Friday, May 22, 2009

Introducing Quickies: Bite-size reviews

Welcome to a brand-new installment on SuperPhillip Central-- Quickies. What are SPC Quickies? They're paragraph-long reviews for games that don't really need a long review dedicated to them. We're talking about games like from the Virtual Console and other downloadable services. It makes little sense to score such games on the normal in-depth review scale, so instead quickie reviews will be scored from 1-5 with no decimals to worry about.

5 - Fantastic

4 - Great

3 - Fair

2 - Poor

1 - Awful


Banjo-Kazooie (XBLA)

Banjo-Kazooie is definitely one of my all-time favorite games of all time, and it still holds up well to this day. The visuals have been slightly enhanced, and playing the game with the Xbox 360 controller is a delight. The goal of Banjo-Kazooie is to traverse through ten themed perpetually more difficult worlds in search of Jiggies. They're like power stars in Super Mario 64 as they open up new worlds and sections of Gruntilda's (the villain) complex castle. A cool enhancement to the game is when collecting notes. In the original when you died, all the notes you collected in a level would return to their locations. Not so with this version. It makes collecting 100 notes in each world much less of a frustration. Banjo-Kazooie is highly recommended.

[SuperPhillip Says: 5/5]

Super Metroid (VC)

Originally released on the Super Nintendo in 1994, Super Metroid screw attacks its way onto the Wii Virtual Console. Let me just say that the game world is extremely well-designed. Everything is logically done. When Samus Aran gains new abilities, she can access new areas in the game either to progress further or to discover missile, health, or bomb upgrades. Super Metroid brought with it a godsend, an incredibly detailed map allowing you to figure out where you need to go and how to get there. My only beef with this adventure is that the wall jump and the space jump moves are more difficult to pull off than they should be. Otherwise, Super Metroid is a terrific game that I regret missing out on until now.

[SuperPhillip Says: 5/5]

Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards (VC)

Although the Nintendo 64 touted itself as a 3D machine, Kirby 64 is a traditional 2 1/2 D platformer. There's six planets in all each with a multitude of levels. To get the best ending, you need to collect all of the crystal shards which there are three hidden in each main level. The addition that sets this game apart from the other Kirby games is the option of combining abilities. Kirby can grab a burn ability, lift it over his head, and then toss it at an Ice enemy to create a Burn + Ice combo ability for much more powerful and helpful results. The only real problem with Kirby 64 is that it's over far too soon, something common with the franchise. You can complete this game 100% in 4-5 hours if that.

[SuperPhillip Says: 4/5]

Punch-Out! (VC)

Punch-Out! is an action-puzzler where the key to victory is dodging your opponent at the right time and then striking him while his guard is down. Little Mac's opponents become progressively more difficult and have much more complex and hard-to-dodge attacks. It's a fun game thanks to the pick-up-and-play nature of the game, but it's over too soon and there's nothing left after you complete the game. The gameplay is a little too simple for my tastes.

[SuperPhillip Says: 3/5]

As these reviews are too short to be fairly listed among the more in-depth reviews in my review database, they will be listed under SPC Quickies: Volume 1. Let me know what you think about this new feature!


Kyle said...

Cool idea actually. Though I'd have to disagree with you on Punch-Out!!, I'd say it deserves at least a 4/5 (maybe a 5), but that's just me. Speaking of which have you or are you going to pick up the Wii Punch-Out!!? It's really great.

The Dread Pirate Guy said...

You've only recently played Super Metroid? Ouch, man. But at least you now know how fantastic this game is.

If you've never played it, I heartily recommend Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. It's the only other game I've played that's come close to how brilliant Super Metroid is. You can find it on XBLA if not.

I'd agree with Kyle. The score seems a little low for Punch-Out!!, but I'm coming at it with a lot of nostalgia involved as well. On it's own merit, however, it's aged well, and is still fun to play.