TWTGTW #2: Too Rubbish for Easy Mode

As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, I don’t have a long console history. All my early gaming experiences were on home computers. My first actual console (if you’re not counting the old “pong” machines) was the PS2. I thought, therefore, that it might be interesting to pick up the Sega Megadrive Ultimate Collection to see what everyone else was playing in the early nineties.

It’s certainly a good value collection, especially when you factor in the cost of some of the titles that have already been released separately on the XBLM. Yes, there are some duds on the compilation but with 42 games you’re bound to find more than a few gems to justify the purchase. There are certainly a lot of side scrolling beat ‘em ‘ups on the disc, like the Streets of Rage games and Shinobi III, which take me back to days spent in arcades as a youth.

One title I was particularly impressed by was Comix Zone. Although it’s similar to those aforementioned games I loved the whole idea of controlling a super-hero as he physically moves through the pages of a comic book. The idea of using comic panels to switch between the different areas is very clever, as is the way the “artist” draws in extra enemies. It’d be nice to see a remake of this title or somebody using some of the concepts in a modern super-hero game.

Burnout Paradise went back in my consoles this week due to the release of the Legendary Cars pack.
These new vehicles are lots of fun, especially the “DeLorean” which barrel rolls like mad. I’ve mostly been using them in the PS3 version as there are trophies associated with them. I have also been playing the 360 version of Paradise, though, because I was lucky enough to have bought the other two car packs when they were accidently put on the XBLM early.

The toy cars weren’t what I expected. I thought they’d be really small and I’d be racing along at pavement level for some reason! What you actually get is squashed down, reduced wheel base, caricatured versions of some of the vehicles from the main game. They remind me a lot of the pull-back cars I had as a kid that you used to pop a penny in the back to do wheelies. They handle very differently in game. To me they seem a lot more responsive… you feel like they’re running off electric batteries rather than petrol. I’m not sure people will want to buy all of them but I think it’ll be worth picking and choosing your favourites.

The two boost specials are interesting in different ways. I’m not that good at controlling my car under boost but if you are the you’ll love these. The first one is more of a dragster. When you hit boost it locks on and you’re stuck going very (very) fast until you either crash or make a pretty violent turn.

The second car is an “alien” hybrid that features all three boost types (stunt, aggro and speed) and allows you to instantly switch between them with the click of a thumbstick. It seems a great, flexible ride to choose if you want to go around paradise doing different events without having to go and swap cars in the junkyard.

Coming from the creator of Katamari, it’s no real surprise that Noby Noby Boy is such a strange game. Priced appropriately, for what seems little more than a doodle of a game idea brought to life, it’s a bizarre, fun, colourful little toy. It’s mostly up to you to make your own entertainment, with only the trophies providing any real goals, and so it will depend completely on the player as to whether this is money well spent or money totally wasted. The main thing stopping me from enjoying the game, as much as I might otherwise, is the pretty awful camera system.

I had two PS3 rentals arrive from LOVEFiLM this week to take over from Uncharted which I completed (great game, bit short, want to play the sequel now). Street Fighter IV was the first title (not bad to get it the day after release).

Although I enjoy playing fighting games such as Dead or Alive, Tekken, Soul Calibur and Virtual Fighter, I’ve never really played that much Street Fighter. I thought, perhaps, that this would be the game that would get me hooked on the series. How wrong I was…

I just can’t see any way into it for a “newcomer” like me. I’m not completely rubbish at fighting games but I can’t cope with something like this that requires intricate knowledge of super and ultra moves. I mean, I’m used to totally cheap boss characters on the last level of these games but I can’t even bash my way past Seth on the “easiest” setting. Come on Capcom. I know you have legions of fans that know these combos and controls like the back of their hands but easy should mean easy and be a way for new players to learn the ropes!

If you love Street Fighter, though, there’s no doubt you’ll love Street Fighter IV. I guess I’m just no good at really technical fighting games.

You can tell how frustrated I got with Street Fighter IV. I ended up loading up my other rental of the week, which was Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe. I never thought I’d be playing a Mortal Kombat game (it’s just not me) and I never thought I’d be enjoying it more than Street Fighter IV. It’s still pretty trashy rubbish but at least it’s fun trashy rubbish.

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2 Responses to “TWTGTW #2: Too Rubbish for Easy Mode”

  1. I’ve just read a post from Mitch Krpata @ Insult Swordfighting about the difficulty of SF IV, and obviously there’s been loads of talk on Twitter. I’m glad I don’t have to review the game, because subjectively I love it since the difficulty doesn’t affect me. I’m by no means good, but I can handle the game on Medium and hold up well enough online. In some ways it’s kind of brave for Capcom to put SF IV out and keep it so totally hardcore, but maybe in the long run it’ll prove to be a brave but foolish decision.

    As for the Mega Drive collection, there were plenty of great games but I’m quite happy with my Sonic Collection to be honest. Having said that, Comix Zone is one of the games I missed out on that I’d like to try.

  2. I too have a shortish console history, my first was both the PS1 and N64, so i missed out on the Megadrive. Sounds like you enjoyed it and reccomend it, it does look as though your getting your monies worth with 42 games, could also extend my knowledge of older games, its not too extensive at the minute 😛 Enjoying read as always.

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