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JoeTheDestroyer JoeElDestroyer

Obviously, if I have a profile on this site, it means that I play video games. I also happen to write, and the two have made a harmonious combination for a hobby. I mainly write FAQs and reviews, and *try* to stick to one of these categories:

-RPG and non-linear adventure games
-Anything with horror or b-movie elements
-Anything unique, obscure, or just plain weird

Sounds broad, but it also means you probably won't see a Super Mario Bros. 3 review from me any time soon.

Title: Bloody Wolf was fucking awesome
Posted: June 22, 2011 (02:27 AM)
That's all I'm going to say on the matter. Thank you, Marc, for the recommendation.
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Title: Update--6/6/2011
Posted: June 06, 2011 (02:33 AM)
Yes, I'm still doing reviews for Ikari Warriors II and Area 51 (arcade). I haven't forgotten. I'm also planning reviews for Alundra, Dash Galaxy in the Alien Asylum, Tomena Sanner, and Saints Row 2. Plus, I just penned a rough draft for Legend of the Ghost Lion. Here's hoping I get some time to be productive. With a vacation coming up, I'm sure that won't be a problem.
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Title: I'm really getting tired of downloading buggy Steam games.
Posted: June 05, 2011 (05:33 AM)
There are three games I downloaded in that slew of 30+ games I snagged this winter that are buggy, two of which don't work:

ProtoGalaxy, PB Winterbottom, and Sacred.

ProtoGalaxy won't even start. Freezes on the first screen, goes no further.

PBW freezes after a tutorial level and crashes. The developers seem unwilling to do anything about it. I'm not going to bother downloading the X360 version.

And Sacred is just buggy as all get out. I could go on for days about how buggy this game is, but the worst bug was one that caused me to rage quit after over 20 hours: my character kept taking damage like he was poisoned, only he wasn't. Even when I imported/exported the character into a new game, he was still taking damage inexplicably.

There were a few others that had mild bugs, like Super Meat Boy, which has some issues (control response and issues with the final boss not moving) if you have the game set on full screen in high resolution rather than 800X600.

Bottom line is I'm just going to have to research games before I pay for them. Steam doesn't offer refunds, and it's a damn shame. If I'd known those three games were going to be so buggy, I wouldn't have bothered with them.
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Title: Update--5/21/2011
Posted: May 21, 2011 (04:44 AM)
Upcoming reviews:

-I've done a lot of retro stuff and obscure games. While I would like to continue doing those, I'd like to step into reviewing some more recent titles. I'll probably be snagging some new games soon so I can do some reviews for those. I'll keep my progress to that end posted.

-There are two games I will be writing review for that are also against my usual retro grain: Final Fantasy IV: The After Years and Saints Row. I've been trying to do an After Years review all week with limited success. Mainly I'm having a hard time with the flow. The two main aspects I want to bring up are the fact that the game feels rehashed and the fact that the story is subpar. Any suggestions for review flow?

-No, I haven't forgotten about the games I mentioned earlier. I still plan to do them, in good time, plus a new review for Last Action Hero on Game Boy. For the time being I think the aforementioned reviews are more important.
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Title: Finally finished FFIV: The After Years
Posted: May 05, 2011 (05:14 AM)
ABOUT TIME! Urgh... The final dungeon was horrendous. Now, I can (hopefully) review it and forget the game exists.
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Title: Oh, brilliant Square...
Posted: May 03, 2011 (03:05 AM)
So I've been playing Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. I'm sure you've heard me grumble about it here and there. My main complaint is the astounding level of rehash. At one point near the end they run out of FFIV bosses to throw at you and start tossing bosses from other FF games out, like Death Gaze (formerly Doomgaze) from FFVI.

This guy is a random encounter in a room full of boss-like enemies. The only way to keep from running out of provisions (X-Potions, HI-Potions and Phoenix Downs) is to have a white magic user cast Teleport and get out of those battles on the double. Meeting Death Gaze means you get a short amount of time to pummel his undead ass before he retreats. Mostly he'll cast Death on a couple characters and run away laughing, usually after long bouts of not finding him. If he runs away, his HP won't replenish, but it will if you leave the floor he's on. This leaves you unable to travel out and restock, and you basically have to fight him in one sitting.

Most sources indicate his HP being at 120,000, though some people have even reported doing about 250,000 before winning. I decided to use the calculator on my phone to figure out my total damage.

120K...250K...300K... I eventually ran out of MP and restoration items. My Ethers and Dry Ethers ran low, and I even used a few Elixirs. Most rational gamers would have given up after 300K. Sadly, I'm not a rational gamer. I'm fucking Ahab.

Long after I had given up and thought I'd just see for shits and grins how long I'd last, Kain landed one last Jump on old DG.

He did the deed. Death Gaze bit the big one. You know what my final tally was? 542,848 damage, give or take maybe a few hundred.

My theory, and probably one someone else brought up: his HP randomizes in every new game.

But think about this now. Does any of this actually sound fun? Who thought it would be a good idea to stick a boss with random HP that could be higher than 500K as a random battle amidst tough ass enemies? Who ever thought that sitting here for nearly two hours and hunting down one boss would be enticing or exciting? This parallels being stuck in big city traffic or waiting at the DMV.

This is yet another of the many qualms, both minor and major, I have against The After Years. I won't say it's completely horrible, because there are some good points about it. But this is the final piece of evidence that Square has lost their edge. They implement ideas without much thought or care, and they rehash ad nauseum. When they don't rehash, they create garbage experimental titles. Only now and then do they surprise us anymore.

I almost rage quit the game because of this nonsense, but I also have remind myself: it's my own fault I kept going after 300K damage. Hopefully I can beat this game soon, review it and forget it even exists.
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Title: Sea Monster - Atari 2600 (Re-Review post)
Posted: April 28, 2011 (03:21 PM)
This is my Sea Monster review, being reposted before it goes into the void.

A game's name should stand out, and Sea Monster definitely does that. It might strike up thoughts of a vicious Liopleurodon, it's mouth drawn open in a deafening roar, power metal booming in the background. Let's also not forget the lightning, lots of lightning. Unfortunately, the game is not as awesome as its distinct and succinct name. Rather, it's a genre exercise that should not surprise anyone as to why it's so obscure. It's worth taking a short look at, and then putting away. The controls are the saving grace to a game with shoddy graphics, familiar gameplay, and rehashed sounds.

Most developers had the creativity in mind to come up with setups for 2600 games. Many of these were filled with unpronounceable or outright silly names for planets that make you think of sweaty teenagers dressing up as elves. Bit Corp., developers of Sea Monster, thought the name and concept was awesome enough that they didn't need an elaborate setup. All the manual and box say is that you're on a boat being attacked by sea monsters. What do you do? Are you a bad enough dude to kill sea monsters while on a boat? No wrestling around with silly names or politics. At the same time, it lacks creativity. What would it be like if other games were like this? You were in the garden and a centipede came along... or you were just walking outside and invaders came down from space... or you were climbing a building and heard a scream, only to see an ape throwing barrels down at you. Just doesn't have the same effect, and it feels lazy.

The plot to the game sums up the gameplay. You're on a boat, and you have to kill sea monsters. Your boat sits on the surface of the ocean and can only move left or right. The sea monsters are down below you, moving right to left, some of the shooting projectiles up at you. To kill the beasts you have to hit the fire button and drop down a projectile directly onto them. As you make kills, you gain points. Reach 1000 points and get a free life, but good luck getting that far. As you advance, the game becomes faster and harder. Two players can also take turns on the game and try to outscore one another.

There are only three different types of sea monsters: one near the surface that looks like an octopus, one in the middle that looks like... hell, I don't know, a scorpion? Lastly, there's one on the bottom that looks like someone stretched out the bug ship from Yars' Revenge. These graphics, though well colored, are dull and incomprehensible. You can somehow make a boat out of your character, but the creatures below? Your guess is as good as any. The manual says nothing about what they are, and it really looks like the developers just slapped some pixels together that might look like a creature and said, "Use your imaginations!" That is part of the beauty of Atari, that you had to use your imagination while playing, but this one really wanted you to stretch. Again, it feels lazy. True, even games like Demon Attack had some strange enema designs, but they didn't look so hastily slapped together.

Even look at the ocean floor. Is that supposed to be coral? It looks like someone took a basic paint program, held down the left click on a mouse, and scribbled around in random directions. Sure, it's not fair to expect major detail from Atari 2600, but we've seen much better than this before.
Basically, this game is Demon Attack, except you're near the top of the screen shooting downward, and enemies don't come in waves. That's right, there are no levels in this game. When you hit an enemy, it dies, stays dead for a short while, and then respawns. Yet, your own respawning seems to take forever, and about a third of the time you respawn in right next to a projectile and die again.

And both of the last factors only back up the statement that this game is slapped together. It looks and feels more like a cherishable homebrew than a professionally made game. But there's a little charm in it.

The game is as repetitive as any other 2600 action game, but it balances out its repetition with fast gameplay. The controls are very tight and responsive, so there's no worry of blaming a mishap on them. Honestly, the blend of fast gameplay, expert timing, and increasing difficulty keeps this game from being a complete dud. It's lightly fun, but the main problem is the inauthentic feel and the fact that the game feels slapped together. It plays like so many other games before it, and there really isn't any incentive to play this rather than any of its many predecessors.

Sea Monster is not by any means awful. It's not misunderstood either. It's a tad trite, but it's lightly fun and worth checking out for 2600 action game fans. The gameplay does what it should. It's challenging and it's well paced. Beyond that, it's nothing major. What it all comes down to is whether or not this game is more worth playing than better action titles like Demon Attack and Phoenix, and the answer is no. It's no replacement for the great space shooters out there, but for esoteric players and collectors, it's a real catch.

[Joe apologizes to anyone injured by the last pun. Relief fund forthcoming.]
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Title: Rewriting some more GF reviews
Posted: April 20, 2011 (05:31 AM)
-Pac-Man (Atari 2600): Here comes the pain...

-Area 51 (arcade): I'm still searching for what I feel about this game these days. The novelty has kind of worn off, but I still have very fond memories of this game. I just have to not let them cloud my judgment.

-Bart Simpson's Escape from Camp Deadly: Eye crumbs!

-Ikari Warriors II: Victory Road (NES)- Want to know what's worse than Ikari Warriors? Ikari II...
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Title: Update--4/11/2011
Posted: April 12, 2011 (03:31 AM)
Holy crap, this Vice: Project Doom review is kicking my ass. I just can't uncloud my mind for even a few minutes. I have so many thoughts going through at once, and it feels like what I've written is painfully generic. I've just finished the first draft, and I'm hoping to have the review out within a few days.

Other reviews I'm doing...

Super secret review #1
Super secret review #2
Sea Monster (re-review entry)

My Sea Monster review will undergo some radical changes, including a change of score. The current review no longer represents my opinion of the game, as I've had a chance to look at it with more critical eyes one more time.

Ah, enough rambling out of me. FFVII awaits...
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Title: 10 NES games I wish they had on Virtual Console
Posted: April 07, 2011 (01:42 AM)
Borrowing from japanaman's topic...

In no particular order

1. Bucky O'Hare
2. Xexyz
3. The Magic of Scheherazade
4. Crystalis
5. Isolated Warrior
6. Little Nemo: The Dream Master
7. Batman
8. Clash at Demonhead
9. Tecmo Super Bowl
10. Gargoyle's Quest II

Title: Update--3/30/2011
Posted: March 30, 2011 (06:58 PM)
Hoping to be done unpacking tonight, so I can start reviewing again. The next reviews should hopefully finish off my Alpha run.

-Ufouria: The Saga
-Vice Project Doom
-Ninja Crusaders

That is all.
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Title: You haven't seen the last of me!
Posted: March 21, 2011 (10:08 AM)
My Internet activity will probably be pretty limited this week and not at all active next. I'm moving, and that usually means having to schedule a visit from Comcast and play the waiting game so I can get intarwebs back. At least I'm finally getting out of this junky old townhouse and into a slightly nicer place (bigger kitchen and living room, and cheaper too!).
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Title: I may give The Void a second chance
Posted: March 17, 2011 (06:16 AM)
Apparently there's a patch you can download that adds two new difficulty levels: easy and normal.

Wait, what?

Normal difficulty is one you have to add to the game? Madness! It's like the developers were admitting the game was way too hard (read: unfair/unbalanced). I'm not sure how normal will change the game, but I'll be holding off on a review until I can get my hands on said patch. I don't expect the gameplay to become much more substantial, but at least I might be able to see the sights and enjoy that enough.
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Title: My next reviews will be...
Posted: March 10, 2011 (04:26 AM)
Zunou Senkan Galg- A crap shmup from 1985 that was hard as hell to find a ROM for. I've submitted the review.

Bucky O'Hare (NES)- A game of which I have fond memories, and ones that haven't been spoiled by age. I replayed it recently and remembered how I enjoyed having my ass handed to me. I love, I hate it. This game gives me black eyes. I may also review the arcade version in the future.

Ufouria: The Saga- NTSC Wii owners can finally have a legit copy of this game. It's out on VC for 600 points, and worth the download.
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Title: My 50th review commeth...
Posted: March 05, 2011 (05:54 AM)
I'm doing Final Fantasy. Some might be appalled when I say it didn't age well.
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