Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Dolphin Blue (Arcade)

Dolphin Blue sounds like a meaningless title, but both words are very relevant to the game. Dolphin, because you spend the game being accompanied by a dolphin buddy, and blue because a lot of the game is set in or on water.
Because of all that water, there are three kinds of segments in DB. There are parts on land (or more often, on the decks of huge battleships), where you fight on foot. These parts are very reminiscent of the Metal Slug games. Before I'd played the game, I'd only seen a few screenshots, and assumed the whole game was like this. The second kind are the parts that take place on the waves, with you riding on your dolphin buddy's back, and the third kind are underwater, seeing you swimming around accompanied by your dolphin buddy. It's in these parts where he comes in most useful, as he'll go around collecting points items that are hard for you to reach, and can be commanded to attacked the enemy by curling into a ball and bouncing aroud the screen, smashing not only the enemies, but their mines, bombs and missiles too.

It's really a shame that this game has never been converted to any home consoles (unless you count those fanmade consolised Atomiswave systems as such), which is the case for a lot of Atomiswave and Naomi systems. I guess if the Dreamcast had been supported longer, it would have made a fine home for them all. Oh well.
Obviously, I like this game a lot. It's fast and fun to play, it looks really nice, etc. One little touch that I love (and was probably not really intentional on the part of the designers) is that the default gun that you have when your power-up weapons run out can fire as fast as you can press the button. So some of the more tense situations are enhanced greatly, just by the physicality added by hammering the fire button as hard as you can (something I also felt regarding the finishers in Bayonetta, especially the ones which had the player spinning the analogue sticks with as much vigour as they could muster(but I don't think many people agreed with me on that)).

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Cardcaptor Sakura - Sakura Card de Mini Game (Game Boy Advance)

In case you're some weirdo that never saw it, Cardcaptor Sakura was one of the best cartoons of the late 90s, and is still one of the all-time best magical girl shows. There's also a fair few games based on it, none of which were released in English (to my knowledge), which is pretty strange, as I remember the show being really popular over here in its day.
Of the two I've played (the other one being Clow Card Magic for the Playstation), this is the best. It's set during season 2 of the tv show, when Sakura was turning the Clow Cards into Sakura Cards. Each episode of the show is a stage in the game (except some, which are just cutscenes), and each stage plays differently.
Generally, you'll have to either protect something until a timer runs out, or find something before a timer runs out. There are a few other kinds of stage too, but they all last roughly a minute.
Most of the games are pretty fun, though none are anything special. The main attraction is the graphics: bucking the usual trend for licenced GBA games (and GBA games in general) for having disgusting pre-rendered sprites by having nice colourful graphics with chunky sprites and detailed backgrounds.
Although most of the game is pretty easy, i gave up on it after about 15 or 20 stages when it gave me one of those sliding picture puzzles to solve. Those are never anything other than boring and frustrating.
This is a short post, but I'll do a better one soon, I promise.