Azn Badger's Blog

What About the Lysine Contingency…?

Best Boss Music #13: Super Godzilla

Super Godzilla was one of those games that I really wanted to like.

Oddly enough, that seems to be the case for me with pretty much every Godzilla videogame I’ve ever played.

You see, even though Godzilla and Godzilla 2: War of the Monsters on the NES were both shit, the fanboy kept finding stupid reasons for me to give ’em second chances.

“Sure the gameplay is sloppy and monotonous, but c’mon; it’s motherfuckin’ Godzilla!”

As a kid, (minus the profanity) these were the kinds of thoughts that would run through my head every time I’d stick a Godzilla game in my NES.

 

Nowadays it's more like: "GODDAMN MOTHERFUCKER, WHY AM I STILL PLAYTHING THIS PIECE OF ASS!!?"

Despite the Big G’s spotty track record up to that point, Super Godzilla, in my young mind; was supposed to be the game that made up for it all.

I remember reading preview articles in Game Players and GamePro that made Super Godzilla look like the shit.

The screenshots looked sharp, the gameplay sounded fresh and unique, and the roster of monsters, while quaint by some standards; was packed with fan favorites and a host of Heisei era kaiju that had yet to gain exposure in the U.S.

Not only that, the game promised a thrilling and campy Godzilla story involving aliens taking control of Earth’s monsters, with the Earthlings responding in kind by taking control o Godzilla and piloting him via remote from the cockpit of the Super X2!

It looked and sounded like a Godzilla fans dream.

I rented Super Godzilla as soon as it became available at my local videostore, and I can honestly say; I was disappointed.

 

The first thing that hit me right off the bat, was the game’s general lack of quality in both audio and visual terms.

I mentioned that Super Godzilla looked good in stills, and I wasn’t lying.

 

HOLY SHIT!!!

The game makes extensive use of extremely large and detailed character portraits for Godzilla and all of his Toho frat brothers, however therein lies the problem:

The character graphics consist almost exclusively of barely animated, or worse yet; “Ken Burns-ed” animation cycles.

You see, the core gameplay of Super Godzilla consisted of 2 basic functions:

Finding and then fighting the enemy monster of each level.

While one would think this would be an action-packed process, Toho made the decision to structure the “finding” aspect of the game as sort of a grid-based strategy game, and worse yet; made the “fighting” section a barely interactive mashup of repetitive cutscenes.

You remember the lengthy and unskippable summon cutscenes from Final Fantasy VII?

Well, imagine a fighting system where all you do watch 4-5 shitty looking summons over and over and over again, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what it’s like to play Super Godzilla.


Rest assured, one can take time to make many a sandwich while playing Super Godzilla…

Okay fine, the “fighting” in Super Godzilla has at least some level of interactivity to it, but believe when I say it; it’s not much.

Basically, when one enters into combat with an enemy monster, the screen morphs from the overhead map to a 2D sprite-based fighting game layout.

Pictured: The Thrilling Battle Screen...

From this screen, the player can make use of 3 buttons and maneuvers:

Punching, blocking, and using items.

While blocking is self-explanatory, landing a punch is required in order to initiate the aforementioned cutscene attacks, which are empowered by the player’s “fighting spirit” meter at the bottom of the player’s HUD.

As one would expect, given it’s massive place on the HUD, the “fighting spirit” meter is the crux of the Super Godzilla “fighting” system.

When one advances towards one’s opponent in Super Godzilla, the player’s “fighting spirit” increases, gradually falling when the player retreats.

Upon landing a punch on the enemy, the player’s “fighting spirit” will freeze in place, inviting the player to retreat and open up the attack command window at the center of the HUD.

Depending of the volume of the player’s “fighting spirit,” as well as the distance that they retreat, the player will be given more powerful attack commands to select from.

In all Godzilla has access to 4 attack commands: tail whip, body slam, fire breath, and hyper fire breath from weakest to strongest respectively.

Sadly, no tail slide though...

Items gathered from the “finding” phase of each level consist of instant use health power-ups, defense boosters, and a “fighting” spirit

Perhaps the worst part of the gameplay system, was the addition of enemy UFOs as random encounter enemies in most of the stages.

Taking only 1 hit to destroy, these UFOs absolutely shit ALL OVER what little enjoyment was to be derived from the “finding” portion of each level.

I don’t mind random encounters in RPGs, but when said encounters involve only 1 enemy type, and a pathetically weak one at that; I just don’t get it.

I suppose it doesn’t help that many of the levels in Super Godzilla have time limits, making these random encounters have zero possibility of doing damage to you, but still serving to potentially end your game through wasting your motherfucking time…

Make no mistake, finding and killing the Mothership hidden in each stage is deeply advised, as it is the only thing that will stop you from having to fight baby UFOs every 5 seconds.

 

KILL IT WITH FIRE.

Despite the bland and painfully slow-paced gameplay, Super Godzilla did have a few little things going for it.

For instance, during the “finding” portion of each level, the player was often free to choose their own path in maneuvering the map, making item gathering and avoidance of stationary enemy emplacements entirely up to the player.

In addition to this, there’s a great deal of variety in the tasks heaped on the player on their plodding march to finding the enemy monster.

For instance, in the 3rd stage, you are required to raid (read: step on) several enemy bases in order to free a captive scientist.

In the 4th stage, the player must do battle with a pair of Battra’s, however if one is quick enough in reaching the second while it is still in it’s chrysalis, it is in fact possible to destroy it before it hatches.

These variations in gameplay also extend to the “fighting” segments of the game in the form of each enemy monster having certain attacks in Godzilla’s repertoire that are ineffective against them.

Thankfully, most of these variations are fairly logical, with Biollante’s superior mass making her invulnerable to Godzilla’s body slam attack, and Battra’s speed making them unable to be hit by anything but Godzilla’s most powerful fire breath attack.

Yeah, somehow I don't think running into it would be an advisable course of action...

Toho can suck a dick though for making Mechagodzilla able to counter Godzilla’s basic fire breath.

I know he did in the movies, but for fuck’s sake; didja’ really have to make the fire breath one of the most common attacks to pop up in the attack window?

Anyway, the 1 huge plus Super Godzilla has going for it, (besides being a Godzilla product) is the inclusion of, well; Super Godzilla.

During the last few stages of the game, the player can go out of their way to obtain a series of power ups to transform plain ‘ole Godzilla into Super Godzilla.

What's this, Godzilla's evolving!? Godzilla evolved into SUPER Godzilla!

Bearing a truly awesome design, that was largely transplanted into the design for Space Godzilla the year after the game’s release, Super Godzilla granted the player access to a brand new set of attack commands, a Mega Buster like chargeable punch, and the ability to walk through buildings and obstacles on the map screen without taking damage.

Most of Super Godzilla was tough to slog through, but for what it’s worth, the final battle against the Super Godzilla exclusive, and exceedingly well-designed giant monster, Bagan; is a far better one than the game probably deserved.

Say what you will about the game, Bagan was pretty tight lookin'...

That being said, while Super Godzilla does in fact have a truly horrible soundtrack, with many tracks serving to utterly butcher some truly classic Godzilla themes; the boss music played during the Bagan fight is actually… good.

That’s right, I said something was “good” in Super Godzilla.

Seriously, give it a listen:

While it’s honestly not a great piece of Super NES music by any standards, it’s easily the best track in the game; and has a pretty serious sound to it that’s rarely heard in 16-bit game music.

I love the opening notes, and how bizarre and frankly, “alien” it feels, making it quite appropriate for the climax piece of a giant monster alien invasion story.

Perhaps the track’s biggest accomplishment though, is that it actually sounds like Godzilla music.

Godzilla movies have played host to some of Japan’s finest composers, and as such, have always bore a distinctive and powerful sound.

Many of the tracks in Super Godzilla feel generic and flat, but the final boss theme has a “big-ness” in it’s instrumentation that make it sound like a cross between the trumpet heavy orchestrations of Akira Ifukube and the synth-heavy work of Takayuki Hattori.

Anyway, Super Godzilla is one of those games that I want to like.

I know it sucks, but the Godzilla fan in me still tries to find ways to redeem it.

While most pro-Super Godzilla arguments are likely to be filled to the brim with bullshit, let it be known that any argument citing the final boss theme as a redeeming factor have at least that going for them.

"You WILL play Super Godzilla, and LIKE IT."

Advertisements

Filed under: Best Boss Music, Games, Movies, The Best Track in the Game, Tokusatsu, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks, #20-16

Well folks, yesterday we covered #25-21 of the Top 25 NES Tracks.

That particular tier of the list was seemingly dominated by Sunsoft games, movie tie-ins, and sports games.

Funny how shit like that works out…

Anyway, today we’re taking our first step up in quality, from the bottom tier of the NES’ best, to the, uh, “slightly-higher-than-the-bottom” tier!

That being said, let’s get down to dah’ music!:

#20. Final Fantasy

“The Prelude”


Haha!  That’s right, SUCK IT fanboys!

Final Fantasy has never really held a special place in my heart.

Neither have RPGs for that matter.

I played the original Final Fantasy as a kid, and simply couldn’t get into it.

Similar to my experiences with the Zelda series, I felt I never knew what to do, or where to go, ultimately resulting in me wandering the landscape for a time, only to run into a pack of imps and get my party of green-as-fuck level 1 heroes ass-fucked into oblivion.

 

 

That's a lot of Imps...

 

To this day, I haven’t played a new Final Fantasy since VIII, and I haven’t truly enjoyed any since VI.

Yeah, VI was the shit…

 

Name another game where you can Suplex a fuckin' Train. I dare you.

 

That being said, my lack of appreciation for the Final Fantasy series is what places “The Prelude,a classic of gaming music history as old as myself; so low on this list.

It’s a beautiful, almost whimsical piece of music, that certainly still endures to this day, but to me; it’s just the title theme of a game I hated as a kid.

Did I mention all the fanboys can suck a big fat Blackanese cock?

 

 

...Or at the very least, a big black dildo.

 

#19. River City Ransom

“Boss Theme”


River City Ransom is AWESOMELY FUCKIN’ BADASS.

Seriously man, the guys over at Technos deserve a fuckin’ Earth Badge for everything they put into The City of River Ransoming, ’cause the whole game is a work of genius.

 

 

Unlike this man, who is sadly, NOT a Real Genius...

 

You take Double FUCKIN’ Dragon, which is already BADASS as is, then throw in some AWESOMELY shitty dialogue and a leveling/shopping system, and you’ve got the AWESOMELY FUCKIN’ BADASS game that is River City Ransom!

 

 

Game writing at it's finest.

 

Excuse me, I think I just came in my pants…

*Ahem!* Anyway, River City Ransom was, and is, an awesome game that I spent hours upon hours playing in my youth.

That being said, though there are many great pieces of memorable music in the game, most notably the standard street brawling theme and the shopping music, I feel that the track that best represents the game, is “The Boss Theme.”

Full of energy and pulse-pounding drama, “The Boss Theme” invokes all of the emotions that a boss theme should.

The only other track that could possibly eclipse it, is the River City Ransom version of the Double Dragon theme, though that loses out by a hair due to the fact that, well, the Double Dragon theme actually sounds a whole lot better in the Double Dragon series than it does here…

#18. Snow Bros.

“Stage 1 Theme”


You knew they were gonna’ pop on the list somewhere, but did you really think the crack covered snow men would rank so low?

When forming this list, I did what I could to check my ego at the door and really try and place these tracks appropriately.

While I love Snow Bros., and all of it’s music, deep down I knew that, musically speaking; it’s far from a work of art.

 

Unlike THIS, which is... Probably the most terrifying thing I've ever laid eyes upon...

 

As mentioned in my Snow Bros. article, the “Stage 1 Theme” is a piece of music that I hummed throughout my childhood, such that my mother still knows the tune to this day.

It’s a wonderfully light piece of cutesy music that has a “rotundness” to it that really goes well with the chubbiness and slow-footed nature of the title characters.

I love the “Stage 1 Theme,” and it pains me to place it at #18, but sadly I simply can’t justify placing it any higher.

*Sniff!* Fuckin’ principles n’shit, makin’ me shit on Snow Bros…

#17. Battletoads

“The Battletoads Theme”


There are few 8-bit era themes as rockin’ and kick-ass as “The Battletoads Theme,” and by golly, I love every note of it.

It was tempting to put the stupid-ass “Pause Screen” music on the list as another joke entry akin to Skate or Die 2, however I managed to restrain myself.

While the Battletoads game is, as indicated in one of my previous articles, far from one of my favorite games; the Battletoads themselves are a different story altogether.

In the early 90’s, the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were king.

 

 

Gods among men, they were...

 

It doesn’t take a genius to see that the Battletoads, Biker Mice from Mars, Street Sharks and Extreme Dinosaurs were all lame attempts to cash in on their success.

 

Pictured: The Ninja Turtles for the UFC generation...

 

That being said, while very little of it actually came to fruition, the Battletoads were, at one point; in line to get their own cartoon, comic book, and action figures.

Because my brother and I had a subscription to Gamepro (back when it was actually good), we caught word of this very early on, and in fact were treated to a some of the early comics printed in the pages of the magazine.

 

Yeah, something tells me it was a GOOD thing this never got aired...

 

Needless to say, the Battletoads, despite starring in a series of games that were frustratingly difficult, were pushed on me pretty aggressively as a kid.

Whoever was head of the marketing department for the Battletoads deserves a pat on the back, ’cause despite having little to no positive memories of any Battletoads games, the ‘toads still have a place in my heart.

A lot of my love for the Battletoads though, springs from the awesomeness of their theme music, which is why it sits comfortably on this list at #17.

#16. StarTropics

“Dungeon Theme”


StarTropics was and is, a tremendously fun, rewarding, and unique game.

While I never actually beat it, (got close though) I have many fond memories of watching my brother play it day in and day out.

I loved the world map, and how it reminded me of Hawaii.

 

Heh heh, it's funny 'cause it's butt...

 

I loved the goofy noise the submersible made when it dived.

Most of all though, I loved the straightforward nature of the action levels and the “Dungeon Theme” that played over them.

The “Dungeon Theme” was unique in that, while most of environments that the action scenes took place in were scary looking caves, the music was very upbeat.

It had an island, almost calypso feel to it that really got you into the action, while giving everything a colorful and inviting feel to it.

It also did well to set up the drastic change in musical tonality that would occur when the “you’re getting close to the boss” music would transition over it.

Startropics is a game series that I could see myself sitting down and playing through someday.

It’s also a series that I sincerely hope gets a continuation or remake at some point.

Here’s to hoping for a return trip to C-Island someday…

 

 

Mike Jones: Adventurer, Hero, and Banana Holding Buffoon.

 

Thus concludes the slightly-higher-than-bottom tier of the Azn Badger’s Top 25 NES Tracks!

Check back tomorrow when we finally start getting to the good stuff in the middle-tier of the list!


Filed under: Games, Movies, The Top 25 NES Tracks, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Top 10 Best Overkills in Movies, #5: Out For Justice

Really, how could we have a discussion about overkill without mentioning Steven Seagal?

Seriously, half of the man’s success as an action star stemmed from his propensity for protracted, and gloriously savage kill sessions at the end of his earlier (and better) movies.

Almost makes you forget that he runs like a feeb:

Hell, I bet half of you didn’t even know he could run.

Anyway, as #5 on our list of the Top 10  Best Overkills in Movies; it needn’t be mentioned that the end fight of Out For Justice is a truly exceptional overkill; even by Seagal-ian standards:

The overkill in question takes place during the climactic confrontation between Seagal’s Gino Felino, and a massively bloated William Forsythe’s Richie Madano.

Honestly man, I don’t know what the fuck was up with Forsythe in this movie, as I can’t really recall having seen him in anything earlier than this movie, but Jesus-fuck he was HUGE.

Goddamn! Even his head is fat!

Anyway, this particular overkill gets brownie points due to dramatic tension between the 2 characters.

Did I really just use the phrase “dramatic tension” in regards to a Seagal movie?

What I mean to say, is that the whole movie is essentially about Seagal chasing Forsythe, who killed the former’s partner and is otherwise guilty of being a crackhead, a homicidal maniac, and for being fucking HUGE when his character is supposed to be on the crack.

Pictured: The APPROPRIATE appearance of a crackhead.

Things come to a head as Seagal finally catches up to Forsythe as the latter is living it up at a house party.

Casey-Fucking-Ryback, I mean, Steven Seagal; of course, crashes the party like the massive tool that he is, and manages to kill off Richie’s entire gang despite taking a nasty bullet to the gut.

Cracked out of his mind, Forsythe makes the rather foolish decision to march out into the open to greet Seagal, citing the fact that he is out of bullets, and thusly should be placed under arrest.

Don't worry, he's out of bullets. Hey, I said this was an "overkill," right?

Seagal?  Doing actual police work?

Not bloody likely!

Oh wait...

With the atmosphere in the room rife with the man-stank of impending physical conflict, Forsythe rushes Seagal, and the overkill officially begins.

As does Richie Madano’s lesson in futility.

Protip: Don’t try to fight Steven Seagal.

Or at the very least, thrown into a shit ton of hard surfaces and/or furniture.

With his prey laying in shambles on the floor, Seagal readies himself by spreading his arms and attempting to pinch a loaf right then and there.

Don't try an' tell me ain't Seagal's "droppin' a deuce" face.

Still reeling from the savagery of Seagal’s uber-savage aikido throw, Forsythe eventually manages to pick himself up and…

Attempts to bum-rush Seagal for the 2nd time in a row.

Despite the epic-savagery of the first aikido toss, the 2nd manages to top it in spades, as this time Forsythe’s spine gets a nasty readjustment via a conveniently placed nightstand.

On the side we also get a nice shot of the diaper/back pad that Forsythe was wearing for this scene, probably to keep from shitting himself in awe of the sheer epicry that was 1990’s Steven Seagal.

So let’s recap:

Forsythe: 0.  JUSTICE: 2.

Despite the odds being heavily stacked against him, to his credit; Forsythe manages to pull a fast one on ‘ole Stevie.

As Seagal is picking Forsythe up from the floor, presumably to prep him for another trip to Ikea hell; the fat man somehow summons the strength to send the both of them through the nearby hand-railing, and off the balcony!

Okay, maybe that wasn’t as epic as I made it out to be, but give me a break; this is just about the only successful attack Forsythe manages to pull off in this fight.

Scrambling to their feet, the 2 men once again lock-up and grapple with one another.

That is, only if you call Steven Seagal grabbing William Forsythe by the head and kneeing him in the face “grappling.”

He's actually trying to crush the guy's head like an egg, but turns out it was too fat.

Stunned, but not terribly injured, Forsythe stumbles back against the wall, and proceeds to totally lose his shit as he makes the meanest of mean faces and tosses a fuckin’ shelf at Seagal.

Now, based on what’s come before, what kind of shit do you think Forsythe tries to pull this time?

If you said, “low blow,” or “a steel chair shot,” then good for you, it show’s your thinking.

Unfortunately, you’d also be

’cause no, Forsythe tries to charge Seagal, for the third time in a row.

This of course, results in more aikido tossing and furniture realignment.

You can almost hear Forsythe shitting himself...

His face now covered in blood, Forsythe finally decides to change up his tactics a little, this time throwing a punch at Seagal.

This of course results in Seagal blocking said punch and returning it with a swift combination of punches, topped off by a tasty kick to the Jimmy.

Protip: DON’T try to fight Steven Seagal.

After a pretty savage stomp on the head, Forsythe somehow manages to reach up from the floor to thumb the shit out of Seagal’s gut wound from earlier in the movie.

Yeeouch! A fat thumb in his fat gut...

Despite the white-hot, searing pain that said sausage-thumb in his gut must bring him, Seagal summons all of his man-strength and grabs hold of Forsythe’s neck runs his ass backwards a few yards and into the kitchen.

Remember, NOBODY beats him in the kitchen.

After chucking Forsythe into a nearby table, Seagal once again readies himself with another impromptu giga-deuce.

Gonna' have to change those pants...

Thus begins the stage of the fight where Seagal’s opponent grows desperate and begins grabbing hold of whatever blunt instuments/bladed objects are readily available, only to have said weapons turned against them.

SAVAGELY.

Forsythe’s first attempt in using said tactic, is to grab hold of a kitchen knife, and start winging it around like a damn fool.

This of course results in Seagal grabbing hold of Forsythe’s arm, and wrenching his wrist out of place.

Funny, almost looks like he's tryin' to teach him how to use it or some shit...

With his wrist now considerably FUCKED, Forsythe’s next bid for victory employs the use of the deadliest of all kitchen utensils:

A pepper mill.

Despite the inherent intimidation factor involved in waving around a pepper mill, Forsythe once again fails to make any sort of contact with his attacks.

Disarming him, and knocking Forysthe’s fat ass to the floor AGAIN, Seagal follows this up by putting the obese fuck’s head through the nearest window.

Gettin' kinda' fucked up there, aren't yah' Forsythe?

Sliding down the windowsill, and back into the kitchen, Forsythe’s scrambles to his feet and grabs hold of Seagal’s sleeve, only to be clubbed over the head with, *GASP* the pepper mill!

Somehow, some way, Forsythe manages to survive the devastating blow from the pepper mill.

Forsythe’s next weapon of choice proves to a classic of kitchen warfare: a frying pan.

Unfortunately, he only really gets to swing it once before Seagal slips behind him, snatches the pan, and bashes the poor fat bastard over the head with it.

How the fuck does he keep gettin' up!?

Now, let it be known, Steven Seagal is not a punchy/kicky kind of guy.

As mentioned previously, his fighting generally consists of throwing people into things/people, but seldom does he ever find a need to throw a punch.

That being said, after the knife, pepper mill, and frying pan, Seagal get a little overconfident, and decides to uncork some of the wimpiest punches of his long career on Forsythe’s face.

It's like watching a fat old man try to Jazzercise or some shit...

Speaking of “uncork,” as Forsythe lies on the floor, chuckling at the fanciful display of feeble combination punching just unleashed on his face, he very slowly begins to make a move for a corkscrew/wine opener!

Shit just got real.

As Forsythe hobbles to his feet, muttering an ominous “fuck you,” we enter the grand finale of our #5 Best Overkill sequence.

With one deft move, Seagal evades Forsyth’s lunge with the corkscrew/wine opener; and promptly jams that fucker into the fat fuck’s face:

Yup, that'd do it.

Thus concludes our decidedly Seagal-ian overkill.

Oh yeah, it should also be noted that, moments after finally killing Forsythe, Seagal also takes the time to shoot the ever-loving-fuck out of the poor fattie’s dead body, ’cause you know; the plot.

Filed under: Comics, Movies, Uncategorized, Wrestling, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Donate