Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Super AiG Screenshots of the Year: 2014

Welcome to the fourth annual Super Adventures Screenshots of the Year event, featuring screenshots and animations from the last 12 months of the site chosen for their beauty and their allure. Actually I mostly just went with the ones that jumped out at me and caught my attention while I was scrolling through the 122 game posts that ended up on my site last year.

As always every highlighted game title is going to take you to the original article if you click on it.

(Every now and again you'll see a shot from a modern PC game, if you click them they'll likely open up into a slightly higher resolution image.)

Monday, 29 December 2014

X-Com: Enforcer (PC) - Guest Post

Hey look, former guest-posting superstar mecha-neko came back just in time to play the last game to be featured on the site this year! It was only a matter of time before X-Com: Enforcer made an appearance I suppose, and I'm kinda glad I wasn't the one who ended up having to play it.
This was a gift from a most X-cellent person. It was X-tremely X-pensive, so my X-pectations are high!

X-Com Enforcer Title Screen
Once again, the Earth is under attack from a relentless alien foe. Only one cat can possibly stop them.
(Click the pictures to fill your monitor with X-ceedingly high resolution images of X-Com: Enforcer.)

Star Wars: X-Wing - Collectors' CD-ROM (MS-DOS)

X-Wing PC game logo
Today on Super Adventures it is my privilege to bore you with my thoughts about the first hour or two of Star Wars: X-Wing: Space Combat Simulator: Collectors' CD-ROM '94! No, no, come back, I've brought gifs as well.

A few months ago I said I was going to bring back balance to the site this year, and this post should finally pull the Star Wars games even with the Star Trek games (in quantity if not quality). Actually I suppose this one should count three times, as LucasArts kept rereleasing it with a new engine and different graphics throughout the 90s. It only ever came out on PC and Mac though for whatever reason (unlike the rival Wing Commander games which made it everywhere).

This was actually the very first Star Wars game developed in-house at LucasArts, by an independent team that later formed Totally Games and went on to make a bunch more X-Wing space sims (plus a Star Trek one) before kinda dropping off the map. After 1999's Freespace 2 bombed there just wasn't as much demand for space combat games like this any more. I can't help but wonder if the genre might have lived longer though if console gamers had gotten to play the best of them.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Xmas Lemmings (Amiga) (Demo)

Xmas Lemmings 91 title screen amiga
Aww, they even dressed up the 'TM' with a bit of holly.

Welcome to a special Christmas edition of Super Adventures, where I'm playing a special Christmas edition of a game you've probably heard of. I figured that I should put the effort in to find something interesting to look at this year, something with a bit of festive charm to it... but mobygames and a team of experts couldn't come up with anything suitable that begins with the letter 'X', so you're getting this instead.

There's actually a few Xmas Lemmings and Christmas Lemmings games around, with the first two being 4 level demos made to promote Oh No! More Lemmings, and the last two being proper retail releases with 16 levels each. But I'm only playing the earliest of them, which I found on an Amiga Format coverdisk (Issue 30, on sale Christmas 1991 if you're curious).

Oh, plus I should mention that I have played Lemmings plenty of times before and I'm very familiar with it. I'm crap at it mind you, but I know what the buttons do.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Wasteland 2 (PC)

Today on Super Adventures I’m taking a relatively brief look at the actual sequel to Wasteland that now actually really exists in the world for real. It hasn’t been all that long since I wrote about Skyrim, and yet here I am writing about another insanely massive RPG, I guess I must just hate having free time.

Wasteland 2 is one of the big isometric RPG Kickstarter success stories that came out of nowhere these last couple of years, along with games like Divinity: Original Sin, Pillars of Eternity, Shadowrun Returns and Torment: Tides of Numenera. Maybe this is just a fad, or maybe we’re looking at the glorious rebirth of a subgenre unfairly killed off long before its time by developers chasing more mainstream audiences, I dunno. Personally I’m happy with what we’ve got so far, as five of these games combined must be like… 30,000 hours of gameplay, at least.

I’ve only been semi-looking forward to finally playing this though, as to be honest I’m not a huge fan of Wasteland or its spiritual successor Fallout, and seeing as this is a sequel to one and a successive spiritual successor to the other, there’s a fair chance I’ll come away from this disappointed. On the other hand it’s mostly their dated game design and interface that puts me off, so maybe a more modern take on the formula will win me over! It worked for Fallout 3 after all, but then that's not quite the same thing.

(As always when I played one of these new-fangled PC titles, you can click the screenshots to view them in their original resolution. Might give you a fighting chance to make out some of the text).

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.)

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Unreal (Amiga)

Unreal Title Screen Amiga Ubisoft
Whoa, look at the size of that title screen! That ain't normal for a 16-bit game man; you could fit six SNES title screens into that thing with room to spare.

Today on Super Adventures, I'm putting an hour or so into classic Amiga game Unreal, published by Ubisoft in 1990, eight years before Epic and Digital Extremes would borrow the title for their first person shooter and the infamous engine it runs on. I don't actually know much of anything about this Unreal though, except that it was ported across to the PC and Atari ST a year after the Amiga version, and the title screen is insane. It's a hand-pixelled reproduction of the cover to the 1979 edition of the Michael Moorcock novel 'Lord of the Spiders', which makes more sense when you know that the painting was also used for the game's box art. I guess someone at Ubisoft was a fan.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Half-Life: Uplink (Demo) (PC)

Half-Life Uplink title screen
That's a nice effect, but if you stare at the 'H A L F - L I F E' text bouncing from left and right in the background long enough it starts looking kinda dopey. It's so weird seeing the original, un-Steamed title screen again though after all these years.

Hello and welcome to Super Adventures in Gaming, the site that just can't stop putting up articles about Half-Life. My friend mecha-neko wrote up his opinions on the authentic original version of Half-Life a couple of years back, and then I took a look at the fan made remake Black Mesa a few months later, but there's Half-Life content that neither of us have looked at yet... like Opposing Force, Blue Shift, Decay...

But there's also Half-Life: Uplink, a demo released in early 1999 featuring a modified version of levels cut from the actual game, which happens to be the first Half-Life content I ever played. It's also the first Valve developed content I ever played, which is fitting because today is the 10th anniversary of my Steam account!

Don't bother looking for Uplink on Steam though, it isn't there (though you can apparently download it as a mod for Half-Life).

(Click the screenshots to expand them into dimensions unimagined by gamers in 1998... except not really, as 1280x960 was already in the resolution list for me to choose from.)

Oh by the way, did you know that Half-Life was PC Gamer's Game of the Year 1998? Well okay you probably have an idea seeing as there's a badge right there on the title screen, but did you know that it was literally figuratively every other magazine's Game of the Year too?

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Tomb Raider (PC)

Today on Super Adventures, I'm putting a few hours into the original Tomb Raider! Uh, I mean I'm playing the original version of the 2013 reboot/prequel instead of the 2014 'Definitive Edition' of the 2013 game, I'm not playing the original ORIGINAL Tomb Raider. Oh fuck it, I'm calling this Lara Croft's Tropical Torture Island Vacation.

I suppose I could also call it Tomb Raider 9, though they got bored of numbering the games somewhere back around 3, and that doesn't include things like the Game Boy games and the isometric Lara Croft series. Or the remake of Tomb Raider 1 that came out a few years back called Tomb Raider Anniversary. Man there's a lot of Tomb Raider games in the world right now, and I've barely played any of them. I was scared off years ago when the reviews for each new game reported that it was more of the same, except worse.

Tomb Raider 2013 isn't more of the same though, and while that may have worried the faithful (especially after the early trailers), it caught my interest. I'm the asshole who liked Resident Evil 5 more than Resident Evil 2, and Fallout 3 more than Fallout 2 you see, so there's reason for me to approach this with a bit of optimism... though to be honest I actually kind of played and finished the entire game a year ago, so I won't be coming in blind and utterly clueless like I usually do. Sorry.

(Click the screenshots to open them up into a slightly less pathetic 1280x720 resolution. You should be grateful for that much, seeing as the game was far more interested in giving me a completely unacceptable 1272x720!)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Toonstruck (MS-DOS)

Toonstruck title screen
Today on Super Adventures I'll be giving an hour or so to Toonstruck, a game that has surprisingly little to do with that clown up there. Sure he's in it, eventually, but I almost guarantee you won't be seeing him again here.

I feel like I should seen this game mentioned more often, considering it stars Christopher Lloyd, Homer Simpson and half the cast of half the cartoons from the 90s, but it seems almost forgotten these days. I've no idea how well known it actually is, but I do know that it didn't sell enough to get a sequel... which in this case would've actually been the second half of the game, seeing as it wasn't exactly finished when they put it out on shelves.

I'm sure I've reached the semi-cliffhanger ending before, or at least watched someone else complete it, but my only strong memory of this game is that clown up there yelling "BALLOOOOOOON?" I've got absolutely zero recollection of the story or any of the puzzles, so I get to work them all out again from scratch.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Tomb Raider (MS-DOS) - Part 2

Dare you revisit part one?

Tomb Raider (MS-DOS) - Part 1

Tomb Raider title screen pc
Today I'm having a look at Core Design's original Tomb Raider. I have to call it that, because Crystal Dynamics decided to go and reuse the name in 2013 for a prequel, demonstrating a fundamental lack of understanding about what names are actually for (hint: they're an identifier to allow people to refer to specific things without ambiguity or confusion).

Here, you can load the surprisingly mellow Tomb Raider theme up in youtube and have it playing it in the background while I humorously note that the game is actually a sort of successor to Core Design's earlier Rick Dangerous series. In fact Core made a fair number of the games I've featured on the site, like Bubba 'n' Stix, Curse of Enchantia and, uh, Blam! Machine Head; but after Tomb Raider caught on they were doomed to crank out sequel after sequel, one a year until the series and developer finally lost everyone's respect entirely.

Tomb Raider was actually released first on the Sega Saturn, with the PC version coming soon after (and the N-Gage version just 7 years after that), but most of my fuzzy semi-fond memories of the game come from when a friend and I rented the PlayStation version. We didn't get anywhere though and he did most of the playing, so I'm not really all that sure what to expect from the game. Very very dated controls mostly.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Toejam & Earl (Genesis/Mega Drive)

ToeJam & Earl title screen
Today on Super Adventures I'm inflicting my first impressions of ToeJam & Earl upon the world, though I get the feeling that the world probably has a much better idea of what this is than I do. I've never played it, I've never really seen it, and all I know about it is that it's described as being a roguelike, and that people apparently bought enough copies of it at the time for it to get a couple of sequels.

One thing I'm certain of is that it's not based on a cartoon, though that title screen made me double check. Nope, these two debuted exclusively on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive, and pretty much stayed there until the third game in the ToeJam Trilogy ended up landing on Xbox a decade later. I guess the developers determined that the SNES just wasn't sufficiently funky.

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Squirt's Adventure (PC)

Today Super Adventures takes a look at Squirt's Adventure. Don't get your hopes up though, this is a port of a touch-screen iPhone pirate-themed edutainment game made for five year olds to help acquaint them with the alphabet. I got this as a gift from a generous friend, who apparently thinks I need practice matching up letters with words.

To be fair I can see why he'd be concerned; my site's gimmick this year is that I have to play games in roughly alphabetical order: a set of games starting with 'A', a set of 'B' games, then a set of 'C' games etc. But somehow Deus Ex 3 ended up as a 'H' game, Max Payne 2 got filed under 'F' and Elder Scrolls Online was thrown in with the 'B' games. You don't even want to know what I've got planned for the 'X' games.

Of course he could be honestly curious about how it plays! Far be it from me to judge him for his taste in video games. I suppose there's a possibility though that it was just really cheap one day and he thought it'd be a laugh to watch me suffer. Either way, the game was inflicted on me, so now I'm inflicting it on you.

(Click screenshots to open them up a little bigger.)

Friday, 7 November 2014

Sleeping Dogs (PC)

Sleeping Dogs title screen logo
Super Adventures' run of spectacular semi-recent story-driven sandbox games starting with 'S' concludes at last with Sleeping Dogs! Here, you can listen to the theme while you read: youtube link.

The game didn't used to start with an 'S', that only happened relatively late in development. It actually began life as a new IP with title Black Lotus (no relation to the Lotus Turbo Challenge games), but publisher Activision decided they'd like to revive their True Crime franchise and relabelled it 'True Crime: Hong Kong' instead. Then three and a half years into development they decided that they'd rather cancel the whole thing altogether, and that was the end of it... until Square Enix stepped in like a big damn hero and saved the day, in a similar way to how Deep Silver saved Saints Row IV. They then retitled it to Sleeping Dogs, which is a decent enough name I guess, though personally I think they should've gone with 'Final Fantasy XV' just to see the reaction they got.

(Click the pictures to view them in an epic screen-filling 1280x720 resolution... well, screen-filling if you've got a tiny little monitor like I do.)

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

The Saboteur (PC)

The Saboteur title screen pc
My selfish stylish sexy sandbox shooter starting with an 'S' series stretches on to its third game: Pandemic's swan song The Saboteur. Yep, this was the final game ever made by Pandemic Studios, which kind of sucks as I love everything I've played by them. Mercenaries was one of the best open world sandbox games to follow Grand Theft Auto 3's lead, and I had some good times playing the Star Wars: Battlefront games in multiplayer. So I've got unreasonably high hopes for this one, and if it lets me down at all I'll be distraught.

The game came out for PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but I'm playing the Windows version because... well, it's a lot easier to get screenshots out of it. I've heard that this is a bit of a bad port, especially on PCs with modern processors and an ATI graphics card like mine, but I made it through the dodgy PC version of Saints Row 2 so I'm sure I can handle it.

(Click any screenshot to open up a 1280x1024 resolution version. Yeah yeah I know it's not exactly what you'd find on deadendthrills.com.)

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Saints Row 2 (PC)

Saints Row 2 logo
Surprise! Today I'm playing a second story-driven sandbox shooter starting with an 'S', and it's another one of those Saints Row games. But it's an earlier one without sci-fi jet fighters, spaceships or super powers. It's Volition's 2008 crime 'em up sequel Saints Row 2!

But is such a game even playable anymore to someone who has recently leapt between skyscrapers shooting fireballs out of their hands in Saints Row 4? If you're a PC owner, then the answer is likely to be... no. Well not without a bit of work anyway, as this got a famously terrible port that can run in fast forward if you're playing it on a Windows 7 machine with a CPU clock speed different to the Xbox 360's processor. Windows 8 users are apparently safe from this, in a rare case of a new operating system actually FIXING an old game. That is a pretty amazing bug all on its own, but the game apparently also has problems with prefetching memory that can cause frame rate issues even on powerful PCs. It definitely seems like either the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 version may be a better choice for this one, because damn.

Fortunately I've been assured that the fast forward issue is a fixable problem, thanks to IdolNinja's Saints Row 2 Powertools Mod, so I'm hopeful it'll hammer this into a more acceptable shape for me.

(Click the images to view them at twice the resolution.)

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Saints Row IV (PC)

Saints Row IV logo
Sometimes on Super Adventures I play ancient retro games, sometimes I play obscure indie titles, but for the next two weeks I've decided to play nothing but semi-recent story-driven sandbox shooters beginning with the letter 'S', because I can. First up is Saints Row IV.

There was a bit of a incident in early 2013 where the game's original publisher (THQ) kind of exploded, and seeing as they also owned the developer (Volition), that could've been the end for Saints Row right there. Fortunately Deep Silver stepped in to save the day, purchasing Volition and ensuring that the Saints Row saga continued with the developer's vision intact.

The game was released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Windows, and I'm playing the PC version. If the graphics look a little blocky around the edges, that's because I had an issue with the anti-aliasing and decided to turn it off entirely. It's probably the fault of my ancient graphics card rather than the game itself though, so don't judge it too harshly. All other settings are on the highest they go up to, surprisingly

(Click the images to view them at 1280x800).

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Rocket Knight Adventures (Genesis/Mega Drive)

Rocket Knight Adventures title screen
Today on Super Adventures I'm spending an hour or so playing Konami's Rocket Knight Adventures, released exclusively on the Sega Genesis/Mega Drive. This is the first game of a series, though Sparkster here wasn't really the most well loved mascot hero of his time. Sure three games is a lot better than many of his rivals managed during the Anthropomorphic Mascot Wars of the early 90s, but after 1994 he was left forgotten for sixteen years before landing his fourth (and possibly final) starring role in Rocket Knight.

I've seen his other games but I've never really had a go of this one before, so I can promise that I'm coming at this entirely unburdened by nostalgia or foreknowledge. Though I admit that I'm always going to be a little biased towards liking games with 'Super' or 'Adventures' in the title.

This is the final 'R' game I'll be looking at this year before I move on to the letter 'S', and to be honest it's one more than I'd originally planned to play. But it was requested, and I felt bad for not having one single 16-bit Sega game on the site since early February, so here's a bonus platformer for you. Though of course this does mean that one of the other letters is losing a game.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Rise of the Triad: Dark War (MS-DOS)

Rise of the Triad: Dark War title screen logo
Here's a genuine classic first person shooter for you: Rise of the Triad: Dark War (probably no relation to Rise of the Robots). I have to stick that 'Dark War' bit on the end or else you might assume that I was talking about the 2013 remake with the same name, as that's the kind of thing that happens when two things are labelled the same.

This was the last game developed by Apogee before they switched to using the name '3D Realms' for their first person shooters with 1996's Duke Nukem 3D. In case you're wondering, the last title that 3D Realms finished creating themselves before letting the development team go in 2009 was apparently the original 1997 Shadow Warrior game. But in a strange case of serendipitous timing, the company was officially relaunched today by the new management, so chances are good that they'll be able to finish a third game under the name someday!

So Rise of the Triad is definitely old, but is it any good? I don't know, I've barely played it and can't remember, but I'll put it on for a bit and find out for you. One episode should be long enough to form an opinion I reckon... assuming that the game even has episodes. I know, I'll just keep shooting things until I hit a boss fight.

Monday, 20 October 2014

RoboCop 2 (NES)

Robocop NES title screen
Okay, that's how you do a title screen. Shame they had to squash up the title a bit to fit it all in though; that poor letter 'B' has ended up overlapped and mangled.

Today I'm taking a look at RoboCop 2 on the NES, obviously, and I'm amazed that it's taken me this long to get a RoboCop game onto the site. Well okay my associate, mecha-neko, wrote a guest post a few years back about the 2003 PC game, but that thing's more of an eldritch abomination trapped in a crude video game form, and knowing too much more about it could drive you mad.

I've played a couple of the old RoboCop platformers in the past, but I've never seen this one before so it's all going to be new to me. If it's anything like the others I've seen though... we're not going to get on.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Star Wars: Rebel Assault (MS-DOS)

Star Wars: Rebel Assault logo
Today's 'R' game is Star Wars: Rebel Assault, part of my ongoing efforts to get a few more Star Wars games onto the site so the Trek games can't be so smug.

This may well have been the very first game I ever bought for PC, I honestly can't remember. It was almost certainly this or some other LucasArts game like Sam and Max or TIE Fighter, because back when I got my first rig those guys pretty much defined PC gaming for me. So yeah I think there's a fair chance I'm going to be incredibly biased by nostalgia here, but then again it's been a few years now since this disc has been anywhere near a disc drive.

Wikipedia claims that the game also came out on Mac, 3DO and Sega CD, and I can believe it. This is definitely one of those interactive multimedia kind of action game experiences only possible due to the power of the compact disc (ie. it's got a lot of video in it).

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Realms of the Haunting (MS-DOS) - Part 2

Click to journey back to part one.

Realms of the Haunting (MS-DOS) - Part 1

Realms of the Haunting logo
Today on Super Adventures I'm switching over to 'R' games, starting with a look at classic DOS adventure/shooter game Realms of the Haunting. Because someone asked me nicely (and paid for it).

Often when I play a game blind I'm coming into it with some foreknowledge; maybe I've seen someone else play a bit of it, maybe I've read a review, maybe my friend won't stop sending me gifs from it etc. But this time around I have absolutely no clue what I'm getting out of this beyond the flash of spoilers I got downloaded into my brain when I made the dumb mistake of glancing at the wikipedia page for half a second (I just wanted to know when it came out, damn you wikipedia!) I've definitely heard the title before but beyond that this is all new to me.

I'm guessing it's closer to Myst than it is to Quake, but then I haven't played Myst either so I should just shut up and put the game on.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Donald Duck: Quack Attack (PSX)

Donald Duck Quack Attack title screen
Alright, the last 'Q' game I'll be looking at this year is the Playstation version of Disney's Donald Duck "Qu@ck Att@ck"?*! (AKA. "Goin' Qu@ckers*!" in North America). Seriously, that's what it's called, you can see the title screen right there. I'm going to assume the bonus punctuation is standing in for unintelligible angry duck swearing, because it totally is.

Today's game is a request... uh, a suggestion... well okay someone basically just pointed out in a comment that the thing exists and begins with 'Q', but that's good enough for me. It turns out that Q isn't the most popular letter for video game titles, so I appreciate the help. R, S and T on the other hand I've got covered (and then some), so I wouldn't recommend recommending anything beginning with one of those letters for the next four months or so.

I've never even heard of this one before by the way, so I've no idea what kind of game it is or what the critical response to it was. Somehow though I don't expect to be impressed, but I'll give it an hour or two to surprise me.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Quake 4 (PC)

Today, at last, I'm taking a quick look at the first few hours of Quake 4. Though it should really be called Quake II-2, as it breaks the series' long tradition of each game having basically nothing to do with each other, and instead continues the tale of Quake II.

The game came out a year after Doom 3 and is built on the same engine, but it was actually developed by id's sidekick Raven Software, who've used id's tech in the past to bring the world first person shooters like Heretic, Soldier of Fortune and Star Trek: Voyager - Elite Force. But not Return to Castle Wolfenstein, that was actually someone else (though Raven did make the next Wolfenstein game... called Wolfenstein.)

Anyway I've played (and finished) the game once before, but thanks to my superpower of being able to completely forget pretty much anything and everything (aside from bad pop songs and 16-bit game tunes), it'll be just like I'm seeing it all for the first time!

(Click the images to view them in a larger resolution.)

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Super Adventures's Disappointing 1000th Post Spectacular!

When I realised I was getting close to the 1000th article posted to the site, I figured that I'd do something interesting for the occasion. But nothing came to mind, so I gave up on that and decided to just show every single title screen, box shot or logo added to the site in the last four years, in one absurdly long alphabetically organised grid of thumbnails.

No commentary this time, just several big images containing hundreds of tiny ones.

Quik the Thunder Rabbit (Amiga)

Quik the Thunder Rabbit title screen
I'm done with those 'P' games now for the year so today I'm finally moving onto 'Q', starting with 1994 Amiga platformer Quik the Thunder Rabbit; not to be confused with other Amiga games like Quik n' Silva or Qwak. Or the Nesquik Bunny for that matter.

The logo up there's kind of weird as it implies Quik will be a mechanical construct with a red helmet, the Mega Man of lagomorphs, but he's nothing like that. I've only played the game before very briefly, but I know enough about it to know that I won't be playing as a robot rabbit. He's called 'The Thunder Rabbit' because he's fast as lightning (or a well known console mascot hedgehog), not because he runs off electricity or has the powers of Thor or anything like that.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Probability 0 (PC)

Hi, I'm Ray Hardgrit, I play games, and today I'm taking a brief look at Probability 0, a "downward-scrolling infinite arcade platformer" by Droqen, the maker of a bunch of other indie games I've never heard of: www.droqen.com. Starseed Pilgrim sounds a little familiar though.

I'm playing this one though because I kind of know the composer and I ended up with a copy, so disregard anything nice I have to say about the soundtrack. In fact it's probably safer to just ignore everything I have to say entirely.

Alright there's apparently two modes here, Beginner and Expert, so I'll go with Beginner for a bit and show you what happens next via the medium of screenshots.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Postal (PC)

Postal title screen
Not the prettiest title screen, but at least it's more cheerful than the music collection of sounds playing in the background when it comes up. I figured the game would be leaning more towards dumb comedy than grim psychological horror, but that shows what I know.

Hi, welcome to Super Adventures. I'm Ray Hardgrit and I know absolutely nothing about the first Postal game. I've played a lot of Postal 2 and I've heard that Postal 3 is so bad that developer Running With Scissors basically disowned it (in fact it's so bad that they added the game box into Postal 2 and you get an achievement for pissing on it), but the original Postal remains a mystery to me. I'll soon fix that though.

(Fair warning: there's a good chance I'm going to end up calling the game 'Portal' instead of 'Postal', and it likely won't just be once, so try not to be confused if you catch me screwing up.)

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Pokémon: Red Version (GB)

Pokémon Red Version title screen game boy
Today's 'P' game is POKéMON: Red Version! Okay there's no way I'm writing it out like that for the rest of this. I'll let it keep the acute accented é but that's where I draw the line.

I was surprised to find (because I know astoundingly little about the series) that the game is not called Pokémon in its native country. I mean I get that it's a portmanteau, but I assumed the name originated in Japan, like with 'Tamagotchi'. In fact the original Japanese title for this is basically just pronounced as 'Pocket Monsters'; so someone took a sensible English title and then mangled it up for the English release. It's a perfectly likeable mangled up name though, so I ain't complaining.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Paper Sorcerer (PC)

Paper Sorcerer title screen
Well this isn't a good sign: it looks like they've taken the title screen from an Apple II game. I do like the candle effect, but that has to be a contender for the worst looking game logo on the site so far.

Hi I'm Ray Hardgrit and this is Super Adventures, I play games for an hour or two and try to figure out what they are and if they're any good. Today game is indie RPG Paper Sorcerer, the debut title by UltraRunawayGames (aka. Jesse Gallagher), and no relation as far as I'm aware to Paper Mario.

I realise the game's been out for almost a year now so it's perhaps a bit late (or half a decade too early) to show it off, but it was gifted to me by a kind and hopefully patient reader, and I promised I'd write something about it. So that's what I'm doing.

(Click the pictures to open up a bigger version and get a better look at the art).

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Project: Snowblind (PC)

Project: Snowblind title screen menu
Hi. Sorry for the long break but I'm still here I promise, and to prove it I bring you many pictures from Crystal Dynamic's 2005 FPS Project: Snowblind! I've been playing through all of the Deus Ex sequels this year, so it didn't seem right to leave out poor Snowblind even if it's not really part of the family. It was originally intended to be a multiplayer-focused Deus Ex spin-off called Deus Ex: Clan Wars you see, but Invisible War's crappy sales put an end to that plan. There's some obscure trivia just for you, taken straight from the first paragraph of its wikipedia page. I will of course only be examining the single player though, as that's what I do.

Just to shift subject for a second; I know this doesn't need to be said, but there's been some drama over game journalism lately and I feel like re-clarifying how Super Adventures works. I don't generally review games here, I show off a few hours of gameplay and report how I felt about them during and after playing this small fraction of the product. I salute those wise and learned game critics who can scientifically determine a game's objective worth down to a percent, but that's not a skill I have. I can only say whether or not I personally enjoyed my time playing it, share my first impressions, and provide for you a site full of my other opinions to judge my personal taste by.

You can't really call anything I do game journalism, I'm usually more of a snarky archaeologist, and the games I dig up are chosen by a team of experts consisting of myself and you guys. On the other hand I've got nothing against playing brand new games that are sent to me, and if there's ever been any conflict of interest due to my innumerous friendships with game developers I've always made it obvious enough for folks to make up their own minds about the bias in my rantings, and I always will. Probably.

(Click on screenshots to open them up at their original resolution.)

Monday, 15 September 2014

Outcast (PC) - Guest Post

And now, Super Adventures proudly presents another guest post by a bloke called mecha-neko.
Hey Ya!

Outcast PC title screen
I'm playing an early 3D action-adventure game for the PC called Outcast!

I never played this back when it was released in 1999 because it needed a far beefier computer than I could dream of. Outcast was made in the crazy days where 3D acceleration was a scary and new invention, so all the graphics were done on the CPU alone. Hell, 3D games were a scary and new invention at the time, and nobody had any idea how they should work. So Franck Sauer, Yves Grolet and Yann Robert, three truly invincible professionals (and names you may recognise from Agony), decided to show the world exactly how it should be done.

Click the images to view them as lossless PNGs.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Osman (Arcade)

Osman arcade title screen
This week's game is... damn has it really been a entire week since my last article? Anyway this week's 'O' game is 1996 arcade platformer Osman (AKA. Cannon-Dancer in Japan).

It's a spiritual sequel to the legendary Strider created by the same director, Kouichi Yotsui, but without Capcom's involvement... and that's pretty much the sum total of what I know about the game, so I'm not entirely sure what to expect from it. I'm reasonably certain at least that I've never played it before (I've barely even played Strider), but this title screen is reminding me of Knuckles' Chaotix and I hate it when games do that.

(Warning, there's going to be a lot of animated gifs this time, and they're going to be massive. Well, they sure have a lot of frames anyway.)

Saturday, 30 August 2014

The Nomad Soul (PC) - Part 2

Click to jump back to Omikron: The Nomad Soul part one.

The Nomad Soul (PC) - Part 1

Omikron The Nomad Soul title logo pc
And the final 'N' game I'll be playing this year is late 90s possess 'em up The Nomad Soul. Or maybe this is actually the first 'O' game, seeing as it's labelled Omikron: The Nomad Soul outside of Europe (plus Omicron is the 15th letter of the Greek alphabet, represented by an 'O' and I'll shut up now).

Whatever you call it, this is Quantic Dream's debut game, released long before creator David Cage's obsession with QTEs and PlayStation 3s. It apparently was originally intended to make an appearance on one or both of the earlier PlayStations, but in the end only the PC and Dreamcast were graced with its presence.

Like always my plan is to play it for an hour or two, or however long I need to get a good idea of what kind of game it is, and show a whole lot of screenshots along the way.

Friday, 22 August 2014

NHK Okāsan to Issho: Niko Niko Pun (TurboGrafx-16)

Niko Niko Pun title screen
And the latest game for my year-long epic marathon through the alphabet is... another PC Engine game. If you're wondering why I'm playing this so soon after Neutopia, well, amazingly this the only game beginning with 'N' left to play on my requests list. I've got the names of 11 A games scrawled down there, 15 S games, even 7 W games, but this is the one and only N. And now that I'm playing it there are in fact no Ns.

There's a whole lot of words in 'NHK Okāsan to Issho: Niko Niko Pun', but if you break the title down it's pretty straightforward. NHK is Japan's public broadcasting organisation (equivalent to Britain's BBC), Okaasan to Issho is a long running TV series for children, and Niko Niko Pun was a segment on that series. I know absolutely nothing else about the series, but judging by the characters on the game box I'm guessing it's for children. Young children.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Neverwinter Nights (PC) - Part 1

Neverwinter Nights title
Today on Super Adventures I'm taking a quick look at classic Forgotten Realms D&D RPG Neverwinter Nights! No not the revolutionary 1991 game by Stormfront Studios that dared to find out what would happen if you took an MMORPG and added graphics, I mean the other one by BioWare that came out around a decade later in 2002. I couldn't blame you for getting the two confused though, as they're both D&D games with a strong multiplayer component that share the same bloody name, setting and city!

The dumb thing is that all that BioWare needed to do was think of another word to go with 'Neverwinter' and it would've been fine! Or they could've just called the thing Neverwinter on its own like the folks who made the 2013 MMO would later do. Legacy of Neverwinter Chronicles: Origins, there you go!

Great looking font though.

I said earlier that I'd be taking a quick look at the game, but it's an RPG so that was actually code for 'I'll be playing this for hours'. I've written about enough of these games by now to know the drill: to get a good feel for what kind of RPG this is I'm going to have to invest a fair bit of time, so forgive me if this drags on a bit.

(Clicking gameplay images will likely open them up a little bigger, with more readable text and obvious aliasing.)

Friday, 15 August 2014

Neutopia (TurboGrafx-16)

Neutopia turbografx pc engine title screen
"Neutopia" is the twentieth episode of the sixth season of the animated sitcom Futurama, and the premiere of Season 6-B. It is the twentieth episode of the sixth season in production order, and the 108th episode in broadcast order.

Actually ignore that, because the Neutopia I'm looking at here is a TurboGrafx game from Hudson Soft. I figured that my site could do with a few more of these around, especially after that run of modern 3D PC shooters I just played. The game's been described as 'a bit of a Zelda clone', so if this ends up being about stylish gunplay and gritty realism again then you can't blame me this time.

Speaking of Zelda clones, the way the logo has been skewered on a sword sure seems familiar. Though Nintendo didn't really start piercing its Zelda logos until Link to the Past two years later, so I'll let them off with that.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Medal of Honor (PC)

The final 'M' game I'm playing this year is Medal of Honor, not to be confused with Medal of Honor, despite the fact that it's by the same people and has the exact same damn name. Actually you should get the games confused, teach EA a lesson.

Medal of Honor 2010 seems to have acquired a bit of a bad reputation, possibly because it dropped the franchise's World War 2 setting after 11 years of gunning down Nazis to follow the Call of Duty series and become yet another charmless grey Modern Warfare clone. Or maybe it's just crap. Either way it probably isn't an ideal candidate for my site, but I've seen it get so much hate over the last few years that I'm curious to see what exactly it's done to piss so many people off.

I'll only be playing the single player campaign I'm afraid, though I'm sure multiplayer also features gruff soldiers pulling off headshots with scoped M4A1 Carbines.

(Click the pics for double the resolution.)

Friday, 8 August 2014

Mafia (PC)

Today's 'M' game is 30s gangster simulator Mafia, though weirdly every other site on the internet seems to be part of a conspiracy to convince the world that it's called Mafia: The City of Lost Heaven. I don't know why they're all so keen to disseminate such obvious MISINFORMATION (probably because it makes it easier to actually find the game in a search engine), but if you check any of the game boxes, the official website, or the game itself, all you'll see is 'Mafia'.

I've played this one before, but I don't remember getting very far in it. In fact it's been so long that I don't even remember what happened to my game box, so I had to get a second copy of it just to play it for you folks. Good ol' 2002: late enough for the average game to be a gig or two big, but just too early for DVDs to be standard for PC. Three CDs this comes on, all stacked up on the same spindle to maximise the chances that at least one of them's getting scratched.

Anyway, like always I plan to play this just long enough to get a handle on what kind of game it's trying to be and judge if it's any good at it, then once I'm satisfied I'll kick the door open and bail.

(Click the screenshots to view them in an utterly mindblowing 1280x960 resolution).

Monday, 4 August 2014

Max Payne 3 (PC)

Max Payne 3 title logo
Hello and welcome to my humble website where I share my first impressions of video games in "humorous" long-winded "articles" that are totally not just lazy game "reviews".

Today I'm taking a quick look at the first few chapters of Max Payne 3. Seemed like the thing to do, seeing as I already played the first two games earlier this year (and the GBA game a few years before that).

Max Payne was originally Remedy Entertainment's series, but Bully developer Rockstar Vancouver took over for the third instalment (presumably because Remedy were busy making Alan Wake). I'm just hoping they're better at making games than they are are making logos because... well just look at that thing! I've never seen a title screen in a AAA video game flicker and glitch out so much.

(Click screenshots to... maximise their resolution. Heh heh.)

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Mortal Kombat (Arcade)

Mortal Kombat arcade title screen
Today's 'M' game is the original MORTAL KOMBAT!

Yeah I realise that I'm crap at fighting games and only understand them at the most basic level, but the game was requested, so the game's getting played. I actually know a tiny bit more about this one than most though as I played the first few Mortal Kombat games a bit when I was younger. I bet I can even remember a couple of the special moves.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (PC)

Legacy of Kain Soul Reaver PC title screen
The final 'L' game on my site this year is action-adventure sequel Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver!

Today Crystal Dynamics are best known as being the guardians of the Tomb Raider series (seeing as they've made nothing else since 2006), but a decade ago they were more famous for another 'borrowed' franchise they'd decided to make their own. And a decade before that they were making 3DO games and Gex sequels, but hey everyone's got to start somewhere.

The Legacy of Kain series started in 1996 with 2D action RPG Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain by Silicon Knights, with Crystal Dynamics as the publisher, but the two companies had a bit of a falling out and Crystal Dynamics was the one that walked away with the IP in the end. They also walked away from publishing, deciding to develop the next game in the franchise themselves by merging their original concept for a game called Shifter with the Legacy of Kain mythos, while Silicon Knights were left to make Eternal Darkness: Sanity's Requiem for Nintendo instead.

Sorry I thought all that was interesting for some reason. I guess I've been overly fond of Soul Reaver ever since I got my hands on the Dreamcast version and found myself helplessly playing it through right to the end. The sequels bored me, but this first game was really something special. Or maybe I just grew out of the entire series when the gameplay became dated. I suppose I'd have to replay this to find out for sure. So I'll go do that then.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Legendary (PC) - Guest Post

Today on Super Adventures, mecha-neko makes a rare return from his self-imposed exile to write a guest post about a critically unloved 2008 first person shooter. If this isn't the most words ever written about Legendary in one place at one time, then the internet needs to stop writing so much about Legendary already. I mean seriously guys, give Zelda or Dark Souls some attention for once.

Hiya, guys.

Legendary title screen
Ray bought me a game that I've been curious about for the longest time, so I thought I'd better show you folks what it's all about! Say hello to Legendary, a first person shooter by Spark Unlimited.

(Click the images for super high resolution!)

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Little Big Adventure 2 (MS-DOS)

Little Big Adventure 2 logo screenshot
Today's 'L' game is classic DOS action-adventure sequel Little Big Adventure 2. Though it'd be a 'T' game in North America and Brazil, as the game was retitled Twinsen's Odyssey. I've no idea why the people in charge of the America release had such a hate on for the original name, but at least they picked something that fits better this time around. The first game was about a friendly magician who lived in a cartoony world of rabbit people and elephant folk, and they renamed it Relentless! That's the video game title equivalent of drawing frowny eyebrows on Kirby game covers.

I don't think I've ever played this before, but it's hard to know for for sure. I definitely gave the first Little Big Adventure a go early last year though, and I wasn't impressed. The game came out in 1994 and they hadn't figured out yet that it's not a good idea for the hero to lose health by walking into walls. I hope three whole years was enough time for them to think hard about what they did and come up with some improvements for the sequel.

Semi-Random Game Box