I finished my last post my saying I would have a look at the 2d fighting games that Capcom put out for the Dreamcast so here we are. Fighting games then - they have been around for some time - I can remember Karate Champ in the arcades with it's 2 joystick control and it was a game I steered clear of after a few tries - my money wasn't going far and a kid on a budget had to be selective back in the day - I can remember watching quite a few games though. It's a genre I've always been in two minds about - I've been like a moth to a flame really. They attract me - but my level of skill is such that I get frustrated very quickly. I read reviewers laughing at the simplicity with which they can dispatch CPU controlled characters at the highest difficulty setting but I struggle at the default difficulty. I guess I'm too predictable - when I find a few moves I can execute I tend to stick to them and fighting game AI seems to be able to deal with this approach quite easily. Even a game as old as Street Fighter II Turbo on the SNES seems to be able to figure me out pretty quickly.
Playing console shmups in the PAL region can be hit or miss - even if we do get some releases that the US doesn't, we still miss out on a lot of Japanese releases. Nowadays PAL ports aren't an issue, and the 360 is proving to be an excellent home for modern day titles, but during the 32bit era, which was a bright spot in the history of shmups, PAL releases were thin on the ground.
I've been getting into my Dreamcast again of late. I came across copies of Quake III Arena and Unreal Tournament for next to nothing so they were bought on an impulse but of course with retro gaming this only starts something that usually ends up with more money being spent.
Its superbowl night later on and many in the UK will be watching. This weekend also sees the start of the Rugby 6 Nations : England, Scotland, Wales, France, Ireland and Italy compete for Northern Hemisphere championship.
Jonah Lomu - New Zealand
#8 Addams Family (SNES)
Addams Family was an early release for the SNES and being a licenced game I avoided it at the time. That was my loss as this is a really solid game that would have really impressed me back then. This is a straight-up platform game but it has been blessed with a fair bit of attention to detail and overall effort by the developers which is refreshing to see. Even at the time of launch (the early 90s) loads of identikit licenced games were around - mostly poor Mario ripoffs. While this game does steal some ideas from the Mario series it is different enough to deserve some attention.
This isn't a linear platform game - you can tackle each of the game's goals in any order you like. You control Gomez Addams who must rescue 5 family members secreted around the house. Gomez is wonderfully responsive and "slidey" and has had some graphical attention paid to him. The character artwork mostly resembles the cast of the early 90s film, not the original film series and a pretty good job has been done here.
Gomez has a health bar represented on-screen by a heart meter. Initially you have 2 hearts meaning you can be hit twice before losing a life but there are 3 meter extensions to be found in the house too. In all then you have 8 goals to achieve each guarded by a boss - and I recommend you go for the extra hearts first as this game is tough.
#7 Parodius Deluxe Pack (Sega Saturn)
I started blogging on this topic with a shmup and here's 2 more. The 1st two games in this great and criminally ceased series are on this disk. This landed on my doormat this week - however I'm still gaining ground on covering my collection as this is a bit of an indulgence. I already have a PAL copy of this for my PAL Saturn but this Japanese copy is for my white Japanese Saturn. With an Action Replay 5-in-1 I can play the PAL version on my white Saturn but its nice to have the true 60Hz version - the intro sequence is slightly different but the main reason is the rumours that extended use of an AR 5in1 damages the Saturn expansion port as the PCB is too thick.
These are 2 great games - the first one is showing its age now but the second game is still an auditory and visual overload. Parodius is a spoof or parody of the Gradius games - the gameplay is the same but the graphics look drug inspired and the music is made up of weird remixes of classical and other well known tunes. I posted a fairly hefty review of this series on the original AA site which can still be found there as the staff here have kept that up. Here's the link : http://www.armchairarcade.com/aamain/forum_viewtopic.php?7.8391
Being shmups they suit the middle-aged gamer on a time budget and the kids like this series too due to the visuals but also the large array of characters you can choose to play with. I'm still chasing the 1 credit kill on these though - I find these games just as tough as the Gradius originals but somehow they aren't as annoying due to the overall oddness of these titles and the obscure Japanese cultural references they are stuffed with.
These games are also available on lots of other platforms including the SNES, PSP, PC Engine and PS1 (there's even a GameBoy port) - but I stick with the Saturn versions as it has a better reputation for handling 2D.
Looking at these games and considering my age I sometimes wonder if I'll ever really grow up.
#2 Combat, #3 Video Pinball, #4 Kaboom! (Atari 2600)
1970's TV games allowing the family to play Pong was one thing, the Atari 2600 was something different altogether. It still delivered the "family playing together" experience (indeed many first gen titles have no 1 player mode and quite a few offer 4 player modes) but now there was a whole library of games to choose from. It was the first truly programmable console and required you to plug in a cartridge - each one delivering a unique game (at least in theory!) The early days of the 2600 were about the family playing together - and nothing like it was really seen again until the Wii came along.
#1 Raiden Trad (Mega Drive/Genesis)
For those of a certain age, Space Invaders conjures up many memories. Arcades used to have rows of Space Invaders machines - those big dark rooms lit only by the glow of the screens hugged you and made you feel part of something. The success of Space Invaders resulted in a great many games of that type being created; and for some time the vast majority of video games were of the "shooting" type. Indeed "Space Invaders" is still the generic name for video games used by some of the older uninitiated population. A genre was born when Space Invaders arrived and its a type of game I still love.
Hey guys! Another video this time a response to an awesome question "Why do we collect Classic games?"
Please chime in with your own response and opinions THANKS!