This week was the week that we celebrated the 1st year anniversary of Retro Monday, and to celebrate I managed to get 3 other people to play a co-op game with me, that game was The Simpsons for the Arcade.
The Simpsons was released in 1991 and was your classic Konami beat ’em up. The game itself was a side scrolling 2D brawler where you play as the Simpson family trying to rescue Maggie from the evil clutches of Waylon Smithers. You get to play as Marge, Homer, Bart and Lisa, they all have the same basic attacks though I believe there is a difference in their ranges.
Visually the graphics are nice and many of the classic Simpsons characters can be seen through out from Barney Gumble to Side-Show Bob to even more obscure characters.
We managed to play through the game to completion, but it was no easy feat, the difficulty on normal folk isn’t to bad, but the bosses and some other enemies have some pretty cheap mechanics that are involved just to take your money, we blasted through a ton of credits by the end. The game is fun to play though and with people it’s a great laugh as we quoted Simpson references as different characters appeared on screen, or just in general. The one thing I can say that playing this is immense fun with a group of people, I don;t think it’d be as enjoyable on your own, the whole point is the 3 playere co-op.
All in All I would recommend this game whole heartedly due to it being a genuinly good Beat ’em up, but if you can get a few friends together you’ll have a whale of a time.
Another week of retro goodness with Retro Monday. This week I was given the game Haunting: Starring Polterguy to play, by Hyperion from the forums. I’ve have never heard of this game, let alone played it.
Haunting is a game for the Sega Mega Drive, it came out in 1993. Having never played this I had no idea what to expect going in, turns out I didn’t have to worry if the game was bad, as it turns out it really is good. Firstly I’ll get the negatives out of the way. The controls are somewhat loose for a start, and sometimes when collecting green Ecto it seems like you have to be really precise as touching it doesn’t work, you have to go on it in a specific spot and the dungeon/underground levels aren’t as good as the main part of the game.
That’s my negatives. On the positive side of things we have a game that oozes charm and fun. You as Polterguy have a family that you haunt, you follow them from house to house scaring them silly. You literally have to jump in and out of objects for the family members to then get scared by. The different animations are great and it was always fun to try and get them scared in different ways. Even the way in which the family reacts is amazing, sometimes – for example – Mimi Sardini ( the little girl) will have her hair stick up on ends and where she gets really frightened she literally wets herself, or with Vito Sardini (the Father) he jumps in the air screeching, or opens his mouth to extortionate proportions or even just flat out passes out with a big thud.
The aim of the game is simple enough, scare 4 people so much that they all leave the house, collect Ecto that drops from the Scaries to keep scaring longer without going to the dungeon and have loads of fun doing it. With one thing being clear EA, yes EA, used to make really unique and fun games.
This week for Retro Monday, I played Chalkitdown’s pick, “Low G Man: The Low Gravity Man”, an action platformer released in 1990 for the Nintendo Entertainment System. I’d never played this before, but I had heard good things about it. Well, lets start with how it looks. The style of the game is pretty great. The visuals are well done with the colour palette used being very effective. The sprites are all good also.
Now on to the gameplay and it’s got an interesting twist. You shoot your enemies, but that won’t kill them. You shoot them to stun them, which then allows you to walk up to them, and either jump on top of the enemies and press down and fire to spear them or up and fire if they are in the air above you. It’s a really cool mechanic, and it would be interesting to see something similar in more games.
The level design is also on point for the most part. The levels are side scrolling but some have verticality to them also. One issue I did have was in the water level (I think level 2-2). This was all vertical, which would be fine, but it scrolls downwards, causing you to drop into enemies you couldn’t possibly know were there.
Now as with most Retro Monday games, this is another I didn’t complete so I can only rate it on what I have played. I’ll be honest I really enjoyed it apart from a few things. The water level and a couple of the bosses, which can be a pain in the rump. All in all I’d say this is definitely worth a look and you could do a lot worse than this. Give it a try, you have nothing to lose.