I have mentioned it from time to time, but over the last few years, I’ve been trying to catch up on a whole bunch of retro games I had missed. And at this point, I’m largely done. Sure, there are definitely more retro games out there that I should play one day, but as for the games I really wanted to check off my list, this goal has been met. Final Fantasy 4-9, Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross, EarthBound, Super Metroid, Super Mario RPG, all present and accounted for. The last one on my list to play was Final Fantasy V, which, like Final Fantasy IV, is probably pretty obscure for anyone who hasn’t been playing Final Fantasy since the beginning. (Thank you, Kingdom Hearts. You introduced even non-Final Fantasy fans to characters like Cloud and Squall, but not once do you mention FF6 and prior. With the exception of Setzer, of all people. Setzer.)
Final Fantasy 4 and 5 were the only games not explicitly on my list, but they came with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy 6, respectively, and who am I to pass up on an essentially free pair of games? While FF4 was merely to pass the time and to say with confidence that, yes, I’ve played Final Fantasy 4, I must say that I enjoyed Final Fantasy 5 far more than I expected to. Let me summarize the game a bit for anyone who might not be familiar with it. Continue reading FFV and the Joy of Feeling Competent
I had to check several times to make sure no one had already written about this one, as Mining Melancholy might possibly be one of the most brilliant songs in a game that already has plenty of amazing tracks. As expected, Mining Melancholy is found in every mine level of Donkey Kong Country 2. As you play through these often frustrating levels (thanks to the fact that every single one is vertical, which means that one mistake could send you tumbling back to the start of the level, or worse), if you pay attention to the background, you’ll notice the tools left behind by the miners. Pickaxes, explosives, buckets, what have you. And let’s not forget those huge sparkling gems we catch glimpses of in the distance. Those things are massive! Continue reading Resonance: Mining Melancholy
Two of my favorite games of all time are the original Banjo-Kazooie games for the Nintendo 64. I started off with Tooie and played the original afterward, and for the longest time, I firmly believed that Banjo-Tooie was the better of the two. It was a time when I believed bigger was better, and Banjo-Tooie definitely felt a lot bigger than its predecessor because of the enormous worlds you got to explore and the vast collection of moves.
After favoring Tooie for the past 15 years, however, it came as a shock when I recently replayed the games, only to find that I ended up having a lot more fun with the original. What foul trickery is this? Banjo-Kazooie has suddenly surpassed its sequel? Preposterous! (Exaggerated response to this revelation added for dramatic effect…) I always preferred Tooie, but I can’t deny the fact that I simply didn’t have as much fun with it, which begs the question: which game is better? It is vital to the human race that I find this out, and so I shall compare the two in this most epic of showdowns on three categories: tone, size/variety, and…a mystery category. Continue reading Kazooie Vs. Tooie
Part of what makes video games fun is that they allow us to experience things not possible in real life. We can visit fantasy worlds, wield immense power, and ultimately save the world, or even the universe, from evil. In most cases anyway. Part of the thrill that comes from video games is the unfamiliar. It’s why I’d much rather watch a fantasy or sci-fi movie than one that takes place in the real world with regular people. That all kind of changed with a game I recently completed. EarthBound.
EarthBound had been on my to-do list for a long time, like Final Fantasy VII and Super Metroid, but it took me a long time to play it because I didn’t have access to it until recently. I originally heard of the game thanks to Super Smash Bros and its inclusion of Ness, a seemingly normal boy with psychic powers. I admit I was unimpressed by Ness (unintentional rhyme) at the time, considering I had no idea who he was, but as the years went by, I heard people talking more and more often about how amazing the game he hailed from was. It wasn’t until March of 2016, however, that I finally got my hands on it, thanks to my dear Wii U’s Virtual Console. Continue reading EarthBound and Why I Find Pizza and Burgers Relatable
I haven’t written a whole lot of posts for my Unforgettable series because something has to really stand out to me to make the list. It has to be shocking, exciting, or just too awesome not to share with the world. It is only fitting, then, that one of my favorite games of all time gets to star in one of these posts, Rayman 2. To be honest, the entire Rayman series is filled with unique and unforgettable moments (for example, water skiing behind a snake), but there is one part of this game that has really stuck with me, and I find it unforgettable because it is just plain fun. Continue reading Unforgettable: The Flying Shell of Rayman 2
After spending the last several hundred hours of my game time playing RPGs (no joke), I needed a break. The only games currently in my backlog at the moment are Final Fantasy IV and V, so I decided I would instead need to revisit something I had played before. Being in quite a Rayman mood after replaying Rayman Origins, I decided to connect the good, ol’ N64 and replay some of my old favorites, Rayman 2: The Great Escape and the Banjo-Kazooie games. (Obviously, Banjo-Kazooie in no way relates to Rayman, but I may as well play them while the console’s plugged in.)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve played this game, but I didn’t find it one bit less enjoyable than every time prior. I mean it, I had a great time with this game, and there is one thing that always struck me about this game that really makes it stand out from anything else I’ve ever played. The mystery. Continue reading The Great Mysteries of Rayman 2
Typically when I write about something unforgettable in a video game, I usually talk about something small that stuck with me. A particularly memorable cut scene, an extra epic segment of gameplay. Today, however, I am discussing an entire world. It was after my recent playthrough of Rayman 2 that I decided next to revisit another favorite of mine, Banjo-Kazooie. And as I made my way through the game’s final world, I couldn’t help but stop for a moment to really appreciate a level I usually take for granted. Continue reading Unforgettable: Click Clock Wood