✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle

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kerr9000
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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Wed May 20, 2020 4:42 pm

My 158th SNES Review Virtual Bart (I will eventually make a Video of this but I thought I would at least do the written part).

So this is not the first Simpsons game I have reviewed and in fact I have already talked about a game very similar to this one, a game called Barts Nightmare and as this is made by the same developer and published by the same publisher I guess this is basically a sequel in all but name.
This game was released for the Super NES and the Sega Megadrive or as our American friends would know it the Sega Genesis in 1994.

Unless you have been living under a rock then I don't need to explain who the Simpson's are pretty much everyone will have watched there show at least a few times and have some idea of who the characters are. The game does do a good job of connecting to this world, it makes sure that plenty of the shows characters are sprinkled in here and there and the game does try very hard to stay true to the show visually and in tone. When I reviewed Barts Nightmare I described it as a mini game collection connected by a central hub world, a hub world which was incredibly boring and time consuming and I plainly stated that the game would have been a lot better if you just sacked of the hub world and got straight in to the mini games, well its almost as if someone had been listening to my frustrations as Virtual Bart sacks of the concept of the hub world in favour for a spinning wheel which randomly selects which mini game you will play next, so far so good right?

OK so lets start with the games story. It is a pretty simple one, it is Bart's schools science fair day and he wanders past all the other exhibits which are all pretty cool Simpsons references and he sees a virtual reality project. Bart cant resist getting in to the machine, it is once you enter this machine you find yourself spinning on a wheel, a wheel which will randomly select one of six different levels. All of these levels are essentially different mini games. You have a couple of lives to try and complete all of these levels with and when you lose all of your lives well that's game over and you will be treated by seeing Bart stumble out of the virtual reality set and throw up.

I will give them credit for providing a neat little cut scene before each level that sets the scene and also for the fact that every level contains characters from the show. So they have at least tried to show some love to the source material.

OK so lets be deeply honest now the graphics are the only good part of this game. All of the characters actually look good and the backgrounds show scenery that you can recognise from the town of Springfield found in the show. Its a crying shame that good graphics are paired up with rather dull uninspired background music. Sound effect wise there is not much to talk about there are a few screams a few groans and a few laughs but its all pretty pedestrian and by the numbers

On paper this game sounds good because it sounds a lot like a Barts Nightmare 2 which has had the rubbish hub world torn out of it, but only if this was true. The six games on here are all exceptionally bad, even the best one of them cant hold a candle to the worst one in Barts Nightmare. The levels are hard, a lot of them have twitchy floaty controls and they just throw thing after thing at you in a way which just makes it feel like a slog, more than a few minutes on any of these feels like swimming through diarrhoea for infinity. Take the difficulty and the boredom and unless there's something wrong with you then you will not be able to beat this game and you wont feel bad about that in the slightest.

OK so lets run you through the levels or games or whatever youd like to call them one by one. There's a level where your a prehistoric Bart faced dinosaur thing where you run around jumping and smacking stuff with your tail. It soon descends into just climbing up and up jumping from platform to platform with stuff knocking you off.

Then there's a level where your Bart as a baby. In this level you jump from tree limb to tree limb and swing around and get higher and higher, miss time something once and you will fall most likely to your death.

Then there's a level where Bart turns into a pig and must escape a meat packing plant. You run up and down and pull leavers and jump on clowns heads and yeah its another platform style level.

Then you have a level based on Bart’s school photo day. In this level you as Bart need to throw tomatoes at everyone to try and ruin the school photo. This game is pretty darn basic and yet its possibly the best game here because it at least doesn't feel horrid.

Then we have a level which is clearly based on Mad Max with Bart travelling on a bike in a post apocalyptic Springfield with school bullies trying to ram you off the road. It is like all of the others not very much fun at all and is a complete slog

So the final one I have left to talk about is a water slide level. All you do is control Bart by moving left to right in the water slide avoiding obstacles. Occasionally you will need to choose a path picking either to go down the right or the left path, if you pick the wrong one you end up bumping into Homers stuck behind but this doesn't kill you no you then get pushed down the other pipe anyway so it doesn't seem to matter that much. This could have been good if it felt better if there was a better sense of speed and more to see and the problem is that this is the case with all of the games they all feel kind of half arsed, like they had an OK idea but just didn't push it well enough. There were levels in Barts Nightmare such as the Bartman level which actually felt like if they had been expanded on then you could have made a whole game out of the gameplay on offer there, I can not say this about any game here, if any of the bits of this game had been expanded on you would still have been left with a rubbish product.

So If I was going to give this game a score out of 10 I would give it about 2. I have never owned this game nor do I have any desire to own it, I used an Everdrive to play this game in order to review it, although I do remember once renting it back when the SNES was popular and back then I instantly regretted wasting my pocket money on the rental. If you really need this game it actually seems to be pretty rare every time I have seen a cart of it its been about £40 which in all honesty is about £37 to expensive, you should spend your money on something much better.

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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Fri May 22, 2020 11:58 pm

Asterix SNES Review


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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Sat May 23, 2020 2:47 pm

My review of Virtual Bart


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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Sat May 23, 2020 4:07 pm

My Review of Super Castlevania 4


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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Mon May 25, 2020 11:16 pm

Axelay SNES Review


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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Mon May 25, 2020 11:41 pm

Krustys Super FunHouse SNES Review


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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Tue May 26, 2020 12:54 am

The Firemen SNES review 159...... video to follow in a day or two.

As I have probably previously mentioned before when I started this whole series of reviews I stuck by a few set rules one of which was that I would only play games on a proper SNES to review them and the other was that I would only play something I actually owned on Cartridge. This kind of stopped me from reviewing this game even though I was super eager to do so as I didn't own the cart, in fact the closest I had ever come to owning it was having rented it as a kid from a place called Video City. So why am I reviewing it now then? Have I purchased it? To be blunt nope I haven't purchased it but after I had written 150 SNES reviews and hit my target I decided that I would actually continue reviewing SNES titles even though I had hit my goal and would branch out into reviewing hack's, home-brew and games which I couldn't manage to get my hands on a cartridge of due to there price or lack of availability. So for my 159th Written Review I decided id like to look at The Fireman.
I don't usually talk about how much games cost until right at the end of a review but I am going to break that tradition here and go straight in to this games worth well basically a loose pal cart of it will probably cost you about £130, and if you go for a Japanese copy and decide that you can get by without being able to read the story then this will cost you around £40 maybe if you keep looking you might just manage to get a Japanese copy for £30, however its important to note that this game is one of the most counterfeited games going, there are plenty of reproduction carts for sale which I don't have too much of a problem with when they are clearly marked as such but it does worry you that there are probably some fakes out there being passed off as genuine. For me though if your contemplating a fake then don't bother just pay a little more and get a cheap everdrive and play all manor of hard to get games and home-brews and hacks on that instead is not like a fake actually has any real worth to it. This might spoil the review a little but The Firemen is a great game but I do find it hard to recommend someone spend £130 on a loose cart of anything, still lets get on to talking about the game itself.

OK so The Firemen has a pretty good story, its a fairly simplistic one but I think its told well. The game is set in 2010 which yep is the past now but when this came out it was practically future times but for once we are not on the moon or anything crazy things are actually pretty much as they are now, maybe there are a few more basic robot type things sliding around but there not too much more advanced than the robot vacuums and stuff we have actually got in the real world. It's Christmas Eve, and a major fire has broken out in a chemical factory. As you can probably guess from the title of the game you play a Fireman, a Fireman who is the head of a team of five experienced firemen, and its your job to get in there and to fight the fire. I have to stop and point out the fact that the story is a realistic one, a fire has broken out and is wreaking havoc, there's no evil villain or terrorist organisations, the world is not in danger of immanent destruction. Your also not the last member of an alien race or the son of a demi god your a regular fireman who is just doing his job putting out the flames and looking for survivors. As your doing your job you get regularly contacted by members of your team, you see there picture and get to read there dialogue and it just really helps to set the scene and immerse you in the games world. This game really stands out in the SNES's library as something different or at least it would if more people were aware of its existence. Back in the day I never ever once saw this for sale on any store shelf, I didn't know a single person who owned it and to be honest if it was not for the rental store I used to visit Video City having a copy of this game I most likely would not have played this back in the day myself, I have memories of trying to tell other people about this game pre-internet and them thinking that it didn't exist like it was some kind of fever dream I had had.

OK so that's the story talked about so next on to the most important part the gameplay, The Firemen is probably best described as being an overhead shooter. Think of something like Super Smash TV but with more of a story and with you using a water hose instead of a gun a hose which has two types of shot one straight ahead and another which is a ground shot, and you need to work out which kind of shot is needed for each situation, you also have a smart bomb which will extinguish the entire screen. You will often also find yourself crouching down and crawling under various bits of pipe. Now I need to press the point that this is not a simulation of real fire fighting, the flames don't just sit there spreading the way a fire would spread in the real world, yes you will see a few bits of fire on the floor spread somewhat naturally but then there are also bits of fire which act well for want of a better term like sentient enemies, sections of flame can travel in waves across the screen or zig zag in ways which real fire obviously wouldn't behave but the game is so great atmosphere wise that you wont care if it plays it fast and loose with the way fire behaves. I love the fact that your right hand man who is constantly following you and helps you fight the fire actually extinguishes fire with an axe, I think that shows how loose this game is with reality. Its one of those cases of bending reality for the purpose of making the game as fun as possible and after all that's what games are supposed to be. The game has 6 stages and each stage features a cool boss battle at the end, they feel just about the right length to draw you in without over staying there welcome. The controls are great I know I must sound like a parrot when I repeatability say this when talking about a great game, but the controls feel perfect, they do exactly what they are supposed to do, how they are supposed to, when they are supposed to and this is one of the things which truly makes the game great the fact you never feel cheated or conned out of anything.
The levels are all well designed with plenty of hidden things to find if you care to look, you can find extra smart bombs and upgrades to your hose. The game is a decently challenging game but as I have said it is a fair one, yes there are plenty of hazards that can hurt you and things which happen but there are always cues to let you know something is about to happen. This game avoids one of the things which annoys me in gaming, I hate when you offer an easy mode or a beginners mode which then penalises you by either finishing early and not allowing you to see all of the game or by instead of giving you the ending ends with a screen telling you that you need to complete the game again on a harder difficulty to see the real ending. To me the point of varying difficulties is to allow people with different levels of ability to still enjoy the game whether that is by making the game easier or harder so that they can either see the whole game if they otherwise wouldn't or so it lasts them longer if there good at games. I am happy to say that on the Firemen in Beginner Mode you don't miss anything which makes this game great for less able gamers who want to enjoy the story without finding things too difficult. If there was something gameplay wise that I would say is a shame it would be the fact that despite there being a second character who is always by your side they didn't think off adding a two player mode and allowing you and a buddy to play this game through together, but to be honest this is just a small gripe, the lack of this doesn't ruin the game it would just have made something that is brilliant even more so.

The visuals are not the best in the world in fact they do have a slightly budget look about them, but they are full of character and work well enough and after all gameplay is king. As for the sound well the soundtrack is great in my opinion it is easily up there with more widely known greats such as Super Castlevania 4 and the Mega Man X games. There are not many sound effects but there are enough but the music in it certainly gets a huge thumbs up from me. In Conclusion though I think the game is a fantastic game its a 9 out of 10 and in fact it only narrowly misses the 10, for the 10 I would want the graphics to be a little bit better and for it to have co-op but this is certainly one of the most individual and interesting lesser known games on the system.

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PostRe: ✰ GR Creative Highlight: 150 SNES Games at the speed I can handle
by kerr9000 » Tue May 26, 2020 1:17 am

Donkey Kong Country 2


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