arcade port

“He’s about as cuddly as a pissed off jumpin’ cactus, Gabe,” McCree sighed.

“He’ll come around, Jesse,” Gabriel said, looking at his reports, “He’s gone through something traumatic and he’s still recovering physically and emotionally. Give him time and work that charm you’re so proud of and he’ll come around.”

They had been talking about Genji and Jesse’s latest attempt to make Genji feel at home. Jesse was now dusting off his freshly stitched back together favorite shirt, shredded from the kiss of Genji’s blade. Jesse was just grateful that Genji had spared his hat and was obviously going more for scaring him rather than hurting him, but now he was pissed that Genji had resorted to actually swinging at him to get him to go away.

“Right, I want ta have patience with wit’ him but he keeps swingin’ that sword at me instead of just tellin’ me ta piss off,” He grumbled, frowning down at his butchered favorite shirt.

“Patience and tell him if he keeps taking swings at people we’ll ban him from carrying weapons on base,” Gabriel said.

“Right…” He groaned.

“…If you’re really tempted to help him, we have something on file that might help you,” Gabriel sighed. He almost snorted when Jesse perked up.

~*~

“Hey, Genji!” Jesse smiled.

Genji was watching TV by himself, but turned to glare daggers at Jesse, the red of the faux-irises in his eyes making the look that much more cutting. But Jesse just kept smiling before holding up his peace offering, a sleek black game console. Seeing it, Genji cocked one of his patchy eyebrows and said nothing as Jesse took control of the TV to set it up.

“That should… do it!” Jesse grinned.

On the screen was a… arcade fighting game. Genji perked up as Jesse fished two controllers out of the entertainment center and took a seat on the couch. When he was handed a controller, Genji glared at first… then hesitantly took the controller from a grinning Jesse.

“What do you want?” Genji said with bite.

“Genji, my friend, I am tryin’ ta make you feel like yer welcome here,” Jesse grinned, “I don’t want someone on my team ta feel like they’re a stranger ‘r they don’t belong. Ya welcome here, Genji.”

Genji was quiet for a moment before scoffing. Jesse thought he would need to quickly jump out of the way of another slashing when Genji genuinely smirked at him.

“I’m about to kick your ass, cowman,” Genji chuckled.

So that was how Jesse finally broke Genji’s prickly shell, by getting his ass handed to him nightly through retro arcade games ported to a game console. Some games he actually won, but most of the arcade games Genji won. Each win seemed to make the cyborg ninja just that bit warmer, so Jesse always tried to weasel as many games out of Genji as he could before that prickly shell came back up.

“Jesus, how are you so good at these things?” He asked after getting particularly spanked hard.

“I used to sneak out all the time to hit the arcade,” Genji said distantly, “I got really good to impress the cute boys and girls of my neighborhood.”

He did not ask because the next moment Genji was taking off. It went like that for a time, playing video games and sometimes Genji would reveal snippets of his past. He had a brother but appeared to despise his guts, both their parents had passed, because of his full body prosthesis there was little that he could eat but he enjoyed the sweets that he could eat and he enjoyed spicy foods even if he could only partially taste them. He once had green hair to spite his standoffish father and sort of wished that he had the time to do it again, he hated the color red but it was intimidating so he wore it, he really liked pop like music and he loved mushy romance stories and hero stories.

“Goddammit, not again,” He cursed again one night after Genji had soundly beaten him again.

“I win again, friend,” Genji teased, sticking his tongue out at him.

He said nothing about the ‘friend’ bit, just grinned and elbowed the ninja again before challenging him to another round, smiling when he saw Genji grinning out of the side of his eye.

5

Sometimes a game goes beyond the notion of being a game itself and into that of an experience. Such is the case with Radiant Silvergun. Let’s just get that out of the way now. It was released in 1998 for arcades by Treasure, a company previously known for its excellent and creative hit titles like Gunstar Heroes and Guardian Heroes. Fans of the company would likely have also been familiar with lesser-known (but still remarkable) games like Dynamite Headdy and Mischief Makers. But no one, fan or otherwise, could have expected Treasure to parlay the qualities of their initial platformer-style games–quality graphics and sound, innovative mechanics and unique bosses–into a spaceship-based shoot-em-up. But that’s exactly what they did.

Radiant Silvergun isn’t like any other shoot-em-up in existence. The only thing it really shares in common with any of them is the fact that you pilot a ship which is scrolling through areas and you blow up enemies to survive and advance. That commonality is simply intrinsic to the shoot-em-up experience. What sets the game apart is how you go about this process. There are no power-ups to grab, no special point medals, nothing to pick up. Your ship (or ships with a second player) are concerned only with destroying enemies. You have access to seven different weapons right from the start which are activated by pressing different combinations of three different attack buttons. It’s a convoluted test of coordination that’s absolutely necessary to master or even survive the game, which includes segments that border on Bullet Hell levels of difficulty. Many, many fights await you, each of which has an optimal weapon and tactical approach. Like many shoot-em-ups, you’ll be challenged to memorize enemy and attack patterns on repeat playthroughs (especially since destroying like-colored enemies in succession scores large bonus points) but you’ll also have to experiment with and discover the best weapon for each situation.

Five main levels are available each play out of the game’s six total; you’ll make an exclusive choice between two different stages after you beat the first. While that may not sound like much, these levels are long. You’ll be playing for at least half an hour and probably closer to an hour in order to clear the game. Each primary level is broken up into multiple sub-levels and there are more than twenty bosses to take out on the way. In fact, you’ll spend more time fighting bosses than regular enemies, which is okay because it allows the creative genius at Treasure to shine through, with enemies that will challenge your brain in ways different than any other shoot-em-up ever has. The sound and visuals match the “epic” experience, with a soundtrack composed by Hitoshi Sakimoto (of Final Fantasy Tactics and Vagrant Story fame), and Einhander-esque polygonal environments. By today’s standards, it looks undeniably outdated and chunky but even now you can feel the atmosphere and ambience. And although I lacked the time and talent to make a GIF of it, the warning screen that comes up before each boss is one of the most distinctive and eye-catching I’ve seen.

After its run in arcades, Radiant Silvergun was ported to the Sega Saturn and it’s no surprise that the game costs an arm and a leg (regularly topping $200 on eBay); it’s just that good, an experience you can’t get anywhere else. The Saturn version adds videos and an explanation of the game’s ambitious story (which would make the great plot of a movie itself), as well as forcing/enabling you to play through all six of the game’s levels instead of five in each playthrough. You’re otherwise just fine with the arcade version, which many may not even be aware exists. What does this mean? You can have one of the great, legendary gaming experiences for free with the power of emulation. It’s also available for purchase on the XBox Live arcade. 

4

Promo materials, and concept art of Tekken, back when it was known as Rave War.

Look a those weird freaks, they look like they belong in an ADK game.

Watch on co-opwithnickandscott.tumblr.com

Co-op! The Punisher (GEN)

This. This right here, is the best game. This episode of Co-op!, our heroes take the roles of Frank Castle and Nick Fury in what is possibly the best episode of Co-op! I took a whole hell of a lot of effort and time with this one. I hope you enjoy it.

The Most Butchered Videogame Localization Ever

Lots and lots of people have been getting really angry online over games being censored, having a little bit of cut content, or not using a direct translation, I’m not going to get into a discussion on that, but I’m about to tell you all about a game that was literally cut in half in the American release:

That’s right DDR EXTREME for the PS2.

You probably weren’t expecting a rhythm game to be the topic of this post, after all they’re simple games and usually any changes are because of licensing or language, but not in this case.

You see, in the original Japanese port, DDR Extreme had 111 songs, all of which were Konami originals, it was essentially an arcade perfect port with plenty of bonus content (such as a brand new boss song called “Max. (Period)”). At the time having 100+ songs in any game was unheard of, and fans were looking forward to it coming stateside.

But when it finally did…oh, boy…

Instead of just translating the menus and calling it a day, Konami got greedy, and cut 50 tracks from the game entirely, and swapped several of the remaining songs with licensed pop music, and for whatever reason changed everything to look like the previous game DDR Party Collection (with less extra content that that game had). The remaining disc space was used for the stupidest thing possible: Eye-toy minigames.

(Look at that man, he’s dead inside.)

Now Just giving us a vastly inferior version of the game would’ve been bad enough, but they went a step beyond. Wondering what they did with all the cut music? What else, they put it all in a another game.

This right here is the USA exclusive DDR EXTREME 2, one of the most shameless cash grabs ever. Aside from the few licensed pop songs, this game contains ZERO new songs that weren’t already in the Japanese version of DDR Extreme. Basically, if you weren’t lucky enough to have a Japanese PlayStation 2 you had to buy two games just to get the songs that the JP version had in one. And to twist the knife even more, some songs such as Max. and R3 were still left out of the game! So even after paying twice as much, you still didn’t have the full experience. Because of this the Original Japanese version ending up becoming one of the most sought after import games on the PS2.

And this is why, in my opinion, DDR EXTREME (USA) is the single worst American version of a Japanese game.

4

Bigger, Badder, Better… Remember Neo Geo? It puffed its chest around during the 16 bit era as the world’s first 24 Bit game system thanks to some tough talking advertising seen above. And wow, did it come with a hefty price tag! SNK’s marketing on the console was aggressive pushing the magical ‘24’ number, however the Neo Geo was essentially a 16 bit system with an 8 bit co-processor used as a CPU and used for handling the sound. In the early 1990s it launched for an unbelievable $649.00 (over $1000 adjusted for inflation), and games starting at $200, but had comparatively more lively graphics and offered direct arcade ports of SNK’s line up, also helped by a strong overall software lineup, especially with fighting games. The Neo Geo gained a cult status (thanks to its asking price) and has found a renewed interest with many of the classic games finding a home on the Nintendo Wii Virtual Console.