Saturday, August 25, 2018

A few thoughts on WarioWare Gold now that I've beaten its story mode

Those of you who've played this entry in Nintendo's long-running WarioWare series--or any of its installments, really--must be thinking something like, I hope you don't consider beating this game's story mode to be an accomplishment!

You're right, of course. After all, you can finish WarioWare Gold's story mode in just a couple of hours if you don't drag your feet.

I'm patting myself on the back anyway, though--mostly because I managed to do the above plus a bit more over the last couple of weeks despite the fact that Octopath Traveler has been monopolizing my free time since it came out in mid-July.

In fact, I've now put about four hours into WarioWare Gold. Even that's nothing to brag about, admittedly, but it's been more than enough to time to get a good feel for the game, and that's what matters here. Speaking of which, keep reading for my initial thoughts on this zany 3DS title.

The cutscenes are awesome--In fact, I'd go so far as to say they're the highlight of the entire package. The main reason for that is they're funny. Surprisingly funny, even. My favorite is the one starring 5-Volt (9-Volt's mom). In it, she becomes obsessed with a buff dude named Mr. Sparkles, who sells special frying pans--they're so heavy you basically have to become a bodybuilder to use them--via cheesy infomercials.

I actually love the voice acting--And that's not something you'll hear me say all that often. No joke, I usually either don't care about voice acting or actively dislike it (to the point that I turn it off, assuming that's an option). I adore the voice acting in WarioWare Gold, though--which is a good thing, as the game's crammed full of it. I'm especially smitten with Wario and the new addition to the franchise, the spunky and heavily browed Lulu.

I wish the game didn't force you to unlock so much of its content--I know this is typical of the series. Or at least that's what I've heard. (I've only played a handful of WarioWare titles to date: Smooth Moves and D.I.Y.) Whatever the case may be, I'd prefer it if this entry didn't make unlocking its "souvenir" mini-games, like Mewtroid 2 and Super Pyoro, such a chore. To do that, you have to rack up points playing the title's story and challenge modes--usually over and over again. Then you plop those points into a capsule machine and pray something interesting pops out. In other words, depending on your luck, you may get Micro Golf or Pro Bowl early on or you may have to wait quite some time to gain access to them.

I'm not sure how many more hours I'll put into it--Don't get me wrong, I've thoroughly enjoyed what I've experienced so far. That said, I'm not entirely convinced the rest of what's on offer here is going to be enough to keep me coming back for more than a few additional hours. If I could freely play all of its bonus mini-games, that'd probably extend things at least a little while longer. As things stand, though, I have a feeling my time with WarioWare Gold is about to come to a close.

Even if I quit right now, I won't regret my purchase--Probably. I think. Maybe? Why the hesitation? I don't often spend $30-plus on a game and then stop playing it after just a few days. Given that, I won't be surprised if I slightly regret buying WarioWare Gold down the road. Still, I had an absolute blast during the four or so hours I've spent with this game, so I'll do what I can to keep those feelings of remorse to an absolute minimum.

Have any of you played WarioWare Gold? If so, what did you think of it?

See also: 'five reasons I've fallen head over heels in love with Sushi Striker' and '10 things I adore about Octopath Traveler'

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Manual Stimulation: Lode Runner for WonderSwan

Of course a company made a Lode Runner game for the Bandai WonderSwan.

Why do I say that? Because almost every computer and console under the sun has welcomed some version of this classic puzzler-platformer during its lifetime.

Following the original Lode Runner's 1983 release for the Apple II, the Commodore 64, and a few other machines, it also found its way onto the Famicom, the PC Engine, the Super Famicom, the PlayStation, and even the GameBoy.

Given that, this 2000 offering from Banpresto (though Aisystem Tokyo developed it) isn't too surprising.

But is it any good? And even more importantly, especially given the focus of this post, is its instruction manual any good?

I've barely spent any time with Lode Runner for WonderSwan to date, so I can't say too much about its gameplay other than it's definitely Lode Runner. (This review, from someone who's clearly played a lot more of the game than I have, suggests it offers up at least a few unique components in this area.)

That's a very good thing as far as I'm concerned, by the way. I've had a blast playing different versions of this game ever since I first tackled Battle Lode Runner for the PC Engine way back when, so I'm always up for more.

As for the Lode Runner for WonderSwan manual, it's right in line with the title's gameplay and graphics. Which is to say it gets the job done but isn't exactly spectacular.

Its opening handful of pages probably have you thinking otherwise thanks to the colorful illustrations splashed across them.

The Lode Runner for WonderSwan manual is decidedly less vibrant after that, unfortunately. Its remaining pages sport some nice borders, headers, and screenshots, but no more drawings.

At least they provide some helpful information--assuming you know Japanese, of course. The spread above explains Lode Runner for WonderSwan's trio of gameplay modes (story, select, and edit, basically).

The next couple of pages explain how you can upload your level creations and download those made by others, I believe--but don't quote me on that. (If any of you have a better understanding of this text, please let me know in the comments section below.)

Lode Runner for WonderSwan's instruction booklet wraps up with a page full of tips for in-need players. Once again, though, I can't share the details. Sorry about that.

At any rate, what do you think of this particular manual? Is it a new favorite, or is it so boring you've already forgotten you ever laid eyes on it?

See also: previous posts about WonderSwan game manuals