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Beat the SNES Library - 284/714

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 I beat Ka-blooey.

-Very dry puzzle game.

-Possibly the worst graphics on the SNES.

-Soundtrack variety is abysmal. Same music in every level.

-Pointless life and scoring system that really only serves to make it take marginally longer to get back to the game when you die.

-Tutorial exists but is abysmally slow. They don’t do a good job fully explaining switches. Also, sorry Brits, but a bomb with what you call an “aerial” attached is NOT an aerial bomb; that’s something else entirely.

-The game penalizes you if you stay still too long and also has a time limit, neither of which should generally have a place in a puzzle game like - but with map mode pausing the game and giving you a better view means neither matter much, except for maybe the final level’s time limit.

-There was zero purpose served in making this game isometric. It makes the controls unintuitive (although I got used to them after a couple dozen levels) and the map view isn’t isometric. Map view is probably how this game should have played by default and there should have been an option to just view the whole level with the map view button, with scrolling if necessary.

-130 levels is too long. 100 is the traditional place to stop for good reason and even that would have felt too long for this particular game. Expect this to take over 20 hours to beat; it probably took me over 30. It’s not like they really had 130 level designs they thought were good either and couldn’t bear to cut any; there were several filler levels pretty far into the game I beat in like two minutes whose entire purpose was to spell something out once you’d removed all the bombs.

-Enemies exist for no good reason. They’re not really that important or hard to deal with but the game does not benefit from their existence and the controls and hit detection are simply not fit for dodging enemies.

-The puzzles are often not “fair” and rely on trial-and-error, which a puzzle game based on reasoning things out and that generally punishes mistakes by making you restart the level really shouldn’t do. You can’t view the rest of the level to easily know what input a move you’re considering might have. You have no way of knowing which tile a switch might affect or what it might do to it other than flipping it, hoping it doesn’t ruin everything, and if it does noting that for your next attempt. No way to know where a teleporter will send you other than going for it. The worst might be when you hit a switch and it does something to a tile off-screen.

Despite it all, there is some sense of satisfaction at taking down a tough puzzle. Not worth it though. 4/10. Maybe even 3/10.


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Do you have to complete all the scenarios in SimCity? I completed Tokyo and and it said something about maybe you should run for president. I tried the Detroit scenario and failed several times even though I got crime down. The game isn't clear about what the win condition is. I'm giving up on SimCity.

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Editorials Team · Posted
17 hours ago, LHCGreg said:

Do you have to complete all the scenarios in SimCity? I completed Tokyo and and it said something about maybe you should run for president. I tried the Detroit scenario and failed several times even though I got crime down. The game isn't clear about what the win condition is. I'm giving up on SimCity.

We never have in the past.  I think one is good enough in that case.

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Not sure if this counts for Top Gear or not. I played through it on the easiest (amateur) difficulty.

I looked at a playthrough of it on Youtube on the highest difficulty (championship) and it gives the same ending screen, just obviously without the "But can you win" part of the message.


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Top Gear 2. It's a solid game overall, though a little on the long side. There are 16 countries/regions with 4 tracks each, so 64 races in total. I played through it on the hardest difficulty, but the difficulty curve is not all that balanced. The first quarter or so was the hardest until I could earn enough cash to put together a few upgrades. I had a fully upgraded car by about halfway through and it was incredibly easy, until the last quarter of the game when things suddenly got harder again. Music is good, but not quite as good as the first.

Initially I was going to play all three games in relatively quick succession, but I think Top Gear 3000 is longer than this one and I think I need a bit of a break before diving into that. So it will have to wait for a bit.


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Member · Posted

Mr. Do! is done.

Dig Dug on steroids

A couple of words come to mind; Spastic and Whimsical, which are good words for a clown, I suppose.  I've played this game before, real casually on Colecovision, but not in quite a while so I can't really compare it to that yet.  I've spent a lot more time playing Mr. Do's Castle.  Both are a lot more complicated than they look at a glance.  

The first thing that'll throw you if you play Mr. Do! (this version, at least) is the directionals.  The grid is programmed in such a way that if you don't have a proper flow/rhythm to your use of the D-pad you will go the wrong direction or accidentally double back while trying to turn which will result in quick angry death at the hands of whatever enemy is on your tail.  It's not hard to get the feel down at all, but even once you do, this problem will still pop up on occasion.  

There are 4 ways to pass a level: Collect all the cherries (harder than it looks), kill all the enemies (very hard), collect a diamond (these pop out of cracked apples when they fall every once in a blue moon -comparable to the frequency of collecting a wand in marble madness, but less often.) and spelling out EXTRA by shooting the enemy who will have one of those letters on him on each level, which also nets you an extra life.  I'm pretty sure I've never gotten more than one extra life.  Sometimes this enemy comes out on his own and sometimes it won't happen unless you collect the food item that appears in the middle and additionally pauses the regular enemies for a while.  Either way his entourage comes out with him and if you're anywhere nearby you will most likely die at their hand.  

There are a bunch of little things that will drive you nuts.  Sometimes enemies will become electrified (or something) and gain the ability to chomp through the dirt like Mr. Do instead of just being able to walk the corridors.  It can happen pretty quick and you will die frequently this way.  Another ability the enemies gain when electrified is that they can eat the cherries too which can actually be helpful but there is also one horrible situation that happens from time to time that will have you pulling your hair out.  The enemy can end up covering a cherry when you grab the food item in the middle that pauses the regular enemies so now you go and collect all the other cherries but you can't get the last one without dying (I think) or you can't even figure out where it is because Letter-guy and his entourage are chasing you all over the place.  This almost always results in death.  Fortunately it doesn't happen terribly often.

Another thing to look out for is if you're even slightly under a falling apple it will crush you.  That's really not a bad one because the same happens to the enemies and it helps way more than it hurts.  But it's also possible to walk into the same space occupied by the apple just before it falls.  If you do this you will fall with it and die too.  

Another thing I noticed just this evening is that the diamonds, when they drop don't last forever.  I parked Mr. Do next to one tonight, hoping to shoot some enemies indefinitely and it disappeared before long.  

You have to rely on Mr. Do's rubber ball quite a bit but it is spastic and not entirely reliable.

Placement of items on the screen changes each time you play which is cool but the enemy patterns are whimsical as well and with the exception of the first few levels there is a strong tendency for a strategy that has worked in the past to not work out well in the present and that is the factor that makes this game as challenging as it is.  That and the game being really stingy about awarding an extra life.

And every time you collect a series of 8 cherries you will hear an ascending major scale so this is def. one of those games meant to drive a kids parents bonkers.

All things considered I really like this game in spite of the frustration factor.  Now I just need to find someone who will play 2-player simultaneous with me, which seems like it would be stupid fun.

Also, it seemed to me that the levels looped after 10 rather than 20 and of course everything got faster and harder the second time around, and then the more so at the beginning of what I think would be the 3rd loop pictured here...

Mr. Do!.png

Edited by PII
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  • The title was changed to Beat the SNES Library - 284/714

Decided not to wait that long with Top Gear 3000 after all. I played through it on hard difficulty as that is the only way to play all of the tracks. The first half was fairly easy, but the second half was much more difficult. The last quarter or so in particular I found quite brutal. I had to go back to an old password at one point and go with a slightly different upgrade path. Even then, I feel like I barely squeaked this one out.

It's the most refined of the three games and I used to think this was my favourite of the bunch. After replaying all three games this year though, I have to say that I actually prefer the second game overall.



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