Rayman 2: The Great Escape

Rayman 2 - The Great Escape - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot

For all of you gamers who have never experienced a Rayman game, you’re missing out. The first game was a decent PlayStation hit, and a fun 2D platformer. But, Rayman 2: The Great Escape is on a different level. A true 3D platformer, Ubisoft really takes advantage of everything the Sega Dreamcast hardware can do.

Rayman 2 - The Great Escape - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
Rayman himself, is a little creature without arms and legs, his hands and feet just float around his body. He shoots energy balls from his hands (which ricochet, a cool feature) and his long ears allow him to float or fly like a helicopter. Also, in an homage to the classic arcade character Q*bert, he and his friends speak a gibberish-language. Luckily for us, there are subtitles.

Rayman 2 - The Great Escape - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot

At the end of the first game, Rayman and his buddies saved his world, and in the sequel, more of the same. A crazy boss named Admiral Razorbeard, with his awesome ship and his lackeys, the Robo-pirates, are trying to (once again) take over the world. He has also kidnapped Rayman’s friends and a lot of other creatures. Your mission, is to collect 4 masks that will summon the world’s God to get rid of the Admiral.

Rayman 2 - The Great Escape - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
There are almost 20 levels total, including mini-levels, for you to enter. Using your energy balls as weapons, you’ll jump and use your helicopter ears to float long distances in a mostly-linear 3D environment. Along the way, there will be creatures in cages to rescue and other balls of energy called “lums” that you will need to collect. Some of these are for health-replenishing, some are necessary to complete the mission. For example, there are 1000 yellow lums in the game. Most completists will play the levels over until they find them all…I’m not one of them. One of the few flaws of the game is they made me backtrack (one of my gaming pet-peeves) to collect a certain amount of lums to go forward with the game. Just finding the exit of the level wasn’t enough. Personally, I think that should be the choice of the player, and not the developer….just sayin’.

Rayman 2 - The Great Escape - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
The other big flaw (which is common in this type of game) is some brutal camera angles. While you can rotate the camera on the X axis, you can’t the Y, causing some “leaps of faith”. There are also times where the camera is “set”, which wasn’t always the best angle to use, in my opinion. These two reasons are why it’s not a perfect game. There were some true “throw the controller” moments.

Rayman 2 - The Great Escape - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
I love this 3D-platforming adventure, and I give props to the developer for mixing it up, giving some variety in levels. Early in the game, there’s some “water-skiing” behind one of his friends, and an area where he can use his ears to fly. Pretty sweet.

Rayman 2 - The Great Escape - Sega Dreamcast - Gameplay Screenshot
I probably had a good 10 hours or so of gaming, which is just enough to keep it fun (before grinding sets in), and also enough to feel I got my money’s worth. There is a high replay value for the achievement whore who needs every lum. I believe if you can collect all 1000, there’s a bonus level…I will never see this, sadly.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zpVzjt9aLH0&feature=related[/youtube]
With the cool 3D graphics, a beautiful mythical world to explore, the great controls, and cute and funny original characters, this seems to be a must-have for any Dreamcast collection. Highly recommended.

MegaMan X to the Virtual Console

Megaman x gameplay screenshot

Power up that Mega Buster, the classic 1993 Super Nintendo game, MegaMan X is coming to the Wii via the Virtual Console for 800 points.

Hundreds of years after his death, Dr. Light’s final creation is discovered. Released from his capsule by Dr. Cain, “X” is born into the world of the future where robot rebellions are a thing of the past. But when Dr. Cain tries to implement Dr. Light’s designs into a new series of Reploids, something goes horribly wrong. Now, the future lies on the brink of destruction and X must use all of his newfound powers and abilities to hunt down the maverick Reploids and their leader, Sigma, before the human race is wiped from the planet!

Megaman x gameplay screenshot

The game is available now.

 

Angry Birds and Tetris to the PS3 and PSP

Playstation Network
Playstation Network

As a follow-up to our review on Angry Birds the game is set to fly onto the Playstation 3 and Playstation Portable Console this week.  The only question that remains is will the addictive puzzle game be a winner on a major console system.

In other news one of the most famous puzzle games out there, Tetris will be making its debut on the Playstation Network this week.

World Record for Galaga Arcade Changes hands

Galaga World Champion Andrew Laidlaw
Galaga World Champion Andrew Laidlaw

Talk about beating the buzzer, Andrew Laidlaw regained the tournament world record on Galaga right before the end of the New Year. On New Year’s Eve Twin Galaxies announced that Laidlaw scored an incredible 4,525,150 point on the classic arcade game in a tournament setting where he only had five total lives on the hardest difficulty setting.

Laidlaw had held the title before, but lost it to Phil Day in 2009. Andrew told the Denton Arcade Examiner. “It feels great… this isn’t going to wear off for a while. The first time was magical in a way, this time it’s a huge relief!”

So what was the previous high score held by Day, would you believe 3,275.720? Even though Day admitted that he believed Laidlaw would beat his score he did not believe it would be by over 1,249,430 points.

Day has since retired from Galaga competitions so Laidlaw will have to wait for another challenger. Andrew has considered aiming for the marathon Galaga record where you can play with as many extra lives as the game will give you, but that record is a hefty one at 15,999,990 points set way back in 1989 by Steve Krogman.

Wow, good luck with that one and if you beat it we will be sure to report on it.

Kim Soares: Nitro Games

Nitro Games logo
Nitro Games logo

Name: Kim Soares

Company: Nitro Games

Profession: Lead designer

Favorite Classic Game: The Faery Tale Adventure

Quote: For me, classic means something from 1980’s. From that era, Faery Tale was the most mind altering experience (along with Elite, of course). I still remember first reading a review that told about the huge game world and freedom to go anywhere.

The experience was nothing short of profound. It was like all the confines of games had been removed. To top everything were excellent graphics, music and audio that the new Amiga 500 could produce on screen.


Bio: Nitro Games Ltd. is a Finnish game developer that produces high quality video games for worldwide distribution. Since its founding in 2007 the company has grown rapidly and become one of the largest game development studios in Finland.

The company focuses on creating interesting titles with strong intellectual property values. Our office is located in Kotka, Finland. Our internal team is comprised of skilled professionals who know what it takes to make a game that is fun to play and easy to sell. We also use some of the best outsourcing partners in the industry.

Nitro Games has just finished working on East India Company a PC-title combining trading, management and naval battles in novel fashion. The game was released worldwide in Q3 2009 by Paradox Interactive. In the game players will enjoy building the World’s largest trading empire and engaging in vigorous battles within a breathtaking cinematic game environment, in both single player and multiplayer modes. You can read more at our Games section.

Bubble Bobble Double

Bubble Bobble Double
Bubble Bobble Double

Finally a Bubble Bobble game on the iPhone that doesn’t come from an emulator. Taito recently released Bubble Bobble Double which allows players to play the classic arcade game Bubble Bobble and a brand new puzzle game featuring the famous dinosaurs Bub and Bob.

Classic Mode

Bubble Bobble Double
Bubble Bobble Double

The classic Bubble Bobble game plays just like the original. The same graphics are there as is the music and gameplay. It is pretty much a perfect port. The only difference is using the virtual joystick with the iPad. As with most games the virtual stick feels a bit off. Sometimes it feels like the controls are too loose and other times it feels as if you don’t have the quick twitch action that you need in later levels.

The other small issue is they place the game in a smaller window and on the iPad this is not really an issue, but on the iPhone I can see that it would be way too small. Honestly besides that the game is fine and is fun to play and especially on the iPad you don’t really feel a major difference.

New Mode

Bubble Bobble Double
Bubble Bobble Double

The new mode has your favorite dino floating through space as waves of enemy’s approach him. These enemies are the same from the classic game and just like the classic game your job is to capture them in bubbles. You do this by tapping them with your finger and that will trap them no matter where they are on the screen. Then you can either tap them again to pop the bubble or flick them with your finger to send them flying and bouncing around the screen.

So why would you want to flick or pop them? Good question. The enemies come out in different patterns, sometimes they are bunched together and sometimes they are apart. When you burst a bubble it also damages enemies around it whether they are inside a bubble or not. However, when you flick them you can hit other enemies that are farther way or to hit incoming enemies.

As with the original game when you pop the bubbles the enemies turn into tasty treats that give you points. The more chains or combo’s you pull off when killing enemies the higher the values of the fruit. In addition power ups will randomly appear on the screen offering additional abilities or augmenting your basic ones.

The Verdict

I have played both versions for quite a while on my iPad and they are a lot of fun. The original is spot on and the new version is addictive with enough of a challenge to keep me interested. The visuals especially in the new version are impressive with a mix of the classic sprites and the new age neon backgrounds. The same goes for the music with the classic tunes with the old and modern engaging music with the new.

At $4.99 at the iTunes store it is worth a pick-up if you are a fan of Bubble Bobble especially, but also if you are a fan of puzzle games in general.

Sara Wendel-Örtqvist: Paradox Interactive

Paradox Interactive logo
Paradox Interactive logo

Name: Sara Wendel-Örtqvist

Company: Paradox Interactive

Profession: Content Designer (scripting, writing and other)

Favorite Classic Game: Little Big Adventure 2

Quote: I played it when it was released in 1997 and I hadn’t even started to learn English at that time, so my mother helped me understand what the characters said. I remember memorising several lines of dialogue and repeating them to my mother so I could get a translation. It is still the best game I ever played, mostly because of all the great memories I share with my mother.

Bio/Current Event: I studied Games Development – Design at the University of Skövde and graduated in 2009 with a B.A. of Media. I currently live in Uppsala with my boyfriend and commute to Stockholm. It takes about four hours every day so I have plenty of time to listen to music and read good books.

Marcus Hswe: Tandem Learning

Tandem Learning logo
Tandem Learning logo

Name: Marcus Hswe

Company: Tandem Learning

Profession: Director of Client Services

Favorite Classic Game: SEGA Genesis Electronic Arts FIFA Soccer 1993

Quote: Once you reached a level of mastery (i.e. cheats), you could be Cameroon and win the World Cup. Plus, it was cheap entertainment until we broke the game. The graphics at the time were average but the functionality and flexibility in play was fairly unusual for the time.

Bio/Current Event:
Tandem Learning designs learning solutions that are infused with strategic and creative instructional and game design. Our focus on the learner experience, along with our expertise and passion for immersive learning and serious games, can help you shift the training you have to the learning that will inspire your organization.

Tandem Learning recently launched its Looking Glass® Game Engine. The Looking Glass® Engine is a customizable gaming engine that integrates scoring, leaderboards, team creation, live chat, polls, assessments, discussion boards, and more with a full back-end tracking and reporting tool. The engine has the ability to be customized with additional features and graphics based on the need of each uniquely designed game experience. Tandem Learning licenses the engine and develops customized gaming experiences that utilize the engine.

The competitive game engine was recently used for an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) called Dr. Strangelearn’s Learning Laboratory, which was played in conjunction with the eLearning Guild’s DevLearn 2010 conference in San Francisco.

Motivational Monday: Knock Offs

knock offs demotivational poster
knock offs demotivational poster

Motivational Monday: Knock Offs

Sometimes you just want the prestige of having something popular, at the top of its game. You want everyone to know you have it and have no shame in showing it off. Unfortunately, for many of us obtaining the best is not always possible. Thank goodness for knock-offs.

The knock off is as old as time and it is the art of copying something good, but not good enough that it has the quality of the original. Knock offs can be found in everything from shoes to clothes to electronics and video games are not immune to the knock off. This week we take a look at some of the knock offs that has made their way into video game history.

Now before we begin just a warning. The term knock off can upset people especially those who created something they were proud off. In many cases the court or the court of popular opinion deemed that something was not a knock off. However, I call em as I see em so enjoy.

K.C. Munchkin

I have seen a number of Pac-Man clones in my day, but this one has an interesting story. The Munchkin video game was created for the Magnavox Odyssey. As you can see it looks a lot like Pac-Man, but it was different enough. The problem came because Atari was exclusively licensed to create the home version of Pac-Man, but Munchkin came out first. In 1981 Munchkin was released and Atari sued. At first the courts refused to stop the sale of the game and then the following year on appeal ruled in favor of Atari. Strangely enough the release of Pac-Man by Atari turned out to be a major failure.

The Great Giana Sisters

So why would you try to copy Mario Bros? Why not? The fact was that Nintendo had a hit on their hands and in all likelihood the game was not going to be ported to the personal computer. The Great Giana Sisters was developed by Time Warp Productions and was to become available for systems including the Amiga, Atari ST and Commodore 64.

The game looked and played a lot like Super Mario Bros. at least in the first levels. Also, it didn’t help that on some covers was the sentence; “The brothers are history.” Yeah, it probably was not a good idea to taunt Nintendo who retailed with a Bowser size lawsuit and got the sisters locked down.

Funny thing, the Great Giana sisters is going to be available on the Nintendo DS.

Munch Man

I really don’t want to call this game a knock off because I owned both it and the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A that it was released for, but it was loosely based on Pac-Man. The cool thing was the differences including the fact that you were trying to connect links to form a chain not eat dots. Also the ghosts in the game, called Hoono’s change from level to level. As the game continues your enemy gets much faster than you and their vulnerability time is greatly reduced.

I loved Munch Man as a kid, the sounds of the game was so trippy to me. Come on, that sound when he eats the bad guy? Classic!

Imitation is the most sincere form

Intellectual property is important and as a writer I understand this even more. With that said some of these games were just great fun and I am glad they were made. There are tons more knock offs or clones out there. If you want us to do an article on them drop us a line.

Commercial Wars: Best use of Awesome

awesomeness demotivational poster Barley
awesomeness demotivational poster Barley

A great commercial like a great movie trailer can really hype people up to go see or buy it. Sometimes the video is much better than the game, but sometimes you are surprised to find the trailer matches the film. When a company takes the time to put real money and effort into a video game commercial and it comes out awesome it earns respect regardless of the game. This week we take a look at some of the best video game commercials that just look awesome in the way it was put together.

Sega Dreamcast: Thief

The Sega Dreamcast was one of the most awesome consoles that never really got the credit it should have. This commercial embodies the awesomeness of the console and the games behind it. You have to love when a company takes a movie-like approach to a game. The action, the humor and even the dialog all match and you spend the entire time into what’s going on. By the time you see the final splash telling you about the Dreamcast you’ve already purchased it.

Call of Duty: A Soldier in All of Us

Sure, this is a brand new commercial, but as we said Obsolete Gamer profiles good games regardless of when it was made. In this case the game takes a cool thought that we are all playing this war game and we come from different backgrounds. I love the fact that they add many different types of people and it comes together so well that you have to give it its praise. There was just enough humor and spirit to complement the action, beautifully done.

Halo Reach: Deliver Hope

Yet another modern game and yet another spectacular display of visuals with a perfect blend of music, heart and action. You did not need to hear loud booming explosions. You did not need to hear the screams of the dying. You did not need to hear one word, all was told to you visually with a light side dish of audio mastery. Yes, a commercial can do all that and “Deliver Hope” did it.

Vote or Die

Here we have three different action oriented videos that deliver awesome and so much more. Now the question is which one of the three did it best? The choice is yours.

[poll id=”11″]

JerseyJosh: Game Casa

Gamecasa.net logo
Gamecasa.net logo

Name: JerseyJosh

Company: GameCasa.net

Profession: Staff Writer , Executive Editor, Talent

Favorite Classic Game: The Legend of Zelda – NES

Quote: Zelda was the first game that got me to think and prove I was the smartest.  Beating that game was my greatest accomplishment until the first time I got to second base.


Shaun Norton: Sandbox Strategies

Sandbox Strategies logo
Sandbox Strategies logo

Name: Shaun Norton

Company: Sandbox Strategies

Profession: PR Manager

Favorite Classic Game: Metal Gear Solid

Quote: This game blew my mind the first time I played it, which was via a demo disc in a gaming magazine. It was unlike anything I had played before, a remarkably polished game with an intricate story and incredibly satisfying controls and gameplay. I was hooked the second I popped the disc in, and it was one of the first games where I not only became engrossed in the story and the struggles of the amazing characters and cast, but that I also took hours and hours to replay. I was obsessed with successfully sneaking around unnoticed, which would also trigger just minor changes in dialogue or cut scenes, and I couldn’t stop playing until I unlocked the stealth and the bandana upgrades. This game basically kick started me down the path to becoming the passionate, ‘core’ gamer I am today.


Games Coming Out May 2010 For PC

Blur cover
Blur cover

Games Coming Out May 2010 For PC by Honorabili

April was a slow month for PC gaming. Let’s see what May 2010 has to offer us…

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, May 3

A lot of people enjoy these cute Lego games. Not just kids but I’ve seen a lot of adults playing them as well, simply because they are well made and fun. Harry Potter is still popular so it’s a good move for them to release this LEGO game.

Split Second, May 18

This looks like a Burnout clone. Could still be fun though…

Blur, May 25

And this one reminds me of a clone of both Burnout and Trackmania. Let’s see if it lives up to its hype. [update: It didn’t. Split Second is MUCH BETTER!]

***

Not much else reported for now. Keep checking back on this article as I will update it if I hear of anything else coming out.

The End of the Lich King

The Lich King WoW
The Lich King WoW

While it is true that everyone and their mother plays World of Warcraft that doesn’t mean that when something is done well you ignore it because it is massive and mainstream. The team over at Blizzard did a pretty good job with their cinematic’s after the death of Arthas, the Lich King.

Spoiler Alert! Yes, we all know the Lich King dies, but just in case you don’t want to know what happens next don’t click the video or read what is below.

Of course there are rumblings across the net about the need to be a Lich King, however, I think the lore team has set themselves up well.

A good summed up response to those who questioned the need for a Lich King and the choice in who became Arthas’s successor came from, believe it or not, the City of Heroes official forums where member Talia Rayvyn said:

The reason they needed another host is because the first Lich King (Ner’zhul) would have full control over the Scourge or if Ner’zhul without a body had no control over the Scourge they would just follow their instinct to destroy all life.

When Ner’zhul fused with Arthas they both became stronger because he had a physhical body BUT deep down Arthas was still a good person and was using what influence he had to hold the Scourge back. I’m not sure if you play/played WoW, but during the Wrath World Event they unleashd the Scourge plague and it did not take long before everything was a zombie wasteland. That’s exactly how the world should be, but since it’s not, that hinted at the fact that something was holding the Scourge back. I just assumed that Arthas was building up a bigger force but when Uther tells you that he is actually holding the Scourge back it makes just as much sense.

Also Bolvar was the best man for the job to be the new Lich King. The first important fact is that he is not in possession of Frostmourne. That sword was the major reason for Arthas’ downfall because it stole his soul and made him a slave to its hunger and Ner’zhul since the sword is ultimately tied to him. The second factor is that he is covered in head to toe in fire from the Red Dragons. That fire embodies the very essence of life an was probably one of the main reasons that Arthas could never convert him into a Death Knight. So as long as the fire burns he is resistant to the undead of the Scourge. So between those two things it made him a perfect “jailer” rather than host for Ner’zhul and the Scourge.

From a lore-standpoint the Scourge will no longer be a threat to Azeroth and will probably just lethargically shamble around Northrend. Blizzard could also eventually evolve the Scourge to the point that they are able function as well as the Forsaken.

I also expect this was a means to set-up the scenario a few expansions down the road when we assault the Burning Legion that the Alliance and Horde will be joined by Bolvar and the Scourge in overthrowing Sargeras.

Overall, a good job was done, at least visually. We will see what Cataclysm brings us.