GBAtemp Recommends! Blackthorne

Discussion in 'GBAtemp & Scene News' started by Hadrian, Jun 30, 2009.

Jun 30, 2009
  1. Hadrian
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    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    [​IMG] GBAtemp Recommends! Blackthorne
    G.R. Issue #28 (GBA)

    [​IMG]
    Its been too long old chum. Welcome back to GBAtemp Recommends! Our popular weekly magazine feature in which we recommend classic Game Boy Advance titles big and small!

    GBAtemp Recommends!

    Blackthorne
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    This title was originally developed by Blizzard and was released for the Super Nintendo, PC, Mac, Sega 32X. It was ported to the GBA by Mass Media who also handled the GBA ports of two other Blizzard titles, The Lost Vikings & Rock 'n Roll Racing.

    You play Kyle Vlaros aka Blackthorne and you make your way through seventeen levels which vary from dark caverns to lush forests. The gameplay is very similar to such games like Flashback & Prince of Persia in that its not a straight forward linear action game, there is a little backtracking to be made but not as much as games like Castlevania or Metroid. Your character carries bombs and a shot gun around with them but at times you have to holster your weapon so you can climb platforms and ledges.

    The levels are maze like in construction and you'll need to find certain keys to progress a lot of the time. At times you'll need to ride lifts to reach higher or lower places and also there are a lot of puzzles that stop you in your tracks. The puzzles aren't contrived or stupid and they actually make sense in their surroundings. There are checkpoints around the levels that allow you to save so when you get shot, you don't have to start a level all over again. Unlike the older versions, the GBA one lets you save instead of having to enter passwords.

    Combat most of the time is done in form of gunfights. While sometimes you can creep up on someone and just shoot them, other times you'll need to duck and prone the wall to avoid bullets. You'll need to be able to have a decent sense of timing to get through these. Some of the baddies if you stand too close to them will actually kick you to force you to the ground which also gives them more time to get a shot in. Another great thing of the game that wasn't seem before is the ability to shoot blindly behind your character without him turning. There isn't really much reason to do this but it does add a certain sense of "bad arsery" to the character.

    It is a fairly violent game, enemies bleed a ton of blood when shot and so do the prisoners who you are fighting for. The prisoners can be killed by yourself, not something that you have seen often (or at all) back on the SNES and while there is no reason to kill the prisoners, there is no reason not to. You have infinite shotgun bullets, their moaning can be irritating and it looks cool when you shoot them. Due to these elements in the game I'm surprised the game got a "Teen" rating rather than a "Mature".

    During the course of the game you character becomes stronger but then, so do the enemies. This makes the difficulty very fair and gives a great learning curve.

    Looks wise, it has a great old school style to it and pretty much represents the art of Blizzard very well. While nowhere near the best that the GBA has seen, there is a lot of detail there and the characters are well animated. The dark look really captures the tone of the story in the original game but for the GBA the colours can look over saturated and too bright at times but it still doesn't effect the tone.. The sound isn't anything to write home about and to be honest it wasn't back in the SNES days either. The music is really disappointing for a Blizzard title.

    Overall its a great old school title that requires though, timing and patience. If you're someone who likes their game to be quick paced then its probably best to give this title a miss. Its a shame that Blizzard no longer release NEW IP's anymore, and its also a shame that they haven't done an action games for years.


     
  2. raulpica

    Supervisor raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

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    Great game from when Blizzard wasn't all "WoW-and-WoWExpansions".

    Yeah, Diablo III and StarCraft II are coming out, but I still miss the good ol' Blizzard, which did great games like this and Lost Vikings and not fossilizing on just their main franchises.

    It's nice to see another GBAtemp Recommends! Keep up the good work, as a lot of people don't know those lost little gems! [​IMG]
     
  3. Garcimak

    Newcomer Garcimak Advanced Member

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    Yay ! GBAtemp Recommends is back [​IMG],

    Pleased to see blackthorne which was on my to-play list is also on gba, I'm more tempted to play outside these latter days

    edit : played this afternoon, this game which would of been possible on the Amiga, i'm hooked, similiar to Flashback, not as good though.
     
  4. Hadrian
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    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    I meant to post this last week but my free time was limited.

    Gonna play the 32X version in a bit actually, can't remember if the GBA one had the extra "snowy" level or now.
     
  5. xDlmaoxD

    Member xDlmaoxD GBAtemp Fan

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    The games looks alright for a GBA game.
    I would like to play it but I have a DSi [​IMG]
     
  6. Hadrian
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    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    Well it was released on the SNES as well, it might work on a SNES DS emulator. Or just track down the PC/Mac version which can't be hard to do.
     
  7. Maktub

    Member Maktub GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Holy sh--, looks great! I didn't know this one [​IMG]

    Thanks! Love this "feature".
     
  8. henkp

    Newcomer henkp Advanced Member

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    How are the controls in this game? When it was ported from SNES to GBA, there are 2 buttons less to work with. Most games make use of combinations of buttons then, and I most of the time I don't like that hassle (and especially when the DS hás those buttons!). Just checked, it doesn't work on snesds (thanks for trying costello [​IMG] ), but it looks very much like PoP and 'Bermuda Triangle', a game very underrated, in my eyes. Gonna try it on the SNES!

    Oh, and the GBAtemp Recommends!' are one of my favorite, good way to get the underrated games on the radar! Keep up the good work!
     
  9. DeMoN

    Member DeMoN GBAtemp Guru

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    I'm gonna have to disagree with this one.
    Blackthorne is a great game (made by Blizzard [​IMG]), but it just wasn't meant for the GBA.

    Just compare:
    GBA
    [​IMG]
    PC
    [​IMG]

    Playing this game on the GBA is the equivalent of jamming a knife into your eye.
     
  10. wolfeman

    Newcomer wolfeman Member

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    I could not disagree more as to the music in the game. It totally works and gives you that early 90s sci-fi movie vibe and best of all it is not obtrusive like so many 16bit soundtracks can be.

    You also completely missed the whole aspect of the roto-scoping in the game and how similar it is to the equally enjoyable 'Flashback' and 'Out of this World'.

    Blackthorne is an underrated classic game no matter what platform you choose to play it on but I suggest the 32X version as being the best one.

    The only downside of the game which is addressed in the GBA version is the password saves. I think the GBA gives you the ability to save your progress, although snapshots would have been really nice. The older versions all have password saves and those really suck.
     
  11. Garcimak

    Newcomer Garcimak Advanced Member

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    On the GBA above screenshot the view isn't that small indeed, the inventory only appears on screen when called.

    The game would have required a more sophisticated gamma correction. But the atmosphere is intact. Regarding the gameplay, you have 6 saveslots and the game automatically saves at certain checkpoint. The GBA gameplay is ok but the L Button = "inventory / look around" sometimes leads them to commit the mistake of wasting a mine in a vacuum. Thank to the save states.
     
  12. Maktub

    Member Maktub GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hm... Have to agree with the GBA version not being as good... Violence has been downgraded (no blood effects, which looked really good and are part of the animation after all), colours are too bright (as pointed out in both review and comments). Ah well, portability and save slots make for it.
     
  13. Hadrian
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    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    No blood? Shit, I should have played this before posting. I remember enjoying it way back and that the controls were good.

    Still I hope people try the 32X or PC versions anyway. SNES version has green blood.
     
  14. Maktub

    Member Maktub GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Hm... anyone mind if I use this to ask some questions about gameplay? Been browsing through walkthroughs and stuff but none will solve my problem....

    Stage 3 (third level of Gala's mine), towards the end, when you get a potion from a slave after having gone through the last bridge... How on Earth do I set my feet on the ground below without dying??
     
  15. jphriendly

    Member jphriendly GBAtemp Fan

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    Love Blackthorne, hate the GBA port. I'm with DeMoN on this one...Just can't compare to playing it on the PC. [​IMG]
     
  16. shakirmoledina

    Member shakirmoledina Legend

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    gba for kids... the 32x one was very nice and i really liked it
    i should finish it one day
     
  17. Maktub

    Member Maktub GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    So no one knows what I was asking..? Maybe if I posted a screenshot or something of the place I'm talking about?
     
  18. gukid

    Newcomer gukid Advanced Member

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    A while back I was working on palette fixes for a bunch of games, and Blackthorne was one of them.

    Most of it should be done, except bad palettes will probably start showing up after the swamp world. Including the lightnight animated background in the swamp levels, because I couldn't for the life of me figure out how it was stored in the rom.

    Also, the blood has been changed from green to red, which also changes the colour of a few other things like the bridges and the highlights on the gun cannons. I almost find this better, but if I ever finish it I'll make the red blood optional.

    The patch SHOULD work on any version of the rom, since they're pretty much identical, but I used the UK rom when I made this because it didn't have an intro on it.

    Enjoy?
     

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  19. Smartpal

    Member Smartpal The Guitar Guy

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    I don't I'll be playing the recommendation this time ^^;, but great to see the series is back. [​IMG]
     
  20. NakedFaerie

    Member NakedFaerie GBAtemp Fan

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    This is a great game. Been playing it on and off for many, many years. It started with the shareware version when it first came out on PC. Thats how long I've been playing it for.
    I now have it on the GBA emulator on the iPhone.

    Cant wait for a GBA emulator to come out for DSi then I will keep playing it there.

    Doesnt matter what platform you play it on, its a great game.

    Still after all these years I've yet to complete it. I think I'm up to level 5? Everytime I change the platform I play it on I have to restart it so I've completed level 1 about 50 times now.
     

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