♣️ ♦️ PokaPoka Poker [PC-98] ♥️ ♠️

holy grenade

I’m surprised that so far I’ve covered so many different and unique genres for the adult games volume, except for poker. I’m not sure how much of a thing it is nowadays, but back in the 90s, poker was a game kids and adults would play all the time. The strip element was of course taboo for young slabs of meat, which also meant that we kids were even more likely to do it, given our path of logic regarding restrictions. It was a thrilling experience, but not so much as to the actual outcome of it, rather than the fact that we could get caught doing it. Classic childhood values!…

“PokaPoka Poker” follows your typical scenario of a “Win a game of cards against a girl and she strips.”, which was all the rage in the old days when it came to these types of video games. The music of this game is not very impressive, but the artwork is really beautiful. It brings me a pure feelings of joy and I can’t quite put my finger on it as to why. There is something about the whole casual nature of each piece that really fills me up with comfort. This game is pretty short, with a dozen of levels and a few girls to go through, stealing their monthly savings and then making them strip gradually for your own amusement in the process. Pretty soft and vanilla stuff overall.

As far as the gameplay goes, it’s just a simple game of poker, betting on round after round until you run each girl dry of cash. What I like is the fast pace of the game, where rounds just fly by. Pretty simple, but decent interface is the major factor for this. I don’t know about the cards being randomized, as I got quite often the opportunity for a Royal and Straight Flush. The A.I. opponent… is not very bright. It tends to fold often and accept bets that are not really within’ the strength of its hand. Don’t get me wrong, it still manages to get things like Royal Flush or Four of a kind every now and then, but not as often as you do… I guess? The betting system is OK, but I see no reason for one to ever use the fold option, as losing when going with the bet still costs 5$, [As long as you keep the default value.] which is similar to the folding in terms of amount.

Most of the time I didn’t even look at my opponent’s hand. I just fly through each round trying to get the best hand and if the game says I lose, then I go with it. It’s not like I can do anything if it lied to me anyways, except question the logic behind it of a certain someone. The girls tend to also change expressions during the game, which might give you a hint regarding the value of their current hand. Didn’t really matter to Me, but I liked their cute expressions of happiness and despair. I beat the whole thing on my first try in one sitting, without getting any game overs. I’m not sure if a game over resets your whole progress or it just sends you back to the first level of the girl you are currently facing, but I don’t think it really matters all that much. You can just bet it all safely as soon as you get a two pair or three of a kind, but maybe I just got really lucky during those situations? Betting a whole lot of money really tends to scare your opponents, as 75% of the time, they will fold right away! How interesting…

I love that unusual Holy Hand Grenade reference in that one image!

Mature series [PC-88] – Directional Heart

jeans

Browsing through the PC-88 library, I notice a decent amount of Doujin soft works here and there. While they do have their issues, compared to official releases by bigger companies, most of these titles are of a really high quality in terms of many aspects. When you look at it that way, some things never change even decades later, do they? Ah, but I really like the unique ideas in most of these games, even though the execution is not always done very well. You can tell that it was a simple time when innovative spirits were able to tap out their potential and the results are pretty interesting if anything.

The “Mature” series is a trio of doujin puzzle games released through the period of 89- 91 by Excel Soft. While plot elements are lackluster, the CG artwork is of a pretty good quality and the gameplay is quite enjoyable.

In these games, you are a heart. A throbbing red mass full of emotion and strength, which is enough to let you push any block that might stand in your way! There is also a girl who moves all over the place and your object is to use the blocks scattered around to forge her a path that would lead her to the nearby door. The girl always moves straight, but if there is a solid object in her path, upon reaching it she will turn left, before continuing with her usual movement pattern. A pretty simple formula, isn’t it? Well, it stays the same for the whole course of the series. No new gimmicks or even tile set layouts! Even the character sprites stay the same, despite the fact that the girl you forge a path for is only featured in the first game.

There are a few ways for a failure in these games. One of them is if you get into a direct contact with the girl. Some levels feature black holes, which as far as we know, are not very kind towards walking bags of flesh. You can grind your heart- shaped body all you want into them though or just push some blocks into their hungry maws to completely obliterate them. Other than that, the only way left to screw up is if you push a block in a bad way were it would put you in a softlock. Suicide is the only option at that point…

The first game of the series features an animated sequence of the girl you forge a path for, who will undress gradually as you progress through the stages. There is also a very rich main menu, which has some additional CGs of monster girls, sound test and whatnot. For some reason, I never managed to find the suicide or speed- up key for this game, so I’m wondering if those options were still absent? It’s not that big of an issue really, given that most levels in the first game were of a really simple nature, with some of average difficulty every now and then.

The second title features CGs of random girls in what seems to be a sleepover with gradually developing lesbian sexual intercourse. The main menu is reduced to simply an option where you can pick a different soundtrack to listen to while playing the game. The levels are more of the same as within’ the first game, though there are a few that require you to act real fast at the start and can be quite the pain in the ass when it comes to preserving your extra lives. Practice makes perfect, but to be fair, once you get past their rough start, the rest is a cakewalk. Still, it’s quite the jerk move that can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

The third and final game is depraved of any main menu options, apart from starting the game. There is now a voiced opening sequence of a girl greeting you and then it’s straight into the fray! The levels in this game are of a bit more complicated nature, with one breathers being more and more rare. CGs are of just random girls at random places at a random time. References to other popular projects are also present. As a final entry for the series, I can’t say that this one feels rushed, at least not when it comes to the level design.

It’s a weird trio, but they are fun to hang out with! A total of 90 unique level sets (30 per game), featuring the same formula over and over. Surprisingly, it doesn’t get boring after a while, so I’m wondering if it has something to do with the quick pace of progression these games offer. While I’m not a big fan of puzzles featuring limited tries, these games are not all that hard or long to breeze through, even with the few extra lives you are provided with. Overall, I had a pretty good time!

RA Invasion [Part 17] – Nostalgia Extravaganza

reach for top

There are around 2k registered titles on RA right now with functional achievement sets. I’ve cleared up to now over one hundred of those. On the long run, I think that a proper end goal would be to try and do everything there is. I think it’s possible, as long as you have the right mindset and determination for it. Nothing is out of reach! A human’s ability to adapt renders all illusions and myths about skill cap obsolete.

I’ve cleared a good amount of old entries recently. Along with those, there is the addition of a few new entries as a part of my “Beat everything from my past” clean up! It’s a good progress, rad fest, good times.

Indivisible [NES]

Not really a part of my clean up plans, this soda city funk was more or less something I was curious about. It’s a de- make of that one game I know literally nothing about, apart from watching a few minutes of the gameplay and having seen the main character various times here and there.

This de- make is a short action platformer, with lots of barren rooms all over the place. You can punch, wall- jump, find an axe and use it to cling to walls and whatnot. The controls are alright I guess… But I really like the two bosses that you can fight in this game! Their patterns are fairly challenging and I had lots of fun battling them, especially for the no- hit achievements! They keep you on your toes all the time, which is something I enjoy in my boss fights when it comes to this sort of games. I don’t know how I feel about the secret boss and the fact that you can punch it fairly easy to death… The axe is legit a worse choice for that fight, isn’t it?

Finding the secret boss is probably one of the most enjoyable experiences I had from this game. In particular, I really had fun doing the difficult climb back from the end boss arena, which you need to do in order to be able to backtrack to one of the early parts of the game where the secret boss resides.

The normal enemies are pretty weak and of no serious threat whatsoever. The graphics of this game are pretty neat, but why do I get this vibe of a Chinese bootleg?… I honestly don’t know…

Soccer [NES]

Soccer DONE!

Hey, now that is a classic! This game was all over the famiclone cartridges back in the days, I even used to own a version where the players and the cheerleaders where turned into anthropomorphic mice. It’s good old plain soccer, with a really annoying system for switching from one player to another. Generally, it all depends on the ball’s location, which can cause quite the chaos, especially if there are too many players around the ball.

This is one of the first games Me and my brother used to play on our famiclone. Although while he was viewing it the right way, for its actual competitive nature and trying to teach me about it, I was more than a determined that this game was actually a co- op! It was quite the bizarre experience, a dear memory which I still hold on to tightly. Other than that, I used to play this game mainly when I was upset about something, setting the game on lowest difficulty and just shooting goal after goal in the opposing team’s door until my anger goes away.

But then came the RA challenge, where I had to face the hardest CPU! Not even that, I even had to score up to six goals for one of the achievements! Seemed pretty hard at first, but as I said before, adaptation is such a strong powerful ability! Apart from that unique and silly goal that I’ve posted a video about, here’s a few tips on how to score easily goals against the hardest CPU in “Soccer” for the NES:

# If you decide to shoot from the center of the field, make sure to aim at the upper half of the goal door. Do it from far away, with the screen still obscuring the enemy goalkeeper. That way he’ll have less time to react to your shooting. You’ll need a good momentum in order to make a strong kick, which can be easily achieved if it’s done right after a receive. The problem with this strategy is that you can’t see the arrow for adjusting the location where you want to kick the ball at, so you’ll probably end up shooting at the downside of the door most of the time.

# Try to bring the ball at one of the sides of the penalty area and shoot diagonally, as the enemy goalkeeper charges at you. This one is pretty effective, as it tends to confuse the enemy goalie catch judgement quite easily, making the ball pass right next to him. The issue here is that it’s quite hard to bring the ball to the sides, with the hardest CPU getting in the way all the time and managing to steal your ball with ease.

The hardest CPU experience can be pretty frustrating, but as long as you pass the ball from player to player and you learn how to make the goal shoots I just described, it becomes… less frustrating. God, the game just gives so much priority to the CPU on higher difficulty…

Shadow of the Ninja [NES]

I used to play this game for a while when I was still a child, but I only remember briefly a few things from it. It was a game my brother borrowed from a friend, with the fourth and fifth, final boss being our gatekeepers for achieving success. My brother taught me how to deal with the fourth boss, bird – man Joey and in return, I did my best to reach and figure out the final boss. I don’t remember how I dealt with him back in the days, but I can say for sure that I didn’t play by his patterns. It was some sort of cheese that you do by staying on the left side, I can’t recall if tanking hits to a certain extend was involved. Whatever it was, it wasn’t as optimal as to just learning the boss proper like I did when I did this game recently.

So what is this game? It’s like “Ninja Gaiden”, but way more generous! No enemies to push you into pits, enemy re- spawn is adjusted better and health recovery items are way more common. Falling into a pit also punishes you with some HP loss! If you pick the whip weapon, this game becomes an easier “Castlevania”! But in general, the whip is way more effective due to its reach and damage output, even on its basic level, compared to the sword. I guess the sword scales a bit better towards the higher levels in terms of range and damage output, but as you learn the game, you’ll be mostly finding yourself using the whip. In this game, weapon level up is achieved by getting the same weapon pickup over and over, without getting the other one or taking too much damage. There are two items that you can pick, which give you a limited amount of ranged attacks. There are Ninja Stars, which just fly straight, but if your weapon is leveled- up, they just fly weirdly all over the place, usually missing their target, thus, wasting precious ammo. The bomb pick- up has a pretty brutal damage output. While being quite limited in terms of ammo, if you manage to save up on it and bring it to a boss, it just makes any fight laughable. Now the problem is, you can’t switch to your normal weapon until you run out of ammo. Honestly, taking up a few hits for the sake of making short work of any boss is pretty worth it. With all those health pick- ups and the boss fights restoring some to a certain extend, you can’t really complain about anything.

The controls overall are pretty responsive, but they do have a bit of delicate touch to them. Rushing is not really this game’s style, at least not until you learn the layout of the levels, that’s it. Enemies are pretty tough, but their patterns are easy to read. Even the final boss has some of the easiest patterns, which are made in such a way that lead you right from the start as to how you should respond to them. Maybe that’s just me now, I definitely didn’t thought so back in the days. During that time, the last boss felt like the most unfair thing in the world. Until I managed to beat it, that’s it! Those are the classic video game values we all grew up to love!

The story of this game is pretty bland, but the stage visuals, especially the backgrounds of the city stages are really freakin’ rad. God bless Natsume for their amazing work! The soundtrack is also really good, with my personal favorite being every stage track except for the final one! [What a weird way of putting this…]

I did play both the Japanese and the western release versions of this game. The original Japanese version “Kage”, has tougher enemies in the very first area. Those guys that run up to you take two hits instead of one like in the western versions! The western versions on the other hand add up additional enemies on certain spots later in the game, which… I don’t know. I guess they do make a little bit of a difference, but for this one, I’m just willing to settle on adding “Shadow of the Ninja” to the vault. Video games! Oh, that special attack I never knew about – Used it only once for getting the achievement for it! Never thought about it afterwards, don’t see any practical use for sacrificing half your health bar for a screen clearing attack.

This game ain’t that tough man…

8-Bit Bayonetta – Casual Angel Massacre

bayon

I had this game a while back on Steam, but then it was removed and now I have it in my library again for some reason. I don’t know absolutely anything about the Bayonetta series, apart for the main character. She is quite the sexy lady, but to a certain extend, I think they went a bit too far with the design, as surprising as this might come from me. By too far, I mean that it feels like they implemented a certain fetish, but they pushed it a bit too much to the point where it feels pretty… bland.

8-Bit Bayonetta DONE!

I guess this game was some sort of a joke or used as a promotional material? I don’t know. It’s a simple game – One button for jumping and two for firing projectiles. The bland fetish lady is unable to move from one spot though and you have to fight off incoming hordes of enemies. The two firing buttons are not just for show, they function in a way where you have to press both constantly, if you want your weapon to go into rapid- fire mode and help you advance. By advance, there’s not much to the game in terms of progress. Enemies get numerous and faster quickly and usually, one is to find themselves reaching as far as the 14.000 points mark. There is a double jump that lets you position for firing bullets at the flying enemies, but to be fair, it’s a good idea to focus on cutting the numbers off the land forces first. The achievements are on a low level difficulty and will take you no longer than say 20 minutes or so to do.

I’ve been thinking about trying to get some silly high score on this game, but my fingers tire after a dozen of tries. I guess this is a good way to describe the replay value and the possibilities of any further challenges that one might attempt, past what the game is offering.

Journey to the end of the universe

journey

I am leaving this place. It could be for a few months, years or even forever. Due to circumstances, I have the opportunity to go on a journey that might just solve a lot of the major issues that I am facing right now. I cannot say for sure what I am to expect, as the road is long and quite harsh, with an uncertain destination, despite me setting a marker.

The biggest thing that I am looking for is change. I still feel like there is something missing in my life and I want to find it.

I’ve been also having some health related issues. I want to invest more time into fixing those, potentially and hopefully. Time might be of the essence, but I for sure won’t let things slide without making further announcement.

For those of you who took the time to read my posts, thank you! I may not have tried my best into putting out most of them, but my heart was always within’ each and single one of these posts.

I’ve put on halt all my other projects that I’ve been working on currently. If I do return, I promise to resume my work on them!

Well then…