Saturday, December 28, 2013

#81: Monopoly

Rich Uncle Pennybags!
I know it hurts my boardgamer cool factor but I actually like Monopoly. It's not a perfect game by any stretch of the imagination but I had a lot of fun playing it as a kid and I still enjoy rolling dice and seeing what happens. You can certainly play with rules mods that make the game worse (like Free Parking being Profit Parking) and I have to admit I don't think I've played the game since Tom and I schooled Andrew and Ken when we played it for money back in University but I still like the game. So I was oddly looking forward to this game more than most thus far.

Unfortunately the things I like most about video game adaptations of board games are not present here. The biggest problem is that they added in an animation when a piece moves around the board. And then they play it every time someone moves. It's like playing the game with someone who doesn't realize the board is divided up into 5 and 10 space segments so they have to count out each and every space. Only it's worse than that, because they're counting VEEEEEERRRRY SLOOOOOOOOOOOWLY. And they're counting it out for each player. Having animations on the community chest cards seemed a little more reasonable. You need to pause and read the card anyway. (Well, no you don't, just give me my $10.)

Nick, are you a moron? PRESS A!
The AI was TERRIBLE. This is the first trade offered in the game, from the guy who has Boardwalk. He is interested in my Park Place and is willing to give me nothing at all for it. This wasn't just the AI trying to fleece the rube either. I was playing a 4 player game with 3 AIs and they insisted on offering each other trades of something for nothing. The worst part is it went into all the menus to show them building the trade of something for nothing. The other AI would reject the trade. Then on the other AI's turn they'd offer nothing for something back the other way. I had to sit and watch them try to trick each other back and forth with it taking a lot of time for each 'trade'.

I ended up quitting before even finishing a single game. Not because I didn't want to play Monopoly... In fact I actually want to play a game of Monopoly more now than ever! But because this version is abysmally bad. I wouldn't recommend even the most diehard Monopoly fan give this a try.

Rating: F-

Saturday, December 21, 2013

#80: George Foreman's KO Boxing

Stick to the grills, Georgie.
I remember George Foreman for his TV show and his meat grills. He was also quite the boxer and has several records relating to his world heavyweight championship victory at the age of 45. This game came out in the middle of his 'old man comeback' and plays up the fact that he's still just as strong a puncher as he was in his youth.
Unfortunately while the game claims he's still a powerful puncher the game itself disputes that quite heavily. You play as George Foreman and you do no damage with your punches. You need to land dozens of punches to do the same amount of damage that your opponent does in a single punch. George Foreman was reknown for winning by knockout; I won two matches and they were both by decision.
PS: Eat Doritos.
Take a look at that stat line! I landed 35 more punches and yet I got knocked down and he didn't. The first guy was pretty easy to dodge and counter attack so I can almost see why they'd want to set it up this way... But I'm supposed to be the awesome George Foreman. If the first guy is easy to dodge and counter attack so be it. Let me lay him out! Let me murder him! That's what boxing is all about!

On the plus side the game had voice overs and I like the way the faces get beat up as the fighters take damage. On the down side George Foreman doesn't do enough damage and that's a really big down side. Having Little Mac need to dodge and punch a bajillion times to take out Mike Tyson feels like it might make sense. But having George Foreman need to dodge every single punch and land a ton himself to get ahead? Sorry, that's just not right.

Rating: D-

Saturday, December 14, 2013

#79: Faceball 2000

1999 iterations down...
What in the world is a Faceball? I had definitely never heard of this game before. It opened on a bit of a sour note with some pretty terrible music on the title screen. That crosshair thing makes this look like a shooter of some kind?
It turns out the game is a first person shooter. I'm surprised to find such a thing on the SNES which it seems is mostly platformers, RPGs, and sports games. I don't know if this game was badly written or if the limitations of the SNES hardware are showing themselves but wow this game is _really_ slow. It didn't help that the controls don't work the way first person controls should work. I want a strafe button. I want the ability to possibly dodge an incoming bullet! As soon as I got out of the training missions and ran into enemies that could attack I exploded. Someone would come up behind me and shoot me three times very quickly and I'd died. I know this is a standard situation in a FPS but normally you have a radar or the ability to turn around and look behind you.

On the 'plus' side the dead screen actually talked to me and said 'have a nice day' in pretty decent speech. I'm always amused when the SNES talks to me. But that really is the only plus side. I like that these guys tried something new but the speed of movement is just so incredibly slow that it just wasn't any fun at all.

Rating: F

Saturday, December 7, 2013

#78: F1 ROC: Race of Champions

WEEEEEEEEEEE Are The Champions...
I haven't heard of this game before, but it's pretty clear what I'm going to be getting myself into. Racing F1 cars! Unfortunately for this game I don't much care for racing games...
Lots of ladies.
This game actually seemed pretty detailed. 16 different race tracks and a level up system where you earn money to spend upgrading your car. Different breaks and shocks and whatever diffusers are. I know there are people out there who love this sort of thing. I had a roommate who put a stupid amount of hours into one of the Gran Turismo games. (Myself and my other roommate put in a comparably stupid amount of hours into Final Fantasy X at the same time...)

As far the actual gameplay went it seemed pretty straightforward. L and R were manual gear shifts and it generally ran on automatic as well. Falling off the track didn't seem very bad and I was even able to run straight into a wall without blowing up which was unrealistic but nice. Especially nice since I couldn't find a way to stay on the track. Like I said, racing really isn't my thing.

Rating: C