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.

Semi-Random Game Box