Saturday, 26 March 2016

Frost Byte (Amiga) (For real this time)

Developer:JJ & DJA|Release Date:1988|Systems:Amiga, Atari ST, ZX Spectrum, CPC, C64

This week on Super Adventures, the long awaited 'screenshots and writing' part of my Frost Byte article! Only five years late.

It took me a while to figure out exactly what I was doing with this video game website of mine. I eventually realised that people are happier when there's a 'Read on' button they can click to satisfy their curiosity, but for the first few weeks I'd occasionally post a single title screen or screenshot I liked and then call it a day. So this grumpy cyclops has been staring out at people from my site with basically zero context since Feb 4th 2011.

But I can now reveal that this is a port of a 1986 ZX Spectrum game, brought to the Amiga by someone called J. Jameson. I could also make a joke about him being Spider-Man's bastard of a boss at the Daily Bugle, but I'm one 'J' short. They have the optimal number of 'J's to be porn star Jenna Jameson though.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Prey (PC)

Developer:Human Head|Release Date:2006|Systems:Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox 360

This week on Super Adventures, I'm having a go at Prey! I've already played Doom 3 and Quake 4, so I figured it was about time to give the third id Tech 4 game a go.

Prey was going to be 3D Realms' cutting edge graphical showcase, a game designed from the ground up to require a 3D card! It was originally intended to come out in 1998 you see, as a competitor to games like Unreal, Half-Life, Turok... Daikatana and Duke Nukem Forever.

The advanced 3D game engine was going to support things like area sourced coloured lighting, reflections, dynamic shadows, and dynamic portals. This portal technology was actually a clever way to divide the levels up into smaller areas of geometry so the processor only had to think about one room at a time, meaning higher polygon counts at faster framerates. Though by 1998 the developers were also showing off proper Portal-style placeable tears in reality, and there was much hype.

But then 3D Realms went and pulled a '3D Realms', scrapping all the work they'd done so far due to issues with the technology and starting over with a different engine. The project fell dormant until Human Head took over in 2001, and in 2002 they licensed the shiny new id Tech 4 engine (with its working portal tech) and spent four years putting together an entirely different Prey with it. Which was then completely overshadowed by Portal the following year. Alas.

Before starting it up, I created an autoexec.cfg file and typed in a couple of lines to hopefully turn off the mouse acceleration and smoothing:

seta m_accel "0"
seta m_smooth "0"

(Click images for slightly bigger screenshots).

Sunday, 13 March 2016

The Adventures of Star Saver (GB)

The Adventures of Star Saver title screenThe Adventures of Star Saver title screen
Developer:A-Wave|Release Date:1992|Systems:Game Boy

This week on Super Adventures, something a little less colourful.

The Adventures of Star Saver is a Game Boy game... and that's pretty much all I know about it. I just saw the name and realised it had to get played. My best guess is that it's a management sim based around running a discount supermarket chain, but I'm not going to completely rule out the possibility that it's a platformer.

Either way no one wants to stare at 300 black and white screenshots so I'll be keeping it short this time. This'll be a Regular Adventure rather than a Super Adventure.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Valkyria Chronicles (PC)

Developer:SEGA|Release Date:2014|Systems:Windows, PS3, PS4

Last week on Super Adventures, I took a break. But this week I'm taking a look at turn based real time tactical shooter Valkyria Chronicles! I keep accidentally typing Valkyrie Chronicles, but that's not its name so I should quit that.

I've written 'Release Date: 2014' under the title screen, but it originally came out in 2008 as one of those pesky PlayStation 3 exclusives. It finally escaped to the PC after 6 years of exclusivity captivity, but Xbox 360 and Wii U owners are sadly still missing out to this day. Unless they also own a PC or PS3, then they're not. I've never liked how games are divided up between consoles like this... especially when it's between consoles I don't own.

Anyway, this was actually a gift from a friend, so I'm kind of hoping I'll be able to I liked it. Trouble is, I don't actually enjoy strategy games for the most part, even when they've got an 80+ score on Metacritic. XCOM and Disgaea hooked me for multiple playthroughs, so there's still hope, but generally I don't have the patience for these kinds of games.

Semi-Random Game Box