two worlds in the game. After this I might end up just sticking with one until the end and then switching tracks to the other, but I at least want to cover up through the Mudo fight here. Again, skimming this version, with a lot more detail to come with the remake.

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation, Part 2 - Welcome Back, Spike

 

I'm afraid I have some bad news. A phone reset wiped out my powered-up DQVI save. That's right, my level 13 overleveled character has poofed. So I had to start over, and this time I brought back the old DQIII Buffy motif and went with Spike. (Had a perfect chance here to go with Serge and didn't)

This isn't the worst thing in the world, because I wasn't that far into the game. I went ahead and overleveled again, and this time I was out for REVENGE. Overleveling like this with one character: Kind of dumb? Yeah.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Dragon Quest VI: Realms of Revelation (iOS/Android, 2015)

 
This is the only official U.S. version of the game, and it took until 2011 for it to get a Nintendo DS release. I'll be playing the phone version, which is the Nintendo DS version with nicer visuals. Looking forward to this one because it's got some great character designs and we get much better looks at them than we do in the SFC version. Though I will say the SFC version's visuals have their own appeal and charm and I don't think this version obsoletes it.

Friday, August 11, 2023

Dragon Quest VI (Super Famicom, 1995)

 

Going to keep this one a little briefer since I'm going to go a lot more in-depth on the remake version. Here it is, the sixth game in the series. Took me a while to get here. I've never been that crazy about this game and definitely put it in the bottom half of the series quality-wise. I've only played the SFC version once before, in 2001, so it'll be interesting to revisit it after all this time.

This version never got an official US translation (all of the US releases were based on the remake) so I'm playing it on the same fan-translation from 2001. Also, it is very, very hard, at least early in the game, which is probably one of the reasons it didn't get an American release. I mean, FFIV got severely dumbed-down for us and we got beginner-friendly Final Fantasy Mystic Quest instead of the "complicated" FFV so this kind of underestimating American players was nothing new.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Rockman & Forte 2 - Mirai kara no Chōsensha (Wonderswan, 1999)

 

It's the most dynamic team up of two guys who hate each other since Hobbs and Shaw. This is wild though: With all the Mega Man that I've played over the years, and me trying to cover all of the classic and X series, I somehow missed this game entirely. I thought I'd finished the entire series and was done. Nope. This game was hiding in a cave somewhere like the guy from Highlander III. Considering I never even heard of it until recently, I have no clue what to expect.

Friday, July 28, 2023

Lord of the Rings (Super NES, 1994)

Originally Posted: This time in 2010, and very incomplete. Now with the rest of the game added

Back in 1995, I played an SNES game called Lord of the Rings Vol 1. This is hands-down one of the worst RPGs on the system. Still, I played the hell out of this via a rental or two. I never finished it. I reached the final dungeon and quit because it's a complete maze and made no sense.

...wait a minute. "First Action Adventure RPG with real-time combat"? Ever heard of Secret of Mana, jerks?

Regardless, I hit this game up just to finish what I started long ago, and I got some screenshots in the process. The game uses a password system, so eventually I found a password to skip to the final dungeon - albeit with underpowered characters - and went for it. This game may be awful overall, but the final dungeon is quite respectable. It's like the developers put all their energy into the Mines of Moria.

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Highlander 4x20 - Till Death

 

This episode contains the stunning and beautiful Angelina de Valicourt, seen here in the worst possible picture anyone could take of her for the episode thumbnail. Come on, guys. Anyway, she's smart and sexy and rambunctious and... Dammit, I told myself I wouldn't make this weird. She's just gorgeous, and also immortal, that's important. Yep, she's immortal and gorgeous. I don't have a crush, YOU have a crush. Dammit, I'm being weird again. I'll just start this.

Friday, July 14, 2023

Highlander 4x19 - Double Jeopardy

 

The cover image for this episode is a random cop lady... when the episode itself is a rare and coveted Xavier St. Cloud episode. That's right, he returns! Can't believe they didn't have him as the cover image. It's just as well though, because this is also unfortunately the return of Cop Show Highlander. For one night only! You know the creators of the show were chomping at the bit to bring back the Cop Show format, only to be held at bay by David Abramowitz like Gandalf holding off the Balrog.


Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures - Part 2 (Temple of Doom + Last Crusade)

 

The second half of this great game. We start with my least-favorite of the first three movies (it's still good though). I hope this game doesn't contain that insufferable, screeching blonde. It's bad enough to lose Marion, but losing her and getting a shrill harpy is a true step down. At least the movie also has Shorty, the most likeable character in the trilogy. The game does not contain Playable Shorty, unfortunately.

Temple of Doom might have also inspired every "mine cart level" in every video game. I like mine cart levels, so that's cool by me. ...will THIS game have a mine cart level, though?

Friday, July 7, 2023

Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures (Super NES, 1994)

 

Truly legendary game here that I've wanted to play since 1994. Raiders of the Lost Ark is one of the best movies of all time and probably in any legitimate top ten for action/adventure movies. And good news: This game has all three movies from the original trilogy represented. LucasArts didn't decide to have it span three games like the Star Wars SNES trilogy, which is both good and bad. Good because you're getting a lot of value / series coverage out of this one game. Bad because it can't go into the kind of detail for each one that individual games would have had.

Regardless, this game came out right around the same time as Super Return of the Jedi and has a ton in common with that trilogy. It should, same developers. I'm pretty stoked for this, so stoked that I've gotten out my old Nintendo Power for this game and loaded up the movies to watch this week. The first three.

Note: While the timing is intentional given that Indiana Jones is back, posting this isn't an endorsement of this week's movie. Which is apparently doing even worse than The Flash. One of these days these studios might learn that their target audience doesn't feel like watching their beloved legacy characters get "deconstructed" as alcoholic old fools who ruined their lives and no longer have any redeeming qualities.

Anyway,  love Raiders of the Lost Ark! Let's go!

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Freedom Finger (Playstation 4 and Switch, 2020)

 

This is the single craziest space-shooter I've ever seen. It's a parody of American foreign policy and a bit of an indictment of the Establishment with its many victims. It's also completely nutso. I had no idea what I was getting into until I played this with a friend over one afternoon. We expected a pretty basic space shooter and what we got was something else entirely.

In the immortal words of William Shakespeare: F*** it let's just do it.

Sunday, July 2, 2023

Kirby: Mass Attack (Nintendo DS, 2011)

 

This is the only main series Kirby game that I've never played. So I made it a bit of a personal mission to knock it off and "complete the series", which led to me noticing that we were on the 30th anniversary of me getting Kirby's Dream Land, and deciding to do a post about that, and then deciding to do more posts of some spinoffs, and why not this one too while I'm at it? DS games get very little time on here. Never played this before, don't know what to expect*, and I'm going to beat the game either way. Screenshots are gonna be in all kinds of weird proportions while I figure out what works best.

* - All I know is that it has stylus controls. Which is probably why I skipped it back in the day. DS games can't help themselves with stylus controls. Or as I call them, "Waggle Motion: The Wave of Tomorrow"

...I'm starting to doubt my commitment to Waggle Motion.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Kirby's Dream Course, Kirby's Avalanche, Kirby's Star Stacker (Super NES, 1994/1995/1997)

 

That's right, today we get a 3-fer with some more Kirby spinoff puzzle/sports type games that I checked out over the weekend. Not going to actually finish any of these, but I'll get a gander at them. Never played this trio before this, so they're all new to me. First up is the fairly popular Kirby's Dream Course from 1994.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Kirby's Pinball Land (Game Boy, 1993)

 

This game is awesome, so I'm going to get it out there real quick before WW3 starts. Somehow I never covered this before, which is weird, could have sworn I did. It's so much funnukah! But also kinda tough.

Monday, June 26, 2023

Kirby's Dream Land DX (Game Boy Color Hack)

   

It's the 30 year anniversary (Jesus) of me getting this, my first game. School had just let out and it was time to finally get a game system. To commemorate this, I'm running several Kirby games this week. Starting with the color remake of Kirby's Dream Land, made by intrepid fans. I haven't played this since the first time I covered it, almost a decade ago, so we'll see how it triggers my memory.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Judgement Silversword (Wonderswan Color, 2001)

 

Wonderswan Color gets on the board with this shockingly good space shooter. Shockingly good for a portable system from the Game Boy Color era, that is. I don't know how they were able to get this game to play as well as it does with zero slowdown considering the massive number of moving objects onscreen at any given time. It's safe to say the Wonderswan Color was a really impressive portable and it's too bad we never got it in the states. In any case, this game will float you a few hundred dollars on eBay, or you could just download the ROM and actually have a shot at beating the game due to save states. Because this game is ludicrously hard. There's also a Steam version for like $20, but no states so good luck. It sure does play well, despite its near-impossibility.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Top 20 Title Screen Themes In Gaming

 

Been a while since I did a top list. The usual top list disclaimer applies: This is my personal take and it's off the top of my head. Plenty of great things are going to be missing, either because I never played them or just straight-up didn't think of them. Your mileage may vary. There's a special hell reserved for the people who post "No [X Y or Z]??" comments on every top list. However, if you have any suggestions, totally drop them in the comments. I'm grading off of a few criteria here: How good the track is, how well it fits / sets the tone for the game, and how memorable/iconic it is overall.

Monday, June 19, 2023

Hentai Vs. Evil (Playstation 5, 2021)

 

This game was $3 on PSN so I checked it out to see how bad it was. It's bad. It's real bad. So instead of doing something good like Highlander or, I don't know, Dragon Quest VI, today I'm serving up this helping of gruel. By God though, it... kind of works.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Highlander 4x18 - Through A Glass, Darkly

 

One of the not so good episodes in my view, which is really unfortunate because it's about the pivotal battle of Culloden (Scotland vs England) that shaped Duncan's persona from here on out. Culloden determined who controlled Britain, and the answer? 

Well, spoiler alert, the Scottish Jacobites were soundly defeated by the English, and so was Duncan's zest for fighting. After this he basically traveled the world for a while and saw war as a pointless waste. So there's a lot to mine out of this chapter.

Friday, June 9, 2023

Dungeons and Dragons - Art & Arcana

 

Every once in a while I like to take a quick look at some sort of artbook. This time, I got ahold of this particularly nice visual history of D&D. It's a bit of a trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Final Fight 3 (Super NES, 1995)

 

This is usually agreed upon as the best game in the series. After replaying it I'll go ahead and agree with that. It's also the last one, with the best visuals and best music. Join me as I beat up Andore the Giant for the last time.

Sunday, May 28, 2023

Final Fight 2 (Super NES, 1993)


Going to the SNES version for this one. This is a game I rented a TON as a kid, more than the first one. I considered this by far the superior one. Though at this point in time I definitely like the first more and am not sure what I saw in the second. Let's do it.

Saturday, May 27, 2023

Mighty Final Fight (NES, 1993)

 This great little game is a spinoff of the Final Fight series, made exclusively for the NES well past the system's prime. It features chibi versions of the characters, a relatively lighthearted plot, and easier gameplay. I expected it to be a bit of a joke game and it ended up being a fun time. Only from Capcom!

Repost to join the others.

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Saturday, May 20, 2023

Stranger of Paradise, DLC 3 - Different Future

 

The third and final DLC takes us to the northeast corner of the map, to Lufenia. It...doesn't look like it did in the original Final Fantasy. I guess that was Lufenia after JACK GARLAND was done with it.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Stranger of Paradise, DLC 2 - Wanderer of the Rift

 

The Lufenians (or really just the one) are starting to realize the threat posed to their world-dominance by Garland, so they're using their powers to summon a fearsome combatant from the Rift to deal with him. The fearsome guy in question? Gilgamesh. That's right, it's time to KILL GILGAMESH.

Sunday, May 14, 2023

Stranger of Paradise, DLC 1 - Trials of the Dragon King

 

The FF1 Remake But Not? resumes with some DLC. Yeah, the main game ends on a bit of a cliffhanger with the Light Warriors showing up to battle Garland (now taking his place in the Chaos Shrine). So it was pretty cool to find out there are DLCs for it now. Unfortunately, none of the 3 (yes, three) DLCs are as good as the main game, and they can be tedious. Let's get going.

Sunday, April 30, 2023

Dragonball Super Movie 1: Broly (2019)

It's Sunday at 6 AM, you know what that means.

I covered all 15 DBZ movies, why not also the Super movies that follow them? Here's the first one, which could also kinda be called DBZ Movie 16 if you really wanted to. Like the previous two movies it totally blows away the first thirteen movies. And this one...is the best out of the entire lot. Hands down. Easily the best Dragonball series movie by a mile.

Interestingly enough, the last two DBZ movies (14 and 15) were basically Super movies as well, but still used the Z moniker at the time. This one, obviously, has the return of Broly. Except it isn't a return, because it completely ignores the other Broly movies and tells the story from scratch. Only this time it's canon, unlike the odd "parallel universe" first 13 DBZ movies. A lot of people probably thought this was a sequel, but nope, it's a replacement entirely. It's most similar to DBZ Movie 8, but it takes place during the time of Dragonball Super (aka much later than the original Broly story).

Quick story time: The first DBZ episode I ever watched was the one where Piccolo is killed by Nappa, then Gokou arrives and saves everyone. I had no idea what was going on but it was really the perfect first episode for summing up how most of the show is. It was interesting and I wanted to see more. I missed the episode after that (it was on at 6 AM on Sundays so that didn't help), then tuned in again for the episode where Gokou and Vegeta had their massive beam tug-of-war. That was one of the best episodes of that entire saga and was all it took for me to officially be hooked on the show. Made sure to miss as few episodes as possible after that, 6 AM be darned.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Dragon Ball GT: Final Bout (Playstation, 1997)

 

As a kid I was super into this game. It was the first DBZ related game we got in the US that I know of, and it was pretty awesome just to be able to finally play as some of these characters in a game. Does it hold up after all these years?

.....no. But it was something. Also gonna have a lot of notes about what I thought of this back in 1998 or so when I played it, with limited DBZ exposure at the time. Suffice to say a lot of it was interesting!

Monday, April 24, 2023

Highlander 4x17 - The Immortal Cimoli

 

Hold on, two Highlander posts in a row? What is this sorcery? In any case, it's another Amanda episode, as we learn about her history as a circus clown. I mean trapeze artist. If she were a clown, we'd already be dead.

Friday, April 21, 2023

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Dragonball Z: Kakarot Part 13 - Bardock: Alone Against Fate

 

I briefly considered putting DBZ posts up only at 6:00 AM Eastern on Sunday mornings, since back in the 90's that was the only time we could watch it. And we did, too. Staying up on Saturday night wasn't unheard of, and I had some groggy Sundays. Yep, one episode a week (sometimes two) at 6 in the morning. Sounds terrible right? Actually it was awesome. Every episode meant something and we were glued to the TV. It was an EVENT. No show gets me anywhere near that excited as an adult.

Anyway, here's DLC #4.

Saturday, April 15, 2023

Dragonball Z: Kakarot Part 12 - History of Trunks Pt 2 (The Future)

 

We rejoin Trunks as he heads back to his own timeline/dimension. It's still the catastrophic mess it was when he left, even though he helped save the world in our timeline.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

Dragonball Z: Kakarot Part 11 - History of Trunks

 

Time for a mini DBZ Month of sorts as I have a few things to wrap up in that category. DBZ 2-3 Weeks? I don't know. Starting off with the third of the Dragonball Z: Kakarot DLCs, which continue to be great. Got two more of these to cover, and apparently they've still got ANOTHER two in the works for some later time. Maybe those can be in next year's DBZ 2-3 Weeks.

Monday, April 10, 2023

Final Fantasy Legend, Finale

 
This is it, the shocking conclusion of Final Fantasy Legend, AKA SaGa 1. Will I go through with my plans to cover more of the SaGa series in 2023? We'll see.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

Final Fantasy Legend, Part 2 - Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat

Previously on Final Fantasy Legend - A lot happened. I covered a huge amount of the game because it's actually quite short. Much shorter than I remember. Catch up on the original post HERE.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Dragon Quest Master Post

Links to all of the Dragon Quest series posts on this site, in an organized list. There are so many of them that it became necessary! Bunch of new updates.