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Thread: Game of the Day 4/1/2016: Revengers of Vengeance

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    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    Default Game of the Day 4/1/2016: Revengers of Vengeance

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    You know, I probably put too much thought into this, as it's just a daily conversation starter here on DP, but I thought long and hard about this shit today. April Fools Day... I though about the usual gag idea, taking some idiotic obscurity like Zombie Dinos from Planet Zeltoid on CD-i and portraying it as God's gift to gaming. Then I thought, hey, maybe a game centered around pranking or tricks, like Panic!, Haunting Starring Polterguy, or Deception... but while staring down Panic! with my Sega CD stuff, I drifted toward a game that has always felt like some sort of bizarre practical joke in and of itself. A game that has some underlying genius, stupid flaws, and a presentation so confounding that there's no way anyone could possibly choose to buy it unless out of pure consternation. That game is Revengers of Vengeance for the Sega CD.

    Outside of that insane cover display, the back of the game seemingly exists only to show this as a one on one fighter and make fun of the game itself. However, booting the game up launches a semi-serious anime movie about the return of an evil king, Venum, who will be laying waste to the world momentarily. Well, in Japan, it has the super-generic title Battle Fantasy, but is meant to be taken far more seriously. Yes, there are one on one tournament and versus modes... but the real meat of the game is the quest mode, which spins the game around into a bizarre RPG/Shooter/Fighter/Sim hybrid that, while flawed, is bizarrely interesting.

    You explore the town of Vengeance after selecting and naming your character, shopping, talking, and getting hints. You can train at the gym, take quests at the guild hall, have your fortune told... or leave town to fight, where your ass will be kicked because you are weak. You only have 365 game days before Venum arrives, so even though you can fail forward with the meager experience and gold you'll get from losing, it quickly becomes apparent that there must be a better way. There is.

    The guild hall can provide you with quests, which take on the form of vertically-scrolling shooter stages, and they actually don't suck! These brief stages control well, and have a rapid fire button and a charge shot to use, which is quite powerful, and they culminate in a boss fight. There are three different masters at the guild hall, and they rotate in appearace each time you enter, offering up about five of these stages, and these are where you can make money the fastest before you are strong enough to win a one on one fight. You can also replay them multiple times, though they increase in difficulty on subsequent trips.

    So, you've got some money... time for some simulation play. Going to the gym, you can choose up to a week's worth of activities that will enhance your attributes, but be careful, as you can tire out and have days wasted. You can also purchase manuals and equipment at shops, which will increase your attributes even further. So, now that you've hardened yourself through adventure and training, you can travel the world map and actually win fights now.

    The one on one combat is, unfortunately, the weakest aspect of the game. It's very much a block and counter attack affair, with sluggish animation and strange hit priority. Still, it can be played at a high level, and the manual does tell you each character's special attacks mixed in with a sea of puns, so you can actually do well once you've powered up enough to take a hit and punch back. The graphics are quite colorful, and many of the backgrounds look great. The actual combat, though, is mediocre at best. Still, winning these fights will net you experience and gold more quickly than any other method, so once you can win, you should. Like the shooter stages, though, going back to the same combatants on the map repeatedly will net you a harder battle.

    Once you've gained some experience and gold, head back to town for more sim and to level up at the fortune teller. You do this until hopefully you can defeat everyone and find a few secret items before the year ends, at which time you get to see if you've become strong enough to take down Devil King Venum.

    Revengers of Vengeance is one of the oddest experiences I've had with a video game. While it is a complete mixed bag in terms of quality and presentation, the game is nothing if not interesting. Sitting down for a refresher tonight only served to reinforce that it us truly compelling to me, as I ended up playing for almost 2 hours and saving to go back this weekend, when all I meant to do was brush up and snap a few pictures for a write up.

    Played this one?

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    "Based on a true story!".... for whatever that means.

    This was one of those oddball releases I always wondered about. Basically zero coverage back in the day, or at least no long previews or hype, just a weird ass release coming out of left field. I ended up getting it used from Amazon 7 or 8 years ago. Dumbass seller sent it in a bubble mailer so of course the case arrived with a broken hinge.

    I probably haven't spent 30 minutes with this but right off noticed how the RAM had been so poorly managed for the fighting part. Looks like the developers pissed it all away on digitized voice clips and had nothing left to use for animation.

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    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Az View Post
    "Based on a true story!".... for whatever that means.

    This was one of those oddball releases I always wondered about. Basically zero coverage back in the day, or at least no long previews or hype, just a weird ass release coming out of left field. I ended up getting it used from Amazon 7 or 8 years ago. Dumbass seller sent it in a bubble mailer so of course the case arrived with a broken hinge.

    I probably haven't spent 30 minutes with this but right off noticed how the RAM had been so poorly managed for the fighting part. Looks like the developers pissed it all away on digitized voice clips and had nothing left to use for animation.
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    It's true! I totally remember learning about Venum's defeat in one of my high school history classes many years ago.

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    I only remember the name of this game, and thinking that it was the stupidest title of a game ever...up to that point. I had no idea that it was this quirky...I don't want to say 'mess', since I'm not really sure if it's any good or not, but well, mess.

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    celerystalker is a poindexter celerystalker's Avatar
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    It's very much a mixed bag. The shooter segments actually play surprisingly well, and the RPG/sim elements work pretty well, too. The fighting is just choppy and slow, which is a bummer. The in-game localization is actually perfectly fine, even, despite the completely insane title and cover. They even left in the option to use japanese characters in naming your character. If the fighting engine was better, it would probably be a cult classic, as it feels like the sort of game Working Designs would have tried to localize. As is, I actually enjoy it, but any criticisms regarding the combat are entirely justified.

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Chalk it up to laziness I guess, but in the Sega CD's internal save game RAM the developers left the files to reflect the original import's name (Battle_Fantasy_001, etc).
    Last edited by Az; 04-02-2016 at 03:03 AM.

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    "Battle Fantasy" is certainly a better name. It is more reflective of the actual game than what the localizers went with. If nothing else, then Battle Fantasy is certainly a lot less redundant and silly sounding than "Revengers of Vengeance."

    I understand that they were going for intentional B-movie style silliness with the name and cover style, but I don't think that that choice really works. The game is not perfect, yet it has its charms. It seems like this is what happens when a perfectly good localization with a normal name for a game gets overruled by the advertisers and marketers at a company that want to make their product seem unique from the others on the shelves and the other games in the magazines' advertisements, however I believe it was a disservice to the game.

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    Great Puma (Level 12) Steve W's Avatar
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    Honestly, I've never looked that hard at this game the few times I've come across it on a store shelf since the name sounds terrible and the cover makes it look like a FMV animated game. It looks like it's an RPG, I wasn't even aware of that until now. I wish I'd picked it up back in the day.

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    i miss the stalker of celery

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    Peach (Level 3)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Niku-Sama View Post
    i miss the stalker of celery
    He was running a fun weekly gaming challenge here for awhile, before he disappeared. Hope he's doing well.

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