december 07, 2013

Famicom Friday: Fuzzical Fighter and Palamedes II

Yesterday I had myself a Famicom Friday, with some games that have not been sold for a while.

Palamedes II.
125 SEK

I played this game for about an hour. At first it is almost as annoying as Puyo Puyo but there are two good things compared with Puyo Puyo. First, the matches can be over really fast which reduces the annoyance. Secondly, I won sometimes.
The game has some randomness to it, so one is likely to win after a while.

The gameplay seems complicated but it isn't. You have the die [sv not: "die" är singularform av "dice"] at the top with a number. Your have to place your dice that will make a poker-like number. The best combination is a straight, such as 6-5-4-3. Second best is four of a kind. Also good is three of a kind, or two of two different sorts. When you get some good combination, you will remove 1-4 rows from your screen, and the opponent will get 1-4 rows added. That's the puyo puyo aspect.

The tricky thing is that you can only place a die that has the same or acjacent number as the die on the table. So if the die on the table has 5, you can place 4,5 or 6. Say you place a 4, then the die on the table will change to a 4. This also effects what the opponent can place.
I think the video explains the rest of the gameplay.

The game was fun for a while. The main annoyance is that the die on the table is hard to see when you look at your own board. They should have put it in the middle, and maybe have a sound indicating what it changes to. The second annoyance is that the game feels random. In one moment you are almost dead, and the next your screen is empty and the opponent is almost dead.

The third game I played was Fuzzical Fighter.
195 SEK

Strange that this game hasn't been sold, but I was happy because I enjoyed it very much. I played it for 3 hours. Not only is it uncommon but also a great game.

Sometimes I think many people don't have very good taste, because I keep on getting requests for games like Trip World, that I don't even think is fun, but I now have a loose copy for sale for 795 SEK (125$). That is the lower end of the current price on eBay. Fuzzical Fighter is unsold for 195 SEK. Oh well.

At first Fuzzical Fighter may be confusing because you start in this Dragon Quest view and might think "oh no, not another weird japanese RPG". But actually the RPG mode is insignificant and easy to figure out. To prove my point, you get passwords that consists of FOUR NUMBERS and is the same for a level no matter how you upgraded. So it isn't an upgrade-heavy game.

It also starts off slow and easy and may seem boring. But there are 8 levels and they get harder and faster.

You get gold when you shoot enemies and you use it to buy stuff in the shop. In the shop with an ship sign you can upgrade Shoot (シュート ? I don't know), Shield (シールド) or Engine (エンジン). The katakana is literally the English word phonetically. Learning some basic katanaka is actually not that hard. I recommend practice on:

In the other shop you can buy items, literally アイテム.
You use the Item by pressing Select during gameplay. I know one item will take you back to the last castle you won. One upgrade is "Add Power" (パワー means power) to add HP, and one is "Add Magic" (マジック means magic) to add more Magic points.

The magic that is 16 MP will also take you back to the last castle. This is useful if you are almost dead. Use magic buy equiping it, and press the A button.

To equip your ship, simply press Start when playing and select your upgrades.

A special thing about the game is the Fuzzical mode. This is an autopilot of sorts that will avoid obstacles. I think it is useful on later stages when the screen scrolls fast and there is a ceiling and ground that show up. I actually had the Fuzzical mode on in the video because it made it more fun to play. It feels weird at first but is strangely playable. Easier than when I tried Darius II last week with my not-too-functional Mega Drive controller.

The graphics is nice and the music is well made.
To buy upgrades you sometimes have to "level grind", meaning you play a bit of a level until your HP is low, then you use a magic to go back to base, buy an upgrade, restore health, and restart the level. You restore your health by going to Inn, select the top menu item, and then chose the top item that is cheap and will restore your HP and MP.
I didn't mind grindning because I thought the game was fun to play.

If you are one of the people who read my blog posts regularly, you may know that I enjoy action games with a strategy element. That  is so that my brain will do some work and not just my reflexes, and to keep my from falling asleep by repetitive gameplay.

It is also nice with a shooter where you can keep on trying. Keep on collecting gold and buy upgrades instead of getting game over. It doesn't feel super hard either, which is nice for someone like me who is not a mad-skillz button mashing shmupper (who only plays with a custom made Seimitsu part stick).

I show a video from early gameplay only. It gets more fun later on.

And as bonus, a few days ago I also played some more Super Mario Kart ghost valley 1, to show I could beat the time I mentioned in my recent Mega Drive blog post.

And I made another Goemon video! Now on super famicom: Gokujou Parodius. Wow, some of my favorite games Twinbee, Gradius and Goemon all in one, what a combination! But I feel that parodius is more of a joke than a game. :) I don't play it seriously.


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