Thursday, 20 November 2014

Toonstruck (MS-DOS)

Toonstruck title screen
Today on Super Adventures I'll be giving an hour or so to Toonstruck, a game that has surprisingly little to do with that clown up there. Sure he's in it, eventually, but I almost guarantee you won't be seeing him again here.

I feel like I should seen this game mentioned more often, considering it stars Christopher Lloyd, Homer Simpson and half the cast of half the cartoons from the 90s, but it seems almost forgotten these days. I've no idea how well known it actually is, but I do know that it didn't sell enough to get a sequel... which in this case would've actually been the second half of the game, seeing as it wasn't exactly finished when they put it out on shelves.

I'm sure I've reached the semi-cliffhanger ending before, or at least watched someone else complete it, but my only strong memory of this game is that clown up there yelling "BALLOOOOOOON?" I've got absolutely zero recollection of the story or any of the puzzles, so I get to work them all out again from scratch.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Tomb Raider (MS-DOS) - Part 2

Dare you revisit part one?

Tomb Raider (MS-DOS) - Part 1

Tomb Raider title screen pc
Today I'm having a look at Core Design's original Tomb Raider. I have to call it that, because Crystal Dynamics decided to go and reuse the name in 2013 for a prequel, demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding about what names are actually for (hint: they're an identifier to allow people to refer to specific things without ambiguity or confusion).

Here, you can load the surprisingly mellow Tomb Raider theme up in youtube and have it playing it in the background while I humorously note that the game is actually a sort of successor to Core Design's earlier Rick Dangerous series. In fact Core made a fair number of the games I've featured on the site, like Bubba 'n' Stix, Curse of Enchantia and, uh, Blam! Machine Head; but after Tomb Raider caught on they were doomed to crank out sequel after sequel, one a year until the series and developer finally lost everyone's respect entirely.

Tomb Raider was actually released first on the Sega Saturn, with the PC version coming soon after (and the N-Gage version just 7 years after that), but most of my fuzzy semi-fond memories of the game come from when a friend and I rented the PlayStation version. We didn't get anywhere though and he did most of the playing, so I'm not really all that sure what to expect from the game. Very very dated controls mostly.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Toejam & Earl (Genesis/Mega Drive)

ToeJam & Earl title screen
Today on Super Adventures I'm inflicting my first impressions of ToeJam & Earl upon the world, though I get the feeling that the world probably has a much better idea of what this is than I do. I've never played it, I've never really seen it, and all I know about it is that it's described as being a roguelike, and that people apparently bought enough copies of it at the time for it to get a couple of sequels.

One thing I'm certain of is that it's not based on a cartoon, though that title screen made me double check. Nope, these two debuted exclusively on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, and pretty much stayed there until the third game in the ToeJam Trilogy ended up landing on Xbox a decade later. I guess the developers determined that the SNES just wasn't sufficiently funky.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Squirt's Adventure (PC)

Today Super Adventures takes a look at Squirt's Adventure. Don't get your hopes up though, this is a port of a touch-screen iPhone pirate-themed edutainment game made for five year olds to help acquaint them with the alphabet. I got this as a gift from a generous friend, who apparently thinks I need practice matching up letters with words.

To be fair I can see why he'd be concerned; my site's gimmick this year is that I have to play games in roughly alphabetical order: a set of games starting with 'A', a set of 'B' games, then a set of 'C' games etc. But somehow Deus Ex 3 ended up as a 'H' game, Max Payne 2 got filed under 'F' and Elder Scrolls Online was thrown in with the 'B' games. You don't even want to know what I've got planned for the 'X' games.

Of course he could be honestly curious about how it plays! Far be it from me to judge him for his taste in video games. I suppose there's a possibility though that it was just really cheap one day and he thought it'd be a laugh to watch me suffer. Either way, the game was inflicted on me, so now I'm inflicting it on you.

(Click screenshots to open them up a little bigger.)

Friday, 7 November 2014

Sleeping Dogs (PC)

Sleeping Dogs title screen logo
Super Adventures' run of spectacular semi-recent story-driven sandbox games starting with 'S' concludes at last with Sleeping Dogs! Here, you can listen to the theme while you read: youtube link.

The game didn't used to start with an 'S', that only happened relatively late in development. It actually began life as a new IP with title Black Lotus (no relation to the Lotus Turbo Challenge games), but publisher Activision decided they'd like to revive their True Crime franchise and relabelled it 'True Crime: Hong Kong' instead. Then three and a half years into development they decided that they'd rather cancel the whole thing altogether, and that was the end of it... until Square Enix stepped in like a big damn hero and saved the day, in a similar way to how Deep Silver saved Saints Row IV. They then retitled it to Sleeping Dogs, which is a decent enough name I guess, though personally I think they should've gone with 'Final Fantasy XV' just to see the reaction they got.

(Click the pictures to view them in an epic screen-filling 1280x720 resolution... well, screen-filling if you've got a tiny little monitor like I do.)

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Saboteur (PC)

The Saboteur title screen pc
My selfish stylish sexy sandbox shooter starting with an 'S' series stretches on to its third game: Pandemic's swan song The Saboteur. Yep, this was the final game ever made by Pandemic Studios, which kind of sucks as I love everything I've played by them. Mercenaries was one of the best open world sandbox games to follow Grand Theft Auto 3's lead, and I had some good times playing the Star Wars: Battlefront games in multiplayer. So I've got unreasonably high hopes for this one, and if it lets me down at all I'll be distraught.

The game came out for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but I'm playing the Windows version because... well, it's a lot easier to get screenshots out of it. I've heard that this is a bit of a bad port, especially on PCs with modern processors and an ATI graphics card like mine, but I made it through the dodgy PC version of Saints Row 2 so I'm sure I can handle it.

(Click any screenshot to open up a 1280x1024 resolution version. Yeah yeah I know it's not exactly what you'd find on deadendthrills.com.)

Semi-Random Game Box