Tag: Activision

Retro Monday Game 94 – Apocalypse!

Apocalypse was a ‘multidirectional shooter’ (or as we call them usually to call them now ‘Twin Stick Shooter’)  game for Sony’s PlayStation. It was made by developed by Neversoft and published by Activision. It was released in 1998 and was the second game that was created by the Neversoft.

The game was picked via a poll of three games over on GRcade. The three games were picked by Preezy.

Another game I knew nothing about. Which seems to be quite the common theme at the moment.  Well, I have to admit, that the Playstation era visually for me, just isn’t very nice, it hasn’t aged particularly well. Obviously, it will depend on the stylistic choices made and the aesthetic of the game, but a lot that I see or play just don’t hold up. This is one of those games. It isn’t helped that I’m playing it on a 4K TV making it looks worse. For the time I think it would have been held fairly highly, and while the visuals aren’t amazing, when I re-adjusted to them, but the 4th level I was really digging the look of the game and in general prefered the game after the first level. I enjoyed my time with this, it’s not massively different to similar titles before it, when I was asked ‘what kind of game is this?’ in the stream, I said it seems similar to something like Smash T.V. but not as hard. It has different things to Smash TV, there are points where the camera angle changes and there are platforming sections, but it’s nothing that hasn’t been done before. It’s a fun game, and for me, that’s what matters. A game doesn’t need to reinvent the wheel to be fun and enjoyable, which I think a lot of people forget nowadays and expect some kind of revolution at all times.

The sound is actually pretty good, the first level I admit I wasn’t a fan, I thought it just sounded odd. I think the music picks up from there on. with music that suits the levels, and on occasion you come across a billboard and on it is a video from a music video which can be from several bands. The ones I happened to see/hear were not something I knew, bar ‘System of the Down’ and ‘War?’ and I thought maybe on was ‘Pantera’ well, it wasn’t. The sound effects were all well done too, the various weapons all had their own unique sounds which were distinct from each other and the explosions were very loud and explosion-y. BUT, the voice acting of Bruce Willis – yes, Bruce Willis the actor – were underwhelming, the quality wasn’t the issue, it was more than he sounded like he couldn’t really be bothered with it and it just seemed half-arsed. On top of that, the dialogue through the stages was repeated way too much you heard 90% of what is going to be said by Bruce by the end of the first stage. It’s a shame as it could’ve been so much more than what it was if there were more lines recorded and Brucey actually had an interest in it.

Verdict: Recommend.

If you’d like to take part in voting for the games or even  picking the games yourself, take yourself over to the GRcade forums and pop into the Retro Monday thread and just post to show your interest. Not just that, you can watch the gameplay live over on Twitch where it’s streamed at 9pm on a Monday evening.

 

GRcade Twitchcast Episode 6 – Break Ups and Mining

The cast this week is Doom and Pedz with a dose of Jazzem about halfway through.

This week the members of GRcade discuss some of the recent gaming news is, things like Activision and Bungie splitting up and EA cancelling yet another Star Wars game. Along with the news, we discuss the data mining of the Switch and it’s Snes games that may be coming to the online service. We talk a little about each game that is in the data mining information and a little bit of what we’d like, what other systems we’d like, the online service itself and then answer a few questions from the viewers in the Twitch chat.

Audio file

150 SNES games reviewed #22: Super Strike Gunner (aka Strike Gunner S.T.G.)

Super Strike Gunner (or Strike Gunner S.T.G. as it was known in the US) is a vertical scrolling shoot ’em up game originally developed by Athena it was released in the arcades by Tecmo (in 1991) it was then ported to the SNES, and this version was published/distributed in the UK by Activision.

There was quite a wide supply of shooters back in the 16-bit days and although the Mega Drive seemed to end up with more of them the SNES wasn’t exactly left short. It has to be admitted though the Mega Drive was better known for them, the SNES might have been superior in  a lot of areas but it definitely had a slower processor and this usually meant more slowdown in this particular type of game when there were a lot of small, fast moving objects on screen.

There were a few big, famous shooter titles on the SNES but this game seems to have been forgotten by a lot of people. When people talk about shooters on the SNES they tend to talk about Axelay, Gradius III, Super R-Type, or U.N. Squadron, very rarely will people mention Super Strike Gunner.

In Super Strike Gunner you take control of a high-tech jet called the Strike Gunner (hence the game’s name), and like most games of this type you face wave after wave of enemies. In this case they range from helicopters, to jets and tanks and so on. In this case you fly up the screen vertically with stuff generally coming down at you (some things will come from the side of the screen or the bottom corners but most stuff tends to fly down towards you). When you start each level though you have a large choice of special weapons, but there is a catch. You can only choose one weapon to use and you can only use it for one level. Among the choices are heat seeking missiles, super stronger lasers and there is even a mega-beam cannon, which seems to just blow the living hell out of anything in more or less one shot. This does add a bit of tactics to the game, because obviously if you use the strongest weapons or the ones you find yourself best suited to first then you wont have them available to you for the later stages. I would suggest starting with a strong weapon until you get a good feel for the level and then once you feel you know a level like the back of your hand taking it on with a weapon your less attached to.

You have a special power bar, which decreases when you use your special weapon. Some of the less powerful special weapons will drain the bar very slowly but then there are others which will just make the bar disappear in seconds. Heck, one weapon depletes the bar in one. There is however a friendly aircraft which comes to you usually several times a level and drops things to help you. It can drop power ups which speed you up, increase the power of your ship’s main weapon, or fill up your special weapons bar.

Over the years I have seen this game receive all kinds of reviews and scores. Back in the day I think it got score generally around the 65% mark. Some called it a mediocre shooter complaining that it was slow-paced and repetitive, with levels that felt too long and had predictable enemy waves. Yet others seemed to love the boss fights and the super weapons. I will say that the backdrops are very basic but I found the game rather enjoyable. In a world which has seemed to want all shooters to turn in to full on bullet-hell ballets I found this game rather refreshing. I am going to go so far as to say I think people have been a little harsh to it over the years and have slightly underrated it. The game is not an all-time classic but its a decent game so I would have to give it a seven out of 10.

If you want to try it you tend to see copies of it come up now and again for around £10. If anything it seems to be a game which is much cheaper and easier to pick up in PAL. My copy was got from a market five years ago for around £3, but the days of walking back from markets with three or four SNES games seem to be long gone.

I do recognise there were better shooters on the SNES but this game is not bad at all. It is also a game which is basically selling for what I would consider to be a fair cash-to-playability ratio unlike some good games which seem to go for a small fortune.

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