The Ninja

The Ninja

Format- Sega Master System

Genre- Overhead Ninja Action title

The Ninja

With such a vague title (and box art) this game promises and threatens in equal measure. It could be the best Ninja game ever, with simple but refined gameplay that takes the genre to new heights. Or it could be a colostomy bag of crap.

It turns out it’s neither of these though. It is merely a solid but unspectacular romp that is, by today’s standards, hard as nails.

The gameplay consists of working your way upwards and dealing with onrushing enemies with a swift shrunken to their faces.

One hit and you’re finished, so the game can be frustrating, especially if you are approaching a yet unexplored area. Foes seem to come from nowhere and can finish you off in a second.

Trial and error is therefore a part of the game, and you either love that or hate it. I’m usually against such underhanded tactics, but in this game is seems an acceptable evil.

It’s not going to convert anyone to the Master System, but is worthy of a play if you see it cheap.


So if you spot it nestled amongst soiled copies of FIFA 2001 and a grimy cartridge of PGA Tour on the Mega Drive, make sure you save it.

It’s far better than you might expect, as long as your expectations are set fairly low.

Beetlejuice

Beetlejuice

Overall Rating: 0.5/5 Stars

Beetlejuice - NES

Before this review even begins, let me spoil the ending for you: This game sucks.

Beetlejuice was a movie license made into a video game for the NES, published by LJN (responsible for other film-related garbage like the horrendous Friday the 13th) in 1991. Keep in mind that, in 1991, the Nintendo Entertainment System had seen dozens of high-quality cartridges come and go, along with the usual tripe as well. Amazingly, some of the programming for this turd of a title was done by Rare, who would later make masterpieces like Goldeneye.

But Beetlejuice the video game was no masterpiece. Let us do this quickly and get it over with.

Gameplay

Beetlejuice - NES

The player controls protagonist Beetlejuice, an undead (yet has a life count) scary dude who wants to marry this living chick named Lydia and get a family out of a house and some other bits of plot that ultimately do not matter and are not made very clear. The B button stomps, the A button jumps, and this NES cartridge was not fully developed, as there are several places in the game where common sense would dictate something looks like a solid surface, but it is not, and you walk right through it and die.

Stomping is only good for little beetles, which pop out of beetle holes scattered throughout this sordid little adventure. Stomping them gives you health and money, the money which can be used to buy scares. A “scare” is a temporary metamorphosis into an alternate form that breathes fireballs, used to defeat bosses and clear certain obstacles. The scares are super lame and incredible disappointing, with hardly any true differences between them besides appearance, length of activation, and one lets you jump a little higher.

You cannot kill most enemies, and the environment is hostile, so you spend the majority of the game hopping around like a maniac trying not to die (even though you are undead already, remember?). This would be fine, except for two major flaws in this video game’s design: The control is terrible, making accurate jumps a process you need to learn by trial-and-error rather than intuitive gamer instincts; and the game has this one nightmarish feature, where the levels often scroll left and right, and up and down, but at many, many points, if the level scrolls up, you cannot go down. In other words, if you jump from one platform to a slightly higher one, and the previous platform disappears beneath the screen, you cannot jump back down to it. You die when you hit the bottom of the screen. Apparently, the developers wanted this “video game” to be as frustrating and difficult as possible. Supposedly, this is a platform game, but half the platforms are more hurtful than helpful.

Graphics

Beetlejuice - NES

This game looks okay. There are some still frames that look like characters from the movie, and one particularly creepy face shot of Beetlejuice that is reused every time something happens. But the actual gameplay graphics are not indicative of a producer that cared about its product, as the insect enemies look a little worse than generic and even the bosses are uninspired and bare-minimum. The highlight may be the infamous “snake” villain, which is truly frightening; though, this could just be because it is impossible to kill.

Sound

The music throughout is oddly upbeat, like those annoying background tunes in the Bugs Bunny games or what you would expect from a Capcom-developed Disney title. Bubbly, relatively high-pitched, and at a fast tempo, the music does not fit the on-screen visuals at all. Perhaps that was intentional, but whatever effect was being hoped for is clearly not achieved. The sound effects are dull and not worth mentioning further.

Originality

Beetlejuice - NES

The idea of collecting scares that lead to temporary transformations is the best thing this game has going for it, yet it is executed horribly and does not meet its potential. It is like gathering the best ingredients for a fantastic meal, only to throw them against a wall and scrape off what sticks. Sure, it is better than the worst options out there, but it really could have been put to better use. The transformations could have been more powerful, made Beetlejuice a different size, had an effect other than breathing fire (seriously, why the heck do most of them have the exact same effect yet cost varied amounts to buy from those stupid stores manned by the shrunken head guy?), or something, anything, other than the plain-vanilla, brief, underwhelming benefits we see.

The Beetlejuice NES game is bizarrely random and randomly bizarre, and this may be its final, lasting flaw. Certain parts faithfully recreate elements from the Tim Burton film, while others deviate whimsically. Some enemies can be killed, but others cannot. Sometimes you have to find a key or flip a switch to open a door, other times you just wander aimlessly hoping you find an exit. It is a haphazard, lazily developed, uninspired, completely below-par waste of time video game. Do you remember sorting through the discount bin at your local rental place as a child and finding those NES cartridges that were like 50 cents or cheaper, even when almost brand-new, and the labels were faded or missing or torn or written on? This is the definitive bargain bin game, the prototypical example of an attempt to quickly capitalize on a movie license without truly caring about the end result. Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, go to the hereafter and stay there this time with your half star out of five.

California Games

California Games

Format: Atari Lynx
Media: Cartridge
Year: 1989
Developer: Epyx
Publisher: Atari

California Games

Ah California – where the sun always shines, the surfing is great and beach parties rock with scantily clad women with golden tans aplenty. Throw some cool sporting events into a competition and you have yourself some California Games.

If it was one game that Atari was betting on to shift more Lynx units, this one was it – California Games. The Lynx version of Cali Games turned out a bit different from its console and home computer counterparts. Firstly, the number of events was cut down to four: BMX, Half Pipe, Surfing and Footbag. Secondly, the BMX and Surfing events were tweaked for the Lynx screen which actually made them quite enjoyable to play.  Thirdly, you could not pick your sponsor (oh no, I wanted Santa Cruz boards!). Lastly, gone were the earthquakes, the taunting dolphin and the menacing shark with sunglasses.

Now, I know what you are thinking, what the hell is left in this Lynx version of California Games! Relax, chill out like a real West Coaster. This game is so awesome, I would recommend you to get a Lynx just to play it. The learning curve to play the events is quite easy, with the half pipe event being the most difficult to get used to out of the four. For those of you that have never had the pleasure of playing California Games, let’s run through the event playbook:

California Games

BMX – Ride your bike on the stunt course strewn with obstacles and get to the finish line before the timer runs out. The more stunts performed and the faster you hit that finish line, the better your score. If you keep on crashing on the way to the finish line, the event spits you out.

California Games

Half Pipe – grab your board and hit the half pipe to build up your momentum. Once you have some speed, hit each ramp with some cool tricks to gain points.

California Games

Surfing – my personal favorite of all the events. Surfing was changed on this version to riding the wave from ‘right to left’ – this actually breathed a new life to this event, as I was never crazy about surfing on the console versions. You earn points by staying ahead of the wave and getting airborne to perform (multiple) spins. Yes, I can do quadruple spins – that is a 1440! Oh yeah  you must land the board on the wave at an angle that won’t see you diving into the surf.

California Games

Footbag – or hacky sack. The premise is simple, keep the bag off the ground by kicking, kneeing or head-butting it in the air. Earn extra points by spinning around while the bag is in the air or by hitting George. Who is George you ask ? He is the friendly seagull that you hit as he flies across the top of the screen. Luckily animal welfare groups were cool about knocking off seagulls back in 1989.

The challenge of each event is always to beat your (or your friends) high score. The only way to achieve a higher score is to nail the timing in each event. Get the timing wrong, and not only does your score suffer, the game also humiliates you with light hearted quips. Thankfully, these were left in the Lynx game.

So there you have it – four obscure events that are quite enjoyable to play. If you have a Lynx, California Games is a mandatory addition to your games library.

California Games

GraphicsAwesome detail and animation in all events. This game shows off the power of the Lynx

92%

SoundSimply awesome and ambient tunes for each event. The sound effects are just so sweet too

92%

PlayabilityFour distinct events which will keep you on your toes

94%

LastabilitySingle or multi player, this game is built to be replayed so those high scores and records can be broken

95%

OverallThe perfect mix of variation, challenge, enjoyment and fun.

93%

 

A Valley Without Wind

A Valley Without Wind
Arcen Games, the creators of the amazing AI War, have never been afraid to try radical new ideas and wildly innovate while offering deep gameplay and unique visuals. Their latest offering though, the brilliantly named A Valley Without Wind, does indeed surpass anything they have dared to dream, and even more impressively actually create, so far. Now, the best way to describe AVWWwould be as the spaced-out spawn of MidwinterTerraria and Lords of Midnight after a chemically altered night everyone is trying to forget everything about, but I simply can’t see how anyone besides me would be able to comprehend a description of this sort.
That’s why I’ve wisely come up with an alternate description too: it is a procedurally generated, side-scrolling, 2D arcade adventure, with strong exploration, RPG and strategic elements, that is sort of infinite. Is this better? Does it make sense? Well, I sure hope so, for I have only entered the still-in-BETA world of AVWW for a couple of hours and am incredibly impressed. I’m also pretty certain that it’s only by playing AVWW that one can properly understand and  fully appreciate the thing, but here’s another try:

A Valley Without Wind

Did the picture help at all? Right. Better provide you with the developer’s description then:
Environ has been shattered in the wake of an unknown cataclysm, with only small pockets of humanity left in its wake… What will you do in this strange new world? 
The creators of AI War bring you a procedurally-generated 2D side-scrolling adventure of limitless proportions. Survive and explore a vast persistent world filled with dangerous creatures, powerful magic, and ancient technology. Do so while helping other survivors establish settlements, gathering resources to craft, fending off evil invaders, and more.

Intrigued? Excellent. On to the news bits then, as you too can now have a taste of A Valley Without Wind by downloading a pretty fantastic AVWW demo. What’s more and for a mere $10 (that’s a hefty 50% discount on the launch price, that is) you can also pre-order the game and gain instant access to its current version, which, incidentally, is getting constant updates. As for me, well, I’ll be playing said BETA and will soon let you know all about my slightly more coherent thoughts on AVWWAVWW is available both for Mac and PC. You can purchase the full version for $14.99.

Rad Raygun

Rad Raygun

Rad Raygun, the Mega Man-inspired XBox Live Indie Game, has been gaining fans since it’s recent release. The throwback game title is part of a lifelong gaming journey for programmer and Corinth, Texas resident Chris Bryant.

“I was born in 1981, so the Nintendo Entertainment System was my first console,” Bryant recalled. “But I can distinctly remember watching my older brother play Asteroids and Missile Command on the Atari 2600. To this day, just seeing the Asteroids cartridge brings back some good memories.”

While continuing to game as he grew older, Bryant notes that even as the technology advanced, his heart remained with the classics, noting Super Mario Bros., a game he states he still plays today.

“I know it’s cliche, but I still play it in absolute awe,” he said of the 1985 Nintendo classic. “How did they get it so right? The graphics, sound and play mechanics were not only groundbreaking but flawlessly executed.”

Bryant’s love for games quickly turned into a dream of designing them, a goal he states started before he was even old enough to drive.

Rad Raygun

“I spent most of my childhood trying to learn anything that could get me in the video game industry, such as programming and 3D animation,” he said. “I can remember being 13 or 14 and wanting absolutely nothing for Christmas. All I wanted was knowledge. I wanted to know how to make games. I would make little text games in QBasic. I would also download other people’s source code and dissect it, trying to figure out how it worked. In 10th grade Computer Science class, I built my first two actual games, a clone of Pong and a clone of Frogger. In fact, I got in trouble for sharing my source code for Frogger because my classmates were playing that instead of paying attention in class! But, it all worked out…the teacher said he’d let it go if I shared the source code with him as well.”

Rad Raygun

Two years ago, the idea for Rad Raygun came into Bryant’s head. He reached out to a peer with the concept.

“I still have the e-mail to Chris Hernandez, a co-worker of mine and Rad Raygun’s creative director,” Bryant said. “His reply of ‘I’m absolutely 1000 percent into it’ was huge. I knew I had an amazing talent on my team that I could rely on for not just artwork, but a creative storyline as well.”

For the first year, everything for the game was developed for the PC version, according to Bryant. The programmer recalls issues with long load times when finally tested on the XBox 360, requiring a significant amount of time re-writing the code in a way that wouldn’t interfere with the level design already completed for the indie title. With just days to go before launch, more problems with load times came to light.

Rad Raygun

“The Xbox 360 is indeed a powerhouse, but only when used correctly,” Bryant noted. “The engine had serious memory management issues that weren’t visible on the PC. I spent days tweaking and optimizing the engine in hopes of alleviating the issue. This was the ultimate low for me. My team dedicated their nights and weekends to this project for over two years and, only two days from launch, I wasn’t sure if it would ever see the light of day.”

With a looming deadline, Bryant managed to find an issue he’d overlooked numerous times.


“While examining the game’s memory usage for the 100th time, I noticed that the maps were allocating way more memory than they should,” he noted. “It turns out that there was a bug in the level editor and the maps were exported with a ton of extraneous data at the end of the files. I wrote a tool to clean up the extraneous data from the map files, reloaded the game on the 360, and all of my framerate issues were gone.”

Following Rad Raygun‘s launch, Bryant says while he now feels a little extra pressure to make his next game, he is enjoying hearing back from fans of the game.

“I’m still trying to let it all sink in,” he said. “It sounds cheesy but this is really a dream come true. It really means a lot to me when I hear that people ‘get it’ and are able to connect with the game on a nostalgic level, sit back and enjoy the ride.”

Rad Raygun is available for 80 Microsoft points at this link.

Did you Know: Mario Edition

super mario

Did you Know: Mario Edition

Facts about that world famous plumber, Mario and his games that have lasted for decades that you may or may not have known about. Obviously you can find these elsewhere, but together in one spot is always nice. So let us begin.

Mario’s Mustache serves a greater purpose

Super-Mario

Sure it seems completely normal now and without it our turtle battling plumber would be incomplete, but here is the real reason Mario has a mustache. Perhaps creator of Donkey Kong, Shigeru Miyamoto knew that Mario would become a worldwide hit or maybe he just cared a lot about the details, but when making Mario he wanted him to stand out and be distinctive as possible not just a blur of pixels. Now remember the time, he only had seven pixels to work with when drawing his face so the mustache was added to give him that personal touch not found in many faces in games at the time.

The carpet matches the drapes

Super-Mario

Staying in the world of Mario Bros, in the original Super Mario Bros for the NES the clouds and bushes uses the same graphics. Yes, it is true, sometimes you need to save on artistry so why not turn a white cloud into a green bush (insert you own joke here. I bet most of you never even noticed.

Clothes make the man and the animation

super_mario-smb

So we understand the reasoning for Mario’s mustache, but why the overalls. Well, you might think it has to do with a plumbers uniform which makes sense and I am sure was also a part of the reasoning, but if you also notice, Mario’s arms have different color sleeves. This helps with his jumping animation so it shows up well on our old 8-bit systems. With just a normal shirt or a shirt matching his overalls it would make the animation seem less fluid.

Mario doesn’t use his head

Super-Mario

Many people may know this, but just as many do not. Mario does not break the bricks with his head. I mean, come on, he may be super, but he isn’t stupid. If you look closely, you will see that he uses his fist to break them. This also plays into our previous fact that talked about his overalls and shirt color. It just makes more sense that a tough Italian plumber would break bricks with his fist not his head right?

Ghosts’n Goblins

Ghosts n Goblins

Ghosts’n Goblins a.k.a. Makaimura (1985)
By: Capcom Genre: Platform Players: Difficulty: Hard
Featured Version: Arcade First Day Score: 43,400
Also Available For: Sharp X68000, NES, Game Boy Color, PC, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore 16, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum

The adventures of Sir Arthur, the brave and noble knight of Demon World, have long since passed into legend and become known as some of the grandest in the world of Men. However, the latest in what is becoming an embarrassing series of confessions here at Red Parsley is that until very recently I’d never even played this, the original game in the series. Eeek! Time to rectify that I deem, and what better way than to try the original of the original! First though, it might be prudent to try honing my skills and reaction times, for even I already knew that Ghosts’n Goblins is a supremely difficult game, apparently one of the hardest ever, and that scares me. As much as I may like retro gaming, I’ve never been especially good at most types of games, so I find myself approaching this notoriously hardcore challenge with a great deal of caution. Gulp!
Ghosts n Goblins

Despite my love of the Shinobi series and my mastery of some of its sequels, side-scrolling platform-shooters are one type of game I’m not especially skilled at. I am already familiar with the aforementioned knight though, having played his second game extensively on my treasured MegaDrive over the years, so I should be fairlyready for this, surely? Hmmm. Anyway, like that game, Sir Arthur’s first quest consists of six mostly-multi-tiered stages, each teeming with predictably scary creatures. He can run and jump through them to his heart’s content, provided the time-limit doesn’t expire (which spells instant death), but his objective is only to reach the end and defeat the evil boss that dwells therein. At the end of the final stage Sir Arthur must battle Satan, King of the Demon World. If he manages to defeat him, he will not only restore balance to the world, but also get his hands on Satan’s prisoner – the delightful Princess Prin Prin.

Ghosts n Goblins

Killing the lesser enemies on each stage is not mandatory – some of them are actually infinite so it’s not even possible. With this and the time-limit in mind, it’s advisable to proceed to the end of each stage as quickly as possible. Sir Arthur is initially armed with throwable lances which are in unlimited supply and defeat most enemies, certainly on earlier stages, with one hit. A few of the enemies, however, carry urns. Killing them allows you to then collect the contents which is most often one of numerous sparkly items for bonus points (including some of the Princesses’ possessions!), but occasionally you’ll find a new weapon. These include Daggers (my favourite – narrow range but rapid fire), Flaming Torch (short range fiery things), Axe (wider range and powerful, but fires slowly), and one final secret weapon which is required to defeat Satan.

Ghosts n Goblins

The only items you’ll find already dotted about on the platforms are coins or money bags, again for bonus points, but putting any degree of emphasis on the collection of this stuff is not advised – the default weapon is fine for the whole game (except the final boss battle), and points, while nice, won’t get you any further into the game! For that, practise is required, and lots of it. That brings me to that legendary difficulty… I’ve been playing Ghosts’n Goblins for a couple of weeks solid now and, while it’s definitely a tough game, I wouldn’t call it one of the hardest ever. After the reputation and build-up, I was expecting the most savagely torturous game in the universe, but for me it’s just… very tough! The main problem with the actual stages comes from the infinite nature of some of the enemies. The first stage, for example, features zombies who rise out of the ground and amble toward you. These don’t really cause a problem unless one emerges very close to you, and it’s the same story with the other stages.

Ghosts n Goblins

The second features small flying demons which this time come from some of the windows of the buildings that form the various backdrops. These things also appear without limit and again the main problem is when they appear very close to you, and there is an equivalent beastie through most parts of the game. For me though, the biggest problem in terms of difficulty was the larger enemies – specifically, the annoying Sons of Satan (red devil things – see screenshot below), as well as the even larger bosses which take the form of dragons and ogres and things of that nature, all of whom take numerous hits to put down. If you lose a life while attempting this you’ll return to the half-way point of the stage so each guardian has to be defeated with a single life – no small ask when Sir Arthur can only take one hit without dying which removes his armour, forcing him to fight on in just his undies – one of gaming’s most enduring images!

Ghosts n Goblins

If Arthur does lose his armor  more can be collected if you’re very lucky, but a new suit isn’t exactly forthcoming a vast majority of the time, and can never be collected during a boss fight which is another reason these confrontations are the part of the game I have most trouble with. If you can last long enough though, there’s a lot to see here. The sprites are numerous and look superb for their day. Even more impressive are the backgrounds which change several times during the course of most stages and range from the graveyard in which you begin to a town, various towers, and gloomy caverns, on the way to Satan’s castle itself.

Ghosts n Goblins

As mentioned earlier, you need a specific weapon to fight the Dark Lord himself (a Crucifix in the Japanese version, a Shield in other versions) and if you don’t have it you’ll be sent back to the star of the fifth level.As well as looking nice, and highly varied for its time, the music and sound effects are also great and add a lot of charm to an already-distinctive game. Control of Sir Arthur is pretty good for most part, with two exceptions – after playing Ghouls’n Ghosts so much I assumed the controls would be the same here, but sadly this original doesn’t offer the option of shooting directly upwards. I also found that he often got ‘stuck’ at the tops or bottoms of ladders. Apart from this though, our hero is still pretty nippy and can run and leap his way out of most hairy situations in the right hands. There are a few unfair moments which will have you turning the air blue but generally I found Ghosts’n Goblins to be very tough but an addictive and highly enjoyable challenge all the same. It’s taken me far too long to give it a proper try but I’m really glad I did now. A true classic indeed!

RKS Score: 8/10

 

Why I agree that we are in the golden age of boardgaming

battlestar-galatica-boardgame

In this day and age it is hard to ignore a great phenomenon that is sweeping across the land and that has evolved from a lonely hobby to a widespread craze, yes my friends, I am talking about board games!! Now, I have considered myself a gamer in all rights because I love to play videogames but, when I think about it I really wasn’t. You see, in my world the only games that existed were videogames; granted I enjoy to throw down a game of monopoly with my friends time to time but that was it, to me, board games were only monopoly, clue, life and dragon and dungeons but what I didn’t know that there was a whole other world out there with board games for me to discover.  Everything started approximately six months ago and it was as follows:

Mr. C: Do you like to game?

Me: What do you mean? Like what type of videogames?

Mr C: No, I mean board games.

Me:  (Chuckles) Oh yeah!! I like to play monopoly and those games.

Mr. C: No, no those types of board games. Haven’t you heard about Dominion, Agricola, Puerto Rico, Is a Small world…. (And he kept naming games)

monopoly

 What he showed me that day was some of the most amazing games that I had ever seen and played.   It opened my eyes to a new world that I never knew existed. That night I went online and started to look up what I could about these games that I was newly introduced to.  What I found blew me away.  I found tons of blogs and websites with reviews and tons of info about all these different games.

One of my favorite blogs that have a phenomenal game reviews is Shut up and Sit down. This blog is written by a group of British guys. A few days ago, one of them wrote an article about how in these days we are living “the golden age of board games” and it was a great read by all means.  In this article he goes on to talk about how many games have come out a few years back compared to the number of ones that were coming out now.  When you actually look at the numbers it’s astonishing.  The actual number of games that have come out has nearly tripled.  Now you may ask why would that be and I looked into that same question.  In the past two years, the number of people that have actually bought and played board games have increased at about the same rate at which the number of games have come out.  It’s simple math if demand goes up for a product companies are going to jump on the bandwagon to get some of that money.

zombicide

There are some great games that have amazing themes to them and they are extremely fun to play. For example, zombicide and super dungeon explore are some that come to mind. To be honest, I thought that North America was where all the big games were coming from but boy how wrong I was!  As it turns out the biggest place where games come out is actually from Germany.  Every year all the major board game companies debut their games at Essen, the largest board gaming convention on the planet.  And yes before you ask that is on my bucket list to go see before I die hehe.

Now when talking about games you have two groups to talk about, euro games and what they call ameritrash.  Euro games are games that will implement some of the best mechanics known to board gaming with very little theme to the actual game.  When playing a euro game you will sit there and look at the game and say wow this game really has no story or theme to it but wow what a great game.  Now when it comes to what they call ameritrash games these are games that have an amazing theme but can definitely use some mechanics to help it along.  When you play one of these games you will love the story or the theme but will with the game played a little bit better.  Now to give you guys some examples of eurogames would b e games like the castles of burgundy.  Castles puts you in the role of a duke that has a bit of land and has to build his land through tiles that you pick up dependant on two dice that you roll.  It is an amazing game based on the mechanics but when you see the actual game and theme you think this can’t possibly be fun.

super dungeon explore

Now when it comes to American based games you have to think about games like starcraft the board game.  Yes, there is a board game based on the starcraft video game.  The game itself looks amazing, has some of the best components however, the actual game play of it is a bit dry when compared to the euro games.

Now to get back on track as to why I agree that this is the golden age of board gaming.  We are in a time when more and more people are actually spending money on board games, and in turn companies are making more and better games.  When you look at it this way, you can go out and spend 60 bucks on a night out with some friend and only get a few hours of entertainment out of it.  You also can spend that same 60 bucks and get yourself a great board game and invite your friends over and have hundreds of hours of great times with them.  Let me tell you, I am not the only one that has looked at this and thought man I would rather get together with my friends and sit and have a great time where we can always think back and say man we had such a great time that night.  Because of this very reason companies that would never have a chance to make a game can throw it up on kickstarter and get their game printed.

I, for one, am a videogamer that has slowly but surely been transformed more and more into a boardgamer and I am proud to be one.  I hope that one day you can give them a chance to try some out.  One piece of advice I can give fellow gamers is that if you are not sure if you would like board gaming or not, I would find a local game shop and check to see if they have gaming nights and swing by and give them a shot.  Although, I have to warn you as once you get bitten by the bug you might never go back.

Star Wars: Battlefront II

 star-wars-battlefront-2-xbox
As a fan of Star Wars, there was no way I couldn’t get this game. It was like that Battlefield1942 game I heard about but with light-sabers and shit.  Basically that was the concept and it worked well. You could play as low level storm troopers, Jedi, Sith, even Wookies were fair play. Some more balanced than others, but lots of fan service especially the Jedi and Sith characters to play as. The single player mode was a decent affair. Lots of action, good variety in missions, and probably the better of the two modes when it came to ship combat.
The multi-player had it’s problems, but it was a blast. Being a Jedi, or Sith made you feel over-powered, but you had to earn it, and it was a real challenge to beat one of the juggernauts.  The connection speeds could’ve been a bit faster, and even after the game was super-old you still had to pay for a map pack that would kick you out of certain matchmaking’s  I’m sad to see that they haven’t made a real sequel yet I don’t believe, it could defiantly use some HD returning  tweaks, and improvements.

Xevious

Xevious

Format- Gameboy Advance (but several others as well)

Genre- Top down vertical scrolling shooter

There are certain games you just don’t criticise. Space Invaders. Pong. Chibi Robo. Ico.

I don’t think Xevious can join that group though. There aren’t many people that seem to hold this game with much affection, and as a result the game is mostly forgotten.

‘Mostly’ as it has been re-released a fair bit in recent years, giving the current generation of gamers the (mis) fortune to play it again.

Suffice to say, it doesn’t hold up well nowadays. Enemy design varies from the bland to the mildly acceptable, and when both ground and air based foes are on screen frustration reigns.

Movement vertically is sluggish, like the ship is constantly have to force through an invisible blancmange. Coupled with bullets that are much faster than your ship makes the game unfairly difficult. I’m always up for a challenge, but only when the game plays fair.

The graphics have no retro wow factor either – patches of grass look like they were sketched by a five-year old in a more restrictive version of Mario Paint – it makes you wish for a simple but effective black space background.

I’ve not managed to get very far in the game (the screenshot above is of a level that I will probably never get the chance to play through) but I still think most of these criticisms still stand.

So don’t bother with Xevious. Just let it quietly pass away, and hopefully the game’s developers will do the same.

What does ‘Xevious’ actually mean anyway?

Note – I have a quite cool toy from Japan that is based on Xevious. It makes a sound from the game, and is sadly much cooler than the game itself.

Second note – This review was admittedly a play through of the GBA port of the NES game, which is respectively a port of the apparently superior arcade version. So this revisit shouldn’t be seen as a retrospective of the whole Xevious pantheon, just the poor NES version.

World of Warplanes Beta Key Give-a-way

worldofwarplanesbetakeygiveaway

You know you are making it big time when you can finally give away things to your readers. So as you know we love Wargaming and Wargaming loves us and we have a bunch of World of Warplanes beta keys to give away. However, we can’t toss em out there at least not without a little something extra from our readers.

So it’s simple if you want a free key post in the comments your favorite classic game and tell us why it is your favorite and we will send you the code. Now, to make this easier we ask that you register using your Facebook then we can just message you the code. Otherwise you can post your commend then e-mail us by clicking here. Then we can e-mail the key to you, but honestly attaching your Facebook is best because we will be getting more give-a-ways and will randomly send them to people who post comments on our website.

Now believe me, I get it, signing up to something new is a drag, but we are entering our fourth year and really want to build a community here where people post on our site. The feedback makes us better and in turn the site better. We also like hearing what games people like so there is that too. We have a lot of keys to give-a-way so spread the word to people who want one to come and post here and we will hook them up too.

Remember, something is only Obsolete if you allow it to become so.

Here is the format for posting your comment:

Favorite Classic Game: (Put name here)

Explain why it is your favorite game: (Put as much detail as you wish)

Here are the details once you get the codes:

World of Warplanes Beta Key Instructions

  1. Have or create a Wargaming account at www.worldofwarplanes.com
  2. Once that step is complete, click on the “Join Closed Beta” pane on the main homepage
  3. On the “World of Warplanes Closed Beta Application” page, click on the “Have an Invite Code?” link located under the system requirements
  4. Enter your beta key
  5. Download and install the game!

Also, these keys are valid only on the US server and expire on May 31st, 2013.

Thanks to Wargaming U.S.A. for the codes!

Runner 2: Legend of Rhythm Alien

runner2

Platform games will probably always be my favorite genre of gaming.  This is certainly due to cutting my proverbial teeth during the heyday of the NES, the era where every other title had some sort of influence from the brothers Mario and their army of copycats.  Before I picked up Runner 2: Legend of Rhythm Alien I had never played a Bit.Trip title before, and I was only familiar with the main character Commander Video from his cameo appearance in Super Meat Boy, arguably one of the greatest games of the past decade.  Now I’m certainly going back to explore the titles I missed, because Runner 2 is unfiltered platforming bliss.

runner2

Runner 2 might as well be a checklist of how to do everything correctly in a video game.  The gameplay is extremely accessible and enjoyable, coupled with eye pleasing, unique graphics and an amazing soundtrack.  Difficulty in the game gradually scales but is unbelievably fair; you start off with a simple selection of moves and then slowly learn all of the combinations required to be successful.  There’s also some great humor (the hardest thing to pull off in gaming) and some phenomenal references mixed in to the package that I wouldn’t dare spoil here.  Gaijin Games even added hidden retro levels (unlocked by finding golden cartridges) that are extremely challenging and pay homage to those glorious days of the NES and Sega Master System.

runner2

Originality comes with how your character interacts with the soundtrack.  Every jump, slide, dodge, block, and kick corresponds with an intended beat or noise that complements the music.  You can miss these beats with little consequence besides failing a scoring opportunity (thankfully you don’t get a grinding Guitar Hero-esque interruption noise) but the soundtrack simply swells with a crescendo of awesomeness when you hit them on time.  In most modern games (especially first person shooters) I almost never experience what Billy Hoyle and Sidney Dean remarkably refer to as “the zone,” where the entirety of the room ceases to matter and you aren’t even thinking about what buttons you are pushing while conquering every single obstacle on pure muscle memory.  Playing flawlessly causes everything to click into place and you achieve an almost Zen like experience.  Runner 2 just has a magically fluid feel I’ve rarely seen replicated anywhere else, especially in other titles that also employ auto running and rhythm based play.

runner2

I did get frustrated often while playing, but it was the type of frustration that made me want to persevere to perfect the level, not the type that makes you want to place your controller under a rusty jackhammer.  When you make a mistake it’s never the game, it’s simply your lack of skill.  It’s certainly not as difficult as the aforementioned Super Meat Boy, but it still takes impeccable timing and precision to get through some of the harder sections, exactly what you should want in a quality platformer.

If you like platformers, pick this up immediately.  For fifteen bucks on the marketplace it’s an absolute steal, especially when there are sixty-dollar titles (Aliens: Colonial Marines for example) that won’t give you a fraction of the enjoyment contained here.  I realize that it’s barely March, but this is unquestionably the best title I’ve played this year.

Keith Courage in Alpha Zone

Keith Courage in Alpha Zone

A very simple game to start off a very interesting console. The Turbo Grafx made its debut with this game as a pack in with the console and showed some a very simplistic game. We already seen stuff like this for its time so it wasn’t nothing new. With games like Final Fantasy 2(4 in Japan) hitting the USA and other RPGs as well, there was no doubt that this title wouldn’t stand against others. In my opinion, I think this game was released just to show off what the Turbo Grafx console was capable of. The game is very simple, although based by an anime, it’s not bad at all. It contains some RPG elements that help it stand out a little bit. There is also a transformation sequence where you turn into a robot and fly around, Not sure how that works as you were a human a second ago and slow as a mother fucker.

The game’s length is decent and will keep you interested until the end which will surprise you in the end and probably leave you wanting for more or maybe a lot less. It’s all about taste in the end, I can’t say this is a title that will keep you coming for it and that everyone will love but I will say this, the game is just your average platformer with RPG elements, the end!

Pinball Quest

Pinball Quest

Pinball Quest

Pinball has always been a thrilling experience wrapped in a simple concept. Hit everything you can and don’t fall, but lets crank that concept to a new level… Battle witches, skeletons, and steal from the devil, all while racking up points that count as gold for you to buy and improve your pinballs ability to slay your enemies. Pinball Quest for the NES brings these things to the table, and introduces the only concept I’ve played of a pinball fantasy action RPG. Featuring boss battles, flipper and stopper powerups, and yes the ability to trade with or steal from the devil.

The level design in the game is creative and every level carries a different objective. As you climb your way towards the top you will find the one annoying feature of this game, as everytime you lose on a stage you will drop down to the last and be forced to fight your way back up. A concept that keeps you playing and occasionally keeps you frustrated. The game features no game over, so there is no real reason to quit. The only other problem I have with the game is that the “Devil Flippers” while having the most power, actually are not worth getting as they sometimes decide not to work. However the other powerups only get better as you level them up. This game is worth a try to almost anyone who likes to play entertaining and creative games. When you pop in this game you’ll enter the world of a simple pinball on an anything but simple quest. Give it a shot.

Valis 2

valis2

Remember when it was all about cut scenes? Well, in a sense they are still important, but when consoles began using CD ROM’s gamers got their first real look at some very cool live-action and animated cut scenes. Valis II was one of the first games to take advantage of the TurboGrafx-16 CD-ROM attachment which allowed for some pretty cool animated cut screens.

The game itself is more of a traditional action platformer. Developed by Telenet Japan Co and released in 1990 this six staged game featured your standard left to right enemy slashing actions. The game featured, items, power-ups, mid-level bosses and end bosses which, as said, took advantage of cut scenes featuring animation and voice overs.

Cosplay: Push to Start

We need more cosplay.

 

Gaming Under the Influence

Gaming under the influence

Gaming Under the Influence

As the video game industry and culture has continued to grow, gaming has grown from interactive entertainment to a spectator sport. Numerous leagues and streaming websites now feature live streaming broadcasts of almost any video game in the world, ranging from major competitions to walk-throughs of popular titles taking place in a gamer’s living room.

Gaming Under the Influence aims to change the rules and bring video game competition out of the the living room. Taking place every Friday night from O’Malley’s Liquor Kitchen in ChicagoGUI brings television production quality to the table as participants take part in a combination of video game competition and drinking games.

“A couple years ago, I toyed around with the idea of doing something different than a ‘stream’,” said GUI‘s Jared Hoffa. “I play a lot of games, but I can’t sit and watch someone play games on Twitch. It bores the hell out of me.”

According to Hoffa, it was a trip to another part of the world that helped him put the pieces together for the show that would become GUI.

“I headed over to South Korea for fun and made it a point to see what they were doing in TV and gaming,” he said. “As most gamers know, professional video gaming is serious business over there and broadcasted on two major networks. What you might not know is the studio that makes all this magic is smaller than a high school gymnasium and broadcasted in standard definition. The same day, the executives at KBS-TV showed me GAG, a live, improv show that seats 500 audience members every show. It was unbelievable. With that, I had my motivation.”

Bringing video gamers out of gaming streams and into an entertainment venue was aimed at bringing them to the forefront, according to Hoffa. Several video game personalities, including Robot Combat League contestant Keisha Howard, have already appeared on GUI.

“I wanted people besides hardcore gamers to be engaged and have fun,” Hoffa added. “I wanted gamers to find a new platform to showcase their talent and their personality. Take off the Turtle Beaches and get out of the chairs. Give people a show!”

Stressing that Gaming Under the Influence is not a video game livestream, Hoffa brings years of television experience to the live show.

“I’ve been an on-air personality for NBC Universal’s In The Loop w/ iVillage, and a producer/shooter/editor for ABC, NBC, and WCIU-TV in Chicago,” he said. “As of now, I’m on-air as the witty App-Man on ABC7 Chicago’s Windy City Live. Television is fun, brutal, and unforgiving in every-way possible, but it’s an experience I’d never want to live without. GUI takes an entire production team and a slew of equipment to make possible. All the graphics you see, all the effects and camera changes is happening live.”

The surroundings of Gaming Under the Influence combined with a live broadcast brings an unpredictable element to the show, according to Hoffa.

“Every show we do, something memorable happens,” he said. “I think my favorite show is when a random old guy in a suit jumped on stage and started dancing next to the contestants. It was random, it was hilarious, and it threw everyone off…even our play-by-play announcer.”

Gaming Under the Influence airs live every Friday night at TheGUIShow.com. Viewers can interact with the live shows by voting with the Hot Box throughout the broadcast.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

In 1991, the 16-bit Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) was released in North America, heralding a new age of video gaming, where the home console machine was now a legitimate industry enterprise, and edgy new company Sega placed its Genesis system into heated competition, pittingSonic the Hedgehog against the famed Mario franchise.

The next couple of years would see a rapid-fire stream of new classics enter the video gaming fray, while the former 8-bit consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System would gradually phase out of production and first-party support. In the twilight years of the NES, developers had by then largely mastered and exploited the limits of the hardware, but demand was decreasing for their cartridges, no matter how excellent their gameplay happened to be. Perhaps sadly, a few gems were lost in the shuffle, and are nowadays somewhat rare. One of these titles was The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, based on the television show and general mythos of the Indiana Jones films, and happened to be a solid game in its own right, as published in 1992 by Jaleco.

Gameplay

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

The player controls Young Indiana Jones, a courageous, adventurous protagonist who has an appreciation for history and a taste for dangerous situations. The game, interestingly enough, actually begins with a cutscene of an older Indiana Jones offering to tell the player about his younger glory days. The festivities then start in Mexico, where Indy gets involved in helping the villagers combat the oppressive regime of Pancho Villa.

Like any good platformer, the A button jumps while the B button attacks. Indiana begins with his trusty whip, which has a decent range as a melee attack. By attacking crates, he may potentially find other weapons; in fact, there are eight different weapons for his weapon slot while he adventures on foot, such as the knife, pistol, rock, and grenades. Each differs in their projectile characteristics; for example, the rock can bounce down across the ground, while the pistol fires its rounds straight forward across the entire screen, and the knife slowly descends with gravity after being thrown.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Along with the weapon slot, Indy also has a shield slot, though taken by headgear such as his classic hat, or the gas mask in France and Germany. While held, it allows Indy to take one hit before dying; and, if found when Indiana Jones is already wearing one, grants an extra life, hopefully adding to the three he begins with. Last is a slot for helpful items that have a temporary effect, like the enchanted necklace that grants invincibility, or the lamp that lights up the dark caves of the silver mine.

The game provides a decent pace of action; not quite Ninja Gaiden or Mega Man, but a respectable clip nonetheless, while traversing through the historical context of such areas as World War II-era Germany. There is even a flight level where Indy participates in dogfights with enemy planes, zeppelin, and even fights the Red Baron. Touches like that add to the appeal as Indy ends up killing a few actual historical figures; though, in classic NTSC-region censorship, there is no outright reference to Nazis or swastikas to be found.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Overall, this is a very solid platformer, worth playing, and as implied earlier, a hidden gem of the late-cycle NES library. Although the biplane stages in the middle of the game seem a little out of place and not as well done as the straight platforming, the overall experience is still worthwhile, enjoyable, and appropriately challenging.

Graphics

The areas are presented well, with each level and their sub-stages richly detailed per their location. The backgrounds are rendered very pleasantly, though perhaps the underground portions are easy enough, given their blank black background. The foregrounds are done well too, though, as are the animations. The sprites themselves are nice, but perhaps a little large, or could have at least done with more detail; this is one of those NES games that seems to have One-Color Character Syndrome, a disease with the symptom of all the characters being drawn in basically one color. Even the Super Mario Bros. had a two-color protagonist and some multi-hued enemies, but for whatever reason, many 8-bit platformers drew their heroes and bad guys in one dominating shade.

The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

 

Otherwise, the game certainly looks like a 1992 release; good for the console, but not stretching its limits beyond what was fairly standard for the time. The cutscenes that pan from one character to another are perhaps the most polished element intact, not to mention the iconic sight of Indy cracking his signature bullwhip.

Sound

Honestly, the background tracks and sound effects are not memorable. But they are composed with more punch than many titles, with the music providing the atmosphere needed for a world-spanning adventure. The explosion for the grenades and dynamite is nice; but, beyond the fun grandeur of the title screen, with its clever flame-fill of the logo, there is nothing here that qualifies as an ear-worm, although there is nothing venomously annoying, either.

Originality

The two-frame whipping animation looks suspiciously like a certain Belmont character’s stroke from the Castlevania series, and this game is based on a pre-existing media license. Otherwise, though, the three item slots, multitude of weapons, historical context, and just-plain-good platforming action set this apart as a worthy cart. One notable highlight of the gameplay are the physics: The way the rock weapon bounces a few times down inclines, or the brief time it takes to stop when running, even if some players would prefer a lack of inertia altogether.

In the end, this is a fine job by Jaleco, in the footsteps of Shatterhand, and a pleasant departure from the inundation of their sports library. Although it probably deserves something more like a 3.75, the quirky “why?” behind the flight level and a more-than-normal tendency to glitch out make this a three and a half stars out of five sort of game.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour

 call of duty-finest-hour
Though it may be overshadowed by it’s Modern Warfare and Black Ops big brothers, I still regard it as one of the better WWII shooters out there and fine addition to the Call of Duty series.
 call of duty-finest-hour
I think my favorite catch to this game, is that it goes to all major sides to the Eastern front. You take control of Soviet, American, and British troops. All them have their memorable moments, weapons, and areas such as Germany, Stalingrad, and North Africa. I think my favorite mission is the one with the Russian sniper lady with all the Nazis coming to attack the building she was in.
call of duty-finest-hour
I suppose it might get a little lost in the WWII crowd, and wasn’t greatly reviewed, but it was one of the first enjoyable WWII shooters for me. Though I do have to say the multi-player was crap, though only available through the PS2 and Xbox version which I’m sure have been shut-down.

Fracuum

fracuum
Like a psychedelic version of the Atari 2600 Adventure on steroids, Fracuum is a brilliantly designed and utterly mind-bending maze game. It has you navigating a complex and expertly designed labyrinth that feels quite a bit like a zoomable fractal, while avoiding baddies and collecting points and power-ups. Play it and have your mind messed with.

Weird Games: X-Man

X-Man Adult game

I don’t think Charles Xavier had this in mind when he created his school for gifted mutants, but then again, I guess if you can run naked through a maze avoiding teeth and scissors that could be considered at least, a special ability. In a nutshell (pun intended) that is what X-Man for the Atari 2600 is all about.

X-Man Adult game

Released by Gamex in 1983, in this adult game, you play a naked guy with a non-Viagra induced hard on, who has to navigate a maze while avoiding all the dangers that keep our manhood not up at night. These dangers include the dreaded teeth, crabs and scissors. When you finally make it to the room you enter a bonus round where you earn points by having as much sex with the woman as you can in the time allowed.

This is about as close to a summary of what young men are in game form as we will ever get. Seriously, even the cover is perfect.

Electrocop

Electrocop

Electrocop (1989)
By: Epyx / Atari Genre: Maze / Run ‘n’ Gun Players: Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Atari Lynx First Day Score: 15,475
Also Available For: Nothing

Electrocop

Atari’s mighty Lynx was a funny machine. It was a ‘handheld’ which was rather too big to be comfortably used as one for starters, but it was a powerful piece of kit for sure. It soon gained a glowing reputation for the surprisingly faithful arcade conversions which formed the bulk of its software library, but there were a few original releases too. Many of them were by Epyx, the co-developer of the Lynx itself, and most of these appeared at or soon after the machine’s launch – presumably they were developed especially for the occasion to give the system a slightly more varied line-up. One of these was Electrocop. It gained a decent reputation at the time but it never seems to get mentioned these days any time the Lynx is mentioned. Has it dated that badly or has it been unfairly neglected in the intervening years?
Electrocop

It’s certainly quite an unusual game. It’s set in 2089 and casts you in the titular role which I guess makes you a robot and we all know what temperamental oafs they can be. This one will need his (or its?) wits about him, however, as he’s up against the formidable (and somewhat conspicuous-sounding) Criminal Brain. This is presumably also a robot, or perhaps a computer-based artificial intelligence like Skynet. Hmmm, well, whatever form it takes, it apparently has influence over the physical world as it’s kidnapped the President’s daughter – oh nooo! In order to retrieve her safe and sound, you must penetrate the ‘technoid stronghold’ know as the ‘Stell Complex’ in which the Criminal Brain is hiding, and you’ve only got an hour to do it.
Electrocop

Although not constructed in an especially unique way, it’s how the game presents your exploration of this complex that makes Electrcop unusual. The action, you see, is viewed from a third-person perspective with each of the complex’s twelve maze-like levels consisting of a series of corridors linked by doorways, some of which are blocked by locked doors which require a code. Mr. Electrocop can run left and right along the corridors freely and can pass through doorways by moving into or out of the screen at the appropriate locations which sees the game scale your view back or forth accordingly. Each (or at least, most) corridors are patrolled by enemy droids called ‘Walkers’ of which there are four kinds – the Yellow Jacket, Blue Bird, Viper, and Red Disruptor, which all vary with regards to their speed, armour, and weapon power.
Electrocop

In addition to these, the heinous Criminal Brain has also installed a few other surprises throughout his complex including sections of electrified floors, mines, and other weapons such as wall-mounted cannons and concealed mortar-launchers. All of these deplete our blue automaton’s energy reserves. Fortunately, he comes equipped with a default laser of his own and there are a few other weapons available, including more powerful lasers and disruptors. All of them can be used freely, some even simultaneously, but can get damaged during combat if you’re not careful, and they all have a limited ‘charge’ which determines how frequently you can use them. The more powerful a weapon is, the more charge it will use per shot. All weapons recharge automatically but trigger-happy players should probably save the more powerful weapons for times of crisis!
Electrocop

These weapons can be acquired from special panels located here and there on the walls and similarly there are also computer terminals which offer many things including the ability to run several programs. Probably the most important of these is the ‘Ice Breaker’ which is essential for cracking the door codes but others include ‘Stasis’, which can temporarily disable all the droids, as well as ones to repair damaged weapons or refill your energy-meter. Surprisingly, there are even some mini-games available to play via the terminals too including Meteors, Out Break, and Letter Puzzle which are simple clones of Asteroids, Breakout, and one of those slidey tile games. Their inclusion might seem strange but the Ice Breaker program often takes a while to ‘crack’ the door codes so the games merely offer a convenient way to pass the time. Very considerate.
Electrocop

A different way to kill a few minutes that’s probably not so advisable is to further explore the levels, perhaps looking for more weapons or something. This is something that’s only recommended if you’ve taken the time to make maps, lest you get lost and not even be able to find the door whose code you’ve just cracked! Indeed, there are over thirty doors through the whole game, although the amount per stage varies from one to the next, so there are lots of very similar-looking corridors to run up and down. Obviously, the further into the game you get, the more complicated and therefore difficult the levels get but your objective is always the same – look for the door (or one of them), crack the code, and get out! It can get pretty repetitive too, but that’s not the game’s biggest problem.
Electrocop

It’s quite clear that Electrocop was always intended as a launch game – technically it’s mighty impressive and shows off the Lynx’s talents well. The music is unmistakably Lynx-ish but the various tunes are terrific, and the graphics aren’t half bad either. The circuit-board and metallic backgrounds on each level are decent, although there’s very little variation, but it scales the stages back and forth very nicely, even altering the colour of the droids according to the ‘plane’ they’re on compared to you. The main character is pretty big though, and moves fairly quickly too, which means you’ve often walked into danger before you’ve even seen it, whether one of the many droids or an increasingly common (and annoying) section of electrified floor. The easiest solution to this is to just run along permanently shooting. That kinda takes the enjoyment out of it somewhat, but it’s that or get angry, and often.
Electrocop

One thing that could’ve reallyruined this game is regenerating enemies so I was very pleased to find that the metallic cretins here explode when shot, and with their constituent atoms remaining scattered for good! Even with this bonus though, it’s unfortunately far from perfect. Playing it either takes the form of a repetitive run ‘n’ gunner or a frustrating arcade adventure depending on how you play it. It was originally intended as a 3D sequel to Impossible Mission and it’s quite clear why, but it’s also clear why Epyx ultimately decided to dissociate Electrocop from their legendary franchise as well. There are some good ideas here and its technical wizardry must’ve made people eager to see more of the Lynx when viewed at trade shows and such, but as a full game warranting hours of solid play, sadly it falls some way short of the mark.

RKS Score: 6/10

Galaga Flash Game

Galaga

Galaga Flash Game

Galaga was released by Namco in 1981 and is one of the most famous space shooter games in history with millions in sales as well as hours played. A common theme in many shooters, you are a loan starship pilot with an advance ship that has to take out a horde of alien ships. If this sounds like a challenge that is because it is.

  • Use the Arrow Keys to Move

  • Hit the Space Bar to Fire

[Our Review of Galaga]

Toy Story

toy-story-sega-genesis

Format- Sega Mega Drive

Genre- 2D platformer

This is an interesting one, in a few ways you might not expect.

First off, the game followed several months after the film, which was, as everyone knows, a huge success.

toy-story-sega-genesis

Perhaps the delay was to to make the game better – after all, no-one knew if the film was going to be a hit, and this could have therefore made the developer re-think producing a cash-in rather than a product that was a worthy accompaniment to the film (not that is something that happens often).

Although this is not a crushingly soulless exercise in licensed based tedium, the game is still nowhere near the classic the film is.

toy-story-sega-genesis

The first thing that you notice is that the game is by Travellers Tales, now of Lego-based fame. Toy Story shares hardly any of the traits of its present series of titles however.

Plumping for pre-rendered style graphics, the game doesn’t appeal that much in the cold light of 2011. It doesn’t help that the general feel of the game isn’t quite solid or tactile enough, making you not feel completely comfortable with the controls.

toy-story-sega-genesis

You play as Woody, with the opening stages offering up a pleasing amount of variation. There’s a typical side scrolling level, a open rescue mission and a racing section in the first three stages alone.

I managed to get to the nightmare based boss level, and I have stepped no further. I imagine the game continues in the same vein as its opening though, as long as it follows the plot of the film.

toy-story-sega-genesis

You can certainly tell it’s from a talented developer, but the game is still no classic and looks fairly dated by today’s standards. If you’re an Toy Story obsessive though, this is worth hunting down.

Oh and one last thing – the guy who is supposed to be impersonating Tim Allen did a terrible job – he sounds nothing like him. The Tom Hanks voice though, is passable.