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March 9th, 2020, 14:39
Aup mi ducks. I've been wanting to start a thread in the reviews section where we could all posts our opinions on games of yesteryear, but obviously you can't start a thread there, so here it is instead

Throughout I'll be popping back to games of old and posting reviews on them. Most will be from the Master System + Megadrive + SNES + 90's PC, simply because that's what my current gaming setup is designed for. But this could evolve into different things later down the line too.

There's no real rules other than please keep any games you post to before 2005 if you can. I don't really see these as "reviews" per say, more just opinions & comments.

There's also no real objective to all this, other than to just have some fun returning to old games, and seeing if they've stood the test of time.

First up ACTRAISER 2 - SNES



As a big fan of Actraiser I was looking forward to this. I've played it the odd time on emulator here & there over the years, but never really sat down to give it a proper full playthrough. 30 min later, I can see why.

It's shit. It's not unplayable shit by any means, but it's a real fucking slog. The main dude moves like he's wearing iron boots, you get a shield but it's as useful as a chocolate fireguard, and your multi-directional attacks feel limp.

The enemy patterns are fairly random & carry that old-era trait of coming at you from nowhere without warning and being unavoidable, the bosses are often a case of sacrificing health at the right time, and overall it's just a tough game to love.

On the plus side it looks fairly decent, and retains the old sounds FX used in the original Actraiser, which were awesome.

A bit gutted tbh, was hoping for a lot more. No surprise that the UBIsoft logo appears on loading. A sign of things to come.

1/5
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“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
Last edited by Falksi; March 9th, 2020 at 17:33.
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March 9th, 2020, 17:32
Batman - Megadrive



After a bad start I decided to go back to a game which I'd played many times and knew that I once loved, Megadrive Batman. Not only was it as enjoyable as I remember, but now I'm older & wiser and can appreciate games more, it was even better.

Firstly, the music. Fuck me this is some absolutely banging, rocking stuff. Choca full of of powerful, melodic dancy booms and beats, bar the odd tune it's pretty much none-stop quality from start to finish. The graphics are smart, well sized and sexy, and there's more than enough nods to the movie to call it a genuine film tie-in too.

The action is a fast paced, simple-but-effect platform-beat-em-up affair, and everything feels so crunchy & good too. And the real cherry on the top is the level design & variation, with batmobile & batwing setctions breaking the game up very nicely.

It's easy and there's not much to see once you've finished it, but for those 30-60 min it's an absolute blast. It's like going to a great party, meeting a beautiful woman, having an amazing hour with her on the beach, then off home to bed. You won't fall for it like you would something with far more soul such as a classic RPG, but for that short space in time it's magic.

5/5
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“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 9th, 2020, 19:55
I just can't get into sidescrollers in today's era of gaming. I always hate to see new indie games go that way.
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March 10th, 2020, 15:47
Chrono Trigger - SNES



Been a good 15 years since I played this one. Remember absolutely loving it, but feeling as if it ended quite abruptly originally. I started playing it around a month ago, so here we are now.

And I gotta say, I'm disapointed by it. In fact, you know what I am by it? Bored. Fucking bored. It's a decent if not good game, I like it, it's charming, has great music, has some really nice fine-tuned elements etc. but…….it just gets boring quickly.

The first 1/3rd of the game I quite enjoyed. It was paced well, and there's no doubt that overall the game does loads right. But the whole thing seems to get really padded out around the half way point. Combat especiallly feels so easy, repetitive & pointless that soon each battle begins to grate. Which is a shame because the ideas behind the combat such as attcking enemies all in a line with Slash are theoretically good, but the opportunities to make the most of such skills rarely appear, so you're often just left mashing attack knowing you'll win easily anyway.

I gave up around 2/3rds of the way through. It started to really feel like a chore and with each playthrough more & more annoyances became predominant. Still I had some fun with it, and it's that type of RPG that will be ideal for getting young kids into the genre, so kudos there. But it just can't keep pace with the modern standard of RPG's today unfortunately.

3/5
--
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 10th, 2020, 16:05
Never heard about it.

What I want to know and you didn't say - does it have potential for a remake hit?
That pic you posted looks similar to the ancient RE2, now and everyone is praising last year's Resident Evil 2 remake.
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March 10th, 2020, 17:07
Wow, incline must mean something totally different to the OP, than it does to most folks
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March 10th, 2020, 21:36
Originally Posted by joxer View Post
Never heard about it.

What I want to know and you didn't say - does it have potential for a remake hit?
That pic you posted looks similar to the ancient RE2, now and everyone is praising last year's Resident Evil 2 remake.
Chrono Trigger? Defo potential for a remake, but it'd be tricky to do.

See a lot of it's charm & appeal lies within it's aesthetics, so there wouldn't be much gained by improving them IMO. What would work would be a combat overhaul, & storytelling "rework".

I prefer turn based combat, but looking at what they've done to FF7 I'd be happy to see this walk a similar path. Whatever they did the games so simple/easy it virtually plays itself, so something needs doing.

The story itself is fine, with some real great moments, but it lacks depth significantly. Wouldn't change the story or what happens itself, would just add more to it & tell it with more embellishment.

Originally Posted by crpgnut View Post
Wow, incline must mean something totally different to the OP, than it does to most folks
Ha, well my era of incline. Around 85-95. Some great games after that era, but that was my gaming peak.
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“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 11th, 2020, 00:14
I never played Chrono Trigger on the SNES, only with an emulator. It was nice. Doesn't really need a remake. Just call it pixel art and tell everyone it's new.
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March 11th, 2020, 00:50
I liked Chrono Trigger when I played it (in the 90's), but it might not hold up for me in 2020. Now, Chrono Cross, I had to drag myself through that game. I was in a kind of fugue state near the end, drunkenly battling bosses, barely aware of what was happening in the story. Back then, I was a lot more likely to finish JPRGs I didn't actually enjoy much.
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March 11th, 2020, 12:28
Thunderforce 3 - Megadrive



Boom! In your face my son! This is what what modern gaming is short of. The equivalent of a fortnight on the piss with your best mates in the prime of you life. Short, sweet, banging, full of spunk and just a great ride. TF3 grabs you by the bollocks right from the off, and rarely lets go. It's short lived, but it's an intense experience during that time.

TF3 wisely drops the overhead sections found in TF2 and concentrates on it's main strenth - the side scrolling ones. It handles these supremely well, it absolutely drowns you with exciting, varied graphics & environments, and backs all that up with some simply amazing music. I mean these tunes are fucking rocking.

The aesthetics aren't the only stunning thing about the game though, it plays like a dream. The enemies & levels are designed absolutely mint, with constantly fast paced and frenetic action jolting you around, and some very devious sections too.

In fact Thunderforce 3 has something of a Dark Souls quality it. It's devilishly tricky at times and there are often parts which you've simply no chance of surviving without playing them first. But like Dark Souls a combination of superb atmospherics, immense satisfaction when succeeding, and a great learning curve give it a real charm and somehow make dieing fun.

The weapons in the game and fact you can operate gears to adjust your speed add a nice little layer of tactical depth to it, which means the right ones used at the right time make a big difference to your progression. For the most part they're all very well balanced in sync with the gameplay, levels and enemies, and this encourages experimentation to find the best one for each situation and meaning you don't just pick a fave and rely on it. There do come points though when a combination of shields, extra drones & the weapon hunter can make things a bit trivial at times, and those points see it take a large leap from being very challenging to quite easy when fully powered.

Most levels are also very unique, very enjoyable, and keeps things fresh, apart from the last one, in which it becomes very apparent that they ran out of ideas and gave up a bit.

But the intense, full on, "have it" experience which you get the majority of the time is as good as it gets. A thoroughly enjoyable game to this day, and one which every gamer should own.

5/5
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“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 12th, 2020, 19:36
Buck Rogers Countdown to Doomsday - Megadrive



So I was torn between which version to go back to, PC or Megadrive. The PC version is clearly superior, but it's also been covered plenty and the Megadrive version was the one I tried first and, more importantly, was one of the games which opened my eyes up to the plethora of RPG's on PC and thus purchasing (or pestering dad) to purchase a PC in the first place. So I thought fuck it, back to the Megadrive version.

Big mistake. OK not a "big" mistake, but it's significantly weaker and, whereas the PC version lacks certain presentation elements, the customizability and other elements it has keep it far more enjoyable than the slightly more fancy, but far more dumbed down MD version.

Playing it now, it's apparent that a very hit and miss game all round. Combat is interesting and often fun, as is the ship combat, and the game itself is a nice little journey. Three levels in particular hold up well, and when the game hits the spot it really hits. During it's more interesting and imaginative levels it draws you in and blooms. But then there are also a fair few missions which miss that spot big time, and when the game misses boy does it miss, often dragging and grating as you play. It's fairly descriptive in areas, yet again strangely sparse in other, and those areas with little description feel empty as hell. Whereas when you play on PC, the very act of exploring is presented in such a way that it's naturally a bigger draw.

What does strangely work though is having the game compliment some other form of entertainment such as radio. Turn the music off, listen to you're football team on the radio as they play away, you're fave album, a YouTube documentary on your fave comedian or whatever, and suddenly the game becomes far more endurable and enjoyable.

Whilst it's dated badly and a real slog at times, BR:CTD still contains a lot of key elements that makes a great RPG. elements which many modern RPGs fail at recreating or miss out all together. If someone could do it without raping it, then it'd be nice to see this franchise make a Shadowrun type return.

3/5
--
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 15th, 2020, 17:36
Castlevania 4 - SNES



A long time fave of mine, again it's been a while since I gave it a blast. I remember having a bit of a love-bored thing going off with it in my youth, so thought it'd be interesting to see what I thought now. Well I enjoyed it. It's fair to say I'm glad I returned. But it is weaker than I remember too.

When it hits the spot, it really hits the spot. The music, level design, boss aesthetics, controls, and gameplay all hit a very high standard at various points throughout, and when all that aligns it's lush. Really absorbing, exciting, and fun stuff. But those bits are often broken up by fairly lengthy sections of nothingness, and my pet peeve with all that is that you face the same bog standard enemies over & over & over again.

There tons of character throughout, but then again they stretch those designs & elements a bit too thin too. There's a lot of levels where I'd play through and be thinking "come-on, I need to get on to the next section now"

Good game which could have been an absolute classic had they trimmed the fat a bit. As it is, there's just a bit too much filler in there which pads it out, and takes it from a constant ride of "fuck yeah! I'm a badass vampire killer!" to "yeah, I'm a badass vampire killer, but is it home time yet?"

Still worth your time though for sure.

4/5
--
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 25th, 2020, 16:31
X-Com Apocalypse - PC



The original X-Com is the creme de la creme, but this is right up there with it for me, better than the Nu-Xcom games (which I do like) and any of the copycats such as Xenonauts by far.

What it nails it fucking nails. The ramped up destruction is quality, the "new" aliens nice & fresh, and the space-city corporate vibe just fits everything really well. No one in their right mind plays it in real time, turn based all the way, and whilst some of the real time bullshit spills over slightly it's still done well enough to be a quality TB experience.

Trying to find that last alien is a pain as always, and vehicle combat sometimes feels a bit of a trudge, but they're small gripes. Tearing through a slum with a heavy launcher, set of autocannons, and Poppers as targets is just satisfyingly good. Not to mention the tension of seeing an army of aliens fly at you lasers blazing. Brilliant stuff.

5/5
--
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 25th, 2020, 18:17
I always played Apocalypse in TB, but RT is ok if you want to get job done quickly. It can be overwhelming though in large missions with multiple fronts of enemies. There is an open source project (OpenApoc) but it's infested with bugs.
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March 26th, 2020, 04:31
Sacrifice! I still pull it up from time to time. It's 3rd person RTS - quite the rarity.


You summon critters up to do battle against other wizards and use some spells of your own as well. Between every mission, you pick a god to do the mission for and you'll get some new critters/spells added for each one depending on which god you pick. For instance, it looks like I've got Pyro's low level critters in that screenshot which means I did my first mission for him.

The gods you pick will also determine how the story goes. Gods you don't pick will eventually stop giving you missions so you can't just mix and match to your heart's content.

Some of the highest level spells are really spectacular but the strategy, sadly, gets a tad repetitive toward the end of the game - at least until the final boss shows up. I would give it a 8/10.
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March 26th, 2020, 11:53
Originally Posted by kazga View Post
I always played Apocalypse in TB, but RT is ok if you want to get job done quickly. It can be overwhelming though in large missions with multiple fronts of enemies. There is an open source project (OpenApoc) but it's infested with bugs.
Same here, TB was WAY better IMO. Yeah it took time, but it was way more fun.
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“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 26th, 2020, 11:54
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Sacrifice! I still pull it up from time to time. It's 3rd person RTS - quite the rarity.


You summon critters up to do battle against other wizards and use some spells of your own as well. Between every mission, you pick a god to do the mission for and you'll get some new critters/spells added for each one depending on which god you pick. For instance, it looks like I've got Pyro's low level critters in that screenshot which means I did my first mission for him.

The gods you pick will also determine how the story goes. Gods you don't pick will eventually stop giving you missions so you can't just mix and match to your heart's content.

Some of the highest level spells are really spectacular but the strategy, sadly, gets a tad repetitive toward the end of the game - at least until the final boss shows up. I would give it a 8/10.
Nice, might give this a go soon
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“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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March 28th, 2020, 19:08
John Madden's 92 - Megadrive


^Quarterbacks spend most their life looking at other men's asses

Remember hearing that intro music on the original John Madden's game? Fuck me it knocked my socks off. Being a Brit, American Football had eluded me massively before this game came out. It seemed way to complex for my young mind to understand, and way to slow & cumbersome compared to proper football, or "soccer". However, Mean Machines was my monthly gaming bible, and Jaz Rignall a chilhood hero. So when he raved about the original JM I had to get it, and I wasn't disappointed. It actually got me into watching Monday night football & supporting the 49ers + Seahawks for a while.

I went back to JM '92 because I remember it being my fave of the series. It had more depth, polish & challenge than the first game (I remember winning one match 488-0 on the first game once - San Fran, Fast, HB Screen over & over), but also seemed to play slicker & better than the sequels.

Returning to it now and within minutes I'm as lost in it as I used to be. I put this on before our lass got us our tea for a quick quarter, and by the time I've put it down I've played the full match and tea's gone cold. One of those games which reminds me what a lovely era this was. Just such a great blend of simplicity & depth, it's fucking frightening how modern games seem to lack this balance so much.

I wouldn't say it's an all out classic, simply because once you've had a few games the repetition does set in. It's the type of game to play in bursts. Great little package though.

4/5
--
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
Last edited by Falksi; March 28th, 2020 at 20:42.
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March 29th, 2020, 13:19
Moonwalker - Megadrive


^ If ever a screenshot spoke a million words which should be left unspoken…….

Well on a Megadrive roll tonight, the games just keep jumping out at me. What better way than to see myself off to bed than by playing the role of the world's most talented Pedo in Moonwalker?

The game we'll get to shortly, but this instantly gets a whole point simply for being a game about a real life kiddy-fiddler who goes around and "rescues" kids. You simply cannot make this shit up, art immitateing life etc. You can even thrust your groin in their face & make the Jackson "Oh!" noise by pressing up on the controller. I suspect he endorsed this game wholeheartedly.

So the game itself is OK. A fairly mediocre affair, which stays appealing due to it's excellent soundtrack, unique setup (mostly Jacko's moves), and comedy aspect. The dance moves "smart bomb" remains one of the best ever seen, and some of the level layouts themselves are actually quite good.

But it falls over in several areas. It's too damn repetitive for one. Same enemies, same level look. It REALLY could have done with a bit more variety. Also, the cool special moves drain your health which I've never been a fan of. You should be encouraged to do these dance moves all the time, not conserve or ration them.

Fucking kids is a touchy subject at best, and not something anyone should make light of nor encourage. But if you are ever going to step into the shoes of a nonce, make sure those shoes move & groove like the plastic master Mr Micheal Jackson. Shamone!

3/5
--
“All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed.”
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