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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Unpopular Opinions Vol. 1

Are you in the small group of people that actually likes the Star Wars prequels? Perhaps you even like Micheal Bay's take on the Transformers or you actually enjoyed the 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. Or maybe, just maybe, you think The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time isn't the greatest game of all time and that better Zelda games do exist that aren't subtitled A Link to the Past. Welcome to Unpopular Opinions, where perspective, mine anyway, greatly differs from the majority.

Sonic CD is Not The Best 2D Sonic Game

When fans and critics talk about the pinnacle of Sonic 2D Sonic adventures usually two titles come up, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic CD. Having finally played through Sonic CD in 2005 via the GameCube's Sonic Gems Collection, I found it to be a good, fun game. But it definitely had problems, problems that were far too big to overlook.

The level design in Sonic CD can be an absolute mess with an overabundance of springs and spikes, the later of which the game just loves to send you flying into. The game encourages exploration more than any other 2D Sonic outing but the level design did not go about it the right way. Stardust Speedway will fling you back and forth with its springs, making reaching your desired destination chore and someone obviously wasn't on standby to slap whatever pinhead with a rolled up newspaper when they thought Wacky Workbench was a good idea.

Sonic CD's flaws are staring the player in the face like a deer in the headlights but what really surprises me is that I've seldom seen critics address them in reviews. Its as if these people were so busy worshiping the (Japanese) soundtrack and marveling over the time travel aspects that they didn't think the game's often screwy level design warranted point deductions. The fact that Game Fan gave the import version of Sonic CD a perfect score is mind bobbling to me. Even with these hiccups, Sonic CD is still a good game, but its far from being 2D Sonic utopia.

Zelda II Isn't a Bad Game

Zelda II was different from the first game. Huge understatement. The only overhead perspective to be found was when you traveled on the world map. Everything was a 2D affair, which greatly changed up combat. Zelda II gave us towns, a great emphasis on magic, RPG elements like experience, lives and a much higher difficulty than the first Zelda. The side scrolling gameplay and high difficulty are what draw the most criticism from the Zelda fanbase and critics. While it is true that Zelda II is a one tough cookie, it isn't like the original Legend of Zelda was a breeze. Once you get to the fifth dungeon, the game difficulty climbs up considerably. But no one ever points that out. Sure, you need a guide to beat Zelda II but you also need one for the first Legend of Zelda because that game can also be very cryptic, but critics conveniently forget that little detail whenever they gush about how super mega awesome Zelda 1 is.

Yes, Zelda II throws everything and the kitchen sink at you but combat is much more fun in Zelda II than it was in the first game. The different slashes and thrusts Link can do went on to influence his move set in Super Smash Bros., and while Zelda II was pretty freaking hard, I still found it not only to be a playable game, but a really enjoyable one. I've heard fans complain that Zelda games have been so easy over the years. Well there's a reason for that. Nintendo did a hard Zelda game way back in the day and they are still drinking your salty tears.

Mega Man 10 is Better than Mega Man 9

Had Mega Man  10 come out before 9, I can't help but feel it would be the game of the two everyone swoons over. Mega Man 9 is a fine game but it feels like another Mega Man 2, a game that I adore, but also feel is highly overrated. Mega Man loses his Slide and Charge Shot abilities in order to make the game feel like Keiji Inafune and everyone under the sun's favorite Mega Man game. Mega Man 10 still has Mega Man without the aforementioned abilities, but it still feels like its trying to stand on its own rather than be a clone of Mega Man's second game. OK, so Mega Man 10 has some silly Robot Masters like Sheep Man and Pump Man. Are we really going to pretend that Bubble Man and Heat Man don't look ridiculous? The alternate paths most stages provided gave us more ways to go and with the game being far less jerkish (Mega Man 9 had WAY too many spikes), I have far more fun with Mega Man 10 than I do 9.

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