Archive for the ‘The Landfill’ Category

System(s): Super Nintendo (also available on: *deep breath*Acorn Archimedes, Amiga, Amiga CD32, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Game Boy, Game Gear, Mega-CD, Sega Master System, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis)

Hoo-boy! This game I wavered on back and forth for a long time. Those that pay attention to my Facebook page may remember that I mentioned this game when talking about troubles you were having with puzzles in certain games but their solutions made you go “Duh, why didn’t I realize that sooner!” The reason I wavered back and forth on this is because I wasn’t really sure if I hated the game enough to give it the landfill treatment. But then I realized something. After all the time spent trying to figure out that puzzle, the game doesn’t get any better, and in fact, gets worse. The game was already bad before and the frustration I felt with getting stuck left a bad taste in my mouth for the rest of my time with the game. Bad level design, WAY too many enemies on screen, and a melee attack that looks like air humping (it’s actually belly bumping, but it looks gross) make for a package ripe for the back of the Waste Management truck.

Welcome to another entry in the dreaded Landfill series! The Landfill is where I categorize a game that I once considered for entry into the regular episodes of Five Dollar Gamer, but I felt deserve a worse fate than the bargain bin. Today, we lay to rest a 1998 Nintendo 64 fighting game, Bio F.R.E.A.K.S.

Why?: I played this game for a bit to see if the gameplay was as stupid as the concept behind it. Something about how America has fallen and corporations have risen to power, blah, blah, blah. These corporations built these monsters or robots or something and make them fight? I don’t know, it’s really stupid. The only character I actually thought looked cool was the giant minotaur robot (named Minotek, because why not). Unfortunately, he controls just as crappy as the rest of the lot. The controls were the biggest issue I had with the game, even more so than the lame story. The controls themselves technically work, but it’s the controller mapping that gave me a headache. There are SO MANY BUTTONS on the N64 controller. The developer decided to make sure every button had a function except Z had a function (keep that in mind for a second). L and R move back and forth around the 3D plane. It’d be cool if you moved fast enough to make it useful to avoid enemy attacks. B is a rocket boost jump. It’s not real useful and doesn’t really add anything to the gameplay. Here’s where my real issues with the mapping start. So each of the C buttons corresponds to a right/left punch/kick. Fine, OK. It’s useful with some characters like Minotek who wields a ball and chain in one hand, but for many others the difference in right and left punch is non-existent. My big issue is the A button. Pressing A by itself launches a projectile attack. But pressing any direction and the A button activates your shield. This is a big pain in the ass when in the heat of battle. If you’re trying to launch a projectile attack while trying to put some distance on your opponent, you’ll instead activate your shield. It’s rather annoying. So why not move either the projectile attack or the shield to the unused Z button so you can move and shoot at the same time? Or, why do we need separate buttons for right and left punches and kicks? If you’re going to make them distinct moves for certain characters, then do something different for the other characters. Just everything about this game is a mess. Avoid.

Welcome to another episode of The Landfill! The Landfill is a series that takes only a brief look at games that were once considered to be covered in the main series of articles I do, but I felt had no redeeming qualities. At least a game in the bargain bin has some redeeming qualities. These games… deserve a worse fate:

Why?: Spectrobes didn’t offend me quite as quickly as the first two games to go into the landfill, but that’s because there was a stupid story I had to sit through before I got thrown into the clunky combat and asinine exploration aspects of the game. If Disney Interactive wanted a Pokemon ripoff, they failed spectacularly. The process of getting new creatures and even getting minor items is stupidly convoluted. Everything about this game takes what made Pokemon work and makes it needlessly complicated. The combat is laughable. You have two creatures at your side, hit L or R to issue an attack. Sounds easy enough, but it’s live combat and not turn-based. The results are your creatures attack animations taking too long to complete and sure shots at hits actually missing. Nothing about this game was enjoyable in the time I spent with it and I could see why this game was priced so low ($2.99).

Why?: It was a pain in the ass to get working. Once I did, I went to enter my name to create my save file. In the midst of creating the save, the game somehow failed to recognize that the system I was playing on was a Game Boy Color (somehow mistaking it for a regular Game Boy). I restarted and got into the game. I wish I hadn’t. Bad graphics, bad controls, bad combat, bad music. The music was early, low-budget NES-era quality. This game was made in 2001. The sprites were tiny and barely recognizable. The flying controls were floaty with a significantly long delay in recognizing button inputs.

Welcome to The Landfill! Early fans of the page may notice that I already posted two of these games on The Landfill page on this site. But, for organizations sake, I’m going to make each one a blog post now. I’m not going to go at length like I usually do with the regular featured games on the site, mostly because I don’t feel these games deserve it. The games that end up in The Landfill are games that I played that would have been featured in a regular article on Five Dollar Gamer, but ended up being bad in every single way. I’ll just include a short blurb about why each game was so bad. So with that said:

Why?: This game was a pain in the ass to even get working in my Super Nintendo. Not really the game’s fault, but it left me less tolerant for the bullcrap that came next. The controls are awful, the driving point-of-view is annoying, but what really sent this game to the landfill was the sound. My goodness, the sound. I had a headache 2 laps into the first 7-lap race. By lap 3 the pain had spread to the back of my eyeballs. No joke. This was 99 cents horribly spent. This game by now is likely literally in a landfill. I took it to Gaming Warehouse once to see if I could salvage something out of it, but the employee informed me due to its condition (slightly corroded contact points) he could not buy it. I asked him to recycle it or throw it away. Good riddance.