Sunday, February 23, 2014

SURPRISE! Lep's World Review

I literally realized (just now) that you guys probably are angry at me for not posting anything besides a lousy schedule on Saturday Consider this a happy apology as I play the free app, Lep's World, or as I call it, "WHY DEAR GOD, WHY?!"
Our delightfully bad story begins with a "story board". And when I say "story board", I mean (with all due respect) that it's horrifically confusing. Let me just show it to you:

I will give you ten dollars if you can write me an essay proving that this game has the best storyline ever. Oh wait... There is no way to state that this game's narrative is good, let alone understandable. So there's a leprechaun sleeping on a pile of moolah, and then a hurricane comes out of the, uh... ground? Now Mr. Leprechaun IV is in a barrel, bereft of his money, and he's gonna go all "Tornado Chasers" on us and get back his stash. Dear God, this makes no sense. I like to call myself fairly smart, but this is beyond my mind's comprehension.
Two clicks later and we are playing the game. I suppose it's not horrible. Don't get me wrong, it makes Bubsy 3D look like a masterpiece, but this is probably as close to a Mario game as we will ever get on an iPod Touch.
The mechanics are simple enough: you control Lep (is that even his name?) through some Mario-inspired platforming. Hop up, move left and right, and throw.... pinecones? I won't even question that. The problem is that Lep controls like he's on an ice rink; he just slips and slides on his frictionless sandals I suppose. It is acceptable in snow levels, but on grassy fields it's just immensely stupid.
So, you collect three pots 'o gold (like Star Coins except lamer) and get to the end of the level. For a game modeled after Mario, you'd expect flag, right? Or something that determines point gain by where you land? NOPE. It's just some stupid rainbow you walk up to and BAM! Mission complete.
This goes on until a cave level, which is.... practically the same thing. At 1-4, we get to this cool looking dungeon place. I muster up all my courage and run through the depths of the castle to pursuit a boss, but...... just a rainbow.
Yep; as you can guess, it just continues like that. All the levels are almost exactly the same (save 2-1 which is some stupid slippy-slide ice level), giving you no motivation to continue, and even if you get to the "end" of the game..... You just go back to the title screen. Really? No send-off? FOR SHAME.

Let's just get to the review; the less I have to play this game, the better.
Gameplay: 6/10. The game is entirely linear and straight-forward. There are no secrets, and the collectible "cauldrons" are in plain sight. As such, the gameplay is pretty disappointing.
Length: 2/10. If  you rush to the end as fast as possible, you will beat the game in fifteen minutes. If you collect everything, it would take a whopping 20 whole minutes. Notice the pattern? The levels are hideously dumbed down to a point where my cat could play it.
Difficulty: 1/10. The game is soooo easy. I only died twice, and that was just to witness the truly laughable death animation. Lep is all like "Oops!" and just kinda falls. Anyway, the game is just pathetic; there's no challenge for anybody ranging from a hardcore gamer to an infant.
Story: 1/10. Just..... Just NO.
Characters: 3/10. Let's see here; there's a leprechaun. His enemies are, obviously, red caterpillar things, and snails. Oh, leprechauns HATE snails if you didn't already know that. With all due seriousness though, there is nothing to see in this aspect.
Graphics: 7/10. Believe it or not, Lep's World has some mediocre graphics. The pixel-count is non-existent, the animation is smooth, and even if the gameplay sucks, the graphics make it just a little easier to swallow.
Music: 4/10. You know it's bad when Pong has a better soundtrack. There's two songs, both generic and bubbly. Unlike Starfy, though, the game fails to make them catchy. Even ten minutes after playing the game top to bottom, I can't remember any of the songs. They go from "eh" to "SHUT UP!!" really, really fast.
Fun: 6/10. For all I've bashed on it, I had a fair amount of fun. FOR TWO MINUTES. Its the kind of game you can throw at your kids to distract them for a solid half hour, but even they will get bored of this snooze-fest really quickly.

As such, I give Lep's World a 30 out of 80. It just sucks, okay? Sure, it's not bad for a free app, and you might enjoy it (marginally) the first time you play it, but you will be happy to delete shortly thereafter.

.. And that's it. I hope you enjoyed it!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Updates on the Future

So after pulling a "Sorry-I'm-too-lazy-to-post-stuff-so-suck-it" last year, I want to try to improve this "blog thing" by making a schedule-list thingy. I will post what I will be working on every week. And as part of my new year, I plan to
Write a New Article Every (Freaking) Week!*
*May not always be applicable
As such, I also have some stuff planned:
3/01: Interview with Electric Mudkip (Yes, that actually happened!)
3/08: Personal List: My 10 Hardest "Super Mario Galaxy" Galaxies
3/15: "Me Want Bamboo 2" App Review
3/22: Personal List: My 6 Favorite Things about Pokemon X
3/29: "Splashy Fish" App Review
4/05: *Mysterious* Interview Slot (I need to arrange stuff)
4/12: Personal List: 5 Gaming Icons with Games You Didn't Know Existed
4/19: "Ultimate Flash Sonic" Review (Armor Games)
4/26: The Beginning of the End: ???
......  And so on.
Also to take note of: I have been working on doing an interview with someone awesome the first Saturday of every month. I've already gotten an interview wtih the impeccable remixer "Electric Mudkip" so go check his channel out!
Seriously, jut check it out!....... Please?
I'm also planning to alternate between reviewing games and "Top ? Lists". Keep in mind that if I forget to post an article, I will post it as soon as possible. There might also be some tiny funstuffs here and there to hold you over for every weekend.
Also in progress: I'm planning on devising a new type of article, so stay tuned and stuff! Some articles, such as "The Beginning of the End" and "Well, That Was a Weird Game" will be devised perhaps every month. "Thingy-of-the-Year" awards will be continued in the summer so I can actually pile them as a whole and because I'll have more free time.
And for the fate of some other articles:
"Totally Random List Time!": 8/25/13-12/8/13: Replaced with "Personal Top ???"
"Breaking News (That You Probably Already Know)": 8/5/13-10/8/13: This was stopped for the sole purposes that (A) I can't keep up with everything and (B) there's a billion other sources that are much more useful.
"Questions That NEED to Be Answered: 10/1/13-10/6/13: This was stopped due to similarities to "The Beginning of the End".
"Fun Facts of the Day": 7/1/13-8/12/13: Umm... I forgot about them.
"Fandom Spotlight": 7/21/13-7/21/13: Replaced by "Interviews" and forgotten about. Whoopsie daisy..
"Let's Take a Look": 7/4/14-7/5/13: You never would've guessed: I forgot about it too! Again though, there's WAY better sources.
 You will be missed, sweet articles.
Speaking of which, most of my pages are kinda defunct. As such, my "Quote a Day" section will probably resume during the summer in which I can update daily The "Music" and "How to Decorate your Pad (Like a Boss)" pages were deleted because (1) the music hyperlinks were broken because my music channel was suspended for copyright infringement (genius!) and (2) because of way too many similarities to "Game Lut" on VSauce3. The "Video Game Reviews" page will never be used again in favor of my new review system; however, I will keep it up as a relic for everyone who's interested in an unfinished review of Sticker Star. (I promise I'll address that later.) Lastly, the "Around the World in 80 Glitches" has been under construction for quite a while. Fear not, for it will continue in the summer! (Boo! You suck, The Ordinary Gamer! Just give as that stuff now!)

Anyway, I will see you in EXACTLY one week!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Legendary Starfy Review

A couple of months ago, I was digging through the discount bin in GameStop. I came across The Legendary Starfy, a platformer that I remember somehow. Maybe it was in Nintendo Power or the fact that he was an assist trophy in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, I don't freaking know, but I decided to check it out. In short, the game was "ehhhhh".

I will admit though, he's pretty darn cute.
The game starts with a simple cutscene. It's not complex or, for that matter, particularly interesting, and the animation unintentionally looks like a bunch of unmoving pictures jumping around. The frame rate is next to none, but although the graphics are cute, they aren't exactly the greatest way to kick off a game.
Apparently, Starfy was taking a nap as per usual, when a rabbit falls from the sky, being ambushed by the dumbest looking criminals on this side of the planet. One's a... uh.... rabbit thing....... one has a ponytail...... I dunno. We can safely assume that the introduction isn't that important.
In short, the introduction is choppy and unimportant, the characters are weird, and there's no really anything to take note of. We do, however, meet the titular Starfy and his friend, some clam thing named Moe. Unfortunately, he doesn't own a Mexican restaurant chain, so prepare to be disappointed. 
If you imagine, I guess he looks kind of like a taco?
The strange bunny fellow in spaceman getup soon jumps into the ocean, and Starfy being a "kind fellow" decides to jump in and find him. I know this is a "rated E" game, but for all we know, the guy's a serial killer and cannibal. So why? WHY DO WE FOLLOW HIM? It's clearly evident tat Starfy doesn't think through much. This is further evidenced by the fact that he forgot all his "signature moves", so back to square one, eh?
So we find him kidnapped by a squid, and being a genius, Starfy follows without thinking through what could happen. Talk about "legendary." With that, the game begins.

The first thing to take note of is the gameplay. In terms of the style, it's very much akin to that of Kirby games. That being said, it's simple and very straightforward. You can spin, swim, run, and some other stuff that you learn much later. That's a slight grudge I have with the game; while you can do all the tricks in Mario games from the start, it eventually tells you how to do them if you are inexperienced. Meanwhile, this game spoon-feeds you everything; you can only do what you've learnt. It makes sense because you never have to go back to another level because of some "secret exit" requiring that technique, but even so, it makes the progression halt frequently. 
The enemies are fairly straightforward, too. Some just float around, others jump, others throw rocks. They aren't actually difficult though, and in the slim chance you take serious damage, the game makes it extremely easy to regain health, as the game is literally littered with "pearls". Aside from healing, they serve as currency to buy accessories (we'll get to that later). The bosses are also laughably easy. Repeatedly hit them with your spin attack and they're dead in less than a minute.
The level design is also simple. There are a couple of obstacles, but they are easy to pass through. You might have to push some circles (I have no idea what they are), spin attack boulders, break walls, and etc., but the game is so linear that it's easy to find every nook and cranny. 

Next are the graphics. They too are very akin to that of Kirby. The characters are simple sprites with fair animation. Every monster is in the same style; simple creatures with basic design. The problem is that the majority are generic and forgettable. Even the bosses, such as a giant squid, aren't that memorable.
The backgrounds are presented in that simple, polygonal feel that one often sees in DS games during the middle of its lifetime. They aren't complex or extremely realistic, but they do a good job of adding depth.
In terms of using the DS to it's full advantage, the game is just "meh". The bottom screen mostly just shows  little hint/advice/tip screen. While there are multiple, you'll often find yourself using the same one; either the "treasure seeker" or a generic screen showing Bunston (the bunny astronaut fellow we saw earlier) and the amount of shards you collect (you get one per world; we'll talk about it later). The few times the double screen is properly used, though, are actually pretty interesting. Despite the simplicity, the "squid chase sequence" (shown left) is pretty interesting, if not creative. 

The music itself is not to shabby. Quite ironic that the "ocean" music is so "bubbly.".... What? No laughs? Unlike the level design and most of the characters, I find the music cemented in my head at all times. Is it as iconic as music from the similar Kirby series? Well..... no. But the music nevertheless stays stuck to my mind. Even the music from levels I hate are stuck in my head. While the warm color palette of World 2 gives me migraines, it's still one of my favorites.

Next is the story. Oh boy, the story. Once you find Bunston, we discover his memory was wiped clean, and by showing him the shards you get after each world, his memory is slowly pieced together. The problem is that the game's story is presented in a heavy way, which is unfortunate because the story is as plain as possible. There are so many random characters you bump into to "jazz up" the story, but so few are actually worth noting. 

Furthermore, the game's bonus content is unimportant. First are the bonus levels. While great games like Kirby: Squeak Squad (am I the only person who played that game?), Super Mario Bros. U, and a lot of other platformers had great bonus levels, Starfy does not. This is due, in part, to the fact that all the levels feel the same. While in Mario, all the levels have new gimmicks that warm my heart, Starfy's just feel like shortened levels. The world "bonus" shouldn't even exist; there is nothing special about them and they just merge with the other levels.
The game also has collectible chests, which give you "diary entries" and "accessories". You know how I said the story is way too heavily put onto the game? The diary entries are like the exact same thing; uninteresting. It just feels like they tried to hard to turn their bland story into an expansive, fully-fledged mystery, but it just can't work. Meanwhile, I also have a grudge with the accessories. They turn the game into a little "dress-up session", but unlike games where you can equip armor on your guy(s), in Starfy, it doesn't actually affect the sprite in-game. That's a terrible disappointment. Furthermore, the pearls you collect  can only buy MORE ACCESSORIES. It's just a vicious cycle; the pearls are practically worthless unless you really enjoy playing with clothes to no avail. Even a simple cosmetic change would be cute; in Squeak Squad you can change Kirby's color into a multitude of colors, while Starfy is stuck as a naked, yellow star that's always smiling in an unsettling way.

Evaluation Time!:
Gameplay: 7/10. It's basic, but linear and straightforward. The game doesn't branch out at all, and all the secrets are dead ends, typically way too far off the beaten path. Nevertheless, it's exceptional.
Length: 5/10. Even with scouring for treasure, the game is way too short. Each world can be cleared in one short sitting, and levels are usually done within 3-6 minutes. It could've been better with the addition of more levels, but everything is just too short.
Difficulty: 3/10. The levels are designed for everyone of all ages to play. As such, inexperienced players will happily enjoy this title, but those a little more advanced will find it so simple that it feels as if it almost mocks you and your intelligence. 
Story: 2/10. Oh God, it's horrible. I've already criticized it enough.
Characters: 6/10. While some are nice, such as Moe and Bunston, most are generic and only added to spice up the story. There must be fifty characters, but of them, you'll probably only remember around five.
Graphics: 7/10. They aren't amazing, but they are good enough. The foreground and characters are cute, slightly-pixelated sprites, while the background adds some dimension, but it doesn't make up for the fact that they are so generic.
Music: 8/10. They're delightfully catchy, but not exactly "amazing". While it didn't take my breath away, I found it charming anyway.
Fun: 7/10. It's a decent experience. The younger audience will probably love it, while more experienced players will think it's borderline "okay". There is no challenge to be had in this game, so you won't be having any hectic moments, but it's at least passable.

In short, I give The Legendary Starfy a score of 45 out of 80.  It's decent, but you won;t find yourself playing it again and again.
Do I recommend it?: If it's cheap, you might as well pick it up. It's best for the younger audience, though you might have a little bit of fun out of it.

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Beginning of the End: Bubsy

It's everybody's least favorite feline in video gaming. "What could possibly go wrong?"

For those of you unfamiliar with Bubsy, he was a video game mascot intended as to rival the popular icons, particularly Mario and Sonic. Did he succeed in his goal? Not even slightly. He lasted from 1993-1997, his greatest legacy the terrible game Bubsy 3D. You know it's awful if Wikipedia has it listed on it's "List of Video Games Notable for Negative Reception", wedged somewhere between Shaq Fu and Superman 64.
His earlier games weren't exactly horrible. It tried to merge elements of Mario and Sonic, but succeeded at neither. Bubsy runs around like he has oil lathered on his feet for Christ's sake! Combined with a short life span (one hit and he's dead), falling damage ("in a motherf*cking PLATFORMER?!" -JonTron), and the dumbest enemies to date (gumball machines and convertibles included) and you have an unusual game. The SNES sequel was moretheless the EXACT SAME, only marginally better.
And now, quiver in fear with Bubsy 3D. While many games made the smooth transition to the 3D realm, Bubsy took some serious damage. For a game that was released during the period of polygons (with such games as Super Mario 64, LoZ: Ocarina of Time, Kirby 64, Bomberman 64..... The list is endless.), it certainly puts the series at an all-time low. Hell, even he developers slapped a fake award on it and quotes from magazines that never existed. I guess it makes sense: have a horrible product? Trick poor suckers into buying your garbage! 
Seriously?! The graphics are completely unpolished and hideous. I swear I could slap up something sexier than that in Microsoft Paint!
(I'm talented!)
(I'm a decent artist, I just want to prove a point) See? Ish a perfect match! There's no question why there hasn't been a Bubsy game since; Bubsy is a shame to the video game community, and a perfect example of the absolute worst that could happen. Even Hotel Mario hasn't sunk to the level of terror that Bubsy 3D is. Don't believe me? Well, I guess that's fair.....

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Video Game Characters IRL

Welcome to the Ordinary Gamer channel, where common updates are close to non-existent. Today, I want to take a look at something hat many people think about: What would happen if video game characters were actually existent. Seriously, how awesome would it be to go to Subway and see Bowser chomping down on a hoagie? Also, what the heck is a hoagie? (Dear New England, why do you say thins like this?!)
Lately, I've been thinking about the whole concept, and I would like the first character I address to be Funky Kong. Does it have to do with the newly-released Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze? No, but I guess its a happy coincidence. So let's go and dissect this ape, shall we?
Yes, we know he's a monkey. But considering that he's probably pretty smart, it's a fair assumption he probably won't throw his crap a us like, well, the dimwitted Dnkey Kong. He even has the decency to wear some clothes! Golly, even Sonic hasn't caught up to his fashion sense yet.
Going from the head down, we can get a pretty good idea of what kind of style he's going for. First is a bandanna. There's not much to be said, but it has dots, which makes it all the more important. Next, he has completely pimped-out shades for getting the ladies. Speaking of which, he needs the ladies to fall for the glasses, because with those kinds of hairy biceps, he must have armpit odors so bad that even Speedsticks can't do any good. 
His shirt is surprisingly clean, perhaps implying that he has pretty good laundry detergent. For God's sake, it's so bright it's like looking at the Sun. He also has pants, which he fashioned into cut-up shorts. I would call this off as sloppy, but look at those perfect tears. On top of all that (or rather, on the bottom of all that) are his toes. Oh, dear God, his toes. It's like the hands from "Hamsterz Life" pasted on to his feet. I even took the liberty of illustrating the graphics as beautifully as possible.
See? Their totally identical. (I guess this is what happens when you can't find any Youtube footage.)

In real life, we would associate this kind o wardrobe with some frat guy who's high. He'd pretty much be the real-life equivalent as a college roommate smoking marijuana. It's uncanny. He's dressed like he couldn't care less, and his muscles are beefed up like a hit man. He clearly would get in gang-fights by day and be that creepy roommate who watches "Family Feud" whilst going through some joints by night. To further dampen the situation, he has bongos. If you had to share a dorm with this guy, you'd better be prepared for bongo-playing at midnight, and on top of the risk of dying of second-hand smoke, the guy must smell pretty awful. He literally has hairs all over his body, and he's the kind of guy who goes to the gym to life some weights or something. The guy has to smell worse than a month old lasagna. 

.... And that's about it. If you see this monkey, just walk away slowly.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Hey Look!

We finally got 1000 page views! Lame achievement, sure, but it's at least nice to know people are actually, well, visiting this page. I mean give me credit..... That's larger than the population of Antarctica!