Old School Gamer Review Presents: TMNT: Turtles In Time

Turtles_in_Time_(SNES_cover)Children of the 90s please! Please calm down…stop screaming! I know I know…this game defined your childhood, yada yada…However, let me give the readers who for some reason have no clue as to who the Turtles are…a clue.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles began as a comic book(a much more violent and disturbing comic book) and became extremely successful and popular due to a self-titled morning cartoon show. Like everything else in the 90s it had to have not only a television show, but a board game, t-shirts, jewelry, a series of video games, and spin-off toys guaranteed to catapult a child from excitement to tears on Christmas morning.

MOM! WTF!
MOM! WTF!

There were a few different games, but today we are reviewing the arcade port of the Turtles in Time “episode.” So let’s take a journey with a few pizza eating turtles, through time!

Storyline

tmnt story

After a hard day of training, chowing down on pizza, exchanging hilarious quips and whatever else New Yorkers do. The Turtles sit down to watch catch their favorite news anchor on television. Before their very eyes Krang (who now has wings) makes off with the entire statue of liberty! Shredder immediately takes credit for it and the TMNT team is off to catch him. They eventually catch up to Shredder and seemingly defeat him. However he has one last trick up his sleeve. It’s all been a trap!

its a trap

Uh…thanks Admiral “after the fact.” Anyway, he opens a portal in time and slings the Turtles into it. The TMNT team must fight their way through different time periods in order to get back to present day New York!

Cast of Characters

Select screenThe playable characters are Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello, and Raphael. April O’neil and Master Splinter makes an appearance as well as several villains from the show.

GAMEPLAY

gameplay turtlesThe infamous screen toss! The controls are great, extremely fluid. If you want to sling your swords around you can do that, somebody comes up from behind? BAM! Kick to the chin while you still face the other way. Oh that bad guy’s getting on your nerves? Sling him into the screen! The controls for this gameplay are amazing. Very inventive for its time period. Not to mention it’s a giant mess of four player, beat-em up, Turtle-ey goodness!

Graphics

turtles fightThe graphics are great for the time. The backgrounds are simple but well done. The picture up there clearly shows the Empire State Building lit up as it is at night. That’s a nice touch to add to the great animation that’s going on. It really looks just like the cartoon show, and that’s really what you need when creating a game like this, and for the techies-

Raster graphics
Horizontal orientation
Resolution: 288×224 pixels
Refresh rate: 60.00 Hz
2048 colors

MUSIC

turtles-in-time-gameplay1The music is great. Why? Because it’s the music from the actual television show, changed to reflect the period of time that you are playing in at the time!

The Test Of Time

Sit down around the SNES and play this little ditty. Seriously you will have some of the most fun ever. Side-scrollers are oft forgotten in this generation, which is sad because they were some of the greatest games to play. Especially the 4 player beat-em ups. Yes it’s very fun to snipe your friend in the head on HALO, but teaming up with him to take down Shredder is even more fun! Wave after wave of enemies through different time periods, as well as different difficulty levels will keep you busy for some time.

Final Score

5-StarsFive stars! Great controls, cool comic book storyline, multi-player, and you can throw people into the screen! How cool is that? Unfortunately if it were released today I don’t think it would get a chance. Ah such is life. If you get a chance get this game and play with a friend!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

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Old school video game review: Megaman X2!

MMX2Promo

Hello all, tonight is the night I finished playing Megaman X2. Megaman X 2 is the follow up(obviously) to the wildly successful and critically acclaimed Megaman revamp, Megaman X. So without further ado, let’s get this show started!

STORYLINE

megaman x 2 again

Its been six months since the storyline of the first Megaman X game. Sigma has been defeated however a few of his followers, “Mavericks”, are still very active. A group of them have stolen the parts to Zero’s body and have set up an elaborate plan to cause the downfall of X. Several reploids have joined together to for a team in order to help Sigma’s followers to complete their heinous plan. It’s up to X to find Zero’s parts, infiltrate the reploid’s bases, and stop the robots from starting war with the humans!

Cast of Characters

mm zero

The good guys

Megaman X

Zero

Dr. Cain

Dr. Light

The Mavericks

Wheel Gator

Bubble Crab

Flame Stag

Morph Moth

Magna Centipede

Crystal Snail

Overdrive Ostrich

Wire Sponge

X hunters

Agile

Serges

Violen

GAMEPLAY

gameplay mm

The gameplay is a simple, yet effective evolution of the first game. You still have the charge shot, you can jump off walls, and this time (thankfully) you start off with the dash.  There are 8 bosses and as you beat them you will be upgraded with their special weapon. If you are attentive and have a little skill you will find secret capsule and health upgrades provided by Doctor Light. As with any good games, the gameplay forces you to adapt.  Its a side scroller with many “secret” areas and  wave after wave of enemies.

Graphics

graphics 2

Huge colorful levels with memorable bosses. Starting from the beginning you have larger than life bosses and enemies. Everything looks amazing especially giving the fact that its SNES. Capcom developed a new chip they called C4 to up the graphics capabilities of the SNES. Everything looks great.

MUSIC

ending

You can’t talk about Megaman without talking about the amazing music. Great music is one of the staples of this series, something the fans always expect when purchasing the game. X2 delivers on all accounts. Each level has its own theme song and each boss has his own music as well. Well done, well thought out and each theme properly fit the level that it was used on.

STAND OR FALL?

Definitely stand! You can pick up this game at anytime and I don’t think it will EVER seem old. The story, the music, the gameplay all mesh together to make one amazing experience. Plus you can do this!

uppercut
Shoryuken!

uppercut 2 uppercut 3 uppercut 4

(you have to know where to look)

FINAL SCORE

5-StarsFive stars!

If this game were released today it would sell out. Games like this are a little under appreciated these days. However I believe with word of mouth and the internet, it would be a HIT.

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

Old School Video Game Review: Bebe’s Kids SNES

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Ok so my parent’s got me this game and I always thought it was interesting. Interesting here being a very subjective word as this game induced several incidences of hair being ripped out, curses being said, and the occasional kitten being kicked across the room. This review will be extremely brief.

DON’T PLAY THIS GAME. It sucks. Seriously the controls suck, the actions you can actually do when you figure out the asinine controls, suck. If you manage to get through the first extremely boring level, you won’t make it out of the haunted house. There is almost no way to figure out how to get through it and if you DO figure it out then you just wasted 40+ hours of your life you could’ve spent doing something vastly more important. Maybe like clipping your toenails or staring into the mirror and saying bloody mary three times.

The music is repetitive (hey yo *pause* hey yo! Bebe’s kiiiids for 24 hours straight), graphics are decent but its hard to tell where you are in terms of depth on screen.

This gets no stars, I’m not even going to upload the pictures of gameplay or the pictures of no stars I’m just going to repeat, DO NOT GET THIS TERRIBLE GAME!

Thanks for reading

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

The Not So Old School review: Tales of Symphonia Gamecube

symphonia

A few years back I had an aversion to anything anime. Not because I thought it was a lesser form of storytelling or I thought it was childish. It was because I know myself, if something’s good I want to see all of it, I’ll become a fan and I will spend countless hours tracking down information about it to further expand my knowledge. I was under the impression shows and games that are based in the anime genre tend to go on forever. (Found out later that isn’t ALWAYS true Gantz,Bebop,FMA:B,VampireD etc). I also refused to play any turn based games besides pokemon and shining force (No I don’t know what was wrong with me, don’t judge me).

So somehow I was talked into trying out this game titled Tales of Symphonia, a two disc,turn based, anime style, game on the gamecube. Here we go!

STORYLINE

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The game takes place in the world of Sylvarant, a lush beautiful world with plenty of Mana which is magical energy. There world is run by the church and by people called Desians. Desians have a strange hatred towards elves and half elves. We come in at the point where the “chosen one” must go on their journey of world regeneration. As everything in their world runs off of mana, a chosen one must break the seals on five different temples.

The chosen one and her group head off to start the process of regeneration. When she arrives at the first temple they see a priest dying who warns the chosen one to be careful. Desians fall upon the group and they are saved by a mysterious swordsman. He offers to stay for a fee, but when he hears the name of one of the members he tells that member not to come.

The Member is eventually allowed to join and they move on. Eventually they discover that there are two worlds vying for mana. This regeneration process robs the other world of its mana, therefore sending it into decay. The chosen one of Sylvarant and friends try to find a way to make the quest work for both worlds.

Now there is quite a bit more to this story than I just put in to that last paragraph. That’s because the story is the BEST part of this game. It’s deep, philosophical, and has so many twists and turns that I can’t really say too much past the first few hours of gameplay. Suffice to say this story is one of the best, well developed, and executed storylines I’ve ever seen in a video game. To prove that point they have made a few seasons of a television anime based off of the game, which usually happens the other way around.

CHARACTERS

Tales_of_Symphonia_Front_Page

Lloyd Irving-The main character, he was raised by a dwarf that found him and his mother. His mother died and imparted to him a stone. He’s stubborn and doesn’t like studying anything but fighting. He’s good hearted and never gives up. Dwarven vow #9 fall seven times get up 8 best describes his character.
Colette Brunel-The chosen one of Sylvarant. A sweet, innocent, sometimes naive girl. She is very strong though and is willing to accept whatever fate she must in order to make a better world for everyone. Her favorite Dwarven vow is #7 “Goodness and love will always win.”
Genis Sage-Llyod’s best friend, magic user, and extremely studious. He is the younger brother of  their schoolteacher. Often Llyod’s intellectual foil (especially since his sarcasm sometimes goes right over his friend’s head). His favorite Dwarven Vow would be #16 “You can do anything if you try.”

Kratos Aurion-The mysterious swordsman that saves them in the beginning of the game. He’s extremely adept at fighting and eventually becomes an unwilling mentor to Lloyd in this respect. His favorite Dwarven vow would be  #5 “The more you add, the worse it gets.”

Raine Sage-The Older sister of Genis. She is an avid historian and a great teacher. She is also a magic user. Very calm and likes to think things through, unless historic artifacts are involved. At that point she forgets where she is and will run in headfirst. She’s also a TERRIBLE cook. Her favorite Dwarven vow would be #43″never forget the basics.”
Sheena Fujibayashi- An assasain from the neighboring world vying for the mana called Tethe’alla. Haunted by failures in her past, she has sworn to stop the chosen one of Sylvarant. However when she discovers that Colette is willing to help her world she concedes to helping find a better way for both worlds. Favorite Dwarven vow- “a bad workman blames his tools.

Zelos Wilder-The chosen one of Tethe’alla. He is snobbish, spoiled, and believes he is god’s gift to women. Constantly hits on just about all of the female characters in the game. Actually if you walk around as him women will give him different items. Favorite Dwarven Vow- #10 “Play hard, Play Often.”
Presea Combatir-A twelve year old lumberjack. Sound odd? It is but her story is being shadowed by the things in the story that would be huge spoilers. Just know she’s very quiet but very strong. Her favorite Dwarven vow would be #14 “Even a small star shines in the darkness.”

GAMEPLAY

Tales-of-Symphonia-Dawn-of-the-New-World-Battle

The gameplay to this game is pretty cool. You can decide which character you want to control. Usually you will be in a group with about four members and the ones you don’t control will do whatever you assign them to do. For example if you want someone to just use magic attacks and stay on the back lines, you can program them to do that. If you want them to conserve said magic and rush their attackers, they can be programmed to do that as well. There are seemingly endless ways to customize not only the actual fighting styles IN the battle but outside of battle for preparation. As is the custom with RPGs everything contributes to the battle from the shoes on your feet to the  bandanna you can put on your head. Also there are things called exospheres that can add to your strength and abilities.

Another thing that makes this gameplay cool is that its not 100 percent turn based. You have control over your character’s movements and timing often is key. You can utilize a variety of magic spells that can do anything from heal to summon lightning. The swordsmasters and hand to hand combat characters are able to do many different charge attacks. When you get the gauge at the bottom of the screen filled you can release a hard hitting team attack. You fill the gauge by doing combos with individual characters, of which there are a LOT of.

Also there is a large variety in gameplay with mini games and puzzles found often throughout the worlds that you traverse.

GRAPHICS

02For a Gamecube game the graphics are great. It keeps its anime style during the entire world. When you are in battle stylized magic attacks and strike attacks are touched up to look pretty good. Amazing artwork with subtle touches throughout. A nice style and very good attention to the characters. One thing I like in other platform RPGs that is absent here however is the changing of clothes when you equip different items. That’s a nice touch that I wish I could see visually in this game. Other than that great looking enemies, great looking characters, and great looking worlds.

MUSIC

The music is good. A good score for the game they were trying to make, though it does get a bit repetitive. Here’s a clip I found on youtube.

Just imagine that over and over and you have just about every fight. But its not as bad as it seems, it changes up when you go to a different world.

RATING

5_StarFive stars for this game. It effectively merges the RPG world with live action gameplay. Not only is the full strategy concept there, but the action is as well. With hours of gameplay and secrets to unlock you’ll be replaying this for a long time. The story never gets old, the characters personalities come to life in every cut-scene and battle. The story keeps you engrossed to the point where you won’t want to stop playing just so you will know what happens next.

If you haven’t played this game, you really should. Its amazing and you are doing a disservice to yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

Brian Bell-Wiseguy Industries

It’s Morphin’ Time! Mighty Morphing Power Rangers SNES review!

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I’m back from playing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers!

As I’ve recently discovered, MMPR is now on Netflix in its entirety. Sad to say the television series just doesn’t stand up AT ALL anymore. In fact I’m pretty much embarrassed to say I loved it as a kid. Bad acting, bad graphics, just loud noises and punching. It certainly appeals to children but makes no attempt to bring the parents in. Plus maybe I’m just getting old but why is it SO LOUD?

However this is about the game, and how it holds up. A classic 2D scroller for the SNES, it was produced for Sega Genesis, Game Gear, Sega Mega drive, and Gameboy as well. Yes MMPR was HUGE back in the day. Actually while Bandai handled production for Nintendo, Sega produced their version themselves. So I’ll do those reviews later because they were all QUITE different from the SNES version. So SNES 2D scroller everybody got it? Okay, ready, and GO!

STORYLINE

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers

Honestly the story is…barely there. Apparently Rita has sent the putty monsters to different areas and you have to fight your way through to the boss at the end. No word on why, I’m assuming because she wants to take over the earth or something. All of the villains are based off the first season. However Rita’s full plan as to how all of these different areas being taken over is never revealed in the game. So it’s a generic beat em’ up story line with the power rangers in the driver’s seat. Not much going on here so it doesn’t get a high rating from me.

Side Note: I’ve always thought the power rangers could have great stories. 6 different characters give them a back story and watch it take off!

Cast Of Characters

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C’mon if you don’t know the originals, sigh, we will have to do some post work on your childhood. It’s okay I think we will be able to save it.

Jason-Red Ranger- Power Sword

Zach- Black Ranger-Power Ax

Kimberly- Pink Ranger- Power Bow

Billy-Blue Ranger-Power Lance

Trini- Yellow ranger- Power Daggers

As soon as you morph you get to use the power weapons. Each character has a unique fighting style in both forms. This force you into to develop different techniques while playing.

GAMEPLAY

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Players can choose from any of the original 5 rangers, Red, Blue, Black, Yellow, and Pink. You begin each area in their civilian forms, as you progress throughout the level you will eventually come upon the boss, then its MORPHIN’ TIME and you change into your ranger form. The Ranger form has stronger attacks, utilizing each rangers specific weapon. If you press up and attack you will get an attack that will knock the enemy to the ground (except the pink ranger she fires an arrow for long-range assault). Also each ranger can acquire a “bomb” which will wipe the screen clear of any enemies and/or cause heavy damage on a Boss.

As per the classic 2D scroller mechanics, you move forward until you meet Putty patrollers or other enemies. Then you must defeat them all before you are allowed to proceed to the next part of the stage. Over all the gameplay is straight forward, beat ’em up style action. However the variations between the characters civilian forms and rangers forms, as well as the varying strengths of the bosses and enemies makes this gameplay pretty challenging and cool. You DO get to control the mega zord in this version. The last two stages feature you in the mega zord doing some heavy damage against large villains. There are different attacks based on the level on which your power bar is. This is what makes this version my favorite incarnation of this game.

Graphics

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As per usual SNES style, the graphics are pretty good. Bright and colorful with an easily viewable HUD. The explosion you get through using the bomb results in a huge flashing symbol of your character’s animal on the screen. =

The bosses are well made and their attacks look pretty cool. Plus when you get to that last level and finally get to utilize the huge zord…Let’s just say it will make you feel like a kid again. The graphics merge seamlessly with the music and the attacks the bosses throw at you on screen. Meaning usually the music changes when the boss appears for the first time and when a certain attack is about to be levied.

For an old game it doesn’t look bad at all. In fact I think the graphics being simple but detailed help convey the overall approach the game makers took when they decided to make this game a reality.

Overall I’d say you can more than deal with these graphics even if you’ve been playing Call of Duty on a High Def/resolution screen everyday for a year. (Seriously get up and get some air, the game’s not going anywhere.)

Music

The music is pretty good. It is nothing more than several variations on the Mighty Morphin’ theme song. Which, if you can recall, is AWESOME. This is really the basic point of the game, they weren’t trying to be something they weren’t. This is a Power Rangers game and they weren’t shy about making it just that.

STAND OR FALL?

It is interesting. The lack of quality scroller games are what actually help this stand up today. The variety in the mechanics and levels completely make this playable in today’s industry. Multiple characters to choose from with different weapons and different abilities. That’s actually what is missing from today’s games. I really enjoyed the details and time they put into making each characters fighting style. The fighting styles reflected the actual personality of each character which is great.

FINAL SCORE

This one REALLY surprised me. I didn’t think I’d be giving it anywhere close to this score but here it is!

four_half-stars_0

4.5 stars! The replay value is very high (I’ve already played it through two or three times now) and the ability to play with another player adds even more to the fun! Definitely one to recommend to your friends, especially since you can join in on the slug-fest! (only via passwords at the end but still, lots of fun!).

If it were released today.

Well, sad to say based on the utter failure of TMNT in time’s release (another 2D scroller), I’d say it would be a flop. I believe they would stray from the straight forward approach and add too much that would detract from the beautiful simplicity that is hitting a Putty Patroller in the head with an axe. No I believe we should be content to travel down memory lane and pick up that grey controller.

Thanks for reading! If you liked this review check out my others! Oh and this one! Thanks everyone for reading! I do hope you enjoy these and find them helpful in your quest for old school gratification!

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Side note: Why’s the black guy the only one dancing??

ahh 90s racial stereotypes

Sincerely,

That Wiseguy

Toy Story Sega Genesis Review

I got a Sega Genesis rather late in the game…and by late I mean Dreamcast was out. Oh well I loved it nonetheless because my parents were awesome enough to get me one for my birthday. With it came Ms. Pacman, Jurassic Park, Sonic Spinball, and Toy story. I’ll get to the other games later I promise, but now we are on Toy Story, focus people focus!

This is a game by Disney Interactive Studios. It came out in April of 1996 on SNES, Sega Genesis, and PC. These versions were pretty much identical save one or two levels that Sega threw in so this review could technically cover those systems as well. First things first lets get to the story!

STORYLINE

So if you don’t know this storyline…Randy Newman’s piano gently weeps for your childhood. However I will give you the basis you sad misguided individual (Seriously why are you still here? Go watch this its 2013! Are you back? Great wasn’t it? You’ve got two more movies, the last one makes grown men cry, have fun). For the rest of you, the game storyline is exactly the same as the movie. Moving on to-

CAST OF CHARACTERS 

Woody-The main character that you will control. His basic functions are pretty easy to grasp. A or C to jump and B to use his drawstring as a whip. This can disrupt flight patterns and tie up other enemies. 

Buzz- You never play as Buzz but he has a new incarnation in the game. Nightmare buzz! He fires real lasers and is surrounded by fireballs. But usually he’s just you’re average, everyday, toy that thinks he’s a real “space rangeeeeeer.”

R/C-This is a nice change up, in the Sega version there are two levels where you control the R/C car. You must pick up batteries to keep the car running and complete your tasks. He is the only other character you control outside of Woody and technically Rex.

Rex- Rex is here and you ride on his back for one level.

The rest of the cast all make appearances and at one point are your enemies after you knock Buzz out of the window.

GAMEPLAY

A lot of variety here, usually it is a 2D scroller, however it makes a switch notably in the claw machine to a 3D format.

Woody’s whip doesn’t destroy anything, rather it wraps them up temporarily. This gives you the need to keep going forward as to go back would be to put yourself in harms way again.

For children this game may be rather tough. I remember when I first got the game I could not get past that 3D area in the claw machine.

The R/C controls are slippery but doable.

It gets a little repetitive around the Sid level, but the bosses and R/C mode move it along nicely.

Overall the gameplay is pretty good. I have a few gripes about the R/C mode, the difficulty regarding the target demographic. You can go into the options menu and add a few lives, and there is a option to take off the story leaving straight gameplay which is cool but, I have to have my stories. Overall a good time could be had by all.

GRAPHICS

Graphics are pretty good for a Sega Genesis game. Not as bright as the SNES version but still good. The 3d levels look GREAT though a little pixelated until you move Woody in closer.

DOES IT STAND OR FALL?

Well as I was playing this game several times I found myself a little bored, being used to high impact, shocking games from today that need a twist every two seconds, or a vehicle or a new way to destroy something. It had a few things thrown in to catch your attention but not quite enough. I’d say it kneels. It doesn’t completely fall on its face in today’s world, you can play it but you’d put it down before finishing it. I would still recommend it for a new gamer to play just for the reference that movie games CAN INDEED be good.

4 stars

Four Stars! Not a bad game right? But still its starting to creak in it’s old age, we still love it but it just doesn’t grab that Frisbee out the air like it used to.

What would happen if it were released today?

Well lets just look at what happened when Toy Story 3’s video game was released. Positive reviews all around mate! Many were surprised but the game did really well on every platform except the Wii, which, is a whole ‘nother review for a whole ‘nother day.

So if you have someone who incessantly babbles on about how it’d be impossible to make a good video game from a movie, get a Sega Genesis with Toy Story, and turn it on.

Thanks for reading! My readers are awesome! Stick around for more articles!

Sincerely,

Just some guy with a computer

Video Games Based on Movies

What happened to those great games like Aladdin, Toy Story, Goldeneye, Super Star Wars: Empire strikes back. Why is it that today movie studios don’t give the video game industry the respect it deserves? They could probably double their profits if they just would give the video game studio a little more time to develop the game. Unfortunately now when a game is released along side a movie (or a movie along side a game…Miss Chun-Li) The verdict is usually bad reviews all around. Granted all movie games back in the 90s weren’t great, I’m looking at you Back to the future NES and you, forever you E.T. However it seemed a lot more went into the movie video games back then. So my next review will be Toy Story on Sega Genesis. And then after that I will post a good ole fashion movie review of a movie that if you haven’t seen it you should! Thanks everyone you’re great!