Retro Game Friday: Mario Golf

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a Mario sub-series that is fairly obscure. It’s Mario Golf!

Plot Synopsis: Wait you’re expecting a plot to a game about Golf? Seriously?

Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty boring, in fact this is a pretty lame game. The game was all about hitting the “sweet spot” by tapping the A button at the correct time while aiming towards the hole. If you could do that successfully and repeatedly, the game quickly devolved into a really boring repetition of that single “mini-game”. Now that isn’t to say this was a terrible game, by all accounts it was great for multiplayer, although I never did convince my friends to play the game with me, because “Golf is boring”, so I can’t confirm or deny that.

Art: The art is quite a bit like it came out of Mario 64, which shouldn’t be a surprise to be honest. That means it’s aged incredibly poorly, and the game looks like crap now a days.

Music: It’s Mario music, but toned down because you’re playing “Golf”.

Overall: Skip this game, it’s really, really not worth going out of your way to even bother playing it.

For those who like: Golf, Sports, Mario, Repetitive Minigames.

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

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Retro Game Friday: Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Paper Mario. It’s Paper Mario The Thousand-Year Door!

Plot Synopsis: The game opens with an introduction about a seaside town which was damaged by a cataclysm and consequently sunk into the depths of the earth. A town named Rogueport was later built at this site, with the fortunes of the lost kingdom fabled to exist behind the eponymous Thousand-Year Door, located in the ruins of the old town. Mario becomes involved when Princess Peach contacts him about a treasure map that she bought in Rogueport…

Plot: The plot is okay, but this isn’t anything like a Final Fantasy game in terms of story telling. The story is definitely aimed at a younger audience, which is fine because this is a Mario game. If you’re expecting gritty and hardcore violence, I’m sure any Mario game will not be what you’re looking for.

Gameplay: It plays a lot like the original Paper Mario, with most of the differences coming outside of battle in the forms of powers Mario gets to explore and solve puzzles with his partners. In fact that fact is probably the only downside to this game, it’s really not that much different from the original Paper Mario.

Art: It’s aged pretty well, but the art style of the Paper Mario series has always lent itself a timeless quality.

Music: The music is very much a Mario score, but that again isn’t surprising, this is a Mario game. It’s going to have familiar sounds.

Overall: This is a good sequel, but not a great one. If you really loved the first game, then Thousand-Year Door will probably be something you’ll want to play. Otherwise this can be a skippable game.

For those who like: Mario, RPGs, Turn-Based Combat, Puzzles, Good Artwork.

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

 

Retro Game Friday: Opoona

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a really obscure game. It’s Opoona!

Plot Synopsis: The planet Landroll was impacted by a large meteorite composed of crystallized dark energy. Half of the star, once lush and verdant, died from the impact, becoming the Deadlands. Life for the survivors changed drastically; the impact caused a shift in gravity, causing the sun to become tidally locked to the planet. Species died and vegetation withered in the heat; mysterious creatures, known as Rogues, emerged from the meteorite and began to attack people. Humans eventually built sturdy glass domes over Landroll’s surviving cities. Sanctuary, an island floating above the northern pole, was unaffected and habitable areas outside the domes became the wild lands.

Several hundred years after the meteorite impact, Opoona and his siblings, Copoona and Poleena, are on a family vacation from the star Tizia with their parents, Momeena, Dadeena and co-pilots Troc and Noix, travelling in a spaceship to Landroll. Momeena tells Opoona that her brother, Roidman, lives on the planet doing research on how to reduce the Rogue population. Shortly after, the spaceship is attacked by mysterious dark energy, and the three children are placed into separate escape pods before the spaceship crashes on Landroll.

Three days after the crash landing, Opoona awakens from a coma in Tokione Dome and is informed of the incident, and told that his parents are being treated by Sages in Sanctuary.

Plot: The plot is okay, but rather simplistic. It’s not super amazing or terrible, but mediocre. That’s probably why this game is so damn obscure.

Gameplay: The gameplay isn’t a classic turn based combat like you might expect of a JRPG. It’s closer to a Tales of Game, although maybe comparing it to Ni no Kuni would be better. If Ni no Kuni had no minions.

Art: The art hasn’t aged well, which is to be expected of both a game that was made in 3D and a game made for the Wii. Sorry Nintendo lovers, but almost every third party Wii game looked like crap.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: An easily skippable game, that being said if you get the chance to play it for cheap or free, you might as well give it a shot right?

For those who like: JRPGs, Simplistic Art Styles, Real Time Combat Systems.

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

Retro Game Friday: Panzer Dragoon

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real classic. It’s Panzer Dragoon!

Plot Synopsis: In the distant future, thousands of years after a great war between humans and their biologically engineered weapons, humans live in everything from small tribes to large nations. One nation, the Empire, has discovered a black tower in the middle of a lake near their capital, which gave them access to large amounts of ancient weapons which they used to beat back and control the ever present monsters in the world. The Imperials were corrupted by this power and became conquerors of others as opposed to liberators from a violent world.

Keil Fluge (unnamed in the North American version), is hunting in a canyon. After seeing an Imperial flying battleship in the sky, he is attacked by two creatures and chases one of them to a large, ancient complex built directly into the rock. He explores the ruin, and sees relics of old technology still hanging from the ceilings. Another gigantic creature suddenly attacks him, and though his weapon is useless against the armored creature, a rumbling triggers a cave in, which crushes the monster and saves Keil. From the newly created hole, an armored, blue dragon flies down the cavern with a rider across its shoulders, being chased by an even bigger black dragon as the cavern is destroyed in an explosion. Regaining consciousness outside, Keil sees the two dragons locked in combat in the air before him. Dodging a blast from the black dragon, the blue dragon’s rider is then hit by single shot to the chest, and the black dragon flies away. The blue dragon flies towards Keil. A psychic connection is made between the rider and Keil, who is told not to let the black dragon reach the black tower. The rider then dies and Keil picks up his fallen gun, climbs atop the dragon and flies away, determined to finish the rider’s quest.

Plot: The plot is okay, not super amazing though.

Gameplay: This plays a lot like a Star Fox game, by which I mean it plays like any Rail Shooter game.

Art: The art has aged terribly, but that isn’t a surprise considering it’s a 3D game.

Overall: Worth a play if you really want to, but you could probably skip this.

For those who like: Rail Shooters, Star Fox, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Dragons

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

Retro Game Friday: Heroes of Might and Magic

Hey all, I’m back with a true PC gamer classic for this week’s Retro Game Friday! It’s Heroes of Might and Magic!

Plot Synopsis: Lord Morglin Ironfist, is forced to flee his homeland through a magical portal, because his cousin, Ragnar, had usurped the throne after his uncle, Ragnar’s father, killed Ironfist’s father, the legitimate owner of the throne. He finds himself along with his few followers in a strange and uncharted land, called Enroth. The land is unruled but contested by Ironfist and three other warlords: the barbarian Lord Slayer, the sorceress Queen Lamanda, and the warlock Lord Alamar.

Plot: The plot isn’t all that special, in fact it’s pretty boring and bland. But this did pave the way for later games in the series.

Gameplay: It played like a Turn Based Strategy Game, a Sim and an Adventure style game at times and did so pretty reasonably well. By today’s standards, it’s a very mediocre game, but was pretty damn good at the time.

Art: It’s seen better days, the Artwork, while 2D, is very, very outdated. Heroes of Might and Magic doesn’t have the usual timeless quality I often praise 2D games for having.

Overall: Give this a whirl if you’re really bored, but later games in this series would probably be more fun to play. Probably.

For those who like: Sims, Adventure, Turn Based Strategy, Fantasy, Strategy, Action

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or really bad artwork.

Retro Game Friday: Klanoa

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a classic game that is often not remembered. It’s Klanoa: Door to Phantomile!

Plot Synopsis:

The story begins with the legend of the land of Phantomile, a mysterious place that is fueled by the very dreams people have at night. As a result, no one can clearly remember the dreams they have had, even if they occurred recently. However, a young cat-like boy named Klonoa who lives in the town of Breezegale with his grandfather has been having dreams about a mysterious dark airship crashing into a nearby mountain, and can recall every detail of it. One day, a mysterious ship does indeed crash into the mountain, and Klonoa and his friend, a “ring spirit” named Huepow, decide to investigate. After fighting several small, round creatures called Moos, they reach the top of the mountain, only to find two mysterious creatures…

Plot: This doesn’t have a gripping plot, full of intrigue and action. Nope it’s more of a game for younger kids. I won’t say it’s got a terrible story, but it’s definitely not the strongest plot ever.

Gameplay: The gameplay is mostly 2D Platforming. I say mostly because you could interact with your environment which was in 3D. They termed it 2.5D at the time, and I suppose that term works now. Klanoa’s main form of attack is his Wind Bullet ability which lets him toss enemies around or use them to toss himself around. It’s all based off concepts tied to the wind, which was to me at the time pretty interesting. Frankly I’m kind of itching to see if I can find a ROM of it, but I doubt I have the time to indulge in that wish.

Characters: The characters are okay, and while not very deep they aren’t super flat like any character from a Twilight novel.

Art: The art has aged poorly due to the use of 3D. If they had kept it purely 2D it probably would’ve aged much better.

Music: I don’t remember any of it, sorry.

Overall: Give this a spin if you get the chance, it’s pretty good.

For those who like: Platformers, Interesting Gameplay Mechanics, A Main Character That isn’t a Plumber.

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

 

Retro Game Friday: Pikmin

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game I could’ve sworn I had already done before. It’s Pikmin!

Plot Synopsis:Captain Olimar, a tiny, one-inch tall humanoid extraterrestrial from the planet Hocotate is taking an intergalactic vacation in outer space. However, during his flight, a comet hits his spacecraft, the S.S. Dolphin, which is then pulled into the gravity field of an uncharted planet. Parts of the spaceship fall off as it plummets to the ground and crashes. When he regains consciousness, Olimar finds out that the planet’s atmosphere contains high levels of oxygen—an element deadly to his people—and he can stay on the planet for only thirty days before his life support system stops functioning. Olimar must retrieve many of the spaceship parts so he can rebuild his spaceship and return to Hocotate…

Plot: The plot is pretty basic, which is fine as the meat of the game was in the gameplay.

Gameplay: This game featured no direct combat, as Olimar was unable to combat enemies directly and instead had to direct Pikmin to attack his enemies by throwing them at the enemies. In addition you had until Sunset each day to grab parts before you returned to your ship. If you didn’t do so you’d lose all your Pikmin to the nightime predators. In addition you could only have 100 Pikmin fielded at a time and had to balance between the three types to achieve each day’s objectives.  You had 30 days to obtain 25 of 30 parts to get back to space.

Art: The art has aged poorly, but that isn’t unexpected being a 3D game.

Music: The music is very fitting for the series. Whimsical would be the word I’d use to best describe Pikmin’s music.

Overall: A good game, although gamers now may find it to be boring. For those who want action oriented gameplay, Pikmin will not be an ideal game.

For those who like: Puzzles, Time Limits, Strategy.

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