Retro Game Friday: Ape Escape 2

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a sequel to a classic game. It’s Ape Escape 2!

Plot: The plot is just as ridiculous as the first game, which is saying something as the first was rather slapstick at times.

Gameplay: The gameplay is much like the first game, with the player using various gadgets via the right analog stick and controlling Hikaru via the left stick and the shoulder buttons. In addition the game has new gadgets you can use which add to the wackiness, like a Bananarang to lure monkeys with it’s scent.

Characters: Kakeru, the first game’s protagonist isn’t really in the game, though you can play as him in the New Game Plus mode. Hikaru is our new main character, with Natsumi taking over for the Professor for the most part.

Art: The art of the original game has aged poorly, although there was a PlayStation 4 port with enhanced graphics that was released four years ago.

Music: It fits the game, nothing more really needs to be said.\

Overall: A fun game, and a classic that is often overlooked.

Retro Game Friday: Vigilante 8 2nd Offense

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a sequel to one of a lesser known series I covered ages back. It’s Vigilante 8 2nd Offense!

Plot: This sequel has a decent plot, but it’s nothing spectacular either. That isn’t to say it’s bad, just that it’s not amazing.

Gameplay: This plays a lot like the original, which is to be expected. However the newly added two player co-op mode made this game lots of fun to play with my friend when I was younger.

Art: The game has aged poorly, but that’s to be expected from a game that was near the end of the Nintendo 64 era.

Music: I don’t remember much of it other than that it fit the game, I was too busy laughing with my friend.

Overall:  A fun game, but it has aged poorly.

For those who like: Vehicular Combat, Action, Adventure.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: The Legend of Dragoon

Hey all I’m back for this week’s Retro Game Friday with a game I played a couple times at a friends house way back when I was a kid. It’s The Legend of Dragoon!

Plot: The plot is okay, but not that amazing either. It’s got a fairly stereotypical plot, and honestly if I hadn’t come across the name dragoon and had a flash of memory about this game I would probably not remember it at all, let alone set myself a reminder to write about this for a Retro Game Friday post.

Gameplay: What little I remember about this game was that it was mostly Turn Based and had what we now call Quick Time Events in it’s combat. Frankly I’ve always hated QTEs, a sentiment shared by many gamers I know, so the precision required for these particular ones stuck out to me as being particularly frustrating. It’s probably why I didn’t bother playing it more than a couple times at that friend’s house. The fact that the dragon transformation was rather pointless was just further incentive to disregard the game.

Characters: Dart is our lead, and honestly is as stereotypical as you can get, destroyed village, kidnapped friend and overall lack of parental figures all make him one of the more bland characters from what very little I can remember. Honestly if I hadn’t read up on the plot while finding the producer and developer information for this post I probably wouldn’t even remember his name. The rest of the cast is little better.

Art: The art is very polygonal, which means it’s aged incredibly poorly since it was released, and the CGI movies are even worse in that regard.

Overall: A very skippable game and definitely not a must play game.

For those who like: JRPGs, Mediocrity, Stereotypical Stories and Cast of Characters.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Gex Enter the Gecko

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with the sequel to Gex. It’s Gex Enter the Gecko!

Plot: The plot is just as nonsensical as the first one, with Gex being tasked once more to save the world. It’s not an amazing story, but it was fun as a kid and it’s not the worst plot in a platformer I’ve ever played.

Gameplay: This was the first entry in the Gex series that was in 3D and it did pretty well in making the transition. It kept the feel of the original game fairly well, but was different enough to draw in newcomers. That being said both the GameBoy Color and Nintendo 64 versions were much worse versions, so play the PC or PlayStation versions if you’ve never played this before. The constant pop culture references were great and pretty funny.

Art: Sadly this portion of the game has aged incredibly poorly, but back in the day it was pretty awesome.

Music: The music was okay from what I can remember, but I don’t remember much of it.

Overall: Give this a spin if you love Platformers, as it was a fun game for the younger crowd.

Retro Game Friday: Gex

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with the first in a series that most people have forgotten. It’s Gex!

Plot Synopsis: Gex, a young gecko, was born to a family of geckos on the Hawaiian island of Maui as the oldest of 3-and-a-half other siblings. His father, who worked as a researcher at NASA, is killed in a rocket ship explosion during a zero-gravity mission. In the wake of this tragedy, Gex turns to the comfort of watching television in order to provide an outlet for his grief, eventually becoming addicted. After several fruitless attempts to get Gex to leave his TV set (including moving the family away from Hawaii to Encino, California), Gex’s mom eventually gives the TV away to a band of gypsies in order to get him to live his life. Gex, frustrated with his mother, runs away and vows to never return to her house again, living in a friend’s garage and making petty money by doing errands for other people.

One day, when Gex is riding his skateboard through the streets of California, he happens upon his mother, driving a black limousine, who informs him that his great uncle Charlie, a rich entrepreneur and the creator of a famous T-shirt brand logo, had died three days after Gex’s departure, leaving them with over $20 billion. The entire family goes on a massive spending spree, whilst Gex takes a small sum of the inherited money and opts to leave the family and retreat back to Hawaii in order to pursue his lifelong dream; using his riches, he buys a giant house in Maui and fills it with a massive television set, vowing to spend the remainder of his life secluded from the rest of the world only watching TV.

After a few days, Gex has fully achieved his desire, sitting solitary in the confines of his mansion and watching TV and eating snacks. One day, while looking for a good show to watch, he consumes a passing house fly. This insect turns out to be a small drone, being controlled by Rez, the overlord of the Media Dimension. Rez uses the small droid to “bug” Gex, and pulls him into the Media Dimension, intending to use him as the network’s new mascot character. In order to escape, Gex needs to traverse the Media Dimension and find remote controls which he could use to destroy the TV sets…

Plot: Don’t remember most of that plot? Me neither, as it was included in the game manual rather than the game itself like so many other games did back in the day. It’s a fairly ridiculous story, but considering that it’s a game meant for kids, that’s not too surprising.

Gameplay: The game was pretty tough, although I found out why when I was looking up the Wikipedia of the game. Only the 3DO version of the game included the ability to save, the other versions requiring the use of passwords to start up again. If you lost all your lives you had to restart the game, and if you didn’t have a pen and paper handy to record the passwords you’d be screwed if you died.

Art: The art is okay, but has aged a bit poorly. It’s not too bad though as it’s mostly 2D and that stuff ages pretty well.

Music: Don’t remember a whit, sorry.

Overall: A tough game for those not playing on the 3DO.

For those who like: Platforming, Action, Adventure.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.