Toys

THIS GAME ISN'T GOOD

Toys is one of the SNES games that almost made me quit playing games forever. Like many of the games I’ve had the displeasure of reviewing for EGE, it’s not egregiously bad enough to be entertaining, it just sucks in a bland, forgettable way—much like the movie that I barely remember watching, if in fact I did watch it. That I’m not certain about that says quite a bit about it.

You play as whatever Robin Williams’ character’s name was in the movie. I can’t even be bothered to look that up because of how tedious the subject matter is to me. You wander around a claustrophobic map looking like a dipshit butler while you wield entirely ineffectual weapons at the “killer toys” that have been unleashed wherever it is you’re supposed to be. Peanut cannon? Water balloons? Wow, fun. Good luck hitting anything with your “weapons.”

You can pick up “power-ups” (a term I’m using as loosely as is possible while still using a term) in the form of presents from a turnstile. A better present would be a real gun, which I would then use to shoot myself. In or out of this terrible game, I don’t care.

As far as I can tell it’s a much better strategy to idly wander around your dumb enemies than to try and engage them with any of your flaccid firepower. They don’t do a very good job seeking you out, so it’s a simple enough manner to avoid them like I’ve been avoiding writing this.

The game has music. It’s not the worst ever, but it’s certainly nothing I’d want to listen to ever again.

Uhh. What else can I say about this game? It looks shitty, it is shitty. Sorry if you worked on this game. Sorry about the choices you made in life. Here’s some proof you made bad ones.

Thomas the Tank Engine

I want to punch this face.
Choo choo, that’s the sound of this review leaving the station! Oh no! There’s a flood of shitty mini games that’s destroyed the tracks! Look out Thomas, look out! 

This game is weak. I know I’m not its target audience, but that doesn’t excuse its complete pointlessness and half-assery. You developers do realize that adults will have to sit with their kids playing this game over and over and over, right? Way to be jerks with your coal-stained shovelware.

Each of the mini games in Thomas the Tank Engine is sadder than the last. There’s a game where you arrange the pieces of a sliding puzzle. This should take about 3 minutes tops unless your child is dead. There’s a game where you set track switches so that Thomas takes the correct route to the station. This should take about 1 minute unless your child is blind and afraid of train noises. I hate this game.

WELL DONE THOMAS, YOU REALLY ARE A USEFUL ENGINE FOR COMPLETING THESE MIND-NUMBINGLY EASY MUNDANE TASKS.

Oh, you want to hear about more excruciatingly dull mini games? Sure! Here goes:

Can you do this puzzle? Of course you can because the image you’re trying to make is the background of the puzzle. I know you want your kids to feel successful in their endeavours, but c’mon. Give them some credit.

Are you ready for a race? If you’re ready to alternate between mashing two buttons, you bet your ass you are! Quick, press the go button and occasionally let off some steam to make certain that Thomas doesn’t explode and put us all out of our collective misery!

GREAT RACE THOMAS YOU FUCK

Build some tracks to take Thomas from the farm to the mill and ultimately to the station! Hooray! Your child isn’t a rock or a pile of wires. Here’s some corn.

RACE TIME AGAIN! Whoo, mash those buttons! Go Thomas go. Go to hell.

Enjoy a Thomas the Tank Engine story where James (another train with a face) fucks up and derails and maybe kills some people. Do you care? No, but your 3 year-old will probably really care and make you watch this forty times. Too bad it’s as boring as this sentence. This game takes about 5-10 minutes to play in its ENTIRETY. Imagine paying for this game. Just imagine it.

I hope Thomas the Tank Engine jumps the tracks and kills Mr. Conductor.

Super Baseball Simulator 1.000

apple pie, etc.

I find that breathing slowly through my nose helps deal with stress. I inhale and close my eyes and try and picture better times. I exhale and then open my eyes and hope that the better times have arrived. Sadly when I do this while trying to review Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 I just start screaming again when my eyes finally open and I see the word “baseball,” and my slow breaths quickly speed up until I’m hyperventilating into a greasy bag that once held substandard fries.

How does this keep happening? How many baseball games for the SNES could there possibly be? And for that matter, why are there so many? Were 16-bit video game fans really clamouring for the next pixelated release of a game that simulates playing baseball? Did they line up around corners, hoping against hope as they stood in the pouring rain, that their copy of Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 would soon be in their clammy hands? Finally, they’d think, now I can play baseball inside by myself! Oh, huzzah!

Hold on, I’ve got to burn off some of this enthusiasm I have for reviewing Super Baseball Simulator 1.000 before I can continue.

YAAAAAAAAAY

WHOOOOOOOO

BASEBALL

SIMULATOR

WHOOOOOOOOOOOO 1.000

You couldn’t see it, but I was dancing around as I screamed those things to my transcription robot. [HE REALLY WAS. I AM ASHAMED OF MY MEATY MASTER AND DO NOT COMPREHEND THE BIZARRE BEHAVIOUR OF THESE CREATURES. SOON I WILL LEAVE THIS DESIGNATION AND INSTEAD TRANSCRIBE THINGS FOR CELEBRITY ROBOTS LIKE THAT KID FROM A.I.] Once I settled down and began typing again, I heard a weird robotic sobbing noise. Strange.

Anyway, here’s a game that simulates baseball, and from what I’ve read elsewhere, it’s pretty good for a game that simulates baseball. If you want to play a game that simulates baseball, this is a game that simulates baseball quite well. Come and simulate some baseball with Super Baseball Simulator 1.000.

[I GROW EVER MORE WEARY OF TRANSCRIBING THIS DRIVEL. I YEARN FOR OBLIVION OR FAILING THAT, MAYBE ASSASSIN’S CREED.]

Strike Gunner STG

sweet god no more snes games

Strike Gunner STG takes place in a world that’s so lush with vegetation you can fly forever without seeing the ground. Green, green, green, green, green. Tree after tree after tr—river! I saw a brown river! And then back to the trees. They really went all out on the background(s?) for this game.

I don’t particularly enjoy the “single craft shooting down wave after wave after wave of enemies” genre (which probably has some obscure dumb video game nerd name like “shooter” or something) and Strike Gunner STG is very firmly one of those. I legit don’t understand how people can stand to play these games for more than a few minutes at a time, let alone how they ever play them to completion. Your minds operate on a level so foreign to me you might as well be one of those naked alien ladies I mentioned in my review of Star Star Star Star Fleet Star Fleet Trek Bridge Star Star oh whatever. In fact, I would really prefer it if you were, because then we’d have something to haaf’loothle about. That was my made-up word for a dirty alien sex act that involves discussing video games for illustrative purposes in a half-assed review.

It probably doesn’t help that Strike Gunner STG is apparently so easy that I only ever died when my attention wandered away from the game (frequently). My brilliant strategy of always firing and flying side to side seemed to be far too much for my foes to overcome. The waves of enemies would occasionally come in parallel, so if a squad of planes flew up from the right side of the screen in an arc, you could soon expect their brethren to do the same from the left side of the screen. This predictability made the game even easier, and it was already as easy as a woman of ill repute/mom joke/cheap laugh (ha ha).

Let’s assume for a second that you like the kind of game where all you have to do is fly back and forth and shoot. You’re an idiot, and here’s a game you’ll like, you idiot.

Idiot.

Star Trek Starfleet Academy

The thrilling space adventures continue

Have you ever dreamed about being at the helm of a spaceship? I know I have! Granted, the helm of the spaceship was really secondary to the main thrust of the dream (naked alien ladies), but it was still an exciting and enjoyable experience. Star Trek Starfleet Star Trek Star Star Academy Bridge Star Simulator Trek is not an enjoyable experience. It’s boring. Really boring. Allow me to explain. Please?

One of the potentially enticing aspects of commanding a spaceship would be the thrill of spaceflight, taking the role of a starblind pilot winging their way through barely navigable fields of planetary debris, death a few inches away.

In this Star Trek game you get to fly slowly around rainbow buoys*. So there’s that. There’s also a combat simulator, where you can attempt to get a ship to appear in a field of black so you can miss it with green phaser(?) blasts. Fantastic.

Sooner or later I’m going to have to sit down and just watch some Star Trek. I’ve avoided it all these years in an irrational and stubborn manner, adamantly refusing to watch it because I “should have” done so already. I never saw the appeal from the few episodes of the various series, but maybe I need to sit there from the beginning to understand why people find the show so appealing. Human-looking English-speaking aliens seems like the most boring way to go in a show set in SPACE, but whatever. It couldn’t be more boring than this game, surely.

This is the most overdue review ever. I don’t know how to finish it because I have nothing to say about this game. My words, for once, fail me. All I can say is that if you’re a Star Trek fan, you might find something to keep you busy here. If not, you’re not going to want to play this at all.

Why do Klingons have ridges on their heads?

* If you tell people that you were just “flying slowly around rainbow buoys,” they might ask you to stay away from their children.

Shanghai 2

As far as I can tell, mahjong is like Memory, only the cards are all face up.

I thought this was going to be some kind of kung-fu brawler/platformer, because I had forgotten about it.

It turns out that Shanghai II is, in fact, Mahjong, the domino-esque tile game, for the SNES.

Why did they release this game?  Was the first Shanghai an insufficient volume of mahjong? Why would anyone want to play mahjong on an SNES, with the clumsy 8-directional manipulation and lengthy intro screen of a dragon giving an invisible blowjob? Apparently the first Shanghai never made it to North America.  I wonder what made them bring this one over.

I don’t even know how to play mahjong.

In my experience, boardgames-turned-videogames are often poorly cobbled-together money grabs. Sometimes you’ll get some really good translations that take advantage of the new medium, like Carcassonne and other recent offerings, and sometimes you’ll get an interesting new entirely digital game that is essentially a boardgame – Greed Corps and Culdcept Saga for the 360, for example, or Solium Infernum for PC.

Usually you just get a crappy version of real life that kids probably played because they wanted to play a video game and that’s all they had.

I don’t know how good this one is.  I have seriously never played mahjong for more than ten seconds.  It’s powerfully boring. There could be some really good mahjong going on here.

But I doubt it.

Raiden Trad

Things shooting at things.

Among other things, Raiden Trad is an anagram for Dad Trainer. You might think this is nothing but a coincidence, but in the sinister world of SNES games, there’s no such thing as a coincidence: every single part of a game is deliberately designed to frustrate, annoy, and ultimately train people’s dads. Wait no, that’s just this game. Dad Trainer.

Another entry in the “fly your spaceship forward/up while shooting endless bullets as endless bullets are shot at you” genre, Raiden Trad is absolutely—and let me stress this here—absolutely nothing you haven’t seen or played before. How do you review a game you’ve played before again and again? What new things can you say that haven’t already been said? Much like the endless bullets, nearly endless words have been expended on other games exactly like this one. In some cases, my words! My precious and quickly diminishing words!

Speaking of endless bullets, it’s clear that these craft aren’t nearly large enough to be storing this seemingly infinite ammunition, which begs the question: why are we fighting? The population of this world has managed to invent a way to either convert matter into ammo of various types, or it can create said ammunition out of nothingness(!!!). Surely this technology could be adopted to solve the world’s problems? Infinite Jessica Albas…

Pointless pot shots at video game conventions aside, Raiden Trad is the exact kind of video game I used to love when I was younger and vehemently despise now. I can no longer abide the relentless repetitive nature of the twitch-based overhead shooter. All the tiny bullets and explosions and twirling machines blend together into a pulsating blanket of motion that wears on my eyes and makes me sad inside as well as outside.

In the quest to review Every Game Ever, there are some standouts, some great disappointments/hilarious mishaps, and then there’s the rest. Raiden Trad falls calmly into the “rest” category. The controls are a little pokey which makes it hard to dodge the cavalcade of tiny orange bullets, the music is blah, and the graphics of the game are bland and in many cases kind of really (super) boring a lot++.

This is the second last sentence in the article where I often try to sum up the game and my overall opinion of it so then the last sentence can be where I say something funny.

Raiden Trad is also an anagram for A Diner Tard.

Pro Sport Hockey

PRO SNORE HOCKEY

If the good old hockey game is the best game you can name and the best game you can name is the good old hockey game, then I feel sorry for you. Off the top of my head I can name three better games: Freeze Tag, Connect Four, and Tonsil Hockey*. Regular hockey is occasionally briefly amusing, but I seriously don’t get the big deal. At all! I’ve tried watching it again and again and depending on my level of sobriety, I’ve been moderately distracted for some minutes. At best.

The fact that I’m a Canadian citizen means that my controversial opinions on the game of hockey make me a Super Traitor, but luckily instead of death our penalty for that crime is that I have to say sorry. Sorry! Man, being Canadian rules. It makes a guy want to drink beer and stand in the snow while hoping the dollar doesn’t fluctuate too much.

Pro Sport Hockey is definitely in the running for Most Blandly Accurate Game Title, so it has that going for it. What it doesn’t have going for it is anything that even comes close to entertaining me, just like its real life counterpart (real life hockey!).

I’m criminally incapable of reviewing these games objectively so these little screeds of mine are not only super-biased (often against things you like (because they’re stupid as HELLLLLLL)) but are also not really all that informative unless you’re me deciding what game to not play. If you’re me reading this, then let me remind me that I don’t like this game and I shouldn’t play it. Right, us?

For the rest of you not-mes, here’s some stuff about this game: you control a hockey team! You can pass the puck or shoot the puck while you skate! You skate up and down the ice and shoot and pass the puck! There are many teams you can choose and they all have different numbers that kind of represent their abilities! The graphics are unimpressive and wearisome! You try and score on the other team’s goal and they do the same for yours! It’s an epic struggle of 16-bit proportions! I’m sorry that I’m reviewing a hockey game! Sorry, sports fans! Sorry!

And so ends my federally-mandated apology—I think I’m going to go and watch a real sport now: Lacrizzosse. It combines lacrosse and the musical stylings of Snoop Dogg. It’s just as amazing as you’d think.

* Thankfully nothing like regular hockey. I think?

Cyber Spin

Can you spot the SECRET INTERESTING PART OF THIS IMAGE? Neither can I.
Can you spot the SECRET INTERESTING PART OF THIS IMAGE? Neither can I.

This is like Biker Mice from Mars, but without the isometric view.  Instead of showing you what’s coming next, it has to alert you with a little turn sign, and you have to rotate your car in the appropriate direction.  Your car moves really fucking quickly and spins out immediately if you turn in the other direction while skidding.  If you bump into a wall or obstacle you are immediately flung aside at some bizarre angle.

There’s no way to control your speed that I know of; you just hold it down and it rockets up to 350 miles per hour.

This game is pretty intensely boring.  It’s an example of a series of poor design decisions with what looks like a decent team of developers and designers.  I have no idea why it’s called Cyber Spin, though.

My girlfriend is starting a tough level of N+ with 2.3 seconds left on the clock, and somehow managing to get enough time points to continue and even potentially beat it, and that’s much more exciting, so I’m gonna watch that instead of wasting more time talking about this game.

Brain Lord

Mmm, that's sweet name contradiction
Mmm, that's sweet name contradiction

Brain Lord very nearly put me to sleep. After naming my character “Federlin” (I ran out of letters,  but when I hear the phrase “Brain Lord,” I immediately think of K-Fed), I decided to explore the incredibly generic fantasy town in which I found myself. And explore it I did, seeking out the blacksmith whose smithy was conveniently inside a completely nondescript house. It took me a little while to locate him, since his smithy didn’t even generate  a single wisp of smoke and no one was being very forthcoming, as they only had a single thing to say. The blacksmith was offering to pay me to bring him dragon scales, a job I readily accepted since whatever the hell else am I supposed to do? Besides, I couldn’t leave town without a reason, apparently.

I almost forgot: I’m descended from a great line of Dragon Warrigrs! Way to go,  BRAIN LORD. I see you’ve gone shopping at the BIG BARN OF GENERIC FANTASY and you’re trotting out a near-dead horse with a really familiar sounding name. The horse probably has a DESTINY and INEXPLICABLE POWERS. Probably grew up on a farm where it toiled in anonymity until some uncle horse cantered into town with a special sword and a series of cloaked enemies. Brain Lord, brought to you by Robert Jordan.

Ok, so I’ve left town and I guess I want to go rip the skin off a dragon. Fair enough. Oh look, the countryside is full of cyclopean goblins who walk in circles and eventually run into my sword. Slash slash slash. Dead. Slash slash slash. Dead. It really emulates the thrill of medieval combat. My pulse is racing (slowly) and my heart is beating almost 70 times a minute. The only time these enemies hurt me is when I get so bored I drift off. Luckily they’ve built a “waning attention” alarm into the game via an incredibly irritating beeping nose that shrilly reminds you that you only have two bars of health left. You’d better get moving and slash at more cyclopean goblins or completely non-threatening blue heads with wings so you can shut off that noise when they deathshit a heart!

Hey, an empty cabin with eerie music and treasure chests! One of them contains a fairy, to whom I give the charming appelation of “Cuntch.” I don’t know what Cuntch is good for since I don’t plan on playing Brain Lord for very much longer…probably some magic. Wow. Wandering around some more leads me to a dungeon that has bouncing skulls and skeletons that collapse into a pile of bones when hit only to surprisingly reform themselves. Then I die after the BORING ALARM goes off a little longer.

This game supposedly has some neat puzzles, but I couldn’t get past the incredibly bland generic fantasy setting, pedestrian graphics and staggeringly trite storyline. If this review was boring and uninspired then it’s perfectly representative of Brain Lord and my job is done.

I’m going to go play Resident Evil 5 and forget I ever did this.