Athletic VC Friday
This Friday morning, the new Virtual Console games popped up a little earlier on the Wii's Shop Channel. Which is nice, because it gives us more time to run away.
World Sports Competition
One of the most primitive early gamers' rites of passage was teaching yourself how to waggle your joystick as fast as possible. Much hardware has been broken and wrists have been permanently damaged in search for maximum frequency, to accelerate some avatar to light speed. It's probably an honest sport, but that doesn't make it not retarded. If you remember playing these games before, it's not nostalgia you should be feeling right now. It's shame.
ToeJam & Earl In Panic On Funkotron
Gameplay-wise, in a large step away from the first part, this is a pretty basic 2D platformer, that has, as usual, been wrapped in overbearing Sega everything-but-the-game design. You still just hop, avoid and collect, it's only presented a little quirkier than usual.
Streets Of Rage II
Another mindless 2D sidescrolling mass brawler. There are so many of them, and we thus far have not really found one to love, but at Streets Of Rage II's point in the genre's evolution it kind of started making sense. There's a good balance of weapon pickups, the difficulty is reasonable, there's a proper health system, and the presentation is relatively ace.
A poor Super Mario Bros knock-off, that has all the basic elements (break bricks with your head, jump on enemies, upgrade your dude to get an attack and another chance in case of enemy contact), but fails to do anything interesting with them, basically. The unique twist is that Kid Chameleon has a wider range of upgrades than just Mario's one path that ends in a fire flower. Doesn't improve it though.
Why oh why. Streets Of Rage II is a cool, well-playable action game. We actually
recommend you try it. Pass on everything else this week. Kid Chameleon and today's
particular Toe Jam & Earl game perfectly embody everything that has been wrong
with Sega all along. And those old sports games just don't work.
At this point you could say that we hate Sega, fair enough, but we assure you that is only because of the dysfunctional video-game abortions Sega chose to put on the market. It's somewhat of a mystery to us how a company could tarnish itself with so many products of that sort, and still exist today. Our theory is that there is a certain populace who can satisfy all their video-game desires with just saturated colors and stupid grins, and everything else – you know, gameplay, level design – doesn't do anything for them. If you know someone like this, we still wouldn't recommend Sega platformers, but rather something passive, like movies or TV shows. That's The much Righter Thing to do.