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Super Street Fighter IV is out and it's filled with fighters spanning several Capcom games. Our problem is that there are a few more characters that should have been included in the game.
#5 Eagle – This stick carrying Brit was your second opponent from England in Street Fighter 1. It took some time before Eagle saw a rebirth in Alpha 3 for the PSP and Capcom vs. SNK 2. The guy deserves another shot damn it. We dont want to have these characters to have their most lasting effect on gaming is that crappy ending dialogue.
#4 Sean – Ok Sean is not much of a fan favorite, far from it. When word got out that Ken had an apprentice in Street Fighter 3, everyone started to pick Sean. Then everyone stopped because he sucked with his stupid basketball projectile. But think how touching it would have been to have Sean meet Gouken, his teacher's teacher. It would be an emotional moment up until the point Gouken beats Sean's sorry ass.
#3 Alex – This should have been a gimme choice. Alex was the leader character for the Street Fighter 3 series making Ryu take a back seat for the first time. So why not bring him back instead of all the other non-major characters of Street Fighter 3? Yeah he showed up on Tatsunoko vs Capcom, but seriously, how many people are playing that game? Uh oh, I think I just heard Wii fanboys yelling at me right now.
#2 Urien – A favorite among Third Strike fans, Urien was a thinking man's character. The Aegis Reflector super move was incredibly useful against almost any opponent with the exception of Chun Li who was overpowered as fuck. Besides, looking at his moves, you can see the resemblance between him, Seth and Abel making for an interesting storyline addition.
#1 Rolento – Simply put, Rolento is a badass. He was so badass that Capcom was afraid that SNES owners would have their own heads explode because of his bad-assery so they kept him out of the home version. At least that's our theory. Seriously though, with Cody and Guy returning, why not bring back on of their nemesis as well? In the Alpha series, Rolent was fun to use, a comboing machine, and had one of the sickest supers ever, the “pull you up by a thin rope and hang you on a hook like a pig while he throws a grenade at you” move or whatever it's officially called.
At Anime Boston, famous Final Fantasy composer and video game music icon, Nobuo Uematsu, took questions from the fans. Some of the questions included what his favorite Final Fantasy game was to make music for and play, how legendary Final Fantasy Prelude was made in five minutes, and his initial aspirations to go to college in the U.S. As you watch the videos, you can hear the quivering voice of fans who sound like they're seconds away from breaking down on the floor. It goes to show how powerful video game music is.
1. The Laughing Scene in Final Fantasy X – Much ado is made about the awkwardness/lameness of this jocular exchange between the two main characters of Final Fantasy X. However it is quite a telling scene that reveals interesting elements of their characters that further scenes in the game expand on later on. Bad voice acting/dubbing shouldn’t even enter into it.
Shortly before this scene, Tidus finds some devastating information that truly impacted his carefree attitude permanently. Rather than break down, [quick pause] much, he recognizes his duties and perseveres. This scene is about the unfortunate destiny that Yuna and Tidus are now a part of: Spira’s Spiral of Death. It is a touching moment that both characters even seem to be aware of as they engage in this very forced but meaningful exchange.
2. Galuf’s End in Final Fantasy V – When it come to sad/moving moments in Final Fantasy, everyone mentions Aerith Gainsborough all the time and Leo Christophe to a lesser extent. But no one ever talks about Galuf Halm Baldesion. Whereas General Leo was never a party member for more than ten seconds. I feel Galuf's incredible resistance to ExDeath's attacks and him single handedly freeing his friends was nothing short of stellar. Powered by a desire to protect the Crystals and the force of love for his granddaughter and the party, this is the first time we see a main character go to zero HP and continue to fight, powered only by his will. Galuf never earned much rumors and hoaxes about a possible way to revive him in the game after his death. It is generally agreed that it is due to a relative lack of popularity compared to Leo and Aerith, although it is more likely because he has someone to take his spot in the party, complete with all their earned experience.
3. Beatrix and Steiner kick some ass in Disc 3 in FFIX – By the time Disc 3 starts, a lot has happened, almost making the return to the beginning city of Alexandria feel like the start of a different game. Everything starts out well, with the Zidane and the others going to visit Garnet, who has just become Queen. Then Kuja walks out from behind the statue at the entrance, as if to remind us of the threat he very much still poses. Then to drive the point home, he summons Bahamut and tons of mist monsters. The havoc they wreak is all a means to an end, but that doesn’t stop General Beatrix and Captain Steiner from kicking some ass.
We haven’t seen them in a while, and Steiner is quite weak, so time for some power-leveling! All of Beatrix’s powerful abilities and Save the Queen don’t just make for a great time with her as a playable character, their camaraderie shines through and the music “Protecting My Devotion” helps make the whole scene even better, and that’s only the beginning!
4. Blitzball in Final Fantasy X and X-2 - Seriously, it wasn’t that bad. You recruit players, win sweet prizes, and frankly, it’s not as much of an annoying piece of shit that Triple Triad was. What’s so great about it is that the game is based around this pastime, with the manual speaking of how Blitzball is the national sport of Spira and one of the few things that lets them forget about Sin, if only for a moment. This is not some bullshit mini-game of inexplicable popularity *cough* Triple Triad*cough*. Instead, Blitzball is central to the story and characters. Of course it has its issues but still far more enjoyable than other time consuming crap Square has subjected us to. I wish that the league mode wasn’t quite so long though; at least there is a trick to make games go by faster once you are ahead on points… And don’t forget that FFX-2 fixed those problems anyway with a new type of Blitzball.
5. The Whole game of Final Fantasy IX – Despite Sakaguchi and Nojima stating that IX was intended as a tribute to the series, some fans were rather harsh to the medieval environment and simplified gameplay of the 9th entry. This was due to Final Fantasy VII and VIII’s famous creation of the “new Final Fantasy” fan. The ones who refused to play the earlier games in the series due to their “bad graphics” and actually thought that VIII was a sequel to VII, and YES, there are people that stupid. So you think FF9 is the worse on the PS1? Did you actually play it or saw that it had no Squall or Cloud thus giving it a profound "fuck that" comment when it came out? Well you probably did because most people did and sadly, they missed out on an incredible experience. A revamped battle system, great chraracters without the emo, and let’s not forget all the references to the entire FF series throughout. Check this game out, don’t judge this game unfairly, and may no “cloud or squall hinder you” on your journey of fun! This game was for fans of the whole FF series, not just the posers that showed up with FF7 and 8.
1. Aerith’s Death/Whole Game FFVII – Initially we were just going to put the least moving scene in the game for anyone who has played another FF game, but we decided it had to be the whole damn game. Suck on it, fanboys! Aerith’s death was totally foreshadowed and her character development sucked! Cloud is not deep, neither is Vincent, Barrett is badass but is quickly shoved to the background after Midgar! When it comes to Tifa: "Man, IF only we had some T and A…" is what the devs were thinking with her. Hey at least I’m “skirting” around the issue of length!
2. Eyes on Me on the Ragnarok from FFVIII - My god, what can you say about this entry. One song that made gamers all across the world a little more faggy. Did you cry when this song played? Did your friends cry when this song played? The song sucked and you suck for not turning up some AC/DC to drown out this song. Talk about the pussification of an entire generation of gamers with just one homo song. This colorful language aside, the song isn’t even appropriate to the scene, listen to the lyrics and you’ll realize it is actually more about Julia and Laguna! Bottom line, Squall and Rinoa are lucky enough to be alive, and don’t need a very average pop song to follow along an awkward conversation about hugs and their parents.
3. The Date at the Gold Saucer from FFVII - There’s no doubt that Final Fantasy introduced new aspects of gaming to its audience. The U.S. audience was especially in for something new: THE DATING SIM! Yup, why try and save the world when you can take a date around the Gold Saucer. And it doesn’t have to be a chick! Oh no, the dudes are available for dating as well. Nothing makes for a dating sim gayer than the ability to date a guy. It’s hard to argue with those that say Cloud isn’t a homo when it seems like he had a memorable time with Barret.
This hilarious reality aside, the Date is pretty generic regardless of your choice. People would like to believe that character development is the result, but none of the characters make any reference to this event for the rest of the game. It was probably meant to be just with Aerith initially, but even her conversations are limp and contribute little to her character…
4. The Macalania Lake Scene from FFX – People seem to remember this scene for two possible reasons: Number One, it is a very beautiful cutscene. Number Two, Tidus and Yuna supposedly have sex underwater…nice[emphasize the “niceeeeee”]. [regain composure] Alright then, didn’t Yuna only start practicing holding her breath during the Eternal Calm? It is funny how Suteki Na De doesn’t really fit given how events unfold leading up to this scene: There is a reason Yuna is crying! This is a pretty cutscene sure, but I think FFX fans overstate its importance a little bit!
5. The Opera Scene from FFVI – Probably the most crammed in, forced dramatic moment in any FF game. Here you are, trying to get an airship and what’s the clever ruse? Switch out an opera singer and put Celes in her place to have her kidnapped by Setzer so you can get that fucker’s airship. But oh no, we cant just let you do the switch so easily. You have to sit and listen to this goddamn pseudo music that still makes my ears bleed and you have to remember to not fuck up when making your choice of what lines to say. Cause if you do, you have to start at the beginning and listen to the damn song again and again. I literally felt my balls creeping their way into my body as my DNA was rewriting itself to make me a woman as I watched this crapfest take place.
Capcom one again takes us to the mysterious year Twenty-extey-ex in their newest game, Mega Man 10. After the tremendous success of Mega Man 2 in the late eighties, the company started a process of churning out games, which enjoyed fewer and fewer sales, even after switching consoles twice, until the series petered out with Mega Man 8 on the Playstation. After Repeating that history over again with the Mega Man X series, down to the same number of games, Capcom took a good long look back at what made the series popular so long ago, and refined that into the amazingly hard and brilliantly retro Mega Man 9. When virtual console sales of Megaman 9 more than doubled those of the previous game, Capcom knew they had hit a chord, and decided to continue the series with the NES-styled graphics, music and gameplay.
The story will be familiar to anyone who's played any of the last few Mega Man games, particularly Mega Man 9: Robots around the world begin to malfunction and turn against their human masters, and Dr. Wily claims innocence. This time the culprit is a virus called Roboenza, and Wily claims to be the only one able to cure it.
In Mega Man 9, you're given the option of playing as the Blue Bomber or the Red...Rutabega , taking Mega Man or Proto Man through Nine stages, each guarded with a new Robot Master, before tackling the final fortress. As you defeat the boss of each of these stages, you gain a weapon from that boss. The weapons are essentially upgraded versions of those from Mega Man 2, including a spinning wheel weapon that acts like a faster-moving, wall-climbing bubble lead, a flame shot that splits in two, a shield that blasts apart to damage enemies, and a metal blade-like weapon that bounces off walls. All the robot masters are weak to a particular weapon, and while some may be obvious--solar man, who uses fire attacks, is weak to a water-based weapon--the wackier robot masters will leave you scratching your head. Who do I use to defeat Sheep Man? I don't see a Shears Man or a Lonely Hillbilly Man.
The elephant in the room, of course, is the controversial decision to add an "easy" option to the game. In easy mode, there are far fewer enemies, bosses are easier to kill, and some of the more difficult jumps are made easier by the addition of floating platforms. A large number of die-hard fans argue that making the game easier diminishes the value of beating the game, but in truth it merely allows less proficient gamers--like yours truly--to experience the game without wanting to throw the game, which, I must remind you, is downloaded directly onto the console, through a window. Even if you don't buy that argument, the game has online leaderboards which are only accessible to those playing in normal mode, as megaman. I'll admit, I started the game on easy mode, since I wasn't able to defeat even a single stage of Mega Man 9, but on easy mode even I was able to breeze through the game in less than two hours. My second playthrough will be on Normal mode, but already it's kicking my ass. For those of you who think that normal mode is too easy, you have yet another way to make megaman's life difficult--an option in the shop allows you to remove megaman's helmet, doubling all damage dealt to him.
As mentioned earlier, Capcom made the decision with megaman 9 to use the original megaman sprites, and create new ones with the same stylings. Even using self-imposed retro color pallettes, the game still looks pretty good. The level designs are fantastic, varied, and always interesting to look at, with one stage having the appearance of a baseball stadium and another being covered in circuitboards and other technological doodads. The enemies are well-drawn and expressive, with the classic enemies like mets integrating nicely with newer ones like the robot masters. The game also features some fullscreen "cutscene" images with large, well-drawn pictures of megaman and company. It's pretty obvious that. were this game designed for the NES, the cart would use much more physical memory than any of the other games on the NES. The music in the game, also run through the 8-bit filter, is a great addition to the game, with some stage themes ranking up there with the original series' soundtracks.
If you're the kind, like me, to play the game first in easy mode, you've already got some replay value built-in as you'll want to complete it using both Mega man and Proto Man. Easy mode is a great way to prepare for the real game in Normal Mode, and the online leaderboards will beg you to play over and over again, refining your time down until you can compete with the big boys. Past that, though, there's no branching paths, no reward aside from some built-in trophies, and no real reasons to replay the game other than to challenge yourself.
Mega Man 9 revitalized the Mega Man series while bringing it back to its roots, and Mega Man 10 is a worthy successor that looks and sounds just like the late eighties and allows less experienced players to enjoy the game just as much as the hardcore. Toss in an old-style promotional cover and the low, low price tag of ten dollars and you have an all-around excellent game experience for gamers of all kinds. I heartily reccommend this game to anyone who has ever enjoyed Mega Man, or anyone who wants to introduce themselves to the series without the signifigant frustration involved with getting thrown into the deep end of platforming.
While many games have cute enemies to make you smile, these are the enemies that make you feel like a real bitch when you lose to them.
#5. Andre the Cat in Shadow Hearts 2: In a game that already makes it tough to take most things for granted, Andre is even MORE difficult to take seriously than everything else: it's literally a giant pink kitty with little bells on it. It doesn't help that the scene leading up to it is hilarious as well. However, while not the hardest boss in the game it still puts up a decent fight for the party. Heed these words, beware of the Pink Pussy.
#4. Undine Lizard from Secret of Mana – The first time you see this little cute lizard, you are like “hey, this should be an easy fight.” The blue guy just wanders around mostly, letting you hit him. Then he proceeds to fucking swallows one of your teammates! That’s right, just swallows them whole. Oh you can hit him to get him to spit up your ally, but it does a fuckton of damage and you don’t even have a goddamn cure spell yet! A cute enemy but don’t underestimate this wannabe Kirby motherfucker.
#3. Anita from Marvel Super Heroes – Another secret character on this list, because let’s face it, if Anita was a regular option, people would declare Marvel Super Heroes one of the cheapest fighting games ever! She is a small target, only a little bigger than Servebot, allowing her to automatically evade fireballs, most combos and even some super attacks. On the flipside, she has powerful moves, makes use of Donovan Baine’s enchanted sword from Darkstalkers, and her apparent enslavement of Akuma from Super Street Fighter II Turbo as well… Oh and let’s not forget her super move, Love for You! Or a more apt name: 10,000 Doll Heads of Raining Death!! This fucking move hits you 80 times, does tons of damage, can be combed! And in case you don’t think Anita is cheap enough, her Super does 50% chip damage even if blocked, even able to knock opponents to the ground.
#2. Ozma from FFIX – This super secret boss is a giant spinning sphere of rainbow bright goodness! Doesn’t look too threatening, huh? Well, he IS! It is ultra fast, often taking several turns for each of your characters’, has some really damaging attacks if your party isn’t prepared like Mini and Meteor, and is harder to kill then you may think, as he casts Curaga on himself, healing all his life back, often just to spite you! Add in the fact that you can’t even reach him with melee attacks unless you complete a sidequest, and we have one tough customer! We looked it up and Ozma is Japanese for “Satan’s right testicle”, so beware.
#1. Black Rabite from Seiken Densetsu 3 – Evil in its cutest form and the toughest fight in the game. This secret boss is a brilliant ironic creation and the best sign that Squaresoft may be lacking creativity these days. Oh who the fuck am I kidding, they are lacking creativity! Hello, umpteenth FFVII related game! The Black Rabite will massacre any unprepared team, it knows every powerful spell in the game and if you hit it wrong, it summons actual Level 99 Greater Demons for backup! No one fucks with the Black Rabite. It will kill you, rape your dead corpse, and if you really piss it off, the little evil incarnate will delete your game and fry your SNES. Ok maybe it wont do that but it might as well considering how powerful this evil in cute form is.
LordKat's "Until We Win" is a series that takes the games that brought us nightmares as a kid, and shows that they can be beaten. Taking such legendary difficult games like Battletoads, Silver Surfer, and Bayou Billy, LordKat will show you what you need to do if you want to beat the game. Here is an excerpt of the interview I had with LordKat.
O.G.: How did you come up with the series "Until We Win?"
Lordkat: I thought up this series only as an experiment. I saw the AVGN's Ghostbusters episode and I thought "You know he's really playing this game the wrong way. I know how to beat this game." I've always wanted to put together a show to learn how to edit, script, and shoot. Until then, everything has been off the cuff, vlog-type stuff. I thought why don’t I put together this show and put this on the thatguywiththeglasses.com forums under Your Video Reviews to see if anyone likes it. Mostly I was looking for critiques from my scripting and my editing. People said they really dug the show. It was still raw at the time but people said it had potential and wanted to see more of it. I figured I can make another, why not I need more experience. It just snowballed from there, they wanted to put it on the site, and here I am.
O.G.: Since the AVGN, there have been plenty of people making videos about retro games, reviewing them and so on, and you're showing them how to play these hard old school games that no one beat because they're too hard.
Lordkat: It's not just that. It's also game other reviewers played and didn’t beat. For example, Spoony did his review of Bayou Billy. I don’t know if that's his most famous video but it did get a lot of hits. These people claim that it's impossible for anyone to beat this game. But you know, if you sit down and play through the game, you'll find that you can actually beat it. I don’t know why people give up. I understand the frustration factor; you should come back to it after awhile. At least that's what I do. I get so frustrated with a game, but after a month I come back to it and begrudgingly try to beat it. This show is my homage to that tenacity to beating games.
O.G.: Let's get to the nitty gritty, what game gave you the most pain?
Lordkat: Silver Surfer. That game was unholy. A lot of people have claimed that it's just memorization but it's not that simple. If you don’t have all of your weapons or load out by the end of the game, you're not going to be able to beat the game. So you've got to go back to the beginning of the game and pick up all the powers. Essentially, you have to play the perfect game to beat it. That really caused me the most pain. Battletoads and Bayou Billy, you can pick up around the middle and make your way through it. Silver Surfer you need to go back to the beginning.
O.G.: How close have you been to quitting a game?
Lordkat: I'm getting very close to quitting Pumpkinhead. This is a little bit of a spoiler. I am working an episode for Pumpkinhead, a game that Spoony reviewed where he couldn't get past the first level. I have been working tirelessly on his game, and I am so close to saying screw. This game is just not right, it shouldn’t exist. I'm on the second level right now of that game. I actually beat the first level. When you pop out of a video on the second level, Pumpkinhead comes out and kills you. I have no idea what I'm doing. I literally have done three hours straight of Pumpkinhead coming out and killing me. It drives me nut. It's one of those games where I'd rather be cutting off one of my own fingers right now.
O.G.: I've played most of the games you've done and I gave up on them. The amount of will you have to keep on going is astounding.
Lordkat: It's not that the games are impossible. It's that the games are designed to be hard to extend gameplay. Games back in the day were designed specifically to be hard to extend their gameplay. A lot of these ridiculously difficult games have 3-4 levels, and if they were simple, why would you spend $50 on a game? For example, Marble Madness is a great game but it's ridiculously difficult. I think it only has four levels. You can't justify spending $50 for a game that has only four levels that will maybe give you maybe 20 minutes of gameplay. So what developers did, I think, is make them balls to the wall difficult because that's the only way they can lengthen the gameplay.
O.G.: Has there been a game that you played where you were surprised that it was pretty good?
Lordkat: This is going to sound really corny because the AVGN just came out with a video of it, but it's Hylide. Once I looked up the history of it, even when I was a kid, I compared it to Zelda, I thought it was a piece of crap. I looked up the history and it's a game from 1984 and it was fit in 12kb of memory. I thought holy crap, that's a great game. After that I really got into it. Another one is actually, this is going to sound really stupid, is deadly towers. It's not a good game, I'll admit it's a bad game. But it has a lot of effort behind it. There are a lot of different RPG elements, they're subtle but they're in there. It has some redeemable qualities to it. That really surprised me after the end of that video that I felt that way. It does have some sort of redemption to it.
O.G.:What was the reason behind doing videos for Mega Man, Bionic Commando and Ironsword since those are games that plenty of people beat?
Lordkat: Actually Bionic Commando and Mega Man, for me, were ball-bustlingly difficult for me as a kid. That's really how I judge some of the older games. I try to put this video once a week and there's no way I'm going to get to every epic difficult game. If I did, I would be putting out videos once every three months. I want to keep it a weekly show.
O.G.::Are you going keep sticking with older systems or will you be jumping to more modern games?
Lordkat:: I will be doing more modern games. I'll give you a hint, one of them is Actraiser 2. I'm also working on getting Xbox 360 video capture and attempt bayonetta on the most difficult level. I have a PS2 and I have a video capture for that. There will be more recent games soon, don't worry.
O.G.: With your newfound fame, have you met any online weirdoes or stalkers?
Lordkat: I have had one guy that wanted to marry me, that was kind of strange. I have no idea if he was gay, playful or just drunk. I have had people stalking me about my videos. One guy had wrote me an email six page long on how I went wrong in each level and how I can make my Bionic Commando video better. He wrote about every stage and how I missed a secret stage, so I should have to redo the video. I was like you make the video then. I remember I had one guy respond my video on YouTube saying how I'm not doing a proper Lets play and the right way to do a let's play. And how until we win was a bastard version. I get those people that want to talk my ear off.
O.G.: What are your plans for the future.
Lordkat: Right now I'm trying to get until we win back up because of this cold. Next one is Dick Tracy, hopefully people won't bust my balls over that one. Other until we win, I'm doing vlogs which are kind of on the fly thing. Also I'm doing a how to series on how to build a computer. I'm also going to be putting a series of videos about my Nokia n900 since I can't stop playing with it because it's so pretty. Other than that, there's movie foods which I stopped doing. My stomach was rejecting the idea outright, but I'm going to start it up again, maybe about bad food in general. Also about how to make a game but that's a very slow one over the next months. I do want to work on another weekly video of a high score challenge. Every week I'm going to post one game, explain it, and see who gets the high score for it.