Retro Game Review #5

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Hadrian, Mar 19, 2009.

Mar 19, 2009

Retro Game Review #5 by Hadrian at 10:36 AM (5,451 Views / 0 Likes) 20 replies

  1. Hadrian
    OP

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    <img src="http://jph.gbatemp.net/retroreviewlogo.png" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Welcome to another issue of Retro Game Review. There was a few more reviews to add to this but I wasn't able to get on the forum in time to put them in and find media for each game so you'll have to make do with what we've got. Thanks to jesuschristmonkeyballs, Granville & P1ngy for getting me the reviews. For those who missed the deadline, I'll take your review for the next issue.

    In the meantime enjoy what we have for you!


    Reviewed in this issue:
    Below The Root - Commodore 64
    Uniracers - Super Nintendo
    Kirby's Block Ball - Gameboy
    Fury of the Furries - Amiga/PC/Mac

    And a look at the Donkey Kong Country trilogy on the Super Nintendo



    <b>Review By <a href='http://gbatemp.net/member.php?name=Jesuschristmonkeyballs' target=_blank title='View profile for member Jesuschristmonkeyballs'}>Jesuschristmonkeyballs</a></b>


    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/50/Below_the_Root_box_art.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Below The Root <b>Format:</b> Commodore 64 <b>Genre:</b> Adventure
    <b>Publisher:</b> Windham Classics <b>Developer</b> Windham Classics <b>Year Released:</b> 1984

    Before the word "Epic" was ever erroneously applied to mediocrity like Coldplay, 4chan or Kristin Stewart movies, it meant something special, sprawling and spectacular. It described a Greek Tragedy, a Classical Overture, a Transcontinental Journey by burro or even rukus videos of homeless people enticed to fight each another for a bottle of rutgut. Below the Root is certainly epic.

    Based on The Green Sky Trilogy by Zilpha Keatley Snyder, this game is a journey mostly atop trees (called Grunds) by a hero of your choice (but seriously, choose Pomma) to save a boy named Ra'amo who was kidnapped. During this adventure, you will collect helpful items, increase your spirit energy used for magic-type actions, talk to people to gain clues and explore a platform world that was the non-linear sandbox of its day.

    Before or after you talk to people, you can "pense" them to read their thoughts. In this manner you can find out about their intentions which may vary from offering you tokens (money) or food to kidnapping you and hiding you away in a remote cottage where the game gives no specifics on what transpired, but let's think happy thoughts. Damn you, Uncle Cecil.

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/11h9n68.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    If you "pense" animals like monkeys and rabbits, you get a permanent increase in spirit energy. When your spirit energy gets higher you can learn cool tricks like teleporting objects or even yourself. There are animals that you can't pense such as snakes and I suppose you can't read their thoughts because they would be thinking something to the effect of "Your Honor, Prosecuting Council offers you exhibit A...".

    When you fall from great heights, with a button press, you can float to safety with your parachute-like "shuba" (also the Russian word for coat). Your shuba can tear buy walking into thorny patches, bad animals or taking an unprepared fall. When that happens, your character sits down comically rubbing their head. You will want to soon invest a token on a new shuba. Other items for sale include a Trencher Beak for cutting, a Vine Rope for crossing chasms and Lamps to see in the dark.

    You go to the menu by pressing down plus the button (yes, for any young folks reading, the C64 joystick only had one button and we didn't complain.) When you go to the menu, you will want to check "status" periodically. This shows you how much food and rest you have/require. If you get too low on either you will find yourself back at your house in your bed (or hammock rather) after being found unconscious. That's a time waster and the point is to beat the game as quickly as possible because it will rate you on how adept of an adventurer you are. A high score obviously equates to confidence, respect from your peers and the collective adoration of the opposite sex.

    <img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/242h1sn.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    I'll be honest here, it doesn't matter if you can jam every level of that toy guitar game or unlocked all cars in Need for Speed Bling Edition. I don't care if you've developed your own working console out of Lego blocks or built a homebrew software empire. You NEED to play this game to know the complete gaming experience. Please play this game if you have any interest in Retro titles whatsoever. This game is like a tobacco chaw to a NASCAR fan. Lifeblood. It is Zen, Kung-Fu and Flying Monkeys all rolled into one. This game is Bacon - the food of the gods.

    10/10.

    Bacon, people.

    Click Spoiler For Video:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
     


  2. Noitora

    Member Noitora ::

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    Woah, Uniracers seems to be a good game.
     
  3. Domination

    Member Domination GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Donkey Kong Country made the list! I really like it.
     
  4. mario5555

    mario5555 Newbie

    No offense to those who like it, but Miyamoto was right. (He isn't one of the most revered game designers ever for nothin'. )

    It has all the hallmarks of Rare's 2D titles, sloppy play control, the gfx while advanced are muddied, and was one of the games that started the look everywhere, collect everything trend (ala Crash, ect) which I find tedious.

    I played through the first one but was so turned off by it after beating it, than I never had any ambition to play the other two, and to this day I have never even finished DK64 or Jet Force Gemini, must be my complicated relationship with Rare games.

    That's just my take, I'm glad people enjoy it, even though I really don't, but I will say if someone is going to go back and play them anyway, play the SNES games, not the atrocious ugly looking GBC games.

    Looking forward to the next retro games review. Cheers. [​IMG]
     
  5. Sstew

    Member Sstew GBAtemp's Grim Reaper.

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    Agreed, I LOVED Donkey Kong Country, Wasn't a fan of the third one though, Didn't mind Dixie, it was the fat monkey i couldn't stand.

    I think the first was the best, but the 2nd DK country was a close first.
     
  6. granville

    Member granville GBAtemp Goat

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    No offense to mario5555, but in regards to the comment about collecting, it's just not true. While DK64 was indeed focused around collecting in order to even play, you can play through all 3 DKC games without collecting a single thing. It IS an option to collect things to get a better ending in DKC 2 and 3, but it's pretty much optional.

    At any rate, these games' "faults" as you call them are no different than Mario 64's basic gameplay elements (Mario 64 was itself a collectathon and regarded as one of the greatest game ever). So Miyamoto is a hypocrite for his comments bashing the DKC games. He later apologized about the comment calling DKC mediocre and admitted to the foolishness of the statement. After all, he was most likely rather jealous of the games himself. Likely he was rather irritated he himself didn't create the games that would later inspire his own work.

    It basically went like this. Mario inspired DKC which inspired Mario 64. He had the basics of 2D platformers down, and DKC actually expanded them to the highest we've seen. So Miyamoto used the best ideas of the best 2D platformers to create the basis of almost every 3D platformer to come.

    And I can't believe I was forgetful enough to leave out one of the funnest parts of the DKC games- the animal buddies. Oh well. I guess that's screwed me.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Pizzaroo

    Member Pizzaroo douchebag

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    Uniracers is fun, but pretty hard. It's like racing on a sonic course, without the flashiness.
     
  8. Hillsy_

    Member Hillsy_ GBAtemp Regular

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    Always nice to see abit of Retro [​IMG] Hmmm... I didn't like Uniracers, I don't know why..just didn't like it. Donkey Kong Country is a Classic for the Super Nintendo. The Aquatic music was timeless [​IMG] Donkey Kong Country 2 was equally as good, didn't care much for the third outing though. Nice collection, brings back some fond memories.
     
  9. jesuschristmonke

    Member jesuschristmonke GBAtemp Regular

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    Wow. Going to check out the Furry one.

    The game, I mean.
     
  10. mercluke

    Member mercluke ‮҉

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    i remember playing uniracers on a snes emulator as a kid, that game rocked [​IMG]
     
  11. dkwz

    Newcomer dkwz Newbie

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    Aaah, "Below the Root", awesome! Thanks fo the good memories [​IMG]
    "Alice in Wonderland" was very similar and a great game too, both were released on Apple II as well.
     
  12. Satangel

    Member Satangel BEAST

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    I heard of Uniracers before, and I played it on my Wii then. Fantastic game, everyone should play it!
     
  13. jesuschristmonke

    Member jesuschristmonke GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah, I remember that now but I only played it a little.

    Those were the days *snif*
     
  14. RexNebular

    Newcomer RexNebular Advanced Member

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    Fury of the Furries is great. I've never tried Pac-In-Time, so I had no idea it was the same game.
     
  15. loading

    Newcomer loading Member

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    The best dkc part is arguably the 2nd one with a lot of varied themes like winds to fly up, poison filling tower, seals freezing water, the typical donkey coster levels. 1 and 3 don't even come close to that and i really agree with shiggy what made these games great were mostly gfx + and decent (not great) leveldesign.

    yoshi's island tops all of these games (even if back in the snes days i'd argue otherwise which kinda shows that graphics DO matter even if wii fanboys will tell you otherwise).
     
  16. jesuschristmonke

    Member jesuschristmonke GBAtemp Regular

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    How ironic that you would state this on a Retro Thread.
     
  17. thegame07

    Member thegame07 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    OMFG, I forgot all about uniracers untill now. I used to play it with my family when I was a kid, awesome game.
     
  18. granville

    Member granville GBAtemp Goat

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    The problem is that graphics NEVER matter when judging a game. That's WHY the Wii sells so well in comparison to PS3 or 360. most gamers (at least intelligent ones) know that gameplay is what matters. Same in regards to DS selling over the PSP. Great graphics are welcome only if they are an ADDITION to the game, not the only thing good about the game. DKC trilogy had incredible varied gameplay. Even a cut down version on GBC with all of the fancy graphics missing, it was still an incredibly fun game to play. Sure, it was a severe downgrade, but the game was still fun, proving that gameplay is ALWAYS better than graphics.

    I say all this as a person who grew up in the "BIT wars" of the 90's. A time when some systems began to hype themselves with their power (Sega Genesis, PS1, Jaguar). I can see a good game when I play it, and can assure any naysayers that you could strip all the graphics out of the DKC trilogy as well as the music, and replace them with 8bit style graphics and sound and the game would still be awesomely fun to play. As long as the gameplay remains the same, the game would still be a winner.
     
  19. Hillsy_

    Member Hillsy_ GBAtemp Regular

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    I disagree, yes the gameplay would be intact but....it wouldn't be accepted now, times have changed; and children now expect more in terms of graphics and technology.

    I believe the Wii sells so well because of the parents looking for a games machine for there children, also they are attracted to the likes of Wii Fit, Wii Music themselves. It is a family machine and it brings the family closer together, socially more than the other consoles. It also has from a sales point of view the 'gimmicks' too. Nothing at all to do with graphics or gameplay.

    I believe the best that video games had to offer has already gone. People accept what is given now whether it is on the Wii, 360 or PS3.
     
  20. cosmiccow

    Member cosmiccow Original Hippie

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    the kirby breakout is great. also thanks for the other recommendations, these are always appreciated!

    well, the gameboy kirby game looks really cute in action - proof that graphics do matter [​IMG]
     

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