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United States

Sun 20th Jan 2008

Recent Comments



Cally commented on Ninja Gaiden:

I remember the arcade game for this: he has a sword in the artwork, he has a sword in the start-up screen, but when you play, you almost never get to use a sword!!!!!!

I kind of like this game anyway, though. It's pretty funny, with a ninja just walking through the streets beating up gangsters.



Cally commented on Magician Lord:

Great game. It should have gotten at least an "8" IMO. I'm up to the fourth stage.

Excellent fun with mid-air physics, dodging those slow-moving bullets and such (kind of reminds me of Mega Man in this respect). The power-ups are fun to get also. I love how you can pour in attacks and it really feels like your own effort goes into pretty much everything in this--methodical pacing. The level layout is kind of funky but it's also great fun to explore, semi-linear stages. This one is a MUST-HAVE.



Cally commented on New Super Mario Bros. Wii:

Aw this looks just great.

The level design already looks good, and partly because they did something very, very smart: Pulled the point of view way out from the character so more can go on in the screen and the stage and it doesn't feel cramped. Cool!



Cally commented on Nintendo Download: Fantasies, Wars and Words (US):

The first three FF games were so tough, for several reasons. Firstly, the damage values are incredibly unpredictable. And, if you squeaked by one battle against one monster and are glad you lived to tell about it, the next random battle might have you up against three of the same enemy. Yikes. Pretty hazardous stuff. And if you plan on finishing this game, the last dungeon area is pretty tough too.

Still a great game, of course, though I prefer the remakes that are mostly the same experiences but a little streamlined.



Cally commented on Resident Evil 4:

I remember reading reviews of RE4 when it first came out, and wanting to throw them across the room whenever they said "gone are the tank-like controls." No, they're exactly the same: turn/run, stop/aim.

Didn't have anything to do with the other RE games. It has some cheesy action movie cliches like the villain electing not to kill Leon in the jillion chances he had and yet you're shooting at his minions who try to do just that afterward.

Brilliant game. I like the Wii version, actually. "Separate Ways" was a thing of genius and felt like hints of bringing back the scenario system of Resident Evil 2 which I'm so astonished, so few ever repeated that ingenious concept.

Actually I firmly believe Metroid Prime (the original) is the best game on the GameCube, but RE4 is #2.



Cally commented on Metroid Prime 2: Echoes:

This game definitely IS underrated. Comparing it to the original Prime is what hurts it. MP2 is way more "thinking man's" game more than the first and takes time and patience.

It looks a lot like the first Prime but it is definitely not the same game. Definitely a lot of annoying backtracking, here.



Cally commented on Review: Mario Kart: Double Dash!! (GameCube):

Wow, very astute review!! Thanks!

I don't know what some people's issue is with Double Dash. I think it comes across as too "cutesy" to some, or something, but you're exactly right, it's smooth, it works, no ridiculous cheating racers, and it's still very nice-looking. Even the two-items-per-cart idea didn't ruin it as a racing game by any stretch (or at least, no more than MK64). I'd describe it as "mellow" more than slow like some people out there, but the bottom line is that it just plain works better than MK64 did.

I love it. This became my favorite review of the game. Nicely done. I appreciate the review score, too.



Cally commented on Final Fantasy IV:

@MrPinGuy and Curt: thanks for your opinions. By the way I think you're right about that "easy-type" being a myth. I hardly noticed a difference in difficulty when trying the other versions (it's pretty tough, although probably the shortest FF). I feel like warning some people who'll find themselves wondering why people like this game. I mean, if you're psyched about "The After Years" then you care about this game's story. If you care about the story, avoid the butchered translation in the SNES version that makes it downright laughable if not painful.

The story is actually pretty good. Final Fantasy IV is definitely the "bread and butter" Final Fantasy for a few reasons. For one thing, it has the polished fantasy adventure story/adventure nailed this time (after the first three games), in all of that genre's quirks, intrigues, archetypes done mostly right and the "anything goes" nature of the genre--and yet far from generic, and even rather inspired. It was also the first time that the story affected the gameplay this much--the story caused characters to get switched out of your party so much and so often that you're really forced to FEEL the story in the gameplay for the first time. One point toward the beginning, for instance, has you stuck with a good weapons user and three magic users for a time! The battles were balanced appropriately for the party set-up, although it's a gameplay purist's nightmare.

FFIV is a pretty significant game because of that--where a story impacted the gameplay so much, as far as RPGs go. After this the series started truly blending sci-fi (more "rational" approaches) into the mix, so FFIV is a real sweet spot for tradition meeting inspiration.

It definitely has the cheesy fantasy in there a little bit--the same sort that made people think "Star Wars" with this one--quite a share of cliches, but boldness in that department was for later games . . .

To be REALLY picky, I think the PS version is my fav, still, also because the GBA doesn't quite crank out the same great sound as the SNES (I wouldn't even touch FFVI: Advance because of that) and the music is absolutely classic. Although I'm interested in that note about the slowdown being fixed in the Euro version of FFIV Advance. I can't decide if the slightly different graphics in that version are an improvement (blasted GBA, wasn't really worse or better than the SNES--just different).



Cally commented on What Nintendo games do you want to see on the ...:

Lufia 1 + ESPECIALLY 2
Secret of Mana 2
Romancing SaGa 1, 2, 3 (translate them to English for the love of cheese)
Castlevania: Dracula X/Vampire's Kiss (SNES)
Ys III (TG-16)
Fire Emblem(s)

More Japan-only TG-16!!!!!!!! (translated plz)



Cally commented on Don't Toss Those Old Controllers Yet:


I saw the most amazing thing: a Hastings was selling wireless NES controllers. Yes, old-NES, wireless controllers.

I regretted not getting that when I saw it at first, and now . . .

Like somebody else said, I can't imagine using the other controller options for Goldeneye (but then, I'm not sure I feel like unlocking all the cheats all over again either).

Good deal. I love how Nintendo gives us all the peripherals to hook up to its little console . . . not too far away from the number of games it puts out. XD Just kidding.



Cally commented on Ten Game Boy Games You Should Be Playing:

I really liked Super Mario Land 2 as a follow-up to Super Mario World, since it doesn't have much in common with SML1.

Likewise, I played Pokemon Red/Blue with a friend and we had a lot of stupid fun with it. I think I caught about 143 or something, but after that, I didn't see the use for the thing. Silly combat system and fickle Pokeball mechanics made the thing forgettable, and didn't take long at all for better things to come along. I do like some of the characters, though.

Metroid 2 was great but kinda hairy, somehow managing to just feel even more strange than the first one, broken into sections.

Actually Zelda: Link's Awakening is the only portable game up to that time that didn't feel less significant than its console counterparts.

Final Fantasy Legend is the "SaGa" series in Japan. Missing the SNES entries in the US is one of the saddest things I've heard of (a friend of mine from Japan tells me it's great). But I've never been very tenacious about tracking down fansubs . . .



Cally commented on Review: Kirby: Canvas Curse (DS):

BUY THIS GAME!!!! Don't even think about it! Just go and get it!

I cannot think of a single other game that uses the touch screen so brilliantly and . . .

. . . could ONLY--absolutely only--happen on the DS. There is NOTHING remotely like it. Canvas Curse is such a work of seamless genius that the unique, innovative design becomes a thing of second nature quickly yet the novelty never wears off. And to anyone with a few hundred games under his belt, CC is both familiar in every good way with a completely legitimate freshness; button-free platforming.

And the only reason there aren't more developers getting this creative and entirely successful with the touch screen in a game with classic gameplay and level design values is because CC did not remotely sell as it deserved. As mentioned, it's a must for the DS, and especially the jaded gamers.

I was truly upset that after all these years nobody has really made such an awesome game--impossible to transplant--of this caliber on the DS. And I know why: people mostly just wanted more of the same, even on a console with as much creative potential on the DS. So now it's me, my DS . . . Canvas Curse . . . in the mountains. PTHHHH!




Cally commented on Final Fantasy:

@ Adamant

I haven't tried the PSP versions yet. What's wrong with those? FF2's miserable leveling system seemed a little nicer in the GBA version to me.

I really enjoyed the FFAnthology (FF1 and 2 remakes) for the 16-bit graphics and, better still, the 32-bit MUSIC. What little story is there is cleaned up and sensible. The "memo save" anywhere is handy, too.

The original Final Fantasy is playable, I'd say . . . barely. It's really SLOW, worst of all. With better options (especially the PS version) this is kind of a curiousity item than anything else, I think.

Sakaguchi said "Garland" was his favorite villain. I think he likes to be a wise-guy sometimes.



Cally commented on Final Fantasy IV:

The original "Final Fantasy II," I hated the translation so badly (the dialogue) it ruined the game for me at the time. Does anybody have a nostalgic soft-spot for it? I don't think I do.

FFIV in Chronicles (PS) was much better and I suddenly liked the game, a LOT, and probably the most essential version to me. FFIV Advance's translation was arguably better still, overall, though the engine was different and not completely better than the previous two versions. Then the DS version rewrote much of the dialogue altogether, but in ways that made good sense. As a remake, it's not really meant to REPLACE the old games at all (again, there are differences in story and gameplay) so going for an old-school version is worthwhile.

I'm not sure why someone would go for the SNES version, though. Probably the most disposable of the four--what's more, it's the "easy-type" version of the game for pansy westerners. What does everybody else think?



Cally commented on Review: Chrono Trigger (DS):

I don't know how this isn't a "10". I might argue that the characters are slightly cliche and not as compelling--introspective and well-rounded--as some RPGs where motivation is explored more completely (like some of the Final Fantasies). But then, this is a shorter, more plot-driven story--of COURSE we just want to save the world, right?

Chrono Trigger is a thing of perfection and a thing of freedom at the same time--pretty much flawless, and fresh. I think people can be hard on RPGs and Adventures just because they are genres where so many things can go wrong, or some parts can just disagree with certain audiences. But who plays Chrono Trigger with any interest and manages to come away disappointed? I've hardly heard any contention about Chrono Trigger like pretty much everything else in the genre.



Cally commented on Mega Man 9:

There are sure to be a ton of people way ahead of me by now. I've made it as far as the first two Wily stages, and nailed methods for easily not taking a single hit. And about half way through the third stage. At that point it's still doable but . . . GAH! It's just a matter of time, that scarce commodity.



Cally commented on Review: StarTropics (NES):

This has "Saturday Morning Cartoon" written all over it, to me.

The first time I played this game when I was a kid I couldn't get into it. I think the reason was because it was a game that looked like light-hearted fun and yet plays surprisingly clunky and punishing. So many situations where you attack common enemies are just absurdly awkward; you often have to bait enemies to come at you from the right direction that gives the best opportunity to get hits in before they reach you. This can actually play out as sort ot the weirdest kind of strategizing you've ever seen--somehow I think slightly of Gain Ground, here--feeling like a coincidental stroke of genius.

Viewed in the right light, it's great fun and all the positive comments around here are really true if it doesn't come across as bizarre. It was obviously supposed to be an "American Zelda" and ironically ended up being even more strange to its intended audience than its "foreign" influence.

If you can get in the groove, Star Tropics is great stuff. 8/10



Cally commented on Review: The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask (N64):

Whoa, this actually came out! O.O

Okay, okay . . . but WHAT ABOUT THE FRAMERATE? Please tell me it's better than the emulation of OoT.

Wonderful game. The time-travel mechanic is totally logic-be-damned about what you can and can't expect to reverse with time travel and therefore just isn't as fun as it could have been (could have been a legitimate puzzle. It's only a pain in the ass that you'd just as soon wasn't even there). I still collected everything in this anything-goes Zelda game. FANTASTIC dungeons.

I beseech you, unless you want to spend four times the normal playtime for figuring out which days and times some things happen, use a guide!




Cally commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Qu...:

^I would agree about the original. But not this one or DKC3. I get glued to them almost as easily as I do to Super Mario World even today (meaning, when I got this stuff all over again on the VC), and more than the other games you mention. They were influential enough to really start the platformer item-collecting trend (whatever your point of view on that). Who knows what I missed (or am forgetting), but my Top SNES Platformers are:

Yoshi's Island
Super Mario World
Donkey Kong Country 2



Cally commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Do...:

^maybe eight hours, to get everything.

DKC3 has some deceptively RPG-style item-fetching, which barely requires going out of your way more than usual aside from bringing the items you win to a character. But it manages to get you into the DKC "world" more than the previous games and make things interesting.

Essentially, with this game, if they didn't think of it in the first two games, they got it into this one. Lots of cool, varied design concepts, one of my favorites being playing as the spider for the whole stage while dodging a targeting retical that fires toward the screen. Where DKC2 was the all-out epic, DKC3 ends the series with a more laid-back, "anything goes" cadence. I hate the product placement of the N64 in the game, which, I wonder, Rare may have been slightly more interested in while developing this game.

DKC1--still a good game--could be outright cumbersome; Rare didn't even learn some game-design 101 by then, such as: Do NOT hide secrets in what could be deadly pits! (trial and error nonsense) And art design with objects looking like they were floating in space looked awfully bizarre. DKC2 got completely straight-faced and even the ending was poetic.

But they all got style. DKC3 isn't as good as 2, with some hick-ups in their judgment of game design (like that last battle that makes no logical sense at all, nor is it fun figuring out how to do it). But it's still an incredibly enjoyable, distinct platformer. Fun ideas, middle-brow stuff. DKC2 and 3 are actually good enough to not make you say "I wish this was more like Mario" (even though it's one of many with mario roots). 8/10

For whatever reason, I played this again recently and was somehow glued to this and DKC2 more than I have been to a game for a long time. Pure fun.



Cally commented on SD Card Game Launching + Arcade Games Availabl...:

This is cuz Nintendo knows cheap, downloadable games are the FUTURE!! (such as it is. )

This is great for me. I have seven of the twenty pages on the SD menu filled already (I've had a 2-gig card). And I got a question that reflects my ignorance: how much of an issue, if any, is the flash drive actually wearing out because of all the copying and deleting?

Kind of profound to see an old NES game "load" for the first time ever, isn't it? XD



Cally commented on Skate or Die!:

All I remember about this game was repeatedly wondering why I kept bailing out.



Cally commented on Review: Mega Man (NES):

I love the first Mega Man. Totally a classic, and a lot of fun to go back to before all the changes to formula were made. 9/10

Not absolutely every robot had eyes in this one.



Cally commented on Review: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven S...:

Effeminate-looking males? Welcome to Japan, folks. It's considered attractive, and sometimes men even put on make-up.

@ Bass

It's definitely short, but should a Mario RPG be a 30+ hour epic, like . . . Final Fantasy VI? Chrono Trigger, the mostly uncontested RPG-great, I personally got through on a first playthrough in 14 hours. What's wrong with a shorter RPG if it's paced to last a certain length?

@ Digiki

Maybe you said once before, but I'm curious, what are your favorite RPGs, then?



Cally commented on Review: Metroid (NES):

So strange, how Nintendo named one of its greatest series after nightmare-inducing (hey, for an NES game ) . . . well, maybe the nastiest non-boss bad guys I can think of offhand in videogame history.

But then, "Zelda" didn't make sense either (a meaningless reference to Zelda Fitzgerald).



Cally commented on Review: Phantasy Star II (MD):


It's dated in some ways, but some of the story elements are amazing and unique. It's still just about the best pure sci-fi RPG in my mind (meaning, really sci-fi, no fantasy elements). It's also very nearly my favorite Genesis game. It really should not be missed by any half-way serious RPG fan.




Cally commented on Review: Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Qu...:

Well, this is a case where I'm kind of sad that the new rating system doesn't reflect DKC2's (mostly-agreed) superiority over the original and probably 3 also.

DKC2 had the best stage design, and used SNES technology for a platform oozing with character. My personal favorite Rare platformer, I think.




Cally commented on Review: Mega Man 3 (NES):

Mega Man 3 got really ambitious and epic after Mega Man 2. It paid off, making it unique. Personally, I hate the weapons in this game terribly by comparison (and to other entries in the series). Trying to be different, in that case, arguably didn't help--it's even the only MM without an encircling shield weapon. (neither did MM8, come to think of it)

The best thing about Mega Man 3 is that it doesn't disappoint with the length. Eight bosses, remixed stages, and one long epic castle made this one heck of a satisfying game. The introduction of new characters (Rush and Protoman) are successful. Interestingly enough, the appearance of Protoman (a total cliche, by now) and the battles are totally unrelated to the rest of the stage. They just show up for story's sake. Once again, the ending is cool and the ending theme is a treat.

9.5/10 (I came up with ratings like this for a bunch of games on my own time. I go half a point. )



Cally commented on Take Five and Double It!:

@Captain Konami

Man, that still makes me sad. I used to absolutely love EGM before some new eds made it obnoxious.

@ Kobayashi

Aw, don't be like that. Just have fun duking it out on the boards!



Cally commented on Review: Mega Man 2 (NES):

@ Lurch

I agree with the storytelling point. Especially when I think of that last stage--very trippy, kind of wondering where you are. And the last boss was just a cool narrative, turning out to be a holographic image by Wily. You get to see snapshots of Mega Man's home in the wilds, where he takes off samurai style (once again suggesting his retirement from heroism). It's all visual and abbreviated, but that's videogame stories and their own unique way. The varied aesthetic (with that awesome music) . . . yeah, with all this good stuff I put this ahead of even Mario's epics. Once again, the ending's music theme expanded on the intro theme, which is another narrative technique that comes up in the first two games. 10/10



Cally commented on Review: Lords of Thunder (TG-16):

The Earth Armor ended up being my favorite one to use. Mega powerful, with the hands-down best bomb attack. The Water armor I like for a couple stages because it wipes the screen with moderately-powerful blasts (no doubt why it's a fun armor to start with).

The wind and Fire armors are kind of bizarre to me, because the power-ups change the attack so completely that you're almost sure you like the "upgrade." What y'all think? I've only gotten half-way through this game on "Hard," so I have room for changing my strategy.



Cally commented on USA VC Update: Ogre Battle: The March of the B...:

PDS had a small print run because of the death of the Saturn in the US. Sega has been out of its mind ever since to not re-release it in some way, as lots of people have wanted it. As far as videogames go, good to great titles can pass by for the worst reasons.

In general, this is why I'm happy enough with Nintendo for some of that to be fixed.



Cally commented on MUSHA:


Cool. MUSHA looks way harder.

But yeah, pretty different to compare. I periodically saw away at some of the shooters (still have several to beat) but I'm looking forward to prolly MUSHA first. Indeed they both look great.



Cally commented on Wonder Boy:


I just beat this game. I couldn't find a doll in levels 10-3 or 10-4, tho . . . Did I miss something?

Solid and entertaining. Nothing mind-blowing, but it has a very, very gentle difficulty curve from the beginning to the end. I found it a lot of fun to just pick up now and again.



Cally commented on Review: Gate of Thunder (TG-16):

Gate of Thunder is remarkably evenhanded for a shooter in my experience. Ultra-methodical, going from mild to intense in such logical ways. I got such a thrill out of the faster scrolling in one of the final parts of the game . . . because, for once, I wasn't desensitized beforehand.

GoT just plain succeeds with what every other shooter tries and doesn't quite get as right. The shooting in one or several directions, however--or rather, how it's handled here--puts a compelling layer of strategy on this game.

To me, the innate lack of gameplay variety in shooters--it's largely what I'd call "button choreography," with strictness varying with difficulty--keep me from wanting to give any such shooter QUITE the same level of credit as some other genres. Nevertheless, GoT must be experienced.



Cally commented on Review: Mega Man 2 (NES):

@Drake: I actually consider Mega Man complex, when considering how it seamlessly tows the line of platformer and shooter, not being weak in either department, with often both happening at the same time.

What's more, it has a bit of an adventure feel too, since there is character growth of sorts with new weapons and a character that isn't quite as easy to kill as most platformer or shooter heroes.

I can hardly fault Mega Man 2 for anything, except maybe this: almost nobody is going to beat Heat Man before Air Man--the meanest disappearing-platform section ever that's actually hurt by the inconsistent timing of platforming. Oops.

The shooting, platform, and exploration elements come together without compromising each other at all. It's definitely in the "platformer genre," since jumping is a thing of progression and not just strategy for combat. So loaded with ideas, every part of every stage in this game is unforgettable in its own right. Bubble Man's water high-jumping? Quick Man's nasty beam-avoidance? Metal Man's conveyor belts? And yet all the time, even when some of the platforming seems frustrating, it's just fun to be Mega Man, blasting stuff with such an amazing arsenal of weapons; it truly gives you the feeling of playing as a powerful character, without also being as pathetically fragile as in most shooters OR platformers (this is where Mega Man 9 dropped the ball) Weapons are both completely amusing and completely practical, as are the navigational gizmos. There are so many ways around situations--especially by experimenting with the arsenal--a choreography this isn't.

In my opinion, the very best, layered (jump+shoot) romp through platform innovations. Mario met his match, here. Even Mario games falter in the department of Boss fights--as most platformers do--where Mega Man is memorable.



Cally commented on Review: Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven S...:

"repetitiveness, especially repetitiveness."

While I'm not sure what you may be talking about, I had thought that, in addition to all the Square-isms in the game, the "collect Seven Stars" structure reminds me a LOT of Nintendo. Like Zelda always had certain things to collect at the end of dungeons pertaining to the story.

So many RPGs later, I'm astonished how much I still loved this sucker when going through it again; totally made my day.



Cally commented on Super Mario Bros.:

How do you even do Super Mario Bros. justice? It's almost certainly THE perfect game.

The controls, level layout, difficulty curve, enemy placement . . . not absolutely the first of its kind, but it made an impact so great on the game industry that it set standards for those aspects of game design, and few game designers could rightly dare to deviate from SMB's blueprint.

It's the only Mario game where you really DO want to collect every last coin in the game. Yet it's never overly frustrating--perfect difficulty balancing. Never too hard, and yet after playing it so many times, it never feels too easy or like something rehearsed.

Would be worth having a copy or download just to have it on every system you could get it for. Just as fun today as it ever was.




Cally commented on Wave Race 64:

Waverace64, as far as I know, isn't really contested as a water-racer with great water physics (how was Hydro Thunder? The only other remotely significant one I can think of.)

The water physics make this a really immersive experience. The courses are fun and interesting and, best of all, I felt like I was actually being raced by A.I. this time--I hope I was right.




Cally commented on Mega Man 2:


To the little blue guy who can blow holes in the world.



Cally commented on F-Zero X:

The latest Burnout games (since 3) hit the roof of the "fast" racer games.

So nowadays, I don't think all that highly of the F-Zero series. For GX I've only played in a demo, but X has some peculiar physics--the way you spin out on overly sharp turns doesn't make sense to me.

Eh. These "fast" racers weren't really meant for hair-splitting analysis, I suppose.

Some of the tracks are pretty interesting--I especially got a kick out of racing on roads that with a center of gravity inside (you can steer to bottom, sides, or top of the "roads"). 8/10