January 8th, 2008
Since I am on holidays I am using every break that I get to sit down and seriously play some games. Lately I’ve been playing a lot of retro titles as they are easy to get into and don’t require me to dedicate long hours of play time. As for mutliplayer myself and a group of friends have been madly addicted to Mario Kart 64. One of us bought it on the Wii’s Virtual Console and it plays fantastically with the Gamecube pad. Out of the 8 or so games that I am currently multitasking through I have selected 2 that I want to write about:
NeoGeo Battle Coliseum
I’ve had this game sitting on my shelf for a few months now without having really sat down, chosen my tag team and coming to grips with the fighting system. The first thing that I noticed was the blatant lack of quality presentation, it almost screams cheap at you. But once I ran through all of the available fighters and chose my fighting duo (K’ and Kisarah Westfield) things quickly got a lot better.
NBC basically plays out like a streamlined version of King of Fighters XI. There are less intricacies within the fighting system and the quality of sprites is inferior. But the advantage of NBC is the varied character selection (from selected SNK games) and the tag team based combat. The mix of characters definitely helps the combat feel more varied as each set of characters feels different. For example the Samurai Shodown characters use blades while Marco from Metal Slug has a variety of cool gadgets and weapons.
Although there doesn’t seem to be much lastability, I found the fighting itself to be very enjoyable and I think that I will come back to this game even once I have unlocked the 5 secret characters.
I think that gamers whom are more accustomed to simpler combat will enjoy this one more than King of Fighters. They don’t need to worry about being overwhelmed by the daunting complexity of more “hardcore” fighting games and can still enjoy the perks of playing this type of game. The only problem here is that this game for some reason doesn’t support the analogue sticks of the PS2 which is likely to turn non arcade stick owners off this title.
Wrecking Crew is a super simple little puzzle game and was one of the first games to feature Mario. Mario works for a demolition company and as part of his job its up to him to demolish 100 buildings. These buildings take the form of each of Wrecking Crew’s level. Instead of just using a crane and ball to demolish the buildings you are equipped with a sledge hammer and must knock down each ladder and brick wall individually.
All of the 100 buildings on offer has a different internal structure of platforms and ladders. The trick is to knock down the right objects in the right order so that you can then access the other demolish-able objects. For example if you knock out a ladder which you need to later use to reach some brick walls then you are screwed and can’t finish the level. You also need to avoid various enemies in the environment which again change the way you finish each level. This whole premises makes Wrecking Crew feel very much like a puzzler rather than a platformer.
I’m currently 45 levels through and its taken me a few hours to get this far. Initially I thought that I could clock this one up in no time but it doesn’t look like its going to be that way. Each level shows its own bit of level design genius which requires a different method of competition.