I was considering whether to break the impasse by going to bi-weekly wordy updates, but then I realized something: I have many, many games that I've played and would like to talk about. But the barrier has always been, having the time and energy to really invest in playing far enough to get the pictures I want, and then to do those pictures and ideas justice with lotsa words, formed into sentences, all (ideally) formed into a coherent idea.
So, I thought I'd leverage one against the other: welcome to my new Article category, 4-F
...aka, Four Reflections for Filler. Light on content -- just 4 rows of pictures, each with a few sentences of text -- but long on...um, being done quickly.
And hey, I finally get to blurt out all those half-thoughts about some of the games I've bought over the last few years, but that I was always saving up for
when I had enough time to write a full article a rainy day!
So, 4-F the first: Jetpacks and Kuros and T-Rexes (oh my!)
1. Harley's Humongous Adventure, SNES.
This fairly run-of-the-mill SNES platformer (that is to say, "not a very good SNES platformer") exhibits a common run-of-the-mill SNES platformer trait: lots of weapons to collect, but all of them have a limited number of shots.
But there's an important limited-use item that comes with a built-in backup: some levels give you fuel to fly with your Jetpack, and one of the SNES controller buttons is dedicated to the Jetpack. However, if you're out of jetpack fuel, and/or you happen to be rubbing up against a wall, that Jetpack button also operates your Suction Cup Gloves, and you can stick to walls like Ryu Hayabusa, plus you can climb them!
Basically, it's the same idea as Super Mario Bros 2's Super-Jump-that-you-charge-by-ducking-down-for-a-few-seconds: backup plans, so the platforming doesn't become impossible:
Here, you might run out of Jetpack fuel, but climbing the walls should give you a slower, less-fun way to overcome obstacles anyway. In Super Mario Bros 2, you might pick a character with limited jumping ability, but with the slow, less-fun ducking-jump, you can get to moderate height platforms no matter who you picked.
2. Wizards and Warriors X: Fortress of Fear, Gameboy.
...wait, we go from III to X?
So, evidently we went from the NES's Wizards & Warriors III to the Gameboy's Wizards & Warriors X. I guess we have the Gameboy's usual "game title gets an extra suffix" approach, but it's still some impressive roman numeral slight-of-hand!
3. Wizards and Warriors X: Fortress of Fear, Gameboy.
as in, "I fear that I can't make that jump."
For a game franchise that's always been built around a bouncy knight
, this game takes a depressing turn: not only is it chock full of bottomless pits -- a rarity in the previous three (or should that be, IX?) games -- but you have a finite number of lives, followed by no lives or continues!
and, to round out this week's 4-F, Gameboy continues can be a double-edged sword...
3. Jurassic Park, Gameboy.
When you run out of lives, you can continue...but with the same level of ammo you had before. Normally ammo isn't THAT big of a problem; you get pickups regularly, and most dinos drop reloads approximately equal to the number of hits they take to defeat. Though, like Harley's Humongous Adventure, you have no 'puny infinite-ammo gun' as backup.
And that last point CAN lead to a big problem if you, say, run out of lives on the 2nd "boss", the T-Rex. It's actually more of a "hostage rescue" than a boss fight -- you have to lead a slow-moving kid across a very long enclosure -- but each time the T-Rex shows up, you either have to use a LOT of ammo to drive him away, or take over 1/2 of a life worth of damage when he bites you (then IMMEDIATELY stand still, so he'll leave).
So, set-of-lives #1: you spend a lot of bullets, but eventually die before you and the kid make it to the exit. Want to spend one of your 4 continues to keep going? Hope you can get even farther this time with LESS shots! And if you fail THAT time? Well, let's just say you're getting diminishing returns. And if you continue with 0 shots? You don't have enough health to rescue the hostage by just taking the damage each time the dino shows up.
So as I found out, sometimes you have 4 Continues...but none of 'em count.
— carlmarksguy, 2016-05-30