Friday, 28 October 2016

Coded Arms (PSP) - Guest Post

Today on Super Adventures, guest poster mecha-neko's back with another first person shooter for another Friday. But this time there's a shocking twist: it's on the PSP!

Hey, get a load of this!

Coded Arms Title Screen PSP
Developer:Konami|Release Date:2005|Systems:PlayStation Portable

It's Coded Arms, the first Sony PlayStation Portable game on the site! It's a PSP exclusive and it's the very first first person shooter on the system or so I'm told.

I found it for just a buck, all boxed and nice, so I'm going to share it with you!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

In the Hunt (Arcade)

In the Hunt title screen
Developer:Irem|Release Date:1993|Systems:Arcade, PlayStation, Saturn, PC

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing an arcade game, because I feel like showing off some pixels and I figured this'd be a good place to find them. Plus I haven't played a single arcade game for the site all year and I'm running out of time to make up for that.

My first criticism is that it needs more space between the words in the title. It looks like it says "INTHEHUNT", and that's not what it's called!

In  the  Hunt came out in arcades first in 1993 and was ported to PlayStation, Saturn and Windows 95 a couple of years later. It almost made it to Super Nintendo as well, but it was getting a bit close to the system's end by that point, and Irem's game development department departed soon after. The team that made this were apparently already gone by then though, as they formed Nazca in '94. I've already played one game they made as Irem, scrolling beat 'em up Undercover Cops, but they're more famous for what they made afterwards... Metal Slug! Which I'm totally going to play one of these days, maybe.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Grand Theft Auto IV (PC)

Grand Theft Auto 4 title screen
Developer:Rockstar North|Release Date:2008|Systems:Windows, Xbox 360, PS3

This week on Super Adventures I'm having a quick go of acclaimed crime 'em up Grand Theft Auto IV. Though knowing what these games are like, I'll have to put 20 hours in before I really get how it works, maybe more! So I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I make for your entertainment.

Actually I've got a vague memory of playing this once before and not liking it much. I've beaten Vice City and San Andreas (and I came so damn close to finishing GTA 3) but I didn't get on with this one for whatever reason. Probably something to do with the combat; I've got another vague memory of arguing with someone about the shooting being the worst thing ever, while they tried to convince me that the driving physics were worse.

The game came out the same year as sandbox rival Saints Row 2 (which I really liked) and one difference between the games I've already noticed is that Volition know how numbers work. Rockstar on the other hand have given their sixth game the Roman numeral for 'four'. Well really it's the eleventh game on the Grand Theft Auto series, if you include the two GTA: London mission packs, the Stories games on PSP and Grand Theft Auto Advance, but I'm happy enough to consider them outside the main series.

Unlike its predecessors GTA IV has multiplayer, which I'm not going to even try. I'm not going to use iCEnhancer to prettify it either; this is pure, straight out of the box, vanilla single player GTA.

(Screenshots can be clicked to view them in their original resolution, but I'm warning you now it's not great.)

Friday, 7 October 2016

The Beast Within: A Gabriel Knight Mystery (MS-DOS)

Gabriel Knight 2 Beast Within title screen
Developer:Sierra|Release Date:1995|Systems:PC

This week on Super Adventures I’m playing a game that was requested in March this very year! It only took me six months to get around to a request for once; I'm very proud of myself.

The Beast Within is second game in the Gabriel Knight trilogy, following on from Sins of the Fathers, so I'm just going to call it Gabriel Knight 2 from now on. The Gabriel Knight trilogy is interesting as each game represents one of the four eras of 90s adventure games:
  • Gabriel Knight 1 is a classic 2D style point and click adventure from 1993, enhanced with early 90s advances like voice acting and 256 colour scanned backgrounds.
  • Gabriel Knight 2 was released two years later in 1995 and jumped right in to the short lived multimedia FMV fad, where game developers discovered that good actors and real sets are really expensive and video looks like ass when you compress it to fit on CDs.
  • Gabriel Knight 3 came out right at the end of the 90s in 1999, during a time where you either made your game with polygons or you picked up your coat and got out. Turns out that the relatively expensive 3D environments and game pad controls weren't a good match for the increasingly niche genre though.
  • Finally there’s Gabriel Knight 4, which doesn’t exist... because Gabriel Knight 3 killed adventure games. Actually the truth is that the genre was already on the way out, so at worst its famous cat fur moustache puzzle merely helped hammer a nail or two into the coffin. And the genre eventually rose from the dead so it didn't even do a good job of that.
Due to its high video content Gabriel Knight 2 originally came on a ridiculous 6 CDs, which isn't actually so bad when you had Amiga adventure games coming on a dozen floppy disks. It's definitely not an issue for me as the version I bought online has zero disc swapping! I just had to download it as 7 separate files because I was too dumb to get it from GOG or Steam. The game's not supported by ScummVM by the way, but I'm sure DOSBox can handle it.

Semi-Random Game Box