NARC: A side-scrolling shooter designed by Eugene Jarvis, NARC utilized violent action, seedy themes and digitized graphics way back in 1988. You control Max Force or Hit Man through several stages of trashy fun as you bust drug lords with dozens upon dozens of minions. You can shoot or bust perps. Some of the enemies are downright surreal, especially the final boss, who… is a giant head that shoots tongues at you? One of my favorite games in the collection.
NARC is one of Midway’s old properties that they tried to reboot in the mid-2000s. The reboot was released at a budget price point and received mixed reviews.
Satan’s Hollow: A weird and vaguely primitive shooter that feels like Galaga, only less cool. Your shots feel slower and fewer. It’s kind of cool how the sky darkens as you play. At one point, it becomes an infernal red. Mwahahahahaha!
Sinistar: This game kind of freaks me out with the titular villain’s digitized speech. You can hear him coming before you actually encounter him. His roar is particularly disturbing. Sinistar himself is my favorite thing about the game. Favorite piece of trivia: You can die twice while in Sinistar’s grip. A warrior ship’s shot can kill you first, then Sinistar’s bite kills you twice. If the warrior’s shot kills you when you have only one life left, your number of lives officially becomes negative one. As explained by creator R.J. Mical, negative one is a much larger number in computer language, resulting in the game registering it as 255 lives instead. Mical learned this when a kid in an arcade showed him.
I never got to play at the local arcade much before it shut down, and the games in this collection are mostly a little before my time, but the first two Midway Arcade Treasures anthologieswill still be fun to cover.
Is Final Fantasy II the worst Final Fantasy game? Not in my mind, not in terms of the one I enjoyed the least. FFII is a JRPG with decent gameplay, but it feels very dated and bland in certain aspects. FFII introduced a lot of tropes and elements that were refined in later FF games, such as:
Named characters with defined personalities (though Firion is pretty bland)
May 19, 2015: You can go back to Deist and tell the dragoon widow about Ricard. “Ricard’s gone, too, then…” She cried into her hands. “He was a… a noble dragoon. I’m sure he was… pleased that he could… d-die in the name of honor…”
The woman decided to take her son and leave Deist at last.
“There are too many painful memories within these walls,” she said. “Oh! I meant to thank you for saving the wyvern egg and for giving me the chance to see Ricard one last time. That’s why I want you to have this. It was the most treasured possession of the dragoons of Deist: Excalibur. With Ricard gone, you should be the ones to wield this sword.
Our final destination: the Jade Passage, a dungeon cave with crystals all over the walls.
In this dungeon, Great Malboros show their true colors when they attack and inflict like EVERY ailment on you.
A monster in a treasure box is the Blue Dragon! O_O