Posts Tagged ‘bargain bin’

IMAG0208

System: Nintendo 3DS

Price: $2.99

Okay, so you know when you’re at the store, right, and you see this game for a current gen console priced super cheap and you’re all “omg, dis gaem is so cheep, it prolly sux lololol.” Well I’m here to tell you to KNOCK IT OFF! This is my mission. I play the cheap games, so you don’t have to. I want you, in the future, to be all “omg, dis gaem is so cheep, it prolly sux lololol, but I will withhold judgement on this piece of software until I read what Scott over at Five Dollar Gamer says about it. Come along, let us retire to the computing room in my domicile, so that we may peruse the ramblings of a man who so cherishes the games in which we so foolishly ignore so that we may play *scoff* Call of Duty? I bellow a hearty guffaw at my foolhardy gaffe. An aberration like that will not happen again, thanks to Scott and Five Dollar Gamer!”

*checks word count*

Okay, a decent first paragraph.

Centipede Infestation is a re-imagining of the classic 1980s hit Centipede. You play as some guy who was an extra cut from an episode of Captain N: The Game Master. You rudely interrupt a young lady planting a garden by saving her life from the giant mutant bugs surrounding her. You and Miss “All The Bugs Are God’s Creatures What If They’re Attacking You Because You’re Shooting At Them” escape to the city to do God knows what because I skipped a lot of the cutscenes. Once I realized our hero wasn’t going to fart out a “Well excuuuuuuse me, Princess” in response to this chick’s sassyness, I stopped caring.

Get on his level.

Get on his level.

But you don’t buy games on the cheap for award-winning scripts. You want surprisingly fun gameplay! Well… you get surprisingly competent gameplay, at least! The game plays similarly to another classic game, Smash T.V. Each level takes place in an enclosed environment as you mow down waves of insects, with each level culminating with a battle against the classic centipede boss. Your Y/X/B/A buttons serves as directions for your shot (hold two down to shoot diagonally). The circle pad moves the 80s dudebro (I think his name is something cliche, like Max). The touchscreen is used to activate power-ups you collect, like flamethrowers and machine guns. It’s nothing real ground breaking, but if you’re going to borrow ideas, at least do it right, which this game does, but not overwhelmingly. If I had to assign a letter grade to the effort used when applying these borrowed ideas, it’d be like a C+, B- tops. Basically me in high school.

Me in high school. (Photo altered in order to prevent someone from being a known associate of this asshole back in the day)

Me in high school. (Photo altered in order to prevent someone from being a known associate of this asshole back in the day)

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

I mean, it’s a decent game, but it’s not like it’s some hidden gem waiting to be discovered. The action gets a bit repetitive and the cutscenes try to capitalize on that ironic 80s cheesiness with the voice acting, but the bargain bin script holds it back from being tolerable. This was a game destined to be $2.99. I’m not saying AVOID AT ALL COSTS! But it’s not something I’d necessarily recommend. So the guy who was using all them big fancy words in the opening paragraph is no closer to finding out if this is a game he should play or not. He probably won’t. He doesn’t even have a 3DS because “it’s for children.” He’s a dick. Screw that guy.

Thanks for readin’, y’all!

cover

System: Playstation (also available on Game Boy Color/Advance, Nintendo 64, Sega Dreamcast)

Release Date: December 11th, 2000

Rarity: 46%

Price/Location: $0.99/Gaming Warehouse

If you went to middle school in the late 90’s-early 2000’s, you either had or wanted a Razor scooter. It was a genius invention! A scooter with roller blade wheels! Just be the top-selling student during your schools’ magazine subscription or candy bar sales contest and one could be yours!

"Alright, Ladies Home Journal, you're my key to sweet, scooty goodness!"

“Alright, Ladies Home Journal, you’re my key to sweet, scooty goodness!”

So naturally, as with any wildly popular intellectual property, a Razor Scooter video game was commissioned! Yeah! Can’t get a Razor Scooter of your own? Then live vicariously through this game for only one-third of the price (not including price of Playstation system… which combined would have made it way more than an actual Razor, but I digress)!

Our title screen, complete with totally hip and funky abstract art.

Our title screen, complete with totally hip and funky abstract art.

Very quickly I realize that this game is nothing more than Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater on a scooter. Choose a level, get your list of objectives, complete as many as you can in 2 minutes, bake at 425 degreees, rinse, repeat, let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

More like Tony Hawk's Pro SCOOTER?! Amirite? Ugh. Sorry.

More like Tony Hawk’s Pro SCOOTER?! Amirite? Ugh. Sorry.

But surprisingly, the game isn’t completely terrible. I was very surprised how well the controls function and how smooth it feels… kind of like THPS. The graphics are forgivable because pretty much everything looked like ass in this genre and x-treme sports games aren’t notable for their gorgeous graphics anyway.The soundtrack is… okay. The music seemed slightly hard for a game with such a young intended audience, but the lyrics are clean. The characters are pretty hilarious, because they’re all obviously kids, but they sound like adults, especially when you guide one of them off a building and they yell as they fall to their doom. This happens a lot on one level as the play area is spread over several skyscrapers.

Would not be surprised if she had a smoker's cough.

Would not be surprised if she had a smoker’s cough.

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

Yes, I did say the game was surprisingly un-terrible, but it is still a nearly carbon copy of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater. Maybe if it did something unique to separate itself from the popular franchise, then I would reconsider. But as it is, for the same price, you could just pick up one of the first two Tony Hawk games and have a similar experience. There’s not much else I can say about it really. For now, Razor Freestyle Scooter will have to remain 2nd prize in the school sales contest.

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Thanks for reading!

wskbox

System: NES

Release Date: June 1990

Rarity: 49%

Price/Location: $3.99/Game Changers

Let me just say this: If I was as good at making stock market moves as I was in this game, I wouldn’t be living in the smallest bedroom of an apartment I share with two friends. This game has given me unrealistic expectations of the beginner’s learning curve in the world of stock trading. I am shocked and appalled that such a game that can leave such an impression even left the testing phase! This is why the economy is in the crapper, people! Wake up and smell the crushing debt! How many people played this game as children and grew up to be reckless stock traders on the mean streets of Wall? This is nothing more than an economy crasher simulator!

And yet, all I see are dollar signs. I feel my wallet thickening. I hear the roar of the Ferrari in my garage. I smell victory. I can taste SUCCESS!

And yet, all I see are dollar signs. I feel my wallet thickening. I hear the roar of the Ferrari in my garage. I smell victory. I can taste SUCCESS!

This game is a scam! I made it big with investments in Carnivore Cruise Lines, Yapple Computers, Rattel Toys, and Boing Airlines! I diversified the HELL out of that stock portfolio! My wife was so happy over the buttloads of money I was making! My family loved that I was wise in my investments! I had it all! But here’s a newsflash: NONE OF THOSE COMPANIES ACTUALLY EXIST! I couldn’t translate my success into the real world! I had to take a guess with mere facsimiles of the companies in this game! Where was my assistant giving me hot stock tips? She was nowhere to be found in the real world!

I'm so alone!

I’m so alone!

I’ve lost everything because of this game! Girlfriend: GONE! Car: GONE! Life: OVER! I write this review as a message to the masses! A warning, if you will! Spread the word: this game is nothing more than hopes and dreams! It teaches you to be fast and loose with your money! Get my message to Fox News or CNN! Someone! Preferably presented by a middle-aged white woman who has never played the game before. Anyone will do!

Was I the best, Prisila? WAS I?!

Was I the best, Prisila? WAS I?!

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

Oh, and the game was kinda boring too.

Leave your messages of support and words of encouragement on my Facebook and Twitter pages!

Thanks for reading!

taiswcover

System(s)- Sega Genesis (also available on Atari Lynx)

Release Date- April 30th, 1992

Rarity- 43%

Price- $4.99

You know what game got the gross factor right? Boogerman. Boogerman: A Pick-and-Flick Adventure. That game grossed you out and had the toilet humor ripe for making a 7-year-old me laugh his butt off in 1994.

"Boogers and toilets! Bahahaha! Comedy gold!" ~Five Dollar Gamer circa 1994

“Boogers and toilets! Bahahaha! Comedy gold!” ~Five Dollar Gamer circa 1994

I suppose that’s what the 90’s were all about. The gross factor appealed to kids like Call of Duty (or the “cool” factor) appeals to kids today. Look at prominent children’s network Nickelodeon. What is the common theme among 80% of its live-action 1990s line up? Slime. That green stuff that was dumped onto children’s heads on You Can’t Do That On Television is the slime in question. It was what likely turned Double Dare hosted by Marc Summers into Super Sloppy Double Dare starring an OCD-riddled Marc Summers.

"Hi, I'm Marc Summers! And welcome to my personal hell!"

“Hi, I’m Marc Summers! And welcome to my personal hell!”

So slime is all the rage and developer Epyx, led by then 11-year-old Timmy Coruthers says “Kids love slime. Let’s make a game with a guy with sweet shades and he fights slime monsters.” Before I begin the review, I feel it poignant at this point in the article to mention that Epyx went bankrupt mere months after the release of this game.

We're taking a trip and Todd's at the wheel!

We’re taking a trip and Todd’s at the wheel!

When they say “Slime World” my goodness do they ever mean it. It dominates the screen! You, your enemies, items, take up tiny fractions of the screen. It would be better if this slime environment was… well… anything other than what it looks like in this game. Walls, ceilings, floors, and the foreground are all the same ugly solid shade of green. This is Boogerman’s dream vacation.

taiswscreen1+2

But as history tells us, graphics do not make the game. Unfortunately this game doesn’t have any of the components to make a competent game. This is barely a game. It’s a game in the sense that the Genesis I put it in was able to play it. Controls: bad. Sound: bad. Fun: none. The portion of the game I played merely had our “hero” Todd. Wander aimlessly through a cave maze until he found the exit. No story, no reason why. Just a Point A to Point B bore.

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

Normally I’d put a game like this into The Landfill, but TAISW didn’t really anger me as much as it put me to sleep. There’s not much to this game and not much to say about it. I keep reading that the Atari Lynx version is superior in every way, but I imagine that’s like saying your Math 201 lecture is more stimulating than your Math 101 lecture.

Well... sometimes Math classes can be okay.

Well… sometimes Math classes can be okay.

Join me in an adventure (25% less slime) on my Facebook page and Twitter page!

As always, thanks for reading!

26629_205286049603444_436038555_n

System: Genesis

Release Date: August 14th, 1993

Rarity: 10%

Price: $0.49 (hell yeah!)

I’ve never fancied myself a “fan” of fighting games. I like them, but I don’t get into them as much as some of my friends who are into the competitive gaming scene. I think it’s because I’m not very good at them and I don’t have the commitment to sit there and practice.

Hour 9 inside the Street Fighter IV practice arena.

I’ve always liked simple, easy to learn fighting games. King of Fighters ’95 on the Game Boy is a perfect example. It had two buttons. But it used those two buttons to their full potential. Which brings me to Eternal Champions. Eternal Champions has three buttons. You’ve got your punch, kick, and block. Cool. Yeah. Block is such a great button. Block is such a great button that your computerized opponent uses it the ENTIRE FRIGGIN’ TIME AND NGJUNDg4rty54yEGVIBND5rhy54trEGVth54tehIOIE31235r34gtrf32qD!!!

OK, take a deep breath. Breathe in... and out. Calm down, FDG.

OK, take a deep breath. Breathe in… and out. Calm down, FDG.

OK, so more on that in a second. Let me just say, that this game looks ugly. Even by Sega Genesis standards. All the environments look like they were designed in a freeware bitmap editor. I’m not saying I could do better (I can’t), but good lord.

Pictured: Winner: Mrs. Johnson's 3rd Grade Computer Art class competition, December 1992.

Pictured: Winner: Mrs. Johnson’s 11th Grade Computer Art class competition, December 1992.

These characters are nothing noteworthy. Just picture what superheros looked like when they were designed in the 1990s and congrats, you put as much effort into the character design as these guys did! Bright colors, tight spandex, it’s easy to confuse a few of these guys with certain WWF (WWE if you’re picky) wrestlers circa 1993.

Either the 4th best character in the game or a former WWF World and Intercontinental Champion. I get them confused sometimes.

Either the 4th best character in the game or a former WWF World and Intercontinental Champion. I get them confused sometimes.

There’s probably a story to this game, but everything else about this game is so-by-the numbers I just assume it’s about an ancient evil (probably Asian) who wants to destroy the world and the Eternal Champions pummel each other for the right to pummel him.

Ta-da!

Ta-da!

How does the game play? Well, I played this game two different ways. I played some of the single-player stuff and I played the game with a friend, Kelly Mankoski, who is a professional fighting games player (literally!). I will now break down each experience via pictures.

This pretty much sums up the single-player experience.

This pretty much sums up the single-player experience.

And the 2-player experience…

That's me on the right.

That’s me on the right.

Don’t get me wrong, just because I got my backside handed to me doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy this portion of the game. Playing any game, good or bad, with a friend can make the experience slightly better. But unfortunately the single-player A.I. is so terrible it’s not even close to fun.

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

Yes, the game was slightly made better when playing with someone else, but then you realize you’re sharing a miserable experience together. Everything about this game is bland. This is your typical generic fighting game that got pumped out at a time when Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter were all the rage and everyone wanted to try to bottle some of that sweet, succulent arcade fighting action. The 50 cents I spent on this would have been better spent by getting lost in the couch cushions.

Money well spent!

Money well spent!

I’d like to thank Kelly Mankoski for suffering through this game with me! He would like to give a shout out to his sponsor GRAPSF.com and GrandLAN Gaming Center located in beautiful downtown Grand Rapids, Michigan!

Like the article? Of course you didn’t! Tell me what you hated on my Facebook page, my Twitter, or even send me an e-mail at fdg_scott@fivedollargamer.com!

As always, thanks for reading!

EDIT: Comments from Mr. Mankoski himself!

While I only spent an afternoon with the game while Five Dollar Gamer and I explored it for the review (not counting the endless hours I had mashing with it when I was but a wee lad) it definitely didn’t seem quite up to par when it comes to the competitive scene.

Like any respectable fighting game it had a nice variety of characters from the blonde goddess to the old wizard and even an intriguing cyborg. Each character has their own stage to be sure you wont be stuck always looking at the same few backgrounds however, that is not counting when you’ll be smashing your face on the controller because you can’t beat the first opponent in the single player mode. The characters themselves even have a good selection of normal and special moves. They have various projectile and movement based special moves that can send a nice fireball or knife towards your opponent at varying speeds depending on which button you input the command with. You can even send you yourself flying towards the opponent with a fantastic dive kick! As far as normal attacks are concerned you have your basic low hitting moves and nice long range pokes that may possibly be used to control your space on the screen or even anti-air a foe bold enough to take to the air. Last but not least the game even has a throw system in place if you just cannot find any other way to break your opponents defense.

So lets see does it have what it needs to be a competitive fighting game? Characters. Check. Stages. Check. Special moves. Check. Variety of pokes. Check. Throws. Check. Combos? This is where the game starts to get a bit muddy.

While i was able to figure out some sequences of attack to keep my opponent(FiveDollarGamer) where I wanted him I wasn’t having much luck in terms of scoring much more than a single hit at a time. There were times I thought I may have found a combo but, because the game doesn’t have any sort of combo counter who can be sure. Maybe he was just trying to strike back and therefore was unable to block my follow up attacks. The same tactics did not seem to apply when fighting the CPU opponents. Like other fighting games you end up simply getting thrown out of your next move meaning it’s probably not a real combo. This isn’t even taking into account my inability to combo into or out of special moves. Maybe it was the cheap 20 year old Sega Genesis controller I was using. Maybe it was my lack of practice or lack of skill with the precision this game requires. Maybe it’s just a piece of doo-doo game created to ride off of the popularity fighting games had in the 90s. Who can really be sure?

Granted combos aren’t everything but, even as a more footsie based game(where you fight simply by moving in and out of range while poking with your attacks and hitting your opponent with one of your own if he whiffs one of his) there didn’t seem to be much depth. Only a couple of pokes with each character seemed viable and most of the time it seemed like if you found the single one that beat your opponent they wouldn’t be able to do much to get around it.

So, like Five Dollar Gamer I agree you should probably let this one remain collecting dust in the bargain bin. You may be better served springing for that copy of MK2 priced at $1.99. At least you’ll have nostalgia to keep you company.

 

Release Date: October 1989

System: NES

Rarity: 16%

Price/Location: Gaming Warehouse (Grandville)

(Note: The fact that Episode 21, of all numbers, is a casino game episode is pure coincidence. Wish I could say I planned that…)

The first time I ever stepped foot in a casino was about 3 years ago. I went with my girlfriend and her dad. On the way there (about an hour-and-a-half/2-hour trip) I joked about how I would “re-define beginners luck.” I walked in with $100 and walked out with over $5000. I thought, “This casino thing is easy! I guess I got a leg up because I actually know when to walk away!” My view was skewed. I thought winning at the casino was going to be a given every time I went. It didn’t help that on the following trip I turned $100 into about $400. I was hooked. I loved going to the casino.

If only my friends would give me money every time I shook their hand.

The harsh reality of the casino soon sunk in… just in time for one to open 25 minutes from where I live. I’ve been there more times than I care to admit, but I’m over casinos now. I no longer have the desire to go. I’ll tag along or play on someone else’s money, but I’m not going to be the one initiating these trips. I still like card games though, like poker and blackjack and stuff. Casino video games are a different story. It’s rare that I find one that stands out. I played one on my Grandma’s PC  when I was a kid and thought it was really cool (the name of the game completely escapes me and research turns up nothing). Your opponents were colorful characters who would taunt you when you made moves. So when I saw Casino Kid, I was curious as to what the gimmick was. There had to be some kind thing that set this game apart from standard casino games, especially with a name like Casino KID.

Legitimate screenshot.

After struggling to get the game to even work (a 72-pin connector replacement is in order after this ordeal) we are presented with our plot: You play as the Casino Kid (not actually sure they said his name) and you have to work your way up the ranks to become World Casino Champion… or something.

Sums it up better than I can.

This has to be the worst casino ever. You’re essentially entering the casino as a rookie. You’re supposed to be going up to the tables to play and get better, but the dealers WON’T PLAY WITH YOU UNTIL YOU GET BETTER. Seriously, imagine you walked into your closest casino with $1000 in hand, and every single staff member there KNEW you had never played a casino game before, but they refuse to take your money because you’re not skilled. It’s either the most generous casino or the stupidest.

This is the kind of stupid stuff they’ll say to you instead of separating you from your money.

You’ll have to find the ONE dealer in the casino who will play Blackjack with you in order to start your quest to become Ultimate Gambling Hero. Once you do… it plays exactly like any other blackjack game you’ve ever played. Seriously, there is nothing special or unique about it. She’s an old woman and she’s fairly easy to beat. At one point I beat her on 8 straight hands. The 1st one she won after that streak, she says to me “Heh, that wasn’t a smart move was it?” I’m like “Bitch, you’re awfully cocky for someone, nay, a PROFESSIONAL CASINO DEALER who just lost 8 straight hands of blackjack to A KID WHO HAS NEVER PLAYED BLACKJACK BEFORE!”

“F*** you, sonny! I’ve been playing blackjack since before you were born… which was apparently 14 years ago.”

After you double your money on some blackjack, you’re told to seek out a man who wants to play poker with you. After searching for him, he declares the game is 5 card draw, and you jump into the game. This guy is slightly more challenging than the old woman, but in the same way 2×2=4 is a more challenging math problem than 2+2=4. At a random point in the game he declares he will go all-in if you will too. It wasn’t even a desperation moment for him. I was only winning like $1100 to $900. I beat him easily and moved on to my next opponent… another old woman dealing blackjack.

“We rule this f***ing casino, you young whippersnapper!”

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

The RPG look of the game at first gives you a vibe that this may be something different, but it’s all a sham. This is nothing more than your average casino game in RPG clothing. It has a stupid premise and boring gameplay. A true gambling RPG would be a cool idea, but this game is not it. By the time I got to the 3rd dealer, I didn’t care about becoming Heavyweight Card Game Master, I just wanted to cash my chips and go home.

Thanks for reading!

System: Super Nintendo

Release Date: October 1991

Rarity: 36%

Price/Location: $0.99/Gaming Warehouse (Grandville)

I know next to nothing about Ultraman. I know of Ultraman. I know Ultraman is ultra popular in Japan. But I don’t know if he has a lot of appeal outside of Japan, namely America. I don’t know anyone who would call themselves a fan of Ultraman (and if I do know someone, they certainly haven’t mentioned it). After playing this game and looking up a bit on what Ultraman was all about I can’t help but think that he would have fit in alongside several live-action Japanese shows (dubbed and re-done for American audiences), and ones inspired by them, that were popular in the mid-1990’s.

It also would have lead to several 9-year-old kids calling him a Power Rangers rip-off.

Unfortunately the timing was poor for both this game and a show based on this incarnation of Ultraman as far as a U.S. audience goes. Ultraman for the SNES was released in 1991 and an Ultraman TV series ran in the U.S. for about 3 months in early 1992. Both of these came out before the Power Rangers took the U.S. by storm in 1993. It could be reasonable to think that because of the relative obscurity of Ultraman in America today and this Super Nintendo game for that matter, that this game was not exactly a classic. But I’ve discovered some great games so far that weren’t exactly popular. Could Ultraman be any different? Will America ever learn to love Ultraman?!

Probably not! (2 people will get this joke)

Ultraman plays like your typical fighting game like a Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter. But there’s no character select or 2-player mode. You play as Ultraman and you must defeat each monster in a 1-0n-1 battler to move on to the next level. Sounds pretty simple, and it is at first. The first two enemies are practically a cakewalk once you get the controls down. To defeat your enemy, you must deplete their health bar until it reads “Finish.” That’s when you hit them with a Level 4 laser blast! Level 4 laser blast?! What’s that?!

This is the “Glass Joe” fight.

You see that meter in the middle there? That meter will charge up as the fight goes on. You can use your laser at any point during the fight, but it resets the charge. Only a level 4 will finish your enemy off, however, so you won’t want to use it late in a fight when his health is low, rather than reading “Finish.” One thing that got me a couple times is your health and your enemy’s health will both slowly recharge if neither get hit for a while. During my playthrough, my enemy would have a meter reading “Finish” only for my Level 4 laser blast to reach him just as he recovered a sliver of health. This caused him to not die, but merely get knocked back down to “Finish.” It was quite frustrating.

I saw something similar to the above quite often because of it.

This game strangely has more in common with Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out than another side-view fighting game. The timing and strategy required to avoid enemy attacks and get hits in requires you to be focused quite a bit. Mashing buttons will get you nowhere fast, especially after the first two guys. The problem with this though is sometimes your timing needs to be somewhere in the neighborhood of perfect.

I don’t see what nice houses has to do with this game’s controls.

Example: When your enemy fires a laser of their own (because that’s what giant Japanese lizard monsters do) you cannot avoid it by jumping or ducking. You will get hit and you will get laughed at. You must perform AN ACTION BACKFLIP or AN ACTION SOMERSAULT! This is done by pressing down and left or down and right depending on the direction you are facing. Sounds easy enough, right? Like I said, timing on this is everything. More often than not, you will dodge most of the laser, then get hit by the tail end of it when you snap back up. It was quite frustrating.

I saw something similar to the above quite often because of it.

Whoa, deja vu.

Verdict: BARGAIN BIN

The game gets progressively harder as you go on, as it should. The problem is how difficult it gets. It is not an easy game. Perfect timing, the flawed laser/finish system, and the fact that some enemies move WAY faster than you do keep it from feeling fair. I’ve said many times in the past about other games that I felt that the difficulty of a game was because of my lack of skill and that I could become better with practice. Here I feel it’s because of how imbalanced some fights can be. I can’t describe the anger I felt when I finally got an enemy down to “Finish” in a close fight where I’m almost finished myself, only for my L4 laser blast tink off the sliver of health he’d recovered as the blast traveled towards him. This was a game I really wanted to like because it showed so much promise early on, but later levels proved to be an exercise in frustration.

Again, what do difficult workouts have to do with this game?

Ultraman is getting deported back to Japan! Migrate on over to the land of Facebook and Twitter and tell me how lame the jokes in this article were!