Heaven (Or Hell)
At the risk
of sounding like the stereotypical raging, sarcastic, stupid
video game reviewer, there are a lot of games that piss me
off because they suck. And I'm not talking about the usual
"Oh those graphics are sooooo 1999 B.C." or "This
game is a rip-off of (insert Popular Game here)".
No, I mean games everybody loves. Super Street Fighter
IV is probably the best example of what I'm talking about.
is shitty, hands down. Know why? It doesn't have Elena. It
doesn't give you access to both Ultra moves at once (even
though no character has the same input for them). It doesn't
put pressure on scrubs to get better; between Zangief Lariatting
the shit out of you when he's not trying to stick his tongue
up your ass, and Ken Shoryukening you out of a fucking eyeblink,
SSFIV sucks. And
Super Street Fighter IV - Arcade Edition will suck
even harder because stupid Yun and Yang get yet ANOTHER fucking
appearance in the series. Why don't they just call it "Yun/Yang's
Street Fighting Simulator?" Oh,
I can already see the good 'ol inbox piling up with shitloads
of hate mail from "tournament players" about how
bad I must suck at the game or some other such nonsense.
kiss my grits, fuckface. I play Guy, Dhalsim, and T. Hawk.
Just because I don't go for the Top Tier sellout doesn't mean I'm
bad at the game. And that's just one example. I could (and
should) go on at length about how games today piss me off. I tend
to find that "popular" is synonymous with "really,
really shitty but everybody plays it, anyway". More often than
not, I can squeeze a lot of enjoyment out of games everybody shies
away from. What's
the appeal? Perhaps it's the fact that these under-appreciated gems
need love, too. It could be that there's virtually no competition
for them, meaning some "expert" (read: PRICK) isn't breathing
down my neck about frame data or some form of bullshit glitch canceling.
Mostly, I think it's akin to a love for B-Movies, gems that no one
enjoys one fucking bit until some dickhead actor makes a reference
in a bro-mance movie.
These games, to
me at least, are a great diversion from the typical contemporary
gaming experience. Well, I've cobbled together a few notable examples
from a list of imfamously bad/obscure fighting games that could
go on for a novel's worth of reading. Hop on board with me for a
ride you'll likely forget in about 15 minutes!
I'm pretty sure everybody in the room remembers Time Killers,
right? Well, this is its lesser-known and under-appreciated younger
brother. Produced by Strata, this game had the rather novel notion
that it was competing with the Mortal Kombat franchise. I
guess a good analogy for this would be the Cub Scouts vs. the Green
Berets. BloodStorm didn't stand a "Donut at a Facts
of Life Reunion's" chance against Midway's gore-powered
juggernaut. And I'm really surprised, because BloodStorm
had a lot of potential, if it lacked originality. For a game that
thought it was all balls over Mortal Kombat, it certainly
by "borrowed," I mean "engaged in a festival of larceny"
from Mortal Kombat in spades. Mortal Kombat
has Sub Zero, the ice-wielding ninja who rips your spine out. BloodStorm
has Freon, the ice-wielding skater who does the "Bloody Slushy"
to you. Mortal
Kombat has the Pit, a spike-lined abyss that inept fighters
find themselves inhabiting in various states of dismemberment. BloodStorm
has Subterra, where inept fighters who so much as go too far left
or right end up with a stalagmite as a new (and permanent) addition
to their chest cavity. Mortal Kombat has the Dead
Pool, BloodStorm has the Toxic Marsh...
so friggin' on. When
it didn't suffer from identity disorder, BloodStorm was amazing.
The game was absolutely
riddled with secrets and nifty ways to kill your opponent, and damn
near every level had something tucked away, awaiting discovery.
fighting was again, a lot like Mortal Kombat, but with a
dash of MegaMan. Yeah, you read that right. When you beat
an opponent, you get an ability from them that is unique. It also
had password support, so you could pick up where you left things
in case some jerkwad kicked you off the machine because he plays
Razor. I was probably that jerkwad. In all, BloodStorm is
worth a look, if for no other reason than to play the unofficial
sequel to Time Killers.
Challenge From The Dark Side
If you owned a Sega Genesis in it's heyday, chances are you heard
about Eternal Champions. You might have even played it a
little. And, chances are even better that if you did, you went back
to Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter II - Special Champion
Edition. I was one of those fucking weirdos that thought the
game was good. For those who haven't played it, it's pretty easy
single character is a charge character (like Guile or Blanka). Most
characters have projectiles, and anti-air moves, (yawn) but what
really separated it from the games that kicked its ass were the
REALLY unique moves...
Shadow's, well, shadow,
which makes you totally invincible for a short time. Jetta can make
you move incredibly slow, and can also make herself move ridiculously
fast. Xavier can change which person is playing which character,
and can also change your controls; no
two characters played even remotely the same. It even featured a
last boss that had FIVE distinct forms, an advanced training mode
arena riddled with an assortment of traps, a reflex test, and a
tournament mode that could feasibly last for DAYS! Pretty bold thinking
and execution, in all. That was just the Genesis version;
Sega CD got the beefed-up Challenge From The Dark Side upgrade,
featuring TONS more characters (including secret ones), more backgrounds,
more ways to decimate losing opponents, and a CD-quality soundtrack.
Oh, and instead
of ONE last boss that had FIVE forms, the colossal upgrade has TWO
las bosses, with NINE forms each. Fuck you, Mortal Kombat;
this is a REAL endurance match! There was a lot more emphasis on
skillful play, with a great bonus for players who could successfully
execute large combos. Like any good fighting game, Eternal Champions
has a lot of emphasis on character spacing during play; not only
in actual fighting, but in murdering your opponent! Where EC
dropped the ball, though, was in comparing itself to Street Fighter
in advertisements in the mid-nineties. "A wimp like Blanka
wouldn't stand a chance" is a line I laugh my ass off at any
time I pore through an old X-Men comic. For what it is, Eternal
Champions kicks ass and is a nice spin on the traditional 2-D
fighting formula. SEGA (scream)!
Gale / Data East]
Holy shit. This game proves talent and creativity are more
than a match for Bob Gale (look him up) and Data East's pinball
division. Tattoo Assassins was Mortal Kombat without
any semblance of style or originality. What it lacks in graphics,
sound, gameplay, story, and all that other nonsense it sure as hell
makes up for in fun (and for all the wrong reasons). An impressive
number of fatalities (like dropping a DeLorean on some fool's head)
make it worth suffering through; just engaging in the lack of sophistication
is its own fun. Kind of like Fargo, or Rocky Horror Picture
Show, really. Shitty, uninspired characters and really bad fighting
mechanics make game a treasure; the kind you want to bury.
Shodown V - Special
love this game, and wish the rest of the world did, too. This is
as close to a balanced SNK fighting game we will EVER see. Lots
of characters (including a returning one from Samurai Shodown
II, complete with re-drawn sprites), make it so casual competition
is always surprising. Great graphics and new mobility and guard
mechanics make it the single most complete Samurai Shodown
experience there is, minus the fact that some characters didn't
make the cut. Shiki *sigh*, Asura, Gen-an, Earthquake, Wan-fu, Yumeji,
Sankuro, and Poppy are not playable. Sankuro is one we can all agree
on, I think.
The bright graphics
in Samurai Shodown V - Special are a stark contrast to the
incredibly violent contest that usually ends in contenders getting
killed in horrible ways. For laughs, do Basara's Zetsumei Ougi to
Mina. It's sad, horrifying, and giggle-inducing all at the same
time. Meditation from the original Samurai Shodown V is back,
as is the Issen Flash ("single-strike") kill, but most
other things (like Gaoh's boss Demon form) are not. Which is good,
because it feels a little more balanced and fun, for an SNK game.
I could go on
for pages and pages about how much I love this game. I highly recommend
this one to everybody.
Chan In: Fists Of Fire
Ever hear of Kaneko? No? Well, they did a lot of
really perverse video pachinko games for Japanese arcades. Ever
hear of Jackie Chan?
Jesus, I'm sorry,
of course you have! Now please calm down while I regale you with
the tale of one of the most dynamic and epicly obscure tag teams
ever created. In 1995 this game came out. And no one played it.
The end. This game is every obscurists dream; it's bad, laughably
so, but it's also incredibly fun to play. Huge juggles, incredibly
random damage, and THREE iterations of Jackie make this game a kick
in the ass.
Get a room full
of friends and fire this fucker up; it's newbie friendly without
being too dumbed-down. Jackie's antics are riotous, no more so than
when upon being defeated, he gets up, gives you the thumbs-up, and
says, "you're getting better!" It's almost as if he let
you win, or if it were just a sparring match. Come to think of it,
when there's no Jackies fighting, the game is incredibly bloody.
It's like the game says "Whoa, hold up, J-Man isn't here, let's
have a fuckin' blood orgy!" There's no outright dismemberment,
but there is a lot of gushing blood, bodies being set aflame, and
yin yangs covered in blood. Pretty violent for a Jackie Chan related
For real though,
play this one. You'll love it..
in God's name is a "Vic Tokai," anyway? The second part
could be Japanese, but what or who is the first part? Vic?
There's no dog-fighting in either of these games, so it can't be
Michael Vic! "What's in a name?" Apparently, bad game
I loved this game growing up. I couldn't tell you why, other than
the over-the-top levels of cheesy gore and exceptionally bad music.
It's kind of like watching a Bruce Campbell SyFy original movie;
you love the source, but the end result just makes you sad. The
arcade version featured a gigantic, backlit "3-D" button,
which let your character move in (you guessed it) 3-D! Guess they
never played Tekken...
any other fighting game, for that matter. I remember making my cousin
cry by putting in the code to play as Exor once. I kept using his
unblockable teleport slam move until he died. Then we got grounded
from the N64 for fighting. For real.
Fighter III - Third Strike:
Fight For The Future
why this game sucks? When all tournaments (with the exception of
SBO) have the same THREE fucking characters being played, you know
you've picked up a stinker. Boring backgrounds, boring music, and
ridiculously-unbalanced characters make a shitty SHITTY experience
that just happens to be pretty popular. Anybody remember Street
Fighter III - 2nd Impact: Giant Attack, when Sean wasn't garbage-tier?
Anyone? Oh, go fuck your Collective Soul(s).
To wrap this all up, stray off the beaten path for a bit. Check some
of these stinkers out when you get a chance, and remember that "good"
and "fun" aren't usually interchangeable. Just like "Expert"
and "Ken" are mutually exclusive concepts to each other...
Sol SadGuy -
2011 All Rights Reserved.