Month
February 2011

Top Five SNES Shoot em ups

There had to be a ‘cute em up’ on the list somewhere and this is surely the finest on the SNES! Indeed, although there had already been numerous games in the TwinBee series, this was the first one to be deemed worthy of a release outside of Japan. It’s the easiest game in this list by far too, which makes it a nice break for one thing, and it’s certainly a rather unique game too. [...]

Street Fighter 2 Turbo

Part of the game is also to pick your fighter. I have and will always pick Ryu as the fighter of choice for myself. I like him mostly because he is the easiest fighter to play with and has very interesting and effective moves. Of course, all fighters have their strengths and weaknesses to keep the game balanced. I used to know a couple of freaks that loved playing as Dhalsim and kicked my ass with that Indian fighter. [...]

Top Five Spectrum Compilations

Anyone who grew up in the 80’s and had a classic 8-bit micro would have worshipped the game compilations that appeared regularly throughout the latter half of that decade, and with good reason – a single new game would cost us upwards of £8, so who could say no to a collection of five, sometimes even more, games for a pound or two more? Whoever thought them up was a hero to all of us Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, and Commodore 64 owners! [...]

Puzzle Bobble

The one-player mode is pretty easy, comprising of 30 rounds, but it’s still great fun and relaxing to play. It initially appears to be one of those games that any old monkey could be good at, but it does have its testing moments with some screens crammed full of bubbles in no discernible pattern! Some others, however, can be cleared with a single well-aimed shot, and bouncing the bubbles off the side walls of the stage is an extremely useful art to learn. [...]

FC Genjin

Well another week and another edition of retro game of the week. This time around I’m basing it off a game for the Famicom/NES that I just got in the mail not long ago. FC Genjin(Bonk’s Adventure) for the Famicom is surely one not to miss. The game is your typical platformer that’s unique in many ways. In this game, you take control of umm Bonk which is a big headed cave boy! [...]

Could Blizzard’s Next MMO Titan really be a Halo MMO?

Taken one at a time, these are just mere coincidences. However, combine them all and you have a legitimate conspiracy on your hands! So? Are all of these mere coincidences? Is Blizzard planting these seeds to troll everyone? Or maybe, just maybe, the secret is out and Blizzard’s new MMO is a Halo MMO! All I know is, what my insider friend told me matches all the conspiracies listed and goes hand in hand with a potential Halo MMO. For now, only those in Activision-Blizzard (and maybe Bungie) know the truth, but we are free to speculate. [...]

Marvel vs Capcom 2

Probably one of the best console fighters ever, MvC2 is just a gem of a game. Overall, many people have said that the Dreamcast version is the best one of them all. Luckily, that’s the only one I have come across so I can’t complain or make a judgment about what people are saying about each version (XBOX, PS2, and DC). [...]

Battle Squadron

One of the first things you’ll notice about this game is undoubtedly its difficulty. Whilst it’s true that the number of lives, credits, enemy bullets on screen at once and enemy bullet speed can all be altered, even on the lesser settings, this game is still tougher than a disgruntled Chuck Norris. There’s not a single enemy in this game that goes down from a single shot, so until you’ve powered up your ship, prepare to practise your bullet-dodging skills! Even once you’re powered up things are no picnic either. [...]

The Music Hall: Instant Remedy

As some of you may know, I’m a big fan of videogame music, particularly of the retro variety. It was around… hmm, I guess 10 years ago now, that I started my collection, initially by recording MegaDrive tunes using the splendid Gens emulator, but I didn’t discover the remix community until a bit later. It was while searching for the original OutRun music that I first encountered Instant Remedy, and it opened the door to an unimaginable number of songs. [...]

The Interview: Andreas Heldt: Solar Struggle

We’ve always been attached to space-themed video games. As we saw the “Solar Struggle” project, which was maintained by one man, we almost instantly decided that we had to support the game! Ever since did we extended the game and also introduced the “Skirmish” mode, which is the main element of the new “Solar Struggle: Survival”. We just weren’t happy with the original implementation of the skirmish mode and felt that the players wanted a more arcade-style game. [...]

F-Zero

Obviously the Grand Prix mode forms the bulk of what F-Zero has to offer but it’s not the full extent. Also available is a Practise mode, which allows you to do just that on seven courses from the various leagues against a chosen opponent, or no opponent at all (making it a time-trial mode, essentially). One problem with many racing games in my experience is the difficulty curve. Happily, it’s nigh-on perfectly pitched here. Sure, this can be a pretty frustrating game on occasion, but it’s also one that rewards perseverance. [...]

Sonic 2

This week we have a true classic of the Sega ages! Sonic 2 defined the way we looked at sonic games. This is probably the best sonic for the Genesis (Sonic 3 comes real close) because of how many memories we had with it. For me, it was the first Genesis game I ever played, in fact, it was the first time I ever saw the Genesis and it was all thanks to the popularity of this franchise. The game is breath taking from beginning to end with some of the best level design in any Sonic game. [...]

The Interview: Jonathan Biddle: Curve Studios

I think it’s been used just plenty! There’s definitely been a resurgence in the classic platformer in recent years. If we look at remakes or retro revivals such as Bionic Commando Rearmed, Rocket Knight, Mega Man 9 and 10 there’s a trend to bring back exactly those kinds of games experiences. Mario is still around in his classic 2D form as recently as last year in New Super Mario Bros Wii, Contra was recently released on the Wii, Hard Corps Uprising is a classic game in the same vein, the new Rush N Attack also leans heavily on the retro style. [...]

Seppo Santapukki: Prank Ltd

The second Mega Man was my first encounter to the series, igniting a love that still keeps growing after 20 years – thanks to Mega Man IX and X. It taught me patience, dexterity, and above all: trying even harder upon failure. Additionally, one can only respect the fact that the music is still in a league of its own. [...]

Cataclysm: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

For the first time ever, mages seem to be underpowered unless you like jumping around spamming ice lance all day! Maybe underpowered isn’t the write word, but they do seem to have a nice big target on their back. Melee teams seem to run a train on them all day and since all the healers have dispel and frost armor is not nearly as useful as it was, they appear to be in a dire situation. [...]

Top Five Saturn Fighting Games

After revitalising the fighting game genre with Street Fighter 2, the mid-90’s saw a huge influx of titles. The 16-bit consoles got a lot of good (and not so good) ones and this continued with the 32-bit systems with the added bonus of some fancy new 3D ones too. Many franchises popular today were born during this period, with the Saturn as well as the PlayStation getting some top titles. Given the unfortunate lack of success for the Saturn outside its native territory, many of its best games never left Japan including a lot of fighting games. Consequently there’s still a lot I haven’t played, but of the ones I have played, these are my favourites: [...]

My Favourite Games – Part 3

Back in my Sega fanboy days, I used to love it when a game like this came along. It would give me more ammunition to use against those who would seek to besmirch the good Sega name, and would almost always overshadow similar efforts on other machines (at least until the SNES came along!). I can fondly recall many arguments with my Amiga fanboy friend at college. Try as he might, he could never convince me that Project X was a patch on this game! I didn’t have to argue hard either. Featuring lush graphics, an awesome rocking soundtrack, kick-ass weaponry, big bosses, and eight varied levels (including the awesome lava stage, pictured), there’s not really much more a shoot ’em up fan could ask for here. [...]

Chase HQ review

Before the days of polygons, it was pretty rare to find a decent driving game. Even in the arcades they were pretty rare. If you asked any gamers around my age to name their favourite, most would probably say OutRun, and with good reason – it was a revolutionary game that made a huge impact. There was a few other good examples from around that time as well though, and one was Chase HQ. [...]

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2

This game is a lot of fun either way especially for TMNT fans. You get to fight your old buddies from the cartoon series like Bebop, Baxter, and some polar bear that froze New York City……yeah all of them! The game does get a little boring after killing off over five hundred foot soldiers but the atmosphere and the attempt to make the game feel like the arcade game(which rocks) keeps it interesting. [...]

Ridge Racer

Overall, Ridge Racer was an enjoyable arcade game, but is unsuitable as a home game without a radical overhaul, which this conversion has not received. There really is very little to return to here, after the first few days – the desire to improve lap times is something that prolongs the lifespan of most driving games, but when that game only has one course, it’s not nearly as attractive a proposition. [...]

Exploring the NES – Part 1

As I briefly mentioned in my ‘Exploring the Commodore 64’ feature, the computers or consoles we look back upon with most affection are usually the first ones we got, and these are usually gifts from our parents for Christmas or something similar. Just as I missed out on C64 gaming by virtue of receiving the splendid gift of a ZX Spectrum, I also completely missed out on Famicom / NES gaming by becoming a Master System owner. [...]

Captain Tsubasa 3

This time around I will suggest any of you to pick up a copy of Captain Tsubasa 3 for the Super Famicom. This game is unique in many ways. The most unique way this game separates from any other game is because it has a Soccer/RPG genre glued to it. How can this work together you say? Well the geniuses at Tecmo did it with high success. [...]

The Music Hall: Star Control 2 – The Precursors Remixes

The remixes so far are mostly in a dance/trance/techno style, which suits the game pretty well. They are a mixture of alien race theme songs, and other songs such as the hyperspace, quasispace, battle themes, etc, and are free to download, so you have no excuse not to listen to them! Granted, neither game music or dance music are to everyone’s tastes, but those of you who enjoy either are advised to check them out. It just goes to show how dedicated the Star Control fan community is! [...]

Æon Flux

For those that may not know Æon Flux started out as an animated series on MTV. During its run, Æon Flux gaming popularity and in 1996 a video game was announced. The game was loosely based on the television episode titled “The Demiurge.” Æon Flux was to be developed by Cryo Interactive and was to be published by Viacom New Media. [...]

Defenders of Oasis

This week I have a real treat and probably a game many of you didn’t knew about. Defenders of Oasis is a Dragon Warrior(Quest now) RPG that involves a kingdom going at war. It’s the cliche storyline but wasn’t this what the games were and still are about back then. Who cares about a cliche story when you have such fun gameplay. This game is challenging in many factors but mostly in battle. I got killed five times at the first dungeon before I was able to get past it….yeah it’s a challenge at least for me. [...]

Super Sprint

There can’t be too many people that don’t know all about Super Sprint, and there’s not really too much that you can say about it. It was a simple game, even compared to others of the time. It’s based on either Formula One or Indy/Cart racing (probably the latter considering how unpopular F1 is in the US) and can be played by between one and three players simultaneously, whilst a fourth ‘drone’ car is controlled by the computer. This was before the days of linking machines together of course, so this is achieved by presenting each course in its entirety from an overhead perspective. [...]

Alien Crush

Graphically, the game is a real treat, especially considering this was an early Engine game. I think it’s safe to say that the Alien movies were something of an inspiration for the visuals this game, though! Still, if you’re going to be influenced by things, it might as well be the best things, right? The sound, too, is decent enough. There’s the choice of two tunes before playing – Lunar Eclipse and the splendidly-named Demons Undulate, and the sound effects are suitably befitting of the game’s style. [...]