The best of GemuBaka in 2020

With how 2020 ultimately went down, I was torn on whether or not I wanted to bother with a “best of 2020” Twitter content wrapup, similar to what I did last year. However, in checking the analytics, I saw the year had a decent spread of content from some pretty obscure games.

As expected, eight of the top 10 items based on Twitter impressions come from 1-on-1 fighting games, but, surprisingly, the top two content items come from other genres.

Another stat that surprised me was the fact the top 10 items come from 8 out of the year’s 12 months, ranging from January through November. I really expected the content to be more front-loaded, with the heavy hitters coming at the beginning of the year. I suppose that echoes the personal feeling that 2020 seemed like it lasted for five years while living in the moment.

One final stat that stands out is the content in the top 10 was captured from seven different video game formats. Arcade is the repeat format, but the full list includes games from 3D0, Game Boy, Xbox 360, Playstation (One), SEGA Saturn and Playstation 2 as well.

This is a look at some of the content that resonated with the internet during 2020.

THE TWITTER TOP 10

#10 – Learning the Way of the Warrior – August
I’ve lived in current home for nearly seven years now, and, for that full duration of time, my humble 3D0 system has sat on the corner of a tall shelf next to where I sit at my computer. I rummaged through my bookcase in 2020 and found that I owned both volumes of “3D0 Games Secrets” by Zach Meston and J. Douglas Arnold and published by Sandwich Islands Publishing Co, Ltd. (1995 and 1996 for the two volumes respectively).

I’d previously shared the second volume due to its extensive coverage of Ballz: The Director’s Cut, but the first volume has a score of behind-the-scenes content from Naughty Dog for its creation of Way of the Warrior. The interviews share tidbits such as the 3D0 being originally concepted to have 2MB of RAM, but that increased to 3MB for its release; how the cast found or purchased their costumes; and discrepancies that occurred when Naughty Dog needed to call characters back for additional footage.

All of juicy information was the catalyst that finally saw the 3D0 pulled down from the shelf and being hooked up for probably the first time in 10 years. The system still works like a charm.

Through the course of playing the game for a couple of days, I highlighted a few of the bugs and exploits in the game, as well as Way of Warrior’s crazy magic system.

A bonus of posting the information from the book was that Zach Meston noticed the tweets, particularly, in a discussion of Shadow: War of Succession. He shared that generally-accepted online theory that the developers of Shadow gave up on the game in development could have possibly come from him, adding he said the same thing about Kasumi Ninja.

He was also able to share that he never saw a playable version of the proposed Ballz Out! sequel that was proposed in the interview done in Vol. 2 of the book series. Thanks Mr. Meston!

#9 – Doink the Clown gets his turn to glitch out Wrestlemania – September
To the surprise of no one, the arcade game WWF: Wrestlemania makes its way onto the top 10. Unfortunately, 2020 is probably the least I’ve played this game since seriously picking it up a few years back. Still, I manage to do goofy things with this game when I least expect it.

It isn’t new information that if you use Doink’s running head grab while an opponent is on the turnbuckle, both characters enter a glitched state that forces them upward and offscreen. Doink is able to press a button to fall back down and return to normal, but the opponent is permanently stuck in a state where they are offscreen and moving back and forth.

However, if you immediately cancel Doink’s grab, you are able to still see the opponent, who continues to move back and forth and clip against Doink. It’s useless tech, but, it never fails to look funny.

#8 – Tattoo Assassins tech? – November
The canceled arcade project Tattoo Assassins is certainly a game. I experimented with the game in 2019 to study basic mechanics and combos.

In November, I was asked to further break the game down in Fightcade by the very talented fighting game player tobemorecrazy. Our huge takeaway from the session is what happens in the game when a character enters “DANGER” mode at low health.

Normally characters get pushed back dramatically with their attacks, and there are safeguards that limit how many aerial attacks can be done in a single combo. It’s actually surprising how many things are put into place in Tattoo Assassins to attempt to prevent 100% damage combos.

When the player enters DANGER mode, though, some of these rules go out the window, and you can get some pretty crazy things to happen. Your character gets a massive speed boost and your recovery frames are trimmed as well. You can get in 10 attacks before you start experiencing pushback, but, oddly, the aerial attack limit remains in place.

Being at low health is still very dangerous, but this mechanic offers a strange, yet exciting, comeback opportunity. With a 10-hit limit before getting pushback, it’s still a bit difficult to do 100% combos, but it is entirely possible, especially if the character has a capture-style move.

The insane thing about this mechanic is that Karla Keller’s limit on ice balls is completely removed. Since the ice ball does a small amount of damage, the player can simply throw repeated ice balls to re-capture the opponent and whittle down their health to nothing. Hannah Hart’s web capture does no damage and Billy Two Moon’s whip only captures if the move hits in a very specific area of the hitbox, giving Karla a huge edge with this mechanic if she can manage to hit the first ice ball attack.

I’ve long thought Karla Keller could be the top character in this game, but the comeback mechanic really raised the stock of Billy Two Moons in my opinion. It’s likely we’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of the crazy things that can be done in this game.

#7 – I want to get away, I wanna fly away – February
Part of my regrets of having so little free time is in not being able to interact more with Yokoi Kids, a web group that essentially serves as a “Game Boy game of the month club.” February’s draw was The King of Fighters ’95 for Game Boy, and this gave me an excuse to revisit a game I used to play a lot through a multicart I found one day in a record shop.

I found that Ryo is a killer in this game due to his fireballs, but the hidden character Nakoruru – serving as a guest from Samurai Shodown – is no slouch either. One of her more absurd moves is being able to use her bird Mamahaha to fly around the stage, but KoF ’95 (GB) is one of those entries that allows her very generous use of the flight.

Nakoruru can leave the screen while in flight, resulting in an ability that allows her to scam 15-20 seconds off the timer. It’s a stretch that the player will need to use such a tactic, but if players are feeling a little frisky, this is one way to show some disrespect … you know, if multiple people are somehow playing this very obscure portable KoF entry.

#6 – A taste of Honey – February
Sonic the Fighter/Sonic Championship is quite the curiosity – it’s an incredibly rare game I had the chance to see at SEGA World in London in the ’90s. It puts Sonic characters in a very loose fighting game engine, and most people couldn’t practically play the game until it was included in the Sonic Gems Collection in the mid-2000s.

It appeared that the original game had data for a character called Honey, which is a cat version of the character Candy from Fighting Vipers. When the game received a digital port to the Xbox 360/PS3, part of the process involved allowing players to access this character.

As a “part two” to this entry, I’ve had a few discussions with people on Twitter about the joy we get when a fighting game bothers to explain how a character can fight itself (mirror match, character versus character). You get a little bit of this in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighter and Mortal Kombat, but games like Fighters’ Impact and Sonic the Fighter take it a small step further.

I made multiple GIF animations of Honey in February, but a short video of Robotnik cloning Honey to set up a mirror match gained most of the attention!

#5 – Frogs … my only weakness – April
I’m a huge fan of Square’s Tobal No. 2, and, while I’m loving the game’s quest mode, I still have a lot to figure out about it. In running through the dungeons, I’ve found that one of my rivals has become the dreaded Gray Frog.

I had one very unfortunate turn of luck with stats and saw a frog drop half my health with one tackle. Perhaps the worst part of it all is the excessive taunting the frog does if it wins.

At least we all got a laugh out of it, and I did return for my revenge.

#4 – Spin to win – October
Just in time for the game’s release anniversary, I popped in Mortal Kombat Trilogy for the Playstation One. This was one of the first games I ever received along with my Playstation, but I would say it’s been roughly 20 years since I’ve played it.

Still, I’ve seen the game revisited by the great Twitch streamer Lock617, and one of the goofiest things that sticks out is the Goro spin. By pressing back, back, forward, high kick, Goro will jet forward while spinning all four arms around.

The crazy thing about the move is it acts as a launcher, and it provides the player time to input yet another Goro spin. If Goro reaches the corner, he is frozen and stopped from doing another spin, but, if the combo starts from the opposite corner, there is plenty of room to sweep through and do 100% damage!

#3 – Go Geese! It’s your birthday! – January
This one’s pretty simple – Jan. 21 is the birthday of legendary SNK character Geese Howard. The SNK games coming to the United States for a period of time received some pretty dicey localizations, and one of the most notable is Geese’s quip of “pin-headed son of an ice cream maker!” Yes, it’s still ridiculous all these years later.

geesebirthday

#2 – Congratulations! – May
For the SEGA Saturn’s US release anniversary, I revisited all three launch games – Virtua Fighter, Panzer Dragoon and Daytona USA. I probably spent most of my time on Virtua Fighter, but the most popular feedback I received was on Daytona USA, featuring the horse as a secret vehicle.

The horse can be seen strutting its stuff along to the attract mode and the legendary “Day-ton-aaaaaaaaaaaa!” music track. In addition, I took the horse on a trip to visit an Easter egg in the game. If you go out of your way down a dead-end tunnel, you’ll see a sign reading “Congratulations You Just Lost Your Sponsor.”

It’s an easy, yet funny Easter egg that gets homage in events such as players racing to be the first to this sign.

#1 – Unmatched punching power – October
In October, the Playstation 2 title God Hand saw the 14th anniversary of its release in the United States. The game was one I bought on launch day in 2006, and it remains as one of the most memorable titles I’ve ever played. It seems many other people feel that way as well.

This is another example of a tweet I’ve posted before, yet, for some reason, this specific time gained a lot of traction. One of my go-to GIF files for the game is the scene where the Poison Chihuahua runs up to the camera for its introduction.

There’s really not much of a story behind this entry, yet, it was by far the most-engaged tweet I posted through 2020.

poison

These were fun for me to revisit, so I hope the year 2021 really turns things around for everyone. Let’s have a safe and happy 2021, and, above all, enjoy video gaming!

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Categories: GemuBaka Feature

Author:indiesnack

Indie Snack is a video gaming Web site focusing on independent developers and game releases. Indie Snack will also soon have services made available to independent developers to include tools aiding them in public relations and game marketing.

Subscribe

Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: