Monday, February 16, 2015

Atari Game Review Chosen by RNG: Title Match Pro Wrestling

Release: 1987   Absolute Entertainment Inc.
Using the random number generator (RNG) from and a list of 523 games for Atari 2600, Title Match Pro Wrestling was chosen for review.
Well, it's a wrestling game, but for a controller with only one button and a joystick it surprisingly has a lot of variety with what you can do. All of your moves are done by pressing the button and a direction, with many of the moves being context sensitive. For example, if you hold the button and press up, you'll punch, but if you have your opponent in a hold or on the ground, pressing button and up results in lifting them over your head. Or, if your opponent is down and you're near the ropes at the top or bottom of the screen, the same button and direction combination will let you climb onto the ropes from which you can then slam down onto your opponent. Apart from those moves, you can also spin your opponent around and throw them and, of course, pin them down for the win.
In order to successfully pin someone, you'll want to weaken their strength meter. When you're actually pinning them, they can try to escape by wiggling the joystick faster than you wiggle your joystick, but if they have relatively lower strength than you, they'll be at a disadvantage. Strangely though, most of the cooler offensive moves actually decrease your own strength so there isn't much point in using them. Also, to get someone pinned, you'll first have to grab them and throw them down, but since you have to be so close to them to do this and must first release the joystick before pressing the button and the direction, it's very hard to accomplish it when you need to. The game moves at a pretty fast pace, so like most modern fighting games (grumble, grumble), this one is likely to turn into a mash fest. In my experience, both players will be out of strength in no time and any potential strategic depth there might have been gets thrown out the window.
There are four playable characters, but they all seem to function the same way.
By pressing Select on the console, you can cycle between 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 tag team versus either another player or a computer. Tag team adds a bit more depth because you can swap out with your other guy to recharge your strength, or try to keep your opponent away from the side to prevent them from tagging out. The computer player has predictable and repetitive movement, but is so fast at attacking that they're a beast to fight even when you know where they're going to go.

And as for animation and audio, it's about what you'd expect from the Atari 2600's limited hardware. The applause sounds like static, the animation is stiff (but not that bad, all things considered), and that's about all there is to it. I recorded some gameplay below, so you can see it in motion.

The Final Word:
For an Atari game, there's more depth here than you'd expect and than there appears to be. Unfortunately, it's unlikely that anyone will ever fully make use of that depth because it's much easier and more effective to just mash buttons. There you go. That's Title Match Pro Wrestling.

If you're into retro games, check out Itadaki Street. It's pretty great.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

(Wow!) Butt Crack Kirby Amiibo (Such defect!)

Yeah! It's for sale! (lol) Update: No one bought it! Fine, I'll keep it then!
Double gunned Samus? Legless Peach? Detached and tipped over amiibo in the box? Step aside and make room for the latest, greatest, and most desirable defective amiibo yet: Butt Crack Kirby!

Now shush! I hear your skepticism, but you're making poor Kirby cry. Fear not, for this most alluring fissure of the buttocks is all natural and was there from the moment I first unboxed this historic amiibo. No alterations have been made apart from data written during its use in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U (in which he fights like a champ, by the way).
Furthermore, you may find this Kirby's posterior to be at odds with your understanding of anatomy. However, while you would be correct in believing that most human butt cracks run vertically, to my knowledge Kirby's crack has never been canonically defined. Don't forget that Kirby's digestive system is very different from a human's and one would assume that his excretory system would be similarly different. Therefore it is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that Kirby's cheeks are split horizontally as represented on this amiibo.

Perhaps you're saying to yourself, "self, I'm pretty sure every Kirby amiibo has a seam across its butt like that." Well, yes, every Kirby amiibo does have a visible seam there, but it is my belief that this one's bottom half protrudes almost two millimeters further than normal!
It even comes with a certificate of authenticity!
I'm sure that all of my "prebuttals" up to this point have been wholly unnecessary and that all you really want to know is how you can get your hands on this most coveted of Kirbys. Don't worry, it is for sale, even though I'm sure that I'll miss it greatly if when it's purchased. Honestly, why would you not want this butt crack Kirby amiibo? It's fully compatible with Super Smash Bros. for Wii U/3DS, Mario Kart 8, Hyrule Warriors, Kirby and the Rainbow Curse, and likely many more games to come.

This is an opportunity that you don't want to miss! Hurry on over to eBay and bid to make sure the world's first Butt Crack Kirby doesn't slip through your fingers! 

(Yep, I'm totally serious right now. Does this look like a face that's joking?)
Wow, I should've retaken this.

Monday, February 2, 2015

9 Most Forgotten Game Sequels

Even great games can have forgotten sequels. Here's how to make one: release it in limited quantities at the end of a console's life, don't advertise it, and don't release it in every region. The problem with writing an article about this is that I might not even know about the most forgotten sequels. After doing some research, these are what I came up with, listed in order of their release. If the one you had in mind isn't on the list, drop a comment below and maybe I'll even add your suggestion to the post!

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (1992, SMS)
(Via World of Longplays)
Yes, I know, everyone knows and loves Sonic the Hedgehog 2, but that's the Genesis version! This is the totally different game released at the same time on Master System and ported to Game Gear. Thanks to having the same name as the Genesis version and needing to compete with it, this 8-bit Sonic 2 gets a whole lot less love even though it ain't half bad.

Bubble Bobble Part 2  (1993 - NES, GB)
(Via World of Longplays)
Even though the original Bubble Bobble is pretty unforgettable (probably thanks to its single-track soundtrack), I had no idea there was a second one for NES until last week. It's the same basic idea - shoot enemies with bubbles and then pop them - but with better graphics, different, less memorable, music, and a few new gameplay elements thrown in for good measure. It doesn't help that there weren't many copies of the game to go around. If you want to get one on eBay, it'll set you back between $200 and $300 for just the cartridge. Wowzers.

Ducktales 2 (1993 - NES, GB)
(Via World of Longplays)
Back in the good old days, even games based on movies and TV shows were often quite good. Ducktales on NES was one of those games. Everyone loved the great gameplay, great soundtrack, and basically everything about it. It even got a remake in 2013. Unfortunately, even though there's a sequel with all new levels and the same great gameplay, hardly anyone seems to remember it since it was released so late in the console's life. Even the remake, which could have combined both games into one epic combo, seemed to forget this game's existence. And if you thought the NES version was overlooked, don't forget that there was also a port of Ducktales 2 on Game Boy.

Space Station Silicon Valley (1999, GBC)
(Via mcill)
This one is almost definitely the most obscure on the list. The original Space Station Silicon Valley on N64 was somewhat obscure in its own right, but it had incredibly unique gameplay and was quite fun to play. Now, I'm cheating a little here because the version on Game Boy Color isn't so much a sequel as it is a "de-make" of the original. This Europe-exclusive port totally re-imagined every level and mission of the original 3D game into a 2D version. Seriously, it stays true to the original to a fault, but since the transition to 2D is so drastic, most casual gamers wouldn't even realize just how similar it is. That's probably part of why it faded into obscurity; it might've been better off creating new puzzles that were more suited for 2D, while still maintaining the brilliant gameplay of the original SSSV.

Bomberman 64: The Second Attack (2000, N64)
(Via gameguy888)
I was a pretty big fan of Bomberman 64 and Bomberman Hero as a kid, so I was hyped when I heard Second Attack was coming out. At last, I saw it in a store, but didn't buy it right then. Then I never saw it again. From the looks of it, it's more similar to Bomberman 64 than Hero, but it seems to have more of a story and more complex gameplay. Maybe I'll get around to playing it eventually...

Klonoa Beach Volleyball (2002 - PS1)
(Via MrGamingZone)
Klonoa is already a bit of a cult classic series that isn't super well known. The games are typically platforming games with 3D graphics, but this one's a sports spinoff (so, yeah, I'm kinda cheating with this one). It has all the ingredients of a forgotten sequel: it's different from the rest of the series, it came out after the next gen console was already released, and it was only released in Japan and Europe. It's too bad; it seems fairly fun.

Army Men: Major Malfunction (2006 - PS2, XBox)
(Via Mackspot)
When I was younger, I thought the Army Men games were so cool. Going back to them now, I've realized that most of them are pretty mediocre. I've also realized that basically the whole series is made up of forgotten sequels and spinoffs. I was going to tell you about Sarge's War, which I thought was the last real Army Men game before the kiddie reboot, but then I discovered Major Malfunction. I haven't played this one, but by the looks of it, it was forgotten for good reason. It's apparently quite a crappy game and did a good job of making people care even less when the series died.

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2006, GCN)
(Via ZorZelda)
Yes, I know, Twilight Princess isn't the least bit forgotten and neither is any other Zelda game really. Even the Zelda games on CDi are pretty well known. But I'm not just talking about Twilight Princess, I'm talking about the GameCube version of Twilight Princess. Like most of these forgotten sequels, the GameCube version came out just as the next generation console was coming out. Everyone was hyped for Wii, and with hardly any worthwhile launch games to buy, everyone bought the Wii version of Twilight Princess. Only years later, did some realize that they might've been better off with the version that mapped actions to buttons after all.

Excitebots: Trick Racing (2009, Wii) (Review)
Sequel to the Wii launch title, Excite Truck (which was, itself, a sort of sequel to Excitebike), Excitebots is one of the most fun games I played last gen and also one of the most overlooked. The presentation and audio is forgettable and nonsensical, but the gameplay is unbelievably satisfying. It's not just about racing, it's about getting more stars than everyone else. The game gives you stars for practically everything, so it's nonstop rewards and off-the-wall action. You gotta play it.

If you're interested in obscure games, you might like to check out this post where I reviewed the entire Virtual Boy library. Yep, I beat them all. Have at it.
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