Demon's Crest (1994 - SNES)

When I played this game years ago, I kept getting up to a boss I couldn't beat and giving up, which made the game seem like it was impossible to make any progress in. When I tried it again recently, I discovered it was a lot easier than I thought it was. The problem is that once you find a boss you can beat, and enough powerups, you can blow through most of the game very quickly. Once it was all over, it didn't feel much like I'd beaten a game at all. The funny thing is that I never got the worst ending by getting to the final boss as soon as it is possible to do so, which seems to happen to almost every other person who has ever played this game, except those of us who had the "falling down the tornado" trick spoiled in Nintendo Power magazine. By getting everything there is to find, you can fight a secret boss that has nothing to do with the rest of the game, but it isn't very hard and it's more a battle of attrition than anything. The graphics are really pretty to look at and the music is nice (I might concede that the soundtrack is better than I thought it was, although it does work best in the game itself), and it does have a few challenging parts and some mild exploration fun, but it needed to be a lot more than what it is.
Rating: 2.5/5

Mortal Kombat (1995 - DVD)

Yes, this is one of the better video game to movie adaptations, but that says more about how bad video game movies are than it does about how good this movie is. The funny thing is that up until the tournament begins, it at least tries to follow a plot, even if it is corny and cheesey. But once the fighting starts, the rules range from unclear, to non-existent, to made up as it goes along. The movie is colorful, looks appropriately like the game's art style, there's a lot of fun action scenes, and it was casted well, but it feels like they tried to fit in too many characters, leaving some (like Scorpion and Sub-Zero) with little or no personality, and others underdeveloped (Johnny Cage becomes a non-entity after the fight with Goro, and Kano's presence almost feels pointless). I also felt cheated by the ending. I know it's setting up for a sequel, but if the whole point is for the mortals to win the tournament so the Emperor can't invade, and he does anyway, it kind of makes all that "destiny" mumbo-jumbo look pointless. I still dig the soundtrack, though.
Rating: 2.5/5



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