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For those who don't know what it is, it is a DS game that is basically a bunch of little old school 8-bit (but original) games... overhead racer, 2D SHMUP, turn based RPG, etc. Then the game makes you do a bunch of specific challenges within these games.
I don't think Xseed is pulling a Capcom test on us. They localize a lot of cool, obscure Japanese stuff. It's not like they're basing their support on a two-year-old gimped port, or something. They're just trying to stay in business.
Anyway, I'm down for the game. Everyone who's played it seems to love it. I wonder how high-quality each game is, though. Like, do they work mostly as parody, or are they strong representations of each genre?
They usually write very informative, fair, balanced and smart reviews, I don't understand how they could not get that the engrish was on purpose. Still, good review. Their complaint that the game doesn't offer harder optional challenges to please the hardcore crowd is incidentally the same complaint I have about Shaun White Snowboarding.
Because I've really, um, "savored" their reviews over the years, and their recent ones fell kind of flat and sometimes missed the point. Their World of Goo review, for instance, or the fact that the reviewer in this case couldn't figure out that the Engrish was intentional, things like that.
It's not about "mirroring my tastes" at all. As I said in an IGN thread, it's about being trustworthy, accurate and entertaining, and telling me what I need to know (and not what I want to hear).
It's very difficult to find a reviewer / site / mag that I can actually relate to. I thought Gametrailers was alright for awhile, but they seemed to regress back into the same negativity towards Nintendo as others. And on their podcasts it's really only the one guy who ever seems excited about Nintendo stuff. I think IGNs Nintendo team does alright, and though they can be pointless negative in their podcasts you can at least hear that they are excited about the types of games that most multiconsole reviewers don't seem to care about (Rune Factory, Fragile, House of the Dead, Deadly Creatures, etc.) Maybe I should get into renting but I dunno, I like having one or two games at a time and just focusing on them at my own leisure.
I was listening to the latest Retronauts podcast and they all seem to love the game. Someone said the 16-bit-inspired sequel (out in Japan) is even better, and Parish said "that's impressive considering how awesome this one is". So it seems one can't go wrong picking this game up. They also said that Guadia Quest, a clear homage to Dragon Quest 2, is less frustrating to play than DQ2 would be today, so that's pretty cool: faux retrogames that have all the charm of the classics we love, but with the gameplay refinements we've come to expect. Cool.
Doesn't seem like the game is out in Canada yet. I can't wait!
I also don't like renting games and trying to beat them within the rental period. I play games at a leisurely pace, and that feels too much like work. I just rent for evaluation purposes, to earmark titles for future purchase (or non-purchase). Often, I play only one of them for 10-30 minutes before deciding that I hate it.
If I'm enjoying the game, though, I'll put an hour or two into it before returning it for another.
Yeah, renting individual games is totally ridiculous.
And GameFly has a really shitty turnaround time for me (like, A WEEK).
So I just get a month-long Blockbuster Game Pass every couple of months. You can rent as many games as you want, either one or two out at a time. It's a good way to try out every game that even mildly interests you. And, you know, it's a good way to be generally informed about games, if you care to. You can make your arguments from the heart.
But it's awesome, a great renting loophole. You can get a game, play it for 15 minutes, decide that you hate it, and drive back and get another. Or just sit in the parking lot and sample their entire DS collection!!
Hmm. I'd probably be too annoyed to drive back and forth. Still, seems like a smart idea. I guess I just mostly trust my ability to decide what games I want without bothering renting, and I'm usually happy with my purchases.
On a side note, I FINALLY got to try out Dokapon Kingdom with some 3 player (+ 1 computer AI.) It's pretty much what I expected... fun, and all kinds of random stuff happens as weeks pass to keep it fresh, but has the major issues I figured it would... saving towns give you so much money that they're pretty much the only thing worth focusing on, and whoever gets ahead early has a huge advantage over everyone else (especially if they get their level up higher than others.) Maybe could have used some Mario Party-like random balancing, but ah well. Still pretty fun.
Well, it's exceedingly rare that I'll actually hit the Blockbuster more than once a day. I'm just saying it's possible. I have a pretty good track record with choosing games that I'll enjoy, too. But there are a handful of games that I thought I'd love, but find upon rental that I hate, or, more importantly, that I would never buy sight unseen, but find upon rental that I love. I think that's grammatically correct. Whatever.
Plus, I enjoy trying out (but not necessarily blind-buying) novel concepts, and hate relying on the opinions of others, especially in a discussion.
I remember reading that they're coming out with another Dokapon Kingdom for the DS. Could it have POSSIBLY sold well enough to merit a US sequel?
It's weird that so many games have obvious balance issues like that, just like it's weird how movies have so many obvious plot holes. Aren't those the FIRST things that you should address?
Well, I bought this game despite my self-imposed game-buying-embargo and I couldn't be more glad I did. This game is everything I hoped it would be, and more. It's like a cool breeze on a warm summer night. Like the smell of freshly cut grass on a lazy Sunday.
Seriously, though, it's absolutely awesome. I feel it was made for me. I've been playing it for the past 4 hours nonstop. If you only knew how rarely I do that...
What impresses most is just how good these faux-retro games are. The first game you play is a good Galaga clone, then a good action platformer (Elevator Action clone?), then a decent top-down racer, then a stellar Star Soldier rip-off. And none of them feel like mini-games, unlike the retro-games without soul quickly thrown together in games like Jade Empire. They feel like actual, full-fledged 8-bit games, but they're somehow better.
This game is a better retro compilation than "Namco Museum" could ever hope to be. All of the games feel right, and they're all fun so far. And they've all got a surprising amount of depth. The Galaga clone has power-ups, multipliers and warp holes. The racer is all about mastering the drifting technique. Etc.
And the meta-game (boy, I feel so pretentious all of a sudden) is surprisingly solid: you gain access to game magazines full of tips and cheat codes, editorials, previews, reviews, all the works. They're surprisingly enjoyable to read and I find myself, embarrassingly enough, hyped for the Dragon Quest clone "Guadia Quest" that the magazine keeps hyping. And the developer of this game knows GQ is the jewel of this collection, because the release date of DQ keeps getting pushed back! I don't want to spoil more of this aspect of the game, but let me just say that the tone of the magazine is spot on and takes you back to the days when you would read EGM or Nintendo Power.
Personally, I read the games' manuals and the magazines as soon as I get them, but I bet it would be pretty interesting to jump into these games blind, too. I wonder how long it would take someone to figure out all the things one can do in those games.
Anyway, there you have it. This game is fucking great and I urge you all to buy it if you derive any enjoyment at all from playing oldies. If you like the idea behind Megaman 9, you'll love this.
Balance issues... well, as someone who put 50+ hours into a LBP stage that definitely has some balance issues, I can say it is a bit harder in execution than it is on paper. Some ideas sort of fit with the flow earlier... but HAVE to be difficult or the idea loses what made it what it is. So, for instance, in my LBP stage one of the hardest parts is like... in the first half of the stage. Another problem is that even if I wanted to move it elsewhere, the stage wouldn't connect up nicely anymore... it's a part that sends you straight up in an area that NEEDS to send you straight up because straight to the right is pieces of the rest of the course. GAH.
Albeit, that's a bit different than balance in an open-ended board game. You know, I think part of it might be that they really intended Dokapon to be played like... over the course of weeks / months with the same people all trying to progress the main "story" (kind of a co-op + competitive vibe) not in a single sitting expecting a firm (competitive only) result at the end of that sitting. The "main" game seems to be the focus, but if you want to just play an hour or two you don't even play the main game. Even in the side party type modes you can play indefinitely. Maybe over the course of weeks / months, when most the towns are already captured and such the additional regular income such as your "weekly" wages and such really start to matter more (because aside from taxes, which aren't much, the towns don't actually bring in regular income... but capturing one gives you the town value as a whole which is a LOT.) So I can see how it would be a bit more balanced that way over time... albeit over time it would get more unbalanced in another way as some players get their characters to higher and higher levels and others don't. It's almost exponential like that... get a level or two behind the others and they're off fighting monsters and saving towns and such you CAN'T so they start raising levels even faster. I can see now why Nintendo always adds in random stuff in Mario Party that can bring someone from the back of the pack to the front, because it sucks when you get down early and still have another hour or so with little chance of really competing. Anyway, it's still a lot of fun, and there seems to be a bit more to do outside Mario Party but I guess in the end if you're playing a quick game you can look at the towns as stars... whoever gets the most towns probably wins. And since the map is more open and you can go any direction, and since you need to land directly ON a town to save it, it seems almost more vague than Mario Party about how to actually strategize how to win.
AS for the original topic yeah, I've been watching a lot of videos and have been like wow, it looks like they put a lot of time into each game! And the 16-bit era sequel looks even better! I saw one which had to be a Super Ghouls and Ghosts clone and it made me want it, now. But I'll pick up the 8-bit one which is actually out and worry about the 16-bit one if/when it hits.