Category: IMPACT!


VS

Lets face it. 2D platformers are just superior to 3D platformers in every way of the term. Hell, the public thinks so with their rejection of SMG2 with NSMBW. But that’s a dead horse I’m sure the hardcore are sick of hearing about.

So lets talk about their desperate attempts to downplay NSMBW by pointing out 2 other platformers they consider godly. Now, to be fair, these 2 games aren’t at all in the same series, but I don’t give a fuck! If you’re looking for a 2D platformer on Wii that’s not named Mario (or Kirby), then there are basically 2 other options (if you want coop, at least). You have the Nintard wet dream, DKCR, or the unsung hero, Rayman Origins. Both games come from the “scripted spectacle” school of thought, where the designers believe that doing cooky voodoo shit with level design makes for a “great game”.

But anyways, it’s the 3rd strike! Donkey Kong vs Rayman! 3RD IMPACT!

1! Presentation: Box Art

Ok, clearly Retro thinks their shit is too good to show how awesome their should be so they just stick 2 monkeys on the box and say “just go for it”. Ubi Soft had the decency to show Rayman… you know, KICKING SOME ASS! Show me the real shit you’re dealing with on the box art! Don’t give me this “box art lies” or “don’t judge a book” bullshit. You want me to buy your game, you better be damn good at lying!

They’re both very typical gaming box arts with no serious merit besides doing it’s job of showing you the characters. But in the general sense, you’d want something to at least jump out at you and look somewhat exciting. DKCR is just… there, you know? Rayman shows off some action where the main 4 characters take on an army of wtfs. You could barely notice the  2 villains on Donkey Kong’s box, hell.

On the other hand, Rayman’s box also looks a bit too cartoony, and the west has been all about “serious business” nowadays with the heaviest sellers usually having a lack of “wacky and egghead” architecture. Donkey Kong… barely having that would be more enticing than Rayman’s fat ass blue friend Globox who just seems to be… there. Still, on an interest garnering level, Rayman would be superior.

VERDICT: RAYMAN

2! STORYLINE/PLOT!

Oh yeah! The portion every hardcore dipshit will demand you not give a shit about! Granted, there really isn’t much story to be found in either game (retro throwbacks are taken literally and have little story to be found.

In Donkey Kong Country Returns, apparently in light of nostalgia, Donkey Kong’s Banana hoard gets stolen… again. But this time, it’s stolen by some tiki masks that want to use the bananas to…. repopulate their own race?

I know Nintendo makes ridiculous plots (Zelda after Links Awakening) but… using fucking bananas to reproduce more tikis!?

It all makes sense now!

How does a banana turn into wood!?

NO! Don’t… answer you sick bastard.

I was originally aware that the Donkey Universe did not go to ridiculous lengths to make up a story. The Kremlins mostly stole the banana hoard to starve the fuckers to death! And then they tried to kill off the entire DK family in 64. Now we’ve got some FUCKING MASKS needing to repopulate their stupid mask race! We don’t need another metaphor for white folks and their desperate attempts to cover up their shrinking population numbers. Speaking of crackas, they also have “mind control“. But they seem to be doing it for shits and giggles and never as a major part of the plot. Do they want to take over the island? Nah, lets just find more workers to take up more bananas even though we could use the hoard we found, make servants out of that, gather up more bananas around the island, and not risk an ass whoopin by these 2 monkeys.

On the other hand, Rayman Origins is even more ludicrous. Rayman, fat ass Globox, and 2 teensies are just chillin. Minding they’re fucking business. But since their relaxation is loud enough to disturb some old bitch who looks like death warmed over. She gets pissed off and like the cranky bastard one floor below you, starts banging on the ceiling to get them youngsters quieted up there. They keep on chillin which pisses her off some more to the point that she summons demons to kill them all! …….That’s disproportionate, ain’t it? So after beatng up said demons, rayman and crew get locked up… only to quickly bust out later and escape. Apparently, now he needs to rescue pink things called electoons.

Ok, Rayman’s story has no logic going on. It feelslike I’m just doing shit for the hell of it. There’s no real sense of a goal. If I’m being honest, that’s what a game honestly needs. You ever wonder why fighting game fans piss and moan about why they’re fighting? People need some sort of logic or reasoning behind why they’re doing something in a game. At least at first.

VERDICT: DK

3! CHARACTERS!

First up… the DK crew! ….Or… lack of.

There aren’t too many characters featured in DKCR. You just have Donkey, Diddy, and those masks. There’s nothing significant about any of them.

……..Same for Rayman Origins.

…….But on the plus side, there’s at least more of them. You’ve got Ray, Globox, a million goddamn teensies, and bitches! Oh the bitches!

WHOA! WHOA! WHOA!

Erm… well… not all of them are done yet!

VERDICT: RAYMAN

4! MUSIC

DKCR’s music was made by the same people who made Metroid Prime. And that series….. well the first game… had some brilliant music to fit the atmosphere. That said, they seem a bit misplaced in DKCR. Most of the songs are remixes of the same damn jungle japes song. Some pieces sound as though they came directly from Metroid Prime itself, which shows some limited production from the musical ahem… “talents”. There’s only one song that stuck out and that’s the factory stages where the drums sync up with the background (the level design of pretentious assholes).

Rayman Origins…. kinda the same thing. Most of the music you find here is typical of music you’d find in old black and white cartoons of the 40s (too many of those mosquito levels). Plus, you’ll hear those little pink things singing almost a million times to the point you want to shut them up. There are at least 2 songs that stuck out. The refridgerator world with that James Bond music was real nice, and the underwater stages with that “mysterious and somber feeling” or… w/e.

DKCR’s “Metroid Prime” esque soundtrack is just not fitting for the whole game at large, but that factory stage had a nice beat. On the other hand, Rayman’s music actually…..kinda fits?

VERDICT: TIE

5! Gameplay!

Alright! Time to piss off every mother fucker in the known universe!

I’ve already talked about the asinine gameplay of DKCR before, but I haven’t gone that deep.

First off, you only get 2 playable characters. Donkey and Diddy. Neither player can switch between the 2. Not that this is extremely important, but it brings up the question of “why”? Why not give player 1 the choice of being Diddy? Why not Player 2 Donkey? It also doesn’t help that Diddy has a better chance of getting through the levels due to having a hover pack. Sure, Diddy can piggy back Donkey and give him the hover, but then that strips all control away from Diddy! All he can do is shoot these weak ass peanuts that don’t do jack shit! And considering how the levels are clearly structured for single player, it sends the message that coop in this game is worthless. Diddy is better on DK’s back and sitting there for the entire game. Diddy kong himself is nothing but a powerup anyway in levels where you can find a barrel. He essentially gives you 2 more health points to live with. But that’s a really shitty design for coop.

Player 2’s purpose is to be nothing but DK’s penis pump. There was no real intent on making a coop game functional or desirable. So the question remains, why put that shit in!?

*snickers* stupid newb! 2 Player is exclusive to pros!

Well that would be swell if half the fucking game wasn’t controlled exclusively by one player! See, Retro did the dumbass thing and loaded this game up with trial and error levels labeled the hardcore love affair “the rail cart levels” as well as “barrel rockets”. Never mind the forced failure these levels provide so that you can only learn it the “correct way”. Trial and Error gameplay is nothing new to gaming, no doubt, but it shouldn’t be so damned infuriating. First off, if you ARE playing coop, say good bye to the entirety of your stock of lives. Both players share lives so if both players die, you lose 2 lives in one level or more if only one player keeps dying. So imagine trying to play through some scripted bullshit knowing damn well both players have to be accustomed to learning it at the same time that the camera can barely keep up? If either of you get separated during these events, fuck it. You cannot go back to have the camera pan to the partner. He/she will just have to suck it up and die. But that burns through your lives anyway. It’s a game that literally demands perfection from the players. And this not good design.

That said, it’s more playable as a one player game, but even then it’s not fun. Many of the levels are set up so that you can only proceed one way. Many levels are just sprawling death pits with thin ass poles or rows of enemies and springs in which you bounce off of each one in rhythm. This isn’t hard or even clever (but with 2 players, it’s murder because killing enemies for yourself leaves your partner without shit to proceed with). And more than half the damn game plays like this.

This wouldn’t be so bad if the controls weren’t ass. Jumping just feels off, like you take one leap and DK clears 2 miles almost. At least that’s how it feels. By the grace of Amma, I have no fucking idea… why they used shaking controls for basic rolling and… “blowing”. See, in the originals, you could simply roll by pressing fucking B! Now you have to run and shake the mother fucking wiimote to do the roll! Imagine if you wanted to do a rolling jump to clear a large portion of the level!? Add to it the irresponsive-ness of the motion controls and you’ve got one of the worst damn mechanics of the game.

Random Nintard: “hyuck! well, you don’t have to use the roll! You can just jump on the enemies!

Yeah, I don’t have to use a lot of attacks in video games. Maybe I’m tired of having the “jump on enemies” option as a primary attack! You think with that grab animation, he could pick up enemies and toss them around, but no that’s just for the almost non-existant barrels lying around levels in the game. The fact is thanks to Retro’s unexpected and forced “innovashun”, the rolling option is useless. But you can shake it for the ground pound, a move that’s only really useful for smashing drums during certain levels. What do drums do? Activate the next scripted events. Lastly, you can shake the wiimote to blow flowers.

*bangs head* ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?

This is easily the most worthless addition to the game, but it’s so insignificant to even bother with.  The only thing you really do is uncover more bananas and a small assortment of enemies that are covered in flames… that only appear in the final world.

The boss battles are of the typical multitasking/telegraph pattern variety and manage to be less frustrating as the main levels (aside from that damn chicken boss where you have to play guessing games with it’s random attack patterns. Not to mention that damn mole boss which was just another mine cart level)

The game in general suffers from a multitude of design errors that prevent the overall game from being fully enjoyable. But it gets a pass for being “difficult”. Ok. It’s a game that’s more fun to watch than it is to play.

Now, Rayman Origins is also pretty guilty of scripted level design, but on a much smaller scale. See, most of the game’s scripted content is saved for optional bonus levels and the final stage chase. But really, on the plus side, even if you fuck up, you can still recoup your losses and actually WIN the fucking level.

So getting THAT out of the way, Rayman Origins is much smoother in this regard. The game has the standard 4-player action that Mario and Kirby both have. You only get 3 characters to play as, but on the plus side, player 1 is no longer restricted to being simply the main character. You can change who you want to be, whether it’s Rayman, Globox, or one of the millions of Teensies (smirf looking midgets) in the game. Gameplay wise, all characters possess the same abilities and attacks. Attacks range from basic jumping on enemies as well as beat ’em up style of combat where you gt to knock your enemies senseless with a series of punches, slaps, or magic wind…. I think. And there’s little risk to doing this for every enemy. Just know that if you’re playing a teensie, you’re gonna rage over the short range. You also have a dash feature by holding the B button on the Wiimote. It’s actually… not as bad as it sounds as it almost feels damned natural. You can also perform an additional dash attack.The game also gives you wall jumping which really helps if you fuck up and nearly fall into a death pit, but if you’re pressed for time and have to do multiple wall jumps, you’re gonna be fucked. Jumping from wall to wall is slow as the characters have to do some retarded spin animation saying “woo hoo” as they leap from wall to wall.

Through the game as you progress, you gain new abilities (why not have them from the beginning of the game!? Oh well, at least you can get a glimpse of the bitches). Yes, you need to free the bitches in order to get your powers and a magic stick. It’s not a daunting task, but why? It doesn’t really serve much of a purpose than to show off the next world’s primary gimmick. The jungles have nothing, the deserts have flying (and wind currents and pretentious musical tricks), the… “food” world has shrinkage, the water world has the obvious swimming, and the mountains have wall running (which is actually quite fun). None of which justifies the need to earn new abilities because you gain them as soon as you start a new world. Plus, they offer nothing to you if you go back to previous worlds, no secrets to obtain via these new abilities, nothing. It just irks me.

The levels play out naturally and accommodates 4 players decently despite looking absolutely bizarre at times. Players can (and probably will if they’re all assholes) smack the shit out of each other during play. Usually, this was for fun, but accidents happen far too much and you’ll up pissing off your friends through gameplay as you can smack them over death pits often. The coop can be a little detrimental if none of your friends or family have any self-control on their attacks. Some parts of the levels do demand all players speed through in unison. For example in the fire… erm… oven stages, you’ll have these zip lines in which the players must all traverse at the same time. You cannot leave a player behind or else they die. This isn’t too much of an issue as the game gives you unlimited lives removing the necessity of speeding through the game. And similar to NSMBW, you can bring them out of their bubbles or bubble forms by punching them. Also like in NSMBW, dying while your party is in bubbles results in a gamer over and a retry of the same area you were in.

There’s also a sizable portion of “shmup” levels where you hop onto a bug and fly around shooting things about. They’re fun and simple, but usually fall short of being enjoyable after the first time. Nevermind those levels are goddamn everywhere.

Overall, the game is fine except for the final levels and the few boss fights the game has. There are only 5 bosses but the way they play out is tedious. First off, all you do is run around the bosses and wait for weak spots to appear (they look like big ass herpes spots with eyeballs). Once they appear, you have to rush over to them, hit them, rinse and repeat 2 more times with varying attack patterns. This is irritating as most of the time, your busy avoiding death while needing to chase those damn spots. And the final boss, ugh. The weak spots appear for only a split second, so you have a tiny ass window of opportunity to attack that bump. It’s irritating because that’s literally all you do. Chase after weak spots before they disappear.

Overall though, I have to give this to Rayman Origins for at least being inclusive in it’s design.

VERDICT: Rayman

6! Replay Value!

As typical of many platformers this generation, the replay value of both DKCR and Rayman are steeped in fetch-quests and collectathons which, in the end, just give you the rewards of harder levels. You can also unlock galleries in DKCR (despite having access to the internet without the hassle) and for Rayman, you have the ability to unlock several costumes for the 3 selectable characters. The teensies are disproportionate to Rayman and Globox, however, as those 2 only get 2 extra costumes. Then you just get a secret final world with a secret final boss.

DKCR just gives you 9 harder levels and one “banana heaven” level. You also get “harder” versions of the main levels. First off, the main game is already frustrating, and you reward the player with even more frustrating levels?

VERDICT: Rayman

Final word: In all honesty, if you’re into coop games in general, you can’t go wrong with Rayman Origins. It’s a fun and smooth multiplayer game that, in my views, rivals that of even NSMBW. DKCR…. yeah right.  That game is reserved for masochists who simply want to increase their E-peen and nothing more. DKCR is a giant spectacle fest with enough bells and whistles to fool to hardcore gamers and nintards into thinking it’s the most incredible thing since sliced bread. Origins has a little bit of that as well as stable gameplay that doesn’t exclude multiple players. Origins pacing is also faster, if that counts. Plus, who can’t resist playing a Ninja teensie?

I am a student of Joe Musashi! You’ re already fucked!

Winnar: Rayman Origins

And hopefully, the sequel won’t have any of that rabbit shit!

…..MOTHER FUCK!

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VS

I’m going to admit one thing now. Even though I currently hate Capcom for everything they destroyed with the Resident Evil series… and Street Fighter, ditching Dark Stalkers for everything BUT mere cameos, and reducing their retro revivals into nothing more than mere cash-ins to sucker in the capcom fanboys of every last cent, I still love goddamn Mega Man games. The ZX titles on DS, grade A awesome despite Inafuckoffs apparent hate of Mega Man. Apparently when it came to the remakes on PSP, Inafune left his bias at home when developing them. As such, they’re much better games than previous titles that have come out. So… if you could only choose one, which could you choose? Depends. Do you like Classic Mega Man with it’s outdated dissappearing block act? Do you like having a viable chance at beating ridiculously fast bosses?.

It’s time for a Showdown! Rock vs X on the BSP!

NOTE: For the sake of comparing different games (and slight laziness on my part), I will be using different criteria for each and every game viewed in these impact posts) For example, the box art for both of these games aren’t very different…. or good. So I won’t be counting them.

1. Presentation!

VERDICT: X

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49UX5nIm_48

Mega Man Powered Up

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQQLqvrybHU

Maverick Hunter X

Color me biased, but when I look at Rock‘s intro, I can’t help but feel limp just watching it. It starts off by showing you the original Cut Man stage from the NES. Then zooms in and shows a chibi Rock saying “lets go!” with one of those cheap voices that sounds like it belongs on one of those shitty “pocket monster battle” shows that CN thinks are profitable because of Pokemon. It shows a few shots of gameplay to distinguish the remake from the original game, as well as the new Time Man stage. At least Rock had the decency to show how the game will actually play. Then it ends off with Rock falling to his death and saying “must continue!” WHACK! Something tells me that was fanservice to have fans reminisce about their first time playing Guts Man’s stage and failing on those damned conveyor belts. What kind of shit is that!? You’re supposed to be showing me how AWESOME the character is by bypassing all that shit! Not showing me his vulnerability. You know how if you leave a game on for a while at the “Press Start” screen, they start showing demo plays in which the “invisible player” starts kicking whole sale ass on everything they’re facing off with? That actually motivated players to get better, because I know playing hard ass games back then seeing the “ghost”do a better job than me would always get me amped to do better. The best motivation is to show someone 1upping you when you know you’re supposed to be the one kicking ass! Instead, we get an intro that thinks it’s funny by having the Ghost die just to make you feel less like shit for not being able to pass one obstacle. You know what that reminds me of?

Did ANTHING good come from this crap legislation?

Funny. That’s like every game made these past few generations!

Now, X doesn’t show you anything except an anime intro which is basically a giant spoiler for the game’s unlockable movie “The Day of E”. Whatever the hell E stands for. Or maybe it’s a symbol for “Sigma” that Capcom thought would be “clever”. Even then, it’s at least better than the piss ass intro on Phantasy Star Zero. Good music overall, doesn’t feel like a saturday morning cartoon (more like one of those late night animes that US networks stopped showing due to low ratings). But it pulls your ass in. Makes you say “hmm, what is this game on about?”. Is it generic? Yes. Can you probably determine the plot just by the spoilage of the intro alone. But you still want to see the how, the why, and the what. Plus, th lack of Zero whoring makes this  intro 20x better than what we could’ve gotten. But man, X really looks like he can’t get his shit together unless Zero touches him.  I swear, they need some time apart. Get Iris back PRONTO!

2: STORY!

VERDICT: X

Rock‘s universe is quite shallow and predictable. Rock is an ordinary assistant robot who finds out 8 of Dr. Light’s other assistant robots were stolen and reprogrammed to take over the world! In response, Rock immediately decides he wants to be converted into a SUPER FIGHTING ROBOT and kick Wily’s lily ass all over the place. It’s a simple plot that doesn’t do anything to complicate the Rock universe, but it actually changes slightly depending on your actions, characters, and difficulty levels. But it’s very bare bones.

Interestingly, the Robot Masters now have a personality so that it doesn’t feel like you’re just killing nameless nobodies anymore.

Eh… he’s pretty damned annoying in this game. Essentially, he considers everyone his brother and seems to hate fighting. So what does he do? He fights to convert you to the side of good. I like his quote “Cuttin it up!” though. It’s funny and ironic at the same time.

Take a guess as to his personality. Big, Strong, could we be talking a Meat Head? At least he had the decency to tell kids to gtfo  of a dangerous construction site.

“I had some BIG boom booms the other day!” Am I the only one who a bad visual for that quote alone? Otherwise, at least Capcom bothered to make him memorable this time around.

Wow! I always thought of him as a smug bastard back in the first game and NT. Thanks for confirming it for me.

AHAHAHAHAHAHA! Are they trying to reference the Cold War with Ice Man!? He’s apparently a “soldier”. Yeah, but he doesn’t like the usage of bombs. Riiiiight. What kind of Soldier doesn;t like to use explosives? It doesn’t help that he looks like a bug eyed Ice Climber this time around. Ironically, he’s one of the my favorite characters to use in this game.

FLAMES OF JUSTICE! Thank you Capcom for ruining one of my favorite Robot Masters by turning him into a pyromatic version of Kim Kaphwan from Fatal Fury.

So he’s a more angry version of Elec Man? Yeah, that silly ass design just doesn’t work for me.

X universe is in the post apocalyptic world… set up. Set 100 years after Rock, X is an ancient android created to be a savior of the world (even though the original game had something much better than this going for X). The story gets a major expansion in the way of 2 different and detailed plots as well as an unlockable movie that serves as a prequel for the events that set up to the game you play.  Sigma starts a rebellion and it’s up to X (and Zero, where ever the fuck he is) to stop him. It’s not anymore complex than that, but you get a feeling that the stakes are that much higher considering the calibur of the main villain is much bigger than Wily. If anything, story was much more important for the X series than Rock. Unfortunately, it becomes the main reason one plays the game. And unfortunately, Sigma’s motives for starting a rebellion… are stupid. So you’re gonna turn your back on everything you stood for in the world just to see X go through puberty? Fuck all the retorts about nostalgia, but in the original, Sigma turned Maverick via a virus and went insane. Designed to be the premier reploid with all the advanced capabilities ever made, he was a force to be reckoned with, and unfortunately, he had to be put down. But no. Lets just turn him into a plain old dick who likes to troll bitches in the future. Can anyone even begin to defend this piss ass decision with the storyline!

Well, he seemed pretty decent in the movie, but he turns out to be quite the asshole we all know him as. His voice cracks like hell. What is with people thinking all Bird-like characters have to have squawk-like voices!?

That’s better. Also appearing in the movie, Storm Eagle doesn’t change his personality by much. He remains loyal to Sigma even though he has no goddamned clue as to why they rebelled. He just up and says “I have to fight X”. Eh, I never liked Storm Eagle anyways.

Hardly remember him beyond his ugly ass face and tendency to get frozen before he could throw a single punch. 😛

I should’ve expected nothing less than a big dumb robot who thinks tiny people are wimps and expects to “crush em all”.

Vile was right. This guy is nothing more than a tool. Can anyone justify why his armor looks like a cheese cake topped off with strawberries!?

One of the most asshole bosses I’ve ever fought…. thinks he’s an artist now? Great. First off, he’s an ugly looking boss that doesn’t even look “cultured” or “artistic”. His personality of thinking he makes a work of beauty… UGH! What the fuck is with Capcom giving characters personalities that DO NOT fit their designs!? That’s basic design 101!

…….Boring “wise guy” type of person. Does anyone know what the hell a Kuwanger is yet?

……WHAT THE FUCK DID THEY DO TO STING CHAMELEON!? This has to be the WORST characterization I’ve ever seen from one of my favorite Mavericks! I was expecting something similar to this!

NOT THIS!

Dammit Inafune! Fuck it! You suck! You smell! You reek! You’re stinkin up my Mega man fanboyishness!

Not to mention the tip of his tongue looks like shit! Why would his best melee weapon not be something that can sting you!? What happened to his razor sharp tongue!? Is his name NOT Sting Chameleon!? No, lets just bash someone over the head with some stupid fruit roll-up because the USA has become pussified of villains that can be considered a severe threat to one’s own safety! And lets not even make him a threat by turning him into one of those fruity ass villains you see on crap like One-piece. At least he’s still difficult to fight against! That much sense he still has preserved.

Overall though, presentation wise, X is a lot more attractive in it;s overall…. can’t find the word. Rock barely tries to get you interested in his game. It’s a shame. They had the opportunity, seeing as they paid more attention to story in video games. No, it doesn’t even move beyond it’s basic plot. As such, X will draw more people into it’s world.

3. GAMEPLAY

VERDICT: Tie

I can’t really say either one is better than the other. Both Rock and X have qualities and vices in both respects.

Rock’s gameplay is more about precision and timing as you avoid traps and blast enemies while X is more about rushing through stages and fucking shit up. So for the 2 remakes… yeah, tough call. Both games work well for what they do and present an equal amount of fun in both level design and combat. Though I might have to lean more toward X considering just how damned versatile both playable characters are. Even though Rock sports over 11 characters, most of them don’t really play very well in comparison to X and Vile. But the mere fact that you have that many characters adds a big ass layer of replay value. Who da thunk it!? You can actually play the Robot Masters for a change! How fucking amazing is that!? Better yet, you don’t even need to use up weapon energy, just go in with your favorite robot masters and use up all your weapons to our hearts content!

And most people would probably be saying “Who the fuck is Vile!?” Vile is currently considered to be the most powerful Mega Man character to date, with several weapons and explosives that will literally rape an entire stage. The main issues I have against him is the severe limitations Capcom placed on him. First off, all of his weapons are a tad difficult to keep track of or remember because they all have shitty names like “Pop Corn”. if you don’t have something called “Distance Needler” equipped, don’t even bother playing the game, because most of his weapons are shit, has poor recovery time for his sub-Cannon/Bomb attacks (unless you jump a lot), and worst off? He can’t even use his full arsenal until you complete his game! You see, Capcom decided to invoke some RPG shit into this game by giving him some weapon cost. Before each stage you have to prep Vile up Custom Robo Style. You give him a gun, a cannon, and a bomb. But these weapons come at a cost. You can’t use a weapon that costs up to 16 at the start of the game! You know what sucks even more!? Some weapons you won’t even know are a weakness to a certain boss until you read it up on a guide. And then you realize that you can’t even USE IT YET!

Inafune: I can’t stop pressing this button! It’s… so… wonderful!

So you have a character wiit ALL the fire power in the world… and you’re just gonna handicap him!? Not to mention everything he uses has rechargable weapon energy as well. Ok, now you want to limit someone’s ass kicking potential by putting in some bullshit RPG limitations.

Ok, I change my mind. I lean more toward Rock in this department! Having crap powers beats having awesome shit and not being allowed to use it!

4: CONTENT!

Verdict: Rock

Let me be realistic. When it comes to replay value, one extra character and a crappy movie isn’t going to cut it. Yes, crappy movie. If I wanted the origins of the Maverick rebellion to be a boring drek where they did every thing just to unlock X’s hidden potential (and seal Sigma’s fate of gettin his ass whooped 7 times in a row) then color me not impressed. Don’t give me that “they wanted reploids to evolve” bullshit either. It’s a stupid plan. Wily’s is simple anyone. I’m gonna jack yo shit and take over the world!

So lets see, in X, we get the main game, the ability to play Vile, updates like keeping the Hadouken after gaining it (and it 1-shotting bosses gave an incentive to do perfect no-hit runs) and a shitty movie?

What does Rock have to offer?

Oh I don’t know. Several playable characters including robot masters and cat-girl Roll.

You can tune a piano….

Several difficulty levels for both beginners and veterans alike, meaning anyone can enjoy this game, FREE DLC (and for something as shitty as the PSP, that’s not a bad deal) challenge mode levels for… when you’re bored. But also the ability to make your own custom levels and share them with other people around teh globe. That’s Kontent with a K. While some of the Robot Masters are absolute shit (I’m looking at you black… er… Oil Man), the rest are absolute monsters in that they obliterate everything in their path. The only issues I take pisses with is the music. Rock is just… fucking… awful. These songs used to make one hum all day. But when you listen to Cut Man’s theme…. EWWWWWWWWW!

X at least knows how to make beast ass music. Boomer Kuwanger theme is the most amazing remix ever.

Compare, my audience of 3.

GUTS MAN Complete Works edition

Guts Man Complete Shit edition

Now, lets look at X

Boomer Kuwanger Original

Sexy ass remix edition

I think it’s clear that Capcom did not want Rock to sell more than X. And how could they with that “SD” art style they’ve got going on!? It’s a shame too seeing how it has more content to last people longer than X does. Sorry Crapcom, but until you can beat Huepow, Mega Man will be seen as a super fighting robot, always. Not as a cute little kid.

The cutest mother fucker you will ever know.

Overall though, both games have their strengths and weaknesses, but both are incredibly enjoyable titles in their own right. I suppose it’s difficult to choose between both. I’m biased toward X, but Rock is clearly the superior title given it’s content and none restrictive gameplay elements. Yes, the Slide has been nerfed for no fucking reason other than to appease Inafune’s ego, but at least in the general sense Rock is still the better of the 2. Though when it comes to music and overall appeal, X wins in that department as he won’t alienate the fuck out of a market with some chibi bullshit no one wants, has better music and a better overall universe.

Rock has gameplay, X has appeal. What to choose, what to choose.

Winner:

BOTH: HAHAH!

VS

WARNING: The following post WILL contain spoilers, so if you’re like those gamefaqs babies that cry “BAN HIM” because someone posted a spoiler without a “proper warning”, please leave. No, gtfo.

Ok. I’ve been playing some major Phantasy Star titles, and I can’t express how much Sega just gave Nintendo fans the finger with the only Phantasy Star title we’ve gotten last generation on the DS. That is Phantasy Star Zero. The other game I’ve been playing was Phantasy Star Portable 2. And HORRRY SHEEEET!Sega really dick rode Sony this time around. While we get shitty Sonic spinoffs and ONE good Sonic game as well as a rail shooter that gets a special edition on the HD consoles, the few PSP lovers out there get a fantastic RPG. 2 infact!

I’ve read reviews, I’ve heard all the BS about how this is the definitive PSO experience on a handheld. I don’t know who they’re fooling, but I think the PSO fans who played the Gamecube games are in denial. Zero is kinda ass in comparison.

But let me be clear. It’s NOT BECAUSE OF GWAFIX! Yes, the PSP is more powerful and that might be why the Portable games got more content, but there’s a few things that pretty much signifies how much Sega just said “fuck it, lets NOT give Nintendo fans some real shit”. So here’s a list of things that scream “Fuck the Nintendo kiddies”. But I’ll be fair and not completely bash Zero. I don’t hate the game. I just hate how piddly the whole package feels.

It’s time for a VS post. Zero vs Portable 2.

And I say Portable 2 only because I haven’t played the first one.  So don’t ask me why I used that over Portable 1.

1. Box Art!

Lets take a look.

VERDICT: TIE

The box art for both games… aren’t very appealing. These are games that will mostly be played by males, so Sega failed in that department. Girls will love it though.

Anywho, I’ll give a few points more to Zero’s box art. The bluish theme does less to deter some folks away from the game, and that dragon looks incredible. But something’s… off about it. Can you point to what it is, viewers? Take a second look at it. Have you found it yet?

BINGO!

This creature from the depths of hell is supposed to be a cowboy. Dear lord. See, Zero has this fantastic nonsense called a “space western” theme surrounding it, so everyone looks like they were dragged out of the late 1800’s. At least the Human Hunters and Rangers.

It wouldn’t be so bad if he looked like this.

A real RAmar!

No. No kick ass Space gunner. We get the “Cowboys from Moo Mesa”

What is this shit!?

This looks like a class that was made for little kids when the game is far more complex. The designs of the game need to fit with the content. You can’t make a game to appeal to little kids when they will not be able to get passed the dragon boss. And how could it not? The game’s poster boy class is a little kid himself!

“Nintendo” Obviously.

As for Portable, the same thing. First off, it’s got this pinkish theme going on which destroys any appeal it might have for men. While they try to salvage it with the Beast in the background and the main white HUmar with saber and gun, it’s ruined by this Numan bitch right here.

IMA LOLI!

Want to destroy any appeal you might have with westerners? Put in loli’s on the front cover. Mission accomplished. You’ve lost profits because you think Japanese shit appeals to the west. And ironically, this is still better than that damn cowboy!

And not to mention the dragon looks a lot less epic than the one on Zero. Zero Dragon looks fierce and intimidating. Portable Dragon looks like a juvenile about to get curb-stomped. Oh and… nice job obscuring your Gundam CAST behind the ESRB rating, geniuses. I wouldn’t want to know about how awesome the game could be if I had an extra Race to shave off the estrogen of that Loli character. The beast is far to small to make much of a difference. People will pay attention to the pink, the crappy dragon, the white trash douche bag, and the Loli!

Well, at least the HUmar is more appealing than that little fucking kid.

Sega used to do what Nintendon’t

So both boxarts are complete trash which would more than likely scare away some customers. Zero with it’s Saturday morning Anime bullshit, and Portable 2 with it’s lovely array of “Pink”. Sega has practically confirmed they have no idea how to appeal to the west with Phantasy Star.

I also noticed. These portable games started to show more of the characters fighting dragons after Universe. Perhaps a sign that Capcom pretty much stole Sega’s Console MMO Market, so they had to get it back by appealing to Monster Hunter fans? Well, at least the gameplay wasn’t fucked to all hell.

2. Presentation!

NOTE: I only look at Presentation as how the game tries to pull me in IE intros. Nothing beyond that.

You’ll have to forgive me for the low quality. You see, Youtube is full of otaku jackasses that hate the english versions of everything.

VERDICT: Portable 2

Ok, I’m sure all 3 of you have seen the Japanese intro in one of my last posts.

Anywho, Zero‘s intro is still typical of the Saturday morning get up. While Reve’s pose is cool as is the shots of Ana’s “delectables”…

fellati- me now.

…the whole thing is ruined by the later portion of the intro where they show the 3 main races at once, followed by all of them sitting in a field of flowers.. staring off to nowhere. The campiness of it all is quite awful. You get that insidious feeling that you were not the intended audience for the game.  Not to mention Sarisa’s awful spin with her shitty wand and pink background. You notice how Kai (token nigga slashing the wolves), Ogi (the robot), and the HUmar (stupid kid) all have action shots without a shitty “low production cost” action background? Sarisa just comes in and ruins that ounce of consistency.

I will admit though that the animation is smooth through out the whole production. That is until you get to Reve’s portion where he uses some… mega punch against Kai and they both produce this big ass energy explosion. Yeah, Reve’s animation frames were cut back for some unknown reason.

Also, after Ana’s exhibition flight, you have Dairoh and Lindow (robot bitch) pop out from the bottom with smiley faces abound, which gives off the full “saturday morning effect” like you wouldn’t believe. And believe me, it’s MUCH… MUCH worse with that Japanese intro music. The Western version tries to scale back on the estrogen and manages to make the package seem a little more…. well… it tries to make it seem better. But no amount of music can change what is essentially a poor intro.

Now, Portable 2 already has shitty intro music. First off, the singer is making a song about… wishing to the stars. I’ve grown limp listening to this bitch. Why couldn’t they do what SOA did with Zero and change the music to something better? The animation is pretty good though. Since it’s all CGI, and Sega is no stranger to damn good CGI.

Yeah, no matter what you think of the game, you have to admit, that looks mother fucking awesome!

The one thing that kinda kills it for me is seeing the 4 main races running toward that jive turkey of a dragon like lame little heroes, shooting off their attacks at random. Not to mention the lyric “PHANTASY STARS UNIVERSE!” pops in right as they’re doing all of this. It honestly kills the mood of the whole intro.

But overall, there’s no debating it. Portable 2 definitely has the better intro by far.

3: CHARACTER CREATION!

Verdict: Portable 2

Yes, I get it. “Memory limitations” of the DS and all that jazz.

Look, Zero just has a poor customization feature in the first place. First off, not every race gets all 3 classes. The humans get everything, the CASTS and the Numans get jipped. The main problem is that you don’t even get that many options to change your character’s appearance. For instance, if you want a HUmar, you’ll be stuck with that fucking kid. You can’t make them taller or change the attire. The most you can do is change the color of their clothes and tinker around with hair styles.

RASTAFARIIIIIIIIIIIIII!

You can at least pick a lot of character voices too. When it comes to hair color, it changes the eye color as well, essentially limiting them to phenotypical stereotypes. Blonde-Blue eyes. Red-Green eyes. Black-Brown eyes.

And at least you can change the skin color, wouldn’t buy this game if I was forced to play a crac- BUT I DIGRESS! You can also change the color of your mag, but a fat lot of good that does. You also have very limited options in changing up how your character looked and sounded, so if you start a new game with your character, don’t expect to be able to change a whole lot. And if you buy any new mags, they won’t be the color you chose. How bullshit is that?

You also only get 3 files, so if you want to try out a new character, you better be ready to sacrifice one of your old ones to do so. In general, your character basically has one design preset. There are no new outfits to try out, you get one body model and 4 head models per race/class. I guess I can admit that at least we can do that much with the creation system given how limited the DS’s capabilities are, but it’s still quite shallow and given that the basic models we’re given for all the Human characters are…. shit, then it doesn’t help much. Plus, why do FOnewearls always have to be designed like lolis?!

Portable 2 is a different story altogether. Thanks to MORE MEMORY LOL, there are no class limitations within the 4 races. 4? Yes, this game has the beast class who actually live up to their names. You have the default outfits, up to 47 hair styles, voice clips, etc. The issue I have is skin color. It’s actually quite limited in the more “pale” looking department. If I wanted to make like… a caramel skinned Newearl, that’s entirely impossible. And let me be the one to say the CASTS look like ass. Especially the female ones. That’s some uncanny valley shit right there.

Why do robots need titties?

And for some reason, the Numans now have an asian theme surrounding them. Why? They were cool as space elves, why make them japanese? Ugh, praise Amma you can change that at least. More than I can say for this asshole.

SON OF A BITCH, SORA! GET OUT OF MY PHANTASY STAR!

Did I mention that you can change damn near everything about your character mid game? From overall design to class to weapon choices? There is way more freedom to customization than you will ever see in Zero. And that’s an understatement.

Of course, the Japanese will make shitty characters like always.

4. STORY!

NOTE: For future references, just know that during BOTH games, you will have the options to answer questions during the storyline which only affects what kind of dialogue you see from the characters.

Verdict: Portable 2

There’s no question about it. Zero presents a tale of a planet that is on the verge of destruction due to… pollution. A group of mercenaries called “hunters” led by Dairoh and Kai take on jobs just to earn money. While this happens, a strange space pod lands on Earth with a Numan girl named Sarisa. After saving her from a dragon, Kai takes her under his wing and lets her join the Hunters. While at first, she isn’t trusting of the Humans, she becomes great friends with them later on in the game. Course, the Numans become worried and decide to track her down, with Reve at the helm. You see, the Numans believe the Humans are responsible for the planet’s destruction (they’re absolutely right), so the game kinda leads you on about a possible conflict between both races. But no, instead, near the end, you find out the Numans were just duped by a super computer they believed was actually a goddess that created them. Yeah, lets not make an INTERESTING story based on Human/Numan conflict, lets make a bloated version of Sonic 3’s story.

Sega did you wrong, Knuckles.

Not to mention the characters are horribly dickish in nature.

Asshole leader

Kai tries faaar to hard to be “perfect” and seems to disagree with EVERY…. FUCKING…. CHOICE you make in the game! Whether you just have a sense of humor or want to get straight to work, he will bitch you out for the simplest of shit! Oh Amma, I hate that guy! Not to mention he’s shit in the fights! One of the best hunters the guild has!? How low are your expectations for this line of work!? I could be my slow ass-tard character from Monster Hunter…. and I would STILL do work on these bitches more than Kai could! And his voice is awful!

Whiny, self-righteous bitch.

Where do I begin with the “CREAM THE RABBIT” of this game? Well, for starters, she’s a cleric with crappy skills and a personality no one would love. She comes off as overly kind, but has a bitch side to her as well. In some instances, if you say the snow tastes “delicious”, she’ll be pissed at you because “she just KNOWS and RESEARCHED everything about snow!” Where the hell did that level of insecurity come from?! She also has that damned “self-righteous” attitude that 99% of all shonen/kids anime presents. You have a villain that does some “bad stuff” which is pretty damn tame to what most REAL villains could do.

You’ve been trying to catch Pikachu for 14 years!? YOU’RE THE MOST ROTTEN PEOPLE ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH!

She also gets raped by a tentacle monster…… and seemingly likes it.  I am not making this up. But, she’s quick to slap a robot for liking what it sees because it’s not proper like he gives a shit. Who am I talking about?

Robot

Ogi is the only character that knows how to live. And is the only robot I know that actually likes titties. Yeah. I couldn’t make this up if I wanted. There isn’t much I can say about this character.

Bitches love me.

Reve is the best character ever. Well… he would be if he wasn’t a tool. He didn’t have time for all that “power of friendship” BS that Kai and Sarisa were spittin. He just wanted to crush the little fuckers. He also has his own Voltron machine that will rape you to crumbs.

But story wise, Zero falls flatter than day old soda. Not only is the plot devoid of any real surprises, but the characters are horrifically intolerable. But I do have to give them some credit. The story alters depending on what race you choose, giving you a different perspective. If you play a Human, you’ll be Kai’s partner from the start in the Hunters Guild. If you’re a Numan, you’re amnesiac and have the mission of tracking down Sarisa’s stupid ass while observing the Human’s activities. If you’re a CAST, you have no real allegiance and just… do shit. Even then, the plot doesn’t change by much considering that the story format is exactly the same. You show up in town, join the Hunters, take jobs, fight Reve, go to ruins, go to moon, etc. But at least they tried to invoke some replay value, even if you need to delete characters to do so.

And again, Portable 2 is a different story altogether. It’s like Sega actually gave a shit about the plot!

In Portable 2, it takes place 3 years after Universe for the PS2, 360, and PSP (and no Wii version in sight. *sigh*). After the conflict with an enemy race called “Seed” (what a shitty name for an enemy race). After the wars, the Planets of Parum, Moatoob, and Neudias (whatever  their names are) are all devastated. But a new technological theory has been developed. It is called “subspace travel”. With that, the races of these planets can go to different worlds to be colonized (IE taken over, if history is any evidence to go by… fucking British Empire).

So the game starts off in some ruins where you’re a nobody who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when all of a sudden, a girl wearing all pink decides to have a headache which causes an explosion that traps you inside.

THE…. CHRONIC!

Essentially, after helping her out, you get blackmailed into joining a mercenary group called “Little Wing”. Yeah, that’s your reward for saving this white bitch. Strange world, huh?

Yeah, the guy in charge is considered “evil” by everyone, so at least there’s a bit of realism in personalities. Anywho, the characters are a helluva lot more tolerable in this game as well.

A like-able loli!? It really IS a MadWorld!

Emillia is essentially this game’s Sarisa in that she’s your main partner for everything. The difference is she’s human and not much of a total bitch like Sarisa. Infact, she’s actually… pretty cool for a blond. She’s just as useless in combat, but her ass whippins are barely noticeable. She also has some “Ancient” bitch living inside of her, making her “veerrrry spheshal”. Ooooooo

Get a haircut, hippy.

This “beast” is the boss of Little Wing….. who blackmails you for saving Emilia. Yeah, don’t expect to like him early on. He gives that child more hell than anything. If it was Sarisa, I could understand. Eh, later on, he actually gets better as the story progresses. But it is damned funny.

Coolest… outfit… ever.

Yut Yun… Yunkers. There’s no amount of vocabulary available to describe how much I want to kick his lily ass all over the place. First, he’s an annoying ass boss, then he acts like that little brother whose ass needs to be kicked with a vengeance! He runs away from you in every… damn… chapter, thinks a near death experience will turn you into a Super Saiyan (seriously, he thinks dying will make you stronger. That’s Vegeta’s own fucking thought process!) and LOVES TO SHOUT ABOUT HIS SENSES! DAMMIT! Hate this bastard!

The “White” Ana

She introduces herself by delivering the best insult ever to Kraz. “Your breath makes me want to buy a Hazmat Suit”. These Numans are some cold mother fuckers. And despite that, she ends up marrying that guy anyway! Also has a laser whip, making her a futuristic Belmont of sorts.

The “Seto Kaiba” of Phantasy Star.

She thinks she’s hot shit because she’s a member of the “Guardians”, a fancy name given to space police. apparently, she’s the sister of Ethan Weber who was the main character of Phantasy Star Universe, otherwise known as the game every PS fan hates. That said, no wonder Lumia has a nasty disposition when you first meet her. Lumia meets people who were introduced in a game that got much better reception than her first game! And how about that? 2 mages that seem to be rivals. I think this was intended to be cute. It failed.

The story is more involved with a conspiracy involving a corporation whose motives are questionable. That and subspace travel is actually driving lots of monsters and inhabitants batshit insane.

Already, that sounds more interesting than a race of beings getting fooled into believing Humans are “mean people”. We hate corporations almost instinctively, so there is a much broader appeal to be had here than in Zero. Not to mention much better characters and even better writing. I don’t think a weak script is the fault of the DS’s hardware now, is it? 😛

5. GAMEPLAY!

VERDICT: Portable 2
Now I feel like I’m being unfair. Lets rundown what the deal is with Zero‘s gameplay.

If only that touch screen was put to good use.

Firstly, it’s slow. Combat is quite the chore in that all of your attacks have to be timed. No, I don’t have a problem with needing to time your attacks! The problem is with the amount of time it takes to get the damn attacks out! You see, when it comes to attack animations, every single move you do comes out slowly. Even your evasive abilities chug like all hell. If your character has poor recovery times for every single move, then the combat is going to deter people from playing the game alone. Especially when you need to grind. And believe me, grinding in this game is a draaaaaaaaaag. It takes far to long to level up, I haven’t even found the motivation to move my character passed 36 at this point. It takes waaaay to long to kill one enemy because no matter how much you buff you characters up, their awful recovery times as well as all the evasive moves you’d have to do in order to avoid a supreme ass kicking make everything take far longer than it needed to be. And honestly, why do the characters have such overly long animations for all of their moves? Even dodging, it’s like after you stop rolling, your character has to slowly stand up in his/her own 2 feet before doing anything again. So even your own evasive maneuver puts you at risk! I didn’t think Sega would look toward Mortal Kombat for inspiration of how to make the game even harder, but dammit they’ve done it well. On top of that, you can’t block unless you use a shield. WHY!? You also have the ability to use Photon arts which are basically weapon exclusive special moves you can perform by holding down w/e button your weapon is configured to, then releasing to unleash an onslaught of attacks. These moves still have the same problems in recovery, but less so. At the same time, if you need to switch weapons, oh man, you are shit out of luck. You have to pause the game, IE you prevent YOURSELF from moving just to go through some menus and change your weapon. While doing this, you are vulnerable to attack. So your best bet is to find a safe place to change weapons. I don’t know what the hell they were thinking. And just… why didn’t they take advantage of the touch screen beyond map controls and a shitty speech system? The touch screen is better used for convenience of menu navigation, and this game would SEVERLY benefit from it. You could go through the menus for weapon changes WHILE MOVING YOUR DAMN CHARACTER! It just creates this air of artificial difficulty when you have to find a SAFE PLACE to change your weapons! I don’t care about the menu shortcuts, THAT SHIT IS NOT A RESPONSE TO BAD GAME DESIGN! Zero is difficult enough as it is, it just seems like boneheaded decisions were made  that makes everything much more unbearable! They were not using their brains at this point!

Contrast to Portable 2 where the combat is much faster, you can actually cancel out of an attack to an evasive roll, block, or Photon arts. Photon Arts are configured to a separate button for easy access and better canceling opportunities, all of which makes combat more enjoyable, faster paced, etc.  Plus, you don’t need to bend over backwards with your balls in a knot to CHANGE YOUR WEAPONS! You’re mobile while navigating a quick drop menu to scroll through to change your weapons on the fly. Just hold circle and scroll to what you need! Simple and painless! It would’ve been much better if they did that with touch controls! But no! Oh, and you can block with anything besides a shield. You just need a 2 handed weapon. While the action palette is a lot less customizable in this game, it’s at least manageable that it doesn’t get in the way of the ass kickings.

As well, the dungeons/areas you go through are randomly generated. Now, this wouldn’t be so bad if the rooms themselves had…. idk… some variety maybe? It’s like everywhere you go, it’s the same bland area. You might get a few traps here and there, and you might get some turrets to deal with. But after the first time, these little gimmicks are used and abused so much that we might as well not have anymore than 4 areas in the game. This wouldn’t be such a problem if all the areas weren’t so damn long! It could take you a good 10-30 minutes at worst to clear these places, and that’s not including how long a single fight against several waves of enemies could take.

While Portable 2 has a better variety of areas, I can’t say the same for your enemies. How many bipedal aliens with fireball attacks do they have in this game? I can apply the same strategies for everything. Because everything you kill fights exactly the same. No need to change tactics, no need for different weapons, just sit back and spam the same bloody strategies you’ve been using since the beginning.

In addition, for both games, your character’s weapon choices seem to be out of wack. For some reason, weapons that should be available to you are not based on insignificant issues such as “race”. If you are a HUnewn, for example, you cannot use a specific SWORD weapon that a CAST could. Because robots are obviously stronger. This, I guess I could accept, but when I can’t use a type of gun because I’m not a CAST, fucking lines are getting crossed. An array of weapons could be denied because you’re a black guy… er… “beast race”. And no reason would be given.

On the plus side of portable, leveling is much faster, and you actually notice some changes to your states. reaching the 40s, you could be doing up 3-400 points of damage to an enemy. Zero will hardly let you pass beyond the 100 mark. On the negative side, you don’t get mags in Portable 2.

……….FUCK!

Both games have an equal amount of quests (all of which are basically just going through the same dungeons over and over again with no real variation, just complete the dungeons again… and again). Portable 2 basically just gives you “challenges” like complete a dungeon under 7 minutes or so. Other than that, the questing system for both games are shallow. But at least Zero gives you some sweet rewards for all the trouble. Overall, however, Portable 2’s smoother and faster combat already makes it a more enjoyable experience for Phantasy Star players. Zero might have some better… erm… rewards for completing quests, but Portable is more focused on character customization, and in the end, that’s what really counts for MMO styled games.

I think I’ve been unfair enough as it is. There’s really no comparison. Portable 2 is the better game in every way imaginable. Story, combat, customization, everything. So why is it that Sega practically gimped Zero?

I know everyone is thinking hardware, but I don’t think that’s really the idea. Was hardware really the reason why combat in Zero chugs like shit? Why not cut a few frames from attack animations? That would save more memory and give you much better combat. It would look cheaper, yes, but it would flow that much better. And believe me, memory is a terrible excuse for that storyline they put into the game. It’s so unbelievably bland. When you look at the script for Portable 2, you literally “feel” like they didn’t care about Zero. I don’t think any Journalist could spin it any other way. Zero was gimped from the start. And if the gameplay can’t overshoot everything else, the product is a failure. The meat of the gameplay is combat and looting, and when looting is the only enjoyable aspect of the game, hampered by a poor inventory system, you know it’s fucked.

And no, I have not tried the online capabilities of either game, mainly because TRENDnet is a pile of shit router that isn’t supported by any real gaming device as far as I can tell. But even then, I wouldn’t bother trying to get a connection on the DS either way. It gets dropped like a million times, I swear. And with the piss ass combat of Zero, I wouldn’t even bother period. The combat alone is just that boring and tedious. This factor I think needs to be hammered into everyone’s skull. The combat sucks. The combat sucks. The combat completely sucks.

Honestly, the only reason Zero is an inferior product is because Sega just didn’t care. They didn’t care enough with a lot of games they made for Nintendo’s consoles. Portable 2 has a much bigger community than Zero, as well. So even if folks could come up with reasons (CASUALZ!) why Zero is superior, there are LESS people playing that game than Portable 2. There’s no getting around that.

WINNAR: Phantasy Star Portable 2