Saturday 30 November 2013

Review - Wrack (PC)

The classic 90's FPS is back!! Time to celebra..  oh!

Finally, Wrack is here! You will have to excuse my excitement, but ever since I set eyes on screenshots, and read the blurb about this new indie first person shooter, I have been eagerly awaiting its release. Wrack aims to bring back the classic, no-nonsense action gameplay that we saw back in the 1990's and which has now, sadly, been replaced with long story lines and cutscenes, quick time events and, groan, military and war settings. I have been in contact with the developers, Final Boss, for many months, constantly pestering them (sorry guys) about a release date, and was super excited when I saw that it has finally been released - in unfinished, beta form - on Steam. After obtaining a copy from the generous fellows (probably in a bid to stop me harassing them via email) at Final Boss, I sat twitching my thumbs waiting impatiently for the game to download and install. So, now I have finally experienced Wrack, how does it hold up, and does it manage to recreate the balls-to-the-wall excitement of your Dooms, Duke Nukem 3Ds, Bloods, and Quakes?

Wednesday 27 November 2013

Coin-Op Classics - Three Wonders (Capcom - 1991)

Capcom Threesome!

Three Wonders is an arcade game by Capcom that lives up to its moniker by featuring not one. Not two. Not three. No, wait. Three (sorry). Three games for the price of one. For your shiny quarter / twenty pence you could choose from either Midnight Wanderers, Chariots or, the bizarrely named, Don't Pull, each one offering a very different gaming experience, and - unlike many other x-in-1 games - each one could easily have been released as its own arcade cabinet. 

Monday 25 November 2013

Indie Game Spotlight - Rocky Memphis & The Temple of Ophuxoff

Indiana Jones meets Rick Dangerous

Rocky Memphis is another excellent platformer from the talented Trevor 'Smila' Storey (creator of Monty's Christmas and a whole host of classic 8-bit game remakes). The game takes the template set by the classic platformer Rick Dangerous, throws in some nifty Commodore 64 visuals and chiptune music, then adds an interesting gimmick. Instead of merely trying to reach the level exit, Rocky Memphis tasks you with plundering a huge pyramid of its many treasures in as fast a time as possible.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

Review - Dragon's Crown (PS3)

Back to the old school!

The scrolling beat-em-up doesn't get much love these days, as developers struggle to find new ways to keep them fresh for modern audiences, but in their heyday they were incredibly popular. Capcom were undoubtedly the masters of the genre, and were also responsible for injecting some much needed depth into an otherwise simplistic type of game when they released the excellent licensed Dungeons and Dragons games, Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara. These titles added RPG-lite elements, a decent fantasy storyline, and magic spells and equipment to be used in battle, and proved to be a great success in the smokey arcades of the 1990's. The next big title that would follow a similar path was the sublime Guardian Heroes on the Sega Saturn by the talented folks at Treasure - with a Japanese anime visual style and far more levelling up options and alternative routes through stages - this game remains the pinnacle of this hybrid genre. Then things went quiet... until now. 

Sunday 17 November 2013

REVIEW - Waimanu (Nintendo DS & GBA Homebrew)

Flightless wonder

I'm a sucker for any game featuring penguins (or ducks for that matter). I don't know why, but from Penguin Adventures on MSX and Penguin Land on the Master System, to the gluttonous shenanigans of Yume Penguin Monogatari on the Famicom, I have found the flightless fowl to bring a delightfully cute air to any game. Waimanu - named after a prehistoric form of penguin - continues this trend by featuring a super cute blue penguin with an apparent affliction of gigantism, such is the monsterous proportions of his forehead. Despite this handicap, he still manages to star in his very own homebrew puzzle game on the Nintendo DS and, more recently believe it or not, the Gameboy Advance. Waimanu is a single screen puzzler with a top down maze view, much like the original Sega penguin arcade game Pengo, released in 1982, in which you must push blocks of ice - and later bales of hay, or rocks , depending on the backdrop - into the enemy blobs that patrol the maze. Pushing a block will cause it to slide in that direction until it hits another block or the sides of the maze and, should any enemies stray into its path they will be squished - the annilhilation of all on-screen foes resulting in victory.

Monday 11 November 2013

Retro Review - Saturn Bomberman (Saturn)

It's Da Bomb! (sorry)

Before I start this review I feel I must admit to you, dear reader, that I have never really been a huge fan of Bomberman's exploits. If you were to believe the hype, then Bomberman is truly a multiplayer experience that has no rival. A multiplayer party game that will not only have you and your friends in fits of ecstatic glee, but will also gain you a huge following of new friends, all eager to experience the life affirming joy these games have to offer. As it stands, I think they're, y'know, alright. 

Sunday 10 November 2013

CAPCOM - Dodgy DLC, Over Pricing, and why they need to change.

I recently read an article online stating that Capcom are suffering financial difficulties and don't have the funds to enter the next generation of consoles. Many years ago this news would have filled me with a deep sadness and may even have inspired me to rush out and buy all their new products as a sign of support. But, unfortunately that is no longer the case. For Capcom have been asking for this for a long time now, and many lifelong fans will simply stick up their middle finger and mutter "serves you right".

Tuesday 5 November 2013

Retro Review - Psychic Killer Taromaru (Saturn)

Too rich for my blood

Psychic Killer Taromaru - a rough approximation of its original Japanese title of Shinrei Jusatsushi Taromaru - is a bit of an oddity, being both an extremely obscure title, yet also well known in Sega Saturn fan circles thanks to its status as one of the rarest and most expensive games for the system. Of course, rarity is no measure of quality - many of the rarest games are ones that did not sell very well upon their original release. So, is it worth paying over £200 for an original copy? Well no, of course it isn't. No game is. But is it worth checking out for those of you with a 'special' Sega Saturn, or a decent Saturn emulator?

Saturday 2 November 2013

Retro Spirit Games Halloween Special 2013

Be afraid.. be very afraid

So, Halloween is upon us again once more and, if you listen very carefully, you can almost hear the sound of game journos rushing to compile a list of games to play on this spooky celebration. If you close your eyes and use your imagination, you can easily predict what these lists will include - is this a special kind of black magic being practiced on this ghoulish holiday, or the predictable nature of these lists that materialise in October / November of every single year?