Tag: games

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.

 

Retro Monday Game 93 – Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins!

Back in 80/90’s Nintendo were seeing great success in general, but the Super Mario Bros, in particular, was massive, Nintendo was also having great success with the Game Boy, so why not bring the series to that platform? Well, they did in 1989 with Super Mario Land, they followed it up with Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins. It came out in 1992 in Japan and 1993 for the west. The game wasn’t actually created by Shigeru Miyamoto who created the Mario series but was in fact created by Hiroji Kiyotake.

The game was chosen via a poll of three games that were selected by Super Dragon 64 on GRcade.

This is a game that I am familiar with. I loved it back as a kid and I still love it now. I’ve played it to completion a few times and I still think it’s a great game. I’m also still always amazed by how this game looks in comparison to Super Mario Land. Super Mario Land looks very very different, whereas Super Mario Land 2 actually looks like a Mario game. It does look a little off when playing on the GBC as it wasn’t a proper Color game, but on the monochrome screen, it was lovely as the colours weren’t off. Anyway, the game starts off with Wario (yes, this is the first game Wario was in) taking over Mario’s ‘house’ and you are on a journey to get it back. here are six different themed areas with 3 levels each where you have to get a golden coin and when you have all six you can unlock the door to take on Wario. The worlds themselves are all distinct from each other and have some lovely variety. For example, the first world I went to was a giant tree that I climbed, I later went to space and then a Scary Pumpkin. The bosses are a all well suited to the areas too, there’s no Bowser or Koopa Kids here. As I said they are suited to the theme of the area. So in Space, you fight an Alien, in the Pumpkin a Witch.

The Mushroom and Fire Flower make an appearance too, though the Super Mario’s design is different more than likely due to the lack of colour to differentiate from Big Mario as the was no colour. Hearts replace Green Mushrooms again I think it’s due to lack of colour and being able to easily see the difference. On top of it, you have a new power. It’s a Carrot. It makes Mario a Playboy Bunny… Ok, it doesn’t, but it does actually give him Rabbit Ears. These are used in a similar way to the Raccoon tail in Super Mario Bros 3. They aren’t exactly the same, you can’t run and fly with them, they similar in that you use them to slow your descent by tapping on holding jump. Holding it slows your fall, but tapping slows your fallrate even more, which comes in handy.

The music is great also, with a lot a variety again, sound effects are also on par. It seems like a lot of effort went into it to differentiate it from Super Mario Bros, yet retain the overall feel of a Mario Bros game. You can see that I’m really into this game, maybe nostalgia is playing a big part in that and I don’t personally have many qualms with it, other than the game is a little too easy for 99% of it. I died maybe once or twice and then I got to the final level and lost 40+ lives. It’s a massive difficulty spike. It’s still a very good level, but the middle section, for me at least, was very tricky, but I got there in the end.

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.

Retro Monday Returns! Game 89 – Prince of Persia!

OK, It’s been a little while since I’ve done Retro Monday. I believe the last time was back in October 2017 where I played Monster Max for the Game Boy.

So, A long while indeed. I decided to bring back Retro Monday for a few reasons.

  • The first is that I miss doing it, it was a way to give games I may not have played before a try, even if it’s a brief 1 hour. It gives me that chance and I can play it more in my own time if I like it
  • It’s fun, I had loads of fun with the games that were played, even the bad ones because of the chat.
  • Mario Kart Monday and life got in the way before. I can now get Retro Monday back, but the earlier time of 7:45 – 8:45 was too early as my children got bigger, but with Mario Kart Monday not happening anymore, Retro Monday can take its place

That brings us to the newest Retro Monday. I thought Hey, we’ll pick a game a go from there. I forgot about E3 and for the first Retro Monday in about a year and a half, it was Retro Wednesday.

On to the game I got to play.

The game was choosing on The GRcade Forum in the Retro Monday Revenge thread, the rules are the same a person picks 3 games and 1 is picked via a poll. The person who chose this time was Grum and the game that won was Prince of Persia for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Coming out in 1992 it’s a platforming game that originally made for the Apple II in 1989, The game has a timer of 60 minutes where you have to reach the end, fortunately on the SNES version it’s doubled to 120 minutes which you would think would make the game easier, well that isn’t the case, the levels are more difficult and there are double the amount going from 12 to 24. One good thing in the SNES version is that after the timer runs out you can still finish the game, but you fail to save the Princess.

I really liked playing this even though I ran out of time on the second level. The game is tough and requires trial and error, but I think that’s the point, you have to take your time, or if you move quick and get taken out by a trap, you then know when to slow down and think about your approach when you get there again. I found the combat a little irritating. Not because it was bad, but I was never sure about when to attack or parry. Sometimes the enemy would take one swipe at you, you’d parry then attack, other times it was several consecutive attacks, and I’d die. Maybe there are better signals for their attacks that I personally didn’t see, and on a replay, I’ll keep an eye of for that. The platforming is solid, with simple running and jumping over gaps and traps to climbing up and down ledges, there appears to be a sneak, that must be used later in the game to get by things, maybe enemies that are sleeping. I know it’s useful when there are spikes. If you run into where spikes are you get poked, but if you sneak you walk into the fine enough as if you are walking between the spikes and you can progress. Little things like that make it pretty interesting. Oh and then there’s the frog thing which I have no idea what it’s for.

Musically the game is good, there’s great music in the levels and some wonderful sound effects, from the spikes jutting up through the floor noise, to the ARGH of the guy you attack with your sword. It uses the SNES sound chip well.

I’ll be honest, I never played Prince of Persia before Sands of Time, and I think this is a very very good game and should be tried by all, yes it’s difficult and you have a time limit, but it’s fun and learning the game is a part of it that’s done so well it feels like it makes sense.

Verdict: Recommended.

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