Snow Bros. – [Extra levels edition]

snow bros

Initially, I was planning for this to be “All the Snow Bros.” special event for the holiday season. Sadly, the idea was dropped off around few days before Christmas. There are various reasons behind that, one of them being that I could not run properly two of the games on my PC machine – Those were the Amiga version of “Snow Bros.” and that one awful- looking, fan- made, arcade sequel under the name of “Snow Brothers 3 – Magical Adventure”. I would not say that it was impossible for me to make them work, rather, I felt quite lazy towards the end of the project. I did play through the rest of the games. However, with the arcade games, I felt like I needed to explore them additionally, mainly regarding regional differences and difficulty settings. I did 1CC the original Arcade game and the sequel, which I really, really enjoyed for its variety, what with the new characters and a new takes to some of the level design. I also played that one Spectrum homebrew, which I liked as an idea a lot, but the execution was just… well… The game wasn’t all that fun for me, honestly…

So I decided to write about the Genesis and Game Boy versions for a time being. Also, a bit about the NES one, which I completed around the time I made this site. At some point in the future, I’ll probably get back to the other titles and try to finish and post about them as well.

There are enough unfinished volumes in the vault anyways…

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Snow Bros. is your typical floors- type of game. Similar to the “Bubble Bobble”, “Don Doko Don” and “Rod Land” games, along with many others that wanted to bathe in the glory of the hyped genre of the late 80s/early 90s. By “floors”, I refer to games, where your objective is to clear various one- screen rooms full of enemies, one after another, up until a potential boss battle, which usually marks the end of the game. Also, collecting letters and spelling out words for extra lives! Some of those games have boss battles on every tenth floor or so. “Snow Bros.” is one of those games. The bosses in it are quite easy compared to the bosses of other games from the genre. The “Snow Bros.” games as a whole are quite easy to get into. You control a dude made out of snow, who shoots , believe it or not, SNOW, that can turn enemies into snowballs. Then you push them and magic happens! Power- ups are in the form of differently- colored potions that improve your movement speed/shot range/shot power.There are also FOOD pick ups that just give you points. Usually, the plot revolves around saving a princess or two from the clutches of a demon or something. As a snow person, the main character has an affinity for SUSHI! Now you know how good the “Snow Bros.” games are! If you kill all enemies in one go with a snowball, cash rains upon the land. Sumo men might try to harm you, but if you get them, they will try to bribe you for the sake of their own safety. Bunch of cowards!!! No wonder the occupy the highest, hard to reach [?] platforms!

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I had Snow Bros. for my Famiclone when I was a kid. Me and my brother loved the game for its fun, innovative idea of turning baddies into snowballs and pushing them around for laughs. Maybe we laughed, I don’t remember. We never knew why sometimes we would get one of the two different endings. Punishment for using continues was a factor we would have never guessed. We weren’t really trying to, in first place. Another thing that I remember was that the game would unlock automatically “time trail” mode after we beat the game. You cannot select which difficulty level you want to play though. Rather, it would randomly choose from one, each time you start a new game. How weird… The Famiclone was a freak of gaming nature indeed! Famiclone controllers were pretty bad and would break constantly. That’s why we didn’t play all that much “Snow Bros.” together with my brother. Same goes for other games as well. At some point, when I was visiting one of my billion cousins in another town, she showed me her Famiclone, which had a “Snow Bros.” cartridge as well. Heh, she thought I was new to video games… WHAT A SILLY GIRL SHE WAS! Her second controller was also damaged, but I beat the game for her solo, regardless. GOOD TIMES!

The NES version of “Snow Bros.” is one of the easiest in the series! The long invulnerability time at the start of each stage lets you position pretty much wherever you want. This lets you clear floors pretty quickly and set up some good combos. The NES version does not provide you with extra lives for scoring high amount of points. Instead, you get to gamble on a slot machine, after each boss, for them or for letters to spell that 1- life awarding “SNOW” word. The pick- up that spawns the dudes that give you letters is also as rare as chicken tooth. Additionally, there are various spots on some floors, where if you shoot constantly, a thing might appear in the form of a food item that gives you a lot of points or a money bag that sends you to the slot machines again. However, those slot machines are different! They award you with skipping floors, instead of livesĀ  and letters.

Bosses are pretty weak! They don’t spawn enemies as much as in the other versions of “Snow Bros.” Apart from that, they also have fewer hit points, which makes them easier to bring down. The devil duo boss battle has only one of the guys and you use the flames which he spawn to turn into snowballs and push at him.

Enemies as a whole are not all that vicious in the NES version, like they are in the others. This version lets you easily pick up a momentum and the learning curve is really generous. As a first “Snow Bros.” game, it’s a pretty solid choice! I didn’t had a choice though, but I like how things turned out for me!

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Snow Bros Jr. DONE!

The Game Boy version is titled “Snow Bros. Jr.”! It’s a bit of a downgrade in terms of gameplay, what with worse momentum, controls and the lower number of enemies on some floors. Bosses that you fight in pairs are following a solo career in this version, making things significantly easier. This is the only game where the plot is not about rescuing princesses, but fighting and restoring the sun which was corrupted by forces unknown. [?] That’s right! There is a special, extra boss fight in this version, along with the addition of a whole new and unique world- set of 10 levels! New enemies too! This version lacks a 2- player mode, but it has its own unique mini- game after each boss fight, which is similar to the one in “Super Mario Land”.

It’s not the best version ever, but it’s not something completely awful either. It’s a good pick for that one afternoon, where your boyfriend or girlfriend choose to go to a book club, instead of asking you out for some sweet “Atlantis no Nazo” , BDSM- gaming session with nachos.

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Snow Bros. Genesis DONE!

Here we are with the Sega Genesis version of “Snow Bros.”, which I honestly think is the best one in the series. First of all, it has a sweet anime opening sequence, which might not seem all that great, but that’s just you being picky, really! I love that intro! It’s silly and I love it!

In all honesty, this version is like the original Arcade one, BUT polished in many, many aspects. There is the difficulty level select option, along with one being able to adjust the setting of a certain number of starting initial lives to their preferences. The gap in the difficulty between NORMAL and HARD mode is not all that big, but it’s certainly noticeable. Bosses have more hits on HARD and some enemies have a longer range on their projectiles, along with the tendency of spamming them to a potentially annoying level on certain floors.

The last boss from the original Arcade game has been adjusted a bit, wherein the rate of spawned bubbles has been reduced. I really like this change! That boss was such a hate in the arcade version, it was truly my one and only complain about the game – The billion spawned bubbles were really not- fun to deal with, I’m glad that the Genesis version was not ruined by this factor!

Another cool thing about the Genesis version is the fact that they made snowball looping easier to achieve! In the Arcade games and in the Genesis version, [Also in that awful homebrew [?] ] when you push a snowball towards the bottom of the level and there is no flooring, just like with the main characters and the enemies, it will loop from the top to the bottom again, potentially annihilating everything in it’s path, like all enemies on the floor for example! Not only does that makes some level more easier to be dealt with, it also makes cash rain more often, which helps with obtaining additional lives and overall, it’s fun to do and watch! The NES lacks this feature. I can’t remember about the Game Boy version though, I think it lacks that as well!

That’s not all though! The Genesis version also contains two additional set of worlds, that’s 20 more levels, with two unique boss battles! The story continues! Once you rescue the princesses, the snow bros. get kidnapped instead! NOW YOU ARE THE PRINCESS/ES and you are ’bout to whoop some ass! These additional levels do not feel all that tough, they are actually fairly balanced in terms of difficulty. If anything, getting points on them is pretty easy, given that some are designed to be cleared with a single snowball loop right from the start! The levels are fun! The additional boss battles are pretty challenging, especially the final one, where you have to pull off your best princess moves ever! Best of all, the game rewards you with more silly and sweet animated cutscenes! How can you not love this version???

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But Flare, what about the music?

Well, maybe I’m deaf! I don’t tend to talk to music in video games, unless it’s a complete turtle poop. I liked the music in each of these three versions. “Snow Bros.” series have some good tracks that play well on each system, really!

I had fun!

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A pair of leftover witches

yaga

What is a witch? A witch is a woman, usually at around the age of 19 to 1675, a genuine hoarder of various food ingredients, ancient magical artifacts and educational magazines from the 80s. Especially good at making delicious mushroom stew and mind- bending, juicy, frog cocktails, a witch would always say “No” to a game of poker without at least some minor gamble in it. A witch may build a store just for the sake of having one. Witches are pretty cool overall!

While Halloween was over almost a week ago, I still have some stuff that I didn’t managed to post for the spooky LR19 event, due to me getting sick and also having bad internet connection. Two of those games are “Witches” by James Burton and “Wendy: Every Witch Way” for the Game Boy Color…

Witches DONE!

“Witches” is a fairly old game by James Burton for the PC. I remember playing it quite a bit during my middle and high school years, though I would go only as far as reaching the 10th level or so. The story of the game revolves around a group of witches who start acting weird, way more weird than the usual weird, due to some unknown phenomenon. The youngest witch in the group remains unaffected though and she decides to unravel the mystery behind her sisters unusual behavior.

Controls are a bit clunky to be fair. You have two forms in the game – A normal one and a witch- transformation. During the normal one, you can walk, jump, duck, craw around, grab on to ledges and climb on, cast a limited number of spells… Picking up a broom item will let you transform into one of the witches you’ve defeated previously. In this form, you can fly and move freely around, while being able to cast a certain type of spell without any limit whatsoever. This form itself has a time limit and getting hit by an enemy will cancel it in an instant. Switching between both forms is a must if you wish to be able to successfully navigate through all the over- twenty levels in the game. Take care not to glitch inside a wall while using the witch form or get stuck in a place that requires a broom for you to take off! I was unfortunate enough to experience both and I resorted to using a password once to recover my progress! There were no enemies that I could use to kill myself and start from the checkpoint and sadly, there isn’t a button that would let you restart a level. Sometimes, hitting all the buttons helps with getting unstuck from a wall. Sometimes.

There is quite the huge variety of spells that you can cast. You can turn monsters into frogs, freeze them, make them levitate… Normal damage shot, explosive shot, triple shot, Contra 7 – the [SPIDER] wars. You can stop time, become immortal for a few seconds… For all the items, combined with the various monsters and bosses within’ the game, there is quite a lot to experience. Some levels are huge and present lots of opportunities for exploration. That’s it, unless you play on lower difficulty, where you get a map to help you out. Honestly, the highest difficulty feels like the most proper difficulty. One hit death, no maps – It calls for accurate performance and careful navigation, all and all while relying on a limited resources, in terms of items that’s it. The checkpoints in the game are pretty reasonable though!

Traverse vast mountains, get chased by a horde of vengeful frogs who used to be monsters, but got transformed by you and the spell is ’bout to expire, get eaten by witch- eating slimes, get spooked by gray- grave imps rising from the ground, climb clouds, drown in a swamp, get lost in an ice castle, have a deadly spider fall on your head as you ascend with a broom, get killed by a witch as you enter her chamber, without being able to do anything about it. There goes my hope for a no- death run, due to some silly RNG!

I love the music in the game. Classic classical music pieces are my hot pocket full of salami. The witch fights are pretty clever and innovative, though I can not say that for the last boss, who felt like one huge pile of mess. I don’t know if his design was based on the idea of making the fight difficult, but if so, that certainly wasn’t the answer. If anything, the whole fight felt raw, boring and uninspired.

In the end, “Witches” is a game that I really enjoy and I am proud to put into my “best Halloween game pick” pick. Thank you for making, James Burton!!!

Wendy - Every Witch Way DONE!

Remember the gravity reverse gimmick from that one Mega Man game? “Wendy: Every Witch Way” ‘s whole gameplay is based solely on that, just like that one game with the lots of Vs in its name. Though here, there are linear levels and you can defend against dark arts like snails and Tiki Men hiding in bushes! Also, you can take a number of hits from enemies, but spikes are still instant death. The overall level design is really good and I like how the gravity concept ACTUALLY affects certain enemies and platforming segments. The controls are pretty good and the graphics are pleasant. The difficulty is overall reasonable. While the final boss is quite easy, I’m glad that instead of making it entirely a shmup thing, they still made the main [gravity reverse] gimmick play an important role in it! Plot is about something something collecting magical stones and whatnot, it’s all good with me, really.

For my first “Game Boy Color” title that I’ve tried and played, I am more than satisfied with it. Wendy is a cute witch!

Killer Bear – Confusion within’ the cutscene

killerbear

“Killer Bear” is a RPGMaker game that takes on the classic horror -slasher genre, with a pinch of light- hearted feeling to the overall atmosphere. As you take on the role of [Mike], you are invited to a house party, on which a rumor about a serial killer named “Killer Bear” arise. It’s a fairly short game, despite the many possible endings that one can achieve. The game focus is mainly on decision making, regarding actions that may or may not lead to the death of the people inside the building.

What I really enjoyed about this game is the composition of the various endings. Rather than feeling like a different outcomes to one grand story, the way they are made makes you feel like you are playing through a different plot setup each time. The role of the [Killer Bear] character also changes with that and I think this is the selling charm- point of the game.By “changes” I mean given to and shuffled through certain characters, with the whole idea of a serial- killer being DEAD – real or nonexistent completely!

Ideally, for a maximum amount of satisfaction, you should go for the full – experience playthrough and try to get all the endings!

Killer Bear 1.7 DONE!

I don’t really have any actual complains regarding this game. The graphics are pretty cute and neat. The music… it’s there! Along with the sounds! It’s quite the amazing statement, alright! As a whole, it’s pretty solid game, no less! Though, to be fair, I did had trouble with getting ‘Ending A’! It’s not like I didn’t had the general idea of trying to keep everyone within’ the house alive, it just took me a while to figure out how to do so. For one thing, I was unaware of the fact that I can take action during some cutscenes. Maybe that’s due to the fact that you are given a fairly short amount of time to take action and do the right thing, along with some vision obscure further on. All the trouble that I had with that, I blame myself for not reading more carefully the [Read Me] file, which… tells you about this little gimmick. TAKE NOTES KIDS, TAKE NOTES!!!

Rumors say that I consider this to be a 8.5 out of 10 video game… WHAT?!?!

Potluck – Joy Autumn Best Time!

Potluck

It’s autumn! Autumn is my favorite season of all the seven existing ones! The invigorating cool temperatures are finally settling in, I get to wear all the sweaters in the universe, nature is preparing for the harsh wintery time ahead and brats are finally off to school, giving me the opportunity to actually enjoy a cup of tea in peace for once…

Potluck 2

To further enhance the whole magical experience of the season, I went and picked “Potluck” – A short indie game which I think manages to capture the whole [Autumn] feeling really well. You have your cute witches making potluck and the main witch protagonist who’s also named Potluck, demon king salesman stealing the potluck – a typical attitude from the profession around this time of the year, exploding tomato power-up and THE BEST SWAMP LEVEL IN VIDEOGMAMING!

Imagine “Pocky & Rocky”, but for the PC, way shorter in terms of length, but with really unique feeling to it! The music and graphics fit together so well, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a good combination before. The perfect fit, where I can blabble for hours on how much of a good time I had with the game! I personally enjoyed the various enemy types, despite how simple they might look.They just feel so… in place with the rest…

“Potluck” is like a hundred- piece puzzle of a nice, nature scene [~] that you complete on a cold day. Also, shooting things. It’s fun!

Potluck DONE!

“Potluck” is free of charge and it’s for the PC, computer machine – a common trait for nice and good video games! [no] There is also an alternative version which, tunes down difficulty and destroys any challenge whatsoever in the game. My advice – It’s not a good idea to play that version, because for some reason / the which that gives you the exploding tomato power- up got evicted from her home and the building has been razed to the ground/ . The key to her house still lies around the swamp – a dark reminisce of how tolerant society can be towards things they can’t understand, like the said tomato that gives exploding magic.

“Potluck” receives the award for the comfiest autumn- themed game!

Saya no Uta – Human nature

Saya no uta

[The first time we met/]

“Saya no Uta” is a visual novel about a guy named Fuminori, who goes through a terrible car accident, which damages his brain in a way that causes him to see the world and the people in it as a horrifying and grotesque piles of flesh. His sense of smell and taste change alongside, making his everyday life a living Hell furthermore. However, while he still recovers from the accident at a hospital, a lone girl appears before him – Young, beautiful, human- like – As seen among the meat-walls, from Fuminori’s own perspective. Mystery envelopes her presence and origins, along with a further enrolling quest of a [father] person that she seeks. [She tends to avoid people, but likes scaring the patients in the hospital, who react to .her. in a pretty “unique” way.] Fuminori however sees her as a light of hope for his dark world, one that could potentially save him from going completely insane. A bound is formed between the two, due to the heavy burden of loneliness through which both have suffered. Fuminori promises the girl, who introduces herself as Saya, that he’ll help her find this [father] person. Soon after he leaves the hospital, Fuminori is joined by Saya at his home. Saya appears to be quite secretive about her actions and doings, but eventually, her true nature is exposed…

The reason why she is the only person that Fuminori can see normally in the flesh- prison, bowling alley is because Saya herself is an actual eldritch abomination, who appears the same way to people, as they do to Fuminori after the accident. Regardless, Fuminori’s tolerance keeps the bound intact, what with the further enhance due to a sexual intercourse and him letting Saya do the cooking. It’s pretty weird in a way… I mean, who would let anyone else cook for them?…

Fuminori being secretive about his condition and his new weird habits soon attract the attention of his “former” friends/// .^ colleagues from the medical university he’s studying in. Their persistence to learn the truth crosses paths with Saya’s goals [?] and she makes sure to punish them well. “When death seems like a bliss, don’t slap the grin off my face!” Saya is a being that learns fast – a strong predator with regenerative body perk – Unmatched opponent for normal humans, especially if they are unarmed. [?onecanwonder]

“Saya no Uta” is not all that long. There are a total of four choices that you can pick from, each leading directly to a different ending. [One of the choices from first pair leads to the second pair.] Depending on what you pick, Saya will either leave Fuminori after she cure his brain, die at the hands of his colleagues[?] OR get pregnant and release stuff that will mutate the whole planet into meat- salad, hell- topping.

As a whole, everything from soundtrack and graphics to writing and plot development is on a pretty high level of FANTASTIC! Overall, “Saya no Uta” is a wonderful experience, so one should make sure to explore every single bit of it.

[How they saw it/]

“Saya no Uta” is a Japanese, horror VN about a girl named Saya, who despite her cute- loli look, is an actual eldritch abomination! The game features grotesque imagery and the main protagonist even has sex with Saya, which is weird, considering what she really is. I’m not sure how to feel about this whole scenario… I haven’t finished the game yet as it seems to drag on for quite a while. Maybe I’ll do it at some point in the future… I don’t know. I was actually looking for an erotic game to suggest to my friend and his wife, but I’m having second thoughts about picking this one. Someone told me about “Bible Black”, so I guess I’ll go with that…

Subscribe to my utube blog channel for [Saya no Uta: Part 52] COMING SOON!!!

Saya no Uta 1.1 DONE!

[ A Flare’s Extra Xerosis – Dancing in the rain on a giant pie/]

What is the actual purpose of Saya’s presence within’? Perhaps most people would see her as an unique form of a lover, residing within’ a very specific situation. While this is true, there is more to it. Saya’s general appearance and various confrontations with the rest of the character cast shatters expectations and ideals from sides all over. One life she turns into heavenly utopia, while others – to dirt and below, where even worms can’t sing. In “Saya no Uta”, one is to see the true nature of humanity and how fragile it is to changes. The future of tomorrow is never clear. So are the relations between “beings”, so are the goals that they seek. Saya is but a mere example of a major change that could occur and affect humanity.

In return, humanity affects Saya as well. She learns about the true horrors of our constantly changing nature and gradually develops similar ideals like us. Is she afraid? Is she sad? In the end, our understandings can go “this” far, so in retrospective, so could have hers.

“Saya no Uta” is the butter on my crumbly toast!

Looking at the western comic adaptation, I noticed how low on focus is this general aspect that gave the novel it’s main flavor. If anything, it was presented in a pretty rough way, to the point where I think it might be accidental. I don’t think the story or art is bad, I just think that it feels like a weird, alternative – westernized spin- off. Fans say “No’! What do THEY even know? Fuckers!