Friday, April 8, 2011

Arch Rivals (1990)

Arch Rivals for the NES
Why hello there audience! What are you up to? That's cool, same here! What? You think I don't know what you are doing at the moment? Fine, you called my bluff.

So my buddy brought down 17 NES games for us to play in our dorm room. Out of our new collection of games, he was adamant that the one I absolutely had to play first was Arch Rivals. He didn't tell me anything about how to play or really anything about the game. He just told me "there are only two buttons, it can't be that hard to learn."

Game Summary: So it starts off with you choosing from a bunch of different players to be the one you control. I, of course, chose the guy named Mohawk because he obviously seemed like the coolest and most badass there. I won the jump ball and started running down the court when *BAM* I got punched in the face! My friend started cracking up laughing, ran down the court and dunked it. He then explained that the referee is extremely short-sighted so he doesn't call any fouls. That means A is shoot and B is punch. I quickly learned the controls and it became an extremely intense game, with Mohawk running around punching Tyrone, just to turn around and get hit by Tyrone's teammate. On a side note, to those of you who have played this, is there a way to change the teams playing or will it always be Chicago vs LA?
Getting punched in the face never gets old

Throughout the next 20 minutes or so of game time, I experienced one of the most intense and fun sports games I have yet to play. The simplicity of it made it so that a new player, like me, could pick it up instantly and still have a good chance of beating someone who has played it for awhile. After every shot made, there is a cheesy cut scene to either a cheerleader, some people just sitting there silently or a coach yelling at the team. There also was a great deal of frustration, as apparently your team can miss 5 dunks in a row, just to have the other team make a half court shot...

The real challenge came when I played against the computer though. I tried at least 4 different times and was completely slaughtered by it every time. They always made every shot and it always punched me square in the face no matter where I was. I know that if I gave it enough time, I could get good enough to beat the computer, but the majority of the fun in this game comes from playing with a friend and laughing for hours about how ridiculous it is.
My Buddy thought this guy would sound like Elmo

What I liked: Obviously I loved that you can run around punching your opponents to get the ball. Actually, they don't even have to have the ball, you can just run up to your buddy and continually punch him and keep him on the ground. I also liked how the game is simple enough to allow people pick up on it instantly, yet it is still challenging enough to keep it interesting. Also I personally liked how cheesy and ridiculous the announcer and coaches are. I was on the floor laughing several times because my friend would mimic what he thought their voices would sound like.

What I hated: The single player part of the game is extremely difficult, and after playing with a friend, I never wanted to play against the computer again. Then again, it may be just me complaining as a newer generation gamer who likes the difficulty to be that where I still stand a chance.
Just before I shattered the backboard!

Overall Impression: I absolutely loved this game when you play with a friend, and would go as far so say it's the most fun I've had with a sports game ever. The basketball part of game is actually very good and can be very intense if you and your friend get pretty into it. The "physical" part of the game is extremely enjoyable and funny (there is nothing like holding B, charging your punch and then hitting the enemy in the face - it is just so rewarding!) Overall, this game had my dormmates and I laughing nonstop every game we played while still being extremely competitive, which is something that I had yet to experience in a game yet.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jaws (1987)

Oh why hello there audience! So how was everyone's Christmas and New Years? Yeah mine was awesome too! Oh, how did you hear I had my birthday over break? That's kinda stalker-ish of you... What?! You think I'm trying to be funny to avoid the fact that I haven't posted in over a month? How absurd of you audience, why would I ever do that? Anyways, let's get on to the game.

So Jaws is just one of those movies that everyone sees, one of those prominent horror movies that will scare kids out of the water for months at a time. Now I don't know about you audience, but I've noticed a trend in video games made after movies... they are terrible. So I went into this game not expecting a whole lot, but I kept hope thinking, "It's Jaws, it can't be that bad."
Really? That is Jaws? The biggest great white ever?

Game Commentary: So when you start the game, you begin on a boat in a port. You sail around until you "hit something" and decide to dive down and check it out, but when you go down, there's nothing there except jellyfish and stingrays which kill you instantly if you touch them. This is the game's way of getting you to collect the shells, which are then used to upgrade your boat. After a while, Jaws appears; this means that the game can be beaten within 10 minutes. After you shoot him until his health is down, you have to spear his heart. After that, you fly away on a plane and the game is over. And that's the game.

The sequences where you're underwater can get pretty intense (there can be 6 sharks coming after you while jellyfish are floating up at you). On top of that, you have to collect the conch shells. Then after that, you get to play a "Bonus Scene" which is impossibly hard for me. I don't know if I just had awful timing or if the jellyfish were just exceptional at dodging my bombs... wait why was I dropping bombs on jellyfish in the first place? Oh yeah, I've been playing so many current gen games that I forgot NES games don't have to sense! Oh I'm only joking, but seriously though, bombs are a little overboard...
The traders in the ports apparently accept shells as payment

What I Loved: This game was really entertaining. The scenes underwater were really fun and would occasionally get extremely intense leaving me with the "How in the world did I manage to get out of that without dying" feeling I've felt so often playing these games. I wouldn't say the gameplay was awesome, but it was definitely entertaining.

What I Hated: It was really short (I've heard of people beating it in under 5 minutes). Now I know why developers made games (like Contra) so hard! If they didn't, the games would be over in a ridiculously short amount of time. Also, it may just be a small personal gripe, but shouldn't Jaws be more... I don't know... menacing looking? In the game, Jaws is barely double the size of your diver, when in the movie he is ginormous (only made up words can describe his size).
I can never get these bombs to kill those jellyfish

General Impression: I actually enjoyed this game a lot as a break from the more intense games I've been playing lately (Fable, Black Ops, Burnout 3, Super Smash Bros, etc). But that being said, it only lasted me about 20 minutes before I beat the game, and once I beat it, I had no real interest in replaying the game. I could barely imagine paying full price for a game nowadays and only having 30 minutes of gametime tops. I'd say that it wasn't necessarily a terrible game as most made after movies tend to be, but it was by no means a very good game.