Retro Review #3

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Hadrian, Jan 17, 2009.

Jan 17, 2009

Retro Review #3 by Hadrian at 1:32 PM (4,842 Views / 0 Likes) 24 replies

  1. Hadrian
    OP

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    The first one of the year, hopefully this thread will get you into some games that you've not played before. Maybe you'll also learn new stuff about these games that you've not known but what I've learnt is that I'm a heartless monster and also that games based on cartoons where way better in the last century.

    Again my reviews aren't very in-depth, I'm not much of a reviewer but I hope you can see past that. The other reviews are far more in-depth so enjoy.

    There three other games that I wrote about but the reviews have suddenly vanished off my PC, but hopefully I'll find them otherwise I'll just re-write them but included in this months thread are:

    Superfrog (Amiga)
    Little Nemo: The Dream Master (NES)
    Medal of Honor (Playstation)
    Cho Aniki (PC Engine Super CD)

    Member reviews:
    Animaniacs (Mega Drive/Genesis) by CockroachMan
    Ultima: Exodos (NES) by Jesuschristmonkeyballs
    M.U.L.E. (NES) by Jesuschristmonkeyballs.

    <b>Reviews By Me</b>

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/SF0.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Superfrog <b>Format:</b> Amiga 500 <b>Genre:</b> Platformer
    <b>Publisher:</b> Team 17 <b>Developer</b> Team 17 <b>Year Released:</b> 1993

    A long long time ago the excellent British developer called Team 17 made games that weren't in the Worms franchise, and most of the games were excellent. This is one of those but unlike most of their other games it never got a sequel.

    The game was released on Amiga 500, PC & the CD-32. They're all pretty much the same but the PC version isn't as bright, CD-32 version would be great had it not been for the horrid controller. For me the best is the Amiga version, it has the looks and plays the best plus I get cheap thrills when I play on an Amiga.

    The story goes like this: There is this foppish Prince, who suddenly an evil witch turns him into a frog. The witch then kidnaps his Princess piece of skirt. He then mopes about a bit until he finds a bottle of Lucozade which he drinks and thus becomes SUPERFROG! He stops moping about and then goes on the quest to rescue his lady friend.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/SF2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Like a lot of Amiga games back then it was sponsored by something. Zool was sponsored by the lollipop maker, Chupa-chups, James Pond 2: Robocod was sponsored by Penguin Biscuits and Cool Spot was at the time the mascot for 7up. Now the product placement in the game didn't really get in the way, you just saw Lucozade bottles around and you could collect them.

    There are six worlds in the game and each world has three levels each, and to get through each level you'll have to avoid the many enemies. Some enemies can be jumped on and some you can throw this green creature called Destructospud which you can collect. Some enemies can only be avoided, which is nice as it makes it a touch more difficult. As well that there are many deadly traps around the worlds but most seasoned gamers shouldn't have too much trouble with those. To aide you on your quest you can collect Lucozade to top your energy up and also a pair of wings that will enable you to jump higher and also fly for a short period of time. At the end of each level there is of course an exit but the exit won't be open, to open the exit you'll have to make sure that you have collected enough coins. Then after you have completed each level you will be graded on your ability, Mr Ploppy is the lowest and Frog God is the highest. There is one level which isn't platform based and instead a version of Team 17's own Project-X scrolling shooter, this is called Project-F and plays just as well.

    Another thing to aid you on your quest is a slot machine game that you can play after you have completed each level. You get to gamble to win little prices but the main one is to get a level code which you obtain by getting three cans of...you guessed it, Lucozade!

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/SF1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Team 17 made games very well and they also made them look great too as this game is a treat to look at. Bright colourful well drawn animated sprites against bright colourful well drawn background and its pretty damn smooth too, you can't really ask for more from an Amiga 500 2D game. The game screams out character and its all pretty jolly and wonderful.

    The sound is exactly what you'd want from the game, well made and very memorable tunes and sound effects that will delight. The score is by Allister Brimble who has done some excellent scores for Team 17 as well as the Dizzy series & Descent II. The guys scores are so good that many people actually listen to them on their stereos.

    It is a pretty standard platformer with fairly generic level themes but its a game that is extremely well made, you can tell that the developers had a lot of fun making this and took care with each level. This game may not be difficult but it is still a classic example of a great platformer and is absolutely fun all the way through. The game is predictable but never boring or tedious, you just don't care as its so much fun. Its nearly perfect, had it not been for the generic themed but well made levels it would be. <b>9 out of 10</b>

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/SF3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Click spoiler for video:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!



    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/nemo1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Little Nemo: The Dream Master <b>Format:</b> NES <b>Year Released:</b> 1984
    <b>Publisher:</b> Capcom <b>Developer</b> Capcom

    NES platformers by Capcom = win! Well mostly, this title was designed by Tatsuya Minami & Tokuro Fujiwara both of which have produced some of the great games of all time (and pretty much made Capcom) and was based on the film Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (which was loosely based on a early 20th century comic strip) which though was a commercial failure has become quite a cult hit

    You play a small boy named Nemo and all of the levels revolve around his dreams where he is travelling from Slumberland to Nightmare Land to battle the evil Nightmare King. To aid Nemo in his quest, he has sweeties, which momentarily freeze enemies. These sweeties also can be fed to the many helper creatures which, when fed, will let you ride them. Each of these creatures have certain abilities. On the mushroom level you get: Frog - Jumps high & also lets you bop enemies to death, Mole - lets you dig & Lizard - helps your climb to hard to reach places. Gorilla - strong, lets you punch enemies and also helps you climb, Hornet - lets you fly & shoot poisoned darts. Those are just some of the creatures you can control. Once you've reached Nightmare Land you can use The Royal Scepter which is a sort of wand that shoots out beams.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/nemo2.jpg?t=1231940900" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    The games levels are very bright and colourful and are well drawn for a NES title, though when there are many enemies on the screen the sprites do tend to flicker a bit. Sound wise the effects are very nice and do the trick but the music is extremely memorable and you end up finding yourself whistling its various tunes after playing for a while. This comes as no surprise as the composer is none other than Junko Tamiya who has composed such games as Bionic Commando, Strider, 1943 & Sweet Home which later became the inspiration to Resident Evil.

    Though childlike in appearance and theme, some gamers will find this a touch difficult even though you have energy bars I have fount that some levels can be a bitch to get through. The game still hold well today, despite the flashing sprites when things get busy and really shows that Capcom really know how to do a licensed game well. Capcom still holds the Nemo video game license so it would be great to see this on Virtual Console one day or even a whole new game. <b>8 out of 10</b>

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/nemo3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Click spoiler for original commercial:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    <b>Click spoiler for Video:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!


    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/moh1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Medal of Honour <b>Format:</b> PlayStation <b>Genre</b> First Person Shooter
    <b>Publisher:</b> Electronic Arts <b>Developer</b> DreamWorks Interactive/Elfeg Productions <b>Year Released:</b> November 11th, 1999

    The first game in the long winded series, and in my opinion the best & its also my favourite PlayStation game. Ok prepare to flame me, but I prefer this to GoldenEye 64.

    The whole concept was apparently taken to EA from none other than Steven Spielberg! The developers was so intent in making an authentic WWII FPS game that they bought in US Marine Captain Dale Dale who served as the game's military advisor, he also helped with Speilbergs own Saving Private Ryan movie. Not only that but he put some of the games staff through some combat training!

    You play the role of the fictional Lieutenant Jimmy Patterson, who was recruited to the OSS. The game takes place during the near end of World War II. The goal of the game is to complete objectives, such as destroying enemy positions, and kill enemy German forces in the process. Unlike many WWII games that followed afterwards, this you were an alone solider and not once did you have to join a team at any point .

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/moh2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Gameplay it all works very very well, controlling this game is pretty good, aiming is never a problem and I can always get a precise shot in. The buttons are very well placed and I never press a wrong button. At the end of each mission you are graded on your performance and the more skill you use the better your grade.

    The enemies had some pretty good AI back in the day, it was very rare to see an enemy run away from you in a game, let alone pick up a hand granade to throw it back to you! Sometimes the enemies hid behind obstacles and sometimes when you throw an grenade in a room full of Nazi soldiers one brave soliders would just lay onto the grenade and end his live just to save his fellow comrades. I think its safe to say that the enemy reactions and AI pretty much excelled any FPS back then, even on the PC!

    Multiplayer however was pretty meh, it is clear that it was just tacked on. The maps just don't fit a multiplayer style battle at all for me and also players don't move fast enough for a good old fashion game of cat and mouse.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/moh3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Graphically like most PSX games the enemy models looks sort of blah now, dogs seem to have triangular legs but back then it was pretty good for a PSX game. However the animations were really good. The backgrounds are well detailed though and really help the WWII theme come through well.

    Soundwise it was amazing, the music & background sounds just created some great atmosphere. The score also helps sets the tension within the game, you really couldn't fault it at all and really was verging on masterpiece at times. The music was composed by Michael Giacchino who have scored such films as The Incredibles, Ratatouille and the next Star Trek film. In video games he did EA's Black, Call of Duty and Call of Duty: Finest Hour. The sound effects in the game are spot on and very very clear as are the German voice work. If you ever get to play this game, make sure its with a good 5 speaker surround sound system so you can here the explosions boom and echo all over the place. All in all I feel without the authentic sound and atmosphere this game would have been marked down a touch, that is how good the sound is.

    To me this game was a classic, the atmosphere and the accuracy of the controls as well as the excellent level design really make this a great FPS. Sadly because of the fact that 3D games don't age too well it doesn't look as good as it use to look and I really hope that EA could one day remake it for PSN or Live Arcade, maybe even have for the 10th Anniversary this year but still for a PSX game its amongst the best and my personal favourite.<b>9 out of 10</b>

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/moh4.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Click spoiler for trailer:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    <b>Click spoiler for video:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!



    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/cho1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Cho Aniki <b>Format:</b> PC Engine Super CD (via Virtual Console) <b>Genre:</b> Horizontal Shoot-em-Up
    <b>Publisher:</b> Masaya <b>Developer</b> Masaya <b>Year Released:</b> 1992

    An legendary famous shooter, all for the wrong reasons. Yeah some people say its "pretty gay" and yeah I guess it is very camp, but then so was 300 and most of the soldiers in that had women to bonk silly. This was previously a Japanese only game until 2008 when it hit the Virtual Console service, although cheaply without any English translation. Cho Aniki is roughly translated to Super Big Brothers. This first game in the series is nowhere near as explicit as the following games and some may wonder how it got its reputation, but still its pretty camp and weird.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/cho2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    What we have here is basically Gradius but with a Sparta theme, in parts it reminds me of Barbarella. You play either a cape wearing chap named Idaten or a blue hair lass named Benten and these are kinda like your ships in which you shoot the enemies with. They are also accompanied by these two beefcakey camp gentlemen named Samson & Adon, who act as sort of satellites for your character assisting you by shooting out of their head...yeah. These two chap have pretty much become the mascots for the whole series and also do little camp poses on the continue screens. It is suggest that these chaps are the "Super Big Brothers".

    The whole look of the game is what some could say is "fucked up", some of the time you find yourself laughing at the enemies you have to shoot. The enemy sprites are very well drawn and really carry that mashed up Spartan look. While playing this recently via Virtual Console the Mrs looked at me and said "we gotta play this high!", I agree, next time the kid is at her Nans, we're gonna get fucked and play this. I don't recommend this kids, wait until you go to uni. Sound wise its all pretty good, the music like the look of the game is fucking odd, the tunes got inside my head and I feel like I've been abused afterwards but in a good consensual way. The only problem with the music is that its so damn mellow despite what is going on screen.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/cho3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    This is a pretty good shooter, it has the right difficulty and enough flare to separate itself from the other shooters on the PC Engine/TurboGrfx. To be honest without the theme this would be just another shooter but the theme makes it fun. Sadly immature out there have labelled this as being a terrible game just because they feel that its gay, these same people probably have never played the game. If you are into shooters, grown up enough or have a good sense of humour you can play have a lot of fun with this. Remember people, its only gay if the balls rub.<b>7 and a half</b> out of <b>10</b>

    <b>Click spoiler for video:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!
    <b>Click spoiler for video:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!


    <b>Review By CockroachMan</b>

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/an1-1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Animaniacs <b>Format:</b> SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis <b>Genre:</b> Platform Adventure
    <b>Developer:</b> Konami <b>Publisher:</b> Konami <b>Released:</b> 1994

    When I was a kid, Animaniacs was one of my favorite cartoons, so, knowing that, my mom gave me the Animaniacs video game to play on my old Mega Drive (or Genesis for you North Americans). Luckily, for me, unlike today, licensed cartoon games were handled by companies like Konami, Capcom and Sega and were all quality stuff! Animaniacs is no exception to that. In 1994, the show was on the top and so, Konami released 3 games based on the series. They're all named "Animaniacs" and I never played the Game Boy version so I can't talk about that, but on the consoles, Konami decided to make 2 different games for the SNES and Mega Drive. The SNES game is the most known and it's a pretty straightforward platform game, it's not bad and it's definitely prettier than the one in the SEGA console.. not to mention the music (SNES was always better on that). But, Mega Drive owners like me, weren't ditched, the Mega Drive version of Animaniacs was a completely different game. Ok, it was still a platform game, but it was a lot more puzzle oriented, with each of the Warner Brothers having a different ability, it's like a lighter version of The Lost Vikings. So, while the SNES got the prettiest version, the Mega Drive got away with the better gameplay.

    Your objective here is to search the Warner Bros. studios for rare movie props to the Animaniacs new Hip shop! Stuff like the Darth Vader helmet and Indiana Jones hat (obviously they're not Darth Vader and Indiana Jones, but some look a likes, you get the idea). For that, you go through a bunch of movie sets, jumping on platforms and solving box puzzles! Like I said before, each Warner brother has his own ability. All of them can jump, Yakko can move boxes and has a "weapon" that can stun some enemies, Wakko has a mallet that can break stuff and push buttons (but can't stun enemies.. for some reason) and finally, Dot can use her "charm" on characters, "seducing" them and causing different reactions.. thinking now, she's a kid and some kind of animal.. I bet the guy that had this idea posts regularly on 4chan.. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" />

    <a href="http://i39.tinypic.com/154yaok.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/154yaok.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i41.tinypic.com/zvbxbr.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/zvbxbr.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i41.tinypic.com/121c0i9.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/121c0i9.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i42.tinypic.com/df92s5.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/df92s5.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    There are several cameos of characters from the cartoon: Pinky and The Brain, The Goodfeathers, Mindy and Buttons, Slappy, they're all in the game doing some random stuff.. fans of the show should be happy with that.

    The music gives the game a happy and fun felling, nothing amazing, but fits well in the game and gets the job done. Graphics are colorful and ok for a Mega Drive game, but the console can do more than that. In fact, I died in some places cause I couldn't tell if the platforms were really platforms or part of the background! Controls work fine, only the standard 3 buttons are needed, but some parts of the game require a lot of precision from your jumping or simply from your position to push a box or press a button, most buttons in the game need to be pressed with Wakko's mallet, and the mallet animation takes some time, on some situations you need to use it fast and it takes some time to get the right timing. The Warner brothers health is shared and displayed with their face in the corner of the screen, the face starts happy and gets sadder every time you lose health, it's charming and works, but it's very confuse in the beginning and takes some time to get used to.. the levels also have a time limit to complete, which is usually more than enough. Also, you can find stars to collect on the levels, every 100 of those give you one life, and some food that gives you health.

    There are almost no enemies in the game, most of the times you'll just fight Ralph, the Guard. For some reason, Yakko is the only one that can stun him (Wakko's mallet has no effect at all). Most of the challenge in the game is on platforming and small puzzles that are usually centred on Yakko's ability to move boxes or using Wakko to hit something, I feel that Dot is a little underused here.. her skill is quite lame anyway, puzzles could be a little deeper, but when you think about it, the game was aimed for kids so, they're fine.

    <a href="http://i43.tinypic.com/2cdgyz6.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/2cdgyz6.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i43.tinypic.com/md1hsp.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/md1hsp.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i39.tinypic.com/2dlrdw6.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/2dlrdw6.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i41.tinypic.com/kd0k5x.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i41.tinypic.com/kd0k5x.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    <b>SCORE</b>
    Graphics - 8
    Sound - 8
    Gameplay - 7
    Story - 6
    Hellooooooo nurse! - 10

    Agging - 8.5
    Graphics and sound are fine, the game agged well, I just learned that.. I haven't! I really loved this thing when I was 8, but now, at 23.. it is a little silly. But, it should be fun to your little brother/cousin/nephew/son/thing.. if he likes Animanics he shall enjoy it. Don't take the game lightly though, this game is hard! I mean, for 1994 standards, it was ok. But for today's standards, this thing is really hard! Specially for a kids's game.. and it's also short, if you're able to finish it without dying.. 2 hours should be more than enough, I really doubt you will be able to do that thought.. maybe giving it to your little brother is not a good idea after all.. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/unsure.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":unsure:" border="0" alt="unsure.gif" />

    <b>OVERALL 7.5/10</b>
    If you were a fan of the show like me, this might be good to make you remember all the good moments you had with Animaniacs, it brings a nostalgic feeling. Also, it is a pretty solid platform game, it's cool if you're a fan of the genre. Now, If you don't like Animaniacs.. what kind of heartless monster are you!? <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wtf.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wtf:" border="0" alt="wtf.gif" />

    <a href="http://i39.tinypic.com/2rzcl1k.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i39.tinypic.com/2rzcl1k.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i43.tinypic.com/wso6fk.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i43.tinypic.com/wso6fk.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i42.tinypic.com/okpehj.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i42.tinypic.com/okpehj.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="http://i40.tinypic.com/21o80f4.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://i40.tinypic.com/21o80f4.jpg" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    <b>Click spoiler for video:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    <b>Click spoiler for Video:</b>
    Warning: Spoilers inside!



    <b>Jesuschristmonkeyballs Reviews</b>


    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/UE1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Ultima: Exodos <b>Format:</b> NES <b>Genre:</b> RPG
    <b>Developer:</b> Richard Garriott (aka Lord British) <b>Publisher:</b> Origin Systems <b>Released:</b> 1987

    In 1987 "Married with Children" premièred, DeBarge was on top of the world and Ultima 3 was ported to the NES. It was a good year.

    But this isn't about El, Chico or Bunny, nor any of their less talented DeBarge siblings. This is about a solid RPG
    experience on a legacy game console - Ultima:Exodus for NES.

    <img src="http://i40.tinypic.com/29x9dgj.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    It had, at the time a fairly in-depth character creation system. For your four-person party, You choose a race - Bobit (I really don't know what a Bobit is), Fuzzy (Never mind, the joke here is too easy), Dwarf, Elf or Human. The first two races make the best Clerics and Wizards respectively, the Elf is best for thief and the rest are up to you to experiment with or be lazy and look up the faq.

    Once that's over and you grudgingly listen to Lord British waste your time as you mash buttons to get on with it (or
    attentively learn the plot, it's your choice). Now you begin at the world map. You can traverse land and later on the sea, after you take over a pirate ship that appears in later levels. Walking around makes you hungry, so be sure to buy food at towns. One person can buy food and split it with the food command (menu, then select button).

    At this point, you will see black and grey monsters. When you touch them, or they attack you then you will go to a battle screen where there are your four party members against a gang of undead or orcish creatures. Your beginning level wizard and cleric is equipped with a spell (repel ot undead) to kill them wholesale. Do this. Collect the treasure, preferably using the "Open" spell. Repeat. In fact you should repeat until you have ~500 experience points each. Otherwise if you level up too early, your map will be overtaken by tough enemies that take a long time to clear for relatively little reward. To level up, see Lord British and talk with each character.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/UE2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    So yeah, this isn't a walkthrough, but I hope to pique your interest in playing it and help get you under way if (god-forbid) you've never played it before. The magic is pretty standard RPG fare, Clerics heal and Wizards hurt. A strong party will have more advanced magic users than melee fighters.

    With time, you'll learn cool secrets and find items in dungeon basements (usually the lowest levels) and other places, you can learn how to successfully raid a town's gold chests and you will find the lost land of Ambrosia. You can raise stats at various shrines and battle really big dragons and krakens. There is even a legendary mystic weapon and armor you can search for.

    Maybe I'm biased from my fond memories of renting this game every weekend with my friends (and hopelessly starting over each time), but given the retro fun factor I award this game <b>8 out of a possible 10</b> stars or coins or fingerless gloves that hobos wear.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/UE3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Click spoiler for video:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!



    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/MULE1.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> M.U.L.E. <b>Format:</b> NES <b>Genre:</b> Economics Strategy/Simulator
    <b>Developer:</b> Ozark Softscape <b>Publisher:</b> Mindscape/Electronic Arts <b>Released:</b> 1990

    This retro classic is a fun primer in business, resource management and supply & demand.

    You are sent to colonize the planet Irata along with three other human or computer players. You begin by selecting your difficulty, color and alien species. The Tournament difficulty is the most robust and even a new player won't be far out of their element if they jump right into "Tournament" mode.

    You have eight alien species to select from. Some are better suited for certain types of geography or production. The "Flapper" is considered a beginners species and starts with extra money. The "Humanoid" is penalized with less starting cash for being too smart (Hmm, they must not be Earthlings then). CPU players will always be Humanoids. There are descriptions of the remaining species, so you can choose based on your playing style.

    Now you select a plot of land by pressing the A button when the marker hovers over the desired plot. This will happen again at the start of every turn. This is done on a map layout which will serve as the the main playing board. The map has flat land, mountains, a river and one Town Square in the middle. The river spaces are the best for farming food, the most basic of commodities. There are only four river spaces and the CPU players will usually take the ones near the town square. The flat land is best for producing energy, another commodity. The mountains are ideal for farming Smithore - the commodity from which M.U.L.E.s are made. Assuming you selected Tournament mode, there is also a commodity called "Crystite" which in real life is probably best equated to precious metals, gemstones or very rare Pez dispensers.

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/MULE2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    The commodities work like this:

    You need adequate food to have a full turn. If you're short on food, this will shorten the length of time you have to buy M.U.L.Es, outfit them for a work, assess land, catch a wumpus or gamble.

    You need energy to develop any commodity. An energy shortage means less production which means less money.

    Smithore from mining is used to create M.U.L.Es. A shortage of Smithore may cause fewer M.U.L.Es to be available (or sometimes NONE) and it will increase the cost since the MULE Corral owner is a price-gouging crook with something against me personally (alright, maybe I'm reading too much into it).

    Crystite is the original bling. Completely useless, but it makes really sharp looking dubs for your space-ride. Okay, I don't actually know what it's for, but it's usually expensive. Crystite appears at random on the map from the start of the game and can be added if a meteor happens to fall on a land plot. You can't see crystite but you can go to the Assay Office in town, collect a land sample and find out if the Crystite content is high, medium, low or none. You will also see the result of the CPU players land samples, so if they find a high Crystite content then you might be able to get that land on the next turn.

    When it comes to your turn, you start out in the town square. You need to buy a M.U.L.E. (short for Multiple Use Labor Element) from the Corral and then outfit it in one of the store fronts to the left. This is how you select Food, Energy, Smithore or Crystite. Once that is done, take the M.U.L.E. outside (go right or left from inside the Town Square), bring it to one of your land plots and press the A button on the little colored house. This will install the M.U.L.E. on your land. You can only have one M.U.L.E. per plot. If you accidentally press the button outside of your plot then the M.U.L.E. runs away for good. If you decide to change the type of commodity production later, you can do this by taking back the M.U.L.E, re-outfitting him with something else and re-installing it on the land.

    Now if you are happy with your land utilization, go back to town. When you are finished with your turn, go to the pub where you will always win some amount of money from gambling.

    After all players are done, there will be an event which is either good or bad. For instance, a pest attack may take out a whole plot of food or space-pirates may land and steal all of the Crystite. My personal favorite is when a fire breaks out and the store loses all of its stock. This means no competition if you happen to be the sole owner of a commodity type and other players will bid the prices up to the sky!

    <img src="http://i413.photobucket.com/albums/pp215/hadrianofthedead/MULE3.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Next comes the auctions. There may or may not be a land auction, but if there is, it will show you what plot is involved. You can even put yours up for sale at the Land Office in town. All auctions have a time limit, but before that starts you have to designate yourself as a buyer or a seller. Obviously, you need to have a commodity in order to be a seller. During the auctions, players will buy based on their needs and will sometimes buy extra if the price seems low. Be aware that energy and food will spoil. Crystite will usually cost between 72 and 320 (alien dollars?) per unit, so buy low and sell high or produce it yourself. I've actually caused food to be bid up to 230 per unit (very high) and these prices carry over, to some degree, to subsequent turns. You should know though that if the store has stock (or another player sells to the store while they are out) then food and energy prices will go back down to 10 or 15 per unit. You can buy any units that the other players are trying to sell to the store if you want to keep the market cornered.

    After the auctions, all players will be shown on the status screen with their itemized net worth. The game lasts for 12 turns at the end of which a spaceship lands to pick you up and you will then be rated on how well you did. It is a collective score, so if you do well, but the other players didn't then your colony may still be considered a failure. But these days, that just means you ask your government for bailout money. Still though, there is a certain sense of accomplishment in being the "First Founder" of a successful colony. I credit this game with my earliest understanding of business principles and I give it a 7 out of 10 because it has good playability and great replay value but the AI is not quite as good as the Commodore 64 version. It is definitely worth trying for retro-fans.

    A little M.U.L.E. trivia - The planet's name Irata is Atari spelled backwards. The elusive Wumpus you can sometimes see (and catch) in mountainous regions is a tribute to "Hunt the Wumpus" a video game from the early seventies. The game was created by Dani Bunten (born Daniel Bunten prior to gender reassignment surgery) who sadly died of lung cancer in 1998.

    Click spoiler for video:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!


    Thank you for reading, to those who had reviews for this but missed the deadline...you bastards...just kidding <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wink.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=";)" border="0" alt="wink.gif" /> you're reviews can be used for the next one, which should be earlier now that all the New Year & Xmas stuff has gone. Thanks for the reviewers, without you the thread will be nothing but ramblings.
     


  2. Maikel Steneker

    Member Maikel Steneker M3 Fanboy

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    Sorry, I've been a bit busy [​IMG] But I'll write my review soon [​IMG]
     
  3. Static Vision

    Newcomer Static Vision Member

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    I completely agree on the Medal of Honor review for Playstation. My good child hood friend and I used to stay up endless nights playing this game. The multiplayer was great fun but man did we enjoy running through the story. I have many fond late night memories with this game. I also have nightmares about those pesky dogs. [​IMG]

    We enjoyed Goldeneye 64 as much if not a bit more. Temple is pretty epic. [​IMG]
     
  4. Hadrian
    OP

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    I kinda felt bad about throwing grenades at the dogs and then see them try to pick it up and then explode, I know they're only polygons but its not really their war they were fighting.

    Or something.
     
  5. jesuschristmonke

    Member jesuschristmonke GBAtemp Regular

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    I'm going to try Little Nemo. Looks cool.

    That's why I love retro reviews/magazines/discussions. There is so much that I've missed while exiled in the space-ants mothership.
     
  6. Zamo

    Member Zamo GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks for the effort guys, always enjoy these. Animaniacs was awesome, I loved the Sega version but didn't enjoy the SNES one that much.
     
  7. CockroachMan

    Member CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

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    Like Animaniacs, I'll try to review more games that I think were overlooked.. already have 4 to the next 2 threads. Most cartoon based games on 16 bit consoles were good, specially the ones by Konami! Maybe I'll review more of those in the future. And Hadrian, you're a cool heartless monster! [​IMG]
     
  8. granville

    Member granville GBAtemp Goat

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    I first experienced Little Nemo on the NES just before Christmas. I watched the HVGN (happy video game nerd) and his review on it. What an underrated gem.

    Again, I'm sorry for not writing my review. I just don't have the time at the moment. I've also been living off only about an hour or less of internet a day lately. I'm an ass.
     
  9. jmonee84

    Newcomer jmonee84 Member

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    Wow, this was great!! Thanks to all involved!!! I hadn't even heard of some of them! [​IMG] I'm going to try out pretty much all of those games now.
     
  10. TrolleyDave

    Former Staff TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

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    Excellent job as always Hadrian & co. Awesome set of reviews JCMB, and wicked review of Animaniacs Cockroachman. I always though I was the only one who actually liked the game! It's also one of those where the MD version kicked ass over the SNES version, it didn't happen alot but there some games on the MD that stomped all over the SNES versions.
     
  11. falcon64z8

    Member falcon64z8 GBAtemp Fan

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    A little history on the nemo game, since it was based off the movie which was based off the comic strip which was created by a man who was the pioneer of animation Winsor McCay.

    The Medal of Honor review, yes the sound was really great, but I prefer goldeneye instead. It had great moments in MH but I was not into the controller much. As of it being best of the series is another I would not agree with, as Medal of Honor Allied Assault was the best medal of honor made.
     
  12. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    I loved the Animaniacs game [​IMG]
     
  13. tinymonkeyt

    Member tinymonkeyt GBAtemp brat

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    omg. i totally remember little nemo although i usually wouldnt consider myself retro

    my bro played it...hmm
    where did he play it?
    i think it was at his friends house
    i just remember the frog and groundhog digging thing
    twas the good ol days

    anyways
    nice reviews!
    thanks for all the effort you reviewers put into this
    even though i love new games
    im always reminiscent of the older ones
     
  14. Galisteo

    Newcomer Galisteo Newbie

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    Very nice reviews. Congrats. Superfrog brings tons of memories to my mind. I loved it.
     
  15. Hadrian
    OP

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    Thanks for the feedback, this thread may not be as popular as the NDS & Wii ones I do but as long as there are some people into them then they'll stick around.

    Gonna have the next thread out around Feb 1st, if anyone wants to write up a lesser known classic or ones that are maybe overshadowed by others in the genre then feel free to PM me.
     
  16. CockroachMan

    Member CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

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    Already working on it! Sooner then I expected.. gotta hurry! [​IMG]
     
  17. caffeinekid

    Newcomer caffeinekid Advanced Member

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    Good stuff keep up the good work. I love 80s and 90s games - that's why I'm an admin on retroremakes and make new versions of old classics for the pc from time to time. [​IMG]

    Someone is actually starting out on a MULE remake/sequel at the moment that people might be interested in?
     
  18. Hillsy_

    Member Hillsy_ GBAtemp Regular

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    Agree with the Superfrog review, one of the best platformer's I've ever played.. and I've played alot [​IMG]
     
  19. jesuschristmonke

    Member jesuschristmonke GBAtemp Regular

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    There are two or three M.U.L.E. remakes. I believe one is called "Space Horse". I haven't played it so I don't know if it's any good.
     
  20. nl255

    Member nl255 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    There is an unofficial (homebrew) gameboy color port of Ultima 3: Exodus that is much closer to the original PC version than the NES version is and it even includes bonus areas that can only be accessed by beating the original game.
     

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