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サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Dead to Rights
(Completed on 2 Feb 2024)

  • I played this because The Electric Underground said in one of his videos that it was a great action game. He was not wrong!
  • Extremely well-told and fleshed out story, not just for a game of this age but overall.
  • The voice acting is good, the music is great, the settings and characters are well made, and yet somehow none of that stuff gets in the way of gameplay like they would in a modern game. There are no unskippable cutscenes, no long walks where you don’t do anything, no “RPG elements.” The gameplay is all killer no filler.
  • That being said, there are some segments which are a little too long or which just re-use settings from earlier in the game (this is the Gamecube we’re talking about; there obviously are limits to how much stuff you can put on a disc). Specifically Chapter 13 really feels like a slog. Not because it’s a break in the action, but because it’s pretty repetitive.
  • I am not familiar with any of the creators of this game, but it is amazing that they managed to make both the gunplay and the unarmed fight sequences feel so good. Both are also simple on the surface, but surprisingly deep.
  • The Shadow mechanic is also very fun and rewarding 🐕
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サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Super Castlevania IV
(Completed on 17 Jan 2024)

  • It’s a little bit of a shame that I’ve already done the original Castlevania on NES, because this would be a great place to start
  • This was made at a time when Konami could still make a character control with a “Castlevania feel,” the same way there’s a “Mario feel”
  • Overall slightly easier than the original Castlevania, with a couple really brutal spots in some levels. The platforming is a lot more generous though
  • Most boss fights aren’t too bad, and all of them are really fun
  • Being able to whip in all directions feels awesome
  • S-Tier soundtrack
  • Something about the color palette used for text and UI elements is very comfy and nostalgic
サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Earthbound
(Completed on 2 Jan 2024)

  • This had been on my list for a while, and since I got a pretty long uninterrupted Christmas Break this year, I figured now is the time. Nothing about it is particularly “wintery” — no season would be an inappropriate time for Earthbound
  • Another one to file under “deserves the hype it gets.” It’s not perfect, and it’s not a ‘mystery’ why it didn’t sell very good in its day, but it still holds up really really well.
  • I will keep the commentary about the ‘art style’ and ‘aesthetics’ and ‘setting’ to a minimum, however, I have to make mention that the soundtrack is like nothing you have ever heard. At times, it’s not even ‘music.’ Maybe I should say “sound design?” While there are real songs, some of which are great, there are also areas where the audio is designed to be grating/scary/nerve-racking. It really, really works.
  • For an RPG, the game loop is very tight. Rather than feeling like you’re constantly grinding for levels, you can save outside of the next place you want to clear, and keep reloading and throwing yourself at it until you come up with a good strategy.
  • One of the most satisfying battle systems of all time. The sounds are perfect, the attack animations are exciting, and every win feels earned. There is also a mechanic where if you run into an enemy who is way too weak for you, you automatically win instead of having to waste your time going in and out of the battle screen.
  • 1990’s Japan’s vision of 1990’s America is completely unmatched, aesthetically. It is so hopeful, and so beautiful, it’s enough to bring you to tears if you’re a boomer like me who actually did live in that America and has memories of it.
サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
(Completed on 5 Dec 2023)

  • Like a lot of the other mega-hits on this list, there’s really not much to say about this one. It’s all been said already.
  • It plays just like you remember!
  • I have only done a little bit of the post-game content— no spoilers!— but so far it is actually fun and surprising.
サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

River City Ransom
(Completed on 25 Nov 2023)

  • Pretty good example of one of the early “open world” games, and still a lot of fun. This is another one which isn’t just a historical curiosity; I would actually recommend it to people
  • I only played 1P, but it’s easy to see how playing this with another person would be awesome.
  • I really hate to say a game has “RPG elements,” but that’s the best description for the leveling system. Raising your stats is done by buying and consuming items, which really means the thing that makes it work is money, which you have to farm from enemies. To get going early, you have to do this loop where you beat up the enemies worth the most, walk back to town and spend the money you got, then go back and beat them up again (which gets easier and easier).
  • You can also spend your money on Books (to learn techniques) rather than stat improvements. Some of the karate moves you can learn are very rewarding
  • Like an RPG, you can grind this loop until you’re an invincible freak of nature and nobody in the game can beat you.
  • Didn’t care much for the soundtrack on this one; it felt samey and got old quick.
  • Considering how this game has a much more well-developed plot and characters than other games of the time, I expected more out of the ending screen. The story itself is a little bit cinematic, why not have a cinematic end screen too?
サーフィン CLASSIC VIDYA REVIEW

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
(Completed on 29 Oct 2023)

  • I started this play-through back in the summer and for whatever reason it dragged out WAY too long. Guess there wasn’t any rush; under no circumstances do any more words need to be written about this game, by anyone.
  • It’s incredible, it does still hold up today, and the only real issue is playing on the Switch Virtual Console if you don’t have an N64 controller.
  • The right way to have done this, would be to play the Nintendo DS port, since that version has all the console’s buttons mapped to the right things.
  • Stray observation: When you get to the top of Ganon’s castle, and you’re about to fight Ganon for the first time, the cutscene shows you walking in on him playing a giant organ. I wonder if Bowser playing the piano in the Super Mario Bros. movie was a reference to this?

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