Well, this week is certainly interesting. Got a good mix of homebrew Game Boy titles, ports of arcade games, and another really s#!t series from BreakThrough Gaming. Enjoy. (Click on "Read More" to read the full article).
Asteroids (Atari 2600) (Retro Achievements)
Retro Achievement set: https://retroachievements.org/game/11687
I was weirded out with this version of the game when I first played it back in 1999. I was expecting the classic arcade game about the white lined triangle shooting dots at white lined asteroids. Instead you are a salmon pink triangle fighting big blobs of colorful candy coated popcorn. That shock didn't last for long due to the gameplay playing just like its arcade parent.
Other than the graphics, key difference with this version is how easy it is. I didn't even need to move around to clock out the scoreboard. Just spin around and shoot everything that you see. You will be hit here and there but you'll have already earned enough extra lives to play this game for hours. Funny enough, this method is the key strategy to unlocking most of the achievements.
Staying in the same spot while spinning and shooting like a madman will earn you all the points to unlock the score based achievements. They'll unlock after various amounts of different scores, but what you are aiming for is to max out the scoreboard and clock it back to zero. Aim for 99,999 and then shoot one more asteroid to reset the score back to 0. An additional achievement is earned for if you achieve this score while your life stock is at four or above. This isn't a problem, you'll have racked up more than enough lives at this point.
You'll also need to rack up nine lives to unlock an achievement for having max lives. Again, won't be a problem. There are two achievements for blowing up asteroids for using the trigger happy spinny on the spotty attack method that you'll be using to unlock the previously mentioned achievements. After about twenty minutes or so, you should have all of the score, lives, and the on the spot shot achievements.
The last bunch of achievements will require you to start a new game. What you have to do next is to survive 1, 3, 5, and 7 minutes without shooting or getting hit. Pacifist run cheevos, baby. (How trendy). Normally this would be hard, if it wasn't for the fact that every time you start a game it'll spawn the asteroids in different locations. Keep on resetting the game until the game starts you off with an asteroid pattern that's easy to avoid. Now avoid then for seven minutes and the rest of the achievements are all yours. This isn't as difficult as it sounds, but you wouldn't want to fall asleep at the wheel either.
Is this version worth playing? Yeah, kinda. It's not a bad port by any means. However we do have better versions of this game that are very easy to obtain. Visiting this version for the nostalgia value and/or the easy to unlock achievements is the only reason why anyone would want to re-visit this classic.
Bowling (Story One and Two) (Mark Version) (Playstation 4)
The epic tale of love, bowling, and Christianity continues with three more episodes of Bowling. This time we see Mark's side of the story*. Mark has a crush on Jane and is trying to figure out how to express those feelings towards her. Mark runs into Jane and Pammy at the local bowling ally, giving him the chance that he needs to express himself.
Just like the previous installments in this series, this is a visual novel with a crappy bowling game slapped on to it. While it is nice to see the story from Mark's side, I found it to be boring and poorly written. Full of cliché romance drama and a dating advice scene that had dating advice that's so outdated that it could have only worked for if you had lived in the 1950s.
The problems that the previous instalments have are still present here. You've got a big dumb mouse pointer on the screen, resolution that makes this look like a cheap Game Boy Advance game, and lazy artwork taken from Manga Maker ComiPro. The worst part is that the crappy bowling game is still a crappy bowling game.
The one thing I'm glad that remained the same was that the trophies were still easy to unlock. Just click though the story and get certain scores on the bowling stages that appear during it. After that, play the stand alone bowling mode and knock down all thirty pins. You don't need perfect strikes, getting a spare is perfectly fine.
For some odd reason, the bowling ball physics have been changed for this version. You won't be able to use the famous "off the wall" trick that the other games used. However, the new method isn't too far off. First step is to stop the ball at the bottom of the screen. After that, make sure that you launch the ball while the aimer is aiming for the top of the screen. This will knock down most of the pins. If done right, you should have two to three pins left on the field. On your second roll of the round, make sure the ball is lined up with the remaining pins and aim for a straight shot. This may take a few attempts to get the timing right. Once you do, you'll have two more platinum trophies to your name.
Would I recommend these games other than for some cheap platinums? Hell no! Read a proper Visual Novel such as Clannad, Little Busters, or If My Heart Had Wings. None of this shonky BreakThrough Gaming bulls#!t. There is a third episode of Mark's story. I haven't played it due to my PlayStation 4 having problems shortly after beating the first two parts. Yikes!
*See Cheap Cheevos #4 to read about the Pammy and Jane versions of this game.
There's Nothing to do in This Town (Game Boy) (Retro Achievements)
Retro Achievement Set: https://retroachievements.org/game/7224
There's Nothing to do in This Town! A very small adventure game about doing stuff in town. Main premise has you playing as a guy who must stop zombies that are having an annoying office party. Oh, you're also after a kick-ass record collection.
If you're wondering why that you have never heard of this Game Boy game, it's because it's a homebrew title that came out in 2020. A free to play one at that. You can grab yourself the rom of it completely guilt (and money) free from right here: https://donotrunwithpixels.itch.io/theres-nothing-to-do-in-this-town
It's not a bad little game. A very cute story that'll take you about ten minutes to complete. Most of the achievements are story based and you'll unlock them by progressing through the game. I don't need to give you a guide for how to beat this one. You'll be able to figure it all out on your own without any trouble or need to call your local Nintendo Hotline.
There's one missable achievement that isn't story based. All you need to do to unlock this one is to simply pet a cute little pussy-cat. You'll find this little kitty at the very start of the game. Go to the far right of the main map/street and you'll see a cat sleeping on a wall. Interact with it and the cheevo has been cheevoed.
Rick Astley: Never Gonna Give You Up - The Game (Game Boy) (Retro Achievements)
Retro Achievement Set: https://retroachievements.org/game/18258
Karateka doesn't have s#!t on this game. This is Rick Astley: The Game, a homebrew title for the Game Boy. It's also a mod of another homebrew Game Boy game called Office Combat. Except in this you are play as the pop-music sensation, Rick Astley. You are on your way to a gig, but there are people blocking your way, so you'll have to beat them off, one by one.
It's a cinematic style of combat game, in the same vein as the all-time classic, Karateka. You'll walk into a room and awkwardly fight until your opponent is down. Then you walk into the next and so on, so forth, until the deed is done. The story is good for a laugh, the gameplay is sluggish, barely functional, but is too good for a laugh.
There are some weird bugs that I ran into while playing this via RetroArch. One of them happens when you defeat the baddie and if the fallen sprite lands too close to you, the game will freeze up. It sucks, but thankfully this game is short enough to put up with that. Second weird bug has the text randomly going from English to French. I thought that I was just getting into a fight with French people at first. Nope. This is a thing that wasn't supposed to happen. You won't see this problem on the browser version of the game.
One of the easiest achievement sets that you'll ever face. Just beat all six levels. The other achievement is to beat this game without pressing left on the D-pad. This is very easy due to how broken the fighting is. Once you get into a fight, mash B. Doesn't matter where your opponent is (except for when they die right at your feet), you'll land a hit on them from no matter where you are at. Takes about two to five minutes to do. A meme hell game worth playing for a laugh and cheevos. But seriously, who Rick Rolls people anymore?
You can download this game guilt (and money) free from here: https://florentmax.itch.io/never-gonna-give-you-up-the-game
Sonic the Fighters (Xbox 360, Playstation 3)
What happens when you take the serious martial arts three-button combat style of Virtua Fighter and breed it with Sonic the Hedgehog? You get an underrated arcade game that nobody played called, Sonic the Fighters. Dr. Eggman and Metal Sonic are out to take over the world and it's up for the Sonic cast to put an end to Eggman's evil reign.
How do you think our heroes plan is to save the world? If you said, "teamwork", you'd be bloody wrong. Instead they are going to beat each other up until someone has all of the Chaos Emeralds, so they can put a stop to Eggman all by them self. It doesn't make a spec of sense, but who cares! It's an arcade fighting game! We're too worried about beating the game before all of our pocket change has ran out.
The main cast is quite strong. You get the standard cast such as Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy Rose. Plus, you get an array of some rare and very rare Sonic characters such as Espio, Fang, and Bark. Also included is a crossover character from another underrated Sega arcade game that no one played. You've got Bean. He is a green duck from the game, Dynamite Dux. There are secret characters, but we'll get to that a little later.
The characters play just how you'd expect them to. Sonic relies on his speed and spindash, Knuckles relies on gliding and his knuckles, Amy likes to hammer things, etc. All of the moves make perfect sense to the characters that they are based on.
Gameplay is basic, but incredibly fun. Do not expect a deep fighter, expect a lot of cool looking moves and a lot of mashing. It sounds like a mess, but it's quite charming really. Just don't expect to see it at EVO or any other major fighting game tournaments.
Graphics are quite boxy with everyone looking like they have more dings than a used car. It doesn't look bad though. The characters are well designed and the levels are colorful and charming. Music is pretty decent too, with that exciting high-beat techno that Sega does very well.
I've played and gotten all of the achievements from both the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions. They are pretty easy to get on both. In fact, they both use the same achievement/trophy set. First of all, you only have to beat the first seven levels to unlock the first seven achievements/trophies. Yup, they couldn't even be arsed to make you beat the entire game.
Next two are simple, but make sense to the game. First is that you'll have to get a perfect round by not getting hit. You can just set the game to the easy difficulty and just mash away to unlock this one. The next one is to completely destroy your opponents shield. You can do this very easily with Sonic and Amy. When your opponent blocks, Sonic can use his spindash and Amy can use her hammer to completely obliterate shields in no time.
Next achievement requires you to enter a match where you are fighting a shadow version of yourself. I recommend using Amy because her fight is pretty early on in her story. Speaking of Amy, she is also used for the hardest achievement in this game.
For the next one, Amy must be your opponent. Next step is to have her squash you with her hammer. For the hardest achievement in this game, this isn't very hard. Although, patience may be needed as who knows when she'll decide to use this attack.
All of the achievements that I have mentioned above can be done in one session if you pick Amy Rose. However, there is one that will require a second arcade run in order to unlock. Funny enough, it also involves Amy Rose. This last one is to select the second guest character. A cat version of Honey from Fighting Vipers is playable. How do you unlock her? First step is to highlight Amy Rose on the character select screen. Second step is to hold down the start button. Lastly, select Honey while the start is held down and the final achievement will be all yours.
While I did appreciate how easy this set was for articles sake. I was very disappointed due to how lazy this set was. There could've been a lot more challenging ones added to this list such as beat the game on hard mode, or beat this game on one credit. Heck! It could've just plain used one for just beating this game. I can also see why this set is small. It was released as a PSN/XBLA game where they have limited achievement slots.
Overall, easy achievements/trophies aside, I recommend giving this game a go to all of the fans of Sega, Sonic, and fighting games. This is a very fun, little, charming fighter that's great to whip out at parties. It's quite cheap too.
It's Q&A time yet again. If you want to send me a question then don't be afraid to post it here. This week our secret P.O. Box is located deep inside of Mariana Trench.
Richard Googleson Humbridge Pumpernickle the 3rd askes a whopper: We all know the reason why an achievement set from GOG is yet to appear. But why? Why haven't we got any easy achievement sets from Google Play yet? I'm a posh mobile gamer and would love to know the easiest of delicacies to errect into my humble conclave of achievement collections. Ohh hooo a hooo hew hew hew hooo. Yes.
I respond: The whopper isn't here tonight, so I'll answer for him. As silly as your name and the way you talk might be. This is quite an interesting question. Google Play does have games with achievements and a lot of them are easy to get. Sadly, upon research I find that Google Play doesn't really like to highlight that feature. Also, a lot of the games that have really easy to cheese sets have been removed from the store here in Australia.
I'm not ruling out the possibility that we won't see any Google Play achievement sets here in the future. It just doesn't seem very likely that I'll ever cover one. Thanks for the question Dick Pump.
An Angry Fan has a bone to pick with me about something: Hi. I'm an angry fan and I have a bone to pick with you. You don't seem to answer any of the questions that people post in the article comment section. It's almost like you've written these weeks to months in advance, not giving the chance to answer those legit questions. Also, all of the questions that you do get are suss as all hell. It's like that they were made up by you!
I fire back: THAT'S NOT A QUESTION! *Gunshots*
Lastly, An Even More Angry Fan asks: DID YOU JUST SHOOT AN ANGRY FAN?!
I yell: YES!
See you next time.
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