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  • Lira 12:01 am on June 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bizarre creations, Blur, kart game racing, racing game   

    Awesomely wrong game of the week 

    Well, really long time that I don’t post here (more than a half year, to be more precise), but hey! I’m back. I decided to change the subject of my posts. Yeah, there are a lot of indie games worth to talk about, but in my life (understand life as when I play videogames) I saw a lot of exotic games that felt so wrong to me that I loved it, from indie games to big company games, that I wanted to share. Some will be really obscure and others main stream, the important here is to be really absurd. Now let’s go to the first review!

    Blur

    For me there is no better game to start this session of the blog than blur of bizarre creations. This game from 2010 was well accepted by the critic (it has a 8.1 metascore) but was a huge selling failure. A lot of critics made theories about why that happend, and my favorite one is from the designer Gareth Wilson.

    I will try to resume his explanation.

    If you decide to sell a new breakfast cereal on the market you may:

    • Do a plain cereal. Never fail, but doesn’t call a lot of attention.
    • Make a cereal with chocolate and marshmallow. May call attention of some, who probably you prefer it than just plain cereal, but others will be afraid to buy
    • Cereal with bacon. What? Both are related with breakfast, both are awesome. Why not? Well, probably because it’s too different and people would be afraid to buy.

    And blur is just like cereal with bacon.

    But what is wrong with this game?

    Let this commercial of the game speak to itself:

    Yes. This is the concept of the game. Another racing kart game, like mario kart, wacky wheels and Sonic & SEGA All-Stars Racing, but for adults. So in place of colorful and happy characters you have real licensed cars.

    Honestly I find this concept really good! A lot of adults love this genre and there is no other game of this style focused to them. But…well…bizarre creations got really bizarre this time. This game felt in the uncanny valley problem. There is a turtle and a mushroom competing in kart races. In a context that this is possible you hit a box to get a turtle shell and use it as a missile to slow down your opponent seems ok. But see the car that you usually drive launching a ball of energy just seems plain wrong. How wrong? This wrong:

    That now was the intro cutscene of the game. I was so shocked when I saw it for the first time that I created an imaginary friend just to explain to him all the wrong stuffs that I could see in just 1 minute of video.

    So…in the end the game didn’t attracted kart games fans because the game appeared to be too serious and didn’t have the charismatic characters that they were used and racing fans were afraid of this game because it seemed too arcade.

    What is right in this game?

    Actually the game play is really good! Is the good old kart game style, but more tatical and less luck. Why is that? Because you already know what itens you are getting of the “boxes” and you can keep up to 3 itens, so you can collect just the desired ones and plan better how to use them. Besides that, if you can forget the strange game thematic that never tries to explain why your cars have super power, the game is just fine.

    My final score: 8.5

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    • Alexandre Silva 11:41 am on August 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I think Blur failed to capture the right audience. That was the reason, also explained in the article. I think Bizarre Creations tried to create something between the casual (the original fans of kart games) and hardcore (a supposedly new audience, maybe a “blue ocean” for this game genre) audience.

      The result was Blur – a kart game to be played for “Big Boys”, or “Adults” or “Hardcore”, because that’s what hardcore players think they are: More manly than casual players. The hardcore always tries to prove that his balls is bigger than a idiot, casual gamer.

      Back to the point, where is Blur in the middle of two very different audiences? In a place where neither hardcore or casual players feel comfortable enough to spend their money in the game – That explains the failure of Blur.

      A shame, though. This game was very fun for me, for a very short time.

  • Danilo 9:43 pm on April 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: colony wars, , ,   

    Forgotten Old Games – Colony Wars: Vengeance 

    Hi everyone! Today, I’ve chosen a great spaceship simulator from Sony Playstation, it’s Colony Wars: Vengeance.

    Hum… The right thing to do was probably make a review of the entire Colony Wars franchise, however I don’t like the third game “Red Sun” and the second game is my favorite, so here we go!

    Before I start talking about the plot, I would like to mention that both this game and the first one have a lot of endings, therefore, a lot of plot variations, so I’m just going to summarize the “winning plot”.

    The League of the Free Worlds, who were the good guys of the first game, were able to liberate mankind from the Tzar Empire, with the exception of  the Sol system (our system, to be exact), so instead of going in there, they just sealed the entire Sol system from the rest of the galaxy, leaving it at its own fate. As the years pass, Sol starts to become very poor and society begins to crumble.

    So, in desperate need of a leader who would reunite them all, Kron, an enigmatic figure, rises promising vengeance against the League of the free worlds. Using fanaticism and building a fleet called New Navy, he is able to reopen Sol’s warp hole, and so begins another Colony Wars.

    As you may have guessed by now, you play with the “bad guys” from the last game. Player’s character is called Mertens, and he is part of the so-called New Navy, whom proves to be one of the most important pilots of the plot, unleashing a lot of plot twists, some even envolving Kron.

    This leads to even more plot twists, I mean, this game’s plot is great, and you should see how it unravels by yourself, I’m not giving you any spoilers for this one.

    The controls look a bit complicated at first glance,  as you know, this looks more like a space ship simulator then a 3D shoot ’em up and it reminds me of the Wing Commander game or Freelancer, but it’s nothing extremely complicated as the X’ series.

    You have access to three types of weapons at the beginning of the game, one is for Shields, which is not very effective against the hull, another is for destroying the hull, which obviously wont cause much damage against a ship’s shields, and the last one is for collecting minerals, which is a “sword” like beam, you’ll be using them all the time, and as the game progress, you’ll be unlocking new weapons, including a hook gun that allows you to grab stuff in space.

    shield disable gun

    laser gun

    mining laser

    hook

    You also have Foward and Backward thrusters, and when you use both of them at the same time, you activate Afterburners (which, by the way, have a very nice effect) and in no time at all you’ll be participating in some cool dogfights.

    Missions are very well done. While in most console spaceship games player only advance going straight ahead, destroying everything  in screen untill you reach a boss, in this game missions range from gathering materials of asteroids, destroying huge space ships, scouting freighters, uploading viruses to satellites, rescuing ships from hostile and much more, and just like I said before, this game has a lot of endings which are influenced by these missions.

     That is why I think it falls more like in the simulation category than in the “3D shooter” category.

    Not to mention the game’s great physics, you can notice it when you use the grappling hook, destroy a vessel and it’s bits fly off like they were in space, or the way your ship behaves floating like it’s actually in space, very well done indeed.

    The graphics are amazing, the ships are extremely well done, high quality models, with minor details, specially in large frigates, you can gaze the space scenes and planetary surfaces, for they are very cool, also this game offers a lot of nice effects, like the gloom effect, which is used a lot, gives you the sensation that there is really a huge vessel exploding right in front of you, or that the sun is really burning, it’s very awesome.

    The CGi scenes are well done too, and believe me when I say there’s a lot of them in this game, which adds to the experience.

    The sounds and musics are awesome, specially the intro music, you can actually feel the drama they are living, that combined with the already mentioned CGs.

    Sound is pretty good too, with good sound effects and voice actors.

    I’m just going to leave the intro for you, so you can admire both the CG and the incredible music, as for that beggining, I believe it’s Kron crashing into Earth, you’ll understand what I’m talking about when you play the game, and believe me, it is awesome.

    ‎”The urge to survive is strong, but if it hadn’t been for Kron we would have given up long ago.”

     
  • Danilo 10:16 pm on March 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , mecha, musha, SHMUPS   

    Forgotten Old Games – M.U.S.H.A. 

    Hi everyone! Such a long time since my last post… That´s because I´m spending lot of time in Oniken, trying to finish all the stuff to finally release it. This week´s game is M.US.H.A. for Sega Genesis, an awesome and yet very obscure shoot´m up.

    First things first, let’s talk about the plot, it all starts in a distant future, when a supercomputer called Dire51, that controls a space colony, goes rogue and send its entire attack force to destroy the Earth, so it’s up to an elite squad of mech units to make a desperate stand to defend our homeland, so as you can see, this is going to be one hell of a ride.

    You control Ellinor, the last surviving member of the elite squad, that despite losing all of his comrades, continues the mission to stop the evil computer Dire51.

    Now to the important part, the gameplay. At first this game may see like an ordinary vertical shooter, but then you start gathering upgrades and new weapons, even some helpers that take out flanking enemies for you, also the game’s difficulty starts raising with every new level, these upgrades not only increase your firepower but they also increase your durability.

    If you get hit while having some upgrades and power ups installed, instead of dying, you lose those upgrades, allowing you to survive a bit more and maybe the chance to recapture the upgrades you lost, this not only makes the gameplay a lot more fun, but also makes it a lot less frustrating.

    About those helpers and new weapons, you can change the way they behave, by pressing the A button on the Sega genesis control pad, in a total of 6 modes, which not only makes the game more interesting, but it also allows your helpers to be put to pretty good use, depending on the situation you are facing.

    The graphics are awesome for a game of its age, you see, this game is from 1990 and compared to games like Sonic Wings (SNES) from 1993, you can clearly see that they came up with good-looking visuals. You can notice pretty quickly how fluid the animations are, and how colorful the game is on the first few minutes of gameplay, also its worth mentioning the visual effects, like when you use the shield ability to destroy enemies projectiles you notice a cool fake transparency effect, not to mention the introduction, those are some freaking awesome pixel arts, you feel like you’re watching a cool mecha anime!

    And yet again we take a look at my favorite section of our review, the sounds and musics! Man this game has some of the most cool soundtracks made for a game of this genre, the main theme, which plays in the introduction and at the title screen, is a great way to show what awaits you in this awesome game!

    Well that’s it for M.U.S.H.A, I hope you enjoy this game as much as I have, for it’s an enjoyable shoot ’em up classic and all fans of this genre should at least try it!

     
  • Danilo 9:30 pm on February 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , demon´s crest, gargoyle,   

    Forgotten Old Games – Demon’s Crest 

    Hello again my friends, are you ready to take a final look at the twisted world of demons, gargoyles, zombies and weird creatures? well then let’s see what awaits us at Demon’s Crest, a dark fantasy game (really, really dark this time) for the Super Nes, released in 1994.

    This is the third game starring Firebrand, the same protagonist from the Gargoyle’s Quest series, but this time, as you may have noticed, the series decided to take a more serious and gothic feel, I mean, just look at the Title Screen, it’s freaking awesome! The hellfire, the demon, the music everything is telling to you “We don´t fuck arround! This time we´re dead serious!”

    Our story begins with Firebrand looking for six magical crests so that he can combine them into the Crest of Infinity, which will grant him infinite power and the ability to conquer any and all realms with it! You might be thinking “So, he’s looking to become stronger… again!?” That’s right folks, he’s one Power Hungry Demon son-of-a-bitch, but this time he’s not saving his world, he wants to conquer it!

    Anyway, having all crests except the Heaven Stone, Firebrand engages in battle with its owner, a demoniac Dragon, coming out victorious but gravely wounded, Firebrand is attacked by a powerful demon called Phalanx, which throws him in at the Coliseum and steal all his Crests in the process. All except the Fire Crest, which was shattered in pieces, and Firebrand managed to keep hold of one shard. At the Coliseum, Firebrand has the unpleasant surprise of finding the Dragon still barely alive, but ready for vengeance!

    “This dragon used to scare the crap out of my little brother when we were kids, between you and me, I think it still does.”

    After Firebrand manages to finish de Dragon once and for all, the game starts at a foggy cemetery, there you will face the cool General Arma and so set forth for your original mission to collect all of the remaining crests again.

    Let’s talk about the gameplay, during the side-scrolling part, everything seems very nice and fairly basic, you can fly, hover (as always), shoot fireballs and, as a new feature, destroy some stuff that are part of the background.

    These can be statues mostly, and some stones, which will sometimes drop items or destroy gargoyle type enemies. When you exit stages you go to the world map, just like its predecessors, but this time Firebrand actually flies, providing a much faster way to travel between regions, when you want to go to a location, you simply press the action button and Firebrand will try to land at that location, if there’s something there, like a town or a dungeon, you will enter that area. All RPG elements from previews game are still there. You can buy items from a vendor, play a mini game, go back to stages that you have already completed to look for upgrades that you missed, talk to some characters to obtain valuable information, gain new armor and abilities by collecting the crests, and much more.

    Now to the graphics, as always, this series provides very nice looking graphics, from the foggy cemetery of the beginning of the game, to the scary haunted tower of General Arma, in every level you’ll see something that will make you say “Now that’s freaking cool”, Not to mention the effects this game has, you can easily notice them at the world map, when you try to land at some location the game will suddenly zoom in giving you the sensation that Firebrand is actually landing there, It’s pretty awesome. I really think that this is between the best looking snes games. (I also think that is prettier than lots of 32 bit 2D games.)

    I can’t say much about the music, you have to listen to it yourself, see how the soundtrack complements the gothic dark fantasy atmosphere.

    In my opinion this game has the best soundtrack of all Super Nes games.

    My personal favorite… Memorial of the Fallen Ones:

    “Haunting and serene, good stuff”.

    So, pick up your old Super Nes console and start playing this game right now, for you are in a last adventure with the remarkable Firebrand.

     
  • Danilo 10:34 pm on January 19, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , gargoyle´s quest, , , sidescroller   

    Forgotten Old Games – Gargoyle´s Quest II 

    Good day fellow old gamers, today we are going to take another look at our favorite demon, Gargoyle’s Quest II for NES, you all must be assuming this is a sequel, but it’s not, it’s actually a prequel to Gargoyle’s Quest.

    Before we take a look at the game itself I would like to point out that there is a Game Boy port for this game, released in 1993 in Japan only, renamed as Makaimura Gaiden: The Demon Darkness, which had two new levels, eventually it was supposed to be released in the US too, but it was later canceled.

    Now, to the PLOT, the game starts at our hero’s hometown, Etruria, Firebrand is a young gargoyle who is training to become a true warrior, and dude, do they point that out in the game, every dialogue in the beginning is about you becoming a true warrior. The King of the ghoul realm tells you to go to the Warrior’s training center to test your skills, so, once firebrand finishes his quest he would be rewarded with the Spectre’s Fingernail, and the title of, guess what… True Warrior.

    Anyway, while firebrand was in the Warrior’s training center an evil entity called Black Light appeared and destroyed his hometown, leaving the King at the brink of death, only with enough energy to give Firebrand his reward and send him to unravel the mysteries of the Black Light.

    As you may have noticed this game pretty much have the same gameplay mechanics as its predecessor, you have an overhead view in which you can walk in four directions to travel through the Ghoul Realm and you also have the side scrolling parts, that are used when you enter an action area, like the dungeons, bridges or caves.

    The biggest change in this game is that there are no random battles, which for some may be a relief since they can be a real pain, this time you actually see the enemies standing on the world map usually blocking your way, then when you talk to them, you enter an action area like the ones you see when you enter a dungeon, these are the best parts of the game, they are fast paced, full of enemies and quite challenging.

    This game also incorporates power ups and upgrades for Firebrand, which can increase his health or allow him to perform new feats required to pass a certain area, not to mention there are some puzzle solving, they are not a big deal but they do add to the game experience.

    Let’s take a look at the visuals, when you are using the overhead view you can see the graphics are nice and colorful, nothing too amazing but
    it’s clearly well drawn. When you enter an action area you can admire the graphics at their full potential, the background is simple yet very nice to look at and the characters are well detailed for a NES game, not to mention that in certain areas the game is able to give that shadowy atmosphere which fits perfectly for the dark fantasy genre.

    The soundtrack I expected it to be more “scary” and “creepy”, after all, you are in a place called Ghoul Realm and you control a freaking demon, but still the game has some good tracks however the first game tunes are way better.

    That’s all for Gargoyle’s Quest II, if you haven’t played it yet I recommend you to give it a try, after all, it’s an awesome action RPG.

     
  • Danilo 10:03 pm on January 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    CENSORED 

     
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