Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I've done cartoon licensed, comic licensed, and movie licensed games...and now, my first ever toy licensed game.

Barbie.  Seriously?  Fine.  Barbie Super Model is a game based entirely on the popular doll for girls, or boys that are a little light in the loafers, if you know what I mean.  I have no clue what kind of game this is.  I can not categorize it as any type of genre I have ever played before.  It's listed as an educational game, but I didn't learn shit.

I've got some bad news to tell you...it's about your son.  He likes to play with Barbie dolls.

I'm not really sure what is supposed to be going on.  From what I gathered, the story for this game is just Barbie dreaming about stuff.  Stupid and uneventful stuff.

Controls are straight forward.  You have a button to speed up and a button to slow down for the actual stages.  Then you can use all of the buttons to change the color of clothes or makeup for the mini games.

Audio isn't too bad.  The songs are looped, but the stages are short, so it's tolerable.

Graphically this game is kind of good.  The sprites of Barbie are god awful, but the backgrounds look okay.  During the mini games, Barbie looks a lot better as she is trying on different outfits or makeup.  And the further this review goes, the less manly I feel.  I need to go open jars or fix some cars.

After this review, I'm going to wrestle some bears.  Cause I'm a man.

Gameplay wise, this game is actually hard.  I'm not sure what the minimum score that is required to win is, but it took me a few tries to actually beat the game.  This minigames are all about memorizing a picture that is shown to you for 3 seconds, and then reproducing it.  The main game is about avoiding obstacles while grabbing stars.  You have to master both of these if you ever want to see the ending.  Or, you could just watch the video at the end of the review.

So, what's the verdict?  Well, from a gamer's perspective, it's pretty lame.  But I'm not who this game was intended for.  So, what does my daughter have to say about Barbie Super Model?  "This game is shitty."  I had to scold her for cursing (she's only 9), but I do value her judgment.  Therefore, I'm giving it 1 falling Barbie out of 5.

Seriously?  I played through this game multiple times just to see that?

Monday, November 29, 2010


The name of this game is perfect.  It lets you know what part of the anatomy it sucks.

Ballz 3D is a horrible excuse for a fighting game.  First problem?  Everything is made of balls.  Next problem?  They try to do 3D on a Super Nintendo.  I'm pretty sure they realized how bad this game was because the first thing you see is a screen that says "Ballz" 30+ times.  That's pretty funny when you consider that was what my original review of this game was going to consist of as well.

This is the only reason anybody even plays 3D fighting games.  Don't bother trying to deny it.
Okay, lets start at the beginning.  What kind of amazing story are we going to get with this one?  Well, apparently, you have a wish.  So you have to fight a dozen people to get it granted.  Amazing.  Seriously though, if you're going to half ass a story, why even make one to begin with?

The controls in this game are balls.  Did you see what I did there?  I'll probably do it again, in case you missed it.  Anyway, you have two buttons for jump, two buttons for punch, and two buttons for kick.  Both buttons perform the exact same thing however, so I don't really see the point.  Special moves are done by throwing your controller down and stomping on it as hard as possible.  Well, that's how I did them at least.

The audio in this game is BALLS.  Did you catch it that time?  Anyway, at the very start of the game we are given a song with harsh beeps and other strange sounds accompanied by a woman moaning.  The rest of the song in this game (Notice I said song, as in singular and not plural.  That is not a spelling or grammatical error.) is basically the same thing, just a different cut.  Not only is this song bad, but it actually started to hurt after listening to it for too long.

Who in the fuck made this music?  ...oh.  Well now I just feel bad.
The graphics in this game is BALLS.  No...seriously.  Everything is made of balls.  Sounds pretty stupid, right?  Well, it is.  Every stage looks the same, every fighter looks the same, every move looks the same.  There's a screen that displays messages in the background, but none of these messages make sense.  The 3D aspect of this game is just as bad as you would imagine for the Super Nintendo.  Stand up and spin around as fast as you can if you want to experience what this game has to offer.

This gameplay for Ballz 3D is non existent.  Do you know why modern 3D button mashers succeed?  Good story, awesome music, and stunning graphics.  None of which does this game have.

The tagline for this game was, "To be the champion, you gotta have Ballz!", in which I respond with, "You also need balls if you want testicular cancer".  And thus, I give this game 0 balls out of 5.  Avoid at all cost.

This game doesn't even have an ending.  Once you beat it, you get turned into something else...and the game automatically starts over as that character.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Today's game is brought to you by the letter B!  That's right folks, I have finished the games starting with numbers and A.  Yay!

B.O.B. is a typical platforming game brought to us by none other than Electronic Arts.  And it sucks.  What's that?  You want some back story?  Okay.  I hate EA as a company, and I usually transfer that rage onto their games.  However, for the sake of my quest, I will put aside my hatred and attempt to play and judge their games with fairness and equality.  With that being said, this game still sucks.

We start the game with an intro so boring, that 90% of the text actually says "blah blah blah".  This was probably done in an attempt to be funny, but it fails.  Basically, you play an alien, (that looks like a Thri-Kreen from the D&D Dark Sun settings), who crashes his dad's flying car on the way to picking up his date.  And I've already lost interest...good job, game.
Thri-Kreen: The very definition of overpowered.
One thing I can't bitch about is the controls.  Every button is used, and yet it remains very simple to learn.  Punch, jump, gun, remote.  Shoulder buttons cycle through the various guns and remotes.

I can, however, bitch about the music.  90% of the music in this game is horrendous.  For example, the intro music actually hurt my ears with its high pitched squeels and beeps.  And the sound effects are complete garbage.  There are some catchy songs in this game, all of which are techno\synth and somewhat fit the setting for this game, but they are far and few between.

Graphically, this game isn't very impressive either.  The sprite animation is decent, but this game lacks in everything else.  The stage designs are boring, unimaginative, and almost as generic as the enemy designs.

I had the same expression on my face throughout this entire game.
The gameplay is what you would expect.  It's a platformer that offers nothing new.  It's fairly easy and offers no real challenge.  Take a bare platformer, slap the alien in it, throw in some corny 90's catch phrases, and voila!  You have B.O.B.

I can't say that this game disappointed me, as I really didn't expect much to begin with.  I went in expecting a lame excuse for a platformer, and EA delivered.  Yay for them.  1 boring enemy out of 5.  Not a good way to start off a new letter, EA.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


What the hell?  Two really good games in a row?  My luck must be changing!

Axelay is an aerial shooter made by Konami.  The word Konami is generally synonymous with the word awesome, and this game is no exception.  Axelay is what the aerial shooter genre should strive to be.  It's difficult to explain why this game is so amazing without going into further detail, so lets get this review going.

The game starts with a cut scene very reminiscent of the movie Independence Day.  The only real difference is, this planet didn't have Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum to save the day.  So, it went boom.  In fact, the entire solar system's defenses have been destroyed, except for one ship.  The Axelay.  One badass intro for one badass game.

In a world without Will Smith, we would probably lose to the aliens.  But at least we wouldn't have to hear about how his daughter whips her hair back and forth.
Control wise is a little different than the traditional aerial shooter.  Instead of just shooting and dodging, Axelay has a variety of weapons to choose from, and each of them have different forms of attacks.  Holding the button down will shoot in a straight line, but letting go will perform an arc of fire around you.  Experiment with each gun to learn new tricks, as it will be vital to pass just the first stage.

The music for this game is top notch.  If you like listening to game soundtracks, I would definitely suggest checking out Axelay.  Every stage offers very motivating and heavy tunes to jam out to while you are blowing shit up.

Every explosion needs an awesome soundtrack.  I personally blow shit up to Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain.  Something about that song makes me want to put on the spandex and dance around as buildings around me explode.  Don't judge me.
Graphics are superb as well.  Everything from the cut scenes and the parallax scrolling backgrounds to the Axelay sprite itself is done with great detail and excellent colors.  The boss designs are very complex, and the Axelay's weapons are very flashy as well.  Very impressive.

The gameplay in Axelay is extremely difficult.  Unlike most aerial shooters that require you to dodge only enemies and bullets, Axelay throws in stage elements as well.  For example,  a huge chunk of debris is falling towards you that you can not dodge, so you blow it up.  Then you have to dodge the tiny chunks of debris that result from the explosion...or you can blow them up as well.  Meanwhile, enemies are shooting lasers at you and leaving nasty traps for you to blow up on.  All of this happens in a matter of seconds, and only your fast reflexes can save your ass.

Axelay is absolutely amazing.  From start to finish, this game offers only fun.  5 Axelay ships out of 5.  I honestly doubt that any other aerial shooter for the Super Nintendo will even come close to comparing to this masterpiece.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Once again, the sequel proves to be superior over the original in every way.

Much like yesterday's review, Asterix and Obelix is a platforming game based on the French comic by the same name.  Unlike Asterix, however, this game is fun.  Everything that was wrong with the first game has been fixed, and everything that was already good has been improved upon.  I already went over the source material yesterday, so lets skip all of that and get to the review.

This time around, the game actually gives us a story.  It is very brief, but it explains a whole hell of a lot more than Asterix did.  Another improvement that you will find right at the beginning is the ability to choose between Asterix or Obelix.  We also have a password system, because unlike Asterix, this game takes longer than 50 minutes to beat.  So far, we are off to a great start.
This time we get to play as Obelix, also known as Gerard Depardieu.
So how about the controls?  Well, they are pretty much the same, except they got rid of those annoying camera control buttons.  Just that one tiny change, however, has made this game a lot less frustrating.

The improvements keep coming, in the form of audio.  Every stage has its own unique background music, and there are a lot of stages.  So even though this game is a bit longer, the music never gets old or annoying.  Excellent.

Everything visual about this game has been remastered.  Even though the sprites in Asterix were good, they have managed to make them look a lot better this time around.  The stage design and variations of enemies have also improved substantially.  Instead of random shapes for backgrounds, we are given highly detailed scenes that look as if they were directly taken from the source material.  This game also has some crazy attention to detail for the animations.  For example, when you uppercut an enemy off the screen, you can see them crashing back down to earth in the background.  It's those type of things that make this game stand out from the rest.

The biggest problem with the gameplay in Asterix was the lack there of.  Asterix and Obelix definitely does not suffer from this problem, as it has tons of stages and challenges.  But it's still just a platforming game, right?  Yes, and no.  It does offer the traditional challenges of a platforming game, but it also has mini games strewn about to add a touch of originality.  For example, you get to face off against the Romans in a game of Rugby, compete in the Olympics, build a palace for Cleopatra, and participate in a bullfight.  This game is all over the place, but in a good way.

The Naked Truth: You're all ugly and flat.  Bullfighting is awesome.
I loved this game.  5 laughing vikings out of 5.  The French have finally delivered a great game.  There's really not much else to say.  If you are a fan of the comic, play this game.  If you want to see how platform games should be done, play this game. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Oh joy!  Another game based on a French comic that I have never heard of!  I love these.

Asterix is another platforming game based on the very popular French comic, The Adventures of Asterix.  Again, I have never even heard of this character before, but apparently he is HUGE in Europe.  Like Tintin, Asterix has numerous movies based on it, some animated and some live action, and of course they both have their own games...but Asterix takes it a step further by having its own AMUSEMENT PARK.  Yeah.  That's awesome.

Why can't we have anything this cool?  We get Six Flags and Disneyland.  The French get an amusement park based around the Roman invasions.
The intro to this game is a very vague text drop explaining what is going on.  Apparently, somebody named Obelix has been kidnapped by Julius Caeser.  Despite it not telling me much (or anything) about the story, it does have me intrigued.

The controls for this game are pretty simple.  Jump, run, and a weird punch that serves as your only attack.  The shoulder buttons are the important part here though, as they control the camera view.  Without these, you will fall to your death a lot, so you better learn to use them.

Audio is repetitive and annoying.  There is maybe four songs total for the entire game, and they don't really offer anything worth listening to.  Listen to the first Act's music to get a taste and then hit the mute button.

The graphics are so-so.  The sprites seem to stick with the source material pretty close, at least the little bit that I could find while doing my research.  The backgrounds, however, are not so good.  Some stages look like they colored in some random shapes and called it good.  Kind of disappointing.

I've said it once, and I'll say it again.  The French are fucking weird.
The gameplay is fun, but short.  Once you learn the camera controls and the hit detection range for your awkward punch attack, this game becomes a breeze.  I beat it on the hardest difficulty in just under an hour.  It angers me when writing a review for a game takes me longer than playing the damn thing.

Overall, the game just feels like wasted time, regardless of how little time was actually spent on it.  Asterix scores 2 Panaceas out of 5.  I can only hope that the next game, Asterix and Obelix, will offer me more than a mere hour of gameplay.

Monday, November 22, 2010


So this is what fighting games were like before Street Fighter 2! Wait...this game came out AFTER Street Fighter 2? That's just depressing.

Art of Fighting is your traditional fighting game. It's also the first fighting game that I have got to play since starting this site. Unfortunately, it's really not good. I love fighting games, and I love SNK fighting games most of all. King of Fighters, Samurai Shodown, Fatal Fury...etc, I love them all. So, why do I not like Art of Fighting? Well, there is plenty to bitch about, but not a whole lot to enjoy.

Why do I love SNK games so much?  I can sit here and give reasons all day, but like they say, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
Starting off, we get a decent cutscene explaining the story.  We find out that Ryo's sister has been kidnapped, and it is up to Ryo and Robert to face the mean streets of South Town in order to save her.  So far everything is good, but then we get to the character selection screen.  We can see a total of 10 characters, but only 2 are available for story mode.  That's pretty lame, and what's worse about it is that both characters have the same damn story.

Next up is one of the major flaws of this game, the controls.  First off, the buttons are just awkward.  You have a punch, a kick, a taunt, and a throw.  The throw is on the shoulder key for some reason, despite there being a wasted button on the front of the damn controller.  To make things worse, everything is stiff and unresponsive.  Mash the punch button and be amazed as you throw one punch a minute.  Special moves are a necessity towards the end, and they are barely functional.

To make up for the rage worthy controls, the game offers some pretty badass music.  Art of Fighting is filled with heavy 80's action movie type music.  It sets the mood, and it's pretty damn awesome.

Graphically, this game does not disappoint.  While this may be one of SNK's earlier entries, you can still find their trademark art style through out the entire game.  Granted, some of the scenes are laughable, but for a Super Nintendo game, they are pretty good.

The last section is probably the worst: the gameplay.  Regardless if you are playing this alone for the story, or if you are fighting against a buddy, this game is bad.  The biggest problem is the speed.  Everything is ridiculously slow.  Combine that with the shitty controls mentioned before, and you're left with a poor excuse for a fighting game.  However, this game does introduce something that I think is genius, and would like to see it in more fighting games: The "spirit" bar.  This thing basically limits the amount of fireballs you can shoot and slowly refills.  In this game, it is a major bitch, but with the proper tweaking, I think it would be a great addition to the fighting game genre.  Imagine playing Marvel vs Capcom 2, and some jackass picks Cable.  He starts doing the infinite gun blast cheapness when all of a sudden he stops because he ran out of ammo/energy.  Commence ass whipping.

A typical fireball spammer.  She may look all cute and innocent now, but she'll start spewing racial slurs and profanity over XBox Live when she loses.
Basically, Art of Fighting would have been a decent addition to the fighting genre if they had fixed the actual fighting part.  Everything else in the game is wonderful, just not the game itself.  It hurts me to do this, but I give it 1 and a half Ryo mullets out of 5.  There is no reason to ever release a broken game.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


This game truly surprised me, in a good way.

Arkanoid is a game in which you break bricks with a paddle and ball.  Sounds pretty boring, right?  Just another Breakout clone that we have all played hundreds of times now, right?  WRONG!  Arkanoid is a Breakout clone with a deep story and hard as fuck bosses.  Best of all?  I get to use my Super Nintendo mouse!  I love when I get to use this thing.

There are literally thousands of Breakout clones, to the point where they have become their own genre.  You can find at least one variant of the genre on every system, including the badass "Shatter" for the PS3 and PC.
Before I had started the game, I had prepared myself for a load of suck.  However, right off the bat, I knew I had assumed wrong.  We get a cool little intro movie from the "paddle" perspective, flying off to do battle with the villain, Doh.  After we start the game, we are given more story to explain what the hell is going on.  The paddle in Arkanoid is actually a space ship called Vaus, and it has found a new planet similar to Earth.  Upon inspection, we find that Doh is there waiting.  Epic brick breaking ensues.

Control wise, this game is simplistic.  Use the mouse to control "Vaus", click the button if you have weapons or sticky balls.  If you use a controller, you are stuck with the D-Pad for movement, but the controls are just as functional.  Sticky Balls.

As for the audio, it isn't too bad.  I was expecting the sound of balls bouncing off of bricks, like in every other breakout clone.  And make no mistake, those sounds are in here, but there is also stage music that is okay.  It's nothing stellar, but it is more than I expected.

Graphically, you may assume there would be some colored bricks, a paddle, and a ball.  You would be right.  However, each stage has something going on in the background, and the bosses are interesting to say the least.  Again, it isn't anything amazing, but it does have its charm.

This bad ass has been breaking bricks since the mother fucking Amiga.  He doesn't even need a paddle or a ball anymore.
And finally for gameplay, this game is loooong.  This game has 99 freaking levels!  And believe me, you will die many times along the way.  Luckily, the game gives you a password to start off at that level after you die.  Anyway, those 99 levels are damn fun.  All of the standard powerups are there, like laser guns and electric beam wall thing.  The bosses in this game can also do some pretty asshole-ish things, like rotating the screen around and reversing your controls.  This game is challenging, but in a very fun way.

Apparently, that whole judging a book by its cover thing...yeah that's bad.  I fully expected to give this game a 1 or a 2 at best, but I would have never guessed that this game was so good.  It earns 4 Doh heads out of 5, which is pretty damn impressive, considering the "greatest hits" version of Breakout that I just reviewed wouldn't have earned 1 point on its own.

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