/retro/ - Y2K

1990s and 2000s Nostalgia

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Vidya General Anonymous 09/07/2019 (Sat) 01:44:38 No.6
>ITT: Vidya of the 90's and 2000's Keep it limited to the scope of this board, so basically Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Generation consoles only for now. For those who don't know what consoles are part of which generation, here's a quick rundown of the time frame we're talking about... >Fourth Generation: SNES, Sega Genesis/Sega CD >Fifth Generation: PS1, N64, Sega Saturn >Sixth Generation: Dreamcast, PS2, Gamecube, OG Xbox Discussion of games from the Seventh Generation consoles (PS3/Wii/Xbox 360) is allowed as well, but I'd like the thread to mainly focus on the 4th-6th console genererations since the 7th Gen era carried over into the 2010's and a lot of the games from that era onward obviously have far more in common with modern gaming than stuff from the 16-bit consoles or the PS1 and PS2 eras. You can also discuss PC games and handhelds from 1990-2009 in this thread too, as well as arcade games from that time. Any old-school gaming topic is fair game, whether it be the games themselves or old video gaming magazines, even wild rumors from that kid on the playground whose uncle worked at Nintendo...
I'm not really of fan of GOG since they dropped XP support and is now making some games made for XP, incompatible on XP (using an old XP machine for old PC games). Some are fixable by removing a couple files they added, but others like Fear have more substantial edits that break them (saving in this case). Finding non-GOG versions are harder now ever since isozone died and abandonware sites remove their downloads whenever a GOG release comes out.
>>11 Agreed. Physical formats are much more preferable to digital in my book, although for certain games like arcade exclusives, I can understand having to resort to emulation or going to GOG if a game is very rare in its original format. Also, Chun-Li was one of those things that helped me realize I'm an ass man... Missing files >>1577
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:46:20.
There's a retro vidya thread on /v/
>>20 True, but that one does not cover the Sixth Generation consoles, while this one does.
There's a 6th gen thread as well >>>/v/823

I think it's a better idea to keep all vidya discussion on vidya board instead of dividing the already small audience even further.
>>22 Ah, my bad. I don't usually hang around /v/ so I honestly didn't know about those threads.
I don't have much of an interest in fifth-gen console games (the NES being my favorite), but PC games really peaked in the '90s and early 2000s. It was a golden age for strategy games especially. Missing files >>1578
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:48:11.
I will probably never get tired of playing Tekken 3 and Rayman 1. Also there were many great RPGs for the PS1, like Suikoden 2 and all the Final Fantasies. But then again, when it comes to RPGs nothing beats the SNES. Missing file >>1579
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:49:20.
>>96 >>121 Anons, come and support our >>>/v/, there's a variety of retro threads. Missing file >>1580
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:50:02.
To liven this place up a bit, I'm gonna be sharing some lesser known vidya that I've played with a short description and review. Today's pick is... Sheep Raider (2001) also known as Sheep, Dog N Wolf. You may remember it as the third Looney Tunes game made by Infogrames on the original Playstation, alongside Bugs Bunny: Lost in Time (1999) and Bugs Bunny & Taz: Time Busters (2000). All of them are 3D platformers, however SR incorporates stealth and puzzle elements. In the game you control Ralph Wolf who suspiciously resembles Wile E. Coyote but is actually a separate character from the original Merrie Melodies and try to steal Sam Sheepdog's flock, one sheep at a time. All the while you're being involuntarily filmed by Daffy Duck who made you the star of his show about sheep stealing. Other Looney Tunes characters are featured in the game including Road Runner, but it's not on the menu and they either help you, or get in your way, or both. You use an assortment of ACME gadgets to help you steal sheep, or just traverse the environment, in both cases it's an extremely wacky and fun experience. The game is fairly challenging, allowing you to make mistakes without losing much progress, except for level 10 which was overly difficult because (actual spoiler!) it has the only boss fight in the entire game, and defeating said boss requires three successive steps, and if you fail at any step you restart the whole fight. Also worth mentioning is the last level which (spoiler!) was a wild goose chase, quite literally. The game was very creative with the puzzles, and kept surprising me with each level. Character control is smooth, and the graphics are gorgeous despite the 3D models being a bit low-poly, not that I'm complaining. If you're gonna play this then play the PC version with a joystick/gamepad; it has toon shading on the characters which the Playstation version lacks, along with various graphical enhancements (better detail, higher resolution, 60 FPS...etc) besides no "wobbliness" which plagues all Playstation games. The only downside is that the screen looks a bit dark, but nothing to worry about. GET: archive.org/details/looneytunessheepraider_201908 Missing files >>1581
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:51:47.
Reminder that sound technology has regressed massively in vidya since the 2000s. https://invidio.us/watch?v=7Yc2pODiZgU
>>471 The only thing that has improved is le ebin graphixx. The rest is worse under literally every aspect. Modern vidya is garbage. There's a reason why retrogaming is now bigger than ever. Missing file >>1582
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:52:54.
>>472 >There's a reason why retrogaming is now bigger than ever. I'm certainly glad for that. With flash carts, new controllers, accurate emulation, and better distribution for both PC releases and ROMs, there's never been a better time to start get into old games since they started being considered old hat. I'm looking forward to building a MiSTer at some point and maybe even retiring my old consoles.
>>469 Thanks anon, I remember having the demos of Lost in Time and Sheep Dog N Wolf as a kid and enjoying them, but never had the full games. Missing file >>1583
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:53:50.
>>474 Played the fuck out of Lost in Time back in the day. Pretty decent SM64 clone. I miss good obscure licensed games like that.
>>472 >The only thing that has improved is le ebin graphixx. I would say graphics have gotten worse actually, since the late 2000s with the whole "let's make everything brown, dim the lights, and overpopulate the screen with details" shtick. These games look like utter crap, not only are they not appealing aesthetics-wise, they're also painful to look at, oftentimes to the point of being unplayable. My take is that 3D graphics had a brief golden age between the late 90s to the mid 2000s; models had an adequate amount of detail, were properly colored to stick out without being an eye sore, and most of all had fluid animation. A game like Silent Hill 3 (2003) was a prime example of having realistic, but not uncanny valley, facial and body animations. I even consider it to be the game that perfected facial animations. >>473 Playing old console games is a piece of cake thanks to emulation, but old PC games are a pain in the ass to run because modern Windows versions (7, 8, and especially 10) are a compatibility nightmare... Not counting 2D games from the DOS / Windows 3.1 era, because those can easily run on Dosbox or a virtual machine. The problem lies with 3D games from beyond that time; they can't run on modern Windows, they can't run on Dosbox, and they can't run in VMs properly due to poor 3D acceleration. There's always dual booting but on current hardware that's impossible.
>>494 >The problem lies with 3D games from beyond that time; they can't run on modern Windows, they can't run on Dosbox, and they can't run in VMs properly due to poor 3D acceleration There's an emulator called PCem that can do everything from the original IBM PC all the way up to early Pentium machines, and it emulates Voodoo graphics as well. I've only used it a little, but I've successfully installed Windows 98 SE and run Tomb Raider 1, Dark Earth, and a couple of shitty abandonware games on it. It's significantly more demanding on the host system's CPU than DOSBox and VMs due to the fact it's emulating everything in software, but it runs at full speed on both my overclocked i5 4670K machine and my stock speed Ryzen 3700X machine. You can find all the required ROM files here: https://github.com/BaRRaKudaRain/PCem-ROMs Alternatively, assuming you can at least install the game on modern machines, there's dgVoodoo2, which is a graphics wrapper for anything using Glide or DirectX 1-9 APIs. You just drop the DLL files it comes with into the folder containing the games' executable, and then run the game. It comes with a control panel utility as well, so you can make various adjustments and enhancements such as 4:3 upscaling, rendering at higher resolutions, anti-aliasing, anisotropic filtering, and phong shading. I recommend using it on pretty much every PC game from the late 90s to the early 2000s, even for games that seem to run fine without it, because it can solve all kinds of graphical glitches that you may not even be aware of. Missing file >>1584
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:55:06.
>>494 >Playing old console games is a piece of cake thanks to emulation, but old PC games are a pain in the ass to run because modern Windows versions (7, 8, and especially 10) are a compatibility nightmare... Not counting 2D games from the DOS / Windows 3.1 era, because those can easily run on Dosbox or a virtual machine. The problem lies with 3D games from beyond that time; they can't run on modern Windows, they can't run on Dosbox, and they can't run in VMs properly due to poor 3D acceleration. There's always dual booting but on current hardware that's impossible. I guess I'm pretty lucky in that's not a problem for most of my favorite games. Granted I just installed Windows 10 not too long ago, but on Windows 7 most of the games I played either had modern remakes, fixes, or GOG/Steam ports that worked just fine. I have noticed a decent amount reviews mentioning that certain games on those services haven't even had any adjustments made to run on modern computers, which is completely ridiculous. Putting a game up to buy on there is a scummy thing to do if it's not even going to be compatible with the hardware most of your customers are going to be running it on.
Got another game to share with you anons, today's pick is... Ed, Edd n Eddy: The Mis-Edventures (2005). If the show wasn't enough of a fever dream for you, then boy are you in for a treat! Albeit being a bit short, this collaborative 3D platformer / puzzle game is super comfy, and a liiiiiittle too surreal. The game is divided into levels that are akin to episodes, where the Eds run scams and/or hunt jawbreakers. Although the levels are independent of each other story-wise, they have to be unlocked in a certain order. You can access unlocked levels through the "cul-de-sac", which is the neighborhood where all the characters live and basically the "central hub" of the game... You play as all three Eds but can only control one at a time by switching between them. Every Ed controls a bit differently, but the main uniqueness is the "ability" that each one has; allowing him to solve specific puzzles, reach certain objects, traverse special areas...etc. Saying anything more about the game will most probably spoil it so I'm gonna stop here. Just give it a try and you won't be disappointed, it's not that long. As is the case with Sheep Raider, this game is best played with a controller, because several areas require movement at precise angles. I originally got this game from IGG but the link seems to have died, so I'm gonna link the CD version on the Internet Archive. Mind you that I haven't tested this copy but it should work just fine. GET: archive.org/details/ededdneddythemisedventuresdisc1usa archive.org/details/ededdneddythemisedventuresdisc2usa >>474 >>476 Glad you guys liked the game! Missing files >>1585
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:56:32.
who /combatevolved/ here?
Tron 2.0 (2003) Missing files >>1586
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 11:58:19.
Missing files >>1587
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 12:00:35.
In this game you can find the e-mail your father sent to his coworkers when you were born. Missing files >>1588
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 12:02:22.
Missing files >>1589
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 12:04:20.
Missing files >>1590
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 12:06:04.
>>579 Looks fantastic. Love the Tron aesthetic, even if it's a little overused these days.
>>587 What late 10s people call "Tron aesthetic" and related themes is quite different from this game's, and to some extent even from the original movie's. It is, however, similar to the Tron Legacy (2010) movie, black everywhere, when color appears it's flashing and the color palette isn't too wide. Tron 2.0 isn't late 10s neon obsession, it's /retro/. It has an optimistic feeling, all colors are present and they show up bold and solid with color-coding used extensively. Not every color has to be neon. Another unique thing is that the backgrounds are beautiful and animated, and many maps are floating with them also having a lot going on in the bottom. The soundtrack is also completely different from what Daft Punk composed for 2010 and even there the difference in cheerfulness is notable. Missing files >>1591
Edited last time by GOAT on 06/29/2021 (Tue) 12:11:38.
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What have you guys been busy with lately? I've been playing Operation Flashpoint.
>>840 Heavy Barrel for the NES. Fun game but i just can't defeat the final boss.
>>841 I actually own that one, but my copy disappeared somewhere. I don't think I ever got all that far into it.
I got a MiSTer not too long ago and have been working on it lately. So far, I've got NES, Genesis, Game Boy, SNES, Master System, Colecovision, Turbografx-16, and Vectrex games working. I'm having problems with getting Atari 2600 games working, which I looked forward to playing. I can't get the wi-fi to work either. Regardless of the issues I've had, this seems like it's going to be a great option in the long term if you're autistic over accuracy and don't want a bunch of different game systems and accessories taking up space.
>>840 Operation Flashpoint is quite awesome. I have the GOTY cardboard box edition on my shelf. I've played a bit of Lost Vikings on Dosbox. It's ok, but like a lot of dos games, it doesn't have enough depth to keep me interested for long.
>>876 >Operation Flashpoint is quite awesome. I have the GOTY cardboard box edition on my shelf. At first glance it may seem pretty goofy due to how dated it looks, but it's surprisingly detailed. I love the way paratroopers land and local patrols start to come looking for you on the mission where the Russians are going to shoot the captured resistance fighters if you stick around your property long enough. >I've played a bit of Lost Vikings on Dosbox. It's ok, but like a lot of dos games, it doesn't have enough depth to keep me interested for long. I love DOS games, but I'm more into strategy games and the old-school FPS games as far as those are concerned. Princess Maker 2 was the last one I gave a shot, and I surprisingly enjoyed that one. The music is fantastic, and the artwork is surprisingly nice too. I do remember finding The Lost Vikings curious when I was younger and checking out the Super Nintendo version in that it was a Blizzard game from the pre-WarCraft days. But as far as puzzle games go, I much prefer the tile-matching kind to action platformers.
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>>872 As an update on the MiSTer, I got my wi-fi working, along with several other cores (like the Atari 2600 and unofficial Intellivision core). It turns out that after adding your information for the wi-fi connection, an underscore is added to the name of the text file and so it's unrecognizable to the system unless you remove it. Next up I'd like to try getting DOS games working. The process seems like a laborious pain in the neck from the little I've looked at it though. I've been having fun playing Atari 2600 and arcade games in particular. Too bad I don't have paddle controllers. It's nice knowing that since this project is open source, it should only be increasing in accuracy and adding more features with time. The lack of save states are the biggest gripe for me right now. Once they start to add them to cores, it'll probably be my go-to choice for playing console games. Custom case options would be nice too.
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I have no interest in modern games, mostly I just play games from the 2000s and early 2010s. I've never owned a Sony console before but i bought a PS2 a few weeks ago, I might buy a PS1 too cause I found a cheap one.
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>>877 >action platformers I just realized I meant "puzzle platformers" but never caught this until now. >>1029 The latest commercially released game that isn't just a re-release that I still play was released back in 2012. But the last generation of consoles that I have any interest whatsoever in was the sixth gen. For me the third and fourth generations are the sweet spot for console games, with PC games starting to really get good in the early '90s and declining in the 2000s. I never had a PS2 back in the day, but I played through Vice City a few years ago and enjoyed it. I remember how popular it was when it came out but never had a chance to play I was older. In some ways I feel like I missed out being a GameCube kid, but in other ways I don't regret it at all.
>>1029 Get a ps2 and mod the memory card, it's pretty easy or use PCSX2 because homebrew kind of sucks on PS2 although you can use the network adapter to play games over SMB. Play Armored Core 3
>>1029 This. I got Battlefront 2 on Epic, played it for a week and it was so mediocre/generic that I dumped it shortly after. Then I somehow got myself playing Persona 3 and SSX Tricky. Those were my last 5 months. Fun. And with OPL and a HDD, it's a joy to use, you basically switch the thing on and jump right into the game.
>>1075 I thought I lost all interest in games in the mid 2010s until two years ago when I realized I didn't stop liking games, modern games are just fucking terrible.
>>1079 Even the games that sound like they could be interesting in theory I tend to lose interest in when I see what they're actually like. The most exciting ones for me these days are just new reimplementations of older games.
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What are some games with Y2K aesthetics? The only ones that come to my mind are Rez, Crazy Taxi and Jet Set Radio (and Future).
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>>1145 Space Channel 5 comes to mind for me, although I've never actually played it.
>>1145 >>1149 Sega was the king of Y2K >>1165 Absolutely
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>>17 Missing files
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>>96 Missing files
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>>469 Missing files
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>>551 Missing files
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>>579 Missing files
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>>583 Missing files
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I originally posted these to /britfeel/, but here's some photos I took yesterday of all my old gaming mags. The majority are from 2004-2005, but there's a few earlier and later ones too. I laid them out in chronological order as best as I could, some don't say what month they were published so I just had to guess based on the games they were showing off. I've also still got all the demo discs and cheat books they came with.
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Someone also asked for the feature on San Andreas from the July 2004 issue of OPSM2, so here's that as well (apologies for the shite quality, it's the best I could do). I believe this was the first proper preview of the game anywhere in the world, I vaguely remember the GTA sites back in the day talking about it and begging people from the UK to send them the details. 1/2
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2/2, plus a couple of extras because why not.
>>1713 >>1714 >>1715 Good shit. I've been reading nothing but old gaming magazines for months, I'm at late 2004 now, tons of fucking great games in every issue that I'd still want to play, but I can't think of more than 5 games from the past generation that I would even try out. It's unbelievable how fucking terrible gaming is now.
>>1713 >>1714 >>1715 I used to get GameNow and then GamePro and Tips & Tricks. GameNow I have the most nostalgia for, seeing as how it was the first magazine of its kind I read. It introduced me to Vice City back when there was no way I had any chance of trying it. As far as GamePro goes, I remember the hype around Doom 3 and the issue that popularized the Polybius myth. I never liked most of Tips & Tricks all that much due to the emphasis of the magazine being on playthrough guides. I think I would have loved old issues of Nintendo Power if I'd have had access to them as a kid. >>1716 >It's unbelievable how fucking terrible gaming is now. There are like no commercially released games coming out now that I have any interest in. Only open-source projects really have my attention nowadays. I wish the industry would just collapse and the normalfags and bottom feeders would just abandon the hobby.
>>1718 >GameNow Oh man, do you still have those? I have an unreleased game they reviewed in the August 2003 issue and later listed secret items and locations in the October 2003 issue but there aren't any scanned pdfs online.
>>1719 No, and I only had a subscription for a short window of time (although it might've coincided with the issue you're talking about) and don't know what happened to the issues I had. It sucks if there are aren't scans out there. I was hoping that someday I'd be able to track down the old issues I had.
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Moon Crystal – a nice simple platformer for Famicom. It was quite enjoyable. The main thing about this one is the fluidity of character animations, inspired by the likes of Prince of Persia. There are turn frames and even added momentum to your movement. It’s very uncommon for this generation and looks rather impressive. Also similarly to Prince of Persia you can grab onto ledges to pull yourself up or drop down, although this isn’t heavily utilized. These definitely give the game a bit of a unique feel. One thing I didn’t like is that everything in the game resets with each new level – your health, weapon, ability. It’s not hard to regain them as they are sufficiently peppered throughout zones but it’s just a disappointing busywork that deprives you of the sense of progress. Just as you get used to double jump it’s taken away from you. Speaking of double jump, there’s some noticeable unresponsiveness to its execution that can lead to some frustration. Maybe it’s just my gamepad but I doubt it. Other than that, the game is very easy and simple, and can be mastered in no time. Except for the final boss, that fucker is quite tough initially but that’s not unusual when we're talking 8-bit. All the other bosses can be just rushed head-on; if you tap the attack button fast enough (there are tricks for that) they are toast no matter what. I wonder if this was international. The graphics are pretty good I have to say, and nicely detailed to go along with intricate animations. The music is equally good and has an interesting sound to it. There’s also a neat little story told with animated cutscenes. The game in general has a rather dark tone, going almost for horror sort of atmosphere. Shame it’s so short but good time.
>>1250 SSX Tricky is one of my favorite vidya, I just wish there was a real modding community around it for custom tracks and whatnot, all I could find was an HD texture pack for the Gamecube version
Kishin Dōji Zenki: Battle Raiden – a SuperFami action-platformer based on a 90s anime series. I have never even heard of this anime but apparently it was quite popular in its day, lasting for over 50 episodes plus an OVA. Maybe I’ll check it out someday. But it’s interesting how some of these once prominent franchises just disappear into the void of time. But anyway, I usually don’t really play games based on shows I haven’t watched but this one caught my eye with its incredible graphics, so I decided to check it out. And it’s pretty good, actually. The game is fairly easy, clearly targeted at younger audience, but there are a few cool boss fights and platforming challenges. I guess to make it more appealing to the masses they gave you several overpowered attacks, both vertical and horizontal, that can pretty much deal with anything and cost nothing. There’s also one finite attack where you can sacrifice a portion of your health to do some massive damage to an enemy. This is actually a pretty cool mechanic that can be utilized strategically, but since the game is so easy it’s honestly not all that useful. What I didn’t like is how slow your character moves, like walking through molasses. There is a short dash, which is better than nothing, but it’s not really incorporated into the moveset, you still have to come to a full stop in order to perform another action. Jumping is also rather imprecise and weak, leading to some annoying platforming. You also don’t upgrade or get anything new throughout the game, which is fine but feels like a missed opportunity since you can shoot fireballs and stuff. Like I mentioned, the graphics are amazing and what attracted my attention initially. Everything is large and intricately detailed. There’s a nice variety of locations, too. I especially liked the level where the weather changed drastically, that was quite breathtaking. There’s a cool opening cutscene with gorgeous anime art and I was hoping there would be more scattered throughout, but sadly it’s the only one, minus the ending. You do get some interactions within the game itself, which I guess is alright. The music is decent but not particularly memorable. The story was out of context to me, obviously, and I don’t know whether it’s just a stand-alone game story or if it relies on the anime, but you can infer much of what’s happening either way. There’s a kinda Inuyasha relationship going on between the main protagonists, with a tsundere demon serving a girl. Actually, this predates Inuyasha by about half a decade. All in all, this is a nice project that can be enjoyed on its own.
>>1740 >>1744 >review anon on /retro/ Nice
>>1747 Herro anon, have we met?
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>>1744 >that perspective in that bottom-right screenshot
>>1752 pure SOUL
Flight of the Amazon Queen – a classic 90s point-and-click adventure goodness. Exactly what I was looking for, I played most of the well known ones but this one somehow slipped past me. It’s right up my alley with the whole exotic adventure thing that I like the most. The game ' 'is' ' a bit too joke-y for my personal taste, but ultimately I quite enjoyed it. The puzzles are pretty good, not too hard and with just the right amount of challenge. I wish you could interact with more things, though; there are at times entire chunks of the screen that aren’t utilized at all. A few questionable design choices here and there but it’s expected and nothing significant, goat puzzle those are not. Although I think they slightly overdid it with the temple at the end – you get so many items by that point and only four slots to view them in, which just becomes an annoyance. There’s also some technical issue where hovering the cursor wouldn’t show the interactive text properly. It’s solvable by shaking it about but that can lead to missing something important early on, I missed an entire screen and got stuck because of that. The graphics are kinda primitive for ’95, looking inferior to Fate of Atlantis which came out 3 years prior, but they are charming in their own way. Since the game goes for a more comedic, cartoon-y vibe it’s not that big of an issue. The music is alright, it’s understated but works well for creating the necessary atmosphere. And the voice acting is also alright, especially since everyone is doing an intentionally silly accent. Like I mentioned, the story is pure meta buffoonery and I’m not really a big fan of that, but there’s just about enough effort put into it to keep me invested. Especially later on, when it clearly heavily borrows from LucasArts’ Indiana Jones games and almost becomes serious. And I do like light-hearted stories with a serious core. Interestingly, it deals with the famous crystal skull and aliens just like a certain film that doesn’t exist. I wonder if this premise was already common at the time. The writing itself is pretty good, I chuckled at a few jokes. This is really a must for point-and-click savants.
>>1756 Hold on a second, is the top center screenshot the inspiration for the intro scene in Sam and Max Hit the Road?
>>1762 What's it like?
Tōgi Ō: King Colossus – a truly excellent action-RPG/dungeon crawler for Mega Drive. Wasn’t expecting how tremendously I ended up enjoying it. It’s in a way similar to Zelda games but actually challenging. The really cool thing here is the vast arsenal of weaponry you get to use, all with their perks and drawbacks – you can’t jump-strike with spears, but they have great reach; with crossbows you can keep long distance but they shoot arrows at an angle; flails are powerful but travel at some weird parabolic trajectory, but then you get the morning star which is hands down the best weapon in the game. And so on. It was a lot of fun experimenting to find the right weapon for the right situation, gameplay is very addicting. There are also five magical spells you can use, offensive and defensive, one of which is time-stop. The game is decently tough, though you can save anywhere and there are a lot of upgrades scattered around dungeons to buff you up. Enemies can still drain your health in two seconds but you in turn can dispose of them in one hit. Together with stopping time, which can be used repeatedly as you upgrade your MP, even bosses stop being an issue eventually. You’re well equipped for any situation and the controls are nice and tight. In fact, they probably overdid it with the time-stop, you don’t even get it later on, it’s available from the very beginning. One thing that does add to the challenge is that you’re only allowed to carry a single recovery item at a time; all others you find are automatically consumed on the spot. Kinda questionable design choice but since enemies also drop recovery items, it balances out all right. Visually the game looks okay, it’s an earlier installment so you don’t expect any crazy tech but everything is decently detailed and pleasant enough to look at. It in general goes for a darker, more serious tone, so the lack of vibrant colors is justified by the story. Speaking of the story, it’s actually pretty good and surprisingly grim, this ain’t no cutesy RPG, some monsters in the game are quite grotesque. But the music here is fucking fantastic, every melody is so clear and distinct, and hits the mark. This is one of the best soundtracks on the system, at least genre-wise. None of the iconic fart sound, too. So a really unexpected gem, it always pays to dig deeper for stuff like this. I wish this was a series.
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Monstania – a wonderful gem for Super Famicom. It’s kind of an isometric tacticool RPG but it plays in real time, you can move as much as you want but enemies move with you. There are attacks that cost points per use but you get a basic free one as well, and points can be regained by standing still, though at your own risk. Don’t know many games that play like that. There are also only two characters to control – main hero and several others that swap places as the story progresses. Kind of a shame, really, it plays really well and is very addictive but two characters mean there aren’t that many enemies, which in turn means that battles are pretty short and not too demanding. This could have easily worked with a much larger party, can’t imagine it being a technical limitation. I wouldn’t call the game too easy, it actually can get somewhat challenging since you have very little HP and enemies will drain it in no time. You definitely need to approach battles strategically and learn how to fight efficiently, but once you do the whole game can be breezed through in about an hour. It is criminally short in general, even with the learning curve and taking your time, the whole thing barely lasts 4 hours. Though I did split it across several days, which is probably the best way to go. Shame you’re never allowed to explore anything, like towns and such, you only have control during battles; that could have extended the playtime. But at least there’s a nice variety of tasks presented, you’re not just doing the same thing or fighting in the same manner, there are even some light puzzles. Graphically the game looks very nice, everything is beautifully detailed and animated, and the color palette is vividly pleasing. But music in particular steals the show here, it’s absolutely phenomenal. Every tune is a funky masterpiece and technically it sounds like CD-quality. Super Famicom never stops to amaze me in that aspect. It was actually composed by Noriyuki Iwadare, who also did all of Grandia and Lunar – two series well known for their top-tier OSTs. The story was also pretty good I have to say; this is a surprisingly verbose game. And despite the short length it feels like a lot has happened so you end up being satisfied when it’s over. This feels like a complete one-off, nothing else was ever done with this IP, sadly. Disappointing but not uncommon in an era with so many games, just reminds you how spoiled we used to be.
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Aladdin (SNES) – ah, the times when loicensed vidya used to be as good as anything. A great little platformer from Capcom. And it really is little, you can beat the whole thing in under an hour, it's not at all hard compared to a lot of contemporary platformers. There are virtually no bosses or any particularly hard spots minus the flying from lava stage, fuck that stage. The only real challenge here is to get all the collectibles but even then it's only a mild spike in difficulty. Kind of a shame, the controls are butter-smooth and the gliding mechanic is very satisfying. There was much potential here but they were likely under pressure by Yidsney. At least it compensates for its short length with beautiful visuals and truly excellent 16-bit song renditions from the movie. And it's just all-around super comfy fun time that you can always jump right into for a quick session. I like how these games always incorporated original levels into the narrative to expand playtime and compensate for being a different medium. For instance, you can't have a big wacky Genie song number in the game but without it you'll miss an important story beat so they came up with a level inside the lamp where Friend Like Me plays and it's all about Genie wackiness. Good times. Fun fact: this game was designed by Shinji Mikami, his last game before Resident Evil actually.
>>1809 Aladdin (Mega Drive) – following that I also played the Mega Drive version, which was made in the west. The really interesting thing about the game is its development history – all the sprites were animated by actual Disney animators who worked on the film itself, so in that regard this is the most authentic experience. And yeah, everything moves very fluidly and with that squishy-squashy Disney flair; it’s very impressive for the system. Everything else, not so much. Visually the game is kind of a mixed bag, there are some nice-looking locations but there are also some hideous ones and overall it looks infinitely inferior to the SNES version, both technically and art direction wise. It also suffers heavily from that weird desaturated look that a lot of Mega Drive games have, like there's a dirty filter over the screen and you just want to click the contrast button. But at least everything is sufficiently detailed. The music is not bad, obviously it’s all song renditions from the film, but it’s kinda more aggravating than the SNES version, with the same track playing ad nauseam being more noticeable. Gameplay is also mixed, you do get to use a sword in this version but at the same time the execution is fucking terrible. There’s an annoying delay before every strike and it’s literally canceled if you try to attack while releasing the run button. They clearly didn’t understand how this whole thing should work and that you need precise control over your actions. At least this version is also pretty easy, so this wasn’t a game-ruining issue. It is overall more challenging than the SNES one, with actual bosses this time around, although platforming is nowhere near as demanding or satisfying. Tiny-ass bats are the game’s toughest enemy. Also unlike the SNES version where they added extra levels to extend the narration but it still flowed nicely, here they just completely rewrote the story to suit the game. It’s barely even coherent. This is an okay platformer more interesting for its production history than anything else, I recommend watching a creation documentary. It is also quite short, so there’s no reason not to check it out as well.

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