Game Hunting: Disney’s Magic Complete in Box Mansions

retro games hunt

 

Magical Tetris Challenge:

I’ve been hearing that this is one of the best Tetris games, one that mixes everything up with some special moves that spoils your friend’s gaming experience if performed perfectly. You can control Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Minnie (yes, I’m on a first-name basis with them thank you very much) and meet a few baddies from the franchise, amongst others Pete in a ridiculous suit and top hat. There’s very little 3D elements in this game and you’re going to be graced by the presence of a lot of fluid and gorgeous 2D animation. Got this one from Game complete in box for, what I’d later find out, was a very favorable price. And add to that the fact that it’s a game not found very commonly “in the wild”, and you’ve got yourself a happy MartianOddity.

 

Maniac Mansion:

LucarsArts used to make a lot of fun point and click adventures with a ton of humor and problem solving based on puns, and this is the port of one of the first ones. The NES port is actually not that bad graphics wise, and this particular copy is in Swedish! It plays really well and while it’s tedious at best to use the NES controller for these kinds of games, I figured out that I could use the NES Advantage joystick to emulate that feel, and man did I feel creative and smart.

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While I’m already at it, I implore you to play other LucasArts games in the same vein, like Day of the Tentacle, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, the Monkey Island series etc.

 

Image from:  http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?catid=7&threadid=76256

Review: Super Scribblenauts

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#??:  Super Scribblenauts

This is the sequel to Scribblenauts, a game that promised to bring something revolutionary to the Nintendo DS system, and that was a game where you could “scribble” any word in you wanted in Maxwell’s notepad, and voilá! You’d see it on the screen. Whilst most common words are available, some producing specific creatures/items, and some produce the same character (such as God or Zeus, who produce the same lighting-bolt tossing diety) but far from all words were included. Whilst that’s a logical result whilst producing such a game for the first time, the imaginative gamer in me got a bit frustrated when they wouldn’t produce some of the creatures or items I desired. This has gotten improved though in this game, so let’s get on with the review.

Graphics: 7/10 It really feels some kind of  Macromedia Flash-based game, though I’d think implementing such a game into the DS would result in failure (I’m saying this not having any kind of expertise whatsoever in that area, so take it with a grain of salt). It does look good though, with paper-cut out monsters (or is it wooden cutouts?) held together with buttons (or is it nails?) in their joints. Charming, and while not the best in graphics that the DS has to offer, it looks great for what it’s supposed to be. When compared to the first game it looks the same though, as most sprites have been recycled, probably to save time and to add more time working on adding new items, monsters and words into the game.

scribble3  The game isn’t glitch-free, though it’ll take a lot of tweaking to make one occur!

Sounds & Music: 7/10 The same few songs keep on looping in all the stages, some kind of Yoshi’s Island- esque cutesy theme which gets old quite fast. The sound effects are good though, but don’t expect much variety here either, after all, this isn’t where this title’s forte lies. Read further to find out where it lies… LIES!! It’s ALL LIES! Just kidding. Just spazzin’ out a little is all.

Gameplay:  10/10 They’ve improved quite a lot in this department, while the visuals, sounds, music and controls are pretty much the same, the word bank and the new function of adding adjectives before the nouns gives a lot of new possibilities to finish the levels. While the challenge isn’t that huge (bar that level where you have to sneak past the dragon to get the key to save the damsel in distress) there’s a lot of ways to get creative with words, such as when I defeated the last boss easily using my imagination. And that’s where the forte is of the game, you have to use your imagination to get past the obstacles. There’s little that requires you to use your brain until you pollute your environmental air with ear smoke. I managed to beat the puzzles by bypassing them with items and such. The key word is IMAGINATION. And this game gives a lot of room for using that. Forget reflexes, skills and wits, you have to revert into a small kid to beat this game.

Replay value: 9/10 There are so many ways to beat each level, and the entire game, if you’d like to that is. Replayability if also an area where the game stands strong- and with a lot of new and imaginative levels to beat you’ll get a lot of juice out of this game.

Trivia: I didn’t notice this as much, having played the first game 3-4 years prior to this one, but apparently 5th Cell, the developers of the game, tuned up the responsiveness of the game’s controls.

 

First image from: Wired.com Second Image from: Destructoid.com Third Image from: (C) MartianOddity

Ninja Nostalgia

Alis Iphone 117

 

I was walkning around in a flea market when I saw these stickers in this drawer, and I felt a heart-warming nostalgic feeling in me. I remember every kid we knew having these bubble gum stickers all over their furniture, and I remember even having a Splinter one on my pink (!) bike.

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I think it was this one, and as you can see his pink robe matched my bike perfectly. Even wee little me had some fashion sense. At least that’s what I’d like to think, I probably just put it there randomly, ha ha!

Last image from: Ebay.com

Review: Aliens Infestation

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#??:  Aliens Infestation

There was this little bell ringint at the back of my head when I saw this game… I don’t know if it was intuition or if I’d heard someone recommend this game in the past, in any case that bell and a price tag of 10 $  made me buy this one. And man didn’t I know what awesomeness the game had in store for me!

The game is some kind of sequel to the Alien movies starring Sigourney Weaver (or Ripley as she’s portraying in the movie), only this time your team find the same ship they find in the first movie sending a distress signal, if I recall correctly. There are guard bots and soldiers guarding the compund, and you know you’re walking into some organization’s plot to exploit the Xenomorphs once more, and it doesn’t take too long to be acquainted to your crew, and to confront your first Alien.

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You remember that alien from the first movie, the one with an elephant trunk that creeps the heck out of me? You’ll revisit it in the background, on that one same ship as in the 1st movie, and brace yourself, ’cause there’s something even more vile waiting for you ahead…

Graphics: 10/10

There aren’t many games that look this gorgeous, and I’m not only talkning about the 2D elements of the game but also the artwork featured of the cast. The style is definitely adding to the gritty and dark atmosphere of horror whilst regaining some humor when the hard-necked soldiers are speaking amongst themselves or the commander. All of these elements blend together giving a very enjoyable visual experience indeed.

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 This is one of the lighter areas of the game, a cold and sterile environment without much detail…

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Though there are more detailed facilites and millieus, such as this one detailing how the human-based Xenomorphs are produced. Feels like Biology Class all over again!

Sounds & Music: 8/10

The music, if even present at times, matches the horror and adrenaline-pumping elements of the game very well.  It’s an army inspired soundtrack with lots of classic horror-esque elements in the music, well, just think adrenaline rushing beats. The sound effects are of high quality and do complement the game very well. I remember several tunes, though not all  of them since I was too focused surviving mostly, but the one especially worth mentioning is the boss theme, just listen to this:

Gameplay: 7/10

The gameplay is really good, and the controls are perfect. You have a total of three soldiers at your disposal /marines, to be correct!) and they all look kind of the same (but not identical) and play  pretty much the same. What’s different is their personalities, if you’re interested in them, and it’s fun to encounter all of them, even though you can’t add them to your team unless you’ve got a spot for them you still can read their biographies before starting the game. You can also see which ones you’ve lost that way… They pretty much work as “Extra Lives”, but when you add their personalities to the mix it’ inevitable to get favorites. While all of the marines in my original team perished to the hands of boss aliens I only lost 8 of them. It’s not too many unless compared to those experts who have no deaths in their rosters at all (!) and have mastered this game that’s tough-as-doornails.

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They even have that knife trick minigame that they’re playing in the movies!

Its a difficult game that plays very much like the Metroid games for the Gameboy Advance, but you can see that it has been inspired by that franchise’s great gameplay and not just copied off everything. Aliens Infestation is definitely a game that, in my opinion, rivals those games in all aspects. So, if you itch for a new Metroid sidescroller and don’t know what to stratch it with, just grab a copy of this game and use its rough edges for that purpose! You’ll have to explore the facilities meticilously to be able to upgrade your weapons, which is of essence in this game, and to progress in the story. One mistake will lose youa marine though, so even if i feels good to run all over the place it’s better at times to take your time.

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An example of the dark humor of the game, gotta love this!

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 And here’s my favorite marine, he’s a dude that talks to his gun.

One thing the game has over the Metroid franchise is that it lacks diarrhea inducing coundown sequences!

Replay value: 9/10

Replaying the game I’d reckon is as much fun as playing it for the first time, as you’ll be able to kick Alien arse the second time around as you know the game mechanics and layout of the levels much better, so all in all the replay value is very high.

Trivia:

There are a total of 15 marines in addition to the ones you start off with, and each of them has unique dialogue!

 

First image from: capsulecomputers.com – Second image from: wingdamage,com  -The rest of the images taken by MartianOddity

Some Changes Were Made But You Were Asleep…

… so you didn’t notice them!

I’ve went through all of my 350+ posts (am I crazy or what?!) systematically and made some changes in which category they should belong to. You see, when I first created the blog I couldn’t fathom the wide spectrum of posts that would accumulate, and the need for categorizing that’d follow. Say when I wrote the first ever Retro Games Hunt post, which incidentally didn’t contain any purchases, back when I didn’t know how many were to follow, and as a result I’ve found lots of them that were categorized wrongly leading to readers new and old alike to miss out on some quality posts. While doing this I also added some new categories to the Menu system at the top:

 – Video Game Ads: All of the ads that I’ve posted are collected in this subcategory.

 – Video Games in Media:  It’s not as dull as it sounds, it’s simply a category where I can put all the images I’ve found/taken on movie and TV show characters playing video games.

 – Top 10 Lists:  I had this category but not a single of the lists were categorized correctly.

 – Miscellaneous: This replaces the “Uncategorized” category.

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Enjoy people!

Randall in “My Name is Earl” meets… SEGA?!

I saw this video as a clip in The Gaming Historian’s Sega Game Gear episode… and the dude in this commercial, who hits his head with a dead-as-doornails squirell just to be able to experience some color while playing his Gameboy, seems to be portrayed by none other than Ethan Suplee, the actor who portrays the not-so-bright but big hearted Randall Hickey in the TV Show “My Name is Earl”.

I couldn’t believe it., but it seems as if this a younger Ethan acting in a Game Gear commercial. I never thought I’d see something like this, but I like it!

Gaming With My Bro

I visited my bro for some old school hanging out and gaming, to relive the good ol’ days.

While we did other things, like watching Youtube clips and eating a lot of food and snacks until we barely could breath, we mainly opted for playing video games that day.

Let me present to you his video game setup, a classy discreet displaying of the video game systems, as to show “I’ve got class, I am tidy, but there’s always room for games in a man’s life, no matter what, and one should always display games where there are games to display.” or something along those lines.

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As I already said, a tidy setup- but when you open up the drawers you’re presented with the awesomest of views:

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I like what my little eye is spying! That Gamecube is the very same one we bought the year it was released over here, he got to keep it when I found myself a Pearl White system. We got Super Smash Bros. Meelee for it, and as far as we were concerned, back then, that game was the only reason we needed to warrant such a purchase. It didn’t fit into the stand and he had to store it in this drawer instead.

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And there’s his game collection, a good few NES titles, N64 games, PC games (he’s  more of a PC gamer than myself currently) and some Xbox games (he still hasn’t got the system but he’ll get one eventually when the need presents itself).

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We played a lot of games such as James Bond 007: Tomorrow Never Dies for the N64 (where, after having “failed” the mission, I’d ultimately stroll about in the building complex and eliminate all witnesses to my deeds), Pilot Wings 64 (a short-lived endeavour as it’s much more fun when played alone), Gremlins 2 for the NES (a fun and pretty balanced adventure game starring everyone’s favorite Mogwai Gizmo), Dr. Mario (which we played for hours at end) and last, but not least F-Zero X for the N64:

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Mmmm… that’s nostalgia.