The first game I finished for the new year, and two days in at that, was Double Dragon Neon. I was very excited for this game when it was released back in September. Sadly, I may have just waited too long to play it. I didn’t have as much fun with the game as I was hoping for.
It’s not a bad game by any means. I know it sounds like I’m apologizing for it, but I do think it was my inability to master the controls as well as I wanted to which made for a more aggravating time. The key is to activate Gleam as often as possible by performing split-second dodges of enemy attacks to be able to deal out at least double damage.
Everything else was enjoyable about the game. The graphics give that ’80s vibe and the music, redone and new, are fantastic. Skullmageddon is a fun and funny villain and his one-liners will stick with you. Now where’s my promised online co-op?
It should come to no surprise that I played another version of Street Fighter II. It’s Champion Edition on the TG-16 to be exact via the Virtual Console. It became finished game number two.
SFII CE here is another typical 16-bit port of what you’d see at the time. Compared to others on the SNES or Genesis it looks close though there are a few missing elements like the foreground fence on Zangief’s stage as an example. Otherwise the controls are tight and the sound effects sound as you’d hope for. However, the music itself is quite bad and shows why this should’ve been a CD based game. All the stage music is much less than desirable ranging from tolerable (Zangief’s stage) to don’t-choose-that-stage garbage (Sagat’s stage). It’s not hard to still recommend the SNES version, SFII Turbo, over all other 16-bit ports.
The last time I played a Crash Bandicoot game was the third PS1 game, Warped, in 2009. After the PS1 era the series saw a number of developers make titles for it. One of those studios was Vicarious Visions and the game was Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced on the Game Boy Advance.
This game, other than being in 2D, is very much mimicking the Naughty Dog titles. The sounds effects are carried over and the graphics are as close to its 3D counterpart as one might expect.
I always fancied myself as a small fan of the Crash Bandicoot games, but I think I’ve finally realized that maybe this isn’t the case. Even when I played Crash Bandicoot: Warped, it always felt like the difficulty was either too easy or spiked too hard in many instances. I didn’t ever feel there was a good middle ground. This second GBA title doesn’t change things in this regard. In fact, it might have made them worse with the new ideas for some of the levels.
If you’re more of a fan of the Crash games, then you might find N-Tranced to be fun, but other than Crash of the Titans in the future, I’m probably done.
THIS MONTH’S GAMING STATS:
* Double Dragon Neon – #1 finished; 4h35m
* Street Fighter II: Champion Edition – #2 finished; 6h35m
* Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced – Lv. 19; 39%