Monday, 31 August 2020

Super Adventures: Game Over

Bad news, you just lost the game. It's all over, you've failed, the princess is dead, humanity is doomed, and you'll never get all your bananas back. But it's not all bad, as video games often include special exclusive content that can only be accessed by screwing everything up. Game over screens, continue screens, excessively well-animated death scenes, sometimes even a catchy song.

So this week's Super Adventures is going to be a celebration of bad endings! Mostly because they're far easier and quicker to get a screenshot of than good endings, and also much less spoilery! Oh, I realise the picture up there's a bit ominous, but the site itself isn't ending any time soon. Not permanently anyway, though I am taking another break after this for a few weeks.

You may be thinking 'How is this any different to one of those "Top 30 Game Over Screens" posts you'd find on other sites?' The answer is... it's not any different. It's exactly that. I have no shame. Though I might be the first site not to include Total Distortion's "You Are Dead" song... except that's a YouTube link I just gave you, so I suppose I kind of did. I won't be including Chrono Trigger's "But... the Future Refused to Change" screen either, because it's not really much to look at. It's just really grey.

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

TECNO: The Base (PC) - Guest Post

Today on Super Adventures, occasional guest poster mecha-neko's back to show off... uh, I have no idea what this is. I've never heard of this game before. What even is this?

Hello everyone!

I'm playing TECNO: The Base, "An FPS-Adventure game with its own unique style".

Tecno The Base Title Screen
Developer:Paolo Cosentino
GURUY Entertainment (Uruguay)
|Release Date:7th September 2007
(freeware May 2012)
|Systems:Windows

Set in a huge research facility run amok, TECNO: The Base promises a plethora of lethal robots, an arsenal of experimental weaponry and many ingenious objectives to complete. Sounds awesome to me!

Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence (PS2)

Metal Gear Solid 3 title screen playstation 2
Developer:Konami|Release Date:
Snake Eater - NA/JP 2004, EU 2005
Subsistence - JP 2005, EU/NA 2006
|Systems:PS2, PS3, PSVita, Xbox 360, 3DS

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing the first canon Metal Gear game to never come out on a computer! Even to this day it hasn't had a Steam release, despite getting a HD remaster a decade or so back on consoles. Because Konami are strange.

The title screen up there claims that this is something called Subsistence, but really it's just Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater with a new camera mode and a few extra features. In fact it's a bit like the Substance release for Metal Gear Solid 2 (funny how similar those subtitles are). But there's no VR missions this time! That's possibly because the game's a prequel set 40 years earlier, in the 60s, and VR was less of a thing back then. The story starts on 24 August 1964 in fact, which also happened to be creator Hideo Kojima's first birthday.

Here's a non-trivial bit of trivia about this title screen: you can change the background camo style and colour by clicking the analogue sticks. There's nothing you can press to stop Snake beating up this poor guard over and over though. Here's some more trivia: that's not actually Snake. Well, it is a Snake, but it's not series protagonist Solid Snake (because he was born in the 70s).

I'm not going to assume you've played the other Metal Gears or know anything about the convoluted continuity, but there are going to be SPOILERS below for the series so far, so try not to read anything you don't want to know.

Friday, 14 August 2020

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition (PC) - Part 2

Baldur's Gate 2 Shadows of Amn Enhanced Edition menu screen
Today on Super Adventures I'm just playing a bit more of Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn (Enhanced Edition). Well actually I'll be playing a lot more, but I wouldn't worry too much about spoilers as I'll just be skipping through all the interesting parts to whine about things that bother me.

I'm sorry I can't be as in-depth or insightful as the CRPG Addict, but it seems like he's going to take another decade or more to reach the 2000s, so why not read my words while you wait? I mean I'm assuming you've probably read part one already. If not you can get to it by clicking here: PART ONE.

Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition (PC) - Part 1

Baldur's Gate II Enhanced Edition title screen
Enhanced - Developer:Overhaul|Release Date:2013|Systems:Win, OS X, iPad, Android, iPhone, Linux, Switch, PS4, XBOne
Original Game - Developer:BioWare|Release Date:2000|Systems:Win

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing the Enhanced Edition of the gigantic Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn. This one's a titan of RPGs, an absolute classic, and very similar to the original Baldur's Gate... which I've already written about. In fact you might be wondering why I'd spend so much time trying to play and then summarise something so massive and complex (and yet also so well known) when I've basically done it already, but it's too late for you to talk me out of it.

Baldur's Gate II was BioWare's fourth title, after mech action game Shattered Steel, Baldur's Gate, and misc action game MDK2, and this is the point where they cast away all distractions to fully devote themselves to the RPG genre. But they only make blockbuster AAA titles these days, so Beamdog (their Overhaul Games division to be precise) got to be the ones to update this game for modern systems 13 years later. They updated the Throne of Bhaal expansion as well, and even threw in a bonus battle arena called The Black Pits II (which I'm not gonna play).

The Enhanced Editions apparently sold well enough, as a few years later Beamdog also got to make a new expansion for the first Baldur's Gate, called Siege of Dragonspear, which fills you in what happened to your hero in the time skip between the two games. So Baldur's Gate II is now following on from content made 16 years after it. You can import your character from that expansion into this and start off way overleveled... by like 2 levels (Dungeons & Dragons can be incredibly stingy with the level ups it seems).

I never played pen and paper D&D and I haven't read any Forgotten Realms books, so I'll have no idea how faithful Baldur's Gate II is to the lore and gameplay. I have played a few of the videogames before though... including this one. In fact it was probably my first D&D game after Eye of the Beholder, and I completely bounced off it the first time I installed it because I had no bloody idea what I was doing. I don't even think I knew I was supposed to rest occasionally. But then I gave it a second go later and made real progress. Tons of progress. I didn't actually beat the bloody game though and it's been tormenting me ever since.

I'm thinking that I got about two thirds of the way through on my last time, but it's a bloody long game so I'm not really sure. All I know is that it's going to take more than the first hour to really get an idea of how it plays, but I'll try to skip through without really spoiling anything beyond the prologue. Expect lots of zoomed out images of tactical combat and beautiful shots of menu screens.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Breath of Fire II (SNES)

Breath of Fire II title screen SNES
Developer:Capcom|Release Date:JP: 1994, NA: 1995, EU: 1996|Systems:SNES, GBA

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing Brerth of Fireo! Uh, Breath of Fire II!

I played the original Breath of Fire just over a year ago, so it's not really fresh in my memory, but I think I thought it was 'okay'. Not all that interesting, but okay. Nice graphics though.

I've already spotted one massive improvement that Breath of Fire II has over the first game, which is that is was actually made it to Europe fast enough to get released for the system it was created for. We didn't get to play first game over here until the Game Boy Advance port, which came out five and a half years after its own sequel. And it does seem to be a proper sequel this time, unlike the other games in the series, as Wikipedia tells me it takes place 500 years after the events of the original game.

I'm planning to at least go through the first few hours of the game, so there will be SPOILERS below this point, but not many. I just felt like I should give you fair warning, seeing as JRPGs have a lot of story in them. Here's my first spoiler: if you leave the title screen on for a while all you get is gameplay demos. I thought it might give me an secret intro, like the first game, but it did not.

Right, I'm going to press SJARJ and see what this is like.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Amulets & Armor (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

This week on Super Adventures, guest poster mecha-neko is playing a DOS RPG from 1997! He rarely ever writes about RPGs, so this one must be something... special.

For a change, instead of playing something weird that I've never played before, I'm going to play something I'm very familiar with from my childhood.

Amulets and Armor title screen dos
Developer:United Software Artists|Release Date:January 1997
(re-released 26th April 2013)
|Systems:MS-DOS, Windows

This is Amulets & Armor. It's an RPG! Except it's not. It's an FPS! Except it's not. And it's multiplayer, except it's not. It's a little of everything.

I've been meaning to play and write about this game for years, but I've never felt like I'd be able to do it justice. When I was but a lad and loved playing shareware demos on the family PC (alright, I still do), I would play the one level demo of this a lot. I liked the ambience and the cartoons in Interpose, but Amulets & Armor is the game I actually played.

I only had the demo back then, but it was re-released in 2013 as a free full game for both MS-DOS and Windows, with the source code available for boffins as well. If you'd like to hear a little bit about why you've never heard of the game, click here, but I'll be focusing on just playing the full DOS version today.

Semi-Random Game Box