Bigredcoat

Videogames, politics, science, all the important things in life.

Wallet Abuse Wednesday 3-24-10: Buy iJumpman!

Posted by nfinit on March 23, 2010

It’s Retro Week here at Wallet Abuse, as there’s two retro-themed items you need to know about– One of which you really need to buy like, right fucking now and another which only I’m probably the only person in the room who’s really interested in it despite being a major push by Microsoft itself.  Anyway, onto the thing every last one of you jerks need to buy:

It’s iJumpman, by mcc!

I normally don’t talk about digital downloads here as getting anything resembling a coherent release schedule is damned near impossible and the best I could do is to report about the games a week late– and certainly I don’t talk about iPhone games here, the silly thing isn’t a console and roughly fifty thousand are released each week, most of which I have been lead to believe are some variation of Desktop Tower Defense, only with fart noises and motion control.

iJumpman though, is none of those things.  Instead it’s a retro-inspired (I believe the kids use the phrase low-fi) puzzle platformer where the player manipulates the level as much as they manipulate their own character.  It works better if you see the official vid:

There’s also a free Windows/Mac version up at runhello.com

iJumpan reminds me a lot of what the original Atari 2600 devs would have done had you put a Mode 7 chip into the VCS as well as a massive amount of RAM and an actual working CPU and maybe a GPU of some sort and a useable controller.

iJumpman is from friend of the blog mcc, who is both more handsome and smarter than you are.  Give him your money!  Also ask him about lasers!  Dude can go all day about lasers!

Okay so for the second retro download this week and the part that likely only interests me due to the markedly high chance of one day playing Moon Patrol on my 360:

Microsoft Game Room is here!

Presumably.

Sometime this week.  I hope.  Truth be told it might be on Xbox Live Marketplace as we speak, but the 360 navigation menu is only slightly more comprehensible than Linear A.  Supposedly upon release.. which may or may not have happened earlier this afternoon.. Microsoft Game Room will feature 30+ classic arcade/pre-Crash titles, with seven added each week until such point as Microsoft runs out of things to emulate or they accidentally release the 2600 A-Team prototype and the entire Entertainment and Devices Division winds up the property of Stephen J. Cannell.

Anyway, with all this retro wankery going about, I felt it best to judge this week’s games vs their appropriate pre-Crash title.

Imagine:  Gymnast

Publisher:  Ubisoft

Developer:  At This Point, Probably an Algorithm Specifically Designed To Crush The Dreams of Little Girls

Platforms:  Nintendo DS

Never let it be said that I lie to my readers.
https://i1.wp.com/www.collegian.psu.edu/photos/2009/04/03/7_640x360.jpg
It’s cool, she’s in college!
Okay so here’s the deal.  No more shovelware games unless I find them personally amusing and/or an excuse to post salacious pictures.
No more Imagine, no more Petz, no more Detineer or Zoo Games, no more painfully obvious Nicktoons cash-ins clogging up this page.  No one wants to buy this shit, and I ran out anything interesting to say about Imagine games the first time I mentioned that buying your little girl a game specifically designed to re-enforce gender stereotypes just seemed a little off.  Companies like Dreamcatcher Interactive are destroying my will to like good games, draining me of the time and enthusiasm to talk about stuff that really matters, like say:

Just Cause 2
Publisher:  Square Enix by way of Eidos Interactive
Developer:  Avalanche Studios
Platforms:  Playstation 3, Xbox 360, PC, the insides of my dream

Kids, you remember Mercenaries 2?

untitled-30.jpg picture by bigredcoat

Yeah, we can all admit now that Mercs 2 was kinda terrible.
Kids, you remember how you wanted to remember Mercenaries 2?  Open world mayhem and utter destruction without the janky, unpolished feel that made Mercs 2 the sort of game that you had to convince yourself you were enjoying?  Okay, maybe Mercs 2 is a bad selling point. Let’s start over
Kids, you remember Red Faction: Guerrilla, right?  Alright, how imagine RF:G, but with grappling hooks.
Just Cause 2.  It’s sorta like that.  If this is your sort of game then I don’t need to tell you to buy this, you’ll already own a copy as soon as it comes off the trucks at Best Buy.  If this isn’t your sort of game– and by “your sort of game” I mean “you like being able to ram trucks loaded with explosive barrels into buildings just to watch that entire building explode” then be aware that open world games like Just Cause 2 carry baggage– namely that it’s never going to feel as complete nor as polished as a Modern Warfare 2.  But such is the price of videogame freedom.

WHICH CLASSIC PRE-CRASH TITLE DOES THIS GAME MOST RESEMBLE?

riddle_of_the_sphinx.png picture by bigredcoat
Riddle of the Sphinx!  (Atari 2600)
Sometimes the word “classic” doesn’t really mean “classic” as much as it means “this thing is old and awkward”, sort of like if an Andre the Giant match were to appear on WWE Classics.  Anyway, Riddle of the Sphinx represents something of an early sandbox game in that there was no real goal to what you were basically left to wander around to your own devices and just make things happen.  It also proved to be staggeringly complex, with a control scheme that used both 2600 controllers and the difficulty switches and TV Black/White switch on the 2600 console itself, something I didn’t realize until twenty some odd years after I stole procured Riddle of the Sphinx from a friend in elementary school.  Easily the worst possible thing I’ve ever broken up with a friend for.  But I mean, just look at the cart, for fuck’s sake:

https://i2.wp.com/www.atariguide.com/c2/Riddle_of_the_Sphinx_287.jpg
How could I help myself?

Moto GP ’09/’10
Publisher:  Capcom
Developer:  Monumental Studios
Platforms:  Playstation 3, Xbox 360

By all rights, I should love the Moto GP series.  After all, I love games with bikes:

the-ninja-warriors-again.png picture by bigredcoat

and I love games with racing

chase-hq-4.png picture by bigredcoat

So why am I utterly unimpressed by every motorcycle racing game I’ve ever played not specifically named “Road Rash”?
I blame the series on it’s rather exacting handling and twin-stick control scheme… well that and a lack of ninja robots.  Apparently this revision includes a more forgiving physics model and a more traditional racing-game control scheme, so maybe I’ll pick this up if and when Capcom includes brutal physical assault along with the free 2010 track downloads.
Unfortunately, the bike racing bike racing fans really want to get to– the beastly 800cc bikes– are locked away until you complete the 125 and 250cc campaigns.  This is a highly regressive practice, especially in the face of Forza Racing 3. It’s encouraging to see racing game embrace driving lines and rewind functions, however, even if this particular game lacks a restart feature for whatever insane reason.

WHICH CLASSIC PRE-CRASH TITLE DOES THIS GAME MOST RESEMBLE?

https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d1/Fonz_1976_sega_arcade.PNG
THE FONZ! (Arcade)
It was hard to find a pre-Crash motorcycle-themed title, and even harder not to just throw my hands up in the air and post a picture of Stunt Cycle, but luckily Sega somehow managed to trick Paramount Television into allowing this to happen, resulting in what may well result in the underpinnings for Super-Hang On.  But probably not.

But you’d have thought a Fonz game would work, right?  So it’s sort of like MotoGP 09/10 in that regard– Motorcycle arcade games seem like a rock-solid idea, yet they rarely wind up being worthwhile.

Red Steel 2
Publisher:  Ubisoft
Developer:  Ubisoft Paris
Platforms:  Wii
So here we have a game that utilizes the Wii Motion Plus attachment in a unique combination of first person shooter gameplay and swordsmanship with compelling cell-shaded art style that plays well with the Wii’s hardware.  What we’re not sure of yet is if these elements combine to form a good game, but you have to like everything that surrounds it and it’s the sort of thing Wii-owning hardcore gamers have been begging for from third parties.

It’s also the sort of game that hardcore gamers should very much want to see succeed.  And while I say that I’m not encouraging the flawed practice of buying specific games with the goal of being rewarded by seeing more games like it released… it’s not like there have been a lot of hardcore Wii games released lately.  What do you think you’re doing, saving money?

WHICH CLASSIC PRE-CRASH TITLE DOES THIS GAME MOST RESEMBLE?

182_2.png picture by bigredcoat
Bank Panic!  (Arcade)

Just barely making the cut as a pre-Crash title, Sega’s little-known arcade shooter featured… the old west.. and.  Guns.  Sort of.  There were surprisingly few pre-Crash old west-themed games ever released, and absolutely nothing that included both shooting things with guns and cutting them up with swords.  I guess selectable weapon technology was beyond the grasp of game developers before the NES invented a Select button.

Rooms:  The Main Building
Publisher:  Konami
Developer:  Hudson Soft
Platform:  Wii, Cracker Barrel Gift Shop, Dollar Store, McDonald’s Happy Meal
So this is a sliding puzzle game.
On disc.
For thirty dollars.
In 2010.
ScreenShot Image
Okay correction, an absolutely hideous sliding puzzle game on disc for thirty dollars in 2010.  This is some Destineer-quality shit, and makes it hard to remember that this is the same company that occasionally puts out incredible stuff like Lost in Shadow and… um…
https://i2.wp.com/media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/5911/919573-14026_large.jpg
No, wait
Oh, that’s unfortunate
No, not that either…

Okay that’s good enough.
Seriously though, has there been a more inconsistent used-to-be-relevant game developer in recent memory?  These guys had their own fucking console for a while and now they can’t even get Bomberman right.  If it wasn’t for the fact that the Mario Party games somehow sold seven hundred billion copies it’s hard to imagine they’d still exist.

WHICH CLASSIC PRE-CRASH TITLE DOES THIS GAME MOST RESEMBLE?

3d_tic-tac-toe.png picture by bigredcoat
3D Tic Tac Toe! (Atari 2600)

A barely justifiable digital version of a game that works perfectly well without any transistors whatsoever.  I hate to admit that I actually owned this thing, but for the life of me I don’t understand what my reasoning was behind begging my mom to buy it.  What’s even weirder was that I didn’t own my 2600 until well after the Crash and while my friends were all happily playing NES games– for whatever twisted reason I chose to spend time and my parent’s money with this instead of Castlevania.  The 80’s were a deeply confusing time for everyone involved.

Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
Publisher:  Atlus
Developer:  Atlus/Lancarse
Platforms:  Nintendo DS
All the previews for Strange Journey seem incredibly positive, and well they should– it reads a lot like a combination of Etrain Odyssey and the dungeon-exploring bits of Shen Megami/Persona games minus the all the annoying RPG bits.
Of course this also means you’re playing a SMT game sans improbably leggy Japanese schoolgirls, but the ESRB had to give in an “M” for some good reason, so I’m holding out hope something fucked up happens later on.
WHICH CLASSIC PRE-CRASH TITLE DOES THIS GAME MOST RESEMBLE?
AD&D:  TREASURE OF TARMIN!  (Intellivision)
File:ADDTarmin.png
Finding a pre-Crash console 3d dungeon romp proved difficult, as pre-Crash consoles had no business playing RPGs or 3d games.  I badly wanted to  put Xanadu here both for its fantastic early 80’s anime box art and the fact that it was actually Japanese, but it came in a year after the Crash itself… Oh, what the hell.
https://i2.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/84/Xanadu_MSX_Cover.jpg
NEXT WEEK~!
SAKURA WARS:  SO LONG MY LOVE somehow combines Annie Oakley, Anime, 1920’s Manhattan and Giant Robots.  GAME OF THE FOREVER.

DEAD OR ALIVE PARADISE is easily the skeeviest, most embarrassing game released… in at least three weeks.  Seriously, it’s softcore porn.
GRAND THEFT AUTO IV:  EPISODES FROM LIBERTY CITY will challenge you with full frontal male nudity; Microsoft’s fundamental understanding of the term “exclusive content”

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