Friday, 31 May 2013

Daikatana (PC) - Guest Post

Prepare to enter a world where down is up, design is law, and John Romero's about to make you his bitch.

John Romero's Daikatana PC title screen
Click the pictures to make them your bitch high resolution PNGs!

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Final Fantasy VI (SNES)

Final Fantasy III SNES title screen
Today I'm taking a quick look at Final Fantasy VI on the Super Nintendo, or at least that's my plan. It's an RPG though so I'll probably end up playing it for hours. Oh ignore the title screen by the way, it lies. This was the third of the series to be released in the West, so they renumbered it for the US version to avoid confusion (funny how that never works).

Annoyingly it didn't make it across to Europe though until eight years later, in March 2002, by which point it had gotten its proper title back again (and was ironically the sixth numbered FF game released over here anyway, after 7, 8, 9, 4 and 5).

I'll admit right now that I'm not coming into the game entirely clueless this time as I have actually finished this once before. Though I had my face buried in a walkthrough the whole time and I wasn't actually paying attention, so it'll basically be all new to me.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Legend of Grimrock (PC)

Legend of Grimrock logo
Today's game is Dungeon Master inspired retro RPG Legend of Grimrock. I'm going to find out what it's like and how to play it, and then pass that information onto you, dear reader, as that is what I do. Then I'll probably make a bunch of dumb mistakes, misunderstand some fundamental gameplay concepts, get hopelessly lost, and then quit out of sheer frustration about an hour or so into it, as I tend to do that as well I've noticed.

This one wasn't my idea by the way. I actually got a request to play this months ago and I'm sorry it took me so damn long to for me to get around to it.

(Click the pictures to view them as a big jpg compression artefact corrupted mess instead of a little jpg compression artefact corrupted mess. Handy if you want to have a fighting chance to read the text.)

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Bubba 'n' Stix (Amiga)

Today, because YOU demanded it, I'm taking a look at mid 90s puzzle platformer Bubba 'n' Stix by British developer Core Design. This was released on the Amiga, Genesis/Mega Drive and CD32, but I'll be mostly playing the Amiga version because I'm guessing it came first. I'll let you know if the Sega version's any different.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Night Slave (PC-98)

Night Slave title screen
I'm always eager to try games for systems I'm not familiar with, but it's surprisingly difficult to find out about good Japanese computer games that are both playable without understanding the language, and not filled with cartoon porn. So I decided to compromise this time around.

Wikipedia tells me that Night Slave on the PC-98 is an eroge game, warning that it's gonna have naked anime ladies in the cutscenes in place of an actual storyline. But it also comes with an option to turn the cutscenes off in the menu and play it as a pure action game about giant robots shooting things. No sex, just good clean violence.

So I'll assure you upfront that this post is going to be entirely safe for work, for so many obvious reasons.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Heart of Darkness (PSX) - Guest Post

Here's a requested game! A game "from the creators of Another World". Ulp.

Heart of Darkness playstation title screen
That's an expensive looking logo. This is expensive sounding music. This may be the most intense game yet.

Lots of animations today! Keep an eye out!

Friday, 17 May 2013

Abuse (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

At last, some more words by someone who isn't me! This time I've brought alien bug killing expert Jihaus in to talk about about killing alien bugs in frantic DOS shooter Abuse.

Let's do this.

The game doesn't really have a proper splash screen so I'm using the box art.

This awesome run and gun platformer made by Crack Dot Com came out in '96 and gave us an early vision of what you'd get if you combined a platformer with the mechanics of an FPS (such as multiple weapons and mouse aiming). The game sports a control scheme that at the time was crazy different, resulting in a fast paced and unique alien/mutant blasting experience that you didn't really see in platformers at the time (or at least I didn't, I was poor).

I played and finished this game long ago but it's been so long that I am pretty much playing this as a newbie again.

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Rick Dangerous (Atari ST)

Rick Dangerous grinning on the Atari ST title screen with his hat, lit dynamite and a smoking revolver
Rick Dangerous has a reputation for being a total bastard of a game, but is it really so bad? Well I've played it before so I already know that it is, but let's pretend for 10 minutes that I don't know as I take a quick look at Core Design's very first tomb raiding game. Well actually their first game ever, released way back in 1989.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Final Fantasy V (PSX)

final fantasy 5 playstation title screen
Today I'm taking a quick look at Final Fantasy V, the last of the numbered FF games to not get a Western release, at least not for a long while. But FF2 and FF3 were skipped over at the time because the NES had become obsolete before they could make it across the ocean. FF5 on the other hand could have made it into US shops mid 1993, around the peak of the system's popularity, so why didn't it? Apparently the reason was that it's "just not accessible enough to the average gamer", which has me a little worried, because I'm an average gamer! I don't want to get hopelessly confused by a SNES RPG, that'd just be embarrassing.

Incidentally, Square's refusal to give the world a English release made this one of the first games ever to get a full fan translation. Fortunately I don't need it though as Square eventually did give English speakers their own version of the game a decade later on the PlayStation.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

Psychonauts (PC)

Today I'm breaking with tradition and playing something someone might actually care about. I figured I might as well seeing as people asked me nicely... months ago.

Policenauts is a 1994 adventure game made by Metal Gear Solid producer Hideo Kojima, but that's not important right now seeing as I'm actually taking a look at Psychonauts, a 100% unrelated title by Double Fine. It was their first game in fact, and they were lucky it wasn't their last considering it sold just 100,000 copies in the first year. I usually try to come into a game without preconceptions, but everyone knows that commercial success is a infallible indicator of a game's quality and artistic worth, so I'll be expecting the very worst.

(Click images to view them at an insanely huge 1280x960 resolution. Well it probably would have been pretty big in 2005.)

Monday, 6 May 2013

Angry Birds Space (PC)

Angry Birds Space Loading screen
Well, looks like today I'm playing Angry Birds Space then. Not to be confused with Angry Birds Star Wars which is presumably also set in space, but with more lightsabers or wookies or whatever. This is actually the fourth game in the unfathomably successful Angry Birds franchise and the first I'm going to sit down to play for more than 20 seconds. With any luck.

Honestly, I'm as surprised as anyone that I'm playing this, but someone thought it'd be hilarious to gift me a copy and ask me to write it up for the site. Not that I'm ungrateful, much the opposite, it's just... well, it's Angry Birds. How am I supposed to get an entire post out of this?

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Metal Warriors (SNES)

Metal Warriors SNES title screen
Today I'm taking a quick look at Metal Warriors on the SNES. It... apparently has giant robots in it. Plus that starry background leads me to assume it'll be set in space. I don't know much else about it really.

Ever notice how many title screens feature a shiny metal logo in front of a black background or starfield? Because until this month I had no idea it was so common. For some reason my site's front page has become a sea of chrome and darkness, and every new game I play seems to perpetuate it.

Doesn't matter if it's a classic Japanese fantasy RPG, a cartoony first person shooter, or even an isometric platformer about a snake eating balls, almost everything I've played lately has gotten the shiny text. Manic Miner probably would have had it too, if the game hadn't been created way back before the human race invented metal.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Star Wars: Dark Forces (MS-DOS)

It's strange how few Star Wars games I've played these last few years, considering how many there are out there. It's not like I've been deliberately avoiding them. Allow me to make up for it in some small way by presenting a handful of screenshots from Star Dark Forces Wars, the first game in the Jedi Knight series. I usually play games blind, but I'll admit right away that I've finished the game once before, so it's not entirely new to me.

Dark Forces was LucasArts' first shot at making a first person shooter, made way back in the days when people could still seriously try to argue that new FPS games were just Doom rip-offs. Nowadays of course all games have become first person shooters, with all variety and innovation wiped out in the Great Genre War of the early 21st century, but please forgive me if I end up comparing it to Doom 500 times before I'm done anyway.

Semi-Random Game Box