Monday 25 October 2010

Fire & Ice (Master System)

The Winter months are drawing near, and according to Procter & Gamble of Pringles crisps fame, the Christmas season starts in September now. So time to don your woolly hats and play something slightly festive.

It's Fire & Ice... for the Sega Master System. Why haven't I gone for the Amiga copy? Because I have no interest in messing with WinUAE on this laptop. Fire & Ice is one of those games I've known about for most of my life, but haven't had the urge to sit down and play until now. As with many games that originated in the first half of the 90s, you just expect they're mediocre platformers attempting to fit the gap which Nintendo were best at filling.

Sunday 24 October 2010

Commando (C64)

This game's theme song has been stuck in my head for the best part of a week. An impressive feat for a twenty five year old Commodore 64 title I hadn't played until now.

Commando is regarded as some sort of C64 classic these days. I know very little about the C64 scene so I guess I better find out why.

Friday 22 October 2010

Sonic Fan Remix

Hey I'm not too thrilled about saving it as a JPEG either, but this is indeed a playable Sonic Fan game running in real time on this computer. It's the talk of the town at the moment - a fangame designed by Sonic Retro users pelikan13 and Mercury which, even if you're not a massive fan of the strange art styles employed here, completely wipes the floor with Sonic the Hedgehog 4.

Built with the Unity 3D engine, Sonic Fan Remix is a three level demo which surprisingly still looks great on slightly under-powered hardware. Things to note are an almost perfect physics engine and of course all those neat graphical effects. I can't say I agree with all the graphical and audio choices, but it's certainly the most impressive Sonic fan game I've ever seen... don't know about you.

The topic of discussion can be found here, though do note that thanks to the likes of Kotaku a lot of download mirrors have died hosting this thing. Nevertheless, fantastic stuff and certainly worth your while.

Thursday 21 October 2010

Super Skidmarks

A.k.a. Super Off Road II: Super Off Road Harder.

There were a lot of games like this in the 1990s because rendering racing games from any other perspective put huge strains on the hardware. This one, which by the way contains no skidmarks whatsoever, is a little-known game developed by Acid Software and published by Codemasters (of Micro Machines fame) for the Sega Mega Drive (and the Amiga... and once again the trainwreck that was the Amiga CD32) in 1995. It's not too shabby.

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

uuhhh ahhh eerrhhh

Star Wars: Episode 1 is a nice movie but I'll admit, it is a bit far-fetched to claim it's "just as good and relevant" as the original trilogy... well at least without filling the gap with episode 2 and 3, anyway. Until quite recently I had simply thought the Jar Jar Binks hate squad were running low on chill pills, but now I'm starting to understand their frustration.

Because this is Sonic the Hedgehog 4, the Sonic fan's equivalent to pod racing. It shouldn't exist, yet here it is to ruin our childhoods.

Saturday 16 October 2010

Wario Land 3 (Mega Drive)

NMMX of Sonic Retro has done the world a favour by dumping this slightly infamous hack of the Mega Drive platformer, Puggsy. There were a couple of videos floating around YouTube, with all sorts of uneducated simpletons claiming this was some sort of amazing pirate original.

Is it worth caring about? Well if it gets more people to play Puggsy I suppose so. It's a very bare bones hack which essentially just replaces the title screen, credits, and Puggsy sprite (as well as removing the Sega logo), but Puggsy is a very good game, sporting great graphics and sound for the time as well as PHYSICS. There's also a version for the Mega CD.

Oh and a fun fact for you - supposedly Puggy's anti-piracy tactics are still in-tact here so make sure SRAM is disabled on your emulator.

Thursday 14 October 2010

Super Off Road

In the early 90s, everything was super. From the fun houses to the star wars to the Metroids. But this is Super Off Road, in which the road isn't just super, it's off. Someone should have eaten it quicker.

Friday 8 October 2010

Dick Vitale's "Awesome, Baby!" College Hoops

Every generation spawns a certain class of video games that are doomed to never have a future. EA's licensed sports titles are the obvious culprits as I've mentioned before, because regardless of how great the game was back in the day, nobody wants to buy FIFA 98 in 2010. They have a shelf life of about nine months.

But here's something even worse! A basketball game (with commentary by Dick Vitale) based around North American college basketball teams. It's not even the real NBA deal here! How many of these nails does it want in its coffin?

Wednesday 6 October 2010



Perhaps I've been spending too much time with obscure gems from the past, but I'd have thought that playing broken software from two decades ago would give me a new found love for the blockbusters of today. Yet I can't shake this feeling that BioShock, the supposed 96-point masterpiece by 2K Games, is also a piece of broken software too. I'm having to question my own taste in video games - not a single person in the gaming press gave BioShock a score of less than 80%, and some people have the audacity to give it a perfect score. What's going on? When did I develop a dislike for this genre? Why don't I like this game?

Friday 1 October 2010

Rainbow Islands Extra

Well I don't know about you but Taito's classic, Rainbow Islands, just doesn't have enough Darius in it. Guess we'll have to fix that.

Rainbow Islands Extra. Yes it's real, and it's not a fan-made hack (which was my assumption at first). This is Taito's Rainbow Islands combined with Taito's Darius shoot-'em-up franchise (sorry, no kings of Persia here). I can't say I understand why such a game needs to exist, but it does, and I'm here to review it... sort of.