Space Football

Do not disturb the babies.

Space Football Instructional Brochure

Welcome to Space Football! Before you get on the field (the ASTEROID FIELD, that is!!), please take some time to familiarize yourself with the basics of this space-age game. It is imperative that you pay close attention to this manual, lest your poor performance be attributed to your smaller-than-average cranial cavity. We begin!

Point of the Game

As with any game, the point of the game is to win. You win by grabbing the little flying saucer and zooming over and putting it with another flying saucer. If the two flying saucers fall in love and have babies, you score one point. If the flying saucers don’t fall in love, but still have babies, you score two points. (This is because it is less likely.) If the flying saucers fall in love, and have several babies, you score seven points. (This is because babies are required for the safety of all the citizens of earth.) If your opponent does any of these things, shame on you! He gets points! Mathematically, this is identical to you losing points. You should have been more careful.

Success is for you!

Controls

The arrow buttons zoom. The B button shoots red flying saucers, which actually do nothing except make you fly backwards. Nothing else does anything.

Your Opponent

We have chosen your opponent from the spice mines of Dangoo 6. He is dumb as a fish making a wish. The spice of Dangoo 6 makes one as dumb as a fish making a wish. It is for this reason that he is as dumb as a fish making a wish. This can be further illuminated by the realization that fishes who make wishes are not being proper fishes; proper fishes are rational hedonists — searching for pleasure, running from pain. A fish making a wish would be as dumb as a beetle eating a Hot Pocket. Your opponent is so dumb that, even if you don’t play the game, he will never score. Not ever. He has no clue how to do it.

Navigation

We made your opponent dumb as a fish making a wish because you are as dumb as a monkey with a car key. You are so dumb that you cannot tell how far away the ball is. The only way you can tell if the ball is close to you is by driving at it. If it goes by you, it was close to you, but not where you thought it was. If it doesn’t go by you, but slides to either side of you, FOLLOW IT! The ball is wily and will attempt to escape! This must not be allowed! If the ball were too escape, the shield of babies protecting the earth from the sun’s dangerous rays would be penetrated! The world would explode!

Conclusion

Space is the final frontier. So is your mom. Thus, your mom = space. Since space = a vacuum, this explains the degree to which she sucks my dick.

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Soul Blazer

So I just played Sky Blazer, which was about blazing the sky I guess. But really I mostly blazed the ground because my guy only walked or whatever. I hope Soul Blazer isn't a lie in the same manner. I don't think my heart could take it.

Soul Blazer is a game where (I think) you rescue people from a dream world. I’m not sure. There was talk of a creature named “Deathtoll” who did somethings to the animals. It seems convoluted. But it’s basically sort of like Zelda. I know some people love the game though, because I’ve heard people talk about it.

I learned this from Wikipedia:

The Hero (Blazer) is the protagonist…

You don’t say.

I liked it enough to play it for about an hour or so. That’s pretty high praise considering the amount of time that goes into these reviews usually.

I didn’t blaze any souls though. That seems like a rip. I mean… I might have rescued some souls. And I guess I also killed some things that maybe had souls, so I guess I might have blazed those. But I did it with a sword. I chopped some souls. There wasn’t any fire. I guess in Japan the game was called Soul Blader. That makes way more sense in context, but sounds fucking stupid. When you stab something you don’t say that you “bladed” it. If you say that, you probably don’t have friends. You might be this guy. I hope you’re not that guy.

Anyway, I had a good time blading things. Blading them in the face. I bladed some blobs and fire things and flying peas and some monster guys. I picked up gems. I leveled it up. I freed some souls and then those people said almost nothing.

But there was an exception. One thing I freed was awesome. This guy:

I stopped playing after I freed this guy, because basically I said "well the world is clearly fixed, who cares about everyone else."

Yeop. SOULS = BLAZED.

I’m so sorry.

Sonic Blast Man

Sonic Blast Man never made any money

During the laborious research stage of this article, I discovered that Sonic Blast Man originated as an arcade game. This only bears mentioning because I am certain that the arcade version of this game is way, way better. How, you ask? Allow me to show you with the words I’m writing and copying and pasting from the Wikipedia entry:

The arcade version is notable for the unique set-up and controls for the game. The game consists of hitting the enemies and targets, in order to win, each target has a set a number of tons (t) of resistance. Once they are depleted, they will be defeated. To hit the target, the game features a mechanic punch pad that rises when it is time to attack, and a pair of gloves. The player must wear the gloves and with it, punch the pad strong enough to deal the damage. Only three hits are allowed.

So it’s an arcade game you have to punch. I love punching. I played an arcade game where you had to punch a target. I loved it. Already, the arcade game is better than the Final Fight rip-off SNES version. But wait! I said wait. Wait, ok? There’s more!
The stages in the game:

  • A woman being assaulted by a thug.
  • A baby carriage pushed in the middle of the freeway by accident, and a truck will soon run over it.
  • An armed group took control of a building, which is its center of operations.
  • A giant crab is terrorizing a cruise ship.
  • An asteroid is set to crash into Earth.

Look at those stages. They’re brilliant in their simplicity. In the SNES version, Sonic Blast Man wanders the streets, punching thug after thug for no discernible reason other than they’re trying to punch him. His goal is simply to punch his way through all the thugs. In the arcade version, he only has to deal with one thug, and then things get serious. It already makes things feel way more super heroic!

Punch.

“Take that thug! Hey lady, you ok? Great, I—oh no a baby in the freeway! I have to punch it clear of that truck! Phew, that was close. That baby really—what’s that? An armed group has taken control of a building and are using it as their centre of operations? Punches away! Man, I’m getting kind of tired of all—HOLY SHIT A GIANT CRAB ON A CRUISE SHIP THIS IS GOING TO REQUIRE A FAIRLY HARD PUNCH. Alright. Alright, there. One giant crab punched to death. Hey, why is it dark out? Huh? OH COME ON!”

Glorious. How can the SNES version ever compare to its predecessor? Quite simply, it can’t. On its own, the SNES version of Sonic Blast Man would have been a decent Final Fight beat ’em up. In the shadow of greatness, its flaws are way too apparent.

Did you think I was finished talking about how cool the arcade version of Sonic Blast Man was*? I’m not!

In March 1995 Taito recalled Sonic Blastman machines after reports of players who sustained injuries by playing the game. A year later, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that Taito had agreed to pay a fine of $50,000 (USD) for failing to disclose these injuries.

The game injured kids! Clearly the best game ever.

* Full disclosure: I never played the arcade version or even saw it. But the arcade game where I punched was fun, so I assume it was great.

Sonic Blast Man II

Alright listen you tweedy little fucks, put down your Capri Suns and trade in those glasses for goggles, because today we’re going to learn how to be super heroes. Okay, so we’re gonna do this the hard way. We’ve kidnapped all of your girlfriends. And also the president. So this one’s for all the marbles. Put on your boxing gloves and robot suits or whatever you use to protect your fragile goddamned limbs and lets get to it.

See those oil barrels over there? I want you to beat the shit out of them. We’re not moving one inch from this spot until you can punch an oil barrel clean in half with the fists that god and technology gave ya. What are you just standing for gawkin’ at me like jay birds? Get to it! Put your back into it, step into the punch. Lord Tunderin’ your parents sent me the weakest excuse for action squad rangers I ever laid eyes on. This is pathetic, you’re never gonna be bad enough dudes at this rate.

okay you rat turds, you're gonna watch me do it. Cause I got a megaton punch. Do you want a megaton punch? I thought so.

Alright we’re gonna take a break. You see that guy Sal? Sal’s your camp cook. Everybody haul off and clock him a good one and he’ll drop you a hamburger. Do I look like I’m kidding? Do you want to eat tonight Jeremy? THEN YOU WALK RIGHT UP AND YOU PUNCH SAL RIGHT IN HIS AMPLE GUT! That’s better.

Alright now it’s time for bed, remember that all your loved ones AND THE PRESIDENT are locked up in their own cabin tonight so you better sleep quick before the enemy changes up and relocate’s em. Bunk assignments go to the strongest, no holds barred, chow at 6. Some of you who couldn’t even knock over the barrel might want to get to sparrin’, it’s gonna be a lonnnng week.

Action Squad Rangers, MOVE OUT.

Soldiers of Fortune

This is definitely a game I would have liked before I had all of the games in the world at my fingertips. I mean, dudes with awesome names and different guns going around and shooting other dudes? Sign a motherfucker up. Sadly, I just don’t have the patience anymore. It’s weird; videogames and I have had a pretty weird relationship for the past little while. It’s like, selection got the best of me, and I got paralyzed, and all I do is play Football Manager, and it’s barely a game — I spend more time doodling and watching TV shows (finished The Wire!) than I do constantly over and over hitting the space bar to continue to the next same-old same-old day. It’s like a rich person with a cook who can make them anything ever, and they taste pretty much everything, and they eventually got to a point of crazy where they will only eat week-old bread with non-hydrogenated margarine on.

So there it is. I am a kung-fu master who’s done so many kungs and fus that I’m over it, and I live in a cabin in northern China making pointy wooden sticks instead of kunging/fuing. I’m sure there’s some way to make myself excited about games again (or, hell, writing again — I am months late on this and haven’t written ANYTHING I haven’t NEEDED to write for ages), but if it’s out there, I’ve yet to find it. In the meantime, just so you know, this game is actually pretty good. I just can’t summon the effort to enjoy it anymore.

Capcom’s Soccer Shootout

Do…do you feel it? In the air? It’s nearly here…

IT’S WORLD CUP FEVER, BABY!

And what better way to celebrate the upcoming tournament with a retrospective look at Capcom’s Soccer Shootout for the Super Nintendo?

Wait…no, don’t answer that.

Soccer Shootout (or, as it is known in Europe, umm…also Soccer Shootout) lets you and up to four other players compete as one of 12 international teams in an effort to kick a ball into the other team’s goal more times than they manage to kick the ball into your own goal. It may sound easy, but keep in mind that you’re also not allowed to use your hands. This frustrated the hell out of me at first, but it turns out that this rule doesn’t apply when you’re playing a video-game version and not the real thing.

MOVING ON…

I don’t really have much soccer video game experience with which to compare this to, so I’ll leave you with these thoughts: while Capcom’s Soccer Shootout is by and far a better soccer game than this chicken burrito I had for lunch, the chicken burrito was much more delicious and filling. Despite having completed the burrito in less than ten minutes, I can almost guarantee I will purchase another in the near future as I have done so in the past, perhaps many more times over the upcoming years. In all, the chicken burrito has far more accessible controls, a much more widespread appeal, and tastes multitudes better than Capcom’s Soccer Shootout.

Snow White in Happily Ever After

Once upon a time there was a really evil witch who wanted to be the most beautiful woman in the world. The way in which she sought to achieve this was by purchase of a magic mirror that was purported to determine who in the world was “the fairest of them all.” Now, the witch was not the most beautiful person in the world, but she was also pretty daft. So when the witch asked the mirror “who is the fairest of them all?” the mirror chose to interpret “fair” to mean “fair-skinned” rather than beautiful. You see, the mirror knew that the witch, who, as an evil woman, was naturally pale, was the lightest skinned person in the world. In this way, the mirror saved itself the problems that may arise when a sorcerer is angered. And this worked out pretty well, until one day, some silly woman pricked herself with a needle and, as was the custom, wished for something: a daughter who was really pale (but not evil). Now, while God doesn’t listen to prayers, he does sometimes take a fancy to wishes, especially wishes that are wished when there has been a sacrifice. God, on this occasion, was willing to fudge the books a bit (blood HAD been spilled, and he really wanted to make a pasty bitch). So he was like, “Cool, man. I’ll make a white girl.” And he did.

So, when the witch asked the mirror what the hey, the mirror HAD to say, “you’re actually not the fairest anymore, because there’s a little baby who has paler skin than you.” Obviously she was pissed off. So, she went to try to kill the little baby. First, she killed the baby’s dad. Then she killed the baby’s mom. Unfortunately for her, the baby’s mom was also a witch and she was able to cast the spell of “mother’s love” and make the baby utterly invincible. So, when the witch tried to kill the baby, the spell rebounded and smacked her in the face. But, since the witch had split her soul up into seven equal parts, she wasn’t killed, just angered.

So the witch came back later, and got someone else to try to kill her. But this guy was into little girls, so he didn’t kill her. When the witch found out, she tried to kill the now woman in several creative ways, the last, and most famous, being the apple trick. She filled half of an apple with poison and the other half with cotton candy and drew a smiley face on the cotton candy side because she liked cotton candy. Then she gave the non-cotton candy side to Snow White, who ate it, cause she’s dumb, and died.

But not quite. Cause six months later, after she had lain in a conveniently glass coffin for a while, a prince came and saw her. He really liked dead girls, so he had her brought to his castle, whereupon it was discovered she wasn’t dead, only choking on apple. So, CPR was initiated. After several minutes she had a pulse. Unfortunately she had been without oxygen for six months; there was significant brain damage. She lapsed into a coma. Four weeks later, she died.

Hidden bricks! Coins! Everything you expect in a platformer!

Snow White in Happily Ever After takes place inside Snow White’s head as she slowly suffocates to death in her glass coffin. In her imagination, she throws apples at bad insects and collects more fruit. And she has many, many lives.

And she lives happily ever after.