Retro Platforms: Mac, PC
Platform Reviewed: PC
Humongous Entertainment is arguably one of the strongest developers when it comes to edutainment, having many popular gaming franchises that typically involve the adventure genre, all while also teaching themes with stories that can even appeal to some older audiences too. Pajama Sam’s first gaming entry presented a dream-like story that culminated in conquering one’s fears about darkness, Spy Fox had tension with trying to solve detective-like mysteries, Freddi Fish was a mystery series that explored aquatic settings, and Fatty Bear… well, actually, that series never really took off. One series that I used to play a lot was Putt-Putt, which involved the zany adventures of an anthropomorphic car and his overly energetic puppy: these journeys included setting up a parade, getting launched to the moon, saving animals at a zoo, and even joining a race! But I wanted to play something that was new to me, so for today’s review, I’m analyzing Putt-Putt and Fatty Bear’s Activity Pack.
Nintendo vs. Sega, time travel vs. hyperstones, Turtle vs. Turtle. This week I played TMNT IV: Turtles in Time and TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist so I could review and compare them to find out which Turtles game reigns supreme.
I first played Faxanadu as a kid, likely during the first year it was released, so in 1989 or 1990. One of my aunts had rented it when I came over to visit. I immediately loved the game, despite the fact that it is impossible to kill the first enemy in the game. That might not sound like a big deal, but I probably died twice trying to kill that slow-moving spike-covered bastard, figuring there’s no way a video game would throw you in front of an enemy you can’t kill as soon as it starts. Right? RIGHT?! I’m starting to think I might have a thing for games that are a dick to the player: (e.g., Zelda II, Simon Quest).
Tentacles and meteors and hamsters, oh my!
For Review A Great Game Day I looked at one of the original classic graphic adventures – Maniac Mansion. This Lucasfilm game is smart, funny, irreverent, and influenced a generation of point-and-click adventure games. As the first adventure game I ever played, this one will always hold a special place in my heart and be something I consider one of the greats.
Many classic video games have a certain level of charm to them; a particular sort of whimsy, or an extravagant splurge on emotive flourishes. When developers go the extra mile to put these heart-plucking extra bits of details into their releases, gamers notice. Players care. It is no coincidence that such distinctive, unique, zany, rich, full-of-character games like Earthbound and Maniac Mansion have attained a legendary status.
Review A Great Game Day is back!
Which is why today I’ll be looking at one of my favourite games: the original Tomb Raider.
No bows and arrows, no crisp, cinematic graphics, no fancy movie-length cut-scenes, just handguns, good old pixels and pointy-looking people with rectangular hands.
The way it should be.
Tomb Raider: Anniversary? That’s for suckers.
By Theodore Ipecac Effete III
The Odyssey, Icelandic sagas, the Epic of Gilgamesh, Beowulf, and Tetris. The Faerie Queene, Animal Farm, Gulliver’s Travels, and Tetris. No, this isn’t a Sesame Street’s “one of these things is not like the other.” I shall describe to you how Tetris, especially for the NES, is the contemporary world’s greatest epic and allegory, a multilayered work of art with more meaning packed into it than anything that has come before it or after.
Retro Platforms: Sega Saturn
Platform Reviewed: Sega Saturn
Although many games tell stories with realistic graphics, it’s definitely possible to have an entrancing game take place within a fantasy world. Some of my favorite games have art styles that showcase the more beautiful sides of nature, and they convey relaxing areas while still having exciting calls to adventure. I love seeing dark explorations of our world, but sometimes I just want to escape into a breathtaking setting that has its own rules and creatures. Astal, an ambitious sprite-based side-scroller that manages to have a lot of presentation variety, is really lively, and its crystal theming and natural diversity certainly help it be a cheerful experience. But how are the game’s other aspects like its story and gameplay, and is there enough originality here to keep things interesting?
Retro Platforms: Amiga, Arcade, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Sega Genesis, Sega Master System, ZX Spectrum
Platform Reviewed: Sega Genesis
For whatever reason, many retro shooters are themed around space combat: maybe it’s because of a sense of grandiose exploration, perhaps being able to fly quickly in an unlimited space seems exhilarating, or it could just be that stars are really pretty to look at. Aliens have invaded planets, you guide a destined ship meant to save the universe, impossible odds, and so on. But despite the continued reliance on this type of adventure, developers manage to introduce unique atmospheres, ship designs, gameplay mechanics, and even camera styles to help vary things up. Galaxy Force II shows an early attempt to expand rail shooters into 3D, and it experiments with a timer-based health system, indoor and outdoor environmental transitions, and a behind-ship perspective. Despite being fun and creative, however, the game also suffers from some system limitations. Read More
Retro Platforms: Arcade, FM-7, MSX, NEC PC-8001, Sega Genesis, Sega SG-1000, Sharp X1
Platform Reviewed: Sega Genesis
Many people seem to know about Sonic the Hedgehog, the side-scrolling franchise that features everyone’s favorite anatomically incorrect hedgehog. Less discussed, however, are the little birdies who this apparently two-legged mammal rescues from the mechanical innards of bizarrely shaped robots; most of them being known as Flickies, these winged beasts may be critters of distress in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, but one of them actually starred in an arcade game before the fastest thing alive was even a concept. Tasking the player with rescuing a bunch of chicks from a mall-like area, all whilst avoiding vicious cats and pesky iguanas, Flicky has some intriguing gameplay mechanics, but the game isn’t without its ups and downs. Read More
Finally finished another Retrogears video and guess what! It’s about another Pac-Man clone. I know, I know, I should really make some videos about something that isn’t Pac-Man… and I will… I promise! I just had to do one more, because this is another game I owned as a kid and I just felt a need to revisit this game to find out why I played it so much back in the days.
I was very pleased to see Wild Arms make the cut. Ever since I played it for a dozen or so minutes over a decade ago, where I spent most of my time bombing chickens, I’d been waiting for a chance and a reason to play it again. I just wish I could say it met my expectations.