More songs about buildings and games

Hey, Internet! The latest issue of EGM is making the rounds, and seeing as I’m extremely eager to get the unsavoriness of that last entry off the main page, I guess I’ll do that thing again where I comment on my contributions for the magazine. Even though I don’t really have much to say this time.

See, unlike last month, I doubt the current batch of reviews will cause quite so much heartburn among the frothier corners of the gaming web, as this was one of those rare occasions where everything I was assigned was startlingly good.

Of course, that could be giving the Internet too much credit. After all, it’s full of the same people who were convinced that I was being unfairly pre-judgmental of Ultimate Ghosts N’ Goblins before I’d played it — despite the fact that said “pre-judgment” was made in the course of commenting on my already-published EGM review. The lesson here, I guess, is that it’s very easy to overestimate the collective reasoning capabilities of the Internet.

Contact: It’s too bad everyone seems to have latched onto to the notion that this is Earthbound’s lovechild, because actually it’s not, and the mere mention of Earthbound has caused a lot of people to jump to the conclusion that it’s going to be the best game ever, sight-unseen. And there will likely be some backlash about this, which is unfortunate, because Contact doesn’t deserve shrill nerd-hate. I realize I have played my own small role in this collective fallacy, and for that I apologize. But just to be perfectly clear: Contact is not Earthbound redux. It is, however, a very good game. Just maybe not for the reasons a lot of people are assuming it is.

Mega Man ZX: ZX makes me all swoony, but I also realize that the qualities that make me all weak in the knees are not objectively excellent characteristics. A damn fine Mega Man game, but that qualifier at the end — “Mega Man game” — means it’s undeniably niche-y. It’s king of the tidal pool, but drop it in the ocean and it’s a little fish indeed.

Rocket Slime: I was worried that maybe I was overrating Rocket Slime a little bit, because while it’s unbelievably fun and purehearted and wonderful it’s also stupidly easy. Plus it’s a TOSE game, and you know what that means. But then it turned out to be the magazine’s Game of the Month, so clearly I wasn’t alone.

Confidential to Square Enix: please try making your Final Fantasy spin-offs as good as your Dragon Quest spin-offs and the world will have much higher regard for you. Honest.

43 thoughts on “More songs about buildings and games

  1. I’m really tempted to get Rocket Slime, but since I’m already getting the other two I don’t really think I can afford it. I hope Squeenix prints enough copies that I can pick one up used later.

    I really am looking forward to Megaman ZX, though. I never liked the others that much, but the idea of a Megametroidvania that’s like Legends, the only Megaman game I ever loved, is enough to make me pretty swoony.

    Okay, really this entire comment was an excuse to use ‘Megametroidvania’.

  2. i really want contact. it was too japanese heavy for me, so i’ll probably pick the english one up in a few weeks.

  3. Man, so many good games coming out! I have a feeling that of those three, I’ll probably snag Rocket Slime first, that one looks like a lot of fun. But with Contact and Mario Vs. Donkey Kong 2 coming out, who knows where my money will end up?

  4. These are all pretty average games compared to the later fall line-up, are they still worth the money? I say Contact is…because it’s Atlus.
    …*random statement*…
    I want Iron feather, blast you Konami.

  5. No, what does it mean that it’s a TOSE game? Tell me. I’m trying to learn more about TOSE games. I liked Super Princess Peach more than New Super Mario Bros., and I also liked Stafi 4, and both of those are TOSE games. So I’m excited to hear that Rocket Slime is from TOSE, too!

  6. Let’s just say that the quality of the games you’ve just named is the exception rather than the rule.
    Also, and I say this with all due respect, Mario Vs. DK 2 seems kinda not very good from what I’ve played of it.

  7. I definitely want all three of those games, though I think Rocket Slime is going on my Christmas list. Contact is a must buy since I’m the president of the Tomm Hulett Fan Club, San Diego County Chapter. All words usually ending in one ‘m’ shall be spelled with ‘mm.’ Hi, Momm!
    Note to jparish: Are my plans for a Chain Diving, Ratchet Deadlocking, Comix Zoning weekend dashed? :-(

  8. Yes, sorry. I’ve been pretty sick for the past week and haven’t made it to the post office. I’m definitely sending the box out tomorrow by priority, though, so there’s a chance you’ll get it Saturday.

  9. I’m actually really psyched for Rocket Slime, although I hope at least one other person I know gets it (for the multiplayer). There is no way I can get away with buying three games this month without a scowl from the little lady. It’s really unfair that so many games come out 4th quarter. I already pre-ordered Rocket, and I’m leaning towards Contact because a) It’s Atlus and will probably vanish b) While this may be an exceptional Mega Man game, I’ve been burned in the past. Plus, I still have lots left over in Powered Up.
    Whatever happened to the 1up official level for MMPU? Was it ever released?

  10. jp: I rate this trade 4.5/10
    Naw, no worries. I hope you’re feeling better. Being sick during the Summer is no fun. :-)

  11. All three of those look divine. Its really a great time to be a DS owner.
    Unrelated to this, but what do you think of Nintendo’s decision to move Super Paper Mario to the Wii?

  12. Anyone else playing Final Fantasy XI? I broke down for the second time and actually bought it AGAIN, this time for the 360, since I was frustrated with the control on my PC when I first played 2 years ago. Right now I am having fun killing small animals and … worms. Hopefully soon I will be spending hours “virtually” fishing.

  13. I play FFXI, but its been mostly a “I spent this much money and time one it I’m damn well not going to waste it” commitment rather than a “must play” these days. I’d much rather play something like Yakuza, Megaman ZX, Contact, etc.

  14. TheSL, don’t take this the wrong way cause it’s not directed at you per se, but that “I wasted all this time on it, it’d be a shame to stop wasting time now” rationale for MMOs drives me up the wall. People! Stop and consider the logic of what you’re saying!

  15. Yep, I agree wholeheartedly with Nich. I tried to got into FFXI for a little while (thought not nearly as hardcore as necessary in order to really enjoy it) and kept paying for it long after I wasn’t really playing it because I kept thinking of all the countless hours I’d already played just to get to the point I was at.
    Ultimately I realized it was like throwing money away to pay for it but not play it, so I cancelled my monthly subscription.
    I’m still kicking myself for paying for the months I didn’t even play.
    I doubt I’ll ever play an MMO again… unless it’s POKEMON MMO!

  16. I’m currently on break from FFXI (unsubsribed of course; I’m not paying for a game I’m not playing right now). It’s fun enough in small doses. Of course, this means in my case I never get anything done; I’ve been playing off and on for nearly two years and my main job, Monk, is only level 30. (That’s keeping in mind though one of those ‘off’ times lasted a whole year.)

    At least the music for it rocks.

  17. Still sick Jeremy? Sorry to hear that, man. I was wondering why I hadn’t been hearing from you about the recording session for the Retronauts podcast.

    So how about those guaranteed PS3 shortages?

  18. “i really want contact. it was too japanese heavy for me, so i’ll probably pick the english one up in a few weeks. – shivam” Huh? I thought you currently lived and worked in Japan?
    “I doubt the current batch of reviews will cause quite so much heartburn among the frothier corners of the gaming web.” Hit the fanboy’s weakpoint for massive amounts of irrational complaining! (BTW, I apologize for making that joke).

  19. Out of curiousity, Parish, if Capcom stuck to making Mega Man games the calibur of ZX, would all be well? I ask since most critics’ main complaint about anything and everything Mega Man is that it recycles too much stuff too often. Even fans can and do gripe about it. Is ZX in that danger, assuming they keep the foundational gameplay and design solid? (Which, this being Capcom, is never a certainty, sadly.)

    I mean, any franchise can be damaged by repitition, but Mega Man in particular seems to get gonged with that moreso then other franchises. Thoughts?

  20. Stop using that earthbound pic. All it does is remind me of The Lost World arcade game. Its the only other place I’ve seen ‘lab’ misspelled as ‘labo’. And if you’re trying to remind me on purpose, find the part in earthbound where you’re fighting a dinosaur to keep it from pooping on you.

  21. No, no, my emphasis is on the fact that I wasted the $100 on the PS2 harddrive more than that I wasted my time on FFXI.

  22. Jeremy in this post I am informing you that your prejudice against Grasshopper has caused you to not proclaim Contact the best game ever. I mean look at it, it’s just like Earthbound how can you hate it man.

  23. While not a Megaman fan, I am a die-hard Megaman Zero fan (with hypes for ZX) because they are awesome games. And not hard, I swear. So, Looking at Capcom’s TGS lineup today, I see: Ryuusei no Rockman (NDS),

    – I hope it’s from the same team. And I can’t wait for ZX, I might have to break my oath to not spend money ever for that.

  24. Ryuusei No Rockman is to Battle Network what ZX is to Zero. Same game, different name, and they probably killed off the original cast in the interim.
    TOLLMASTER, you’re fired. Have your desk cleared by the time I get back from lunch.

  25. Speaking of Rockman games (go go forced segue), what’s this “Rockman Rebirth” for DS that Capcom’s supposedly showing at TGS? Given that it doesn’t sound ZX or Ryuusei related, is it some sort of port of Powered Up, or something completely new? How many re-makes and re-imaginings can Capcom pump out in a one-year period? (Ok that last question should probably be rhetorical.)

  26. Isn’t it all the same in the end? Battle Network and any successor/knock-off series is going to be just as lame.

    Unless of course they fix the encounter rate. Then we might have something resembling fun.

  27. Ryuusei No Rockman is to Battle Network what ZX is to Zero. Same game, different name, and they probably killed off the original cast in the interim.

    Surely rebirth is more like original->X since MMBN mostly took from the original other than that one outing with the zero virus?

  28. I thought the main probelm with BN wasn’t necessarily the encounter rate (through I grew up on Dragon Quest, so I may be exception) but rather the fact that every map looked exactly the same. I swear that half the time I spent in that game was running in circles looking for where to go. If this one can fix that problem (maybe a DS-standard dedicated map screen?) then I’ll give it at least a try.

  29. I was down with the idea of Pokemon-style Megaman, but at least I knew people who had Pokemon. I’m the only person I know who got a Battle Network game. Overall they were pretty frustrating experiences, and turned me off to CCG-style games entirely.

  30. “If this one can fix that problem (maybe a DS-standard dedicated map screen?) then I’ll give it at least a try.”

    Totally agree with you on that one. It’s just too bad people complain when developers make such ‘obvious’ and ‘unoriginal’ use of the second screen (because useful implementation is a bad idea, apparently.)

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