Thursday, 30 July 2015

Breach & Clear (PC)

Developer:Mighty Rabbit|Release Date:2014 (PC)|Systems:Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, PSVita, Linux

Breach & Clear: DEADline is the exciting new zombie slaughter tactical thing released just a few days ago on Steam, and if I had any sense I'd be playing that instead and getting all those beautiful page views. But today on Super Adventures I'll be taking a look at the original old-school Breach & Clear.

I'm not actually 100% sure what kind of game Breach & Clear is yet, but I do know two important facts: it was originally developed for mobiles and my friend worked on it. I can live with the first thing, but the second is kind of an issue.

I always try to be honest and treat games fairly, but I can't help but lean toward being in Breach & Clear's corner from the start and it seems inevitable I'm going to pull some of my punches. If I were a proper reviewer I'd skip it entirely, but fortunately I'm not really. My site's as much about showing games off as it is about judging them and I can still do that while I'm being biased. Multitasking!

But yeah, ignore all my opinions here. If you're really bothered then ignore this article entirely, I don't mind.

(Click any screenshot to expand it to twice its current size!)

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Arabian Nights (Amiga)

Arabian Nights title screen amiga
Developer:Krisalis|Release Date:1993|Systems:Amiga, CD32

It's been exactly 30 years since the first Amigas hit stores, so today on Super Adventures I'll be celebrating by taking a look a classic Amiga exclusive! To be honest I only just learned about the Amiga's birthday from Twitter, so it's pure coincidence I'm playing this now (the game probably won't even run on an original A1000), but the timing worked out eerily well.

You can probably already tell from the title screen that Arabian Nights is all about managing your own 'One Thousand and One Nights' themed theme park! Actually no it's just another platformer from the golden age of running and jumping. That roller coaster is really a mine cart, the pirate ship ride is probably an actual pirate ship, and the guy floating around on a balloon likely didn't win it with his archery skill in a carnival game.

Despite the title, it's not an adaptation of any 'Arabian Nights' story in particular either, though if Scheherazade had gone on for a 1002nd night she might have gotten around to it. It's got that same kind of 'swords and flying carpet sorcery' fantasy setting. I know all this because I dug the game up from my hazy childhood memories, and I'm very familiar with it. Well, the first 20 minutes anyway (I didn't have much patience back then)... but I promise you I'll show you least three proper levels before I turn it off this time. Maybe more if it has continues!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

Far Cry (PC)

Developer:Crytek|Release Date:2004|Systems:Windows

Today on Super Adventures I'm going to immerse myself in the ultimate next generation FPS, Far Cry! That's how they describe it on the box anyway. It's also clearly labelled FARCRY, you can see the logo right there, but it's always written out as "Far Cry" in text so that's what I'll be calling it.

2004 wasn't a bad year for first person shooters, with people finally getting their hands on massively hyped sequels like Doom 3, Half-Life 2 and Halo 2. Far Cry on the other hand was a new IP from a unknown developer and it came out of nowhere. I never saw it coming anyway, which is ironic really considering how damn flashy it was. But it's been a decade now and I'm curious to see how it holds up as a game now that it can't coast on its visuals any more.

TECHNICAL BOX

The latest patch released for the game brings it up to version 1.4, but I'm not going to be installing that for two equally good reasons:
  1. I've heard that v1.4 is mostly a multiplayer upgrade and it screws up the single player game to the point where enemies can see and shoot you through walls. Not sure if that's true, but it kind of puts me off.
  2. There's an alternative v1.32 AMD64 patch I can install instead that improves performance on 64-bit systems, works on Intel processors too, comes with an optional Extra Content Pack to enhance the visuals, and even makes the game DRM free.
Apparently the Steam version comes with both patches already installed, with the v1.32 64-bit executable hiding in the game's Bin64 folder, but I only own the DVD version so I can't test that. Feel free to let me know if I'm wrong.

(Click screenshots to make them bigger! If you want to.)

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Sam & Max: Save the World (PC)

Developer:Telltale|Release Date:2006|Systems:Windows, Xbox 360, Wii

Today on Super Adventures I'll be having a go of Sam & Max: Season One, later retroactively relabelled Sam & Max: Save the World. Because I was asked to.

Save the World is the second of the Sam & Max games... or maybe games 2-7 depending on how you look at it, seeing as it's made up of 6 episodes, each released separately with their own executables. It's like a game entirely made up of standalone DLC. I'll be playing the first episode, Culture Shock, and I'm thinking that I might as well finish the thing if it's short. This means I'm going to end up SPOILING THE WHOLE FIRST EPISODE, puzzles and all, so don't actually read or glance at any part of this article.

Anyway, Save the World is/contains the second of the Sam & Max games released (after 1993's Hit the Road), but LucasArts had started work on an alternate sequel called Sam & Max: Freelance Police back in 2002. Production went well for 18 months or so, they'd gotten about two thirds through and everyone was happy, but then LucasArts was informed by an external marketing analysis group that adventure games were over and so they went and cancelled it. Couldn't be helped, the genre was dead and that was that.

A group of LucasArts developers who'd been working on Freelance Police decided that the best thing to do was to go off and start their own adventure game company called Telltale Games (not to be confused with Traveller's Tales, Tale of Tales or Tales of Game's). Actually their original plan was to buy the rights to Freelance Police itself and finish it off, but they couldn't make it happen. Fortunately for them LucasArts lost the rights to the crime fighting duo the following year and Telltale were able to get a damn Sam & Max game finished and released at last!

Save the World was a big enough success to get two sequel seasons so far, and Telltale are doing alright for themselves these days with games like The Walking Dead and A Wolf Among Us. I guess that means that one of the reasons adventure games weren't selling during the early 2000s is because LucasArts kept cancelling them all.

(Click on any screenshot to expand it to 1280x960 res.)

Monday, 6 July 2015

Sam & Max: Hit the Road (MS-DOS)

Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1993|Systems:DOS, Mac

Today on Super Adventures, I'm finally getting a Sam & Max game onto my website! Took me long enough, though to be fair for the first few years of my site I was making more of an effort to stay clear of games I'd played before, and this I have definitely played before. It's probably the first PC game I ever owned in fact.

Sam & Max: Hit the Road is actually a licensed game, as the duo belong to former LucasArts artist Steve Purcell (he did the amazing box art for Monkey Islands both 1 and 2) and they had their own comic long before this. But you'd be forgiven for thinking they were owned by LucasArts, with the amount of sneaky appearances they've made in their earlier games; later games too, they're all over the damn place. I even teamed up with Max for a level in Jedi Knight. But Hit the Road was their very first starring role in a video game, and for a long while it seemed like it was going to be their last.

I'm going to be playing the CD version through ScummVM, which should be pretty much identical to what you'd find on GOG.com these days. There actually was a floppy disk release too, which surprises me because I can't imagine the game without voices, and even more shockingly it only came on seven 3.5" disks! The PC version of Monkey Island 2 came on five and this has to have more than 3MB extra art and animation in it, surely.

Monday, 29 June 2015

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City (SNES)

Michael Jordan Chaos in the Windy City title screen
Developer:EA|Release Date:1995 (EU)|Systems:Super Nintendo

Today on Super Adventures, I've found you something from the first half of the 90s and I didn't even need to glance at the copyright year to know that.

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City has been on my list forever and I've no idea why it's taken me this long to get around to it. I mean look at that title screen; even if the game's bad it'll be good. I'm not sure you're even technically allowed to bring two elementally charged balls onto the court, but I wouldn't want be the one to tell him that.

I haven't looked too deep into how the game was reviewed so for all I know this is actually a well regarded piece of quality entertainment. But I have discovered that it was the first game designed by artist Amy Hennig, who ended up in the role after the first designer quit. She then transformed into 'head writer and creative director Amy Hennig', and went on to develop the Soul Reaver and Uncharted games. Still no sign of Chaos in the Windy City 2 though.

Semi-Random Game Box