Posts Tagged ‘reviews’

homealonebox

Home Alone, the movie, is a classic. It’s on TV every year during the holidays. It’s loved by many worldwide. What can I say about Home Alone that hasn’t been said before? Home Alone was one of my favorite movies as a kid, so much so, that I requested the Game Boy version for my 5th birthday. That game is a challenge. Perhaps too much for 5-year-old me (27-year-old me still struggles with it), but it was a good game in my opinion. The NES version, on the other hand, is a challenge because it’s awful. In a bit of shortsightedness, I asked the fans of my Facebook page to request a game for me to play, and in turn I would plug some kind of content for them. I did this once before, and it turned out okay. But what Mike Nedwick had for me was sinister and I think he did it on purpose. He KNEW this game sucked. He could have picked ANY game for me to play. “Hey, play Super Mario Bros. Plug my YouTube channel.” But no. NO! That wouldn’t be funny! “Hey, FiveDollarGamer, play this garbage ass game, then give me free advertising. Kthxbai.” Jokes on you, BUDDY! I’m not that popular! I’m about as popular as the no-name studio that developed this insult to the memory of Macaulay Culkin (Oh, he’s still alive? Yeesh, he sure doesn’t look it). What asshole studio farted out this travesty anyway?

bethesda logo

Oh shit. The same people that would go on to create such classics as The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series cut their teeth making NES games based on licensed properties. I barely want to talk about this game. It’s bad. It’s ugly as that girl you took home from the bar this weekend. You can control it as well as you can control a crying 4-year-old at the mall. It overall just bums me out. Ned wanted me to promote his YouTube gaming series This Level Sucks, where he actually plays this trash game. Go see it in action there. I’m done.

This Level Sucks on YouTube!

Thanks for reading!

Hey there! When I’m not playing games on dares or reviewing something on a strict budget, I like to play other games. Like, normally. Stuff I choose of my own volition. I wanna talk about them. So… I’m gonna do that. Now.

pkmnshffl

Pokemon Shuffle (3DS)

This game is cool. If you’ve played the Pokemon Trozei games or Doctor Who: Legacy or most any other “match-3” games, you’ll be familiar with the concept. It’s a free download from the eShop. Nintendo is dipping their toes into the free-to-play and microtransaction waters, but it’s cool. Whatever. Just don’t spend money on it and you’re cool. The energy system probably keeps you from playing too long anyway. It’s Nintendo’s roundabout way of saying “Take a break and get some air already! Geez!”

gtav1

Grand Theft Auto V (Xbox One)

I had it on 360. Got it for the One. It’s the same game, BUT BETTER! OMG GRAFFICKS U GAIZ!

tinder

Tinder (Android)

They show you a picture of a pretty girl and you have to determine if it’s a spambot or not. I’m not very good at this game.

nbalive15nba2k15

NBA Live 15/NBA 2K15 (Xbox One)

One is absolute unadulterated garbage trash that I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemies, the other is NBA 2K15.

thecrew

The Crew (Xbox One)

It’s seems like a very ambitious idea. The entire country is your car racing playground. Well, not the ENTIRE country. The map is kinda shaped like America and shrunk down to maybe the size of Ohio? I don’t know. I’m still in the starting area of Detroit, or an actually decent facsimile of Detroit. Downtown Detroit in this game actually does look similar to the real Downtown Detroit. Even Comerica Park (sorry, America Park) is well represented. I have a feeling that this will be similar to a racing game from a few years ago called “Fuel.” The central hubs will be well done, but the areas in between will be sparsely detailed. The racing itself is not bad, it doesn’t control the greatest, but I’ve played worse.

elliptical

The Elliptical Machine At My Local YMCA (Real Life)

People thought Wii Fit was a workout! This thing works out your arms and legs at the same time! Looking forward to setting some high scores on this one!

nesremix

NES Remix 1 & 2 (Wii U)

These games are both fantastic. Nintendo takes some of their classic 8-bit games and turns them into mini-game challenges. I would like to see Nintendo reach out to their 3rd party partners and get some more games into the 3rd installment. Konami and Capcom had some fantastic NES games.

mariokart

Mario Kart… All of Them (All the Nintendos)

I love Mario Kart. I’m starting a Mario Kart team. Join me.

Thanks for reading!

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!

IMAG0180

What the hell am I doing? I mean, seriously?! I haven’t written a damn thing in 8 months and I come back with THIS?! I hyped my blog up to an audience in a completely new area of the country. “Oh I review a lot of retro games and hidden gems, check it out sometime.” I get them to like the Facebook page, I tell them something new is coming, and then… Then I give them HELLO KITTY CRUISERS FOR THE WII U! Ya-friggin-hoo!

Okay, to be fair, I was dared by a co-worker to play this game. I caved because YOU DON’T DARE ME TO DO STUFF, TAYLOR!

*ahem* Sorry.

So, let’s take a look at the back of the box bullet points to see what we can look forward to in this adventure.

IMAG0182

Everyone in the split-screen screenshot is doing terrible. Symbolism?

Okay, so nothing specific. You can race boats, karts, and planes with up to 4 people. Basic stuff, nothing you couldn’t do in Diddy Kong Racing 18 years ago. Speaking of Diddy Kong Racing, I’ll just come right out and say it: in every way, Diddy Kong Racing is an infinitely better game. Shocker, right? Did anyone reading this really thing that Hello Kitty Kruisers would be a good game? A diamond in the rough? A 6th round pick that leads his team to 4 Super Bowl victories?

Alienating my readers in 3... 2... 1...

Alienating my readers in 3… 2… 1…

So there’s not much meat to the bone that is this game. There’s a championship mode that I completed within the hour and an adventure mode ripped right off from the mission mode in Mario Kart DS. Now I will say that this game deceived me just a bit during the first cup. It was a bit bland and slow, but otherwise there was nothing I’d say was bad. In fact, the races using the airplanes were actually pretty decent. The airplane controls and physics, while not complicated, were surprisingly unterrible. It was during the 2nd cup where I ran into my first set of issues.

Unlocking this fat French dog being one of them.

Unlocking this fat French dog being one of them.

It was obvious that the kinks and bugs were worked out of the first cup. But I feel like the developers went “Meh, no one is going to want to play it after that. I think we’re good. Ship tomorrow.” One race I was sucked into guardrails no matter how much I positioned myself in the middle of the track. It didn’t help that the environment was an egregious rip-off of the Mario Kart 64 version of Rainbow Road. But what I encountered most, and my biggest gripe about the game, is the A.I. and the timing issues. A.I.-controlled cars would easily get stuck in walls or turned around. Now, when I say turned around, I don’t mean they’d spin out a lot. They would start driving in the complete wrong direction. These guys were more confused than Geno Smith playing football.

More football jokes!

More football jokes!

The timing issues were really weird. Things like extremely long lap times, lower-placing finishers having better overall times than those placing higher than them, and the bad A.I. and timing issues going hand-in-hand to create a mess of a post-race leader board. The following images are just a glimpse of what I saw.

Notice the last two times. 10th place has a better overall time than 9th.

Notice the last two times. 10th place has a better overall time than 9th.

I had lapped everyone in this race. Somehow, me and 2nd place had identical times.

I had lapped everyone in this race. Somehow, me and 2nd place had identical times. Also notice last place’s extremely quick lap time.

Hello Kitty spent the last 2/3rds of the race going backwards. Despite this, I somehow only beat her by .23 seconds according to the official scoring.

Hello Kitty spent the last 2/3rds of the race going backwards. Despite this, I somehow only beat her by .23 seconds according to the official scoring.

I wouldn’t recommend this game to anyone. Not to kids, not to enemies, not even as a “Hey, let’s get drunk and play this game” game. Even if you’re a fan of Hello Kitty, you won’t like it. It borrows many elements from games much older and better than itself and proceeds to do less than nothing with them. The only thing I would like to know is who was the moron that was scoring the times on those races?

Aww, sonofa---

Aww, sonofa—

Thanks for reading!

discozoo

source: touchtapplay.com

OS: Android (also available on iOS)

Price: Free (supported by in-app purchases, unobtrusive ads)

I’ve always loved going to the zoo. The opportunity to see animals other than squirrels or my roommate’s cat has always been one I’ve jumped on. I’ve already been to my local zoo twice this year with several more trips planned. But sadly, these two trips were my first zoo trip of any kind in 3 years and my first trip to this zoo in particular in 8 years. I’m making 2014 the year of the zoo. I have plans not only to visit my local zoo several more times, I also have plans to do a sort of zoo road trip. From Grand Rapids (my hometown) to Louisville, Kentucky (where I have family) and any zoo in between.

I'm sure this zoo is "just for children" in the same way the My Little Pony reboot is "just for children." (image source: findthebest.com)

I’m sure this zoo is “just for children” in the same way the My Little Pony reboot is “just for children.”
(image source: findthebest.com)

Sadly, Disco Zoo is not a zoo that will be on this road trip. In fact, it’s not a real zoo at all. It’s a game! For your phone! That you probably have!

Pictured: Ubiquity (image source: blackchilled.com)

Pictured: Ubiquity
(image source: blackchilled.com)

In Disco Zoo you are tasked with running your own zoo. Congratulations! You are the proud owner of an empty zoo! So what do you do to fill your zoo with Earth’s finest creatures? You go rescue them yourself! There are 8 different regions/climates/eras to search for animals to fill your zoo: Farm, Outback, Savannah, Northern, Polar, Jungle, Jurassic, and Ice Age. Only the Farm is unlocked from the get-go. The others become available after your zoo meets certain size requirements. The animals at your zoo earn you coins, which are then used to fund your rescue expeditions for more animals. Rescues are performed in what, at first, looks like a cross between a match-3 and memory game. Each animal is represented by a pattern of 3 or 4 squares hidden under tiles on a 5×5 grid. Once you uncover all of that animal’s tiles, that animal is added to your zoo. For instance, the pig’s pattern is a 2×2 square, so once you uncover one pig tile, the other tiles are pretty close. You get 10 tries per rescue attempt to uncover as much as you can. Some tiles may contain coins or Discobux, the in-game virtual currency.

Pictured: More ubiquity.

Pictured: More ubiquity.

As you add animals to your zoo, they earn you more and more coins per minute. BUT! There’s a catch. Each group of animals has a sleep timer. They’ll only earn you coins if they’re awake. You’ll have to check in on them every once in a while and wake them up so they can continue entertaining your zoo patrons.

An obvious allegory to the drudges of real life. (image source: telegraph.co.uk)

An obvious allegory to the drudges of real life.
(image source: telegraph.co.uk)

What exactly, though, makes this a DISCO Zoo? Why the random disco dance parties of course! For a price starting at one Discobux, you can throw a disco party, which turns your whole zoo into Studio 54 (sans alcohol and hard drugs). During the disco party, a disco ball, flashing lights, and music permeate the area. The benefit to you, the owner, is that your animals will generate twice as many coins per minute. 1 Discobux gets you a 1-minute party, 10 Discobux gets you an hour, whereas 50 Discosmackers gets you 8 hours of dancin’ goodness! Also, starting a Disco Party will automatically wake up all your animals! Convenient!

The TOTALLY REAL AND EXISTING Unicorns are moneymakers during dance time.

The TOTALLY REAL AND EXISTING Unicorns are moneymakers during dance time.

This game is a load of fun and recommend it for anyone that… well… likes fun? While the Discobux are purchasable with real world money, the opportunity to earn bux in the game is plentiful. The ads pop up super rarely (I see one ad maybe once every two days) and are generally non-obtrusive. Give this app a look and build your majestic dancey zoo today!

Download on Google Play

Download on iTunes App Store

Thanks for reading!

 

solarstrikerbox

Source: GameFAQs

System: Game Boy

Release Date: February 1990

Rarity: 21%

Price: $3.99

I’ve passed this game up numerous times when shopping around for games to play. For some reason Solar Striker was never very eye-catching to me. I just imagined it as some cruddy space-shooter game that probably sold for $20 brand new upon release. But I recently discovered that Solar Striker was a 1st-party game developed by Nintendo R&D1. What other classically legendary games was Nintendo R&D1 responsible for? Go ahead and take a look at the Wikipedia page for Nintendo R&D1 and see for yourself. There’s too many to list here.

They also developed and created the Game Boy itself. Whoa. (Source: giantbomb.com)

They also developed and created the Game Boy itself. Whoa. (Image source: giantbomb.com)

Learning that, I had high hopes for this game. This was the only shooter of its kind developed in-house by Nintendo, so I was excited to experience their one-and-only take on a classic genre. I hoped to find out if there was a reason Nintendo never made another game like this. Was it was so great that no follow-up could ever top it? Or was it so bad it was doomed to live in the obscurity that I rescued it from. Well… this is Nintendo we’re talking about here. If it was good, they WOULD have made a sequel to it. My hopes have slightly diminished.

Seeing "Nintendo" next to that copyright date gives me the warm 'n' fuzzies.

Seeing “Nintendo” next to that copyright date gives me the warm ‘n’ fuzzies.

As soon as the start button is pressed, the game begins. No backstory to learn, no opening cutscene, nothing. This was the (almost) 80’s! That’s what the instruction manuals are for!

30 seconds of reading and some imagination in 1990. 15 minutes of opening cutscenes in 2014. (image source: eBay)

30 seconds of reading and some imagination in 1990. 15 minutes of opening cutscenes in 2014. (image source: eBay)

The game plays like your everyday basic vertically-scrolling shooter. Both A and B fire your lasers and the control pad moves your ship up/down/left/right. Nothing complicated here. That said, that’s the only real issue with this game. It’s not very complicated. It’s a very simple game. Scroll up, shoot enemy ships, and rack up points. That’s what games in this era were all about! Forget the backstory! Let me blow stuff up! I’m like a kid playing Grand Theft Auto for the first time! Pew, pew, pew!

Don't forget getting that double laser. Double lasers rule!

Don’t forget getting that double laser. Double lasers rule!

Verdict: HIGH FIVE

It helps that, despite its simplicity, it does what it does well. The controls are great, the framerate and speed are good, and even the music is fun. Just like Mole Mania, this game is an overlooked gem in the 1st party Nintendo library. I think for $3.99, this is the maximum you should pay for this game. It’s relatively common and there’s not a whole lot to it, but it’s amazing nonetheless.

Not all things that are simple are bad. (image source: quickmeme)

Not all things that are simple are bad. (image source: quickmeme)

Thanks for reading! Twitter and Facebook links on the left side!

mmbox

Source: GameFAQs

System: Game Boy

Release Date: January 1990

Rarity: 25%

Price: $0.99

One of my earliest gaming memories involves playing Excitebike on the NES. My friends and I would use the edit mode to create the wackiest tracks we could to see if we could out do each other. It all came to a head when one of us (probably me) made a course of nothing but large hills. They take forever to get up if you don’t have enough speed. Of course as close as these hills were put together, building speed was impossible. This led to a course of nothing but grass patches and the eventual demise of Excitebike in our NES gaming rotation.

It wasn't exciting anymore.

It wasn’t exciting anymore.  (Source: Wikipedia)

I bring up Excitebike because it seems quite the inspiration for Motocross Maniacs. This game was published by Ultra Games, a subsidiary of Konami, created to skirt Nintendo’s early limits imposed on 3rd party developers as to how many games they can release per year on Nintendo systems. Those crafty bastards.

Like Excitebike, Motocross Maniacs is a side-scrolling dirt bike racing game in which you race against the clock to finish the course. The controls are similar. A to go, B for a nitro boost, left and right tilts your bike on jumps. There is also a mode that adds in a computer controlled opponent. Unlike Excitebike’s drones, you are actually competing against him instead of dodging what are essentially moving obstacles.  The courses are actually pretty challenging, even early on. Not only do you have jumps and hills to contend with, but also loop-de-loops. This adds a really neat dynamic to the game. Some of these loop-de-loops require skillful timing to get on to. Your nitro boosts are limited (rather than Excitebike’s turbo button) and are often required to hit these loops. In fact, nitros are required to make pretty much any jump.

This jump is impossible to make without nitro.

This jump is impossible to make without nitro.

This issue left me frustrated as hell. The game’s 4th course (as pictured above) is all about jumps requiring nitro boosts. Problem is, if you run out, you get stuck. I often had to restart the game or wait for the timer to run out so I could try again. I was getting frustrated with the game until I realized something. There is a strategy at work here. Some jumps you have to use nitro on to complete… but you don’t have to complete all jumps. There are multiple paths through the course. The trick is finding a path that works best for your nitro conservation strategy. This added another cool layer to the game that I hadn’t noticed right away (courses 1-3 allow for liberal use of nitro boosts). Only problem is, as of writing this, I still haven’t found out that strategy and am stuck on course 4. I haven’t given up hope yet.

Verdict: HIGH FIVE

And it’s because I don’t want to give up that I’m scoring this game as a high-five. I’m actually compelled to try to figure out how to tackle this course. It’s frustrating in a good way. I love when a game can challenge me not because of frustrating level design or poor gameplay, but because I haven’t properly formulated a strategy to beat it.  I feel like I’ve definitely got my dollar’s worth out of this game.

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Thanks for reading!