My additional Intellivision game reviews have been posted. You can check them out here: RVG Game Reviews
Wow, that was fast! Thanks for the heads-up. Your reviews are written well. I always struggle when I sit down to review a video game; by the time I feel I've penetrated the surface of the story or mechanics, I start to think that I've lost the reader. ;D
Thank you. Glad you enjoyed them. Did you also look at the Vectrex reviews? I wrote those as well.
Post by wyldephang on Dec 11, 2012 16:48:06 GMT -5
I've progressed to the end of the game, reached the very final boss, and have given up on Lufia & the Fortress of Doom. The final battle confirmed what had been developing in my mind for several days: Lufia is not a good game.
The narrative was promising in the early going. It picks up in the middle of an epic battle between four legendary heroes and a group of evil beings known as Sinistrals, who are attempting to enslave the world. Under the leadership of the swordsman Maxim, the heroes fight a grueling battle and reign victorious. 100 years of peace come to pass, and the people of the land slump into complacency. Just when the world has forgotten the sacrifices of Maxim and his heroes, the Sinistrals are revived and it's the responsibility of Maxim's descendant to put a stop to the Sinistrals. The Hero resolves to defend humanity from impending doom; to do so, he must recruit powerful allies and tap into his ancestral lineage to unlock the true extents of his power. This sounds like a compelling plot, but that's precisely where the enjoyment of Lufia & the Fortress of Doom ends.
The plot unfolds through a succession of search-and-retrieve quests, which follow a basic formula: The Hero must meet blankety-blank, but in order to meet him, he must travel to this unnamed cave and fetch this random thingamajig, which needs to be taken to so-and-so in the town of whosawhatsit, who will point the Hero in such-and-such direction to meet the aforementioned blankety-blank, who will either expire upon the Hero's deliverance unto him or tell him to visit someone else, at which point the Hero embarks on another journey across seas, mountains, and forests to find the next plot-advancing element. This is how the narrative moves along for the entirety of the game, and no, it never improves. But even with its convoluted method of storytelling, Lufia would manage to be playable if it weren't for the overabundance of enemy encounters, which are proliferated throughout every cave and dungeon between you and the random person you're supposed to meet. This is how Lufia manages to compromise the integrity of its story: by the time the Hero fights his way to the end of a dungeon, you've forgotten why you ever set foot there. Several non-playable characters in the game advise you to travel with vials of Sweet Water, which reduce the frequency of enemy encounters, and Smoke Balls, which allow the characters to flee from battle. These items are available for a good bargain at most vendors throughout the world map, and I like to think the discounted price is their way of apologizing for the broken nature of the game. The high encounter rate would have been a great way to gain experience points for the characters in the game, but experience comes at the expense of time, and it takes too much of it to actually develop your characters into the warriors they were destined to become.
Needless to say, I became weary of battles and traveled with a constant supply of Sweet Water to avoid incessant random encounters. As a result, my characters went into the final battles at a lower level than was recommended, but I was able to pass through the first three bosses without much trouble. When I came to the final boss, though, I realized that the difficulty of the endgame had nothing to do with how high or low my characters were leveled. No, the final battle is a game of luck, and the final boss holds the dice. Like an uninformed 10-year-old sitting in as the GM of a Dungeons & Dragons session, he'll throw the dice across the room, knock your pieces off the board, and impose any number of random rules to tilt the balance in his favor. Not least annoying of all is that he continually casts a spell that confuses the party. If this spell happens to miss the first or second time, then he'll continue to spam it until it sticks and the entire party, rendered defenseless, hacks away at each other. It's O.K. for the occasional confusion spell to come into play and change the dynamic of the battle; it keeps the player on guard. But an unending succession of confusion spells indicates poor programming--in the case of Lufia, it all but confirms it. And poor programming for a game that is already compromised by tedious storytelling dooms this game to a bad score. Lufia & the Fortress of Doom is a river of diarrhea trapped under a frozen sheet of mediocrity. My best advice is not to venture onto it, for however diligently you chisel away at the surface, you'll only plummet into a hypothermia-inducing abyss of crap. I've read a lot of reviews for Lufia & the Fortress of Doom, and most people recommend that it be played as a companion to its successor, Lufia II. On the other hand, I would suggest a different approach: your foray into the Lufia series should begin and end with Lufia II.
Last Edit: Dec 11, 2012 17:03:00 GMT -5 by wyldephang
Heh, I sought out this post after I just read in a recently bumped post ("What are you playing Now" I think) a months old post by Darryl referring to "wydephang's classic" non-vector thread.
... I have been super distracted from the vectors lately! Actually, in terms of graphics, my recent gaming may be as far from vector graphics as possible - "Dot Matrix with Stereo Sound". Yes I have been totally preoccupied with the original LCD Game Boy.
I think I'll probably start a new thread on this in the near future, when I have more time and pictures and maybe some fun stuff to report.
Basically my enthusiasm came from discovering the Game Boy backlight kits people are selling these days. I have now successfully installed one and it looks great! It really works.
I had recently become interested in the ADVENTURE VISION, and subsequently accepted that I will never have one, and maybe never even get to see one. ... Well it occurred to me that a (red LED) backlit Game Boy, mounted in a little table top set-up, (modded to look like Adventure Vision), might be the closest I would ever get. ... Plus I just think that would be cool - a tabletop Game Boy that lights up. ... If I ever make progress on this I'll post pics.
Games I've been playing on my newly lit up Game Boy are: Super Mario Land, Marble Madness, Operation C and Kid Icarus.
Games on the way are R-Type and Nemesis.
Games on my wanted list are Bionic Commando, Gradius and Metroid II.
The Zelda game for this system is one of the best games, and I used to have it. Not looking for it anymore though because I don't think it fits into my (imagined) tabletop arcade set up very well. ... Agreed with wyldephang's original posts though, that the 90's were a great time for the 'story driven' video game, RPG's etc. At the time I was too impatient and immature to play anything that wasn't action driven. But looking back now it was a really formative time for gaming and story telling. Plus in that era there was a lot of innocence and fun that you don't see much of any more.
A quick revision of my previous review: I ended up beating Lufia & the Fortress of Doom after coming to the conclusion that it would have been a shame to abandon the game on the final boss. I reconsidered my tactics and was able (due in no small part to luck) to overcome the boss at a relatively low level. One day, I'll have to edit my review, but until then, I'd still recommend that you skip Lufia & the Fortress of Doom. It's a tiresome, plain affair.
Glip, I'm glad you're getting a lot of mileage out of your Game Boy. I have owned a few of them over the years--I have the proud distinction of having smashed one over my head as a child. My most recent model, the Game Boy Color, is still in prime condition, and once in a while, I'll boot up Pokemon Red to marvel at my Pokemon collection. I still want to complete Link's Awakening and Metroid II--it sounds like we have those two games in common--but I think I'll play those on my Super Game Boy, which can be hooked up to my HD display. I would recommend that you pick up a copy of Link's Awakening. Even if it doesn't fit, per se, it's a wonderful game, and one of the best adventure titles on the handheld.
Last Edit: Mar 2, 2013 19:17:26 GMT -5 by wyldephang
I still want to complete Link's Awakening and Metroid II--it sounds like we have those two games in common--but I think I'll play those on my Super Game Boy, which can be hooked up to my HD display. I would recommend that you pick up a copy of Link's Awakening. Even if it doesn't fit, per se, it's a wonderful game, and one of the best adventure titles on the handheld.
Yeh I know how good the Zelda game is. I've played through it several times. Still currently have it in ROM form on a GBA flash cart. I can't remember if I ever completely played through the Metroid GB game, but I've definitely played very deep into it. Also have that one in ROM form on the same GBA flash cart (unfortunately I'm stuck with the last stuff I flashed to that cart because it no longer registers when I plug the cable in, so I can't add anything. Luckily the last stuff I flashed is a decent little collection though.)
I do think it's very cool to play a long involved game like Zelda on a handheld. It's nice to be able to lay down and play that sort of game in comfort and privacy. I've played through that way in the past and also the SNES Link to the Past (My favorite in the series) as it was ported to GBA. Also played through Chrono Trigger that way, (ported to DS) .
But my current Game Boy endeavor is preoccupied with the graphics, and an authentic representation of them. The games I'm buying right now are mostly games that I already have on my GBA flash cart (which I play mostly on a Game Boy Micro). I want to see that Dot Matrix in action.
Last Edit: Mar 2, 2013 23:36:56 GMT -5 by gliptitude
I just suddenly plugged in my Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits cart in my Genny the other night and have been playing a bit of Defender and Robotron since.
Can't get any more classic than that, right?
Midway's Greatest Arcade Hits is a very similar collection for the GBA. I play this Defender port on my Game Boy Micro all the time! Robotron and Sinistar are not so good in this version though. But Defender is what I really bought it for.
Yeah I was wondering how it translated to other platforms; I'm sure it was good for the SNES and PlayStation, the latter of which also included Bubbles on it, along with interviews with programmers as a bonus feature.
Everything works fine on this one unless you've got a joystick for Robotron, as I find it kind of hard to fire with the D-pad. It would also be nice to have remappable controls, since it doesn't make much sense to have controls one way for Defender, then the basics were changed for Stargate, so you press the wrong button when you're thinking of the layout for Defender.
Within the last month, I've been browsing eBay on a daily basis, keeping an eye open for the essential games that are missing from my library. (A note to collectors: it helps to assemble a "wish list." When you acquire a new game, scratch it off the list.) In particular, the last week has been very generous for me as my latest yield has produced almost ten new games! I benefited from a handful of one-day auctions. Retro video games are such an attraction that an item in a one-day auction will often close at the same price as one in a seven-day auction. But in general, the less people that see an auction, the less bidders will show up. So, I managed to sneak away with a couple of good deals.
By far, the most addicting game of the bunch has been ActRaiser for the Super Nintendo. The player controls an omnipotent being known as The Master, who basically functions in the same capacity as a typical Western god. The Master is a benevolent god who helps the people to build cities and ward off evil. In other words, he has a hand in nation-building and ass-kicking, and both endeavors are very fun in their own respective spheres! The city simulation occurs in an overhead perspective a la SimCity, and the action segments occur in side-scrolling levels, which are much preferred for platforming and extinguishing malefactors. So far, I've managed to build one city from the ground up and rid the area of evil monsters. However, there are more maps to uncover, more civilizations to make prosper, and more enemies to fight. It's a very promising game!
I don't know much about the SNES, but I've heard of this one. It's one of those kinds of games that doesn't sound like much as far as the title goes, but then once you realize what it potentially means, that's pretty heavy!
I just started on Ecco The Tides of Time for the Sega CD. Funny to finally be able to dive into that game (pardon the pun, since you're a dolphin) 10 years after getting it! Just had a bunch of things in the way and the like, such as not playing a game on a 13" tv, which was all I had for a while. Sure, nothing wrong with that there, but not when it's across the room from you, so I didn't want to start on something that might have small things in it that could kill me if I couldn't see them! So I finally only started on it today, as I got a 19" tv a few months ago, but I was going through Shining in the Darkness. I beat that last week, and now I'm going through this.
Right, the title leaves a lot to be desired! In its own odd way, though, it has an appeal to it. You can't assume much about the game based on the title alone, so it compels you to check it out.
Wow, you're making serious headway into your collection! Shining in the Darkness is a hefty game. Sadly, I missed my opportunity to pick up the Shining series (on the Genesis) for a relatively low price. I had been scouting a particular seller for weeks, but if I had known he would explode in popularity and sell his entire inventory, I would have jumped on the opportunity. I managed to pick up a good number of cartridges from his collection, nonetheless, but I regret missing the Shining Force games! The Super Nintendo keeps me busy, though.