Afterburner – Game the game

Afterburner is a pretty boring game

afterburn-gameover

My first attempt resulted in a lame score and only Stage 3

But I’m not sure why. I mean, it has all the elements that should make it pretty awesome (and why little Forsoothed would’ve thought it was awesome): you pilot a sweet F14, your missles ‘lock on’, you get to shoot billions of enemies, it’s not impossibly hard (possibly the name of someone’s sex tape)…

I can’t believe you clicked on that link, you perv! (srsly though, it’s SFW)

Maybe it’s just an example of a game/style that’s been done better as time moves on? Or maybe the ‘fly in a straight line with no real control over where you’re going format’ just doesn’t have any staying power once you’re past the coolness of the F14?

WHO DO I WORK FOR AND WHAT I’M I ACCOMPLISHING HERE? Are we at war? Who are we? What is war?

afterburn-refuel

YOU GET TO DO MID-FLIGHT REFUELING! #rad

Warning – “game studies” sentences incoming

Afterburner is probably an example of a seriously ludo-game like Tetris, no story whatsoever, but without the interesting mechanics. A ludo-game without the “fun”.

End “game studies”

afterburn-carrierlaunch

Anyhoo, the good parts: all of the aforementioned cool stuff, plus you get to launch from an aircraft carrier, the ‘Sega Enterprise’. Oh Sega, you do go on. The gameplay is quite crisp and since I’m not going to have the patience to play through the boredom, I immediately wanted to find a cheat to see what the bosses (if there are bosses) would be like. Apparently there are 18 stages in Afterburner, I think I made it to 5 or 6 with some real effort.

Final thoughts, or “After” burner (oh self, you do go on)

In retrospect, this should’ve been a ‘played it for 5’ game: worth resurrecting for a quick (barrel) roll, but I’ve spent more time writing about Afterburner than actually playing it.

You let me down younger self, you let me down.

I did get better, 10X my first go-round #hardcore

I did get better, 10X my first go-round #hardcore

 

Afterburner – Sega Master System – Pre game

This game was the great white buffalo of my childhood. I only ever got to play it a few times and because I grew up in a small town, the rental options were… slim.

Basically, little Forsoothed loved this game so much, but never had much of a chance to play it.

itsybitsysteps.com/

Thus, I don’t remember much about it: barrel rolls by executing a quick L-R (maybe); getting shot down ALL the time; and AIRCRAFT CARRIER LANDING. I don’t know if that last one was a reality, but I sure hope it is.

AH! I also just remembered that I came across this game at about the same time as that F14 Tom Cruise movie… he was Maverick… Anthony Edwards dies (I know I know, spoilers)… WHY CAN’T I REMEMBER THE NAME!?!

TOP GUN!

Oh man, F14’s were the bad ass-est things ever. Did you know, the Tomcat was retired in 2006?

*single tear*

Fly on you badass, fly on!

Super Monaco GP on Genesis – Pre game

I’ve never really been into racing games. They’re always ok to play for a bit of a distraction, or smashing friends with blue shells when they’re in first place, but there have been very few that have ever held my attention. I think only the original Gran Turismo on PS1 and Super Monaco GP have ever really had any staying power for me.

Because this is a retro games blog (and I decree that PS1 is NOT RETRO) I thought I’d spend some time thinking about Super Monaco GP. Now, in my memory this is a Sega Genesis game. However, I’m starting to wonder if that is actually the case. You see, it is at least ALSO a Sega Master System game.

(insert some research time passing… think of some amazing elevator music)

Thank Gord it’s also a Genesis game, I have not lost my mind grapes!

This might’ve been one of the first games I had on my Genesis, I certainly played it a lot. Or, did I even OWN this game? I have a really strong association between a friend of mine and this game… maybe it was HIS game?

At any rate, I remember the gameplay being smooth and the courses really challenging. One particular corner sticks out in my mind: after a looooong straightaway having to break hard and gear down from 7th to 3rd gear. Strange that I can remember that one particular corner, but not if I even owned the game. Brains are weird.

I remember a cool league or circuit-type business that was a lot of fun, there must’ve been standings, but I don’t remember how I did.

We shall soon see!

Why have I never played Metroid?

I’ve never played any Metroid game. Ever.

There, I said it.

I have no idea why I never have. I’ve wanted to, especially since I started writing this blog. But something always stops me and I don’t know what it is.

My 1st memory of Metroid is being a kid and being over at a friend of my brother’s. I don’t know if this was actually the case, but I remember they had a TV hung from the roof (remember, this is old CRT TV’s and it probably would’ve been quite small by today’s standards) AND THEY WERE PLAYING METROID ON NES ON IT!

It probably looked something like this – AWESOME then, not so amazing now

This probably set the standard for opulence that I’ve been trying to achieve in my life since then, but that’s a different blog. I recall he NES being new at the time, this might have been the first time I had even SEEN a Nintendo, so the whole thing was really impressive. BTW – remember at the beginning of the NES when they had a robot? A ROBOT?!?!

It’s Samus, not Seamus. Dumbass.

I also don’t know a ton about the game. I think it’s an open-world-ish game (ala Mega Man); that it’s hard, but not Mega Man hard; and of course, it features the most famous female videogame protagonist: Samus Aran.

Anyway, at some point I’ll start in on this series and it will be epic… or maybe hard to get into… or maybe the NES game will be too difficult and I’ll skip ahead to something more appropriate for my skill level… but you get the point 🙂

Chrono Trigger – SNES

/sigh

So I was writing this post on my phone and apparently when one does that, one must remember that the WordPress app is REALLY anxious to publish your post. One (me) did NOT remember that and a half-done version of this post was live over the weekend.

Sorry about that.

Anyhoo, ON TO THE ACTUAL POST!

I haven’t written in so long that I wanted to take any opportunity to start contributing to the blog again.

SO I decided to try out an Android emulator (after some quick research I bought SuperGNES) and spend some time with Chrono Trigger! This game is a bit legendary BUT I’VE NEVER PLAYED IT and I basically know nothing about it.

So. In the interest of actually posting something on this damn blog, I’ll forgo convention and just post!

This is going to be rad!

First off, I can only choose a name that’s 5 characters long… I’m glad THAT part of old games has died a horrible death.

Then IS THAT FREAKING PIKACHU? IS THIS WHERE GORD-DAMN POKEMON COME FROM???

Nope. Turns out that cats just look a lot like Pokemon in Chrono Trigger. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed.

No matter how many old games I play I always find the lack of hand-holding a little jarring. They were ok with having you wander around a bit being a confused. After all, aren’t you smart enough to figure this stuff out on your own (I’m not)? Does that ever happen anymore… aside from sandbox games?

To start off Chrono Trigger I’m supposed to go find Num09 (you get to name some of the characters, i’m guessing she’ll be part of my party later on – later I named a girl who ran into me and dropped a pendant, Penny… for obvious reasons). I named her Num09 because she’s an inventor, so obviously she would have a number in her name.

I’ll have to look into the bloodlines here, because aesthetically Chrono Trigger really reminds me of Final Fantasy, but I have no idea which one came first… that seems like a long, dark, deep, nerd hole to fall into. Heck, maybe all the RPGs looked like this – I mean: it works.

Side-note

The controls in this emulator work surprisingly well. I wouldn’t want to use SuperGNES to play anything that required precise or quick controls, like Contra, but for an RPG they’ve been totally usable so far.

This is an involved game

I didn’t play for all that long, maybe 30-45 minutes in total spread across a few days, but I’m going to keep putting in time on this game and I’ll keep you updated. I’ve found that the small phone screen discourages me from long play-periods, which will draw this out, but the overall experience is pretty solid. I’ll probably write more on that later as well.

Wow, I’ve been terrible lately

Well, dear reader. This has been the first big gap that I’ve had in the life of this blog.

Basically, I’ve been getting killed time-and-writing-wise by my Master’s thesis, sucking up all my energy for writing. BUT I’m almost through that and will be back to a much more consistent cadence.

So, sorry for the weeks-long gap, but I’ll be back.

queenofcharms.com

Over a few games – NHL 9X – Genesis

Dear readers, did you guess that after playing Blades of Steel I would immediately fall into a Sega Genesis retro hockey game pit and never return? Well you didn’t, but if you HAD guessed that you would be correct!

pics.mobygames.com

PLAY ALL THE NHLZ ON THE GENESIS’Z!

I’ve been working through NHL’s 93, 94, and 96 (not sure why I skipped 95) looking for the hockey experience that I remember. What I’ve learned so far is that, unsurprisingly, what I remember doesn’t exist… or at least I haven’t found it.

NHL 93 has the slick, tight control that I fondly remember – after a few minutes I could deke almost any CPU player out of their snowpants. But no one-timers! WTH?

NHL 94 brings the one-timer thunder, but they’re really clunky and I couldn’t actually get that many to fire. I have this game for SNES as well, but in addition to clunky one-timers, the gameplay was also pretty sluggish. I have a suspicion that my SNES controller is about to give up the ghost, so I won’t kick the SNES version TOO much.

Also, apparently NHL 94 turned 20 last year and it made Jeremy Roenick a star! Huh, the more you know.

NHL 96 – Genesis

NHL 96 is the closest yet and I spent awhile with it last night. Its gameplay is FAR faster than 93 & 94, and the AI is so stupid. SO STUPID. My own defencemen kept knocking me off my line of attack (if you recall, the best defence in these games is to flatten your opponents – the best players are the best checkers… naturally, Gentleman Joe Sakic LAYS PEOPLE OUT).

LEMIEUX AND GRETZKY ARE IN THESE DAMN GAMES!@$%@#

So. Good.

And, of course, my Oilers are freaking terrible. In. Each. Game… Does nothing ever change?

A Genesis that transforms into Megatron?

Yes please

ca.ign.com

Via IGN (the post IGN references at tformers here), apparently there will be an Asia-only release of a Sega Genesis that transforms into a classic-ish Megatron… so cool.

It’s unclear to me if this will be a fully functionaly Genesis, or if it’s just for “this-looks-awesome” appeal. Either way, it looks badass.

Awesome sites, volume 1: Retro-Sanctuary

I’ve depended heavily on Retro-Sanctuary for their Top 100 game lists in getting prepped for this blog, which feature really interesting snippets describing each game. It’s also just really cool to read through thorough lists like this, particularly for genres/ systems that I didn’t get into or have a chance to play as a kid.

That site must be run by real aficionados!

For example, here’s the blurb for their #1 Sega Genesis game: Sonic 3:

Bigger and better than all those that came before it Sonic 3 heralded larger and more interesting levels that seamlessly joined on to each other, an improved co-op where Tails could actually do something useful, a proper running narrative, the ability to save, loads of set-pieces, completely re-designed graphics and more depth than ever with it’s different paths, it’s as though Sonic Team had really looked at their previous games and spent a long time improving on every aspect they felt lacking, quite simply one of the greatest games ever made, make sure you play it as intended with Sonic and Knuckles attached too.

Awesome!

Their list of top 100 lists is here: http://www.retro-sanctuary.com/Top%20Games%20Main.html Check them out. Do you have any favourite sites? Throw them into the comments!

Blades of Steel on NES – Game the Game

THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED IT TO BE! UP IS DOWN, DOWN IS UP, AND ICE HOCKEY IS THE ONE WITH THE DAMN PLAYER SELECTION!

phillbarron.files.wordpress.com

As you may remember, I posted a Pre Game with my mind’s eye not being able to distinguish between Ice Hockey and Blades of Steel. Well, dear reader, as you can tell from the headlines… was I wrong. So very wrong.

Here are some notes I wrote frantically whilst my entire world crumbled around me…

  • Whoa whoa whoa… when you lose a fight YOU’RE DOWN A PLAYER!?!?!?!
  • I can’t figure out how to pass – looks like it might be a problem with the emulator I’m using… apparently passing is actually a feature
  • You control your own goalie – there’s an arrow that floats up and down in the net
  • I can be Edmonton (whose colours are green?) AND NOT CALGARY (muaa ha ha)

MUAA HAA HAA, stupid Calgary!

blades-teams

In short, Blades of Steel is a very solid game. It’s just not the game I remembered… not in the least. The controls were also a weird adjustment for me.

(I’ll likely post about this in the future, but I was/am/always will be a huge fan of the early NHL games on the Genesis. They were probably THE fundamental series of games of my childhood. And lately I’ve been trying to get into the more modern NHL franchise with… limited… success. Anyway, all of this is context to me trying to get my little brain around the controls in Blades of Steel.)

It’s me, not you

blades-minnyscored

My first few plays didn’t go phenomenally well (this image is of the CPU scoring… which it did a lot of), but that’s not a game issue. It’s entirely my lack of skill + total and utter loss and how I had misremembered this game. I’ll definitely be playing more Blades of Steel.

And stay tuned for my Game the Game for Ice Hockey!