Tag: Snes

Retro Monday – Plok

Retro Monday review PlokPlok was is an action platformer made by Software Creations for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.  It was published by different companies in different regions and came out in 1993.

Why did I choose Plok as the game for this week? Well, it’s something I played a little of as a kid and had fond memories of the brief time I had with it. The memories were nothing specific, just that I liked it. Now, going back to after 20 odd years and seeing the game still has massive bags of charm with fun gameplay is a joy.

The gameplay itself is pretty groovy, you play as the titular character Plok and have to jump, punch and kick your way through levels. The punch mechanic is similar to Rayman, in that you throw your limb and the enemies to kill them. only in this, you get four attacks as you use each limb as a projectile. One cool thing is certain targets you hit will make your limbs not return to you and instead go to a clothes hanger and you have to get them back. In one level I had to use three of my limbs in this way but didn’t get them back until I found a power-up, which not only gave me a gun but also when it ran out I received all my limbs. Speaking of power-ups, I only had three but they were varied. One was a boxer, that let you punch indefinitely. Another had a sort of blunderbuss that had a shotgun-like spread shot and the last was a flamethrower which came in really handy.

Musically the game has a pretty sweet rock-inspired soundtrack, and it has some nice variety in its styles, like having a different feeling soundtrack when you play as Grandpappy Plok, I was told on the stream that there’s a rumour that when Shigeru Miyamoto heard the intro music he believed it came from a SNES with a custom chip. You then have the visuals which ooze charm, they’re vibrant, well detailed, and all-around well made. The levels are fantastic, the sprites are simply glorious. It has to be one of the best looking SNES games I have seen.

Verdict: Highly recommended

Join Pedz for Retro Monday on GRcade’s Twitch channel every week, and vote on what he plays next on GRcade

Retro Monday – U.N. Squadron

Hi everyone. I’m here to let you know what I thought of U.N. Squadron after a week or so’s break.

It was made by Capcom and was originally an arcade game that came out in 1989. It was later released on consoles, and the version I’m playing was released on the SNES in 1991 (and 1992 in Europe).

We’ll start off with the basics. It’s a side-on side scrolling shooter – think R-Type or Gradius – but with a more modern skin than the futuristic space battle of those aforementioned games. You can pick between three characters, of which I have no clue as to what they do other than changing the portrait on your HUD.

You take down enemy helicopters, planes, tanks, gun emplacements and all that jazz. It doesn’t really do anything special and I don’t think it stands out from the crowd when it comes to its genre. One thing that is different to the usual is a levelling system, as you pick up power-ups that give you experience to level instead of getting power-ups that give you different weapons. You also don’t have one-hit deaths, instead you have a health bar and you don’t lose your level when you die. You also have a map screen to pick where you go next, kind of like Bionic Commando, but you have vehicles that move towards your base slowing progress, more so when they get there as you have to beat the vehicle’s stage to carry on with normal progression.

Visually the game is a mixed bag. The sprites are rather nice, but the backgrounds just seem a little bland. It’s probably as there’s going to be points where the game gets really busy, but I would say overall it’s pretty nice to look at. Musically it’s pretty good too. The music is really catchy and the first level has a sort of sinister undertone to it. I think the nice beefy sound effects elevate the action.

Verdict: Recommended

Join Pedz for Retro Monday on GRcade’s Twitch channel every week, and vote on what he plays next on GRcade

Retro Monday – Michael Jordon: Chaos in the Windy City

Michael Jordon: Chaos in the Windy City, was a Super Nintendo Entertainment System game that came out in 1994 and was made by Electronic Arts and as usual in the EU it came out in 1995 and was published by Ocean.

Yet again it’s a Retro Monday where the game in question I haven’t played, honestly, I haven’t even heard of it until it was put in the thread for people to vote on. MJ: CitWC is an action-platformer where you take the role of the titular basketball star and Make your way through varying levels trying to rescue your teammates who have been abducted by the Evil Dr. Max Cranium, to what ends I don’t know. I only got to the 3rd part of the Dungeon levels, so didn’t get very far,  but I did get the gist of the game from my brief time with it.

You run and jump through stages, with a basketball taking out the enemies, which are zombies, spiders and other things. Did I mention that the Zombies heads have been replaced with basketballs? It’s a cool twist with the zombies taking their ball heads off and throwing them at you. There are other cool touches like baskets being throughout the levels that you can slam dunk your ball into that will do various things like, clear the enemies, give you coins, or power-ups. Talking power-up’s, they seem to be different types of balls, you can get ones that home in on enemies, or split into 3 balls, or even a bowling ball which seems to kill enemies in 1 hit. The game is actually pretty decent, it’s not a bad game at all, but where I was enjoying it at first, by the time my hour was up, I had grown bored of the game. There is nothing inherently wrong with it, but something didn’t quite mesh right. It has the makings of a good platformer, but the levels I played were a little bland in their design.

The levels and sprites all look OK, they’re neither good nor bad, and Michaels animation seems fine to me. The problem is I didn’t get to get out of the one area, so I don’t know how much variety there is in the visuals being as I saw only the dank looking dungeon area. Musically, the game is ok, it does its job, but is ultimately forgettable and a little tiresome after some time. I thnk it’d be worth looking into the game, and maybe with more varied later stages, my interest would come back.

Verdict: Neutral.