Tag: Snes

Retro Monday – Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit!

Home Improvement was a sitcom in the 90s and was rather popular. Of course with its popularity came a game. Home Improvement: Power Tool Pursuit! was released in 1994 and was made by Imagineering and was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

I haven’t played this game, and to be honest I’ve barely heard anything about it. Let’s start with a brief description. HI:PTP is an action-platformer, where you have to collect the tools that had been taken on Tim’s show Home Improvement.

When I put it on I knew it was meant to be bad, but I honestly didn’t think it was that bad – at least for a very short period of time. Tim, the player’s character, controls are very off – like he’s really light and floaty, for want of better words. There’s also the level design, it’s not great and the fact that you have to go around levels looking for power tools that disappeared is just awful. It wouldn’t be so bad if it was fun to play and the level design didn’t suck, but that’s what it does – it sucks.

I will admit that visually it isn’t horrible, it’s pretty decent for a TV show tie-in. Musically, I think it’s pretty bad, it has a remix of the TV show theme, and then it seems to just be that, varying remixes of the show’s theme. All the music I heard has a similar sound and for me, there isn’t much variety.

Verdict: Avoid

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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

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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

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