Sup, sup everyone? This is the first installment of my new column. I’ve been kicking around names for awhile. Originally I was just going to go with Nightly Shaded with a Pinch of Gaming, but then I realized that it sucked. So instead, I’ve settled on ” Zack is Right, You are Wrong”. That’s right, my opinion is law. Trust me. Gaming is like a seventh sense to me. When I’m not in class or doing something on the ole’ computer here, I’m gaming.
Lately, my gaming has consisted of a lot of Madden 2004 and Final Fantasy Tactics Advance. These are two of the great games that have recently been released. However, no matter how much I may love them, they will not be the center of this column. No, the point of my column will be to review a game that is new, a game that is old, and some new releases on the horizon.
Again, I love video games. I’ve been hooked since I’ve been like two years old. Back in the day I played great games like Joust, Mickey Mousecapade, and Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. Now, you don’t get games like that these days, but once in awhile you get some gems. Thus I will come to the first part of the column, a game of old that you just can’t go wrong with.
Chrono Trigger is an AWESOME game. After a year of looking for Final Fantasy Chronicles, I ran into it at my buddy’s used game store. Boy oh boy, was I thrilled! I loved Chrono Trigger back on SNES and everything is preserved on PSX. But there are two things which would alter the original 9.0 scoring that it gets from me. First off, Akira Toriyama draws the sexiest cutscenes ever. They enhance the game up at least a half point. However, there is a bad part… the loading times for EVERYTHING. Upwards to seven seconds everytime you go to a new screen or try to go to your menu… This, sadly, brings it back down at least a half point. So, the final rating of this game is 9.0. What a great game… If you see Final Fantasy Chronicles, get it. It’s a collector’s item and only a small number of copies were released in the States.
Final thoughts on Chrono Trigger: This is one of the best games of all time. You need it.
Well, we’ve seen an old game that I definitely love, now let’s take a look at a new game. This game just came out on Monday night, actually. It’s the continuation of the popular series of Smackdown!
Smackdown! Here Comes the Pain
Now, I’ve gotten into the game only a little bit so far, but I promised a review. It’s more in depth than any other Smackdown game. The grappling system has been revised and split into four categories. Quick moves, Power moves, Submission moves, and Signature moves. The initial grapple is to chose which one of these categories you want to choose a move from. Then you are put into one of a few different animations from test of strength to hand shake to pick your move in typical THQ game fashion.
The season mode already looks a lot more promising than Smackdown 4’s mode. Instead of having to wander around the arena aimlessly looking for people to talk to, you are given a choice of places to go and if people are there or not. Sometimes they are there, sometimes they are not. This is good though, I don’t have to go through the entire arena just to find Test wandering around again to give me a one liner wishing me luck. No, everything has a point now and that makes me happy.
Also in the season, you have the choice to build a superstars attributes up from 1’s across the board. The attributes are great. They are strength, submission, endurance, technique, and speed. Unlike the other Smackdown games, they do not conform to different move styles and the damage they do, but to how much damage your moves do, how long you hold a submission on, how much beating you can take, how easy it is to counter moves, and how fast the wrestler moves around the ring. Like an RPG, you gain experience each week and it goes towards attribute points. Very innovative, especially for when you make CAWs and want to build them from the ground up.
I haven’t touched the CAW mode yet, I’m saving it for next week’s column, but so far, I like this game a lot. It’s gone back to the roots of using L2 to reverse strikes and R2 to reverse grapples, giving it somewhat of a hybrid feel between No Mercy and Smackdown. The wrestlers are beautifully rendered, and Lita looks great. The first thing I unlocked in the Smackdown Mall was Lita’s loading screens. They make me a happy, happy man.
While this isn’t a full review, it is enough to tell you nay-sayers to go buy the damn game, if not at least rent it. It’ll be worth the cash. I’m giving it an initial score of 7.5 due to me not playing with the CAW yet.
Now, we’ve taken a look at gaming from the past and present, so let’s take a look at the horizon for video gaming. I’m looking forward to one thing. Being released on Wednesday is Monster Rancher 4 for the PS2. Now, I am a huge fan of the Monster Rancher series. Those are just some plain fun games. The sad thing is that I’m one of the only people who think that (out of people I know). Not many people will give it a chance because they think it’s just another stupid Japanese kid game that they ported to the States. Well, those people are wrong, obviously. Monster Rancher 4 is going to be great and will be on the review block next week.
Welp, I’m gonna wrap this article up as I want to play some Smackdown before I go to bed. To summarize what you’ve read, Chrono Trigger is awesome and scores a 9 .0. Smackdown 5 has amazing promise so far and due to a lack of me checking everything out yet, gets a 7.5. This score will likely change by the next article, because I plan on playing a whole hell of a lot more. Keep your eye out for Monster Rancher 4, coming out in stores everywhere Wednesday morning.
So there you have it kiddies, I am right about everything you have read in this article. If you think I am wrong, take a look at the title of the article and remind yourself.
Zack the Mack Macomber