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Since technology hasn't quite advanced enough to where I can beam images of my recent gaming sessions into your head, I have to write about them after the fact. Here we go.
1. Justice League Task Force (Super Nintendo)
Picked this one up for a song at 8-Bit Hall of Fame, a local video game store that is the current standard for how video game stores should be run. Jason's prices are affordable, he gives excellent credit for trade-ins, and all of his games are cleaned before he puts them on display. Awesome stuff. I've found some "holy grail" sort of games and consoles at 8-Bit. JLTF is no exception. I've been trying to find a copy of this since I rented it as a kid.
Justice League Task Force is a fighting game starring characters from DC Comics. On paper, that sounds like a cool idea. Hell, Capcom showed everyone that comic-based fighting games could work well. Unfortunately, Justice League Task Force is no comparison to Capcom's fighters, like Marvel Super Heroes or X-Men: Children of the Atom. The gameplay is clunky and unresponsive. The characters are also significantly watered down from their comic book counterparts, which is a necessary change for a fighting game, but something just looks wrong when Aquaman scores a flawless victory over Superman.
The art style, while very much reminiscent of the comic artwork from the era, is so 90s that it almost looks like a parody. That's not really a complaint, it's just something to point out. Superman has a friggin' mullet.
2. Robotron 2084 (Atari Lynx)
Over the past few months, I've found over a dozen Atari Lynx games in the wild at various places. One of those was this: a port of Robotron for the Lynx.
Robotron was originally a twin-stick shooter (think Geometry Wars or Super Stardust if you're not too familiar with old arcade games), which makes it a very strange choice for a Lynx conversion, since the console only had one D-Pad and two buttons. The developers of this version got around this limitation by mapping movement to the D-Pad and forcing your character to constantly shoot while using the two buttons to rotate your character. This control style is similar to Forgotten Worlds on the Genesis, and it definitely works well here. Robotron is addicting and very, very hard to play if you're going for any sort of high score. It's yet another example of a game that anyone can play, but few can play well. The Atari Lynx could definitely do arcade ports justice, and Robotron proves it.
3. Destiny (Playstation 3)
I don't always buy new games. But when I do, I prefer Dos Equis-
I mean, uh... I go all-in. I picked up a digital copy of Destiny's Guardian Edition on the Playstation Network. I've been playing it all day. I fully intend to download the Playstation 4 version later on, with that cool upgrade deal that is happening with Destiny's digital purchasers.
I haven't completed the game, obviously. This will take a while. Here are a few of my first impressions:
- The game immediately reminded me of three other games: Brink, Warframe, and Rage. The atmosphere is so invocative of those games that I'm surprised that nobody else, to my knowledge, has drawn those comparisons before. Seriously, Destiny's art style, UI, and initial mission structure are just like a massive mixture of Brink, Warframe and Rage. Especially Rage. I was half expecting the Ghost to be voiced by John Goodman and not Peter Dinklage. Being reminded of those three games is not necessarily a bad thing, but I'd much rather be reminded of games that I didn't hate.
- The FPS mechanics are smooth as butter. I thought the MMO elements would make things a pain or ruin the combat, but the game itself works great. If it's one thing Bungie can do well, it's first-person combat. They damn well better, since they've been doing essentially nothing but FPS games since Marathon...
- I kind of wish the MMO aspects were downplayed. The first mission of the game was insanely fun and engrossing. You're thrust into action, and you're given a taste of what to come. Then, you enter a hub world and you see all of the other people who are doing the exact same mission that you are. It just shatters the suspension of disbelief.
Now, all of that said, I am really enjoying the game so far. I can't wait to jump into co-op and competitive multiplayer with some friends and get some cool weapons or armor. Bungie is pretty good at designing that sort of stuff.
It's also the first "Triple A" game that I've played in a long while. It's also the first modern game I've paid full price for in some time.