Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Alien 3

Well I decided to do a review on Alien 3 for the NES. Just recently I had watched the third Alien movie, Alien 3 in the Quadrilogy. The Alien Universe has been a favorite of mine since I was a little guy. I kind of looked up to the marines, because they were so bad*ss. Well in Alien 3, Lt. Ellen Ripley was the main character, as is the same in this game. So now it is time to see how this game lives up to the movie... As we all know movies make bad games, and games make bad movies...
[PS Forgive me for my bad screenshots, I will need to invest in something better than MSPaint]

To start off you can see the title screen is a joke... This is gonna be a fun review. 
First off I was kind of confused about how Ripley starts off on the surface of a planet armed with a Pulse Rifle. I love how this game already starts off completely messed up. In the movie Alien 3 Ripley crash lands on the planet Fiorina 'Fury' 161, an old foundry which is used as a prison. I can see how it kind of looks likes a foundry on the first opening scene, but aliens running around on the surface? Come on. This games controls are horrid. Completely garbage, like I mean, you can’t even aim up and shoot the aliens in the ceiling? You can throw grenades which is kind of cool, but you throw them like a handicapped sloth. The grenades, they get tossed about 3 feet in front of you. Last time I checked the shrapnel and the shock would probably kill you at that range.

The other thing that is frustrating about this games gameplay is it’s a race against the clock to save people who were face hugged? Either way you save someone after they have been face hugged their dead anyways. As there is no technology to cryo-freeze them to keep them alive until the embryo of the Alien was removed. Another thing how does Ripley have access to grenades and weapons to begin with? In the movie there were no fire arms, explosives etc. The other thing I have beef with is that, why does this game suck so bad? Well continue reading on.

The controls are horrid like I stated earlier. You jump like your slam dunking a basketball. You fall down when you get hit by an alien, than you teleport back into the standing position. Thats orignial. You can also get knocked down the ladders by the aliens too. In which you lay there, than teleport back into standing position. Also where are all the prisoners in like in the movie to help you kill the hybrid "Runner" alien? So this game is completely wrong!  How is there multiple "Aliens" in this game? The game is called "Alien 3" aka single not plural! In later levels I suppose you fight "Praetorian" or "Warrior" Aliens due to them being bigger and more bad*ss than the smaller ones. Not to mension theres eggs and facehuggers in the game, which would claim there is a queen laying eggs and the drones are doing their job. This game should have been called Aliens because it follows the the second Alien installment, you guessed it, "Aliens".

Like I had stated, the controls are horrible, and the gameplay is the same thing over and over.
Ellen Ripley I knew she was tall. Nice jumping girl, looks like your doing an ad for some nice Nike Air Jordans. This is the famous "jump" I was talking about. SLAM DUNK!!

[Trivia Time! In the Director’s cut of Alien 3, a facehugger actually impregnates some sort of bovine creature. Than when the alien is born, it gains some of the DNA structure of its host. Thus replicating a stature, or structure of its host. In most cases we see drones which are usually spawned from human hosts. Minus the one which was born in the way a human gives birth in Alien Resurrection. In other cases such as Alien VS Predator, and AVP 2: Requiem [The Movies] At the end of the first AVP, this theory is proven correct once again, as there is a Hybrid Alien; the Pred-Alien. Also the Theatrical release of Alien 3, the facehugger gets a hold of a dog instead of the bovine.]

As you can see, its that god awful RED again! [Note to those who do not know, I am colorblind, thus making the "red" appear like a shade of orange+pink]
DO A BARREL ROLL!! Ripley as she falls down a bunch of random broken catwalks?

Wow so entertaining, the game looks drier than, well I don’t even know. The screens before each level begins suck too. Well the graphics seem ok for this game. It’s nothing special at all. The flamethrowers flame animation looks like complete garbage. The animation of Ripley tumbling down off of things is well done, but too bad it does nothing to help out the gameplay at all. The aliens look decent for their sprites being like one shade of color, and all the explosion animations look like crap. Nothing much else to say about this other than the background has random black holes in the walls in the first stage. This was over used waaaaay too much. They could have at least used a few different sets of backgrounds instead of the same thing over and over and over again. Not to mension Ripley looks like a employee of a santation department for a city. Aka Garbageman.

The detail on the alien looks ok. This the the screen before a the first level begins...
Well I never thought I would say this, but this games music is ok. Aside from all the other crap, the sounds are somewhat decent. You can tolerate it for the most part. The BGM isn’t that bad, the SFX are ok, and the guns sound something like they should. All in all nothing special at all.

Like I said before I started this review. Games make bad movies, movies make bad games. It seems this is a true statement. Look at the terminator movies, the games all stunk more than rotten egg farts and beer, same with the movie Doom. The Doom games were way better than the movie. At least the Doom movie had some ideas from the games, mainly the third one but not all of them. This is why Alien 3 on the NES gets its balls busted due to it following nothing from the movie Alien 3.

Closing thoughts/Statements:
All in all this game is bad. Waste of time. I wish I had the 3 hours back that I wasted on this game to review a different game, but this is what I enjoy doing. Saving people from wasting their time on bad games like this. In all of my reviews, I do my best to either beat the game, or get damn near close to it. This game I got fed up with saving people who are doomed anyways. I took one for the team and played this horrid, putrid pile of turds... 

I guess the Aliens won because I did not finish this game. Bow down to them. All our base are belong to them!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Here goes...

Castlevania 1 (NES)
Well here is my first review on what some say is a great installment on some old classic NES games. This is the first installment of three on the NES. To my knowledge you are some dude named Simon Belmont and you have a whip, which later powers up to a flail. Your one bad*ss who enjoys slapping ghouls, ghosts, bats, cats, rats, and whatever else gets in your way. So here we go!
I like the idea of power ups being hidden in some blocks, kind of like Mario Brothers. You can break the random candles on the walls for hearts, money bags, and also find certain items. Each item has a unique purpose, at a cost of 1 heart each use. (Nothing is free!) An example of a great weapon on the first boss is the axes. The axes can be lobbed to help you kill the boss, a flying bat. Each item can be utilized in certain areas to help you out, but at other times be completely useless. For a prime example, you get the Blue bottle, (seems like a Molotov cocktail) and you toss it on the ground and it makes a flame. That is extremely useful against flying enemies. (Sarcasm) In that case, the Cross, (acts as a boomerang) would be more useful in that situation. Another one of Simon's power ups look like a flail which you can get to increase your whips damage and range, are quite easy to stumble upon. Without some of these you would be dead meat in some situations.
I like the idea of ascending and descending on the stairs. This is quite a unique function to have for a game of this time (1986 on the Family Computer Disk System in Japan, which was ported to the NES Cartridge in North America in 1987.) Alot of older games were more simple than this game, I can see why for its time it was a favorite among many NES gamers.
The controls seem a bit sluggish, as in when you need to be critical in timing all the time. There seems to be no midair control at all. Those flying horsehead Medusa things that knock you off ledges and downstairs, you need to be critical in hitting those. It almost seems that they will always knock you off a ledge so that you die. One of the flaws I have noticed in the overall gameplay is that, if you proceed up a set of stairs, and get knocked back down them, you die! It’s as if you fall into a bottomless pit and just, well, die. Maybe Simon falls down and cracks his skull open how do we know?
The graphics for this game are not too shabby. They seem to utilize the color red a lot. Then again this game is older than I am by 2 years! Majority of the other backgrounds are well done.The Enemies all have a unique look which is good. They do not seem to recycle the sprites which is good. Many of the older games do this which is a lazy game designer’s way out. I am colorblind so the colors always mess with me. Red/Blue/Greens are the worst for me. So the red backgrounds, as I am told, really mess with my eyes. These older games really rack a toll on my sight after gaming them, but all in all this games Graphics are not too shabby!

The axes, best for slaying this Bloodsucking Rat!
This is the "Red" color I am talking about!

 The music for this game is alright. It gets annoying after a while though. The SFX when you collect things is pretty cool; it makes you want to collect more and more items. The sound of the whip is pretty accurate for the age of this game. The noise it makes when enemies die is ok too. Makes kind of like a boom noise. The other thing that is annoying about when you die is it’s almost like the Price is Right jingle they play when you die. It gives you that sense of feeling that you’re a failure, you suck, and you need to end it NOW. Why even keep trying? All in all this games Sound and SFX are pretty solid.
I might catch some flak here but this game is very much like a typical Dracula/Zombie/Undead killing game. There is some superstition in the background of this game with the crosses and such. This game probably is one of the best side scrolling games for its time. The adventure aspect of it is quite good too. I also give this game thumbs up for the stairs being implemented and being functional. This is why it is set apart from other side scrollers where you can only jump on blocks to ascend or descend.

Closing thoughts/Statements:
All in all I give the first Castlevania credit for being a solid game for its time. It’s not a bad game, it’s just the controls are clunky and sluggish. If the controls were a little more responsive, the game would have been a lot better. I would strongly suggest this game to anyone with a love for sidescrolling good old ghoul bashing madness!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Family Guy Online Beta Review

Reviewed on: Feb. 22, 2012

Family Guy Online has been advertised for some time now. They have recently started doing small sessions for a closed beta. I was lucky enough to get into one of those betas. Family Guy Online is an online game that you play in your web browser. You start off by creating your character. As of right now there are 4 different character types to choose from. They are Stewie, Lois, Peter, and Chris. There is also another character slot that is blanked out and by looking at the portrait it is Bryan. I assume when the game is out of beta you will be able to create a Bryan type character. Now each character type has it's own speciality for example Stewie is able to deal massive amounts of damage because that is one of his skills. When you decide to choose what character you want to be you are now able to fully customize the character of your choice. Whether is be shirts, eyes, mouths, or your nose and you customize everything. There aren't a ton of customizable items as of yet but it is enough for now. When you are finished are are brought into the game. You start off in front of the Griffin's house on spooner street. Your first quests begins with Peter Griffon where he asks you to talk to Chris Griffon on why he does not want to go to school. From here on out you start to do quests to earn money, experience, and vanity items.

Character Screen

As your questing you will find random items laying around that may or may not look familiar. For example you will find a tennis ball. When you click it the ball gets added to Bryan's collection. So you can collect important items from the Family Guy universe and add them to each characters collection. The town of Quahog is pretty big. You start off in the urban area aka. spooner street. When you have done all the quests or enough quests you are able to move on to other parts of the town to explore. Overall the map is a pretty decent size to walk around and explore. In Family Guy Online you are also able to interact with many other people in the game as well. In the beta the chat was not working so hopefully that will be fixed when the game is released. Despite all of the bugs in the game (see down below) Family Guy Online is a decent experience. Not great but alright.

There are several bugs in the game that I noticed while playing. For one some of the audio likes to overlap other audio within the game. The quest where you go into the other universes through Stewie are all bugged. When I did this quest I was stuck in the Asian Griffon family house. There was no way out and no NPC's to interact. Another big one is the constant lag. Some parts were alright but every minute or less there was lots of log and lots of loading. There was another bug where if you clicked on a emoticon or quest item it would not activate or respond. This bug happened to me a lot. Yes, there are a lot of bugs in the game but this is why they do beta tests to find all of them and fix them for the release.

Customize your character! (Not my character)

Family Guy Online is a game where you play for 30 mins - an hour at a time before getting bored of it. It is meant for casual players. You can tell just by playing it. I did however find it neat that I was able to explore and experience Quahog virtually. I love the show and there are a lot of little easter eggs through quests that fans of the series will pick up right away. The game is still in rough shape and still in the beta process. They are doing multiple beta tests to work out all of the bugs so it will be fresh on launch day. Overall it was a nice experience and looking forward to getting into the next beta test.

This review will be constantly updated as further beta tests are implemented. This is not the full review just my thoughts on the beta as of now.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Testing out Family Guy Online.

Hello everyone I am currently in the beta testing for Family guy online. it is only for 1 day but I will probably end up doing a review on it to tell you what it is like. Stay tuned review should be up this weekend.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mario Kart 7 (3DS)

Console: Nintendo 3DS
Genre: Racing
Release Date: December 4, 2011
Reviewed: Feb. 2/12

Mario Kart 7 is the seventh instalment in the Mario Kart series. This time it is coming to the handheld, the Nintendo 3DS. May I add that it is a fantastic addition to the series. Mario Kart 7 plays like all other Mario Kart games ever released. There are a couple of new additions to the game like parachutes or para sales. These are only activated when driving over a rainbow colored (<----Canadian) boost arrows. When driven over you sore in the air and your parachute is activated and you take the race into the skies for a few seconds anyway. There are other great features added to the game to keep the interest level high. You can use the built in gyro controls within the 3DS system to steer in Mario Kart 7. While your racing in some of the courses you will notice that there are coins scattered everywhere throughout the entire track. You can only get 10 coins per track but these coins to provide a use for the game. When a certain amount of coins are collected you unlock extra vehicle parts to customize your kart. Each unlockable part provides some sort of stat to your vehicle such as speed, handling, weight or even drifting. There are some pretty awesome unlockables like the mushroom wheels. That is not all you can unlock though. In addition to unlocking vehicle parts you can also unlock additional characters, up to eight to be exact. Some of these characters include Metal Mario, and Wario. The other characters are up to you to find out ;). As usual there are 16 new maps added to the game and 16 old maps from previous mario kart games added to the game as well. I was pretty happy to be able to race on Koopa Beach again. With the old maps added they didn't just port over the old maps over they actually added boosts or updated some of there areas on the map. They even added some shortcuts. 

Once you have received all of the trophies in the game and unlocked all of the characters they brought the famous and flawless multiplayer back. With this multiplayer they added features like creating or joining community groups and racing with people in the group. Overall the online experience in Mario Kart 7 is as fun as it's always been with the previous Mario Kart games. There are only a couple of things that annoy me in Mario Kart 7. When your racing on 150cc or Mirror Mode the computers are constantly using Blue Shells which just urks you especially when your right in front of the finish like and you lose due to the shell. Another thing is the shortcut people like to take when your racing with them online in the map Maka Wuhu. You can take a shortcut on this map which skips over half of the course. One other thing is the overall music quality in the game isn't all that impressive compared to the other Mario Kart games. One of the maps "Neo Bowser City" takes a msuci from past games and combines them into one.

The graphics in Mario Kart 7 are great. The game really uses the power of the 3DS to make the game lively and colorful. The graphics are roughly the same as compared to the Wii version but much better than the DS version by far. Of coarse you have your occasional 2D background environments but most of it is all in 3D and looks fantastic. The 3D is something I would not recommend. With the 3D you will be moving your head a lot with the game due to the racing, especially if your using the gyro controls. It will end up giving you a huge headache and hurting your eyes. It's nice to have on once in awhile just to see the 3D but it is not recommended that you keep it on for long especially when your racing. Overall the graphics are great.

The Audio in Mario Kart 7 overall is well done. There are some courses where the music just makes no sense and drives you crazy because of the annoyance but overall the music experience is pretty good. One level I mentions above earlier "Neo Bowser City" takes some music from previous games like "Toad's Turnpike" from the N64 version and combines them into one for "Neo Bowser City". The other maps are retro maps so they have the original music from the previous Mario Kart Games. Overall excellent audio.

Mario Kart 7 is a fantastic addition to the Mario Kart series. As always there is lots to do. Mario Kart 7 will keep you occupied with it's time trials and multiplayer for awhile. I highly recommend this game to anyone, especially the Mario Kart fans. Other then some small minor issues like the shortcut glitch in Maku Wuhu or the endless blue shells of death it is a great experience for anyone. The 3D is not recommended for this game while racing but it is nice to turn on once in awhile to just look at the 3D.