The Joy of Gaming with jfe2

Posted on Nov 4th 2009 at 05:54:07 PM by (jfe2)
Posted under Nintendo DS, Zombies, Touch the Dead, Little Red Riding Hoods Zombie BBQ

I love zombies. I'm dead serious. Like, I would actually dance a celebratory jig if a zombie apocalypse happened.

My fascination with zombies started way back when I was around three years old. Michael Jackson's Thriller video nearly terrified me into a coma at the time. It scared me so bad that I had recurring zombie nightmares well into grade school. As I got older I overcame my fear by watching Night of the Living Dead and Dawn of the Dead with some friends, and I've been obsessed with zombie pop-culture ever since.

Needless to say, if you put a zombie in a video game, I'll probably play it. Zombies Ate my Neighbors took up all of my free time when I was a kid, House of the Dead is one of my all time favorite games, and Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty: World at War's zombie maps have given me endless hours of entertainment. I'm always on the lookout for new zombie games, and have even recently decided to pick up Dead Rising for the Xbox 360.

Going through my collection of dust covered DS games that have been neglected worse than the Jon and Kate Plus 8 kids, I came across two games that I should have no excuse for not having played through to the end. The first one is called Touch the Dead.



Weird name, right? This game is an on-rails shooter that plays a lot like House of the Dead, which as mentioned before, is one of my all time favorite games. It obviously doesn't support a light gun, and instead takes advantage of the touch screen. You shoot by using the stylus to tap your zombie attackers, and reload by dragging a clip across the screen to your gun.

It's actually a lot more challenging than it sounds, and gets chaotic when you are being attacked by multiple enemies of different types. Some just shamble up to you and take a swing, while others are can be more aggressive. There are huge zombies that deal a bit more damage, and even some that will toss there heads at you. You are forced to decide which ones to attack first, as tapping and reloading takes more time than you would think, and you have to be quick to dispatch of them in the right order lest you have your face eaten.



The story is kind of meh, but the atmosphere did keep me intrigued. The main character, Rob Steiner, not to be confused with Rob Schneider of Deuce Bigalow fame, is sitting in a prison cell when his cell door suddenly opens up. Like any sane criminal would, he decides to cheese it on out of there. He is greeted by a bunch of empty cells and a few prison guards that have a hankering for brains. The game does a good job of maintaining a creepy feel, as the place feels totally deserted, and just when you start to get comfortable a maggot ridden corpse jumps at the screen.

The graphics are reminiscent of the blocky stuff that we used to see on the Sega Saturn, but they don't make the game unplayable by any means. If you are a graphics whore then it would probably be pretty bothersome, but otherwise it doesn't take away from an overall fun game.



In the end, I had a blast with this game. It gets very challenging as it goes on and I honestly had a hard time putting it down, even after dying a few times. The game is a bit short overall, but its perfect for a portable console like the DS. There are enough secrets and hidden power-ups to keep someone interested for a while. This one is definitely worth checking out, especially if you are a House of the Dead fan.

The next game that I played may have an even weirder title. Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ. Let that one sink in.



Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ is a vertical shooter that uses touch screen controls to shoot and dodge incoming enemies. You control either Little Red Riding Hood, who totes a machine gun, much like B.B. Hood from Darkstalkers, or her friend Momotaro, a Japanese folk hero who shoots ninja stars out of a gun... Yeah, it is as awesome as it sounds.

Enemies attack from the top of the screen and you mow them down with bullets by holding the stylus in the direction you want to shoot. You reload by lifting the stylus from the screen and pressing it back down. There is also a grenade launcher that has limited use and can be fired by quickly double tapping the screen. Your character can move horizontally across the bottom of the screen between seven positions. Your enemies will attack from the top of the screen and you can either use the d-pad to move left or right to an adjacent square, or you can tap any square to quickly move to it in order to dodge attacks. You can also duck under some attacks by tapping your character.



Enemies vary between slow shuffling zombies, head tossing ghouls, huge rotting monsters that explode into a shower of corrosive goo, and evil toy soldiers that fire continuous lasers. There are explosive barrels and crates full of power-ups to help you fight the zombie hordes. Power-ups include flamethrowers, shotguns, which have short range but pack a huge punch, and lasers that rip through enemies to hit any that may be behind them.

The boss battles are by far the best part of the game, and include battles against Red Riding Hood's possessed grandma, a gigantic zombified Gretel, of Hansel and Gretel fame, and a giant evil Pinocchio who throws his head at you. These battles involve a lot of strategy, and you have to get the bosses' complex patterns down right in order to avoid being demolished.



The graphics are really fun and remind me of the old Neo-Geo and Capcom shooters, but with some enemies rendered in 3D, and with 3D rendered backgrounds. The enemies are big and colorful, and help to increase the overall fun factor of the game.

I personally had a lot of fun with this game. If you like retro styled vertical shooters such as the old G.I. Joe arcade game, or if you are just a fan of zombies in general, you need to give this game a shot. It is a fun little game that doesn't fail to entertain.

Happy hunting!



Posted on Oct 30th 2009 at 06:58:10 PM by (jfe2)
Posted under Nintendo DS, Nintendo, DS, Dragonball Origins

I've been trying to pay more attention to my Nintendo DS lately. I have so many games for it and my GBA, some still in the shrink wrap, and it just feels wrong to let them sit in a shoebox to collect dust. I went through them yesterday and picked a few that I would try to commit to playing through. I love gaming, but I hate when a game starts to feel like work. There's nothing worse than getting half way through a game to find that its just boring and feels like a chore to play.

I decided to start playing Dragonball: Origins, and was really hoping it would make me want to play all the way through. I wasn't quite sure what I would think of it when I started, but I am happy to say that I am really enjoying it so far.



I was a big fan of the original Dragon Ball back when it first aired in America. I remember it being on something like the WB, and they only aired a few episodes from the first season. I had never seen any anime before, and it really captured my attention as a kid. There was something really charming about the characters, and I enjoyed the weird relationship between Goku and Bulma.

Goku is a weird little kid with a monkey tail and super strength. He rides on a sentient flying cloud and carries an extendable staff. The odd little dude is loosely based on the Chinese folk character Sun Wukong from Journey to the West. Goku is out training one day when he encounters a teenage girl named Bulma, who is in search of the legendary Dragon Balls. If someone finds all seven of them, they get a wish, and it just so happens that Goku has one.



I was into Dragonball Z as a teenager (who wasn't?), but in my opinion it never really recaptured the magic that Dragonball had. It was too angsty and I got sick of hearing about aliens and "power levels". The original Dragonball was the bees knees as far as I'm concerned.

Dragonball: Origins plays similar to Zelda: The Phantom Hourglass, using touchscreen controls to move and attack. You can use the d-pad to control Goku, which is a nice option, but I found myself just moving him around with the stylus. You place the stylus where you want to move to, and tap nearby enemies to attack them. There's a stronger dash attack, which is initiated by placing the stylus on him and then quickly sliding it towards the enemies you want to attack.

Goku also has an extending staff (giggity) which he can use to attack enemies or smash rocks that may be in his path. There is a window at the bottom of the screen that can be tapped to quickly equip the staff, and it comes in handy depending on which types of enemies you are facing off against. The staff has a sweeping attack that can be used by placing the stylus on Goku, sliding it out in front of him, and sweeping it towards the group you are attacking.



Goku has a dodge move which can be done by quickly tapping where you want to roll to, and apparently it becomes a teleport if done right before an enemy attack. I can never get the timing right on the teleport, but I'm sure it will get easier after doing it a few times. Hell, I just learned how to pull of a shoryuken in Street Fighter, and I've been playing those games for years. I could only do them on accident before...

The cutscenes are really enjoyable, especially if you were into the show. They keep me wanting to play just so I can see how closely the shows story will be followed. Considering I'm not the worlds biggest anime fan, and was into the show more than ten years ago, Dragonball: Origins has me hooked. I'm about two hours in and it has done a lot to compel me to keep playing.

I'll try to play through it this weekend so that I can get a more solid impression, and then maybe I can write a proper review.


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
This is jfe2's Blog.
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I'm a 23 year old husband, father, and gamer. This blog is an outlet for all of the random gaming thoughts that I have, and will also allow me to express how gaming impacts my life. And yes, the blog's title is a Bob Ross reference... That'll be our little secret.
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