RA Invasion [Part 7] – Dream Schedule

ra suffering

Due to work, I’ve been trying to implement a new sleep schedule in my routine.  RA weekend is not the best time for me to try and adjust to new changes in my life style, I haven’t been able to concentrate or keep my motivation level uptight to cover the usual number of entries that I tend to go after, usually. That’s not really a bad thing, as this schedule might just be the answer for me to turn things around and reach a perfect balance between work and LR19 related activities. Sacrifices needs to be made sometimes for a better good. It’s not that there are no alternatives around it, this is just more optimal and rewarding overall… at least for a time being.

I did revisit “Super Mario World” this weekend. Decent achievement set, though a few achievements do stick out. That tends to be the case with most sets really. 75% of the achievements would usually cover full game completion, while the rest would involve additional goal that inspire change in the overall play style. I can see most people being put off by this, especially with games where the achievement developers would like to increase the difficulty for one reason or another. It all comes down to how much you like the game in the end and how much of your time it’s worth.

I was trying to do “The Powerpuff Girls” games for the GBC. While only one of the games is on RA right now, I do want to cover all titles, since they do connect to each other, what with one being able to trade cards in between and obtain unique passwords from clearing each game. Those passwords can’t be used in the same game you obtained them from, but rather, in the others. I did clear the “Bad Mojo Jojo” successfully, but alas, I had no time to do so with the other two. I will do them eventually, though I am a bit sad that I didn’t had the pleasure of doing so this weekend…

Barbie: Ocean Discovery [Game Boy Color]

Here’s yet another game composed of mini- games, starring our beloved, famous and beautiful character Barbie, from the series – BARBIE!!! This one is unique because getting to the mini- games is a bit of an annoyance, at least until you unlock the shortcuts to them in menu. Other than that, I would say that the games are… I guess they are interactive enough. There is also quite the adventurous plot, by which I mean the good old “Find a map and look for treasure” trope. I don’t know, some people are into it, even at the age of sixty- five. I’ve searched for treasure before. I’ve also managed to find one. Not all that exciting of an activity really, but maybe that’s due to the fact that an old lantern is not near the value of an actual gold coins, gemeralds or a diary full of ramblings…

Is it though?…

AV Super Real Pachinko [NES] – The portable clacking (beeping) hell machines

pachink

I do wonder… Would someone who plays real pachinko machines rather prefer a game like this to the real thing? Is one’s personal hell a clacking metal balls that could drive you suicidal or beeping chiptunes that make you wanna poke your eyes out? Sorry, I’m not a big fan of pachinko and I really can’t see the appeal of it. Maybe I need to try it once for real in my life so I can have some actual experience, but honestly… Is watching balls drop in real life all that different to watching them do the same in a video game? Aren’t you in both places put to just sit idly and watch? Well, you get to pay for the balls and touch them in real life. How can you miss on that excitement?

“AV Super Real Pachinko” is a pachinko simulator game, believe it or not! There are three types of machines that you can play, each with their own different layouts. I’m gonna say this right off the bat, just do the MADBOY machine! It’s the one where you can score a jackpot (?) way more often and it’s easier to chain it? I have no idea what am I talking about, really… Sometimes a colored ball drops, which, if it enters a pocket (?), you get to play a bonus card game, where you have to flip a card that matches the one shown at the top. If you are successful, you get a… power- up? You can activate those, but I have no idea how do they actually affect the game. I think the second one from top- bottom activates the jackpot thing right away, while the others… I have no idea! I haven’t noticed any actual changes to the game while they were in effect. Also, I can’t seem to activate that one power- up, the second one from bottom- top. Do I need to stack it? Is it just a permanent, passive stat? I’ve tried it on all machines and during their jackpot segments, but no banana!

Every time you cross the 1000th balls threshold, you get to see some art of nude ladies. If you want to get one quickly at the start, just purchase the number of balls closest to 1000, which I think is 875? There are only four ladies that you can see, I think. I’ve crossed the 1000th milestone more than twenty times and no other girls popped- up, so I assume that’s all this game has to offer. Can some of the power- ups grant you access to additional girls? I doubt it, honestly. I’ve played other AV games in the series, with art from the same person and there are usually only a few pieces per game.

I think it’s impossible to lose in this game. Maybe you can softlock yourself if you lose the balls on purpose. For that to be possible, one would need to quit the pachinko machine once they put the balls in, before they reach any potential pockets and reward you with additional balls. [?] Losing all your available balls the game can give you at the start could be quite a pain to achieve, but I believe it’s possible, just not very fun to do and honestly… why would you? Leaving the machine per each few balls would be a bigger pain in the ass than just sitting idle while holding the A button, with every now and then adjusting the spring settings???

Hell does not need to be more hellish than it is…

When you win the maximum amount of balls, which seems to always round up to 9012, you get your payment and the game sends you back to the title screen. Well… I’m not really surprised… nor disappointed… Just really glad that I am done with this one!

RA Invasion [Part 6] – Invade! Lazy Invader

croc

Not a very exciting RA weekend. Rather than playing, I spent most of my time lying on bed and thinking about games that I don’t want to play, along with my constant dreaded thought of “What if tomorrow something destroys the Earth? Everything Humanity worked so hard for over generations would be put to waste.” It’s not the best mood for one to be hanging on, but sometimes there are moments where we can’t shake off certain feelings, no matter if we managed to come in terms with them over the years of our growth.

Croc [Game Boy Color]

Alright, maybe there would be at least one good thing to our total obliteration – There will be no more “Croc” for the Game Boy Color and none of us will be tortured by this game anymore!

So this version of Croc is a 2D platformer. I do not know how well does Croc fare in his original 3D platformer games, but in this one he just sucks ass. The jumping is very fast and sharp. While moving and attacking an enemy, if you manage to defeat them, Croc won’t stop in his tracks, but rather, continue on for a while. Avoid doing that on baddies located near pitfalls! When it comes to said enemies, the hit detection is really awful. In contrast to these problems (/), the game answers with two easy solutions – Bland level design with low difficulty and extra lives everywhere! By everywhere, I mean that at the end of the game, I was already maxed out! One major issue for those who would want to lose a portion of their minds and go for a full clear of this game are the mini- games at the end of each level. You see, each level has these critters that you need to find and rescue, hidden all over the place. However, each level has one of them being the reward for completing the mini- game at the end, to which you only have access if you find all the BONUS letters! Those aren’t really all that well hidden, similar to the critters, but in case you fail to complete a certain mini- game, you’ll have to redo said level all over again! The most troublesome of the bunch is the sliding puzzle mini- game. The rest are fairly easy, though during your first introduction to them, you might find yourself being at disadvantage due to lack of knowledge regarding how does each one control or play.

Your health is represented by the collectable crystals, which grant you an extra life per each 100th. While that is fine and dandy, given that the game showers you with extra lives, you might be more interested in just keeping the number of the crystals high enough so you can tank through stuff, rather than reset the number for a mere 1- UP. The extra life would be meaningless anyways if you die a dozen of times after that, due to being unable to hold your ground against the enemies, who tend to move pretty fast and come off screen in a blast!

The reward for finding all critters is pretty lame, as the game just gives you access to all the mini- games that you’ve played… Wow!

Some of the bosses in this game are OK. They require a bit of thought and direct approach isn’t usually the answer. Even if you lose all your crystals to them, there is a small section before each boss that provides you with some for the fight. I think that the amount is fair enough, as it doesn’t give you all that much extra hits. However, there is still the issue with one reaching the boss with high amount of crystals carried over from another level. But hey! If you feel like this game is challenging for your own personal level, sure, why not?

I really, really hated the mine- cart section! Not the first time I’ve been disappointed by that type of level in a video game though!

Hammerin’ Harry: Ghost Building Company [Game Boy]

Hammerin' Harry - Ghost Building Company DONE!

A very fun action platformer, quite easy in general in terms of difficulty, though there are a few kinda’ tough parts that require a bit of learning. Also, featuring a boss that provides you with enough extra lives and health until you are full, right before the final level! That sure is something I’ve never seen before in a game and I am enjoying this idea quite a lot, especially given that the final level is not really a walk in the park, at least not on your first initial run.

I like how the plot is represented as a movie in a cinema, where people are watching the events unfold. Gen-san Harry has to save his girlfriend from all sorts of Ghosts ‘n Goblins this time around, which… managed to fit in with the whole construction theme quite well. You get to fight a haunted giant Nail, demolish a ghost blimp, part by part and eventually, bring destruction to the ghost making machine itself. Of course, given that this is a [HORROR] themed game, at the end it is revealed that EVIL NEVER DIES!

It’s quite an entertaining twist of events and it made me think about how silly this type of endings are in actual horror movies. Despite the fact that I’ve seen those a billion times, I don’t find them boring or outdated to this day.

But the machine keeps reviving ghosts and the game doesn’t really comes to a halt… I wonder if there is a secret to it that no one has found yet? Maybe a certain combination of buttons could unlock a secret New Game + or something? I highly doubt it though.

This game is a pretty good entry in the Gen-san Harry series. In general, I think Hammerin’ Gen-san is pretty underrated and overlooked. Maybe it’s because it’s not as fast paced as other games and you need some good timing against some enemies?…

How old are Harry and his girlfriend anyways?… HMM…!

🍇 Nanoha Snake 🍇

nanohapotat

I remember watching the Nanoha series around… a decade ago or so. I also remember dropping the show for a while halfway through the first season, because I found it to be incredibly boring. Then I came back to it an year later to finish it, along with the other seasons, only to be left completely unsatisfied in the end. Around that time I’ve seen many other series in the magical girl genre and I’ve come to realize that if it’s not a parody or has a high substance of comedy bits, it just doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever.

But the thing with the magical girl shows is that they have pretty memorable characters, usually due to their colorful and detailed design. It’s quite common for one to end up liking the characters without much care for the quality of the actual franchise. I’ve met once with a person who said that they’ve watched all of Nanoha’s seasons and the conversation never went beyond that. They did liked Nanoha’s character because of her being a cute magical girl and… that’s it. Leave to the cute appeal to cover for the blandness!

Here we have “Nanoha Snake”, a flash game, clone of the classic “Snake” . As far as those go, I think this one is kind of alright. There are two modes – The first one is a bit slower in terms of progress and it requires a good snake management in terms of your overall increasing size. In the second one the snake moves a bit faster and you also progress so as well, but it’s nothing all too complicated. I was at the age of three when I played my first snake clone on the highest speed, which was faster than what you have in this mode. God bless bootleg handhelds… The speed in the first mode increases as well, but not all that much. It’s generous enough in consideration to the fact that you have to manage a snake that grows almost half the screen size.

After eating enough grapes, a bar fills up and Nanoha loses her clothes gradually. Once you fill the bar on any of the two modes, a CG mode can be accessed where Fate makes appearance as well, though she cannot be undressed… [?]

I find the first mode to be way more challenging and entertaining, but if you are too desperate to undress Nanoha, just do the second mode. I’m sure that will satisfy your nostalgic feelings of growing up with this bland- ass show, just as mine were satisfied with playing a decent game of snake.

RA Invasion [Part 5] – Grind harder!

grind harder

Pretty good weekend on RA. I got to play through a bunch of platformers, some of which were pretty great while others – not as much. In fact, not at all, honestly. An example for that is “The Flintstones” for the Game Boy by OCEAN! The only good thing that this game did right were the bosses, which were pretty decent in terms of variety and design. I really enjoyed the fight where you have to drug your boss with drinks and put him to sleep. The actual levels themselves are pretty bland and boring, to a certain extend some of them feel way longer than they should be. The length would not have been a problem if there was more to the repeatable hop and bop, litter it all with enemies, traps and pitfalls.

The game is at least pretty generous with its mini- games granting extra lives. It doesn’t go over the top with them at least, but it gives you enough to keep you going while making sure that you don’t make too many mistakes.

I would have added this game to the vault, but I wish to experiment a bit further with the invaders- clone mini – game that you can access on certain levels, if you have any coins in your disposal. Can you go over the top in terms of high score? Will it reset after level 99? How much does the difficulty pick up as the levels go? Those are very important questions that need a SERIOUS ANSWERS!

Disney Princess [Game Boy Advance]

Disney Princess GBA DONE!

Something that I did not expect from this game was to be offering an actual interactive variety of levels that would keep my interest for a while. I was wrong. The game has it all, from good times platforming action, not- so hard to learn mazes, house management and DDR to Little Mermaid 3 and Jasmine’s Assassin’s Creed. The game could have done better with some of the controls, but at least the hit detection is pretty alright. Disney Princess manages to create an atmosphere that perfectly represents both the beauty and harshness of the princess life. Hats off to the RA set for making this game even more challenging and FUN!

Kid Dracula [Game Boy]

Kid Dracula DONE!

I’m not big on the Castlevania games, in fact, I haven’t beaten any of them yet! This spin- off title for the Game Boy was pretty great and fun platformer though! I can’t believe I played something that got an actual laugh from me. A laugh from enjoying myself and having a good time. A laugh representing that I find something very entertaining and humorous. This game got it! The cast is so goofy and charming, I love it! The level design is well- made, with a good progress flow to it. The game can be a bit tough on some parts, but it’s nothing too complicated for one to get stuck on! Great and enjoyable boss fights, the mini- games are easy to play and they shower you with lives… Well, I don’t know about that one… I guess it’s an additional insurance that the designers put to ENSURE the “Good times” experience. I honestly can’t blame them for that…

I really like that the game makes use of every special ability that you get, even if some of them are necessary for only like… two areas in the whole game. You would think that if you get a power that lets you fly everywhere from the start of the game would be a tool that you can abuse easily, but no… The game is well- designed and the abilities are balanced good enough. Man, I really did had a blast with this one, didn’t i?…

I remember playing the NES version a while back, but I did not enjoy it for some reason. I wonder why? Maybe I should get back to it at some point in the near future?

Joe & Mac [Game Boy]

This is the port of “Joe & Mac” where charged attacks obliterate the bosses in no time and getting hit while moving or jumping can sent you flying uncontrollably like a ball from pinball. I don’t remember having those issues in other versions that I’ve played of this game. I also don’t remember enemies dropping exploding bombs. Who would go to such an extend as to implant explosives in cave men and dinosaurs? Were sexy cave babes worth it? Maybe. What do I know about the values of those ancient times? It’s also a video game for fuck’s sake! Of course sexy cave babes are worth it! That’s it, as long as you manage to get them! This game features all three different endings from the original Arcade game, but I am not sure as to how you access each of them. It’s not based on score as far as I know. I think it’s randomized, but it might have something to do with how many hits you take from the final boss, which is improbable, but who knows, really?

I also wanted to beat the high score, but that run ended up being a few hours grind for reaching a score that the game cannot record and instead uses glitched graphics to display. Was it a fun experience? Hell no! There is nothing fun in having to grind baby T-rexes for hours from the skeleton dinosaur boss. I made sure to bring the fire power all the way to it, as it makes short works of the babies, each of which is worth 1000 points.

I thought that I was done with the grind, but then I went to do the DuckTales 2 set for the NES, which was updated a long time ago. It’s a great set, except for the one achievement that makes you grind gold in the Niagara stage. Why would you make people grind in a game with a good flow to it? Why would you kill the overall enjoyment of the game for the sake of altering the gameplay in a very bland and bad way? If you compare it to the other achievements in the set, you’ll notice that they fit perfectly with the game’s design and spirit, while that one is just… flopped tuna over the birthday cake. At least you don’t have to grind all that LONG…