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Trailblazers vs. Moogle1
Trailblazers In the style of Castlevania, this is the map. Get used to seeing it. A lot.
Retrogamer
Download: 368 KB
V.S.
Moogle1
Play Time: 0 hours and 30 minutes
Review # 1 for Moogle1 In the style of Castlevania, this is the map. Get used to seeing it. A lot.
Them's Fightin' Words
    Everyone's heard about this game by now, right? Well, I've had it for more than a month and while the playtime up there says 30 minutes, that's ideal -- if you can beat the game without dying a million times. Now that I've finally beaten it, the review.
Graphics
    Let's face it: Retro does more with sixteen colors than many of us (and here I most specifically refer to myself) can do with 256. From the outset, we can see that he's going for NES-style graphics. Any of you ten years of age or younger may not get the full nostalgia effect here.



For the rest of us, this is genius. Oh, and did I mention that he does it well? We're talking the best graphics the NES ever wanted to have.
 
Storyline
    The introduction is the only storyline we really get out of this. It's hilarious, but it doesn't exactly tie in to the game. An ancient map wielded by a... well, he's not so evil, but he's trying to be... at least until his TV gets fixed... anyway, the map teleports people who touch it to a place where none has survived. We sort of guess that the three heroes ended up touching the map, though we aren't told this.



Story isn't the strong point of Trailblazers, but we never have expected a strong storyline from a platformer. See any Mario game, for example.
 
Gameplay
    At the same time that Trailblazers is fun, it is very difficult. You'll go through the same level five times or so before you get the hang of it and advance to the next. This is all right, except that when you get a game over, your continue point only changes every three levels, making you replay that first level dozens of times before you finally get past that area's boss. The repetition will get to you.



An annoyance is that the controls are very loose. It's hard to get your character to perform that critical jump while still managing to avoid the projectile or enemy whose single touch spells your death. If anything detracts from the 8-bit sidescroller feel, it's this.
 
  Battle
    Nicely, all three characters have different battle styles. You can choose at the beginning of the game to play as either S. Kikraizer, a lizard with a gun; Brinks, a spore-shooting mushroom (or is it a toadstool?); or Noriko, a suicidal ninja. (She's suicidal when I play as her, anyway.) The game itself says that the difficulty depends on your character, S. Kikraizer being the easiest and Noriko the hardest. This is largely due to their relative health bars: Noriko can only take two hits before she dies.



Each character has a normal weapon and a special weapon. S. Kikraizer shoots a gun, and for his special... a bigger gun. Brinks tosses a spore (which can be very useful) and grows a wart for his special, which is about as useful as it sounds. Noriko wields a mercilessly short katana, but has a large supply of shuriken for her special attack.
 
  Map Design
    In one word: Brilliant. Even though for the first six levels of a sidescroller, they're much too hard, you'll find yourself captivated by the diverse environments into which the game throws you. Navigating a sewer filled by deadly mutant fish, climbing up a tower being chased by OH MY GOODNESS WHAT IS THAT THING, or simply tackling the largest animated enemies you've ever seen on the OHRRPGCE, each level provides a unique challenge.  
  Balance
    As previously noted, if these levels are to represent the first six in a complete game, then this is one heck of a hard game. The difficulty is not so much a barrier to enjoyment as is the needful and seemingly endless repetition of certain levels after the inevitable game over.  
Music
    It rocks. This was my favorite part of the playing experience. For as many times as you're going to repeat each level, it's good to know that you won't tire of the music. The Fleshthorn music is a real toe-tapper and all the music generally fits the game.  
Enjoyment
    Oh, you'll enjoy it, all right. If you beat your head in from frustration after half an hour without beating the last boss, at least you'll have enjoyed those first ten minutes. Just remember the aspirin.  
Final Blows
    Retro recently announced that Trailblazers will not be continued for the OHRRPGCE. Sad news to all of us who positively loved this game (and hated him for making it so hard). It still manages to be the best half-hour experience for the OHR (or potentially the most aggravating two hours).
The last boss in the demo can suddenly and unavoidably turn you into a writhing worm-thing.

The last boss in the demo can suddenly and unavoidably turn you into a writhing worm-thing.
Final Scores
Graphics: 10/10.0
It's not 256 colors, but given what he's trying for, it's top-notch.
Storyline: 3/10.0
...okay, seriously, who cares? Just play the game.
Gameplay: 9/10.0
The controls are slippery, which detracts from the experience. Other than that, it's deviously cleverly-designed.
Music: 10/10.0
Awesome. And I hear it's original, too. Hats off on this one.
Enjoyment: 9/10.0
You'll hate to replay the same level over and over again, but you'll make yourself do it because you're loving it so much. Does that not make sense? Just play the game. You'll see.
Overall Grade: A+
Final Thoughts
    A rarity among OHR games. It totally 0wnz you, but you'll find yourself continually coming back for more punishment.  


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