Phrase of the Week

PHRASE OF THE WEEK: DIE JOB DEATH CAR? (Daijobu desu ka - Are you OK?) (C) Sodom

Friday, July 30, 2010

POTW Archive

From today, I add a new feature to the blog: phrase of the week, which I'm going to stuff with random funny one-liners, for fun & profit.


26/07/2010: 'Are you sure that 'No' will be your last word?' - 'No.'
02/08/2010: 'They'll bury you in a lunchbox!' (C) Rise of the Triad
09/08/2010: 'You look like a gay cowboy.' - 'And you look like a gay terrorist.' (C) Top Gear
16/08/2010: 'NOW SINTS IN LOAD OF GARAS IN SOM SUNGER!' (C) Random childhood phrase
19/08/2010: 'There's no better weapon to defeat time than... time.'
31/08/2010: 'Never mind about the wine. Where is the beer?' (C) Serious Sam Next Encounter
07/09/2010: '... GIVE! FOOD!' (C) SpaceNinja88+PanAnning's LP of Bao Quin Tian
13/09/2010: 'HA HA VERY EASY CONGRATION' (C) Cony's Street Fighter II.
20/09/2010: 'Laund Bun! Lady... GO!' (C) Kng of Fighters '98... and pretty much XII.
28/09/2010: 'And seems like that video didn't really help. Men, do most of the users subscribe just for kicks?' - 'Pretty much. Or that 'Sub 4 Sub' rap... It's like DA. People comment on crappy, MS Paint drawings.' - 'Damn, where the world is going... Now I really believe in what should have theorethically happened in 2012.' (C) Me and Indy.
11/10/2010: 'Question. How do you call this?' - 'How do I call it?' - 'Yesh. All I see is a scrappy this-gen Sonic fan who can't even do reviews properly. What do YOU think?' - 'That's what I see. Plus, he sounded like he was drugged. It's like how I heard it. "Ah like Mario karts and tourment fighters.... This game sucks...."' - 'Also, mah comment [on the video page]. And I am the first to ditch this video. MEN, WHO WATCHES THIS? SCRAPPY THIS-GEN SONIC FANS?!' - 'Pretty much.' (C) Me and Indy again
21/10/2010: 'DIE JOB DEATH CAR? (Daijobu desu ka - Are you OK) (C) Sodom

Thursday, July 29, 2010

[MD] Commandos

Image Hosted by
Commandos: Behind the Enemy Lines
Genre: stealth-action
PC/developer: Pyro Studios
PC/publisher: Eidos
MD/developer: Dragon Co.
MD/publisher: New Game, most likely...
Year of release: 1998
Players: 1
Media: 2 MB cartridge, SEGA MegaDrive compatible
Additional peripherals supported: SMDII joypad

Okay, you may say your one-liners now: 'Why is this game is reviewed in a blog that actually reviews the console ports of PS games? This game has no console port at all!' Well, I'm not going to rush at you but the actual reason I'm writing this article is that Commandos: Behind the Enemy Lines actually got a console port. No kidding, because I'm gonna show it to you right now. Wanna know on which platform it is? SEGA Genesis/MegaDrive! Gyaaaaah.
Of course, many of you would probably start digging a Wikipedia article on this game, glance through the platform list, then stare at me and say: 'NO IT'S WRONG!' But what I'm gonna tell you now is that... Wikipedia covers only the official list of platforms. The MD version is a mere bootleg. In other words, a pirate original. Didn't see THAT coming, huh?
Instantly, after reading this paragraph, you're starting to guess on who made this game. Well... obviously... Chinese? But when you look at the screenshots, another thought will be stuck in your head... RUSSIAN. But actually, every average, for example, Englishman or American will think that way because he will see symbols that really-really-really resemble the Russian ones on the screenshots. How would a Russian guy think about it? Well, he simply reads out all the briefing text and finds out that this game's Russian suffers from:
1) not really regular word order;
2) lots of grammatical mistakes in the words;
3) using the feminine adjectives all the time (like if the first word in a phrase 'German army' was feminine and the second one was masculine. Pointless, ain't it?).
So, we see that a regular Russian guy couldn't make such a fucking huge of typos and mistypos, so it's possibly Chinese who made it. Also, additional trivia: this game's Russian suffers as badly as in another good pirate port, Barver Battle Saga, which was rehashed into Final Fantasy 5 (which itself is nothing else than a redrawn title and lotsa dialogues translated crappily).
So we got into the fact that this port came from China. But who ACTUALLY made it? I may say it now. Dragon Co made it. Is that enough? NO?! Okay, let me bother with expanding this article so it would have 1000 more symbols.


Okay, about who the hell is Dragon Co. A little group of bucaneer developers that started making their own games for the famiclones. The lead programmer of this gang was Tommy Xie a.k.a. TomSoft, who made a little SDK for writing NES games, before the actual work on their creations. As a result, we get an ultracrappy Lion King 3: Timon & Pumbaa (first game, loosely based on the animated series with two latter characters), ultraturbocrappy Wait and See! (which has Warner's Bugs Bunny and 'Nu, Pogodi!'s mistranslated title, ultramegafuckingcrappy Tom & Jerry 3 (again, based on the cartoon, but on the series from Chuck Jones's era) and good-looking but still crappy in controlling Felix the Cat [by Dragon Co] (the particular episode with Gelie the Goose. Somehow works.). Anyways, somewhere around the new millenium, Tommy released another SDK, but this time, for doing MegaDrive games (get it HERE). And, actually, every single game compiled with the help of this thingie bears a 'TOMSOFT SDK' title in the header, so does our today's victim. You're not able to see Tommy Xie in the credits, however. But Li Meng, the guy who did 'music' for all the above listed Dragon Co games, 'did' the music for this game too. Second proof already, ahoy?
So, let's say that Commandos has been ported to MegaDrive by Dragon Co for ex-USSR audiences only (and that's the thing I'll probably never get) somewhere between the years 1998, when the PC version was released, and 2003, when this particular port was reviewed in the Great Dragon magazine.


Okay, Commandos on MegaDrive is not a really good idea.
But these guys did the impossible.
...After sacrificing a lot of stuff, of course. So let's see if it still works anyway.
Technically, it retains only five missions from the PC game, all the characters (apart from the driver) and, perhaps, most of the graphics and gameplay features. That's it. No saving ('mission select' disguised as a 'Load Game' menu is here instead). No dialogues. Several shortcuts present in the original are gone. Still, it's Commandos on the big screen which has some interesting stuff to mess up with though. It may be Commandos on a handheld too, if you waste some money and buy a Megadrive Portable with this cartridge or just load the ROM of it into PicoDrive, no matter if you have a PDA or PSP. And the lack of driver is not such a big deal anyway.
Interface. Pretty obvious change, because if in the PC version you had an inventory with 'backpack layouts', in the MD bootleg, you get a sidebar, similar to C&C on the PS. Also, you can't really activate the 'ray' which points the enemy's head position at the moment. No, it's still possible to see where they look, but only by looking at their pixelated heads. Be extremly careful when you try this port out!
Graphically, this port is tolerable... For a console like this, of course. There, we've got no zoom function or seamless animation, but yeah, you couldn't really expect more from Dragon Co. The only thing that really bothers me is that how in world Dragon Co managed to pick such a suitable color palette for the entire game, so it looks damn accurate to the PC original, even if MD could do really more than this. What you couldn't really expect from them is that there are even footsteps that every character leaves on the ground shown!
Controls are actually pretty easy for a game like this (worst part, however: no mouse support, even the bootleg one from these 'educational' systems): even if you don't have the SEGA MegaDrive II, it won't be a real problem to find the functions that are actually binded with X, Y and Z keys (grab the item, draw a pistol and get up/crouch respectively) on the sidebar. The only thing that will actually make even more problems is the cursor speed. Moving from one horisontal edge of the screen to another takes two seconds by default, but when you get a shitload of sprites on just one screen, this amount of time may increase to ten or more. Additionally, giving orders is fucked up. Like, you can't make a normal 'get there and kill the enemy' one-step scenario for your guys. INSTEAD, you do, like, order him to go there first and only then, you order him to kill an enemy. Will be a real bother, but sooner, you'll get on with it... Maybe.
With all the above factors (no saving, no head tracking thing, laggy controls, removed shortcuts) and one more: if any of your dudes gets killed, that automatically means you have to restart the mission you were playing! And this is on all five missions. The gameplay becomes just a pure trial-and-error experience, akin to the one in I Wanna Be The Guy (you don't have to restart the whole area or entire game in that case, however). The first mission won't be a bother if you know what to do. The rest will be a one big A.S.S., because, for example, in mission 2, you are forced to kill the convoy nearby the nazis' base if you don't want to get fucked up while in the original mission two, you just could get on the ladder and get into the base without killing anyone outside. MD version omits this shortcut for some unknown reason. Dragon Co. had no idea about it?
Additionally, the gun combat part is really fucked up there. If a nazi spots you, he'll kill you in 4 seconds. If you have got a pistol drawn already and if you'll start shooting at him repeatedly, be prepared to lose about 80% of your health. Explosive barrels sure do help, but if a barrel explodes and the soldier spots you at the same time, he'll start blowing you up and... 'Argh.' That's 30% off. Stupid pre-death lag, LAWL.
The game speed is kinda slower than in the PC version. Not only the characters move slower but the program itself lags like hell. From what we get it are REALLY huge maps and a lot of sprites on the screen (pretty similar to TomSoft's beta of Command & Conquer port. I'm still wondering if that mysterious Da Ne mentioned in credits IS Tommy Xie...). But okay, it's a mere MegaDrive which even wasn't able to replicate Populous II without little or just unbearable lagging, so that may be excusable, but the fact that the game LAGS is the fact. Especially with a lot of dead soldiers on one screen and with decoy sound bleeping.
Talking about the sound and music... Well, apart from the menu sound effect copied from the PC Commandos directly, neither of SFXs has anything to do with their original game's counterparts. The music, however, does, even if there are five looped 10-second digitized samples (in other words, mere extracts).


As for me, I have beaten the final mission of this game. Without beating the previous ones, of course. Just wanted to see the ending of the game.
I have disabled a lot of guards (especially ones inside the base with a simple decoy+dynamite trick performed nearby a black Volkswagen (or whatever it is), which created an ULTIMATE LAG... As well as ultimate death, 9 soldiers in one explosion.), blew the radars up, made the base completely desolated, stole the truck, messed up with controlling it, then got away, and... Stats screen. Got three stars for beating it. When I select the 'Next Mission', it just throws you to the... Title screen. My eyes became popped at that moment. No 'The End' screen, no credits, nothing! It just resets the game. Nevertheless, I give credit to the creators that they have put effort into porting Commandos to SUCH a weak console like MD. No kidding, this is their best creation ever. Period.

Dragon Co took a really complex game to port. Lots of obvious flaws and annoyances there, but nevertheless, it's stealth action. Not your cheap platform gamie which have been (re)created over millions of times before. Dragon Co was a part of this process as well, creating a lot of cartoon-based platformers with fucked controls, but a strategy game is not what I have expected from these guys! And they've kept most of the stuff alive, what's really important. So, if you're looking for a really good unlicensed game for your MegaDrive, take Barver Battle Saga and this. Also, [pointless cursing mode on] if you think that 'those mothertrucker pirates' just CAN'T MAKE a good game, shut your fucking monkey ass up and stop treating this game like a douchebag. Go do something more useful, like, comparing two ports of Westwood's Lion King to the NES: licensed one by Dark Technologies and pirated one by Super Game, wontcha?

Crash Nicker


Image Hosted by
Such a NICE title screen... spoiled by a Russian title below.
Image Hosted by
I use to laugh SO much at this Russhen.
Image Hosted by
And this.
Image Hosted by
Let's go heavy machinery!
Image Hosted by
Sin City coloring method makes this building look like an evil genius's lair...
Image Hosted by
...I swear, this mission has HORRIBLE difficulty... still haven't beaten it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

[PS] The Neverhood Chronicles

The Neverhood Chronicles [Klaymen Klaymen: Neverhood no Nazon]

Genre: adventure game
PC/publisher: Microsoft
PC/developer: The Neverhood
PS/publisher/developer: Riverhillsoft
Year of release: 1998
Players: 1
Media: 1 CD-ROM
Slots on Memory Card: 1
Additional peripherals supported: DualShock, PS Mouse

I hate the gaming press when it comes to f***ing a product that IS great and that anyone actually wants to play to (take God Hand for instance). I just hate it. With passion. The Neverhood got into the same situation. Exactly the same.
It was a battle between the critics of GameSpot and the funkiness of the world of Neverhood… where the second got squished by a tank and received the score of 4,9 (When Skullmonkeys, a less amazing, but still charmful sequel got 5,0. WTF?). Okay, as you say, the story and puzzles might be weak there, but are they SO weak that you have to stomp it?
I still have a word for these guys to say…
Geesus Howard. I may understand it when a person didn’t really liked this game when he tried it only once, but seeing critics trying to beat A WHOLE game and treating it like a piece of cum is…
Ah, enough rushing, because unless I stop it, this will never end.
Let’s get to the thing instead.


If you are not familiar with this game yet, here’s a short recap of what’s going on (may contain spoilers, you’ve been warned). So, in a faraway galaxy, a clay creature named Hoborg the King built a new planet named The Neverhood. After getting bored of a few days living on it alone, he additionally creates a friend, Klogg, by using only one seed from his crown. This tiny thing will soon became an object of Klogg’s attention… As well as his throne. His property. His planet!!.. So, without any hesitating, the crown is being stolen… and Klogg becomes a retardedly-looking clay figure. Still, Hoborg is out cold. Klogg is the only owner of this deserted (by now) planet.
Basically, it’s not that deserted, but for such a planet, the cast of actual characters (until you get to the good ending) is pretty low. Along with the fact that most of them are minor. What are they? Well, Hoborg and Klogg themselves, obviously – that’s two. A big evil Robot Bil who spends the end of his rusty days surviving a punishment, pretty much like Sisyphus’s: sitting in a pit and being unable to get his lovely teddybear back (one more warning: this game is ultraweird) – that’s three so far. A couple of beasts called Weasels, yet who don’t have anything to do with the actual weasels – that’s five. Guy From The TV who has the only line in the entire game yet whose theme became used for some stand-up comedy shows – six. A random spider which may be found not too far from this guy – seven. A fluffy little mouse who stands in front of a BIG block of cheese – eight. A ‘talking eye’ which can be only seen through a little window there – nine. A Whack-o-Hammer little troll – ten. Three random squishy clay sheep – fourteen. Bear Retrieval Squad – sixteen. A creepy pterodactyl monster thing that Klogg summons as we invade ‘his’ castle – seventeen. Two Venus Fly Traps – nineteen.
And last, but not least, Willy Trombone. Goofy and hungry, like, as usual (he doesn’t care what he would have for dinner, even if it will be Weasel’s leg); he’s actually the son of one of Hoborg’s predecessors. And thanks to him, we’ll have an alter-ego to mess up with. Klaymen (forgive the incorrect spelling of the name you damn spellchecker, I warned you too).
Yeah, he’s silent pretty much most of the time. But that wouldn’t really bother him right now: the first time he shall actually talk to someone is in the ending. Before, we’ve gonna explore a damn lot of weird and funny locations which are made of clay. ENTIRELY, lemmie tell you.
The adventure will not be just a walk in the park. If you don’t know how to beat this game, then you’re doomed to, for example, stuck in a laboratory, without knowing how to actually shrink Klaymen. Sometimes, for a puzzles like this, the solution is situated just nearby your nose, though it wasn’t made to look that obvious…
Well, never mind. I’m gonna say that after the release of this port, the character of Klaymen became some sort of a star in Japan (a burning star, still, but in any case, Riverhillsoft & KIDSMIND Inc. made up their own Neverhood game, Klaymen Klaymen Gun Hockey, which had a minor at the gameplay BUT lost the atmosphere of the original). So why don't we get started checking the port out right now? Was it really worthy?


Talking about differences between PC and PS versions… Well, it’s still The Neverhood, but with some slight changes. First, the entire game is in Japanese (even some titles embedded in the clay were translated like nothing happened, yay!). Second is the availability of the Dual Shock support (why?). Third, you may listen to the entire OST in the options menu (another fanservice for those who can’t live without Terry Scott Taylor’s jazz?). Fourth… well…
Let’s get deeper into the Spanish Main this time. The game uses one, two or three screens per loading which means that you’re doomed to listen to the music themes from the beginning again and again multiple times. The game uses the CD even when you want to see Klaymen’s idle animations or just get gulped by a Venus Fly Trap at the beginning of the game. The loadings here are not very long, 10 seconds maximum. What? You say that roaming in Hall of Records in that case would be hell annoying? Calm down. It would be. Keyword: WOULD. But that won’t work with the creators of this port. If you try to walk through it on the PS version, you’ll find yourself amused and astonished. THE ENTIRE HALL OF RECORDS THING IS NOW THREE SCREENS ONLY! With all the records removed, obviously. You get into the room, hit the light switch, move on, see the wall where the goddamn long ‘This Game’s Bible’ is supposedly meant to be started and, after moving a bit further, just a bit… you see the disc. And the end of the room too. So, it’s sure a nice attempt to overcome the console’s RAM limitations. ‘Can’t fix it? Cut it down.’
Loadings may be, perhaps, the worst part of this port (not the game itself), but that can’t really spoil the fun, right? Not even a single texture or a FMV (including the ones where you see The Neverhood first-person style) was removed (apart from the location listed above), so, design-wise, this one is perfect. Possibly, the only moment where loadings may be annoying is the storyline movie narrated by Wiri Trombonkendan (used his Japanese name, just lemmie laugh a bit on it…) which loads segment-by-segment even if you collabed the entire thing. And, like on Windows, you can’t get past this one! Oh well. At least it’s a reason to go away for a while, like, shopping or just making a fridge clearing.  
Back to the start of this review, some more minor differences, just for kicks and to get all the pieces of the complete picture altogether. First, some sounds in the game are being edited for some reason (like the ‘ding’ sound when you complete a puzzle being pitched up and Bil’s grunt inverted). Second, you get an intermission letter in Japanese when you start the game. Third, you get little help screens a-la Skullmonkeys, again, in Japanese, and again, when you start the game. Fourth, the mail is still present in this game, albeit you don’t get random ‘write back or die’ letters this time, instead, there’s ONLY one ‘write a reply’ letter. RAM constraints much?


Unlike a lot of cheap and not really cheap PC-to-console ports which I’m going to review really-really soon, the controls are comfortable. Kinda, if you’re using a gamepad. And exactly, if you still own a PS mouse. Yes, this game is one of those that actually supports mouse! It’s an adventure game, after all… Oh, by the way, this game doesn’t really need a shitload of slots on your memory card to save. One is enough, with three ‘subslots’ to save on, which really makes sense. The only inconvenience is that when you beat the game, all the saves of your current game will be blocked for usage, unlike in the original... Okay, now that makes ABSOLUTELY NO SENSE.

Basically, when I first heard of Neverhood being ported to PlayStation, I spent almost all the New Year’s Eve of the year 2008 (Americans may replace this with ‘Christmas Eve’) to find the ISO of it. With the links on SNESorama and all other popular game ISO resources being shut down, I finally got it on the 20th-30th page of the results of my googling for this game. It was on Yoshitora’s Blogspot, uploaded on Rapidshare (ffff, I hated this filehoster very much) but even despite the filehoster’s unreliability, I finally got it. And, lemmie tell you, it was a great self-present, seriously. This thing would be forgotten with time, however, if the port would be crappy. But it isn’t. At least because you’re reading these lines.

Crash Nicker


Image Hosted by
New shiny title screen. Not in clay like the pause menu in the PC version, but still makes sense.
Image Hosted by
One of the few moments in my life when I'm damn sorry I dunno Japanese... Or is that because I don't have a Japanese-languaged keyboard?
Image Hosted by
One statue there is, like, three shrinked Klaymens high.
Image Hosted by
One of the few cases where the final 'puzzle' is not the hardest.
Image Hosted by
Best escape scene ever, I'd give my testicles to prove that... But! My testicles are more of value than that stuff.
Image Hosted by
'Don't jump on it you piece of--'  [gulp sound]
Image Hosted by
What I forgot to mention in the review is the progress bar... aw well, who cares.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Okay everyone, this is Crash Nicker, The Member #2 of SpaceNinja88's Digital Chimera Entertainment. Now, you may know me after several stuff related to the piracy in Russia to both YouTube and Pirated Games Central, but right now, I've decided to open up my own blog that will cover the topic of PC gaming... on the consoles. Obviously, that means that there will be mostly reviews of PC games ported on such consoles like PlayStation, NES, SNES and such (not vice versa). I might post some random stuff I usually do like chiptunes, Dendy: The New Reality translations and reviews of obscure games on obscure platforms. Before I start, just let me tell some things I will likely obey during filling this blog with reviews:

  1. I won't give ratings to the games that become my victims. I give my opinion on the game and events that surround it as well as some technical info on the game like controls and the accuracy of the port. But not a stupid cipher that usually varies from one to ten. Because I know people that just limit with lurking at it without wondering why such rating was given. If you're one of those people, I made a 'Bottom Line' section just for you instead, because, to your knowledge, RATINGS ARE CHEAP.
  2. I do accept the requests, but I don't give a warranty I'll actually review the game you want to see here. Either because I don't feel like doing it or because it goes outside the topic of the blog (attn all dimwits: the topic is listed above).
  3. Everyone makes mistakes, even I. So if I make a mistake when explaining what's going on in the game or the gameplay of the game in general, comment on it without hesitating. Ranting about me saying wrong about the graphics, music or that or this gamie sucks is considered to be a spam or an attempt to start a holywar. Spam is instanly deleted, holywaring is allowed in really mild doses so don't go NUTZ.

That's it for intro, tank you very munch. If you want, sub and get ready for the carnival.