Retro Review Thread #2

Discussion in 'General Gaming Discussion' started by Hadrian, Dec 10, 2008.

Dec 10, 2008

Retro Review Thread #2 by Hadrian at 3:49 PM (5,184 Views / 0 Likes) 26 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" />

    Its back! Not as many reviews this time from me, I meant to have six done and was ready to write them the last two nights but my kid was awake so its just these three sadly. I hope you enjoy this thread.

    <b>Reviews By Me</b>

    <img src="http://img32.picoodle.com/img/img32/3/11/26/f_CE1m_d99a4a2.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Chuckie Egg <b>Format:</b> Sinclair ZX Spectrum (played on 128k)<b>Year Released:</b> 1984
    <b>Publisher:</b> A&F Software <b>Developer</b> A&F Software

    Chuckie Egg > Donkey Kong. While everyone knows about the influence of Donkey Kong on videogames, not a lot know about how much Chuckie Egg also influenced the industry, though DK has a big influence on this game too (it was originally called Eggy Kong). Also I cannot say for sure when I first played this as it was released two years after I entered the world but its safe to say that this game is one that I can never remember not existing. Its also on of those games that has been ported to pretty much every 8-bit computer there is and recently it has been ported to the mobile too though for me the ZX Spectrum version is the best even if I am a bit of a Commodore fanboy.

    You play Hen House Harry, and the aim of the game is to collect all of the eggs to complete the levels. These levels are timed so you'll have to collect the eggs fairly quickly, to help you there are bits of seed on the ground and if you collect them. In your way are chickens, they walk around eating the seed up and generally getting in your way (for some reason they can climb ladders) and if they touch you then you die.

    <img src="http://img33.picoodle.com/img/img33/3/12/10/f_CE2m_9404da6.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    The first eight levels are pretty much you and chickens and that's it, but the next eight the chickens are removed and this big duck starts flying about the place trying to kill you. Once those eight have been completed the same levels are played out again but this time with both chickens and the duck trying to end your life. Once these eight have been completed, the hens & duck move faster...a lot faster! There isn't really an end to this game, its more about getting an high score and just enjoying yourself.

    The game has no flaws at all, it has a clean look, there is some collision detection but for some reason I like that nowadays. The sound has some retro style bleeps and blops which were good for a Spectrum, though when you jump or collect something it sounds like you've let rip a nice little fart. The gameplay has never ever got boring to me, even though it features the same eight levels over and over the increased difficulty changes the way you play for each set of eight levels.

    Some kids of today won't like it but that's their loss as this is a perfect game for me and one that I have very fond memories of being in maths and playing the BBC Micro version. <b>10 out of 10</b>

    <img src="http://img32.picoodle.com/img/img32/3/12/10/f_CE3m_3becc04.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

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



    <img src="http://img19.picoodle.com/img/img19/3/11/26/f_punisher1m_d9f256d.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> The Punisher <b>Format:</b> Arcade <b>Year Released:</b> April 23rd, 1993
    <b>Publisher:</b> Capcom <b>Developer</b> Capcom

    Once upon a time, games based on comic books were games to look forward to. Comic book games by Capcom however where ones you'd die for as they did them so damn well.

    The Punisher was released into Arcades and was, like many Capcom games in the 90's a side scrolling beat-em-up. You played the part of Marvels anti-hero, the Punisher and also you could play as Nick Fury in co-op mode. The story is pretty simple and follows the comics, avenge the death of your family and kill The Kingping. No contrivity, no gimmicks just a damn fine brawler.

    <img src="http://img26.picoodle.com/img/img26/3/11/26/f_punisher2m_b4c37d6.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Like most side scrolling fighters the combat is mostly just hand to hand and you do pick up the occasional weapon, but also there are sections where you have to shoot baddies and this breaks the gameplay up just nicely. There are various set pieces in the game and they all blend well and not one part of this game feels like filler.

    Other Marvel baddies appear like Jigsaw, Bonebreaker & Bushwacker as well as Bruno Costa and his croanies as miner baddies. As well as those named enemeies the game sported some very good "regular" baddies like sexy ninja women (covered up for the inferior Mega Drive port) and Terminator style cyborgs.

    <img src="http://img33.picoodle.com/img/img33/3/11/26/f_punisher3m_13faf2c.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Graphically it was the typical Capcom fighter that used the CPS board, and thus looked mighty fine. Fine animation, all characters look like how they should look and the backgrounds where well thought out. Soundwise its a pure arcade treat, pleasing music and sound effects that just do the job better than most fighters out there.

    Overall I think its such a shame that Capcom no longer make games like these anymore, though with the recent Bionic Commando Rearmed & Mega Man 9 games revisiting their past glories perhaps they'll make us a new scrolling fighter one day. Also if you enjoyed Cadiliacs & Dinosaurs, you'll love this. <b>9 out of 10</b>

    <img src="http://img33.picoodle.com/img/img33/3/11/26/f_punisher4m_77da490.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

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



    <img src="http://img32.picoodle.com/img/img32/3/12/10/f_MS1m_6e13a3b.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Metal Slug 1st Mission <b>Format:</b> Neo Geo Pocket Colour <b>Genre:</b> Platform shooter
    <b>Publisher:</b> SNK <b>Developer</b> SNK <b>Year Released:</b> May 15th, 1999

    Neo Geo Pocket Colour was one of the finest handhelds around, but sadly it had very little 3rd party support with only Capcom really making games for it. But being by SNK it had some very very fine first party games, one of which was this, the first and best handheld Metal Slug game.

    The Metal Slug series is pretty famous for being one of the best in the run and gun categories, but this couldn't really be achieved all that well on a handheld like the NGPC so instead it was toned down and made a little less linear. While you can still treat this as a run and gun, some of the time you'll need to take it easier to time jumps and duck from various hordes of bullets. Also when you die in this game, you get put into a prison where you must fight to get out by using only a knife.

    One level you are on foot until you get into a Jet, from then on you are in a fairly typical (to the series) side scrolling shoot-em-up. When you get shot down on these levels, your character ejects out of the plane and you must then do a parachute jump and at the same time collect a load of crap and then you have to complete the level on foot, its variety in levels like this that makes this game instantly replayable. The super deformed tanks are also included in this game, and its still just as much fun to gun down and run over the enemy as it was in the arcade games.

    <img src="http://img33.picoodle.com/img/img33/3/12/10/f_MS2m_3dd0a28.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Graphically we have some very well drawn and animated sprites, as well as backgrounds which capture the series very well. The enemy soldiers always react to you when they see you by either looking freaked out or just pointing. Some are hiding behind various obstacles in comedic ways & others even read a newspaper while they're waiting to be attacked.

    The sound could have been better, while they're not bad a few voice samples would have been great. Music is good but you won't find yourself whistling to any of the tunes.

    Controlwise, this game shows how the thumbstick on the NGPC works so damn well and makes me long for Nintendo you copy it for their next handheld. If the NGPC had a d-pad this game wouldn't have worked so well

    Overall this is my favourite Metal Slug, its such a shame that SNK have only done one other sequel to it. The action is very fluid and there are only little slowdown once in a while. The developers have done a really good job in capturing the look and feel while at the same time making it more than just another entry in the series, unlike Metal Slug 7. <b>9</b> out of <b>10</b>

    <img src="http://img33.picoodle.com/img/img33/3/12/10/f_MS3m_73852d7.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

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


    <b>CockroachMan's Reviews</b>


    <i>Note: While I'll try to score the games based on the standards of it's release time, I decided to add an "Agging" score, that won't add to the overall score, but it's supposed to rate how "bearable" the game might be for today's standards. I know, the old graphics > gameplay stuff, and I totally agree with that, but there are some games (specially the first 3D ones), that you might remember as being gorgeous 10 years ago but might crush your poor childhood memories if you try to play them today (Nostalgia is the best anti-aliasing algorithm out there). Also, I won't consider just graphics on that, controls schemes evolved during time too and some might be hard to readapt today, not to mention sound and storytelling. That said.. enjoy the reviews <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /></i>


    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/d/de/Gim_fandango_cover.jpg/256px-Gim_fandango_cover.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Grim Fandango <b>Format:</b> PC <b>Genre:</b> Point & Click Adventure
    <b>Developer:</b> LucasArts <b>Publisher:</b> LucasArts <b>Released:</b> October 30, 1998

    Everyone enters the Land of the Dead with the same objective: getting out of it and moving on to the Ninth Underworld! Crossing the Land of The Dead to get there is not easy, it usually takes 4 years, but depending on how good the person was during his life, the travel can be shorter and more comfortable. The real good souls can cruise the world in a luxury, high speed train, the "Number Nine", taking only 4 minutes instead of 4 years. Manuel "Manny" Calavera works as a travel agent, helping souls to decide which is the best way for them to make the trip but for some reason he's always stuck with the worse clients. One day, he gets sick of it and decides to get a good client by his own means.. his client, Mercedes "Meche" Colomar, runs away and Manny feels the obligation to go after her. The main objective in the game is to help Manny finding Meche and helping her on her 4 years cruise through the Land of the Dead. The game is divided into 4 years, each year bringing new places and situations. Manuel will face big corruption schemes, mobsters, revolutionaries, sea monsters and winged spiders among other things during his quest. The people in the game are all represented as mexican skull figures "<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calaca" target="_blank">calacas</a>", giving the game a very unique look. Other mexican culture references like The Day of the Dead, Mariachis and piñatas are also present in the game. Manny, and other characters in the game have a latin accent and make use of a few spanish words and expressions (Ay chiuaua!). The style is also heavily influenced by <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Film_noir" target="_blank">Film Noir</a>, with obvious references to movies like Casablanca. Grim Fandango has definitely one of the most creative and unique art styles in the Games History.

    <img src="http://i36.tinypic.com/2cy013p.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    This is a pretty unconventional adventure game, you don't point, or click.. you move Manny around and interact with objects using your keyboard (or gamepad if you prefer). Movement is a little weird at first, but you get used to it after some time. Interacting with objects is a little more limited then most games, there's a look, a pick-up and an "action" button.. the action button is context sentive, use it on a character and a conversation will start, use it on a door and it will be opened.

    Grim Fandango was the first 3D Aventure game Lucas Arts made (second and last was Monkey Island 4 fyi), backgrounds are all pre-rendered with some animations here and there while the characters and usable objects are all "real 3D". Graphics are pretty good for it's time, character models on the cut-scenes are pretty close to the playable ones so you don't feel that you're out of the game and then back when they play. The game has a lot of problems with colision detection though, I saw myself stuck on invisble walls a lot of times. Some times is also hard to know where you can and can't go, first time I played the game I passed through a door a bunch of times before realising that it was a door that I could enter <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/tongue.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":P" border="0" alt="tongue.gif" /> . Since there's no mouse pointer to highlight the usable items, when one of those is in the stage, Manny starts looking at it, that's hard to notice some times and when there are two objects too close to each other it's not easy to know which one is he looking at.

    Puzzles are hard as always, but all very logical and can be solved with some thinking. There are 1 or 2 that require timing and those can be pretty annoying.

    <img src="http://i38.tinypic.com/zwephs.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>SCORE</b>
    Graphics - 9
    Sound - 10
    Gameplay - 7
    Story - 8.5
    Manny Calavera's ressemblance with lagman - 6 (could be higher if he had some skin)

    Agging - 8
    Thanks to the very unique art style, the game looks pretty even today. There are some issues with the controls that were common on those days, but were resolved on later games and might fell annoying today. The game also has a lot of compatibility problems with newer machines.. be sure to use the lattest official patch and set the compatibility mode to Windows 98/Me if you're having problems. If you get graphical glitches (like I did), try disabling DirectX hardware acceleration ( start -> run -> type "dxdiag" and disable it on the Display tab). There are also some issues with today's processor's speeds that can get you stuck on some places (like the Conveyor Belt on Year 3), lowering your clock with an application like "CPU Killer" might help on that.
    If you have an old notebook or eeePC and need some games for that.. this is highly recommended!

    <b>OVERALL 8.5/10</b>
    Grim Fandango is a must play for every Adventure Game aficionado out there. The weird controls and the trouble you might have to run it in your new machine are compensated by the captivating and envolving story and it's unique art style.

    Click for video:
    Warning: Spoilers inside!



    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/2/2f/JediKnight-cover.jpg/250px-JediKnight-cover.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Star Wars Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II <b>Format:</b> PC <b>Genre:</b> RPG
    <b>Developer:</b> LucasArts <b>Publisher:</b> LucasArts <b>Released:</b> October 9, 1997

    This year, with The Force Unleashed and Lightsaber Duels, LucasArts promised to bring a true lightsaber experience using the Wiimote.. and well, let's be honest.. they failed.. BUT, that wasn't the first time LucasArts tried to hype a game with the promise of turning the player into a Jedi Master! The first time was in 1997 with Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II, the sequel to Dark Forces, a Star Wars based fps released in 1995 (an excellent and highly recommended game btw).

    Jedi Knight continues the story of Kyle Katarn, a mercenary in service of the Rebel Alliance in the first game, Katarn is now looking to avenge his father, killed by a dark jedi named Jarec. While visiting his father's old house, Kyle finds out about his Jedi heritage and starts his way into the path of the force. Will this path be dark or bright? That's up to you to decide! Your decisions and actions in the game will push Kyle to the light or dark sides of the force, each side gives you different force powers to choose from and 2 different endings. The force powers are acquired in a RPG-esque way: at the end of the level, you receive some stars based on the secret passages you found in that level (some levels give you stars just for finishing), you distribute these stars on the powers that you want, there are three types of powers: Neutral (things like running and jumping), Dark (stuff like lighting, force throw and choking) and Light (mostly healing and protection powers). There are 14 powers, and they are what makes this game so special when compared to other FPS from its time.

    <img src="http://i34.tinypic.com/kbxb4l.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    There are 10 weapons in the game, most coming from the first game, they're all pretty common energy weapons (with the exception of the mines and grenades), nothing special really, with the exception of THE LIGHTSABER! So.. the lightsaber can kill some enemies with just one "shot" and can deflect laser beams, but it's still a melee weapon in a first person shooter, meaning that.. it's not really as useful as it should be.. the deflection can fail some times and getting close to enemies with it might not be the easiest thing in the game. There are 6 levels in the game that consist of battles against other jedis where you'll have to rely on your saber and force powers only (well, actually, you can shot them, but THEY CAN deflect all YOUR shots.. those bastards!).

    Graphics are quite good for its time, the levels are mostly lenghty and full of wide open areas. There's a good variety of enemies (including classic stormtroopers and Empire officers) and some city levels feature civilians and droids walking around, you can kill those btw.. the story is told with cut-scenes between levels featuring real actors and pre-rendered computer generated graphics. I'll be honest here, the lines are very cheesy and the CG technology from 1997 interacting with the actors can be quite ridiculous for today's standards. Cool fact, the cut-scenes in this game included the first lightsaber footage filmed since The Return of The Jedi in 1983. Music is John Williams classic, good as always.

    It's good to remind you that this game is from 1997, that's 2 years before the new trilogy started. So, you won't find any references to Jar Jar Binks, Darth Maul, midchlorians, those choreographic jedi fights, or anything from those movies.. the story is passed 1 year after The Return of The Jedi and some years after the first game (which is weird cause Kyle's actor looks younger than his image from the first game).

    <img src="http://i38.tinypic.com/124fotj.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>SCORE</b>
    Graphics - 8
    Sound - 9
    Gameplay - 7.5
    Story - 7
    Lightsaber uselessness - 9

    Agging - 4
    Like most 3D games from the 90's, the game was considered amazingly pretty at it's time, but today, it can make your eyes bleed and rape all the pretty childhood memories you had about it.. during the installation, it asks you to choose between 300x200 and 640x480 as the resolution, the second one had a warning: "High performance machines/video cards ONLY", I laughed like a 10year old boy when I saw that..
    Unlike Grim Fandango, I had no problems running this baby on my machine (which is weird cause this game is 1 year older), the videos had some glitches on them, but were still watchable. My biggest problem was with the speed.. I don't know if fps games were faster by that time, or if my machine is too fast for it.. but your walking speed in the game is A LOT HIGHER than newer games, that caused me nausea some times. Also, some of you might not remember, but back then, the standard WASD+mouse controls used today for FPS games, was not the standard! Of course, you can change that.. but still, on the default controls, changing the weapons is done by choosing them on the numeric keypad (and the lightsaber is the 0 btw), for my surprise, the mouse scroll is supported in the game, but it's used for looking up and down! Also, just like DOOM and Duke Nukem 3D, you get some help on aiming, your shot goes to the nearest guy always.. that can be a little troublesome for those used to newer fps games.. well, this is an interesting game to see how FPSs evolved in 10 years.

    <b>OVERALL 8/10</b>
    If you can stand the outdated graphics and controls and you're a Star Wars fan.. check it! The story is nice, and it's one of the best Star Wars games till today, made before all that midchlorians crap came out. Though, if your looking for a good Star Wars classical FPS, you might want to check it's older brother Dark Forces, which, even being in "fake 3D", feels a little better on your eyes.[/QUOTE]

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


    <b>Vulpes Abnocto Review</b>


    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/Crystalisboxartsml.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    <b>Game:</b> Crystalis <b>Format:</b> NES <b>Genre:</b> Adventure/Role Playing Game
    <b>Developer/Publisher:</b> SNK <b>Released:</b> April 13th, 1990
    <b>Reason for inclusion:</b> I begged, pleaded and whined.


    <div align="center"><i>1997, October 1
    The End Day

    Savage war engulfs the world
    . . .
    Civilization is destroyed...

    An evolution had taken place.
    The Earth's axis had shifted
    and all creatures became mutated.
    Life would never be the same...

    Those survivors vowed not
    to repeat their mistakes
    of the past and erected
    a great tower in the sky...

    To opress evil forever...</i></div>


    Thus begins the post-apocalyptic cult classic game from SNK, <u>Crystalis</u>. (otherwise known as "God Slayer" in Japan)
    After emerging from cryogenic storage inside a hidden cave, you find yourself thrust into a world of swords and sorcery....
    ...Wait? What?
    Yes, you heard me right. Somehow in the 100 year nap your character has just awoken from,
    all technological knowledge has been lost to the common man, and the populace of the
    world has fallen back on the use of magic and armor.
    Oddly enough, there are only four elemental swords still in the hands of city shamans, and they
    have been jealously guarded over the ages in preparation for the messianic coming of a hero.
    That hero (dun-duh-<i>DUUHHH</i>) is you!

    After a little backstory you're given one of these swords, a basic stipend of gold, and are sent out
    among hordes of tigers that walk on their hind legs, winged snakes, and sentiant blobs, all thirsting for your blood.

    <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/cryogeniccave.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/crystalistown01.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /> <img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/poisonswamp.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    Crystalis was sadly overshadowed by the big names in NES RPG, such as Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Dragon Warrior. Unlike Final Fantasy, Crystalis is not a turn-based battle system. Instead, it is a top-down real-time world with multiple enemies moving independently of one another. To advance in level, you must hack and slash your way through the multitude of baddies to gain experience points, solve simple problems to gain access to new areas, and on occasion fight with bosses such as vampires, giant bugs, and the Finest Four of the Army of Draygonia as your quest brings you ever closer to the Emperor Draygon and the Floating Tower.

    Along the way, four sages assist you by granting you new magics, and by providing hints about your various quests.
    These magics include the powers of self-healing, telepathy, flight, transformation, teleportation, paralysis, recovery from status ailments, and a barrier against physical attacks. Mastering each of these is essential to the completion of your quest.


    Graphics:<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    Sound:<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    Gameplay:<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    Plot:<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />
    Replayability:<img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" /><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/smlstr.jpg" border="0" class="linked-image" />

    (All scores are based on a five star rating system, in comparison to other NES games, and are entirely my own biased opinion)


    In short, if you find yourself yearning for great 8-bit RPG gaming of yesteryear, this title is a must-have for your cartridge collection.




    <div align="center"><img src="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v647/legion_o_doom/ending.gif" border="0" class="linked-image" /></div>


    Additional Information:
    In 2000 Nintendo created a port of this game for the Game Boy Color, featuring inferior graphics, poor sound, and an altered plot.
    Most people feel that this port is hardly worth mentioning, and this reviewer agrees wholeheartedly.

    Credit for images and info to:
    <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crystalis" target="_blank">Wikipedia entry: Crystalis</a>
    <a href="http://tpb68.tripod.com/tom.html" target="_blank">Tom's Crystalis World</a>[/QUOTE]

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



    <b>TrolleyDave's Review</b>


    <b>Game:</b> Donkey Kong 64 <b>Format:</b> N64 <b>Year Released:</b> 1999
    <b>Publisher:</b> Nintendo <b>Developer</b> Rare

    Back in the day this was a most eagerly awaited game by all N64 owners. It was to be the first game to require the brand new memory upgrade module, even coming with it (adding to the cost of course!). Everyone was talking about how great Rare's new title was going to be.

    Great it wasn't though. Don't get me wrong, the game is excellent. Stunning visuals, great sound, massive levels. It just wasn't as fantastic as it could have been. What really lets it down is the same thing that lets down a lot of the 3D adventures on the N64, a dodgy camera.

    DK64 tries to keep true to it's roots by incorporating a lot of platformer ideas, and it succeeds quite well in expanding on the Super Mario 64 style of gameplay that it's so obviously inspired by. Like SM64s camera though, it tends to get stuck against walls not allowing you to get the view you quite need to be able to jump to the next ledge. While SM64 became a little frustrating because of its camera DK64 actually makes you want to send hate mail to the Rare team.

    There are parts where you need to jump onto vines and because of the damn camera the vine will actually become invisible, or when you manage to get it to an angle where you can see the vine the angle is one where you can't see if you're lined up quite right.

    <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786877_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786877_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786876_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786876_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786875_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786875_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    Don't get me wrong, the game itself is excellent. Great puzzles and good humour, everything you would expect from a 3D evolution of the Donkey Kong Country games. You will find yourself getting incredibly frustrated by the camera in some parts. I don't mind a frustrating game - games should be challenging, it's just that it should be the game itself that's challenging - not the camera! It doesn't happen all the time, it's just when it does it can make you so annoyed you want to put the game down and write to the programmers asking what the hell they were thinking.

    If you can get past it though you'll find yourself enjoying the rest a lot. It really is an excellent game, if it wasn't for the camera though you would find yourself enjoying an incredibly nice looking, great sounding, fun and challenging great 3D roaming adventure platformer.

    The game itself is set on an island and is separated into sections, pretty similar to the way Mario 64 works. The game is aloooot larger than SM64 though, the areas are huge. Thankfully though there isn't a lot of tedious running around back and forth. Rare have been kind enough to include teleport pads making access between areas you've already visited quicker and easier.

    The object is of the game is to free the rest of the Kongs and defeat K. Rool (were you really expecting anything else from DK game!). To do this you need to collect Golden Bananas, collecting a certain amount opens up the different sections of island. In each section you have to complete puzzles, collect regular bananas, rescue a Kong and once you've collected enough regular bananas you can unlock the door that lets you battle the area boss. The game basically plays similarly to SM64, even having some similar style levels - in SM64 you race a penguin down a snow slide, in DK64 you race a turtle down a regular slide.

    Don't let it put you off though, you will enjoy playing it if it's your type of game. I will admit though that I enjoyed playing SM64 more but this comes very close. If it had a camera that didn't actually impede your progress during some parts I would class it as highly as I class SM64.

    The level designs are massive and very well done. There are occasions where you'll find yourself running around going "Where the hell am I supposed to be going" but once you've gotten used to the level layouts and opened up all the teleport pads that will change. The puzzles are challenging, logical and plentiful. Some puzzles require the use of certain power ups to complete.


    <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014140_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014140_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014137_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014137_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014129_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014129_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    The power ups are easy enough to gain though. During the game you find coins (surprise surprise lol!) and you then use the coins to purchase your power ups. There are a few different types though, each one necessary to allow progress in the game.

    The first type of power up you find yourself collecting are potions. The potions are sold to you by Kranky Kong, who has a hut in each level. Each potion gives you a specific added ability for each Kong. The next type of power up you find yourself collecting are the weapons from <insert characters name here> in the form of a gun. Each new weapon power up basically adds on to that gun, stuff like homing shots, weapon belts etc.

    You'll also find yourself collecting music power ups. I know, it sounds a little strange and laughable but it adds fun to the game. The music instrument is different for each Kong. Donkey has bongos, Diddy has an electric guitar, Tiny has a sax, you get the picture. The instrument can be used as a kind of a smart bomb, killing all the enemies in the room you're in. The instrument is also used to open other areas.

    On each level you find different pads on the ground, each pad has a picture of either a Kong or a Kongs instrument. Simply stand on the pad and activate either a Kong power or an instrument and something happens. Some are tricky to find later but not impossible. Of course to complete the game you don't have to find everything but if you decide to 100% it there's a lot to find.

    It's a huge game that definitely deserves a place in any N64 owners collection, and if you enjoy this type of game and haven't played it yet then you should get off your ass and get it cos you will enjoy it. Just be prepared to be let down by some parts of the game. It truly is an excellent game, it's just that it could have been an incredible game.

    STORY (from Wiki)

    King K. Rool is trying to destroy Donkey Kong Island with a large laser called the Blast-O-Matic, but it malfunctions after a crash that puts his ship right in front of Donkey Kong Island. To buy some time, he captures a handful of Kongs and locks them up. He then steals Donkey Kong's precious hoard of Golden Bananas. As Donkey Kong frees his fellow apes, they set off to recover the bananas and eventually defeat K. Rool and his army of Kremlings.

    <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786874_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/78/68/ME0000786874_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014108_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014108_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014110_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014110_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    GRAPHICS

    This is where DK64 really shines. Graphically it is amazing and you may even find yourself checking to make sure that your pad is actually plugged into your N64. It's easy to see why the game needs the expansion pack.

    The characters in the game are large, well coloured and incredibly well animated. There's also a huge variety of animation for each character, not just your controllables but the CPU characters as well.

    The backgrounds are fantastic and the areas are large. There is some pop-up going on occasionally, but the levels are designed well enough to keep it to a minimum. It's not as bad as SM64 but it's still there. The pop-up doesn't stop you from being able to play, nothing pops up and then you're suddenly dead.

    Nope, that comes from the pop-gone! As I ranted about earlier there are some sections where the camera forces an angle and the platform or vine you need to jump onto disappears from the screen. It doesn't happen a lot, but it does always happen at the same sections. You eventually get used to it because you jump blind that many times that you eventually get it right. Still, it's pretty sloppy - specially when you consider it's a Rare game.

    There is a lot of dynamic lighting going on as well. Shadows expand and contract as you walk by torches, swinging lamps cast shadows that rise and fall on walls. For a N64 game it really is quite a feat of graphical prowess.

    SOUND

    The music and effects are great. Although they're nothing all that original, you know it's a Donkey Kong game when you here them, there is a lot of variety. Each character has an instrument that's just for them and each one has a different tune for that instrument. Really the only let down is the lack of variety in the tunes that each Kong plays on his instrument, you use them alot and you do get fed up of hearing them eventually. That really is my only criticism sound-wise.

    GAMEPLAY

    Apart from the annoyance at the camera in some parts of the game this is an incredibly fun game to play. There are alot of puzzles to solve, the areas to explore are huuuuuge and it'll take a long time to 100% it. If you've played the Donkey Kong Country games you'll know exactly what to expect in DK64 as it really is just a 3D DKC game, with a lot more to do obviously. The one thing you will enjoy though is the fact that it's cart based! <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":)" border="0" alt="smile.gif" /> There's no "Please wait, loading..." screens. Moving from area to area is instant obviously.

    <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014108_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014108_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014116_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014116_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a> <a href="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014112_2.jpg" target=_blank title="Click to view full size"><img src="http://media.cnetnetworks.fr/gamekult-com/images/photos/00/00/01/41/ME0000014112_2.jpg" height="200" alt="User posted image" /></a>

    If you enjoy these SM64 style games then this is one you'll love. The tasks are varied enough where it's not too boring but at times finding Golden Banana after Golden Banana can be feel a bit sluggish. It's not one you'll find yourself playing for 5 or 6 hours at a time (at least not me anyway) but it does quite easily pass a couple. Just be prepared for the odd bout of gamerage due to some flawed designs in the game.

    The one thing I did enjoy being a retrohead was the inclusion of an unlockable Donkey Kong arcade game! Looks, plays and sounds perfect!

    OVERALL

    Rare definitely push the N64 to it's limits with this one, although they should have spent more time on the camera. It's definitely a fun game, not quite as fun as Conkers Bad Fur Day or SM64 but still fun. Get it if you enjoy this genre of game, if you don't then steer clear of it as it'll only make you dislike the genre that little bit more.

    BTW, if you're a new collector of UK N64 carts then this is one to look out for if you can find it in mint condition with box, manual and original expansion cart but it'll set you back a tidy sum. If it's not fully boxed you shouldn't be paying any more than 7 or 8 quid for it.

    GRAPHICS : 9/10 (Would have been 10 if not for the camera)
    SOUND : 8/10
    GAMEPLAY : 8/10
    OVERALL : 8.5/10

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

    Thanks to all those who have contributed to this months thread. Expect the next one mid January. Please post if you want more <img src="style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif" style="vertical-align:middle" emoid=":D" border="0" alt="biggrin.gif" />
     


  2. TrolleyDave

    Former Staff TrolleyDave Philosolosophising

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    Nice job again Hadrian and everyone. Excellent review Vulpes, I've never played Crystalis and I'm definitely going to check it out. Awesome reviews again Mr Cockroachman. I used to love Dark Forces 1 + 2, you've got an awesome writing style. As usual Hadrian your reviews are spot on as well, althouh I'd love to see the Directors Cut of the Chuckie Egg review! How much did you have to trim out in the end?
     
  3. Hadrian
    OP

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    I deleted most of it, it was around nine paragraphs long but each had around thirteen lines. It was done drunk so there isn't MUCH missed, aside from the odd chicken sex joke I just trimmed it down and cut the crap.

    Also Crystalis NES > GBC. The GBC version wasn't as good at all.
     
  4. Toni Plutonij

    Former Staff Toni Plutonij *has TrolleyDave & tiny p1ngy on moderating shelf!

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    Damn guys! GREAT GREAT job on this!! Amazing, you have left me without the words with the quality of the articles..
    I just breezed trough it, but will read it all later today..

    And one more thing, Grim Fandango brought some childhood memories!
     
  5. CockroachMan

    Member CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

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    Oh I remember Metal Slug on the NGPC, I played it on emulators only, but SNK really knew how to treat their IPs on their portable.. not only Metal Slug, but the Neo Geo Pocket KOF and Samurai Showdown are the best portable versions of those games [​IMG]

    Nice reviews everyone, now I'm interested in Crystalis. DK64 has been on my list for a long time now.. I'm playing it as soon as I have time!
     
  6. jalaneme

    Member jalaneme Female Gamer

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    i never knew that the original donkey kong got it's idea from Chuckie Egg, thats a new one from me..... and one day i will buy donkey kong 64 for my n64 as i want to buy it before it gets too rare and expensive.
     
  7. CockroachMan

    Member CockroachMan Scribbling around GBATemp's kitchen.

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    That's the oposite.. Chuckie Egg was inspired by Donkey Kong.. DK is 2 years older [​IMG]
     
  8. Banger

    Member Banger Me > | | < You ..Wanna Line dance?

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    Grim Fandango was a fun game, I was almost to the end when I got into a glitch which made me save after I got into the glitch. Sucked, have not touched it since.

    Also I like the original DK games over 64, but the 64 version was ok.


    Good reviews again people cant wait for #3!
     
  9. Hadrian
    OP

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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  10. TanookiSuit

    Member TanookiSuit Game Reviewer/Writer -- formerly Vampire Hunter D

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    Yay fantastic. Great picks there with Metal Slug on NGPC as it's fantastic as was The Punisher arcade. And then your supporters reviews of Crystalis and Grim Fandango are a pleasure too. But I can in no way agree with the high rating of DK64 as the game is repeition in the most awful way possible making a game 100hours long by making you backtrack the same areas 5x over with each monkey. :\

    I want to give another shout out recommendation to anyone to give Crystalis a go as it's truly amazing, a real Zelda killer in the day for the quality it bleeds. And if you're a fan at all of the Metal Slug series that NGPC game really took it to a new level that day when it came out and it really is worth a run through.
     
  11. sfunk

    Member sfunk GBAtemp Regular

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    If you remember the story then head on over to http://www.grimfandango.net/?page=saves and download the appropriate save to start off where you left off. Oh and remember to update to the latest patch (should be somewhere on that site). If not then replay the game; it's definitely worth it. Grim Fandango is one of my favourite games of all time.

    I'm loving these threads, a bit of nostalgia and a bit of something new for me as some of these games I haven't heard of but will definitely check out. Also, I'd like to add that I really appreciate the ageing factor included by CockroachMan. Quite handy to include. Good job to everyone and I hope to keep reading in the New Year!
     
  12. Takeshi

    Member Takeshi GBAtemp Addict

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    Great job with the reviews guys! The games you picked brought up quite some memories, especially Grim and Jedi Knight. The idea with the agging section is really nice, too.

    That punisher side brawler looks awesome. I need to dig out my Nebula set and try it because I really liked this kind of gameplay ever since Final Fight, but I'm not that informed on arcade games.

    Thanks and keep on the good work!
     
  13. ShadowXP

    Member ShadowXP ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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    I have a mint condition DK64, and my N64 has the rumble pak still inside it [​IMG] really awesome game and great thread guys
     
  14. Hadrian
    OP

    Former Staff Hadrian Better than Craigslist

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    I'm with you on that, never really got into DK64, the level design & camera just ruined the game for me. Also seemed like they ran out of ideas.

    #3 may come sooner, I'm done with NDS & Wii threads for this year I can't be assed to write up shovelware & Japanese games I won't understand. So that thread will return first week of January and even then there are very little games out so will I'll probably either get onto with Retro Thread #3 or do "Best of Upcoming DS & Wii Games 2009". Not sure.
     
  15. jesuschristmonke

    Member jesuschristmonke GBAtemp Regular

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    Awesome.

    Thanks everybody.

    But I missed this on the portal, I only found it by searching. I hope people aren't missing out on this slice of retro heaven.
     
  16. Sir-Fritz

    Member Sir-Fritz GBAtemp Maniac

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    LOL i payed like AU$20 for mint condition dk64 (box, manual, game, expansion pak, expansion pak tool and even the small plastic bags that everything came in plus 2 bonus strategy guides. This was early last year too.
     
  17. NDS_N00b

    Newcomer NDS_N00b Member

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    Freakin GRIM FANDANGO! That's one of the best games I ever played!
     
  18. Satangel

    Member Satangel BEAST

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    Nice reviews, I really appreciate all the effort you put in these things!

    I'm gonna check out Donkey Kong 64 and the Punisher, downloading them now [​IMG]

    Hopefully the N64 emulator for the Wii will be compatible with this one, seeing it needs extra memory....
     
  19. funem

    Member funem Retro Powered..

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    Really nice reviews. I have Chuckie Egg on my Windows mobile PPC phone using a Spectrum emulator ( along with all the Ultimate games ), Chuckie is a great game, all meat and no fat ( the same cant be said of Chuckie Egg 2 ),. After I have finished playing the Banjo Kazooie port of the N64 game on the Xbox 360 ( which seems to be easier than the N64 version ) I think I will dig out the N64 and have another go at Donkey Kong 64. Shortly followed by Jet Force Gemini and Blast Corpse. Rare should remake both of those for the 360 as I doubt there is any copyright hassle with Nintendo over them and they were both good games. They did a top job with Conker's Bad Fur Day on the Xbox.

    Only one omission in my book is the lack of mentioning the "Donkey Kong Rap"



    I must admit when I first saw it upon loading the game I really cringed... now I look back it wasn't so bad, most reviewers at the time if I remember hated it. It didnt help having lines like "His coconut gun can fire in spurts. If he shoots ya, it's gonna hurt!" in it either.

    Once again thanks for taking time out of your lives to produce some top reviews.
     
  20. funem

    Member funem Retro Powered..

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    Sorry can't see that fact as being correct, Donkey Kong the arcade game came out at least two years before Chuckie egg, unless they had a DeLaurian with a time machine and a road to go 88 miles an hour, I think the fact is wrong, either that or Hadrian's tongue was lodged firmly in his cheek when he wrote it..... Eggy Kong indeed......... [​IMG]
     

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