Saturday, 24 January 2015

Zeno Clash (PC)

Developer:ACE Team|Release Date:2009|Systems:Windows, Xbox Live Arcade

The penultimate 'Z' title on Super Adventures is a requested game that's been sitting in my library for way too long. Today I am finally going to devote a couple of hours to figuring out exactly what Zeno Clash is.

It's the debut game by Chilean indie developer called ACE Team, who later went on to make Rock of Ages and Abyss Odyssey, but all I know about it is that it was released on PC six years ago, Xbox Live Arcade a year later, and it likely involves hitting people. I don't know a whole lot about Rock of Ages and Abyss Odyssey either to be honest, but that's not even slightly relevant. Forget I said that.

(Click the images to summon their full scale counterpart.)

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension (Amiga)

Zool Amiga title screen screenshot
Developer:Gremlin|Release Date:1992|Systems:Amiga, plus everything else besides the NES
Today on Super Adventures, I have finally reached the 'Z' titles! This is the endgame for my year-long alphabetical order gimmick, well not literally the end game as I've still a couple of 'Z' games to go, but I'm in the final stretch now.

This time I'm playing Zool: Ninja of the "Nth" Dimension, which was originally developed for the Commodore Amiga in 1992, but soon spread out across the systems. The guy was actually kind of considered to be the machine's very own mascot platformer hero, a rival to Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog and Nintendo's Mario, and Zool or Zool 2 were often bundled in with new Amigas. Not bad really for a character who wasn't even slightly exclusive to the computer. Though he did end up going down the ship, failing to make the leap to the PlayStation or N64 when the 16-bit era ended and Commodore fell. Still, better that than going out the way Bubsy did I suppose.

You know I'm sure there's something else about the game that I should be mentioning here, but I can't quite remember...

Saturday, 17 January 2015

You Don't Know Jack: Movies (PC)

You Don't Know Jack Movies title screen
Developer:Berkeley & Jellyfish|Release Date:1996|Systems:Windows and Mac

Today on Super Adventures, I'm going to find out what you get when an award-winning children's multimedia edutainment developer teams up with the people who brought the world the 'flying toasters' screensaver, as I take a look at You Don't Know Jack: Movies.

I've actually played a few of the You Don't Know Jack games before (I can't remember which, there's a million of the things), but I'm certain I've never seen this one before, and all the questions will be entirely new to me. The game itself is pretty old though, one of the oldest in the series in fact, released just two years after the original. Unfortunately it wasn't really designed for newfangled resolutions like '1920x1080' or '800x600', so if you're reading this on a computer then you're likely seeing it the exact same way I am: as a tiny box in the middle of the screen. To be honest I'm just glad (and a little surprised) that it's running at all in Windows 8.

The thing about the You Don't Know Jack games though is they don't have any computer opponents, and there's no online play in this one, so to get a proper game out of this I had to bring a volunteer in to man the player 2 buzzer...

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Star Wars: Yoda Stories (PC)

Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1997|Systems:Windows, GBC

1997 was a pretty big year for Star Wars, perhaps the biggest since Return of the Jedi hit cinemas 14 years earlier. The original trilogy of films were remastered and rereleased on cinema screens with Greedo now officially shooting first, the mighty engines of Lucasfilm had geared up to produce a new movie with two more promised to follow, Timothy Zahn released another Thrawn novel, Dark Forces got a sequel with lightsabers, TIE Fighter got a sequel with multiplayer… and then there was the other game.

But Masters of Teräs Käsi is going to have to wait, because today on Super Adventures I’m taking a quick look at a ‘desktop toy’ called Star Wars: Yoda Stories. It’s basically meant to sit alongside games like Minesweeper and FreeCell and give you something to do for half an hour while you’re taking a break from work. There is one subtle difference between Yoda Stories and the games bundled with Windows though: this retailed for £20 in Britain back in the day. That was enough to buy you a third of a Donkey Kong Country game!

Friday, 9 January 2015

Yie Ar Kung-Fu (Arcade)

Yie Ar Kung-Fu arcade title screen
Developer:Konami|Release Date:1985|Systems:It's all over the place

Today's 'Y' game on Super Adventures is arcade classic Yie Ar KUNG-FU!

In Chinese the title means 'One Two Kung-Fu'... or perhaps '12 Kung-Fu' I suppose. I wouldn't really know, as my understanding of Chinese is even worse than my knowledge of Japanese. Though one thing I do know is that this is likely one of the most influential games ever made, as it basically kicked off the 1 vs. 1 fighting game genre when it hit arcades way back in 1985. That's two years before Street Fighter 1!

Okay there were a quite a few other games that introduced important elements of the genre, like Sega's 1976 version of Heavyweight Champ, Data East's Karate Champ and Nintendo's Urban Champion, but Yie Ar Kung-Fu has the proper health bars, the varied cast, the freedom of movement, the punch and kick buttons... nearly all of the basics in one place. I suppose its greatest gift to the fighting game genre though, was to prove that you don't have to have 'Champ' in the title to be successful, because otherwise today we'd be talking about games like Ultimate Marvel vs. Champcom 3, Champgirls, Guilty Champ Xrd, Melty Champ: Champtress Again Current Champ, and Street Fighter II' Champion Edition.

Yie Ar Kung-Fu came out for a million different systems, but I'd hit my arbitrary word count limit just listing them all so I'll be sticking exclusively to the arcade version this time around. My plan is to give it an hour or so, fail a few (dozen) times, then finish off by blaming the game for all my mistakes.

Tuesday, 6 January 2015

Deus Ex: The Fall (PC)

Developer:Edios Montreal & N-Fusion|Release Date:2013 (iOS)|Systems:iOS, Android, Windows

The final ‘X’ game on Super Adventures for now is… unwanted iPhone prequel Deus Ex: The Fall! It doesn't technically start with an 'X', but I had to find a way to fit all of the Deus Ex games in before my alphabetical order gimmick was over somehow.

By the way, when I said "unwanted", I didn't mean that I don’t appreciate it getting a PC port; it’s always good news to me when a game gets less exclusive, whether it’s originally from the iPhone, the Vita, the 3DS… the Dreamcast, whatever! I won't be able to tell if Deus Ex: The Fall has gotten a graphical overhaul in the process though, because I've never seen it running on iOS. In fact I was trying to ignore the fact that it existed at all, because no one ever asked for a cut down, simplified Deus Ex game with touch screen controls and microtransactions

But it found its way into my Steam library at some point thanks to the sinister machinations of the Humble Bundle, and I’ve been assured that the microtransactions have been stripped out, so I’m going to sit here for an hour or so and give the game a fair chance to win me over. I might accidentally call it Deus Ex: The Line a few times though, because my brain has got into the habit of doing that and it's kind of annoying.

(Click the screenshots to expand them to 1280x720.)

Friday, 2 January 2015

Boiling Point: Road to Hell (PC) - Part 2

Hello I'm mecha-neko and I'm playing first-person open-world epic Boiling Point (aka. Xenus)!
Click here to go back to part one.

Semi-Random Game Box