Mystery Science Theater 3000: Volume XXIV (PG-13)

Since it's clean of season one episodes there's very little to complain about here. For this set we have a two-parter made by poorly editing episodes of some Japanese TV show together, a poor man's Odyssey, and a Lucha Libre wrestler battling against vampires, and it's all a barrel of laughs.


Chrono Trigger (SNES)

I think telling the Internet why Chrono Trigger is a great game is a bit redundant, so maybe I'll take this moment to nitpick a couple of things. I do think Final Fantasy VI has held up better after so many replays. At least I accomplished the feat of beating Wrexsoul legitimately the last time I played Final Fantasy VI, whereas I totally breezed through this play of Chrono Trigger. Bosses like the Black Tyranno, the Golem Twins, Son of Sun, and the Lavos Core may have given me trouble on my first time (although I still hate to see the Lavos Core pull up the Prehistoric background), but they're pieces of cake when you know how to handle them, which usually entails having a specific piece of armor on your guys (and on that note, I don't know why people will always tell you to use physical attacks against the Golem Twins unless they're trolling; their fire attack is not only significantly weaker than their physics attack, but is made even weaker with Ruby Vests). And while the first half or so of the game has its share of interesting boss fights, by the time I'd gotten to the sidequest portion of the game I found I was mostly spamming magic attacks in every battle, so I guess it was good for the game to end when it did.


The Binding of Isaac (PC)

I guess I really wouldn't call this game "rubbish" anymore, though while Super Meat Boy just needed a useable controller to make me stop hating it, it took three things to elevate my opinion of Binding of Isaac from that: figuring out how to use JoyToKey (which, in my defense, I originally had a really out of date version that didn't give you any indication of which buttons were which on the controller), finding out about the secret rooms, and keeping the item list on the Wiki open to figure out what items actually did, so I would know when to use them or if I should avoid something altogether like the mirror or Ouija Board.

But I still don't really like this game. It has the right ingredients, essentially being Legend of Zelda crossed with Blaster Master. But then they threw randomly generated dungeons into the mix. Actually, it's more the randomly generated items I have problems with; sometimes I get helpful powerups like ones to increase my attack and firing rate, and other times the game will only spawn bullshit like the mirror or a bunch of speed up items, which yeah, one or two help, but any more than that and you're going to be slamming into enemies. By the third floor, the bosses start taking bloody forever to kill if you haven't upgraded your attack strength and/or rate, but if the game didn't spawn any such upgrades, or bombs, or keys to unlock doors and chests, or money to buy useful items, you get to eat shit. On the flip side, you can also end up with item combinations that completely break the game. Too many powerful items and the bosses go down faster than a fainting goat in a tiger exhibit, and on the play that I beat Mom's Heart I had received a card that instantly teleported me to the boss' room, and used that to skip most of the final floor. So what should have been a merger of two of my favorite childhood games winds up being ToeJam & Earl with more poop jokes and blasphemy. And on that note, I'm far from the most religious person I know, but even I'm made uncomfortable by some of this game's content.

I still really dig the soundtrack, though.