CrimsonKnight83, I Will Never Be Your Best Friend

You know exactly why I bought this game.I played Skyrim recently and, discovering that it’s really nothing more than Fallout 3 but with dragons and fruity renaissance speech, replaced it with Otomedius Excellent. Granted, Otomedius Excellent is really nothing more than Gradius with tits and archaic graphics but at least I can instantly play the game without having to journey across a mountain of tutorials. Also, and this is the best bit, I can turn it off after a half hour, feeling completely satisfied with my gaming experience.

Well, maybe not completely. Playing online with some jerk using Esmeralda who repeatedly swipes power-up pods from me despite already being completely powered up isn’t exactly satisfying. Seriously, CrimsonKnight83, you’re an asshole. I’m not just basing this off of our time together in Otomedius, either. Look at your profile:

~Bass Player~ I own and continue to buy all DLC for all GH and RB games so hit me up if ya are tired of the on disc songs. And no hard feelings when I leave cuz you dont have any that arnt free.

I’m not sure what I hate about you most, the fact that you proudly boast about wasting money on Guitar Hero/Rock Band DLC or that you’re some kind of Guitar Hero/Rock Band elitist and that shouldn’t even exist. Good luck with that bass playin’ career and hey, no hard feelings when I leave cuz you’re a pile of fetid dick.

He couldn't have chosen a more appropriate character.Otomedius has turned me into an online voyeur. I can’t help but look up people I’ve played the game with just to see if there’s someone out there with similar tastes as myself. There aren’t, though the lists are surprisingly consistent. Gamers who own Otomedius are required to own Record of Agarest War and Catherine. No Bayonetta, no Earth Defense Force, no Street Fighter, no Dead or Alive. Record of Agarest War. Oh, and Sonic 4: Episode 1. Also, their avatars are all wearing Sonic-themed furry suits because there is absolutely nothing wrong with that (you creepy, creepy fuckers).

I know I play some terrible games but come on, my tastes aren’t that out there. EDF has a big enough cult following to make me automatically dislike it and Deadly Premonition is essentially one giant Internet meme but both are remarkable games. What about Street Fighter IV, an accessible fighting game that is so quintessentially Japanese? No, no—you’ve got Record of Agarest War. Mediocrity in video game form.

Catherine suprises me a bit. Did you just pick it up after reading that it was a wacky sex game from Japan? That would explain Record of Agarest War and Otomedius, I suppose. Bayonetta and Onechanbara fit that genre (that is “wacky sex game from Japan”), but they’re also action games which, if you’re playing Record of Agarest War, means that you’re too incompetent to move the thumb pad and push buttons at the same time without locking up your brain. Seriously, it’s not like these people bought the game by accident. They own it and its prequel! You don’t buy two games from a terrible series by accident.
Generic Designs By: How to Draw MangaOtomedius isn’t a terrible game, but it’s definitely not for everyone. If you’re not into shooters, Otomedius is not going to turn you on to the genre. If you’re of the ilk that call shooters shmups and believe that unlimited continues are bullshit, you’re going to despise this game. It’s slow, a bit generic, and the screen is rarely blanketed by bullets. In other words, it’s old school. NES-level old school.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of modern shooters. That’s not to say I haven’t played any or found ones I liked, but I don’t play new shooters the way I used to play the old ones. Blazing Lazers, Gate of Thunder, Gaiares—there was a time when I would be able to play through the first stage of a shooter without immediately becoming bored. I’m not sure exactly what happened, but I suspect it had something to do with Radiant Silvergun.

The complex scoring mechanics and game play twists in Radiant Silvergun are still interesting and, you know, it doesn’t look bad for a Saturn game, but…it just isn’t that fun. Radiant Silvergun, to me, started a trend in shooters that put a much greater emphasis on dodging than shooting.

I was going to make a joke here about how modern shooters should be called dodgers and connect it with Tommy Lasorda Baseball but the whole thing felt pretty forced, like something you’d read on IGN. Of course, IGN would never reference an ancient Genesis baseball game. Being the cool dude manly gamers that they are, they’d probably connect it some topical baseball scandal. The whole thing feels cheap and I’m sorry I brought it up.

Damn you, Lasorda!Actually, cheap describes Otomedius rather well. As mentioned, the graphics are horrendous. The game engine begins to choke when the polygon count goes higher than a hundred and there are several instances where the enemy bullets actually blend into the background. Looking at it, you’d swear it’s a doujin shooter—and that’s weird because it features an impressive staff. Not only is it produced by Koji Igarashi (who has worked on practically every Castlevania game in the past 15 years), but it also has music by Motoi Sakuraba (Star Ocean, the Tales series, and El-freaking-Viento) and Michiru Yamane (Symphony of the Night). Round it off with character designs by fan service extraordinaire Mine Yoshizaki and you should have an amazing game, not a $30 indie title.

I pulled up Amazon.com to confirm the price and subconsciously scrolled down a bit. I’m not sure what I was looking for, but I did find a book titled Otomedius which seemed pretty preposterous. Exceedingly preposterous. A group called SaluPublishing has shamelessly reprinted Wikipedia articles and is selling them in book form for $50. I can’t imagine which articles the, ahem, author thought were relevant enough to constitute the book’s 124 pages, but for $50 I can tell you it’s not enough.

To make matters worse, there’s a little logo at the bottom of the book that says “Help Us Support Books for Africa.” Perhaps the proceeds go to this foundation (why wouldn’t they?), but I like to think the book itself is sent to a remote school somewhere in the heart of Africa and is used to help children appreciate and understand such concepts as moe, anthropomorphism, and titties.

Oh, it has an editor. That's a good sign.Anyway, for $20 less than the book you can buy a game that looks like a first-generation Dreamcast title and you should. Appallingly poor graphics aside, the weapon and power-up system is actually quite wonderful. Each of the different fighters features a pre-selected weapon loadout with your standard power-ups (speed, missile, shield, et cetera) and a couple of special abilities specific to the chosen character. In addition, some of the weapons can be replaced with others you’ve collected and this is what makes Otomedius excellent (oh IGN, I have so much to learn from you).

There are dozens of weapons to choose from, hundreds even, and experimenting with them is a game in itself. Some are amazing, others, like the only-fires-straight-up laser, you can’t help but question Igarashi’s logic (though this is the same man who brought us the Castlevania fighting game on the Wii)—the bottom line is eventually you’ll create a combination so devastating that it makes you look like a boss character in a Cave shooter. Wielding that sort of power is fantastic.

That being said, Otomedius Excellent is still a shooter and only the most neurotic gamers play shooters regularly beyond a few days—it’s just the nature of the genre. Twenty years ago $30 would have been a more-than-acceptable price. Today, with services like Steam offering AAA titles for less than a McDonald’s Value Meal, $30 seems a bit much for a shooter regardless of quality. It’s definitely too much for Otomedius but, oddly enough, I’ve played and enjoyed it a hell of a lot more than I have Deathsmiles, Ikaruga, Guwange, or any of the other dozens of shooters on the 360. Even Trouble Witches Neo, and that had a pumpkin girl you could fondle.

And I’ll keep playing Otomedius. Not regularly, no, but, you know, whenever. It’s a pickup game—something to do while you wait for your turn in the bathroom or while not answering the phone because it’s probably your parents letting you know how much more successful your sister is than you. Whatever. I can beat the game without using a single continue. Let’s see her fancy business degree do that. God, I’m so hungry.

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2 responses

  1. The fact that you would replace Skyrim for a boring, same-as-always shooter game has made it apparent that a) you’re not really a ‘good’ gamer, you just want to blow things up and b) the fact that you’re willing to critique so many people just for the fun of it is proof that you have some severe issues you probably ought to work out. Why do I say this? Well, for one, majority says that Skyrim truly is an amazing game (and got on the least of GOTY by Giant Bomb, along with other gaming websites), so why you wouldn’t be able to enjoy a game with such an extensive world is beyond me. Further, the graphics were also amazing, which is one of the reasons so many people were impressed by it. The story was lacking, obviously, but I don’t really think that was their focus anyway. There were some glitches, but that’s not surprising given how HUGE the game was and how many hours the average person would have to put into it. As for the second part, you have a freaking website pretty much devoted to bashing people. I think perhaps you should get off the internet and gain some social skills so you’re not so rude to people…

    May 3, 2012 at 10:04 pm

    • I’m not sure what I like about you more–your redundancy or your bizarre devotion to Skyrim. Points a and b are more or less valid and have actually already been covered so kudos to you.

      The fact that you feel the need to make excuses for Skyrim and namedrop Giant Bomb in some sort of fan-crazed defense instigated by a throwaway line from a blog no one reads except authors that Google themselves makes you aces in my book.

      May 6, 2012 at 1:14 am

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