Many people think Spider-Man and Venom have a history involving an alien symbiote, a pissed-off photographer and an all-consuming thirst for revenge, but it was actually started the night Eddie Brock had a sleepover at the Parker house.
Posts Tagged ‘Genesis’
Man, there’s so many parts of this game I could have made a comic around, but in the end I had to go with the powerup that doesn’t actually appear to do anything. What is that bird thing meant to do, anyway? I don’t get it and anyone who says they do is a rotten stinking liar.
I was thinking of doing a comic about the giant robot monkey, that poor thing just sat around in a cave for years waiting for someone to destroy him. There was also the weird Russian parliament that hastily assembled itself into a giant snake robot. I mean, was that part of their election campaign that they could do that? I also toyed with the idea of doing it about my favourite moment in the game, and one of my favourite gaming moments ever, the bit where you’re running down the ice mountain and you just jump in the air and for a second – a tiny blissful second – you’re just floating in the air with no ground beneath you, and it’s lovely. Of course if you like that you can play Ski Safari on iOS because it’s basically an entire game about that moment.
I paid $80 for the MegaDrive version of Strider, and finished it in a day, and quickly learned not to buy games on a whim any more.
Space Harrier was a pretty neat game, but I was always more interested in the freaky looking bad guys you shot at, and it introduced me to those Easter Island heads that are in every single video game ever made.
Anyway! This was a bit of a town bike of a game, everyone had a go at it. The various home conversions were a tech demo for the host machine, and I remember the MegaDrive version just throwing sprites around like nobody’s business. That was neat for the fifteen minutes before I realised that Space Harrier is a pretty boring affair when you’re being asked to spend $80 to buy the home version.
Holy crap I spent $80 on Space Harrier? Yeeesh I was a moron when I was a kid.
The first thing I noticed about this game when I saw it in the arcades was that it had a really weird control system – instead of a joystick to control which direction you fired in it had this…disc thing…and you spun it around to make your character swivel around. I think I spent most of my time just seeing how fast I could make the damn thing spin while I tried to make the buff space soldier dude do some kind of The Last Starfighter-style Death Blossom attack which never worked.
The next and most important thing is that the currency in the game were called Zennys. That is a neat name for a currency. If I ever become Prime Minister of Australia I have decided I will do two things on my first day.
1) Change our currency to Zennys
2) Hand complete control of the country over to Google and go bugger off to the beach or something.
Anyway! The home conversions were OK. I played the C64 one a lot and didn’t notice until recently it was only, like, half the game. I skipped school one day to sneak into the local video store and rent the Master System version, which was pretty terrible, but you got to give ’em points for trying! And shame on the staff of the video store for not even blinking when a kid in school uniform came in on a Wednesday morning to rent Forgotten Worlds.
OK I have to admit I was never really much of a Tow Jam And Earl player – beyond the ’90s hip-MTV-to-the-extreme presentation it just seemed like it was another 2D maze exploration game and I’d already had enough of them with Zombies Ate My Neighbours.
Still! I can’t help but like these guys, and feel a certain kinship with them as they’re permanently stuck in the ’90s. Makes the video game character get-togethers a bit weird, though.
This is one of the greatest games ever made, from top to bottom, and anyone who doesn’t know that is just plain silly, but I do wonder which company got the contract to sell ice creams at the stadium.
The Amiga version is considered the best, of course, and I think it’s definitely one of the best ways to play the game today. It’s certainly the best way to test the quality of a joystick you’re considering to buy – if it can survive a game of Brutal Deluxe then it was worth your $50 or whatever stupid price joysticks cost back then. Personally I prefer the MegaDrive version because it had a minor gameplay tweak that fixed how effective the hot ball is. The music isn’t quite as thumping as the Amiga one but I’ll take it for a better gameplay experience.
The Commodore 64 version is pretty good, if you don’t mind the tiny sprites, and the music is a fantastic remix of the original. There was a GBA version that was OK too, but lacked easy multiplayer. There was a XBLA version that had a cool feature where you could swap between original graphics and updated 3D visuals at any time, but it lacked the original music and made some silly changes to the player trading and stats that means you could never really get a top team together. I just remembered I bought a PC version and played it on a black and white laptop with PC beeper sound and it was STILL awesome. I reviewed the iOS version and thought it was great but it lacked my beloved manager mode.
I often get into conversations about which machine is better, the MegaDrive or the Super Nintendo (yeah, I lead a pretty wild life), and I always come back to one point: The MegaDrive has Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe, and the Super Nintendo doesn’t, so that pretty much ends that one.
God, what a great game this was. It just felt fierce.
Yes, I know when you were all voting for me to make a comic about Star Control 2, but I’ll save that one for another day.
Star Control 2 was pretty damn great.
Anyway, I liked how the camera kept zooming in during combat, but I think it could have gone one step further, you know, for extra visceral and immersive realism or whatever other fuff they go on about these days.
As a kid living in a boring town with two streets and one store, an hour’s drive away from a slightly less boring town with four streets and two stores, California seemed like an amazing place to have fun. I formed that opinion primarily from playing California Games.
Actually now that I think about it most of my geography knowledge was based on the games I played. I was kind of diappointed when I visited Sydney for the first time and didn’t see anyone having karate fights across the river from the Opera House.
California Games was a gem of a mini-game collection, barring the stupid frisbee game. That thing was pants and to this day I’ve never caught a frisbee in it ever. I really liked the BMX section, the rollerblading section (once I figured out the controls) and the skating was also pretty good even though I preferred the skate bowling duel game in Skate Or Die. Hacky Sack was pretty good too if only for as long as it takes to hit that bloody seagull.
To me though the star of the show was the surfing. It was a real skill to keep moving ahead of the wave, not to mention pulling off tricks. You had to position your board perfectly right on the re-entry or you’d fall off the board quicker than you can say “whoa dude that was a totally gnarly wipeout” or whatever lingo I picked up from watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons.
It was pretty harsh that you sometimes got eaten by a shark though, maybe that was left in for a version of the game designed for sharks to play.
California Games was converted to all sorts of formats along the way – the C64 and NES versions were the most popular around the world, of course, but I remember sinking a lot of time into the Master System version. The BMX section in particular was a lot better on that system than any other to me. I was especially interested in the Lynx version – the only one to have simultaneous multi player! – and remember thinking that the waves in the surfing section looked amazing. You could pull off tricks a lot easier in the Lynx version, too.
And I didn’t even know there was a MegaDrive version until I was doing research for this comic! That looks pretty cool, I should give that a go sometime. And the Atari 2600! man, that version must look INCREDIBLE.
You know what, now that I think about it, I really missed out on a lot not owning a Lynx.
I used to annoy the local arcade with this game. Sure, people liked playing the basketball bit, but I knew about the hidden Battlezone-esque 3D tank game that was freely accessible if you held down some stick and button combination during attract mode. It was a bit crap but it was FREE and in the arcade you really can’t beat that can you.
OK anyway NBA Jam was a pretty great game, especially when you were playing with other people. The addition of the secret real world characters to the already cool roster – this was back when basketball was cool – was a fun way to keep the interest up. It was pretty obvious that the computer was cheating to hell and back in an effort to keep the games close, but it didn’t really matter that much.
The SNES version was a really great conversion, no two ways about it. The speech made a lot of the difference and the Mode 7-style effect for the basketball court just felt polished and made it a confident home conversion.
I didn’t play much of the later NBA Jam games, but for a while there this was a real cool way to kill a few hours.
For the longest time after Shadow of the Beast came out I thought there was something wrong with me.
This was the game to own if you had an Amiga. Not having the luxury of owning one when this game came out, I figured it was my role to be envious of Amiga owners who could play it. All the magazines were gushing about it. The screenshots were stunning. It all looked so…big. Polished. Far beyond what we were used to thinking what a video game looked like at the time. All those levels of parallax scrolling! The music! The box art!
And yet…I just wasn’t fussed about it.
This was the first time I really couldn’t get what the hype was about. Was it me? Was I just jealous that I didn’t own a machine capable of such awesome 16-bit graphics? Maybe I was just growing out of video games?
Or maybe, just maybe, the game was a bit crap.
Come on, you can admit it now, the game was a bit crap. It was slow and boring and the combat was comically simple and you never really knew what you were meant to be doing. It just wasn’t any fun. Underneath the slick exterior was a simple maze exploration game made artificially hard by cheap deaths and unfair collision detection.
I did like checking out all the conversions that came later, it’s always interesting seeing how a technically ambitious game gets fit into less powerful hardware. The Lynx version had nice sprite scaling, the Master System version was pretty average and they even managed a C64 conversion for the C64GS. It was pants.