Saturday, 11 December 2010

O is for....



Odama is probably one of the most different games that I’ve ever played and I’ve played plenty of games in my time.

The aim of the game is to control your army whilst protecting a sub-section who is pushing a bell across the battlefield and through the enemy gates, sounds simple enough. Well let me tell you that it’s not that easy and here are the two main reasons why. The first being that the battlefield is actually a pinball table with the ‘Odama’ of the title being a pinball and your main weapon in the game. At the start of each level you fire the ball as high and as far as you can into enemy territory and try to destroy as much of the enemy army and barricades as possible whilst trying to avoid your own army. Just like a pinball table you have flippers at the bottom of the screen with which to hit the ball back up and if you miss you lose.

The second reason is the microphone which is used to command your army. As the game progresses you gain more commands and you have to tell your army what to do with commands such as ‘push forward’ to get the guys with the bell to try and shove through the army. Off what I played I managed to open up push forward, move left, move right, retreat and rally. Rally is used on the second level to rally your troops to pick up and move a ladder which is needed to push the bell up a hill. The main problem with using the microphone is that you also have to press X on the pad at the same time which means you need to let go of the flipper buttons which means that while you are speaking into the microphone your ball is still moving around the screen hitting things and getting nearer to the bottom of the screen. Eventually though with practice it does get a lot easier and if you ever get a chance I would recommend having at least one go of Odama.

Within the 15 minutes: Trying to complete the second level.

Will I play it again? I will actually.

Monday, 6 December 2010

N is for...

Neighbours from Hell


Neighbours from Hell or game from hell? Well it’s not that bad a game but even in just fifteen minutes of play it started to get a little repetitive.

The premise of the game is to go round your neighbour’s house extracting revenge for misdemeanours by playing tricks on him. The tricks involve such tame things as putting a whoopee cushion on his chair or putting superglue on a pair of binoculars to the medium like putting a mousetrap in the mail box to the extreme of tying an iron to the telephone and that’s just on the first couple of levels alone so no idea what it will be like on later levels (maybe dropping a shark into the bath). Each level has four or five tricks that you need to complete to finish the level though you can repeat tricks to gain combos and bonus points. All of this must be done whilst avoiding the neighbour and if he catches you, well you get a nice good beating from him.

One bizarre thing about the game is that it’s actually done as an episode of a sitcom so the camera follows you around each room and flicks across to the neighbour when a trick is happening. The best (or worst) bit is, when a trick is happening you get a canned laughter track play. Unfortunately the tricks aren’t actually funny.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed two of the levels.

Will I play it again? Maybe in short bursts.

NiGHTS into Dreams

Sega Saturn

I will say straight away that in the time I spent playing it I thoroughly enjoyed NiGHTS and will one day return to it giving it the attention it deserves.

The game is a simple one (well of what I played anyway) where all you have to do is fly around and around the level through rings/hoops collecting black orbs which you the use to kill a large enemy and move onto the next section. Like I say, simple, or it would be if you didn’t have a time limit, the black orbs are very spaced out and when you do come across them there are not that many and finally after you manage to kill the large enemy you still have to get back to the area that you started the level from.

The only small niggle that I had (and it is a small one) was that I kept wanting to move to the background. The game is basically a combination of 2D and 3D game play with 3D graphics. Due to this, at the start anyway, you just go round and round like you are playing in 2D and I sometimes found myself wanting to move to places that I couldn’t. Just a small gripe that I eventually got used to.

Within the 15 minutes: Had reached the first level boss which was section five.

Will I play it again? Yes, was really getting into it.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Halfway point

Well that last post for M was the halfway point of the alphabet and at the rate I'm going with the posts at the moment it's going to be pretty soon before I have to start thinking of where to go next with the blog. Obviously I'll be continuing with gaming related articles but whether it will be a structured thing again or not I have absolutely no idea yet.

I'd just like to take a moment to say a quick thanks to my followers and to everyone who comments on the posts, it's nice to get feedback and to interact with my readers, so thanks and here's to the rest of the alphabet.

M is for....

Mario & Yoshi

Game Boy

Another puzzle game in the vein of Tetris, woohoo, but can the combined force of Mario and Yoshi offer a challenge?

In a nutshell not really. The premise of the game is that you control Mario at the bottom of the screen who is holding plates whilst common Mario enemies drop from the top of the screen onto the plates, putting two of the same enemy together will result in them disappearing whilst catching two halves of a Yoshi egg will result in a Yoshi hatching, though for what reason I have no idea in all honesty. The enemies tend to drop two at a time and Mario can move along the bottom of the screen switching plates around to line up the enemies.

You would think that it would be fun but in all honesty I didn’t really find it to be that fun, if anything I found it to be a little bland. There are four different enemies that drop down which is fair enough but with the size of them Mario can only control four plates which doesn’t really give that much room for manoeuvre and after a while it just gets a bit boring.

Within the 15 minutes: Had reached level five.

Will I play it again? Meh, possibly but do own far better games in the genre.

Mega Man X: Command Mission


For Command Mission Capcom decided to change the traditional platform game play for Mega Man and instead produced a turn-based RPG, but does it work?

From what I played I would say yes. It’s by far no means perfect but I still found it to be quite enjoyable. The problems for me were just small niggles like random enemy battles, random as in there are no enemies around the levels, you are just walking around an empty room and suddenly the screen changes are you are fighting an enemy. I have no problem with fighting the enemies but it would be nice for a small warning. Also the rooms are rather empty with not much to do in them except for what the mission requires. One room you enter has some broken capsules which you need to look at, can you do anything else? Nope, you just look at the capsules which are marked by a flashing green symbol, talk to Zero and then leave, that’s it.

The one boss that I encountered was quite good and quite a tough fight but the rest of the enemies unfortunately were quite easy. If Capcom had ironed out the small niggles then this had the potential to be a great game unfortunately at the moment it’s just an alright game.

Within the 15 minutes: Chapter one boss.

Will I play it again? Yes.

Metropolis Street Racer


MSR was notable for introducing the ‘kudos’ system to the racing game genre, sadly they don’t get kudos from me for this game.

I’m not going to beat around the bush I found the controls to be absolutely atrocious and pretty much non responsive right from the start. The tracks have quite a few corners to go around but if you are going at any kind of fast speed you will pretty much guarantee to smack into the side of the track resulting in penalties resulting in lower kudos at the end of the race which is rather annoying as you need the kudos to unlock the next tracks. The only way to guarantee to get round the corner safely is to slow down about 3-5 seconds before getting to the corner and no I am not exaggerating with the time.

From what I played there were not actually any races against other cars it was all just drive around the track to beat the time limit which is all good and well but if it’s like that for the rest of the game it’s going to get boring rather quickly. All in all this is by far a good racing game for me.

Within the 15 minutes: Had won a car and completed three races.

Will I play it again? Doubtful.

Mission Impossible

Game Boy Colour

Mission Impossible really is quite an apt title as the game is rather stupidly and annoyingly difficult.

The aim of the first mission is to get to a stature, then enter a building and then enter another building whilst avoiding the enemy, sounds simple enough. Well it isn’t. The first thing you will notice (unless I just couldn’t see it) is that there is no map so trying to find all these things is a little difficult when every single building is almost exactly the same. The other really annoying thing is that you die with just one hit. Yes it makes it more realistic but when there are so many enemies around and when every time you die you have to start the entire mission again it can prove to be very annoying.

Despite lukewarm reviews I actually quite like the N64 version for some reason but this version just left me feeling quite annoyed and frustrated which is never good for a game.

Within the 15 minutes: First mission.

Will I play it again? It is not looking likely.

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance


Back in the 90’s Mortal Kombat was a serious rival to Street Fighter II and a contender for the top fighting game franchise is that still the case here?

Well in this case I would say no. For me the game just felt clunky and not very enjoyable. To be honest there isn’t any particular major problem with the game it just feels a bit slow and bland compared to the likes of Soul Caliber and Dead or Alive. For this I decided to just go with the arcade mode (there is also a ‘Konquest’ mode where the player has to complete missions) and chose Scorpion as my player. One of the first things that I noticed was that your fighting style could be changed which consisted of two martial arts style and a weapon, in Scorpions case a rather nice and nifty sword. For the first four fights the AI didn’t throw up a solitary special move and it was only when I got to Sub-Zero in the fifth fight that the special moves came out.

On the plus side the different fighting styles and weapons are a nice addition and it’s good to see that 'Test Your Might' has made a comeback but overall there are far superior fighting games out there to play, unless for some reason you only own a Cube.

Within the 15 minutes: On the fifth fight.

Will I play it again? Maybe one day.

Monday, 29 November 2010

L is for....

Land of Illusion: Starring Mickey Mouse

Master System

Not Castle, not World but Land of Illusion starring the one and only Mickey Mouse in yet another platform game from the early 90’s.

To be fair a rather large chunk of the games from the 8-bit generation were platform games but Mickey Mouse did seem to get round a bit. In this game Mickey falls asleep reading a book of fairytales and upon waking up finds himself to be in a strange village. From there it’s the standard case of working your way through the levels to find the crystal at the end and then progress on the next level.

It’s by all means not a bad game but of what I played it didn’t seem to be a particularly good game either. You kill enemies by bouncing on their heads with your bottom or by throwing an item at them (which seem to be in short supply) and solve the occasional puzzle which does add a nice little element to the game. If you fancy a game starring Mickey Mouse then I would recommend picking up one of the other ones first.

Within the 15 minutes: Trying to complete the second level.

Will I play it again? Possibly.

Lemmings 2: The Tribes

Super Nintendo

The sequel to the popular Lemmings game in which I spent most of the time nuking the poor little fellows.

The game play for Lemmings 2 is pretty much exactly the same as the first game, you have a load of lemmings come out of the door, you get them across the puzzles and make sure that they enter the other door. Sounds simple enough but anyone who has played the first game will know that it is in fact not as simple as it sounds. I’ll be honest and admit that I was never really that good at the first game but still enjoyed trying to get the little lemmings to safety though as mentioned previously I probably spent more time nuking them.

One of the main differences from the first game is the addition of a lot more skills in this one, the original only had eight skills, this one had more than that on the first level alone. The skills included the likes of glue pourer, sand pourer, jet pack and roper. Even will all the additional skills I couldn’t work out the second level, don’t let that put you off though as it does seem to be a good game.

Within the 15 minutes: Stuck on the second level.

Will I play it again? I might give it another shot.


Sega Saturn

Take Smash TV; mix in some crazy characters created and designed with contributions from comic book writers and artists and you have loaded.

Loaded is your good old fashioned top-down shoot ‘em up with rather a lot of shooting as you face wave after wave of enemies who come pouring out of the rooms like there is no tomorrow, I was only playing on normal so heavens knows what the most difficult level is like. I lost a canny few lives but then that could also partly be because I wanted to make the most of the 15 minutes. You start of by selecting one of six characters (I went with Mamma who is actually a man in a babies outfit) due to having high armour and a Plasma gun. The gun starts off alright but as you kill more and more enemies you can collect upgrades with make for pretty cool weapons.

The first level was absolutely huge with having to find key cards to progress to the next section and finally onto the next level, despite it being a simple shoot ‘em up it looks like you may be able to get a good few hours out of the game and I would recommend doing just that.

Within the 15 minutes: Still on level one.

Will I play it again? Yep.

Lost Kingdoms II


Lost Kingdoms II is a card-based action RPG and the sequel to Lost Kingdoms which was also released for the Cube.

I went with the sequel as I’ve previously played the first one just longer then fifteen minutes and wanted to see what the second game was like. Well, from the short time that I’ve played them both they seem pretty similar, including the cards that are available. The cards contain monsters which pop out and attack enemies in various ways. The two types of cards which I got to use were ‘weapon’ and ‘independent’. Weapon when pressed releases a one strike monster which pops out, hits the enemy and goes back into the card; the card can be used three times before being discarded. The independent card releases a fully fledged monster that attacks the enemies on its own allowing for you to take on another enemy.

The only real sort of negative for me was the whole standing around waiting for the enemies to be defeated. When I unleashed an independent it took a couple of minutes to kill an enemy and after a while I just wanted to run forward to strike down the enemy myself, it’s not enough to put me off playing it again though.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed the third mission.

Will I play it again? Yep, once I’ve finished the first one.

Lost Magic

Nintendo DS

Lost Magic is a game that utilises the DS touch screen by making the gamer draw magic spells to defeat enemies with.

The game is a real-time strategy game which on the one hand is good as some people prefer them to turn-based RPG’s (I don’t have a preference of either) but on the other hand for this game is actually rather a pain. To fight enemies you have to hold down the L button which brings up a Rune template on the bottom screen of the DS, you then have to draw the symbol of whichever magic spell you want to attack with, sounds ok so far. Well, rather annoyingly the enemies generally take more than one hit to kill meaning that as you are drawing the spell the enemy is happily standing away repeatedly hitting you. Add to this the fact that you have Mana points for the spells which runs out after about three spells (though does top itself up if you stand around) and the fact that you have a time limit on each round of enemies it can add up to a rather frustrating experience.

The game does have some nice ideas with having to draw the spells and the ability to capture enemies (which can also be done in Lost Kingdoms II) and turn them into an army which means that you can set them on one set of bad guys and take on another yourself but for some people the game may be rather annoying.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed the training and protected the village.

Will I play it again? Yeah, was actually starting to quite getting into it.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

K is for....

Kid Chameleon


Considering the entire platform games that I have played over the years it did feel like Kid Chameleon offered a nice variety of game play.

Playing as the afore mentioned Kid Chameleon you have to make your way through numerous levels as per every and any platform game. The way you do this is to collect masks which change you into different characters which in turn give you different powers/weapons. The masks that I came across changed Kid into a Medieval Knight, a Samurai, an Alien and a Jason type character from Friday the 13th. Wearing the masks also gives you extra energy over what you have as a human.

The levels that you work through are also different each time due to generally being themed around the masks meaning that enemies and obstacles are different keeping the game fresh and the game play enjoyable.

Within the 15 minutes: Level six.

Will I play it again? Yeah, fun little game.

Killer 7


Killer7 was one of the releases from the ‘Capcom Five’ series and unfortunately didn’t sell that well, giving this a quick play it’s quite obvious as to why.

Now before you sit there thinking that this will be a negative write-up I can assure you that it’s not, I can just see why some people wouldn’t like it. The controls can definitely take some getting used to with the A button being used to move and the B button being used to turn instead of using the stick or D-Pad. If you don’t like cel-shading then you are definitely not going to like this and if you don’t like a guy in gimp suit hanging from a rope being your guide in the game then I would definitely give this game a miss.

I on the other hand don’t mind all of the above (including the guy on a rope) and thought that it seemed to be an interesting and intriguing game. Without giving anything away the ability to change your character at any point was a nice inclusion and with each character being completely different is an interesting concept.

Within the 15 minutes: Was just wandering around getting used to the controls.

Will I play it again? Yes, out of intrigue.


Master System

The concept of Klax is of a good old fashioned simple puzzle game, simple in name and difficult in nature.

The aim of the game is to line up different coloured blocks (bare with me) into three at a time either horizontally, vertically or diagonally. Sounds simple enough but unlike other similar games the blocks are coming down a conveyor belt and you have to control a little device which catches the blocks and then manually drop them into the relevant space. The device can hold up to five blocks which sounds a lot but after a couple of levels the blocks start coming down fast.

It is quite a fun game and unlike other games it does give you an objective on each level like only being able to clear the blocks diagonally or only being able to progress after obtaining a certain amount of points. It’s definitely worth a quick go.

Within the 15 minutes: Was playing the fourth level.

Will I play it again? I will give it another go at some point.

Knights of the Temple: Infernal Crusade


On the surface Knights of the Temple seems to be just a standard hack and slash game, hopefully this will change the further you progress.

The premise of the game is that an evil Bishop has kidnapped a woman with divine powers and plans to open the Gateway to Hell. You play as a Templar Knight who must stop the Bishop and rescue the girl before the Bishop can fulfil his plan. Of what I played the game play pretty much consisted of running around fighting and killing evil Monks with the occasional find a key and put out a burning fire dropped into the mix.

Of the 15 minutes that I played there wasn’t much variety in the game but it seemed to have something about it that made me want to return to carry on, maybe it ill . Just a quick note for fans of rock/metal music, Dutch band Within Temptation produced the music for the game.

Within the 15 minutes: Was on the fourth section.

Will I play it again? Yeah, I’ll give it another go.

Kung Fu Kid

Master System

Kung Fu Kid is a good old fashioned simple 8-bit platform game where everything is very basic but somehow fun.

The game really is as basic as you can get. Each level only has two enemies repeated over and over again (though they do change on each level), the main character can only jump and kick but does have a special move of throwing an item by holding up and kick, every third level varies by changing the game play from running left to right to having to jump off walls up platforms and the third level boss is a frog!

Despite all of the above it is actually quite a fun and at some point’s a hard game with some of the bosses being quite quick and hard to hit. The enemies come at you at a rapid pace and it doesn’t let up at all, definitely worth a go.

Within the 15 minutes: Was on level five.

Will I play it again? It’s a possibility.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

J is for....

Jade Empire


Set in ancient China Jade Empire is an action RPG that could turn out to be rather interesting and intriguing game. You start the game by being able to select from seven characters (four male and three female) each with different characteristics which are fast, strong, balanced and magic. After character selection you quickly work your way through a tutorial, choose your weapon and then it’s onto the game.

You start off by having to visit two people in the town which gives you a chance to wander around talking to people. When talking to people you get a list of questions to ask the character, don’t worry about what order to ask in or missing out on questions because as far as I was aware you could ask all of them from your list. Depending on how you answer though can have an impact on your character and game ending. After this it’s onto a battle with quite a few enemies including ghosts which are rather easy to defeat.

During battle you have three bars which are health, focus and chi. Health is self explanatory, focus is used for weapons style and chi is used for three reasons which are to replenish your health, to charge up a powerful strike to deal large damage or to be used when casting spells. Once used the bar will run down until you replenish it from either a fountain or from orbs dropped by defeated enemies. It does add an element to battles as you decide to top up low energy or risk trying to wipe out the enemies with powerful strikes.

Within the 15 minutes: Had defended the beach.

Will I play it again? Yes at some point.

James Pond 3: Operation Starfish


Like with Alex Kidd I have fond memories of playing the first James Pond game in the series and unfortunately like Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle for some reason I just couldn’t seem to get into this third instalment.

Like my write up of Galaxy Force II I’m really struggling to think of anything really positive or negative to say about the game. I think the main problem was that I just found it to be rather boring and by halfway through the 15 minutes I was already thinking about the next game to play.

So on to the game play. Well it’s your pretty standard platform game, this one being set on the moon which results in the levels being given cheese related names such as Garden of Edam and Camembert Canyon, it’s daft but can bring a small smile to the face. Your weapons can consist of items like cheese, shoes and dynamite but beyond that there is nothing new to rave about.

Within the 15 minutes: On the third level.

Will I play it again? Maybe at some point in the future.

Jungle Strike

Game Boy

I still to this day think that Desert Strike is a fun and enjoyable game, can the sequel Jungle Strike live up to its predecessor.

In a nutshell pretty much yes. The sequel doesn’t really seem to be any different from the first game with the developers seeming to take the route of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it, admittedly I didn’t get past the first level so it could be completely different later in the game but I very much doubt it in all honesty.

The game for me unfortunately had a few small niggling problems for me like the fact that I couldn’t seem to be able to pick up items or actually hit enemies and when I did they seemed to take quite a while to die. Overall it is a good game but I think I’ll most likely stick with the console version as despite loving to play on the Game Boy I feel that it is a game more suited to a TV.

Within the 15 minutes: Still on level one.

Will I play it again? Possibly but will most likely just stick with the console version.

Jurassic Park

Mega Drive

Completely different from the SNES game of the same name the Mega Drive version is a straight up platform game instead of the style of FPS.

Playing as either Dr. Grant or as a Velociraptor you have to make your way to the end of the level by killing either dinosaurs or humans depending on the character that you pick. Playing as Dr. Grant you get an array of weapons ranging from guns, darts and grenade style weapons. All do the same job of killing dinosaurs though some are kill quicker than others. Using the Raptor means that you can jump higher and have to kill humans by kicking or biting them but both objectives are the same.

The levels and game play take into account the differences between the two characters resulting in slightly different levels instead of just rehashing the levels which does make it not feel repetitive if you decide to complete the game with both characters. Whilst it doesn’t seem to be the greatest game in the world the fact that the levels are different gives it possible replay value.

Within the 15 minutes: Level one with Dr. Grant and level three with the Raptor.

Will I play it again? Maybe but possibly not.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

I is for....

International Superstar Soccer 3


Unfortunately I honestly cannot say anything good about this game which is a real shame as I like many others am a huge fan of the original ISS games.

I have so many criticisms of ISS3 it’s unbelievable; I sadly didn’t like one single thing about it. The controls felt awful, the opposition team got away with everything and anything whilst a slight knock from your player and it’s a yellow or red card. You pass a ball forward to your strikers and their defence is all over it, they pass a ball to their strikers and your defence is nowhere to be seen. Most of the time it feels like the opposition team has about fifteen players on the pitch the amount of space that they seem to cover.

It really is disappointing to not like this game as the SNES versions of ISS were great fun and excellent for a laugh but unfortunately there is nothing fun at all about this version and i’m not surprised that Konami decided to concentrate on the Pro Evolution series.

Within the 15 minutes: Had played one 15 minute match.

Will I play it again? Nope. I own far superior football games.

Iron Aces


I’ll start by saying straight away that flight simulation games are probably my least favourite genre when it comes to video games but I was prepared to give Iron Aces the benefit of the doubt and sadly it did little to change my mind.

The main thing that really lets this down is the awful controls. Now I don’t know anything about flying a plane/jet but I imagine that if you slightly moved the controls to move to the left or right you wouldn’t end up going upside down which is what happens in this game. It makes it very difficult to hunt down enemies when even the slightest touch to move means you roll all the way over instead of just moving where you want to be.

All in all with a first mission that just requires you to move east (seriously, what kind of mission is that) and controls that are horrendous to use sadly Iron Aces is not a game that I want to go back and play again.

Within the 15 minutes: On the second mission.

Will I play it again? No. Controls are just too annoying.

H is for....

Heiankyo Alien

Game Boy

Heiankyo Alien is definitely a game that takes you back to when games were simple and could be rather on the hard side.

The premise of the game is that aliens have invaded and to stop them you need to go around digging holes to capture them in. Once an alien is in the hole you then have to cover them up which in all honesty doesn’t seem very humane but hey. It’s obviously a very simple premise but it is actually quite a good game as mentioned previously can be quite tough. Once you get down to the last alien of the level it suddenly speeds up and when it takes about five presses of the button to dig a hole you have to pick your point very carefully. You also get a limit on how long the alien stays in the hole and again when it takes five presses to cover the hole you have to be very quick.

The Game Boy version of the game contains the original game and a new version. The new version has vastly improved graphics but I found this version to be slightly easier than the old version and the graphical update does help a lot as it allows for different layouts to the levels which does make it feel like a different game.

Within the 15 minutes: Level two on old and level four on new.

Will I play it again? Yes in short bursts.


Mega Drive

Hellfire is a good old fashioned enjoyable shoot em up with great weapons and the ability to fire in all directions making it an enjoyable game.

If you have played the likes of R-Type and Gradius then you’ll instantly know pretty much everything there is to know about this game. You fly along horizontally in your ship shooting anything and everything that appears on screen including a mini-boss and an end of level boss and progress onto the next level to do it all over again.

What makes this an enjoyable game is the aforementioned ability to shoot in all directions by changing the colour of your ship. Hit a button your ship will turn blue and you’ll be firing in one direction, hit it again and it’ll turn green and you’ll be firing in another direction. It adds skill and tactics to the game as you have to keep changing weapons and directions to kill oncoming enemies and if you die it’s still your fault.

Within the 15 minutes: Level one boss.

Will I play it again? Yes as it’s quite enjoyable.

Hitman 2: Silent Assassin


I’ve never played the first Hitman (and thankfully never seen the film) so with this game I was new to the world of Agent 47.

With a title of Hitman I must admit that I expected the game to be a typical FPS of just running around killing people but how wrong was I. What you in fact get is a game that can be big on stealth or big on running and killing depending on how you want to play the game. I started off by being very stealthy to work my way around the mansion on the first level but eventually ended up killing everyone and I have to say that both ways were fun to play.

Part of the stealth, for the first level at least, was to knock a postman unconscious and dress up in his clothes to bypass security and enter the grounds. Even when dressed as the postman you have to be very careful not to act suspicious as you will easily be rumbled and killed. You cannot for instance run up the path to the gates, you have to walk at a normal pace to avoid suspicion and it can be hard not to run as the path is rather long. You then have to be careful to get to the front door and to enter the mansion which after that is where you decide whether you want to carry on being stealthy or just kill everyone.

Within the 15 minutes: Completed mission one.

Will I play it again? A definite yes.



During the short time that I played this I found the game to be rather frustrating and not enjoyable in the slightest which is a real shame as I love RPG’s and so therefore had high hopes and was severely disappointed.

The main problem with the game was the battle; it was long and frustrating and even had me a little annoyed by the end of the fifteen minutes. It seemed that the enemies got a lot more turns than I did which obviously resulted in a lot more hits which resulted in a few more soldiers dead whilst the enemy ended up with more soldiers resulting in even more turns. Also when it did get round to my turn the majority of my attacks missed for no apparent reason that I could see resulting in yet more frustration and death. I’m not under the impression that every attack should connect but when it seems to only be three out of every ten it does get rather annoying.

Sadly of what I played it didn’t really endear itself to me at all and with the catalogue of RPG’s that the DS currently has it doesn’t seem to be one to rush to play.

Within the 15 minutes: Still on the first battle.

Will I play it again? Maybe at some point in the future.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

G is for....

Galaxy Force II


Galaxy Force is your standard space ship rail shooter similar to Space Harrier but unfortunately just slightly not as good as it just lacks the charm of Space Harrier.

In all honesty I’m really struggling to say anything positive or negative about Galaxy Force. It’s just an average shooter that’s not brilliant but not particularly bad either. You have your ship flying along shooting enemies, get a power up every now and then and that’s about it. Your life gauge is a huge energy countdown in the middle of the screen and once that gets to the bottom you die. Some of the missions have sections where the energy goes back up a bit not always massively and you do really have to be quick on every level to have a chance of completing the game.

One thing though is the level select. There are five planets in the game which progressively get longer and more difficult but you can choose the levels in any order instead of going through them as shown on the select screen. Unfortunately due to the 15 minute time limit I didn’t get a chance to see what happens if you say start in the middle and work through and also to see if you progress onto the next world after one mission or whether each world has numerous missions to progress.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed two missions.

Will I play it again? Maybe.

Ghen War

Sega Saturn

Unlike Exhumed; you’ll find that Ghen War is a FPS set in outer space though it is slightly different by having the main character be inside an exoskeleton shaped like a power loader which does include quite a few nifty weapons.

From the outset I had about seven different weapons which included a standard weapon alongside missiles, rockets, land mines and even a decoy robot to distract the enemies. For the first mission at least ammo for all of the weapons seemed to spread quite a lot around the level meaning that I never ran out of any of the weapons, though a message at the beginning of the game informs you that later on the enemies will get harder to kill so ammo may start to actually be in short supply.

One small criticism is the map. It’s a blank canvas but as you walk around it gets filled in with lines of the exact route that you are walking. The problem is that the lines look like someone has given a five year old a crayon and told them to colour in the lines after you. It’s a bizarre look but eventually you do get used to it.

Within the 15 minutes: Was on mission 2.

Will I play it again? Will give it another shot at some point.

Ghost House

Master System

I’ll be honest and admit that I found Ghost House to be a bit of a tough game. I found to be alright but a bit on the hard side.

Working your way through the aforementioned Ghost House for most of the level you just use your trusty fist to defeat the bats and ghosts. You can collect weapons in the form of arrows and swords by jumping on them as they fly across the screen at you. Where they fly from I have no idea as no enemy that I saw actually had any weapons. Some enemies can be quite tough with one in particular needing about four punches to kill whilst shooting fire at you whilst others like the bats just one good clobber to kill.

The aim of level one was to find and destroy five Draculas which is a lot easier said than done. The level consists of your standard platforms, ladders and spikes but also has portals that just randomly drop you at other sections of the level. I decided to have a moment of going through the portals to see where I ended up and after going through about three of them I did actually manage to end up in the same place. Going back to how tough the enemies can be, once you find a Dracula they can be quite hard to kill as they change into bats which fly around and knock you about and when it does stop and transform into Dracula form it’s usually on a different platform to what you are on which obviously isn’t good.

Within the 15 minutes: Trying to complete level one.

Will I play it again? Might give it another shot.

Golden Axe: Warrior

Master System

I could probably sum this entire game up in just ten words. Those words being: Is almost exactly the same as the first Zelda game. Normally that would be a compliment but not in this case unfortunately.

As far as I can see this game rips off the first Zelda game so much that I wouldn’t be surprised if Nintendo had sued back in the day. I’m actually convinced that if you put the two games side by side most of the screens would be the same or very similar (obviously having slightly different main characters and slightly different enemies). Even the plot is pretty much exactly the same, replacing Tri-force pieces with crystals and dungeons with labyrinths.

Sadly for me what the developers didn’t seem to take from Zelda was the charm and although Zelda can in places seem to be a bit of a grind this felt like that from the start and wasn’t fun at all in the slightest. I think even without it being a Zelda clone I still wouldn’t have enjoyed it.

Within the 15 minutes: Wandering around looking for a dungeon.

Will I play it again? Never.

Gotcha Force


Imagine if someone merged the film Small Soldiers with Transformers and then sprinkled a dose of Pokemon on top. Imagine that and you’ll end up with Gotcha Force.

The basic premise is that Earth is being attacked by little robots called “Gotcha Borgs”. Luckily for us a young boy finds a good borg and with some friends (each with their own borgs) creates the Gotcha Force to stop the bad guys. It’s a simple enough premise which is shown in the form of a short Manga video at the beginning of the game.

The game play than consists of you and an ally taking on enemy borgs in fight after fight. In the 15minutes I completed at least ten fights as unfortunately at the beginning of the game at least they are pretty easy and don’t last long at all. There wasn’t really any skill involved either as it was just a case of shoot and hit as quick as possible. One thing about Gotcha Force is that after some fights an enemy borg can be selected for you team but these have to be bought using points collected during the fights. By the time I stopped playing I had a knight, ninja and gunner added to my team.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed 10+ fights.

Will I play it again? Yeah, easy but seems alright.

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

F is for....



My god this game was frustrating. I’ve played some hard games and in all honesty the harder the game is the more likely I will enjoy it but never have I played a game that can be hard but can also be very frustrating to the point of not wanting to play it again.

You start the game with seven small spells and one large spell which are your weapons to kill enemies with. One small problem is that the smallest enemies take two small spells to kill and trust me when I say that there are a lot of enemies throughout the level, a lot more than seven spells will kill. Nine spells if you include the fact that you can collect two books on the first section but even then that’s still not nearly enough.

On the second level you get to a point where you need to jump over a chest which depending on what you do has different consequences. If you clear it you carry on progressing through the level. If you don’t clear it properly you end up going back to the start of the level. If you fall into the water you end up having to attempt to clear a water level where for some reason, and correct me if I’m doing something wrong, you cannot actually swim. Despite pressing every single button on the pad I always ended up sinking to the floor, very frustrating.

Within the 15 minutes: Was on level/section 2.

Will I play it again? After much debate I don’t think so, it’s just too frustrating.

Final Fantasy: Chrystal Chronicles


I’ll be completely honest here and admit that in all of my years of playing games apart from about an hour on Final Fantasy III on the DS I have never ever played a Final Fantasy game. I own III, XIII and this one for the Cube, though strictly speaking this isn’t an actual Final Fantasy game but a spin-off series for Nintendo Consoles.

The first thing that strikes me is the fact that you cannot skip the opening credits that seem to last an age. I’m really not a fan of not being able to skip, especially if you want to play the game more than once. It’s than onto a tutorial which you can actually skip but as seen as I’ve never played a Final Fantasy game before I thought I would go through it. It was a useful and handy tutorial which was good.

Onto the game and of what I played it wasn’t that great. I know it was early doors but it seemed to be very similar to Evil Dead in that all I did was wander around killing enemies and collecting stuff though there was also a small puzzle to lower a bridge thrown in. Also even though you can walk all around the screen for some reason you are walking around with a huge circle underneath your feet which I have no idea. Hopefully there is a good reason.

Within the 15 minutes: Had just started wandering after completing the tutorial.

Will I play it again? Some point in the future but might go with III and XIII first.

Fire and Forget 2

Master System

What a rather apt title as I’d like to set fire to this game and then forget all about ever playing it and that’s not being harsh.

The major problem with what I played of this game was that both levels bar an extra enemy were exactly the same. Same back ground, same enemies, same hold finger on fire button and do nothing else, same boss sighted and then waiting another five minutes to actually get to it.

Honestly the second level is exactly the same as the first level except they added one new enemy to shake things up a bit. The premise of the game is that you control a car and shoot things in front of you while a counter counts down the distance until the boss. As mentioned previously though you get to zero and a message comes up saying that the boss has been sighted and you then spend more time waiting for it to appear before finally killing it. Very repetitive and not good at all.

Within the 15 minutes: End of level 2.

Will I play it again? Afraid not.



Fireblade is pretty much an updated version of Desert Strike which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if like me you like Desert Strike and its sequels.

Starting off with tutorial which is effectively half of the first mission you quickly learn how to use your three weapons which range from your standard auto cannon to very powerful missiles. The weapons like most games have varying numbers of bullets/missiles with the top weapon only having eight which obviously mean that you need to use them sparingly, though more ammo can be collected on quite a regular basis from destroyed enemies. You also learn that you can go into stealth mode which does change the colour of your helicopter and also changes your weapons to an EMP and a sniper weapon to take out human enemies.

The second half of the first mission was to destroy enemy tanks, trucks etc who are attacking your base and then to fly off and meet your commander. The second mission then gives you a different task of having to destroy three bridges to stop enemies advancing. It’s a nice change from the first mission and for the moment puts aside any feeling of the game being repetitive which unfortunately is the biggest worry.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed the first mission.

Will I play it again? Yes, hopefully it won’t get too repetitive.

F-Zero GX


I own the SNES, N64 and this version of F-Zero but for some reason have never got round to playing the Cube version.

The first thing that you notice is the difficulty which as far as I can remember has been ramped up a bit from the N64 version. I’m not going to complain because as mentioned previously I like a game to be as difficult as possible and some of these races were hard and I’ll admit that on one of them I did fly of the course a couple of times, especially when flying around at the speeds that I did.

There are thirty racers per track and on the first lap you can tend to find yourself at around the 25-30 mark but as soon as the boosters come into play on the second lap you find yourself shooting up the ranks but you have to be very careful on when and where to use the boosters as one tiny mistake can see you moving back down the ranks or worse shooting off the edge on some tracks. If you like hard racers then definitely give F-Zero GX a go.

Within the 15 minutes: Trying to complete the Ruby Cup.

Will I play it again? Yes, seems to be a fast and hard game.