Saturday, 20 December 2014

Wing Commander (Amiga CD32)

Wing Commander title screen
The first 'W' game on Super Adventures this year is... Wing Commander, on the Amiga CD32!

Yeah I realise that the original PC DOS version is likely to be a better experience, but I got this version bundled with a CD32 years back (on the very same disc as that piece of crap Dangerous Streets in fact), and I really should give it a try at least once.

Wing Commander is one of the big games from the early 90s like Doom and Myst that made the PC into a serious rival to the 16-bit game machines of the era, with its advanced 256 colour VGA graphics and... music. Sound cards existed a couple of years before Wing Commander, but this inspired people to buy their first Sound Blaster and turn their sensible personal computer into a gaming platform. Amiga owners were already jealous of the Genesis/Mega Drive at this point, they were getting ready to be jealous of the upcoming SNES, and now they had to be jealous of really expensive 386 PCs too! Sure all three systems eventually got a Wing Commander to call their own a few years down the line, but none could pull the game off with the same speed and visuals as the PC. Probably.

Anyway this is going to be the same deal as ever: I'll play it for an hour or two, share my opinions of how it's been so far, and then leave a comment box at the bottom for you to tell me that it's a good game and my 'review' sucks.

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC) - Part 2

Click the highlighted text if you'd rather be reading part one.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (PC) - Part 1

Today on Super Adventures I'm finally done with that awkward 22nd letter of the alphabet, and the last 'V' game I'll be taking a quick look at this year is... Elder Scrolls: V (also known to some as Skyrim).

Released in 2011, five years after Oblivion, Skyrim is the fifth of the main Elder Scrolls series, and the first to sound like it's a James Bond movie title. This theme music on the other hand sounds more like what you get when 90 people chant their own made up lyrics to the Elder Scrolls theme introduced in Morrowind... it's basically amazing. Here have a youtube link, may it make your day just that little bit more epic.

I sank a considerable number of hours into this game a considerable number of months ago, so I'm not coming into the game blind, but I can't remember any of it in any kind of detail. As always I'll be playing it utterly unmodded, like a fool, to give you the most authentic screenshots possible. I'm not really a fan of mods to be honest, as I don't like the idea of tweaking a game to suit my tastes. For me it's a bit too much like getting out the red pen and scribbling edits over the pages of a novel I'm not liking. Once I've tasted the power of godlike power of an author I can't immerse myself in the experience in the same way.

(Click to view images in an astoundingly modern 1280x720 resolution. Actually I've just upgraded my PC at bloody last, so this time I've thrown in a few at 1920x1080 for you to enjoy. That's 125% extra pixels, free!)

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Vice: Project Doom (NES)

Vice Project Doom title screen
Today on Super Adventures, I'll be playing this NES game for an hour or so. The Japanese call it Gun-Dec, but in America it's known as Vice: Project Doom. It doesn't seem like it ever reached Europe, but here I shall call it Vice Project: Doom, because that just flows better to me somehow.

This had better be about a vice cop who ends up being the one man who can stop a supervillain's scheme to doom America by dumping cocaine into the water supply or... starting a chain of casinos in... high schools or something. I dunno, I just want to see a proper b-grade 80s action movie plot here.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

V.I.P. (GBA)

V.I.P Game Boy Advance title screen
Huh... my keen video gamer instincts are telling me that this game is based on something, isn't it?

Today on Super Adventures I'm learning that 'V.I.P.' was a TV series starring Pamela Anderson that somehow ran for four years a decade or so ago without me ever learning of its existence. This isn't even the only licensed V.I.P video game, as there's at least three of the things available on systems like the PlayStation 2, Game Boy Colour, and Game Boy Advance, and I can't imagine that this is in any way a good thing for the humans who have to share the planet with them. That's not a knock on V.I.P. by the way, I've never seen the series, I just know that games based on any TV series (even the good ones) aren't typically regarded as things that have any business existing. Though I will of course give this one a fair chance to win me over.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Undercover Cops (Arcade)

Undercover Cops title screen
I see a lot of shiny logos due to playing and writing about all these games, but that's the shiniest, most metallic logo I've seen since... well, Unreal a couple of days ago. But still, it's pretty damn metal. It's like two 80s action movie title logos were fused together, and both of them were from RoboCop.

Today on Super Adventures I'm playing an hour or so of Undercover Cops, a 1992 arcade game developed by Irem. You should probably just ignore the title though, as it's likely going to feature about as much actual police work as a Streets of Rage game. It's really about people in jeans and shoulder pads punching other people in jeans and shoulder pads, while walking over to the right for several stages in a row in order to eventually save the city from a mad doctor. At least that's what wikipedia says.

Wikipedia also says that many of the folks who worked on this later split off from Irem to form the Nazca Corporation and create the legendary Metal Slug franchise, so I won't be entirely shocked if this turns out to look kind of amazing for its time. In fact I've gone and got my hopes up now.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Unreal (PC)

Unreal 1998 logo
Today on Super Adventures I've finally ran out of excuses to put off replaying Epic and Digital Extremes's 1998 megagame Unreal. Not that I don't want to play it again, I was just trying to save it until I could give it some proper attention. I actually love this game, or at least I loved it back when I first finished it (I admit it's been a while since then).

I usually try to avoid user mods, bug fixes, source ports etc. because I'm after the most authentic experience I can get short of plugging a CRT screen in and digging out my old rubber ball mouse, but I'm going to be running this with the unofficial OldUnreal 227 patch, found on this site. I had to make an exception this time to get rid of the evil mouse smoothing/acceleration/whatever, because I can't find any better way of disabling it. I can live with dated controls, tiny resolutions and game bugs, but that's where I draw the line, I ain't putting up with that shit.

(Click the images to view them in resolutions unheard of in 1998.)

Semi-Random Game Box