11 January: Gaming Respawn Plays

Michael and James talk us through what they’ve been playing over the last week.

Michael Fitzgerald

I played a couple of games from the N64, two games on the SEGA Saturn and also sunk some hours into a game on the X-Box 360 this week. So, all in all, I’ve had a full week of it!

The first N64 game I played was WWF Wrestlemania 2000. I know this game is well liked by some, but I’ve always felt it was overshadowed by both the game that came before it (WCW/NOW Revenge) and the game that came after it (WWF No Mercy)

I think what ultimately causes this is twofold. Firstly, the PAL version of the game is censored and doesn’t contain blood, whereas the other two games do. Considering the game was released during the Attitude Era (One of the most outrageous and bloody eras in the WWF/E’s history) this really takes away from the authentic feel the game is going for. There is also the issue that, though the Attitude Era Roster was interesting from a character standpoint, it wasn’t particularly so from an actual wrestling standpoint. This leads to a lack of variety between the wrestlers on offer and a lot of characters feeling dull to play as. In the other two games, the rosters were more diverse and thus led to more interesting clashes. “Styles make fights” as the old saying goes, and it’s never more evident in WM 2000. Still, the create a wrestler feature is a lot of fun and it’s nice to see guys like Blue Meanie and Shawn Stasiak manage to make it onto a video game roster. I just don’t particularly want to play as them.

The second N64 game I got stuck into was Mario Golf 64. I’ve always enjoyed this game as it isn’t overly complicated and fits the bill nicely when I want something to play while listening to a podcast or CD. I amused myself by playing a skins match with 4 different coloured Yoshi’s while listening to the Bryan and Vinny Show and killed 90 minutes during my day off. The best thing about GR Plays is that I didn’t even have to feel guilty about it either! Here I am, writing about it, and here you are reading it. I didn’t waste that time at all. Go me! In all seriousness, I’ve considered doing a full Retro Respawn on this game in the past but I’m not sure I’d be able to write enough about it to make it worthwhile. The graphics are bright and colourful, it’s relatively” pick up and play” and there’s plenty of different game modes if you’re playing with friends. I’d recommend it if you could find it cheap. There’s really not much more I could say to you.

The two Saturn games I played will both be covered in the following fortnight. Yes, that’s right, I’m bringing Rings of Saturn out of the mothballs! Now, if you’ve picked your jaws up from the floor and changed your soiled pantaloons, I’ll talk about the X-Box 360 game I played this week. I decided to go back and play the game that got me back onto “Team FIFA” after years of playing solely Pro Evolution Soccer. The game in question is FIFA: World Cup 2010. It is somewhat ironic that this game brought me so much enjoyment when you consider that the 2010 World Cup itself was an absolute shit show and possibly one of the worst tournaments in the competitions long history (Dwarfed as it was by the tournaments that both proceeded and succeeded it)

And yes, the irritable and downright offensive “vuvuzela” that filled the background of every game during the tournament, making it seem like every game was being played right next to a relaxed nest of wasps, is included here but it doesn’t go as far as to ruin the game overall. Even though the graphics are slightly downgraded (as they always seem to be when EA release a World Cup game) the game play continues to build on the improvements that began in FIFA 09 and were eventually perfected in FIFA 11. As a result, the game is immensely playable and the difficulty is well weighted. I’ve played the game most evenings and have seen some incredible results. While playing as Denmark, I was able to beat Holland 7-0 with Nicholas Bentder, of all people, scoring 6 goals! But I then had a nail biting match between England and Algeria which I just won 3-2 (If only the match from the actual tournament had been as exciting) and then managed to hold the Brazilians to a 2-2 draw while playing as relative minnows North Korea.

I think it’s safe to say that the games I played were a considerable step up from the slop we were subjected to in real life during the summer of 2010. As far as I know, EA aren’t planning to release a Euro 2016 game. This is a shame if you ask me. Ever since Euro ’96 on the PC (Not the horrid Saturn version) I’ve always enjoyed playing the official tie in games of major tournaments. I’ve had a lot of fun playing the World Cup games over the years. In fact, during my days of playing only PES, I would still play the World Cup game when it came out as I liked the chance to tell my own story of the tournament. I remember taking the lowest ranked team on the 2006 version (Pakistan I believe it was) and taking them all the way to the trophy. I still have a save file from 2010 where I took Northern Ireland all the way to victory as well.

I rate the 2010 World Cup game very highly and would recommend it, especially as you can get it for a solitary penny plus postage on Amazon!

James Haxell

This week was rather lack lustre for me, I had little time so Badge Maker on the 3DS had to suffice. I don’t know what on earth it is about this game, but it’s one of the first things I do in the morning. It’s a free to play that an over bearing rabbit is always pushing me for money. I only get one or two free goes a day and I guess the lack of playing is what keeps me interested – well the free stuff helps too I guess. I feel the inevitability of me spending money getting closer and closer but so far I’ve been able to quell the urge. They even had Zelda ones and I didn’t spend money, something that is nothing short of a miracle. It’s a simple game, yet that is what makes it annoying, not the game but my skill. Being just plain awful is especially when it is something really simple that I mess up and it costs me getting a badge I want. There is one particular time this week that comes to mind. It was with badges based on the original Legend of Zelda, and I wanted to get a retro link. Instead, I won, if it can count as winning, about ten of the boulders. I suppose making a dashboard that rocks is only a stone’s throw away. Oh well I don’t even use them – I just like knowing I have them somewhere so if I wanted to use them I could. I know full well that day will never come though.

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