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  3. GAB About Games #23 - Airboarder 64, Kirby 64, Penny Racers

User Info: Aussie2B

Aussie2B
1 month ago#11
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - G

I had a great time with this back when I played through it for the first time in the summer of 2009. That was my last hurrah with college summer vacations, and the atmosphere of that time matched well with the bright, cheery atmosphere of the game. It's got all the solid, satisfying gameplay you'd expect of a side-scrolling Kirby platformer, and it kept me playing until I had done everything 100%. I think I may have even beaten the boss rush mode, which is something I usually skip in games. As far as 2.5D N64 games go, it's not quite as great as Goemon's Great Adventure, but it comes pretty close.
"I am sexy minority. OH! NO! I wanna be a sexy terminator. Sexy will never die. AH~~~~~!"
(edited 1 month ago)

User Info: AxemRedRanger

AxemRedRanger
1 month ago#12
Kirby 64 - G

I'm not sure the level and enemy designs are actually all that great but the ability combinations are so much fun to mess with that they don't even matter that much.
[NO BARKLEY NO PEACE]
[NO Advokaiser NO PEACE]

User Info: ironyisntdead

ironyisntdead
1 month ago#13
Dark Rift - B
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User Info: lordjers

lordjers
1 month ago#14
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - A

You sneeze and you finish the game. Too short, too easy, too straightforward; that's not what I'd call a winning combination. I believe the other Kirby games, at least the previous ones, were more clever in their design and made for a more solid experience, but this one doesn't really leave a lasting impression. It wastes been on the N64, as I feel it doesn't really make use of its capabilities, and this been a late console release, I find it really has no excuse and stikes me as lazy.

The combinations are cool, but if I find the levels lacking, they lose their potential. Finding all secrets make it last a little bit more, but to truly make full completion beyond the 100%, which is collecting all enemy cards, they decided to make it random for some reason (more lazy design), and for you to make another shot, you have to replay a level. So I ended up replaying levels I don't find all that special only just for the RNG gods to favor me and giving me a card I didn't already have. I tried for a while, but just gave up when I was getting repeats over and over.

It is still cool for an evening or so, but there was room for so much more.
Last finished: Ultra Tank (ARC), Boot Hill (ARC), Galaxy Wars (ARC), Heli Fire (ARC), Radar Score (ARC), Sheriff (ARC), Ozma Wars (ARC).

User Info: KFHEWUI

KFHEWUI
1 month ago#15
Airboarder 64 - A

Dark Rift - B

Premier Manager 64 - B

Rat Attack - A
R.I.P. SaikyoMog! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-seAIeu3Og
"If fascism ever comes to America, it will come in the name of liberalism" Ronald Reagan

User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
1 month ago#16
Airboarder 64 - A
Dark Rift - A
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - G
Penny Racers - G
Premier Manager 64 - B
Rat Attack - A

Airboarder 64 is a weird game but I'm not quite sure why it's considered such an atrocity. For starters, this is a skateboarding game of sorts, but with an extremely odd physics engine. The game allows you to go straight up walls as though gravity didn't exist, so effectively any wall can become a halfpipe for your trick-scoring needs. However, there's a time limit, and you're required to cross checkpoints to extend your available time. Crossing a checkpoint instantly maxes out your available time, so ideally you want to pass it with as little time left as possible to maximize the time you can spend doing tricks, so the game basically revolves around finding good areas to do a few tricks as you move from checkpoint to checkpoint. The stages are often weird and some of the score thresholds seem too high (getting a good score on the first stage in particular is a nightmare), but overall I don't think this game is actually that bad. It doesn't have the nuance of Tony Hawk's Pro Skater by any means but at least it's unique and there's actually a fairly decent volume of content here if you're good enough to unlock it all.

I don't think Dark Rift is completely horrible either but it does have its fair share of problems. It's a string fighter, somewhat similar to Soul Calibur, but it has a number of bizarre design choices that hamper the experience. The first, and by far the most significant, is that you can't throw crouching opponents in this game. Coupled with the fact that jumping is too slow to ever be useful except to deliver follow-up attacks to downed opponents, this means that crouch-blocking is basically a catch-all form of defense. The only way to overcome crouch block is through overheads, so having a good, fast overhead that leads to decent damage is the only thing that makes for a good character in this game. There's also many weird instances of combos where you can block after getting hit by the first few hits (these combos are thus always unsafe on hit if completed), so you often have to deliberately stop combos short and either try to frame trap or just crouch block and see what your opponent does. There's also a sidestep move, but it really has no reason to exist and often just causes lag. Oh, there are also projectiles but they're useless because they're very slow and don't cause chip. In a weird way, I actually feel like the neutral in the game is not bad, the fact that the combos are very limited leads to a number of interesting mix-up situations, and the AI is actually fairly competent on both offense and defense, so there is some fun to be had here, but there's also a ton of room for improvement for sure.

Kirby 64 surprised me. If I had rated this game when I first played it, I'm pretty sure I would have rated it as A. At the time, I felt that it was a pretty significant downgrade from Superstar, both in terms of the loss of co-op and simplification of moveset for the powers. In Kirby 64, most powers have only 1 move they can do, 2-3 at best, so many of the combinations feel very forgettable. For a long time, the Kirby series was kind of like the Starfox series where it was obvious Superstar was the best one and the devs clearly needed to stop screwing around with the formula and just make another Superstar (ala Starfox 64). But then they did (with Returns to Dreamland), and then again with Triple Deluxe, Planet Robobot, and Star Allies. The end result is that the Superstar formula is now starting to feel somewhat milked, where they just crank out a new Kirby game every year or so and they all kind of feel the same. Under these circumstances, when revisting Kirby 64 today, I can appreciate its ambition and uniqueness more, even if I don't think all of the ideas in the game were good ones. Something we definitely have to talk about is the game's presentation, which is very good. The game both has a great sense of visual style and a great soundtrack, I think this game actually may have the best presentation of any Kirby game except possibly for Epic Yarn, which is kind of sad given its age. The game has a whole host of extras to it as well, from collectable enemy galleries to mini-games and boss rushes, and just generally feels like a somewhat more fully fleshed-out experience than some of the other games in the series. Overall, I now feel like the game is a worthy part of the series and I wouldn't mind seeing some of the ideas from it return in a new game.
https://gababoutgames.blogspot.com/ - GAB About Games, a retro console rating project, N64 / PS1 on now
http://www.backloggery.com/tero - My backloggery

User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
1 month ago#17
Penny Racers was my first introduction to the Choro Q series, which has since become one of my favourites. Compared to the PS1 games, which play sort of like a more cartoony version of Gran Turismo, the N64 games play more like Mario Kart. Of the two, I think the PS1 games are clearly better, but the N64 games have some interesting ideas as well. Like in most Choro Q games, the goal of the game is to win races and earn parts to upgrade your car, though instead of earning money like in the PS1 games, here you instead take the parts from your rivals after you beat them, though in practice it works out much the same way, at least until special parts are thrown into the mix, which require you to complete races under specific circumstances for them to appear. As you'd expect from a kart-racer esque game, Penny Racers (henceforth Choro Q 64 since many games in the series share that name) features weapons, though the weapons are also parts that you can equip. One of the most unique ideas in the game is that the races are divided into classes, and each class has a maximum amount of points you can spend on parts, with each part being worth a different amount of points. This is a very cool idea and it adds a nice element of strategy to the game, though the system is not especially well-balanced and it's often fairly clear what is the most optimal combination of parts for each class. Still, the core formula of the game remains fun even if most of the parts are unnecessary, and the colourful visuals and bouncy music help give the game a very lighthearted feel. There's also a track editor, though it's not an especially great feature, the types of tracks you can make are very limited and you can only race them against another person. At least the 9 main tracks inside the game have decent variety, even if it would have been nice to have a couple more to balance out the terrain types a little better. Not the highest of Gs, but still a solid game.

It's hard to know what to do with a game like Premier Manager. This game simply does not interest me on any level, but is this because the subject matter fundamentally doesn't interest me, or because the game itself is uninteresting? I don't feel like I inherently have anything against the idea of management games, and I have enjoyed the career modes in some sports games where you make somewhat similar decisions about how to train and what matches to partake in (ie, K-1 Grand Prix on PS1), so I feel like I could be interested in a game like this if it was done well. One of the biggest problems with these games is they are often extremely unintuitive and inaccessible, for example this game has nothing resembling a tutorial and gives you no advice. Your actual ability to affect things are fairly limited, I'm able to change training schedules to some degree (though they already are set at a somewhat regular level), make substitutions during games (though the game seems to encourage you to skip games) and try to make trades and that's about it. The interface also sucks, having clearly been designed for a mouse and barely any effort being put in to adapting it for console. Easily the highlight of the games are the highlight reels after matches, which show interesting plays complete with commentary, though this just makes me wish I could play an actual soccer game with that engine rather than wading through the tedious management aspect of the game. I guess it might be interesting to try a more modern take on this genre at some point, I would imagine they've drastically improved the accessibility, interfaces, and player feedback into something that might be interesting.

Rat Attack is a pretty weird game. In some sense, it's a little bit similar to Qix, the basic gameplay involves laying a box shaped trap to catch mice as they run around the level causing havoc, but you can't bump into the mice while laying the trap down or you'll get hurt. After catching mice, you need to drop them off on a little pad the kills them. You can get more points and powerups by gathering a bunch of mice before dropping them off, though this is also risky as you'll drop them if you get hit by anything. The core formula isn't bad, there's different characters to choose from with different abilities and the gameplay is nicely fast-paced, though there are some boss battles tossed in that feel a bit superflous and kind of detract from the experience. The presentation is definitely not great, it looks clear enough, but both the graphics and music feel a bit cheap. Still, if you can get past this, it's not a bad little arcade-style game.
https://gababoutgames.blogspot.com/ - GAB About Games, a retro console rating project, N64 / PS1 on now
http://www.backloggery.com/tero - My backloggery

User Info: billwalton

billwalton
1 month ago#18
Kirby - A - I see it as a rental-level game. Fun for a weekend, but not something I would want to go back to. Obviously there are some great ideas in here, but the execution is the lacking. The levels are boring and the lack of difficulty is a major drag. When I first played the game as a preteen, I remember wondering if the game was made for someone younger than me. I had a surprising amount of fun with the multi even though it's pretty basic.

User Info: Bostich2

Bostich2
1 month ago#19
Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards - G

The power combinations are fun to play around with. I also like the 2.5D perspective and think the soundtrack is pretty good. Really the biggest problem with the game is the general lack of challenge. Ultimately, it didn't detract from the game enough to bring it down to an 'A' for me, but it could have been quite a bit better if it were more challenging. For one thing, the game hands out way too many health power ups, which almost makes it to where it doesn't matter if you get hit. What the game really needed was a hard mode. I did like how some of the shards required you to have a specific combination of powers so that required you to be more careful to not loose your power.
Classic NES tunes in 5.1 surround - http://nes51.wordpress.com/
Petition to standardize 5.1 surround music - https://chn.ge/2ND6Hsw

User Info: Terotrous

Terotrous
4 weeks ago#20
This is the last day to vote.
https://gababoutgames.blogspot.com/ - GAB About Games, a retro console rating project, N64 / PS1 on now
http://www.backloggery.com/tero - My backloggery
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