BASTARD!! September 08 2002

If you're a regular reader, you've probably noticed my update frequency has been less than spastic the last three weeks. That's what happens when you're a student with a job on the side and a film club site to design. I'm not saying this lifestyle is without its perks, far from it. It's very educational. Studying film science has taught me all about Polish hyperrealism, working in a television store has taught me how to cover up my shortcomings by pretending I know more about a product than the customer is able to remember when he steps out the door, and writing a website for the film club... well, I decided to watch TV instead of working on that right now, but at least the TV taught me Swedish trot commentators sound like wrestling promotors. A tool both for entertainment and education.

Now that the weekend is upon us, I've decided to kick back and relax with one of my hobbies: writing meaningless and overlong reviews of video games noone has heard of nor should have. And today the bottle points at:

Now, Bastard!!'s interesting moments are few and far between, so you should neither expect nor want me to stay on topic. In fact, the only reason I'm writing about it is I haven't got any video grabbing tools handy, and thus can't review the Faroese road movie I really wanted to sink my teeth into. Also, if I go out and drink with the guys, I'll fall asleep and crack my head open on my second glass of beer. It's been a tough week.

On your right are the main characters in the game: Bright Primary Colours Ninja, Bad Hair Day Man and Obligatory Female Character. I only played as the guy in the middle, but since this is a fighting game, we'll meet our friends and punch them in the head pretty soon anyway, so you'll get to see what they're made of. This is one of the absolutes in one-on-one beat'em ups: friends will eventually end up dropkicking each other straight in the groin, often because one of them is brainwashed. Other games don't care about explaining and just asks us to accept Ruy beating his childhood friend Ken into a blond little pulp, and then again others, such as Justice League: Task Force, cover their buttocks by introducing the element of evil robot copies. Personally, I think this is just a way to make us accept the fact that Aquaman kicks the shit out of Superman.

Since the entire game is in Japanese, I have no idea what it's about. I can still tell you how the gameplay works, though I'd rather just sit here and make up some plot involving animal crackers and Scottish minstrels. Maybe later.

In this game, you're either in the foreground or the background, and your opponent is always on the opposite end of the screen. To fight whoever flies thar yonder in the distance, you send out projectiles, in our case fireballs. These behave differently depending on which of the four main buttons you press: if you press the A button, they fly in a curve towards the upper right part of the screen, if you push the Y button, they go left and down and so on and so forth. Sadly, they move so slowly your opponent has a good three seconds to get out of the way, and in so weird curves that aiming is impossible. Also, the screen constantly twists in all directions. It's all kinda 3D, you see.

The saddest part about all this is that the easiest enemy to beat in this game is the black ninja, since you can't see him and aren't distracted by the illusion that aiming could bear fruit. And that's never a good thing. I'm sure there are some special attacks waiting to be discovered somewhere, but I never found any. My opponents never seemed to have any trouble summoning deadly inescapable hailstorms right above my head though, and I might as well admit that I never finished this game due to these.

In the introduction to my recent article about Cho Aniki, I claimed that "The day I'll be able to put anything in a 'related items' box at the end of this article will be the day the Devil himself rams my door in with a brand new snowmobile." Well guess what, he just did, and I'd be in a world of trouble if one of the flying pigs hadn't kicked him in the head. In case you haven't heard about Cho Aniki, let me provide a brief summary: this is a blatantly homoerotic fighting game containing pink berserkers, men in g-strings, and men without g-strings. While Bastard!! in no way can claim to outmatch Cho Aniki's 2,097,664 bytes of pure distilled gay, the vampire Di-Amon shortens the distance between the games considerably. First of all, he blows kisses across the screen. Second of all, he sucks cock.

Now, before you tell me he's a vampire and sucking blood is a part of that package, let me point out that he could suck blood from any other part of the body, and that he doesn't. Ever.

All right, that was actually pretty much the only thing I wanted to write about, and now I lost interest. Sorry, no presentation of the other characters. I'll pick up my idea about those Scotsmen and the animal crackers instead.

Fine, fine, I'm sorry about the washed-out bagpipe joke. The thing is, I had used over half of my only blank piece of paper when I realized I hadn't thought out an ending yet, and from where I stand, I'd say I didn't have much of a choice. Plus, I was really just out to kill twenty minutes. There. For an article I didn't really feel like writing to begin with, I'd say this one turned out pretty well all things considered. Now I'm going to watch a movie.