Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Misadventures of Flink (Sega Mega CD)

They didn't even need to write 'Psygnosis' on screen, I can tell it's one of their games just from the logo.

The game was released on the Mega Drive, Mega CD and Amiga CD32, but weirdly only the Mega CD version seems to have this intro. It doesn't seem like anything that a regular Mega Drive would struggle with, it's all just pixel art with a little animation.

That floating space island in the background isn't even animated at all, which is probably for the best, because they seem mere seconds away from losing their sea entirely.

The evil space king magically turns into a fireball and hurtles towards the... planet thing. A cunning plan indeed.

Where's that water flowing off to anyway? There's no down in space.

Flink observes as the evil space king fireball crashes into a volcano, throwing up a thick cloud of dust that covers the sky.

Annoyingly it seems that no one else is around to sort this problem out, so Flink heads off alone to... I have no idea. I guess he's going to walk over to the volcano in the hope that this can all be fixed by jumping on things.

In a shocking break from platformer tradition, the game starts on a forest level.

I think it'd be fair to say that this is a damn fine looking forest though. The graphics are by game artist Henk Nieborg, who also did the pixelwork for Lionheart and Ghost Battle, and it definitely looks like his work. Awesome level art, weird hero sprite. Shame there aren't multiple levels of scrolling for the background though, because it looks a bit flat in motion.

The Mega Drive and Amiga CD32 versions look basically identical, so there's not really much point showing screens of them. The music is the same too, though the CD versions sound a little less terrible.

I ran over and instinctively jumped on that guy's head, without even considering that I'd be landing on a spiky helmet. It all worked out though, two hits and he was dead and I got a sparkly thing.

It seems that collecting red flasks and sparkly things from dead enemies fills up the magic bar on the top left of the screen.

Right now though all it seems to do is give me an extra hit point. When I'm hit by an enemy my magic spills out like Sonic the Hedgehog's rings, and I imagine it'd be wise not to get hit a second time while I'm trying to grab it all back again.

Hey, I can throw opened chests at enemies! That's handy.

I'd carry one around with me all the time, but holding a heavy chest really slows poor Flink down.

These guys carrying baskets are real bastards. Landing on a viking will knock them down and stun them so I can easily finish them off, but these other enemies run off instead. Worse, they're invulnerable for a few seconds.
To make the killing blow I have to run after them, and Flink speeds up as he goes so it's hard to judge the right moment to jump. If I don't immediately run after them they'll escape off the edge of a ledge, but if I jump too fast I'll hit them from the side and take damage. 

HAH, finally got the bastard, and got some leaves as a reward. I'm sure there'll be a use for them later. Probably.

I hit three of them with a single stone! Come to me my sparkly magic.

With level one completed, Flink puts a flag up and floats off to level two. Huh, Flink can fly now? It sure would have been convenient if I could have done that earlier.

Sorry about this my monkey friend, but I need your help to get past these spiky plants.

Hey, it's the classic boulder and plank trick. Nice of those enemies to set this up for me or else I would have never gotten past here.

Awesome, I was hoping that sliding down would work. I wonder what I get in the box as my reward.

Wow, thanks for the advice! Maybe it would have been wiser to put this before the hill?

This seems like useful info though. Hey, I collected leaves from that guy earlier. I wonder what else I've got.

Damn, looks like I won't be casting any quick grow for a while.

I like how they had the sense to make the cauldron float just in case I brought this menu up while standing next to a cliff. Like I just did.

Oh shit, it's one of those scrolling levels that never stops moving. Actually to be honest it's not so bad. Flink can swim, so if I miss a jump I can get back up easily enough.


Crap, I just lost my first life! Okay, so at least I've learned two things: I can land on an open hand, but it's not a good idea to hang around on them for long. Because they'll crush me like a bug.

I really hate these enemies. I mistimed my jump and ended up falling into him rather than onto him. I made it all this way without losing a life, and now I just lost two in a row.

It doesn't help that I'm more vulnerable after respawning because I have no magic. So one hit will (and just did) kill me.

They're being tricky now. There's another one of these planks up on the top ledge, but no boulder to use on it, so I had to throw one up for me to use when I get back up there.

Okay, these things are now my least favourite enemy. They spring up from out of the ground, they're incredibly fast, and their only vulnerable spot is the head. If I land on the the spiky body I get hit.

Oh great, I finally manage to get past the damn spikeworms, and lose my last life getting shot by a rock instead.
I can't give up yet, I haven't even figured out how to use the spells. Besides, I think I might actually be starting to like the game.

Ah, these things definitely don't like stuff being thrown at them.



Hmmmmmm. Yeah, I think I've screwed this up. At least the spikes aren't instantly lethal, so I still have a chance to leap to safety.

Uh, now what? I've reached the top of the level and there's nowhere else to go.

Wow, so that was a doorway? I'm sure I've passed columns of bricks like this before, but those weren't doorways as well surely? Nah, they couldn't have been.

Damn, I should have guessed it'd be one of these guys that finished me off in the end. I didn't even get to try out any magic. Not even one little spell.

I didn't actually like the game at first, but it started to grow on me. It's reasonably slick, looks great, and doesn't seem to have any massive obvious flaws. Except for there being no way to turn the music off. It even has a 'practice mode' with infinite continues. But there's no way I'm playing all that again from the start again. Next game.


Semi-Random Game Box