Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sachenize yourself II: Magic Cubes / Dan Laser

Hello children, this time I'll introduce my favourite Sachen game: Magic Cubes (although the title screen calls it as Magic Cube... coherency, who needs it?) and a shooter called Dan Laser. Now please come with me... you don't want me to call the aether kavass.

MAGIC CUBES (or Magic Cube, whatever)
You know what's the best thing about this game? That is one of the few Sachen games that are actually good. Well, almost. Magic Cube (I'll call it that way from now on so I spare myself of writing the final S, the problem is that if I had written that final S I wouldn't be writing this long excuse right now, which means the review which will be longer that if I did include the final S...) is a Columns-style games, but with squares instead of... well, columns. Maybe it will be easier to understand if I show you a picture of it before going on.
There :-) You basically receive 2x2 blocks, one after another, and you must manage to get 3 or more figures of the same color to be together. Nothing surprising until now, aside of the form of the pieces. But that's where the problems begin. You weren't expecting a Sachen game to be flawless, didn't you? You see, this game doesn't shows you the next block, which makes playing it a pain in the ass, UNLESS you actually change the game settings (which are displayed as soon as you press start, thankfully)

Treasure? Assigned object?? Trick??? What the hell is going on? O_o

Okay, I suppose I'll have to explain these options. First you can select if you want to play against the computer (I don't know why would you want to do that since the computer will beat you everytime... believe me), play alone or play against a 2nd player. "Treasure" apparently makes several helps to come up at random. I recommend this to be selected, since you'll need those. There's an ice pick which will get rid of an entire line of blocks and a pack of dynamite which will get rid of several blocks too. Then we have the "Trick" option... which I have no idea what it means. And finally we have the "assigned object":
You got to love Sachen's Engrish.

Basically, this option will make the separation of levels to be much more noticeable, since you will not be able to advance unless you make a certain number of coincidences matching the drawings. If not activated, the game will just get progressively faster.
And now we're going to see the most funny part from Sachen games: their defects. Don't get me wrong, this game is playable (something I can't say of most of other games by Sachen). First of all, the game speed is quite uneven. Wherever you make a match, the animation that plays is a bit slow, which kind of messes with the flow of the game. It also messes with the music, which might get glitched for a few seconds.
Another problem of the game is how the pieces are too big for such a small playing area: if it wasn't for the occasional power-up (ice pics that melt some of the pieces) the game would be quite brief, since you rarely will be able to get rid of the four pieces every cube is composed of.

Magic Cube with the 'Assigned object' mode activated

All in all, this is one of the most playable Sachen games, specially if you can ignore the scratchy music that won't shut up, not even if you are in the pause mode - it'll just get replaced by an equally annoying song.


Aaah Sachen on the Game Boy, an exercise on bad music and weird gameplay. Basically, Dan Laser is a simple vertically scrolling shooter with killing walls and uninspired enemies.

This game has two modes: on normal mode the powerups actually work: you start with a simple gun which progressively gets upgraded, while on Crazy Mode you start with the laser of the title. The powerups will only give you points then, and since points don't mean much on this game you can ignore them...

Probably the worse part of Dan Laser is not the gameplay, but the music. My God, that soundtrack! It tries to be epic like those cheesy songs hear don those pathetic Japanese robot serials from the 80s, but it ends being more dramatic than a Mexican soap opera starred by VerĂ³nica Castro.

Anyways, that is it for the time... and yes, it took me three years to finish this entry! :-P