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Posts from — November 2010

Game #9: OutRun – Sega Master System

OutRun is a bit like RoadBlasters with all of the Spy Hunter bits removed.

It’s a race against time through the European countryside.  Start on the Riviera, then drive through Stonehenge, the Alps, a forest, even the Windmills of the Netherlands.

At least, I think that’s what this is supposed to be.  It’s hard to tell.  This isn’t the best arcade translation ever made.  The graphics in this version suck.  The fork in the road had more flicker than an Atari Pac-Man ghost.  And when you flip the car, the driver and passenger vanish.  How can it be OutRun if the blonde doesn’t hit you for flipping the Ferrari?

The music is recognizable, but I’ve heard better versions of it.  However, Magical Sound Shower is still Magical Sound Shower which is seven different kinds of awesome in almost any version.

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #8: Putt & Putter – Sega Master System

Putt & Putter is a mini-golf game. 

With conveyer belts. 

And hills.

And switches and pinball bumpers and sugary upbeat music.

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #7: Trampoline Terror! – Sega Genesis

Seriously, there’s a game called “Trampoline Terror!”

You wander around platforms floating in the air, attempting to blow up a certain number of switches to finish the level.  Apparently trying to stop you are robots and rabbits and Moai heads and UFOs, as well as gravity.  You’ve got a limited supply of power balls to use against them, or, if you time it right, you can blow up an enemy or two when you hit a switch.

There are various types of platforms: Solid ground, switches that explode, disappearing platforms, and the titular trampolines.  The trampolines cycle through colors, each time you jump on them.  Green, Blue, Yellow, Red.  After Red, the trampoline breaks, leaving a hole that you can fall through.

I’m not exactly sure where the terror is, though.

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #6: Fantastic Dizzy – Sega Genesis

Dizzy was never all that popular on this side of the pond, but from what I understand, he had a big following in Europe.  I’ve talked about Dizzy before, when I wrote about the Aladdin Deck Enhancer for the NES.

Dizzy is an egg that likes to wander around a colorful fantasy land and pick up stars

and pick up items

and die an awful lot.

The gameplay is a sort of mix between Metroid and King’s Quest.  It’s a platform/puzzle adventure.  You have to find various items to solve puzzles, and most of these puzzles open up a new area for you to explore.  The one downside to the game is its frustrating difficulty.  This game doesn’t have as many cheap one-hit-kills like Treasure Island Dizzy did, and there are health restoration items around, but those items don’t return, which means you’ll probably pick them up when you don’t need one, so there won’t be one around when you’re close to death.  There’s no passwords, no saves, and not really any continues, which means that you can be playing for hours and lose it all because you made the wrong jump or because you accidentally touched a butterfly.

Yes, the butterflies will kill you.  Everything kills you.

It’s a shame, really.  The puzzle platforming part of the game is fun, but having to start from the beginning over and over again is not fun.

Maybe I just need to find the Game Genie invincibility code…

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #5: Zero Wing – Sega MegaDrive

I don’t think this game was actually ever released in North America, but you’ve heard of it.  You might not know that you’d heard of it, but you have.

No, really.  You have.  Trust me.

All your base are belong to it.

This is the Japanese version, though, so no wacky Engrish translation to be found here.

The game itself is a fairly generic R-Type or Gradius clone, where every ‘ZIG’ set somebody up the bomb for great justice.  Or something like that.  I’m not any good at horizontal shooter shmups, so I played through to the second level, then stopped.

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #4: The Immortal – Sega Genesis

The Immortal.  The title does not refer to your character.

The title doesn’t refer to the monsters you meet, either.

I actually have no idea what the title refers to.  I got to this room and stopped playing.

I think that’s something like the third room in the game…

The game is very quick to kill you and very unforgiving when it does.  I couldn’t figure out the battle controls, either and just ended up pushing the D-Pad randomly to win.

This is a game I’d rather not waste any more time playing…

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #3: RoadBlasters – Sega Genesis

RoadBlasters was one of my favorite arcade games.  I never was any good at it, but I loved playing it.  It’s a cross between OutRun and Spy Hunter.  You race against the clock and try to shoot everything on the road.

This is an excellent port of the arcade version.  The graphics and sound effects and gameplay area an almost perfect translation.  There are, however, a few things missing.

  1. No promise of a T-Shirt if you get to level 50.
  2. No notice that “Winners don’t use drugs”.
  3. And, worst of all, no speech.  Now I don’t know that I’m approaching the Rally Point!

Now…  All I need to do is figure out how to replace my car’s steering wheel with one from a RoadBlasters arcade machine…

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #2: Kid Chameleon – Sega Genesis

Kid Chameleon is a bit of a cross between Super Mario Bros 3, Little Nemo: The Dream Master, and the “Moriarty takes control over the Enterprise” episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

The boss of a holographic VR game has taken control of the game and is kidnapping the players.  It’s up to you to enter the game and defeat the boss.

No, that doesn’t look anything like the Holodeck at all.  This is orange, not yellow.  No similarity whatsoever.

You play Generic Tough Punk Kid, with sunglasses, plain white tee, and blue jeans, ready to kick ass.  Scattered throughout the levels are P blocks, which contain generic pick me ups, or chameleon helmets.  The helmets turn you into something else, with some kind of special power that you’ll probably need to pass the level.  There’s the Ninja that can jump fifty feet and has a sword, there’s the Knight that can climb walls, there’s the Thick Headed Monster that can break walls, and, of course, there’s the Axe Murderer in a Hockey Mask.


Overall, it seems like a prety decent game.  I would’ve kept playing, if I hadn’t blown through a couple of continues when I got stuck in the Lava World From Hell.

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Game #1: Blaster Master 2 – Sega Genesis

Blaster Master was a classic on the NES.  It was a bit like Metroid in a tank.  Exploration, power-ups, amazing graphics, and catchy songs.

Its sequel, Blaster Master 2 for the Genesis is like Metroid with a tank and without any of the fun or awesomeness.  Honestly, I couldn’t bring myself to play it long enough to really understand what it is.  It appears to be far more linear than its predecessor.  It also stole Rygar’s sunset.

I couldn’t get the hang of the controls, and there were far too many things that wanted to shoot me or jump on me or fall on my head.  There’s also inclines, which change your firing angle when you drive on them, making it very difficult to shoot what you want to shoot.

You can get out and walk around, just like in the original, however, in this one, some of the caves you end up in have large-sized side-scrolling regions.  In these regions, your character Jason handles like a lobotomized monkey.  You can kneel or shoot straight down, but you never do the one you want to do.  Not that it matters.  Shooting down shoots your feet, and kneeling shoots over the top of ground dwelling creatures.  You can’t shoot at an angle, and you can’t shoot down while jumping.  That means that you can’t actually shoot the space slug you meet up with early on until it stands up.  And did I mention that once you’re shooting, if you stop moving, you can’t start moving until you stop shooting?  That part is especially awesome in an action game where you have to both shoot and get out of the way…

Collision detection is awful, as well.  Many times, I stood and fired at an enemy, then got hurt several seconds later, even though neither me nor the enemy had moved a pixel.

There’s a pause screen that I’m sure would be useful, if I understood it at all.  Unfortunately, it’s not mentioned in the manual.

That’s an easy choice to make.

November 4, 2010   No Comments

Video Game Bender Weekend

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention what I’m doing…

I just finished the video game room in my house, so I’ve decided to celebrate by taking a lost weekend and going on a four day video game bender.

I have no set plan, I’m just going to play what I feel like playing, when I feel like playing it, for as long as I feel like playing it.

There will be eternal classics and there will be total crap, and I plan to post screenshots and short descriptions of whatever I play.

I’ve got a lot of different gaming consoles, and I plan to give many of them a workout over the next few days.

November 4, 2010   No Comments