Thursday, 29 May 2014

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (GBC)

Today I'm taking a quick look at the Game Boy Color version of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, also known as Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in countries without philosophers (I guess).

Wikipedia claims that there are actually five different games based on this one book and movie, on eight different systems, and I don't see any reason to doubt it or actually bother to do any further research beyond that. Someone asked me to play the GBC version and that's just what I'm going to do.

Actually it just says 'Harry Potter GBC' in my notes so I suppose it's possible I was asked to play the game based on the second book (the last GBC game ever released in North America, random trivia fans!) But I've already made this cool animated title screen image so I'm committed now.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders (MS-DOS)

Heretic Shadow of the Serpent Riders title screenHeretic Shadow of the Serpent Riders title screen
Today I'm going to be playing through the first episode of mid-90s first person shooter Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders by Raven Software. It used to be known as just 'Heretic' back in its mail order days, but when it finally hit shelves 15 months later in 1996 they'd appended a subtitle to it, along with two extra episodes.

I have played this before, way back in the distant past, but it wasn't for very long. All I remember about the game is that I was armed with a yellow wand and it wasn't a particularly awe-inspiring weapon.

For people like us who are living in the future with our future PCs it's a sensible idea to play Heretic using a source port like ZDoom or Doomsday (I'm not sure which is recommended these days), but I'll be playing it raw and unfiltered in all its low resolution DOS glory. Because that is the manner in which I tend to roll.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Genocide 2: Master of the Dark Communion (X68000)

Holy shit I think this must set the record for the longest subtitle in video game history. Or at least the most bullshit written onto a title screen. Bonus points for misspelling 'which', 'aware' and 'crisis'.

Today I'll be playing through an hour or so of Genocide 2: Master of the Dark Communion, released in 1991 for the Sharp X68000 home computer, amongst other things. I've heard that this is one of the games on the system worth having a look at, so I figured I'd have a look at it.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Grand Theft Auto (PC)

Grand Theft Auto title screen PC
Today on Super Adventures I thought that this would be a great time to play the original Grand Theft Auto for an hour or two and type up any stray thoughts that might cross my mind. Not that there's anything special about today, it's just always a good time for a bit of GTA and it's been years since I played it last.

The game is by British developer Rockstar North, who are still producing the GTA games to this day. Though back then they were still known as DMA Design and were more famous for making the Lemmings games. Yeah I know that everyone on Earth knows that already, it just amuses me that both Lemmings and GTA are by the same developer.

The game came out in 1997 for MS-DOS, Windows 95 and PlayStation... and was ported to the Game Boy Color two years later, man I've gotta see how that turned out. I'll be playing the updated PC port given away free from Rockstar's site, which has been tweaked to run properly on modern systems... in theory.

Annoyingly though, this free GTA turned out to be a limited time offer so I can't give you a download link. Well I can link to the download page, that's still there, but at the time I'm writing this the game is "currently unavailable". GTA1 is also currently unavailable on GOG, GMG, GamersGate, GameFly and any other shop beginning with G I could think of. It's not on Steam either I'm afraid.

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Gumboy: Crazy Adventures (PC)

Today on Super Adventures I'm taking a quick look at Gumboy: Crazy Adventures, developed by Cinemax in 2006 (probably not the Cinemax you're thinking of).

Is this even going to be worth looking at? What even is it? I dunno, that's why I'm playing it. I get the feeling from what I'm seeing here that it's going to be a little outside my typical area of interest, but it was a gift from a friend so I'll endeavour to give a shit regardless. Plus variety is good.

(Clicking the images will present you with the original sized screenshots... mangled by jpeg compression, hah!)

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (MS-DOS)

Gabriel Knight Sins of the Fathers Title screenGabriel Knight Sins of the Fathers Title screen
Crap, I just realised that it's been almost two months since I've written about a classic DOS game for my site (if you can even call Charly the Clown a classic). In fact I've been letting the '90s down in general lately, so I've decided to do something about that right now... by playing an adventure game from 1993.

The first Gabriel Knight game was released during the golden age of point and click adventures, slotting in between games like Day of the Tentacle and Beneath a Steel Sky, which meant that it came on a whole lot of floppy disks. It was the dawn of the CD-ROM era as well though, so I have a CD version to play instead, filled with voices and video sequences and such like. The music's definitely still midi though, judging from the theme: youtube link.

I've already mentioned about spoilers in the box over on the right hand side of the site, but seeing as this is a very story and puzzle driven kind of game I'll say it again: I'm gonna be spoilin' the shit out of the first hour or so of gameplay and any plot developments contained within.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Fire and Ice (Amiga)

And the final 'F' game I'll be playing this year shall be... Fire and Ice, AKA. Fire & Ice: The Daring Adventures of Cool Coyote according to the front of the box. It's entirely unrelated to the 1993 NES puzzle game Fire 'n Ice in case that's something you were wondering about.

Amiga Power once described this game as being "Magic Pockets, but fast and good", so I'm expecting great things from it. Actually I've played this one loads of times and I already know exactly what its like, I'm just playing it for nostalgia or whatever, but I won't spoil what my opinion of it is just yet.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne (PC)

Max Payne 2 title screen
Today's 'F' game is... The Fall of Max Payne. Yeah sorry I totally cheated there (and I'd do it again without shame or hesitation). I'll be playing through Part One, mentioning anything that comes to mind as I go.

Max Payne 2 came out in 2003, two years after the original game, for PC, Xbox and PlayStation 2 (the GBA had to sit this one out I'm afraid). Critics and players loved the game but it didn't end up selling all that well and with Remedy Entertainment moving on to making Alan Wake the series lay dormant for almost a full decade after this before Rockstar Vancouver stepped in and gave it a big-budget blockbuster makeover with Max Payne 3. Whether it stayed true to the tone of the franchise is debatable, but critics and players agreed that it was a hell of a lot better than the mid-budget Max Payne movie released four years earlier.

But I'm meant to be talking about Max Payne 2 right now, so... uh... what about this theme tune huh? Pretty awesome and haunting right? Oh, here's a link so you can listen to it yourself while you read: youtube link. It's basically the song from the first game, except a bit slower, a bit sadder, and the piano has been replaced with violin.

(Click the pictures to inflate them to 1280x1024 resolution if you want a closer look at anything.)

Friday, 2 May 2014

Final Soldier (TurboGrafx-16)

Final Soldier PC Engine title screenFinal Soldier PC Engine title screen
Today I'm ticking off another title from my game requests list by taking a quick look at PC Engine game Final Soldier. I was also asked to play more PC Engine games as well (by the same guy) so I'm killing two birds with one stone here!

The name Final Soldier makes me think that this is going to be a Contra-style run and gun, but the spaceship on the title screen says 'shoot 'em up'. One thing I'm pretty sure about though (if series like Final Fantasy, Final Fight, Final Zone, Final Lap etc. are anything to go by), is that this wasn't the final game in the franchise by a wide margin.

In fact this is the third game in Hudson Soft's long running and popular Star Soldier series, which lasted from the NES all the way until the Wii. Popular enough in fact to be featured in their "Hudson All-Japan Caravan Festival" tournament, which toured the country each year letting players compete to see who could get the most points in a set time limit on specially modified versions of the games.

Personally though I've never had much interest in getting high scores (or playing shoot 'em ups for that matter), so forgive me if I drift off after five screenshots or so and start rambling about something else without realising it.

Semi-Random Game Box