Monday, 29 June 2015

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City (SNES)

Michael Jordan Chaos in the Windy City title screenMichael Jordan Chaos in the Windy City title screen
Developer:EA|Release Date:1995 (EU)|Systems:Super Nintendo

Today on Super Adventures, I've found you something from the first half of the 90s and I didn't even need to glance at the copyright year to know that.

Michael Jordan: Chaos in the Windy City has been on my list forever and I've no idea why it's taken me this long to get around to it. I mean look at that title screen; even if the game's bad it'll be good. I'm not sure you're even technically allowed to bring two elementally charged balls onto the court, but I wouldn't want be the one to tell him that.

I haven't looked too deep into how the game was reviewed so for all I know this is actually a well regarded piece of quality entertainment. But I have discovered that it was the first game designed by artist Amy Hennig, who ended up in the role after the first designer quit. She then transformed into 'head writer and creative director Amy Hennig', and went on to develop the Soul Reaver and Uncharted games. Still no sign of Chaos in the Windy City 2 though.

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (PC) - Part 2

The chronicle of my epic prison break concludes!

Click this link to return to Riddick's cell: Part one.

The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay (PC) - Part 1

Chronicles of Riddick Escape from Butcher Bay title
Developer:Starbreeze|Release Date:2004|Systems:Xbox, Windows

Today on Super Adventures I'll be taking a brief look at the first few hours of sci-fi movie spin-off The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay - Developer's Cut. I've played through the game before and I remember liking it well enough back then, but then I remember liking a lot of things and my fuzzy memories don't always match up to the truth.

The game was originally released for the Xbox (and later PC) back in 2004, but it received one of those HD makeover type of things three years later to port it across to the shiny new Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. They enhanced the visuals, tweaked the AI, added multiplayer, included a sequel campaign, and called it Assault on Dark Athena. But I'm not playing that one.  

The Dark Athena version may have the big advantage of having way more content and actually being sold online, but it seems to be built on the Xbox original, skipping the PC port's improvements like quicksaves and developer's commentary. Which is a bit of a deal breaker for me as I happen to like quicksaves and developer's commentary!

The original version does have one problem though and that's that it flat out refuses to start up on my PC. Well, it didn't until PC Gaming Wiki saved me yet again. It turns out that Nvidia owners can fix the game by "downloading Nvidia Inspector and setting the Extension Limit to 0x00001B58". This also reactivates Shader Mode 2.0++, so I can pretend I've got a GeForce 6800 Ultra in my case and push the graphics to max.

(Click the screenshots to view them at their original 1280x720 resolution.)

Monday, 15 June 2015

Ys Origin (PC) - Guest Post

Hi, I'm Ray Hardgrit and the following words are not written by me. They were put there by some guy called Jihaus who wants to show off the first hour or so of a game called Ys Origin and infect my site with his opinions.

I've never seen the point in asking guest posters to stick with my rating system though, as everyone's got very different taste and it seems like it'd be misleading somehow. You can only really trust a rating when you know the critic and can compare it against their other reviews. Basically what I'm saying is don't flip out if this doesn't get a 'gold star' badge at the end, as Jihaus doesn't hand the things out.

Ys Origin title screenYs Origin title screen
Developer:Nihon Falcom|Release Date:2012 (WW)|Systems:Windows

Today I'm finally playing Ys Origin on PC, an action RPG with platforming elements and fast-paced combat. I've played my share of Ys games so I'm no stranger to their brand of anime-style characters combined with rockin' music combined with crushing difficulty, and this one in particular uses the same engine as its last two predecessors so it should be relatively familiar territory. I always did find it extremely amusing that the correct pronunciation of "Ys" sounds a lot like "ease", because that is entirely the opposite of what these games tend to be.

Unlike the other games in this series which deal with the adventures of the red-haired swordsman, Adol, this game instead goes in a different direction - specifically, 700 years before the first Ys game in the chronology. Despite the the huge departure, it treads a lot of familiar territory, and fans of the first and second Ys games will see familiar people, places, and terminology. In particular, most of not all of the game takes place in the enormous demon tower of the first game, which has changed little on the outside but got a serious renovation on the inside. That's about the extent of what I know going in anyway, so I can't wait to see what we'll find.

I've heard horrifying things about the difficulty in this particular installment but I will proceed to flagrantly disregard such warnings and play on its hardest difficulty, nightmare. Without further ado, time to die!

(Click images to view them at their original weird-ass 1024 x 578 resolution)

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Resident Evil 5 (PC) - Part 2

Welcome to the epic finale of my two part Resident Evil 5 article. Usually I'll play a game for an hour or so before I turn it off; long enough to start forming an opinion without going crazy on spoilers. But this time I'll be jumping through all 10 hours of gameplay because there's no way I'm leaving out the boulder punch scene. It's truly a defining moment in video game history, as it's the moment Capcom defined Chris Redfield as being the Incredible Hulk.

Click this link if you want to return to where this all began: Part 1.

Resident Evil 5 (PC) - Part 1

Resident Evil 5 title
Developer:Capcom|Release Date:2009|Systems:Windows, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3

The PC version of Resident Evil 5 doesn't use the hated Games for Windows Live any more! Well okay it does if you want it to, but a few months ago it also made the transition to Steamworks. So to celebrate, today on Super Adventures I'm going to give the game a few hours and write down some of the things that come into my head while I'm playing.

I might have mentioned once or twice in my Resident Evil 2 article last week that I'm not a huge fan of classic survival horror games, and I may have mentioned a few reasons for it too. I think the core of it though is that I've got no interest in being scared, and when you strip out the tension there's little left to enjoy in the mediocre combat, awkward camera angles, and endless backtracking.

Resident Evil 5 on the other hand has very little to do with survival horror, so we've always gotten on pretty well... I think. It's been half a decade since I played the game though so it could be that my memory lying to me again. I can't even remember if the sinister announcer is going to say "Resident Evil... 5" when I press start. Though he better had.

(Click screenshots for a significantly higher resolution image, though still nothing to brag about.)

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Resident Evil 2 (PSX) - Part 1

Developer:Capcom|Release Date:1998|Systems:PlayStation, Windows, N64, Dreamcast, GameCube

I don't like Resident Evil.

I mean I like the universe and the characters just fine, I just don't generally like the games. But it's been over two years since I last played one of them and the site's been survival horror free for almost as long, so today on Super Adventures I'm going to be taking a quick look at Hideki Kamiya's PlayStation masterpiece Resident Evil 2!

And there'll likely be whining under every screenshot. Whining and analysis.

To be honest, this just isn't really my genre. I get the theory behind using tank controls, limited saves, awkward camera angles and a tiny inventory to enhance the tension, but in all the games I've played it's mostly just increased my frustration. But I'm determined to at least pretend that I'm giving the game a fair shot, for as long as it takes for me to figure out if it's any different to the first game.

(This article contains screenshots of explicit violence and gore.)

Resident Evil 2 (PSX) - Part 2

Hello, this is the last page of my first impressions of the survival-horrifying Resident Evil 2 (aka. Biohazard 2).

Click this link to return to the streets of Raccoon City: Part one.

Semi-Random Game Box