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 ScreenX-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 logoX-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 (Demo) (Amiga)

Xmas Lemmings 91 title screen amigaXmas 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 screenWing 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 screenVice 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 screenV.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 screenUndercover 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