Girl’s control [MSX] + [FDS] – Get shot or look at pixel buttocks.

girls control

“Girl’s Control” is a SHMUP that was released for the MSX and also for the Famicom Disk System under the name “Bishoujo Control”. Both games are quite different in various aspects, though they both share one thing in common, that being is that they are very awful games. I’m no master when it comes to SHMUPS, but I’ve had experience with enough games of that genre to know that “Girl’s control” isn’t something you want to put in your breakfast cereal.

Let’s look at the MSX version first. Given that you are running the game on MSX2+, you’ll be treated to a short slide show that depicts young girls being taken hostages by space men? [?]  I really like the outfits they’ve given the girls in this game. They are pretty charming and to certain extend silly, as all space outfits should be. Then you get treated to another intro, this time animated, of what I assume is the main heroine preparing her space ship for a take off. I’m not very knowledgeable of the MSX limits, but I think that the animation of this intro was pretty sweet. You get treated to the title screen afterwards, which again, is different, depending on if you are using MSX2+ or not. MSX2+ has the main character on the title screen, while MSX2 just shows her ship.

Off to liberate the space girls! The first thing that one might notice, is how chaotic the enemies are. While they have patterns to their movement and dedicated spawn points, it’s all down to RNG regarding which type of enemy is spawning and when do they fire their bullets at you. Enemies tend to cover pretty much the whole level area, so there isn’t any safe spot whatsoever. You can move freely with your ship as well, but I doubt that anyone would want to move away from the bottom side. One good reason for that is because of the damage amount that you take from sources. Your ship has the maximum amount of 100 Energy. You lose 10 for getting shot at and whopping 50 IF you collide with an enemy. What worked for me was staying in the center most of the time and just constantly shoot. Usually, enemies just straight fly into your bullets, so there is no need to move around that much, let alone pursue enemies. You’ll find yourself moving to the side often to either dodge bullets or avoid an enemy crushing into you. Something that I hate about this game is when an enemy is right above you and they decide to shoot. You have pretty much no time whatsoever to dodge the bullet, so you have to take the shot. That’s so lame…

Here’s the main gimmick of this game. Along with the enemy spacecraft, there are also flying letters, which you can shoot and in return, they can also shoot you! Truly, the eternal anger of the alphabet knows no bounds! Upon shooting those letters, a picture will start building on the right side of the level, showing one of the girls that you are rescuing, I guess… Shoot enough letters to fill in the picture and the girl will then undress for her medical space exam. No space pilots are allowed below C- cups! Now, there is also a chance that you might miss a letter or two, that’s no big deal! Yeah, sometimes it looks weird if that letter was for the piece that was part of the girl’s head, but hey! I’m OK with that. Weirdly enough, maybe even to a certain extend preferably, but let’s not get too crazy now! After you go through ten levels, the game sends you back to the levels you missed letters on, so you can properly finish each picture. Then the game ends, everyone is happy and they go for space ice cream.

There are two items in the games that you can SHOOT! That’s right! In this game, you shoot to consume! An energy tank that I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT DOES and a red phallic thing that erases all progress you’ve done on the picture. Good thing the second one only sticks to the sides of the levels, which also happen to be the most deadly ones, given that enemies tend to respawn there and shoot a whole lot. You get continues for this game, but it’s one life game over. Doing no continue run of this game was quite the challenge for me. Not all that fun, but quite satisfying… Also, on levels six and nine, enemies don’t do damage to you with their shots. They can still collide with you though, but overall, you are free from harm. Good levels to stock on max energy if you are patient enough. I think you can also restore small amounts of energy by just shooting enemies, but it’s not near as efficient as just shooting an energy tank.

Girl's Control MSX DONE!

So how does the FDS version holds up…?

Gimmick remains. Shoot letter, which are now just panels build pictures of sexy girls. Letters/panels no longer shoot at you though. You also don’t have to shoot all of the letters/panels, but missing a certain amount would result in you having to repeat the level. The game no longer returns you to previous stages to fill in the pictures. Instead, it just ends after stage twelve, displays bland ending screen and loops from the first stage.

The girls now gradually undress as the stages go. Sometimes, after a stage is being completed, another girl with green hair shows up and undresses, with her clothes dropping by as the game progresses. Sometimes the same scene can occur twice. Is it based on how well you did in a stage? Maybe. Is this the girl the main character? The FDS version of the girl with red hair from the MSX one? A cousin? Little sister? I have so many questions to so many trivial and unimportant things and I would like NO ANSWERS! Sometimes, dreaming is all you need, really!

Enemies are still in their reign of chaos, still shoot right near above you, so you can have as little chance of survival as possible and I still find that to be pretty lame. This time it’s a one shot death though! You can get extra 1-ups by racking up enough points though! There are at least actual power-ups that you need to COLLECT! They still shoot you, so caution is advised! The bananas give you a laser that does miracles in a line! The rice ball [?] gives you shield that absorbs all damage taken for a period of time. This one is the power-up that completely breaks the game, along with another one – Shooting an UFO gives you a fat, slow bullet, which you can control. Given that the respawn point of most enemies is at the top of the screen, sending this bad fat boy all the way up is a pleasurable experience beyond anything I’ve ever played in a SHMUP game. That’s it. The only fun out of this game is that I can cheese through the barrage of enemies with my shield of immortality and obliterate everything with my stolen alien technology.

Sometimes a bird with an apple flies by, which serves as the red phallic thing from the MSX game. But it also changes the picture sometimes, like it warps you a level ahead? Speaking of levels, you tend to warp a whole lot in this game and I think level two only shows up on the first loop after you beat the game? Oh wait, I forgot to mention the most crucial thing about this game.

Your ship is a penis and you shoot semen.

Bishoujo Control FDS DONE!

BONUS TIME!

Here’s me getting the max score of “Bishoujo Control”. It leads to score reset and me wasting one, maybe two hours of my life. I can’t remember and I do not want to…

I love old shitty unlicensed adult games!

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The Rob Blanc Trilogy – In space, I don’t know where to go…

space squid

I’ve always been fascinated with space in general, since probably the early age of Me being two or three years old. It was around that time for sure, as I remember that it was then, when I learned how to read properly. It all started with old encyclopedias, which I can still eye across my desk right now – All in fairly decent condition. If anything, my family was very caring towards books in general. Then, my love for space carried over to educational magazines and comic books. I was really having a blast in the 90s with all the reading material that I acquired, but truly, a huge step towards my total space- fantasy satisfaction, love-love, was the time when my brother rented the forth episode of the “Star Wars” saga. Afterwards, I fell hard for the franchise, what with watching the episodes when they aired on TV after midnight or with the various video games that I was later introduced to. Darth Vader seemed so awesome and cool to young Me back then…

Of course, other franchises made their way into my heart as well, like “Alien” and not “Star Trek”. I’ve never seen any movie, episode, Christmas special or whatever of it. “Star Trek” will probably remain an unexplored territory for Me, as honestly, I’m not really feeling it as a whole. At least not from the bits that I have seen or have been told about by my English teacher at university. Ugh…

I will always remember the time when they aired “Alien: Resurrection” and I was curious to watch it, despite my grandma’s warnings. Look, I loved space and the idea of existing aliens, but honestly, that was probably the scariest thing seven years old Me has watched, up until then!

I also played a lot of “Star Craft”, which seemed to me like the most complex game at the time. That’s how games usually feel like when you are new to them and lack proper experience.

Rob Blanc I DONE!

“The Rob Blanc Trilogy” is a composition of THREE, old adventure games, created by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, that take on the whole space science- fantasy, exploration nation, aliens and heroes of all kind, vortex comedy night stand genre. The three games were made on an early version of the AGS engine, which was based on the MS-DOS system… I was not aware that something like that was a thing, until now, I’ve gotta say! Thanks to the power of MS-DOS emulation though, running these games on a modern operating system is quite the easy task. Thank god! Thank god for people with functional brains!

Each one of the three “Rob Blanc” games is fairly short in length and easy regarding difficulty. The plot follows a guy named Rob Blanc, who is picked by god- like beings [?] to become defender of the universe and fight evil that might pose a threat to it. The story escalates pretty quickly towards a climax or more like, anti- climax, leading towards the ultimate end where I ask myself: “Is it just me or the second and the third game feel rushed towards the later parts?” The first game and the early parts of the other two titles feel decently designed, but after that it’s just the obvious – You are in one small room, here’s this one item, use it on the one possible object in the room. Maybe that’s just me, maybe I’m being harsh for no real reason on these games! I enjoyed them for what they are though. They are not “Monkey Island”, but if anything, they feel like a good first pick for someone who might want to get into adventure games. “The Rob Blanc Trilogy” might not live up to modern standards, but honestly, even the MS- Pain graphics ain’t as bad as the author himself states it during the gameplay of the second title and that silly, main theme [?] tune is still suck in my head. How odd…

My honest score for the whole trilogy is 4.7 out of 10. It was decently amusing.

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!

Harbinger – Now with 27% more plasma!

harbinger-robot-1[1]

I want to escape the heat of the summer!I’m sick and tired of all the people buying watermelons,ice pops and jeeps!I can’t handle all the misunderstood teens and bweens!

I wanna go to space!I wanna board a giant freakin’ space ship!I wanna shoot at robots, aliens and giant insects with my plasma gun,while treversing through the billion corridors of the ship!

I wanna go to HARBINGER!

A game which people in my time used to simply call “Diablo in space”.A title which showed that you can take and use an existing formula to make something in a whole new different aspect,while keeping the magic burning pretty bright.Play as the Human,the Gladiator robot or the Culibine – Each character has their own story,special additional stages prior to the main story,as well as their own different playstyle.Become tanky and unkillable with the human!One-shot every enemy and boss with the Culibine’s nova attack!The Gladiator freakin’ sucks!No,really!He doesn’t shine at all with anything whatsoever!Here’s why…

Unlike in other “Diablo-like” games,the battles in “Harbinger” require the player to position,dodge and kite.Tanking direct hits and using melee attacks would usually lead to the loss of huge amount of your character’s HP.[Or death.Mostly death.]While each of the three character have their own ranged and melee attacks,only the Culibine’s nova attack is good enough to actually obliterate things effectively.HOLD THAT THOUGHT!It’s actually the one attack that seems to be WAY to effective to even obliterate the bosses in the game in two-three hits.THAT’S CHARACTER BALANCE AT ITS BEST!The Human’s and Gladiator’s melee attacks aren’t all that great,which sucks,given the fact that the Gladiator was probably meant to be a character that advances in melee skirmishes!

While you won’t be able to hire mercenaries to help you along the way,each of the three characters in “Harbinger” can use various gadgets to make their life easier.The Human can plant various landmines with different effects,the Gladiator can place and take control of a remote cameras that can explore and attack and the Culibine can use her AMPS – Flying ball objects – to protect herself or attack nearby mobs.Here’s the thing about the gadgets – You are either going to use them a few times and forget about them or not use them at all!For all I know,they are not all that efficient and if anything,would just consume more time while providing low results.[They are also a bad investment!Their droprate is quite common,so save your UAN for better goods!]

Speaking of goods,”Harbinger” offers a good amount of gear for the three character types.While some items are only available for a specific class,they still tend to drop during any playthrough,making them unusable,but a fairly good income when sold.During the whole game,the only place where you can trade is by the NPC “Ona”,who would buy anything and sell items specific to your class/character.Gradually,over the course of the game,Ona will try to sell you better and more expensive items,so saving your money for the late game is a pretty good strategy.Items vary from armors to weapons,gadgets and chips.Specificly “Ruffles” and “Lays”,which can be put into various items who have the slots for them.The chips in the game enhance your equipment,by rising various stats or by giving you additional type of attacks for both your ranged and melee weapon.Pretty similar to the gems in “Diablo II”.You can equip and unequip them at any time,which lets you gear up the right way before you go to a certain zone.

Harbinger 1.1 DONE!

As far as the game goes,the gameplay is pretty linear and on the easy side of difficulty.The game saves your progress constantly and the penalty for dying is pretty much nonexistant.You can’t grind in the game,since enemies don’t respawn and usually,once you finish a certain zone,you can’t get back to it.So make sure to grab anything that seems useful or would make a pretty good money.The game provides you with an additional inventory space in terms of an EZ Stash,which is similar to the Chest Stash in the “Dibablo” genre.However,during your travels in some zones,you might end up finding other EZ Stashes,which connect with the one at your base,making collecting and storing items a pretty easy task.

The zones and the enemies in the game vary,but most of the time you are going to end up fighting in the ship,usually storming through Vantir or “Bugs”.As I like to call it: “After shooting through 50 robots that spew out plasma when they die,you have to kill 100 more!” The Vantir are not robots though and they are not made out of plasma.They are a goo creatures in suit of armor and who the hell even cares?

ALSO!Some enemies tend to be weak to certain attacks and more resistant to others,but usually,plasma does the job just fine.USUALLY!There are also bosses,which tend to be pretty impressive during the first encounter,but then again,first encounters regarding most things tend to be impressive,so there’s that.Expect every boss battle to be a long kite festival.Otherwise you are bound to die in two or three hits.Some zones are optional,which means that you can skip them,thus missing on loot and experience,so I wouldn’t recommend it… [Leveling up usually ends up at level 35,as long as you haven’t skipped any areas.]

So after this huge wall of text,here’s my honest opinion about this game: I really like it!I used to play it quite a bit back in the days,but even now,my impression on it is still the same.The graphics are pretty well-made,the music is pretty atmospheric and to be fair,both of these factors make this game a really good “I am on a space ship” experience.There is a good depth to the NPCs characters and they never bored me with their dialoge!The dialoge is really good in Harbinger!The characters feel like real people who are willing to give me a piece of their mind,going even further in.Even the greedy Ona would go to an extension where he can describe how art feels to him and how much he despise young tumblr girls.

And Wik is my favourite!

I am the Wik!We all are the Wik!

The plot is pretty decent and there are quite a few secrets that can be found on the ship,which adds even further to it.[As well as additional stuff for your character!]

I am giving this hidden chip a 8.7 out of 10!

BUT WAIT,why?Isn’t this game super-great?

While the game has a lot of impressive work to offer,there are still few things about it that are a decent turn-off.One example is the unresponsive pathing.Sometimes your character ends up not moving on attacking,especially around tight corridors.Another big bummer is the repetative battles.While the enemies show a bit of an A.I. in terms of shooting at you and making group attacks,the learning curve to reading them ends up pretty fast.”Harbinger” is a pretty easy game to master.Some zones tend to go for way too long,thus,creating a bit of annoyance for the player.Various bugs can still be found in the game,that tend to create quite a bit of silly situations.

…and yeah!That’s “Harbinger”!Personal favourite title,would recommend trying at least once…

Also,cinematics!Only two,but pretty neat!

Ikachan – I don’t freakin’ care if it’s a kid or a squid!

ikchan

It’s the alright-fun-time-package game,where even if you get weirded out by the controls,that still won’t prevent you from finishing the game and leaving it with some pleasant memories and experience.Indeed!I do think the controls are a bit weird and I would really like to see how a person who is not used to playing lots of video games reacts to Ikachan.I don’t know what’s gotten into me about this game,but I would really love to show it to someone unexperienced at video games and watch them as they go through the game.I have the feeling that they might have trouble with it,more than I would like to believe…

Still,Ikachan is one of those classics where everything is nicely done,both in terms of graphics,gameplay and music.[And pretty silly plot!]For a game involving swimming,that is quite the thing to achieve!The game’s length and difficulty feel quite alright and…yeah.It’s the game where everything is pretty solid.That’s one thing about short games – It’s quite easy to make them that way if you put some good and actual effort into them!

Swim ikachan done!

Well,alright!To be honest,the pace of the end game boss battle feels a bit slow.Hitting Ironhead and pushing him in the walls and then waiting for him to come back and attack can be a bit annoying.Then again,maybe that’s just me experiencing the whole boss battle in a way that it shouldn’t be,but hey!…

…every possiblity counts…

I think that 6.1 out of 10 feels just about right for this game.