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.)


It might be cheating to include a screenshot of a game that was never released, but this cutscene from the unpublished DOS port of Putty Squad deserves to be seen.

And then on the other hand there's DOS first person shooter Mr Pibb which shouldn't be viewed by anyone ever. 1998 this came out, if you can believe that.

I'm Leon, be my buddy.
I really didn't play enough 16 bit games last year, but I found a few interesting ones at least. Like proto-FPS Silent Debuggers on the TurboGrafx-16/PC Engine.

I got through plenty of PC games on the other hand, like id's latest first person shooter Rage. The game looks like concept art for itself at times! Occasionally I felt like stopping and just admiring the view for a while, and maybe contemplate why exactly they had chosen to put a giant boat as the centrepiece of a canyon stage when it turned out that I'd never be allowed up onto the thing.


It's not hard to get a good screencap out of Max Payne, as you just have to make sure to get his face in shot. But I don't imagine there's many pictures out there of him being executed by a pack of rats packing miniature Desert Eagles.

You can press 'ESC' or click mouse all you want, it's not going to make this shot from King's Bounty go anywhere.

Here's some anime drama for you, from German made shoot 'em up Apidya. He's yelling about his lover here by the way, not his lesbian porn collection. Actually, now that I think about, I'm not sure that ever gets confirmed.

Polish first person shooter Bulletstorm sold less than 1 million copies and was a commercial failure, despite being pure awesome and having visuals like this back in 2011. My best theory is that people got it mixed up with Brink and forgot which one was the good one. Or maybe people just hate joy, I don't know.


Every single face that Hayato Kongo pulls in BCV: Battle Construction Vehicles is amazing, and the English dub gives him a voice to match. I was tempted to skip the rest of the games and just show 40 more shots of him yelling.

Elder Scrolls Online Mistral
Just for a change, guest poster Jihaus and I played a few hours of the Elder Scrolls Online beta together and wrote down what we each thought about the game in separate posts. We travelled to around 9 different regions, taking hundreds of screenshots in each, and ended up cutting them down to just 50 or so images for the final draft without ever comparing notes. And yet in both our posts, this same screenshot turned up, taken from the same place, at the same time of day, identical save for a couple of foreground rocks and a HUD.

It's just a shame really that I didn't have the graphics set higher than medium.

You don't want to look at some boring scenery from a modern PC game? Well here's some Charly the Clown for you then! This is what you get.


Keeping up the accidental trend of anime-styled characters yelling, here's a shot of Fidget the flying fox thing from frantic hack n' slash adventure platformer Dust: An Elysian Tail. Because the game is all hand drawn art and it looks awesome.

I gotta be honest with you, this screenshot from Driver: San Francisco is only here because I'll take any excuse I can to show off a classic 1970's Dodge Challenger R/T. Also I love this game and it deserves more attention. It's the closest we'll ever get to a Quantum Leap game.

I played weird indie Deus Ex 'em up E.Y.E. Divine Cybermancy this year, and all I got from it was some cool looking screenshots like this.

~ MAY ~

I'd planned to include an entirely different shot from 90s Sierra adventure game Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers, but then I saw the rotoscoped mime dancing and found I couldn't pull my eyes away from it.

It was hard to pick just one screen to show off from platformer Genocide 2: Master of Dark Communion, as the game looks fantastic. It doesn't play all that great, but there's some beautiful pixelwork there.

I was really tempted to show the image I stitched together of all the NPC portraits I came across in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. But it wasn't actually a screenshot, so I went with the owls instead.

I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream is a messed up point and click adventure, but every now and again it shows off something that looks awesome. He's really not gonna like what happens if he tries eating that fruit though.

~ JUNE ~

Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Dark Forces II (PC) is perhaps not the most visually appealing Star Wars game any more, but the FMV clips are definitely something. It's like half the actors were told they were in a Star Wars film and the other half were told they were in the latest Home Alone movie... dressed as aliens for some reason. There's a bit of a tone mismatch.

Kato-chan & Ken-chan
This moment doesn't actually technically happen in J.J and Jeff on the TurboGrafx-16 as it was sanitized during localisation on its transition from the PC Engine, but I showed it in the article so I get to show it here too!

~ JULY ~

Jack Orlando: A Cinematic Adventure tells the tale of a washed up ex-private detective as he tries to prove he's innocent of a crime he's obviously innocent of, and ends up proving that he's a total asshole instead. It's... a special game.

Everyone knows that I generally hate boss fights, and Kirby's Adventure was full of the things, so it was nice to have a chance here to piss off the boss for a change. Can't figure out how to hit me can you mate? Now you know what it feels like!

Kingdom: The Far Reaches is basically a game about death scenes, with some brief adventure game sections to link them together. It's also older than Super Mario Bros. so show it some respect!

Sora Kingdom Hearts fake smile screenshot
This was my face when playing Disney's Kingdom Hearts.

Here's an incredibly rare animation showing me actually winning a fight in Mortal Kombat. I didn't quite pull off the finishing move afterwards though.


2010 door kicking simulator Medal of Honor wasn't exactly a high point for first person shooters, but I can't complain about the mountains. I didn't really complain all that much about the shooting either to be honest.

Some of the character portraits included with Neverwinter Nights are awesome. Greetings brave champion, shalt thou choose to play as the knight in silver plate, the rogue cloaked in leather and shadows, or the young elf girl cuddling the cutest lil' kitty on the Sword Coast?

On the PC Engine there is a platformer called NHK Okāsan to Issho: Niko Niko Pun and this is how it starts: these three photobomb a tree, he dozes off waiting for them to leave, and then he inadvertently triggers a volcanic eruption with his snot bubble. I'm sure the Japanese text underneath corroborates this interpretation of events.


The most amazing thing about Arcade game Osman isn't this intro, it's that the game itself actually lives up to it. It doesn't really explain any of it, but I wasn't disappointed.

A touching moment of interspecies intimacy in PC action-adventure Outcast. Well actually the scripting apparently just messed up for a moment, according to guest poster mecha-neko who took the shot. That's what he claims anyway.

There's a few games with the stark black and white aesthetic of indie RPG Paper Sorcerer, but not many pull it off so well that you're left wondering if you're looking at an illustration or real time 3D.

I'm not very good at brutal shooting spree simulator Postal. I'm getting good at backflips though.


Amiga platformer Quik the Thunder Rabbit has the weirdest art style. You can see the pink rabbit casting a shadow on Quik's leg as he reaches over to tap him on the arm. Who even puts that level of detail in their cartoon intro?

Wow, I only just noticed that the logo text changes as the circle falls out as well. Shame the game itself wasn't anything awesome.

This might look like the opening credits to a 90's TV horror series, but it's actually the opening to DOS first person shooter adventure game Realms of the Haunting!

Here's a clip of some X-Wings doing what they do from the intro to Star Wars: Rebel Assault. It's probably the best bit of the game to be honest.

And this is the best bit of RoboCop 2 on the NES, as it means that you're finally done with it.

I didn't play all that many Genesis/Mega Drive games last year, but a least I finally took a look at the charming Sparkster platformer Rocket Knight Adventures.

Now that it's been a while since I played the game, I'm more comfortable admitting that I had to drive up and down this road for ages trying to get this shot of Saints Row IV looking right. And every now and again I'd have to climb out of the smoking wreck that was once my car to commandeer another automobile from the general public, turn around, and try it again. Worth it though.


Saints Row 2 is the kind of game which could plausibly send you marching down the street leading an army of pimps for whatever reason, but that's not exactly what happened here. I was just minding my own business looking for a car to steal, when suddenly suddenly pimps started appearing from the side streets and following me. It was only a couple at first, but then more and more turned up. I think I may have angered their gang somehow.

Sadly it all ended in misery when it suddenly became obvious that they were paying more attention to me than to oncoming traffic.

The Saboteur's visuals aren't all that impressive these days on a technical level, but they definitely stand out. The city's morale is indicated by the natural colour and brightness reappearing as you inspire people one neighbourhood at a time, so you can end up with day and night coexisting on the same street. Still the best glitchy historical open-world sandbox action game set in Paris.

Meanwhile Toonstruck has cute bunnies and live action Christopher Lloyd coexisting in the same world for the first time since the last time it happened.

Meanwhile, here's a naked bloke admiring his flaming sword in obscure Amiga shooter/platformer Unreal.


Undercover Cops... is an arcade game by Irem that looks like this all the time. Well worth a look if you like games that are worth looking at.

V.I.P. on the GBA on the other hand is more notable for its extreme eyebrow action.

skyrim whiterun scenic screenshot
Some say that this screenshot shouldn't have made the list. Some say that the game is somehow even browner and less saturated than Rage. But it's my list, and I say that Skyrim is staying!

Sure it's a bit... low key, but I really do like how this one turned out in the end.

Meanwhile, in space... not much is going on actually.

I could've picked a more exciting shot from Wing Commander, but I like the way this one loops. It's so chilled out.

And finally a little bit extra spaceship dogfighting from Star Wars: X-Wing to finish the page off.


I included some bonus stats like this at the end last year, so I suppose this is basically tradition now.

In 2014 I gave out 64 Gold Stars, which means 62% of the games I played received one, compared to 52% in 2013, 32% in 2012 and 12% in 2011. So at this rate, by 2018 I'll be giving them out to literally everything.

I also threw out 19 Wins the Prize trophies, that's basically 1 in 5! That's even worse than last year! Seems I'll like anything these days.

Here's how well each family of game platforms was represented in the games I showed off in 2014:

PC: 67%
Nintendo: 8%
Commodore: 8%
Sony: 5%
Sega: 5%
NEC: 5%
Arcade: 4%
Sharp: 1%
Android 1%
Atari: 0%
ZX Spectrum 0%

It adds up to 104% because I always put in just that little bit extra effort for you.

Well I planned to play a lot more Sega and TurboGrafx games in 2014, and you don't need to compare these to last years numbers to tell that I totally failed at that. Also I played exactly one SNES game this year, which is kind of mind-blowing. But what about precisely two thirds of the games being on PC, that seems a bit high right? Well... not really, seeing as I expect most of those were multi-platform and I'm always going to gravitate towards the PC version because it's the easiest for me to get screenshots out of. So my resolution for next year is going to be: play more 16 bit games. And maybe it's time for the ZX Spectrum to make a return too, I dunno, I'll have to think about that one.

Anyway, Happy New Year once again. Please continue to drop by throughout 2015 if you can spare the time, and if you come bearing comments then that's even better.


  1. This has become my favourite videogames blog, so no pressure at all for 2015 there.

    Happy new year!

  2. Here is to next year full of enjoyable articles. I hope you are not over with alphabet gimmick because you are still missing "Y" and "Z" games. BTW cant wait to see your new site logo.

    Happy New Year and best wishes!

    1. Alphabet gimmick isn't over until the end of January. Also thanks for reminding me about the logo, I should probably get working on that before I run out of month.

  3. Happy new year Ray.

  4. I love your website. Here's to another great year.

  5. I really dig that blog of yours, keep it up. Cheers!

  6. Thanks for all of the reviews! Keep up the good work! Good luck on reviewing more SNES and TurboGrafx-16 games.


Semi-Random Game Box