Retro Review #4

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Hadrian, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
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    <b><u>Games Featured:</u></b>

    Creatures (Commodore 64) by Me
    Secret of Evermore (Super Nintendo) by Me
    Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen (Mega Drive/Genesis) by CockroachMan
    Dragon Ball Z - Buyuu Retsuden (Mega Drive/Genesis) by CockroachMan
    Rock n' Roll Racing (Super Nintendo) by P1ngpong
    2400 A.D. (Apple II) by jesuschristmonkeyballs
    Arkanoid (Atari ST) by TrolleyDave
    Tomb Raider (Saturn) a rant by TrolleyDave

    <b>Reviews By Me</b>

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    <b>Game:</b> Creatures <b>Format:</b> Commodore 64 <b>Genre:</b> Platformer
    <b>Publisher:</b> Thalmus <b>Developer</b> Apex Computer Productions <b>Year Released:</b> 1990

    Clyde Radcliffe Exterminates All The Unfriendly Repulsive Earth-ridden Slime...that is what Creatures stands for. The game was by British developer, Apex Computer Productions who have also made the C64 classics Mayhem In Wonderland. It also spawned a sequel Creatures II: Torture Trouble.

    The story goes something like this; Clyde comes back from outer space and have learned that some demons have kidnapped some of Clydes friends and as Clyde you go off onto your quest to rescue them from the evil torturing demons.

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    The game is a scrolling platformer, and to fend off enemies you shoot fire at them. Unlike most platformers today, you couldn't go back only forwards which made the game more difficult. You also collect little mushrooms for which you can trade at the end of the level for weapons. At the end of each world, you are left with a puzzle, fail the puzzle and one of your cute furry friends will get tortured in a brutal gorey way...this added a bit of edge to this platformer.

    The game is actually quite tough in the later stages, sometimes a little too tough which can be quite annoying. It really shows how games are easier nowadays and also not being able to go back for the mushrooms is annoying too. You can't save and also you can't enter passwords to get to later levels, when you die you are dead and you have to start again. Also you only get two pieces of energy on your quest and they can seem to vanish quite quickly in this game.

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    Graphically this was a real treat for C64 gamers, very well made cartoony character spirtes, very well detailed levels and nice backgrounds. Its all very bright and fuzzy but not in a sickening way.

    The sound effects are typical of the late C64 era and the music is very memorable and and pretty funky. Its a favourite among many C64 fanboys.

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    Creatures was released on the C64 and a couple of years later also made its way to the Amiga 500 & the Atari ST. While all played the same, the C64 had more sounds and the music sounded better on the C64 too. It also had a better look about it too, sure it was blocky but it also had character while the other versions just felt like they lost a certain charm as well as looking too clean and the sprites were too cute. Also the C64 version had some great muli-level paralax scrolling too which were absent from this version.

    There isn't much else to say about the game, its a memorable C64 platformer which is tough but at the same time fun to play. The torture sections are fun and really make the game its own. <b>8</b> out of <b>10</b>

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

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

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    <b>Game:</b> Secret of Evermore <b>Format:</b> Super Nintendo <b>Genre:</b> Real Time Action RPG
    <b>Publisher:</b> Square USA <b>Developer</b> SquareSoft <b>Year Released:</b> October 1, 1995

    The first ever American developed SquareSoft game and my own personal favourite. The game used the Secret of Mana engine but had a more real world and sci-fi look to the game. Even though it used the same engine the game is unrelated to the Mana series.

    You play this young lad who along with his dog, gets transported to a fictional world of Evermore. In Evermore you start off in a Prehistoric style land called Prehistoria, from there you have to find your way out and get through other eras like Antiqua (an ancient civilisation world), Gothica (Medievil) and Omnitopia (futuristic). The prehistoria is actually fairly dull and has turned a lot of gamers off but once you get out of it you find yourself into an engaging RPG.

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    The battle system is pretty much the same as Mana, its done in real time but its a little more limited with only a few type of weapons. The dog can also help you in battle, though all it can do is bite it does change breed in each of the era from Wolf up to robotic pooch. You can also use alchemy to help yourself but you'll need to collect ingredients so you can make potions. Your trusty canine companion will help you with this by sniffing the ground and digging up the items. Potions will help you heal yourself, increase your level among other things. Of course the more you fight or mix potions, the more chance you have of leveling up to become more powerful.

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    Another great thing about the game is how you use currency. While other games in the genre just has the same type of currency (even those which involve time travel or different worlds) this one has its own type of currency for each of the time periods. Not only that but also each type has its own exchange rate. You can also buy and trade items in the Antiqua and Gothica worlds and sometimes trading is cheaper than using currency. This adds a little strategy to the game as you'll get to learn whether or not to buy or trade.

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    Graphically this game is amazing to look at, each time period looks different enough to the last one. The sprite & backgrounds are very well made, detailed and animated. It is such a treat to look at.

    The sound is my only complaint about this game, though it has a good quality its just dull and mediocre. The music is completlely forgettable.

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    The game didn't sell well despite its great reviews and the team behind it was sadly sacked. The staff from the development team later on became Humongous Entertainment who went on to create childrens point and click adventures like Putt Putt, Pajama Same & Freddi Fish. They also made the excellent strategy game Moonbase Commander. Nowadays they might fucking awful games in the Backyard Sports range. What a bloody waste.

    There are some people who claim that this game is bad, I reckon that they've only played the first time zone as the rest of the game is an excellent and well made title. In a genre full of fantasy themed games its refreshing to see one that is different. In my opinion its better than Mana. RPG fans owe it to themselves to give this underrated, overlooked gem a long play. Sure the game may be simple for seasoned RPG players but the story and theme really keeps this going. <b>9 out of 10</b>

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

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

    <b><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Reviews from CockroachMan<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>

    This month, we take a look at 2 overlooked anime based fighting games on the Mega Drive!

    <b>Game:</b> Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen (or Sunset Fighters in Brazil) <b>Format:</b> SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis <b>Genre:</b> Fighting
    <b>Developer:</b> Treasure <b>Publisher:</b> SEGA <b>Released:</b> 09/30/1994

    Today, if you ask someone about a fighting game with 4 players at the same time the answer will be pretty obvious. Now, around 15 years ago, this would be a question hard to answer, specially if you asked for a fighting game that supported not only 4 players at the same time, but also using 2 different planes, combos, attack cancel, desperation moves among other crazy stuff! Well, 15 years ago there was a game like that, it was Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen on the SEGA Genesis! Treasure was always famous for their crazy and frenetic games like Bangai-O and Gunstar Heroes, and this game keeps that tradition!

    As you may figure, the game is based on the 90's anime series Yuu Yuu Hakusho. It has eleven characters from the series and it follows no specific storyline, meaning that you have characters from different arcs mixed together, which is fine to me! The characters are all very unique and well balanced, each having 3 or 4 special attacks and a desperation move. My favorite one is Hiei.. because I like him from the anime, he's so cool! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/wub.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":wub:" border="0" alt="wub.gif" />

    <a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    So, the fighting system is a <strike>bit</strike> lot unconventional, you have 2 planes to move and dodge attacks (like on the Fatal Fury series) and unlike most fighting games, you're not always facing your opponent, your character always turn to the side you send him to. Special moves are executed with standard fighting game commands (most are quarter-circle-forward + button or down, down + button) and they suck your power bar.. yes.. there is a power bar and obviously, a health bar, and speaking of those, desperation moves require your health bar to be low and your power bar to be full, they're triggered like the special moves and usually leave your power bar empty! So, use them wisely! The game also let's you cancel attacks by attacking your opponent's attacks! That means.. when your opponent tries to attack you, if you attack him with the right timing, both attacks will be neutralized, and if you're fast enough you can chain a counter to get him! HA!

    With all that, the gameplay can get pretty deep, but the best of all is yet to come. Like I said in the beginning the game can be played with 4 players at the same time! You can make one cool battle royale, a tag battle with 2 teams or if you want 3 vs 1, 2 vs 1, that's your problem! The last 2 modes need to be unlocked in the 1P mode though, and speaking of which, the game has a 1P Mode, VS and a Tournament mode, tournaments can be done in 1 on 1 fights or 2 fighters team battles. The 1P mode has no story at all and you simply have to fight all the characters in a random order, by finishing it you get the extra mode (where you can play the 2vs1 and 3vs1 battles) and an ending depending on the difficulty level and how many continues you used. Finishing it on easy mode will give you NOTHING, yep.. not even credits! Finishing the game on the hardest difficult without the aid of continues will give you a presentation of all the desperation moves in the game! Which is also nothing special.. meh.. <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/dry.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":glare:" border="0" alt="dry.gif" />

    Entering the technical details.. graphics are ok, very colorful and bright, some nice animations, but nothing special.. I personally find the characters on the screen a bit too small. The backgrounds are all based on places from the anime, there's the Dark Tournament arena, the demon world, amongst others.. they are a little to empty for my taste, some animations would be nice. The music is pretty good, fits well into the game, but with the exception of the opening screen and the credits, there are no songs from the series! A 6 button controller is extremely recommended, X and Z buttons are used to dash and dodge while the Y button is used to jump to the other plane, A and B are used for strong and weak attacks while the C button is used to block.

    So.. the 1P mode could be a little deeper, with some story.. maybe some 2 on 1 fights on it, fights could take a little more time (they have only 1 round and can end pretty fast) and the characters could have some more moves IMO, even with the double jumping and special attacks, as a Street Fighter player, having only 2 buttons, I feel that something is missing. Still, there's a lot that can be done in the fights, it's always satisfying to send Hiei's black dragon to follow the other player or to jump to the background instants before Yusuke's charged rei gun hits you, it's the small things that make this game great!

    When this game was made, Yuu Yuu Hakusho was pretty unknown outside Japan, except for one other country.. yep.. yours truly country.. Brazil! The series was aired here in the mid 90's and became very popular, so, Tec Toy (brazilian's SEGA representative) brought the game here with the name "Yu Yu Hakusho: Sunset Fighters"! Back in the days, I played the japanese version, thought.. (I found out about that while writing this actually, the cart is very rare). Like I said, the game has no story, so the only things to be translated are the menus.. still, if you care about that, MIJET released an english patch some time ago. You can grab it at their website <a href="" target="_blank"></a> .

    <a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    Graphics - 8
    Sound - 8
    Gameplay - 10
    Rei gun shots remaining - 4

    Agging 9
    The only problem I see here is the number of characters, I have the feeling that fighting games today have always a big number of characters to select. In 1994, the standard was something between 8 and 12.. so, 11 was ok to that time. But, that might just me.. graphics are fine as long as you're not a big graphics whore <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":P" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" />

    <b>Overall 9/10</b>
    Yuu Yuu Hakusho: Makyou Toitsusen was a pretty innovative fighting game for its time, and till today it's something fun to be played. Definitely one of the best fighting games on the Mega Drive! Fans of the anime series will certainly enjoy it, but people that never saw it might like too.. I, for once, had the chance to play it without even knowing it was based on something and started watching the anime cause one day I was watching TV and saw the guys from that crazy game in it!

    Click spoiler to view video:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

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    <b>Game:</b> Dragon Ball Z - Buyuu Retsuden <b>Format:</b> SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis <b>Genre:</b> Fighting
    <b>Developer:</b> Bandai <b>Publisher:</b> Bandai <b>Released:</b> 1994

    I always see people talking about the DBZ fighting games on the SNES, but, for some reason, the Sega Genesis game is always forgotten. In 1994, Bandai released a DBZ fighting game for the Genesis with the exact same gameplay present on the SNES games, like every Genesis version at that time, graphics and sound were a little shabbier but everything else was intact. Not only that, but it was also the only 16 bit game were you can play as Krillin, Recoome and Ginyu! And, well, changing bodies is always fun! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

    <a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    For those that never played a classic DBZ game, let's start with the basics: A punches, B kicks and C is used to fly (a 6 button pad is useless here). Unlike most fighting games, you don't need to stay always close to your enemy, once you're out of the screen, however, the screen gets divided and you can press C to fly! Fighting in the air is pretty much the same, you move a little slower and can't duck, but other than that, everything else applies. Fighters have a KI bar that needs to be charged by pressing A+B for some time, the KI bar is used for KI blast attacks, every character has a weak blast (back, forward + A) a medium blast (usually quarter circle back + A) and a strong one (quarter circle back, forward + A), When a medium/strong blast is used and characters are too far from each other, the game stops for a while showing a brief animation, the other player, then, can try to deflect it, evade by going to the sky/floor or throw his own blast which results in a KI blast battle! Who presses the A button faster wins.. evading and deflecting are a lot harder that it sounds, requires a good timing some special commands.. Android 18 can also create an energy shield, but that's only her.

    There are also character specific moves that drain the KI bar, like Krillin's Kienzan (or Destructo Disk), and melee moves that can be used all the time. KI blasts drain a lot of KI energy and recharging it leaves you vulnerable, so they can't be abused, some times a more traditional battle has to happen.. that depends on the players strategies and stages, while some are huge, some are small and can give a hard time to those relying to much on special attacks.

    As expected, you can play versus battles against a friend, a CPU, or watch a CPU VS CPU fight (I honestly don't know why anyone would do that, but the option is there). You can also play the Story Mode with any of the 11 characters in the game. Each character has a different story, with different opponents in a specific order, your last opponent also changes according to your character, and obviously, so does the ending. Story mode would be a little more enjoyable if I could understand it (I played the japanese version, but it's good to point that this game was also released in France, since I don't speak french either doesn't make much difference to me). Playing with friends is fun, battles can be pretty long and winning a beam battle is quite satisfying! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />

    <a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a><a href="" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="" height="140" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    Graphics are not as good as they could be IMO, some backgrounds are too similar and characters could be a little more detailed and colorful. Also, there are some lock ups during the fights, specially when people go to de sky or land. Music is not bad but a bit too generic, nothing from the series.

    It's hard to talk about this game without mentioning the SNES games, since they are so similar. I can't really say that the Genesis one is better than the SNES ones, but the gameplay is as good as in those games and the character were better selected IMO (Fuck yeah Krillin and Ginyu!). So, if you never played a 16 bit DBZ game and like DBZ, or simply like 2D fighting games and want to play something different for a change, do yourself a favor and play this!

    Graphics - 7
    Sound - 7
    Gameplay - 9
    Power Level - over 9000!

    Agging - 9
    This has the same problem YYH has, too few characters for today's standards. But if you don't mind that.. it's still one fun fighting game!

    <b>Overall 7.5/10</b>
    Dragon Ball Z on the Mega Drive is great to be played with friends, the story mode can be a good challenge to pass the time, specially if you can understand it.. or like looking at pretty pictures! If you're one of those people that liked the SNES games but never played this one, it's totally worth it!

    Click spoiler to view video:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    <b><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Review by P1ngpong<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>

    <!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec--><img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Rock N' Roll Racing <b>Format:</b> SNES, SEGA Mega Drive/Genesis, GBA (straight port) <b>Genre:</b> Battle Racing <b>Developer:</b> Silicon & Synapse (now known as Blizzard Entertainment) <b>Publisher:</b> Interplay <b>Released:</b> 1993 (2003 GBA)

    Years ago, before the all conquering Warcraft and Starcraft existed, Blizzard Entertainment, then know as Silicon & Synapse, created a game, a racing game, one of the best 16bit racing games to have ever been created. The name of the game is Rock N' Roll Racing. RNR Racing is a futuristic, 3D isometric, battle racing game, in a similar vein to Mario Kart and Wipeout. But this is no cutesy Nintendo racer, this game is hardcore and brutal, just like Rock and Roll!

    In this game you take part in a futuristic Grand Prix style competition called the Indianapolis Super Cup. You have six selectable characters to chose from, plus a hidden character called Olaf from the game The Lost Vikings, which was also developed by Silicone & Synapse. Each character has two attributes in his or her favour (Olaf has three), these consist of things like acceleration, cornering, top speed and jumping. The racing takes place on five planets, all of which have a unique theme and style, whether it be an ice world, dessert world and so on. This leads to each planet having its own specific hazards to be wary of. Each planet also contains its own specific character that will compete against you, usually this character is tougher then the rest of the AI racers and can be considered a level boss of sorts. You accumulate points and money from competing in each race, each planet has a division A and B you have to work your way through, if you dont get enough points in a specific division you must start that division again.

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    On the track you compete against three other racers, in VS mode one of these players can be human, otherwise they are all AI controlled. The VS mode of this game plays exactly the same as the one player mode, there is no direct head to head battle mode to play, so you have to compete in the Grand Prix if you want to play with a friend. Just like in single player mode you both earn money and points for competing, and if one of the players doesn't get enough points to progress you have the option of leaving him behind or replaying the division.

    The track layouts are simple, and repeated in most of the planets you play on. However different hazards like ice, lava, oil etc, and the theme behind each planet makes them unique in their own way, and so they don't feel repetitive. As well as hazards each track is littered with bonuses also, you can pick up money and health and hit speed boosts to rocket you along. Every track has ramps of some sort for you to jump, and regardless of the track or planet you are always in danger of mistiming a jump, and flying off the track to your destruction.

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    The main emphasis of this game is battle racing. When playing RNR Racing you will be destroyed, a lot. Getting blown up only slows you down however as you respawn a few seconds later. One of the best features of this game, and quite unique for the time it was released, is the heavily customisable options for the vehicles. The money you earn can go towards more ammunition, a better engine, armour, nitros, mines and so on. There are several cars to chose from, and as you progress more powerful, fater cars become available, equipped with more powerful weapons and so on. Each car has a forward attack like a laser, rocket or homing missiles. A rear attack such as oil slicks, mines and cluster mines. And a nitro boost or jump. You can equip up to seven of each a lap, after you complete a lap all ammo is replenished.

    The customisation and the way your ammo is replenished each lap can make the races very tense and tactical. You can customize your car so you have your own racing style, you can be really fast, heavily armoured, have a ton of weapons and so on. You can concentrate mines and oil slicks in certain places, such as corners and boosts to trap the other racers. However you are also vulnerable to these so the choices you make can effect you also. Destroying someone at the start of a lap can mean they are right behind you near the end of the lap with full ammo, using all your ammo to quickly can lead you to be vulnerable in the middle of a lap. You have to balance and tactically use everything at your disposal to win each race. The actual controls take a bit of getting used to, the isometric view takes about two or three races to adjust to, but when you do you find the controls are very responsive and the battling and racing very fun. After the first planet the "boss" racers are very tough, they always have the latest available vehicle and they wont hesitate to destroy you and pick up any health or money scattered around the track before you do.

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    As its name suggests RNR Racing relies heavily on its excellent soundtrack, 5 classic rock songs are on the SNES version (One more is included on the Genesis version). Songs like Paranoid by Black Sabbath, Born to Be Wild by Steppenwolf and Bad to the Bone by George Thorogood are re-orchestrated in 16bit midi glory. There is also a running commentary by the games commentator Loudmouth Larry, which is really accurate and adds to the feel of the game. Considering the limitations of the console, the music and speech are highly impressive and the commentary especially brings many a commentary on today's games to shame.

    Graphically everything is nicely done here, there's nothing spectacular to look at, but the pseudo 3D isometric graphics do the job, even at high speed. The cars are nicely animated, and the tracks and characters are also well imagined. Looking at the game your jaw wont drop, but there's not much to complain about here either.

    The gameplay of RNR cant be faulted, its rock solid and loads of fun. The tight controls, music, sound, style and presentation really make the whole game really enjoyable. Its a shame a proper head to head versus mode was not included, but even doing a Grand Prix with a friend is really enjoyable, even now a whole day can be lost competing against each other. I cant really fault this game in any major way, the Grand Prixs can at times get a tad repetitive, but given this is just a 16bit racer, what it does, it does really well. Dare I say I prefer this to Mario Kart in many ways, its less cutesy, it feels like a more grown up, hardcore racer then Mario Kart. I find the racing more brutal in RNR, a lot more tactical, you find yourself less at the mercy of chance like you do with Mario Karts power ups. You can really customise the way you race in this, and plan ahead. Would others consider this a Mario Kart beater? Possibly, it depends on your tastes, personally I think its right up there as one of the best racers, well, ever really. I would highly recommend Rock N' Roll racing to any serious retro gamer to add to their collection. If you have a DS or GBA grab the GBA version, its a straight port of the SNES original pretty much. Overall I would give this a 9/10, if you've never played this game, get it now!

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    Click spoiler to view video:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    Link for online demo: <a href="" target="_blank"></a><!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

    <b><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Review by jesuschristmonkeyballs<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>

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    <b>Game:</b> 2400 A.D.<b>Format:</b> Apple II <b>Genre:</b> Adventure
    <b>Developer:</b> Chuck Bueche <b>Publisher:</b> Origin Systems <b>Released:</b> 1987

    Before Wasteland, before Fallout, before the Segway scooter, the Hot Pocket, rap music, endemic banking corruption and even before the compact disc, video games couldn't rely on flashy graphics, but rather lines and dots. For this reason developers relied on creative storytelling, deep plots and the occasional fapworthy appeal to general Hedonism. Are those things a fair trade off against forty-eight permutations of a World War 2 shooter in 1080p? This Heathen thinks so. And you probably agree, because you're reading Retro Reviews right now instead of making fart jokes on the portal Shoutbox.

    So getting back to the story, imagine you live in a futuristic dystopia where human movement is monitored, actions are tracked and freedom is subdued under the threat of great bodily harm. Or just ask an American or Brit how it is. Well, twenty years ago this was a novel concept. And this game was developed under that premise.

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    There are robots that serve many different functions that range from hurting you to hurting you really bad. But with the help of an underground network of rebels, you can return the favor. Through a series of "fetch" quests, you can find broken equipment, get it fixed and release the unchecked aggression of a confused teenager who couldn't understand how Wham! was still a musical act. There are computer terminals to hack, parole officers to ditch and subways, a city and a garbage dump to explore. The whole thing is like a monochrome Guy Fawkes with laser weapons. And lest you think I'm trying to make it sound more interesting
    than it actually is, well then you're probably right. But most peoples frame of reference these days doesn't include much of what drove us here. These are building blocks on the stairway to gaming glory where we anticipate a 3D Lara Croft hologram will happily cause some of us marital strife. As such, I must rate this, not the 9/10 it deserved originally, but 5/10 with the assurance that most any O.G.s (Original Gamers) will find a playthough quite rewarding.

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    Sorry I can't find any videos.

    <b><!--sizeo:4--><span style="font-size:14pt;line-height:100%"><!--/sizeo-->Reviews by TrolleyDave<!--sizec--></span><!--/sizec--></b>

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    <b>Game:</b> Arkanoid <b>Format:</b> Atari ST <b>Genre:</b> Breakout clone
    <b>Developer:</b> Taito <b>Publisher:</b> Ocean/Imagine <b>Released:</b> 1987

    I remember the first time I played this, I'd just acquired the latest Automation packed disk and it was on there. The other games on the disk weren't anything particularly special but this was a real diamond. Strangely Automation had already released Arkanoid II:Revenge of Doh on a previous disk which I really enjoyed but the level designs on the first were alot more enjoyable, well in my opinion anyway.

    I know most of you will already know what Arkanoid is but for those that don't it's basically an evolution of the original Atari Breakout. You control "the Vaus", which you use as bat to break through the bricks to reach the next level. There is a story behind the game, although it doesn't add any depth to the game - it's there mostly to explain why you're a bat bouncing balls to break bricks! The intro screen text is :


    Unlike Breakout though there are variations on the bricks; some are indestructable, some need to be hit multiple times - you know the score. There are also power-ups which are dropped randomly from destroyed blocks. These range from a larger bat to a laser cannon, there is even negative power up. These add an incredible amount of fun to the game. There are also alien ships which bounce around the levels. All they really do is bounce around the levels, they don't attack you, but hitting them does cause the ball to bounce back.

    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    The level designs are superb, they start off easy and each level gets that slight bit harder. By about level 15 they've become frustrating but not frustrating enough to make you snap the disk over your knee! When you have one brick left to hit that's stuck bang in the middle of a bunch of indestructable blocks and you have to knock the ball through that one bloody gap but keep missing by pixels you might find yourself ripping out chunks of your hair though.

    The graphics, while not groundbreaking, are big, bright, colourful, solid and more than functional. Although this is where the Atari ST version shines over any of the other versions. I tried the Amiga version and the aspect ratio seemed odd, everything felt a little stretched. The Atari ST version looked perfect, although not quite as colourful as the arcade version or the Amiga version. There isn't really alot you can say about the graphics except that they're perfect for the game.

    The sound was fantastic, specially considering it was playing on an Atari ST. It was loud, futuristic and lacked the tinniness that alot of the ST games had, because let's face it - the sound chip on the Atari ST was pretty weak. The Amiga version definitely had the edge on this one, but then again when DIDN'T the Amiga sound great! Again though, there's nothing particularly special about the sound, it's slightly more that functional but you won't be telling your mates how great it is.

    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    The gameplay was where this little beauty shined though. It really should be a boring game, hitting balls and breaking bricks doesn't sound like the most gripping of games. The layouts of the levels though make it more of a puzzle game than just a standard breakout clone. The brick placements have definitely had alot of thought put into them. Sometimes you'll find yourself only having to break a few bricks but they're place bang in the middle of a tricky layout of indestructable bricks.

    You'll find yourself punching your monitor when you finally get the ball into the space and the bleedin thing misses all the bricks and comes bouncing back out at 100 miles an hour! The mouse controls are great though, which really helps. Again the ST beats the Amiga version in this department. The Atari ST version just feels alot more fine tuned than the Amiga version, and the sensitivity seems perfect. Sometimes with the Amiga version the controls feel a little sluggish and moving the mouse quickly doesn't get the bat there in time, the ST version suffers none of these problems. No matter how fast you move that mouse the bat keeps up making it a much more enjoyable play.

    This is one of the most enjoyable games I've ever played and I still find myself going back to it now for a quick blast. I always play the Atari ST over the Amiga version but it's really just down to personal preference. It's definitely a game you should be trying out though, and one that proves that functional graphics are more than fine when you have outstanding gameplay. If you're only experience with Arkanoid is the poor attempt DS version then I'd say grab Steem (Atari ST emulator) and Automation packed disk number 63 and play this gem of a game as it's meant to be played.

    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Graphics : 8/10 - Nothing particularly special but they do look great.
    Sound : 7/10 - Again, nothing particularly great but what's there sounds fantastic.
    Gameplay : 10/10 - One of the most fun and addictive games I've ever played.

    Click spoiler to view video of Amiga version:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!

    And now a special rant by TrolleyDave <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/yaypsp.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":yaypsp:" border="0" alt="yaypsp.gif" />

    <b>Tomb Raider.</b>

    Bloody Tomb Raider, such a massively popular game but one that I've never enjoyed. I remember picking it up for the Saturn after all the hype and thinking what the fuck is this poor excuse for a 3D platformer.

    The graphics looked pretty good and the sound was as good as anything you'd expect from a CD based console but the controls were piss poor. I don't mind a tough, frustrating and challenging game but all that should come from level design and your general lack of skill at the game.

    Not like this wreck of a game. The number of times I found myself running to jump a ledge, hitting the jump button and half a second later watching the tart drop to her death because it just didn't register fast enough made me scream at CORE loudly through my telly. A game like this needs ultra-responsive controls, something this bloody thing lacked.

    I mean let's face it, if Sonic or Mario controlled like this nobody would have enjoyed them. Stick some big tits on a polygon model though and everyone seems to forgive it. It was the start of the better graphics and shittier gameplay trend. People didn't care that the game was about as enjoyable as a hydrachloric acid enema, they still bought it in droves. Why, damn you, why!

    I'll tell you why, because the main character had bleedin tits. I remember hearing alot of the fans say that's what made it so great, you got to play as a woman. If people really want to play as a woman then pick up a decent game and put on a bloody dress while you do it. Let's face it, she didn't even look that hot so you'll probably look about the same.

    "Oh but the puzzles were great" I hear you say? Bollocks were they, they were tedious. Made even more tedious by the fact that the controls were utter shite. They were just so clumsy and unresponsive. You know those really stupid people who you've got to explain stuff a million times to before they even begin to grasp the concept of getting it right? Controlling Lara Croft in the original TR was like controlling one of those people. Maybe I was spoilt by how controllable most 8/16 bit era 2D platformers were I don't know, but I found the TR controls just bloody horrible. They didn't improve on the Dreamcast either, they were still slow and unresponsive - the graphics just looked nicer.

    I blame brain-washed Sony fanboys for the initial popularity. They were the ones who I heard raving the most about it. Talking about 3D environments and CD quality sound (which is also something that annoyed the hell out of me, of course it was CD quality sound - it was a god-damn CD player) and other such bollocks. Nobody talked about it actually being fun. It's a bleedin game, games are supposed to be fun not lead you to early onset baldness.

    <img src="" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    And this is for you TD:
    <object width="425" height="355"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="355"></embed></object>

    Again thanks to every mofo who contributed to this thread, I had two other reviews but thought I'd save them for #5 as I may not have much time to do reviews for that one. Back in March.
  2. raulpica

    raulpica With your drill, thrust to the sky!

    Oct 23, 2007
    PowerLevel: 9001
    Great work, guys!

    Creatures intrigued me [​IMG] Great graphics for a C64 game. I'm gonna try it!

    And it's nice reading something about the first Origin Systems games [​IMG]
    They were one of my favourite developers... too bad EA killed them [​IMG]
  3. CockroachMan

    CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

    Jan 14, 2006
    Rock'n'Roll Racing is one of my favorite racing games ever! I wish Blizzard could make a new one [​IMG]

    I have much more respect for p1ngpong now! [​IMG]

    Secret of Evermore was great indeed! Almost as good as Mana, but I never finished it..
  4. Zamo

    Zamo GBAtemp Regular

    Oct 10, 2007
    Cape Town, South Africa
    I remember playing Evermore with my cousin, we loved that game. I liked it more than Secrets of Mana, I was a strange kid [​IMG].
  5. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    Cheers folk, the next thread will probably come out later rather than sooner.

    Busy times ahead.
  6. p1ngpong

    p1ngpong Unamused frog

    Former Staff
    Apr 18, 2008
    DS Scene
    Great reviews all round guys, I enjoyed them all. I think I will check out Secret of Evermore especially, its one of those games I keep hearing about but have never played.

    Thanks cocky, maybe one day I will have respect for you also. [​IMG] (joke, RNR is awesome, I enjoyed playing it again for this)

    And Dave, you pretty much have summed up my feelings about Tomb Raider, I hate the PSone games, and just so many people bang on about how great they are. I couldnt play any of them for more then ten minutes. Tits sell I guess.
  7. X D D X

    X D D X GBAtemp Advanced Fan

    Apr 25, 2008
    New Zealand
    New Zealand
    Nice reviews, that Yu Yu Hakusho game looks pretty nice and i'll probably check out that DBZ one too.
  8. jaz

    jaz Advanced Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    If you're going to be playing Secret of Evermore, be sure to check out the two-player patch here.
  9. ConJ

    ConJ The Toker

    Jul 18, 2008
    Creatures. Thanks guys, youve bought back so many memories for me. [​IMG] I loved this game back in the day. I wonder if they will ever put it on the Virtual Console.
  10. Hadrian

    Hadrian Better than Craigslist

    Former Staff
    Oct 12, 2004
    John Rowlands who created Creatures 1 & 2 as well as Mayhem In Monsterland has said that it may hit VC. I just hope it doesn't have sound & gfx errors like Mayhem VC had.
  11. wilddenim

    wilddenim Candy!

    Sep 4, 2007
    Great reviews, guys!

    Nice rant, TrollyDave! Tomb Raider was my first ever Playstation 1 game, it came with the console. Needless to say, I had to play it as it was only one game I had at the time. Well, that's a lie, another game was Busby 3D which sucked balls.

    I have completed the game which was difficult because I disliked (not loathe but nearly there) the game. I was in my S1/2 (Year 8 or 9 to you? 12/13 years old) and shared classes with horny boys. They were always commenting on Lara's boobs. I thought her boobs looked quite triangular!

    I had been stuck on first level(area) in this game for months and months. I had no internet access and my school also back then so I couldn't check out a walkthrough. Turned out, I needed to look for a switch. WHAT!! It was fucking flat and looked like a frozen wee on the wall. That was how bad the graphics were on Tomb Raider.

    You can imagine the digging from my classmates when I asked for help!
  12. jesuschristmonke

    jesuschristmonke GBAtemp Regular

    Jun 13, 2008
    United States
    The Global Economic Plantation
    As always, thanks to Hadrian Uranium & the other reviewers for keeping this awesome. LMAO at TrolleyDave's rant.
  13. jeff2805

    jeff2805 Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    United States
    Nice review of Rock'n Roll Racing. I remember playing that game over and over. That was the best racing game on the Super Nintendo. Should be on V.C. [​IMG]
  14. Goshogun1

    Goshogun1 GBAtemp Fan

    Jun 20, 2007
    United States
    Nice article. But, I will always have an intense hatred for Secret of Evermore. Not that its a bad game, but the fact that Seiken Densetsu 3 was never released, and this was. Never got over that.
  15. plasmatron

    plasmatron GBAtemp Fan

    Jul 22, 2004
    Gambia, The
    Oh yeah the Rowlands brothers [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Amazing what they squeezed out of the almighty bread bin.
    RETROGRADE is a fantastic shmup by them. Try it.
  16. Hillsy_

    Hillsy_ GBAtemp Regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    It feels so great to see some of the older titles, but then again; it reminds me of what I use to have. And then..well it brings a tear to my eye.
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