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 Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts

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Balladeer
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptyMon 16 Aug 2021 - 21:00

My reviews are largely too scathing to be fair. Sorry it didn't work out for you Jim. I was forced by my Player 2 away from the HD graphics: sounds like the right decision!

Did you not like Sam & Max Save the World? I thought it was rather splendid.
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptyMon 16 Aug 2021 - 21:44

I wonder what the Oliver Twins could conceivably do with a Dizzy reinvention. I’m not suggesting that they go all Bomberman: Act Zero on it, but how do you bring such an archaic yet well-established game style into the modern day…?

Conveniently enough, I’d picked out some Halloween-ey games to make time to play in October, and one of them is Maniac Mansion. That’s an even older point and click adventure game than Secret of Monkey Island – and it’s the plain old NES version too. The write-ups of Secret of Monkey Island don’t fill me with much hope for Maniac Mansion…
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptySun 22 Aug 2021 - 7:47

Here’s my thoughts on the Atari Lynx Collection 1 that came out for the Evercade late last year.



To begin, Awesome Golf might be the most hyperbolic game title I’ve ever heard. It’s merely Just About Passable Golf, with a weird swing meter that aims your shot for you. Neutral

The development team made a proper dog’s dinner of Basketbrawl, with it not being a particularly good Basketball game and not being an even halfway-decent brawler either. The idea behind it is fine, but it’s just no good to play. Thumbs Down...

Crystal Mines II: Buried Treasure is just like a weaponised Boulder Dash. This is very good, a proper highlight of this collection. Thumbs Up!

I wouldn’t usually bother playing a science-fiction themed first person shooter like Cybervirus, neither of those things are my cup of tea at all. And yet this is decently impressive on a humble Lynx hardware, although it was made in 2002 by someone who likely had the benefit of all sorts of development tricks that they wouldn’t have had when the Lynx was new. Regardless, it’s fairly good fun for a bit. Thumbs Up!

Dracula: The Undead was a rare foray for me into the Point-and-Click Adventure genre, and you know what? Maybe playing a thirty year old Atari Lynx ROM wasn’t the best way for me to try to get into this type of game. Thumbs Down...

In an overcrowded market of monkey platformers, Gordo 106 doesn’t really do anything distinctive other than look amazing by Lynx standards. Yet while it’s a bit fiddly, it’s also a playable enough game and it’s got a decent level of challenge. Thumbs Up!

I didn’t understand how to play Ishido: The Way of the Stones, and the instruction manual didn’t help me out. It’s all about matching coloured tiles on a 2D grid, or something. Is this basically what Mahjong is? Thumbs Down...

One of the few games I’d heard of before I got this collection was Jimmy Connor’s Tennis. Saying that I was looking forward to trying it would be a massive overstatement, but I think it was the first thing I tried. Like many of these Atari Lynx games, Jimmy Connor’s Tennis would have been undoubtedly been impressive on a technical level back in the day. However, it’s gameplay is just too vanilla to really grab anybody’s attention now. Neutral

Loopz has had a long journey to get here, as it was developed in the early ‘90s, unreleased until 2004 and now trotted out again in 2020 as an officially-licensed Atari Lynx game. Demonstrating that looks aren’t everything, the gameplay is quite good. It’s kind of like if Pipe Mania was mashed up with Tetris. Thumbs Up!

Regarding Malibu Beach Volleyball…just read what I typed for Jimmy Connor’s Tennis, except stick Jimmy in a swimsuit. Neutral

MegaPak Vol. 1 is absolutely dire. There’s six little minigames in here, including a scruffy rip-off of Fire on the Game & Watch, and a tool that acts like an particularly broken Etch-a-Sketch. This must have been included here for a laugh. Thumbs Down...

First impressions would make you believe that Power Factor is one of the best things on the Atari Lynx. It might very well be, as it strikes me as a reasonably accomplished adventure/platformer with some really impressive graphics. I didn’t get far into it though, as the size of your sprite makes it hard to see the big levels and it’s hard to avoid taking damage. I wanted to like it, but in the end I just got scunnered with it. Thumbs Down...

Remnant: Plantar Wars is a first-person spaceship-shooter from the year 2000. Playing exactly like you’d think it would, it’s good, clean arcade fun but not terribly interesting in any unique way. Neutral

Scrapyard Dog has you rescuing your kidnapped dog in one of the most needlessly challenging platformers I’ve ever played. I used the save states every thirty seconds while I was playing this, just trying to tough it out while rarely having much fun. Neutral

As you’d assume, Super Asteroids & Missile Command is just a two-in-one collection with souped-up versions of the old arcade classics. I’ve always liked Asteroids; I’ve never liked Missile Command. Thumbs Up!

Super Squeek might be my favourite game on here. It’s a moreish puzzler where you walk over tiles to change their colour. There’s bonus Green Star rooms in Super Mario 3D World that do this exact thing, but I like how Super Squeek plays it. Good stuff. Thumbs Up!

Remember that one minigame in Among Us where you’d have to trace along a top-down path to the exit? Xump: The Final Run is that, but stretched over a full game. No thanks. Thumbs Down...

That’s seventeen games there, providing you not only a good mixture of styles but also with a decent chunk of the 71 games that were officially released for the Atari Lynx. It’s quite an obscure system that’s not appeared in any other guises too - I’d definitely have never played any of these games if Evercade hadn’t licensed this cartridge anyway. Without having the hassle of finding a working Atari Lynx and shelling out for it, this was a good way of sampling what it was all about. 6/10.
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masofdas
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptySun 22 Aug 2021 - 14:32

The Lynx collection is one of the EC games that I was interested in as like you say the Lynx is an obscure system which I've only owned once and elsewhere said my favourite game on it was Blue Lightning as basically all I had for it.

Learning about more games on the system, even for a historical standpoint, is neat.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptySun 22 Aug 2021 - 15:35

Interesting reviews there - you were brave enough to tough out some of those! I never ever considered wanting an Atari Lynx at the time, but I guess everything works out at a bit more reasonable price-wise! Crystal Mines II is automatically good because it's a cave with rocks and diamonds in it, and Skweek was also praised as a classic in them early days. I worry about any compilation that adds sports games on it though - very few are different enough to compensate for the fact that they're less technologically accurate.

@The Cappuccino Kid wrote:
I wonder what the Oliver Twins could conceivably do with a Dizzy reinvention. I’m not suggesting that they go all Bomberman: Act Zero on it, but how do you bring such an archaic yet well-established game style into the modern day…?

Conveniently enough, I’d picked out some Halloween-ey games to make time to play in October, and one of them is Maniac Mansion. That’s an even older point and click adventure game than Secret of Monkey Island – and it’s the plain old NES version too. The write-ups of Secret of Monkey Island don’t fill me with much hope for Maniac Mansion…
I think you're almost better off with the original Monkey Island; Maniac Mansion's got a lot of personality, but does, unlike all of LucasArts' later efforts, have failstates. If you're playing it in a place you can save spam, you'll be OK.

Slight digression re. Dizzy: I've really wanted to write a series of articles with a working title of "someone should revamp this game, I don't mean like remaster the original, I mean it's got good ideas in it, but doesn't hold up at all" of which the Dizzy series as a whole would be one entry. But I think it'd be too egocentric for Gintendo. If I was really brave I'd start a YouTube thing... but I'm not, and no-one wants to hear me talk about Return to Zork for 30 minutes.
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptySun 22 Aug 2021 - 22:27

Blue Lightning is on the Atari Lynx Collection 2 and it’s an impressive game for the technology. I’m not planning on writing up about that cartridge just now but I’d confidently say that it’s one of the Evercade’s best ones. I think those two Lynx compilations have ended up being two of the standout things about the Evercade. There’s loads of overlap between the many Interplay, Data East, Jaleco, PIKO Interactive and indie games offered on Evercade, Piepacker, Antstream and Nintendo Switch Online. Not the Lynx though.

I’d watch and/or read articles on the topic of “someone should revamp this game, I don’t mean remaster the original, I mean it’s got good ideas in it, but it just doesn’t hold up well”, I don’t think that would be egocentric at all. I'm sure there's a few other forumites who would perhaps want to give that idea a bash themselves...
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Jimbob
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptyMon 23 Aug 2021 - 20:07

Well that's good! If I had my wits about me today, I'd attempt to start up a topic at least.
Re Dizzy: I legit don't know how to drag it into the 21st Century.
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptyTue 31 Aug 2021 - 21:24

Here’s my thoughts on Interplay Collection 2, another Evercade compilation that came out last year.



The Adventures of Rad Gravity is the sole 8-bit game here, and it’s a 2D platformer that I tried hard to like. However, all it’s gravity-related inventiveness and unique design is just trampled all over by its overly harsh difficulty and sloppy controls. It’s disappointing, as because of those two things I ended up giving Rad Gravity a lot less time that it probably deserves. Thumbs Down...

Although it’s a 16-bit puzzler on the SNES, my exact same points apply for The Brainies as applied for The Adventures of Rad Gravity. There’s lots of nice trickery with the visuals, but the puzzles and perspective bended my brain well before I reached the halfway point. Super Fruitfall is the same type of labyrinth tile-sliding puzzler, but it’s a lot more appealing. Thumbs Down...

Clayfighter 2: Judgement Clay is a slapstick 2D fighter that lacks the depth, creativity and nuance to be compared to Street Fighter II or Killer Instinct…on the Game Boy. This series started averagely and only got worse from there. Thumbs Down...

As I understand it, Claymates was supposed to be the start of a new franchise that would spin-off into all sorts of games that used a common clay-style aesthetic. I’m guessing Clayfighter 63 1/3 stopped that once and for all, but at least we’ve still got this. One of the first Evercade games I played over a year ago, Claymates is a really playable and accomplished platformer that makes good sense of the plasticene gimmick. Controlling a blob and transforming into differently-shaped animals with unique abilities is a pretty cool idea, and it’s as a platformer it’s interesting enough to be worth your attention. Thumbs Up!

Like Claymates, you’ve already got Prehistorik Man on the Switch’s SNES Online app. And like Claymates again, I felt Prehistorik Man was an odd choice for that service. Simply put, it’s too flawed to stand up to scrutiny when put beside Super Mario World and Kirby Super Star. Still, it’s good fun to play, and an easy game to like and enjoy despite its slippery movement and precision platforming. It’s rich sounds and high production values also help elevate it above any other Titus Interactive game that I can think of. Thumbs Up!

I played through Earthworm Jim 2 on the SNES earlier this year, saying in my 7/10 review that it’s “conceptually inventive enough to be worth experiencing for yourself”. It’s a deeply uneven and erratic game though, and if you ever play it then don’t settle yourself down for a straightforward 2D run ’n gun platformer. While I definitely give it a thumbs up, I hope that the Amico’s upcoming Earthworm Jim game takes more inspiration from the 1994 original than this 1995 sequel. Thumbs Up!

Four platformers, a fighter and a puzzler is not a good way to mix six games, but I got good mileage out of this collection. It helps that there’s three genuinely good platformers here too, which is grand if you’re into that type of game like me. It’s ultimately yet another 6/10 though; as with all these Evercade collections, there’s just a bit too much that underwhelms nowadays.
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The Cappuccino Kid
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptySat 11 Sep 2021 - 8:12

Here’s my thoughts on Jaleco Collection 1 which came out on Evercade back in April.



Totally Rad just smacks of early ‘90s Generation X attitude. From the name alone, you’d maybe assume that you’re getting a mascot platformer like Sonic The Hedgehog, but it’s really more like a slowed-down Mega Man 2. There’s nothing spectacular about it and it’s all very basic, but overall Totally Rad is a reasonably okay run ‘n gunner that fits in fine on a multi-game collection like this. Neutral

Super Goal! 2 might have been pretty good if the camera perspective didn’t make the travel of the ball so confusing to watch, and if scoring goals wasn’t as hard as stealing the Queen’s crown off her head while she’s taking a dump. Thumbs Down...

I finished Super E.D.F. Earth Defence Force back when it was re-released on SNES Online. Nothing about it sets the world on fire, and you’d really need SNES Online’s rewind button to keep trying the hard bits over and over again so to have a realistic hope of seeing the end of it. That said, I’ve got a soft spot for it. It’s an all right example of a 16 bit side-scrolling shmup. Thumbs Up!

I think City Connection is ripe for a remake: I like the idea of a racer/platformer where you leak paint onto the road to escape police chase. This NES version is pretty choppy, but it’s okay in small doses. Thumbs Up!

Operation Logic Bomb’s Wikipedia page describes it as a cross between Super Smash TV and Contra III: The Alien Wars. That’s very apt…if you remove 95% of those games’ intensity. That’s not actually a bad thing, it just means that you’re getting a slower and more cautious top-down alien shooter. It’s perhaps a little underdeveloped (it introduces it’s coolest weapons but has very few ideas for them before ending too suddenly), but on the whole I liked it. Reintroducing these sort of (actually decent!) ‘sleeper’ games are what the Evercade should be about. Thumbs Up!

Astyanax comes across as a low-budget Castlevania rip-off, with its mythological setting and stiff controls. That undersells it though, as it’s quite a proficient and decently solid action/adventure game by NES standards. The Evercade’s unrestricted save states improve it loads too. Thumbs Up!

I can lump Rival Turf! and Brawl Brothers together. Neither game would turn your head, they’re the most basic and derivative brawlers that I’ve played in a long time. Brawl Brothers is the slightly better of the two, and it’s also on SNES Online. I think either would make a passable co-op game, but you’d have to be pretty desperate. Thumbs Down...

What with me not being an American living in 1989, I’ve never been impressed with Bases Loaded. It’s as sluggish and apathetic a baseball game as I’ve ever played. Thumbs Down...

The Ignition Factor is a 16-bit top-down firefighting simulator that demands efficiency and strategy. I failed the opening missions I played several times before I worked out the best routes for entry, where to locate the civilians I had to rescue and even the equipment I should take for the firefighting job. It’s undoubtedly a very well-thought-out game that shows the development team worked hard to make, but it’s perhaps a bit too unorthodox and trial-and-error to be the sort of pick-up-and-play retro fare that’s mostly enjoyed today. Neutral

Without having a specific claim to fame, Jaleco had a decent history up until the early 2000s. Their legacy is from producing some really good arcade games, with the odd quality home and handheld port in between. It’s a shame that this collection is a poor representation of that legacy though. These four NES and six SNES games are mostly a bit ordinary, with the better games balanced out by an equal number of stinkers. Ultimately though, the best games on Jaleco Collection 1 – I mean Operation Logic Bomb, City Connection, Super E.D.F. and The Ignition Factor – are four of the weaker games on Nintendo Switch Online. 5/10.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptySun 12 Sep 2021 - 11:18

@The Cappuccino Kid wrote:
Totally Rad just smacks of early ‘90s Generation X attitude. From the name alone, you’d maybe assume that you’re getting a mascot platformer like Sonic The Hedgehog, but it’s really more like a slowed-down Mega Man 2. There’s nothing spectacular about it and it’s all very basic, but overall Totally Rad is a reasonably okay run ‘n gunner that fits in fine on a multi-game collection like this.  Neutral
Is that the one where you can be the bird guy and just fly over the entire game? If not, Total! magazine has some explaining to do...

@The Cappuccino Kid wrote:
I think City Connection is ripe for a remake: I like the idea of a racer/platformer where you leak paint onto the road to escape police chase. This NES version is pretty choppy, but it’s okay in small doses.  Thumbs Up!
I did actually finish this in the end! I agree it's a novel idea. On the NES though, the game looks like there's an error with the contacts in the cartridge, the way everything slides about / flickers. Really bizarre.
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PostSubject: Re: Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts   Last Retro Game You Finished And Your Thoughts - Page 20 EmptySun 12 Sep 2021 - 19:34

That'll be right, there's a bird power-up in Totally Rad that lets you flap around all you want. The level design doesn't always let you just fly over the whole game, but it's no concern, it was a fairly straightforward and unchallenging playthough.

I see that you're on the NES Online app fairly often. It's inevitable that Totally Rad will wind up on it someday, as the company that now owns Jaleco's back catalogue is readily licensing their games to anybody, anywhere.
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