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Tag Archives: 1995

Game Review: Yoshi’s Island

Yoshi's Island

Original Release: 11 October 2002
Original Platform: Game Boy Advance
Virtual Console Release: 24 April 2014
Price: £6.29

While Kirby is my homeboy and there isn’t a game on the planet starring him I wouldn’t play, Yoshi also holds a very special place in my heart (if for nothing else, because he’s allowed me to kill him so many times to pull off an effective super jump in New Super Mario Bros. U). The original SNES version of Yoshi’s Island isn’t available to play on any of Nintendo’s current systems (I understand this has something to do with copyright and the chips that were included in the original cartridge), but in its place we do have Super Mario Advance 3, the Game Boy Advance port of the game. For those who played the original I’m sure this isn’t ideal, but I since I haven’t I was perfectly happy to pick up the GBA version of what is, to be quite honest, a masterclass in platforming perfection.

Kirby's really let himself go lately...

Kirby’s really let himself go lately…

The Plot

It’s a Mario spin-off platformer, so you don’t really need a lot of story to get things going, but what plot there is is undeniably adorable.

Taking place long before Mario ever had to set out to rescue Princess Peach ad nauseam, our story begins when a stork is on his way to deliver a baby Mario and Luigi to their new parents. While in flight the stork is attacked by Kamek, who foresees that these brothers will be nothing but trouble for Baby Bowser when he grows up. Kamek manages to grab Luigi, but Mario slips away and tumbles towards the ocean.

Thankfully Mario’s resourceful and manages to safely land himself on Yoshi’s Island. Mario has a very deep bond with Luigi and can psychically sense where he is. The Yoshis, being the good-hearted creatures that they are, agree to carry Mario across the island to find his missing brother.

That's what you get for chasing me!

That’s what you get for chasing me!

The Gameplay

While the original version included Super Mario World 2 in its title and this version is part of the Super Mario Advance series, it plays very differently to anything starring the grownup version of the red plumber. It has standard 2D side-scrolling platforming with jumping and running, but controlling a Yoshi is a very different beast.

The first thing that sets a Yoshi game apart from a Mario game is the lack of a timer. So long as you have baby Mario on your back (and there aren’t any enemies running after you), you can take each stage at your leisure. Coming into contact with an enemy will knock baby Mario off your back, and you have a limited amount of time to get him back (how much time you have is dependent on how many stars you have found littered throughout a level) – run out of time and Kamek will come and grab him, and you’ll have to restart the level.

While you can still jump on enemies heads to defeat them, it’s actually far more fun (and completely essential to gameplay) that you use Yoshi’s tongue to grab them, eat them, and then crap them out as eggs. These eggs can then be used as projectiles to defeat larger enemies, bosses, or to reach items that are either hidden or too far away to get to by just flutter jumping.

The game is split over six worlds, each with eight stages, and these are some of the most gorgeous things you are ever going to see. The entire game has been visually designed like drawings done with crayons, which gives it a very child-like and whimsical feel. The visuals are accompanied by equally magical music that create some of the happiest environments I think I’ve ever encountered in a game. Don’t let the cuteness fool you though – Yoshi’s Island has some devilishly tricky sections and many hidden items littered throughout each stage (finding all the hidden items in a particular world will unlock bonus stages unique to this version of the game). I died a good few many times, and checkpoints are just a little further apart than you’d like, but the game succeeds at being so damn gorgeous that you just don’t mind repeating certain levels over and over again.

The fact that this is a GBA port does mean that the screen is zoomed in to compensate for the GBA’s smaller screen size. This means that parts of the stage which would have been perfectly viewable in the SNES version are out of shot here, and this requires that you explore each stage a little more thoroughly than would have been the case in the original. As part of the Wii U Virtual Console I opted to play the game mostly on the GamePad alone, which doubles up quite nicely as an oversized GBA. With screen smoothing enabled it looks absolutely fine on a TV as well, but then the sound takes a bit of a hit. It won’t ruin the game by any means, but my personal feeling is that since this was designed for a small screen, play it on a small screen.

Yoshi never wants to come out of there again.

Yoshi never wants to come out of there again.

The Feelings

Enchanted.

It’s very rare that a game manages to balance being fanciful, challenging and engaging, but Yoshi’s Island did just that. There really isn’t a bad thing you can say about it because it does absolutely nothing wrong. Now a mature 20-year-old, Yoshi’s Island is as competent and compelling a game (if not more so) than most of what’s on the market today, and deserves to be played by anyone who enjoys platformers (or just wants to let their inner child loose on a mad run for a while).

My Final Rating: 10 / 10

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Posted by on December 17, 2015 in Game Review

 

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Movie Review: Urotsukidōji IV: Inferno Road

Urotsukidoji IV

Released: 1995
Genre: Anime / Horror
IMDB Rating: 5.7 / 10

The road to hell, as some would have you believe, is paved with good intentions. Having concluded my viewing of Urotsukidōji part four (armed with parasol, wet wipes and some Dettol to be on the safe side) I must argue that the road to hell is actually paved with semen and the sundered flesh of the innocent, with my morbid curiosity providing all the heavy machinery necessary to get us there.

I was very wary going into this, firstly because Return of the Overfiend had made my skin crawl and secondly because, from what I’d read online, Inferno Road is meant to be the most shocking and distasteful of the entire franchise. Now it’s absolutely true that Inferno Road is completely shocking and distasteful, but to my… um… I suppose “relief” will have to do here… it’s shocking and distasteful in the same way as the original Legend of the Overfiend. It’s a niche little title that won’t be to everyone’s taste, but at this point my standards are so low the fact that it didn’t have any incest-not-incest in it was enough to keep me going.

Just your average 10-year-old's birthday orgy.

Just your average 10-year-old’s birthday orgy.

The Plot

Thankfully this one was a lot easier to follow than its predecessor.

Picking up right where Return of the Overfiend left us, Buju, Himi (the Lord of Chaos) and the rest of the gang are on their way to Osaka to see the Overfiend, either to stop his deadly rampage or to help him with his deadly rampage – I don’t really have clarity on this point. Along the way Buju, Himi and old man Gashim get separated from the rest of the group and land up in a mysterious city blanketed in a very ominous bank of fog and ruled over by some even more ominous children. Unperturbed by the kids’ incredible psychic capabilities our little gang follows them back to their home for a little rest and respite before continuing with their arduous journey.

And nothing will give you the rest you need quite like an orgy comprised of the children’s parents, watched over and organised by the children themselves. Heading up this group of insanely powerful and malicious hell spawn are brothers Ellus and Phallus. While adulthood brings with it the apparent promise of enormous breasts, unending amounts of testosterone and the inability to feel pain during intercourse, for these kids it also means an end to their psychic abilities, and the brothers just won’t have that. To retain their youth they need to kill Himi and drink her blood; given that she’s more or less developed PTSD from witnessing the never-ending orgies and Buju’s too busy taking part in the never-ending orgies to be of any use the brothers may just be in with a shot to pull off their nefarious plan.

This story arc takes up the majority of the first two episodes (“The Secret Garden” and “The Long Road to God”) of this part of the OVA. It doesn’t add to the overall plot of the Overfiend and his plans in any great way, but it’s disturbingly entertaining nevertheless.

Well here's a kind of renewable energy the government doesn't want you to know about...

Well here’s a kind of renewable energy the government doesn’t want you to know about…

The third episode (The End of the Journey) picks up after Buju and co. manage to get out of the city of hell children and resume their journey to Osaka. Since most of the path to Osaka has been turned into a godless wasteland from a junkie’s worst acid trip they decide that air travel will be the best way to get there, and commandeer a Hell Worm to get them airborne. A Hell Worm’s a little like an Overlord from Starcraft except instead of listening to the Overmind it lives on the life essence and vaginal juices of abducted women.

Of course a trip to Osaka in an squirt-powered flesh balloon wouldn’t be complete without some kind of epic battle going down. Amano, our beloved anti-hero, has been floating around since we first came upon the evil children but hasn’t been doing awfully much. Now it’s his time to shine! Since Münchhausen II just cannot give it a fucking rest he decides to magically/sexually share his powers with Yoenki, the sister of Suikakujū from Legend of the Overfiend. Yoenki’s mad as hell at Amano for killing her brother, so the two of them have to duke it out while Buju and Gashim try to escape from a demon in the middle of the Hell Worm, Münchhausen II tries to abduct Himi in order to kill the Overfiend, and Himi battles with that very difficult time in every young woman’s life – her first period.

Reading over that it doesn’t sound like it makes a whole lotta sense, but if you watch it it’s done in such a way that you just might buy it.

Fashion at the 2055 Royal Wedding!

Fashion at the 2055 Royal Wedding!

The Visuals

Whatever Return of the Overfiend lacked, Inferno Road makes up for it. This entry just looked a lot more polished and put together, with the animation having a little more life to it than in previous installments.

And that’s just as well, because you can’t enjoy the sheer visceral horror that is Inferno Road without a little spit and polish. Without said spit and polish you wouldn’t be able to fully partake in the sensory assault of penis tails, penis appendages, penis tubes, penis tentacles and occasionally, when you least expect it, a regular human penis. And the less said about that one vagina that can warp space and time around it the better…

It’s a far cry from HD but for the early- to mid- 90s it’s about as close as your going to get.

She's overcome with the vapours.

She’s overcome with the vapours.

The Feelings

Mildly concerned that I contracted a strain of demonic gonorrhea, but reasonably entertained anyway.

I’m certain that Inferno Road should have left me feeling queasy and with a need to scrub my skin until it turned bright red before I felt clean again. The problem is that, between the four installments of this franchise and the terrible books I subject myself to, I think I’ve become so completely desensitised that nothing that happened in this approximately two-hour adventure could hurt me.

On an academic level I can tell you that what was flashing before my eyes was nothing but filth and general queefage, but like with a crying baby at midnight my mind chose to block it out and keep going. Stripped of that emotional impact what you’re left with is a heavily inappropriate story that, despite its overall weirdness, has a decent plot and characters that are more than just 2D sex dolls.

My Final Rating: 5 / 10
Buy Urotsukidōji IV: Inferno Road at Amazon.com

 
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Posted by on November 12, 2015 in Movie Review

 

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