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!

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Palette – It all started with an imaginary, memory detective

palette

Long ago, long before the reign of dreaming Nikki, there was an old legend – one that gave birth to a new genre. A man called Nishida Yoshitaka stood up and yelled: “Screw turn- based battles! They are such a boring and annoying part in RPGs, compared to exploring and interacting with the overworld!” He then worked for seventy months and five hours and his hands shaped a creation – “Hello, amnesia Madotsuki!”–, also known as B.D. , the starring character in a game called “Palette”. The guy also made the game. Yes.

While it is unlikely that he actually said those words, the man showed a great example regarding how you can set a new horizons by striving away from the usual meta formulas. To a certain extend, I do also prefer overworld interactions more than the turn based battles – This dates way back to my childhood where I would play RPGs and be annoyed by the repetitive fights after a while. In addition to that – The various prolonged boss battles that tend to punish you via silly RNG elements or just because you forgot to stock on a certain item, failed to use a specific ability and so on and so on! However, there are still games where the developers managed to balance things up and put together even elements like that in a way the player would find enjoyable. That’s why I’m not completely discarding games with turn- based battles. Isn’t this the case for pretty much every genre as a whole?

Years ago, when I stumbled upon “Palette” for the first time, I remember not having any actual fun with the game. That wasn’t because there was anything wrong with the game itself, but mostly because I didn’t have the patience to let it show me its unique value. I blame the pressure from university and the succubus who taught me how to fly a kite! Anyways, I played “Palette” briefly, but even though I dropped it, I promised myself that I would one day come back to it and figure things out properly.

So here I am now with properly figured- out things! “Palette” is a game about a girl named B.D. who tries to retrieve her lost memories. As a whole, this sums up the whole game, but there are still additional details that enhance  the experience a bit further. Paying attention to the whole plot development can be a bit hard, but it’s a must if you wish to fully enjoy the game. The actual gameplay revolves around exploration and interacting with objects, which might sound like nothing new under the whale’s teeth, BUT…

…there is the additional aspect of restriction. You are limited at first when it comes to how much you can make B.D. explore and where to go. Rather than going all willy-nilly over the place, you actually need a bit of careful planning. When you run out of energy, the game resets back to your initial starting position, which as a whole, helps a lot when it comes to backtracking – a common aspect in the game! Of course, as one can expect, the more you progress in the game, the more your maximum energy level will increase. You’ll manage to travel further and uncover more places and objects and WIN THE GAME EVENTUALLY! Doesn’t that sound special and exciting?!?! I am acting like a total asshole, but that won’t change the fact that this game is pretty good and the author really managed to shape it up real nice. You have an energy level meter in the game.

Palette DONE!

I personally enjoyed the graphics and visuals in the game. RPGDenter87 is an old engine, but I am even older, thus, totally impressed by everything done with it! There is also the PS1 version, but that’s gonna be for another post, sometime in the future, where I’ll probably forget the fact that I once managed to eat a whole bottle of mustard on my own. Such is the cruel reality of the aging process.

I think “Palette” is a solid 8.8 out of 10 material. Please give me good feedback on my IGN profile so I can get money and release my “Frogger 2: Swampy’s Revenge” nude mode! Thank you!

Out There Somewhere is a game worth your crackers!

out there somewhere

This is a game that I casually grabbed when it was on a sale, without really giving it much of a thought. As usual, it was left untouched for a few months, which is of course a classic tradition when it comes to the STEAM platform. Once I came around to finally play it, I was left with a pretty good impression. Upfront I am willing to say that this game was way worth for what little cash I payed for it.

In the game, you play as Yuri – A guy-space man on a space ship who, with his crew, fight against a conqueror-villain person named Grigori. The game starts as a classic horizontal SHMUP, which seemed like a pretty plain part of the game to me. Not too long after ten minutes of me fighting the unbeatable boss that popped up at some point, I realized that the game MIGHT be expecting me to lose so I can proceed to a further show composed of neat CGs, all and all leading to the actual game.

The ship crashes on an unknown, mysterious planet and it’s up to you to help Yuri navigate through various platforming sections in search for parts needed for a repair. The game does a good job of giving you a proper introduction to some basic movement controls and not too many screens later, it introduces you to the bread and butter of the game: Teleportation gun! Whenever a bullet fired from the gun gets into contact with a terrain [-?beam/laser], Yuri will be instantly teleported there. Now how cool is that? I found it to be quite the great gimmick! The game really goes places with it, without even being shy about combining it with a classic, basic gimmick – That being the other gun, which shoots normal bullets that cause death and destruction. The puzzles in “Out There Somewhere” are nothing too mind-blowing, but they are definitely impressive. Enemies also exist, which you can avoid via your portal gun or you can slaughter them for your own personal survival and satisfaction, once your obtain the normal gun. Their attack and movement patterns are fairly basic, so it’s nothing a young and courageous- planet explorer can’t handle!

Out There Somewhere DONE!

“Out There Somewhere” is a pretty short game, with moderate difficulty. You are in for some great music and graphics, along with a decent sized- world to explore. The various NPCs that you meet during the game are more on the simple side in terms of dialogue and design, which reminds me a bit of the Knytt games and other similar titles. Also, the people who made this game used the Ogmo-Jumper-Ogmo engine, which explains why this game gives me additional familiar vibes. The controls are really smooth and responsive, to the point where I had trouble getting used to them. Such is the hardship of a person who plays mainly games with horrible controls…

I liked the atmosphere in the game. When it comes to planet exploring, the game managed to impress me with its own share on the idea. What I also liked about the game was the usage of checkpoints – While most people might be used to them as being a bland save option, for once they also serve as a way to trackback and undercover certain areas. You would think that this game might feel like a Metroidvania, but honestly, that aspect is pretty minor. The game is pretty linear, but it has a really decent replay value.

What I didn’t enjoy about this game was the ending sequence as well as the final boss, wherein I think there could have been more to them, especially the latter. It’s not like they are ruining the game in some fashion, but they are clearly not adding much to it.

It’s an overall 9 out there somewhere around 10!

Knytt Stories – Once upon a good time…

juniiscute

…there was a game that everyone loved and adored.It had quite the impact,what with its game mechanics,atmosphere and EDITOR that gave you the power to CREATE!Knytt/Knytt Stories were but a mere starting points for Nifflas to go even further and expand his genre,creating even more awesome game titles later on,like Knytt Underground,which I played recently and I really enjoyed.All and all,Knytt Stories managed to spawn lots of reviews,videos,discussions,fan made levels…to put it simple and short,it was a hit!

I’ve played Knytt Stories around seven years ago,if memory serves me right.Back then I was really impressed by it,especially due to it’s controls,the addition of powerups that managed to change the platforming experience a lot and the variety of interesting enemies.Of course,the atmosphere and the explorationtt]] also managed to impress me,but that was more due to them being a new experience[sensation] for me.

With the recent completion of Knytt Underground,I decide to go back to Knytt Stories and do all the extra content that I’ve missed.I was actually expecting to be a bit dissapointed,but in the end,the game still left me with a good impression and experience as before.Oh,silly extra endings that I’ve missed…

KnyttStoriesDone!

As it might not be able to stand up to some of the recent Knytt-type releases in terms of visual effects and graphics,I still think that Knytt Stories has the best gameplay mechanics of all the series.So here,you can have it,my 9 out of 10 score… Thank you for all the good times…

Knytt Underground – To be only enjoyed in the fine company of a high quality wine and delicious smoked cheese

mi

This is one of those cases where a game manages to make a really good first impression on Me,while later on,it stands up even more than the first time.To be fair,this has to be one of the best platformer games that I’ve played in years,and I’ve played tons of them!Now,I know that every game is different and it’s supposed to offer a different experience,but this one really,really hit the spot!

Maybe I am just over excited since I used to play lots of Knytt Stories back in the days,which I loved a lot,but Knytt Underground turned out to be pretty grand in terms of…lots of things… From the beautiful graphics and pleasant music to the actual fun and enjoyable world exploring and platforming.Each new screen is a feast for the eyes[and mind],even the ones that felt more like fillers for transitions between various areas.I could just see how much fine work has been put into everything.I liked that the music tends to change,offering varieties to prevent the player from getting bored and actually experience various themes.Of course,in the spirit of every knytt,we also got all the weird and interesting creatures and towns that are just waiting to be found and explored,all in all combined with various levels of platforming,which were really well designed.

…and then there’s the bouncy living ball.

I guess that the author of the game,Nifflas was going for some original[?] concept,mixing the knytt stuff with the stuff of the ball from “WITHIN A DEEP HATE FOR THE BOUNCY BALL”!I’m…I’m fine with that…you know…trying out new things…new ideas…yeah…pretty great…freakin’ bouncy ball… I liked it,honestly.The whole character-switching-thing really managed to enchant the whole platforming experience and…I loved it.But still,you know…it’s the ball,man!…ugh…the goddamn ball…with all it’s bouncyness and…hard control…blergh!

knyttundgdone!

To be fair,the ball is a fine addition.It just needs a little bit of time to get used to.What probably are the things that I did not enjoy in the game are the backtracking and the Disorder area.I know that the area is supposed to be for those who are more advanced and want to reach additional points in the game,but the fact that the access to it was limited,was something that I did not enjoy.True,you get a lots of crystals that can let you enter a fair amount of times,but given the fact that some of the crystals require time and skill to aquire and that the Disorder area is quite unforgiving to players who are new to it…I don’t know…It seemed a bit too much.Maybe that’s just me…

The game still stands up solid despite all this.The plot is easy to follow and all the characters within’ the game are really enjoyable,along with the interesting dialoge that manages to add an extra [spice].Everyone has a certain personality and they stick to it.Nothing all too serious or too shabby.Of course,we also get the typical casual endings,AKA Nifflas style,but that’s just one reason to enjoy the game overall.Then,we also have all that hidden and extra content that just makes the whole game even more fun and enjoyable.

You earned your 8.9 out of 10 game…you really did…