Ghosts N Goblins Flash Game

ghosts n goblins flash game

Ghosts N Goblins

The classic arcade hit in flash version. You play the role of Arthur the knight his mission is to rescue the princess from evil ghosts and goblins. Grab and use extra suits of armor and new weapons to fight your way to the end. Released in 1985, It’s often said to be one of the hardest games of all time. Trust me, this game is hardcore.

  • Press Enter to start

  • Use your Keyboards Arrow keys to walk and climb up ladders

  • Press Shift to jump

  • Hit Ctrl (Control) to fire your weapon

[Our Review of Ghost N Goblins]

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose

Tiny Toon Adventures

Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose

This game took everything that the previous games did well and took it to another level. An amazing game and a true pick of the week is Tiny Toons -Buster Busts Loose-. The game is mainly a series of shows that you play through as an actor. You will find yourself in different levels such as the Acme Academy or a haunted house. The gameplay is quite entertaining as you can make Buster run by pressing the L or R buttons on your controller. Be careful when using this technique as if you do it in the wrong place, the consequences will be deadly!

Tiny Toon Adventures

The graphics of the game are quite good. They match scenes from the cartoon and are well made. Konami made sure you were playing a Tiny Toons atmosphere kind of game. All the characters look how they are supposed to look and the scenes are a joy to watch. With such a colorful and vivid game, there is nothing to hate about it. The sound is another winner as you will be familiarized with tunes related to the cartoon. Not only that but some remixes of them are quite inspiring and brings you to the moment of the game you are actually playing. There is no way you should play this game on mute! Just sit back and enjoy the tunes!

Tiny Toon Adventures

The game showcases the usual Konami bad ass options as you’ll only get the true ending by beating the game in hard. Konami used to do this to all of their hit games back in the day to make sure you lived up to their expectations. This game can be quite tough especially in stage five but you’ll be able to go through with enough practice and patience. After all, it’s just another one of those fun games that can stay quite fun even at its hardest moments.

OG Staff playing the game!

Castlevania Dracula X

I thought it’d be interesting to start showing off some obscure pirated/counterfeit games. Pirated games can be a weird thing. They are fake, rare, and cared for or hated. Allow me to introduce the pirate of the day…

Castlevania Dracula X for SNES

Pirate Games - Castlevania Dracula X

There’s not a whole lot different from this pirated version, except if you look very close at the artwork on the label, it’s not as clear of an image. The game is also in Japanese. Other than that I believe it works like a charm. Thought I’d share a few photos of the game.

Pirate Games - Castlevania Dracula X

The back side of the cartridge is blank as can be.

Some screen shots from game play.

Dead Space 3

Dead-Space-3When I first saw the promotional materials for Dead Space 3 I was extremely worried.  The first game was such a sleeper gem that new copies still sell for sixty dollars online, the second took the “survival horror in space” formula established in the first and ramped up the creepiness factor, essentially turning it into the series I always imagined Resident Evil was destined to become. (Unfortunately Resident Evil became Resident Evil 6, the series no one wanted it to become) I knew they would eventually make a third game but why is it taking place in a snow-filled environment similar to Lost Planet and not in a creaky spaceship infested by necromorphs?  The environment and brilliant use of sound design is what made the previous titles so exceptional in the first place!  Wait, it’s also going to include a co-op campaign in a game series that has literally made me jump out of my seat on multiple occasions because it is intended to be played in the dark by yourself?  Won’t these changes ruin this beloved franchise?

Dead-Space-3

Fortunately no.  There are a few issues with the game, but none of them stem from changing the setting or pacing of the series.  This is definitely a more action-oriented title however, whereas in previous games I was always struggling with ammo and health management, that was never a worry this time around.  You don’t even actually get to the ice planet Tau Volantis until roughly 9 hours into the game, so there’s still plenty of tight corridor and zero gravity outer space action to sink your plasma cutter into.  The graphics and especially the lighting are still stunningly gorgeous, and the sound design exudes the same ambient dread that you would expect from the series.

Dead-Space-3

One phenomenal addition is the ability to craft your own weapons from salvageable parts found in the environment.  Any weapon you find can be deconstructed into pieces that can be used to craft other and ostensibly better armaments.  Want a flamethrower / plasma cutter combo?  No problem.  Or how about my favorite creation thus far: a shotgun / line gun amalgamation that also stuns necromorphs with electricity?  You could literally spend dozens of hours perfecting your ultimate weapon hybrid, and it’s always fun to test them out against puke spewing necromorphs.

Dead-Space-3

The major issue I had with the game is one I didn’t anticipate: the writing.  The game starts off strong but during the midpoint I almost started cringing at some of the dialogue and directions the characters are taken in.  Without entering into spoiler territory, essentially Ellie, the girl who you risked your ass (and sanity) to save in Dead Space 2 has moved on to another mate who is basically the equivalent of the douchey blonde villain in so many eighties movies. (And unfortunately not voiced by James Spader or William Zabka)  When the story turned into Tau Volantis 90210 I mentally checked out, and while I don’t remember the narratives in the previous two titles being anything special, I also don’t remember them being absolutely grating either.  Sure, when you can lop off the head of a space marine with an electrified rotating ripper blade it’s easy to forget the story, but like so many Hollywood movies I’ll never understand why the writing is the hardest thing to nail.

Dead-Space-3

The co-op play however is thankfully awesome.  While it does wring much of the suspense out of the game it’s still immense fun ravaging aliens with a buddy, sharing blueprints of uniquely crafted weaponry, and saving each other’s asses from obligatory surprise attacks.  There are also optional missions that can only be tackled in co-op, giving the game some excellent replay value.  Co-op play is also of the drop in, drop out variety, so you can recruit a partner at any time to help you tackle some of the game’s tougher challenges.  You can also play through the story in Classic mode (similar to Dead Space 1 with only original weapons and no crafting) or Pure Survival mode, where everything, even health packs and ammo, must be painstakingly assembled.  These variations will provide a much-needed challenge when compared to the regular campaign, especially when conquered with a partner.

Overall Dead Space 3 doesn’t disappoint.  It does sacrifice sheer horror for guns blazing action, but the addition of weapon building and co-op actually helps move the series forward instead of treading some of the same roads.  The environment is definitely more John Carpenter’s The Thing than Ridley Scott’s Alien, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing at all.  Annoying issues with the narrative aside, the game is completely worth the purchase if you are a fan of the series or a well-crafted third person adventure.

Capcom’s Arcade Cabinet Review

Capcom, a staple in the world of video gaming for decades, is celebrating their 30th anniversary with the release of Capcom Arcade Cabinet, a downloadable game pack for the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3.

avengers

For 400 Microsoft Points (or $4.99) players can now purchase the initial release pack containing classic shooter 1943: The Battle of Midway, side scrolling Black Tiger and the hardly remembered Capcom arcade release Avengers. Other games will be made available for add-on packs to Capcom Arcade Cabinet periodically, all at a higher price per-game than this introductory release.

Seemingly influenced by the earlier Game Room download for the XBox 360, Capcom’s multi-game set-up doesn’t exactly provide the same arcade-like feel. The majority of the screens are filled with a generic backdrop that is more akin to a plain arcade cocktail table kit than anything distinctive to the original arcade feel. Given how perfectly the ambiance of the arcade was captured in Capcom’s previous Final Fight download, this comes at a bit of a surprise and disappointment.

1942

The emulation of the games included thus far appear to be spot-on, even providing the options for different versions of the game from around the world. Graphics, sounds and music look and sound just like the arcade originals and controls are very responsive.

One of the potentially biggest issues I can see with Capcom Arcade Cabinet, however, will be the depth of game selection. While several early Capcom arcade titles proved popular when new, the average gamer never saw the majority of them. Capcom’s main claims to fame in the 1980s came from it’s successful Nintendo Entertainment System releases, followed by the Street Fighter II series in arcades the following decade. For every Ghosts ‘n Goblins will be a lesser title such as Son Son that most gamers simply won’t remember.

black tiger

This first game pack represents this perfectly. While 1943 was a huge coin-op success across the world, Black Tiger saw far less success and distribution. Avengers seems to be included only due to the name, perhaps trying to capitalize on a familiar sounding name instead of nostalgia. The game has nothing to do with the comic book or popular film, providing players with a weird top-down beat-em-up game that is totally lacking in appearances by Iron Man, Captain America and Scarlett Johansson.

That being said, the early price point isn’t a bad deal for the still-fun 1943, and worth a download at least to have that as a fun way to pass the time. Otherwise, the player’s experience withCapcom Arcade Cabinet will live and die mostly on what they knew or remember from the earliest arcade releases from the now-iconic video game company.

Neutopia 2

Neutopia2-turbografx-16

This week we look at the classic action adventure game Neutopia 2. Developed by Hudson Soft and released for the TurboGrafx-16 in 1992, it is the direct follow up to Neutopia where you are Jazeta’s son and your mission is to defeat the evil Dirth and save your father.

Neutopia2-turbografx-16

The game plays a lot like the Legend of Zelda games on the NES and SNES where as you explore a large 2D world taking on tasks and quests in any order you wish. A strange note about this game is at the end it mentions that Neutopia 3 would be coming soon, but no such game was ever released.

The William Volk Show

william-d-volk-playscreenThis week we were honored to talk with  William Volk. You can read about some of his many accomplishments in the interview we did a few years back. We began our conversation with a brief history of how he got into gaming and his work at Avalon Hi, Activation and his current work at PlayScreen. Our conversation covered a wide array of topics from mobile gaming, the video game violence debate and how technology and games can help with learning and improving education.

Also at one point you will hear us talk about a pretty awesome video so here it is.

So check it out and let us know what you think and remember, you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

Panzer Dragoon Orta

 Panzer Dragoon Orta
After giving Sega fans the few bones they could get with the Saturn, Panzer Dragoon stayed dead during the Dreamcast days. However the long awaited sequel did hit the Xbox, and although it didn’t become a RPG like Saga might have left fans thinking where the series might head, it was arguably the best in the series.
Panzer Dragoon Orta
With little question or doubt either. It was easily the best looking PD so far, and it expanded the gameplay with 3 wing forms which could make you faster, or stronger, better shots, etc. The bosses were rather lamely designed visually, but were unique in a Japanese version of Tim Burton on crack kind of way. Despite my criticism, the boss fights were pretty fun, and the levels were like going on a visual roller coaster ride that used your mind and reflexes.
 Panzer Dragoon Orta
Granted it is a bit short, and I really couldn’t care less for the story or characters. Something about a girl and her dragon, blah blah, evil empire, blah blah. Kinda left me with melancholic feeling honestly. I guess the story doesn’t matter, but it did rub me the wrong way.
Panzer Dragoon Orta
A nice bonus in Orta, is that it came with a free version of the original Panzer Dragoon, just in-case you were one of billions of people who didn’t own a Sega Saturn. It holds up rather decently, though the graphics do show their age. Starfox 64 defiantly whoops the original Panzer Dragoon in all aspects.
 Panzer Dragoon Orta
It might be a tiny gem in a great pile of Xbox games, but you can find it rather easily and quite cheap. If you like Starfox, Panzer Dragoon, rail shooters, or good games in general and you have an Xbox (I guess the 360 plays it too) then you are truly missing out of one of Sega’s best efforts in recent memory which is pretty sad since the game came out in December of 2002.

Cool Spot

Cool-Spot

Format- Sega Mega Drive

Genre- 2D platformer

You probably know that Cool Spot was 7 up’s mascot during the 80’s and 90’s, but only really in the US. Therefore the UK got Spot surfing on a generic non-branded bottle in the games opening screen rather than one with a 7up label…but this is all rather beside the point. What’s important is how the game itself holds up.

Personally, I found this a tough game to like. Spot himself is a well animated character, but to the point where his slow ‘i’m so cool’ walk makes the game more annoying rather than fun. The same can be said for the game overall.

Cool-Spot

Plus, the opening level alone is tough enough to make you spit your lemonade out in sheer frustration. Set on a beach (see picture above), the stage is swarming with crabs that for reasons unknown want Spot dead. Difficult to simply jump over (you usually just end up landing on another one and hurting yourself), to make decent progress you have to slowly work your way to the right and picking off the crustacean cronies one by one with your soda spray attack. This is not fun.

Cool-Spot

The next level on a port is teeming with even more foes, and it’s here where I usually struggle to progress any further. I’m not helped by the fact I find Spot a fairly annoying character. He’s not as detestable as say, Gex, but I find his laid back attitude makes him look more a tool than actually seem cool.

Even the rather good music can’t save this game from being merely a forgotten relic of the over-populated 16-bit platformer crowd. Cool Spot might be worth a punt at a low price to see one of the better games based on a drink, but it’s in a very small playing field in that respect – and there are certainly a lot better platformers out there.

Demon Sword

Demon Sword

Overall rating: 4/5 Stars

Demon Sword - NES

Released in 1989 by Taito, a developer perhaps best known for their arcade ports, Demon Sword was a rollicking foray into classic Japanese martial arts action for the Nintendo Entertainment System. With a mysterious warrior set against gorgeous backdrops fighting relentless horde of demon foes, this was a title that implemented some great ideas in a slick package.

Demon Sword was also remarkably similar to an earlier Taito release, The Legend of Kage, which was produced in 1986 from the arcade game of the same title. Both feature identical controls for throwing weapon, sword, and jumping, with storylines featured around lone fighters against out-of-nowhere enemies en route to boss fights and power-ups, and even the same flair for tree-jumping and background-climbing. In fact, the two games were so similar that pirate copies of Demon Sword were often re-labeled and marketed as Legend of Kage 2. It can only be assumed that Kage had such success that Taito decided to reload a the similar development engine to create Demon Sword.

Gameplay

Demon Sword - NES

Demon Sword boasts fast-paced high-flying gameplay that feels like playing a video game version of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (though, in fair credit, that film paid homage to earlier Asian epics). Some may say that giving Demon Sword four stars out of five is awfully high for a cartridge clone of a game that was already an arcade retread, has sub-par presentation, holds limited depth, and offers a quirky difficulty level, but Demon Sword passes the fun test and gives us a game that is truly wondrous the first time you pick it up. If you have not tried it in a while, fire it up again, and remember how awesome it felt the first time you realized you could leap an entire screen upward and from treetop to treetop in one jump.

Demon Sword - NES

The player controls the hero Victar, who wields an old weapon, the titular “Demon Sword,” with which to battle the malevolent forces of the generically named Dark Fiend. Battling across three worlds of two levels each before the final world stage, this game utilizes the somewhat distinctive control scheme of having the up button on the directional pad jump, while the A button is a sword slash and the B button throws a dart. Whereas dozens of other platforms would harbor one button for jumping and one for attacking, Demon Sword instantly offered two buttons for attacking. This delivers wonderfully combative gameplay, and rather than marginalize the jump feature, it is quite

the leap, as the character seamlessly glides across the screen at superhuman speeds and heights. In addition to using the Select button as activation for spells that get collected, it is truly remarkable that so few NES title used a similar control scheme, when this one so clearly works to enormous enjoyment.

Demon Sword - NES

This can be a difficult game to master, especially some of the boss fights, but once you get the hang of the patterns of the infinitely generated hordes of enemies, it becomes a fun little romp. Victar can collect different power-ups; some that increase his life or respawn, others that change his speed or the speed of his darts, one that shortly allows him to throw darts in four different directions at one time, and keys that open special areas that reward miniboss-beatdowns with devastating special spells.

Demon Sword - NES

Demon Sword is one NES game that defies description: It is simply difficult to portray, in words, the b.a. awesomeness of being aiming to slash a sword, throw a dart in eight different directions, and jump like only a handful of other characters have ever jumped before, all while casting spells and collecting power-ups to defeat the relentless demon horde. It may not be for everyone, but this game is to arcade-style platformers what Guerilla War is to overhead shooters: A well-honed near-perfection that learned its lessons from previous, similar titles.

Graphics

Demon Sword - NES

The looks of the Demon Sword game are a step up from Legend of Kage, and intriguingly stylized, with colored outlines on the characters for example. Some of the background elements are perhaps too obviously tiled, almost to a distracting extent, but they are certainly colorful. Games like Ninja Gaiden boasted better and more dynamic level designs; however, Demon Sword definitely delivers in the “wow this game plays really fast and fluid without many flickering or sprite problems” department. A slick, somewhat-polished experience.

Sound

Demon Sword - NES

The musical accompaniment is nothing legendary, but provides an appropriately up-tempo beat for the levels, perfectly complementing the face-paced action. Otherwise, the music here is standard: The boss tracks sound like boss tracks, etc. The effects are simple, not understated or overwrought, and are standard without complaint with one exception: The sword-slash effect is very metallic, and sounds like contact is made even when you are swinging at air. You get used to it, but until then, it can give a moment or two of cofusion.

Originality

Demon Sword - NES

The control scheme for Demon Sword was masterful, seeming to provide an additional layer of gameplay that other NES titles could not offer. It may have been adopted from Legend of Kage, along with other elements, but no matter where it comes from, that control scheme should be lauded somehow, with the up button failing to catch on as a jump effect until the practice became nearly universal in the fighting game genre. Otherwise, the power-up system is well-done, if not completely 100% innovative; it is fun to know that some power-ups are immediate, while the magic spells must be earned in secreted areas and have limited use. The enemy designs are noteworthy as well, especially the bosses (one difficult-to-forget example: the old man boss on 1-2 that lobs overpowered bombs at you).

Demon Sword has its flaws: Quick play-through, learning curve difficulty, a hit detection radius that takes some getting used to, perhaps a penalty for following in Legend of Kage’s footsteps almost too literally, and a lack of polish in its audiovisuals. However, for taking the proven formula of the Kage game and refining it to provide one of the best, most intense martials-arts epic experiences on the Nintendo Entertainment System, Demon Sword throws four stars out of five.

Capcom Arcade Cabinet

capcom_arcade_cabinet

Retro gaming is as popular as ever and this is evident by all the releases of classic games. Capcom recently announced its Arcade Cabinet which will feature classic Capcom games in full HD and you can customize it on your PS3 or XBOX 360. A total of 15 titles will be release from Feb 19th until May featuring titles from 1984 to 1988 and you can purchase the ones you like, but if you order all 15 you get two bonus games for free.

Here is more information from Capcom’s Press release:

Downloading an individual title or pack will also give access to the Capcom Arcade Cabinet ‘platform’ which provides additional features including DIP switch functionality, a music player, and the ability to capture and share screenshots or video. When playing in standard mode, players will be able to access DIP switch-like settings to adjust their number of lives and difficulty, including a Casual Mode which tones down the difficulty level and makes it more attainable to see the end credits. Further features include 2 player online play for certain titles; a global leaderboard; a training mode with infinite lives to hone your strategy and an option to select either the Japanese or international versions of the individual titles.

In order to share their experiences with friends, PlayStation 3 users will be able to capture video of gameplay to post on YouTube, while Xbox 360 users will be able to upload screenshots to Facebook. Further additions include a sound gallery that allows players to listen to the background music of any of the games in their cabinet, and an art gallery which fills with new pieces as players progress through the games.

So in the first pack released this week we have the following:

1942

1943: The Battle of Midway: players pilot a P-38 Lightning over the Pacific Ocean and take on waves of enemy fighters, bombers and aircraft carriers in this vertical scrolling shooter.

avengers

Avengers: It is time to get tough on the streets of Paradise City and as players work to rescue six girls from the clutches of gangland boss Geshita and his henchmen in the vertical scrolling beat ‘em up Avengers.

black tiger

Black Tiger: heads to a fantasy realm where a bold barbarian encounters all manner of creatures and enemies in classic side scrolling and platforming action.

Now you can get Black Tiger for free and the packs will range from 3.99 to 9.99 with all 15 plus 2 free game for 29.99. So check it out and let us know what you think.

A Thousand Free Games

Okay, one thousand free games would be a tad excessive, but half a dozen ones would be more than appropriate for this most interesting of springs. Besides, I hadn’t done one of those freeware lists for quite some time now and the voices were rather angry; they also insisted on being as eclectic as possible…

 

Vidiot

Vidiot

Vidiot: Described by its creator as Halo meets Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, this is a truly demented offering and a delightfully weird collection of mini-games. Oh, and it can easily be used do emotionally scar your kids and/or pets.

 

Poacher
Poacher

Poacher: Metroidvania done by wise game critic and accomplished adventure designer Yahtzee and done right. Also, with a healthy does of humour. Also, also, one of the very few games pitting you against rabbits. Fluffy ones too.

 

Unga needs Mumba
UNGA needs MUMBA

UNGA needs MUMBA: Hunt a mammoth! Be a successful stone age hunter! Feel like Unga! Meet Mumba! Love Nonga! Enjoy the excellent graphics and voices! Solve puzzles! Explore caves! Point! Click!

Orbiter 2010

Orbiter 2010

Orbiter 2010: Still haven’t managed to buy Mass Effect 3? Well, I wouldn’t worry. Orbiter is here and it will let you explore space in a much more realistic and cost-effective way. Should probably last longer too, as this is a proper simulation.

Masters of Constantinople

Masters of Constantinople

Masters of Constantinople: Text away in a tale of intrigue, mystery and Byzantine betrayals while the Empire crumbles and knowledge has to be preserved. It’s a very interesting choose-your-own-adventure affair with more than a few meaningful choices.

 

[vimeo width=”560″ height=”420″]http://vimeo.com/36934912[/vimeo]
Epic Sax Game

Epic Sax Game

Epic Sax Game: Because it almost sounds rude and is the most brutally hard rhythm game I’ve ever encountered. Still, persevere and you’ll be rewarded.

Pataank

Pataank

Pataank (1994)
By: PF.Magic Inc  Genre: Pinball  Players:  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: 3DO  First Day Score: 1,810,764
Also Available For: Nothing

One of the great things about videogames is that they allow designers to approach existing subjects from new perspectives. This is one of the reasons why I, and many others, love the Crush series of pinball games. Naxat realised they were no longer bound by the rules of an actual pintable and so covered their tables with all manner of scary creatures and outlandish bonuses. That was one way to play around with the accepted pinball format. Another one is explored here with Pataank. Until this game came along, to the best of my knowledge all pinball videogames viewed the action either from directly above or from the same viewpoint as though playing a real pintable (even the Crush games). Pataank has other ideas – as you might have gathered from the screenshots, the chosen perspective here is not only much closer to the table than normal but actually follows the ball around!

Pataank

There are three main tables to explore – Surf’s Up, Disaster Central, Tunnel of Luv – and they mostly include the kind of features you would expect to find on real tables including all the usual bumpers, ramps, chutes, kickers, gates, etc. The ‘ball’ (it’s actually more like an ice-hockey puck) is equipped with magnetic grips and thrusters so you are afforded a degree of control over it and can aim it towards the various bonuses. It’s a novel idea and is definitely a new approach for pinball games, one very well suited to one of the first 32-bit consoles where gamers were expecting just this kind of innovation, but it’s not without its problems. At certain points the game ‘camera’ will zoom out but for a majority of the time, the viewpoint is very much ‘up close and personal.

Pataank

This perspective is great when zooming down tunnels or chutes but it can also prove rather confusing, and it’s easy to lose your bearings when the puck starts pinging around the table. From a graphical standpoint, the console handles everything admirably. Some parts of the tables are a little bare but everything moves around quickly and smoothly. There’s also small screens here and there which show table-specific FMV clips and the action is accompanied by a hyper-active sounding commentator and a catchy soundtrack. Any game that attempts something as innovative as Pataank, however, will rise or fall depending on how well executed it is, and while PF.Magic are to be applauded for trying something different, I think it may ultimately prove too confusing for some gamers. It’s a good idea though, and it can be good fun. With some tweaking it could’ve worked well, but I’d rather get my pinball fix from Devil’s Crush!

RKS Score: 6/10

TV Sports Basketball

TV Sports Basketball

In honor of the All-Star Game we bring you this video review of 1990 TurboGrafx-16 game, TV Sports Basketball. Developed by Cinemaware and published by Mirrorsoft the game featured five-on-five gameplay, but no NBA licenses. This meant you got the city names and perhaps some colors that might match, but no team names like the Miami Heat and no famous names like Michael Jordan.

The game allowed you to play against the computer as either a player or a coach and against other players in versus mode. One of the strange things about the game was that it was a full court basketball game with a vertical view. However, when you crossed half-court there would be a short cut scene showing all your players running to the other side as a sort of loading screen.

Impact: Gaming Communities

raptr

This week on OGS we talked with Casey Scheld from Raptr about how that community has grown over the past few years into successful gaming community where gamers can read reviews, share achievements, earn all types of goodies and just hang out and have fun. There have been a ton of gaming communities that have brought gamers together like Dwango, HEAT, Kali, Gamespy and Steam. On the panel, we discuss the impact these communities has had on gaming culture and the marriage of social media and gaming.

So check it out and let us know what you think and remember, you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

Kingdoms of Amalur - Reckoning - gameplay - screenshot -1

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning is an expansive action RPG. It was released as the first of a trilogy by the now-defunct Big Huge Games studio, and feels like a Fable/Elder Scrolls lovechild. KoA sports excellent game-feel, seemingly endless side quests… and a terribly generic and un-inspiring main story-line.

Kingdoms of Amalur

If this had been a JRPG or a turn-based  game, I would not have played it solely for the story. There are plenty of other games to choose from if that is what you’re looking for. Though glitchy in minor areas, KoA is an excellent choice for lovers of action RPGs who have a difficult time finding games that don’t have wonky combat controls. You begin by choosing one of 5 races, each with a couple of unique bonuses. Character models are very customizable, so long as you are only concerned about the face. The beginning features a good tutorial that gets you familiar with the basics, but make sure to manually turn tutorials off in the main menu once you get out into the main game. Amalur is pretty damn easy on Normal mode, so unless you really just want to enjoy the landscape and make a 10 hour speed-run through the main quest, play on Hard.

Kingdoms of Amalur

Primary and secondary weapon slots do not have any requirements. This means you can equip two axes, a scepter and longbow, or any possible combination of the several weapon classes to tailor to your play style. A unique “Fate” system allows you to personalize your skills even further. You are allotted points at each level-up  to apply towards any of 3 ability trees; Might, Sorcery, and Finesse. After a certain amount of points have been invested in the trees, new fates open up which grant special bonuses that correlate with your most buffed abilities.

Kingdoms of Amalur

You can gain some pretty sweet gear through various quests. You can also invest in Blacksmithing and Sagecraft abilities to forge your own unique weapons, armor, and augments. The vibrant landscape is full of herbs and plants you can harvest for Alchemical use, though I preferred just buying potions from vendors.

Overall I would definitely recommend this to friends who were fans of the original Fable, though Elder Scrolls players might find it a bit too  simplistic. If you’re looking to kill 20-60 hours, pick this up used somewhere and really enjoy the smooth controls and pretty atmosphere. 

Vegas Dream

vegas dream

Under the vibrant lights of the Vegas Strip, the tiny offering of hope at winning big empties, as it feeds the peoples common desire of having more. More money, more luxury… or maybe more Nintendo games. If u are looking for more games I’ve got one that can give you the thrill of gambling in Las Vegas without the worry of losing even a dime. The game is Vegas Dream for the NES.

Vegas Dream

Vegas Dream features multiple game modes such as slot machines, Black Jack, Roulette, and even Keno (if you didn’t get enough of playing that in the bar). But what makes this game stand apart from the rest is the added scenarios that happen at random… say an unfamiliar woman offers to watch a show with you. Maybe her intentions are good, or maybe she wants to steal your wallet and throw your money all over the Black Jack table. Throughout the game you will make choices during scenarios just like this, and they will have a heavy impact on the fate of your chips.

Vegas Dream will satisfy the needs of anyone unwilling to leave their home or lay real money on the line in order to get their gambling fix. I give this game a solid 8 out of 10 based on its genre, and I have never played a more enjoyable NES casino game. Give this one a try if you’re feeling lucky and if your luck runs out just remember… its always nice to have a reset button when your cash is on the line.

Jet Set Radio

jet set radio

The beautifully designed, awesomely soundtracked game from the Sega Dreamcast is now only 99 cents on Google Play.  Originally released by Sega in 2000 the game features a gang of rebellious teens who skated around a beautifully cartoonish cell shaded town collecting spray cans to paint designated targets all while jamming to impressive beats.

jet set radio

All this holds up in the Android port however, what does not is the controls. Back on the Dreamcast it still took many a while to get used to the controls especially when preforming tricks to get to those hard to reach places. On the screen pad it is nearly impossible. Perhaps mobile gaming pros will have no issues, but if any game was made to go with a Bluetooth controller it is this one.

jet set radio

Another complaint is its size. At 1.3GB’s it can be a lot for people with smaller storage spaces and if your phone is kind of old there have been reports of crashes. If you have a newer phone then it isn’t an issue and with an external controller the game is just as fun as I remember.

So check it out for only 99 cents on Google play and rejoice in retro and classic gaming having a home on mobile devices.

Elevator Action

Elevator Action

How many times have you walked in an elevator and starting thinking you were in the 1983 Taito game, Elevator Action? Never! Really? It must be me, I am strange like that.

Elevator Action

Since Elevator Action is turning 30 this year, I thought it was a good opportunity to have a game, for old times’ sake. So, how does it stack up after all these years – is it still fun to play? Read on.

Elevator Action

For those that have never laid eyes on this game, the protagonist is Otto, or Agent 17. Otto is tasked with collecting secret documents from rooms (behind red doors) within the 30-floor building. He makes his way between floors via the elevator (hence the title – d’oh) and on certain floors, he can use the escalators. To make things interesting, enemies appear at the most inopportune time to get Otto and derail his whole secret mission.

Otto is no slouch when it comes to defending himself. As a secret agent, he is armed and dangerous. His trusty gun can fire three bullets per shot. If that doesn’t work, the enemies can be kicked. By far the most satisfying way to eliminate the bad guys, is by shooting a light on the ceiling while in the elevator, dropping the light onto the baddies. The byproduct of a dropped light is that the hallways become temporarily dark which makes the enemies harder to see – makes the heart rate go up a notch too. Another way to get kills on the board is to crush the bad dudes with the elevator – gee I’m a sadist.

Elevator Action

After Otto collects all documents, he has to make his way down to the basement where he can escape via his getaway car. For some inexplicable reason, Otto proceeds to another building for more secret document hunting instead of driving off in the sunset. Ah, once an agent, always an agent.

The controls are four-way (up, down, left, right) with two buttons, one for firing, the other for jumping/kicking – Taito catered for right and left-handed players by having these buttons on either side of the centred joystick. The game can become hectic, with the timer ticking down and enemy spies that pop-up just when you don’t want them to. Even though the action may seem limited, the game is still as much fun to play now, as it was 30 years ago. The graphics and sound could do with a spruce up, but back then, it was all about instant playability – which Elevator Action has in abundance.

GraphicsVery basic in this department – enemies wear the traditional black suit with top-hat to match. Documents are hidden behind red doors, and the elevator is cool to watch go up and down.

76%

SoundRun of the mill bleeps and blops. Nothing to tune your ears into.

65%

PlayabilityTaito plonged the joystick in the middle, with buttons on either side – catering for both right and left-handed players. Pick your buttons, and away you go being a secret agent.

80%

LastabilityThe gameplay may feel limited, but this is not a game to play for hours on end. It is great to play in short burts from time to time.

78%

OverallUp, Down, Left, Right, Jump, Fire. No, not the Konami code, just the control mechanisms for a secret agent. Great game to kill 10 minutes of your time.

81%

 

Elevator Action

Manufacturer: Taito
Year: 1983
Genre: Platform
Number of Simultaneous Players: 1
Maximum number of Players: 2
Gameplay: Alternating
Control Panel Layout: Single Player
Controls:
– Joystick: 4-way [up, down, left, right]
– Buttons: 2 [Fire and Jump]
Sound: Amplified Mono (single channel)

 

 

What’s Your Favorite Metal Gear game?

Metal Gear Solid 3
Mine would be MGS3: Snake Eater. It perfected the classic MGS gameplay, and the new jungle and desert scenes with the new camo gave it a whole new level of stealth to use. The story was great and made sense (fuck you MGS2), the enemies were smarter in the past, good variety in weapons and areas, and a whole lot of wierd little things to notice or do.

 Metal Gear Solid 3 - Screenshot - 2
He threw bees, and threw bees, but it was a really good and cool fight. Did a mention he threw bees?
 Metal Gear Solid 3
Guy was like predator on crack. You couldn’t see him in the jungle and had to use your best wits to track his ass in the trees.
 Metal Gear Solid 3
Holy shit what a great fight. Hiding in the woods, step by step made this slow fight one of gaming’s greatest moments. You could also kill him by sniping his ass after his first scene in the wheelchair, or waiting a week for him to die of old age. That’s really good extra detail and the best easter eggs to be found in gaming.
 Metal Gear Solid 3
FIRE FIRE HOLY CRAP THIS GUY IS CRAZY. COSMONAUT GOING DOWN ARGGGGGH
 Metal Gear Solid 3
Be ready to walk a long river of dead people you killed. Probably the best bad boss fight in history. Strangely the hardest fight in the game for me because of the tricky revival sequence.
 Metal Gear Solid 3
She takes your fucking gun apart, kicks your ass any chance she gets, and lets you kill her. Some big boss.

Kidding aside, I loved MGS3, and all games are great, but this was Kojima’s magnum opus.

Twin Bee

Twin Bee

So this week we have some Twin Bee. I know I’ve talked about this title way too many times but it’s always nice to come back to it. This is the classic shooter you need to have in your collection. Nintendo made it very easy to have this in your Wii or 3DS although I do suggest you pick up the original Famicom port of it. Why? Because it kicks ass! There is nothing like the original! So without further adieu, here is Twin Bee in a nutshell.

twin bee

The music of this game is pure classic! There may only be one theme song on it but it’s only that one that makes it a classic. You can even find places like Youtube packed with remixes of the theme song. The sound effects are as simple as any shooter of its time. Truly enjoyable.

twin bee

The graphics are pure and simple. The game does a good job on making you feel like you are in the air. You fly through islands and even shoot down pineapples that shoot seeds at you. Yes, there is a lot of different weird enemies in this game. Another reason why it’s unique. Gotta love how your flying ship looks like as well. A total array of beautiful yet creative creatures.

twin bee

The game is great to come back to. You can always get together with a friend and play two players at the same time. The game is quite challenging! You can’t get enough of it especially after you get through it once. You get a more difficult second run. Care to challenge it?

The game overall is amazing. I would recommend it to any shooter fan that’s looking for something simple and fun. Games like these are also brought into new generations especially with the release of the 3D classics Twin Bee for the 3DS. Be sure to check it out if you have a 3DS. The game is quite affordable and even comes in the most generic pirate carts. There are so many ways to acquire this one that I won’t even go further. Just go get it and enjoy a good time!

Cosplay: The Ladies of Metal Slug

One of the best slide scrolling games ever. Check out one of our recent reviews here. The two ladies from Metal Slug, Eri Kasamoto and Fiolina Germi were added in the later editions of the game. Check out their profiles from their wiki page.

Eri Kasamoto

  • Voiced by: Susanna Fera

Eri is an orphan, abandoned on the steps of a church. Once she was mature enough, she fled the church and became a leader of street kids. The Intelligence Agency of the Government Forces noticed her combat skills and recruited her. She went on to receive special spytraining for those with special talent and successfully completed a number of missions as a first rate agent. But Eri, weary from the series of missions involving assassinations and plots that took a hard toll on her conscience, requested to be transferred to the Special Ops Squad S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S. Her request, which normally would go ignored, was specially granted given her achievements and superior abilities. For her efforts in suppressing Morden’s second coup d’état, she received a promotion to sergeant second-class.

Fiolina Germi

  • Voiced by: Melissa Ex

Fio is the only daughter of a wealthy Italian family. After she was born, her mother was unable to have any more children, making Fio the first heiress in the history of her family, as she had no older siblings. Throughout the generations, the Germi family has made a tradition of sending their eldest child into the military; Fio upholds this tradition willingly, though she has aspirations of becoming a doctor someday, having studied chiropracticsacupuncture, and moxibustion in college.[1] Fio is a Master Sergeant of the Intelligence Agency’s S.P.A.R.R.O.W.S, which serves as a special forces group for the government. As with her comrades in Metal Slug 2 and beyond, she rose through the ranks for her service against General Morden. She has also appeared in the King of Fighters series, first as a Striker in The King of Fighters 2000, and then being playable for the first time in KOF: Maximum Impact 2; in the game, she has a special intro when fighting members of the Ikari Warriors mistaking Ralf, Clark, and Leona as Marco, Tarma, and Eri respectively.

Now you know something besides the cosplay.

The World of Tanks Show

World of Tanks E3 2011

Anyone who is a regular reader of Obsolete Gamer knows we love World of Tanks. We first got into the tank fighting MMO at E3 a few years back and it was love at first sight. Some of the staff like myself are novices while others are pros and for a long time we wanted to have a podcast about the game we love.

We were excited when we contacted Jamie King at War Gaming America and was introduced to Caleb Fox who joined us on this week show and answers our numerous and wide ranging questions. For this first podcast we wanted to talk to those newer to the game and those interested in trying it for the first time.

We hope to have future podcasts going deeper into the game and clan wars, but this week is all about the beginners. Check out one of our beginners guides here.

So check it out and let us know what you think and remember, you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

Syder Arcade HD

 

syder arcade hd

We are always on the hunt for great retro inspired games and Syder Arcade HD fits the bill perfectly. We even love the tagline, no coins, no zombies, just old school shoot em up. This game rocks not only because of the great graphics and gameplay, but it is not trying to get you to buy more stuff in game and no stupid gimmicks or grind fests.

syder arcade hd- gameplay screenshot - 2

Now as you can see the game looks incredible so that means older phones might have issues so check the specifications before you download. The game itself is a top down free-scroller which means you have much more control over your movements then you would in most space shooters. Your ship comes with shields and a number of weapons to take out the multiple enemies that are gunning for you. Did we mention you don’t need to buy addition weapons or features?

Yup, you can pick this little gem up on the Google Play store for only 99 cents. So what are you waiting for, go get it!

Video Game Voters Network aims to band gamers together in violence debate

video game voters network logo

Video Game Voters Network

The on-again, off-again debate over “violent”video games has been a daily news headline since the deadly December shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Media professionals and political names on both sides of the aisle have been putting the debate center stage. Among them is Democratic Senator Christopher Murphy, who stated on Thursday, Jan. 24 that theSandy Hook gunman was given a “false sense of courage” from violent video games.

The Video Game Voters Network aims to give the gamers a voice in this debate.

“The Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) is a place for American gamers to organize and defend against threats to video games and to help promote the many positive aspects of this most creative of entertainment forms,” said Rich Taylor, spokesperson for the Entertainment Software Association.

According to Taylor, the information given in the media fails to reflect the actual nature of the video game industry, including the fact that no scientific evidence exists proving the link between violent media and violent acts and the fact that the age of the average video game consumer is in their thirties. These missing facts, he says, often brings forth attempts at legislation aimed toward the video game industry.

“With so much misinformation about video games in the media and in some political circles, it is important that gamers have a strong, unified voice against the unfair laws that are routinely proposed to regulate the industry,” he said.

Among recently proposed legislation regarding “violent video games” is a tax proposal from Missouri Representative Diane Franklin which would add a tax to any video games rated T for Teen and up by the ESRB Ratings System, stating the raised revenue would go toward “mental health conditions associated with exposure to violent video games.”

A similar tax proposal was quickly killed in Oklahoma last year after a flood of e-mail against it.

Gamers and supporters of the video game industry can learn more about the VGVN and sign up atVideoGameVoters.org.

Lights Out

Lights Out

Format- Game Com (or Game.com, even though the ‘.’ is for some reason supposed to be silent)

Genre- Grid based puzzler

Here’s how my time with Lights Out went down…

1 Minute- After sitting patiently through the Game Com’s overly elaborate mannerisms and intro screens (you’d think it didn’t want you to play any games), I finally get a chance to actually play the game.

1 Minute and one second- I realise I have no idea how to play the game, and spend a while stabbing at the different black and white blobs, as well as the plethora of options on the right side of the screen. Not much happens, I get frustrated and look to the internet for answers.

5 Mins- I learn that the game was orignally a electronic game, and a fairly simple one at that. The Game Com was the only console to have the honor to gain a Tiger ‘conversion’ original. Regarding how the game actually works, it’s something to do with making all the blobs of light on the 5×5 grid unlit or something. Do you really care? I start up the console for another attempt.

6 mins- Console starts, the portable’s robot voice inevitably intones “Game Com Active.” Really? Thanks for letting me know Game Com, I would never have known otherwise.

7 mins- I now know how to play the game, but somehow it’s even more boring now the sense of mystery/irritation is gone. To be fair it does play to the handhelds strengths, but the fact those strengths include an outdated touch-screen and a screen that prefers its game not to have any movement tell you all you really need toknow.

My final thoughts are that this, unsurprisingly, is a poor game and therefore well suited to the Game (.?) Com. But when the portable’s inbuilt version of Solitaire (which will inevitably receive a review when I get desperate) is far superior you know you have a bit of problem.

The game was included with the console though, so nobody loses really. Or wins, whatever.

Under no circumstances would I recommend you actually buy a cartridge by itself. It just isn’t worth it.

Search for it on ebay (I wouldn’t though) / Wikipedia Entry

1943: The Battle of Midway

1943 - The Battle of Midway

1943: The Battle of Midway

In late 1988, Capcom released a vertically scrolling military-themed shoot-’em-up called 1943: The Battle of Midway, based on a popular arcade machine. How would the home release for the 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System console compare to the stand-up cabinet?

Gameplay

At the risk of spoiling the entire review by getting straight to the point: 1943 set the golden standard for scrolling shooters on the NES. That is the thesis statement at work here, and it is supported by the tight, richly enjoyable gameplay on hand in the cartridge.

1943 - The Battle of Midway

The player controls a P38 fighter plane over the seas by the Midway Islands in the midst of a World War II setting, complete with several types of enemy aircraft with opposing seacraft as well. The B button fires the cannons, while the A button executes a special screen-blasting special attack, at the cost of using up energy. Energy is metered via a counter at the bottom right-hand side of the screen, and costs about 10 to use a special attack, generally speaking. However, it slowly decreases anyway, just from making forward progress, necessitating refills be gained from certain defeated enemy types.

Fortunately, the P38 has quite an armanent at its disposal. Holding the B button for a couple seconds elicits a sound indicating that, upon release of the B button, a more powerful shot will be fired, handing for taking down bigger planes quicker and generally just having at-ready. Pressing A and B together will perform a defensive “loop-de-loop” maneuver to dodge tense situations; perhaps a godsend, considering that the amount of enemy rounds fired and overall on-screen sprites makes this feel like an early “bullet hell” shmup at times.

1943 - The Battle of Midway

In fact, this game is somewhat renowned for its toughness, and the evidence supports the reputation. There are a couple dozen meaty levels to be conquered, each with a boss ship or mini-boss challenge to defeat. While power-ups such as more powerful main gains, multi-directional shot, or even little sidearm ships for additional firepower can be gained, they can also be quickly lost as well.

Getting hit by enemy fire or craft does not instantly kill, unlike in other shooters such as 1943’s predecessor, 1942. But they do whittle away at that energy meter, which gets an amount refilled after each level. Adding to the gameplay complexity is the fact that the protagonist plane is rated on a handful of specifications, such as offensive power, defensive strength to offset damange, special attack strength, maximum energy count, etc. These statistics can be given an extra point at designated battleship stations blown up near the end of a level, in addition to a few being designated at the beginning ot the game, too.

1943 - The Battle of Midway

The player is offered passwords upon death for later entry; that being said, 1943 is still definitely a challenging game. The good news: It is very fun. This is a fast-paced, relentless, thumb-cripplingshooter, offering as much pure action as any other, yet without any of the usual NES hardware issues concerning flickering and showdown.

This game offers a true test, even for shoot-’em fans. The design is tight, the waves approach with just the right mix of anxious panic without seeming completely impossible, and the entirety feels appropriately tense, even desperate, maybe adrenaline-pumping. The projectiles fly fast, there are pleasant little pacing cuts between levels, and points are kept for those old-school arcade-style high-score seekers. In fact, some bonus items occasionally emerge to be picked up for a tidy allotment, such as a cow or strawberry. Seriously.

Graphics

1943 - The Battle of Midway

This game looks fantastic. As mentioned, the flow is quite smooth, quite pleasurably so. The frenetic action is never interrupted by distracting flickering problems or other graphical headaches. The ship designs are sweet, managing to give each craft a distinct flavor, even with the limited number of pixels available for use. The carrier-sized seafaring ships truly feel huge, as the player fights just a portion of them at a time. Medium-sized green planes might drop miniature black planes. The backgrounds are even gorgeous, with a few different scrolling backdrops of oceanic appearance, and the lazy gliding of puffy clouds passing by. Especially considering the relatively early release of this game in the NES life cycle, kudos to Capcom for managing to seemingly master the palette and animation techniques of the resources provided.

Sound

The sound, however, is another matter from visuals entirely. Now, that is not to say that the soundtrack of 1943: The Battle of Midway is terrible or atrocious. No, this is not the case at all. But there are a couple of unfortunate tracks; namely, primarily, the high-pitched wince-worthy nightmare tune that plays whenever the player’s energy level drops to a life-threatening level. There is another background melody that emerges at some points that, although maybe intentionally, manages to offend the senses with a bizarrely arranged minor key, despite the catalogue otherwise showcasing skillful rendering of the available sound channels. The effects themselves are fine enough, giving just enough oomph and noise to support the urgent mood of the game, though not altogether mind-blowing in their delivery.

Originality

1943 - The Battle of Midway

In terms of originality, this game cannot quite be cited as especially visionary, considering that “military-themed vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up” was already pretty much an established sub-genre by the time this cart arrived, which itself is an arcade port. Even in examining the in-game mechanics, there are some nuanced brushstrokes of innovation, but nothing groundbreaking.

But if the formula works, why tweak it too much? This game, 1943, feels like a near-masterful workshop on the shmup trop, a clinic delivered for old-school fans of the scene. To speak on a first-person note, I think the always-decreasing energy meter is a poor design choice that makes more sense in a quarter-sucking arcade than as a home game that shold be encouraging survival and diligent replay, but other than that, there are no major flaws here. This title truly set the bar, and shoots down four stars out of five for its valiant efforts.

Overall score: 4/5 stars.

Egress: The Test of STS-417

Egress - The Test of STS-417
I really do love freeware (and not-so-freeware), indie, AGS-crafted adventures. I enjoy their imaginative takes on the genre, their unexpected themes, their wild puzzles, their sheer variety and their pixel art visuals that so nostalgically remind me of my gaming youth. It’s only rarely though that I’m blown-away by their (relatively, to be precise) high-res graphics and lavish animated intros, and the newly released Egress has a pretty stunning opening cinematic. It sports some lovely, hand drawn, frame-by-frame 2D animation, and though short, it’s even more impressively accompanied by a few ending sequences, to go along with the game’s multiple endings.
 Egress - The Test of STS-417
Eye candy aside, and there’s quite a bit of it as Egress is very good looking first-person adventure indeed, this short sci-fi offering is a also a good and atmospheric game. Set in the outer reaches of space, it follows you, the commander of a two man recon team attacked by a weird black blob, as you explore a mysterious planet, search for you partner (his screaming is rather annoying apparently), try to figure out what’s going on and, quite obviously, save yourself. All this with the help of a pretty standard interface and against some mostly easy but definitely enjoyable puzzles.
You can download Egress either from its very own, lovingly crafted site over at Krams Design(where you can also show your appreciation by donating and getting some excellent wallpapers as a reward) or via the AGS forums. The game is of course happily freeware.

Gamer Parents: Growing up a Gamer

gamer parents - headshot
Photo by Nintendojo

Gamer Parents: Growing up a Gamer

This week our Gamer Parent series continues on our podcast as the group talks about what it was like for our parents dealing with kids who were growing up gamers. We talked about J.A. Laraque’s story about his mother spending x-mas eve searching for a NES and the different types of bargaining we a kids had to do in order to get the games and systems we wanted. Finally we discussed when our parents began to understand our gaming ways and even joined in on the gaming action.

So check it out and let us know what you think and remember, you can download our podcasts on ITunes and now we are available on Stitcher Radio.

 

Or listen here.

Shadow of the Beast

Shadow_of_the_Beast_turbo-grafx-16

Developed by Psygnosis and published by Electronic Arts, Shadow of the Beast tells the story of a child kidnapped by mages. This child was transformed into a powerful creature to be used at their will. Years later you learn the truth of your past and set out to kill everyone involved and ultimately your master.

Batman

Batman - NES

Batman

Fuse together challenging fast paced platforming, gratifying fighting action, and an unmistakable awesome soundtrack. Now put it all into one video game and what you get is Batman for the NES.

Batman - NES

It remains to be one of the more memorable games of my childhood, and features one of the most unforgiving final boss fights I’ve ever encountered in a game. This game is based on the first Batman movie, although you may forget that once you see Batman’s purple suit, never before seen enemies, and some off the wall boss fights.

Batman - NES

 

You will find yourself beating down enemies, ninja gaiden wall jumping, and batarang spamming all the way to the Joker. A challenging, exciting, and highly enjoyable game in every way… this is one you dont want to skip over.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Transformers-Fall-of-Cybertron

High Moon studios returns with a follow-up to their well received take on the Transformers franchise, the 2010 sleeper hit War for Cybertron.  All of the resources on Cybertron are now practically tapped out, and Optimus Prime (fortunately still voiced by Peter Cullen) rallies his Autobots to escape the planet and find a new home in Shia LeBouf’s backyard.  Megatron is of course not very supportive of this decision and attempts to defeat the Autobots by preventing their exodus.  High Moon doesn’t stray very far from the formula that made the first game successful, and aside from one major omission the game delivers everything you would normally expect from a quality sequel.

Transformers-Fall-of-Cybertron

The weapons system has been revamped from the previous game; each gun is now upgradable with multiple attachments that are purchased with credits earned in the campaign.  You can also acquire “perks” that carry over through multiple campaign playthroughs, these make the game much more manageable on the harder difficulties.  This addition is a very pleasant improvement on the first title, adding an RPG element to an already exceedingly polished experience.

Transformers-Fall-of-Cybertron

Fan service is also prevalent here; many more characters are featured this time around, including the Dinobots, the Combaticons, Metroplex, and the Insecticons.  I actually felt like I had been sucked into an eighties toy commercial every time a new character appeared.  Hardcore Transformer fans should really find a lot to enjoy here, before I played the game I couldn’t distinguish Swindle from Onslaught, so fans of the source material will really enjoy all of the love taken with the character choices.

Transformers-Fall-of-Cybertron-gameplay-screenshot-1

The glaring omission is the absence of online co-op play that was so well received in the first game.  In War for Cybertron you had the option of three different Autobots or Decepticons per level to tackle each mission with, and your online friends (preferably) or the extremely competent AI would fill the other two slots.  This gave each mission the sense you were part of a team, something that is integral to the Transformers franchise by nature.  This time the legend takes a grander scope but the co-op element was unfortunately left on the cutting room floor.  This doesn’t necessarily hurt the game overall, but it is something I sorely missed because I had grown accustomed to it.

Transformers-Fall-of-Cybertron

If you decide to try the game based solely on the narrative you won’t be disappointed.  I’m not even a huge Transformers fan and I enjoyed playing through the campaign multiple times, the set pieces are much bigger this time around, the annoying boss battles from the first game are thankfully expunged, and the game maintains a truly epic feeling throughout.   The final level might be one of the best campaign levels I’ve ever played in any game, it switches between both warring factions and individual characters multiple times, putting you right in the center of the final battle of Cybertron.  I know too much of a good thing can sometimes lead to overkill, but I left the experience feeling that if every level would have taken cues from the final one the game could have really been something truly special.  I’m not saying the overall gameplay or story is lackluster in any way; it’s just the final level is really that damn quality.

Transformers-Fall-of-Cybertron

Thankfully the horde mode inspired escalation is still included, as well as an excellent multiplayer component that is actually better (although much easier) than the previous game.  The first time I jumped into an online game one of the other participants hilariously greeted me with a throaty rendition of “You’ve Got The Touch”, the seminal cheese ball anthem featured in the eighties movie and also over the end credits in this game.  Options for customizing your online Transformer are also much more substantial, you can really create some truly unique characters.

If you are a Transformers fan this one is the proverbial no-brainer, comparing the sub-par movie game adaptations you’ve probably slogged through to the overachieving fanboy love that High Moon injects into their adaptations isn’t even fair.  Fans of third person action will also find a highly engaging title that doesn’t skimp on the action and couples a well-crafted yarn with thoroughly enjoyable gameplay.