Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (MS-DOS)

Monkey Island 2 title screen logo
Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1991|Systems:DOS, Mac, Amiga, FM Towns

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing LucasArts' legendary point-and-click adventure game Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge! Or LeChuck's Revenge: Monkey Island according to that logo up there. Either way around it's still going to screw up your meticulously organised alphabetically ordered game library.

Monkey Island 2 is a game that needs no introduction and to be honest it doesn't need any commentary or reviews either. The game's so famous and has been so thoroughly examined that anything I write about it here will be entirely redundant; I might as well just show off some screenshots and call it a day. But I just managed to find a few thousand words to type about bloody Star Wars the other day for my sci-fi site so now I feel like I can take on anything Lucasfilm can throw at me! Though the game development group had firmly switched over to the name 'LucasArts' by this point, making this the first in the series to have the iconic Golden Guy logo (there's no skit though).

I dug out my old Monkey Island Madness compilation CD for this and I'll be playing the game using ScummVM, because it's awesome. The disc also has a version of Monkey Island 1 on it that's been updated with CD quality music, but Monkey 2 only has the original MIDI soundtrack. Which is good, because it'd only screw up the dynamic iMUSE effect. Who'd even want to explore a pirate town without the music seamlessly shifting to give each area its own theme?

Alright, this is an adventure game, so by writing about the first hour or so of gameplay I'm going to inevitably end up giving SPOILERS for the early puzzles. I won't be ruining that ending for anyone who hasn't beaten it yet though... unless you've read my Curse of Monkey Island post, then I already have. Sorry.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Zillion (Master System)

Today on Super Adventures I've got good news! Mecha-neko's come back after a seven month absence to write another guest post, so I get to take the week off.

Hey stranger-folk. I'm mecha-neko and today I'm playing a Master System game I found called Zillion. Or perhaps it's ZLLON!

Developer:Sega|Release Date:1987|Systems:Sega Master System

Hmm, what to make of this? From the look of the pulsating ray-gun on the title screen, it's probably a light-gun game. But don't be fooled: the cat from Interpose (my very first Obscure-As-All-Hell Animated Cat Game August post!) twiddles ray-guns all over the place on his title screen, and that one turned out to be a side scrolling shooter. Yeah, that sounds right. "Zillion." It's like it fell right off the bottom of the periodic table or something. Gotta be a shooter.

In fact, the 27th of May is the thirtieth anniversary of Zillion! It was released in Japan on 27th May 1987. Happy birthday, Zillion! This post's going up a couple days late, 'cause cats work to their own calendar. (And I'm not making a new banner!)
But even so, why would I ever post another side-scrolling shoot-'em-up? You're just going to have to read on and find out!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Star Wars: Rebel Assault II - The Hidden Empire (MS-DOS)

Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1995|Systems:PC, Mac, PlayStation

It's Star Wars' 40th birthday today and I'm celebrating by playing a Star Wars video game! I was tempted to play the game for Star Wars Day a few weeks ago on May the 4th, but the 40th seems like a bigger deal (plus I'm fond of putting things off as late as I can).

So this week on Super Adventures I'm playing Star Wars: Rebel Assault II - The Hidden Empire, by Vincent Lee. I didn't really notice at the time, but LucasArts were really fond of putting the creator's name on the box back in the 90s.

To give you an idea of where this fits on the Star Wars video game timeline, it came out the same year as Dark Forces, a year after TIE Fighter and Super Return of the Jedi, and two years after the original Rebel Assault. So it was made in the finale years of the pre-Special Edition, pre-Phantom Menace era. I didn't get to play it for a long while though due to my PC being ass. In fact I still remember the shame I felt having to take it back to the shop and buy the first game instead. But hey how I was I supposed to know what the difference between a 486SX and 486DX was before the internet!

You might be wondering why it just says "Rebel Assault" up there without a "II" on it. There is a good explanation for that which I'll reveal if you scroll down to the next picture. Though before you do, I should warn you that there'll be SPOILERS for the original trilogy of Star Wars films down there too.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Phantom Brave PC (PC)

Developer:Nippon Ichi|Release Date:2016 (2004 on PS2)|Systems:PS2, Wii, PSP, Win

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing the relatively new PC port of classic PlayStation 2 game Phantom Brave! Because trying to figure out and then explain a complicated turn-based tactics game from 2004 seemed like a smart use of my free time.

The trouble with these 'Phantom' games like Phantom Brave, Phantom Crash, Phantom Dust etc. is that it always takes me a few seconds to remember which is the tactical RPG, which has the mechs and which is the one with the cards. In fact I ended up playing The Phantom Pain for 142 hours before I realised I'd put the wrong game on. (That's totally the right game to put on by the way). To make things more confusing, the next year Nippon Ichi released a similar game with the Japanese title Phantom Kingdom, which then got renamed to Makai Kingdom in the West, despite 'phantom' being an English word already and 'makai' being a Japanese word. A word that just happens to show up in the title of their earlier game Makai Senki Disugaia, aka. Disgaea.

Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, there's a game that gets it right; no one's going to mix that one up with Phantom 2040. But someone might mix this game up with Disgaea, so I intend to mention the game constantly to point out the differences, and similarities.

Alright I'm going to play Phantom Brave's main story for a couple of hours or until I beat a proper boss, whatever happens first. I've played it before on PS2 so I'm sure I'll all come back to me... though I've never seen that mysterious 'Another Marona' button before. It's tempting, but I'll leave it for now.

(Click the pictures to view them in an incredible 1280x720 resolution, though I'm sure it can do better).

Monday, 8 May 2017

Wolfchild (Amiga)

Developer:Core Design|Release:1992|Systems:Amiga, Atari ST, Mega Drive, Sega CD, SNES, Master System, Game Gear

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing an Amiga platformer about a werewolf!

Wolfchild is one of those games Core Design came up in their pre-Tomb Raider era when the staff were still allowed to have ideas. I'm sure I must have played this before but it couldn't have been for long and it didn't leave much of an impression. I've been searching through the corner of my brain reserved for Amiga games and all I've dug up are some fuzzy screenshots of a wolf man on a boat... with jet engines.

One thing I know about it is that it's supposed to be a bit like Switchblade II (maybe because it was designed by Switchblade creator Simon Phipps), but that doesn't help me much as I don't remember playing that either. I do remember playing another Core Design title by Simon Phipps though... that bastard of a game Rick Dangerous. But Wolfchild was made in a more modern era, coming out halfway between Rick Dangerous and Tomb Raider, so I'm hopeful that he'd gotten bored of dart traps by then.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Doom (PC)

doom 2016 logo
Developer:id Software|Release Date:2016|Systems:Windows, Xbox One, PS4

This week on Super Adventures I'm spending an hour or so playing last year's Doom! I know it's a new game and there's already a million reviews out there to read, but I played the other three so it seemed cruel to leave this one out.

Plus this gives me a chance to go on a rant about them pulling a 'Tomb Raider' with the title, meaning that we have to call the first game 'the original Doom' from now on to avoid confusion. This problem generally wears off over time for movies (no one can even remember that they remade RoboCop or Total Recall) but the trouble with games is that the reboots are often good and you have to acknowledge they exist.

There was actually a Doom 4 in development, which was to take place during the demonic invasion of Earth, but it was cancelled on account of it being soulless, heavily scripted and more like the Call of Duty games than Doom. That was in development from 2007 to 2011, then this game sprang from its ashes in 2016. So henceforth it shall be known as Doom 2016.

I'm very familiar with the earlier Doom games, but all I've seen of this one so far is the demo. I've been deliberately avoiding reading too much about it just in case it had an actual plot to spoil. Hey if Wolfenstein: The New Order of all sequels can have an emotional thought-provoking story then there's hope for every game series!

(Click the pictures to view screenshots at a slightly less pitiful 1280x720 resolution).

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Day of the Tentacle: Remastered (PC)

Day of the Tentacle Remastered Title Screen
Remastered - Developer:Double Fine|Release Date:2016|Systems:Win, Linux, OS X, PS4, PS Vita, iOS
Original Game - Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1993|Systems:MS-DOS & Mac OS

This week on Super Adventures I'm having a quick look at LucasArts' 1993 point and click masterpiece Day of the Tentacle! Though I'm actually playing the 2016 HD remaster by Double Fine, partly because it's the only version you can digitally download, but mostly because I want to.

I played Tim Schafer's latest adventure game the other day, Broken Age, and now I'm going back 20 years to his very first game as project lead! Well, co-project lead, with Dave Grossman. I wish I could say this is all to tie-in with the release of Full Throttle: Remastered today, but honestly I had no idea that'd come out until five minutes ago. The timing's pure serendipity.

Day of the Tentacle is the third of a trilogy of sequels released during the early 90s, back when LucasArts were the gods of adventure games. After a game inspired by a pirate novel and a theme park ride and another inspired by 30s movie serials, this time they went back to 50s sci-fi horror movies with a sequel to 1987's Maniac Mansion. Though you'd have to really squint to spot the name on the box and it's not written at all on the title screen. I'm not sure I even realised that this was a sequel back when I first played it. Well, until I found the original game hidden inside it in its entirety anyway. Hey I wonder if they remastered that Easter egg too.

(Click the screenshots to view them in a slightly more impressive 1280x692 resolution. Which incidentally is the aspect ratio of the original game, minus the box with verbs in it).

Semi-Random Game Box