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Classic Review Edition
Page 4

There has been a lot of focus in console entertainment over the past while, and many gamers are forgetting about a very special gaming machine that has brought us some of the greater games. One such classic series is the King's Quest series from Sierra. This continuous saga of excellent puzzles and coded trickery has been an ongoing process since 1984 with the introduction of the original King's Quest game to the hungry public. In 1998, the presumed last game in the series was released, and it took a different approach to the type of puzzling gaming the series had brought us to know and love. Grab your magic map as we delve straight into King's Quest: Mask of Eternity.

You substitute yourself into the role of Connor, a resident of an area just outside of the legendary town of Daventry. As the interesting introductory sequence and clues within the game indicate, a being known as Lucreto has travelled to the Realm of the Sun. He has created havoc upon the world by breaking the Mask of Eternity into five pieces, and sending them across the land so that they may never be connected again. As Connor picks up a piece of the Mask of Eternity, a dark cloud engulfs the sky, and everyone is turned to stone...including King Graham! According to a wizard who was only partially turned to stone, Connor was spared because he was holding a piece of the Mask, and that he has been chosen to collect the scattered pieces. It is now Connor's duty to battle his way through the various lands of the world to rescue the parts of the Mask of Eternity. Only when the Mask is complete will the land have a chance for a resolution.

The game is different from any of the other King's Quest games to the extent that this game is heavily involved in the area of battling, a concept which had never graced the surfaces of any other scene in KQ history. Over the course of the game, you will battle enemies and gain experience. Once you gain enough experience, you will be raised a "level" and your attack and defense strengths will increase. All the RPG fans in the back are going "Duh", while all those who haven't played RPGs are going "Huh"? Well, it all makes sense to most people... ANYWAY, along your travels, you'll pick up (or buy) various items that will help you get through the game, whether they be weapons, armor, or just specialty items that serve a specific purpose on your quest. These "specialty items" do add immensely to the puzzle portion of the game, which all KQ games have held tightly. You really have to think when you play these games...or be cheap to your brain and download a walkthrough. But wouldn't that defeat the purpose of the game?

The graphics are average for its time, although it IS a nice game to look at. Many of the graphics are dark but detailed. To get the best graphics out of this game, it's best to have a nice graphics card for this. We used the 3Dfx-compliant Voodoo3 card for this job, and it looks...okay. Meanwhile, on my computer with NO decent graphics card, I had to live with the DirectDraw version. Either way, you can make out characters, items, and settings alike. Unfortunately, on a PII 333MHz computer, it was slightly choppy, but when we get a new computer soon, I'm sure we'll no longer have to deal with "the chop". Anyway, sometimes the settings can be a tad bland, but there are usually extra items stuck in the surroundings that have no effect on the game, such as overturned wagons or chickens (although it's fun to cut off their heads and watch them run).

The music department was dead for the most part, although the occasional tune comes up. It's mostly a lot of sound effects in the background made to sound like music, and nothing truly gratifying in such a category. But there are plenty of sounds to please the gamers, such as sword swooshes, chicken clucks, enemy roars, etc. My overall opinion: Nice sounds, bad music (if any).

The game is a good play overall. It has a RPG-ish feel which will be comforting to some, while others will prefer the puzzle sense of it. It is rather sad that the series had to end here, but perhaps Sierra Studios will get off their seats and create a "King's Quest IX: Rosella's Tear" (tentative title!) or something like that. Don't leave us without more KQ! We loved the first eight...give us more!

FINAL SCORE: 9.0/10

UPDATED COMMENTARY:
I wish I could have finished this game sometime. I have tried several times, but I eventually walk away from it every single time. It just can't keep my interest for the whole journey. Part of it has to do with the fact that it isn't the King's Quest game I was hoping for. There's more first-person fighting and leveling up than puzzle solving, which was the former signifier of the series. Not to mention that fact that many of the game's enemies looked like crap. I also pleaded for a King's Quest IX, but apparently the series has concluded and it's never coming. Well, I suppose there's still hope. After all, we all thought Mega Man 8 would be the last of the series...

The Legend of Zelda series has been going strong since its initial first NES release in 1986. It has covered every Nintendo system (with the exception of the Virtual Boy), and each game has been a smash hit. In 1998, the first Zelda game (Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time) to grace the Nintendo 64 was the most-anticipated game on that system ever, and two years later, consumer demand was met when Nintendo announced a second N64 Zelda game. It has been released, and was given the title Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. And the game's title is not quite as strange as the game itself.

This game takes place a few months after the previous game. Child Link has decided to look elsewhere for an exciting adventure. This is the first Zelda game ever to set foot outside of the land of Hyrule. The area is called Termina, and is looked over by an evil-looking moon. This moon has been hailed by the Skull Kid in conjunction with the legendary Majora's Mask. Termina is in some ways a mirror land of Hyrule. In fact, some characters look very reminiscent of characters from Ocarina of Time (ie. the Carnival leader Gorman looks remarkably similar to Ingo from Lon Lon Ranch). I guess Nintendo re-used the characters.

One thing I should mention is the 72-Hour concept. A Skull Kid has stolen Majora's Mask from the Happy Mask salesman, and now is using its dark power to lure the power towards Termina. At the end of 3 days, the moon (with its maniacal visage) will crash into the land. You don't want that. Therefore, you must use your Song of Time to return back to the beginning of those three days in order to continue your quest. HOWEVER, although major items survive the journey through time (ie. masks), minor items and dungeon progress are NOT saved. You can slow down the flow of time to a steady pace with a special tune though...

This game makes use of the required expansion pak in many ways, including the graphics (and also to make Termina seem HUGE, which it is). Some scenes in the game are panoramically designed, and also some are set at a mere 10 frames per second, creating a wacky effect (similar to the Lisa Simpson effect where she can "see the music" after drinking some weird brown water). Although otherwise the graphics do not surpass the graphics of the previous game by many factors, you can still count of eye-pleasing pixels of pleasure.

I have heard that the music in the game was made with MIDI. Considering how much you can't do with MIDI, Nintendo has done an excellent job in creating moody music. As for sound effects, many have been borrowed from the previous game, but it seems like almost every character has their own speaking effect, and sometimes it will crack you up like never before. I especially enjoy the sound that comes from Guru-Guru which sounds like "na-na-na-noo-noo". Incidentally, he looks like the guy from the windmill in Ocarina of Time.

Controls exactly mimic the ones from Ocarina of Time, up to the powering-up and swinging of the sword to create that mischievous blue flash upon enemies the moment they become somnolent and lower their guard. If you had problems with controls before, expect this to come back to you like Link's boomerang.

It's odd, but it will surely amuse you. The dungeons are challenging, and the townsfolk each have their own style and personality. You can spend several hours (or many days) just loafing around the central city in Termina (Clock Town); there are so many things to do there, and so many tasks to fulfill. You will NOT get bored with this game.

If you haven't done so already, obtain a copy of this game. If you are lucky, you can get the collector's edition: a gold copy with a 3-D image on the front of the cartridge! Snazzy. I highly recommend this game to anybody who likes action, adventure or even RPG games. It will NOT disappoint you.

FINAL SCORE: 9.6/10

UPDATED COMMENTARY:
It was a wild two weeks in 2007 when I actually finished LoZ: Majora's Mask. I can say with fair enough certainty that the score here is fairly accurate. Majora's Mask is indeed an alluring game, provided you can get past the annoying fact that the game only gives you about one real-time hour to get things done before you have to go back in time. The three-day cycle probably threw off many gamers, but hey, it was novel for its time. Of course, it doesn't take a genius to notice that they pretty much snatched up a whole bunch of character models from Ocarina of Time and pasted them into this game. I found that to be a bit lazy on Nintendo's part, but I won't complain too much.

McDonald's is just one of those multi-billion dollar companies who always wants MORE, MORE, MORE profits! So guess who wants to make a video game about themselves? McDonald's does! Welcome to the world of M.C. Kids (also known as McDonaldland in Europe), where you'll find all your favorite members of the McDonald's troupe!

You can play a single game by yourself or buddy-up with a friend here. You play Mick and Mack, a pair who now call themselves M.C. Kids oddly enough. You need to find Ronald McDonald's "magic bag", which has been stolen by the Hamburglar. (Doesn't he steal hamburgers?) The M.C. Kids were sucked into the Land of the Golden Arches through a book they were reading. The book was about...two kids helping Ronald McDonald get his magic bag back. What are the odds?

The game itself didn't sell too well. However, if more people had actually PLAYED the game, the public would have realized that this game could stand up to the likes of Super Mario Bros. 3 or any other mega-budget game on the market at that time.

M.C. Kids is an action-adventure game in general. In order to advance between worlds, you must find a specific number of puzzle cards within the levels of each world. Some of the cards, easily spotted as they are red and marked with an "M", are easy to get, while some are not. There are even easily spotted cards that are very difficult to obtain. Also found within the worlds are 6 Secret Cards. If you find all six, you can enter Ronald's mysterious PuzzleWorld. Nifty.

The graphics are average, at best. Although the world is extremely colourful, not very many things are detailed. The main character sprites don't even have noses! But regardless of this lack of body parts, you will probably enjoy the cartoonish qualities of the game's art.

What may really stick out for many players would be the interesting music in this game. Many of the tunes I still can remember. I found myself humming some of the level tunes just out of nowhere, and I think that you will too, once you set your ear into gear by listening to the M.C. Kids soundtrack! Also noted are the sound effects which will suffice, although they're pretty much just pings and boings. You'll likely be too busy listening to the fine music to care.

Aye carumba, it looks like Virgin (developers of such games as M.C. Kids and...uh...er...hmmm...) has left out a critical part of any video game -- good controls. You can really get annoyed with your character sliding along, and that sometimes it's hard to control your character in the air. Mick or Mack may not pick up a block in the air when you want him to, so be alert and pick up floating blocks with caution.

Overall, it's really a fun game that just about anybody can get into. Even if you hate McDonald's food, you're sure to enjoy this M-azing package, which has been stuffed with over thirty levels of mayhem! And even if you don't like the game, you will HAVE to love the funny way Grimace walks.

FINAL SCORE: 7.7/10

UPDATED COMMENTARY:
Again, this game was re-reviewed during the summer of 2008, the result being a higher final score. It actually is a decent platformer, though it never reached the high level of success of a certain series based upon an Italian plumber... Y'know, having read many of my past reviews, I get the feeling that I was little more than a goofy kid who couldn't truly analyze a video game if his life depended on it. I am quite thankful that I was able to refine my skills for the sake of random.access, as well as you, the beloved readers!

Check out our more recent and thorough review of M.C. Kids!


I had played this game on the NES a while back, maybe in 1994. I found the Mega Man games to be an intriguing breed, and this one was especially interesting.

The graphics are nice... for 8-bit NES. Back in 1990, they didn't have the technology to make Mega Man blast through 10 3-D worlds of Mets and Hard Knuckles. So, this was cutting edge graphic technology then. But now, y'know... it just won't cut it anymore.

The sound is also 8-bit-ish. But it's on the NES (remember?) so this is great music. As I've seen on chat rooms, Magnet Man's theme is a hit with the punk teens out there who have the ol' Nintendo. But anyway, they've got some good tunes in this game. Congratulations to the music team at Capcom who wrote this music. You've done good!

Let's talk replayability. Now I played the game through maybe 10 times or so to get all the info and graphics for this page, and I don't really want to play it again for a while. Sure, if you haven't played it for a while, or you just can't win after 1 hour, or you just need your weekly Mega Man injection, then it's nice to play again. If you've played for 294 consecutive hours, then stay away. (Of course, if you can play the game for 294 hours without completing it - and that's just sad, folks -- you deserve not only to stay away from it, but to have your NES smashed with a large hammer or mallet.) So it depends on the amount of Mega Man 3 you play to test the replayability scale.

What else can I say, it's a great game! Overall, I give this game 9 out of 10. Fun for the whole family, even the smart-aleck cat.

FINAL SCORE: 9.0/10

UPDATED COMMENTARY:
Mega Man 3... is... GODLY! Of all the original series' games, this one is by far my favourite. Capcom created the perfect balance of difficulty and entertainment together. Plus we have the introduction of the slide move and Rush the canine companion. You can't fail! And just like a few other games in this feature, I re-reviewed Mega Man 3, and my end result: it's mega-mantastic.. It makes me want to slap on some pyjamas, pop some corn, and curl up with my copy of Mega Man Anniversary Collection to play Mega Man 3... and then Mega Man 5, and then go to bed. Yeah, I'm passing you up, Mega Man 4. Come back when you have better music.

Check out our more recent and thorough review of Mega Man 3!

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