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…!

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!

RA Invasion [Part 1] – The humble bundle beginning

RA1

I have chosen to start exploring the Game Boy section of RA, since that system have caught my attention since a long time ago. I guess now I have the opportunity to do so without setting up a new volume and drag it out for over two years. To me, Game Boy games seem a bit on the easy side, honestly, but I should probably not jump into conclusions at this early stage. Playing these games really throw me back at when I started playing video games for the first time in my life.  Back then games were much simpler, Chinese bootleg ports and the year was 1995. Yep! It’s a pleasure living in south – eastern Europe!

Adventure Island [Game Boy]

Adventure Island DONE!

Is this game really part of the Adventure Island series? It’s way too easy and generous! Compared to the NES version on which its based on (Adventure Island II), this one is like a walk on the beach! *drum roll* It’s also way more bland and not all that exciting. I guess it is to be expected from a downgraded port. Ain’t no Adventure Island if I’m not constantly on my toes, dreading what jerk of a setup has Hudson put in certain areas of the game. I’m glad that the score rewards you with extra lives, as well as the bonus games after each level. Having those additional tries is unnecessary, but quite reassuring and it lets you be more bold with your platforming. Also, dinosaur rides, because why shouldn’t there be more ways to abuse an already low difficulty game?

What I enjoy doing for RA were the no score level and no dinosaur rides achievements. The second one took me a few tries, not because I ran out of lives, but due to me picking dinosaurs on accident. Gotta avoid those eggs alright! That run made the game feel a bit different, with you having to be a bit more careful and be thankful for the skateboard’s existence. Like in “New Adventure Island”, the skateboard here is a decent and rewarding option! Also, dying on the last level and having to do it without a weapon!…

… It still doesn’t feel all that difficult…

Lolo no Daibouken [Game Boy]

Lolo no Daibouken DONE!

I’ve only beaten the Japanese version of this game, which is shorter, easier and less time consuming than the European one. I’m not sure if it has any notable differences in terms of level design, I feel like the EU version has those exact levels, but you know… To be on the safe side, I’ve decided to include the JP version as its own separate entry.

I’ve only managed to reach the advanced stages in the EU version, after half a day of playing with some little breaks in between. I feel like I need to give this game the same treatment like I did with “Fire ‘n Ice” for the NES. Wake up early, invest a whole day into the game and if not done by then, leave it running during sleepy time until the next day. I do not like leaving my machine stay active for a long periods of time like that. I believe in the rights of machines having their night and lunch breaks for donuts as well.

I am going to do it eventually, probably not in the near future. PROBABLY! I really do like this game and the EU version gets really crazy at the advanced stages! “Adventure of Lolo” for the Game Boy is a fantastic and addictive puzzle game, similar to the other entries in the series. Egg transformation and management has never looked so good within one screen levels of absolute pleasure and mind orgasmic quality. Again, I just need to plan a very long session for this game alone. It would be worth it though…

The Addams Family: Pugsley’s Scavenger Hunt [Game Boy]

The Addams Family - Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt DONE!

This game is outright jump and bump, raw platformer. I thought I need to chart a map, which I did, but I realized that it wasn’t necessary. This game looks vast and huge, what with its split paths and loops, but it’s actually pretty easy to memorize, without the need for cartography being involved. I initially set my starting priority to be the kitchen area, where I can power up with an extra hearth container and 1-up, but then I found the secret room in the hub world on accident…

I don’t know what blew my mind more – Finding that room on my own or the contents inside it…

I still went out to map every room that I found and I am happy that I covered around 80% of the overall rooms. Going for the rest of rooms is not really worth it, as it’s just  probably optional bonus rooms with item caches, which are not needed for the overall full completion of the game. I think this game could use a better set for achievements, like having to fight the bosses without getting hit, as well as defeating the optional spider boss. Maybe even throw in a time related achievement?

It’s not a bad game, but it suffers from bad hit detection and the controls could have been better. There is also no music whatsoever during the actual game. Only during the menu and after you beat the game. This is yet another downgraded port of course, I guess the Game Boy library is a breeding grounds for those…

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That covers most of part one! I also did achievements for “Felix the Cat [Game Boy]” and a homebrew “Waifu Clicker [Game Boy]”. I’ve talked about the first game before in another volume. As for “Waifu Clicker”, I think I would like to get to the highest level and possible score, before I give my *Final* thoughts on this beautiful and FANTASTIC game!

Next time on RA invasion: I play more video games! Can you believe that? It’s outrageous and with a nasty smell of caramelized onions!