Thursday, 6 August 2020

Breath of Fire II (SNES)

Breath of Fire II title screen SNES
Developer:Capcom|Release Date:JP: 1994, NA: 1995, EU: 1996|Systems:SNES, GBA

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing Brerth of Fireo! Uh, Breath of Fire II!

I played the original Breath of Fire just over a year ago, so it's not really fresh in my memory, but I think I thought it was 'okay'. Not all that interesting, but okay. Nice graphics though.

I've already spotted one massive improvement that Breath of Fire II has over the first game, which is that is was actually made it to Europe fast enough to get released for the system it was created for. We didn't get to play first game over here until the Game Boy Advance port, which came out five and a half years after its own sequel. And it does seem to be a proper sequel this time, unlike the other games in the series, as Wikipedia tells me it takes place 500 years after the events of the original game.

I'm planning to at least go through the first few hours of the game, so there will be SPOILERS below this point, but not many. I just felt like I should give you fair warning, seeing as JRPGs have a lot of story in them. Here's my first spoiler: if you leave the title screen on for a while all you get is gameplay demos. I thought it might give me an secret intro, like the first game, but it did not.

Right, I'm going to press SJARJ and see what this is like.

Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Amulets & Armor (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

This week on Super Adventures, guest poster mecha-neko is playing a DOS RPG from 1997! He rarely ever writes about RPGs, so this one must be something... special.

For a change, instead of playing something weird that I've never played before, I'm going to play something I'm very familiar with from my childhood.

Amulets and Armor title screen dos
Developer:United Software Artists|Release Date:January 1997
(re-released 26th April 2013)
|Systems:MS-DOS, Windows

This is Amulets & Armor. It's an RPG! Except it's not. It's an FPS! Except it's not. And it's multiplayer, except it's not. It's a little of everything.

I've been meaning to play and write about this game for years, but I've never felt like I'd be able to do it justice. When I was but a lad and loved playing shareware demos on the family PC (alright, I still do), I would play the one level demo of this a lot. I liked the ambience and the cartoons in Interpose, but Amulets & Armor is the game I actually played.

I only had the demo back then, but it was re-released in 2013 as a free full game for both MS-DOS and Windows, with the source code available for boffins as well. If you'd like to hear a little bit about why you've never heard of the game, click here, but I'll be focusing on just playing the full DOS version today.

Wednesday, 22 July 2020

Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole (Genesis/Mega Drive) - Replay

Landstalker title screen PAL
Developer:Climax|Release Date:1993 (1992 in Japan)|Systems:Mega Drive/Genesis

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing isometric action-adventure game Landstalker: The Treasures of King Nole! I've already written about it once before but now I'm playing it again.

This is the second game I've revisited recently, after Nox, so I guess it's finally happened: I've finally played through every single video game ever released on every console and computer and now all I can do is circle around and start replaying them all. Actually wait, I just thought of something else I could've played: isometric action-adventure game Equinox. Though after checking out Nox, AquaNox and Anachronox in a row I'm kind of 'nox'd out at the moment to be honest.

It's been almost ten years since I last played Landstalker and I remember very little about it... though that's probably because I saw very little of it. It seems that the game lost my interest right away and I only stuck with it long enough to find an enemy to hit. In my defence the site was only six days old at the time and Landstalker was my 74th article that week... wait, that's not a defence, that's an admission of insanity! What the hell was I thinking?

These days I try to at least see what a game plays like before turning it off. Plus sometimes I even do research! For this game I decided to research whether the original Japanese version also has a melted version of the Turrican II logo on its title screen, and it does. In fact it has the exact same logo, as the game is called Landstalker in Japan as well.

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

Noctropolis (PC)

Noctropolis title screen
Developer:Flashpoint|Release Date:1994|Systems:DOS (EE version: Windows, Linux, macOS)

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing my fourth PC game in a row! This one's from the mid 90s though, so I've escaped 2001 at least.

Noctropolis is an "adult graphic adventure", which is apparently a lot like a regular adventure, except a couple of hours in you get to see an actress's breasts for a few seconds. You won't find a screenshot of it here though, this site's safe for work (also I'll have stopped playing ages before then).

I own the game on Steam so that means I'm playing the Enhanced Edition released by Nightdive a few years back. It doesn't actually say that, it's listed in my game library as just 'Noctropolis', but it didn't boot up DOSBox when I started it so it must be the new version. Oh hang on, they mention it on the store page: "New Enhanced Edition for Steam!" So that's cleared that up.

Man, this music on the title screen sounds like it's going to break into a Batman theme at any moment. Not any particular Batman theme, just a Batman theme. That's probably a good sign, as the game's supposed to be going for a comic book tone. In fact they were originally going after a comic book licence, but they couldn't get hold of one and had to make up their own setting instead. They apparently tried to approach this problem from the other direction and get a comic book published based on the game, but their meeting with legendary artist Rob Liefeld at Image didn't lead to anything.



Before I start going through the game I feel like I should warn you that it gets a bit edgy at times. To put it bluntly, a main character gets raped off-screen and it's not dealt with all that tactfully.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Anachronox (PC)

Anachronox logo
Developer:Ion Storm|Release Date:2001|Systems:Windows

Deus Ex-style spinning logo!

This week on Super Adventures, it's Ion Storm's fourth game (of six), Anachronox! It was supposed to come out much earlier than that, but then that was true of everything Ion Storm's Dallas studio worked on. Dominion: Storm over Gift 3 was supposed to be released in 1997 and came out a year later in 98, Daikatana was also supposed to hit shelves in 97 and was eventually finished three years later in 2000, and Anachronox was planned for 1998 and was finally released in 2001. It's not really a mystery why the Dallas studio was closed down the month after Anachronox's release, as even if the games had sold well (they hadn't) they must have been way way over budget.

The company's second studio in Austin had a lot more success with the legendary Deus Ex, and survived a few years longer to produce the considerably less legendary Deus Ex: Invisible War and a third Thief game, Deadly Shadows. Which means that during its life Ion Storm released Dominion, Daikatana, Deus Ex, Deus Ex 2, Deadly Shadows... and Anachronox. One of these titles doesn't match the pattern. They should've called this Danachronox, or Daikatanachronox.

Ion Storm was formed by John Romero and Tom Hall, who had both gotten pushed out of id Software due to creative differences. I haven't read Masters of Doom, but it seems like they wanted to be creative, while John Carmack wanted to get games finished. In fact Hall was technically lead designer on Doom, but the character-driven story he'd come up with was thrown out, because who even needs story in video games? To be fair, Doom did just fine without it, but Anachronox was Hall's project, and this time no one was going to stop him putting in all the story and characters and space adventure he wanted.

Hopefully that'll turn out to be a good thing.

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

AquaNox (PC)

AquaNox title screen
Developer:Massive Development|Release Date:2001|Systems:Windows

This week on Super Adventures I'm still in the early 2000s and I'm still on PC, but I've jumped ahead by one year to play 2001 submarine shooter AquaNox.

I own this one on CD with a proper box and a proper manual, but I'm playing the Steam version instead because Windows 10 apparently wants nothing to do with its SafeDisc DRM. A lot of the games on my PC shelf have the same issue, which is a bit of a pain seeing as I didn't get them just so they could take up space! I got them so that they'd be there when I was ready to play them in a decade or two.

Speaking of the box, I got it out to have a look and there's no mention on it anywhere that this is actually a sequel to a 1996 game called Archimedean Dynasty. It apparently has "34 dangerous missions", an "atmospheric 3D soundtrack" and "an absorbing storyline that provides depth to the relentless action", but there's no hint that it's game #2.

There's actually three games in the AquaNox series, though AquaNox: Deep Descent is supposed to be out any day now, which will bring the number to four. There was going to be a PlayStation 2 game as well, AquaNox: The Angel's Tears, but that was outright cancelled for not passing Sony's software quality assurance test! I'm sure the developer could've fixed it, unfortunately they'd already been closed down by that point.

Anyway, it's been a long time since I played Archimedean Dynasty and I've never played this before so I'm not 100% sure what to expect here, but I'm optimistic. I like space shooters and some sky shooters, so I think I could find the fun in a sea shooter.

Wednesday, 24 June 2020

Nox (PC)

Nox title screen
Developer:Westwood Pacific|Release Date:2000|Systems:Windows, OS X

This week on Super Adventures, I'm writing about Nox. Not the Android Emulator, I'm talking about the classic Diablo 'em up video game by Westwood. Not the Westwood that made Command and Conquer and Blade Runner, I'm talking about the other one, Westwood Pacific. They're the ones who made the 'Christopher Lloyd in Toontown' adventure game Toonstruck, back when they were known as 'Burst Studios'.

Nox has already made an appearance on Super Adventures, as guest reviewer Ocean guest reviewed it for me. But that was way back in April 2011, when the site was just three months old, so I figured it was about time that I had a look at the game myself. Plus I'm going to justify the existence of this second article right away by giving you some trivia that you won't find in Ocean's post: the word 'nox' is Latin for night or darkness. Here's another fact: the game was released five months before Diablo II, which is maybe a bit closer than you want, but much preferable to releasing five months after it.

Okay I'm going to give the game a couple of hours and see how it plays. Oh, I should mention that I'm running the GOG.com version, and I've installed the 'Nox GUI' SDL patch to increase the chances of it working properly for me on Windows 10.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Brian the Lion Starring In: 'Rumble In The Jungle' (Amiga) - Guest Post

This week on Super Adventures, mecha-neko has returned to tell you a tale about a lion, called Brian.

Brian the Lion Amiga title screen
Developer:Reflections|Release Date:1994|Systems:Amiga 500, 1200, CD32

Ray and I have played more than a few mascots and almost-mascots for the Amiga, but it's time to show you the last, and best. Introducing Brian the Lion.

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Super Adventures in the itch.io Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality

Super Adventures is finally back, a little later than planned. That's partly because my internet broke, partly because I've been really busy, and partly because even looking through all the games in this new itch.io bundle took forever:


There's 742 1000 1427 1509... at least 1637 DRM free games, asset packs, books, soundtracks, tools, etc. in it! It's like one of those 1000+ game compilation CDs they used to make, except here it's not just stuff you've never heard of.

It includes games like Celeste, Nuclear Throne, Pyre, Receiver, Cook Serve Delicious 2, Heavy Bullets, Minit, A Short Hike, Night in the Woods, Glittermitten Grove, Jimmy and the Pulsating Mass, Paranautical Activity, Oxenfree, Pikuniku, 2064: Read Only Memories, Super Win the Game, Octodad: Dadliest Catch and They Bleed Pixels. Not saying that I played any of those ones specifically for this article, but they're in there. I already wrote about They Bleed Pixels a while back though, it's good. Minit too.

I've been meaning to write about some of the games you can find on itch.io for ages, so I'm glad this is finally motivating me to do something. Speaking of motivating people to finally do things, it's also raised $5,000,000 (so far) for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Community Bail Fund to help support the Black Lives Matter movement in their efforts to get things moving. So if I sound like I'm trying to advertise this bundle and persuade you to donate money to get it, that's because I am.

But that means I have to get this written and published while the bundle's still for sale, so I'm feeling a little bit rushed here! I did the maths, and it turns out I don't have time to download, play and review 900 or so games, so I've narrowed it down to 7. I don't have time to properly play and review them either to be honest, but I can definitely give you some hastily typed words about the 30 minutes I tried them for. Plus I've got a bonus review from a friend to show off an extra game and boost the word count a little, so you've got that to look forward to as well.

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

Disco Elysium (PC)

Disco Elysium menu screen
Developer:ZA/UM|Release Date:2019|Systems:Windows (PS4 + Xbox One later in 2020)

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing Disco Elysium, a brand new game that's the opposite of obscure. Everyone's heard about it, everyone knows about it. But I have to write about it anyway, because it was a surprise birthday gift and I'd be some kind of ungrateful monster not to. It's a bit of a roll of the dice though, seeing as I could end up writing a whole essay here on why it's bad and I hate it. Which would be awkward.

Fortunately the game's got immense critical acclaim, so it seems like a pretty safe bet. In fact I often hear it compared to The Outer Worlds, which came out shortly afterwards and deals with some of the same themes. Or, to be more accurate, I heard people saying "Outer Worlds' biggest problem was that it came out right after Disco Elysium instead of right after Fallout '76". It's apparently narratively masterful in a way that makes the writing in other video games look like video game writing by comparison, plus it's got a name that sounds like a boat in a James Bond movie.

It originally had the title No Truce with the Furies attached to it, but that was apparently only ever supposed to be the project name. Personally I think they made the right choice going with Disco Elysium, as it's got a nice sound to it, it's distinctive, and it's a lot quicker to type. Plus 'disco' is also a Latin word meaning 'I learn' and the game's all about learning things, so it's being clever.

Okay, this is a story driven detective game based around mysteries, so this article is inevitably going to be full of SPOILERS. But I'm only going to play it for exactly one in-game day, so I hopefully won't ruin too much of it for you if you haven't played it yourself. Plus I'm going to pick all the boring options to ensure there's no risk of anything interesting happing and preserve all the wondrous fuck ups for you to discover on their own.

I should also mention that the game is full of bad words, depressing themes, gruesome descriptions, and opinions about politics, just to let you know what you're in for. Not that you'll necessarily see much of it in my article.

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Ace Combat 2 (PSX)

Developer:Namco|Release Date:1997|Systems:PlayStation

This week on Super Adventures, I'm playing Ace Combat 2: the classic PlayStation dogfight 'em up by the people who've watched Top Gun.

It was made by the legendary developer/publisher Namco, who started creating their own video games in 1978 and didn't stop until 2005, when some mad businessmen fused them with Bandai Games to create a hybrid creature called Bandai Namco. Though the interesting thing about Namco, is that they were responsible for games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Time Crisis, Ridge Racer, Splatterhouse, Soulcalibur, Tekken, Klonoa and Katamari Damacy, and I somehow haven't covered a single one of them yet. I wrote about Tales of Symphonia by Namco Tales Studio (formerly known as Wolf Team), but I think this is actually the first proper Namco-developed game on Super Adventures!

Here's another fact for you: for some reason the first game was renamed Air Combat when it was released in the West, even though the Japanese game's title was in English to begin with. This is doubly weird and confusing because the Ace Combat series is the successor to Namco's arcade flight sim series... called Air Combat. I could understand why they'd want to use that brand if it already had some value in the West, but it doesn't seem like the arcade games ever made it outside of Japan. Anyway by Ace Combat 2 everyone was using the same name and the confusion was over (until the sequels).

You might be curious why I'm starting with the second game. I've got a few reasons, but I think the main one is that I actually finished it, many years ago, and I'm really curious how the hell that happened. Is it really that good, or just really really short?

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Full Throttle: Remastered (PC) - Part 2

Congratulations, you've discovered the second and final part of my epic two-part Full Throttle: Remastered article! If you're looking for the first part, it's right here: PART ONE.

I spent all of part one just getting out of the town at the start, but part two covers the entire rest of the game, so if you haven't played the game before and have any interest in going into it without the plot and puzzles ruined, it's probably best not to read anything below this SPOILER WARNING.

Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Full Throttle: Remastered (PC) - Part 1

Full Throttle Remastered title screen
Remastered - Developer:Double Fine|Release Date:2017|Systems:Win, PS4, PS Vita
Original Game - Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1995|Systems:MS-DOS, Win & Mac OS

This week on Super Adventures, it's the legendary LucasArts classic, Full Throttle! Remastered!

It seemed like a good time for me to get around to this one, with the original game's 25th anniversary being just around the corner. It came out on April 20th so I'm a month early, but Super Adventures is taking a break during April (and May) so I'm playing it now.

I've played the classic Full Throttle before, in fact I've beaten the game, but I've forgotten almost everything about it since then. I'm fairly sure I used a guide to get through it, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything. I used guides all the time back then, because assumed I wouldn't make it though a game without them.

I do know one thing about the game though: it actually sold pretty well, better than any LucasArts adventure that came before it (but maybe not as well as The Dig), which the company appreciated as it also cost a fortune (though maybe not as much as The Dig). It's possible that all the expensive CD-filling cutscenes were the reason the game was such a big hit for them, though some have theorised it was actually because it had a big explosion on the box art.

Okay, I don't usually do SPOILER warnings on Super Adventures, but I'm going to play through the first third of the game and spoil a big chunk of the puzzles and story, so you might not want to read this if you haven't played through it before.

Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Psychic Detective (MS-DOS) - Guest Post

This week on Super Adventures, I've dragged mecha-neko back to talk about... whatever this is. Looks a bit like a game, maybe? Or perhaps a direct to video movie? Either way, I hope you enjoy reading about it at least twice as much as he enjoyed playing it.

My next game was going to be a cutesy platformer on the Amiga, but after unsuccessfully fighting my way through VectorMan, I thought we could all do with a change.

Psychic Detective title screen DOS
Developer:Colossal Pictures,
Electronic Arts Studios
|Release Date:30th November 1995|Systems:MS-DOS, 3DO, PlayStation

So instead, I've gone back in time and found a full motion video interactive movie, just for you. You can tell it's an interactive movie! Look, it's got a strip of film! And a CD-ROM!

Okay, you can stop looking now. Seriously, stop. That mess can't be good for your eyes.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Metal Gear Solid 2: Substance (PS2)

Metal Gear Solid 2 substance title screen playstation 2 PAL
Developer:Konami|Release Date:2003 (Sons of Liberty 2001)|Systems:PS2, PS3, Vita, Xbox, Xbox 360, Windows

March 4th, 2000, two decades ago, the second and most popular of the sixth-generation consoles was released in Japan. That means that today is the PlayStation 2's 20th birthday!

My first idea was that I could play one of its original launch titles to celebrate, but then I looked at what they were and decided that I could do better. So this week on Super Adventures, I'm playing Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty! Actually to be precise I'm playing the re-released Substance edition (PAL version) but really it's the same thing. They were just getting people to double dip for a handful of special missions. Well okay, lots of handfuls of special missions.

I actually beat this game once, many years ago, on PC. So I'll have a vague idea of what I'm doing but not what buttons to press to do it. Though one thing I definitely haven't forgotten, is how great the opening theme by Harry Gregson-Williams is. I think it sounds even better the original Metal Gear Solid theme by TAPPY, which sounds better than "The Winter Road" by Russian composer Georgy Sviridov. Unfortunately it also sounds kind of similar, and the other song was written back in the 70s, so Konami had to stop using their own MGS theme in the MGS games. This means they won't get to use it in the movie either!

Okay, I'm going to be playing the game up to a little bit into the Plant chapter, so there'll be SPOILERS for the first two hours or so. I might also mention at some point that the story becomes a bit of a confusing mess by the end and the game left a lot of questions that weren't answered for seven years.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Super Adventures with the Xbox Game Pass, Part 4

This week on Super Adventures, I hope you don't mind that I'm still writing about all these games I played with my month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate last November, because I'm on the last part now and I'm not quitting until it's done.

Once again I should point out that I only played most of these games for an hour or so, long enough for me to get distracted by something else and turn them off, but not long enough for me to accurate assess the majority of their content or the intricacies of their gameplay. I'll also point out that these aren't just Xbox games! I played most of them on PC, and a lot of them can be played on lots of systems.

You can find part 1 here: Part 1.
Part 2 is here: Part 2.
Part 3 is here: Part 3.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

Super Adventures with the Xbox Game Pass, Part 3

This week on Super Adventures, I'm still writing about the games I played last November when I bought a month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. I'm up to part 3 now because it turns out you can play a lot of games in one month if you really rush. You probably shouldn't write about them though, because you likely won't have played them enough to come to grips with the gameplay or get a proper impression of the content.

But I'm doing it anyway because I want to show some games off and I'm hoping someone reading these will discover something new they end up playing and loving, even if I didn't love it myself.

You can find part 1 here: Part 1.
And part 2 is here: Part 2.

The final part is coming tomorrow!

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Super Adventures with the Xbox Game Pass, Part 2

This week on Super Adventures, I feel like I should make it really clear right away that this article isn't an advert for Xbox Game Pass. It'd be nice to have the money, but it's not. Plus all the games here are available to buy elsewhere, many of them on systems other than Xbox One and PC. But last November I signed up for their three months for £1 Ultimate Game Pass deal and I played a lot of games, so I figured I might as well write a little about them.

Actually I signed up just a little too early to get the three month subscription, so I only had 30 days to play games. But they did give me a free subscription to Discord Nitro as a gift and that gave me three months of Game Pass! Or at least it should've done, but I tried to claim it just a day or so too late so I missed out on that as well. I'm so bad at video games that I only managed to get the one month when they were basically giving away six.

Oh, if you're wondering what happened to part 1, I published that last December. It was supposed to be the only part, but I had a few games left over so I figured I'd make a part 2 for you. Then I realised I still had too many games, and... to cut to the chase this is now a four part article, and you'll get the next two parts over the next two days.

Like I mentioned back in part 1, I only barely played some of these games and have no business reviewing them, but that's not going to stop me from showing off some screenshots and writing a few words underneath, same as ever. Except different.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Suikoden (PSX)

Suikoden playstation title screen pal europe
Developer:Konami|Release Date:1997 (1995 in Japan)|Systems:PlayStation, Saturn, Windows

This week on Super Adventures, I'm finally getting around to Suikoden, a game that's been sitting on my shelf for ages. I borrowed it from a friend a while ago and he moved away before I could give it back, so it's just been lying there ever since, unplayed. Until today!

I knew the game was an JRPG when I borrowed it (one of the earliest RPGs on the PlayStation in fact), but I had no idea what the title was about. Typically Japanese games will get an English title when they're released in the West (except for games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest which had an English title from the start), but for some reason this has remained Suikoden.

Turns out that it's loosely based on a novel of the same name. Well, that's the name it has in Japan anyway. It's actually a Chinese novel called Shui Hu Zhuan, one of the four great classic novels of Chinese literature (along with Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Journey to the West and Dream of the Red Chamber), and in English the title translates to... Water Margin. Probably for the best they left it as Suikoden.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

VectorMan (Genesis/Mega Drive) - Guest Post

This week on Super Adventures, mecha-neko's back with another guest post for you! He's found a game all about robots, purple flags and twinkly stars, and some people reckon it's pretty good. You'll have to keep reading if you want to know what mecha-neko thinks of it though.

Hey everybody, guess what! It's time to play the Mega Drive exclusive VectorMan!

Developer:BlueSky Software|Release Date:October 24th, 1995|Systems:Mega Drive/Genesis

If you think this little fragment of the title screen is busy, believe me I'm letting you off easy. If you're really gutsy, take a look at the full animation. Be warned, it contains flashing images. (And boy howdy does it ever.) That warning goes for the rest of this post as well. Are you ready?

Thursday, 6 February 2020

Riot Zone (TurboGrafx-CD)

Riot Zone title screen
Developer:Westone|Release Date:1993 (1992 in Japan)|Systems:TurboGrafx-CD, Arcade (kind of)

This week on Super Adventures we're going to the Riot Zone, on the TurboGrafx-CD / PC Engine CD-ROM².

Though it's also known by another name, as it started life as an coin-op called Riot City. The licensing agreement that developer Westone had with original publisher Sega said they owned the rights to the game, but not the characters, bosses or names, so when they ported it to Hudson Soft's console they had to give it a makeover and a new title. It's a bit weird they didn't just port it to Sega's Mega Drive / Genesis instead and save themselves the work, but I suppose they must have had their reasons.

The game never got a European release in either form, but the console version did reach America, so there'll be nice English cutscenes for me to completely understand. Well I'll be able to read the text at least.

Thursday, 30 January 2020

Super Mario 64 (N64)

Hey, welcome back, it's Super Adventures 9th birthday etc. But never mind that, I've got TERRIBLE NEWS for you. Some quirk of Blogger has retroactively screwed up all my damn 256 colour images, removing shades and leaving them more dithered than they should be.


It only ruined little bits of them, only a few of the colours, but ideally you want your screenshots to be 0% ruined.

So I've got GOOD NEWS for you: mecha-neko wrote a thing and I did a thing and over Christmas we replaced something like 14,000 images over 1000 posts. So now the site is entirely fixed... or mostly broken, or somewhere in between. Why not click a few old posts and find out! I mean after reading this one.

Super Mario 64 Title screen logo pal europe
Developer:Nintendo|Release Date:1997 (1996 in Japan + US)|Systems:N64, DS, iQue Player

This week on Super Adventures, it's Super Mario 64!

It's a game that needs no introduction, so instead I'll start off by talking about how much I hate 3D platformers. Actually I don't hate them, as long as they keep their distance and don't bother me, but they've never been my genre. I like 2D platformers, I like games where you wander around in 3D, but somehow when you combine the two I lose interest. Maybe it's because I don't like slipping off narrow platforms and misjudging depth.

Actually I will give the game a bit of an introduction, because I like trivia. Super Mario 64 was designed by pioneering Nintendo game genius Shigeru Miyamoto, who's been making Marios since the first Donkey Kong arcade cabinet. He'd already set the template for the 2D platformer genre with Super Mario Bros. so they were hoping he could pull off the same trick in 3D. And he did... though he took a few months longer than planned. Unfortunately Mario 64 was meant to be the big launch title that got people buying the Nintendo 64, so they had to delay the console for months as well. They probably made the right choice though, as the PlayStation and Saturn were well established even before the delay and the N64 needed to show off some actual magic to lure people over to a cartridge-based machine without videos, voices or CD music.

Personally I love the N64 and I've got a lot of nostalgia for it, but Mario 64 not so much. I've maybe played the game twice and the furthest I've gotten is the stone slab boss that falls on you. But some people seem to like it, and it's "acclaimed as one of the greatest video games of all time", so I'm going to give it another few hours to win me over.

Semi-Random Game Box