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…!

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…

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!

RA Invasion [Part 2] – The “Very average platformers” hour!

alfred

This weekend went quite alright. I played lots of games on RA, mainly platformers. Baby needs his daily dose of platforming, can’t handle shoot ’em ups or plain breakout clones! Listen! I always clean the easy stuff first and leave the best for the last! Now in maybe a decade, I might decide to finally get down to business and do the difficult entries. It really depends on how much longer am I going to keep believing that there are actual difficult video games…

The Adventures of Star Saver [Game Boy]

The Adventures of Star Saver DONE!

Jumping straight into this game, I had the weird feeling that it would turn out to be pretty tough in terms of difficulty and full of jerk settings. Turns out this game is a pretty alright platformer and not all that hard to beat… which I did on my first try! Everything feels a bit chaotic on the first level, but once you realize that enemies aren’t all that mobile and much of a threat to you, progressing further into the game feels like mowing a lawn. You just go with the flow and at some point you wonder why some platforms are flashing or why do things change when you jump and shoot around randomly. The game is not very clear on the way it handles simple puzzles, but everyone with half a brain can figure those out no problem. The bosses are pretty simple in terms of patterns, though the issues might be more in learning the hit box of the harmful projectiles that they throw at you. I really like the overall design of the levels, enemies and bosses. It’s pretty messy, but it’s the type of mess that you are comfortable with. The levels give the vibe of a post apocalyptic theme, though I am not sure how much is this true to the actual plot of the game. I like to believe that you are trying to save your sibling and escape the wrath of the aliens who managed to obliterate humanity as a whole. It’s a sad tale, a strong fuel for my dreams and passion. Very nice! I like it!

I hate the grappling hook that you shoot god knows how! That thing managed to get me into some pretty silly and nerve wrecking situations… IT ALWAYS POP OUT WHEN YOU LEAST NEED IT!

Alfred Chicken [Game Boy]

Alfred Chicken GB DONE!

As a person who only played the NES version of Alfred Chicken, going through the original Game Boy title was such a treat! This is a pretty great platformer! The pace switches from taking your time to going fast and swiftly. Alfred has a decent amount of moves to his disposal and the game makes sure to put you through a lot of situations where you have to make the best out of your abilities. Doing those tight, one tile jumps over spikes in small corridors can be really frustrating, but once you learn the timing… it still doesn’t feel all that great… This is probably the only tough thing about this game when it comes to difficulty. I personally like the part where you have to make that jump over dozen of spikes, after which you get to one of the rooms containing one of the important collectable holy Jesus watering cans. Oh, but to find the secret in that room, you have to reset it once, but it turns out the room hasn’t been reset, it’s just a brand new room that looks identical and what the hell man!

WHY?

Collecting all the watering cans is what separates men from the chickens! Those are hidden quite well and I had to take my time to explore every single level tile by tile. Here’s where the superior Japanese version kicks in! SGB enhanced AND with the addition of a level select! Also, the ending is much better, with a character credits and additional art put in. You can take your time to try and find all the hidden doors, jumping pads and fake walls/ spikes! Even if you miss a watering can, you won’t have to restart the whole game to try again! Just go back and replay the level, isn’t that much more generous and well thought off?

RA does not support the Japanese version for some reason, so I had to do the western version. It’s not a big deal, since I played the Japanese one first and managed to learn the game so… hey! I didn’t know you could get to over 40 lives when you don’t die looking for secret stuff!

Alfred’s Adventure [Game Boy Color]

Alfred's Adventure DONE!

After I was done with “Alfred Chicken” for the Game Boy, I decided to go back to this game. Back? Yes, I tried to beat this game during the event for the 500th entries, but had no success and I dropped it. Now, having still retained a momentum and mindset from clearing the original game, I hopped on this remake right away and… Everything went so much more different than the time when I just blindly tried to beat it.

For one thing, there are a lot of changes in the level design and the overall gameplay as a whole. You no longer get jam, so no projectile attacks for you! Does this make this game harder? Not at all. If anything, this remake kind of makes a lot of things way more easier than they were in the original game. Those tough tight spike jumps? No longer an issue! The watering cans locations have also been altered a bit. You no longer have to bother looking for hidden doors or fake spikes! There is also a level select too! I feel like they wanted the remake to fix on some issues from the original game but… They overdid it a bit…  There are no boss fights like in the original. With how the ending is set, it feels like Alfred was just dreaming of his glory’s past, but as we know, dreams are still dreams, no matter how realistic they might seem.

Sleep tight, Alfred…

How did they managed to make the puzzle with the ladybug much more difficult however is beyond my understanding… I’m either bad at controlling Alfred or I kept missing on a hidden jump pad. Do you really have to do the whole jump over spikes using the ladybug in one go? Hmm…

HMM…!!!

Donkey Kong Land [Game Boy]

Donkey Kong Land DONE!

Yeah, I spent over five hours fooling around in stages looking for the secret bonus rooms? What about it?… It’s was my first time… I had no idea what I was doing… Those barrels tend to blend in with the background so easily…

I hope the timer didn’t account for the few breaks that I took. Does pausing stop the timer? I don’t know and I don’t care. This game was pretty fun! It’s much easier than the original “Donkey Kong Country”, but I still enjoyed it nevertheless! The city world was pretty great in terms of stages and overall vibe. The bosses in this game are pretty cute! Each one has a different gimmick to it, but the patterns are still quite simple.

I still couldn’t understand how the momentum works with running and rolling of a ledge… Sometimes you roll off while going with the running speed, sometimes you slow down for some reason… How weird…

This game still retains the fast and fluid pace from the original game, but without the goofy dying enemy sounds, I’m having a mixed feelings…

Yeah, no! I have to put this one down! Awful, awful game! Won’t recommend it even to my penguin!

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“VIDEO GAMES WARNING!” is my favorite amine!

Oh, yeah! I forgot to talk about the achievements… “The Adventures of Star Saver” needs to cover the secret bonus areas and warps. “Alfred’s Adventure” needs to cover the watering cans collectables. Everything else is fine!