No Focus!

Yeah, that sums it up.  I’m pretty much broke… I’ve been under $10 for the rest of the month since about the 20th, so baseball cards and blogging about them have fallen off the radar for the second half of this month.  I haven’t even read anybody else’s for almost a week.  This has been replaced, for the moment, by another of my many random loves: old school video games.

The recent triumphant return of Vixy from RockmanPM (to celebrate Mega/Rock Man 9) has kind of psyched me up again after a summer of not playing much (and by that I mean, not playing at all), and snapped me out of the previous post’s funk and overall lack of energy to do anything, for now.

As well, a friend of mine from 411mania has wanted me to try and get on there ever since I decided to end my tenure recapping a (mind-numbingly schizophrenic) wrestling show on a wrestling satire website this summer.  So the other day I took my sorry, not mention rusty, gaming skills and started beta testing my idea for an old school games column highlighting all the great games I missed growing up, using forgotten NES gem StarTropics.  After 8 hours and 45 minutes, I’m just starting the fifth chapter (of I think seven).  The idea I had for the column is turning into a muddy mess, so I thought I’d drop a few thoughts on the game here though if nothing comes of it.

First of all, StarTropics stars Mike Jones, star high school pitcher from Seattle, as he attempts to rescue his archaeologist uncle from an evil alien.  The game draws a lot of comparisons to the original Legend of Zelda, but I don’t really see it THAT much.  I mean yeah, it’s exploring dungeons and stuff, but… it just feels different.  For one thing, there is lots of jumping in the game.  And as such, the perspective is a little different, to speak nothing of the gameplay mechanics.  The dungeons also push the story along, ridonkulous as the scenarios can be.

StarTropics came out in 1990, a few years after LoZ, so the graphics are, in the dungeons at least, much improved.  Control is kinda sluggish, but you get used to it quick enough.  Also, starting each chapter with only your original three hearts is kind of annoying.  The third dungeon of the looooong chapter 3 was particularly brutal and took many tries and tested my already suspect mental health.  It was just a pain, but satisfying when finally completed.

Overall though, whatever complaints I have are relatively minor.  I would definitely recommend picking up StarTropics on the Wii’s Virtual Console, if you haven’t already.  It’s a good, lengthy, and challenging game, especially for the only 500 Wii Point ($5) price tag.

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