Saturday, 31 December 2016

Super AiG Screenshots of the Year: 2016

It's New Year's Eve once more, so I feel obliged to give you the sixth annual Super Adventures Screenshots of the Year gallery, showcasing some of the most interesting screenshots from the last 12 months of my site! Also GIFs, lots of GIFs.

Clicking the highlighted game titles will take you to the original article so you can see the screenshot in context. If it's a more modern game then clicking the picture itself will likely open it up in its original resolution.





~ JANUARY ~


LucasArts' legendary point and click adventure games like Sam & Max, Full Throttle and Curse of Monkey Island are famous for their artwork as much as their humour. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade not so much. This scene of Indy’s students driving his secretary to despair made me smile though.

In FireStriker the goal is to knock the fireball into bricks to break them and open up the exit. Or knock it into chests to get stuff. Knocking it into anything would be a start! Bloody uncooperative fireball.

Painkiller been around for over a decade now and it's still a damn pretty shooter in my humble opinion.

Undertale’s not quite as pretty, but it makes up for that by being Undertale. Shame I can’t screenshot the soundtrack.





~ FEBRUARY ~


I still have no idea who this guy is in Divine Divinity but I hope his cheerful grin brings joy to your day.





~ MARCH ~


This isn’t a particularly amazing scene from Valkyria Chronicles but it shows off the cool real time watercolour graphics at least. (Spoilers: they don’t actually talk about fish sketching down at the station.)

Frost Byte here was one of the very first games I failed to play for my site, I just posted a shot of this title screen and left it at that. The fact that the guy didn’t make it into my Screenshots of the Year 2011 post says more about how insane the screenshots were that year than it does about him.

But now I've finally played the thing properly, so here’s a very Christmassy looking cyclops to liven up this year's screenshots article.





~ APRIL ~


I love this picture of a Beholder from the credits of Sword Coast Legends. Fun fact: it’s also the cover to the D&D Monster Manual.

Kaze Kiri: Ninja Action isn’t bullshitting with its title. You want to play as a ninja, fighting ninja monkeys, it has you covered.

Here’s what high speed limb replacement will look like in the future, according to Syndicate at least. Though I stared at it too long and now I can’t help but see the machine’s big red googly eyes.

The first time this loading screen came up in SiN I had to stop what I was doing and race to scribble ‘remember to put this in the screenshots of the year post’ in my notes. Because it’s awesome.





~ MAY ~


This was about the point in Dungeon Siege where my whole crew got together, each wearing a towel wrapped around their head, slippers and a dress, and pulled out their Goblin-crafted dragon miniguns to get revenge for their fallen donkey.

Then they all got wiped out because I apparently suck at Dungeon Siege now.

It was hard picking just one GIF from Punky Skunk, but in the end I had to go with the semaphore minigame. Because none of this makes any sense out of context and it doesn’t make sense in context either. One minute you’re jumping around platforms, the next you’re playing the worst game of Simon Says against a machine with pulsating cable dreadlocks and an expression of utter despair.

Why would anyone build a robot with a face but no mouth, feet but no legs, and flags for arms that needs glasses to see and has to constantly blink?





~ JUNE ~


Saints Row is a great game and I feel bad for showing this GIF again, as this rarely ever happens.

I cheated when I put this Simon the Sorcerer GIF together, as I combined two separate scenes and then painted out a lot of butterflies to make it seamless. But it looks cool so whatever. As long as you know I’ve edited it, I think that’s fair.

New London in Freelancer looks great in motion as well, with all the rain coming down, but that’d make the file too big. Fortunately it looks pretty good even like this.





~ JULY ~


The Animorphs may have the power to morph into animals, but it doesn't seem to bring them happiness. Especially when they get stuck halfway like this.





~ AUGUST ~


Comix Zone, man…

This is perhaps the greatest work of art that humanity has ever created for a 16-bit Sega console. Well, visually at least. Plus the soundtrack’s pretty great as well.

Splinter Cell operative Sam Fisher can move through shadows like a ghost and kill you in 150 distinct ways, but he can't throw for shit.

Even the prettier NES games like Chip 'n' Dale Rescue Rangers aren't much to look at, but they sure are good at providing opportunities for me to look like an idiot. Though it’s not my fault that reality is being unmade behind me! If the camera had scrolled back a bit I totally would’ve landed on a branch.





~ SEPTEMBER ~


I like these little cartoon pictures in Redshirt, showing what you’ve been getting up to during your job… even though no one in the game actually wears those triangle badges. They rarely even wear red shirts now that I think about it, but then I guess that's why the title isn't a plural.

Star Trek: The Next Generation - A Final Unity isn't the best of games. It’s not even the best ‘Star Trek’ point and click adventure. But it does have the best reaction to getting shot by a phaser in all of history, so it’s got that going for it.

Well, except for maybe Bashir's dance in 'Deep Space Nine',  but that belong in my other site, Sci-Fi Adventures! I’m shamelessly plugging it again for the three readers who aren’t aware of it yet, just in case one of them cares.

Here’s another sci-fi screenshot for you, this time from Stargate on the SNES. It seams harsh to pick on the digitised portrait art considering the resolution and colours they had to work with, but I can totally take the piss out of the dialogue! Plus he’s not even supernatural, he’s a bloody alien, get it right Dr. Jackson.

Here’s a demonstration of a robot manufacturing process, courtesy of SNES RPG Robotrek. There’s one thing I still don’t get though: is that a really big SNES pad, or are they all really small?

This picture of Sherloch Ness’s office in Dinosaur Detective Agency makes me wish that I could reach in through the screen and tidy up his filing cabinet. I also kind of want to rescue the spider.

Remember when games had giant photographs of frogs in the background? The 90s was weird.

I didn’t actually play arcade game Bubble Memories, but I did put this screenshot of it in my post about Parasol Stars and that totally means it qualifies to be here.





~ OCTOBER ~


Gabriel Knight 2 gave me so many good GIFs to choose from, but in the end I had to go with the wolves.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like Grand Theft Auto IV, but the game eventually won me over. Every now and again though I had to take a moment to stop and launch another one of my cousin's taxis into the river. I knew it wasn’t going to stop him calling me to go out bowling or to get a drink, but it did at least give me some solace to know that I was driving him deeper into debt.

In the Hunt is basically Metal Slug in a submarine, so pretty much any moment of it can be turned into an epic GIF. Those graphics, man… those beautiful beautiful graphics…





~ NOVEMBER ~


I did a whole article on Amiga Disk Screens this year, so I had to include one of them here. It was a tough choice, but in the end I decided to go with these two from Top Wrestling hiding behind a floppy disk. Imagine how tiny they must be if that’s a regular sized disk. It’s no wonder they can’t find any clothes that fit.

Here’s a GIF of a giant elephant in a diaper being flown across the screen on chains while spitting out tiny elephants, from Rod-Land. Because I wasn’t likely to get one from Top Wrestling or Grand Theft Auto IV.

Broken Sword has some great artwork, but if I can only pick one shot from my post, it has to be of the save slot select screen from the GBA port. Because look at what they’ve done to George’s head!

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;birth 1 dogoo game over screen
Here’s a shot of the shocking game over screen in weird fourth wall-shattering RPG HyperDimension Neptunia Re;birth1.

It's dangerous to go alone, take Nep!
I was thinking of showing this screenshot from the game instead, with its cheeky Legend of Zelda reference, but someone talked me out of it.





~ DECEMBER ~


In the grim dark future of Disposable Hero there are only spaceships. Possibly.

And the final screenshot is...

The Dark Knight doing a pose in Batman: Arkham Origins, the most festive of all the Batman games.


SUPER ADVENTURES 2016 REVIEW

Right down at the bottom of last year's screenshot article I wrote:
"What I want to do for 2016 is find the weirder games, the interesting ones hiding on obscure systems. I want to find beautiful artwork, insane plots, amazing character design, ridiculous game design and I want to show it off to everyone!"
Did I manage it? Well... not really. I played an Intellivision game though, so that's kind of different! Plus I kept things kind of retro, with a third of the games pre-dating the PlayStation and two thirds of them being older than Steam. But my greatest achievement is that I managed to go a whole year without writing a single long dull two-part article. I'm very proud of myself.

It's become a Super Adventures tradition for me to finish the year off with some stats, so I'll get this over with quickly:

I wrote about just 46 games this year, which is a bit of a step down from last year's 64 (it's less than one a week!) But I did throw in a couple of bonus articles as well from time to time, like a review of Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within. Plus I also published 56 reviews for my new sci-fi site at the same time so I'm not kicking myself too hard over my lack of productivity.

   
This year 54% of games got a 'Not Crap' star, which is a little less than last year and a little more than the year before. Nothing exciting there. Turns out that I like about half the games I play.   But just 7% of games got the ultimate 'Wins the Prize' prize this year, which is a huge drop! I guess compared to Undertale, Stardew Valley and Batman: Arkham Origins everything else seemed a little underwhelming.

SYSTEMS:
PC: 59%
SNES: 11%
Amiga: 7%
Arcade: 4%
The PC is the most popular system again, because it’s got a billion games and I’ll always choose to play multiplatform releases on it for the sake of convenience, but it’s nice to see that the Super Nintendo’s making a comeback, with the Amiga in third place. I played like one Sega game all year though, it’s shameful.

GENRES:
RPG: 20%
Platformer: 15%
Adventure: 13%
FPS: 11%
I’m honestly surprised to see RPG at the top of the genre leaderboard, but then I guess that’s what happens when you play all the Dungeon Siege games. I’m really surprised to see point and click adventures in third place, beating my beloved first person shooters. Something ain't right there.

ERAS:
Pre-Steam: 65%
Pre-PSX: 39%
Modern Indie: 11%
80s: 7%
And the era chart clearly shows that I’m doing a poor job of beating my Steam backlog. But I did at least manage to cover a good variety of different generations, with almost every year from 1988 to 2016 getting represented.

What I want to do for 2017 is find the weirder games, the interesting ones hiding on obscure systems. Oh wait, I said that last year and that didn’t work out. Okay failing that I want to play lots of games made in 1987, 1992, 1997, and 2007, so that I can keep mentioning that it’s a game’s anniversary this year until everyone’s sick of it.

Anyway, happy New Year! Thanks for coming by to read my words, if you check back next year there should be some more waiting for you.

5 comments:

  1. Super! I look forward to next year's 7 theme. Happy new year to you Ray!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fun to remember, I read most of those articles, some others I missed completely.

    Some suggestions for your weird games:
    Franko: the crazy revenge (Amiga)
    Crime Patrol or Crime Patrol 2 Drug Wars (Windows remaster versions recommended)
    Fortress of Dr. Radiaki (since you love FPS, DOS)
    Avish (DOS) (obscure hebrew puzzle game)
    Hardline (DOS, by Cryo, a hidden gem)

    Warning, some of these games may be terrible. I still find them quite fun, for exactly this reason ! You'll have a good laugh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suggestions are good! I'll keep them in mind (and written down on a list).

      Delete
  3. Thanks for another year of great articles. I always enjoy learning about the obscure games out there, and the humour always puts a smile on my face.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great stuff! Keep up the rad work, dude!

    ReplyDelete

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