Kidd Video: The Most Odd and Bizarre of All 80s Cartoons

 

It’s hard for me to feel nostalgia for a decade I wasn’t born in, but the 80s manages to do just that. Despite not being born until the 90s, I’ve always felt a sincere enjoyment for most of the things associated with the ever-colorful 80s. This rings true for one of the weirdest shows to ever come out of the 80s, an obscure cartoon called “Kidd Video”. What’s this show? Well, it’s near impossible to describe, but I’ll give it a shot.

The show’s story is detailed in its intro. It revolves around the eponymous band Kidd Video, who are in turn named after their lead singer. Kidd Video (the band) are practicing one day, when an evil cartoon villain appears in their mirror. He then teleports the live-action band into what can only be described as one of the trippiest fever-dreams ever put to animation.

Now stuck as cartoon characters in a world that’s apparently powered by 80s rock music, the hapless teens must find a way to get back home. To do that, they must stop the evil plans of “Master Blaster”, while jamming out to the catchiest music the mid-80s has to offer. Judging by that premise alone, you’d think this show would be a bland and generic 80s cartoon.

Surprisingly though, you’d be absolutely wrong by thinking that. The cartoon is insane, with its world having little consistency in how it works. Each episode has a new town, with new characters and its own set of bizarre “rules”. No area in this insane wonderland is quite the same, which makes for some rather interesting scenarios.

For example, the first episode has our heroes trying to save Lionel Richie from his imprisonment inside his own music video, while attempting to help a bunch of strange neon-based lifeforms. If you think that sounds insane, you haven’t heard anything yet. Almost each episode somehow tops the last in terms of craziness. Heck, even some writers on the show speculated that the animation department were on drugs!

What made the show for a lot of people was its incorporation of both the culture and music of the 80s. You had songs from Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, and even Eddy Grant! They would not only show the music videos for said shows, they would also use the songs as background music. As a result, the show often feels like an animated version of the “Top 40” chart from any given radio station at the time.

Kidd Video not only used plenty of licensed music, but even created some of its own. While Kidd Video was not technically a real band, the characters were played/voiced by people with a fair bit of musical talent. As a result, they would often produce songs and music videos of their own by shown during the episodes. Kidd Video even had an album release, despite being a fictional band. This very thing happened to another music-based animated series called “Macross 7”.

Both shows toyed around with the concept of having the fictional band come first, before having them create actual albums for the show. Almost all of Kidd Video’s songs are surprisingly entertaining, making it a shame this show has never been released on Blu-Ray. Yeah, this show only ever been released on VHS, never getting a release on any other video platform.

It comes down to copyright reasons, due to all the music videos and songs included in each episode. This makes getting the show properly released an impossibility, without cutting out 25% of each episode. It’s a shame, because this show is actual enjoyable and fun to watch. I think a lot of the enjoyment factor comes down to how crazy and trippy the show is. I think more people need to give this weird bizarre show a chance, it’s one crazy and fun show!

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Phantasy Star Mini-Retrospective: Part 1

I’ve made it no secret that I love Phantasy Star and its many sub-series, even doing a marathon of blog posts on the subject back in 2016. It’s a subject I don’t mind talking about it a lot, since it’s been a part of my life since 2003. The many iterations, spinoffs, and sequels have entertained me for countless hours. So, allow me to once again talk about what I feel is one of the greatest game series of all time. This time will be a bit different than usual, as I’m going to tackle this as sort of a mini-retrospective.

For me to properly analyze why I love this series so much, let’s flashback to 1987. Sega was doing fairly well with the “Sega Master System” and was looking to expand their catalog. That was the year they came out with “Phantasy Star”, a sci-fi JRPG that managed to be pretty unique sy the time. Enemy sprites featured in the game were more animated than that of other games, such as Final Fantasy.

On top of this, the game featured dungeons that had pseudo-3D graphics. I remember getting lost in these “3D” mazes and enjoying every second of it, due to how unique it looked compared to other games at the time. You were also able to talk to certain monsters in the game using the main character’s special power, which allowed you to avoid battles entirely on occasion. Phantasy Star proved to be a hit, and was followed up by “Phantasy Star II”.

Many people consider Phantasy Star II to be the best game in the entire series, primarily due to its story and characters. It introduced many firsts to the RPG genre, including having a massive size and an epic character-driven plot that explores the human condition, as well as featuring a game-world so extensive that it requires a strategy guide.

While Phantasy Star II ditched the amazing 3D-ish mazes, it’s well-written storyline and likable characters won over the hearts of many. Playing through it today, I can still feel the passion and enjoyment behind each facet of this well-constructed world. Phantasy Star II proved to be a success, so two more sequels were made for it. Phantasy Star III was unique in that it followed three different generations of heroes, while Phantasy Star IV acted as a well-constructed finale for the original series.

After that, the game series went quiet for a few years. This was until 1998 in Japan, when a collection of all the original games were released for the Sega Saturn. This was the crowning moment for most Phantasy Star fans, since it was the fire time you could buy all 4 games in a single package. This was also the year that Sega was looking into developing a MMORPG for the Sega Dreamcast, an online game that could truly show what their new console was capable.

Enter Yuji Naka, a man who was instrumental in the creation of the first two Phantasy Star games. He decided that Sega’s new online project should be based on Phantasy Star, and thus “Phantasy Star Online: Episode 1” was born. The game hit store shelves in the year 2000, and the rest is history. Phantasy Star Online became big in Japan, but only a moderate hit in America.

I remember the first time I was introduced to PSO, it was through the Gamecube version of the game known as “Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2 Plus”. After receiving the game from my parents, I soon found myself enraptured in one of the most engrossing MMOs I had ever played!

Phantasy Star Online was a unique twist on the Phantasy Star formula. It combined the sci-fi themes of the original games, with the loot system of the popular “Diablo” series. As a result, the game became an addictive and very fun romp. Phantasy Star Online was like crack cocaine in video-game form.

You created your character using a creator tool that was more diverse than the ones found in other games, allowing more of a variety when it came to customization. There was a ton of weapons and items to collect, as well as having various side-quests spread across two episodes. I know a lot of games do this nowadays, such as Borderlands, Destiny, and Warframe.

The thing is that PSO was one of the first fully 3D games to fully utilize these concepts in a way that was both fun and interesting. You had multiple difficulties, a good gameplay loop, a stellar soundtrack, and fantastic gameplay. While previous Phantasy Star games were amazing, Online manages to innovate in a way that made it truly unique.

Sure, the story was now relegated to what was essentially journals, and there was an extreme lack of unique levels. It didn’t matter to me, because the grind was always fun. You were always discovering new weapons, or experimenting with new builds. PSO was a game that excited me each and every time I played it.

Over the years, PSO would receive many updates in the form of re-releases. That’s right, individual updates were sold to players as separate games. This was a time when most people had dial-up internet and couldn’t install large patches/update over the internet, so developers had to sell updates as essentially expansion packs. Thankfully, most of these expansions added a fair bit of new things to the game.

The biggest update that the game got (Aside from the “Episode 1 & 2 upgrade”) was “Blue Burst”. This added a fourth episode to the game, along with a ton of new quests and items. Blue Burst was the final edition of the original game released, being essentially PSO’s ultimate version. It added new story missions, some new bosses, and a bunch of new enemies. The most interesting thing about Episode 4 is that it’s story mode could only be played online, unlike the previous story-modes which only worked offline.

Now, you may be wondering something: What about Episode 3? There was actually a “Phantasy Star Online Episode 3”, but it was a separate spinoff game. I’ll wait until next time to cover this, as there are still a ton of Phantasy Star games I have yet to cover. PSO was definitely a game that entranced me, but Episode III is a game that took me off-guard. Next time, we’ll go into the “dark era” of the Phantasy Star franchise, so stay tuned!

The Problem With Jurassic Park Sequels

Humans have an obsession with the past, it’s engraved in our very beings. We love digging through history to find things that we’ve forgotten, or look back at our past triumphs. Sometimes, we like to search for beings that used to exist, like dinosaurs. The fascination with dinosaurs runs deep, but was brought to its inevitable climax in 1993 with the release of “Jurassic Park”.

Jurassic Park revolved around a group of tourists travelling to the eponymous Jurassic Park, a large island filled with clones of long dead dinosaurs. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg, and featured an all-star cast including Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, and  Richard Attenborough. Jurassic Park ended up being a huge success, due in large part to its massive advertising budget.

Jurassic Park was everywhere in 1993, to the point of it being inescapable. This popularity would eventually prove to be a double-edged sword for the film, since it introduced something that watered the series down: Lots of sequels. In my eyes, the original Jurassic Park worked because it showed corporate greed in its rawest form. The film was basically about bringing dangerous animals back to life, for the sole purpose of profit.

The film showed the darker side of theme park attractions, when things go horribly wrong and out of the creator’s control. Sadly, this sentiment echoed into the franchise itself. After the first film did amazingly well, the film was given two rather disappointing sequels. The first was Jurassic Park: The Lost World, which brought back Jeff Goldblum and made him the star this time around.

The film takes place four years after the original, and has Jeff Goldblum travelling to an island that houses the escaped dinosaurs from the last film. Jeff has to deal with InGen once more, as they attempt to reclaim the dinosaurs for their nefarious deeds. The film received middling scores, yet still did really well in the box-office.

As a result, we got Jurassic World III. Most people agree that the film is rather bland, even when compared to the last film. Despite Sam Niell returning as Alan Grant, the film still lacked in terms of entertainment value. The plot this time had Alan going to the same island Jeff Goldblum went into the last film, in order to find a divorced couple’s lost son. As you can expect, Alan has to deal with a legion of rampaging dinosaurs. The film came out a whopping eight years after the original, at a point where the series was starting to feel played out.

Despite this, Jurassic Park III made bank and did extremely well internationally. After the third film, the series went extremely quiet for the next 14 years. What kept the series alive during this period was its myriad of video-game sequels, and its attraction at Universal Studios. Jurassic Park remained in the public’s eye during this 14 year period, despite the franchise being mostly dead at this point.

This all changed in 2015, with the release of Jurassic World. This film was a big deal at the time, due to the public not having a new JP film for almost a decade and a half. As a result, Jurassic World gained a lot of exposure. Unfortunately, what we got wasn’t a new film at all, but rather an old film with a new coat of paint on it. Jurassic World was the first film all over again, but with new characters (and one returning one, played by his actor from the 90s) in a near identical plot and setting as the first film.

Jurassic World focused on a new protagonist named “Owen Grady”, played by Chris Pratt. Owen is basically an animal trainer, who has trained various dinosaurs within this new Jurassic Park. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there’s a new Jurassic Park in this movie! This made little sense to me, as the first film’s whole plot revolved around showing how a seemingly innocent attraction could become a dangerous land of death. Why would anyone want to make a new park, especially after all of the chaos the first one brought?

The first film’s messages of corporate greed are downplayed, in favor of showing off cool dinosaurs. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but it feels like Jurassic World and its writing/directing team don’t get what made the originals great in the first place. Jurassic Park took a silly concept, but portrayed it in a serious and semi-realistic way.

As a result, the film felt strangely believable. The dinosaurs looked and felt real, and the explanation for how and why they were created made sense to the general viewing audience. The protagonists had goals, dreams, and traits that made them feel like real people. In the original movie, Jeff Goldblum’s character was a firm believer in “chaos theory” and acted as sort of a mouthpiece for the audience.

He believed Jurassic Park was a terrible idea, and his many predictions echoed what the audience thought on the situation. His theories were often true, which resonated even further with audiences. As a result, it’s not uncommon for people to remember this film solely for Jeff Goldblum, even if they can’t recall his character’s name.

The thing is that without a character like the one Jeff Goldblum played, there is no anchor for the audience. There isn’t a firm naysayer to the concept of Jurassic Park in the film, but rather a bunch of characters who fill archetypal roles and are totally cool with dinosaurs. With that being said, despite Jurassic World feeling like a retread with little heart to it, I still found it to be very enjoyable.

It had some fun scenes, some great action, and a fantastic final battle. The thing is that Jurassic Park was more than just these things, and the soul that had once made this series great was slowly vanishing. This brings us to the newest Jurassic Park film, known as “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom”. After Jurassic World brought in over a billion dollars in the box office, Universal wasted no time in hobbling together a sequel.

Fallen Kingdom came to theaters in June of 2018, and was widely considered to be one of the worst Jurassic Park sequels ever. In fact, it has the second lowest review score of all five movies. What makes this film falter so greatly? Well, a lot of this comes down to its use of elements from previous films. While this film seems to be the most connected to the first film than the others before it, it still suffers from being a soulless cash-grab.

The first JW film was certainly flawed, but it was a fun and enjoyable film. Out of all the sequels, it’s probably the most watchable. Fallen Kingdom starts off with an interesting premise that could’ve made for a truly unique Jurassic Park film, had they chosen to stick with it. The general setup for the film was that the island the last movie took place on was being destroyed by a volcano, while people are arguing whether they should save the dinosaurs.

The idea of treating the dinosaurs as an endangered species sounded interesting, but they never did too much with it. Most of the main characters are focused on saving/helping the dinosaurs, despite the fact that they are gigantic and dangerous wild animals that were bred in a tank.

Unfortunately, all of this is dropped 30 minutes into the film. From there, it becomes yet another formulaic Jurassic Park sequel. A lot of it didn’t make sense, the film was filled to the brim with dumb stuff, and the characters were pretty bland. Not even Jeff Goldblum himself could save this movie for me.

To summarize my thoughts, I’m not the biggest fan of the Jurassic Park sequels. Jurassic Park always felt like a concept that only worked well the first time around. That’s why its imitators (such as Godzilla 1998) usually flounder, because they try too hard to capture what the original did well. Not only this, but they often fail to understand what made the first film so great in the first place.

It’s tough to do a sequel to anything, since there are many factors to consider when constructing a sequel. However, none of the following 4 films came close to capturing the raw emotion and creativity that the first film did. Despite being a book adaptation, that first entry did a fair bit to stand on its own. While the Jurassic Park sequels aren’t the worst follow-ups out there, they’re still far from the quality set by the franchise’s first entry.

Fallout New Vegas: “Fallout 76 Experience” Mod Review

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Fruity Bird: A man with a stupid name, who also happens to take a stupid amount of punishment.

Well, Fallout 76 is almost upon us. The release is just five months away, and people are clamoring for what they think will be the “greatest online experience ever”. Well, you no longer have to wait! Why? It’s all because one fan decided to make a mod to emulate that “authentic” online game-play. As a result, we’re gifted with one of the greatest mods of all time: The Fallout 76 Experience!

The main premise of this mod is simple: It emulates a MMORPG experience by filling the game-world with NPCs based off the kinds of people you’d find playing online games. These are the kinds of players who like to spam garbage memes, attack you for no reason at all, and generally try to ruin your day. In essence, this is probably what Fallout 76 will become.

These NPCs are all over the game, and you’ll encounter dozens of them upon installing the mod and starting a new game. Each NPC is more terrible than the last, and will often shout obscenities at you while trying to bludgeon you to death. Heck, one NPC blasts the “Thomas The Tank Engine” theme song nonstop in the starting town!

There’s a lot of craziness like that in the mod. For example, one NPC named “Fruity Bird” (pictured above) attacked me inside the giant dinosaur attraction in Novac. This insane NPC shouted obscenities at me, while wearing a space-suit and trying to punch me to death. What was truly awesome about this NPC is that he feels like he was designed by a player who has zero idea on how to build a character.

His defense stats are through the roof, but his attacks are weak and meaningless. This means that he can take a lot of damage, but can barely dish it out. Sadly, you’ll run into a lot of people like this in a true online game. That’s what makes this mod truly amazing, it’s a multiplayer game without actually having multiplayer in it. All the “players” you run into are NPCs (Non-Player Characters) programmed to either charge at you, stand around pointlessly, or gang up on you alongside other NPCs.

Despite the simplistic nature of the mod, it crafts a more entertaining experience than the last New Vegas mod I reviewed. The New Vegas multiplayer mod was lacking in the fun department, being a broken system where factions rule and solo players can’t hope to stand a chance. At least with this mod, the NPC “players” won’t get in your way as much.

Honestly, I had more fun with just 10 minutes of this mod, than I ever did with the 3 hours I spent with the multiplayer mod. Of course, I’d love if New Vegas had a truly good multiplayer mod. That being said, I like that this mod emulates what an online Fallout would be like.

Let’s be real, Fallout 76 will probably be the same as the “Fallout 76 Experience” mod. I can picture it now, people running around, spouting memes, and shoot anything that moves. It’s truly the kind of online experience I can get invested in! Well, not really, but at least I can get some items from destroying these NPCs. In the end, it’s the loot that really matters!

The Infamous Spanish Garfield and Friends Ad

Anyone remember Garfield? I know that’s a dumb question, since Garfield is one of the most recognizable cartoon/comic characters in the world. For the few who are uninitiated, Garfield is a fat feline who loves eating lasagna and sleeping constantly. His owner is the lovable loser John Arbuckle, who also owns an overly excited dog named Odie.

Most stories usually involve Jon putting up with Garfield’s shenanigans, or Jon’s constant attempts to find a significant other. The most popular iteration of Garfield by far was the “Garfield and Friends” series, which most people agree is one of the only things to come out of Garfield. Garfield and Friends (along with its various specials) are one of the few things Jim Davis hasn’t run into the ground.

So, that brings us to this old (yet rather well-known) commercial for Mexican Cartoon Network made in the year 2000. It’s 30 seconds of “What the hell did I just watch?”, and it’s awesome. The commercial itself mostly re-uses animation cells from the show, but uses them in a rather… Unique fashion.

The commercial itself starts with Jon walking into the house and finding it completely destroyed. As Jon questions why the house is in shambles, Garfield stares forward with a menacing grin. Jon continues to walk around the house, continually asking Garfield what’s going on. The fat cat doesn’t do anything, aside from grin like a Cheshire Cat.

The commercial ends with Garfield advancing on Jon, supposedly devouring him. The final shot of the commercial is just Garfield spitting out Jon’s shoe, complete with a cartoonish sound effect. So yeah, this commercial is a thing that exists. One may wonder why a Spanish Garfield ad would take a horror-themed route. While I don’t speak Spanish, I get the feeling that it was made for a Halloween marathon/airing of some kind.

The general concept does remind me of those Garfield flash games, particularly “Garfield’s Scary Scavenger Hunt”. Regardless of why the commercial was made, it is rather entertaining for what it is. It’s nice to see a commercial take a dark spin on an established character, even if it’s mostly reused animation and stock backgrounds. It definitely did something that the owners of Garfield haven’t done for years now: Try something new.

Fallout New Vegas: Multiplayer Mod Review

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It’s just like regular New Vegas, except everyone will kill you on sight and half of them will most likely be illiterate!

How does one define insanity? How about putting a bunch of internet dorks in a post-apocalypse, and having them nuke each other to oblivion. No, I’m not talking about Fallout 76, but rather the multiplayer mod for Fallout: New Vegas! It’s a rather new mod, and lacking in quite a few essential features. So yeah, this game is a very rough work work-in-progress. With that being said, let’s talk about it!

For those of you who don’t know, Fallout: New Vegas was an open-world RPG/FPS hybrid released in 2010 for PC and all the current-gen consoles at the time. The game took place in the nuclear apocalypse, and served as more of a direct sequel to Fallout 2 than Fallout 3 was. About a year and a half ago, fans got together and decided to finally give Fallout: New Vegas something that fans have been clamoring for: Online multiplayer!

Unfortunately, Fallout: New Vegas’ multiplayer mod is way too flawed to be fun. First of all, the game crashes A LOT. Fallout New Vegas is already a fairly unstable game, but adding multiplayer makes it even worse. The game crashes at the most inopportune and nonsensical times. It crashes when you’re in a fight, when your talking to people, or even when your exiting the game.

That’s not even the worst part of the mod, sadly. So, you’d think the online multiplayer component would be the main selling point. After all, playing Fallout with your friends is supposed to be fun! Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for this mod. The problem here is that every time you die in the game, you lose all your gear and stats. This wouldn’t normally be a bad thing, but the problem is that it’s a PVP game.

More often than not, players will just kill you and steal all your items. For example, there was one user who killed me in a town, while using a rocket launcher. This town was Freeside, which for some reason isn’t a safe-zone. You’d think Freeside and the neighboring city of New Vegas would both be safe zones, because they are the most important locations in the game. Well, I guess the makers of this mod didn’t think so.

So, this user murdered me with a rocket launcher and took all my stuff. He then spouted off a nonsense meme, in an attempt to sound like a badass. Sadly, there’s more than one annoying belligerent user in this game. During one of my gameplay experiences, I heard various complaints from people being nuked constantly in the starting town of Primm. While I get that this is supposed to be a PVP game, it’s so unfairly balanced and poorly programmed that it’s only fun to people who already have good gear.

People who join factions get all these benefits and bonuses, while solo players are often cannon fodder for the various groups in the game. As soon as you make any sort of progress, there’s an angry player-killer around the corner ready to steal it out from under you. It takes you out of the experience, because you have to be wary of pretty much any other user you run into.

The game feels like it’s setup more for griefing and exploiting, rather than having fun. The aspect that I liked the least out of all of them is the character customization, or lack thereof. You see, you are stuck with a template character when you boot up the game. You can’t pick your stats, looks, or traits. Pretty much anything you can acquire in the game is forfeit once you die anyways, so I guess customization is a fruitless endeavor all around.

So, I’ve complained a lot about this mod, but is there anything good about it? Well, you can exploit the game for cheap and easy level-ups by entering The Tops casino, logging out, and then going back in. Also, you skip most of the early portions of the game, and don’t have to bother with the story. Other than that, the mod is very bare bones and offers little in the way of fun.

You want a good Fallout MMO? You could wait for Fallout 76, that may be good. There’s also another fan-made Fallout online experience, called “FOnline: Reloaded”. It’s based off the first 2 Fallout games, and lets you keep all your stuff when you die. It’s actually fun to play, focuses more on the RPG elements, and doesn’t cut out your customization completely. Honestly, it’s the better game in almost every way.

So, should you play the Fallout: New Vegas Multiplayer mod? No, don’t bother. This game is pure annoyance, lacking any of the qualities that made the original game good. Just play the single-player game if you have it, do not bother with this broken mess. If you are interested, I’d suggest waiting a year or two and see if there are any improvements by then.

In FV:MP’s current state, it is not fun and its not playable. You’d be better off playing any other Fallout game in the series, even Fallout 4. The mod may improve, it may not. It depends entirely on the people working on it, and how they choose to craft the mod moving forward. If it stays in its broken state, I can’t imagine too many people continuing to stick around.

Syrup’s Indie Showcase: Starbound

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The worst Pokemon

Space is the final frontier, or so they say. Venturing into the starry sky to explore the unending abyss that is the void of space has been an interest of humans for centuries. After inventing space travel, the fascination with the starry void grew even larger. This lead to the creation of the sci-fi genre, and all the various pieces of media that make it up. Today, I shall discuss a game that captures that magical feeling of space exploration. Let’s talk about the sci-fi Indie game classic, known only as “Starbound”!

Starbound is a survival/crafting game that is heavily inspired by Terraria. This isn’t too surprising, especially considering the fact that one of Terraria’s lead developers did work on the game. While Starbound does play exactly like Terraria, it does some things to mix up the formula. However, both games start pretty much the same way. You end up stuck in a large grassy wasteland, and you are tasked with mining and acquiring gear and weapons by mining for materials. That’s where the similarities end, however.

You play a survivor of earth’s destruction, and have to find your way off of the planet and stop the evil known as “The Ruin” from consuming the rest of the galaxy. It’s your typical sci-fi plot, nothing too original or unique here. After fixing your ship and getting it in working order, you can now traverse the galaxy at your leisure.

At this point, the game opens up immensely. There are so many planets, side-quests, and activities you can take part in. The universe is procedurally generated, and seemingly unending. You can spend hours just doing side-quests across the galaxy, growing crops, crafting new weapons, or just forging your own adventures. Best of all, the game touts multiplayer and allows you to play through the story with friends.

Starbound is great, because it takes what made Terraria great and multiplied it by infinity. It even allowed you to pilot a giant robot, something Terraria never did! Starbound took Terraria into space, and allowed it to operate on a galaxy-wide scale. Starbound is great, but not without its flaws. The combat is pretty basic, in that you have normal attacks and special attacks. Unfortunately, each weapon only has 1 special attack. This means that most weapons are one-trick ponies, with only a single ability per weapon.

The game is also very grind-heavy, though this is common of the genre. The problem isn’t the grind itself, but the amount of grinding you have to do. If you want anything cool in this game, you have to work for it. This sometimes requires farming, building structures, or participating in space encounter missions.

While side activities can be fun, some can be rather annoying. The aforementioned space encounters can be really aggravating if you’re unprepared. One thing I really didn’t enjoy about this game was the bosses, which felt way too gimmicky and didn’t make use of the game’s wide array of weapons and gear.

This is still a solid title, especially for the price. I paid 11 bucks for this on the Steam summer sale and felt like I got what I paid for. Sure, it plays identically to Terarria and is lacking in terms of bosses, but it’s got a lot of heart. It’s nice to see a deviation on the “crafting game” formula that involves tons of space travel. To me, this game is what “No Man’s Sky” should’ve been. Truly, Starbound is the best of the weird open-world sci-fi survival games.