Wednesday, July 27, 2011

“A Slight Delay” and Other Lies My Super Fighter Team Told Me

Brandon Cobb lied to me.

Cobb, founder of the retro game publishing company “Super Fighter Team,” said in an e-mail July 9 that there would be a “slight delay” in the shipment of the group’s newest old game, Star Odyssey for the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. I excitedly threw down the $48 admission fee for the classic cartridge on June 27 – exactly one month ago today.

And one month later, I got nothin’. My Sega is very sensitive about things like this and it feels like it was stood up. If anyone knows a good way to get a moody Genesis/Mega Drive to stop being finicky with audio-visual inputs and start making me dinner again, please PLEASE leave a comment as I am very bored. Also hungry.

But this isn’t the first time that smooth talkin’, retro game slingin’ Brandon Cobb told a fib. He also said that his company’s last 16-bit revival, Legend of Wukong, is fun. It’s not.

It’s horrifying.

The title screen. That thing doing a peace sign in the back is a TIME MACHINE.

While waiting on Star Odyssey to apparently soar to my home from the farthest of galaxies, I thought I’d whet my old-school appetite with The Legend of Wukong. I snagged a copy when it first came out, but thanks to a television set that went out of its way to make Genesis/Mega Drive games look like skillfully arranged legos and chunks of vomit, I decided to put off playing it until now.

Everything starts out okay as a hyperactive 13-year-old named Wukong smashes buttons in a time machine and accidently blasts himself back to ancient China – clearly a very timely and relatable tale. Then The Legend of Wukong plays like a standard RPG for a while… until the first boss.

No matter how many levels you grind, he is nearly impossible to defeat.

Random battle.
  After 70 million attempts though, you’ll eventually take that bear-faced freak for a ride on the pain train. But immediately afterward, the game goes from prohibitively difficult to eye-meltingly easy. Halfway through the bosses aren’t even a threat anymore, and by the final chapter, they’re actually easier to defeat than the normal army of pallet-swapped fiends you and your party must battle every four steps. I took out the final boss in two rounds of combat. He hit me once.

I think Wukong and his friends might have felt a slight tickle.

You might be thinking that I was over-leveled and that’s why things were so easy, but I can guarantee that I wasn’t. You see, despite a counter with four digits, The Legend of Wukong’s cast maxes out their abilities at level 50. There’s no point in fighting the last 10 percent of the enemies you run into, which could have been tolerable if the run command ever functioned as advertized; the enemies always prevent your escape only to be slaughtered. On a serious note, the bizarre inhabitants of the Wukong world would do well to talk to someone about those suicidal tendencies; I recommend Dr. Spaitso.

All maxed out. Same crap happens to your money.

Okay, so The Legend of Wukong wasn’t exactly Super Fighter Team’s proudest moment. But I assure you that their first release, Beggar Prince, fared much better. However, that’s fodder for a different post. In the mean time, I’ll keep looking to the sky (and my mailbox) for Star Odyssey.

And also cooking my own meals. Damn you Brandon Cobb, you home wrecker!

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