Diddy Kong Racing

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Diddy Kong Racing

While Mario Kart has been king of kart racing games since 1992, it has seen many imitators and rivals.  Diddy Kong Racing was the first kart racer (that I know of) that Nintendo had done outside the Mario series. Though technically Rare (who made the Donkey Kong Country series) were the real team behind it.
Diddy Kong Racing - N64
 It featured a similar set-up to Mario Kart, with racing through colorful themed tracks with power-ups to use. The cast didn’t feature Diddy Kong’s famous uncle, but original characters. Most notable would be Banjo the bear (who would later star in Banjo-Kazooie) and Conker (the star of Conker’s Bad Fur Day) the squirrel.
Diddy Kong Racing - N64
What also set it apart from Mario’s was the ability to use hovercraft and planes. The game received a very positive reaction from critics and gamers alike. It’s often remarked as one of the most beloved N64 games, with many thinking it was superior to Mario Kart 64.
Diddy Kong Racing - N64
No real sequel was ever released as Rare left Nintendo for Microsoft. Though surprisingly they came back to develop a remake of Diddy Kong Racing for the Nintendo DS. It featured online-play, but Conker and Banjo were absent. Though ironically despite some improvements, the DS remake received a mixed reaction. It wasn’t considered terrible but it was vastly overshadowed by Mario Kart DS.

WWF No Mercy

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WWF No Mercy

In every console cycle there are always games that get lost in time for whatever reason, waiting for the day when an ardent fan would bring them back up to a volley of puzzled looks. When AKI Corporations’ WWF No Mercy debuted on the Nintendo 64 in mid 2000, people were already looking towards shinier, newer things that they were told would blow their socks off, destroy their wallets and take them to the elusive ‘Third Place’.

WWF-No-Mercy-N64

 

Concurrent to No Mercy‘s release, wrestling popularity was at its height, and kids everywhere wanted to be The Rock or Stone Cold Steve Austin ( including me). When WWF No Mercycame out my local Kmart’s game shelves were filled with nothing but copies of Waialae Country Club and the odd exorbitantly priced copy of Conker’s Bad Fur Day (something for another article to be sure), so at this point I was mighty wary of what I was getting into.  It’s handy then that No Mercy was both a fantastic representation of wrestling and a damn good game. In fact, it was one of my favourite games of all time!

WWF-No-Mercy-N64

All it took was five buttons of destruction and the loving cradle of the Nintendo 64 controller and you could be beating up a virtual Triple H in no time. Never mind the overblown simulators that wrestling games have become today, No Mercy had an easy to learn, yet robust grapple system which meant that all competitors were (usually) similarly skilled, moves were easy to pull off and wonderfully animated for the time.  There is something awesome about seeing your opponent somersault through the air rag-doll style after a well-timed clothesline, or smash into the canvas after a power bomb.

WWF-No-Mercy-N64

 

If you became good enough, simple strikes could be turned into match winning counters – all the more sweet when you could hit an opponent with their own finisher. When I say hit, I mean really hit!  No Mercy captured the big hits of wrestling so well and with such great sound effects that when I used to go town on friends with a set of steel steps or a ladder I almost felt sorry for them…almost! The grunts and groans heard during submission moves are also pretty awesome but in more of a, ‘I suddenly feel disturbed’  kind of way. The bell sound effect that rang when a player copped a low blow is still hilarious to this day.

WWF-No-Mercy-N64

 

But it wasn’t just the game play that made No Mercy stand out – we’d already seen a similar engine in the previous games Wrestlemania 2000WCW vs N W O Revenge and WCW vs N W O World Tour. It was the fact that the game is pure fan service with over 60 wrestlers to choose from, including some wacky retro long-retired ones. Nearly every wrestler came with their own unique move set and entrance video with authentic music and taunts. They even modelled the different arenas from the show for extra authenticity.

WWF-No-Mercy-N64

 

In addition to all of this is a wealth of content including a championship mode for every belt that had dialogue, branching paths and even choices you could make to influence alliances. A survival mode – where you were charged with defeating forty opponents without getting knocked out of the ring, custom multiplayer tournaments and one hell of a create-a-wrestler mode. I would spend hours crafting a character to my liking before loading it onto my memory card and heading to a friends place to take them on.

WWF-No-Mercy-N64

 

Of course, I’d love to call No Mercy a perfect game but there are a few minor things that have always irked me. If you played the game regularly you’ll remember a rather annoying glitch that randomly deleted your content. There are also other versions of the game where characters wouldn’t bleed. But hey, I’m willing to let a couple of troublesome glitches slide after so much fun, especially for something that’s still enjoyable to this day. So much so, thatNo Mercy remains a very popular choice for wrestling fans on the PC. Although, seeing as they’ve patched and modified the game so much to bring it up to ‘modern’ graphical standards it has become very much a different game – with some people going so far as to replace the older wrestlers with the current ones. Sacrilege!

WWF-No-Mercy-N64

 

So if you’ve read this far you may have worked out that I hold this game in rather high regard. For me, it’s a game that sits up there with Goldeneye for multiplayer on the Nintendo 64 and is easily the best wrestling game of all time. The gameplay holds up so well and there’s so much to do that even though I don’t watch wrestling anymore, I can still return to it with three friends and have as good an experience as I had 11 years ago.

South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack

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South Park: Chef’s Luv Shack

There are hardly any South Park games released on home consoles nowadays, but back in the late nineties a trio of titles based on the show were developed.

There was an FPS (South Park), a racing game (South Park Rally) and a party game (Chef’s Luv Shack).

Despite the difference in genres, they all shared one common trait – they were all at their best when played with friends.

South Park - Chef’s Luv Shack - N64

It isn’t just a recommendation that you play Chef’s Luv Shack with friends though – but almost a requirement.

Set up as a quiz show, the game has you competing with up to three other players in order to gather the highest number of points (or dollars) at the end.

It’s as shallow as a puddle in terms of modes, with no dedicated single player option (you can choose how many rounds you play, from 2 up to 8 – and that’s it) but fortunately the main body of the game is enjoyable enough.

South Park - Chef’s Luv Shack - N64

Each round consists of a few quiz questions and a mini-game. Questions fall into certain random categories, such as ‘people who eat people’, ‘aliens, assholes and anal probes,’ and ‘DNA holes.’

Sometimes questions are simple, and other times they’re purposefully random – making answering them a gamble. Getting one right wins you 500 points, and getting it wrong deducts the same amount.

You have to press a buzzer to attempt to answer the question as well, which inevitably makes thing very frantic indeed if there are several contestants.

South Park - Chef’s Luv Shack - N64

There are some variations to break up the question and answer format, such as the wheel of fortuitousness (where if you land on a certain section you get a points bonus or are allowed to play an extra bonus game) or a pressure round – where if you get enough questions right a huge anal probe/drill is rammed up Cartman’s…well, you can guess where.

As you might expect, the mini-games are where the most fun is to be had, and most of the challenges are incredibly simple but perfectly suited to simultaneous competitive play.

South Park - Chef’s Luv Shack - N64

‘Asses in space’ is an Asteroids clone for example, and has you destroying as many rear ends as you can before you lose all your lives. It’s easy to pick up, and with more than one ship on the screen things can get joyously messy.

A game that requires button mashing is ‘Eat this,’ which has you taking part in a pie eating contest. You have to press A and B to eat the pies, and the d-pad to get rid of the empty tins, and if you can get a rhythm is enjoyably hypnotic.

South Park - Chef’s Luv Shack - N64

One other example is the Game & Watch inspired Scuzzlebutt, which has you moving left and right to bounce falling water balloons off a trampoline onto a tree (that’s on fire and has scuzzlebutt trapped on top of it).

Although each game is basic, they each have a slightly different concept or control scheme behind them, and there’s enough of them to stop the game from getting dull too soon.

It goes without saying that you have to play it in short bursts to keep it fresh though, but brief plays are what it’s seemingly been designed for anyway.

South Park - Chef’s Luv Shack - N64

The game still holds up fairly well today as well – for two main reasons.

One is that the basic graphics actually depict South Park fairly accurately, and secondly there’s very little out there quite like this, even today. Sure, there are slicker quiz game experiences – but none of them have the cast of South Park.

The game admittedly isn’t as funny as the show, but there’s more than enough here to satisfy fans.

South Park - Chef’s Luv Shack - N64

Overall, the anarchic nature of the show is well suited to the party game format – and if you’re a South Park fan this is an essential purchase. It’s fairly cheap nowadays as well.

Mission Impossible

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Mission Impossible 

Well known as being a crushing disappointment when it was released back in 1998, it’s difficult to know exactly who would want to play Mission Impossible nowadays.

What’s really surprising about revisiting it today though is how you can still see the potential underneath the myriad of design missteps. It wasn’t dubbed ‘dissapointing’ for nothing.

Based on the TV series rather than the movie, the game opens with that tune and with some truly shonky looking character introductions.

Mission_Impossible-N64

Supposedly made to look like each person is twirling towards the screen, they instead look like they’re suffering from some serious spasms.

Things don’t get any better with the opening cutscene, which is woodenly animated and incredibly ugly and angular. It was never going to look good next to modern titles, but it’s still noticeably poor.

The first mission is also dull, and lacks any of the verve or excitement of the opening of say, Goldeneye.

You’re tasked with infiltrating a frosty Scandinavian (well, I presume it’s Scandanavian – the game gives all of its locations fake names for some reason) base and destroy the submarine within it.

Mission_Impossible-N64

Sounds promising, but it’s almost insultingly simple. You go into a building once you’re into the base, knock out a guard, disguise yourself as him (face changing is a big part of the game) and then stroll to the exit.

You then get to the next section, and have to find some bombs (why you didn’t bring your own is never explained) and plant them onto the sub and escape.

This had the potential to be a tense and stealth-based affair, but the game allows you to alert all the guards in the complex and still survive.

Thanks to the huge health meter (that’s the fuse at the bottom of the screenshot above) you can take hit after hit and grab the bombs, attach them to the sub and escape with no trouble at all.

Mission_Impossible-N64

It feels cheap, and there’s no satisfaction to be had from defying the odds as it was so easy.

Still, it’s perhaps fortunate that stealth wasn’t an pre-requisite in the mission, as the controls are woeful if you’re hoping to avoid detection. The main reason for this is because it’s nearly impossible to control the camera.

You have to move your hand off the analogue stick and use the d-pad to rotate the camera, which is as clumsy as it gets.

This means the C-pad is used to select your items and the d-pad for the camera, whereas it should have been the other way around.

So after this limp opening you may be ready to give up hope, but the next mission is markedly better – or at least, it starts off well.

Mission_Impossible-N64

You must access the important areas of a Czech embassy while disguised as a waiter, while also having to rig the air ducts with gas bombs and assume the identity of the Ambassadors Aide.

The way you achieve the last objective is actually surprisingly enjoyable and amusing. You not only have to spike his drink, but also have follow him to the bathroom and knock him out (and then change your face to his).

Most amusing is the cutscene where you drag the unconscious aide into the bathroom. You see him being slowly pulled in, and it looks incredibly dodgy – this clip must have been included as a joke.

What even more hilarious is when you take out the female assassin in the same place. Look 4 minutes and 53 seconds into this video to see for yourself:

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This section ultimately makes you feel like an undercover agent though, and is a great example of why people’s hopes for this game back in 1998 were so high.

Somewhat inevitably it’s followed by a highly tedious trudge through a poison gas filled labyrinth however, which requires you to know exactly which explosive boxes to destroy to get through.

Choose the wrong route and you’re pretty much finished, as you only have a limted amount of ammunition.

Mission_Impossible-N64

To make matters worse the game froze while I was playing this section for no reason whatsoever, but with the game’s reputation for being a buggy this was no surprise.

My recent time playing the game is a perfect demonstration of the game as a whole. Small, promising snippets followed by crushingly dull or frustrating troughs.

Mission Impossible is not a complete disaster, but is sadly a case of a potentially great license squandered.

Virtual Pool 64

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Virtual Pool 64

In terms of content alone, Virtual Pool 64 is a success.

The big issue is whether this huge amount of content and modes is worth wading through today.

If you’re a pool fan it’s probably safe to say that it is though. Despite the game’s slightly dated visuals it plays a fairly solid virtual rendition of the ball potting sport.

The controls are undoubtedly the most important element of the game – without feeling suitably responsive and solid the main meat of the game would be largely worthless.

So it’s good to see they’re not bad. Not perfect by any means, but workable enough.

Virtual Pool 64 - N64

Moving your cue (seemingly held by the invisible man) is done with the analogue stick. Adjusting the cue angle is done with the right C-button, while holding the R trigger helpfully allows you to see things from an overhead perspective.

Hitting the ball is a little odd though. You have to hold A, and then pull back the analogue stick, pushing it forward to strike the ball. The strength of the shot depends on how quickly you move the stick.

It’s unintutive at first, but eventually you get used to it. You can see what the developers were going for at least, attempting to recreate the cue movement with the analogue stick.

You can then start picking through the games many options and modes.

Virtual Pool 64 - N64

There are nine variants of pool to choose from, and you can play in one-off matches, tournaments and more for each.

Four of them are the same thing but with a different number of balls though.

3-ball, 6-ball, 9-ball and 10-ball all see you potting the balls in numerical order, with the person to pot the last one the winner.

I personally have always found this version of pool to be a tad unfair (you can pot all but one ball and still be the loser), but I know many people who swear by it.

For everyone else you have the reliable, trusted 8-ball mode, with the option to play it US or English Pub style.

Virtual Pool 64 - N64

If you don’t how this version of pool works i’m surprised you’ve managed to read this far into this revisit. Suffice to say, it’s the one version of pool you should think of when someone mentions the sport to you.

You choose a colour/ball type (plains or stripes) and you have to pot all your balls and the black before your opponent.

Straight Pool, on the other hand, is pretty much pot any ball on the table that you can up to a certain pre-set total. A little mindless, but fun enough.

Rotation sees you attempting to rack up a score of 61 before your opponent with 120 points available on the table. This is one of the less enjoyable variants.

Bank Pool is even more torturous, only allowing you to pot a ball if you hit the rail during your shot.

Virtual Pool 64 - N64

One Pocket is slightly more interesting, and sees you elect a pocket from the far end of the table which you must then try to hit as many balls into as you can. This one is like a hybrid of Hungry Hippos and pool, but it’s still not quite as good as that sounds.

That’s quite a lot to get your teeth into, and if you’re in the market for a pool game on the N64 (well, you might be) you won’t get much better than Virtual Pool 64.

Portable N64 Handheld System

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Portable N64 Handheld System

You know personally I was not a fan of the controller on the N64, but I learned to get used to it and after that had a lot of fun. I remember years back an emulator for the N64 that we tried desperately to get working, but it used so much CPU resources most games were not playable. In the age of gaming on the going with handhelds and mobile devices you might ask why would you want to Portal N64 system, the answer is why wouldn’t you want one.

Portable N64 Handheld System

I love the way this looks, the unit uses a 3.5 inch screen and uses a Rumble Pak as well as an Expansion pak. It features an analog stick and get this, it has about 4 hours of battery life. The modders name is Bungle and has hopes to sell them. If he does we’ll buy a copy.

Specs:

  • Custom controller-shaped case with hand grips
  • 3.5″ screen
  • Battery: 4400mAh at 7.4v
  • Battery life: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Expansion Pak 
  • Battery indicator
  • 1st party N64 controller
  • Custom buttons and d-pad, dual z buttons
  • Gamecube style replacement joystick
  • HMDX Go Portable Audio amp and speakers with volume buttons
  • Switchable internal memory/rumble

Lode Runner 3-D

Format- N64

Genre- Puzzle Platformer

Lode-Runner-3-D - N64

I have quite a few N64 games. Not as many as the true collectors out there – but far too many to actually have played them all.

So I flick through my un-played carts, all picked up for pennies and lurking at the back of the draw, flicking through Earthworm Jim 3D, Road Rash 64, Twisted Edge…until I decide to take a punt on Lode Runner 3-D.

Lode-Runner-3-D - N64

Why it has the dash between the 3 and the D, I do not know. But anyway.

A puzzle game based on an ancient title from 1983, I recall Lode Runner 3-D was given a lukewarm response by N64 Magazine at the time of its release – so how bad could it be?

Well, it turns out it’s not a bad game. Just one that was considered slightly archaic even at the time of its release – and, well, time has not been kind.

Lode-Runner-3-D - N64

It’s hard to describe whether this is a 3D (or ‘3-D’) or 2D game to be honest. Although your movement is fixed on a 2D path, levels branch out into 3D space, twisting, turning, and overlapping with a certain frustrating rigour.

The game is based around completing self-contained stages by collecting a set amount of tokens, with different obstacles and challenges set against you.

Most involve the destruction of boxes though (see the purple ones above), which can be blasted away with a burst of your laser gun, fired with the Z button.

Lode-Runner-3-D - N64

These boxes come back after a certain time though, and if you’re in the space which they pop back into, you’re dead.

A more likely death will come about by walking into the red suited monks that stalk you in most of the levels though – and if killed (by either blowing them up with bombs or trapping them in the boxes) they simply re-spawn and chase you all over again.

These creepy monks (you never see their faces) are a little out of sync with the space theme, but do offer up a very tangible threat. Even if all they do when they catch you is jog back and forth on the spot where you fell. The fools.

In most levels one wrong move is enough to scupper any chance you have, but due to the sprawling nature of some stages a trial and error approach can be the only way to get through them.

Although you can see a fair bit of the stage with the solid camera (although for such a simple game i’d expect this element to be decent), there are still many times where you’ll die because you won’t be able to predict what the game will throw at you.

Eventually then, you might get a little bored, and for the larger levels you simply won’t have the motivation to play any more.

Generally Lode Runner 3-D looks a little tired by modern standards, with its chunky 3D graphics and one-note puzzling. Despite good intentions, this is a game best left in the past.

Tetrisphere

N64_Tetrisphere

Tetrisphere

Tetrisphere feels like the type of game that might have been bought over to a fair few consoles – at least the Playstation – but no. It’s an N64 exclusive, and maybe as a result hasn’t been remembered by many.

It hasn’t even been re-made, or ported to the Virtual Console. This is the type of the game that will probably be forgotten with time, if it hasn’t been already.

It’s a shame, as it’s not actually that bad. In fact, you could argue that it’s a hidden gem.

N64_Tetrisphere

One thing you need to enjoy this though, is to forget Tetris when going into the game. Despite taking up half of its name, that classic puzzler is a completely different experience to the one served up here.

If to emphasise that this a ‘brand new’ idea, the game starts by slinging thumping weirdo funk into your ears. This is a game with ATTITUDE, and it wants to make sure you’re aware of this fact.

This effect is ruined somewhat by the cutesy robot characters with googly eyes that you see throughout the game, but whatever.

N64_Tetrisphere

Also unlike Tetris, you’ll need to go through the tutorial if you’re going to understand the game. Because boy, is it complicated. Or so it seems at first.

Basically (and I say ‘basically with caution), you place different blocks onto a 3D sphere, and have to match up the same tiles with each other in groups of at least two. Due to the 3D element though, you can do this in terms of tiles on top of each other, or side to side.

Once you grasp this, and it takes a few minutes, you can start destroying large amount of blocks at once. You’re helped by the ability to drag blocks where you want – as long as there aren’t any in the way of course – and the helpful fact that the shadow of the block you’re about to place changes colour if it will start a combo.

N64_Tetrisphere

It’s hardly a pick up and play title. But credit to developer H20 Interactive, they tried to squeeze as much as they can out of the concept.

There’s a two player mode (strangely, none of my friends want to play the game), and a solo option with plenty of options.

Rescue mode has you opening up a hole in the sphere to rescue a tiny robot, Hide and Seek has you finding items hidden away in the play area, and there’s Time Trials and VS the CPU modes to round things off.

Considering that the game is fairly common (I picked mine up in Gamestation’s BOGOF deal for £1 when the shop was actually good), i’d say it’s worth checking out.

H20 Interactive made this and the rather good New Tetris, also on the N64, so they clearly knew what they were doing in terms of puzzlers (actually, they only made 3 games – the other was the divisive Aidyn Chronicles).

It’s not as brain meltingly addictive as Tetris, but at least it offers up something unique – and is therefore miles better than tripe such as Magical Tetris Challenge.

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.

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask

The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

I had gotten and beaten Ocarina of Time shortly before this game came out. I couldn’t contain my excitement for awhile.
The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask

Despite a lot of recycled graphics, Majora’s Mask is one of the most unique Zelda games ever. It’s dark, weird, has aliens, and is about the end of the world. Not exactly a typical adventure in Hyrule. Hell it’s not even set in our favorite Nintendo kingdom.

The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask

The moon in Majora’s Mask used to freak me out. Wasn’t so scary looking far away in the sky when I played Ocarina.
The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask
I didn’t like Deku too badly. Blowing bubbles and gliding were pretty lame.
The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask
Goron Link was much better, strong but slow. Unless you were rolling, which was beyond awesome.
The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask
Zora Link was the best. I loved zipped zagging through the water. Plus the twin blade fin attack was pretty neat.
The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask
I do admit my disappointment with Oni-Link. I worked so hard to get every mask, and turns out he just plays like Adult Link in Ocarina….
The-Legend-of-Zelda--Majora-s-Mask
I did hate the 3-day system, crappy ways to save your game/inventory, and the fact that there were only 4 dungeons. It did have the best side-quests in the series, so I still love it.

Magical Tetris Challenge

Magical Tetris Challenge

Magical Tetris Challenge

Format- N64

Genre- Tetris, Disneyfied

Has the addition of Disney in any form ever made a game significantly better? Meteos: Disney Magic added nothing to the rather good gameplay of the original, just added some pointless storyline claptrap.

Even Kingdom Hearts, the game which is pretty much built on all things Disney, suffers from having too many cartoon characters to be even remotely understandable by outsiders. A little selective culling of Disney would do wonders there.

Magical Tetris Challenge

Magical Tetris Challenge is worse than those two though. Much worse. The first thing that hits you is its quite appallingly shambolic presentation. It feels like a SNES game for the most part, trying to cover up it’s low rent attitude with colour and Disney characters. It doesn’t work. A SNES version might have looked better actually.

The story mode is clealry the main focus, so naturally you play that first. You can choose from a few characters but the outcome is pretty much the same. Two animated freaks meet up and natter about nothing for a bit, and then suddenly Tetris is brought up in the conversation and – hey! – you’re playing Tetris, just like that.

Magical Tetris Challenge

It’s almost as if Tetris is somehow the solution to all these characters problem, like some kind of block based currency. It makes more sense than real life though – Tetris battles should be used everytime two groups disagree about something. That will, sadly, never happen though.

Regarding the actual block twisting part of the game, it works well enough – up to a point. There you are, twisting blocks, winning, laughing, and cavorting, but all of a sudden a freakishly shaped block appears.

Magical Tetris Challenge

You weren’t warned. You didn’t see it coming. A freakish tetronimoe outcast, it could take one of many forms. A weird zig-zag abomination, a ridiculously long one block beanpole or a ‘screw you’ lardarse square spanning many squares in width. It could be any of these, and they all mess your game up like no-ones business.

I can make it through the first stage of the story mode, and the second at a pinch, but not much further. The addition of freak blocks mean a tough game is made much more difficult. Balance is thrown out of the window.

There are some other modes, and somewhere there’s an option to actually play a proper game of Tetris. But really, the game fails in my eyes.

It’s not exciting and effective enough to be considered a colourful Tetris side attraction, and it doesn’t play the game straight enough to be considered a worthwhile Tetris game in of itself.

Fortunately I only spent 60p on it (haggled the seller down from £1) in a car boot a year or so ago, so the game being a failure doesn’t work out too badly on me. I would consider a purchase very carefully if you were to pay any more than that though.

Super Mario 64 beaten in 7 minutes

mario-64_motivation_poster

Super Mario 64 beaten in 7 minutes

Spoiler alert this video contains the use of glitching obviously to get past 99% of the levels, but still as said in the Youtube comments, watching this made me cry for all the days, weeks and months I spent beating the game originally. Don’t get me wrong, I rather beat it legit then cheat, but watching this killed my childhood just a little.

Resident Evil (GameCube)

 Resident Evil - N64
Resident Evil was a huge hit on PS1, so it was kind of weird for gamers to see Capcom have a super-remake done on the Gamecube especially for it’s “kiddie” reputation.
Resident Evil - N64

The original PS1 version is a classic, but the game is dated quite a bit. Just think about it, we went from this

Resident Evil - N64

to this. Defiantly not a poor rush job on Capcom’s part. Not only is everything redone, but they added more areas, tweaked weapons, and made enemies even tougher.

Resident Evil - N64

I think my favorite part was the crimson head zombies. The regular zombie was no longer a threat, so after a few easy 9mm caps in their butts they go down easy. However after some time, the zombies revive into nastier and stronger version of themselves. The first time you see one of these guys wake up, will make you paranoid about burning or beheaded every zombie you meet.

Resident Evil - N64

The only bad thing I can say about it is that it’s a little bit too difficult. I think the PS1 version had a better balance of challenge. However it still was a fantastic job done by Capcom and really is one of the best remakes gamers have ever seen.

Knife Edge

Knife Edge

Format- N64

Genre- On rails shooter

Knife_Edge

One of the main appeals of a lightgun game is, obviously, the gun itself. The heft of it, the feel – it kindles our instinctive love of tactility. It does for me anyway.

Now, take that lightgun away from the experience. And make the actual game underneath a bit rubbish. Now, my friends, you have Knife Edge on N64.

It’s games like this that I fear the most during these retro revisits – its blurry 3D graphics and generally archaic sensibilities are so dated that it can’t even muster up a modicum of retro appeal.

The game wasn’t considered much cop back when it was released, so by todays standards it’s, naturally, looking pretty poor.

Knife_Edge

My cart of the game has been scrawled over, and alongside the dark murky colour scheme on the cart’s label it’s almost as if it wants to be forgotten and unoticed. I can’t blame it.

The label is actually a good representation of the graphics in-game. Low-res browns are abundant, and the text during cutscenes is of the weird thin scrawly font type that was strangely popular in the N64 era.

You play as a fighter pilot, and view things from a first person perspective. Basically you move your crosshair with the analogue stick and fire away at baddies. That’s it. All the main handling is done for you. It’s a generally sluggish and un-involving affair, with only the boss battles the moments graced with any gravitas.

There’s little else to say, besides the music is like something from a nightclub nightmare. It would have fitted in well with that club from the Robocop movie – and that’s not a good thing.

I feel a bit sorry for Knife Edge really. It has little cult appeal, and it’s not even so bad it’s good.

A small mercy for Europeans such as myself though – the game had the subtitle ‘Nose Gunner’ stapled onto it for its US release, but not anywhere else. At least I didn’t have to suffer that completely rubbish name.

Gamer Profile: Jeff Lewis

Jeff Lewis - Vork - The Guild

Name: Jeff Lewis

Known as: Vork

Series: The Guild

Favorite Game: Battle Tanx (Nintendo 64)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXpmE2jx1_0[/youtube]

 Quote: It’s my favorite game because, even though the graphics are quite awful, I love tanks and the multiplayer version is soooo fun with a couple friends especially when you have these weapon pick ups you can get that are randomly spread throughout the map. I wish I could get it on xbox but I still don’t see it available yet.

Latest sales figures show all three modern consoles now top lifetime NES sales

xbox 360, playstation 3, nintendo wii

Latest sales figures show all three modern consoles now top lifetime NES sales

The Nintendo Entertainment System defied the odds as the 1980s came to a close.  Released in a video game market that American retailers had written off as a fad, the NES not only revived the gaming entertainment industry but set sales figures that blew away the earlier console generation and the previous king, the Atari 2600.

The NES lifetime sales figure of  61.91 million consoles became the biggest prize for anything released after it.  Going into the current crop of gaming consoles, only two consoles ever topped the lofty mark set by the NES:  the original PlayStation and the PlayStation 2.

Now, according to sales-tracking website VGChartz.com the PlayStation 3 has now also topped the lofty NES numbers.  Not only does this put all three PlayStation consoles into the top five best-selling consoles of all-time, but it also means the PS3 joins the Nintendo Wii and XBox 360 in that short list.  All three modern consoles have now topped the NES lifetime sales figures, a first for any console generation in history. (Author’s note: All three consoles have also topped the NES software sales figures, according to the same website.)

“It was just a matter of time before gaming became so popular that the modern big three topped the original console that revitalized the gaming industry,” said Eric Cummings, founder of the group Gaming World Wide.  “I’m happy about it.  It means that the industry has really arrived.”

Another gamer who remains an NES player to this day provided similar thoughts.

“I feel this is proof that gaming is more than just people who play games,” said Eric Perez, host of The 8-Bit Eric Show.  “It is part of a worldwide culture.  The fact that three separate consoles have outsold what I feel was the pioneer of revitalizing gaming shows that the industry is in great shape.  The Nintendo Entertainment System will forever hold it’s place in history, but this is also history in the making.  The next generation of consoles will be something to watch.”

The Top Ten Selling Game Consoles of All-Time (source: combined data from VGChartz.com and Wikipedia listings.  Excludes handheld gaming devices.  All stats are as of date of this article’s publishing.)

1.  PlayStation 2 (Sony, 2000) – 153.68 million units

2.  PlayStation (Sony, 1994) – 104.25 million units

3.  Wii (Nintendo, 2006) – 95.25 million units

4.  XBox 360 (Microsoft, 2005) – 65.80 million units

5.  PlayStation 3 (Sony, 2006) – 62.11 million units

6.  Nintendo Entertainment System (Nintendo, 1983, 1985) – 61.91 million units

7.  Super Nintendo Entertainment System (Nintendo, 1990) – 49.10 million units

8.  Mega Drive / Genesis (Sega, 1988, 1989) – 39 million units

9.  Nintendo 64 (Nintendo, 1996) – 32.93 million units

10. Atari 2600 / VCS (Atari, 1977, 1985) – 30 million units

 

Happy 10th Birthday GameCube: My Favorite Games

Gamecube Cake

Ah where has the time gone? I remember reading about the GameCube and thinking, really, tiny discs like that? Now you are 10 years old and as Obsolete as the rest of us. Yes, the GameCube is now known for the titles you can purchase for the Wii more than a game system, but it did have some good games that I enjoyed. Here they are in no particular order.

Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door

papermario2_gamecube-box

I loved the original Super Mario RPG on the SNES and when I discovered Paper Mario was to be its successor I had to give it a shot. Paper Mario is a beginners RPG whereas it is very easy to play, at least this version. However, the ease did not make the game bad, on the contrary, it was very fun and the animation was unique and fit well with the storyline.

SoulCalibur 2

Soul-Calibur-2-gamecube-box

Fans of Soul Blade and the first SoulCalibur got a real treat on the GameCube version. Not only was the game put together well, but fans got to play as the exclusive character, Link and who could resist that. The music and graphics were well done and overall was a great year for the franchise.

Resident Evil

resident-evil-gamecube-box

Sure, it was a remake, but when it is done right giving people the chance to experience an updated version of the game they loved it deserves praise. This game was visually stunning and brought back all the fear you had from the original. The audio was redone as well and sounded fantastic, if you owned a GameCube and liked RE then you had to have this game.

F Zero GX

F-Zero-GX-gamecube-box

Fans of the futuristic racer could rejoice in this title that expanded on the original with new visuals and more ways to customize your vehicle than time would allow. This had everything fans wanted, the speed, the visuals, even the music and kept you interested in playing for a long time.

Resident Evil 4

resident-evil-4-gamecube-box

One of the best RE’s period and a must have on the GameCube. Everything about this game was well done from the storyline to the immersive factor to the music and graphics it was a staple for the series and alongside Codename Veronica, one of my all-time favorite survival horror games.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRuNDkhU0is[/youtube]

The others

Now this is a short list. There were other fantastic games like Metroid Prime, Super Smash Bros. Melee and The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, but I leave it up to you to tell us your favorite GameCube Games.

E3 2011: Classic Gaming Museum

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

My eyes lit up like a LED screen when I came across this section at E3 2011. Normally, there would be a small section with a few games, but this place was huge. On the back wall were a ton of classic video games from Dig Dug to Killer Instinct and a few even broke down so you know they were authentic.

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

They had what I called a 80’s living room complete with a couch, a radiation level 6 television and an Atari 2600 and best of all you could sit down and play. Now, while I was still just a baby when the 2600 launched I remember setups that looked exactly like this.

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

There were a ton of classic game systems, add-ons and games spread out for display. I recognized many of the systems, but there were a number I did not recognize. I was totally shocked by how huge the cartridge was for Metal Slug. We met a couple of guys from SNK there and they were totally cool so watch for some articles about them coming soon.

Classic Gaming Museum - E3 2011

Not only did they have the boxes and items to view there were many classic game systems setup that you could play for yourself including an Atari 2600, N64, Sega Master System and Intelivision and more.

What classic gaming museum exhibit would complete without music. There were two different bands there that played classic music. We were able to record a bit from 8-bit weapon, a duo that plays classic music from Commodore 64, Gameboy and more.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”480″]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UM1bmLk5zLI[/youtube]

All in all it was great to see classic gaming displayed in such a way at E3 2011 and we hope we will see more in the future.

Check out all our E3 pictures on our Facebook page.

 

F-Zero X

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

F-Zero X (1998)
By: Nintendo EAD Genre: Racing Players: 1-4 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Nintendo 64
Also Available For: Nothing
Download For: Wii Virtual Console

Despite being a highly accomplished racing game, the original F-Zero was perhaps most highly regarded for its admittedly impressive technical prowess. When news of a full sequel (F-Zero 2 was more like a ‘data-disk’) on Nintendo’s brand spanking new 64-bit powerhouse emerged, mouths began to salivate at the prospect of what wonders might befall gamers. However, when it finally arrived it wasn’t as instantly mind-blowing as many gamers were expecting. After the bar-raising the original did, a similar advancement was expected here, but the graphical detail was actually notably inferior to most of the other N64 games that had been doing the rounds, nevermind markedly better. This was apparently done on purpose by Nintendo so they could achieve a constant silky-smooth frame-rate of sixty frames per second. Their decision wasn’t met with much enthusiasm at first though. Was it worth the risk?

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

Questionable graphical detail notwithstanding, if there’s one thing that F-Zero X is, it’s bigger. Bigger and better than F-Zero in pretty much every area. The objective remains the same – to win races – but the courses over which this is done really are something else. One of the few criticisms levelled at the SNES game was that the courses were all completely flat. That situation has been rectified here and then some – I’m pretty sure there’s not a single flat course to be found in F-Zero X! They are all suspended high above the surface of their respective planets and their features range from gently twisting roads with slopes and the usual chicanes and hairpins to full-on roller coaster-style courses full of downhill plummets, uphill climbs, huge banked corners, corkscrews, massive ramps, loops, tunnels and everything inbetween!

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

The single player game modes available here include Grand Prix, Practise, Time Trial, and Death Race, and a majority of your time will most likely be spent on the first of these (in single-player, at least). Grand Prix’s are contested by thirty racers, each with their own distinctive ‘machine’, over one of the leagues. There are initially three available – the Jack, Queen, and King Cups, with each of them consisting of six courses. Points are awarded after each race based on your finishing position, from first down to thirteenth, and successfully winning the three initial leagues will open another one, the Joker Cup, which has six more courses. There is also a fifth and final league – The X Cup – but unlocking this takes a bit more work. It’s worth it though as it’s a test for even the most talented of racers as its courses are randomly generated each time you race so there’s no opportunity to learn them first!

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

The Practise and Time Trial modes are self-explanatory, although it’s worth mentioning that the latter lets you race against staff ghosts. This way you can see if you’re better at any given course than the people who actually designed it (and I’m sure a few obsessed individuals have devoted a lot of time to this pursuit)! The Death Race takes place on a basic course and sees the aggression level of each of the thirty racers cranked up a notch! Using your machine’s meagre attack moves (it can charge to the left, right, or perform a spin), the object is to take out as many opponents as you can while they all try to do the same to you (and each other). Another criticism the original game received was its lack of a multi-player mode. This is another area in which F-Zero X bests its forebear thanks to its fantastic Vs Battle mode where between two and four racers can compete at once.

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

One of the first things you’ll notice about F-Zero X is that it’s fast. Very fast. The Dash Plates make a welcome return here, as does the Super-Jet (or ‘Boost Power’ as it’s now called) and, unlike F-Zero where you only got one boost per lap, you can now use them as often as you want after you’ve completed your first lap. Each time you use it drains your machine’s energy though, so keep a plentiful supply of this by visiting the pit areas regularly. It seems that the various pilots have modified their machines since the last game too. They are faster anyway but you also now have the option of changing your engine settings by altering its top speed / acceleration ratio too. This combined with frequent use of the Dash Plates and your Boost Power, especially in conjunction with one another, can see your speed reach quite staggering levels, even hitting four figures on occasion (my current speed record is 1,527kph!).

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

There’s quite a lot to F-Zero X for an arcade-style racer but it would all be for nothing if the widely-criticised graphics kept gamers away. Personally though, I can’t see what all fuss is about! I asked earlier if Nintendo’s decision to sacrifice graphical detail for increased smoothness and speed was worth the risk. Well, in my opinion it was an excellent decision. The backgrounds may well be somewhat sparse but they are colourful and varied but that’s not hugely relevant anyway – the on-track action is so eye-meltingly fast, you’ll barely even get a chance to look at the backgrounds unless you come off the track and plunge into them! That said, it is impressive to see the horizon rolling around as the track meaders all over the place, or to be staring straight at the ground as you plummet down a collossal ramp (see the Fire Field screenshot!).

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

In addition to being really fast, each race is chock-full of action. The N64 throws the thirty racers, each in their own distinctive machines, constantly jostling for position, around the courses with apparent ease. A mere six of them are available to use at the start of the game (including those from the first game) but winning the various leagues gradually unlocks the remainder, each of which has differing grip, boost power, and body strength. They all look really nice too (plus you can change their colours!) and you can quickly build up genuine rivalries with many of their pilots, some of whom are more agressive than others. The game has a fantastic atmosphere which is helped considerably by the awesome rock soundtrack, featuring wailing guitars and thundering drums, and the courses that share names (but little else) with those in the SNES game are also graced with superb remixes (yes, including Big Blue!). It’s those courses though, that keep you coming back to the game.

F-Zero X - Nintendo 64 Gameplay Screenshot

Any game featuring jet-powered hovercars racing over tracks in mid-air is likely to feature lavishly-designed courses, and the opportunity here enabled the designers to really go to town! To this day, F-Zero X still features the best-designed courses I’ve ever raced on. Each of them is distinctive and memorable, and they really are thrilling to race on, something helped by the extremely precise controls afforded by the N64’s splendid analogue controller. Everything is so smooth and zooming along, weaving in and out of the other racers with pixel-perfect accuracy is exciting and great fun. There are also four difficultly level and, thanks to the X Cup, you’ll never run out of new courses to race on! The game builds up a fantastic sense of competition too, but there’s not really any one thing that makes this such a great game – it’s just a perfect blend of everything. Still probably the greatest racing game I’ve ever played.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-zcvM0b9VE[/youtube]

RKS Score: 10/10

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!

Wave Race 64

Wave Race 64 - Title Screen

Wave Race 64 (1996)
By: Nintendo EAD Genre: Racing Players: 1-2 Difficulty: Easy-Medium
Featured Version: Nintendo 64
Also Available For: Nothing
Download For: Wii Virtual Console

Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 1
As I recall, the mid-to-late-nineties saw a mini-craze for jet-ski racing games emerge. Most of the better ones were monstrous arcade behemoths complete with actual jet-skis to sit on and be thrown around by as you play. If one game can be singled out as starting this craze, it must be WaveRace 64, which ironically has never graced an amusement arcade (to the best of my knowledge anyway). This, the second game of the series after the lesser-known GameBoy outing, was initially unveiled in 1995 and released a year later alongside the Nintendo 64 itself. Having such a game as a launch title alongside Super Mario 64, amongst others, you could be forgiven for thinking that it would be somewhat over-shadowed, but many gamers revelled in the amazingly realistic water-based racing action offered by Miyamoto-san’s other launch title, and with good reason.
Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 2

 

Wave Race is obviously set in the world of jet-ski racing. There are four riders available for you to choose from (whose names you can change if you so desire) and each has their own Kawasaki jet-ski. These vary in their handling, acceleration, grip, collision stability, and maximum speed, and you can also customise each machine’s settings. Once a machine has been selected, there are four play modes to choose between – championship, time trials, stunt mode, and two-player versus. There are nine varied, circuit-based courses to race through and each race lasts for three laps, although this can be changed on the options screen. As was becoming common around this time, some of the courses are locked to start with too, but more on that later!

Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 3

It’s not just racing you’re required to do around these courses, however. Each course has many buoys strategically positioned around it which you must steer round slamon-stylee – go round the left of yellow ones and round the right of orange ones – while continuing to hold off your opponents. Each buoy successfully passed increases your engine power level, which has five stages. The higher the level, the faster you go. If you miss a single buoy, however, your engine power level will fall back down to level zero. If you think that’s harsh, miss more than five of them and you’re automatically disqualified from that race and must start again! The perimeter of each course is marked by pink buoys. If you should stray outside the boundary, the ‘Course Out’ counter will begin. Unless you return to the course within five counts, you will be retired. There are also numerous obstacles positioned around the courses like crates, logs, and abandoned boats, and some of them feature tunnels, alternate routes and hidden shortcuts.

Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 4

As mentioned earlier, most of the courses are locked at the start of the game and the only way to access them is to race in the championship mode. You are able to practise first in a small area called Dolphin Park, but once you feel ready, it’s time to race! There are three different difficulty levels, but only one can be chosen for your first championship – normal. This mode is contested by three other riders over six courses. Your finishing position earns you points and if you have most points after all six courses have been raced, you can then move up a level. If you can then end up on top after the seven courses of the hard mode, the ultimate challenge awaits- the expert mode. This mode is contested over eight courses (all of them except Dolphin Park). Win this mode and you win the game!

Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 5

As the difficulty level increases, so will the speed of your opponents, as well as the number if buoys and other obstacles on each course. If, however, you manage to finish the game, thereby unlocking all the courses, they will be available to race on in the other game modes. Time Trial mode allows you to race on any of the courses minus the other racers. There are still three difficulty levels and the object is obviously to get the fastest lap and course times possible. The Stunt Mode also allows you to select any course, this time including Dolphin Park. The emphasis here, however, is not so much on speed but on points, which are obtained by performing various stunts and tricks using the ramps if any are present on your chosen course. If there’s not, you’ll have to create your own ramps! Different stunts will obviously give you different scores, but you are also judged on your accuracy.

Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 6

Courses in Stunt Mode are also populated by numerous rings. Passing through one awards you with fifty points and each one you pass through consecutively following that will increase your score by a further fifty points. Some of the rings are even submerged. These can be passed through by performing a submarine dive, which is done by pointing your jet-ski’s nose downwards when jumping from a ramp. If done correctly, you will hit the water nose-first and travel underwater for a short distance. This technique is also useful for avoiding some of the obstacles that litter the courses, particularly in the expert mode. The last way to earn points is by the amount of time you have remaining when you finish the course. Each tenth of a second gives you five points.

Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 7

Like so many arcade style racers, WaveRace is an immediately enjoyable and playable game. This is thanks, in part, to its simplicity, but to give that all the credit would be detracting from the game’s other excellent features. Most notable among these is the authentic way in which the jet-skis behave on the fluctuating ferocity of the water. The physics are spot-on which makes for some exciting racing but the machines also handle well and the slalom style of play is both original and makes things more interesting. If there’s one aspect of WaveRace that’s more famous than any other, though, it must be the incredible graphics. It’s not hard to see why they garnered such attention either. The races are set at different times of day and the colour of the water changes accordingly. In normal light it’s clear blue but at sunset it’ll be orange or pink and at night, black. Whatever colour it is, it looks stunning and surprisingly close to the real thing and behaves in a convincing fashion too – many maintain to this day that it’s the most impressive water in a game ever!

Wave Race 64 - Gameplay Screenshot 8

Discounting the water, Wave Race’s graphics are still no slouch by any means. There’s some excellent lens-flare, some awesome reflections on the water, and some nice effects such as the odd dolphin or killer whale swimming past, but it’s the courses that impress the most. Each of them looks distinctive even though they are all water-based, and most are set in interesting locations. Besides the obligatory sandy beach type courses there is a course set in a marshy area complete with ducks and reeds, and a course where you race around a giant tanker, for instance. This is also a pretty loud game! The best way to describe the music would probably be as bright, cheerful, summery music – the kind of stuff you’d expect to find in a game with a setting such as this one. The sound effects, while not particularly plentiful, are equally superb. The jet-ski engine noise is perhaps the loudest sound effect ever heard in any game. My N64 is connected to my hi-fi and when the jet-skis are revved, the graphic equaliser is permanently at maximum! Other effects are realistic such as impact noises, and there are two announcers – one female one on the presentation screens and an enthusiastic yet somewhat repetitive one is also vocal throughout play.

If there’s one thing that you can pretty much always rely on Nintendo for, it’s the very high quality of their games. The presentation here is of outstanding quality and the game really is an amazing experience. What with the lush graphics, relaxing music, the water constantly splooshing and tossing you around, you can almost feel the spray in your face! It’s not all superficial either, the game is immersive and thrilling to play and is one of the few videogames I’ve played which is more of an experience than a mere game. There really isn’t any bad points here. The only possible criticism you could level at it is that it’s so good you’ll probably have seen all it has to offer in an alarmingly short period of time, but it’s so enjoyable to play that even if it didn’t have a top-notch two-player mode, you’d still keep returning to it for years.

RKS Score: 9/10

Famiclone: Power Joy 3

Famiclone Power Joy Controler

So which Famiclone have you used the most? For me, the Power Joy 3 is the only Famiclone I’ve used but lately it has been giving me problems. For example, this Famiclone is only made up of a N64 style controller with the cartridge slot in the back of it. The problem with that is that I can easily move the cart out of place and therefore mess up the whole game and then I’ll have to start over.

Another problem with this Famiclone is the cartridge slot itself. It seems it was only made for pirate carts because most of my licensed carts can’t seem to fit in any possible way. It’s very annoying since the Famiclone is supposed to make it real handy to just plug and play but it becomes annoying in the end. I have to end up playing my Famicom carts in my NES or Famicom.

Well I wouldn’t recommend this Famiclone unless you are a pirate freak and hate license games. There are also built in games that make it real handy when you just don’t want to take your carts out. Of course, you get the usual games like Super Mario Bros and Contra but to this day, those games are awesome! Enjoy and hope this little blog helps you decide on future Famiclone purchases.

One last thing, I give this Famiclone a rating as well! This Famiclone gets a three out of five. I’ll have to work on some number graphics for this heheheh.

Commercial Wars: Best use of Sexy

Bush Volleyball
Bush Volleyball

Let’s just be honest, sex sells and it doesn’t matter if you are talking about cars, clothing or even food. Market research and human nature shows that adding the right amount of sex appeal can push your product over the edge. Take the recent Old Spice commercials, with that spot the sexiness was used as a pun and it still worked wonders for both guys and gals. As long as you don’t overdo it and turn people off, sexy is a powerful tool.

Now when it comes to gaming you could be sarcastic and claim that since the stereotype of gamers not having sexy girls is more truth that fiction that adding beautiful girls will draw the guys in by the boat load. We here at Obsolete Gamer have even found that our Fappathon feature attracts the most views particularly by those in the coveted 18 to 35 age range. You always see booth babes at almost any convention that attracts young and older men and let’s not even dive into the way women have been drawn and animated in videos games.

Perhaps we should ask if a sexy gal in a commercial, trailer or in game actually helps a gamer decide to purchase a game or not. In my opinion I would say no. Sure, DOA extreme beach volleyball was interesting, but I did not by it because the game just wasn’t worth it to me. I guess you have to take into consideration where else you can find sexy gals so why spend sixty bucks on a game to see it. Either way, whether you care about the girl convincing you to by the game or not seeing a commercial featuring a hot babe is win win. Let’s take a look at some video game commercials that utilize sexy and you vote on which is best.

Metroid: Other M

Metroid was great even before I knew Samus was a girl, but once I found out it was like having your favorite pizza place hire a hot waitress, it just makes the experience better. Since we’ve known there has been no shortage of shots of sexy Sam wherever and whenever we can get them. However, I will say for the most part they keep to the fact that she is hardcore and on mission at all times. Personally, I think a hardcore woman is even sexier, but that’s just me.

Perfect Dark

The reason you look at a person’s eyes is so they know you are paying attention to what they are saying. The worst thing is to be talking to a woman and looking down because even if you aren’t looking at her chest it might seem that way. In this commercial the goal is to watch it once and see if you even remember what the hell the guy was talking about. I know I didn’t hear a word he said until the end. I was too busy looking at the sexy.

Tomb Raider: G4TV

Sure, it’s a G4TV commercial, (as a side note I don’t think Direct TV has it on my line-up anymore.) the thing is poor Lara has been misused and she is tired and needs to relax. I would think being on the beach in her combat boots would be uncomfortable, but what do I know. She is right however, you can’t leave her paused forever, that’s just rude.

Dead or Alive: Xtreme Beach Volleyball

Remember what I said about stereotypes, well you have it all here in spades. These are girls playing beach volleyball, but honestly, can you blame the stares, even president Bush had to stop and look. I am not sure about having a bunch of guys all sitting around ogling at the screen, but the “play with yourself” line gives you an out for those of you with an XBOX in your bedroom or moms basement. At the end they guy speaking is the same guy that did the Navy commercials, let the seamen jokes fly.

Sex Sells

So here we have four different videos that use sex appeal to sell their games. Now the question is which one did it best?

[poll id=”15″]

Wes Paugh: Fusion Reactions

100 Rogues logo
100 Rogues logo

Name: Wes Paugh

Company: Fusion Reactions, partnered with Dinofarm Games

Job Title: Lead Software Developer

Favorite Classic Game: Perfect Dark

Quote: This is the only game for which I think the term ‘even more perfect’ isn’t completely asinine. Goldeneye established paradigms for the genre that are rarely met with as great success by games with much larger budgets and much more content. Perfect Dark ramped up the formula in almost every way.

The difficulty of the game is cyclically reinforced by its pacing. Level / encounter design was woven brilliantly with story and non-combat objectives to provide non-life-threatening, but often intense, breaks, but I still felt free to explore at my own pace if I wanted. Further, each mission’s golden path was short (3-10 minutes), so they could each be brazenly unforgiving with to-the-second timing that had to be researched and rehearsed to be successful on the harder difficulties. And yet, it was never any less fun or intense going back to easier ones. I just felt more awesome taking the improved skills back in time.

Everything about Perfect Dark felt streamlined and polished, with enough to do to keep me satisfied no matter what experience I craved. Throw in a phenomenal multiplayer and it’s a formula that has kept me coming back for a decade, especially with its recent XBLA rebirth.

Bio: I began working for Fusion Reactions just under two years ago, with prior experience on Vicarious Vision’s Spider-man 3 as a scripter, with a degree in Software Engineering from RIT.

Fusion Reactions had decided to develop an iPhone game, somewhat on a whim. A roguelike RPG called 100 Rogues was born of our partnership with Dinofarm Games in Westchester, NY. Where our team brought software know-how to the project, Dinofarm’s Keith Burgun and Blake Reynolds brought design, music and artistic expertise.

My current work is the continued support for 100 Rogues, with more character classes, worlds and monsters, and features they require. I am currently the iPhone Game’s only full-time software developer.

Project Name: 100 Rogues

Project Info: 100 Rogues is a re-imagining of a genre of games called roguelikes. The genre is defined by strategy against a wealth of opponents with esoteric and widely varied abilities, including the world itself.

Set across a series of 3 dungeons (at time of writing), the player must navigate downward between floors, encountering new monsters and defeat each dungeon’s boss, becoming stronger along the way.

The game currently has 3 unique player classes (Crusader, Wizard, and the recently shipped Scoundrel), each with their own combat advantages and strategies focused around the skills they can learn as they progress.

Although the game is relatively short, completing it is no easy task, and could scarcely be called the point of playing. Randomly generated dungeons, permanent death without chance of reloading from a save point, and different skill-tree decisions make each play through a unique challenge that can take month of practice to reach and defeat the final boss.

Production values also raise 100 Rogues beyond the traditional roguelike, with fully-animated pixel-art, which gives the game a distinct, rich look. We poke fun at genre conventions relentlessly, too; the primary quest-giver nearly passes out from boredom as he hands down the done-to-death ‘Go Kill Satan’, and one player class is actually one of a race living, breathing skeletons… only she, in particular, has been killed and reanimated.

The game is constantly expanding and moving forward, with a fourth player class and world already in the works, a challenge mode with strategy puzzles that will continue receiving additional content, and a bevy of new game modes and features ahead.


Article Source: http://100rogues.com

Bob-ombs: The Real Threat to America’s Safety?

bobomb
bobomb

Take a good and hard look at that picture, reader.

Since Super Mario Bros. 2, the Bob-omb plague has swept Mario games just like how Beanie Babies swept away the hearts of overweight, unloved women in the 90’s. At first glance, as a child these huggable creatures are adorable with their round cast iron bodies and cute little steps. They parade down towards Mario with an indifferent pace to harm the plumber. How endearing.

BUT LET US TAKE A STEP BACK!

Why does something so cute need a cast iron body? Did you know Mario’s Fire powers don’t hurt them? You want to know why? They are filled with explosives! Yes, they are bombs! But not just any ordinary bombs. Normally, you’d need a remote detonator to set off an explosion or physically be there to light the fuse. Bob-ombs are the future of impersonal terrorism.

“But Umar,” the reader of this article may find themselves saying, “They are just so cute and innocent. Surely they wouldn’t hurt a friend?” And it is right there where your young and liberal mind will get your arms blown off. Bob-ombs aren’t toys. They aren’t Pokemon Cards! They are sentient, living bombs! Their sole purpose in life is to cause murder, death, and ensure the incineration of all bio-organic beings. Do you not see the Nazi inspired design behind the Bob-omb?
1) They Goose-step toward you. If someone greets you with a Goose-step, chances are the encounter isn’t going to be friendly.
2) They patrol areas back and forth just like soldiers.
3) They have a short fuse. This is symbolic because they don’t have the patience to deal with your lesser race bullshit.

Still don’t see how this is true? You still can’t perceive the sinister motives that fuel their mechanical hearts? Just look them in the eyes. Look into those cute cartoon eyes as they lure you in for a hug. Do you know what kind of mind is behind those peepers? A sick sociopathic mind bent on your demise.

Go right ahead. Let him into your heart, into your home, let them sleep on the carpet in your child’s room. I can assure you the moment you touch that Bob-omb, this cute little monstrosity that you fed and picked up their poopies, he will glow an angry red. His glassy eyes will become stern and enraged. A fire will spark not only in his heart but on his fuse and before you know it, you’re gone. All your loved ones will be blown to bits. Your wife and children will be here and there. The dog will have little tidbits against the closet door. And God forbid you survive. What kind of weight will be on your shoulders with the knowledge that you mistakenly trusted this deceitful horror and now your family is gone and you’re are now left to live your life missing appendages? How long will it take before you finally can’t handle the guilt and bite your tongue?

“Umar,” our fair reader may retort, “The pink bob-ombs are nice, though. You can’t discriminate against all of them.” Pink bob-ombs are just the next step in their dastardly evolution. They speak to you, beg you for help, pour out their hearts about the prejudices they face against the other bob-ombs. They deplore you for assistance. They are the good guys, they say.

Really, Pink bob-omb? You’re one of the good guys? Tell me this. Why is it that you bob-ombs glow pink right before detonation? From what I can tell you’re closer to the edge than the black bob-ombs. At least they can keep their cool until provoked or before that bitter moment when they exact their plan. Pink Bob-ombs can’t even keep their oath of silence and become radicals that speak out. No thanks, Pink Bob-ombs. Stay out of America.

Let’s look at the track record of these Bob-ombs. In every single Mario game, they have made it painfully obvious their only true intent is the destruction of a living beating heart. They get involved in Yoshi’s story and even sports based Mario games. And you’d think they’d stop with their vendetta in the Mushroom Kingdom. No, they made their intents international when they appeared in Super Smash Brothers. They’d just randomly pop into a battle and indiscriminately hunt down Link from Hyrule, Charizard from Kanto, and Snake from America! Yes they initiated a global war and have even targeted America on their To-Do list.

Americans, I’m looking at you. Are we going to let this mechanical plague sweep our nation like a renegade brushfire? Are we going to allow our land, our freedom, our loved ones to be abused by these techno-organic racists?

I say no!
I will not give them shelter for their sick and their hungry.
I will not provide them with resources which us Americans harvested on our own.
I will not allow one to move in next door and will not allow my children to play with them.
This is America! Home of the brave, the bold, and the truly living!

Patrick Rene Posthuma Linthorst: Phure Studios

Phure Studios logo
Phure Studios logo

Name: Patrick Rene Posthuma Linthorst

Company: Phure Studios

Profession: Founder

Favorite Classic Game: The Legend of Zelda; Ocarina of Time

Quote: Games like Zelda; A Link to the Past and Super Metroid would always make me doubt about Ocarina of Time being my all-time favorite game ever, since they’re really good games and come in as a close second and third, but Ocarina of Time is a game on a whole new level and which I’ve been waiting for for more than three years.

It’s when I hear the piano on the titlescreen play, with Link and his horse Epona galloping by on Hyrule Field with the moon in the background, that I get goosebumps all over again and something inside tells me: YES! This is my favorite game! Back in those days Nintendo gamers would always look forward to the next Nintendo franchise being resurrected in 3D and Zelda was just one of those games which I knew would eventually come into 3D, making me look forward to it ever since the Nintendo64 came out. I’d be on my 56k dial up internet spending hours to get more information about the game.

It’s the whole atmosphere, music, graphics and whatever else about Ocarina of Time that just triggers something inside me, making me want to finish it 100% all over again and again without ever getting bored. The gameplay set some new standards for controls and gamedesign for years to come after that and the whole game is just unique in every aspect!

Bio: Phure Studios is a Games Design & Development and Application Development company. We are located in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, founded in 2009 and have our eyes set on pure fun! We develop applications and games for Apple’s iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad and aim for consoles and Pc in the near future!

GAMES COMING OUT FOR CONSOLES: NOV 2nd 2010

vote McCain Obama Super Mario Bros
vote McCain Obama Super Mario Bros

Hey, its election time and you have the awesome choice between spineless yes men and tea baggers, why not skip all that and play some video games instead. Okay, fine. MTV told me to rock the vote so how about you game the vote. While you are out picking up these games stop over at your local voting station and get your democracy on.

God of War: The Ghost of Sparta

I have a love hate relationship with the PlayStation portable. I like the games and all, but why all the remakes and such like Final Fantasy and Parasite Eve being PSP only? Oh, well in GOW Sparta we follow the events of our hero between the story from GOW 1 and GOW2. This story takes place during Kratos visit to Atlantis and if it wasn’t sunk before we now know how it got that way. The game is the second to find its way onto the PSP and has all the brutality it did before and stunning visuals to boot. One thing we know for sure, he really dislikes King Midas.

Golden Eye 007 – Wii

Hey, pop quiz, how do you get people to keep playing the Wii, answer, you remake games that were awesome on previous consoles. Yes, my Wii hate runs read, but my love for Golden Eye never dies. It was one the best console shooters of all time and even ranks up high for all-time best FPS shooters. Now those of you with the Wii gathering dust have a reason to celebrate as a remake of this classic is coming to you Nov 2nd.

Now the game is new meaning new graphics and even a new bond as you play as Daniel Craig, but all the classic gameplay that made it great is still there. You can still decide how you want to finish missions going in Rambo style or playing it like Bond really would being stealthy and cool. Multiplayer is back with a four person split screen tons of modes and support for the Wii and classic remote, nunchuk and even the zapper. Will I be buying a Wii to play this, no. Will I get my friend to buy it and camp his house, yes.

What about the Kinect Games?

Yeah, about that, as I said this list is for games I would buy and this week these two are the only ones I would consider. However there is also the new Sonic Free Riders and Dragon Ball Raging Blast 2 that look good. However, I need to be a little more hash and this week you only get two from me. Next, week we will be back for our countdown to black Friday report so stay tuned and until then keep the spending to a minimum.

Ned Coker: CCP

CCP logo black

Name: Ned Coker (CCP Manifest)

Company: CCP

Profession: Public Relations

Favorite Classic Game: Mario Kart 64

Quote: This was the only game I played for a year and a half to the virtual exclusion of all others. For someone who has gamed consistently since the Atari days, that says a lot about the strength of this game, it’s staying power and the amount of fun I had with my high school friends playing it—particularly in Battle Mode.  So many memories I’m not sure where to start, but there was just enough “Question mark” luck, strategy, diversity, taunting and “kingmaker” gameplay in it in battle mode to keep every match fresh even for the limited map selection.  Nothing like taking out all three balloons and the bomb with one Star use. Simplicity at its finest. And finally, I reserve Princess Peach as my character if you wish to challenge me.


Kelly Wheelis: Sumo Panda Games

Sumo Panda Games logo

Name: Kelly Wheelis

Company: Dragonsmeet Inc. / Sumo Panda Games

Profession: Publicist

Favorite Classic Game: GoldenEye 007

Quote: I love GoldenEye for N64. It redefined the first-person shooter. Withoutit, there would be no Half-Life, no Halo, no Fallout, all of which I love so dearly. With tons of levels to play through, including scenarios from past James Bond films, the game is never boring. The sheer joy experienced by putting a bullet in some Russian’s head with the sniper rifle, from 200 yards, never gets old, the countless mission objectives spread across 12 different environments and three difficulty levels offers loads of variety in action, along with the death-match option have helped cement this game’s place in gamer’s hearts everywhere.

To this day, I still set up nights to play the multiplayer death-match with friends. Playing the first-person mode presents levels that cover many ranges of play such as Doom-style play (all shooting and no brains), to search-and-destroy missions (requiring more strategy), to a wide range of carefully designed information-acquiring levels; all blending together to create an incredibly satisfying gaming session. Plus, who didn’t love all those super cool Bond gadgets and gizmos? Magnet Attract Watch FTW! Now that a Wii remake of the game is planned, from what I have seen, I’m going to have to purchase the console just so I can try it.  ‘Slappers’ anyone?

Bio: Sumopanda is an online games portal specializing in providing free and fun to play games. Sumopanda’s parent company, Dragonsmeet, was founded on the belief that fun should be accessible to anyone. And with online entertainment increasingly becoming our preferred past-time, SumopandaGames.com was created to make this belief a reality.

The Interview: Chris Tremmel

Boogerman game
Boogerman game

Chris Tremmel

There are thousands of great games across all platforms that we as gamers have enjoyed for many years of our lives, but what about the people behind them. Just as there are fans of games there are the game makers themselves who weave a concept into code to be displayed on your system of choice. Many times the idea that became the mega-hit game of the year came to the developer or designer in the middle of the night, but from there it was many sleepless nights to turn that vision into reality.

One of Obsolete Gamer’s main purposes is to get the story behind the game and we do this by speaking with the designers, developers and publishers who helped bring us oh so many hours of enjoyment. Sometimes it begins with a gamer profile where we just find out a game they like and from there a dialog starts and soon you find out all kinds of wonderful information.

This is what happened with our gamer profile of Chris Tremmel. I discovered him through his clothing store, Gamer Cultoure and when he submitted his gamer profile with the game BoogerMan I wanted to find out why he liked that game and what I found out was he was one of the main creators of it. After that I had to learn more and Chris was very accommodating in answering our questions.

Gamer Cultoure logo
Gamer Cultoure logo

Obsolete Gamer: Let’s start with a little history, what was it that got you into gaming and working in the gaming industry?

Chris Tremmel: When I was a kid, my parents hooked me up with a Texas Instruments\99-4A computer. I was already a gamer thanks to PONG, and the AT2600, but the TI-99 allowed me to begin making my own games! I think I started with “porting” my choose your own adventure books into interactive form. 🙂

Obsolete Gamer: When did you begin working at Interplay?

Chris Tremmel: I officially started working at Interplay in 1992 I believe. It’s funny because I first interviewed for a tester spot. I didn’t get the job because my “autoexec.bat, and config.sys” knowledge was a bit rusty. I went home, studied up, and returned for a 2nd interview a month or two later. This time I got the job. The 1st games I tested were the original Alone in the Dark on PC, and the Lost Vikings on the Amiga.

Obsolete Gamer: Who else did you work with primarily at Interplay?

Chris Tremmel: I initially worked in the testing department but quickly made friends with a couple of designers and producers, primarily Mike Stragey and Alan Pavlish.

Obsolete Gamer: What was it like working for them?

Chris Tremmel: I hate to sound really cliche’, but working at Interplay in 1992\1993 was “magical”. I was in awe of everything being made and was thrown right in to working with some of the brightest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and working with. It was an amazing time as I was being taught my core design fundamentals by great guys like Mike and Alan. I knew this is what I wanted to do forever.

Obsolete Gamer: When did you first start working on Boogerman?

Chris Tremmel: I believe we started Boogerman in early 1993? It’s hard to remember exactly.

Obsolete Gamer: Who else worked with you on Boogerman?

Chris Tremmel: My boss, and the man that hired me out of test Michael Stragey. 🙂 Also Alan Pavlish was the executive producer who we would run stuff by on a regular basis. We also worked with an external animation house called Little Gangster, as well as some in-house artists, and additional programming support, but primarily it was Mike and myself.

Obsolete Gamer: How did you come up with the concept and story behind Boogerman?

Chris Tremmel: Interplay came to Mike and said “we want to make a gross-out game that appeals to the Garbage Pail Kids demographic.”

Interplay logo
Interplay logo

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us a little bit about the development process?

Chris Tremmel: Conceptually we knew we wanted to make a “gross” game. Mike came up with the idea of a gross Superhero and off we went! The ideas just starting pouring out from Michael and myself, I would say we were never short of ideas for characters, locations, etc.

As for the design of the characters, we worked very closely with Little Gangster and went through dozens of designs until we finally settled on what you see today. Funny enough, several of the bosses in the game including the main boss BoogerMiester were originally design concepts for Boogerman himself.

Obsolete Gamer: When Boogerman was ready to launch did you believe you had a hit on your hands?

Chris Tremmel: Ya know, this is a weird thing… I was so new to the industry and so excited and stoked every day to be making games that I never really thought about “hits”. We knew we had something fun, and we knew people responded to the content the way we wanted, so that was enough for me. I still remember our very 1st magazine preview EVER. It was in Diehard Gamefan, they dubbed it an “instant classic”, we were happy.

Now some gaming sites and magazines game you high marks while others gave you more middle of the road scores. Do you think they just didn’t get it or what was the disconnect?

I think we were pretty happy with the reviews. We had some serious competition that year with Earthworm Jim being released at the same time. I think Boogerman got the scores it deserved, it was a good game, just not everyones cup of tea.

Obsolete Gamer: What was your feeling about winning the grossest character of 1994 award from Electronic Gaming monthly?

Chris Tremmel: Honored for sure. The entire Boogerman universe is still very close to our hearts to this day (Mike and myself). I still believe the franchise has a lot of potential.

Obsolete Gamer: Was there a plan to make more Boogerman related games?

Chris Tremmel: Yes, absolutely. AND a cartoon. The cartoon was actually started, at least script writing, character design, etc. but I believe in the end Universal went with the Earthworm Jim cartoon that was in development at the same time. Which btw, I am a massive EWJ fan and I loved loved loved the cartoon.

There were clocks made, t-shirts, and even a Boogerman phone. In addition we DID start the sequel on the Sega Saturn. We had a basic design document done and had contracted some amazing matte painters to start working on backgrounds. Unfortunately, it never came to fruition. Michael and myself left Interplay to pursue work with another company, I think we both wish Boogerman 2 could have been made. We had some really fun ideas.

Obsolete Gamer: How was it to see Boogerman released for the virtual console in 2008?

Chris Tremmel: Neither Mike or myself were involved in this. I believe this happened after Interplay changed hands. We were incredibly happy to see it up there though, downloaded it immediately!

Obsolete Gamer: Did you play Boogerman a lot yourself and do you still play it today?

Chris Tremmel: Absolutely! Mike and I both played all the time while making the game, AND after the game was released. Out of all the games I have made, this one probably got played the most. I definitely still bust it out once or twice a year. I like looking back and try to figure out what the heck I was thinking with a particular layout, or just to laugh at some of the character designs. Lot’s of laughing during the development.

Obsolete Gamer: After Boogerman what came next for you?

Chris Tremmel: Mike and I left Interplay to make a game for EA based on a Saturday morning TV show called “Bump in the Night”. Unfortunately this game was never finished\released, although we did have a rad demo running on the Saturn. I ended up at Virgin Interactive after that working on the N64.

Gamer Cultoure dog tag
Gamer Cultoure dog tag

Obsolete Gamer: Can you tell us a little about Gamer Cultoure?

Chris Tremmel: Sure! Gamer Cultoure is a side project I have started that is clothing centric. It’s really a basic line of T-shirts, hoodies, etc. that are gaming themed. The line is really small right now, but I intend to continue to grow it over the next year or two. After leaving Activision early in the year I decided to take a little time off and try something different for a little while. It has been a fun, rewarding process for sure.

Obsolete Gamer: What do you think of gaming today in comparison to gaming back in the early to mid nineties?

Chris Tremmel: Oh no, this is a loaded question. 🙂 It is definitely different. The process has become more complicated, usually requiring a large number of people to make something significant. The money involved in some of the triple A games is staggering with some budgets now reaching 100 million dollars. That naturally changes everything in terms of peoples priorities, and agendas. Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse. One of the nice things though as of late is seeing the rise of the “indie” studios, small teams executing on great ideas. It is very easy to get distracted now a days when making something. The bar has been raised so high, and with so much money involved it takes some serious planet-aligning powers to take something killer to market. All of that being said, I hope the younger guys and girls that are in the industry today feel the same sense of magic that I felt in 1992.

Obsolete Gamer: Are you working on any video games at the moment?

Chris Tremmel: As of right this second, no. Expect that to change very soon. I will definitely keep you posted any news. 🙂

I quickly wanted to give a shout out to all the people I worked with at Interplay. Thanks Mike, Alan, Brian, Rusty, Tim, Burger, Kerry, and way too many more to list. All of you guys helped me get started on this amazing journey and I appreciate it to this day.

Obsolete Gamer would like to thank Chris Tremmel for taking the time to answer our questions.

Ode to the Evil Twin

In almost every hero’s journey they come to question their actions and the possible outcome of their quest had they taken a step to the left rather than to the right. Could the world have been saved in a different method? Could the fallen comrade have survived? Could all this mayhem have ended swiftly if they only took the opportunity to finish off the antagonist when the moment presented itself? The darkest parallel thought a hero could imagine is “What if I had fallen to darkness instead of striding upon the path of the righteous?” For some few unfortunate heroes, this “what if” can present itself in a physical manifestation and even become one of the biggest road blocks in their journey.

Kill yourself or die trying
Kill yourself or die trying

Today, we take a look into some of the most iconic evil counterparts in video game history, what they represented to the hero, and the epic battles that proved as pivotal moments in the game’s timeline.

**SPOILERS BY THE WAY**

Dark Samus (Metroid Prime):  Poison has always been a substance that plagued any living organism but it remained passive and indifferent. It was only used for killing in the hands of its user. In Metroid Prime, the poison Phazon is not only deadly but also sentient.  Responsible for the death of two planets, this entity looked to spread its plague further and melded the DNA of Samus Aran and her foe, Metroid Prime to create Dark Samus.  To see your greatest foes taking your form as their avatar would fill any hero with rage. Our heroine managed to disintegrate Dark Samus into particles in the Agon Wastes and then once again by breaching the monstrosity’s Phazon Shield with a charge beam. Though defeated, Dark Samus has the potential to return in the future through the game’s savior by a Mark of Corruption left upon her. Only time will tell if we will ever see this enemy rise again.

Wolf O’Donnell AKA Star Wolf (Star Fox 64): Rival companies are always taking blows at each other. Look at Microsoft VS Macintosh, IPhones VS Droid, PS3 VS Xbox 360 for examples. While they normally dish out retorts via commercials or improving their own technology to eclipse the other, mercenary groups don’t normally play the same game. Star Wolf is the rival mercenary group led by Wolf O’Donnell. Their number one priority is to become the top dog group in the Lylat System. The only foreseeable way to achieve this is simple; recruit old Star Fox members, work for your rival’s mark, and hunt them down till they are left in a smoldering wreckage. While Wolf has been unsuccessful in defeating Fox McCloud he still remains a huge pillar for the team to overcome in every instance he has led an assault. He will be most remembered for telling Star Fox  he can’t do that.

Omega Zero (Megaman Zero series): Zero has always been a hero who walked that fine line between right and wrong but can you blame him? He was Dr.Wily’s greatest creation, he is supposedly responsible for the death of the original Megaman, and is rumored to be the bringer of the end of days. Like a rebellious child, though, Zero forged his own path and strayed away from the road Dr.Wily left for him and became a hero. However, the idea of bringing about total chaos and destruction never left Zero’s mind and weighed heavily upon him. Luckily for him, he isn’t the real Zero but only a copy. What a weight off his shoulders! Turns out Omega Zero is the true body of Zero and guess what? He wants to tear his copy a new asshole and end life as we know it. Finally seeing that dark “What if” version of himself, our hero vowed never to travel down that path and defeated his original body dying along with it.

Dark Link (The Legend of Zelda): Link has defeated zombies, ghosts, witches, blobby things, grand sorcerers, and anything else you can think of in all his journeys. The one enemy though who manages to stop Link in his tracks is his own shadow. Normally appearing in a large desolate and eerie hallway, this abomination knows everything about Link. He even knows what you’re going to do before you do it. Going to spin that sword around? He’s going to evade. Going to charge up a heavy sword slash? He’s going to poke you in the face quickly. Thinking a bomb might work? He will just throw it back at you. The best way for Link to defeat himself is to flail erratically and hope something lands while slowly dwindling away his hit points. To this day, Dark Link remains an iconic foe to add to the Legend of Zelda’s rogue gallery.

Metal Sonic (Sonic the Hedgehog): Thought I’d put Shadow the Hedgehog down? Nope, I don’t consider characters introduced when a series goes to garbage as cannon. Besides, Shadow never fought Sonic like his roboticized counterpart did. He has been used in many iterations in the franchise and has taken many different forms. He is superior to Sonic in every way. His spikes are sharper, his plated skin is more durable, and he is even faster than the series’ hero. His first appearance was in Sonic the Hedgehog 2 where the two would clash in a small enclosed area. He mimicked everything the hero could do and could even shoot projectile spikes to harm the hedgehog. This battle’s level of greatness is paltry compared to his battle against Sonic in Sonic CD. In Stardust Speedway, the only thing keeping Sonic from saving Amy and defeating Eggman is to defeat Metal Sonic in a race. Not only is he faster than our hero, he can destroy obstacles and is invulnerable to damage. The only way to defeat him is to haul ass through loops and leap over spikes while he eats shit behind you. It is like a Tortoise and Hare battle except there isn’t a tortoise and there are two hares. The difference between the two is that the other hare has a jetpack and dies when it barrages itself into a wall. I hope to see Metal Sonic return in some more worthy Sonic adventures in the future and to bring the level of intensity he normally delivers to a new generation of gamers.

There are many more video games out there with evil counterparts but this was just to name a few that I can still remember to this day. Are there any other instances where the hero fought their doppelganger that you remember? Post a comment if you recall any!

Snowboard Kids 2

Snowboard Kids 2 Cover
Snowboard Kids 2 Cover

Snowboard Kids 2 review by metalfighterriku

Overall score:
7.5 out of 10

Overview:

Snowboard Kids 2 is a fun party racing, mario-kart-style game, with a cute story mode and tons of cool options like unlockable boards, costumes, and characters.

The storyline for SBK2 is simple: Some stupid bratty green demon kid named Damien is wrecking havoc around Snow Town, and it’s up to a bunch of snowboarding 10-year olds to stop him!

SBK2 hosts the same cast of characters as the original, such as Slash, Jam, Linda, Tommy, and Nancy, but also adds a few new characters like Wendy and Damien. Each character has different attributes: speed, trick, and all-around, giving them advantages or disadvantages in certain courses and even boss stages.

The game consists of racing through 12 crazy courses, taking snowboarding off the slopes and into jungles, houses, and even outer space! In story mode, you occasionally run into a boss stage, where you race against or battle a boss character to keep it from reaching the finish line.

There’s also a variety of cool items, power-ups and weapons to use throughout the courses. There’s fan propeller that speeds you up, and a rocket that shoots you super fast for a short period of time. Some weapons send your opponent tumbling over, like the bomb and the glove, while others can immobilize your opponent for a few seconds, like the frying pan that flatens everyone and the parachute bomb that suspends a character in midair.

In order to use weapons and items you need money to purchase them. You can get money by collecting coins that are scattered around the course or by doing tricks. There’s also an item you can use to steal money from your opponents, but can be really annoying when used against you.

The story mode let’s you walk around Snow Town, which is basically a small strip of random buildings. There’s a board shop where you can purchase new boards using the money you acquire from racing the course. There’s also a schoolhouse, where you can change your character, an internet cafe, where you can view all the characters, course, boards, and songs you’ve unlocked, and there’s even a paint shop, where you can change the design on your board.

Snowboard Kids 2 is available for N64 or its emulators.

Fun Factor:

Its super cuteness, bright colorful cute big-nosed characters, and simple cartoon-style party racing gameplay is what makes this game fun to play!

Difficulty:

The game is simple but can be quite challenging when a massacre of items and weapons are being used against you. The boss fights in story mode can be difficult and sometimes annoying, especially when they scatter debris for you to trip over. Some characters use special boards in certain stages, making it difficult to pas them without the aid of a special board. After beating story mode, it gives you the option to play it on expert. I found the dinosaur in Crazy Jungle to be extremely difficult in normal mode, even with the dragon board, so I imagine on expert it is probably impossible.

Replayability:

Very high. I played this game over countless times because its a simple racing game with not much thinking to it.

Music:

8 out of 10. One of the things I love about SBK2 is the music. All of the course tracks are catchy and fun to listen to. Some of my favorites are Jingle Town, Linda’s Castle, and Turtle Island. There’s even a channel in Wendy’s Internet Cafe, in story mode, that let’s you listen to all these wonderful tracks!

Graphics:

7 out of 10.  For its time, SBK2 had awesome graphics. The characters were a bit polygonal but cute, smooth, and colorful. The background enviroments looked flat, but everything else was nicely done like the buildings and the water. One stage had flying fish and there was even a stage where you snowboard on a giant piano that made sounds when you jumped on it. Really cool!

Control:

The controls were very easy to understand. You start off a bit slow but then pick it up quickly. Speed characters are more difficult to maneuver than trick and all-around type characters. Doing tricks was also very easy to do, depending on which direction you have the joystick when holding down and letting go of the A-button lets you do different tricks.

Conclusion:

If you’re into racing games like Mario-Kart and Diddy Kong Racing and aren’t really big on graphics, but love cute looking characters in cartoony environments, then you should check this game out!

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