The Arcade arena
There are a wealth of great arcade games out there. Problem is, you can never keep up with the hundreds of new games coming out. Here are FAQ's to some of my personal favourites, plus those which looked pretty interesting...
|Mace - The Dark Age|
|AD&D - Shadow over Mystara|
|Street Fighter II|
|X-Men vs Street Fighter|
|Golden Axe 2|
|Mortal Kombat - Flyer|
The latest game FAQ's may be found by going here. For the benefit of those who don't know much about these games, or are just interested, I have provided a description and opinion of each game.
(excerpt from an ad for Daytona USA)
Mace - The Dark Age
Mace is a fairly new release, in the genre of 3-dimensional fighting games similar to Virtua Fighter. Having only played the game a few times, all I can say is the graphics absolutely kick ass, as do the characters. The game plays alot like Soul Edge, aka Soul Blade, but uses moves more similar to Mortal Kombat, with finishing moves and a combo count.
Here's the story:
Sounds pretty cool, doesn't it. The best thing about this game is that it's not too tough (any fool can push all the buttons and make it up to the 3rd level), and the characters look awesome. Apparently the best is the Hell Knight, although I prefer Al' Rashid or Lord Deimos. The FAQ provided on this page gives only a limited amount of combos and finishing moves, although I can't guarantee their validity.
This game is coming out for the N-64, which I may be forced to buy... :-) Here are some images of the game:
OK, so the pictures don't look that great, but it IS just a BETA pic for the N-64. To check out the some more pics, go the this Mace site. Otherwise check out this very cool looking promotional flyer with real arcade screen shots.
So, you may be asking: Why all the fuss? Yeah, it's not exactly the most original of all games. However, it does draw from the best aspects of games such as Street Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Virtua Fighter, with the added bonus of great graphics (better than I've ever seen on any other game), cool looking moves, and all important playability. Even if you don't want to play it, the game will definitely be a must-watch.
AD&D - Shadow over Mystara
"Welcome to the D&D world". Shadow Over Mystara is the long awaited sequal to the original, Tower of Doom. It's a scrolling game, like the classic Double Dragon or Final Fight. This is one awesome game, one of my all time favourites. You can play as one of 6 characters, each having their own skills and abilities. These are summarised below:
The cleric is most useful for his healing properties. Unable to use edged
weapons. A+B allows the cleric to turn undead..
Dwarf - Powerful but slow fighter, with the most health. Can use any weapon, and find hidden treasures in empty chests.
Elf - Has spells and can use any sword. Sword and sorcery make for a powerful mix. Also has unlimted arrows.
Fighter - Fast attacker, and can use any weapon. Fighter can dual wield if he picks up a short sword.
Mage - The boss killer. Powerful spells can clear a screen and aid others. Useless alone.
Thief - Detects traps and picks locks. Can use any sword and has an unlimited sling. Can also double jump (Chun Li style).
In order to even think about getting somewhere, you will need to work as a team. Two or three players is best, as the bosses at the end of each stage get harder as more players join in. My suggestion is a Fighter/Dwarf, Mage, and Cleric. You will definitely benefit from having a mage. My personal favourite is the Dwarf. He has the most health and strength. By doing a 'fireball' move, he sweeps through any enemy. And by pushing down, then up + attack, he can kick a dragon's butt to the next millenium. Other faves include the mage and thief.
Why do I like this game?? Well, although the graphics aren't the flashest, it is one of the few story-type games still on the market (and no, Street Fighter does not have a decent storyline, just look at the movie). It makes playing exciting by giving various options for paths, and by having secret weapons and armour, and secret rooms. The addition of spells is a definite plus. If you liked D&D or AD&D at all, you will enjoy playing this awesome game. Basically, because there are so many cool secrets to find out you will want to keep on playing.
Secrets and backdoors:
The FAQ contains a basic walkthrough of the game. I have played for countless hours, missing meals and lectures in the process. A full game can take up to 3 hours. I have completed the game 5 or 6 times, but never without cheating (using backdoors) and never with more than one other person. Basically, the game is near impossible to finish without using the 'cheat', unless you're incredibly good. I've only seen one guy do it alone with the Cleric, on one credit. Sheesh. OK, there are two cheats for the game, one of which will remain 'anonymous' because it can easily crash the game if you're not careful, and we wouldn't want the D&D machines all over the world to stuff up, would we? Plus it's way too powerful, and arcade owners would get rid of the game because it didn't make enough money. Don't email me asking for this, because the answer is NO. However, I will tell you the other cheat. It requires you to use the Mage and the Thief. All you do is name yourselves CAP (after the war-machine) or equivalent, so that each wears a corresponding hat. Then when you get to the harpy stage, the Thief must charge the Shadow Elves until one drops a hat. You use this to swap hats, so the Mage wears the Thief's hat and vice versa. Then, when you are hit, your health will still drop to almost zero, but never drop below that (you can still be killed if bitten or held). Back to top
Street Fighter 2
OK, so this is the oldest game in the world, but it is a classic. It would have to be the most-played arcade game in history, the most popular, the greatest number of spin-offs (yes, even more than Pac-man). And yet people still play it today. Why? It's not extremely difficult and pretty darn addictive. I don't want to talk too long about SF2, as there are thousands of other sites with SF information, to the point of overkill. Instead I'll tell you my personal opinion.
I started playing this
game in 1991, and was pretty hopeless. Couldn't execute a 'fireball' (are yoooou
ken?) or 'dragon punch' (aaaaare u ken!). Haha. Anyway, after stuffing around
with Guile and Chun Li, I found a better player : Blanka. Sure he has his
weaknesses, especially against Guile, but he kicks everyone else. This is primarily
due to his quickness and strength, and ease of combo. Once you work out what to do
and what not to, it is easy to finish the game. Here are a few clues:
Counterattack moves, such as jumping over Ken or Ryu's fireballs, or executing the roll into one of Chun-Li's jumps. Use the following combo, and if it hits, will cause the other player to go dizzy: Jump and charge back, 3rd punch when coming down, crouch and 2nd kick (on ground), then roll with 3rd punch. You'll need to practice this as Blanka moves so fast.
Don't do as Donny Don't does:
Jump around and attack too freely, as Blanka is vulnerable to air-attacks like the Dragon punch and Blade kick. At the same time, don't stand in the corner and block all the time, or you'll be fireballed to death. As previously discussed, Blanka's best trait is his counterattack, so wait until your opponent makes a mistake and capitalise. Of course, on the first few levels it is better to just attack as they will just stand there and let you.
Chun-Li is easy to beat by using the electric shock whenever she jumps at you. Zangief can be beaten cheaply by jumping backwards in the corner and kicking him. All-out attack Honda, but use counterattacking moves on Dhalsim, Ryu and Ken. Guile is difficult, but I have found a strategy that works every time against the machine. Just block down until Guile jumps at you. Then push the 3rd kick (aerial defense) followed by a roll as soon as he lands. If he tries to sweep you, you can sweep him back after his first rotation. Try to avoid jumping directly at him as he will blade kick you out of the sky, and sometimes the machine cheats and does it without charging.
Hey, that's a bit unfair isn't it?
Although I have only played this 4 times, it looks pretty cool, and I really enjoyed the playstation version of Tekken 2. It is again similar to Virtua Fighter, but with many more characters. The graphics look ok, but nowhere near as good as Mace. This game is jam-packed with moves, as can be seen by viewing the FAQ, making for an interesting challenge. As it is fairly new, I have little experience with it but it deserves a mention because it will be a great game when it comes out for the console platforms. Plus, if you ever get good, it will be a great spectacle.
X-Men vs Street Fighter
X-Men vs Street Fighter is one of the many Street Fighter spin-offs produced by Capcom. It combines Street Fighter Alpha and X-Men: Children of the Atom into one game. It employs the X-Men style double size screen, where the players can 'super jump'. In my opinion, this game is much better than any of the other spin-offs for two important reasons. Firstly, it's very playable. People will find it easier to execute the fireball than in other versions, as the machine is less strict on accuracy. It contains a super bar for some wicked looking power moves. The game is played by selecting any two characters from the X-Men and/or SF series. These players are swappable during a round, and can execute dual super moves. There are several differences from SF2, for example air blocking, various long combos, and a tonne of moves.
OK, ok. If you really knew what was going on here you'd know these were X-Men - Children of the Atom pictures. So I didn't have any X-Men vs SF ok? If you get some, send 'em to me.
Golden Axe 2
This game would have to be my all-time favourite. I must have played it over a hundred times, and still I want to keep playing! It is a sideways scrolling game with depth, like Final Fight, Double Dragon, and D&D. You get to choose from four different characters, and up to four can play at any one time. The choices are:
- The fast-moving pixie with a three-pronged pitchfork. Magic ability is food, or
health (6 potions).
Centaur - Half horse, half woman with a staff. Good jumping attack. Magic is a boulder storm (4 potions).
Ax - Male fighter from Golden Axe. Wields a broadsword,. Magic is a spiritual attack (8 potions).
Ogre - Commanded by a dwarf riding on his shoulders. Slow moving, he attacks with an axe. Magic causes an earthquake (13 potions).
The Ogre is the slowest moving of the pack. He is also the strongest, requiring the fewest shots to take out enemies. His magic is an awesome spectacle. The little dwarf on his back is Gilius from Golden Axe. The Fighter is a good all-round character, with great strength but a poor aerial attack. The Centaur has the best aerial attack, but her size makes her difficult to handle. The pixie is the fastest player, with a great reach. He is also the weakest.
My personal opinion is that Trix is the best character. His healing ability is instrumental because the life bars are so small in this game. Each tree/plant gives a player two life bars. His quickness is also a definite bonus. By pushing forward twice and attack, you execute a running charge with the trident outstretched. Because his recovery time is so good, you can repeat this on bosses until they fall. They will be dizzy, and your friends can come over and help you piledrive the sucker.
When playing, the best way to clear enemies (and you will have many on you at once) is to jump - attack. This also allows you to hit fallen enemies. If using Trix, utilise his multiple-charge tactics. This makes it easier to take out the bosses. And when playing with two people, always attack the boss at the same time when he is dizzy. This will execute a piledriver, doing massive damage. If you use 4 players, a spinning piledriver ala Zangief will transpire, doing greater damage. If you are riding a creature, the boss will go dizzy after you charge him down twice.
It is best to play the game with two players. This is because there are the same number of enemies when you are by yourself. The numbers increase greatly when 3 or 4 players come in. The boss's health also increases. I have completed the game on several occasions (no cheating whatsoever!) on just one credit, with another person. I used Trix, and my friend used the Centaur. To do well you basically need to cover each other's backs. The last guy (Death Adder) is a real bitch to kill, he gets up again twice! First time we got that far, we didn't expect him to get up the second time and got massacred. You will also need to conserve health (ie don't use any!) and let Trix get all the potions.
My favourite path is to take is the forest, then the city. The rest of the game gives you no choice. The caves are worse because you get fewer riding animals, and it is too dark to see. The ship is very difficult, I have tried this a few times and have never made it past.
Some bosses are very difficult to kill, for example the boss at the end of the 'bar' stage. Use the pixie's multi-charge trick on him. Also, the skeleton king is very tough. The best way to eliminate him is to save the skeleton horse found in the city stage. This way you can get him stuck in a corner and finish him off without getting touched.
Return to Main page