Click Here For Part Two
You know, three months ago I reviewed this game. I praised Treasure for making it. I worshipped Atari for localizing it and porting it to the Game Cube. I beseeched you all to go out and buy Ikaruga as this game hitting US shores would hopefully mark a turning point in what games Publishers bought state side. After all, it’s one of the best Shooters ever made. It’s exceptionally hard. And it’s made by the same people who made Radiant Silvergun, Bangai-O, and Guardian Heroes. Treasure does not seem capable of making bad games.
Remember this? It’s Ikaurgamania runnin’ wild!
So after all my praise. After International Acclaim. After Alex Williams joining in trusty sidekick fashion and beseeching you to buy the game, who actually went out and purchased Ikaurga? How many of you laid done the 40 bones to see just how good a video game can be?
Not as many motherf*ckers that bought Tomb Raider: Angel Or Darkness, that’s for bloody sure.
WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? It’s IKARUGA! IKAURGA! Why did any of you pass up on this game? Because of the lack of unlimited continues? Then you’re a pansy who’s scared of a little challenge from a machine. Because it’s 2D? Then my god the Sony brainwashing machine really got to you, eh? Because it’s a shooter? Come on people! This is AMERICA. Everyone likes shooting things to bits. It’s why we have the second Amendment!
It’s still for sale people. It’s not to late to repent your ignorance. To amend a mistake on the same level of letting Dan Quayle being an eyelash away from running this country! Stop reading this article and go out and buy this game! You owe it to yourself. You owe it to other true die hard video game fans. You owe it to everyone who has ever wanted one of those Japanese games that are always talked about but never translated into English so that they achieve cult status and people sit around on message boards pretending to have played the game when they merely read an FAQ on the bloody thing!
It’s things like this that make me ashamed of American gamers. I know! Kick out Sherman and Mr. Peabody and go into the wayback machine! Remember when everyone was complaining how Nintendo had a big ol’ monopoly on the handheld scene. Well along came SNK and they gave everyone what they wanted. Fans could stop bitching about hating Nintendo. About the size of the GB screen. About the quality of games. About whatever two bit reason they chose to complain. Because SNK gave you the NEO GEO POCKET COLOUR! You had a choice! You could stop bitching about Nintendo and buy a system that had handheld Sonic and CVS! You had a system that was even better than the Playstation for your choice of handheld entertainment! But what did you all do? Instead of embracing the very thing you asked for, that you whined and bitched and moaned and wrote into GameFAN and EGM and Game Informer for…you ran from it because it was new and different and stuck with your precious, precious game boy. And then continued to bitch about Nintendo.
“It’s still for sale people. It’s not too late to repent your ignorance.”
And it’s because of f*cks like you I didn’t get my Ogre Battle PC in ENGLISH. Or CardFighter’s Clash 2! So f*ck you all for being nothing more than mindless cattle who complain for the sake of complaining and then stab a company who tried to give you want you begged for in the back over and over again until a beautiful hand held system was dead and buried and now sells for a bunch of Ebay to scary Hordecore gamers who will never play and just own it so they can lie and say they’ve always had it so their bitchiness towards the Game Boy can actually sound legit for once. Fuck you all.
What? What Bebs? Why the dirty look? *Handed card* Oh. OH. Right. PRAISING Nintendo. Not the Neo Geo Pocket Colour. Sorry about that. Sometimes I just get started and can’t stop…
Seriously though, this is just like the NGPC all over again, but with a game instead of a system. Americans would bitch there are no good shooters left. Atari brought over Ikaruga. Americans bitched how all the good games supposedly stay in Japan. Atari brought over Ikaruga. Every bloody VG website and magazine raved about how great Ikaruga was, when you know half of them never played the game and were just trying to look hardcore. Everyone always praises Treasure as if they were the gods of gaming. So Atari brought over Ikaruga. Gaming company after gaming company after gaming company heard your faux cries of boredom with the same old stuff and they bought it. And so Atari brought over Ikaruga.
And you just didn’t buy it. And don’t make up a reason why. You purchased a crappy football game. Or Some Eidos piece of shit. I don’t want to hear excuses. I don’t want to see your copy of Mario Sunshine or SSX Tricky. I want you to deserve this second chance. I want you to run out and call whatever store is near you that sells Game Cube games and BUY IKARUGA. If the stores don’t have it go to Ebay or a pawn shop. If they don’t have it, try an online Video Game store. If they don’t have it…then you’re screwed unless you have a friend with a Dreamcast and a DC-X boot disc.
Oh yeah. You DC owners. The ones who are going to try and use the pathetic excuse ‘Well I imported it. Blah Blah Blah. Game Cube is for losers.’ No. You’re the losers. You’re missing out on owning a US copy of Ikaruga. You bought the Import DC version because you had to have it right? Because you love shooters and/or Treasure, right? You don’t own it and never play it just to say it’s in your collection so you can impress a crapload of other geeky losers. You bought it to show that you want games like that localized to the US right? You took a stand against the norm and said ‘CORPORATE AMERICA! I DEMAND THIS GAME IN MY NATIVE TOUNGE AND I LUST FOR IT SO GREATLY I WILL BRING IT OVER FROM JAPAN TO SHOW MY FANATICAL DEVOTION TO ITS GLORY.’ Right?
Well if that’s the case. If you’re that in love with Ikaruga and Treasure and shooters, and imports, then here is your chance to prove it. Support the localized version. Embrace it and put it in your cube. Show Atari they did the right thing. Tell them to do it again and again with various video games we wouldn’t get in English otherwise. Prove just how hardcore you REALLY are. Support Ikaruga. Support what gaming is SUPPOSED to be.
There. Done. The best IKARUGA review ever. If you really need me to bitchslap into you the reason to get this game, it’s right here baby. Go eat it up.
10 Reason To Love Your GameCube In 2003!
3.) BILLY HATCHER & THE GIANT EGG
It’s been said that somebody could crap in a box, then piss in it, then let their dog crap in it, and piss in it, then stuff in the AIDS virus, and genital herpes, and then let it sit out in the sun for 10 days before finally dropping it off at my house. And as long as the box had a Sonic Team logo in the bottom right hand corner of the cover, I’d praise it as one of the greatest games of all time before gleefully stuffing the contents into my GameCube.
These people are absolutely correct.
And Billy Hatcher & The Giant Egg isn’t ANYWHERE NEAR human and animal fecies sprinkled with disease, so imagine my excitement when I found out that Yuji Naka and company were releasing for the GameCube their first original 3d platformer since Burning Rangers on Sega Saturn!
But before we even get to the meat and potatoes, I’m going to tell you why every Sega fan, nay, every VIDEOGAME fan needs to lie, cheat, steal, and push their mothers down flights of stairs on the mission to procure this title. Got a Game Boy Advance? If not, buy one. If so, good. When you pick up BH&GE you’ll be treated with the ability to unlock classic games for your Game Boy Advance, including Puyo Pop, Chu Chu Rocket, and… NiGHTS into Dreams
Maybe you didn’t get all that. I said a portable version of NiGHTS.
What else do I need to say here, people? GO GET THIS GAME!
And for those that haven’t obtained the portable version of this legendary masterpiece already, there’s absolutely no defense anymore. Phantasy Star Online Episodes I & II for the GC allowed you to do the same thing, but the catch 22 was that you needed to go online in order to download them. So you folks without internet access had an excuse… Sort of. But no longer. All of the so called Sega fanatics out there that whined, and cried, and begged for another version of NiGHTS just got one. Here, inside Billy Hatcher. So I don’t need to say anything else to you right? You’ve already turned off your computer a paragraph ago and are on your way down to your local GameStop, Electronics Boutique, or wherever, ready to plunk down your hard earned moolah for this game. Right? RIGHT??? After all, you good folks wouldn’t moan and bleat and bellyache for something every single day until it became cliche and detestable only to receive in some small way what you’ve been clamoring for and to not buy it. Would you? Noooo, you’d never do that.
*looks above at Ikaruga*
So for the remaining three readers who are left with me that don’t like NiGHTS here’s the lo-down on why your GameCube won’t be complete without this title spinning in it this year.
In Billy Hatcher you play as young boy that possesses PHENOMENAL COSMIC POWERS. And by that I mean he has a magic chicken suit that lets him roll eggs around. Everything’s going all fine and dandy until a “darkness has fallen upon the once-magical land” when an evil King who seeks to rule with an everlasting night has captured the creatures that inhabit this realm and now it’s up you to blah blah blah blah yakkady smackaddy. Look to be honest. The story’s not that important. Yes, it’s a story driven game, but like Super Mario Sunshine it’s nothing exactly groundbreakingly deep here. Nor does it need to be. Give the good stories to the RPGs. (No SERIOUSLY… PLEASE give some good stories to this generation of RPGs. I haven’t found one with an interesting narrative of note other than Xenosaga Episode I and Star Wars Knights of The Old Republic. Has everyone forgotten how to tell a compelling story now that we HAVE to spend tons of time making sure the thing looks all pwetty? Screw the graphics then! Give me some fresh ideas and competent storytelling any day over 10+ hour-long filler cinemas… But that’s for ANOTHER column. Ugh. Where was I? Oh yes…) Platformers are about gameplay. And this one has tons to spare.
The game is an absolute delight to play. In a world as pretty as it is challenging, gamers will tackle a wide range of unique missions mainly through collecting magical eggs, and using them to solve puzzles. These eggs are all over the place and all one has to do get one rolling is run up behind it. Once going, you’ll be running over enemies and gaining items to “feed” your egg to get it growing. The bigger your egg, the more damage it’ll do when you launch it at enemies. But things get REALLY interesting when your egg gets to hatching size! Once big enough you’ll be able to hatch the eggs and out pop magical creatures with a variety of skills, introducing a strategic planning element to the combat and puzzles.
And we’ve barely scratched the surface, but for me to go into the finer details of gameplay would take much longer than I have space for, so let me just say this… Billy Hatcher may be the most challenging Sonic Team game you’ll ever play. Most Sonic The Hedgehog titles can be blazed through pretty easily, while this game is more methodical and clever, testing your gaming mojo to the limits. Get ready for a challenging game that rewards gamers as it steadily increases in difficulty.
Funny enough, Yuji Naka recently admitted in an interview that Billy Hatcher started out as a multi-player game and grew into something more. So it’s no surprise that in addition to the main game, Sonic Team has also included a split-screen battle mode that supports up to 4-players. Just one more bit of icing on the cake.
“Oh come on now. I mean, it’s about a boy in a giant chicken suit! How great can this game be?”
I reply back to you good, sir. It’s about a boy in a giant chicken suit! How couldn’t this game be great? Ok, wait don’t answer that. I see your point. But before you write this off as another Dr. Muto or Blinx Crap Sweeper, please remember one thing. This is Sega we’re talking about. If any company can take quirky concepts and make them successful, it’s them.
And again… this is Sonic Team.
And it has NiGHTS.
Go get it already.
10 Reason To Love Your GameCube In 2003!
2.) F-ZERO GX
Hovercraft racing at its finest. The official sequel to the blazing F-Zero X on the N64, F-Zero GX zooms out of the gate and surpasses the original in EVERYTHING. Here’s another title GC owners have been waiting a long time for. And it was developed by Amusement Visions, the same guys who developed the Super Monkey Ball games! (Holy shit, a Sega-owned developer working on a NINTENDO GAME :(?? Is that even possible?)
In the transition to the GC, F-Zero has received all sorts of upgrades to go with it. Gameplay-wise, the Grand-Prix modes you’ve come to know and love are only the tip of the iceberg. For the first time in the series, there is a Story Mode featuring the game’s most popular racer, Captain Falcon. I guess his roles in SSB/SSBM finally paid off, as he is now the standout character. The Story Mode takes the hero through a slew of various missions, such as collecting rings or dodging boulders, all the while trying to defeat his latest challengers. The more missions you complete, the more missions you can purchase with points.
That’s another new addition to the game: a point system. The more points you earn, the more cool stuff you can unlock, such as racers, tracks for the Grand Prix, and special parts for customized racers. Wait, what did I say? Customized racers? Yep, I sure did! For the first time, you can build your own high-speed machine, give it any color you want, and even give it your own logo! Then you can take it into modes like Grand Prix and show all the “default” racers that you’re no pushover!
The races themselves? Fast. VERY fast. The fastest races you’ll EVER see on ANY system. And the best thing about these races being so fast? The framerate doesn’t drop. You’ll be blazing along at 60 FPS without a hick-up or a glitch getting in your way!
Perhaps the coolest feature of all is the fact that you can bring your memory card with you when you head to your local arcade, and use it to unlock stuff in the arcade racer, F-Zero AX! (Assuming you can find one, that is.) And you can download special arcade-only racers to your memory card and play them at home! Awesome, awesome stuff.
What should seal the deal for you to get this game, you ask? My word for it. You see, I hate racing games with a passion. There are only a handful that you’ll ever see me playing: F-Zero is one of them. The graphics are sweet, the controls are tight, and the races are some of the most challenging you’ll ever be put to the test against. You MUST get this game! You HAVE TO! Don’t make me hold my breath until my face turns blue! Oh yeah? You won’t think I’ll do it? Just watch me! (Holds breath)
(Two game descriptions later)
CLICK HERE FOR PART 4!