Talk about just about anything else that is non-gaming here, but keep it clean
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americankgb
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by americankgb Wed Nov 29, 2006 7:23 pm

wow einhander is on the psx list. I think i'm gonna have to work on a write up about this when I get home.
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Gungriffon
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by Gungriffon Wed Nov 29, 2006 10:07 pm

I know this game isnt on the list, but I feel it deserves some love anyway. This is a review I wrote and posted on gamefaqs. I didnt steal it from there.

Title:Gungriffon
System:Saturn

"Mech mayhem comes to the Saturn."

First off, let me say that I am a fan of everything robot related. Whether it be a fighting, action, strategy, or rpg, if it has robots, Im there. Now back to Gungriffon. This was one of my first and most beloved Saturn games. Released by Game Arts in 1996, it was quite well received by the critics, with a good mix of fast-paced action and Mech Simulation, but due to lack of advertising and the low popularity of the Saturn, it was overlooked by many gamers in the U.S. It did have an excellent Japan only sequel, a decent version for the PS2, and a total dissater that was Gungriffon for the Xbox.

Gameplay - You are the Pilot of a High-Mac, an agile and deadly Mech. The game is presented in a first-person view, with your radar, ammo, and other info present in your HUD. Throughout the game's 8 missions, you will be dropped into the middle of a battle field, engaging enemies and protecting allies, convoys and military installations in Day/Night scenarios and in varying weather conditions. One missions has you protecting your allies in the shadow of the Great Wall of China, and another Stalking through a fog filled forest on your way to destroy an enemy train transport.

The missions are very well paced, going from frantic full scale battles to Infiltration missions that require a touch of stealth. There are a good variety of enemy and friendly vehicles, ranging from tanks, mechs, artillery, helicopters, and more. The battlefield really comes to life with everyone fighting and dying around you.

Mission difficulty ranges from moderate to insanely hard. One missions that has you protecting a C6 transport plane and the final missions are brutal, and will test you piloting skills to the limit. You have 4 weapons at your disposal from the start. You standard Cannon, good for heavily armored targets, a machinegun for lightly armored targets, homing missiles and RP bomb-droplets that do massive damage, though come in very limited quantities. You can resupply with supply choppers that will fly into the conflict zone periodically, though you will have to protect it from enemy attacks.

While the controls seems awkward at first, they soon become second nature. You can cycle between 2 forward and reverse speeds, slow and fast. Added mobility comes with the ability to move your torso while going straight and strafing. Your are equipped with jump jets that will let you hover momentarily while moving in the air. You can cycle between your 4 weapon with the touch of a button and toggle night vision with another. Controls are very responsive and well executed, especially when using a 3D control pad, which is supported but not required.

Story - The story is minimal though interesting. Basically, the world in the near future is running low of food and resources, and Nations have formed factions that now fight for survival. You are given a pre-mission briefing complete with tactical map that explains the situation and objectives. Again, while minimal, you always know why and what your fighting, which in an action game like this, is more than enough.

Graphics/Sound - When this was first released in 1996, its graphics were top-of-the line. Mechs and vehicles are nicely detailed. The maps are large and populated with tress, windmills and other structures. The ground and sky textures are quite nice, certainly better that the very flat look of Mechwarrior 2, released near the same time. Decent night vision, explosion, and weather effects abound with little slowdown, rounding out a great looking game.

Sounds effect are very well done. All weapon effects are believable, and you can feel the weight of your mech as you walk and jump around the battlefield through awesome sound effects. Allied transmissions and warning effects really put you in the cockpit, while the soundtrack is minimal, creating a tense mood. You will also be treated to one of the best opening FMV movies to this date.
Play Time/Replayability - The only real grippe with the game is that it is short. With only 10 missions, 8 main and 2 training, it can be beat in about 4-5 hours. You are rated at the end of every mission, so there is incentive to replay missions again. You can adjust the difficulty, which leads to a greater challenge. Plus the missions are so fun, you will want to replay them and crush the enemy once your are an experienced mech pilot.

Final Recommendation - Being slightly uncommon, going for about $10-$20 bucks on ebay, this is a must have for actions/mech fans.
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by Elemental Thu Nov 30, 2006 4:42 am

Title: Cool Spot
Game System: Sega Genesis
Release Date (USA): 1993
Developer: Virgin Interactive
Publisher: Virgin Interactive

It was a cold December morning, Christmas to be exact, when I awoke early to find what had been put under the tree. After a quick glance at the loot, I ran upstairs to wake my siblings and parents. As they awoke, I excitedly ran down the stairs, trying to keep calm as they got ready. Once we were all settled in around the tree, we opened our gifts. We received many things, but the standout gift of that day was by far the largest box under the tree. It was a Sega Genesis. It came with Sonic 2 packed in, but in another, much smaller package lay a surprise which would entertain me far more than Sonic 2 that winter: a little game called Cool Spot.

On the surface, Cool Spot is a simple platform game, done many times before and since. It is also based off of the 7-Up mascot of the time. One would think that Cool Spot would be just another generic, uninspired platform game, spit out like a machine to cash in on a license. This could not be further from the truth. Cool spot is in fact a colorful adventure that took the player through extremely well designed levels in a game which I believe is the best hidden gem on the Sega Genesis.

The main objective in Cool Spot is simple, you had to collect enough "spots", or basically the games version of coins or rings, but you also had to rescue your spot friends trapped in a cage hidden in the level. This adds both variety and challenge over other platform games, as you cannot just rush through the level and go on to the next, you have to explore not only to find enough spots to advance, but also find the cage to rescue spot's friends, which was not always at the end of the stage.

During Spot's adventures, Spot only has one weapon, which is firing or throwing a star like projectile. I have yet to figure out what the projectile actually is, but it really does not matter. This weapon made excellent use of the Genesis eight way control pad, as you can aim in multiple directions. You can even fire while in mid jump. The controls felt excellent and are not frustrating or awkward like many other platform games before and since. But what makes cool spot a truly awesome game was the level variety.

Variety, it seems, is the name of the game in Cool Spot (along with fun :D). The levels were varied and challenging. Each level change brings you, and Spot, into a new and colorful world filled with challenges and opponents not seen in the last. From sunny and sandy beaches, to a moving toy train, to the deck of a ship at sea, the levels never get dull. You must use many items to your advantage, such as ballons, bubbles, rails and ropes to find enough spots to unlock the cage which traps your friends, while avoiding or defeating foe. These levels are very well put together, and not only fun, but also challenging.

One of the standout levels, and in my opinion one of the most fun of any Genesis game I have played, is called "Radical Rails". In this unique level, there are no enemies, but a set of rails and tubes you must traverse. This level is extremely fast paced, but due to the power of the Genesis there is not a slowdown in sight. More of a puzzle than other levels, you fall down the rails, collecting spots as you go, and find tubes to go back up or to get to a different set of rails. It plays like a dream and really must be experienced, as it is hard to describe in words.

The last standout feature of Cool Spot is the excellent soundtrack, which has catchy tunes that will be stuck in your head. You may even find yourself whistling to them in time. I know I did. This is normal, as the game was awarded best sound in a cartridge based game in 1993 by both Sega Magazine and Electronic Games Magazine. It might also have to do with this guy, Tommy Tallarico, who is supposedly some big shot game audio guy. I have never heard of him, but seems to be big.

In the end, Cool Spot is a standout Genesis title. It is not just another platformer, but instead a bit more. It has enough challenge and variety to warrant many replays, fluid graphics which are colorful and free of slowdowns, and an excellent soundtrack. Virgin Interactive bucked the trend of crappy games based of an existing license, and created a true masterpiece with Cool Spot. Do yourself a favor and pick up the cartridge or rom of this game and play it. You will not be disappointed. It is truly a hidden gem of the Genesis.
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by americankgb Fri Dec 01, 2006 5:15 pm

Title : Einhander
System : PS1
Developer : Squaresoft
Publisher : Squaresoft,SCEA
Year :1997

When anybody mentions squaresoft everyone immediately thinks of the company that has produced many of the most famous rpg’s ever made, which include titles in the Final Fantasy Series, Secret of Mana, Chrono Trigger and many more. Squaresoft is known for it’s rgps but they have also crafted many other classics titles many people have long forgotten or may have never heard of in the first place.

One such title that falls into this category is Einhander, a 2 dimensional shooter that was released for the Playstation in 1997. Einhander was a great game because it single-handedly tried to redefine the 2 dimensional shooter genre. The sprites that were normally seen in shooter games were replaced with 3 dimensional polygon models. The powerups and bombs that normally had to be were replaced with a new interchangeable weapons system. The game also allowed the player to choose from a variety of different ships to play with, as well as allowing the player to change their speed which in turn added another dynamic element to the game play.

By far, the thing that made the game the most interesting was the interchangeable weapon system. Each of the ships had a number of grasper arms that could pick up what were called pods. Depending on what ship you picked there were more or less gunpod slots. The most that could ever be fired at the same time was two even though some ships had the ability to carry more. At the beginning of the game you started with a machine gun pod but could switch it out as you killed enemies and in turn replace your pod with the ones that they dropped. There were a variety of pods which ranged from the basic machine gun through rocket and grenade launchers all the way up to a laser sword. The really interesting part about the whole pod system was that you could rotate your ship thus flipping the pod that was on the bottom of the ship to the top, and the pod on the top to the bottom. Depending on which side the pod was on affected how it fired. If for instance you had the machine gun on the top it fired straight ahead, but if you flipped it to the bottom it fired at an angle. The same held true for the rocket launcher and many of the other weapons. On one side, the rocket launcher fired rockets straight ahead, but on the other side the rockets became homing missiles that followed enemies across the screen.

In my opinion Einhander was of the Playstation’s hidden gems. It really took the shooter genre and redefined it, although many of the gameplay elements in einhander were original and exciting many of them were never seen anywhere else. I’d highly recommend this game to anyone. Shooter fans will probably get the most enjoyment out of it, but I think that everyone who tries it will have fun. Einhander is easy to pick up but hard to master, just like it’s shooter brethren.
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by neomerge Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:13 pm

Can we do gameboy games?
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racketboy
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by racketboy Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:42 pm

neomerge wrote:Can we do gameboy games?


Not at this time -- it needs to be a game listed in the lists above
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kevinski
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The House of the Dead for Dreamcast

by kevinski Sun Dec 03, 2006 12:20 pm

The Typing of the Dead, released for both Dreamcast and PC, features perhaps one of the coolest gameplay twists in gaming history, especially as far as parodies go. You see, The Typing of the Dead (which will be referred to as TotD from this point forward) is - essentially - The House of the Dead 2 (which will be referred to as HotD2 from this point forward) with completely different gameplay mechanics.

Both aesthetically and gameplay-wise, TotD replaces HotD2's guns with keyboards. So, rather than packing a gun this time around, your character sports a keyboard that is braced to his shoulders and laid out in front of his chest for easy accessibility. And what powers this keyboard? Why, your player also happens to have a Dreamcast attached to his back, presumably to serve as a power source (considering the fact that it also has a huge battery on it). Any non-player characters who are fighting for your cause will also be equipped with this set-up. Obviously, the Dreamcast keyboard (or a regular keyboard, through use of the keyboard adapter) is required in order to play.

TotD follows the same storyline as HotD2. As such, the cinematics and whatnot are largely identical, aside from the weapon replacements, obviously. The story, itself, revolves around a man named Goldman, who seems to have a serious grudge against mankind for tampering with nature's life cycle. Yes, that's why you're gonna be blasting the Hell out of hoards of zombies for the duration of the game. For a gun game, it's certainly a sufficient storyline, as it neither gets in the way nor becomes to ridiculously over-the-top (well...for a zombie game, anyway) that it makes things impossible to understand.

While I'm talking about the storyline, let me just say that TotD (and, of course, HotD2) features some excellent b-movie voice acting. Again, excellent b-movie voice acting. The voice acting in TotD isn't supposed to be taking seriously (although, strangely, the voice acting in The House of the Dead 4 is outstanding no matter how you look at it), and it tends to make the overall experience more enjoyable, as a result.

How so? Well, how about this, as an example: As a zombie pursues a woman in the first level, the woman yells, "Don't come! Don't come!" Yes, it's likely a translation error, but the way that it's spoken just makes it come across as hilarious.

Even your main character James (or Gary, in the case of player two, I believe) quips in with a one-liner every now and then. These usually take place in cinematics in order to make a smooth transition to the next area or when you interact with a civilian. You see, civilians populate the levels, and saving them will either allow you to earn valuable Life Bonus power-ups (allowing you to be hit once more without dying) or open up new paths (which adds to the replay value and allows you to strategize a bit).

How do you interact with civilians? Well, by saving them (or failing to save them), of course! If you see a zombie chasing an innocent civilian, shoot the zombie before it has a chance to attack. If you do it quickly enough, you'll save the civilian. If not, well...I'm sure you know what happens.

How do you shoot zombies with a keyboard, though? Well, that's the interesting part. All that you have to do in order to unleash complete carnage on any on-screen foes is type the characters, words or phrases that appear beneath each of them. Pressing Esc while in the middle of typing a word will allow you to back out of that particular word in order to attack a zombie that might be closer to you. To attack a particular enemy, simply begin typing the word underneath it.

As you can probably imagine, this can get pretty intense. Typing quickly is one thing; having a zombie burst out of a doorway with a chainsaw and typing accurately and quickly is another thing. Obviously, the pace of gameplay has slowed significantly since HotD2, since typing takes far more time than pulling the trigger on a lightgun. However, it still manages to throw a decent challenge at you, thanks to both the variety and combinations of assigned characters, words and phrases.

Boss battles, as a result, can be particular interesting. You'll face the same bosses that were in HotD2, albeit with altered gameplay mechanics, once again. These range from typing quickly to answering trivia questions to typing 100% accurately and so on. One boss, Strength, even requires that you type entire stories as it chases you through an arena with a massive chainsaw! Intense!

Just as in HotD2, your performance in TotD is ranks at the end of each level, this time based on things such as accuracy and response time. To be perfectly honestly, I've always received horrid ratings in TotD since I started playing. Then again, I've never actually beaten the game, since I insist on playing on only the highest difficulty with the longest word settings. I can generally type 60+ (sometimes as high as 100+) words per minute regularly, so it should be quite obvious that this game isn't intended to give you an accurate depiction of your typing skills. In fact, there are some issues with the gameplay that are kind of inexcusable, in my opinion...

First off, capitalization is completely ignored. As such, typing sega when you're supposed to type Sega will work just fine. Secondly, spacing is completely ignored, so typing iloveyou when you're supposed to type i love you will work, as well. This wouldn't be much of an issue, unless you're the sort of person who really wants to be as efficient as possible. Reaching for that Shift key or pressing that Spacebar isn't necessarily, so you'll inevitably train yourself to not use either of them. Unfortunately, it never really feels right.

You see, if you use these two unnecessary keys, you're really only slowing yourself down. Sure, it's a pretty minimal performance issue, but there's another problem: Pressing these keys doesn't result in a gunshot sound, as it would had you entered a letter, number or symbol. Oddly, however, symbols will require that you hold Shift, obviously, so why didn't Sega enforce capitalization in the first place? These two seemingly minor issues will throw you off more than you'd think. Of course, training yourself to not capitalize letters or put spaces between words will affect your real-world typing skills, so that isn't really even advisable, either. There's just no way to reach a full level of comfort.

Don't get me wrong: The game is still very playable. However, you'll find yourself making mistakes more out of confusion than anything else. As such, that should be factored in as a legitimate gameplay flaw. Perhaps even stranger is that the game features a full typing tutorial that could definitely help newbies in getting used to proper typing. Unfortunately, it doesn't touch on the aforementioned oversights, nor does it seem to be very enjoyable.

Graphically, TotD looks every bit as good as HotD2. This game looks incredible. In fact, it looks even better on Dreamcast than it does on PC. The PC version seems to have some texture flicker issues, and the textures on the PC version don't look quite as good, either. It's very close, but Dreamcast definitely has the edge.

The audio in TotD is outstanding, as well. Again, Dreamcast has a bit of an edge here, as the audio in the PC version tends to cut out rather often (Some gunshots are inaudible.), and the sound balance in some scenes (namely during the cutscene in the motorboat) is much better in the Dreamcast version. Oh, and - as I mentioned before - the voice acting is very good...in a b-movie sort of way, anyway.

The only real trade-off that you need to suffer through by playing the Dreamcast version (as opposed to the PC version) is some minimal loading times. Again, minimal. As such, you probably won't even care. Besides, the PC version is - apparently - ridiculously rare, so you'll probably end up paying a lot for what is - essentially - an inferior port.

So, pick yourself up a Dreamcast keyboard (or two!) and track a copy of this game down, especially if you've thoroughly enjoyed HotD2. If you think that you've bested Magician or Emperor, just wait until you face them in this game. I can assure you that it's no cakewalk.
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by retrogamer Thu Dec 07, 2006 11:17 am

Title: Beggar Prince
System: Sega Genesis/Mega Drive
Release Dates: 1996 C&E, Inc., 2006 Super Fighter Team

Beggar Prince is a rare an obscure title that took 10 years to finally get the recognition that it is due. Originally the game started out its inception called: Chinese Xin Qigai Wangzi, which when translated means: The New The Prince and the Pauper. It is a Chinese game for Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, originally released in 1996 by C&E, Inc. An English translation of the game was done by American company Super Fighter Team, and began shipping to preorder customers on May 22, 2006 at the price of $40 per copy. Beggar Prince is the first game for the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis to be commercially released in the United States since 1998.

For a Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game, Beggar Prince is rather large, weighing in at 32-megabits (4 megabytes) in size. Players could record their progress to any of the four available save slots. The game shipped within a plastic clamshell case along with a glossy, full-color 27-page instruction manual.

Beggar Prince works with any Sega Genesis, Mega Drive or Nomad system, regardless of region (NTSC and PAL are both supported). However, due to the manner in which the game's save function is programmed, it is impossible to save on systems connected to the 32X or hybrid CD systems such as the CDX and Wondermega. But playing the game with a Sega Mega-CD/Sega CD attached to the Mega Drive/Genesis works fine.

Although the game was received with acclaim upon its release, gamers soon discovered a few glitches in the game. While Super Fighter Team had spent over a year working out the bugs left behind by C&E, it was simply not cost efficient to fix them all. While most of these errors were trivial, one or two could result in the game's main character getting stuck in a certain place where he was not supposed to be, meaning the player would have to backtrack by loading a previously saved game.

As of September 8th 2006, the Super Fighter Team release of this game (600 copies) had completely sold out. However, on October 18th 2006, Super Fighter Team announced they had begun taking pre-orders for a second production run (300 copies). You can still order this game at: beggarprince.com.
Beggar Prince

When I received my brand new Beggar Prince game from the Super Fighter Team, I was pretty much baffled. After all, this is the first cartridge released for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive) in over eight years. There was definitely a nostalgic rush on opening the plastic container and pulling out the cartridge, reading the manual and popping a freshly minted Genesis game in my aging console.

However, the question remains, is there enough demand for a Genesis title for a company to release physical product? Will the game hold up (as it's a port of a ten year old game), especially compared to current and next generation titles, especially at a price point of $46 after shipping? Well, let's dive into this title and find out, shall we?

Upon starting the game, it's very obvious that this is a 16-bit title we're looking at. The graphics aren't any better than one would expect, and that's why it wouldn't be fair to judge this title up against a game of a similar genre like: Sword Of Vermillion.

The story of Beggar Prince starts out as an obvious borrowing of "The Prince and the Pauper." You begin in the Schatt Kingdom, where you are the prince. The prince is a spoiled brat, of course, and spends much of his time goofing off. He's supposed to be learning magic, but the Court Magician can only get him to learn the 'Faint' spell, which will cause people to pass out for a short time. The prince, of course, is completely tired of his lessons, and runs off into the town one day. While running from the guards, he runs into a young beggar which looks exactly like him. The two talk and the Prince talks the beggar into switching clothes and going back to the castle while the Prince will get his chance to explore the city.

Finally, the beggar agrees, and he returns to the castle, leaving the Prince to explore the city. Unfortunately, he's wearing filthy, smelly clothes, and everyone generally treats him like you'd expect them to treat a beggar. The show of the Prince's money adjusts attitudes somewhat, but when the money's gone, it's back to treating him like dirt. Of course, the Prince doesn't like this, and goes back to the castle to change back. Unfortunately, dressed as he is, the guards don't believe him, and ask him to bring back some proof of who he is as 'the prince' is already inside the castle. A trip to the home of the Court Magician reveals that there are three treasures (a Crown, a Ring and a Seal) which have been lost for years: returning them should prove that he's the rightful Prince.

The three treasures are relatively easy to find, requring only one dungeon to be explored. Once they're found, the true story begins to take shape, as the kingdom's Cat Minister has imprisoned the King and the fake Prince, leaving you as the only person capable of saving your Kingdom. Of course, you only find this out when you get back inside the castle and are taken prisoner. If that isn't enough, by the time you escape the castle you find that the evil Cat Minister has turned everyone except the guards into cats. Now the major quest begins.

First off, the game world is huge. You can see right off that there are four exits from the town, and you presume you'll get out of each. At first glance, it doesn't look like there's all that much to the game world. However, by the time you pick up a map in the game and look at it, you realize that you've only scratched the surface of the world, so to speak. This means that the game is pretty long, clocking in somewhere between 30 and 40 hours at a minimum, although it could easily take longer due to some of the numerous death traps in the game.

This was one of the things that frustrated me the most about this title, and almost had me turning the machine off from time to time. There are numerous places in the games where if you take a wrong step you immediately die without any real warnings. This doesn't so much up the difficulty of the game as much as it increases the frustration factor. When you're killing off your players with insta-kills, especially when the save point is more than a minute or two away, you risk turning your players off of the game.

Another thing which upped the frustration level is the number of random combats. As with many of the old-school RPGs, combats are fierce and often. It leads to the common refuge of running away from battle at times, although with the way the combat system works, you're only allowed two attempts to flee per combat round.

The combat is ... unique, to say the least, with both good and bad points. As with many 16-bit RPGs, the combat is turn-based. What's different about this is that it uses a Stamina bar as well. Each attack you do, each item you use and each spell you cast sucks up some of your stamina. Also, if you sit idle at the screen, your stamina will drain away as well, meaning that if you set the controller down and walk away, the enemies will wait until your stamina runs out, then beat on you, repeating until you're dead. Casting a spell or trying to flee uses up a large chunk of your stamina bar, meaning you can only try to flee twice, cast one major spell per round, or physically attack your enemies up to five times. The monsters also use a stamina bar with much the same restrictions. This leads to one of the biggest issues with combat in the game: by the time you've gotten a level or two in an area, or a new weapon, you're powerful enough that most combats last only one round, where at the end of which you've killed all of the monsters. It makes many combats trivial at best, and this also extends to boss fights, as there is one spell that can be used (and learned early on) which can make you invulnerable for the first two rounds of combat, by which point you've all but killed the boss. During no boss combat did I need to heal more than once, which made the difficulty of combat almost nil in many spots.

As with many RPGs, you can only save in designated save points, which seem to come a bit less often than I'd really like, leading to the example mentioned above of dying to a death trap far enough away from a save point to cause a lot of frustration. Healing items, however, are in good supply, and many towns include beds for sleeping, with dungeons generally containing magic fountains to restore HP or MP.

The inventory system in Beggar Prince is very simplified. There is no money, so there's no need to purchase weapons or armor or items. In fact, monsters never drop anything at all. All of your items, be it weapons, armor, or treasure, are found in red chests littered through the towns and dungeons. You can also recieve some items through your various quests that you undertake throughout the game. When you get a new weapon or piece of armor, you automatically equip it, saving the trouble of sorting through inventory to unload your junk items.

Many things in the game also level up with your character. Your attacks will change with the same weapon as you level, becoming both visably and numerically more powerful. Healing spells and items will scale up as well, which can be very helpful later on, as the item that healed 60 HP in the beginning of the game will eventually heal a few hundred HP or more.

Magic is one of the more interesting ideas in the game, as it's split up into elements (fire, wind, water, earth, light, dark) and voodoo, spirit, and healing. Each monster in the game has an element that it is strong in, and only the element opposing it will do major damage to it. It requires that you learn about your monsters, and know what spell to use in a particular combat to make things easier. You'll gain more spells in each of the elements as you progress through the game, both by leveling up and through various quests. It's an interesting idea, although it does help in trivializing combat to some degree.

Beggar Prince's graphics stand up pretty well to the test of time, especially compared to other titles such as Phantasy Star IV, Sonic the Hedgehog and other classic Genesis titles. The colors are bright and clean, and there's enough detail on the tiny characters to give you an idea of their emotions. One of the nice things that was originally programmed into the game was the idle animations. Although they happen very quickly in the game, faster than any other game I can recall, the Prince will turn and stare at the screen, then sit down, then fall back asleep. It's the little things like this that can make a game that much better.

The spell effects in the game are big and bold, again about what you'd expect from a 16-bit RPG. There are no FMVs, of course, or any of the advanced 16-bit graphical achievements, but what's there is solid and holds up well enough. Also, if you're playing a Genesis in the first place, you know what you're going to get graphically.

I've been a bit spoiled by music in games, even in the 16-bit era, with what came out of the Super Nintendo for the Final Fantasy series. So while I wasn't expecting a full orchestra, I was hoping for some solid sound and music. Unfortunately, this is one of the areas where Beggar Prince falls short. The music is highly repetitive, and not in a good way. It was almost to the point where I started to play the game muted just because I was tired of the very similar dungeon and battle music for much of the game. Granted, not having any idea on the budget that the original Chinese release had, it's not sure what was even possible, but I would think it would be something with a bit more variety than this.

The sounds themselves aren't bad, especially the battle noises. The menu noises were a bit loud and jangling to my ear, but that's less of a bother than the repetition in the game's music. Unfortunately, being a Genesis game, there's no ability to have a custom soundtrack...unless you mute the game and pop a CD in somewhere else like I did.

The control scheme of the game on the other hand is an area where it's almost impossible to screw up, especially on a Genesis control that originally only had four buttons. Even though my Genesis came with the six-button controller, Beggar Prince only uses three: B, C and Start. Start, of course, is used for pausing the game, which brings up the inventory menu, as well as the save/load functionality and showing your character's stats. There's also a window in the middle where the Sun Jewel will show up once found. The C button is used for pretty much everything in an RPG from selecting enemies, choosing menu options, opening chests and talking to people. B is much less used, but is as important as it's what is used to cancel choices made with C. Movement is, of course, done with the directional pad.

Being an RPG, there's not really any replay value, so we can toss that right out the window, leaving us with the value section. At $46 dollars, it's really hard to justify this purchase unless you're serious about collecting games, enjoy old-school gaming to the exclusion of anything else, or have enough disposable income to be able to purchase this without qualms.

It's not that the game is bad, it's more that when you consider that a good number of PS2, Xbox and Gamecube games are coming out near end of console at $20 to $30, it's hard to justify dropping $40 plus shipping on a title for an obsolete console. However, it must be noted here that apparently only 600 copies of this game exist, so it does make for a solid collectable.

The game does offer some solid length for the money, with the storyline clocking in somewhere between 30 and 40 hours, depending on your play style and how often you die, of course. It's just that you really have to be willing to look past the game's shortcomings to see the RPG goodness beneath.

In conclusion, while I was really surprised by this game existing, and not expecting much, overall I found the game to be a solid RPG, marred by some seriously frustrating issues involving death traps, the combat system, and a few bugs still remaining in game causing console lock. Most of the problems in the game, admittedly, cannot be blamed on Super Fighter Team, instead involving the original code and design of the game. That doesn't change the game any, but in all fairness, it's not Super Fighter Team's fault, either.

It's nice to see a title come out for the Genesis, and it shows that the console isn't completely dead, especially in the hearts of those who love it. Hopefully Super Fighter Team will come out with more in the future, and not just for the Genesis.
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racketboy
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by racketboy Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:39 pm

3 More Weeks Left for Entries...
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DCAllAmerican
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by DCAllAmerican Wed Dec 13, 2006 6:16 pm

Title: Solar Jetman: Hunt for the Golden Warpship
Game System: Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
Release Date (USA): 1990
Publisher: RARE

Image Image Image

Personal Story
It was the Christmas of 1990-something and I recieved like 15 Nintendo games from my father (damn I wonder how much that costed). Popular titles ranging from Double Dragon 2, WWF Wrestlemania Challenge, and Ironsword: Wizards and Warriors 2. But a little game with a purple cover caught my attention because of its name. Solar Jetman. For years I ran around the house telling my father how great of a game Solar-Powered Jetman was, but he was too busy wondering who would end the Pistons' run as back-to-back NBA Champions. As a matter of fact I should thank my father right now for purchasing this great game for me.

Overview/History
Vertical shooters dominated the outer space videogame market and we desperately needed to put an end to basing ALL of our space games on this concept. SJM is a slow-paced all direction shooter/adventure game that demands a HUGE amount of patience from anyone that is engaged in this underrated title.

Control 3/5
The control in this game will take a while to get acustomed to. Since we are in space; your spaceship is at the mercy of gravity. Also the direction in which the nose of your spaceship matters when attempting to shift directions. So if your ship is facing east and you want to go northwest; then you will need to let go of the gas and shift your ship's nose to the NW direction and then continue moving. It is complex on the outskirts of things but once you get to it; it is bearable.

Visuals 4/5
This game was a very colorful and deep NES selection. From the multi-cracked craters to the sparkling bright rubies found in bonus games, the game presents a side of space that many of us have yet to see in a videogame. While the spaceship is quite simple with it's blue oval getup, it is often overshawdowed by the vast and detailed environments.

Sound 2/5
If any part of this game lacked it was in the audio department. Since the levels were so long and there was so much to accomplish in each; the idea that each level owned only one theme became very boring. At that, the first 2 or 3 levels have this slow paced music that probably lasted a total of 12 seconds total and just was looped over and over and over and over an........The sound in this game was not something to cheer about.

Replay Value NA
I considered this title to be the most difficult title of all time. Considering I never beat this game I can't fairly evaluate the replay value. Just more reason why I need to go home and play this game now.

Overall 3.5/5
While this is not the best game or even one of the best games that I have ever played, it certainly ranks up there in terms of making this boy smile. I loved it and there isn't much more I can really say. RIP Solar Powered Jetman!
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