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spanky debrest

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  1. Okay I'm probably in the minority here but do people *really* think Alex Kidd in Shinobi World is a better game than Miracle World? I played it this evening for the first time in at least 5 years and found it washed over me almost entirely - almost like when I first played it back in '92 and finished it on my first go. It's a super cute novelty for the Shinobi fan, but little more IMO. The only bits with any challenge might be finding the all the secret rooms in stages 3 & 4, and the final room before the final boss (which is like a Fisher Price Mega Man style disappearing platform bit, where there's a slight risk of danger). The awesome rearrangement of Shinobi's Stage 1 theme and some nice sprite and background details don't justify the high praise and hype this game gets - especially when it's favourably compared to it's 1 megabit, 6-year-earlier would-be Super Mario Bros killer ancestor. It seems 35 years on and some critics still haven't learned that there's nothing random about the Rock-Paper-Scissors matches, that you only need to choose Rock & Scissors for the first match before you get given the mind reading ball which takes any 'luck' out of these bits. Yes it's weird but it's also a game released in 1986 made in sweatshop conditions that had no business being as good as it was (much like the other in-house SMS gems from the era like Fantasy Zone and Enduro Racer). Anyway, I'm aware Miracle World is kind of divisive and that much of the nostalgia it invokes is probably linked to it being a pack-in game for a console revision that probably wasn't used for many other games.. ..but that wasn't my story. To me it was up there with Wonder Boy I & II, Shinobi and the other early greats that effortlessly hang out in the upper echelons of the library. Shinobi World probably wouldn't even make my top 25 SMS games. Enough of this Shinobi World > Miracle World slander, I say!
  2. Gotta say, I am sometimes tempted to sell some high value items I never use and use the proceeds towards a MiSTer. That way I'll suddenly have good quality approximations of all the consoles & libraries etc I've been missing.. and have it paid for by - at this point in my life - a bunch of trophy pieces that permanently live in a storage box. Maybe get rid of the Mega CD stuff whilst the discs are still pristine and functional, along with a couple of nice-to-have Saturn and MD games I never grew into. Some boxed SNES stuff too. I need a kick up the arse and should really put some games and excess hardware up for sale in Trading.
  3. I think I might need a GC loader after all, if only to play around with a few things I never bothered with before, such as: - Game Boy Interface, so the Game Boy Player is a bit more, erm, playable - The SD Gecko & SD2SP2 adapters I picked up years ago to facilitate easy use of other homebrew (such as some arcade board emulation and whatever else the community has cooked up over the years) - Learning more about the GC library in general. Truthfully - I look at peoples recommendations and favourite games and there's barely anything that appeals. I did play the hell out of the Monkey Balls, Resi 4 and a small handful of other games back in the day (Iike Metroid Prime) but the Game Boy Player was really the main reason it stayed relevant to me (despite the controller being poor for 2D games). Off the top of my head - F-Zero GX, Viewtiful Joe, Luigi's Mansion, Killer 7, MG: Twin Snakes - every one of these games left me cold and remain pretty much unplayed to this day. Mario Sunshine, The Zeldas and the smattering of multiplatform games I'm aware of don't appeal to me either (the Zelda Collection that was bundled with my console has never once been booted up)... But there *must* be a healthy amount of smaller, stranger unique GC games out there I know nothing about that might be fun to explore, such as.. - Cubivore! I recently fell in love with the newly unearthed original N64 game and now want to experience it in English - but it turns out the GC port is an outrageously expensive rarity, so fuck that. It's exactly the kind of title I want an ODE for.. And PN03, I did always want to experience that one. So maybe it's high time for me to finally give this literally most neglected and underused console a second wind.
  4. This season was the slowest burn ever. So glacial even that I took a break for weeks before picking it up again.. but it ramped up nicely as it progressed. Chris Rock..? Well he'll always be crackhead Pookie from New Jack City to me no matter what he does but I thought he performed well. Dude can act as far as I'm concerned but agree that his (lack of) physicality kinda undermined his role a bit. The worst performance was the bug eyed cartoon Geatano (especially in the early half of the season) but again it didn't detract enough to be a problem for me. I particularly adored serial killer Orietta Mayflower and her shameless kink for death. Over the season I found I couldn't get enough of her screen-time because the performance was nothing short of amazing. That weird ass walk she had was something else. But overall I agree season 4 certainly isn't the best but not the weakest either..but it did inspire me to binge watch season 1 again. Magnificent telly.
  5. I avoided Prometheus for years because the reaction here was so negative - but ended up really enjoying it (despite its many issues). The atmosphere and aesthetics lifted it a lot for me. Covenant was far more disappointing, but I didn't hate it. I'm game for any new Aliens content but have expectations firmly in check.
  6. The option requires a hidden button combination to activate, I believe. I'll definitely do it next time I boot it up.
  7. I love Kingdom Grandprix and its fantastic OST so much. I never did get around to playing it with the race mechanic switched off..or ever play it properly (or Batsugun) on a vertical CRT. Must remedy this at some point.
  8. In spite of not having the slightest urge to touch many of this consoles most beloved titles it's still the only Nintendo home machine I absolutely need to have permanently set up for play, just in case I get the urge. There's just a level of cozy comfort I have with it that isn't there with the others. I can't explain why. Anyway, I finally got around to spending some time with a game I've been putting off playing since it came out: Pilotwings 64. And it's pretty good, I must say. Nowhere near as rough around the edges as I perceived it to be and enjoyably oddball in how it does a lot of things. The rocketpack levels are my favourites (much like with the other Pilotwings games) and I still can't seem to consistently judge how to land the hang-glider (almost always annoyingly undershooting it) but I've got gold ratings pretty much throughout (apart from in the Pilot class tests), and have raced through it all so far. I am truly over some of the music though - but noticed there's an option to turn it down in the mix. Very nice. Another classic I've avoided playing until now is Waverace 64 - and unlike Pilotwings 64 I've found this one a real challenge to get my head around. As a viewer, this game broadly looked so easy that I hadn't considered that the wave physics and tight course designs would conspire to chew up and spit out a new player so ruthlessly. Digging out the instruction manual / operations card will have to be done as it seems like some essential information just isn't in the game itself, and I really want to enjoy what might be the nearest thing to a proper arcade style racer Nintendo ever made. However, the most resonating N64 experience for me during this period of play has to be the recently released 'Animal Leader' (Doubutsu Banchou) beta, the 64DD 'evolution'-inspired bite-em-up that got ported to cartridge before being cancelled and ported once more to GameCube, eventually landing in the west as 'Cubivore'. This is one mega charming, lovely looking and an extraordinarily nice sounding game. I really like it. And there's nothing about it that suggests an unfinished title as yet (I'm on area #4). I don't doubt the GC version probably isn't considered anything special, but here it's somehow.. a bit magical. Definitely much bigger than the sum of its parts. There's a fair amount of stylised JPN text / plotting which I'm not able to fully grasp but the game is no less engrossing because everything is so expressive and lovingly crafted in all its accentuated boxyness. I never thought I'd get sucked into a recovered N64 proto of a GC game I'd not personally previously heard of before, but it is what it is, and I'm all in. So yeah. I'm going to finish up Pilotwings, try and get adequately good at Waverace and continue letting Animal Leader provide genuine relaxation in the meanwhile, and see where the story goes. So for anyone interested in Animal Leader that might have missed it, here's the recent article about its recovery with everything else you might need: https://www.nesworld.com/article.php?system=n64&data=n64-doubutsubanchou_2021
  9. Robo / Dennin Aleste left me cold, I have to say. It has none of the majesty of MUSHA in my opinion and has a bizarrely nothing soundtrack. I guess it's still a recommended Mega CD title because it's a competently made shooter with some interesting frills but if you're a fan of MUSHA I would seriously downgrade any expectations. I think the devs that worked on the great Compile 8-bit shooters (and MUSHA - the director of which had come over from Tecnosoft) had pretty much left the company and joined the likes of Toaplan by the time Robo Aleste was a thing.
  10. Sega insisting on funding / releasing super classy unique games like Cosmic Smash as their house was burning down was something we'll never see again. I remember proudly showing off 'L.O.L' ('Lack of Love') and 'Napple Tale' to my brother pre-pandemic as gorgeous weird one-offs and his response was basically 'yeah that's why they went out of business'. I don't agree with that but do love how despite their dire financial situation they were still greenlighting genuinely compelling games with extraordinary aesthetics. I mean, I've yet to play Dee Dee Planet outside of a quick test but the visual style and incredible sound design is fully formed, turn-of-the-century Sega magic. Once I'm off this N64 kick there's a fat stack of DC goodness I plan on properly catching up on.
  11. My go-to Mega CD games are probably - Keio Flying Squadron - Popful Mail and - Road Avenger / Blaster (despite the Saturn having the superior port of this..somehow it's more fun / impressive / ridiculous on the MD
  12. Yeah I personally agreed with Edge's meme-tastic 5/10 for Double Dash - though I'm one of those extremists who'd have given Super Mario Kart an easy 10/10 and finds the modern ones boring. Their 6/10 for Gunstar Heroes was a shambles however you cut it though.
  13. I know this YouTuber because he briefly popularised the activity of sun bleaching vintage yellowed plastic. I wonder how the Amigas and SNESes that got their yellow 'naturally' reversed in the wake of his viral video are holding up today.
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