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.

Friday, 27 August 2010

E is for....

Ecco: Defender of the Future


Prior to Defender of the Future there were three Ecco the Dolphin games released of which I own two off but like with this one I’ve never played any of them. I decided to go with the Dreamcast version as in all honesty I had just finished playing Evil Dead and already had the Dreamcast set up but I’m really pleased that I went with this version.

Even now the game looks and plays superbly. The controls are easy to use and of what I played the tranquillity was amazing and in all honesty I probably spent too much of the 15 minutes just swimming around taking things in. I imagine with the storyline (aliens attack earth and Dolphins and Humans unite to stop them!!) the tranquillity will disappear quite a bit but nether the less I imagine that this will still be a good game to play.

There is not really that much more I can say about this game as I didn’t really play the actual game enough to comment which is a shame but then I suppose that can also tell you a lot about the game that I was immersed in it so much.

Within the 15 minutes: Had rescued the baby whale.

Will I play it again? Yes at some point.

Eternal Champions


As far as I’m aware Street Fighter II was released before or around the time of Eternal Champions which if it was then there should be absolutely no excuse for how bad this game is.

Tactically the game can be quite decent or annoying depending on which way you look at it as the AI does a hell of a lot of blocking and you cannot just rush in and beat them to submission like a lot of other fighters but this also means that after a while you can start to feel quite frustrated as you just want to beat them and move on. This also means that fights can be quite easy as all you need to do is work out the opponent’s pattern and then stand and wait. When fighting Larcen he had a move where he flips over and kicks. A couple of kicks and I had figured out what to wait for and just smacked him each and every time after standing waiting.

The most annoying thing though was after you lose a match. There are three standard things that you expect from a fighting game when you lose a match (not including a quote) and they are the continue screen, the character selection screen and the fighter you lost to to be the opponent you are going to fight when you restart. Eternal Champions has none of those and when you lose you just go straight to your fighter with no option to continue or exit, no option to select a different character and the worst of all is that you actually get pushed back a couple of fights and have to redo some fights, ridiculous.

Within the 15 minutes: I think I had gotten to fight 7 but when I lost I got pushed back a few.

Will I play it again? No.

Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem


I’ve heard a lot about Eternal Darkness and how good it is and was tempted to leave it out of this list as one day in the future I will get round to playing it but as that may still be a while yet I thought I would give it a shot and I’m glad that I did.

Jumping straight into the action with a scene where you are stuck in a room holding a shotgun which comes in handy for the skeletons around you the game then slows down for a lot of exposition to set up the story. It’s a good move as it lets you calm down after the initial scene and gives you a chance to get your bearings. The story at first is set in the present but after another section with you searching a house you find a book which then flashes back a few thousand years for more story and then here you again take control of the action to set in events to connect it all together.

It’s an interesting move to be controlling characters in both the past and the present as it really gives you a sense of being involved in the whole story and not just having information given to you via books, papers, people etc. Hopefully the trend will continue and later in the game you get to control different characters from the past. One day in the future i’ll find out.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed Chapter one and was searching the mansion.

Will I play it again? A definite yes.

Evil Dead: Hail to the King


I really wanted to like this game due to the fact that it’s the Evil Dead but the 15 minutes that I played were unfortunately rather boring and not very good at all with clunky movements and very generic enemies.

I’ll start with the movement. The actual controls for controlling Ash were ok; it was the actual movement of Ash which was horrendous. Every time he moved it looked like he had a rod up his backside and when he ran it was just ridiculous, it looked like he had been electrocuted and was then running around on adrenaline. Next up is the enemies. I encountered two enemies which were a generic skeleton ghost and a generic skeleton. Both were annoying and not worth killing at all. I just ended up running past most of them to save time and pointless hacking.

Another thing was that in the time I played I didn’t actually do anything except for go around picking up things like fuel for the chainsaw and mushrooms. The plot of the game seems to be to collect pages of writing to stop the deadites but after collecting a page in the cabin I then spent the remainder of the time aimlessly wandering around outside picking stuff up.

Within the 15 minutes: Just wandering around collecting stuff.

Will I play it again? I want to say yes because it’s Evil Dead but not likely at the moment.


Sega Saturn

A FPS set in Egypt instead of your standard spaceship, futuristic city or whatever is the norm these days. Slightly different setting but by the looks of it still a standard ole FPS with corridors and enemies spewing out at you.

Talking of the enemies, 15 minutes I played and all I came across was scorpions and birds which is just as bad if not worse than the enemies in Evil Dead. The guns I picked up (including a machine gun) were far superior than the enemies were and took them out far too easily. Saying that though, the basic weapon of the knife was awful and seemed to miss every enemy that I swung it at.

From what I played there wasn’t really much to praise or criticise as I just mainly spent the time wandering around corridors searching for symbols so that I could go back and open doors to progress on to more corridors where hopefully there would actually be some ammo for the weapons which seems to be very limited.

Within the 15 minutes: Had not got very far in all honesty as was searching for symbols.

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

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

D is for....

Dancing Stage Mario Mix


I’ll be completely honest and admit that I enjoyed this probably more than I should have. It wasn’t difficult or very strenuous but was a good laugh and I can imagine that in two player mode would actually be quite funny.

The game consists of using the dance mat to dance to themes from Nintendo games such as Super Mario World, Mario Kart 64, and Mario Party 5 amongst many others. Unlike Donkey Konga there are no proper pop/rock songs to dance along to which is a bit of a shame. There are also mini games between the songs where you use the mat to hit Goombas as evidenced in the mini game 'Whack a Goomba'. I managed to play two of the mini games within the 15 minute time limit.

The storyline is your standard Mario storyline, this time about Waluigi releasing the four music keys which is your excuse to dance along to the challenges. It’s nice to see Waluigi finally get some recognition as a bad guy, just a shame it had to be in a dance game and not a proper Mario game.

Within the 15 minutes: Start of world two.

Will I play it again? Yes, was quite an enjoyable game.

Dick Tracy

Master System

I think that the best I can say about this game is that it’s marginally better than the film from many years ago. Only marginally better as this game is still quite bad.

The most annoying thing about this game is the use of space. Despite there being bad guys placed all around the level you can only walk left and right along a strip of pavement at the bottom of the screen. You can shoot the enemies at the top of the screen by pointing upwards and using a machine gun style weapon but the option to be able to do that or walk up to kill them would have been nice.

Another annoying thing is that the levels pretty much are exactly the same in the fact that i’m pretty convinced that level 2.3 was almost exactly the same as level 1.1. The only time anything really changed was where on one of the levels Mr Tracy was holding onto the side of a car instead of walking. Apart from that the time that I spent playing the game was boring and repetitive, not good.

Within the 15 minutes: Level 2.3

Will I play it again? Possibly not.

Die Hard Vendetta


I’ll admit that in all honesty I was expecting this game to be a bit cack. It’s a game that you keep seeing over and over for a couple of quid never selling. Well over and over I did keep seeing it until eventually I picked it up from a charity shop for £2 and finally I for this list I decided to give it a shot.

What I found was that it’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be. At time of release it was tied into the first three films with one of the characters being Piet Gruber (the son of Hans Gruber from the first film) with the fourth film apparently contradicting things in the game, what these are I don’t know as I’ve not seen the fourth film.

Of what I played the game seems to be your standard FPS with certain requirements to meet to complete the mission which include rescuing hostages, following a blood trail to find a shot bad guy amongst others. The only problem that found with the game so far was that the controls to line up to shoot were very flaky and sensitive which really was a right pain but luckily you can the aim set to auto which was definitely a lot better.

Within the 15 minutes: Working through the second mission.

Will I play it again? Like Donkey Konga I will at some point.

Disney’s Talespin


You may remember Tale Spin as a cartoon from the very early 90’s which featured Baloo from The Jungle Book as a pilot of an air cargo freight business. Well this is the game that was made based on the cartoon.

In the game you control Baloo or his navigator Kit and have to collect a minimum of ten cargo boxes before being able to complete the level and take on an end of level boss and that’s about it. The levels are designed quite well and whilst minimal do offer some puzzles and quite a bit of exploration. In 15 minutes I had only managed to get to the second level boss as I spent quite a bit of time searching for cargo crates on the second level.

You get a decent size energy bar but the enemies can be quite tough and there can be a fair number of enemies on the screen at any one time which can make running past seem quite a good idea. The bosses especially can be quite tough to beat and I was using a few lives on the second level boss when the 15 minute time limit ran out.

Within the 15 minutes: Trying to kill the second level boss.

Will I play it again? Yes as has a little more than the standard platformer from what I saw.

Donkey Konga


Unlike Dancing Stage Mario Mix this game does have proper pop songs which are instantly recognisable along with theme tunes from the likes of Mario and Zelda.

The songs that I played on the Pal version were Don’t Stop Me Now by Queen, Wild Thing by The Troggs, The Impression That I Get by The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, 99 Red Balloons by Nena and the Mario theme. All in my opinion good and fun songs which is the way it should be on a game like this which I did find to be fun.

When playing I went for Street Performance where you could play any song of your choosing and as you worked through the song you earned coins to be spent in the shop. To complete a song you have four colours to hit to, red, yellow, purple and blue. Red and yellow were left bongo and right bongo, purple was both at the same time and blue was to clap into the middle of the bongo which added another dimension. The game was good fun and worth picking up on the cheap.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed two songs and had played three others.

Will I play it again? Yes at some point.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

C is for....

Cel Damage


Imagine if someone decided to take the battle mode from Mario Kart, change the characters, stages and weapons into a goth/emo style and cel-shade the graphics and you would end up with this game entitled Cel Damage.

Going for the character of Violet (though Dominique Trix was tempting) I started playing the game of 500 slaps where the first person to get to 500 points wins. As the game was loading I sat thinking that I really couldn’t be bothered to sit trying to slap opponents 500 times but for the sake of the challenge I would. Turns out I was wrong and you only have to get to 500 points with each weapon offering higher points scored. The only problem with that though was that after you have collected a weapon it respawns in the same place and after you’ve figured out which weapon offers the highest score all you have to do is just keep going back and collecting the same weapon.

Due to this the game that I played wasn’t really that challenging as once I figured out what the best weapon was I just kept using it and started to rack up the points, disappointing to say the least. Plus by the looks of it there are only actually three battle games to play, not good.

Within the 15 minutes: Got pipped to first place during the 500 slaps game and was in first on the second try when the time ran out.

Will I play it again? At this present moment in time it’s not likely, actually bordering on selling.

Champions of Europe

Master System

My god this game is bad, I don’t think that words can really describe how bad it was. I’ve played some terrible games in my time and this was certainly one of them.

I honestly cannot recommend anything about this game. The menu was awful with just symbols that didn’t explain anything about what they were. The pitch was way too green and after a while started to hurt my eyes. Apparently there are supposed to be eleven players on the pitch but in all honesty I doubt that.

The worse bit was that the ball pretty much cannot be controlled. I made a break down the pitch and after two touches the ball just rolled away and the player just ran past it whilst the others watched. Also a massive problem is that players went down under a foul despite not even being touched. The opposition were awarded a foul despite me not actually pressing anything. Terrible terrible game.

Within the 15 minutes: Played and won a match and then took an aspirin.

Will I play it again? Never, I’d sell it but I doubt very much that anyone would want it.

Command and Conquer

Sega Saturn

I’ll be completely honest and admit that I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this game at all as i’m just not really a fan of strategy games. The only reason that I own the game is because it was in the game bundle when I bought the Saturn. Imagine my surprise then when it turned out that I did actually enjoy playing it in the short time that I did.

Being thrown straight into the action was a good move as it meant I had to figure out the controls and what was going on as quick as possible and what was going on was I was under attack from enemy forces. Within minutes I was away taking out enemy forces with gunners and boats and moving my way up the level and managed to clear the first mission with only losing a couple of men.

Mission two suddenly seemed to get a lot tougher with a lot more enemies swarming in from all directions and I quickly had to change my tactics and lost a lot more men. Luckily I had built up a few points from the first mission to create new squads. All in all the 15 minutes that I played was very enjoyable.

Within the 15 minutes: Trying to conquer mission two.

Will I play it again? Yes actually, which i’m surprised about.

Friday, 20 August 2010

B is for....


Game Boy

Another game based on a film and this time it’s loosely based on the 1989 film by Tim Burton which I presume that surely most people have seen by now so will know the plot.

Batman with his vast array of weapons has to make it through the standard platform levels of the time fighting of various bad guys, unless they decide to just run into a pit which one did and generally get to the end of the game.

The weapons are good and the levels are a good length but the only real negative was that the extra lives could be in some bizarre places which I imagine with much thinking could actually be collected but on just a 15 min run through I didn’t have the time.

Within the 15 minutes: Got up to level 2.2.

Will I play it again? Yes, it’s a pretty decent platform game which I’d like to play through.

Billy Hatcher and the Giant Egg


Billy Hatcher is a cutesy type of game which would probably appeal more to children than it would to adults but don’t let that put you off. From the 15 minutes that I played it also seemed to be a bit of a bizarre game.

Playing as Billy Hatcher you are a human who gets pulled into Morning Land by Chickens who inform you that the Crows have taken over. You then go on to find the Chicken suit which gives you your powers. Well, when I say powers it doesn’t give you powers in the superhero sense as in the time I played you pretty much cannot do anything with it except for control eggs with which you can run over enemies, throw at enemies, bounce up and down with and finally get them to crack to reveal lives, moves etc.

One really annoying point I found was that you will get to a bit, say where you need to bounce up to a ledge, and you have to figure out how to do it. You then get to another similar ledge a bit later in the game and a tutorial will pop up telling you how to do it! If I’ve already done the move why do I then need to know how to do it, but daft.

Within the 15 minutes: Had rescued the Chicken Elder and completed the first mission.

Will I play it again? Err yes. I think I will give it another shot in all honesty.

Bomberman Generation


I absolutely love Super Bomberman on the SNES, it has a great multiplayer mode and the single player is fun and simple. This game however is nothing like Super Bomberman or any other version of Bomberman that I’ve ever played.

The multiplayer mode is still available but the single player mode is a different kettle of fish. The older style single mode has been done away with a game pretty much like any other 3D game that has been released over the years except this for me in the short time I played felt like one where the developers could not be bothered to put any effort in.

The story is annoying and cannot be skipped; your ‘guide’ throughout the game just pops up at inconvenient times and in all honesty of what I played there wasn’t that much to do. I just wandered around the level blowing up things that looked like giant vases collecting level-ups and then having to cross over logs to get over bridges. Very disappointing.

Within the 15 minutes: Had gotten to a boss on Octopi Woods.

Will I play it again? I will eventually but am certainly in no rush.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Master System

Based on the film with what is possibly one of the worst performances ever committed to celluloid, if you’ve seen it you know what I mean, this game isn’t actually that bad.

On first glance this just looks like a Castlevania clone and in all honesty it is but the further you get in you realise that it is actually quite a decent game. Playing as Jonathan Harker (Keanu Reeves character in the film) you pretty much just walk along destroying members of the undead with different weapons like an axe, flames etc etc.

Like I say, this is very similar to Castlevania and of what I’ve played so far seems to be a good game in its own right. It’s fun, quite challenging and has some quite tough bosses.

Within the 15 minutes: Reached the fourth level.

Will I play it again? Yes, actually found it to be quite a good game.

Bubsy II


I’m going to be completely honest here of what I played I didn’t really enjoy this game at all. I found it to be frustrating and barely fun and nowhere near a patch on other platform games that I’ve played over the years.

I cannot really put my finger on why but there was something about it that made it for me to be very mediocre. It’s not that you can just run through the levels as you can do that on Sonic, it’s not that you can work through and use different costumes, items as you can do that on Mario but somewhere along the line something just didn’t click.

It’s really disappointing as I was actually quite looking forward to playing this and was quite pleased when I managed to pick it up. Maybe I should give it another chance but I don’t know.

Within the 15 minutes: Completed two levels and was working through a third.

Will I play it again? Possibly not, even tempted to get rid.

A is for....

Action Fighter

Master System

This game certainly took me by surprise. I was just expecting an imitation of Spy Hunter when what I seemed to get was a cross between Spy Hunter and Swiv.

The plot for the first level consists of a screen showing that the President wants for you to destroy three submarines. With that knowledge we head straight into the game were the first vehicle in use is a motorbike with the power to shoot other bikes and cars.

As the level progresses letters of the alphabet appear on screen to be collected. It’s these letters that upgrade your vehicle to a car. Once A-F has been collected bits of car come flying across the screen and your weapon is also upgraded. Collect G-H and you now have the ability to fly where the game turns into a Shmup, well the first level at least.

Within the 15 minutes: I managed to get to the boss of the first level.

Will I play it again? Yes, an interesting little title that will definitely get a second chance.

Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle


My only time spent playing an Alex Kidd game was Miracle World which was built into the Master System II. I have very fond memories of that game but for some reason this one just didn’t seem to grab me within the 15 minutes.

Maybe it’s because apart from having to fight a Mummy and a car within the same game there was nothing in the game that was wholly original. Levels were pretty standard fare and were just jump and punch, though the water level was good as normally I hate water levels.

On the back of the box there is a screenshot of Alex Kidd riding a motorbike which does make me want to continue through the game at some point but I don’t feel inclined to at this present moment in time.

Within the 15 minutes: Got all the way to the seventh level.

Will I play it again? I will but am in no rush unfortunately.

Alien Vs Predator: The Last of His Clan

Game Boy

Film franchise alert....... Luckily this game was released many years before the abysmal films were and as such have no tie-in into them. Saying that just like the films, of what I played of this I wasn’t impressed at all.

The game starts off impressively enough with you controlling the Predator to fight those nasty Aliens. The Aliens are well spread out and are a mixture of the full grown Aliens, the chest burster Aliens and the Face Huggers. The Predator also has a nice array of arsenal which can be selected and swapped at any point of the game.

The main problem that I found was that I kept dying for what I could see was no reason at all. The energy for the Predator counts down like a timer but can be topped up with capsules collected around the level, every time I died I had energy and so therefore could not for the life of me figure out why I kept dying. Maybe someone could please shed some light on this.

Within the 15 minutes: Was still wandering around the first level wondering why I kept dying whilst still having energy.

Will I play it again? When I’ve ran out of other games to play.

Army Men

Game Boy Colour

This is possibly the most frustrating 15 minutes that I have ever played in my life. Ok, maybe the game isn’t that frustrating but the controls certainly are. It could just be me but I found using the D-Pad incredibly horrendous to use to move the little Army man. It’s not simply a case of walking up, down, left, right but having to move the sight line of the weapon to be able to move the figure.

At one point in the game I was trying to walk between a fence and a building in a straight line, could not do it due to the controls and ended up somehow getting stuck! Another minus is that the game informed me that I was low on health and needed a health pack. Off I went and managed to find one, walked over it and was told that I couldn’t pick it up due to my health being full when it was clearly not. Whilst arguing with the GBC I got shot.

All in all I can never see me ever playing this again and unfortunately I also have the sequel. Both getting sold I think.

Within the 15 minutes: Somehow managed to get to the third mission.

Will I play it again? Never, do not have the time and patience for the control scheme.



In the short time I played this game it reminded me of so many other platformers of the time it was unbelievable. Within the first couple of levels elements of three games popped into my head, Mario, Sonic and Super Star Wars.

Anyone playing the game will spot the Mario and Sonic elements straight away but the Super Star Wars elements are pretty much a direct copy of the game. At certain points Asterix has to jump onto clouds which are pretty much aligned the same as SSW whilst at other points has to make death defying leaps over the screen to places that cannot be seen. Anyone who has played SSW will know these points exactly.

Whilst there does not seem to be anything original at all, except maybe a bit where you can get a dog to run on and attack the enemy, the game does seem to hold some charm to it which does make me want to play it again.

Within the 15 minutes: Had reached Act 2.1 which is effectively level 6.

Will I play it again? Yes I will. Whilst not at the moment looking to be a great game there is something that makes me want to play it.