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サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze
(Completed on 15 May 2024)

  • At 10 years old, this has got to be the newest game I’ll ever post about on here. I really did not know what I was getting into with this at all, just happened to find a good sale on it
  • When I started Tropical Freeze, I didn’t even know it was a sequel to “Donkey Kong Country Returns.” Call me a Donkey Kong Kasual I guess.
  • On this play through, I didn’t sperg out about getting all the extra levels, but did manage to find a few. Honestly, the secret levels are kinda the best thing about this game. Especially the -K ones, those are tons of fun
  • As a boomer, the controls and “feel” of this game do not resemble Donkey Kong Country to me in any way. Tropical Freeze kinda falls victim to some of the exact stuff that Cranky Kong himself was complaining about 30+ years ago. There are so many animations for every little thing, that it makes character movement feel really slow. But not in that intentional way like Castlevania where levels are designed around this.
  • Here’s a specific example of the above point: There will be many, many occasions where you’re standing on the edge of a platform and you need to jump over to a platform where there’s an enemy. You know you can’t get enough height to hit them in the head, so you have to wait for them to move away from you, THEN jump on the platform, THEN jump on their heads. However, this is all timed in such a way that when you arrive at this platform, there is not anything you can do besides sit and wait for the enemy to slowly walk to the other side. It feels like a huge disruption to break momentum for no reason like that. This is especially unwelcome considering how long a lot of the levels are.
  • This happens so often that I started to think maybe I’m missing something. I went and watched some videos of how real pros play this game, and every single time, they got caught where I did, with nothing to do while you wait for an enemy to move away from where you need to jump. This wouldn’t be so bad if it looked like a rare oversight that the QA team just so happened to miss, but it happens CONSTANTLY, which makes me think that for some reason it is intentional.
  • Like the levels, the boss fights also drag on FOREVER. Remember in DKC2 how the final battle with K.Rool feels? Like he has infinite different patterns and every time you die how much it SUCKS to get all the way back to where you were to try and memorize the next one? That is how every boss in this game feels.
  • A small ray of sunshine though: brother David Wise did do the soundtrack to this, so while you may be annoyed at big swaths of it, you at least get to listen to some incredible music during.
  • Overall impression: I like the really hard levels and probably will come back to them, but outside of that, some of the only times I wasn’t bored was when I was annoyed.
サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Resident Evil
(Completed on 14 May 2024)

Full Disclosure: Frens, I am sad to report that for (I think?) the 2nd time in the history of this site, I have used save states to complete this game. For that reason, I think everyone should read this review as even less legitimate than usual! No one should listen to reviewers who haven’t shown the ending screen without save states. The main issue I ran into was that I would save (the real way, with a memory card), go try to do something, die horribly in the process, and getting kicked out to the title screen and reloading the save from the memory card took so much time, I stopped feeling like I was doing anything or learning anything. Obviously, skill issue, etc etc. But I am nothing if not an honest reviewer! That being said, here are some stray thoughts:

  • This is the game that has made me really understand why CD audio is so important, and how good sound design can be. Even if I had played this on a regular TV back in the day (I didn’t), I wouldn’t have picked up on that. But playing it with some really nice headphones (or, I assume, with a real surround sound system) makes for so much more immersion, and makes it work even better as a horror game
  • Believe it or not, I actually did go into this totally blind, except for the past 30 years or so of memes. I didn’t know what to expect at all.
  • Tank controls are the thing most people complain about, but that part didn’t bother me very much. After maybe 1-2 hours of gameplay, it became second nature. I also now totally get why directions need to be fixed instead of relative. Tank controls help a lot when the fixed camera keeps jumping around.
  • Maybe I didn’t do as much exploring as I should have or, again, maybe skill issue, but for the entire first part of the game (basically everything up until you go out to the Garden) I didn’t feel like I had enough ammo at all. It was fine after that, but the first couple hours of this game are kinda a slog
  • Also never learned how to use the knife properly, other than to stab enemies while they’re down
  • A lot of this kind of stuff is papered over by the lovable characters and amazing setting. You can tell the people who made Sweet Home worked on this but I have ranted and raved about that game enough
  • The combat is pretty messy, but the puzzle solving makes up for it. It’s hard to see this while you’re playing, because you never know what manner of horrible scary creature is right around the corner, but really there isn’t that much combat anyway.
  • That being said, I will note for posterity that the version I played was the very first one on the PlayStation. None of the later editions, not the one with DualShock support etc.
  • Overall, I enjoyed this game for what it is, but I’m still left feeling like I wasn’t quite fair to it. Like I missed something and it deserves a better treatment. I’m glad I played it due to its historical importance, but I need to revisit it again somehow (or, maybe play the HD remake?)
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サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Chrono Trigger
(Completed on 9 May 2024)

What a game! I am gonna try to get through this review without saying things like “there’s nothing left to say, it’s all been said”

  • Prior to this, I had never played all the way through Chrono Trigger. I had started it a few times, got some ‘fake’ endings a few times, got busy, dropped it, etc. This play through was all the way through, with one of the ‘good’ endings.
  • If you like RPGs, I think there is good good reason why this one has earned its’ place in the conversation of “all time greats.” If you only played 1 RPG in your entire life, it would be hard to do better than this one.
  • As usual with internet posts about Chrono Trigger, you have to say what your final party was! I went with Frog, Magus, and Best Girl Ayla. I did manage to save Crono before beating the game, but once the party opened up, never really used him again
  • This, by the way, is one of the most fun things about the game: After you have every party member, and can go anywhere you want, and are very powerful, you don’t just have to plow straight into the final boss. There is plenty of stuff to do in the world, so you actually have time to enjoy all your new powers! And even collect more stuff which you are actually rewarded for, it’s not just filler.
  • If I had to say 1 bad thing about it, it is that the Black Omen dungeon is really, genuinely terrible design. Fighting the same weak monsters over and over again, which does nothing but waste your time, is quite a grind. Feels unnecessary.
  • Almost nobody ever writes a “time travel” story which makes sense in any way. And almost no JRPGs have a plot which makes sense in any way. This is both. And yet…. They have pulled it off. The story completely works. The characters are well written; some lovable, some not. The settings, even throughout time, are coherent and believable. It’s an amazing achievement.
  • Which is a good thing, because the gameplay itself is overall pretty easy. You never get that feeling of dread where you might be walking into a dungeon without enough items. Or fighting for your life, barely clawing your way across the overworld hoping you don’t get killed. But you don’t care that the gameplay is so easy, because the story and the beautiful sprite work and the music are all so damn good.
  • Chrono Trigger released late in the SNES’ lifetime, and it shows. The things that they were able to pull off, graphically, are amazing. You almost don’t even believe what this little console can do until a real A-team demonstrates it like this.
  • We need to talk about “RPG anxiety.” Are you one of those people who is always fretting when you’re playing an RPG? Wondering if you missed some big important item that you won’t be able to get again? You don’t necessarily want to use a walkthrough but you can’t stand the thought of missing something? If you are that sort of person, this game is for you. There are not any big, important items which are “missable.” You can play the game by itself, without needing any other materials, and enjoy yourself and relax. Yes, there are several endings, but they don’t exist for the purpose of making you do or collect a bunch of random stuff. They exist for comedic effect, replay value etc.
  • Speaking of replay value, I’ve never tried the NG+ mode on here but the game is so good that I can see myself taking a swing at it.
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