Friday, 4 March 2016

Very Mysterious

Mysterious Song was an odd one. It's a very standard 8-bit RPG (yes, it feels more 8-bit than 16-bit) with a very short story. It's extremely linear with only 3 or 4 towns and a couple of dungeons. The reason it takes a bit longer than it should is that it's completely unfairly difficult. Monsters in the first area will wipe you out without breaking a sweat until you've gained a few levels, and gaining levels isn't that quick. Later monsters will wipe you out even quicker, and it feels like with every new area you need to go back to grinding for a while in order to be able to beat them. You could argue that's kind of the case with most RPGs, but this is *much* worse. Apparently, the game was actually released on console and that version was enhanced over the DOS version. It contained an extra New Game+ mode after you've finished the main story containing a few extra dungeons and a different ending. As it is, though, we have to make do with the short single campaign and the slightly odd DOS ending where (come on, none of you are actually going to play this, but...spoilers...) the hero dies but gets carried away to a strange new place (presumably the new console ending gave you a bit more closure). There was also going to be a sequel, but it never happened. Ah well, I can't really call it fun while it lasted, but at least it was quick.

Next up on the randometer is...Strip Poker: A Sizzling Game of Chance! Wooh - perv me up! Might have a quick go at this tonight...Ahem...I just mean it'll be a quick one. No, not in that way, I just mean...oh whatever.

I'm also going to call time on another bunch of PSN titles, Riff: Everyday Shooter, Pain, Bishi Bashi Special and Dark Mist. The early days of PSN was a strange time where no-one was really sure what a downloadable game should be, so there were a lot of short-form experimental titles. They were only releasing one or two games a month back then and they were all fairly cheap, so for some reason (I was mad and had a disposable income), I decided I was going to buy every PSN game. It didn't last long, but it does mean I've got a bunch of these weird games sitting in my account. Everyday Shooter is a top-down shoot-em-up with unique visuals and a beautiful guitar soundtrack. Instead of pew-pew noises, every time you destroy an enemy it triggers a different note or phrase, creating a wonderful soundscape as you play. I'm rubbish at shooters, so find this quite hard, but I really enjoy it. Pain is kind of the opposite. While Everyday Shooter is arty and subtle, Pain is brash and metal. It's a physics based game where you fling a guy from a catapult and try and hit targets aiming for the best score. There's a little more to it than that, but not much. It's fun with beers and friends, but a little dull on its own. Talking about games that are fun with friends, Bishi Bashi Special is an amazing game with a few mates round. It's an old PS1 game, and is essentially Wario Ware before it existed - it's a collection of insane, short minigames that you can play against other people. Properly crazy-crazy, but brilliant. Finally, there's Dark Mist, which is a weird one. It has the stylings of a dungeon crawler, but is in fact a cunningly disguised shoot-em-up. I guess it's a little like Gauntlet where you control a character in a top-down dungeon firing your bow in a twin-stick stylee at the invading monster hordes. The main reason I'm not taking it any further is because it's essentially a score attack game with no ending. You just keep going until you die and then enter your name in the high-score table. It looks beautiful and it's quite fun, but not for me right now.

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