Top 100 SNES Review: #48 – Legend of the Mystical Ninja (1991)

Another Entry of Japanese Quirk.

The game is not good — no amount of Miso Soup changes that. Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 10.05.56 PM

Sydlexia’s Ranking: #48/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

“BUT IT’S SO JAPANESE,” says the internet.  “BUT IT ISN’T THAT FUN TO PLAY,” says me.

From deep within the south of the USA, it wasn’t until the 2000s when we really started having a diversity of culture, and by diversity of culture, I mean more restaurants. It must have been within this world before globalization that people were yearning for any type of cultural integration.

Enter Legend of the Mystical Ninja. A side-scrolling game that uses the imagery, humor, and style of Japan to try and buoy everything else. Unfortunately, that everything else is kind of important: the game is kind of boring.

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Top 100 NES Review: #18 – Crystalis (1990)

The NES Tries to Steal Perfection From Me Again.

Why can’t things just be good and wholesome on this devil of a system?

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Sydlexia’s Ranking: #25/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

I always start these games with the best of intentions: no guides, embrace the grind, willing to flounder. The drama of these games are in the struggle, and if you run to a walkthrough at the first moment of adversity, you will destroy anything these old games have to offer. The joy is figuring out the puzzles both via your own skill and serendipitous discovery.

Crystalis started as the type of game you do these top 100 lists for: a complete joy of an unknown. The graphics, mechanics, and puzzles are an addictive pull to do more. It was an instant favorite, but then came the moment that happens in every NES adventure/puzzle/RPG — the inscrutable puzzle with no hints and no logic but is required for you to continue. Thankfully, it survives this moment and avoids the NES’s ultimate desire to make every game unenjoyable.

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Top 100 Album Review: #21 – The Great Twenty-Eight, Chuck Berry (1982)

Now This is Some Driving Music.

Even with being 28 songs, there is so much to enjoy here. 

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #21/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Months ago, I took a long trip down to Florida and loaded the phone up with all types of albums. Chuck Berry saved me at just the right time: I hit the country lines of North Carolina and needed something to pep me up. This album is full of old rock n’ roll with many references to automobiles and cruising. It was the perfect antidote.

It also satisfies my self-created rule of what makes a Top 100 album with one killer track (Johnny B. Good) and over half the album being worth-while.

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Top 100 Album Review: #44 – Horses, Patti Smith (1975)

An Album to Make Intellectuals Feel Good.

Trying to sort out my confusion, my Aunt pegged the reason people “like” Patti Smith’s Horses. 

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #44/100
My Rating:cropped-smooth-star

This stream-of-consciousness beat poetry album with three chord progressions is awful. AWFUL. 

It is so bad, you could be guaranteed that its rise in the minds of music critics and fans came from either two sources: social justice or elitism. This dive into the Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Albums has taught me the lengths people will go to defend awful, avant-garde art. Worst yet, it’s operates on a negative correlation where the worse the art, the more people defend it.

In Patti Smith’s Horses, the defense is primarily elitism with some flourishes of social justice. How Aunt Mandy puts it:

There isn’t anything good about it, just people wanting to be cool so they say it’s great to try to make you think “if you were an intellectual like me you might get it. Buuuuut you’re too stupid to know how great it is.”

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Top 100 Album Review: #79 – Star Time, James Brown (1991)

Some Things Should Never Have Happened.

This 4-CD box set is one of them. 

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #79/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Driving from Florida to North Carolina, I monotonously did small left or right corrections on the wheel as I headed in a straight line up I-95.  This FOUR HOUR AND FIFTY THREE MINUTE album of emphatic yelps, inaudible words, and repeated four measure horn-lines was emblematic of my drive: hundreds of miles of barren land with the occasional peak of a landmark.

James Brown has enough amazing material to make a regular greatest hits album. He does not have enough material to match the run length of Gone with the Wind and then some. The ratio of good:bad is around 1:8 making it a tough listen for the massive amount of dead weight.

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Top 100 Album Review: #37 – Hotel California, The Eagles (1976)

A Great, Soft Rock Album.

A perfect and compact album with multiple hits.

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Rolling Stone’s Ranking: #37/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

I only require two things from my top 100 albums: 1) have at least one killer hit 2) make over half the album enjoyable. Hotel California accomplishes both with it’s titular-named single and a buoy of other songs. This album might only be nine tracks, but I appreciated a respite from the filler-filled albums that have been clogging my cue lately.

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Top 100 SNES Review: #7 – Mega Man X (1993)

Part Two Led to Exit Stage Right

The first half is a repetitive adventure while the second half just repetitive. 
MegaMan X Title Screen
Sydlexia’s Ranking: #7/100
My Rating: cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550cropped-smooth-star-e1545862962550

Gaming in the early 90s was compartmentalized to your immediate sphere of influence. Outside of Nintendo Power, there was no media access for new releases or reviews. Your choice of games were influenced by whatever your parents brought home, the blockbuster employee’s suggestions, or what your friends owned. Due to this randomness, Mega Man completely bypassed me.

I see the allure of Mega Man: having to figure out which bosses to defeat first to get the right weapons that then let you defeat other bosses. This made the repetition of going through the same eight stages at least worthwhile. After that, I’m not sure there is any reason to play Mega Man X.

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