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Before I begin I must make a disclaimer. Sensei believes strongly in intellectual property rights, and does not purchase pirated software. However, when Sensei is bored out of her brain, she will occasionally play other peoples.’ Remember kids, always buy original CD’s. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog.

Adventures in Blogistan Presents: Sensei’s Bootleg PS2 Game Review

Dear readers, if you’ve never dealt with pirated CD’s before, then you probably don’t know that they’re reviewed on a scale that’s totally different from their original counterparts. Where original games are judged only on a few factors, like graphics, gameplay, sound, storyline, etc, bootlegs games are based on a few extra ones, like case content, and the ‘one-death distance.’

Case content is a self-explanatory phrase, whereas the ‘one-death distance,’ or ODD, may take some explaining. ODD represents how far I can get in a game without dying or saving, because I don’t have a memory card. So, in no order at all, here are the games we’ve reviewed this week.

Rygar: The Legendary Adventure

A no-brainer platform game, Rygar is surprisingly attractive (I mean the scenery, not the hero). The backgrounds are nicely rendered, the ancient Greek architecture in which the game has been set comes to life in a way that’s so nice looking that it makes you sad to be knocking it down and breaking it to little pieces. Of course, destroying every Corinthian column you find isn’t part of the plot, but when they give me a game where you’re actually allowed to interact (read: fight) with the scenery, I take advantage of it. I make it a point to destroy every vase and knock over every statue and column, not simply for the fun, but also because they’re hiding secret items in there. Not that I’ve figured out what any of those items do yet. Maybe I’m just destructive. I’m one of those people who spent all of my time in Zelda: Ocarina of Time harassing the little animated chickens in the village, just because they ran from me. Imagine my surprise when they fought back and killed me. Aah, memories.

Unfortunately, as good as Rygar looks (the hero. And the scenery) the game is boring. Dull. 100% plot-free. Rygar serves the princess. The princess is kidnapped, Rygar will save her. Rygar smash. Rygar battles foes from ancient Greek mythology, such as the Cyclops, the Titan…the armored caterpillar? The fire-flinging tulip-face? Anyway, Rygar destroys them all because Rygar is our hero. Yay.

Now the important aspects of the game, ODD (one-death distance) and cover content. Without dying or saving once, I played Rygar only up to the second chapter. I could’ve played longer, but frankly I was bored. I tried to get Rygar killed, but I had already pulverized all my enemies and didn’t have it in me to go forward to find some new ones. So I tried to throw Rygar off one of the beautiful, scenic coliseums, but he wouldn’t jump. I tried run him out of a window, and discovered that golden the sunset hanging outside the window was just a 2-D façade. So I ran Rygar into a wall and then hit the power button. ODD: 45 minutes.

Rygar’s cover content receives a rating of 6 for amusement. Apparently it was copied from a review of Rygar, which the printers failed to read before putting on the back of the game. Here it is, unedited, and in its entirety.

“The legendary adventure shares name if its predecessors, which appeared in arcades and on the Nintendo Entertainment System. But other than a few references and the main character’s yo-yo like weapon, the latest incarnation of Rygar shares very little in common with those to games. Similarly, Rygar: The Legendary Adventure’s thoroughly mediocre storyline & relatively short length are almost antithetical to the epic Greek mythology that the game is loosely based on. But the allure of action platformer that plays reasonably and looks and sounds excellent-“ (end cover. There’ nothing more written after this point.) Should you buy this game? No.

Onimusha: Warlords

Onimusha has the look of an absolutely beautiful game. The animation is simply lovely, and the backgrounds are extremely detailed. The fighting is simple enough to be easily mastered (attack, block, magic, and absorb) but varied enough to provide a challenge and room for expertise skill development (whack whack, absorb, whack, magic thunder thrust, pow!). The fighting is one of the best parts of the game. Character movement is nicely choreographed, and realistic enough to make the whole game look like a one long movie scene. Well, when I say realistic, I mean realistic as far as Japanese warrior zombies can be.

The atmosphere of the game is dark, the blood flies fast and free (who knew skeleton warriors HAD blood?) and the violence is enough to make even me cringe. I wouldn’t recommend this game for little kids. It might give them nightmares. Shoo, it’ll probably give me nightmares, but that won’t stop me from playing anyway.

The plot is intelligently presented enough to overcome the classic clichés, (lone warrior out to save kidnapped princess from zombie hordes with the help of mysterious imbued magical powers) and seriously written without being melodramatic. The ODD on this game was only half an hour, because it really was a challenge, and I was genuinely sad when my warrior-dude bit the dust while running from the first main boss. (run away!)

The game receives a cover content rating of 8 for grammatical correctness, if not originality. “In a world of darkness and magic, power-hungry warlords battle each other for control of feudal Japan. At the height of the chaos, a young princess is kidnapped…” Should you buy this game? Immediately, and buy me one too.

Ghost Vibration:

They say that presentation if everything. Whoever they are, they were right. This game never made it out of the box. It failed the reviewing criterion for cover content so badly that I couldn’t stop laughing long enough to take the CD out of the case. When I was done laughing, I passed it on to Aniraz, who also laughed until she could barely move. You’ll excuse me for not giving this game a proper review as soon as you read this excerpt…

“Shoot the ghost, aim and inhale! The new axis fear action which trembles the prayer. It depends on the elite chestnut thornback tar group Artoon, the work of topic this summer. While inside the Western-style building where many evil spirit wriggles, catching evil spirit the action game which it clears! The fear production with movie camera work, and the ghost capture by the unique weapon “Spear cancer/gun’ is a special feature.”

Should you buy this game? I’m not sure. I’ll let you know when I’m done giggling.

Blood Omen 2:

Having never played Blood Omen 1, I can’t tell you whether this game is better than or worse than the original. I can tell you that the backgrounds are average, and the bad guys are ok. Not great, but ok.

You are the anti-hero, Kain, vampire warrior extraordinaire, who is out to reclaim his dark empire from some mysterious rival vampire who’s taken over things while you spent the last 400 years snoozing.

Right, so you, Kain, wake up, grouchy and unhappy, and deign to follow around some saucy vampire tart (with a cape but no pants on) as part of a tutorial that lasts about 45 minutes, supposedly to help you remember the skills you may have forgotten during your 400 year nap. It would be nice if you could skip the tutorial and just read the command buttons from the menu, but there is no escape. So we follow around miss sassy-pants, who reminds us how to bludgeon people on the street to death and drink their blood. (Sensei the school teacher sez: Kain should get a time-out for bad behavior. It isn’t nice to exsanguinate pedestrians)

Once we finish the laborious and torturously long tutorial, we get to run amok somewhere in England, biting people and fighting things. Oh yes, and we get to take the weapons from defeated foes, which is something I appreciate very much. I always wondered why they never let you do that in other games. Cheapskates.

The cover content for this game gets an 8, it too is normal and grammatically correct. The ODD on this game? How long it took me to die the first time? Two seconds. Miss Sassy-pants told me water was deadly to vampires, that falling in would be the death of me, but did I take her advice? No. I ran off the end of a pier and died a horrible and rather effervescent death. Fortunately, this game gives you checkpoints at regular intervals from where you can be reincarnated (sans weapon) and try again. I may have died two or three times, but I did play for about two hours before putting my sleepy thumbs to bed.

As lukewarm as this review sounds, the game isn’t actually bad. Aside from the fighting and biting, you can also jump, climb, and employ a bit of strategy. Kain is a bit like an undead Lara Croft, but pastier. Should you buy this game? I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t like any games that involve killing innocent people. Once you pull a weapon the people run of screaming too, and when you corner them, they beg for mercy. It’s one thing to slay a whole army of demons and bad guys, but a game that rewards you for killing people, even women walking down the street, is just warped.

The End.

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