Top

< Previous Page (18)

Latest Entries >

Clear Filters

16th July 2021: Raging Streetoholics

After not being able to get together with Scoob for any gaming since before the stupid pandemic began, today we had the chance to sit down and have a bit of a button mash. The game we played through was Streets Of Rage 4, the latest game in a series that got a lot of play time out of us back when we were in high school.

Like its predecessors, this is a side-scrolling beat em up, and has much of the same mechanics. The main difference here is the art style, which has changed to a very clean comic-inspired look, rather than the old pixelated look of the originals. Not that that's really a bad thing, as many character sprites from the old games are unlockable as you play through the game.

There were lots of things that I couldn't really remember about the old games, but Scoob could remember loads of the enemies, what games they were in and what their moves were. Whereas I could only remember Max and his slide tackle, as he was the character I used all the time in Streets Of Rage 2. Unfortunately he is not available (at least by default) here, and he only shows up in the game as a brainwashed enemy boss. The cheek of it.

Instead, I used Axel, while Scoob plumped for Blaze, his regular character.

It was seriously cool to play through this, though we breezed through it on our first attempt. The only level we had to re-do was the end level, and only because a room full of tubby enemies weakened us so much we barely had any health for the bosses. But we soon went back and showed them.
It was certainly nothing like back in the day, when losing all your lives meant starting the entire game all over again. Like other modern games, getting a game over screen just means starting that level again.
Though there is a way to play through the game in the style of the old classics, but I wouldn't really want to try doing that these days with my aging brain and thumbs.

Blaze twonks some fools while Axel takes a shit

Blaze twonks some fools while Axel takes a shit

Double team kickin' fest

Double team kickin' fest

Blaze gives Max a shock

Blaze gives Max a shock

Leaping into battle as classic Axel

Leaping into battle as classic Axel

14th July 2021: What A Senseless Waste

I have been feeling a little bit rebellious lately as I'm starting to get somewhat worn down by people screeching on the internet and trying to dictate what other people can and can't like in their entertainment.
In my opinion, you can like whatever you want as long as it's not illegal. After all, movies, games and the like are completely fictitious and fantasy, and are supposed to be about escapism. Last thing I want is shitty real life issues being brought up all the time, when all I want to do is get away from all that crap and enjoy myself.

The first game I played in this little "stand up to the online censors" segment is called Sense: A Cyberpunk Ghost Story. This had people attacking it purely because the main character, a young woman named Mei, is fairly endowed in the chest department. I mean seriously, as if there are no women out there with big boobs. These people need to grow up.
You've also got to take into account that this has fairly manga-inspired visuals, and is set in a cyberpunk future where it's established that cosmetic surgeries are commonplace. On top of that, pretty much every other female character (and at least one guy I saw) was bigger up top than Mei was. Just proves that these critics didn't even look into the game at all.

Well gladly, the developers basically told these weirdos to go to hell, and that's why I decided to support them.

So what is the game, and what is it about?

Well as established, you play as Mei, someone who finds herself seeing things through her cybernetic eyes that nobody else can see, such as supernatural events and spooks. She finds herself trapped in an apartment block that has been sealed off from the world for the best part of a century (I think) and learns that she must exorcise the spirits and ancient evil from the building in order to escape.

The gameplay is very much like a point and click exploration game, but without the mouse as an interface. Instead you just use the keyboard or a controller. Unfortunately, I found it a janky and not very smooth experience, especially in terms of animation. I mean, the backgrounds scrolled by and animated in other ways very smoothly, but the animations of Mei and the other characters seemed very jittery and stiff, especially in faster motion such as running.

And there were bugs. Holy shit there were bugs. Even in the first few minutes there were obvious things like dialog seeming to skip or repeat. And the inventory, map and journal system was infuriating, as it reset each time rather than remembering where you were last time. And the map always loaded at the first floor, even if you were on a different one. Quality of life things like this should never be skipped from the development of even the simplest of games, yet they were here.

But the main issue I had was at one point I figured I'd got to use this key making machine, as I had got the code for it and could seemingly do nothing else to progress, but the game just wouldn't let me, so I turned it off. Then when I tried again later it immediately let me use it. Which was dumb.

Later on in the game, combat elements are introduced, but these are maybe the worst part of the game, as the fighting is laughably bad and clunky, consisting of pressing a single button to swing a sword at the right time, almost like a light QTE.

Overall I found the game quite disappointing, and definitely not worth what I paid for it. But this is because the game itself is pretty bad, not because of the proportions of the character. I actually think there was nothing wrong with the art style at all, and many of the characters were very cool looking. There were also interesting things going on with the story, though I didn't really get my head around a lot of the folklore that is alluded to throughout.

The ending was also a bit of a let down, despite the fact that quite an interesting thing happens, which is you playing as another character who is trying to figure out what happened to Mei while she was in the building. They could have done something really cool with this as you go through and piece together the puzzles, but everything just kind of stops and fizzles out and doesn't go anywhere.

Oh well.

The developers probably anticipated what was going to happen

The developers probably anticipated what was going to happen

Such incredible action mechanics

Such incredible action mechanics

Get away from me creepy naked ghost dude

Get away from me creepy naked ghost dude

I don't think mirrors work this way

I don't think mirrors work this way

Battling an evil ghost prostitute doll thing

Battling an evil ghost prostitute doll thing

End boss goes for her patented 'sneaky grope' attack

End boss goes for her patented 'sneaky grope' attack

3rd June 2021: Welcome To The Rebellion

Before I can say my final farewells to my once favourite franchise, I thought I could do with addressing several Star Warsy things that were outstanding.

I still have a bunch of games that I've never finished, and several I've never even played. Some of these are old ones that I still have on physical media, and some are games I've bought digitally. Truth be told, I didn't really want to play any of them considering my feelings at the moment, but when I looked down the list there were two that stood out as games I really should do my best to finish.

First up was X-Wing Alliance. I reached the end level of this when I first played it about 20 years ago, but when I flew into the Death Star the game totally spooged out. I don't know if I was clipping through the tunnel walls, or there were some weird graphics bugs, or something else entirely.
Basically I gave up and turned it off, fully intending to go back to it another time. But this is me we're talking about, and so I never did.

Coming back to this was eye-opening. I found some missions very hard, and as early as mission 4 was having to replay over and over in order to complete them. I don't remember it being this hard years ago. It's probably a combination of age slowing down my reactions, and looking back with rose-tinted glasses.

Conversely, on some other missions my wing mates seemed to do all the work before I could even get there, and the level would complete. Such strange difficulty balancing.

The game was also buggy as hell. The worst one I found was the map screen. Very often, whenever I would look at the map and then return to the main game screen, all of my laser energy would be fully drained and I would have to charge it up again. It was so infuriating.
There were also lots of audio glitches, with sounds playing on annoying loops, which would sometimes continue even after the mission had ended, forcing me to quit and re-load.

And the most game-breaking one I had was on a mission where I had to liberate some slaves from some shuttles. I had already played the damn mission several times figuring out the tactics required to complete it. And when I finally managed to do my part right, all of the transports arrived to free the slaves and then promply just froze and would not move.
I sure as hell was not going to go through all that again, and was considering quitting, until I saw there was a skip mission option.

How are these two ships docked in this position?

How are these two ships docked in this position?

Pandemonium breaks out

Pandemonium breaks out

Bugged transports are bugged

Bugged transports are bugged

Just casually blowing shit up

Just casually blowing shit up

This is not going to end well

This is not going to end well

When I finally arrived at the last mission, as soon as I entered the Death Star, I got my first hard crash of my playthrough. I re-loaded, fearing that this game's final mission was cursed, and I would not be able to finish it after all this. But thankfully it didn't happen again.

Still, part of me maybe wishes it had. Because finishing the last mission was an absolute arse, and I must have replayed it 12-15 times trying to figure the damn thing out. Even after I sort-of knew what I was supposed to do, I still had to play it a few more times due to little glitches and bugs that were preventing me from getting through it.

Also, during all these years since I first played it, I was wrongly remembering that you were still playing as the main character Ace Azzameen in the final missions, even though you fly the Millennium Falcon. This playthrough made it clear that it's still Lando and Nien Nunb that are flying it. I really did not appreciate this, as there's no explanation to where Ace went. And I'd have much rather flown the Otana or an X-Wing in the attack on the Death Star.
An X-Wing definitely would have made it easier to fly through those tunnels, as I did not keep Lando's promise to Han while playing this. That poor Falcon got scratched. Reeeaaaal scratched.

But thankfully it's all done. At very long last.

Luke and Dash can't take out this Tie Fighter. Sigh. Better go help.

Luke and Dash can't take out this Tie Fighter. Sigh. Better go help.

Intercepting some Bombers

Intercepting some Bombers

Transport decides to land on its side

Transport decides to land on its side

Here we are again

Here we are again

30th May 2021: Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good

I again revisited my childhood recently when I went up against Gozer (but not really) in the old ZX Spectrum Ghostbusters game. I've learned over the last few years that I can't really trust my childhood memories, but as far as I remember it, I managed to get to the final Stay Puft section several times on our old 48K machine, but could never make it into the building to win the game. I'm not sure how, as it wasn't as hard or awkward as I remember it.

There wasn't really much to it, and once I'd messed around a little bit to figure out what I was doing, I completed the game on my first effort.

I don't think the people who made this game really watched the film though, as there's no mention of Gozer, and Zuul is a building on the map where the Keymaster and Gatekeeper are trying to get to. Whereas in the film, Zuul is the Gatekeeper. But oh well.

There is. It's this logo.

There is. It's this logo.

Missing the ghost by a mile

Missing the ghost by a mile

Hoovering up the street spooks

Hoovering up the street spooks

Ghost trolls me by flying under the trap

Ghost trolls me by flying under the trap

Mass hysteria breaking out in the city

Mass hysteria breaking out in the city

Sneaking past a very small and very bouncy Stay Puft

Sneaking past a very small and very bouncy Stay Puft


There was another Ghostbusters game I played a lot of in the distant past that I never managed to finish, and that was the Amiga version of Ghostbusters II. Back then, it took me weeks of intermittent play to figure out how to get passed the first level. After that, beating the second level came a lot faster, but I could never figure out how to complete the third and final level.

Well, all I can say is: save states for the win. I didn't need them on the first level, managing to finish it on my third and final life. But I used their capabilities on the second level, and quite a lot on the third as I figured out finally what to do.

And so at long last, I managed to defeat the big dumb Carpathian, even though I lost Egon along the way. And that was just a cheap shot from Vigo, considering the real life status of the actors.

But again the trend continues with these developers not watching the movies they are adapting into games. In the manual for this one, it says the Ghostbusters brought the marshmallow man to life to help them defeat Gozer. But in the film, the marshmallow man was Gozer in his/its destructor form. Sheesh.

Get outta here Edward Scissorhands

Get outta here Edward Scissorhands

Scoopin' da goop

Scoopin' da goop

You remember that bit in the film, where the Statue Of Liberty gets attacked by a swarm of Slimers, don't you?

You remember that bit in the film, where the Statue Of Liberty gets attacked by a swarm of Slimers, don't you?

Janosz gets slimed

Janosz gets slimed

Winston makes a break for it with the baby. Yes, that's Winston, apparently.

Winston makes a break for it with the baby. Yes, that's Winston, apparently.

Giving Vigo the ol' zip zap

Giving Vigo the ol' zip zap

< Previous Page (18)

Latest Entries >

Clear Filters