Sunday, 13 November 2011

Full Reviews Vol. 1 More Mechas, Demon Lords and the history of a drug-addled plumber

Full Reviews are essentially reviews of works I have seen through to their completion - and in this case, I shall be focussing on video games I have played somewhat recently.
Front Mission: Gun Hazard vs. Metal Warriors - While I am currently playing through the original Front Mission (and finding it quite good), I am looking back and comparing it quite a bit with a game I completed a few months ago that was something of a spin-off sequel to this one. Essentially, I would have to say, this game is remarkably deep, well-thought out, and most of all, incredibly fun. Now while I admit the levelling aspect of this made it a little too easy - especially near the end - I still managed to become almost completely immersed in the experience. The characters were a little aloof, or simply, a little bit too simple, and the plot 'twist' near the end as to the real motive behind the villains' manipulations was a little off, but not only would you make an allowance for this given that FM:GH is a Super Famicom game, but you would make an allowance for this given that it is a game at all - although I do not play most mainstream, new games these days, I would have to say that the ones I have played cannot compare to this, even though they are in 3D.

I wanted to compare both these games with Cybernator, but given that the SNES version was censored, and there remains no translation for the original (and my Japanese is still a work in progress), I cannot at this moment do so - despite the obvious similarities between all these games, being those in which you pilot mechas. The one thing I have to say about Metal Warriors is that what it lacks in story, it makes up for in gameplay. I think FM:GH really cannot compare to the amount of fun you can potentially have in Metal Warriors, though Metal Warriors in turn cannot really compare to the story and immersion in FM:GH. I also think that FM:GH was carefully calibrated to some extent to make sure that players would not find it hard enough to make them lose focus on the plot - while Metal Warriors had as little story as possible, so the fun element would be turned up to maximum. I'd say that Metal Warriors is not a game you should really attempt without savestates if you want to complete it, but then again, it still is fun enough that completing it isn't the thing most on your mind at the time, while FM:GH has the RPG elements in it that basically allow you to grind until everything is extremely easy, so completing it isn't really an issue. In summary, these games despite their similarities, appeal to entirely different audiences - but I'd recommend both to anyone who is a fan of mechas, war games and fun gameplay. As for the antinatalist aspect, I'd say that there is absolutely none. None at all.

Disgaea vs. Pokémon - I'm not sure whether I want to call Disgaea: Afternoon of Darkness the best RPG I've ever played, but as it stands right now, my emotions tell me that it is. Not that there is anything wrong with it - simply, I can't shake off how it is often said that Chrono Trigger or the Persona series etc. are the best - and I loved Chrono Trigger in its own way, sure (haven't played Persona), but the only RPGs I have really played constantly for months on end are the Pokémon series and Disgaea. The fun I get out of these games is basically limitless - and with so much to do in them, I have often spent entire summer holidays, day after day after day playing them. But Disgaea holds a special place in my heart, moreso than Pokémon, simply because it is not only carefully made addicting to people such as myself, but it is innovative, it is funny, and it is immersing. Pokémon is more like junk food, really - I'll consume as much of it as I can, for as long as I can, but it isn't exactly adding anything to me. My antinatalist take on these games is that some monsters and classes in this game are too weak to use. Their lives are meaningless, and you should release them into the wild, or transmigrate them into better classes. Essentially, if the developers were antinatalist, they would have put them in to show us that nature is cruel, and that some people's lives are not worth living. It takes a broad stretch of imagination to see things that way though, ha.

Mario games - Is it me or do the Mario games just keep on getting better? From the original, to Super Mario World, to Yoshi's Island, and finally to New Super Mario Bros, I keep on having my expectations as to their value squashed, as their actual value is even greater in magnitude.

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