Monday, 28 November 2016

Super Adventures in Amiga Disk Screens

I feel like Super Adventures has been getting a bit niche lately, so this week I've chosen a subject that likely appeals to basically everyone: Amiga game loading/insert disk screenshots! I've assembled a gallery of work from some of the best pixel artists of the 90s to present their interpretations of a 3½-inch blue square with a label and a metal shutter on.

This isn't the first time I've thought about writing this article. When I was doing research I found I'd written this on my Cannon Fodder 2 post back in 2013:
 "You know, sometimes I'm half-tempted to make a post just about 'insert disk' screens. A page full of basically nothing but pixelled floppy disks. That's when I'll know I've finally gone crazy."
So bad news, I've gone crazy. Good news, at least I'm getting this over with now. Plus it'll be nostalgic for people who've owned the system, and educational for those who didn't!

Amigas could support hard drives just fine, but most people didn't own them and the games generally weren't designed to be installed, so one of the big differences between PC and Amiga gaming in the early 90s was all the bloody disk swapping. Scroll through a dozen of these pictures slowly and you'll get an idea of what it's like to play an adventure game on the system. Keep scrolling back and forth through two or three of them over and over and that's what it's like playing a fighting game.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Rod-Land (Arcade)

Rodland title screen
Developer:Jaleco|Release Date:1990|Systems:Arcade, Amiga, Atari ST, CPC, C64, ZX Spectrum, NES, Game Boy, iOS

This week on Super Adventures I'm taking a quick look at arcade action game Rod·Land! I'm tempted now to look up if there's some CSS trick I can use to display the title in color-cycling rainbow text. Though I'm not even sure if I've written it right, as sometimes it's called Rod Land and other times it's Rodland.

Rod·Land is one of the games I used to play as a kid on my Amiga, so I'm not exactly going into this blind. Though I used to cheat the hell out of it back then by pressing the 'Help' key five times and getting infinite lives; one of the few times that 'Help' button was ever helpful.

This is my first time playing through the arcade version though and I can already tell it's not quite the same. For one thing this title screen fanfare sounds terrible; it's all synth brass and clock chimes. Amiga wins this round.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (PC)

Broken Sword title screen
Developer:Revolution|Release Date:1996|Systems:Windows, Mac, GBA, PSX

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars. Not to be confused with Shadow of the Beast, Shadow of the Colossus, Shadows of the Empire, Shadow of Memories/Destiny or the Christian Slater/John Travolta movie 'Broken Arrow'. Wow, I haven't seen that film in forever, I should give it a rewatch some time.

In America the game was originally given a different subtitle: Circle of Blood. I guess shadows and Templars just didn't seem as marketable back then in those pre DaVinci Code/Assassin's Creed days. In 2009 it got another subtitle: Director's Cut, as the game was remade with extra content for PCs, phones and the Nintendo systems of the time.

This is Revolution Software's third adventure game, after Lure of the Temptress and Beneath a Steel Sky, but I've also written about In Cold Blood as I'm getting to them all out of order. Plus it's the second graphic adventure I've played this year about the Knights Templar, as I took a look at Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade back in January. There, I think I've just broke the record for the amount of games I've mentioned in an intro! I'll say Monkey Island as well just to make sure, seeing as it's inevitably going to get brought up at some point anyway.

Alright, I'm going to give Broken Sword an hour or two and take lots of screenshots, while writing up what I've been doing and what I thought about it. Same deal as ever.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (PC)

Developer:Felistella|Release Date:2015|Systems:Windows, PS Vita

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing another RPG! But not the pretty 16-bit pixelled kind I'm afraid. I keep promising to play more retro games and yet somehow here I am playing the most modern JRPG on my site so far.

I've got no idea what I'm getting into here, as all I really know about HyperDimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 is that it's a enhanced port/remake of an older game and that it's got a shitload of sequels. Oh, I also know that the characters are the human avatars of game consoles who've all manifested as young women, because... anime.

Somehow I'm getting the feeling this one might be aimed more at blokes than ladies and there may be shameless fan service coming up, but like I said I don't really know. Though I'm feeling a bit guilty for leaving these three hovering in the air for so long, waiting for me to take that DVD off their hands, so I'll select 'NEW GAME' and see what happens.

(Click the screenshots to open them at their original resolution.)

Friday, 28 October 2016

Coded Arms (PSP) - Guest Post

Today on Super Adventures, guest poster mecha-neko's back with another first person shooter for another Friday. But this time there's a shocking twist: it's on the PSP!

Hey, get a load of this!

Coded Arms Title Screen PSP
Developer:Konami|Release Date:2005|Systems:PlayStation Portable

It's Coded Arms, the first Sony PlayStation Portable game on the site! It's a PSP exclusive and it's the very first first person shooter on the system or so I'm told.

I found it for just a buck, all boxed and nice, so I'm going to share it with you!

Saturday, 22 October 2016

In the Hunt (Arcade)

In the Hunt title screen
Developer:Irem|Release Date:1993|Systems:Arcade, PlayStation, Saturn, PC

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing an arcade game, because I feel like showing off some pixels and I figured this'd be a good place to find them. Plus I haven't played a single arcade game for the site all year and I'm running out of time to make up for that.

My first criticism is that it needs more space between the words in the title. It looks like it says "INTHEHUNT", and that's not what it's called!

In  the  Hunt came out in arcades first in 1993 and was ported to PlayStation, Saturn and Windows 95 a couple of years later. It almost made it to Super Nintendo as well, but it was getting a bit close to the system's end by that point, and Irem's game development department departed soon after. The team that made this were apparently already gone by then though, as they formed Nazca in '94. I've already played one game they made as Irem, scrolling beat 'em up Undercover Cops, but they're more famous for what they made afterwards... Metal Slug! Which I'm totally going to play one of these days, maybe.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Grand Theft Auto IV (PC)

Grand Theft Auto 4 title screen
Developer:Rockstar North|Release Date:2008|Systems:Windows, Xbox 360, PS3

This week on Super Adventures I'm having a quick go of acclaimed crime 'em up Grand Theft Auto IV. Though knowing what these games are like, I'll have to put 20 hours in before I really get how it works, maybe more! So I hope you appreciate the sacrifices I make for your entertainment.

Actually I've got a vague memory of playing this once before and not liking it much. I've beaten Vice City and San Andreas (and I came so damn close to finishing GTA 3) but I didn't get on with this one for whatever reason. Probably something to do with the combat; I've got another vague memory of arguing with someone about the shooting being the worst thing ever, while they tried to convince me that the driving physics were worse.

The game came out the same year as sandbox rival Saints Row 2 (which I really liked) and one difference between the games I've already noticed is that Volition know how numbers work. Rockstar on the other hand have given their sixth game the Roman numeral for 'four'. Well really it's the eleventh game on the Grand Theft Auto series, if you include the two GTA: London mission packs, the Stories games on PSP and Grand Theft Auto Advance, but I'm happy enough to consider them outside the main series.

Unlike its predecessors GTA IV has multiplayer, which I'm not going to even try. I'm not going to use iCEnhancer to prettify it either; this is pure, straight out of the box, vanilla single player GTA.

(Screenshots can be clicked to view them in their original resolution, but I'm warning you now it's not great.)

Semi-Random Game Box