If there is one thing you can get out of adulthood that makes you feel less jealous of children and their blithe, freeloading lives – it’s Disposable Income. Screw being a kid, now that you’re an adult you get to buy the things that you can only get as a kid by bitching really hard to your parents. And no matter how hard you bitch, even if you actually get them to relent, you’re still not sure that you’ll get what you want. Most of the time they end up buying the wrong shit.
Most boys use their first paycheck to buy the things that they loved as a kid but weren’t able to get. For some, it’s videogames. For others, it’s women with huge jiggling knockers. I used my first paycheck to buy a Dreamcast and a copy of Dead or Alive 2.
It’s been a decade since I first decided to splurge my disposable income on magic action picture machines, and I haven’t stopped. I have bought so many titles that I don’t even have enough time to play. But I don’t consider my money wasted, except in the following games:
1. Dungeon and Dragons: Daggerdale (PC). This one comes first because it’s the newest one. I don’t care about being nagged into signing up for a gamespy account or the fact that character customization amounts to choosing between a dwarf, an ugly man, or an ugly woman.
What I really hate about Daggerdale is that I saw a good game in it, but it gets bogged down by all the cutscenes. Ugly, unskippable in-game cutscenes with text dialogs at that. I tried to get into the game, the combat is decent and arguably more responsive than Neverwinter Nights, but everytime I kill a couple of orcs the game is halted by a cutscene. I uninstalled the game without even checking if it gets better later on. Note to developers: If your game has enjoyable parts, put some of them in the beginning first. When you eat food that gamers put in your table, you don’t have to wait an hour before it starts to taste good.
2. Dark Cloud 2 (PS2). Honestly, this is a very, very good game and I would have put in the 60 hours most RPGs require out of a gamer. Sadly, it’s a buggy mess that’s more trouble than its worth. When you finish the first dungeon, there’s a game stopping bug that gets you stuck in a white loading screen and requires you to reboot and start over from your last save. And online reviews say that there are more of these loading bugs all throughout the game. How did this get through QC? What kind of testing did they do?
3. Shin Megami Tensei 4: Persona FES (PS2). This one I don’t get. I chalk this up to my shitty taste in RPGs but I just couldn’t get into this. I mean, I tried. I did a playthrough but I stopped once I realized this game demands more time and commitment than what I was willing to give to a game that didn’t have tits in them.
The dungeons in SMT4 are long, and difficult even without random encounters, and this is the breaking point for me: save points are few and far in between. If I want to play and don’t want to lose the progress for that session, I have to make sure that I have at least an hour’s free time.
4. Super Dragonball Z (PS2). I would have enjoyed this game back in the days of the Super Famicom. The technology was limited back then so we’re more forgiving, especially if it bears the license of Dragonball Z, which was like Twilight for young boys in my generation.
Piccolo was our Edward. He’s so dreamy.
Super Dragonball Z was made by the people who were responsible for Street Fighter 2, which shows. It’s a decent game. Unfortunately, it’s not a Dragonball Z game. It’s a fighting game with Dragonball Z characters. Other DBZ licensed games on the PS2, like Budokai Tenkaichi 3 and Budokai 3 prove that you can make a good Dragonball Z game if you’re not trying to make it more like Street Fighter without tits.