Author Topic: Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007  (Read 5465 times)

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Offline WindyMan

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Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« on: October 29, 2007, 08:24:18 PM »
Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

 Happy Halloween!  Yes, it's that yearly excuse for little kids (and not-so-little kids) to dress up like loonies, go door to door, steal people's candy, bring it home, and pig out on sugar for the next two weeks.  For a society that's so conscious about eating healthy, it's amazing that we allow this annual binge to take place.  Outrageous, I say!    

Huh?  Oh, right ... three more Virtual Console games.  It looks like Nintendo has followed the theme this week by releasing some spooky games, Castlevania II being the best fit.  But are these games scary for the wrong reasons?  Check out our recommendations below.  And remember: don't eat your candy until you take it home and inspect the loot!  Stay safe out there, trick-or-treaters!


Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - NES

 Castlevania II: Simon's Quest - NES  

 Cost: 500 Wii Points ($5)
  1 Player
  Controllers: Wii Remote, Wii Classic, GameCube
  ESRB Rating: Everyone (Mild Fantasy Violence)
  Released: 12/1988
  Click here for a video preview  


 The second Castlevania game has Simon returning to Transylvania to break the curse on his body. How? By packing up Dracula's body parts and resurrecting him, so you can kill him once and for all. The body parts have been strewn across the map and conveniently tucked away in five separate dungeons; Simon must gather clues from the villagers in order to find where to go and how to complete his quest. Unfortunately, the game has an infamously terrible translation, making the villagers useless and the quest much more difficult than it ought to be.  


 Recommended for FansSimon's Quest was many firsts for the Castlevania series, from experience points and equipable weapons to a day/night cycle and a consistent world with no level divisions (it's Metroidvania, if that means anything to you). It's hefty for an NES game, and quite challenging too. Progressing through the world with little to no direction is a bit masochistic by today's standards, so nostalgia is a strong factor in revisiting the quest. For classic adventuring in the mode of Adventure of Link, Simon's Quest is recommended. - Evan Burchfield  



Samurai-Ghost - TurboGrafx16

 Samurai-Ghost - TurboGrafx16  

 Cost: 600 Wii Points ($6)
  1 Player
  Controllers: Wii Remote, Wii Classic, GameCube
  ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ (Animated Blood, Violence)
  Released: 1992
  Click here for a video preview  


 Upon booting up and starting to play Samurai-Ghost for the first time, I immediately saw something fishy.  I saw what looked like a lady holding a broadsword  as the main character.  First of all, samurai don't usually carry broadswords.  And, if you'll pardon my chauvinism, I don't equate samurai to be female.  That sort of kills the first half of the game's title.  As for the "ghost" part, there are some spooky things to kill.  I saw trolls, flying hands, firespawns, spiders, skeletons, and a lot of other nasty stuff.  Some of them have swords of their own, making it tricky to get past their defenses and take them out without taking too much damage yourself.  The boss characters are quite tough, tough enough where you barely make it past them with a little life remaining.  You do get some back for the start of the next level, though.  


 Not RecommendedThe animation of your character is surprisingly fluid, and the jumping action works great, but ultimately Samurai-Ghost is nothing worth playing.  One problem lies in the timing of the sword strikes.  Your mind sees the full motion of the sword and thinks you need to swing early to compensate, but most of the time you'll whiff at a diving attacker and take some damage.  The game camera looks ahead more than it does behind you, which is good when you're moving forward in one direction only.  However, if you become surrounded with enemies (which happens often), you won't be able to see what's behind you without turning around.  Even when you do that, the camera will shift all the way across the screen, leaving you slightly blind on the other side.  Samurai-Ghost isn't worth dealing with these annoyances, if you ask me. - Steven Rodriguez  



Magician Lord - Neo-Geo

 Magician Lord - Neo-Geo  

 Cost: 900 Wii Points ($9)
  1-2 Players
  Controllers: Wii Remote, Wii Classic, GameCube
  ESRB Rating: Teen (Blood, Fantasy Violence)
  Released: 7/1/1991
  Click here for a video preview  


 Magician Lord is an arcade-style platformer in which you control a young wizard who is looking for eight books to save the world.  It plays like an early Castlevania game, but instead of a whip, you shoot magical projectiles horizontally or vertically.  Your character walks very slowly but can jump slightly faster, making the movement controls feel rather awkward.  The game's best feature, besides the impressive and colorful 16-bit graphics, is that you can transform into six other forms by collecting different combinations of orbs.  However, you don't really have control over the orb combinations, because orbs are quite rare and the colors are not random.  So basically, you will be whatever form the game designers have chosen for that section of that particular level.  


 Not RecommendedThis is a brutal action game that ranks among the most difficult I've ever played in twenty years of gaming.  Unfortunately, the difficulty comes not from challenging level design but rather from cheap shots delivered by enemies who are often out of sight.  There are also many environmental hazards that you could not possibly avoid by skill alone.  The game is full of ladders, and you are completely helpless while climbing up or down.  Magician Lord was clearly designed to be played by rote memorization of level designs and enemy patterns, causing cheap deaths in order to extract more quarters from some poor arcade fan.  Magician Lord is poorly designed and not fun.  It's unfathomable that this game could ever be sold for $200; even nine bucks seems criminal. - Jonathan Metts  



Thanks to VG Museum for the non-Nintendo game screenshots.

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Offline KDR_11k

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RE: Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 10:05:55 PM »
That "samurai woman" sprite kinda reminds me of DoA's Kasumi.

Offline planetidiot

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RE:Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 02:00:15 AM »
What makes magician lord worth it (if anything) are the hilariously bad dialog and voice acting.  At the end of each stage the evil dude taunts you with AMAZING 16 BIT DIGITAL SOUND and it's so terrible it's awesome.  The level names are also awful and spelled wrong... "Anderground Passage of Terror" is a good one.  It's sort of a mini "all your base" every time you beat a level.

Also the game's plot is pretty funny and makes no sense.  Essentially you're a psychotic librarian.  This dale of evil gods guy checked out these eight books with a fake library card, and loaned them to his friends and so you go whoop ass until you get all the books back to their proper place in the weird eight slot thing (it's not the dewey decimal system, but what can you do?).  And some how all this returns water to the earth.  Even though there is plenty of water on level 4.

The game is obscenely hard for all the reasons mentioned by Jonathan.  And if you really want to hear that Dale dude yell at you for being a "nice guy", you learn the cheap boss strategies and keep hitting continue.  Also as an extra bonus on the last level you get to fight EVERY miniboss, one after the other with no powerups or extra lives between.

I guess it was the thing to do (drunk in college) in 1996, but I had a lot of fun beating that game with my roommate. And also I got so angry at it I probably gave myself permanent heart damage.  

Offline Jonnyboy117

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RE: Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2007, 06:03:08 PM »
FYI, Chris Kohler quotes a comment I made about Magician Lord during this week's new Retronauts.  It was a comment I made on NeoGAF and then adapted in the VC Mondays writeup.

Offline ShyGuy

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RE: Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2007, 08:42:34 PM »
Heh, I just listened to that podcast. You should write a stinky article like GameRadar.

Offline wandering

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RE:Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« Reply #5 on: November 02, 2007, 04:51:47 PM »

Also as an extra bonus on the last level you get to fight EVERY miniboss, one after the other with no powerups or extra lives between.
So what you're saying is, this game is as tedious and cheap as Viewtiful Joe?
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Offline IceCold

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RE: Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« Reply #6 on: November 02, 2007, 09:12:57 PM »
You know, the reason why the VC well has dried up all of a sudden is that the good new actual Wii games are coming out.
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Offline NWR_insanolord

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RE: Virtual Console Mondays: October 29, 2007
« Reply #7 on: November 02, 2007, 11:07:18 PM »
That is almost certainly why we haven't got anything good from Nintendo recently. I remember back in March and April we had a great string of Mondays which "coincidentally" ended right around the release of Super Paper Mario. I'm still holding out a little hope for SMB3 Monday, though
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