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?…

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 4] – Short tales from a twisted land

ducketales

Not a lot has been going on this weekend for me at RA. I’ve been clearing mainly old entries and working on “WarioWare: Twisted!”. It’s an entry in which I’ve soaked quite a lot of time and I would like to finish it within’ the next few RA sessions. It’s a great game, I really love it! In the meantime, I’ve also covered some older entries regarding mainly Disney related platformers for the Game Boy. Achievement- wise, I have no complains for “The Little Mermaid”, though I would love to try my skills at the BONUS set, if at some point the link to the patch becomes available again. The first “DuckTales” for the Game Boy could use a bit more achievements when it comes to it’s current set. By that I mean achievements for finding all the treasures, as there is only one ending for this version for some reason. In my opinion, this one is also a port that is way worse compared to the superior one for the second game. No replay value and some sections require some very (out- of- nowhere) precise timing! Well, at least the Moon stage soundtrack wasn’t butchered all that much, it is still enjoyable as it is. It’s a great track, but I am not really all that much obsessed with it, as people tend to be.

DuckTales 2 [Game Boy]

As I mentioned earlier, I think this game is a much better port to the original second game than the port to the original first. You get to experience and play for the three different endings! There is now the addition of a special chest that tells you how much treasure there is left in the stage, so for those craving a bit more exploration, it’s quite the handy thing. It could have been a bit more clear if they used the word “Treasure” instead of “Boxes”, because for a while I thought I only need to go after the chests only. Apart from that, there is also some level layout changes. I don’t think I used to have as much trouble as crossing the bridges in the original Niagara level for the NES as I did in the Game Boy version… The boss from the special stage was also removed, sadly. Other than that, there is not much more to say about this game. Everything else within’ it is perfectly fine.

With this one, I’ve pretty much covered all of Capcom’s retro DuckTales series. Looking forward to one day try the Remastered version. I’m sure that it would be as satisfying platformer as the old games were.

AT LEAST I HOPE SO…

RA Invasion [Part 3] – Flare’s Absolutely Mini- Games Only Weekend!

Pingu

I don’t know how I managed to put myself into this situation… I guess one thing led to another and I lazily spent my weekend doing titles for RA that are composed entirely of mini- games. Apart from the two new games that I covered, I only had time to also do the Game Boy version of “Darkwing Duck”, which, despite being way easier than the NES one, is still quite fun nevertheless. Having the opportunity to explore it even further, I was quite satisfied with having to search for the secret bonus rooms. I like the new additions in the Game Boy version, especially the very last bonus room located down a hole, for which you need to use one of your special weapons to uncover it. Little neat things like that are making me feel glad that I am doing stuff for RA, revisiting old titles and whatnot, being able to  expand my joyful experience of a certain video game even further.

JOIN RA TODAY!

Arthur’s Absolutely Fun Day! [Game Boy Color]

I don’t know who the hell Arthur is, all I know is that it’s some sort of educational series and for some reason people still talk about it to this day. Maybe it’s the quality of education that the series provide, maybe people who grew up with it are at the age where they start to mix nostalgia with sexual fetishes, WHO KNOWS?

This game is composed of fifteen mini- games. The majority of them focus on concentration and timing, which I think is a pretty good topic, especially for young children. Not all of these games control very well, but they are simple enough to not invoke any potential feeling of frustration. There are no rules explained for any of the mini – games beforehand. You just pick one and jump right in, only with your natural instinct for what is right and wrong at disposal. The strawberry mini- game – That’s what’s very wrong! Having to move around at a snail’s pace picking strawberries is the worst part of this game, thank God it doesn’t last for too long… Sadly, RA managed to further ignite this living hell up with some SOUL BREAKING achievements… “I hate you so much for this one RA!”

I had trouble figuring out how to do the trash collecting mini- game. So you jump on your skateboard, you can increase your speed or slow down, but direct contact with any of the collectables proves to be ineffective? What the hell man? After a while, I figured out that you need to be near them and press “A” at the right time, so Arthur can do some weird pick- up motion. For a while I actually thought that it’s a jumping motion. The top- down view really wasn’t the best choice to convert that expression for picking up trash.

Some of the mini- games become a bit harder the more you play them. There are around three levels for each mini- game with actual difficulty scaling. There is also a very pointless and not fun bumper car mini- game. Bumper cars in general are not fun as a whole, let alone in a video game. Anyone stating otherwise is probably an actual bumper car in real life. I get it, ramming into stuff and children with their laughing parents! Hell, no parent of mine wanted to get into the car. This is how they taught me about the cruelty of the human world…

Pingu: Sekai de Ichiban Genki na Penguin [Game Boy]

Speaking of cruelty, here’s a video game starring freakin’ PINGU!

This game never left Japan for a reason! It was used as an introduction for toddlers to the video game world. Those who were successful were directly put through Ghosts ‘n Goblins for the NES afterwards – A harsh but fair process to prepare them for the cruel life ahead of being a salesman or an anime- loving degenerate. Those who failed Pingu however were directly sent to the South Pole to live the rest of their lives as actual Penguins. If you think I’m joking, then explain a penguin’s natural thirst for raw fish! The fact that I completed this game and I’m not sliding on my belly is another proof of how true my words are.

Now that I am done with my usual racist remarks and none- sense blabbing, I have to say, this game is not bad at all. It has a sweet, short plot of four small episodes, very true to the spirit of the original source material. The mini- games are average in difficulty, wherein’ some dictate the outcome via RNG. A good example for that is the columns mini- game. You can end up clearing some of the harder levels in no time or get stuck replaying the level for a while, until good pieces drop. Something that this game does well is that it SAVES THE PROGRESS that you’ve done in the mini- games, instead of putting you back to first level. How generous is that?

I especially adore the hub world where you can walk around and NOOT NOOT with the “A” button all day long!

RA has put some pretty good achievements for this game, though I still think they can add more to the set. Level 50 columns and fish- catching mini games? I mean, they’ve covered the hide and seek and the sliding puzzle one to the fullest, so why not the other two as well? Also, the snowball fight game achievement where you have to complete it with ten snowballs fired? I don’t know how I managed to perfect this game, given that you have to hit nine penguins who’s movements are heavily RNG based. Your biggest chance on hitting a penguin without screwing up is to catch them while being idle after firing a snowball in the hope that they’ll fire another one and not just move away. Also, a reminder that you have to charge your attack in order to throw a snowball further away. The charge bar also refreshes each time it reaches the maximum output… TALK ABOUT PRECISE TIMING!

Honestly, I think it’s easier to win the lottery than what I managed to do.

Thank you RNG Jesus!