Boy, has this been a hassle. Note to self: Avoid having to move the site in future unless I feel like triple checking to make sure I have one extra image thrown in that probably wasn't even funny to begin with! Still, nice to have some space again, especially since I always feared Random Hoo Haas would be seen as "look, but don't touch" by the internet public. Because I don't think I do a good job of making myself look like a stable individual with my writings here. Thank you for your hospitality, Flying Omelette!

I am such a brownnoser.

Is the TenchiOnline version's "we've moved" message obnoxious enough yet? [mirror for those who may have missed out] It was originally going to be this, but it would've required me to know how to do a global redirect-to-one-page, which with me involved would more than likely completely brick TenchiOnline. So I opted for large text.



Oh my God.












I began playing Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose yesterday... and completed it today! I could have finished it yesterday if it weren't for the fourth stage just frustrating me to no end that I lost all patience. As usual with all my 2D platformer reviews lately, it's pretty easy, it's entertaining, but still nothing special.

Of course, it's Tiny Toons, you play as Buster Bunny and throughout the five or six levels you get into various shenanigans that have no relation to each other, and hop around flip-kicking things. It's... kind of hard to actually talk about the story, since there is none, really. Each level begins with a set-up that the level plays with, obviously - the first level has him being late for school and ending up having to feed Dizzy Devil tons of ice cream and hamburgers to make him stop wrecking the kitchen, the second has him in the wild west and chasing after a bank-robbing Montana Max. The final level has him in outer space for crying out loud, after escaping from a collapsing sky temple and scoring a touchdown. It's hardly what you'd call consistent.

What is consistent is the basic gameplay, though. As said, you hop around, flip-kicking baddies, collecting stars (a hundred for an extra life!), and you have the ability to dash which allows you to run up walls and do long jumps. Aside from that, you've no real goal aside from "keep progressing," where you'd find the goal which will lead into either a boss fight or a mini-game that kind of qualifies as a boss fight. The second level has you on a mine cart trying to get away from an on-fire train, for instance, whereas the one after that is just your basic "kick things into a machine so the Frankenstein monster won't be so mean."

Of particular interest is the fourth level - American football! Buster's team is a hundred yards from the goal, and they need a touchdown to win the game. So, you have under fifteen minutes to do this, and you've got an ass-load of opponents trying to knock your ass down. Every ten yards is a checkpoint, but get hit four times before you reach a new one and you have to restart the match all over again. You're given the options of running with the ball, which amounts to little more than dashing onwards, jumping and ducking under goons and lasting out until they knock you down again. There's also pass play, which adds a good three to seven yards to your distance if you catch it (by jumping!), and makes the whole thing more bearable. Because I didn't realise you needed to bloody jump, the level was quite hideously painful, not to mention embarrassing at how I'd gone through the game so flawlessly and now had trouble getting past the first few opponents, but having cleared it, I may have to say it's a surprisingly refreshing twist from the usual platforming! It's still a pain in the ass, though, no thanks to how you've only got half the screen to see anyone coming at you, even though there's no need to backtrack so why Buster isn't aligned to the left in the first place is beyond me.

After each stage you're given a roulette of bonus games. They're pretty meh. There's a mystery weight challenge where you choose various weights of character and have them matched against random opponents, and you get lives for being heavier. There's also bingo, path arranging, bouncing a ball, and what's essentially a Super Pac-Man rip-off with a maze of three enemies and having to rescue friends. I admit I don't know why specifically Super Pac-Man, as I'm sure Pac & Pal was the same thing. I think. The point is that the last one is probably the only one I'd actually vaguely consider a game.

The game's a decent enough hour killer, I guess. The true greatness lies in the delectable visuals, which are just lovely and I adore them to bits - the haunted house level features brilliant usage of layers, transparency and stained glass windows that's really worth seeing, and all the levels simply have richly detailed backdrops. One constant gripe, however, is the very basic fact that Buster's flip-kick is his only means of defence, and it is not very good, only working for a short time before making him fall to the ground, and doesn't even compare to his head stomp from the Mega Drive game; a game which which in all other categories kinda stinks. Still, it's good to actually play the game again instead of making it to the third level and then having it taken back by the person who lent it to me, who ended up holding onto the game I lent him without returning it. He was a bit of an asshole.



Steve totally crushed a disc into hundreds of pieces with his bare hand because iTunes failed to burn his Captain Beyond music onto it.

I hope his fiancé knows how crazy he is before marrying him tomorrow!

(of course she knows. She's loopier!)

(and it is kind of justified because Captain Beyond are pretty awesome)



Today's observation: Cyclists have the sense to wear high-visibility jackets, safety helmets and reflectors on their bikes, but ringing their bell to warn others that they're about to be mowed down by them is just too much effort. This is not a surprise.



Completed B.O.B.; it's looking back time now!

You play as B.O.B. (hurf), an ant-like alien robot who's off in his dad's car to see a date, but ends up stranded on a more alien landscape with only his arm cannon and an array of tools to get him out of this mess. And until the ending, that's all the plot development you're going to get, outside of B.O.B. periodically hitching a new ride and promptly crashing it on another world. Not that the game needs one, nor is it expected of the era.

Despite having never played the game, I'd probably have to make an obligatory comparison to Turrican - it's a shooter, it's a platformer, and the levels are labyrinth-esque. And it has robots and aliens. That's fitting enough for me! You've got six weapons at your disposal, the only unique ones being the homing missiles and the flame thrower, the rest being your typical straight-forward lasers of varying range and strength. You use them to blow up bad guys. Bad guys hurt you. Being hurt drains your health. Losing your health leads to dying, and dying is baaaaad. Being in contact with an enemy drains your health rather than dealing a set amount with invincibility time, which is a major inconvenience - especially since falling form a high height takes off a large chunk of health and leaves you immobile for a few seconds, which is downright lethal when on lava or in the firing range of someone.

While levels begin freely accessible by ladders, pipes and elevators, it doesn't take long before you need to take advantage of the six tools B.O.B. has to offer. There's the vital springboard, which launches you two or three times your regular jumping height into the air, and can be used multiple times in mid-air; of course, if you're not careful you'll come crashing down again and kill yourself something fierce. The helicopter helmet should be incredibly useful, but it explodes if you land on the ground or hit your head on the ceiling, dumping you straight down again, so it's a pain in tight spots. The umbrella helmet slows your descent, and there's little to complain about it. And then there's the shield, which keeps you invincible for a good ten seconds and is incredibly useful, especially since you can rarely see a good distance ahead of you to see what enemies lurk in the corridors to kill you quickly and cheaply. And there's also two tools for killing enemies or something, but they're a bit crap.

Similarly with exploration, the game begins with enemies that are mostly static or very easy to see coming, but like any sensible difficulty curve, they begin getting placed in craftier locations and zip out at you like a bat out of hell, as the last entry made very clear. They can be taken care of with some fast shooting and taking advantage of their out-of-range distance, but the simple fact is that enemies quickly become geared for a trigger-happy lightning-reflex shooter, which B.O.B., quite simply, isn't. Every tool and weapon has limited usage, from 99 rounds of each gun to 9 of each tool, and without any weapons all you have to defend yourself with is a meagre punch - which is initially very handy to dispose of nasty missiles without wasting any bullets, but later on you're best keeping as much distance from your enemies as possible. Weapons can only have limited shots on screen at a time, the three-wave gun limited to a single blast at a time, and the homing missiles do not do a very good job of homing in on close threats. Even the tools, essential to your progress and survival, take a second or two for B.O.B. to deploy them from his chest - which in the case of the springboard, umbrella, helicopter and... well, everything, can mean a large amount. You get a password after every three or four stages, but the simple fact is that you need a password for every stage. Holding onto your weapons and tools means a huge deal, as even if you do lose them and explore every nook and cranny of a stage to get what it offers, it simply won't replace what you lost - not to mention that later on you're best being punctual and heading on your way to the exit, as all the best items are guarded by the most dangerous goons.

Ironically, the bosses are the least of your trouble, since they all have endlessly spawning items at periodic times. They're still tough later on, but there's simply less risk of getting to the end of a five minute stage and then dying because a space jellyfish thought it would be a nice idea to crash into you.

There's also stages where you drive a car through a maze with a very tight time limit, featuring lots and dead ends, mines and a very strict limit on how much you can dawdle. I assume they're meant to be cool and totally rad, but they're easily the worst parts of the game and something I'd love to wish never existed.

It only took me ten years to actually get past the fifth stage of the game, and I found out that despite it trying to be something it isn't, the bloody car stages and the sheer desire the game has for shoving you into some lava whenever you get optimistic, I'd have to say I actually kind of like B.O.B. The levels are downright beastly yet simply designed, and it's a game I'd almost have to say is worthy of a level builder (though I've been saying that about every game lately), and if it were given the opportunity of a sequel to polish it up, I'd dare to blindly say that it could've been something ever so mildly liked a bit more. The quirky, cartoony style to the visuals certainly make it that more likeable to me.

I could just be saying this to pretend I got something good out of the many hours I spent being tortured by the game, though.


In other news...

How is it that adding a few ball joints to the G1 Transformers suddenly makes them so much more appealing - more so than the new Universe figures, for that matter? Seriously, if these were to scale with the modern deluxe sized figures I would swoop them up so fast. I love me those old chunky proportions.



B.O.B. is a game that enjoys making you springboard through hoops and throw many cheap traps in your way, and just when you think it's going to give you an easy path to the exit, it throws one of the most dastardly enemies to encounter face-on at you.

I think I love it because of this. Though I wouldn't if I didn't have save states as my disposal. Losing all your weapons and essential-to-traversing-each-stage tools when you die is not very fun, sonny.



One thing I missed about the old days of the internet was that if you searched the title of a video game, you'd actually get informative results. Maybe it would be a review by someone that wasn't a soulless corporation, perhaps a small page talking about it, or even an in-depth shrine if you were lucky!

Now it's just result after result of every gaming website ever having a listing for every single game, proclaiming their own to be the best in information both about the game itself and on methods for victory, yet rarely have anything more than some barely descriptive cheats and boxart, if anything at all. MobyGames almost looked like it aimed to fill this gap by covering all the games and getting some info on them, but at the very most it's only good for screenshots and credits, as the game list is barely comprehensive. Wikipedia varies between decent enough to downright dreadful (Snow Bros. was listed as being developed by Capcom for an unnecessary length of time, even though it was only the NES port done by them, the original game being made by Toaplan; and that's ignoring the sheer amount of opinions going on in an NPOV environment), so it's not too great. Of course, it doesn't help that places like that aren't really fit for anything more than basic summaries, as the best game shrines are those that have heart. Still, doesn't stop them from trying.

Enter the GamerWiki! It has entries for tons and tons of games, including separate pages for each game on a different console! How very completist! Let's view a random entry!

Mithos (Spectrum)
This game currently has no description filled in. Please edit this entry to include a brief description of the game.
This game currently has no story filled in. Please edit this entry to include a brief outline of the story. Try to avoid spoilers!
This game currently has no details on gameplay filled in. Please edit this entry to include some gameplay details.
It may be useful to subdivide gameplay details into sections.

... that's a nice start. Okay, let's search for a popular game!

Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Super Mario Bros. is Mario's first adventure in the Mushroom Kingdom to save Princess Toadstool from King Koopa.
This game currently has no story filled in. Please edit this entry to include a brief outline of the story. Try to avoid spoilers!
This game currently has no details on gameplay filled in. Please edit this entry to include some gameplay details.

That is shameful. Let's search for a less popular game!

Sonic Adventure (Dreamcast)
Sonic Adventure is a platform game that debuted on the Sega Dreamcast but was later ported to the PC and Gamecube platforms. It was developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega and was one of the major launch titles for the Sega Dreamcast, taking Sonic and friends into a truly three-dimensional world (unlike the isometric Sega Mega Drive affair Sonic 3D).
The game spans out across many different themed worlds not unlike the zones of the Mega Drive games, and features a wide variety of gameplay styles (detailed in the gameplay section below). It is also an impressive showcase for the clean, sharp visuals that the Dreamcast was able to produce.

It then goes on to provide credits lynched from GameFAQs and have a wonkily written gameplay section.

That and Super Mario Bros. are the only two entries I've found that are ever so slightly more than a template that sometimes has box art. This is a sad state of affairs.

Of course, considering it's edited by a mere two people that's quite understandable, but seriously, if you're going to start a ludicrous project like that, please have something with content before making a page for every single game in existence that all have nothing to actually read on them. It does nothing to make the internet a more useful place for such a nerdy subject.


And in case you were wondering, the Mega Man Knowledge Base actually seems to stink a little less these days! The cartoon pages are less prejudiced, so that's a plus.



Amusing story! While exiting Toys R Us, a car pulled up to me and the fellow held up a box that looked like a brick, or maybe a container for dish washer tablets.

"Excuse me, how would you like to buy a brand new iPod?" he asked.

He drove off when I replied "I'm fine, thanks."

Now my curiosity's killing me as to what was inside. A bootleg iPod? A box of rocks? A bottled rat? I MAY NEVER KNOW

Of course, at the time I was assuming he would just turn around again and mow me down with an UZI for refusing his offer, so I was a bit too busy high-tailing it out of there to ponder about the box.



There are numerous staples of Irish creative culture, and all of them are terrible.

1) Everyone writes about the Troubles. Nothing else. Ever.

2) Every story written by an Irishman has a prostitute in it. Sometimes with a heart of gold, sometimes not.

3) Every singer mentions nuns at some point. This one's not too terrible, because sort of like penguins and monkeys, nuns are just inherently funny.

4) Every cover to a "Songs of Ireland" album will be the singer in front of generic Irish scenery. Nothing else. Ever.

That last one probably frustrates me the most, simply because it's the most obvious. With the others you have to at least listen/read them or just look at the blurb to find out, though considering every goddamned book is about the shitty-assed Troubles, you can safely get away with not bothering. Album covers, meanwhile, are on prominent display, and Irish musicians are often lumped together into close-together racks, meaning you get an onslaught of people sitting with guitars in front of some trees and maybe a hill.

It's a bit ironic saying this when I haven't actually updated anything other than Random Action Hour in ages, which just involves watching cartoons and making wisecracks. Effort of the century!

But seriously, there's a general store down near the southern part of Ireland that's got a decent DVD selection, cheap toys (Transformers Classics Optimus and Megatron for £9 each, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for £1!) and lots of music, not to mention some damn nice bacon. The music selection is split into "Irish musicians" and "from all over the place," which - you guessed it - means you are hit with a painful barrage of hairy people sitting with guitars against greenery scenery. It was quite painful. Google Image Search spares me on that, and instead features some old ruins, the coast, an apple, and bars as the subject of their cover art - but the problem is that all those things are just horrifically Irish. It's like an album being called "Songs of Germany" and the art just saying "WAR CRIMES." Seriously, I've no beef with Germany, but it's sad to see that's what most people still view the place as.

If I had a Songs of Ireland album, I'd make it look like this.

Because nothing says Irish like a gangster and a house burning down. And complete lack of good art design. (this website being living proof!)


Response to Galvatron's update: More explosions and camera cuts? I liked it best when James Bond wasn't Transformers and Batman Begins wrapped into one. :{



And I completed Super Castlevania IV.

I'd completed Castlevania Bloodlines a few weeks back as both characters, and personally thought it was a pretty rad game, the visual style being very colourful and making great use of the hardware, not to mention it simply being a fun game with both characters having their own advantages and whatnot. Super Castlevania IV, meanwhile, just didn't leave much of an impression on me. Maybe it was the slow pace Simon moved at. Perhaps it was the dull graphical style that admittedly packed a fair amount of detail, but just didn't make any extravagance out of it like Bloodlines did. I think it could've been that rotating room that everybody and their mother had made a big fuss about, but at the end of the day it was just "hang on this chandelier and wait until things are horizontal again!" Seriously, disappointment of a lifetime.

To ramble on about that rotating room, I read a thread at some place a while back (could've been at Flying Omelette, though probably not) that asked "are good graphics necessary for a good game?" In response to the hullabaloo caused by Mega Man 9 using the NES graphics and not anything swankier. I didn't really care enough to remember the responses, but somebody replied to a post saying "no, good graphics aren't necessary" by talking about the rotating room in Super Castlevania IV, and how without good graphics it wouldn't have been possible. Technically, without good technology it wouldn't have been possible, and while it may have been exciting back in 1991, I was astonished at how unexciting it was. It rotates 180 degrees and then some blocks just appear so you can walk out. From the fuss caused by it, I was expecting a room that would constantly be rotating, and you'd need to take advantage of common objects as platforms and use the grappling hooks to swing to the unsteady ledges - something cool, y'know? But no. Some Medusa Heads, the blocks allow you to exit, and that's that.

I enjoyed Super Castlevania IV, but I think playing Bloodlines first really soiled any chance for a more positive opinion. Bloodlines is faster, nicer looking, has more enticing level design (when it isn't being gimmicky and going "jump across these never-ending platforms while some dudes fly at you for four minutes!"), two characters to choose from, better enemies and bosses, and it simply makes more interesting use of the hardware. IV just pulls a Mega Man 7 by supplying bigger graphics, more colours and maybe some effects here and there, but doesn't try to go above and beyond the previous instalments. Doesn't stop them from being fun, though, but just a bit meh. Y'know.


And to answer the graphics question myself: Meh. If a game is good, it should be able to stand on its own, and Mega Man 9 does that quite well - though I suppose it helps that its graphics are pretty good, hurf. If the graphics are practical, that's all I need, really. Mega Man 7's humongous graphics are nice, but they're not practical, force the gameplay to be slower to compensate for how much of the screen is taken up by their girth; had the screen been twice as big, then we wouldn't have that problem.



I completed Darkwing Duck for the NES. Which, admittedly, is really really really slow of me, since I first played it about four or five years ago, would make it to the fourth or fifth stage and then just lose my patience, and even if I had made a savestate I'd just go "man that save is old I may as well just start from the beginning again." But not this time. I went out of my way to finish the damn game.

And it's okay.

I mean, it's a platformer by Capcom with selectable stages and a gun, which obviously means it's got into my good books, but it's nothing special. The ability to shield shots with Darkwing's cape is a nice touch, but not enough enemies actually shoot for it to become a tactical manoeuvre worth mastering - the danger primarily comes from bodily collisions with enemies way faster than you are, and every boss in the game is a fast mothertruck. The final boss, for instance (I only saw one episode of the cartoon so I'm not in the know of who anyone is), begins by sending three attack bees to kill you while you need to shoot at him while dangling from torches. Easy beans. The second phase involves no attack bees, him sprinting back and forth across the ground and sometimes shooting at you. The simple fact that he's fast, and like everything in the game, hurts you with collision damage, makes this embarrassingly harder. I mean, an earlier boss has three generators that shoot fireballs at you, and the trick is to destroy one so he goes to repair it, leaving him open to some laser fire up the behind. Except this dude walks faster than Darkwing, and if you're too busy evading the fireballs then it can be quite humiliating having your demise occur because of bumping into someone.

There's like one enemy in the game worth using the cape on, and doing so means you haven't an opportunity to shoot him. D'oh.

And there's also secondary weapons in the form of Gas, which nets you diagonal shots, ground-travelling projectiles and some arrow thing I never had an opportunity to use much, though I'm guessing it's a bit like that arrow platform thing from one of the later Mega Man games that creates you platforms on walls or something. They're not very interesting and aren't any more powerful, so I only bothered using them on rare occasions. Oh well.

The defensive cape sounds like it could've been used for some great twists to the basic gameplay, but it and the gas weapons simply aren't implemented as well as they could've been. Still, it has pits to jump over and thugs to shoot, so while it may not be special, it kept me entertained for an hour or two.


Response to Galvatron's update: Quantum of Solace is actually out? I thought all the recent coverage was just a case of "dude, we actually know stuff about the movie now! But it won't be out until next year!" or something among those lines. I am so out of touch with modern media.



"How quitting smoking saved a family: A mother told how giving up smoking saved her family - after routine tests revealed they were being poisoned by carbon monoxide from her car."[1]

Mundane usage of "saved" in the context of rescuing someone from death is one of those minor things that sizzles my circuits. Oh no! If they hadn't gotten that pipe sorted, they could've fallen asleep at the wheel! Dangerous stuff, I'm certain, but when I read the news I want something exciting. Like, they were mafia men, and a rival gang had tainted their dinner drinks with gasoline, so if they'd gone to have a puff then kablammo, but they hadn't because they decided inhaling helium was a much better addiction than smoking Or something. Definitely something with explosions and flammable materials, y'know.



Obama is president.

How about that, eh? I'd say it's pretty rad, judging from the basic fact that somebody other than a creepy old white guy is in charge. McCain's a guy I probably wouldn't have much hassle chatting with in person, but as president you'd just see him in a very different light, I guess, from an appearance point of view. I've probably made it very clear that I don't give half a hoot about modern politics and I haven't actually read a single thing about either party's policies and claims and all that, but just to see a new face other than poor Bush is a pleasant surprise. We're all fucked anyway (has nobody considered the SPACE ALIENS???), but nice to see a glimmer of hope regarding the fact that every politician is a balding white guy and we happen to get someone interesting in the position.

Well, a homebrew forum I check out every now and then had this beautiful little bombshell as one of the recently posted-in threads.

"United States Is Screwed :("

Oy vey. Five posts in and we get this little gem:

"Yah, Obama was just elected president because of California at the end. It's all because of the stupid electoral colledge. If it was popular vote, which makes a lot more sense, than Mccain would of won. Don't worry, Obama will most likely be assasined. Obama once had associations with terrorists, he is not safe, he might be a terrorist himself lol. The only reason that Obama won was because of all the African Americans voted for him. It was an election of race. Obama got all his money for the campaign from his terrorist friends."

And by ten posts, they are talking about the potential of a world war.

Jesus Christ. Thanks for losing my faith in you, humanity! Becoming a hermit sounds mighty tempting.



I hate to retread old material, but seriously, colds are pretty shit, but tissues and runny noses and having to blow them are also shittier. And seriously, maybe I'm doing it wrong, but blowing your nose is highly awkward, uncomfortable, and in this modern age, very uncultured.

It's amusing how people look down at basic (if pointless) bodily functions as disgraceful behaviour. Farting, for instance. You'd think that in this modern society we'd treat it like any other inevitable part of life, like death, that it just happens and there's no reason to kick up a big fuss over it. On the subject of bottoms, honestly, what the hell, nose blowing. For all intents and purposes, it's just making a mess in an area that's designated for messes, rather than your face. It's the equivalent of coating your pants with toilet roll and hoping that's enough to prevent the need for a toilet. It's not very good for clearing your nose when it's blocked or runny, it irritates my nose something fierce, and I just read that it actually causes more bacteria to cloud around. Way to go, whoever thought this was a good idea.

A friend suggested the idea of a nose vacuum. Now that is gold.



What fun awaits us in the wondrous month of November?
If any I probably won't enjoy it because COLD SEASOOOOON.

Seriously, when I have a cold, any opportunity for fun is lost entirely. I'm sitting here playing Yoshi's Island (a very fun game!), with a Terry's Chocolate Orange all to myself (a very pleasant scenario!) and I'm just feeling mega down in the dumps (which isn't all that favourable unless you're a sick, twisted phony of a human being). Bloody cold season. See, at least December has decent television like Jingle All The Way to try and hide the fact it's a very depressing time of year.