[EXPRESSO] Psycho Dream SNES | VR Movie Divers

Played via Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES service.

The other title from the February 2021 poultry batch of titles for the NSO that mildly had my attention. More than Doomsday Warriors (also developed by RIOT), anyway.

Not that i even heard of this one before, i guess because it was released for the Super Famicom only, so it never left Japan in any official manner before now. That means i had to look up the plot on Wikipedia, and thanks to that i know you play as either Ryo or Maria, two special agents called “Debuggers”, as they rescue disaffected young people that lose themselves in virtual worlds known as “D Movies”.

In this case, they have to rescue a 17 yo girl of weak constitution, expected to die in a D Movie in the matter of 24 hours..

Interesting plot, but gameplay wise it’s just your typical action sidescroller from the era: advance from left to right fighting off weird ass enemies, collecting power-ups that change or upgrade your weapon, occasionally doing some platforming, and then fighting a boss at the end of each chapter. Nothing really special by any means, and on the technical side you can tell it’s definitely an early game for the SNES/Super Famicom.

There are no major issues with the controls, no limited continues or unfair bullshit of the time (you have unlimited continues, for once), but while it gets some bonus points for the bizarre enemies and visuals that make the game live up to its title, it loses them due to sketchy performance and level designs that at times makes the stages feel either very stretched out or made a bit more confusing than needed just to pad out the overall longevity. So it ends up just being mediocre, playable but mostly forgettable.


[EXPRESSO] Prehistorik Man SNES | Accept Humanity

Played via Nintendo Switch Online’s SNES service.

So, i guess i was one of the few people mildly interested in some of the February 2012 NSO updates. Which is somehow managing to make me miss the original Virtual Console, somehow.

But i have a thing for caveman platformers, i do, so here we are.

To be fair, i didn’t expect much, especially since it comes from Titus (and if you know something about retrogaming, their name wasn’t exactly one welcomed with cheers), i wasn’t familiar with it and just figured it was gonna be a Joe & Mac clone, but this isn’t really the case. And while it’s easy to understand its existence being relegated to niche retrogaming obscurity, as the 90’s were obsessed with cavemen and dinosaurs and this one didn’t do much to stand out in the avalanche of cavemen themed movies or videogames… you might want to give this one a chance.

It’s not an unsung SNES classic by any means, no, it’s kinda generic and unremarkable, but it’s surprisingly nifty, pretty entertaining, and the while the plot see a caveman named Sam on a quest to feed his starving village, while searching for a bone graveyard so to make his tribe rich… it’s very cartoonish and fond of the usual caveman anachronism. It’s also not short, with a good variety to the levels, often putting you in control of a vehicle like a glider; and while the level design starts off fairly straighforward, more often than not it requires you to explore the levels and collect the required items, as it is still an “euro platformer”, and a pretty challenging one too.

I just wish your character’s standard attack was less crap, and the controls were a bit less slippery, but it’s a good retro platformer.

Knack II [PS4] [REVIEW] | Knack Me Twice

Developed By: Japan Studio

Players: 1-2

The very existence of this game is big “?”, not only because it came out 4 years after the first Knack, bamboozling the gaming community at large, given how widely hated and reviled the first game and its titular protagonist were. Again, it’s worth remembering that the fist Knack was both a critical and a financial failure, and didn’t do worse in revenue because it was a launch title, so there wasn’t much else to play at the time on the newborne console.

In a way, i can understand why someone at Sony did ultimately greenlit this, as an underdog story for this pitiable franchise (and main characters) would have been nice, and proof you can turn thing around with a sequel; it has been done before, after all, so why can’t Knack be redeemed of his sins?

There are many reasons for that, but let’s start from the beginning, meaning the story.

(review based on a playthrough on Normal, for review purposes)

Continua a leggere “Knack II [PS4] [REVIEW] | Knack Me Twice”

[EXPRESSO] Goblin Sword NSWDDL | Good Mobile Sorcery

Mobile games get a bad wrap, and while the industry itself is guilty as hell for it…eventually you get a mobile game that actually wants to be just a game, made for enjoyment instead of retention (followed by the game testing your resolve against your wallet)… which you probably didn’t even knew exist until it gets a PC and/or console port.

Yeah, Goblin Sword is a mobile game that found its way to the Switch’s eShop earlier this year, and despite some asset flips (and similar crap from malingering homunculi) from Steam starting to surface here as well, you can still get proper esposure on it, especially since it’s a 2D retro styled Metroidvania-sidescroller hybrid……lacking the random ass rape in the beginning, now we have to warn people of that due to a certain series with “goblin” in the title.

Then again, there isn’t much of a plot, it’s basically you against an evil wizard that wants the titular “goblin sword”. And… that’s it. Gameplay itself it’s a basic sidescroller with a Metroidvania twist, as in you get power-up needed to reach previously unaccessible areas, but progressing in the levels it’s done in a traditional side-scroller gameplay, go right until you reach the end of the level, with double jump being the fancier ability available, and collect all treasure chests and crystals you can.

Gelato Games (oddly not an indie italian videogame studios, despite the name) did cook up a good sidescroller, with a pleasant but a bit generic art direction, and you can still kinda tell this was made for mobile first, but you’ll soon forget that, thank to good level design, the tight controls, the great difficulty curve, a good amount of content and replayability.

I’m glad this one was ported to Switch, because it deserves more attention.

[EXPRESSO] Super Mario 35 NSWDDL | Mario Royale

Ah, the Mario battle royale game nobody asked for, but it’s here regardless to celebrate the series 35th anniversary, and like the Super Mario 3D All Stars collection, it will be only available until the 31th of March 2021.

That’s… a way to make people excited about investing time in a thing it will die by design in 6 months. Also, it’s an exclusive for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, available for “free” in the same way Tetris 99 was.

And the game it structured in a similar fashion, just applying it to 35 players with the gameplay of Super Mario Bros on the NES, so everyone starts from a SMB stage with 35 seconds on the timer and can hinder the other players by defeating enemies, which get you extra seconds and sends the defeated goons to appear and try to hamper the other players. Coins can be stored and used to purchase power-ups before, or get power-ups from a “?” block if you get at least 20 coins on that run.

There are timed special challenges, a training mode and a standard ranking system that give you more icons for the profile, but not much else.

And it’s… ok, i guess? I don’t hate it, but it’s not that compelling either, after some matches you feel kinda done already, frankly. There is something to it, not that much, and while it’s clear players that already have amassed enough coins can use that to keep an advantage, you can still win and use some strategies like in Tetris 99, especially when you unlock the later levels (with tougher enemies) of SMB.

Cute idea to celebrate the 35th Mario anniversary, yes, but it won’t keep your attention up for long, almost by design, given it will become useless in 6 months.

[EXPRESSO] Ninja-Kid NSWDDL | Ninja In The Hood

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Yeah, why, not, with sales on Neo Geo and arcade titles on the Switch eShop, let’s talk about arcade platformer Ninja-Kid, developed by UPL and now emulated by Hamster, who also brought to Switch and PS4 many arcade classics, including In The Hunt.

And no, this isn’t the american version of that NES GeGeGe No Kitaro game, also called Ninja Kid (without hyphen) for the NA release.

This one isn’t exactly what i would call a “classic”, and i’m honestly glad i bought it on sale. Not because the game itself it’s bad, it’s just that the old god Chronos hasn’t been too kind on this action platformer from 1984, that feels a bit like Ice Climbers (while pre-dating the Nintendo game by 1 year), due to how you have to move to jump or double jump, otherwise you’ll drop to the platform below.

It’s a simple game where you can jump to stun enemies, throw shurikens to defeat them, move upwards the mountain/castle/stage and once you get rid of all the foes, you can proceed to the next level.

There are three backgrounds/stages (and a bonus stage if you collect “three strange balls” without dying), but while enemies become more varied and more dangerous each level, there isn’t any end, it just loops the levels/background and keeps going, but that’s basically it. There is some strategy with approaching the enemies, but still, there’s not much to it, nor there was supposed to be more to it, as this was meant to be played in an arcade in 10 minutes burst at max.

That said, it’s a fun arcade oldie, once you get around the responsive but odd jump controls, and there’s satisfaction if you wanna go for the high scores, with the usual extra modes found in Hamster arcade re-releases.



Woodle Tree Adventure Deluxe NSWDDL [REVIEW]

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Today’s game is one of those Steam releases that eventually find a way to consoles, often repackaged or enhanced, like this little platformer by italian team Chubby Pixel, now sold digitally on modern platforms with the new “Deluxe” monicker, for 2 bucks. I got it on sale (if anything because the sale remembered me of this one existing) for the Switch, and after playing it on and off for some time, i feel it’s time to review it as a sign of “camaraderie” of sorts to me fellas. 🙂 Continua a leggere “Woodle Tree Adventure Deluxe NSWDDL [REVIEW]”