Sunday, 17 July 2016

Breach & Clear: DEADline (PC)

Breach & Clear Deadline title menu screen
Developer:Mighty Rabbit|Release Date:2015|Systems:Win, Linux, Mac

This month on Super Adventures, I'm playing Unity 5-powered special forces sequel Breach & Clear: nnLINԷ. Uh, I mean Breach & Clear: DEADline, or perhaps just Breach & Clear: Deadline; I'm getting conflicting information on that and as usual the logo's in all caps so it's no use.

As the name hints, this is the follow up to tactical counter-terrorism game Breach & Clear, though I'm sure it has very little to do with tactical counter-terrorism game Deadline, and I'm doubly certainly there's no connection to "authentic hotel maintenance simulation" Breach & Clean. I can detect a little Call of Duty influence though, as the game's gone from modern warfare straight to... hnng... zombies.

Zombies man, it's always the fucking zombies. Why is it never wizards? Breach & Clear & Dragons: Origins, it could totally work!

I'm coming into this entirely blind, as I've never seen the game, I didn't play it in Early Access, and I know next to nothing about it. In fact I went to do my normal research, looking for some stuff to write up here, and it seems that neither Wikipedia or MobyGames have an entry for it. So if you've ever wanted to add a game to either site and leave a semi-permanent mark on history, now's your big chance!

But one thing I do know about the game, and this is something you should definitely be aware of, is that a friend of mine worked on it. So I can't promise I'll be entirely fair in my assessment of the game. But this site's about showing games off as much as it is about my opinions, and I can still do that while being biased. So if you decide to carry on reading, keep repeating to yourself "This guy's predisposed to be nice to the game," in your head the whole time, and then ignore all my conclusions.

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

Saturday, 2 July 2016

BioShock (PC)

BioShock logo
Developer:2K Boston & 2K Australia|Release Date:2007|Systems:PC, Xbox 360, PS3, OS X, iOS

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing Irrational Games' System Shock successor BioShock! Well okay they were called 2K Boston (and 2K Australia) at the time, but they changed back right afterwards. Speaking of names, you'd think that if they were going to play around capitalising the S in the middle like that, they'd put some clue in the logo so people would know about it. 'BIOSHOCK', there you go, I even kept it upper case.

I actually had something else written for this paragraph, but then 2K suddenly announced that the first two BioShocks are getting an shiny new release with new models, better textures and directors commentary, and PC owners get the upgrade for free! It's like they waited for the exact moment I started to replay the game so they could ruin all my plans. I was tempted to delay writing this until September and take the next few months off, but then I realised that I'm more curious about whether the original experience still holds up. I'm also curious to learn whether I'm still sick of the game, or if it's been long enough now that I can find the fun again.

BioShock's part of an exclusive club, as it's a game I actually finished once, though I can assure you that you'll be getting no spoilers from me. Well except for the first few hours of the game, I'll be spoiling all of that like crazy, but I'm not even going to hint at any twists it may or may not have. Because I hate it when people do that.

(You can click screenshots to view them in super 720p-o-vision, which was a fairly impressive resolution back in 1960.)

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Freelancer (PC)

Freelancer logo
Developer:Digital Anvil|Release Date:2003|Systems:PC

This week on Super Adventures I'm having a go of PC Elite 'em up Freelancer. I've been meaning to write about this on my site for years but other games kept taking its place in the queue and it eventually got shoved to the back burner. But I played this game to completion back when it was new and I'm hyped to finally get around to jumping back into the Sirius Sector for some simulated space combat.

The game's by Digital Anvil, founded by Wing Commander developer Chris Roberts, who's probably better known these days as the man space sim fans keep throwing money at in the hopes he'll someday give them Star Citizen. Microsoft bought Digital Anvil in 2000, a few months after buying Bungie, but Freelancer escaped Halo's fate of becoming Xbox exclusive. Instead it remained PC exclusive, which still kind of sucks for console owners. If the Dreamcast could handle Starlancer, I bet the newer consoles could've managed the sequel.

Like Star Citizen, Freelancer promised a lot of ambitious features, like a dynamic galaxy with fluctuating stock prices, supporting thousands of players at once! And then the final game had a static galaxy supporting 128 players. It supports exactly 1 player these days, as the official servers were shut down 5 years after release, but I'm sure fans are still running galaxies of their own. It's all irrelevant to me though as I'm only going to be checking out the single player.

(Click the screenshots to gaze upon them in their full 1280x960 majesty).

Friday, 10 June 2016

Simon the Sorcerer (PC)

Developer:Adventure Soft|Release Date:1993|Systems:PC, Amiga, CD32, Acorn, Android, iPhone

This week on Super Adventures I'm taking a quick look at classic PC and Amiga adventure game Simon the Sorcerer. It's also got the subtitle The Original Adventure on my box, but I'm not calling it that.

According to Wikipedia:
Simon the Sorcerer or Simon the Magician, in Latin Simon Magus (Greek Σίμων ὁ μάγος), was a Samaritan magus or religious figure and a convert to Christianity, baptised by Philip the Evangelist, whose later confrontation with Peter is recorded in Acts 8:9–24.
But that's entirely irrelevant as the game's got nothing to do with him. This is an entirely unrelated Simon who performs completely different sorcery.

I've played Simon the Sorcerer before, I've even beaten the thing (with the help of a walkthrough), but it's been a while and all I remember about it now is the pitiful Swampling inadvertently poisoning Simon with his terrible cooking, and the theme song. Here, have a YouTube link to the theme so you can permanently burn it into your own brain as well.

I'll be playing the PC CD XP release through Scumm VM, just so you know. It's still pretty much the 1993 game as far as I know, and is likely exactly what you'd get from GOG.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Saints Row (Xbox 360)

Developer:Volition|Release Date:2006|Systems:Xbox 360

This week on Super Adventures I'm going to fix an obvious omission on my site that's been bothering me for two years. I've written about Saints Rows 2 to IV, but I've completely overlooked the original game in the series! No I'm not talking about Grand Theft Auto 3, but I understand your confusion.

I'm a big fan of the Saints Row sequels but I've only played the first game once back when it was new, and only long enough to think 'wow, this is familiar'. The impression I've been getting from others is that the game was pretty much a practice run for Volition, a generic GTA: San Andreas clone without the personality the series developed later, so now I'm going to play it properly and see how true that is.

By the way, the game's 10 years old this August, and the console it was released on was discontinued in April, so that means it's officially retro! Maybe. Either way it's a pleasure to finally introduce the Xbox 360 to Super Adventures (even if I'm only doing it because this bloody game didn't get a convenient, easy to screenshot PC release like its sequels).

(Clicking the images will make them big, so you can see all the nice H.264 video compression artefacts).

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Punky Skunk (PSX)

Punky Skunk title screen
Developer:Ukiyotei|Release Date:1998 (96 in Japan)|Systems:PlayStation

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing another mascot platformer! Because they take less time than trying to figure out a strategy game or get anywhere in an RPG and I'm trying to keep these posts coming out weekly.

Punky Skunk's been on my 'to play' list for a long while now, so long that I can't even remember if I ever knew what it is. I do know that the internet hates it though, as poor Punky's turned up on Game Informer's 'Worst Character Names' list, EGM's worst mascot list and IGN's 'Great Games With Silly Names' article... as an example of a game that really does suck as badly as its title suggests.

To be fair you know you've hit the bottom of the mascot barrel when you've reached 'skunk'. No one wants to play as a skunk, punky or otherwise (that's why Pepé Le Pew never got a game). Also the title screen isn't exactly giving the best first impression. All the dithering and scruffy lines makes it look like they scanned it in but didn't have time to clean it up afterwards. It's basically the same as the box art though so I suppose Punky's face is meant to look like it's been scribbled in a notebook.

Okay I'm going to keep playing until I've beaten the first boss, or died trying, or gnawed my own hands off, whichever happens first.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Dungeon Siege (PC)

Dungeon Siege title screen
Developer:Gas Powered Games|Release Date:2002|Systems:Windows, Mac

This week on Super Adventures I went and did that thing I wasn't supposed to do and played another RPG! I've got nothing against the genre, they just take so much time and so many words.

Dungeon Siege has gotten a bit of a reputation for being a game that basically plays itself, but I've got fond memories of it. Well, I've got a vague memory of being fond of it at least. I've beaten the game, but the only thing I can recall after 14 years is that the steampunk goblins were cool. So I plan to keep going in the game at least long enough to run into those guys.

You know I still get surprised when I'm reminded this got an movie adaptation, though I can very much believe it was nega-director Uwe Boll who made it happen. 'In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale' came out five years after the game, in actual cinemas, with folks like Jason Statham, Ron Perlman, Ray Liotta and Burt Reynolds collecting paychecks for their participation. Boll really was on a mission to ruin the chances of us ever getting a decent video game movie back then, releasing three of them in 2007 alone ('Dungeon Siege', 'Postal' and 'BloodRayne 2'). He's slowed down a bit since then, but that hasn't saved us from 'In the Name of the King 3: The Last Mission'.

(Click any image to see the original sized screenshot. The game can apparently support more modern resolutions, but I’ll be playing at 800x600 because I want to give you a fighting chance to read the on screen text.)

Semi-Random Game Box