Saturday, 6 February 2016

Divine Divinity (PC)

Divine Divinity main menu screen
Developer:Larian|Release Date:2002|Systems:Windows

This week on Super Adventures I've decided to look at another RPG, even though they take forever to play and write up. Because I am an idiot.

First though I have to talk about the name, because the title of Divine Divinity is famous for its redundancy. But is it a contender for the worst RPG title ever? It doesn't have 'chronicles', 'origins', 'prophecy', 'legacy', 'book' or 'Eragon' in there, so I'm thinking... no. It's distinctive and memorable so it gets the job done, even if it is dumb. The game was originally going to be called Divinity: The Sword of Lies, but their publisher was apparently fond of alliteration after doing well with Sudden Strike and I guess Divinity: Deceitful Dagger didn't do it for them.

Riftrunner on the other hand would've been a terrible title for a sequel in my opinion, and Larian were wise to eventually change it to Beyond Divinity. Now they just need to change it so that the damn game works on my PC so I can play that too.

Speaking of the developers making things that work, I'm liking this theme music: Divine Divinity theme (YouTube link). It's more melancholy than your typical heroic RPG music, with harpsichord in place of chanting Vikings.

(Click screenshots to inflate them to their original dimensions.)

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Undertale (PC)

Super Adventures is five years old today! Not a huge surprise considering that the site gets a year older at the end of every January, but worth noting I think. Also worth noting is that I've retired the tired worn out rubbish boring old 2015 logo and replaced with it a shiny new 2016 model. Less fire, more curves and pointy bits.

Last year I decided to celebrate by playing a classic Zelda game and a whole lot of Marios, and I've been struggling to think of how I could possibly follow them up. Then I saw that the GameFAQs community had come together to agree on a new Best Game Ever and I realised I had the perfect game to kick off Super Adventures in Gaming - Year Six:

Undertale title screen logo
Developer:Toby Fox|Release Date:2015|Systems:Windows, Mac

This week on Super Adventures I'm having a quick look at the notorious Undertale! I've heard that it's an RPG, probably, but I'm not actually sure. 

One thing I do know about the game (aside from the fact it's a contender for the 'Lowest Resolution Title Screen on Super Adventures' award), is that it's another one of those Kickstarter success stories. It didn't quite make as much as Wasteland 2 or even Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams, but bringing in $51,124 wasn't bad at all considering the goal was $5000. You can bet it's made a lot more than that in the five months since release.

Everyone says to go into the game blind, so I made a special effort to keep myself utterly unspoiled on it. I've heard the terms 'pacifist route', 'genocide route' and 'skeleton date' being thrown around, but I'm fuzzy on the details. So I'm not just pretending to be clueless for this, I really am clueless.

But I can't show the game without showing the game, so I'm sorry if I end up spoiling all the potential jokes and surprises that may (or may not) be at the start. I'm only planning to play the first hour or so though, basically what's covered by the demo I expect, so I with any luck I won't be giving the game away.

Saturday, 23 January 2016

Painkiller: Black Edition (PC)

Developer:People Can Fly|Release Date:2004|Systems:Windows, Xbox, Android, iOS

This week on Super Adventures, I'm finally taking a look at Painkiller, a first person shooter made by Gears of War: Judgment developer Epic Games Poland back when they were still called People Can Fly. Oh hang on, they're back to being People Can Fly again now... and they still have the Bulletstorm license! They'd better be working on making me a sequel right now, I don't care how much the game bombed.

There's about a million different editions of Painkiller and just as many expansions, but as I understand it Black Edition is as close as you can get to the definitive version. It's the original 2004 Painkiller game plus the one expansion developed by People Can Fly, with a 'making of' video thrown in. The game later got a remake/sequel called Painkiller: Hell and Damnation (HD, get it?) but judging by the reviews I've read, seems Black Edition's the one to go for.

(Click the pictures to bring up a higher resolution image. It's not going to make them any more widescreen though I'm afraid.)

Friday, 15 January 2016

FireStriker (SNES)

Firestriker title screen
Developer:Axes Art Amuse |Release Date:1994 (NA)|Systems:Super Nintendo

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing SNES game Holy Striker, better known as 'Fire Striker' in the US and 'absolutely nothing' in Europe as they didn't bother to release it here. No great mystery why Nintendo of America decided to tweak the title when they brought it over, seeing how keen they weren't on religious references in their games.

That's pretty much the only thing I know about the game, but I've just loaded up its Wikipedia page and apparently it's a "piece of high carbon or alloyed steel from which sparks are struck by the sharp edge of chert or similar rock". Uh... what the hell's chert? Also, is there really no page for the game Fire Striker? Have I finally found something Wikipedia's never heard of?

Oh duh, I was just spelling it wrong; it's FireStriker without the space. You know what, forget the wiki page, I'd rather come into it blind anyway.

Hang on a second, there's three choices on the title screen and not one of them says 'OPTIONS'! Super Nintendo games are supposed to give me an options screen so I can put my lives count up and stuff. Instead there's a mysterious 'MULTI MODE' option sitting in its place, which is apparently different enough to '2 PLAYERS' to get to appear alongside it. I'll have to remember to try that out later.

Friday, 8 January 2016

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (MS-DOS)

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis title screen
Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1992|Systems:PC, Mac, Amiga, FM Towns, Wii

This week on Super Adventures I'm looking at the second Indiana Jones point and click adventure game, Fate of Atlantis, and wondering why they've put a colour cycling effect on the logo. That didn't happen in the movies... did it? I don't own the films so I can't check.

I should make it clear that this is Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis: The Graphic Adventure I'm playing, as like Last Crusade this has a separate Action Game to go along with it. Though unlike Last Crusade this has its own original story, there never was a 'Fate of Atlantis' film, so the Action Game is actually a video game tie-in... to a video game. I'm pretty sure I had a 'Fate of Atlantis' comic book once as well, but it'd take an archaeologist to find the damn thing now.

The game came out after Lucasfilm Games were renamed to LucasArts, so I'm hoping I'll get to see an animation of the Gold Guy logo man doing something at the start.

Friday, 1 January 2016

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (MS-DOS)

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade DOS title screen
Developer:Lucasfilm Games|Release Date:1989|Systems:Amiga, Atari ST, CDTV, DOS, FM Towns, Macintosh, Windows

This week on Super Adventures, I'm having a quick look at another one of those Lucasfilm/LucasArts adventures. It wasn't really part of my masterplan to play a pair of Sam & Max games in July then follow them up with a pair of Monkey Islands in September, but seeing as that happened I might as well finish the trilogy with a duology of Indiana Joneses. Uh, bit of a spoiler for the next game there, sorry.

The difference this time though is that I've never played this and I've got no idea what it's like. I don't even know if it's considered to be any good. But one thing I do know is that its full title is Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Graphic Adventure, as Lucasfilm also developed a multi-platform Last Crusade platformer in the same year called The Action Game and they didn't want gamers to get them confused. That's good responsible labelling, I applaud them.

Weirdly another developer called Software Creations went and made a third Last Crusade game a couple of years later, exclusive to the NES. Which means the console got two entirely different Last Crusade action games. Later Indiana Jones' Greatest Adventures and LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures would revisit the movie as well. Not a whole lot of Kingdom of the Crystal Skull games out there though, you'll be shocked to learn.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Super AiG Screenshots of the Year: 2015

Welcome to the fifth annual Super Adventures Screenshots of the Year article, showcasing some of the most interesting screenshots and animated GIFs I discovered while sifting through the massive pile of them I've accumulated from playing 60-something games this year! I'm very tired now.

Clicking the highlighted game titles will take you to the original article so you can observe the screenshot in its natural environment. It'd be nice if they were some kind of affiliate link that earned me cash, but they're not.

(Every now and again you'll see a shot from a modern PC game, if you click them you should get a higher resolution picture to gaze at.)

Semi-Random Game Box