23 Reviews liked by PhosphorGlow

Just due to their interactive nature, it's extremely difficult for a game to be "so bad it's good" in the same way a movie can. Fugitive Hunter: War On Terror - more specifically its PAL iteration, America's 10 Most Wanted - absolutely hits that mark for me. This game seems to have been made by inexperienced devs doing a completely unironic rendition of 50 Cent: Blood On The Sand, and it's post-9/11 media at its most glorious.
First of all, you simply must play the European release of this game over the watered down American one. The soundtrack absolutely rules, particularly the PAL-exclusive track by So Solid Crew where the rapper begins the song by proclaiming his desire to hunt down the first level's targeted fugitive, followed by "Osama Bin Laden......... you're next." Gold. The rest of the OST is varying degrees of funky, vaguely "Middle Eastern"-sounding dance music and chill beats to relax/study to. This absolutely goes off while you're blowing up racist caricatures with a grenade launcher at point blank range as "SPLAT! +1000 POINTS" pops up on screen.
The main character of this masterpiece is Jake Seaver, possibly the biggest douche ever to be cast as an FPS protagonist. He's like Duke Nukem with even less charisma, and I love him for it. "Some health!" "See ya later!" "This is crazy!" These are just three of the dozen or so incredible one-liners you'll hear him repeat every five seconds in his "frat boy we paid $50 to do some line readings" monotone. He also just looks like a guy who would call you slurs for telling him he can't bring his AR-15 into Walmart.
Gameplay frequently switches between first-person shooter sequences where only the shotguns & grenade launcher are accurate enough to actually kill any enemies and head-to-head fighting game bouts where you mash circle & triangle for 30 seconds to lock every boss into an unblockable combo. At the end of the game you get to beat up Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden because of course you do. "You are the real terrorists!" Saddam proclaims as Jake smashes his face in and probably says something to the effect of "the only terrorist here is my fist going up your ass." I don't remember his actual response, I'm just spitballing here.
This game is clearly held together by duct tape, as the further your save file is into the 2-hour story, the more likely it becomes that the animation on the main menu won't play, causing your TV to emit a horrific buzzing noise which will make you think your PS2 is going to explode. There are also tutorial videos that seemed geared toward people who have never played a video game before, and the voiced over lines in them alternate between different volumes and narrators mid-sentence.
The most shocking part of Fugitive Hunter came during the end credits, when it revealed that the mocap stunt work was provided by none other than Chad Stahelski and Dave (sic) Leitch of John Wick fame. I actually screamed and nearly threw my controller due to this revelation. Now that's kino!


Up there with Dead Space in terms of the sheer quantity of Shit Hitting The Fan screamy voice comms. Incredibly grim atmosphere to this, humanity getting bodied at every opportunity by really good Gunbuster-esque body horror enemy designs. If you put gills on a spaceship it is within our very nature to want to blast it out of the sky.
The game itself is a kind of Radiant Silvergun-lite I suppose, Treasure just aren't operating on the same insane het up energy here and I can't help but miss it. Genuinely impressive multi-phase boss designs albeit with their fair share of moves that feel somewhat unbalanced. The thing I came out of this mostly impressed by was its inventive use of 3D space - the way enemies and obstacles interacted with the physicality of the stage lends a lot of individual personality to the zones and keeps the game fresh from front to back.
How do you lose a planet man. fucking pathetic. grow up

I love, love, LOVE the look and vibe of this game. It's like....Osmosis Jones + Ben 10 + Aeon Flux + Bionicle, but like weirder than that. The designs, the music, the generic but overly detailed story, all of that is great.
The game, however, interupts you every like 5 minutes for a cutscene you can't skip, the camera controls seem backwards, the FOV seems slightly too small, and it has a generic gameplay stink that even the weirdness can't hold up. If there's a tie-in comic or something, I'm down for that.

Let me tell you a tale, one I've never told before anywhere on the Internet. It's an unequivocally true story that takes place during the magical summer of 1998, as I attempted to lead the Boston Red Sox to glory in Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. for the Nintendo 64.
I wanted to play a full 162-game season and win the World Series, as one typically does when playing a baseball video game. I picked the Boston Red Sox as my team, for reasons I'm still unsure of, as I've never been a fan of them. As this was pre-2004, perhaps I had some hidden desire to help them overcome the Curse of the Bambino, if only in digital form. Regardless, I did a fantasy draft prior to the season, picking a solid roster with some genuine superstars, somehow managing to land both Ken Griffey Jr. himself as well as home-run champion Mark McGwire. I had assembled a potent squadron, but what happened next was something that can only be described as otherworldly.
Very quickly into this campaign it became apparent that something unusual was happening. My players, all of them, were hitting the ball with such explosiveness that you could not reasonably conclude this was of my own doing. My pitchers? Practically unhittable too. I was winning almost every game in a blowout. I had broken the single-season home run and RBI records before the All-Star break. My team had not lost a single game, and on many occasions I would have to purposefully commit outs just so they would end. It's like someone had unlocked a divine cheat code on my N64 cart, though I'm fairly certain one did not exist in game. To this day, I have no explanation for the events that transpired.
But just as magically as it appeared, this baseball god-mode vanished. At some point after my team had amassed an unfathomable record of 100-0, the bats dried up. The pitchers suddenly became mortal, and were giving up hits left and right. I struggled to win games, eking out 2-1 victories where I could barely muster up singles. It quickly dawned on me that I would not be able to keep up my torrid pace and finish with my new goal of a perfect season. In my darkest hours, I even resorted to resetting the game when it became apparent I was about to lose a match. I was obsessed with attaining perfection, and would not let this miracle be wasted, even if such a miracle had long since left me.
But alas I could no longer keep up the facade. Rather than keep cheating the game, and myself, I abandoned my quest before I could reach the promised land, and the miracle season of the 1998 Boston Red Sox remained unfinished. While my team had technically never lost, I cannot say the same for myself.
I never played Major League Baseball Featuring Ken Griffey Jr. again.

It looks like shit, it plays like shit, its gameplay is inconsistent and sometimes very obnoxious, and it's one of the funniest games I've ever played.
So all in all it's a fantastic representation of the show.

It's arguably a terrible game but it's really memorable the way its kinda melodramatic story, at times really good art direction and linear flow come together. Strong atmosphere despite uh... spectacularly bad fundamentals.
A shockingly bad action game that somehow is worse to play than Evergrace 1. It's a shame because the Japanese voice acting and story make it pretty fun to follow.
A notoriously unsolved problem in 3D is how to handle 3rd-person combat and aiming. It's very hard to judge depth from enemies and where attacks are going to hit. The modern approach, of course, is lock-on: this has the effect of hackily flattening the game into 2.5D combat, where the other problems (judging depth/attacks) are further band-aided by the use of dodge rolls and iframes, combat becoming a visual Simon-Says.
Forever Kingdom (Evergrace 2 in Japanese) has no lock-on, it also has tiny weapon hitboxes. You're constantly whiffing your attacks, having to switch out weapons when one of your attacks heals the enemy.
These problems aren't a game-breaker - they plagued Evergrace 1. This game is built around using elemental skill combos by triggering two other NPCs' attacks - but you can't line up their attacks that easily since they have AI which tends to stand back and guard.
That still makes for a playable game, but where I draw the line is how poorly the camera is handled in interiors. I have programmed cameras for 3D games before (including a technical platformer) so I'm aware of how tricky it can be, but the way the camera is handled in this game is actually broken. The game seems to have some kind of prediction system of trying to find the best 'view' for a scene - the result is that when walking through corridors or empty areas, the camera will just start gradually swinging or jutting forward. The result of course, is motion sickness!
The game expects you to use R2 to swing the camera forward - this is what Evergrace did, and while clunky (The R-stick is right there... why not use it??) it was fine. In Forever Kingdom, almost always after using R2, the game will just randomly swing off to some other direction.
There's also screenshake from a lot of stuff for no reason. The worst offender is an early dungeon where a troll is rampaging about - never mind that you can't even evade this troll - but every time it steps (4 times a second), the screen shakes a lot - which of course is more motion sickness!
Other design quirks - half of the treasure chests are empty, or trapped with a little imp that latches onto you for poison damage (You can't get it off or attack in this state). Enemies drop chests with collision, sometimes boxing you into a corner. 90% of these chests contain nothing.
Stores are accessed via a save point. In the store is 6 small stores, staffed by identical tiny blue elephants. Sometimes the elephants aren't there. So you can't buy headpieces at one save point, while you can at another... furthermore, the music cuts out whenever you open a shop menu or the pause menu, which is frightening...
Anyways, if you don't use R2 too much the motion sickness is manageable, but it's still a pretty rough game (and there's a bunch of other small complaints...) Worth trying if you liked Evergrace 1 (Forever Kingdom does have some great music and visual vibes), but if not then I would just pass!

can't believe u can't be in a relationship with kaworu. binned banned and yeeted

slamming two faygo bottles together and dumping them into my mouth because wrestling is awesome

If you play this for one reason, it's so that you can throw a pizza instead of a disc-based weapon in NG+.

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