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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Super Mario World Chrome Theme


Anyhoo, I was bored today so I decided to deck out Google Chrome with my very own built from scratch theme.  Since I played Super Mario World last weekend, I've still been in the mood for it so I decided to theme it to that.  I might make some for other games if people want me to.  This is still WIP, but here's what I've got so far.

Normal Mode
Activated Tab:  Normal grassy ground.
Non-Active Tab/New Tab button:  Yellow underground...ground (I went with Yellow so the text would be easier to read)
Active Background:  When Google Chrome is active, the top background is Yoshi's Island 1's background.
Nonactive Background: When you have another window selected but Google Chrome is visible in the background, the top background becomes the starry sky background.

Incognito Mode (You probably won't be using this often but oh well)
Activated Tab:  Normal grassy ground.  The official Google tutorial makes no mention of being able to change this, but I'll look into making it the alternate castle ground.
Non-Active Tab/New Tab Button:  Stone Blocks commonly seen in castles.
Active Background:  Castle Windows
Nonactive Background:  Ghost House Windows

New Tab Page/Incognito Start-Up Page
Mountain background (with edits to make it taller and have a gradient)

Things I want to add if possible:  Change Incognito icon to a Boo (implying nobody is looking so he's free to move), change active tab to alternate castle ground for incognito, add Mario riding Yoshi...somewhere.

So yeah, there's my progress.  I can share it if people want.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Super-SONIC Tips for SegaManiacs! - Part 3

Well, it's time to take on Sonic CD.  Before I begin the actual guide section, let's take a look at the first two pages again.

First things first.  The guide points out that Sonic CD has "A full-length music soundtrack heard throughout the game."  Wow. full-length music soundtrack!  I'm so sick of these damn Genesis games that have a sound effect soundtrack only or a soundtrack that just gives out halfway through.  Thank God for the Sega CD machine!  Next, after a few moments spent talking about the controls, we talk about the plot of the game.  The plot, according to this guide, is that Princess Sally has been kidnapped by Dr. Robotnik and Sonic must rescue her.  That's it.  No mention of the Little Planet at all.  Now, I'll give them a pass on the Princess Sally thing since if I remember correctly, she was given that name in the instruction manual in the US version of the game.  However, they also call Metal Sonic "Robo-Sonic."

They also say "In the final zone of Sonic CD, called Metallic Madness, you meet up with a new and improved Robo-Sonic, who is an evil robot created by the Doc."  What the Hell were they smoking?  Did they even play the game?  I mean, seriously, this guide doesn't even mention the final boss of Sonic 3 yet somehow MAKES UP A BOSS for Sonic CD.  My God.  Now, I know I mentioned in part 1 that sometimes guides use WIP versions of the game to have it out by the game's release.  However, I highly doubt that the Big Arm boss was thrown in at the last minute and that a special Metal Sonic fight was taken out of CD at the last minute as well.  Yes, I know there was supposed to be a "Final Fever" Zone that was cut but I doubt it was still being thought of by the time this guide was written.

After the introduction, the guide cuts to the chase and starts with, of all things, the special stage.  Tips include watch out for hazards and Sonic travels underwater in some zones.

Wait a minute, what?

Yes, without any sort of warning or labels, the guide suddenly shifts to talking about Tidal Tempest.  Let's count the ways in which this is completely screwed up.

1) There's no title for Tidal Tempest
2) It's on the same page as the Special Stage title making it seem like part of the special stage
3) We completely skipped Palmtree Panic
4) We completely skipped Collision Chaos
5) There's no words of transition or anything that indicate we are done talking about the special stage

Anyhoo, yeah, I guess we're in Tidal Tempest now.  There isn't much advice offered until the boss, which prompts the comment "Each battle with Dr. Robotnik in Sonic CD is far more elaborate than what you're used with cartridge-based Sonic games."  Yep, those cartridge based games could never handle a confrontation in which Robotnik runs away from you in a maze in an underwater zone.  Man, that's just too crazy.  Also, I think they mean "used to", not just "used".  I don't think I'm being used with cartridge-based games.

Moving on, we reach...

Quadrant Quartz Zone?  Um...ok.  This zone gets two lengthy tips before the boss:  Sonic CD has weird badniks and there's conveyor belts.  That's it.  As for the boss, it's the conveyor belt boss:  You know, the one that destroys itself?  Yeah, they needed a full page to describe its complexity.  According to the guide, "Even though you can't touch him, you can wear out the machine he is riding in.  Every few minutes, a piece of it breaks apart."

Every few minutes.  Yep, every few minutes.  This is like the 8 minute fight apparently.  Good luck beating this thing before the 10 minute time limit!  But wait, it gets worse.

"Sonic outlasts the machine and it explodes.  This takes several minutes, so be patient!"

Yes, the explosion also takes several minutes!  As soon as you beat the boss, put on a pot of coffee because it's going to be a while before you can get out of that room.

Wacky Workbench has a few tips for the zone and again has a full page for the boss, which is apparently "One of the trickiest encounters you have with the Doc" even though it's incredibly easy.  On to Stardust Speedway!

Once again, I didn't skip anything.  This is all there is to Stardust Speedway.  In fact, as a kid, I assumed the entire Zone was just a Metal Sonic race since I didn't have the game for myself yet.  Now, let me point out something with the comment and first screenshot.  Note that Sonic is standing to the left of Metal Sonic.  Also note that the guide in no way warns that Robotnik uses his insta-death laser before the fight.  In other words, they're basically showing the player to wait for the race to begin in a spot that will get them instantly killed.  Good job, guide!

Next up, it says "Robo-Sonic clears the path to the right" at the beginning of the race which doesn't happen:  The door simply opens.  Then, note that it implies that when Metal Sonic turns gold, he'll instantly kill you which is never the case.  Finally, note that they call this a battle with the Doc.  It's not at all.

Finally, we reach Metallic Madness.  "This zone is the last in Sonic CD.  Here, you must defeat Robo-Sonic and the Doc to find Princess Sally and rescue her."
Again, what the Holy Hell were they talking about?  Did they not see Metal Sonic die at the end of the last stage?  Did they not see you free Amy at the end of Stardust Speedway?  Until this point, you get only a feeling they didn't even play the game.  However, on the first page of Metallic Madness, this becomes more than just a feeling.

Until this time, I've purposely neglected to tell you one of the dumbest things about the Sonic CD guide:  They never once mention the good future-bad future mechanic, the Metal Sonic hologram projectors, or the Badnik machines.  They simply say the game involves time travel.  Although they mention the time stones, they never once say what gathering all of them does.  All of their screenshots of the boss fights are in the bad future as a result.  Given that this mechanic is a giant part of Sonic CD, having the official guide completely neglect to mention it is astounding.

Or wait.  I partially lied.  They do mention the Badnik a way.  You see, THIS is what proves they never played the game.

"Enter into this warping machine to go into another area of the act."  Wow.  Just wow.  Not only do they not mention what this machine really does:  THEY COMPLETELY MAKE UP A GRADE A PILE OF BULL CRAP!  I mean, how do you screw this up so royally?  How?  I mean...ugh.  I give up.

But wait, there's more!  Once again, they completely neglect to give any sort of tips or images of the final boss!  The final comment of the entire Sonic CD zone guide is "As Sonic sneaks through the small holes [of the falling spike ceilings], he climbs higher and higher.  It isn't long now before your final battle with Robo-Sonic and the Doc."  That's it.  The next page is about Time Trials.  What a pile of shit.

*clears throat*  WELL.  At least I've got some Game Genie codes for Sonic CD, right, guide?  Right?

That's it, I give up.  This look into the dark ages of game walkthroughs is over.  I can't take it any more.  I leave you now with the company responsible for approving this official BradyGames guide.

(and no, I have no idea what the Hell that's supposed to be)

Super-SONIC Tips for SegaManiacs! - Part 2

Last time, we took a look at the introduction and the first five zones of Sonic 3.  Time to wrap things up with Launch Base, Special stages, and Multiplayer.

We've finally reached...*sigh*...Launch Base ǝuoz.

Here's the guide's intro for this Zone.  "Excellent Work!  You have discovered the secret fortress on the Floating Island where Dr. Robotnik is trying to repair his Death Egg ship.  All he needs now are the Chaos Emeralds.  By now, you should have collected all the emeralds.  If the Doc defeats you, he can steal the emeralds.  If you beat the Doc, the Floating Island remains a safe and happy place to live."

...Ok.  First things first.  The guide at this point contained a single paragraph in the introduction that mentioned collecting chaos emeralds.  It has not yet told the player how or any of the giant Ring locations.  Apparently, it just assumes that the player (who BTW bought this guide presumably because they needed help) would find them on their own.  Second, when the Hell was it implied Dr. Robotnik would search Sonic's corpse for the Chaos Emeralds when he's dead?  He's already powered up the Death Egg.  With you gone, he's won.  The end.  Finally, there's no mention of any chance of the Floating Island returning to the sky, which to be fair, doesn't happen in Sonic 3 itself anyways, but if anything this game has shown the island isn't a safe place to live:  there's a deadly carnival, sunken ruins and hilly ruins with booby traps, and a forest that's still on fire.

Getting beyond the first paragraph, we reach the first two pieces of advice the guide has to give.

Piece 1:  "This zone is jam-packed with high-tech gadgets, including an electronic surveillance system.  When Sonic activates this system, several robotic bird Badniks (Flybot 767s) attack Sonic."

Piece 2:  "When Sonic or Tails touches this siren, an alarm goes off, alterting Dr. Robotnik and his Badniks that you've entered this secret area.  You hear it wail, and then several Flybot 767s fly at you.  Be ready to jump up and perform Super Spin Attacks to defeat these air-based robots."

...Did anybody care to point out that they're basically saying the same thing in both of these paragraphs but in different ways?  Also, wow, they knew the name of the badnik.  Good job.  They got all of the other names wrong, but hey, 1 for about 25 isn't bad.

"Sonic's feet stick to this cylinder."  Yes, this floor is clearly a cylinder:  I can tell that from the 1mm of it that you've shown me.  That's not the only piece of spinning technology this guide manages to screw up.  Here's what they have to say about those purple and gold spinning platforms attached to poles.

"Have you ever been on The Mad Tea Party teacups at Disneyland?  These teacups move up and down as they spin around.  You must ride several of these if you want to find the Doc.  To activate these, Sonic leaps into a cup."

First of all, these platforms don't move in a fashion that is even remotely close to the Mad Tea Party teacups.  2nd, couldn't you just say "These platforms spin as they move up and down a track.  Hop in to take a ride" instead of a paragraph full of pointless information?

So, eventually we reach the end of Launch Base Zone, but not before several instances of this clip art.

...What the Hell is this thing?  Seriously, I'm at a loss for words.  This doesn't look like anything in any Sonic game.  Is it an actual base launching?  I just don't know.  Oh, and for the record, here's how strange the path between tips has become.

Anyhoo, where was I?  Oh yeah, Act 2.  Not much is said about Act 2 other than you run on pipes that "seem to go on and on" until after the first cannonball Robotnik machine.  Here's the first final confrontation comment which sits next to a picture of Sonic piloting the Egg Mobile up to Knuckles.

"Prepare for the battle to end all battles.  You've located the Death Egg ship.  Now, you must defeat the Doc and his ship!  After you defeat this ship, you can take it over and become the pilot.  The ship takes you to where Knuckles is waiting."

Was there a dare to say ship as many times as possible?  Also, since it says ship after Death Egg, it almost sounds like you have to beat the Death Egg, at which point you can pilot it to Knuckles.  Now THAT would be something to see, Knuckles trying to punch the entire Death Egg backwards!  Finally, you never defeat Robotnik while he's driving the Egg Mobile you steal.  It's just sitting there.  Moving on, here's the next comment, which is next to a picture of the rocket penultimate boss.

"It's Sonic versus Dr. Robotnik - an epic battle between good and evil.  Keep performing attacks on the Doc's ship."

Um...okay, it sounds like they're building this boss up as the final one even though we've still got the Big Arm left.  The next comment, which reads, "As you launch your attacks, aim for the top of the ship, near where you see the Doc sitting.  Stay away from the bottom of the ship, where its rockets are located," is located next to a picture

...Carnival Night Zone?  Seriously, what's up with them putting in pictures of Carnival Night in the wrong zones?  Oh well, it's time for the Big Arm fight.  Let's see what tips they have to give.

...They...don't talk about it.  At all.  No really, I didn't skip any pages or tips.  The incorrect picture of Carnival Night is the final picture in the zone guide.  This is a guide...that not only doesn't give tips on the final boss of the game...IT DOESN'T EVEN SAY IT EXISTS!!!  I mean, imagine if you were a kid playing this game while reading this guide.  You'd be so happy when that rocket blows up that you've finally beaten Sonic 3 only to have the sky darken, the music change, and another boss suddenly start beating the snot out of you.  You'd be devastated!  You'd franticly look through this guide for tips to no avail.  What a cruel joke!  Oh, but thank God next year, Hedgehog Day will be celebrated in my honor.  More like in memory since I was killed by a boss you didn't even tell me existed!

So, after this message, it tells you to sit back and watch the credits.  What comes after that on the next page?

"Super Sonic is invincible.  He moves extra fast and no Badniks or energy weapons can harm him.  To tap into Super Sonic's power, after you collect all of the Chaos Emeralds, touch one of the Giant Gold Transporter Rings."

Oh, that's nice.  First of all, thank you so much for telling me about this AFTER the game.  I really need it now that I've won.  Second, what a transition:  Sit back and watch the credits SUPER SONIC IS INVINCIBLE.  I honestly think they put this paragraph in the wrong spot in the guide.  Third, they imply that's the only way to get Super Sonic, not just gather 50 rings.

Anyhoo, in the pages that follow, the guide says there's secret rooms with giant rings and describes the special stage.  It also takes a full 3 pages and a paragraph to describe the Gumball bonus game.  Seriously, 3 pages on a non-essential mini-game yet we completely overlooked two bosses in the game including the final one.  What a disaster.

Well, looks like our last task is to take on the...

...Oh, God damn it.  Yes, it's time for multiplayer mode.  And as with any mode, the first thing you do is select a character on

Yes, use the arrows on the controller (as opposed the arrows on your TV remote, I guess) from THIS gamescreen which looks suspiciously like Azure Lake Zone to select your character and stage.  Other than this slip up, the game gives some award winning advice such as "The least productive thing you can do during a 2-player race is to run in the wrong direction" and "There can be only 1 winner and 1 loser."  Man, how could I have survived without these helpful hints?

Well, that covers everything in Sonic 3, so we've reached the end of the guide.  However, there seems to be about 15 pages left.  I wonder-


Yes, the game guide is actually two in one, covering both Sonic 3 and Sonic CD.  Well, cover is a strong word for Sonic CD.  It covers Sonic CD in the same way a washcloth covers and elephant.  Now, I've already shown you the front cover to this book so you know it does not mention Sonic CD at all.  What does that back cover have to say?

Yes, Sonic CD:  The Sega CD version of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.  Seems about right.  Well, I guess next part we'll be covering Sonic CD.  If you want to know how Sonic saves "Princess Sally" from "The Doc" and his latest creation "Robo-Sonic", stay tuned!

Super-SONIC Tips for SegaManiacs! - Part 1

It's hard to imagine life today without easy access to the internet, but that's how things were in the early 90s.  If you were a kid playing a video game and got stuck, you really only had two options:  ask someone for help or buy the player's guide.  If you went with the 2nd option, you'd often find guides filled with misinformation.  Many times, this may not have been the fault of the writers as they had to work with an earlier build of the game in order to time the release of the guide with the game itself .

However, there's some guides that are so bad that no amount of excuses can justify their crappiness.

This is one of the latter.

How bad is it?  The first page starts with "And Now, Introducing...SONIC.  He's quick.  He's hip.  He's a cool dude with an attitude."  Apparently, the guide assumes players bought the guide not knowing who Sonic was even though if you bought the guide, you probably have the game and it's the third game in the series.  Nevertheless, it gets much much worse. "It's still the same story, a fight for love and glory-well, sort of."  Love?  What love story exists in Sonic 3?

"In the original Sonic The Hedgehog game for the Sega Genesis and the super sequels that have followed, Sonic proved that a mere hedgehog can battle Robotnik to a Super Sonic Spin standoff."  Holy crap, I don't remember the part where Robotnik used Sonic's spin  moves in a stand-off!  I want to see that fat man roll into a ball!  The introduction goes on to mention Sonic has been in the Macy's Thanksgiving day parade along with plenty of other information that doesn't even remotely apply to Sonic 3.

After a fairly stupid introduction, the game gives some of the basics, such as controls, what items do, menu options, etc.  None of this information is incorrect or is written very poorly.  Things don't really start hitting the fan until we get into the actual game guide.  It should be noted there are no maps in this guide:  only screenshots highlighting certain features of the level.  It should also be noted that the pages are arranged by a drunken maniac.  Here's the first two pages of the actual Zone guides.

Note the stock art splattered across the page.  It's like that throughout the guide.  Also note that the tips are arranged along a weird checkerboard path.  Starting on the left is the first tip, then down, then right, then up. On this page, it's fairly easy to follow.  Later in the book, however, the path starts doing loops and overlaps itself making the tips horribly hard to follow...not that you'd want to anyways.  Still nothing too bad until...

THE FIRST BOSS!  Yes, you're reading that right:  they consider the cutscene where the fire machine destroys the forest as the first boss.  "When the ship is low enough, aim your attacks towards the very top of this small craft.  The trick is to avoid the flame shooter.  It takes only 2 or 3 successful attacks to make the ship leave.  Congratulations!  You have beaten the first boss character of Sonic the Hedgehog 3.  You also completed the 1st half of Act 1 of this zone.  The 2nd part of this act isn't nearly as easy to get through."  Wait, 1st half of Act 1?  Then why do you say "Angel Island Zone II" at the top?

Moving on, after the actual Act 1 boss (you know, the one you actually have to hit), the guide proudly declares "This [Act 1] is one of the longest acts in Sonic 3."  Um...really?  I was pretty sure it was very close to being the shortest unless you're just awful at this game.  Oh wait.  Now I see why they say that:  THE SCREENSHOT FOR THE BOSS SHOWS THEIR TIME AT 6:43.  How can you be that bad at this game while writing a guide?  Fortunately, they are thankfully light on stupid comments for the rest of Angel Island Zone.  There is, however, one thing worth noting.

How the Hell did anybody think this looked like the first miniboss?  They don't even look remotely close!

Thankfully, Hydrocity is also fairly light on stupid comments other than one minor gripe:

Why is this one statement bold and gigantic?  None of the other boss fights other than the first receive this text making it completely pointless and out of place.  My only guess is that they wanted to fill some more room and didn't have random clip art that fit the spot.  It should be noted that all of the Robotnik fights take "around 6 hits".  They're 8.  All of them are 8.  They couldn't bother to count to 8.

Now it's time for Marble Garden...

*tilts head sideways*  ...Zone?  Yes, not content to simply say the name of the zone, from this point on, the guide designers felt the need to put them in wacky shapes that make absolutely no sense.  Once again, though, Marble Garden is light on stupid comments other than the occasional pointless comment such as "There's no need to pray to these stone-faced statues."  However, there is a bigger fish to fry at the end of the zone.

First of all, nice picture of the "rotating tree trunks" up there at the top.  I always love the part of this zone when I suddenly enter a colorful technological wonderland in the middle of the ruins and fight the Carnival Night Tree Trunk boss.  I especially love it when the poorly drawn Angel Island Zone midboss watches.

Next up is Carnival Night Zone.  The guide's first words on this zone are "This is probably the easiest zone in Sonic 3:  it's also the wackiest.  The hardest part is trying not to get lost, since this world is very huge."  ...Carnival Night...easiest?  Who the Hell has ever thought that?  Seriously, who takes 6 and a half minutes to beat Angel Island Zone Act 1, and then goes "OH, HELL, THAT CARNIVAL LEVEL?  I BEAT IT IN NO TIME FLAT, EASIEST DAMN THING IN THE GAME!"  I mean, seriously, if anything, it's one of the hardest zones in the game!  The zone also features "anti-gravity pads, floating platforms, giant helium-filled balloons, pinball bumpers, and a shooting cannon!" As opposed to...a non-shooting cannon?  Well, it's a lot more complicated than it sounds, apparently.  This is the guide's section on the cannon.

"Getting shot out of a cannon may not seem like the brightest idea, but to reach the end of the act, Sonic has to become a cannonball.  To shoot Sonic from this cannon, make him leap into it.  As soon as he's inside, the cannon starts swinging left and right.  Since you can't aim the cannon, you must decide when it is at the best angle to shoot and then press A, B, or C to fire.

It may take a few tries to perfect your timing when shooting Sonic out of the cannon.  The best time to launch Sonic is when the cannon is facing to the left, at about the same angle as the picture shown here (top picture).  You want to make Sonic fly up at about a 45 degree angle, so that he shoots to the left and can reach a platform overhead." think that's descriptive enough?  I mean, seriously, two full paragraphs on the cannon.  It runs down the entire side of the page.  I mean, here, let me rewrite it to make to make it just as clear while half as long.

"To reach a platform overhead, jump into the top of this cannon.  Once inside, it will begin swinging from side to side.  Press the jump button when the cannon is aimed 45 degrees to the left to blast towards the platform.  It can be tricky, so don't feel bad if you take a few tries to get it right."

Speaking of tricky, it's time for Carnival Night Zone Act 2.  The act that would pretty much be the only reason for anybody to have to buy a guide for this game.  There's plenty of deadly water and of course, the infamous barrel room.  One would think that given this guide's tendency to over-describe things (see the cannon paragraphs above) that they would surely dedicate like 2 pages to that damn barrel.  Not only is this not the case:  THE DAMN THING ISN'T EVEN MENTIONED.  None of the barrels are!  No "Hey, if you see one of these barrels, hit up and down in time with the barrel to get some height" or Hell, even a screenshot of them!  Nothing.  Act 2 has two pictures/paragraphs of information:  One talking about the striped downhill cylinders and one talking about water.  They don't even talk about the boss, which as a kid lead me to believe there wasn't one.  But then again, I couldn't know for myself because I was too busy getting a time over because my damn guide didn't tell me about the damn barrel!

Well, we've finally made it to Ice Cap Zone, or as I like to call it...

"Whoopsees, we forgot to zoom out!" Zone.  Seriously, every picture in this zone is zoomed in towards the upper left corner of the screen.  What's the picture on the right supposed to be?  Oh, only a picture warning you about the Penguin Badniks that you can't see because it's zoomed in so far.  I mean, seriously, look at this!

There you go, here's a picture of the boss!  Man, look at how imposing he is!

Watch out for the weapon at the bottom of the ship!  It can pack quite a wallop, as seen here in this picture of a mountain and some snowflakes!  Oh, and now is as good of a time as any to point out that they refer to Dr. Robotnik as "The Doc" throughout the entire guide.

What lies in store for Launch Base Zone?  Why am I taking a break when the game is so close to being done?  Oh, we've actually got way way more to go than you realize!  Tune in next time!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

This blog finally lives up to its title

As you're probably aware, my computer's internet went kablammo last week. During the week away from everybody, I realized I had random thoughts that I'd normally get off my chest to somebody online but couldn't due to my computer woes. Here's a list of random observations I made.

-Labyrinth Zone is not hard: Just very boring. I died twice while attempting to play through all of Sonic 1. I had a good chance to beat the game in one sitting for the first time in my life. But no. I hit Labyrinth Zone Act 3 and just thought "Y'know, I really want to be doing something else right now."

-Crushing =/= Instant Death in Sonic Generations (except in special occasions). I find that very odd indeed.

-The more I think about the "All Toasters Toast Toast" scene, the less sense it makes. Why are there so many toasters plugged into one outlet? Why toasters? Why does toasting toast automatically turn the power back on? Why wouldn't you just unplug them? Who are the "they" that have a saying about toasting toast? Don't you toast bread, not toast? Blah, I say, blah!

-The ending credits song from Super Mario Galaxy 2 is guaranteed to give me goosebumps.

-Sonic 1 had the same or very similar badniks in each zone. Sonic 2, CD, and 3K all changed that. Adventure went right back to the same enemies in each area (minus a few exceptions). What's up with that?

-I realized 90% of Sonic 06 was completely erased from my mind. Seriously, my brother mentioned White Acropolis the other day and I had to think for a minute to know what he was talking about.

-Each of my eyes see a different hue better than the other. My right eye sees more vibrant reds while my left eye sees more vibrant blues and greens.

-Replaying Sonic Adventure's Sonic stages on the Dreamcast was less enjoyable than I hoped. Why? The control stick for the Dreamcast just plain sucks.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Melody Time - Overlooked Gems of the Mega Man Franchise

This time, it's time to look at some Mega Man tunes that I feel are overlooked. I'm going to go with a one song per franchise limit (Franchises being Classic, X, Zero, ZX, and Battle Network because I don't give a crap about the other 2). Once again, these aren't like my favorite songs from the series or anything, they're just songs I feel don't get enough love. Alright, let's begin!

Mega Man & Bass - Magic Man

I love this song. It's really unusual for a Mega Man game but it's so dang catchy and happy and bouncy and trouncy and goofy and lovely and...
I also love that it keeps building on the same basic melody. Because it's awesome.

Mega Man X8 - Ride Armor

The game may be a bit mediocre, but this song is pretty kick ass. It also helps that the stage itself is at least pretty to look at...which is more than I can say for most of the stages in this game.

Mega Man Zero 4 - Straight Ahead

Totally cheating by using the remastered version but whatever...
Anyways, this song gives you the perfect driving beat to make you feel like the current situation is dire...which it was in the game. The song is pretty good in the game but I like this version for having the main guitar in tune as opposed to starting out of tune and readjusting on each note.

Mega Man ZX Advent - Overloaded (Highway)

The song that inspired me to do Mega Man's overlooked stuff now. For some bizarre reason, this song entered my head 2 days ago and hasn't left since. It's weird because I didn't care for it until it suddenly popped in my head without warning. Now I love it.

Mega Man Battle Network 2 - You Can't Go Back (Final Area)

Honestly, I could have almost put anything from Battle Network here because the entire series is pretty much overlooked (myself included) but this song is really really good for a final area. I loved it from the moment I heard it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Demopalooza Part 1

I was bored last weekend so I decided to download a whole boatload of demos for my XBox360 that I never use. Most of these games I had no intention of ever actually buying, so my rating for each one will simply be either Very favorable, favorable, indifferent, unfavorable, or very unfavorable. I'm going to try to go in order of when I downloaded them but I've played so many I might forget the order.

Fable III
My roommate during my Freshman year of college actually bought and beat Fable II. There were quite a few kinks in the adventure but for the most part, it looked like fun (I never actually played it). I figured I might as well give Fable III a try. Much like in Fable II, you play as a hero in the making who, after facing tragedy, must set out on a quest for justice. In Fable II, the tragedy involving yourself as a child seeing your sister killed by a vicious ruler. In Fable III, you are a prince. The tragedy actually unfolds depending on our choices. You have to choose who will die: your girlfriend or a bunch of innocent strangers. I picked the girlfriend. Now, at any other time in the adventure this would be a big decision but this game decides to throw it at you 10 minutes into the game. Therefore, you have no attachment to any of the characters making your decision...well, not that important. Also, her "death" is handled in a terribly emotionless way. She just says "you made the right choice", they take her away and you swear you'll "never forgive you for this!"...and that's it. You don't see her die, you don't have a scene saying "oh, she's dead." Hell, you don't even really regret it. It just kind of ends.

Which brings me to another point. In Fable II, your character is mute. In Fable III, he's got full voice acting. I kind of thought this was a poor choice. Fable is supposed to be about you crafting your own hero through your actions. He has the voice you imagine for him. Here, he (or she) already has a voice and a personality.

Anyhoo, going on to gameplay, after a good 25 minutes, you finally learn how to cast a fire spell before going through a spacious underground cave filled with bats. Lots and lots of bats. Every 10 feet, you have a flock of bats attack you (although I don't think they actually do damage). Each time, you just mash the B button to shoot fire at them. If this sounds repetitive, that's only because it is. Seriously, the game even "punishes" you for trying to break it up. Every time I though "let's just charge up my fire spell", a bat would hit me and break the charge.

After all of this, you get to interact with villagers. This complex system involves either giving them money, shaking their hand, or grabbing their hand and taking them with you. The last one they will do even if they don't know you which just makes it incredibly weird. There's also a guide system to guide you to your next objective. In Fable II, it sucked. It would sometimes disappear without warning or suddenly tell you to do a 180 and go back. hasn't improved. Neither has my dog companion who is supposed to bark when he's found treasure. 90% of the time, he started barking, I'd follow him and we'd find...nothing. Good job, boy.

Finally, we get to fight some actual monsters with guns and swords in an underground cave that looks identical to the underground cave earlier. The sword is almost immediately rendered useless. After the first few foes, you get the gun and the game proceeds to fill each room with so many skeletons that trying to head into the group with a sword only results in them knocking you around. Therefore, each fight basically amounted to me running away, turning periodically to fire my gun/cast fire spells. It all felt very repetitive.

However, I could see potential in the game. If Fable II was anything to go by, once you get more spells and find more towns and meet more people, the adventure would get really fun. I could get a sense of that here but the limitations of the beginning of the adventure hindered that.

Overall, it was a lengthy demo that wasn't really enough fun to make me want the game, but the bad points weren't quite bad enough to make me hate it.

Length of Demo: About 1 hour
Overall opinion: indifferent

Dead Rising
Here's the Dead Rising demo in a nutshell. You start the game. It loads. You see a cutscene that has no relevancy because it's not from the beginning of the game and you have no idea what's going on. You are given a mission. You spawn in an atrium in the mall with quite a few zombies. You go one of several directions. A cutscene plays. The end.

I guess the point of the demo is to show you...Um...the weapons? The zombies? I don't know. All I know is it only lets you attack a bunch of generic zombies with 3 weapons. The fun lasted about 1 minute and then it was pure boredom. For some reason, this took up 1GB of space on my hard drive. The Fable III demo took up 2GB. 2 times the size, 12 times the gameplay. That means this piece of shit took me about 2 hours to download.

Length of Demo: About 5 minutes
Overall opinion: Very unfavorable

Coming up next time: Mass Effect 2 and Tomb Raider Legacy