...once or twice while playing this game. Don't get me wrong, this was probably one of the most visually exciting games the Sega Genesis ever ported over from PC, but this was a very unforgiving game, lots of trial and error. Of course that was also its greatest aspect in that you kind of had to think things through a little differently than the typical games at that time...which were shoot, punch, repeat.
In 1985 I could be found hunched over my C-64 trying desperately to win this game. I was a fan of Lord British due to his groundbreaking Ultima series which until the Bard's Tale came out was my number one RPG game for the computer.
In the game you are in the North East part of the U.S. and your car is not only a means for protection and warfare but one of the only ways you can earn a living. You begin the game with no car and must enter the Arena's amateur night where you are lent a 'busted up p.o.s.' to earn enough to buy a vehicle. After securing your own ride you can then earn money by taking on courier missions.
Of course the most fun was taking your vehicle onto the highways of the U.S. and battling raiders and roadside gangs. Because if you survive those battles you can loot/salvage the parts to add to your own vehicle. There is a story, most of it involving important F.B.I. courier missions but I just kept on building up my vehicles and keeping the roads safe.
Sometimes you just need a bunch of Doctor Who images to make your day better. Wither it be from the Midway pinball game release in 1992 or the PC release from BBC Multimedia in 1997. I've only played the pinball game but from what I found on Youtube the Destiny of the Doctors looked pretty interesting.
In 1987 I thought Kid Icarus and Metroid were the height of video game excellence. I even bought Kid Icarus as a download on my Wii, you just turn the Wii controller sideways and it resembles the button layout of the old NES controller.
There is even an enemy from Metroid in the game, though it is called Komayto, and its description in the game manual is that it might have come from another planet. Like Metroid's 'secret' ending, Kid Icarus had its own. If you completed it within the time limit, Pit (What kind of name is that?) will become older, a teenager and receive a kiss for his efforts.
Time to put those fists to work by clocking some Nazi jaws! Rocket Ranger came out in 1988 by the awesome Cinemaware studio, previously they had released Defenders of the Crown which for the time was pretty impressive with its speech and 'movie-like' effects. A couple of years back they released a follow up game where you took on the role of Robin Hood, it was just as fantastic as the original Defenders game.
Rocket Ranger as you can obviously see from the first photo up above was inspired by those great Commando Cody serials from 1952. In the game for the Amiga and similar computer systems, you played the role of a US Army scientist who found late one night objects that materialized upon your desk with a note, it would seem these items are from the future in which the Nazis won WWII and have taken over the world. The rocket pack, helmet, and ray gun were sent by scientists from the future in the hopes you would be able to reverse this terrible outcome. It would seem these Nazis got their hands on a material known as Lunarium, which greatly reduces the IQ of human males and thereby preventing military resistance from their enemies. Zeppelins flying at higher altitudes than anti-aircraft guns could reach bombed the nations of the world with this Lunarium and then swooped down to invade and conquer...you are the worlds only hope.
Fortunately as you play the game find yourself in steamy jungles, stealing shipments of the lunarium for your own use, luckily that helmet they sent protects you from the side effects of the mysterious ore. But where does it come from? Hmmm, Lunarium.
In the game you find yourself eventually reaching the source of the problem upon the surface of the moon, but not before you have to blast off and rescue the kidnapping of an American scientist and his beautiful daughter, I might add that she was only beautiful on the computer versions...the NES one...Yikes, engage in fire fights in steamy jungle temples, get captured occasionally and use fisticuffs on Nazi guards, dogfight with the Luftwaffe, and finally obtain five parts for a rocket ship and enough Lunarium to fuel it.
On the moon you discover that the Nazis are not the only problem, it would seem that Adolph has made a deal with an "Intergalactic Union of Facists" and you will have to deal with one of the extraterrestrial Nazi allies.
This was the highlight of gaming for me for the Commodore 64, great music, voice digitization, the storyline, everything was aimed at me. I was happy to see that later on it was released on the NES though it is no where near as good as the computer version, not even the box art which you can see in the second picture.
The cover to Freedom Force for the NES might possibly be the entire 80's rolled up into one. You have bullets, you have a plane, you have scary guy in a ski mask with an big gun and you have what looks to be a very coked up woman hanging off a Rutger Hauer knock-off.
This came out in 1988 from Sunsoft, it was one of the few games to actually use let you use the light gun for more than Duck Hunt. Wild Gunmen and Hogan's Alley being the other two that spring to mind. The story is pretty much an 80's film, terrorists have taken over a city, key areas that will bring the world to its knees. An airplane, and airplane landing strip, and airport terminal...a city street. I like the fact that the police know you are under a lot of pressure so they give you 6 whoops I shot a hostage before they take you off the case.
This game could never be released today. But at the very least, at the end of the game after causing an entire building to collapse, 'Roy Batty' here gets a peck on the cheek.
I can't say a thing about the Atari 2600 game of Porky's. 20th Century Fox must have gone mad because look at the other exciting games that were coming down the pipe...Six Pack, 9 to 5, The Entity....I could almost see them pulling off The Day the Earth Stood Still. The 80's were a wacky time.
Time for a second post today, should tell you how busy it is at my job at the moment. Infocom. That word holds much power for me as it is the reason I spent hours a night staring at my black and white television, my father wouldn't spring for a monitor in my youth, trying to discern the possible solution to a text based dilemma.
For many 80's adventurers the Infocom brand of entertainment couldn't be topped and most started their first steps with the legendary Zork: The Great Underground Empire. Now being an avid reader of Choose Your Own Adventure books as a whelp, the text based-no graphics computer game was right up my alley and my first taste of such adventures came in the 'introductory' leveled Wishbringer.
One of the greatest marketing ideas that Infocom had was the inclusion of...well, stuff, in the game boxes. In Wishbringers case I was shocked to find the items you see in the third picture above, including the Wishstone....which glowed in the dark, not green mind you, but purple. I hope that it is still somewhere in my house, I used to bring it to school and would almost conspiratorially sneak glances at in my palm.
Probably the fact that I didn't have any real friends until High School is most apparent in that last statement. Wishbringer being an introductory leveled game didn't take too long to finish...though I was eaten once or twice by a Grue. Craving more I was treated by my father to a trip to the local Sears where just by chance they were having a sale on computer software, where I picked up both Zork and Zork II for the tune of 35 dollars. Which even then was a steal!
While Infocom may now only be a page in the history of computer gaming...there is yet life flickering in the Underground Empire as it has been announced that Zork is making a comeback as a browser based game. Beware of the darkness where lurk the Grue my friends....
Happy Friday the 13th! Another jewel of a game from those folks at LJN, responsible for putting more children in the psych ward for undo frustration while gaming, and this might actually be even better than their 'Exciting' X-men game.
Who wouldn't want to play the role of camp counselor running hither and yon trying to save children, avoid bats, zombies, and flying decapitated heads of Pamela Voorhees? What gamer didn't want to know the thrill of being locked in a cabin with Jason while he hacked at you with his machete and you had your trusty...rock...to defend yourself with.
This is one of those NES games that I didn't beat, just couldn't do it. Though as that third picture shows...it can be done...but it was accomplished by far better gamers than myself.
Let's take a moment of silence for poor Paul in that second picture, he tried his best to defeat the savage killing machine that is Jason Voorhees and like so many other teenagers he lies broken and lifeless with his rock clutched in his hand.
The world isn't going to end in 2012...it will be snuffed out in 2084 when the Robotrons throw off their shackles of servitude and wipe out most of humanity. Thankfully there is a mutant superhuman who decides to take matters into his own hands and save the last of the human race.
Eugene Jarvis created Robotron 2084 after he had come up with another classic arcade game, Defender, a game that many investors passed on as it had too many buttons and the players wouldn't be able to handle it. Yeah, right. Along with Pac-Man this arcade legend was considered to be a financial flop and the go to game was going to be Rally-X.
Robotron sported a unique control scheme of its own, two joysticks, one to manage directional course and the other for firing. As a whelp I remember being intimidated by this machine but after placing my first quarter into the slot...I've been hooked on it for life. It sometimes takes a couple of tries but when a Robotron player is really in the groove it is an incredibly impressive show. Nothing every stands still on the screen, robotrons, missles, "brain blasts", and massive Hulks constantly head towards you.
After playing about an hour of this game I am usualy worn out...but satisfied.
"A long period of peace has deprived the earthlings of their instinct to wage war. The Federated Government, greatly concerned regarding this ever increasing dangerous situation, developed a GAIN GROUND simulation system in the year 2348 in an effort to instigate their ever waning fighting spirit. However, suddenly without warning, the Supercomputer went berserk and took many of the citizens as hostages. In order to rescue the POWs, three of the bravest warriors were urgently dispatched to go forth into the deadly GAIN GROUND."
I never played the arcade version but I sure put in some time on the Sega Genesis home system port of it. The final boss you face is kind of infamous in that it doesn't really take any true skill to lay him low, it just requires you send almost all of your time rescued characters into a suicidal run at him with bows, spears, machine guns, and shotguns blazing.
It's everyone's favorite master of destruction, Kool-Aid Man! Can you stop the Thirsties from draining your pool? Can you find the water, sugar, or Kool-Aid soft drink mix to get bigger so the Thirsties can't push you around? Could you collect 125 proof of purchase points to receive this Atari 2600 game?
Oh, there was an easter egg of sorts as well. "Have the TV Type switch on B&W. During a game you need to be at the top of the screen when the timer is at 40 seconds. At that moment, hit Select and you'll turn into the letters JT (for Jane Terjung) and all the Thirsties will turn into ST (for Stephen Tatsumi). If you turn into Kool-Aid Man, you'll be a large JT."
Wow. It's the Back to the Future game for the NES. A game where you have to dodge hula hooping girls and bowling balls in the streets. A game that defies any logic...a game that could only have been created by LJN. Those same folks who brought us the 'Exciting' X-men game for the Nintendo Entertainment System. You know the one that the kind folks at the Nintendo Hotline told me that the way to reach Magneto is you turn off the system and back on really fast.
The premise of the game is just like the movie, sort of, you have to get your parents together before the picture at the bottom of the screen fades away, luckily there are thousands of alarm clocks strewn about the streets for you to collect plus the player can find various object to help him such as love poems, a cup of coffee, alien suit and a guitar. He also has a skateboard to move around quickly.
Yeah. I played this game for about thirty minutes before returning it back to the rental store.