Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Virtual Console Review - Legend of Kage

The Legend of Kage - Irem for NES - 2/10

I've seen recently that Irem (or whoever still owns this license) is planning to hit us with a Nintnendo DS update to The Legend of Kage. Are they kidding? Is there something wrong with them?

If reputation counts for anything, than I can calmly declare right now that the DS Legend of Kage will royally suck. It will suck eggs, and only sad sacks and escaped mental patients will be dumb enough to be suckered into buying it. The original game is that bad, folks. The stench of the dead permeates everything attached to that name.

There's a reason why Ninja Gaiden was instantly hailed as a masterpiece when it was made in 1989 - it was the first NES ninja game that wasn't a hideous train wreck. Before that, your best option was, what? Kid Nikki, Radical Ninja? Ouch. That's painful.

The Legend of Kage was a lousy arcade game, where it was then ported onto the NES and became a lousy Nintendo game. And it wasn't even a good translation. We're talking levels of cow dung, the way Dante talked about the circles of hell. This game is in a whole new realm of stinky, smelly...ahem. Pardon.

See that screenshot above? Do you think that you'll be one of those ninjas? No. You won't. You'll get to play that dead guy on the ground. You'll be seeing that pose a lot, too. Better get used to it.

Supposedly, you are expected to run along the ground, slashing at ninjas and enemies that run and fall from the sky, without ever having any hope of hitting anything. Then you're also expected to jump three stories high and hit things in the trees. How you can do this remains a mystery, since the hero's movements are so sloppy, and the jumping so bizarre. Most videogames worked out a system for basic physics; things like gravity, how high and how far a character can run and jump and fly. It's fairly consistent, for the most part. Legend of Kage doesn't follow any of that math. In fact, I don't think this game could count past two.

This game is fundamentally broken. What's the point of shovelling this dreck onto the Virtual Console? What's the use? Oh, I know: sucker the dumb and the blind into shelling out cash for an old game in order to sell a new game. I think that's a good marketing strategy, when we're talking about one of the classics like Metroid or Super Mario. But for this bucket of gravy slop? Five bucks? Potential buyers are clearly too stupid to have money. Get yourself another hobby, something safer. Like licking stamps or drinking cough syrup.

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