The Obsolete Gamer Show: Ben Gold


The Retrogaming season of OGS continues with another Twin Galaxies legend, Ben Gold.

Ben was a pro gamer and legend at 16 and a member of the inaugural U.S. National Video Game Team. In our extended interview, we discuss what it was like being a gamer during the 80’s, appearing on That’s Incredible and meeting, Walter Day for the first time. If you like classic gaming nostalgia this episode is for you.

Billy Mitchell: You play Pac Man?


We all know who Billy Mitchell is especially if you love classic games, but sometimes you can know somebody and get the reason you know them just a little bit wrong as Billy explains in this clip from our Q&A event at the Florida Film Festival for Man vs. Snake: The Long and Twisted Tale of Nibbler.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Terry Burtlow

A true retrogamer, collector of classic games oh and he just happens to hold 28 Twin Galaxies world records. We talk with Terry Burtlow about collecting, gaming and more.

Unfortunately, the video had issues in this episode, but it was a great conversation so we wanted to share it.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Richard Wood – Brut@l (Stormcloud Games)


We’re talking Brut@l, a re-imaging of the classic ASCII dungeon crawler with its roots in classic gaming but with a 3D style today’s gamers can enjoy. We let you know can expect from the game with producer, Richard wood.

More about Brut@l:

Choose your hero: Ranger, Mage, Warrior or Amazon then descend into a procedurally generated world constructed entirely from ASCII.

Your goal? Reach the 26th floor, vanquish the fearsome Guardian of the Dungeon and claim his crown.

Sound easy? It won’t be. It will be Brut@l.

Craft and enchant weapons, brew and drink strange potions, risk their effects and level up your hero based on the play style that suits you. Most of all, survive for as long as you can as you battle Trolls, Orcs, Rockmonsters, Lycanthorpes and many more in this Brut@l roguelike.

Share the adventure by exploring Brut@l’s dungeon with a friend in local co-op, lay waste to the hordes of enemies that stand between you and floor 26, and evoke the nostalgia of all night gaming sessions from years past.

Get creative with Brut@l’s Dungeon Creator, an intuitive editing tool that lets you build, play, share and even die in your very own dungeon.

Brut@l launches on PlayStation®4 in Q2 2016. PC, Mac and Linux launch date TBA.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Sean Kelly – National Videogame Muesum

You’ve seen awesome personal collections of classic videos games. Maybe you’ve been to a video game convention and seen a display showcasing retrogaming. Now you have a whole museum dedicated to the history of the video game industry.

Super Nintedo Controller

 

We sat down with Sean Kelly one of the co-founders of the National Videogame Museum in Frisco Texas. Sean tells us about how they got there from their exhibits at E3 to just how many consoles, games and memorabilia you will have access to. Not only is the museum interactive, but also features rare artifacts and even the actual office of Randy Pitchford, founder of Gearbox Software.

Anyone with a love of video game classic or modern should check this out.

More on NVM:

The museum provides a physical location that interactively displays the history and impact on popular culture that videogames have had on the public. The museum features more than 100,000 videogame consoles, games, artifacts and more than 25 years of historical documents and data archives. NVM is an established 501(c)(3) non-profit and was founded by John Hardie, Sean Kelly and Joe Santulli.

The founders have collected videogame artifacts and other materials since the 1980s and have spent the past 20 years tracking-down the pioneers of the videogame industry to document their innovations and contributions. Also during that time, they have been building historical videogame exhibits at all of the major industry events and have come to be known as the foremost historians of videogame history.

Together, they formed the Videogame History Museum in 2009 and set out to find a permanent home. In September 2014, The City of Frisco voted unanimously to build out the unfinished area in the Frisco Discovery Center and allow it to be the new home of the National Videogame Museum. The family-friendly museum serves as a trip down memory lane for people of all ages who grew up playing videogames well as those who are interested in a deeper understand of the origins of the industry.

Learn more at: http://nvmusa.org/

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Piko Interactive


For those of you who have been fans of Obsolete Gamer for a while, you will know we started as a classic gaming website and love all things Retrogaming.

For this episode of OGS we feature Eli from Piko Interactive a company that develops and publishes new and previously released games for classic consoles. Imagine playing Duke Nukem 3D for the Sega Genesis, yes, you can do that!

We talked with Eli about his company, his gaming background and some of his favorite classic games. Fans of vintage games will really want to check this one out.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Mike “NESquester” Wright


A unique outspoken, tell it like it is writer who also professionally wrestled and loves retro games and that’s just the start. We talk to Mike “NESquester” Wright about his gaming background, wrestling career and his celebrated writing about classic games.

This one was fun and it’s rated R so come prepared for an interesting, informative and funny conversation.

Million Point “Mario Off” on 1337 Lounge Live

Million Point “Mario Off” on 1337 Lounge Live

Steven Kleisath and Stephen Boyer

Our friends over on 1337 Lounge Live are having yet another classic gaming event and we are happy to help promote it. On Friday, March 14th from 6PM to 1AM PST you can watch Twin Galaxies video game trading card members and Mario Bros champions, Steven Kleisath and Stephen Boyer go head to head live to see who can get the most points in the classic arcade game, the original, Mario Bros.

Now if you don’t know about 1337 Lounge Live you should:

1337LoungeLive is Jace Hall’s premium celebrity gaming channel on Twitch.tv which features weekly programming that spans game tournaments, new release showcases, and celebrity gaming events. In addition to classic gaming record holders, professional gamers and game developers, the channel has hosted events featuring such illustrious guests as legendary Marvel comics creator Stan Lee, Jon Heder, Kelly Hu, Roger cross and other cast members from “Arrow,” Dean Cain, Katrina Law and Dan Feuerreigel of “Spartacus,” Michael Rosenbaum from “Smallville,” Michael Jai White from Spawn, and more.

In addition, recently a number of record holders and champions in classic gaming have been appearing on the channel competing in marathons and other events. The cool thing is you can turn in and chat while watching and even Skype in with video and talk, so you should check it out.

1 Quarter Run: WWF Wrestlefest

wwf-wrestlefest

WWF Wrestlefest

Welcome to 1 QUARTER RUN, where I try to get as far as I can with ONLY 1 quarter!  No continues, replays or savestates!

wwf-wrestlefest

Why do this?  I’ve been a gamer for a VERY long time.  That being said, I’m constantly trying to improve myself.  These “let’s plays” are my attempts to improve myself and talk about the game and its surrounding context at the same time.

wwf-wrestlefest

My first entry is WWF Wrestlefest.  I had done a text review of its predecessor, WWF Superstars, some years back. However, it was THIS game that TRULY set the standard for great wrestling games during an era when wrestling games had a hard enough time being “good.”

wwf-wrestlefest

So come and join Prixel Derp’s Chris “Sledge” Douglas as I take on WWF Wrestlefest’s Saturday Night’s Main Event mode, and see how well I can do on this notorious quarter muncher!

Retro Gaming: Brasil

Retro Gaming in Brasil

Retro Gaming: Brasil

During my stay in Sao Paulo Brasil my wife and I made a stop at Bubsy Games. Retro gaming stores are sometimes hard to come by and I am very glad there are still a few around. Every time I’m in Sao Paulo I make sure to stop by Bubsy Games. I ended up trading some games with them and always enjoy stopping by.

Retro Gaming in Brasil

They have a small tv to test games out on, I love the air brush art on that thing.

Retro Gaming in Brasil

Retro Gaming in Brasil

A few of the gems I picked up in the trade. I’m stoked on Time Killers for the Sega Genesis and also the pirated Ninja Gaiden III famicom cart. I’ll be enjoying these a lot when I arrive back home. Thanks Bubsy Games!

Retro Gaming in Brasil

Bucky O’Hare

Bucky O’Hare

Overall Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Bucky O'Hare - NES

Bucky O’Hare was a comic-book character and star of an animated television series that proved to be a popular enough license to eventually lead to Konami producing a video game based on the canon. Concerning the space-faring green rabbit Bucky O’Hare and his ragtag crew of anthropomorphic creature-person heroes and their fight against the dread forces of the toad menace to save the Aniverse.

Gameplay

This one-player game begins with the player controlling the protagonist Bucky O’Hare, whose four shipmates have been captured and stowed on four planets generically named after colors. From an initial stage-select screen, Bucky can tackle the planets in whatever manner he wishes in order to save his comrades before taking the fight directly to the Air Marshal of the frog fighters.

Bucky O'Hare - NES

Gameplay is in the style of a two-dimensional platformer run-‘n’-gun type of title, whereas the A button jumps and the B button fires a blaster. The player can fire directly upward with Bucky’s gun and also fire while crouches. Each level offers their share of pattern-based enemies, precision-jumping puzzles, and fast-paced battle scenarios, all of which end in a nice little boss fight.

Where Bucky O’Hare begins to become somewhat distinctive is in the fact that after each crew member is rescued, you can instantly switch to playing as that character, and scroll through all available cast members by pressing Select. Each squad member has a slightly different weapon (Deadeye’s pistol fires in three directions but at a short range, Jenny has a quick laser that fires from her forehead, etc.) and a special ability activated by holding the B button (Jenny can launch a “crystal ball” attack that the player can control with the directional pad, Blinky can hover for a limited amount of time, etc.). It is this combination of character traits that enhances the challenge of each level as the player must decide which is best for the given situation. What complicates (or makes more tactical, at least) matters is that there are power tokens spread out throughout levels that upgrade each character’s inherent ability, each of which can be upgraded a few times, usually resulting in a longer duration of their particular specialty.

Bucky O'Hare - NES

With the standard platformer formula in place, Bucky adds items and power-ups, character selections, a robust health bar, a smattering of one-ups and continues to go along with a decent password system, and “hidden” levels apart from the initial four offered to form a thorough sci-fi laser-blasting adventure.

Graphics

Bucky O'Hare - NES

The character sprites are big enough to pose distinctive characters against some just-okay backdrops, but in some cases it is the enemy designs that outclass the heroes. For example, there is a portion of the Green Planet (Act 5, specifically, as the levels are divided) when multiple large crafts fly overhead, firing at the character, and all done with minimal flickering and slowdown issues. Then, at the end, a solid boss match with a toadbot who throws enormous boulders that crumble into deadly shards. On that same stage, though, this game shows its occasional “meh” qualities, with running water that is only bothered to be animated at its surface, lending an odd, ethereal appearance as it seemingly hovers a couple feet over the ground, yet landing in it instantly kills the controlled character.

Sound

Bucky O'Hare - NES

This title boasts the usual high-quality Konami effects, many of them recognizable from their library of other NES games (try the Start/pause button in the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartridges, or notice the explosion sound of the defeated bosses), along with good background music in place for appropriate ambiance. The skillful renditions reflect painstaking attempt at optimizing what the hardware had to offer, and results in an action-oriented, multi-layered beat throughout.

Originality

While other sci-fi themes had been done before for two-dimensional platform titles, and anthropomorphic protagonists had been seen before, no game was quite like Bucky O’Hare. This does not represent a perfect video game, nor is the experience without its aggravations, flaws, and outright bizarre bits (a spider enemy that drops down from a tree and explodes?!). Nonetheless, this game came late in the support cycle of the Nintendo Entertainment System console, long after Konami had mastered the basics of game-crafting and was able to spin a unique, enjoyable romp here, deserving of a respectable three and a half stars out of five.

Banjo Kazooie

Banjo Kazooie

Format- N64

Genre- 3D Platformer

Banjo Kazooie-N64

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I think Banjo Kazooie’s a bit of a classic.

When I hear people doing retrospectives on the subjects of N64 or developers Rare however, they usually dismiss the game as a turgid collectathon.

That is completely and utterly wrong in my opinion. So without further ado, here’s my hastily assembled defence for this unfairly maligned 3D platformer…

Banjo Kazooie-N64

This was my first title for the N64, and as a result I naturally have a bit more affection for it than others might do. This doesn’t mean that I think it’s flawless though – just that most of the game’s faults are blown mostly out of proportion by its critics.

First, there’s the criticism that the game is only really about collecting items. Balderdash. Although there are far more items to bag than in, say, Super Mario 64, there really isn’t a suffocating amount so that it dilutes the actual gameplay.

This was arguably a problem in Banjo Tooie where you had several different egg types – but the original has no such issues.

Banjo Kazooie-N64

Next, the Rare staple of sticking a pair of eyes of an object is dismissed as a lazy form of characterisation. The game may go a little further than needs to at times (Loggo the toilet i’m *shudder* looking at you), but Banjo Kazooie is primarily aimed at younger players, and in that context this process is quite charming.

The same goes for the garbled voices. I like them dammit! They fit into the feel of the game perfectly.

The way people moan about these googly eyed and strangely voiced characters you’d think the game was attempting to be a piece of high art. It’s not, so this criticism is more than a little unfair.

Finally, the large move-set of the game comes in for a fair bit of stick. It’s a criticism I can actually understand – compared to the simple but deep skill set of Mario, Banjo and Kazooie’s moves seem a little less natural.

Banjo Kazooie-N64

I personally don’t mind it, but other players may not like the way the game has more attack and jump types than is really necessary. A little streamlining might not have gone amiss.

In the standout parts of the game, the worlds you explore are nearly all wonderfully varied and lovingly designed. Each world is standalone, with different enemies and wildly different challenges in each one. They’re small but have a whole lot of things to do in them.

The game’s piece de resistance is definitely Click Clock Wood. A hugely ambitious multi-season romp, it stands out from the rest of the game every time I play it.

The other worlds are all fairly tight and well designed, but then this world comes out of nowhere and dwarfs them all. This world is the high point of the game, and in my view, the entire Banjo series. I haven’t finished Nuts and Bolts though, admittedly.

Finally, the game looks gorgeous. For an N64 game it still wows me, and I can’t see the game becoming out-dated or unplayable for a long time yet. The 360 hi-res version looks nicer still. The music is also great. Sure, it’s a probably a little too lively for some, but it’s catchy as hell and fits the game to a tee.

I probably haven’t convinced or indeed unconvinced anyone with the previous spiel, but it’s good to get it off my chest nontheless. Tomorrow – something a little more obscure.

Spelunker

Spelunker

I got this game for like .99 a while back.  Thought it was worth the  money just for the cool light on the cartridge:) Lights make everything better!  The game is Spelunker made by irem according to the game case, but when the title screen loads up it says Broderbund Software….

Spelunker

There isn’t much for controls, directional pad moves from side to side, A jumps and B uses your drill.  Thing is it’s insanely easy to die, jump down a couple pixels to far, you are dead and you will be dying a lot.  Check out my gameplay video…

It’s kind of frustrating, so I’m going to need a lot more practice and figure out what to do so I don’t keep dying constantly.  At least it was only .99 cents!

Spelunker

 

Twin Cobra

Twin Cobra

Twin Cobra is not officially a sequel to Tiger-Heli, but it sure seems like it. Although Micronics developed the arcade port for the NES for its predecessor, the pleasure of publishing Twin Cobra went to American Sammy in 1990, rather than Acclaim’s work to distribute Tiger-Heli.

TwinCobra

Gameplay

Twin Cobra is a military-themed vertically scrolling shoot-’em-up in which the player controls an advanced attack helicopter and wages a one-craft war against the evil enemy, who fights back with copters of their own, tanks, boats, turrets, in addition to other vehicles and obstacles. There is some horizontal scrolling as well, a bit to the left and right, adding a sense of size to the ten looping levels and an enhanced sense of flying freedom for the player.

The A button launches a devastating bomb, of which the player can hold up to nine at a time and find by shooting various objects for bonus items. The B button fires the primary weapon. Twin Cobra has a very solid variety of weaponry. To begin with, there are four types of ammo: The starting weapon, which has red-orange shells firing forward; a green-projectile weapon, which concentrates fire in a straight direction forward; a white-blue shot, which spreads in a radiated path forward; and a crazy multi-directional brown-ball weapon, which even slightly homes in on hostiles.

TwinCobra

In addition to the variance in weapon types, they can also be upgraded via collecting “S” items, with six total levels of upgrade, resulting in an annihilating amount of firepower. Even though only two shots can be on-screen at once, when fully upgrades, this still represents several projectiles in mid-flight, even up to a couple dozen in certain cases.

The player begins with three choppers, gaining an extra one when 50,000 points are reached; afterward, 150,000 points is required per one-up. Five continues are given. To grant the player a rest between frenetic rounds of bullet-blasting, each stage ends by landing on an aircraft carrier helipad for a brief rest from the firestorm festivities. Bonus points are totaled if the player was able to collect an amount of star items without dying. The white stars, rather than give bonus points, instead grant temporary invulnerability, as does a respawn.

TwinCobra

Twin Cobra does not have the most polished presentation, but it definitely offers a challenge that makes hearty demands on a player’s reflexes and flight tactics. Fans of the genre will enjoy discovering the absolute to-the-pixel limits of the chopper’s hit box, while casual players may be intrigued by the sheer amount of action on the screen at any given moment. There are even boss fights to contend with. Better than the plainest of shooters but not quite as refined in its quality as the better titles, Twin Cobra is quite decent, and will be fancied by some while ignored by others.

Graphics

TwinCobra

Twin Cobra definitely has to deal with flickering and slowdown. With multiple moving enemies firing multiple projectiles while the player-copter itself is firing multiple projectiles of its own, perhaps it is no minor miracles that the NES does not simply give up and freeze during the proceedings. The actual vehicle designs are alright, somewhat par for the course as far as these games go, but presentable. The staging is solid, as the player will find the chopper traversing over ocean naval forces, jungles, and even fighting some enemies on rails. The projectiles can seem a little odd, since most of them are just colored balls, but such lack of realism can probably be forgiven, given its 8-bit setting.

Sound

TwinCobra

Eh. The music is not awful in its composition, but the tonal quality leaves a bit to be desired. Those square-wave channels are a little obvious, and come off as tinny, plain (for digital musicianship), and not as rich as it could be. As for the sound effects, an enemy ship exploding sounds like a soft splash in the ocean, whereas the protagonist definitely suffers from “pew pew pew” syndrome, with very wimpy gunshot sounds. Twin Cobra is not a soundtrack powerhouse. Those wearing rose-colored glasses may find some appeal in its simplicity.

Originality

TwinCobra

Twin Cobra is undoubtedly not the first military-themed vertically scrolling shooter on the NES, and not even the first to feature a helicopter as hero. Thankfully, it features a much greater gameplay variety than Tiger-Heli, especially in the arsenal offered and enemy/boss designs. The basic level-loop, high-score-seeking shell is intact, and the general rule of “your mileage may vary” applies here. One does get the impression of Twin Cobra being somewhat rough around the edges, if anything. Overall, not the most staggeringly innovating 8-bit video game, but it can hardly be accused of being boring. A worse starting point for the shmup category could be found.

Rating: Two and a half stars out of five.

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.

The Game Genie

gamegenie

Long before there was an Internet to search for clues and codes to hack your way through a stubbornly difficult game, Codemasters brought a product into the game market which permitted access to your video game’s code, thereby letting you add unearned lives, power-ups, and so forth. The Game Genie was an accessory that you could insert into your game console, and then the game would attach to the Game Genie, allowing the Game Genie to act as an intermediary between the console and the game.

gamegenie

Many gamers found this helpful, and different Game Genies were produced for a variety of game consoles, including the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Nintendo GameBoy, the Super Nintendo, the Sega Genesis, and the Sega Game Gear. Two different companies distributed the Game Genie over the years it was being manufactured: Galoob and Camerica, one of which (Galoob) was actually sued by Nintendo in an effort to prevent the Game Genie from being sold. Fortunately for many gamers, Nintendo lost their legal battle and had to pay Galoob for damages.

Time marches steadily on, however, and the Game Genie is now in the dustbin of gaming history, while Nintendo continues to be a gaming powerhouse.  All we have left of the Game Genie are the few units that can be found here and there in the retrogaming marketplace, and our memories. Speaking of which, see if the following ad brings back memories of how you salivated over the thought of finally mastering that one irksome game, if only you got a Game Genie.

Robot Chicken: Pac-Man

Robot chicken, pac-man, adult swim, cartoon network, ms. Pac-man, seth green, 8-bit, classic gaming, funny video game videos, retro gaming

Today’s video of the day comes from the Adult Swim show, Robot Chicken. You can always expect Seth Green and the gang to come up with some hilarious shorts, but his retro gaming parody’s are especially funny. Check out their latest one based on the classic arcade hit, Pac-Man.

Nintendo Power: Reaction to the end of the long running magazine

Reports that Nintendo Power magazine was shutting down popped up like popcorn a week ago, bringing both old school and modern Nintendo fans to reminiscence about the long-running publication.

Nintendo Power Magazine

The first issue of Nintendo Power appeared in the summer of 1988, featuring a miscolored clay model for the upcoming Super Mario Bros. 2 on the cover. The magazine ran every other month for a while, eventually becoming a monthly publication and the best source for news on upcoming titles for the then-dominant Nintendo Entertainment System.

The full-color publication contained a variety of game previews, a section where gamers could request help on their toughest game challenges, tips, tricks and detailed maps for just about every release, contests, game rankings and even a high score chart where the world could race to be the first to max-out the high scores on NES titles.

Nester - Nintendo Power Magazine

I remember these days very fondly. I can still remember reading through that first issue three or four times that first night alone. Back in these days we didn’t have the internet to give us instant news nor were the other video game magazines on the market particularly timely. Nintendo Powerwas a literal treasure trove for a Nintendo-obsessed youngster such as myself, and I miss the feeling of anticipation of each new issue. I couldn’t wait to read the newest previews, try the latest tricks and tips and even to see if Howard ever gave Nester a little respect.

I subscribed to the magazine for the entire first four years and continued to check it out on newsstands ever since. Even though Nintendo no longer held direct control of the magazine in recent years, Nintendo Power still held true to it’s roots and still felt ‘right’.

Nintendo Power Magazine

“The passing of an era,” said New Jersey television producer Dave Bullis. “I remember reading it since childhood. It’s not just the passing of Nintendo Power, but the end of physical print and the closing of a childhood memory. The best memory I have is the Goldeneye issue. It made me really excited for the game.”

Another longtime fan learned of the news just hours after renewing her subscription.

Nintendo Power had a huge impact on my interest in gaming,” said Seattle gaming vet Elizabeth ‘Ebo’ Hanning. “I have roughly a few hundred issues of the magazine dating back to some of the early copies. The best part of Nintendo Power was that the helpline was a local number, so I could call without my parents getting angry.”

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMCEEO77EpU[/youtube]

Some reports state the publication may be done outright while others state that Nintendo Power may continue as an online-only publication. Either way it is the end of an era, especially for us long-time fans.

Truxton

 

Truxton - Gameplay Screenshot - Banner

Truxton, or Tatsujin (Japanese for ‘Expert’), is a viciously addictive vertical shoot’em up. It was released by Taito in 1988. For the folks In the US, the game was licensed to Midway and Romstar for manufacture and distribution.

Truxton - Gameplay Screenshot

The premise of the game is quite simple – you control a fighter ship, taking power-ups and weapon-selection items along the way, and then using them to shoot down enemies. When the going gets tough, one press of the Tatsujin-bomb button exterminates every enemy on screen (the motherships and big bosses take more hits to kill).

Truxton - Gameplay Screenshot

As you progress through each area, it gets more critical to collect the various power-ups and weapons that come your way. The souped-up weaponry, like the green Tatsujin-beam, assist in killing the motherships with fewer shots. The game has 5 big bosses to defeat across 200 hundred areas (not levels!).

Truxton - Gameplay Screenshot

 

Vertical shoot’em ups have a simple premise, but the devil is in their gameplay detail.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a_qoaWICjgc[/youtube]
Truxton has no shortage of gameplay and the vast areas and different enemy types, will keep you occupied for a long while. Put your space-suit on, whack on your helmet, and get in that fighter ship – the universe depends on it !

Truxton - Gameplay Screenshot - Cabinet

Manufacturer: Toaplan
Year: 1988
Genre: Vertical Shoot’em Up
Maximum number of players: 2
Gameplay: Alternating
Joystick: 8-way
Buttons: 2 (Fire and Bomb)
Control Panel Layout: Single Player
Sound: Amplified Mono (single channel)
Cabinet: Upright Standard
Weapons: Red – Power Shot, Blue – Sun Lader and Green – Tatsujin-Beam

 

What is gaming’s ‘Greatest Generation’?

Legendary journalist Tom Brokaw coined the term “the Greatest Generation” in 1998 to describe what he felt was the most important generation in American history.  What generation deserves that tag in video gaming history seems to be up for debate.

video-game_Generation

Over the past several years I have seen and dealt with players who will put the topic up for constant debate.  I have seen classic arcade gamers refer to anything console as “lame” and unimportant in comparison, even going so far as to note the NES as the death of their generation instead of the massive industry crash years before it.  I have seen modern gamers question the loyalty of the classic gaming fans and I’ve seen every generation inbetween sing the virtues of their preferred generations of gaming.

Last Friday’s article noting that all three modern consoles have now surpassed the Nintendo Entertainment System in lifetime sales figures saw some pro-NES fans go on the defensive, even acting as if the statistics were being used to somehow downplay the importance of the NES or claim modern console superiority.   A puzzling yet interesting response that led me to open the floor up for debate on this very topic.

What do you think is the “Greatest Generation” in video gaming?  To help with the discussion I’ve broken down the generations below.

* Pre-History Era (pre-1971) – Games such as Spacewar proved popular on major university campuses, but no consumer video game products existed yet.

* Consumer Era (1971-1977) – Video games became available to consumers in both coin-op form and home products that could be hooked up to television sets.  Few games truly caught on during this time, however.

* Boom Era (1978-1983) – Video games arrived in a big way starting with Space Invaders and went deep into the mainstream in both coin-op and home console form.  Arcade machines set sales records that still stand today.  However, this generation was unable to sustain itself.  After sliding in 1982 the industry began an unstoppable downward spiral in 1983.

* Crash Era (1984-1986) – The video game briefly joins the list of dead fads as most arcade locations close and retailers refuse to carry any video game products.  Personal computer gaming managed to thrive.  The Nintendo Entertainment System came along toward the end of this era and gained some steam…

* NES Era (1987-1990) – Nintendo’s console dominated the home console scene while surviving arcade locations stabilized behind strong titles not yet available for home play.  While the NES manages to more than double the lifetime sales of the Atari 2600, other consoles struggle.  Handheld gaming comes to be, starting with Nintendo’s GameBoy.  Video games are still considered “toys” by the media as the decade ends.

* Nineties Era (1991-1999) – The 16-bit console wars split the gaming audience between Nintendo and Sega but increase the overall scale of the industry.  Arcades see a semi-comeback behind popular fighting and sports titles.  Consumers were unable to keep up with the majority of new console product, however, until Sony’s PlayStation comes along, becoming the first console in history to sell more than 100 million units.

* Millenium Generation (2000-2006) – The PlayStation 2 comes out to product shortages and an eBay frenzy, eventually trumping the lifetime sales of the first PlayStation.  Microsoft’s XBox brings new blood into the marketplace while Sega bows out.  Nintendo finally moves on with the introduction of new handhelds, continuing their dominance in that area but struggling to regain the top spot with traditional consoles. Video games leave consumer toy labels into electronics and entertainment labels.

* Modern Generation (2007-present) – The Nintendo Wii brings the Big N back to the top of the traditional console market with motion control.  The PlayStation 3 stumbles out of the gate but helps Sony’s Blu Ray win the disc format war.  The XBox 360 brings Microsoft ahead of Sony in the console race.  The Nintendo DS blows past the lifetime GameBoy sales numbers while all three traditional consoles reach the top five best selling consoles ever.  Numerous titles break all-time gaming sales figures.

Games & Candy

Personally, I find runts have a most distinct taste than Gobstopper so when you are going for flavor it is a better choice. Again, this is a lower calories and sugar candy than many others. ~J.A. Laraque

Candy

Games & Candy

Most people are trying to be healthier now-a-days and even in gaming, where you spend most of the time sitting, there are things you can do to improve your overall health. However, sometimes you just want to enjoy some candy, and there are some awesome candies to eat during gaming that gives you that sugar rush and sweet taste to deal with even the most annoying wow kiddy.

Jelly Belly

Jelly Belly

Nothing is better gaming candy than jelly beans and why be stuck with just a few flavors when you can enjoy 40 different ones. Personally, I love butter popcorn, which puts me in the minority, but I also love their bubble gum and cotton candy flavor. When you are headshotting people in Battlefield, and you blindly reach for a bean and are surprised by the flavor, it is like finding a hidden treasure in an RPG.

Gobstoppers

gobstoppers

This candy is great for MMO players because they last a long time and keep you from having to head out to the store for more. They also are one of the less bad for you candies due to having lower sugar and calories. Gobstoppers are just sweet enough and since you cannot bite into them right away, you learn patients which is important during those long MMO sessions.

Runts

runts

The perfect candy for the RTS fan, this candy is like a mix between a gobstopper and skittles because at first you cannot bite it so it lasts longer, but not long after you can break it into pieces and finish it off. Personally, I find runts have a most distinct taste than Gobstopper so when you are going for flavor it is a better choice. Again, this is a lower calories and sugar candy than many others.

Mike & Ike

Mike-and-Ike

I find these are good for console gaming. These candies are soft, chewy, and very sweet, but you can kill a whole box quickly so you need the ability to pause the game and get more. I like the special red box that has flavors like cherry, strawberry and watermelon, but all the flavors are good. Just be careful with this one because the calorie and sugar content is pretty high.

Pal Bubble Gum

pal bubble gum

This is the perfect retro gamer candy. Pal bubble gum has been around forever and I remember buying them for one cent each at the candy story. The good thing about Pal is for a low cost candy the sweet taste of the gum lasts quite a while. You could have a big bag of gum and it could last days or weeks depending. Since so many classic games are harder and repetitive, the gum gives you something else to focus on when you can’t kill that damn bat in Ninja Gaiden.

What’s in your Candy Store?

So I know I missed a ton of your favorites, so what is a candy you like to snack on during your game sessions?

Airwolf

Airwolf - Box - NES

Airwolf

Airwolf was a 1980’s television series that inspired a licensed video game developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System by Acclaim and released in 1989. Following the mission-oriented adventures of Hawke and his Airwolf military helicopter, the protagonist must undergo several missions in order to defeat the FIRM.

Gameplay

You follow a series of missions, each of them usually consisting of rescuing hostages or destroying enemy fighters. Before each stage, a map is shown, marking locations where you can land the Airwolf craft, including where to land for fuel and where to pick up hostages. It also shows the likely location of enemy aircraft as well.

Airwolf - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

During the mission, you fly about in a rough first-person flight-simulation mode, with the horizon awkwardly lilting back and forth in jerky angles for every adjustment. You can shoot opposing units while tracking your location on the panel display, which also shows the location of the hostages, fuel, etc. When you approach one of these target sites, it switches to a side-view landing screen, where you must carefully guide the Airwolf copter between obstructive structures and softly land without crashing and burning. Doing so at a fuel station reloads your fuel, obviously, whereas landing at the sight of a hostage shows the thankful person boarding your Airwolf vehicle. Once you rescue the hostages, you exit the area and the mission is completed. Occasionally you destroy airfields. You can shoot incoming missiles and get credit for doing so at the end of a mission. Otherwise, that is pretty much it.

Airwolf - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

The gameplay, it must be noted, is notoriously repetitive and boring. It is playable, but the bland looks coupled with uninventive missions (put it this way: you rescue a lot of hostages) does not help to enhance any sort of appeal or replay value.

Graphics

Seeming to focus on connecting with the source material of the television show, the game features enormous close-up shots of characters and features (the Airwolf crest must been seen to be believed, and the pocketknife beside the glasses on the sheet of paper that missions get typed onto is a nice touch) between stages, emphasizing the looks of those details rather than the in-game graphics, which are rather crude. The weapon fire is generic geometric shapes, the enemy craft are ill-defined (though decent), and other than the needlessly complex-looking control panel, the entire background is separated into two colors: One for ground, the other for sky, and the colors change every level.

Airwolf - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

Sound

The Airwolf theme is present and intact, though likely unrecognized by most. The effects themselves are nondescript and average. Ho hum.

Originality

Some license games have some thought put into them (granted, sometimes too much), and some very little, and this seems to be a case of the latter. It is a simple flight simulator, but makes no effort to stretch beyond very basic mission-based dogfight land-the-craft gameplay.

Airwolf - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

Lots of license games for various pop-culture sources were created for the NES, to varying results. Some were overwrought and made, perhaps, needlessly complicated (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Cool World, etc.); others seemed to be more thoughtful and developed but a bit heavy on the challenge side (Die Hard, Fester’s Quest); while still others, among other categories, fell into the group that were sloppily made, lazily pushed to publication, and devoid of any interesting, redeeming qualities. Welcome to your homeland Airwolf, where you languish with a rating of one and a half stars out of five.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UE-YSOmb-8[/youtube]

Eric Bailey is a retro gamer on a crazy quest to write a quality review for every single American-released NES video game over at NintendoLegend.com.

Classic Games you would give as gifts today

Video Game Stocking

True story, I was in a Kay Bee toy store several years before they closed and was looking for some discounted games. An older woman comes in and asks about the Playstation2 which was brand new at the time. The guy behind the counter tells her the Atari Jaguar would be much better liked for her son and showed her a wonder bundle of games and told her he could give them all to her for one special price.

Well, if you know anything about the Atari Jaguar you know any kid would not want that over a brand new PS2. Now yes, I could have said something, but I was an evil teenager at the time and I was hoping to be there after the holidays when she would have to return it in a panic.

I was thinking about that story the other day and with the holidays almost here I thought about great games that would make great gifts today. Now of course if you gave most people an old game instead of something new like Call of Duty or Skyrim they would freak. However, what if it would be appreciated, what classic game would you proudly give as a gift?

Sonic 2

Sonic 2

For me this was Sonic perfection, the level design the music and everything in-between made this a great game. Even today it is the type of game you can load up and enjoy a quick run through. It may not have the graphics of today, but people are liking Sonic Generations and its look back to classic Sonic so as a retro stocking stuffer this game would be received well.

Super Mario RPG

Super Mario RPG

When you mix the fun world of Mario with the RPG nature of the Squaresoft games you get an adventure that stands the test of time. Super Mario RPG had it all, a good storyline, great characters, wonderful music and a fun battle system with boss fights and secret areas and the game was pretty long to boot. Compared to later games like Final Fantasy 7, it may seem lacking, but in its time it was ahead of its day and led to many great Paper Mario games.

Final Fantasy 7

final-fantasy-7

Speaking of FF7, most people crown this game the king of the series and even though you might get tired of seeing people pretend they are Sephiroth or horrible cosplay of Tifa, the game itself was a masterpiece. Again we have the perfect combination of story, characters, gameplay and music and all were rated five stars. Many gamers still want a remake and not the one on the PSP. No doubt the painted ground and other outdated graphics might look strange to today’s gamer, but for a classic game this must rank as one of the all-time greats.

Super Castlevania

Super Castlevania

How many of you have played this in some form in the last year or so. For many it is like going to church, you do it once or twice a year. Super Castlevania is one of those games that every once in a while you have to play through because of how fun it was and I have to toss  STON in there as well because they were both so well done that even with outdated graphics the game is still awesome. The point is that great games are great games regardless of their outdated look. Castlevania was fun to play and it did not matter if that bat looked more like a dust bunny or that the whip was seriously pixelated. Once you saw someone playing it or a video or even a mention you most likely loaded it up yourself. Come on, you know right now you are thinking about it.

Stocking Stuffer

Now obviously there are a ton of great games I missed, but that is for you to tell us. In fact we will make it a contest. Tell us what classic game would be worth giving as a gift this holiday season and the best written one will be featured in an article and you will win a prize. Detail is the key here and the better you make your case the better your chance to win. Even if you do not want to participate in the contest we want to know which game you think should be on this list.

Super Metroid

Super Metroid - Super Nintendo - Box

As I came across this game I though to myself why not pick it? After all, this game is one of the most praised by Metroid fans as they pick it as their favorite. The game itself has a very intriguing storyline that kept you interested in the game. As many of you remember the tragic ending of this incredible game….ahhh yeah the memories….Anyways, on with the game. Here you have a platformer style game with RPG elements and action packed! Should I even say more? The music is unforgettable and the graphics were top notch for its time.

Super Metroid - Super Nintendo - Gameplay Screenshot

 

Want to hear even more? The hero is actually a very sexy heroine! Yes, this is girl power to the max! I’m sure most of you Metroid fans already knew that but back when the first one in the series where at the ending your “hero” would take his/her helmet off and surprise surprise it was a chick! I have never felt so turned on!! har har har.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bQXb33_GnA[/youtube]

 

So I won’t say much more as I don’t want to spoil the fun for those of you who haven’t played this masterpiece but I will tell you one thing, try it out! It’s available for the Wii virtual console.

Wiz ‘n’ Liz

Wiz 'n' Liz - Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

Wiz ‘n’ Liz (1993)
By: Raising Hell Software / Psygnosis  Genre: Platform  Players: 1-2  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Sega MegaDrive / Genesis  First Day Score: 922,300
Also Available For: Amiga

Released mid-way through the MegaDrive’s life, this quirky platformer for some reason seemed to slip under the radar for most gamers at the time. Is that because it sucks? Actually, no, and it was released on the most popular console and computer of the time, and came during a period when the genre was at its peak too, so it’s a mystery to me why more people haven’t played it! I actually first encountered it in a very favourable review in an Amiga magazine but it was the MegaDrive version I would ultimately purchase, purely because the MD is better than the Amiga as everyone knows (hee hee!), but the MD is also far better catered for as far as this kind of game is concerned too. So how did Wiz ‘n’ Liz fare against the likes of Sonic? Not too well, one might think, but could Psygnosis have a surprise in store?

Wiz 'n' Liz - Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

One of the first things you might notice when playing this game is that it’s nearly as fast as Sonic! It’s set on the amusingly-named planet of ‘Pum’ where Wiz the wizard and Liz the witch reside. Their pastime of creating new magic spells is second only to taking care of their many beloved pet rabbits. Unfortunately, however, their latest spell has gone wrong and whisked all their rabbits off to who knows where! Under your (and a friend’s) control, Wiz ‘n’ Liz immediately set out to rescue them all and restore Pum to its former glory. Finding all of their rabbits isn’t particularly hard as they’ve been liberally sprinkled across the many charming and not so charming lands that comprise Pum. They’re not just normal rabbits though, but magic rabbits, and every last one of them must be rescued.

Wiz 'n' Liz - Master System - Gameplay Screenshot
The game begins in Home Land where Wiz ‘n’ Liz’s house and magic cauldron are located. There are also some trees here in which magic fruit grow. Mixing any two of these fruits in the cauldron creates a spell whose effect depends on which combination of fruits are mixed, but the first spell creates a door which provides access to the level select area. From here you can enter the various levels (or ‘lands’) and you can tackle them in any order you want. Each land is made up of two or three rounds, and on each of these there is a set quota of rabbits to rescue. This is done by touching them and to start with they will each release letters which slowly float up the screen. Collecting these letters spells out the magic word at the top of the screen. Once it’s complete, rescued rabbits will instead release magic fruits, stars, and clocks.

Wiz 'n' Liz - Master System - Gameplay Screenshot


Collecting these items isn’t mandatory but it can be very useful. Gathering magic fruits will fill the magic-meter which, when full, makes that fruit available to mix magic spells with in Home Land. Each clock collected will add five seconds to you timer for the next stage / land, and stars can be spent on fruits, more clocks, and even extra lives in the shop, but only once you’ve worked out the magic spell to summon it! There are eight standard lands to play through (as well as one secret final land which you must earn the right to play) and they are all multi-tiered and based on some pretty standard themes such as Grass Land, Snow Land, Desert Land, Dead Land, etc. Each is also looped and the stages contained therein are timed, with the amount of time you start with being determined by which of the three skill settings you choose before play.

Wiz 'n' Liz - Master System - Gameplay Screenshot
One of the most notable things about Wiz ‘n’ Liz is that it’s nearly bereft of enemies, with only a few bosses making up their ranks. As well as the skill settings, there are also three ‘levels’ to choose between – Apprentice, Wizard, or Sorcerer – and each time you finish one of them you’ll face a boss, such as a giant malevolent tree or sunflower, before progressing to the next level. The boss you face will be determined not only by the level but also the skill setting, so there’s a good few of them, and that’s one of my favourite things about this game – the range of difficulty settings mean it’s possible to just mess around having fun and trying out new magic spells, or to really test yourself and try to finish the game properly too! There is also a superbly frantic two-player mode in with the players race each other to see who can collect their rabbit-quota first.

Wiz 'n' Liz - Master System - Gameplay Screenshot
Despite taking this long to explain, Wiz ‘n’ Liz really is a fairly simple, albeit slightly strange game! Aesthetically, things are certainly superb. The opening title sequence features some lovely wibbly reflective water effects, for example, and the in-game graphics are nicely detailed, superbly animated, amusing, and full of character. The audio on offer here is of a similarly high standard. The sound effects are superb and there are lots of tunes, including one for each land. They are still among the best I’ve heard on the MegaDrive and must surely rank highly on the list of the composer, the great Matt Furniss’ achievements, perfectly suiting the fast, frantic, arcade-style gameplay. In fact, on a good few occasions I’ve decided to play this game just to give my ears a treat before zooming through the delightful lands, getting caught up in the addictive rabbit-rescuing antics once again!

Wiz 'n' Liz - Master System - Gameplay Screenshot

That’s the best thing about Wiz ‘n’ Liz – you can play it for five minutes, you can play if for two hours, it’s great fun either way. The magic spell tomfoolery complicates the otherwise simple gameplay a little but, whilst good fun, most of the fruit combinations produce little of substance, instead mostly comprising amusing mini-games, bonus time/points, or changing some minor aspect of the game (rabbit colour, for example). That’s one of the things that most puzzles me about this game – being a platform game, it’s not completely original, but it has so many unique features and charming touches, even if many of them are superficial – it’s still a fantastic game, so its lack of success is bewildering. Not only that but it was released at a time when 2D platform games were king and originality was scarce which only confuses matters further. It’s hard to believe that it’s only the second game from the developer that would go on to become the revered Bizarre Creations (responsible for Project Gotham Racing and Geometry Wars amongst others). Wiz ‘n’ Liz is a game I would urge any platform fan to try. Besides, how could you not like a game featuring rotating fruits with faces?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=px-WdFMeYy8[/youtube]

RKS Score: 9/10

Tiny Toons

Tiny Toons - Konami - NES - Gameplay Screenshot
I actually played the pirate of this game but fell in love with it nonetheless. Tiny Toons for the NES is how a very funny cartoon converted to a console should have been done. Konami did a lot of things well in this game which went up through the SNES era but that’s another story. Tiny Toons is your average platformed that can turn a hell a lot better if you love the cartoon as the familiarity is uncanny for such a game. You’ll see characters from the series all over the place. The story of the game is very simple, Babs Bunny has been kidnapped and it’s up to Buster and the rest of them to save her. They will have to go through six awesome levels filled with enemies you may have seen in the cartoon DUH!

Tiny Toons - Konami - NES - Gameplay Screenshot
The game is very interesting as you can pick a partner from the duck(Plucky), the Tazmanian devil (Dizzy), and the cat (Furball) to accompany you on your journey. This is key as each character has their own ability therefore they will be useful in different ways on each level. Some of them are more useful than others so it’ll take you at least one run through the entire game to figure out what level each belongs to. It doesn’t make any difference since if you already went through the game once, you already know and figure out everything you need to know in order to beat it so take your best guess!

Tiny Toons - Konami - NES - Gameplay Screenshot

The levels are very easy if you figure the patterns and what not. You can probably get through the game in less than an hour but it’s fun over all. The music is quite good as well as it familiarizes with the cartoon’s at some points not all of course. To conclude, this game is very easy to pick up and play which can be very good for people who aren’t ready to learn new gaming styles and to through hour-long tutorials. Yes, this is the power of retro gaming at its maximum! You better believe it!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fJkSynewmA[/youtube]

Starfox

Starfox - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot
Star Fox a.k.a Starwing (1993)
By: Argonaut Software / Nintendo EAD  Genre: Shooting  Players: 1  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Nintendo SNES  First Day Score: 15,100
Also Available For: Nothing

I don’t know about you but I thought the 16-bit console era was a fantastic time to be a gamer. Both Sega and Nintendo’s offerings each had some unique and desirable software and each continued to push their hardware further and further. Then, at around the mid-way point of their war with Sega, Nintendo decided to up the ante with their ‘Super FX’ chip. Created by British developer, Argonaut Software, the chip was essentially a graphics accelerator which could be incorporated into a standard SNES game cartridge but allowed far superior graphics to be used. Specifically, for the first time the painfully slow SNES CPU could produce in-game polygon graphics and throw them around at a pretty decent speed. This would surely give Nintendo’s machine a crucial advantage over Sega’s powerhouse and also allow games that the MD couldn’t hope to rival. But did it?

Starfox - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot
In order to showcase their new technology, the alliance of Argonaut and Nintendo not only created a new game from scratch but an entire new franchise, and on paper it sounded promising. Centering around the star-faring Lylat solar-system, a mad scientist named Doctor Andross has been banished from the peaceful planet of Corneria (populated by anthropomorphic animals, of course). After fleeing to Planet Venom (also in the Lylat system), he declares war on Corneria and unleashes a huge army to that end. General Pepper of the Corneria Defense Force consequently summons the mercenary Star Fox unit to combat Andross and outfits them with state-of-the-art prototype combat fighters called Arwings (why are they always ‘prototypes’, isn’t there ever any ‘tried-and-trusted’ ships in the game world?). The leader of the unit is Fox McCloud, and joining him are teammates, Falco Lombardi, Peppy Hare, and Slippy Toad.

Starfox - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot
The gameplay takes the form of a 3D polygonal shoot ’em up and sees you and your teammates flying across various planets and through intervening sections of open space until you reach Planet Venom and ultimately destroy the ‘Core Brain’. There are three differing routes to your destination representing different difficulty levels and each features unique stages. You always start on Corneria and end up at Venom but even they have some differences depending on which route you take. You are always accompanied by your teammates who generally fly in formation behind you, but they occasionally break formation to pursue an enemy or if they are being pursued by one, and they often need your help (except the ultra-lairy Falco), but while you try you’ll have to be careful not to inflict friendly fire upon them (pay special attention, American gamers – hee hee!).

Starfox - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot
Whilst not exactly an ‘on rails’ shooter, your forward motion through all the stages is fixed, much like Space Harrier, for example, affording you a limited degree of movement within them. That said, most stages also feature numerous obstacles in addition the many enemies which must be avoided. The Arwing does possess thrusters and retro-rockets though, which allow a limited increase or decrease in speed, and it can also turn ninety degrees to the left or right to sneak through narrow gaps too. The game also switches between first and third-person perspectives with the former preferred for space stages and the latter generally used when flying over a planet or landscape of some sort. The enemies are all polygon-based too and range from small fighters and gun emplacements to huge battleships armed with various guns and missiles, and as well as taking as many of these out as possible you’ll also need to avoid the aforementioned obstacles which include buildings, asteroids, falling towers, floating debris of numerous types, as well as destroy the boss at the end of each stage.

Starfox - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot
To take on the forces of Andross your team’s Arwing fighters have been fitting with Laser Blasters, a limited supply of Nova Bombs, and an Energy Shield. It is possible to upgrade your blasters and replenish your supply of bombs by collecting the relevant icons you’ll occasionally encounter, and there’s also two types of ring. Flying through one kind will replenish some of your shield energy while the other acts as a restart point if you die. Your Arwing fighter can also be damaged if you fly into (or get flown into by) building or large enemies which can break off part of its wings, reducing its maneuverability in the process. Luckily these can also be replaced by collecting the relevant icon, which certainly helps the already tricky gameplay! That said, the difference between the three ‘routes’ to Planet Venom is noticeable, but you’re bound to want to see all the stages so you’ll have to battle on through the easy levels and hard levels alike! One tip to making the game easier is to protect your teammates – they take damage like you do and once they’re gone, they’re gone!

Starfox - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot
As the first Super FX-powered game, Star Fox certainly does its job of showing off the capabilities of the new hardware. I imagine certain sections of this game could be replicated by a standard SNES or MD but there’s no way either would be able to run everything so smoothly. Obviously things look pretty basic by today’s standards, and smooth or not the game has a pretty slow pace, but this is still a pretty impressive technical achievement, with enemies whizzing around, bullets and missiles flying back and forth, etc. The music is less impressive but still not bad and your teammates (who blabber on constantly – see the screenshots!) have amusing ‘talking’ noises. They’re a nice touch actually and add a lot of charm to the already distinctive gamplay. Once the novelty wears off though, it can be very a frustrating game, and replaying levels can get very choresome.

Starfox - SNES - Gameplay Screenshot

To be honest, prior to this review I hadn’t played this game much and I didn’t like it at all. I was intending to play it for a bit, confirm it sucked, then rip into it here, but I was surprised to find that it’s actually not bad! It plays like a cross between Amiga and ST classic, Starglider (also by Argonaut, probably not coincidentally) and After Burner, but brings a lot of uniqueness and character to the table as well. I still think it’s overrated and doesn’t warrant the adulation it received and apparently still receives, but neither is it a flashy hardware demo with no gameplay as I
previously thought.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NCfM_uLyXoQ[/youtube]

RKS Score: 6/10

A chat with Q*bert programmer Warren Davis

Warren Davis

As the modern day video game industry continues to grow, the games from the original boom period of the early 1980s have entered pop culture status.

Among the ranks of Pac-ManMario and Donkey Kong is Q*bert.   The title character of this 1982 arcade smash has continued to live on almost 30 years after his debut, from references in television shows such as Family Guy and The Simpsons to gamers still aiming to be the all-time world champion on the title.

According to Warren Davis, the programmer who brought Q*bert to the video game arcade screen, the lasting impact of the game was not expected.

“It’s nice to hear that Q*bert is still remembered by some people,” Davis told Arcade Game Examiner. “Sometimes it seems like Pac- Man and Donkey Kong get a lot of attention and Q*bert is just fading off into obscurity.”

The initial popularity of Q*bert resulted in numerous home releases, plush dolls and more.  It also became one of a handful of video games to become cartoons, as CBS Saturday Morning cartoon Saturday Supercade included a Q*bert segment alongside animated episodes of games such as Frogger and Donkey Kong Junior.

“I wasn’t all that impressed,” Davis revealed. “It was a nice attempt to create a back-story for the characters, but I didn’t think it really needed one. It was also a nice attempt to market the character and help it reach a bigger audience, but I’m not sure that it had any effect.”

qbert

After Q*bert, Davis continued to work on video gaming titles including classic arcade shooters Revolution-X and Terminator 2.  While these titles differed greatly from his early 80s hit, the goal was the same, he said.

“My approach isn’t all that different.  Whatever the genre or style, I try to find a way to engage and challenge the player in an entertaining way,” Davis said.

In addition to game design, Warren Davis has also entered acting, appearing in television shows such as All My ChildrenHouse M.D. and the Practice, as well as films such as 2008’s Yesterday Was A Lie.

“Acting is something I started doing in college for fun, and at the time I was hired by Gottlieb, I was also studying and performing improv comedy in Chicago,” he said. “Luckily, I was always able to fit in acting on nights and weekends while my day job was making video games. After a few years, I found myself working in bigger and better theatres and eventually realized that it was something of a second career. Nowadays, I’m more interested in acting and directing than writing software, although I still dabble on software projects that interest me.”

Qbert arcade machine

Q*bert has once again entered the public eye in competitive video gaming, including the recent attempt in New Jersey by gamer George Leutz, who saw his world record attempt end after 36 hours when the power cord was jostled.  Davis, who learned of the attempt through Arcade Game Examiner, spoke to Leutz shortly after the sudden game over.

“I felt absolutely terrible for him, but he seemed to be in as good spirits as possible,” Davis said. “He had a great group of friends there to support him, and you can’t really ask for anything more than that, can you? I congratulated him, and told him that next time he tries, I’ll try to be present via Skype so I can watch.”

Even though Davis has made a mark on screens across video gaming, movies and television, he turned down the opportunity to plug his upcoming projects.

“I’m not much of a self-promoter. Maybe I’ll develop that skill someday,” he said.

 

The Last Express

The Last Express
I do know that the precious reader of Gnome’s Lair has been quite aware of my interest (or is that fascination?) with The Last Express. I have after all been constantly mentioning the thing both via Twitter and Facebook, and have also grabbed a digital copy via gog.com, which I promptly installed. But should I review it? I really don’t think so. More than a few excellent reviews and retrospectives for this truly unique, groundbreaking, gorgeous and amazing adventure game are readily available and are way better written than anything I could hope to come up with. That’s why I have chosen to do something I’ve never really done on this blog; namely write a series of posts more or less detailing my experiences through the game.
Here I go now…
Being a traditionalist, I didn’t immediately start playing after downloading and installing the game. Oh no. I read through the manual, watched the mostly spoiler free making-of video and even had a glance at the digital version of the Quick Reference Guide. The manual was unsurprisingly the best part, what with it trying to explain the intricacies of the game’s non-standard interface and features, while wisely providing minimal only information on the plot and some interesting insights to the Orient Express -the setting of The Last Express– itself.
The Last Express
The game itself starts off with an impressive if short intro movie that managed to immediately set the tone and introduce me to the amazing visuals on offer, though intriguingly failed to also introduce me to my apparently Irish avatar and his motives. This lack of knowledge has so far proved an excellent idea, as I slowly get to uncover who I’m guiding (most probably to his doom), discovering his shady -hopefully revolutionary, what with Mr. Robert Cath being Irish a few years before Ireland’s war for independence- past and finding out what it is I’m supposed to be doing. As for the newspaper clipping discovered in my pocket, the same clipping that let me know I was a wanted man, was too vague to enlighten me, but intriguing enough to get me hooked.
The Last Express
The game’s interface, on the other hand, is rather intuitive and more or less straight forward, despite the rather odd way the inventory works. Also, the fact that The Last Express is played in real time and comes complete with an incredibly handy rewind time feature, allows for complete freedom of exploration, true in-game choice and a relaxed pace. There simply is no anxiety for dead ends, which I thought -and still think- is necessary to enjoy such an investigation heavy adventure.
The first few hours are, after all, far from action-packed. As Robert Cath I fought a guy, sneaked around, eavesdropped and enjoyed the excellent French, Serbian, English, African and Russian accents, disposed of a body, got a feel for the train, helped an ageing aristocrat make it through the night, met some surprising characters and even hid in a toilet while waiting for a policeman to leave the train. I particularly enjoyed reading through a 1914 newspaper, that ominously foreshadowed the Great War.
The Last Express
Importantly I also found out that I’d better get the passenger list, some papers and a certain suitcase from the off-limits luggage compartment. Following characters and trying to either chat them up or spy on them proved quite a bit revealing too, whereas climbing in and out of my cabin’s window has not been particularly enlightening though incredibly fun, but, I’ll admit, hardly as elating as breathing the atmosphere of the turbulent and politically tense times before the First World War.
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9G3Cbw1Y9UQ[/youtube]
A Russian anarchist arguing with a young lady of a Czarist affiliation, a German capitalist that wants to purchase gold, Serbian patriots that had something to do with my deceased (and inelegantly disposed) comrade and some sort of colonial royalty make for an incredible assortment of characters, that turn the confined space of the train into a vibrant setting as lively as you’d imagine it. Oh yes, I might have not progressed as much as I’d hoped, but I’m definitely enjoying myself.


Motivational Monday: Goat Wisdom

Motivational Poster

Somebody’s got a case of the Monday’s.

Totally Tiny Arcade

totally tiny arcade

Totally Tiny Arcade is based on the rather brilliant idea of combining WarioWare styled mini-games with a classic arcade aesthetic. Or is that the idea of revisiting Lazy Jones while liberally remaking some of the best known arcade cabinets ever? Well, we’ll never really know I suppose, but what actually matters is the simple fact that Totally Tiny Arcade is, despite its flaws, a truly great offering for us ageing retro gamers.

Set in a visually pleasing and distinctly 80s arcade, the game has players rush through more than a dozen imaginatively remade classics chasing after a nefarious virus and trying to beat a pretty strict time-limit. Beating the game, leads you to a brilliant boss stage -played in front of a most obtrusive audience- that will in turn unlock a short and lovely finale and -happily- a new arcade venue to tackle. Do this another couple of times and the game is pretty much over and a few extra modes become available.

totally tiny arcade defender

The main attractions of Totally Tiny Arcade are of course the arcade remakes themselves. Impressively, there are more than 20 of them available, each sporting excellent, chunky, retrotastic graphics and some equally impressive sounds, with each game spanning four levels. The games are inspired from an impressive variety of titles including Space Invaders, Spy Hunter, Pac-Man, Joust, Frogger and even the Atari 2600 version of E.T., though -unfortunately- not all of them are equally good. For every two or three excellent remakes there’s a dull or even a completely unsuccessful one, but admittedly the brilliant and imaginative games far outnumber them mediocre offerings. After all, not all arcade games were that good, even back in the day.

You can grab Totally Tiny Arcade (or of course try the hefty demo) via its very own, very retro official site. Oh, and here is the trailer, that will hopefully clear things up.

Verdict: Retro and indie gamers will love it. The rest should first give it a try. Gnomes should indeed instantly buy the thing.

Silpheed

Silpheed - SegaCD

This time around we have a great masterpiece for the Sega CD called Silpheed. This is probably the best shmup for the short lived peripheral for many reasons which most of you must know already. Lets just say there wasn’t much support or great titles for the Sega CD but there were some unique and groundbreaking ones like Lunar, and Sonic CD. Silpheed is a shmup that starts you right in the action and never lets go. The gameplay is as solid as a shmup game can offer. There are some sorts of power ups which will make you think twice what to pick for your missions again in terms of powering up. The game has twelve stages according to the information I gathered but I’m not sure if there are any secret stages or bonus stages of some sort.

Silpheed - SegaCD

 

The games graphics are phenomenal for a Sega CD game. It just feels like there is so much going on and at some stages you’ll be looking at all the obstacles and be amazed at all the activity going on in a matter of seconds. It’s amazing what the Sega CD was able to accomplish which was awesome for its time.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ecWv3RdTE4A[/youtube]

 

Overall, if you are a fan of shmups, you must get this one even if you have to get a Genesis and a Sega CD or better yet, get a CDX but those are a little too expensive. Also, don’t forget to check out the PS2 version of this game if you don’t want to get a whole new console. Of course, that version has PS2 graphics and all but you get the same experience as the Sega CD version.

Motivational Monday: Epic Crossovers

Motivational Posters

What do you get if you crossover Monday with Saturday?

Kirby’s Adventure

 

Kirby's Adventure

Kirby’s Adventure

By the end of the NES era we have seen it all for the NES although Famicom owners would always see more than us with such games as Gimmick! and Sweet Home. Nintendo brought one final platformer to the dying 8-bit console to remind us how wonderful the console was and has always been. Kirby’s Adventure debuted in May of 1993 which left the 8-bit console in a high stand point. The game is a joy to play in all departments. The music is memorable, the graphics are the best the NES can bring, and the gameplay is just fun. The game even came with a battery built in so that you would be able to save your games and continue on from where you left off. The game is really long as well as it contains lots of worlds something like Super Mario Bros 3 although this game lets you save it unlike the Mario game.

 

Kirby's Adventure

The gameplay delivers a very satisfying experience. You feel like you have total control of Kirby as you can fly anywhere and suck monsters to get their powers. The power up system is great as well as you can get certain powers that will help you defeat stronger enemies later on the level. The difficulty of the game is moderate so I suggest you have some patience especially in the later parts of the game. You’ll just have to find the right strategy for certain levels. Speaking of levels there aren’t only levels but bonus levels as well and a power up room too. The bonus levels are simple and very rewarding while the power up levels are well a power up level, nothing much can be said about that.

Kirby's Adventure

 

To conclude, the game is a joy to play and not pricey that you have to spend your entire savings on. The game is quite fun and should be part of anyone’s collection. It’s a must have!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LyU-mKTAauk[/youtube]

Feyruna: Fairy Forest

Feyruna Fairy Forest - PC - Gameplay Screenshot
Detailed sprites, a colourful cutesy game character, pure arcade action and fantastic hand-painted backgrounds… it’s got to be another (only slightly) retro Amiga game, right? Well, shockingly, no. It’s Feyruna – Fairy Forest, a brand new PC indy game from Germany, sporting some refreshingly old fashioned game mechanics and lovely 2d visuals. Interested? Good, let me elaborate a bit then.

 

FFF, as Feyruna – Fairy Forest will henceforth be referred to, probably features Feyruna, a fabulous fairy (which could also be the name of FFF’s setting mind you, but really, I like the idea of calling the fairy Feyruna), and is quite frankly an alliteration heavy casual and/or retro gamer’s wet dream. It also is one of the more polished (but less innovative…) indy games I’ve recently seen and one of the few PC offerings with three unlockable mini-games. They might not be much, they might be simple, basic even, but they’re definitely a touch that shows the amount of care gone into the game.

Feyruna Fairy Forest - PC - Gameplay Screenshot

Then again, bonus games are just that, a bonus. The main course of FFF has the player assuming the role of a fairy (you know, the one probably named Feyruna), a decidedly non-slutty female character, and going on to liberate places from the Princes of Darkness in a rather ordinary plot, that certainly doesn’t takes itself that seriously. After all, FFF, just like every other action heavy game before it, isn’t about plot, it’s about fun, and this it delivers in abundance.

The game, a reflex honing experience with slight shoot-em-up tendencies, is surprisingly non violent and thus quite appropriate for kids, families and small orgies. You, the player, the happy lil’ sprite, travel through 60 levels, each comprising of a beautiful screen, enemies trying to kill/stall you, power-ups and glowies (and butterflies and stuff) you must collect, and …uhm… collect stuff and avoid/destroy the baddies. Eventually you’ll have enough stashed glowies to progress to the next level, that will definitely be more challenging and might also add a new enemy, power-up or tactic to the whole experience. Mind you, that even though the gameplay does indeed get repetitive, these constantly appearing new elements do keep FFF an addictive little pass time, while some progressively tough boss battles to spice things up.

Now, have a try for yourselves. Download the FFF demo. Oh, and I suppose…

That’s a (seven and a half) out of (ten).

Get Lamp

Get Lamp

Get Lamp,  is a documentary about video games. Old video games. Mostly old video games. Mostly old video games that do not sport graphics and are not to be played on consoles. Actually and to finally get to the point, it’s a documentary about a very special kind of text-only video games: interactive fiction (or text adventures). A documentary about the most literary and rewarding form of digital gaming so far and the only genre to truly and fully challenge ones imagination and intellect.

What’s more, Get Lamp is a brilliant and quite impressive -both in scope and execution- documentary, that, carrying on with the themes of impressiveness and brilliance, also makes for a rather great movie. After (not so) extensive field testing I can actually assure you that even people who couldn’t care less about any form of interactive entertainment whatsoever, thought it was fascinating and were actually moved to give Infocom’s Planetfall a try.

Get Lamp was directed and produced by Jason Scott, the same person that was responsible for the BBS Documentary, and the same person that apparently traveled throughout the US in a quest to conduct almost a hundred interviews, that were eventually molded into the basis of the documentary. Among the interviewed, you’ll find such impressive names as Don Woods, Scott Adams, Ian Bogost, John Romero and almost everyone from Infocom, as the movie takes viewers on a mostly chronological trip through the history of interactive fiction, stopping only to focus and expand on the important bits, in what can only be described as an excellent whole. This main feature comes in interactive (something like a simple but well-implemented choose your own adventure thingy) and non-interactive flavors and covers the genesis, rise, fall and current evolution of the genre.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRhbcDzbGSU[/youtube]

But you think I’m over-reacting, don’t you? Well, I could be, though the truth is that Get Lamp is very well shot, masterfully presented and quite extensive in its coverage. It also sports some amazing production values, filling two DVDs with hours of greater and smaller features and featurettes, comes in a beautifully illustrated case (complete with a fantastic coin), features a written intro on text adventures by Scorpia, and even provides gamers with more than a few interactive fiction offerings and a variety of other digital goodies. Oh, yes, and everything is fully subtitled too.

Actually, the only thing lacking and my main gripe -both regarding the main feature and the tons of extras- is coverage of the European and generally non-US text adventure. Now, I do understand that traveling to Europe would have been far too costly, but the omission of Magnetic Scrolls, Level 9, Zenobi, Delta 4, Gilsoft and a variety of other classic publishers and developers was quite a bit disappointing, especially as Get Lamp is such an immensely enjoyable and frankly brilliant offering.

To grab your own copy of Get Lamp, simply follow this very link to its official website. Anyone ever interested in interactive fiction will simply have to own the thing.

Baku Baku Animal

Baku Baku Animal - Sega - Gameplay Screenshot

Baku Baku Animal (1996)
By: Sega Genre: Puzzle Players: 1-2 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Sega Saturn First Day Score: 17,250
Also Available For: Arcade, Game Gear, Master System, PC

After the unprecedented success of Tetris, a good few companies jumped on the ‘falling block’ puzzle game genre, and one of the biggest offenders was Sega. After buying the rights to Columns, it soon snapped up Puyo Puyo too. None of these addictive games, however, was to appear on their new Saturn console, so instead Sega came up with their own game, and quite an original one it was too! The King (of somewhere) is apparently looking to hire a zookeeper to look after the animal-mad Princesses pets! The game is basically a test at a job interview. If you win, you’ll get offered the job! Like the games before it, the action takes place on a single screen, in this case divided vertically down the middle. Player one controls the action on the left side of the screen, and player two or a computer-controlled opponent controls the right. As is usually the case with games like this, the concept behind the gameplay is a simple one. Sets of two blocks drift down the screen, one after another. Pictured on each single block is either a food or an animal. All you have to do is match the food with the animal that eats it!

Baku Baku Animal - Sega - Gameplay Screenshot

There are five different animals in the game and each will eat only his favourite food when he lands on some (monkeys eat bananas, mice eat cheese, etc), but since food blocks appear more often than the animal ones it’s best to group foods together as much as possible. This is the best way to play the game as chain reactions can occur this way resulting in not only larger scores for you, but will also see a load of random blocks dumped on your opponent’s side of the screen! This will obviously not only screw up their attempts to do the same to you, but will also push them closer to the top of the screen which results in game over. The longer the game goes on for, the faster the blocks will fall down the screen. Occasionally, a pair of coins called ‘BB Coins’ will appear in place of a food/animal block. These will make any blocks they touch, and any other blocks of the same type on that player’s play field disappear.

Baku Baku Animal - Sega - Gameplay Screenshot


There are two play modes to choose from in Baku Baku (plus a secret third one) – Arcade and Ranking modes. Arcade mode is the same as the arcade version as you might imagine. Here, you will challenge a series of opponents until you get to challenge the Princess. Beat her and win the game! Arcade mode is also where the two-player action is to be found. The ranking mode is for one player only, and is more or less the same as the arcade mode except your opponents carry on forever. Beat as many as you can and then receive a ranking for your playing skills such as number of attacks, number of chain reactions, and the least amount of time elapsed. Also featured is a hall of fame and a movie viewer, both accessible from the options screen where it is also possible to alter the difficulty level and increase or reduce the number of different animal types.

Baku Baku Animal - Sega - Gameplay Screenshot

As with most puzzle games of this nature, its simplicity means the technical strain on the host system is kept to a minimum. It’s a nice, colourful, happy looking game though, and features a decent rendered intro detailing the story. The animals themselves are particularly amusing when they grow bigger to eat the foods! The music and sound effects are also suitably happy and upbeat (there’s even a ‘bangin’ dance remix hidden on the disc), and that’s pretty much the case throughout the game. You know what you’re getting with games like this and, whilst there are no real surprises and the one-player mode won’t last you long, this is still one of the best games of its type. Everything about it is top quality and it’s a lot of fun, especially when challenging a friend. A novel and amusing take on the much-copied falling block game and one well-worthy of your time.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GMzVGK0V5Y[/youtube]

RKS Score: 8/10

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Pre-E3 2011

E3-2011

This week we had a full house as we went over some of the things we are looking forward to at this year’s E3. We began first with a few news items that were posted on our Facebook page. One of the news items talked about married men divorcing their wives to play World of Warcraft and the other was about Chinese prisoners being forced to play World of Warcraft, we felt marriage, prison and W.O.W. went together perfectly.

We then talked about the rumor that Nintendo is going to announce the Wii 2 at E3 2011 and that it will include a Blu-ray player and be faster than the Playstation 3. We all could see how good Zelda, Kirby and Metroid would look on the new system. We also talked about Sony apologizing to their fans and perhaps giving us something else to talk about. We also spent a hot minute bashing Call of Duty 3.

All in all a great show and we were happy to have Paul and Mark with us. Next week we will be at E3 2011 in L.A. so look for our full E3 2011 podcast coming soon.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: The Pre-E3 2011 Show

Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

Or download our podcast from Itunes

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Your MMO Blueprint Sucks

Atari and Cryptic Logo

This week Ignacio and I asked for some topic recommendations via our Facebook fan page. We began the show talking about Ignacio’s continuing addiction to League of Legends and then moved into the  topic of Atari dumping Cryptic like a ugly prom date. In addition, we covered some of the ongoing Sony troubles after being hacked and the future of MMO’s and the fact that the days if pumping out tons of MMO’s to make millions looks to be over.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Your MMO Blueprint Sucks

Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

Or download our podcast from Itunes

Top Five PlayStation: Racing Games

I’ve always been of the opinion that fancy graphics are far less important than a well-designed game. I think my continued love or retro games and enduring disdain for modern gaming is evidence enough of this, but there’s always been one exception – driving/racing games. Try as they might, developers in the 80’s and early 90’s were rarely able to fashion both a playable and convincing into-the-screen racer outside of the arcades, and I can probably count on the fingers of one hand how many I personally liked. That is until the CD-ROM-based consoles appeared. The Need For Speed on the 3DO was perhaps the first indication of what this medium could do for the genre but it took the release of the Saturn and PlayStation for it to reach full bloom, with the latter system producing both the most numerous and most impressive examples yet seen.

I personally got into PlayStation gaming late, sticking loyally with my good old Saturn for as long as there were games made for it, but eventually I had to join the ranks of the competition. When I did, a majority of the time I spent on it was spent playing driving games. I certainly didn’t play all of the ones on offer but of the ones I did play, here are in my opinion the Top Five:

Special Note: A big thanks to Martyn Carroll, Facebook friend and editor of the original version of Retro Gamer magazine (and contributor to the current incarnation) for providing me with a working PlayStation emulator for this piece. Yes, I own the originals of the games featured here, but I needed the emulator to get the screenshots, so… thanks Martyn, I owe you one!

Games-Related Top Fives Disclaimer: I’ve traditionally stuck to the games I know and love so far, and these game-related top fives reflect that. One of the purposes of this blog is diversify my gaming experiences, to play games I haven’t played before, so I will do new game-related top fives in a few years to see how different they are!

 

If I review any PS1 driving games in my upcoming feature that get really high scores, they don’t appear in this Top Five because I hadn’t played them before! (a.k.a covering my arse!)

5. Total Drivin’ (1997)

Total Drivin

I bought this game cheap with no prior knowledge of it on the off-chance it might be worth the risk. Luckily it paid off! Whilst far from the pinnacle of the PlayStation’s graphical achievements, it is pretty innovative in other ways. The championship mode, for example, features races in various locations around the world and consequently on a variety of surfaces. To this end, there’s not just one type of racing here but five – Rally, Sports, Indy, Buggies, and Dakar Rally! One of my favourite things about this game is that your opponents aren’t just bunched up behind you waiting for a mistake – the better you race, the further ahead you’ll get. You can even lap them if you’re fast enough! This is a great and underrated racing game with a lot more variety than even Gran Turismo.

4. Porsche Challenge (1997)

Porsche Challenge

This was the first game I ever got for my PlayStation when I finally gave up hope for my beloved Saturn, and I was very pleased with it. Admittedly, looking back, the graphics are a little ropier than I remember – the car models are nice (as you would expect from a game with an official license) but the draw distance isn’t great and there’s a fair bit of pop-up, but luckily it still plays very nicely. The only car available to drive is the Boxster but there are six different coloured ones to choose from, each driven by its own character, some of whom exchange banter between races. There’s only four courses to race over but they’re pretty long and there’s many variations of each (mirrored, reversed, extra sections, with shortcuts, etc), and all are very enjoyable to drive around. A not-too-hectic racer that provides a really pleasant driving experience.

3. Ridge Racer Type 4 (1998)

Ridge Racer Type 4

I don’t care what anyone says, Ridge Racer sucks big floppy donkey dicks and so does its ‘sequel’, Revolution. Rage Racer, however, was where Namco started rectifying this situation and RR4 (complete with ridiculous and unnecessary Type in its title) is arguably where the series peaked. Featuring a huge number of courses (for RR standards) and billions of car variations, it’s already infinitely better than the stupid original, but it also vastly improves the horrifying handling problems that blighted earlier efforts too. It has a number of play modes including an excellent career mode, and in my opinion is one of the best looking racing games to appear on Sony’s debut console with races taking place at various times of day meaning some lovely lighting effects. Ridge Racer finally becomes a must-play!

2. Colin McRae Rally (1998)

Colin McRae Rally

Yes, the second game in the series (also on PS1) is technically more impressive but I’ve always preferring playing this original. It pretty much kickstarted the whole rally game craze by itself, and with good reason – driving Mr. McRae’s iconic blue Impreza around the world’s rally courses was a fantastically enjoyable experience. Near enough any kind of driving surface (and weather condition) you can think of is catered for here and the attention to detail is amazing – watch your car get progressively dirtier throughout the race (and damaged if you keep hitting trees!). There’s no in-game music, no opponents to race against (on-screen, anyway), just precision driving, and it had arguably never been done better.

1. Gran Turismo (1998)

Gran Turismo

I’m sure a majority of PlayStation gamers would opt for the second game in the series as the peak of the genre on their favourite console but I’m not sure any driving game had as much of an impact on me as this original. It pretty much rewrote the rule book on what could be achieved in a driving videogame with its license tests forcing you to earn the right to race in the game’s various classes, huge range or real cars to buy, race in, and customise, near-photo-realistic replays, and hugely intricate championship mode. It’s amazingly playable and addictive too – I had great fun gradually building up my Honda Prelude to an all-conquering rice-rocket! There was more to this game than most racing fans could dream of at the time and it still impresses today.

Rocman X

Rocman X Gameplay Screenshot
There are lots of pirates out there that catch our attention one way or the other. This one is no different as Sachen took Rockman and turned it into something else. Presenting Rockman’s retarded cousin, Rocman X! We are not talking about X from the series by the way, this is Rocman X not X(I hope you see the difference by now). Rocman X is your average pirate platformer. What makes this game unique though is the use of Rocman X who is also known as Rochman X for some reason.

Rocman X Gameplay Screenshot

The game plays better than your average pirate game as you are able to do what you can do in most games actually worth playing. You can jump and shoot your boomerang although half the time you’ll have to aim real well so you can hit your monster. For some reason the monsters evade your boomerang with ease which can get quite annoying. There is also a charge technique which is not a stronger boomerang technique but it rather makes you jet horizontally through the level. If you get hit though, you will stop using your technique so you are at the mercy of the monsters with this technique. You also collect money which must be to buy items or something, I haven’t encounter a shop or anything but then again I never really got that far. Maybe the shops are hidden or you could get an extra life once your money hits 100.

Rocman X Gameplay Screenshot

The game is quite fun if you want to play something challenging but I advice you that if you don’t have any patience you’ll be left with a big gap in your head. There is stuff to like and to hate about this game so I suggest you try it out before you actually purchase it. We have to thank emulators for that. Going back to the game, the levels not only go left and right but up and down, it’ll be up to you to conquer each level but of course you’ll be running into lots of dead ends. Be sure to learn to use your boomerang first as you’ll need it to be able to preserve your energy for the rest of the level. Destroying the monsters help as you can also get pills of energy to be able to recover some life from any damage taken. Sachen did a very nice job with this game but I will say it again, it’s not for everyone.

Rocman X Gameplay Screenshot

If you want a very challenging and obscure platformer for your 8-bit console, then I suggest you pick this one up although it won’t come as cheap or often. Be ready to pay around 15-20 dollars for one as the cheapest although I have seen eBay auctions ending them in the 50s so beware. There is also an even harder to find version for the Gameboy which I luckily own 😉 The game plays the same way as the Famicom/NES version except that it’s portable. It feels exactly the same. It’s very odd that you can only play it on the Gameboy Color or Original Game Boy Advance. The SP won’t run it for some reason but then again maybe it just needed some cleaning, once I get that game out of my storage unit I’ll see if there is anything to be done. Either way, be sure to pick up and play Rockman’s retarded cousin adventure!

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Worst Show Ever

Worst Episode Ever

Everyone has off days and pretty much every day the staff at Obsolete Gamer is a little off. This time for the show, we wanted to focus on horrible things you have done during gaming. Examples of horrible things you would do during gaming world be like pooping in a sock or forgoing a shower for days on end. While we were able to hit on that topic, we kind of went off mark into rants about gamers versus non-gamers, race relations and the horrible new Commodore 64.

In the end, I think the show was funny as hell, but those who can’t take a joke or get offended easily should go listen to church lady weekly.

The Obsolete Gamer Show: Worst Show Ever

Or have a listen on our official OGS page and let us know what you think.

Or download our podcast from Itunes

F-Zero Grand Prix 2

F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - Gameplay Screenshot

F-Zero Grand Prix 2 (1997)
By: Nintendo EAD Genre: Racing Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: Super Famicom Satellaview First Day Score: 23,900
Also Available For: Nothing

You know, it can be really frustrating, but Japanese gamers so often seem to get a much better deal than European, or even US gamers, frequently receiving extras that the rest of us have to do without. A good example of this was the Satellaview system for the Super Famicom (SNES). Looking much like the proposed SNES CD-ROM add-on, the Satellaview was a device that allowed Super Famicom owners to download updates for some of their games, or even new games altogether. They were usually released in weekly installments, and one of the highest profile games to receive the Satellaview treatment was the mighty F-Zero. Initially, a limited ‘remix’ of the original game was released in several installments via the service, but before long a ‘proper’ sequel became available too.

F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - Gameplay Screenshot

As F-Zero fans will already be well aware, the first game consisted of fifteen courses divided into three leagues – Knight, Queen, and King. F-Zero 2 features a new league – the Ace League – which features five new courses. Some are based on courses from the first game (such as Mute City IV, Big Blue II, Silence II) but with new course layouts, whilst the other two (Sand Storm I & II) are seemingly based on the Sand Ocean stage from the first game, thematically, but are completely new. In keeping with the league structure from the first game, the new courses are probably the most difficult ones yet too. Each features many more hazards than were found in the fifteen F-Zero courses such as damage areas, more ice, magnets, and many ramps, often in highly inconvenient positions! In addition to the courses, the four selectable craft, or ‘machines’, are all new too. Well, saying that, they’re just aesthetically new really, but are welcome all the same.

F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - Gameplay Screenshot

This release was obviously fantastic news for any Japanese F-Zero fans but it went practically unheard of in the West, which is a bummer – I’d have loved having this available during the peak of my obsession with F-Zero but I only even discovered its existence a few years ago! It may have less to it that its prequel (due, no doubt, to the limited service it was made available on) – there’s just a straight grand prix mode, for example, with no time attack or practise modes on offer – but as a supplement to the original game rather than a separate game in its own right, it’s great. The new courses are really nicely designed and the features on them (a couple of which are shown in the screenshots) are a great touch, adding a unique feel to the game. It’s particularly nice returning to two of my favourite course settings too – Big Blue and Silence.

F-Zero Grand Prix 2 - Gameplay Screenshot

It’s been a pleasant surprise discovering this. I can’t help wishing it was available in the West before emulation became widespread but I’m sure glad I can play it now. Admittedly, aside from a few cosmetic changes, it is of course the same game we’ve known and loved all these years. Only harder! It won’t last you as long as F-Zero but it’s a thrilling ride while it does last!

RKS Score: 7/10

Ads From The Past: Retro Rewind

Street Fighter 2010 NES ad
When Street Fighter 2 was taking over the world Capcom took the opportunity to try to sell a crappy game with its name. Street Fighter 2010 -The Final Fight- was the result. The game is quite difficult and can be very tedious especially if you don’t have any patience. 

 

Classic video game ads
I gotta say I rather enjoy the ads where they showcase a lot more games in just one page especially if they aren’t that good to begin with.
Ninja Spirit ad
Ninja Spirit for the Turbo Grafx is well kinda of bland. I just don’t understand why the Turbo Grafx ads were so unappealing. They deliver a message but why does the background of every ad I have seen so far for a Turbo Grafx game the color white. Where these guys trying to save on ink? I sure hope not….
Nightmare on Elrm Street ad
For such an awesome movie this was such a horrible game. Leave it up to LJN to screw things up over and over again. Enter Nightmare on Elm Street for the NES. The game is at least somewhat playable and beatable if you have the patience for it. I dare you to play through this one!

Konami Handhelds ad

Konami sure took advantage of the handheld craze back in the day. They released many handhelds from their favorite titles. I was lucky enough to find a TMNT handheld to add to my collection but I’ll surely be looking out for these ones.
Toys r us ad
Here we have a nice ad from Toys R Us. They carried everything back in the day. I remember how they used to have their consoles for you to play the latest games on….Those were the days….
Starship Hector NES ad
This one is based on the game Starship Hector for the NES. The game was released by Hudson Soft so you can expect it to be something above average. Hudson Soft always delivered great games you know.

Phelios & Burning Force Genesis ads

Continuing with the Sega trend, we have yet another ad from it. The ad is very simple and has a nice look. The Pac-Man dude helps with giving the ad some attention. As good as the cover art may look, I’m sure these games are just your average Sega titles but I could be wrong.
Pictionary NES ad
Making crappy games interesting was a huge part of video gaming back in the late 80s and 90s and this is just one of the bunch. I’m not saying the game is horrible but it’s not something I would play on a daily basis or in a session of retro gaming goodness. The ad itself portrays it as a game that anyone can pick up and play although if you were smart enough to not buy into the ad, you’ll be good. For the rest of you, run for your lives!
SNK Video Games Ad It mainly shows off some of the good titles from SNK before they dumped Nintendo and decided to go up against them. There is one title on this ad that I think should be in anyone’s list, care to guess? The answer is Crystalis!

Faxion Q&A

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Faxion online is a upcoming unique MMO that offers combat driven gameplay set against the classic struggle between good and evil or in this case, Heaven and Hell. This free-to-play MMO will offer non-stop action as well as a robust PVP system. Currently, the game is in open beta, so head on over to their website to sign up.

Obsolete Gamer had a chance to talk with Mike Madden, Creative Director at UTV True Games about Faxion.

So tell us a little bit about Faxion?

Mike Madden: Faxion Online is our first internally developed product. Faxion is a persistent world MMORPG, build for the competitive player. Players will choose to join the armies of Heaven and Hell, and fight over key locations in the world of Limbo. Each Territory players can fight over is represented through the manifestation of one of the seven deadly sins.

How did the idea of this game come about?  The theme of Heaven versus Hell is definitely intriguing, what made you want to go with such a storyline?

Mike Madden: Actually it was presented to us as a concept that the company was kicking around. While we did not agree with the initial design, we really liked the idea for the setting. We also knew it was a chance to have some fun and not take religion and death so seriously. So we felt we could take a more “Family Guy” approach and really just take it all over the map in terms of religions, sins and other death related topics.

Faxion will cover the more serious aspects of Heaven and Hell and the Seven Deadly sins, can you tell us more about what that entails?

Mike Madden: If it’s too serious, then we failed! Heh.

While we certainly would love people to be introduced to a new religion in the game, by no means are we trying to educate people on one religion versus another. Giving player a few new jokes to use throughout life for various religions, yes, learning actual useable facts to make educated decisions about religion? Hell no…

We wanted to be sure to have a good time and really find ways of introducing players to the religions we are all familiar with, Christianity, Catholicism, Judaism, Muslins. At the same time there are some fringe religious groups and cults that offer us just as much if not more material. Scientology, Pastafari and even some cults like the Branch Dividians from our backyard of Waco Tx.

Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

Now the game will focus on PVP and territory control, let’s start with the PVP aspect. What will make the PVP in Faxion stand out from other MMO PVP?

Mike Madden: I think players will find quite a few things that will make the PVP in Faxion stand out compared to other games.

One area we as players really wanted to address was how stale combat can get. We wanted to increase the overall player movement and use of the environment when fighting other players. One thing we do to encourage this movement to our combat, is we use a series of ability cool downs to mitigate how often an ability can be used, and not the traditional casting bar. The majority of our attacks can be cast while on the move. This delivers a natural ebb and flow to the experience.

We also have our multi-classing system which does not dictate what you play as a character. Its freedom of character creation really adds to the mix of PVP, when you just can’t be all too sure what your enemy may decide to use against you.

The other thing we allow is that you can start PvPing as early as you want and you can progress through the entire game solely through PvP. Fighting other players (of the appropriate levels) will not only grant you experience but also item drops.

Can you give us some insight on how the territory control part of the game will function?

Mike Madden: The META game at play is each army is trying to claim and maintain control over the seven deadly sins. With each gained for a faction, they get closer to a total victory, which results in a final server wide event.

We always want players to be able to find a fight so territories will be open for conquest at various points of the day. During this window, players will be fighting back and forth over control points within the zones. We will be offering many familiar capture mechanics to start, with many diverse and exciting new ideas on the way. King of the hill and capture the flag, along with some interesting combinations and new mechanics, will demand teamwork and strategy to deploy a good offensive or defensive strike on any given control point.

Can you give us some info on the three worlds, heaven, hell and limbo?

Mike Madden: As much as Heaven and Hell are present in the game, the adventuring begins in Limbo, which is offering a very diverse set of locations and challenges. Each location of Limbo is representing one of the seven deadly sins. This really gave our artists and designers a much wider palette of both color and locations to work with. Forest and Canyons, Mountains and swamps, each location is going to offer the player visual differences that we find compelling and fun to play in.

Our Heaven and Hell are bringing classic views to life, but we have a few things up our sleeves as we move forward. This is an area we are already planning to expand into and really playing around with the various thoughts and visions different cultures and views of life bring to both Heaven and Hell.

The concept of death, heaven and hell, and even limbo all reside within Faxion Online. To us, Limbo actually exists in no particular band of time, but rather through them all simultaneously. Each religion, each period of history all eventually end up in Limbo, which is what makes up the bulk of the world players will initially explore. Each war represents the struggle for the living on a single planet or plane of existence. With each victory, the fate for that planet/plane is decided, and the endless battle continues on with the endless worlds of souls to fight over. Each player upon arriving from their own mortal demise is able to reach glory in ways they could not have dreamed.

Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

What classes will players get to choose from?

Mike Madden: The class system in Faxion does not limit nor define what you are or do. Your first class choice simply starts the journey.  Players will make choices limited to their initial class selection to start, but soon find the shackles are thrown off and they are free to take on a second class type of their choosing. We use a point system, where players receive ability points with each level earned. As it stands now in Open Beta, once 30 points are spent you can choose a second, and at 60 points, choose a third.

It allows you to craft your character the way you want to. A good example of this is say you want to play a “traditional” cleric. You can go two routes in Faxion; either start as a Crusader and multi-class by also buying Guardian abilities or do the reverse. Since the cost to train abilities is different based on what is your starting class, the individual who starts as a Crusader will probably be more melee-based while the other will be more of a healer… but both will be capable in melee combat and skilled in the use of magic. Even then, two players who start as a Guardian and take Crusader abilities may be vastly different because they have purchased different abilities.

That is just part of the fun, customizing your character to fit your play-style and wants.

Can you tell us about the character customizations and abilities?

Mike Madden: We have a solid customization system now, where at creation the traditional choices apply for face, hair, skin tones and such. We are constantly looking to expand in this area, as we feel people always like to try and match to something in their minds eye. The more options and choices we can offer, the closer we allow them to get.

With abilities, we actually take things quite a bit further. We have over 150 abilities in the game across all of our classes. Each ability also offers a total of 10 ranks that can be achieved. Ranking abilities is an online or offline advancement track and is really the crux of our investment in the character.

Each rank is offering an advancement to the ability it is tied to. As an example a rank 1 fireball is pretty straight forward, but at rank 4 it may get a Damage Over Time (DOT) component added to it, increasing the effective use of the ability. So, it’s not just a statistical change in that it costs less spirit or can be cast quicker, its more about adding new function that may alter the way it’s used at all.

Experimentation is fun and something we want to encourage players to do. Happily we are seeing this get confirmed in our BETA testing.

Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

Everyone hates the grind in MMO’s how is Faxion eliminating that aspect of MMORPG’s?

Mike Madden: Master the game not the grind is a mantra we had when we first spoke about character progression, and it became a constant for us throughout development. When we sit down to play any game, we are doing so to get entertainment, not a second job or a list of chores. If we look at other game genres and platforms, the grind feeling is not nearly as prevalent. But, for some reason, MMOs consistently deliver this feeling of work in order to have fun.

We wanted to shift this mindset, and allow players to enjoy the game experience when they sit down to actually play. Crazy concept, I know, but from our internal testing it’s working.

We are doing this in a series of changes to some areas of the game, like offering offline advancement. In addition we are really not putting the time sink into the actual levels, since so much of it is based on the ranks themselves. We really want to get players leveled quickly so they can get into the action and have lots of toys to play with.

Was there a specific MMO or perhaps aspects of different MMO’s that inspired the creative and development process behind Faxion?

Mike Madden: One of the bigger things that bothers most of us is how a single MMO demands players to not play any other MMO at the time. So it was not so much a single mechanic as it was creating a game that you can compete, at a high level and still continue to play other games and MMOs alongside Faxion.

While I can easily say every MMO has something to learn, be it from its mistakes or from its victories, it would be unfair to them all to say only one inspired this game over any other.

What aspects of MMORPG’s did you want to focus on with Faxion the most and which did you want to avoid at all costs?

Mike Madden: One goal the team has maintained and held true, is not allowing any player to “buy a victory” due to any RMT model. We adapted a “Time versus Money” concept early and look to apply it at all layers of the game. In a competitive PVP game, having the guy with the biggest wallet, automatically win just sucks. Hell he already has a bigger wallet and is winning in life with more cash! The rest of us want a shot to kick his ass too.

So basically, if you have the time Faxion is a true free to play experience with no blocked content. However if you do not have all the time, a few purchases here and there will allow a part time player to compete at the highest levels.

Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

How will loot and progression work in Faxion?

Mike Madden: We like giving away treasures! Players can get loot from questing, PvP kills, PVE kills, Epic Encounters (non instanced of course), Territory Control and a number of alternative ways. We have a complete equipment system allowing players to adventure for or purchase varying styles of armor to best reflect their vision for a character.

In addition, we offer wings as an equipment slot, allowing players to find and or purchase some of the more defining pieces to an equipment set.

Tying this system back into our ability ranks, players will need to rank their armor ability, which unlocks the function to equip the varying grades of armor, from uncommon all the way up to artifacts. All in all it’s a system players should be familiar with, but still find some fun things to tinker around to create a look they are happy with.

Can you tell us about the guild and social aspects of Faxion?

Mike Madden: Guilds are critical to us as gamers and as developers. While we have basic levels of support for guilds to form and communicate, we are ever expanding not only the management tools of guilds, but also the meaning of guilds within Faxion.

A guild is so much more than a label that floats 6 inches above your characters head. Guilds are a source of pride, a family in this world that you can rely on, and most importantly they provide just as many fun and funny moments in any MMO that a designer could never implement.

We want to embrace the above, by giving them things to call their own, to build and grow, and ultimately defend from others trying to take it or destroy it. This is a part of the game we are looking at expanding now as we sit in Open Beta, working with the players and asking them directly what they require and want from a guild in Faxion.

Faxion Gameplay Screenshot

Everyone always asks so we will as well, whats the endgame and raid content going to look like in Faxion?

Mike Madden: It’s going to look a lot like a big ass war.

Without instancing, even our epic boss encounters can turn into large factional wars. While the endgame is not entirely in play as of yet, part of that is due to us wanting to be sure to build it for what the players want from it.

Any endgame content, whether it’s a crafting system, a raiding system or some other game function, it’s important to us that it always feed back into creating and expanding the conflict in Faxion. Even dungeons can and should have elements of competition with guilds of the same faction, alongside the faction war that is always present.

Guild versus Guild or Faction versus Faction, players will find a break from the war, but never fully escape it…

What is the testing and beta process going to look like and when can fans get a test run of the game?

Mike Madden: We are now in open beta and invite everyone to come in and check out the game at www.faxiononline.com

We are actively working with our Beta Testers to highlight what they would like to see us focus on, while we continue to improve on what exists.

Atomic Runner

Atomic Runner - Gameplay Screenshot 1

Atomic Runner a.k.a Chelnov (1992)
By: Data East Genre: Run ‘n’ Gun Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Sega MegaDrive / Genesis First Day Score: ???,???
Also Available For: Arcade, X68000
Download For: Wii Virtual Console

Having recently looked at an ‘on foot’ vertical scrolling shmup in Elemental Master, this seems like a good opportunity to look at a horizontally scrolling game of the same type, and it’s a game that got off to a some- what dubious start. Originally released as an arcade game titled Chelnov in 1988, it seemed to take its inspiration from the Chernobyl nuclear incident! After surviving a catastrophic explosion at a nuclear power plant, Chelnov, a coal-miner, finds himself highly irradiated and the recipient of some new abilities. Seeking to harness his new abilities for their own questionable ends, an evil organisation attempts to capture him. In order to evade their clutches, Chelnov must fight, using his abilities to defeat the organisation. Needless to say, this story didn’t really go down too well, particularly in light of the game featuring Soviet iconography too!

Atomic Runner - Gameplay Screenshot 2

After the furore of its Japanese arcade release, the game saw quite a few changes upon its MegaDrive release four years later. Now known by its original subtitle of Atomic Runner, the story was changed to a more formulaic alien invasion-type scenario which saw Earth’s major cities attacked and their residents mercilessly slaughter- ed. Hiding in an underground laboratory, Chelnov’s dying father explains that the aliens have been on Earth before and designed an ‘Atomic Suit’ for the Pharaoh’s. Using the design-schematics found in an ancient pyramid, he was able to build a suit which provides Chelnov with super- human strength, agility, and apparently the ability to throw various weapons out of his hands! Using these handy features he must do his best to rid the world of alien scum!

Atomic Runner - Gameplay Screenshot 3

Anyway, now that all that multi- story shenanigans is out of the way, onto the game! Whilst more of a run ‘n’ gunner than an out-and-out shoot ’em up, the focus of Atomic Runner is still very much on shooting, and unlike most run ‘n’ gunners, it uses forced-scrolling more akin to a traditional shmup. However, the seven levels do feature various platforms around which Chelnov can jump, and some parts even feature (admittedly limited) multiple routes. There are twenty different kinds of standard enemies populating the levels, including both mid-level and end-level bosses, and they must all be either avoided or eliminated in one of two ways – either by using Chelnov’s energy weapons or by jumping on their heads, Mario-style, believe it or not!

Atomic Runner - Gameplay Screenshot 4

It is however easier, not to mention far more entertaining, to blast the crap out of them with energy weapons, and there are six kinds: Laser (which you start the game with), Boomerang, Light Ring, Spiked Balls, Morning Star, and Homing Missiles. Each of them has differing rates of fire, range, and power, and you can only have one of them at a time. Each is more suited to certain parts of certain levels but they appear frequently so you can chop and change between then as often as you like. Each weapon can also be powered up, and in three different ways, by collecting ‘UP’ icons. These come in three colours – yellow increases shooting range and bullet speed, red increases bullet size and destructive power, and blue increases bullet count and rapid-fire ability. If you repeatedly die on the same part of a level, a super-power-up appears which increases all three of these attributes fully, in one go. Other power-ups include one which increases Chelnov’s jumping height, and two for bonus points – one for two thousand, and one for five thousand.

Atomic Runner - Gameplay Screenshot 5

These power-ups are usually found being carried by the flying skull/spider things, who drop them when shot, and the scenery features flaming torches which also release them. When Chelnov loses a life he will lose all power-ups collected so far, but luckily they are plentiful so it doesn’t take too long to power back up again, and each level has numerous restart points too. That doesn’t mean that this is an easy game however – given the forced-scrolling nature of the game, Chelnov’s movement around the landscape is a little limited. He can shoot in eight directions as he runs through the levels and you can marginally increase and decrease his speed as he goes by pushing forward or backward on the controller, and he can jump also straight up or forward, but that’s about it.

Atomic Runner - Gameplay Screenshot 6

The levels are set over a diverse range of landscapes and are one of the most appealing aspects of this game. They are titled Atomic Laboratory, Mutant Plant Zone, Mayan Jungle, Egyptian Desert, Treasure Room, Siberian Snowland, and New York, and all look fantastic – this is among the prettiest run ‘n’ gunners I’ve played with regards to the backgrounds and scenery graphics, and the sprites, weapons, etc, aren’t half bad either. The music is pretty decent too, with some tunes being more memorable than others, but it’s all very nice, presentation-wise. It does occasionally seem like the collision detection is a bit off and Chelnov sometimes seem a little sluggish to respond to a command, but there’s no major problems. Having said that, it is possible to get trapped behind an item of scenery and crushed by the scrolling! But that’s the key to this game – practise. Enemies often appear from behind you, so if you stay to the left of the screen you’re likely to die often, but play it enough, get used to controlling Chelnov, and learn the enemy patterns, and it proves to be a challenging and reasonably fair game. There’s not too much else like Atomic Runner around, and for that reason alone it’s interesting, but it’s a very playable, if sometimes frustrating game regardless, and well worth a try.

RKS Score: 7/10

Thriftstore and Flea Market Finds

Well today I went to the thriftstore to see if I could find some Famicom carts but came out empty again well not really. I was able to find some other kewl stuff including a CDX console. At first I though it was a 32X adaptor for the Genesis but when the lady showed it to me it said CDX which I had no idea what it was until I saw the sega logo on the AC adaptor so I took it. When I got home I found out that it was actually a Genesis console with the Sega CD addon which is great because I wanted a Sega CD for a long time and finally got one. I was nervous whether or not the console was going to work but in the end it was all good. I only had crappy games to try out in the Sega CD addon but it was so sweet to see them boot up. Below are my other finds.

Battletoads on a Sega CD

Playing Battletoads on my new CDX hehe….

Sega CDX

A close up of the CDX. I couldn’t figure out what to do with the game Dragon’s Lair….

SNES Controller
I found an extra SNES controller as well. It’s always nice to have extra controllers since one I had recently stopped working.

Double Dragon - World Class Soccer - Stunt Race FX
Here are some more games including Double Dragon(NES), World Class Soccer(SNES), and Stunt Race FX(SNES) which use the FX chip for some enhanced graphics.

We decided to go to sell some of our junk  and came up having a good time in the end. The busiest time was actually when we opened our spot. We made a little bit over fifty dollars but overall it was fun. I was able to pick up some stuff as well.

Flea Market Setup

We had to wake up at 5am but I actually stayed up all night since I got out of work at 1am. This is a photo I took a little bit after we got to our spot. A lot of people didn’t opened their spots until a couple of hours later maybe they were just waiting for people to start walking around or something.

Flea Market Setup
This was our spot. We didn’t bring any tables so we had to place everything in the floor. Of course, we placed a sheet on the floor so that we can place all our stuff. I brought some of the games I wanted to get rid of and ended up selling a few of them by the end of the day.

Flea Market Setup
Of course the flea market has a big porn business going on nowadays. Spots like this one in the photo were all over the place. I didn’t checked them out myself but they do look like burn DVDs. I also saw a lot of perverts at times and even a lady looking to purchase some porn.

Flea Market Setup

As you can see in this photo the flea market was not busy at all! We were still able to sell some of our stuff but I think if we came another day of the week, we could have sold a lot more stuff.

Flea Market Setup

You can find a lot of counterfeit items in the flea market. Right here there is a NES like clone with no cartridge insert so that means you can only play the games that are built in. The seller told me it had the board inside the console so maybe with some tweaking it could be opened and change the cart? The seller was selling it for twenty dollars which is not bad but it’s always a gamble to purchase one of these items. There are also some fake pokemon trading cards that were a dollar each. They used to have Yu-Gi-Oh cards as well but I didn’t see any this time around.

N64
I was also able to find a Power Joy 3 Famiclone. This is the one that comes with the second controller and gun + the built in games. The game that the clone was running is Super Mario Bros. The lady was selling the clone for 25 dollars which is not bad considering it was cib. It would make a good gift for someone who wants a cheap Famicom. The sound is not the same as the Famicom though.

Power Joy 3

Here is a closer photo of the Power Joy 3 box. The controller looks like a N64 controller.

Well enough about the flea market, time to show my finds which weren’t many but it was at least something rather than nothing. Here they are:

Sega Genesis

I saw this while the seller was putting his stuff away. He sold it to me for a dollar which is a good deal since it came complete. I don’t have a genesis 1 or 2 so I can’t make much use of this. Maybe my CDX will fit in here.

SNES
I found also a SNES from another seller who wanted to get rid of it badly. She said three dollars then five dollars then ten dollars and finally three dollars. Yeah I got it for three dollars and found the AC adaptor in another store later on that day. The SNES came with the AV output only + game. I tested it when I got home and works like a charm. I’m going to spray paint it to give it a nice new style. I’ll show photos of my finished project.

N64 Gameshark

This is the N64 gameshark! Tada!! The main purpose of this peripheral is to help you cheat. How you say? by inputting codes or using the built in codes. The psx gameshark had built in codes so I’m assuming the N64 gameshark has the same capabilities.

 

So that’s about it….I hope you enjoyed this nice blog entry and please keep visiting for more retro gaming entries!

Motivational Monday: Poster Madness

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Motivational Monday: Poster Madness

For this weeks Motivational Monday we take a page from our sister site Obscure Internet and profile some video game related motivational posters.

Flea Market Finds: 2

So I went to another trip to the Flea Market. This time around the weather ruined my whole sale…..it was a real sad day for me since we didn’t sell much of our junk. Well after putting all our stuff away we were tired and depressed due to our low sales….we expected to make some good money you know! Anyways, enough of that, I decided to go walk around and try to find stuff to cheer me up and did I? Yeah!!! I found my first Famicom cart in a Flea Market plus other stuff! Check it out!

Flea market classic games

On the top left you can see the pirate Famicom cart I found that comes with some good games like Super Mario Bros 3, Castlevania, Super C, Jungle Book, Toy Story, Ms.Pacman, and many more! It’s a pretty kewl cart if you ask me! Then I found some CIB NES games and Gyromite cart that hopefully has a converter inside of it. Then there is The Little Mermaid cart and Prince of Persia for the SNES. I had a good day in the end but I couldn’t wait to get home and sleep…yeah I didn’t sleep at all the night before. I ended up going to sleep around 2pm and waking up at 11pm.