203 Reviews liked by XenonNV

I am under the assumption that some friends on the site were in a vc for Garten of Banban 2 and while I wasn't there for that I did see this one in an unrelated group and I felt like I was slowly dying in quicksand

My expectations were set pretty high from things I had heard about this one, and honestly I was pretty rarely let down. I'm not too partial to the art style, nor the 4-way firing in comparison to the Contra series' 8, but other than minor nitpicks I had a really nice time with this. Not quite as cinematic or charming as Contra III or Hard Corps imo, which is usually what keeps bringing me back to those two, but it definitely catches up in terms of how enjoyable it is to play (very likely actually surpassing III in this regard). I should definitely look into a few more from this series sooner or later.
Going back to the mention of 4-way firing, actually - you can kinda fire in diagonals with the machine gun, but you have to alternate between firing up and forward to create a "spray" of sorts. It's not always worth the trouble though, especially considering you can't just hold the button down for some reason. That's pretty established with machine guns in video games.

I installed the Sega CD BIOS today and tested it out with this game. Hard to call this much of a "game" necessarily, you just press buttons and goofy things happen. Not too far off from a browser game, or something like the Homestar Runner website, but with a lot more content overall. There really is a surprising amount of stuff to see here, and it can be completed in anywhere from 20 minutes to multiple hours.
I think this is a lot of fun, just doing fuckall and watching nonsense take place, but I can see it not really working for everybody. I really like it because it reminds me of a lot of the things I played when I was very little, like on the old Nick Jr website for example. I must've been 6 or so when they rebranded and changed the website and I remember crying like a bitch about it. They also changed the fries at Wendy's that year, twas a rough time.

I'm at the RoboCop. I'm at the Terminator. I'm at the combination RoboCop Versus the Terminator.
this game sucks ass, this game was made for dogs

Genuinely unplayable. I dare you to complete it. Fuck knows I'm not.

This is just middling flavorless platformer slop but I've been locked out of multiple discord accounts (two with nitro) over the last two days whether from some asshole hacker or from completely fucking inept two factor authentication so i need to take my anger out on something fuck harley's humongous adventure i hope Harley's Humongous Adventurle; fucking burns in hell

I failed to beat Cut Man 11 years ago and have only now come to claim his head. There's tons of charm here, no doubt, but it's dampened by the level and boss design. Fire Man can be spammed at with any weapon, Cut Man is way too hard without rocks, which makes Dr. Wily Stage 2 aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh you've all already heard this shit I'm sure it's not what you want to hear me talk about so I'll use this time to confess to food crimes like dipping gummy bears in ketchup or butter in marinara sauce or adding cookies n cream ice cream to wine and microwaving it

North America and Europe did not have many noteworthy SNES releases after the introduction of the PlayStation. There's a few for sure, there's the Kirby games and there's Super Mario RPG, maybe in another timeline we got Star Fox 2 at its intended release date. But mostly, a lot of its final years are just cheaper games to get something out on store shelves quicker. It's a bizarre change after the absolutely insane standard in 1993-95, one that didn't really seem to affect the console's run over in Japan.
Incantation is one such game, a Titus-developed platformer with zero meat on its bones, bosses you'll encounter for three stages in a row, and a rather dull aesthetic. There's really nothing to it, and really just paves the way for more interesting discussions about the decline of the SNES in western regions.
There is a very lousy ending though that I thought was really funny, where the boss dies before its health is fully depleted and it jumpcuts to this ugly ass endscreen and locks itself up. I looked through multiple longplays to see if this was some dumb joke or false ending or something, but they all ended like this. Tittus had no fucking idea what to do there and it's amusing how blatant it is. Rushed out for a quick buck.

I talk mostly about Genesis shit on here but my real B&B in early childhood were portables. My fam was homeschooled 'til college, and for most of my early childhood, my older sister was a figure skater. The skater training regimen is a pipeline unto itself, these coaches had our mom driving her 40 minutes out of town at 5 in the morning multiple times a week. So until I was 11 or so, I spent the majority of school hours sitting in a cold rink lobby, either doing 'school' or playing GBA/DS.
Anyway, if you owned a GBA and didn't have Superstar Saga, you were getting a really garbage selection of Mario things. I didn't like the SMB Advance games growing up, Mario Party Advance was this insane butchering/restructuring of traditional MP, and then there's stray sucky things like, fuckin', Pinball Land. Ew. Worst among these was Super Circuit - lots of content, sure, but the controls are non-functional and the difficulty curve was obscene, let alone for a kid. It's petty to complain about it today, but if you're a literal-ass munchkin with zero money, zero friends, and zero ability to pursue anything outside of hand-me-down hobbies, then being stuck with Super Mid-io Brothers was a fucked up situation.
I say all this because it cannot be understated just how unbelievable of an upgrade the DS was - not just as a GBA successor, but for how well Mario's mainline entries were handled. My kid brain couldn't process that there was not only a fully 3D Mario Kart on handheld, but that it controlled better than all the preceding games (and arguably some later ones), had TWICE as many courses as Double Dash, wireless multiplayer (with twice as much single-pak content as Super Circuit), and a full mission mode. To contextualize this: Imagine if Mario Land 2 was a bigger and more fleshed-out game than World. I never considered handhelds 'inferior' to console, but to see a mostly-console series shine brightest on handheld was eye-opening in ways I can't articulate.
And like, even beyond impressions 'of the time', it stills holds up. Still has as solid a drift system as ever. Hell, biggest boon for me is the map system, I fucking love having a top-down support view of the track. It's a map, rear-view camera, blooper support, and shortcut scope all in one, with no intrusion. Features like this really showed off how 2 screens enriched game design without being merely gimmicks.
I'd argue I prefer other Mario Kart games - I like the track selections in others a lot more, I like the BMX feel of Wii more, stuff like that. But every other post-64 release feels incomplete in one way or another. Double Dash controls bad, Wii's balance is garbage, 7's boring and 8 a bad roster and overly-safe game direction. Conversely, DS is the well-rounded MK: It succeeds at everything it attempts, both as a party and competitive racer. And it has ROB. And you can drive a tank.
Look out for when I eventually divulge my 'Leapster' phase, root doo doot doot doooooo