Sunday, June 26, 2011

Update 6/26 - Gitaroo Man, Lagrange Point, Lattice 200EC7, Fighter's Destiny, Lucidity, Trio the Punch, Noby Noby Boy, Knights in the Nightmare

This whole "weekly update" thing has ended up being far more draining that I'd expected, especially when I spent last weekend clicking through three different Tokimeki Memorial games to write this post on the numerous hidden shooter minigames - and I'm not even done with it! Regardless, please accept this super update for the missed week. If it happens again just chalk it up to me taking a break and actually playing video games for a change.

So anyway, I'm surprised we haven't had an article on Gitaroo Man yet, but here it is. It heralds back to the pre-Guitar Hero/Rock Band era of rhythm games, when they were all following in the footsteps of Parappa the Rappa. It was made by iNiS, the same guys who made the (even better) Ouendan/Elite Beat Agents series for the DS, which I started on article for three years ago and never finished. Some day! Also up is a look at Lagrange Point, an early 90s Famicom RPG published by Konami that's one of the most technically advanced games on the system, as it was developed to compete with the 16-bit games of the time. It's hard to shake the feeling that it's sort of a Phantasy Star ripoff, but it's impressive nonetheless. Trio the Punch is a bizarre Data East arcade game that's often referenced when talking about cracked out Japanese games, and now you can find out why. Fighter's Destiny is another one of those off-brand 3D fighters that no one really remembers that brings plenty of unique mechanics to the table. Lattice 200EC7 is a strange rail shooter for the PSOne, and Lucidity is an artsy side scrolling platformer published by LucasArts, of all people. Part 2 of the 21st Century Pinball article is up too.

The Spotlight Article is Knights in the Nightmare, to flesh out the Sting article. It's long overdue, and it highlights why I don't like to do company features anymore, unless they're defunct. When I initially wrote it like 4-ish years ago, I was all excited and into Yggdra Union, but Knights in the Nightmare is practically incomprehensible (though the review does a good job of explaining it) and Atlus has refused to localize the numerous spinoffs and sequels that Sting has developed since. They did release Hexyz Force, another of their titles which assumedly flopped, but that's not covered as of yet. So if you're into these types of games and want to help expand article, please drop me a line!. And Your Weekly(-ish) Kusoge is Noby Noby Boy, Keita Takahashi's follow-up of sorts to Katamari Damacy. The critical opinion at large seems to enjoy it for its cutesiness despite it being little more than a tech demo, but we are not so generous, and the (unintentional?) sexual metaphors are beyond silly. The Jackie Chan article has also been updated to include a bit about a Famiclone endorsed by the martial arts superstar back in the day.

Also, as noted below, Amazon dropped the price of The Guide to Classic Graphic Adventures to $19.44. I don't actually decide when/if this goes on sale, and I don't know whether it's temporary or permanent, so if you've been on the fence for a physical copy, this is the best time! You can read some reviews over at Kotaku and Richard Cobbett's site. It misses the free shipping threshold now, but they've got some good deals this week, including The Witcher 2 for $37, Alice: Madness Returns for $40 ($30 for the PC), and L.A. Noire for $40.


  1. Loved the Gitaroo Man article! Did not know about the 326 involvement, and there actually was a PS2 versus mode. Small piece of trivia, playing the versus level that was the final level ("Resurrection" which had Zowie) with the sound set to stereo but with only one of the audio cables plugged in allowed for the background audio to not play, and only the two lead guitars can play. Found that out a long time ago and really adds a random element to the play with the subtractions of the background music.

  2. This is just my opinion, but... why so harsh on Noby Noby Boy? Aside from the typical 'lol, Japan' aspect of it, I don't see anything that makes it fail as a 'game', especially when you consider the $5 pricing. Sure, it's a $5 tech demo, but it's a fun one at that.

    The use of the sentence 'Clearly they're all deluded, which leaves me in a quandary, since to criticise the game implies I don't like fun or sandbox gaming. Well, let me tell you, an unstructured sandbox experience is overrated.' also makes me feel that the writer is, I'm not sure if this is the right word or not, biased?

    I hope that don't come off wrong. What I'm saying is, I can see why the previous entries on the article can be labeled a kusoge, but definitely not this one.

  3. I haven't played it so I can't comment directly, but my rationale for posting is: if people could lambast Treasure's Stretch Panic ten years ago for being little more than a tech demo - which was totally justified - then why is Noby Noby Boy exempt? Because it was a direct followup (and uses similar aesthetics) to a game that was almost universally loved? Because it's only $5? I can follow that logic for the reviews it got, because it makes sense from a consumerist standpoint...but we are not a consumerist website, and just because it's cheap doesn't justify using LOL JAPAN wackiness to cover up non-existent game design.

  4. The appeal of Noby Noby Boy isn't so much the game design as it is the meditative and relaxing aspect of it. Its not a game which you can sit down and play to beat, but it is a game that you can play for 10 minutes after a hard days work and just cool down. The music is beautiful, the world is colorful and simple and you can do stupid simple stuff like eat and poop. It does succeed as a grown man pacifier.

    What I find baffling is that you didn't make Trio The Punch the Kusoge. That game is literally what happened when data east tried to make a bad game. And they succeeded, outside of its goofball "lol japan" aspect it is an atrocious game.

  5. Oh, the only reason why Trio the Punch got relegated elsewhere is because someone wanted to write a longer article on it. The "Weekly Kusoge" articles are meant to be short and snappy, and take on a slightly different tone. It would certainly qualify otherwise.

    And one man's "relaxation" is another man's "total waste of time", so...

  6. I look forward to reading these, but...

    Please PLEASE think about changing the white text on black background style sometime soon?

    Its blurring/water-inducing effect on my eyes upon reading anything for longer than a minute can't be a good thing, I'm sure of it.

  7. Actually, the past few updates some articles have used a light grey font rather than plain white. The index page on the site uses it, as does Gitaroo Man. Please let me know if that looks better - it's subtle but it's less sharp and it contrasts a little less.

    I get these complaints every once in awhile, but the site would look terrible with anything but a black background, because it's much more conducive to screenshots.

  8. Speaking personally, I find dark text on a light background hurts my eyes, since there's more projected light. Whereas there's less with light on dark. Books on the other hand are reflected light, hence why that's preferable. I actually set MS WORD to feature white text on a blue background, because it's easier.

    Having said that, I know how frustrating it can be when websites produce eye-strain - most black on white sites (the majority) are extremely uncomfortable. Ironically, GameFAQs pastel blue for its forums has always felt quite comfy. Not that you'd want to spend too long there.

  9. I'm an avid fan of Gitaro Man. I'm quite addicted with its fantastic graphics and huge variety of rocking music. With regards to blog text, I must agree its too bright maybe you can add some contrast.

    Pokemon RPG

  10. While I wouldn't go so far as to call it Kusoge because the game has decent music, graphics, bug free and manages to be an amusing diversion I agree with one particular line from Jim St***ings review where he said the game is this fantastic world that you can only interact with at the most minimal level. There's just far less joy in NNB than in Katamari but a game being boring doesn't make it utter crap I guess.