So, Metal Arms: Glitch in the System. A reasonably fun, if not slightly unbalanced platformer for the PS2 developed by the now infamous Swinging Ape Studios. Having said that, it's probably pretty clear why I chose this as one of the games. Yes, I wanted to see if Swinging Ape had the cajones to pull off Starcraft: Ghost. Well do they?
Meet Hosed and Screwed, your cohorts for the first mission. A pair destined for greatness.
It makes me pretty damn sad to say it but, Yes. Yes, they could have done just fine with Starcraft: Ghost. It just seems they were lacking in direction
. See, Metal Arms is a straight forward run and gun title with intricate maps and lots of weapons and powerups. The vehicles are a little less than inspired, but I'll admit, I didn't even expect there to be any vehicles in the game. The enemies are serviceable and copious (not Dynasty Warriors copious though). The enemy AI is kind of flimsy, but what AI on the PS2 isn't? Anyway, Swinging Ape aimed low with Metal Arms (in concept, not in gameplay) and hit the mark. With Starcraft: Ghost, for some reason they felt the need to create a high concept game with multiple types of gameplay - eventually leading to the inevitable cancellation of the project (hiatus of indeterminate length my ass). Starcraft, the original game was nothing more than an incredibly well balanced skirmishy RTS with interesting races and rewarding gameplay (errrrr, eventually "well balanced"). Starcraft: Ghost, however, was just an action title shoehorned into the Starcraft mythos. That situation may very well have branded the title with a horrible fate.
The ziplines are a one pixel thick white line. Maybe they forgot a texture?
The Starcraft name brings a lot of pedigree. Or rather, the Blizzard name brings a lot of pedigree. Most people forget they made Rock and Roll Racing, Justice League: Task Force and Lost Vikings. They focus solely on their RTS and Dungeon Crawling titles (and now WoW) and completely ignore the fact that the company has a history of making... let's call them "less than mediocre" console titles. So this time, instead of tossing their own hat into the ring, they hire Swinging Ape. The fine maker of Metal Arms. Obviously Blizzard wanted an action title. Or did they?
This is a pretty cool segment. You kind of "fix" an arcade machine and it lets you take control of a bad guy to complete an objective.
See, Blizzard doesn't know what they want and if you've played the aforementioned Rock and Roll Racing or Lost Vikings, you'd find a plethora of mixed genre staples in both. None of which achieved any sort of fun level reached by any of the notable games in their respect genre. But rather, you'd find lots of experimental gameplay which, for the most part, turned out pretty damn bland. So when news broke that Starcraft: Ghost was delayed the first time, let's just say it was less than shocking that it was because it wasn't fun
. At this point I wouldn't be surprised if Blizzard's main office was shaped like a Borg Cube. It seems everything they touch is homogenized, even the quality of their console titles.
Black market robots. There are actually Jawas hiding inside those slick yellow exteriors. In the fat one there's three of them.
Fast forward one full year and Ghost is finally sent on a permanent unpaid vacation while Swinging Ape is swallowed up by Blizzard and assimilated into the WoW Live Team. They sure as shit aren't working on Starcraft 2 as they obviously can't be trusted. Either way, Metal Arms is hideously underappreciated. You can find it at most major chains now for about $9.99 and it never went gold or platinum and thus it was never added to the greatest hits catalogues on any of the systems. It's an easy title to enjoy and an easier title to recommend. It's a shame Blizzard went and fucked up Swinging Ape's future. Under their own direction with no IP restraints, there's a chance they could have been a truly great company.
The Japanese text reads: Hey, Consumer, Fuck You.
Zee Wikipedia entry:
Radical Dreamers is a video game produced by Squaresoft. The game was released in Japan in 1996 through the Satellaview add-on for the Nintendo Super Famicom.
Radical Dreamers is a text-based role-playing game in which the player takes the role of Serge, a young adventurer, who is accompanied by Kid, a teen-aged thief, and Magil, a mysterious masked magician. The story involves the trio's attempt to steal the legendary Frozen Flame from the mansion of Lynx (Yamaneko in Japanese).
Gameplay consists of text-based scenarios presented to the player through the narration of Serge. The player must then choose from a list of possible actions. Depending on the selections made, the player may enter a new area, be presented with a new situation, or may have to choose again if the previous choice was incorrect. Combat is text-based as well, allowing the player to select from options such as "Fight," "Magic," "Run," and often more complex situational commands like "Run my knife into the goblin's chest!" or "Quickly slash at its hand!" As a result graphics and animation are minimalistic.
Radical Dreamers is a gaiden, or side story, to the 1995 game Chrono Trigger. Elements of the game were also adapted and integrated into the 1999 PlayStation game Chrono Cross. The game ties up various loose ends from Chrono Trigger, and it introduces several new characters, objects, and locations that would later feature in Chrono Cross (though not in identical contexts). The main characters, Serge and Kid, return in Chrono Cross.
As in other Chrono games, only one scenario is available on the first play-through. After finishing this (and obtaining one of three possible endings), six further scenarios (each with its own unique ending) are made available through the game's "New Game+" mode. It is largely through these later scenarios that the various plot threads from Chrono Trigger and Chrono Cross are presented.
That just about sums it up. Hopefully you noticed these key bits:
- Sequel to Chrono Trigger
- Release year: 1996
Jesus, who greenlighted this project? Am I just not arrogant enough to appreciate the best abuser of the power of the SNES making a boring and relatively terrible text-based RPG? Is there anything to call this other than a money-grab? Why didn't they just release a book or manga or, fuck, anything else. Just not a text based adventure on a console. Hell, it doesn't even play like a text based adventure. It plays like an H-Game. There is no doubt in my mind that this game is porn for Squaresoft Otaku. It offers nothing of value in game form, has no gameplay to speak of and consists entirely of lore. Lore that could have easily been worked into Chrono Cross .
I nabbed this screenshot from the English translation. I really should have heeded the very obvious warning it gave me.
See that screenshot right there? That's what the whole game is. Some text appears on the screen while some music that's not composed by Nobuo Uematsu plays in the background. Every now and then the game will present me with two to five options on how to proceed. Like I said, it's a fucking hentai game. But without the sex, drugs, anal raping, tentacles, under-age looking 20 year olds, landing strips, bukkake, and creampies. To add to the impressive list of missing features
, the game looks worse than Final Fantasy VI. I don't know what I could possibly say to describe what a bullshit game this is. I'll even let you judge for yourself
. Some wandering soul was kind enough to patch the rom and make it available for download. if I ever seem him or her
I'll make sure to give them something fun like Chocolate Milk.
Now, I know what you're thinking and I know what you've been waiting for. What is Oblivion Rice and how do I make it. Well, I'll tell you. Here are the ingredients.
- 3 Cups of Basmati Rice
- 4 tablespoons of vegatable oil
- an appetizing amount of fresh Basil
- an appetizing amount of cilantro. (For this and the basil, put in however much you think will taste good.
- 15 finely chopped chilies.
- Some garlic gloves (again, however much you think you'll want.
- One tablespoon of Fish Sauce, easily found int he Asian food section of your grocery store or any Asian market.
Here are some actual directions - or so I think.
0. Cook rice and chill (in the freezer - 45 minutes / in the fridge - 2 hours)
1. Heat a liberal amount of vegetable oil in the wok (or any non-stick pan with a large surface)
2. Add in the peppers and Garlic.
3. Once the garlic is adequately browned, add the meat.
Isn't it beautiful?
4. Cook the meat until brown (on the inside and out).
5. Add in the rice.
6. Fold the rice into the meat, pepper and garlic mixture until it's thoroughly mixed. Add in the fish sauce.
7. After a few minutes, fold the basil and cilantro into the newly cooked fried rice.
8. Before the cilantro starts wilting, turn off the stovetop and move the wok to a cheaper, better place.
Isn't it pretty?
Finally, once everything is cooked through, plate and serve. Here's my bowl before I chowed down on the spiciest rice this side of Spicy Riceland which is probably somewhere in Asia.
It was as good as it looks.
Tune in tomorrow wherein I play a SNES title and a PC title.
Edit: It seems people want to know where the name Oblivion Rice originated. It's not all that exciting. I made a joke about rice forged in the plane of Oblivion when I was out getting the garlic and chilies with Koboshi and the rest just fell together. Exciting, eh? If there's ever a video game themed restaurant, surely this would be on the menu.