Friday, 21 January 2011

V is for.....



Vexx is a 3D platform game that like Billy Hatcher and the giant Egg looks like it would appeal more to children then to adults but don’t let that put you off.

Off what I played it seemed to be a simple enough and fun game and a little on the easy side. The basic premise is that you have to explore the level looking for 100 orbs that once found combine to create a Wraith heart. The one level that I played was actually rather large with lots of area to explore including climbing up walls to find hidden secrets, swimming, rotating platforms, trying to lower bridges and the such.

One annoying thing about the game is that when you start you are forced to work through a tutorial, which is annoying enough, but once you’ve worked through the tutorial and started the game there are markers around the level that tell you the exact same things that you have just been forced to work through, one or the other please. It’s annoying but not enough to put you off playing.

Within the 15 minutes: Level one.

Will I play it again? Yes I will.

Viewtiful Joe 2


The sequel to the one of the toughest games known to mankind Viewtiful Joe 2 is just as good as the first game if not a little easier.

The game play is very similar to the first in respect to walking along fighting enemies, collecting coins to purchase upgrades and extra lives and energy between levels and overcoming puzzles and obstacles but one major change is the ability to swap characters at any point of the level. By pressing the Z button you can swap from Joe to Silvia allowing you to use different skill sets to progress past the puzzles. It’s a nice addition and simple to implement at any time. Another change (and this could just be me) but the game felt a little easier than the first one. Unfortunately I cannot seem to put my finger on it but overall it didn’t feel as tough as the first game.

Overall if you liked the first game then you will like the sequel, if you didn’t like the first one then it’s pretty much guaranteed that you won’t like the sequel which is a real shame as it is definitely worth a play.

Within the 15 minutes: Level one, stage 2.

Will I play it again? Yes.

Viewtiful Joe: Red Hot Rumble


Another Viewtiful Joe game but this time not a side-scrolling beat-em-up, instead this time you get more of a fighting game involving the same characters.

To be honest it’s a bit of a weird one this game. It contains two modes which are story and battle mode but only the battle mode is really a proper fighting game, the story mode is more of a mission mode where you do have an opponent that you can hit but you won’t get too many hits in as you will be concentrating on completing the missions which includes stuff like smashing more barrels then your opponent or collecting more diamonds or even smashing plant pots while climbing platforms at the side of a building. As long as you have more points than your opponent you will win the round.

Battle mode on the other hand does still have slight missions but this time it will be last man standing out of the four players or run behind a door before a bomb explodes. It’s interesting that the game does have two different modes but it’s almost like it doesn’t really know what kind of game it wants to be which is a shame.

Within the 15 minutes: Had done the practice mode and a few missions of the story mode.

Will I play it again? I will eventually.

Virtua Cop


Virtua Cop is a light gun game where you follow the course shooting all of the criminals who pop up in front of you.

If only the real police force was like that, wiping out the criminals of the world, but anyway. It’s a good game with decent accuracy from the light gun and nice graphics and quite long levels. The enemy attacks and weapons are quite varied and a couple of bits of scenery can be shot to explode to kill enemies, though somehow innocent people can just run straight past despite being able to be shot by yourself.

I did enjoy playing the game and as light gun games go this is a really good one for the above mentioned reasons and I’ll be heading back to it in the future to shoot more criminal scum.

Within the 15 minutes: Stage 2

Will I play it again? Will give it another go.

Virtua Fighter 2


Like Tomb Raider up until this point I had never played a Virtua Fighter game, but unlike Tomb Raider I got into this one straight away.

Surprisingly for a fifteen year old Saturn game I found this to feel very smooth when playing and rather enjoyed playing it. There’s not really that much I can say about the game in all honesty. It’s a 3D fighting game where you win two matches and move onto the next round. For my go I chose Akira who seemed decent enough, I just wish that I could figure out the special moves and the seemingly lack of a moves list didn’t help at all unless I just wasn’t seeing it.

All in all I did enjoy it so I will be keeping it and at some point I’ll venture back to it and give it another shot and will hopefully be able to figure out some moves.

Within the 15 minutes: Round five.

Will I play it again? At some point.

U is for....



Yet another simple but difficult game Unirally's premise is so basic yet the game play can be rather difficult and tricky once you get into it.

As I mentioned the premise is very simple, you control a Unicycle and you have to race against other Unicycles the difficulty being that you have to perform stunts and tricks to be able to win the race as just simply riding along will not win the race by a long mile. You also have to know when to perform the tricks as just one simple tiny mistake will make you fall very far behind and drastically reduce your chances of winning. Later levels also start adding obstacles like purple slime that will slow you down or cut your stunts short again making you fall far behind.

Another mode that you come across is the stunt mode where you have a set time limit and have to gain a certain amount of points by performing tricks in a very tight space. The one I played gave you 90 seconds to obtain 137 points which is not an easy task. If you manage to find a copy of Unirally I would recommend giving it a shot.

Within the 15 minutes: Had won three races.

Will I play it again? Yes I will.

Urban Strike


Urban Strike is the third in the Strike series and whilst it doesn’t really seem that much has changed it is still a good enough game.

If you have ever played any of the Strike games then you will know exactly what to expect from the game if for some reason you have never played a game in the Strike series then I will give an explanation. You control a helicopter in a 2D view and must fly around completing missions that may involve destroying enemy ships, bridges, killing enemy soldiers or rescuing people who may hold vital information. Your helicopter has three types of weapons including missiles and a machine gun type weapon, that is the only weapon that doesn’t run out at any point.

Along with your weapons running out your armour and fuel can also run out meaning that death will occur afterwards. Obviously losing all armour will kill you but if you run out of fuel your helicopter will drop from the sky killing you. Luckily there are enough weapon crates, armour and fuel drums around the level to keep you in business. If you have played the Strike games before and like me not this one you will enjoy it, if you have never played one before you will still enjoy it.

Within the 15 minutes: Still on the first level.

Will I play it again? Definitely.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

T is for....

Teddy Boy

Master System

Teddy Boy is another one of those games that seems simple on the outside but once you get into the later levels it gets a bit tougher on the inside.

It’s a simple enough premise with you controlling the aforementioned Teddy Boy while you go around a repeating maze shooting enemies to make them smaller and then collecting them all up to move onto the next maze. Each level has dice which the enemies come out of with each dice having the number of enemies on inside. To give the developers credit they do stick in a wide range of enemies which include snails/slugs, green blobs, a dragon type thing and human like figures. As mentioned the maze is repeating which in the beginning can be a little disorientating when a section you just ran through suddenly appears on the other side again but eventually you get used to it.

It’s a fun little game which isn’t too demanding and the mazes are very varied with dissolving floors and walls that need to be shot to progress and different enemies on each level that move in different ways meaning that it shouldn’t get repetitive too quickly.

Within the 15 minutes: Round six

Will I play it again? I am really tempted.

Tom and Jerry: The Movie

Master System

As far as I can recollect I’ve never seen the Tom and Jerry Movie but I can imagine that it wasn’t based on Prince of Persia like this game seemed to be.

Honestly, if you have never played this game it really is like the original Prince of Persia. You control Tom, naturally, who has to chase Jerry through the ridiculously long levels whilst avoiding the likes of spikes in the ground (in a kitchen!), flames, leaking water and collapsing platforms (again in a kitchen!). Tom jumps like the Prince, climbs platforms like the Prince and falls to his death, again like the Prince. The second stage takes you out into the garden which involves a little bit of swimming but still the same amount of platform climbing and jumping.

The game also has the most annoying and repetitive music that I have possibly ever heard in any game I have ever played, I had to turn it down after a while. Despite what may be perceived as a negative write-up I am actually in two minds whether to play it again. As mentioned previously the levels are ridiculously long and it is just a Prince of Persia clone but something about it makes me want to go back and try it again.

Within the 15 minutes: Stage two

Will I play it again? I really don’t know at this point in time.

Tomb Raider


I have a confession to make, until this point I had never played a Tomb Raider game and in all honesty this one didn’t do much to endear me to the series.

In all honesty I’m half and half about this game. I wanted to like it and I felt it had the potential to draw me in but unfortunately all the little niggles really started to grate on me after a while. The inability to run or even walk quickly was driving me mad as Lara felt so slow to move and talking of moving the controls to turn and move whilst walking were just terrible and trying to jump forward whilst walking was a bit of a joke. Also it just felt like the game had no atmosphere. I don’t know whether it was due to the lack of music or seeing people/animals but whilst wandering around the cave the game just felt so quiet and soulless.

Like I said earlier I did want to like the game but like Panzer Dragoon it just didn’t grab me. I also own a Tomb Raider game on the Dreamcast so might give that a shot first to see if I like it any better than this version.

Within the 15 minutes: Wandering around a cave.

Will I play it again? 50/50 at the moment.


Master System

Transbot, robots in disguise...... But I suppose if you are going to homage/rip-off something there could be worse things in life.

Let’s get it out of the way before continuing, the game is called Transbot, there is a giant robot on the front of the box and you play as a ship that turns into a robot for short periods of the game. Yet despite that the game isn’t actually that bad. It’s a basic shoot-em-up with you controlling a ship shooting enemies and trying to kill the end of level boss. There are slight differences to the average shoot-em-up which include an energy bar meaning that just one shot doesn’t kill you, it now takes about three to four shots to die and when collecting a power up a row of letters light up and you have to press the button to stop on a letter to receive the power-up with A being your normal weapon and E-G being a robot form.

Despite the blatant comparison to Transformers it is still a decent enough shoot-em-up and if you are a fan it’s definitely worth at least a go, purely for the fact that you half a chance of surviving a level or two.

Within the 15 minutes: Level one boss.

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

Tunnel B1


The only reason I got this game was because someone was giving it away on the Retro Gamer forum due to it being too hard, really couldn’t resist a challenge like that.

Off what I played the game play was fairly simple with you controlling a hovercraft in a first person shooter view meaning that you don’t see the hovercraft, in fact you don’t actually see anything except for the explosions of the bullets that you are firing from your machine guns. The view is quite low and almost looks at the level of a snake which can take some getting used to at first. The premise of the game is that each level is a series of tunnels filled with sentry guns and vehicles that have to be destroyed or avoided whilst hitting switches to open doors to continue on through the tunnels.

At the beginning of each level you are given a list of missions to complete but as far as I could see you didn’t have to complete the missions 100% to progress onto the next level. As for the difficulty, well yes it was a bit on the difficult side so if you like a challenge then this is a game to pick up in the future.

Within the 15 minutes: Level 2

Will I play it again? I will again at some point.

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

S is for....

Shadow the Hedgehog


Sonic’s rival Shadow stars in his own game but can the game rival that of Sonic’s or does it lag behind in second place?

Well it depends on how you look at it really; the basic game play of running/working through a level is no different to the Sonic Adventure games but the stuff that has been added/changed is where the real differences are. First of is the use of guns and swords for Shadow to use which predates the gimmicky usage in the Wii Sonic games, also Shadow can jump into cars and drive around which to me is a bit pointless as they are slower than Shadow though you can run over enemies whilst driving around. The main change is the way that you can complete each level with the objective of your choosing depending on whether you want to be a hero, villain or neutral. If you want to be a hero you need to defeat all of the enemies, if you want to be a villain you need to defeat the good guys and if you want to remain neutral you need to collect the Chaos Emerald or just simply finish the level by reaching the goal.

Depending on which side you fight for depends on which one of two gauges will be filled to allow Shadow to use a Chaos power causing Shadow to either move a lot faster or to cause a huge explosion destroying all nearby enemies. Also depending on what mission you choose for each level the plot, cut-scenes and ending will be different giving the game a lot of replay value. The game isn’t without it’s niggles but not enough to put off playing the game, more just little annoyances.

Within the 15 minutes: Level 2

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

Smuggler’s Run: Warzones


Smuggler’s Run is as the title says a game where you must smuggle illegal contraband to various destinations which all seem to be on the same map.

The game is simple enough with you driving a car to pick up and drop off the cargo going pretty much from A to B, it’s all of the different obstacles that appear that make each mission different to the last. You start off doing a few training missions which involve following a car without losing sight of it or driving through checkpoints before the timer runs out. You then progress onto the main game where each level has you picking up and dropping off cargo with the police chasing you or rival smugglers trying to take it from you or having to collect cargo that has been dropped by a helicopter or even collecting it from an aeroplane before if flies off and lands elsewhere.

The game is simple enough and slightly varied on each mission but the worry is that the game could get very repetitive rather quickly. I definitely think that this is a game to be played in short bursts instead of playing solidly.

Within the 15 minutes: Had completed seven missions.

Will I play it again? Will finish it off.

Sonic the Hedgehog: Spinball


Not very good cash-in or a good game to capitalise on the success of Sonic? Only one way to find out, let’s play (S)pinball.

Like a few of the games that I’ve played there isn’t really that much that I can say about the game as everything you need to know is in the title. You control the flippers on a pinball machine where Sonic is the ball and just like the platform games you rescue imprisoned animals and have to collect the Chaos Emeralds on each level. The storyline is pretty much the same as the platform games with Dr. Robotnik involved in some sort of scheme that Sonic must stop.

The game is actually rather fun with all of the obstacles on the table and different sections which can be accessed through pipes and having to destroy enemies to rescue the animals and all in all to answer the original question I would put it under the good game category.

Within the 15 minutes: Was still playing around on the first level.

Will I play it again? Yes, will try and complete it.

Speedball 2


Set in the future Speedball 2 is a violent sport crossed between Handball and Ice Hockey with points being scored for getting goals and for injuring the opposing team.

Controlling a team of nine players the objective is to get the ball into the back of the net, rack up the points and win the match. Each goal you score gives you 10 points but on the walls are multipliers to increase the point total to 15 and 20. You can also get extra points by hitting the ball against the centre circle and against stars on the walls. Finally you can also get points for seriously injuring a player on the opposition team if so inclined, obviously I tried.

Before each match you get the option to level up your team using money earned during the match which allows you to upgrade your kit including armour, shoulder pads etc. There are five different modes to be played including league and cup. I went for knockout and managed two wins in for matches which I was pleased with. It is a good game and I would recommend picking it up.

Within the 15 minutes: Had played four matches.

Will I play it again? Yes.

Sword of Vermillion


Sword of Vermillion is a good old fashioned RPG where the hero has to hunt down various objects whilst killing monsters before finding the sword of the title.

So with the basic plot out of the way I can now concentrate on the game play. The first thing you notice is that whilst the character is in villages everything and I mean everything is done via a command box. Stuff like equipping weaponry and selecting magic via a command box is fair enough to even if you just want to talk to someone you have to select the command instead of just simply pressing a button. Another thing that you will notice is that once you leave the village the overhead view becomes a first person perspective (which with the graphics reminded me of the TV programme Knightmare) whilst you are walking around and when you are fighting enemies the view becomes a tilted overhead view. Why the developers felt the need to do this have no idea but you get used to it pretty quickly.

Off what I played it seemed quite an enjoyable RPG, even with all of the views, and I would be quite happy to one day return to the game to give it the attention that it deserves.

Within the 15 minutes: Had left the village and entered the forest.

Will I play it again? I will at some point.