- Rambo III Review (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive)
- My Experience at PLAY Expo 2015
- Slope’s Game Room: The Zombies Ate My Neighbors Trilogy
- I’ll Be Attending PLAY Expo 2015!
- Shambles How To: Sega Game Gear Set Up
- GameStop Won’t Sell Console Bundles with Digital Games
- Bart vs. the Space Mutants Review (Sega Genesis/Mega Drive)
Posted: 19 Oct 2015 02:09 AM PDT
Rambo III (3) was one of the early Sega Genesis and Mega Drive titles, released back in 1989 for the US and in 1990 for Europe. It's based fairly loosely on the film of the same name, which was a typical 80s action movie starring the muscle-bound Sylvester Stallone. Personally, I preferred the first two films, but this one still had a few memorable moments.
"Who's This?" "I'm Your Worst Nightmare"Most of the game is played from the perspective above Rambo, apart from a few boss battles where you must take down a helicopter or tank. The graphics are actually pretty good for such an early title, especially in these boss battles and during the digitised cutscenes.As Rambo you are equipped with bombs, explosive arrows, a machine gun and his trusty knife which all serve a specific purpose. The bombs are used to destroy walls and watchtowers, the bow and arrows can be used to blow up barrels and ammo boxes, and the knife can be used up close to kill enemies. Why would you get up close if you can just use your machine gun? Well, because killing them this way can earn you extra ammo for special weapons and some much needed extra lives!As you would expect, this game is very action orientated and fast paced at times. There are several moments where you have to fight your way through an overwhelming number of enemies, making some of the later levels quite difficult. Thankfully, there are some mission objectives that help break up the repetitive gameplay, such as finding a spy and destroying the enemy ammo reserves.
"To Survive A War, You Gotta Become War"There are six levels in total which don't follow the film too closely, but that doesn't matter too much. The purpose here is to play as John Rambo, blowing up and shooting as many things as possible. The switch in perspective for the tank and helicopter boss battles always stood out for me and the detail in the graphics here are good for such an early title.The sound effects are pleasingly loud and help deliver that arcade feel when running and gunning. The background music on the other hand has it's ups and downs, with the third mission probably featuring my favourite tune.Difficulty wise, Rambo 3 isn't too bad. I've known a few people to have problems escaping the second mission, but once you find out where to go it makes it a lot easier. Later levels can be tough due to the sheer amount of enemies thrown at you, but beating this game shouldn't be out of reach after a few plays.There is also a two-player mode, but unfortunately it's not co-operative. Instead you take it in turns to play through each mission or after one of you loses a life. I think this game would have been better with two players on the screen at once, but me and my Dad still had a lot of fun with this when I was a kid.
Posted: 14 Oct 2015 04:10 AM PDT
This year I returned to PLAY Expo; a retro gaming event based in Manchester. It's a long drive for me (roughly 3 hours each way depending on traffic), but I thought it would be worth it after last year. Especially as I've gained a number of friends on social media who live around there.
Crafters and SellersAs a lover of retro gaming and collecting, I was immediately drawn to the game sellers in hope of finding a few good deals (getting in early on day one provides a great advantage). Last year the prices were reasonable, but for some reason this time they were mostly more expensive than eBay including the shipping. I was hoping for them to be the same price as eBay minus the shipping fee at the very most. Only one store offered prices which I would consider reasonable, it was just unfortunate that they didn't have much variety.Looking at NES, SNES, N64 and Mega Drive, a lot of games were in fairly poor condition considering their price. Most of the Mega Drive games I looked at had damaged dirty boxes and were missing manuals. Last year I was really impressed of how great the condition of games were for the price, often around £2-£8 cheaper than eBay minimum.As a whole, there seemed to be less retro game sellers this year and more novelty item shops instead. I can understand that this offers more variety (I enjoyed the action figure stands), but there appeared to be a lot of fake Lego minifigures for sale and items such as Funko POP! Vinly figures and board games that you can purchase for the same price or cheaper online.It wasn't all bad. Tavington Crafts made a return this year with her excellent crafting skills (I will own a Majora's Mask cushion one day!!!) and I discovered Paul who makes fantastic custom mini arcade units (expect an interview on this site soon). There were also a few other creative individuals scattered around to offer something more unique to what you'd casually find online.
Arcades, Consoles and Pinball TablesMoving onto the arcade units there was a good selection of classics such as Pac-Man, Frogger, Space Invaders, Street Fighter 2, Double Dragon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Space Harrier and many more! They didn't have the awesome OutRun and AfterBurner units you could sit in this year, but the stand-up versions were still available to play.Each game was free to play, the queues were small and everyone there seemed to have a good attitude for playing and sharing. On Street Fighter 2 there was a "winner stays on" rule put in place by a guy who was kicking everyone's butt. I was a little nervous playing (I only wanted a few quick 2 player matches with my friend), but got roped into it anyway. To my amazement I actually won! I was then forced into a re-match where I narrowly beat him again. The feeling was amazing, very similar to old times. I thought I'd be rusty and pretty rubbish at Street Fighter after all this time, but he informed me I was the first person to beat him all day!I got to enjoy the majority of games I was interested in and the same went for the pinball machines too (I loved the Batman one). There was also a large number of games consoles and PCs setup for LAN matches of Quake, Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, split-screen multiplayer for GoldenEye, Mario Kart, and so much more. I like the approach the event had for themes such as Mario, Sonic, Batman, Tomb Raider and Star Wars, where you get to experience games from different generations of 8-bit and beyond.
Indie Developers, Raging Justice and Dark Souls 3There was an impressive line-up of Indie developers and an exclusive first play of Dark Souls 3 for fans of the series. I was really excited to see the return of Raging Justice by Makin' Games; a side-scrolling beat-em-up inspired by Final Fight and Streets of Rage.There have been numerous improvements to it over the year such as a new intro sequence, a new character to play as, improved hit detection and unlockable special moves via levelling up. I was told that beyond the playable demo there have also been new enemies added, animations, levels and more. It was great to speak with the developer Nick and artist Jay and experience how passionate they are about delivering a quality game that honours those past beloved arcade and 16-bit titles.The launch of Raging Justice is expected to be early next year on Xbox One and PC, but Nick also intends to release on mobiles, PS4 and more soon after.
Celebrities and Film PropsThe film props this time consisted of just one vehicle that I think was from Mad Max and a photo opportunity on a mock Darth Vader chair or next to a Jurassic Park/World Velociraptor. This paled in comparison to last year's Transformer Cars, the DeLorean from Back to the Future and the Game of Thrones Chair for photos. It was good to see David Prowse (the man inside the suit of Darth Vader), but overall it felt they didn't give much focus to this part of the event. I guess it makes sense as it's a game expo, but it was still a nice touch last time.
Conferences and TalksThere were various talks going on through the day from developers, YouTubers and Cosplayers, but these seemed drowned out from all the background noise of the event. The side stage near the entrance was the best, but I couldn't hear what was being said in most of the others (especially the one on the far left amongst the arcade machines). It's good that the event includes and encourages these as an addition and variety for the event, but hopefully next year the sound will be improved (or I'll get a hearing aid!).
PLAY Expo 2015Overall, my experience of PLAY Expo 2015 was positive. It's exciting to get hands-on with indie titles in development and speak with the people who made it. It's fun to take nostalgic trips down memory lane and play old arcade games or enjoy those you didn't come across in your youth. There is plenty there for everyone; gamers, collectors, cosplayers, and even those who are interested in making games themselves.Whilst the games for sale was a little disappointing, I still have hope for next year. It's all part of collecting; you never know what you'll find and you can come across some bargains (I did find Mickey Mania complete for £5! So it wasn't all bad).I look forward to what will be on offer in 2016. Personally I'd like to see more sellers and arcade machines. I'd love to play more light-gun games like Virtua Cop, House of the Dead and Time Crisis. It would be really cool to play Cadillacs and Dinosaurs too as I've heard good things about it.
Posted: 02 Oct 2015 03:54 AM PDT
I've been a big fan of Slope's Game Room by Daniel Ibbertson for quite some time now. In fact, I was his first ever Patreon supporter and still continue to contribute to this day.The thing I love about his videos is the way he tells a story. It's quite casual, friendly and full of great animation. Each one is bursting with quality and you can clearly see the incredible amount of effort he puts into each one.This particular video covers one of my favourite co-op games on the Mega Drive; Zombies! (also known as "Zombies Ate my Neighbours" outside of Europe). I had no idea there was ever a sequel, let alone a trilogy, so this makes for some very interesting viewing.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42a7V5yinRYI love the old Lucas Arts games, so this was a fantastic trip down memory lane. I also learned a thing or two and hope to play Herc's Adventures one day.Daniel (aka: DJ Slopes) covers many more awesome games I've played and loved over the years, such as the Golden Axe, Streets of Rage and Shenmue games. There are numerous great videos which I'm sure will be featured on this site in the near future.In the meantime, subscribe to his YouTube channel and follow him on Twitter. You won't regret it!
Posted: 29 Sep 2015 04:22 AM PDT
Some of you may remember my posts about PLAY Expo in Manchester last year, where I had a fantastic time meeting indie developers, trying out the Nintendo Virtual Boy for the first time, buying retro games, checking out incredible crafts and playing various classic retro arcade games such as Outrun, Turtles and Afterburner.One of the many highlights was coming across an exciting new side-scrolling beat-em-up called Raging Justice. Being a huge fan of Final Fight and Streets of Rage 2 (quite possibly my favourite game of all time - and been begging for a sequel for years), I was really happy to see and play something that felt faithful to those original classics. They've even announced that they will be attending this year, so I can't wait to play it again and see what improvements have been made since last time.For those of you who have a Nintendo 3DS, I found last year to be very successful in terms of streetpass. Every few minutes I would reach my limits so I had to stop checking after about 40 people, but if you're after some more puzzle pieces it's definitely worth brining yours along. Who knows? You might even stumble across mine? (Feel free to say "hello" as well if you do spot me - I had no 3G/4G or normal phone signal at the event and they don't offer WiFi, so please bare that in mind if I don't/can't reply to tweets, texts, e-mails and direct messages on the day).I'm hoping to pick up some good retro game deals and play loads of arcade games (they have over 100 units, not including all the pinball machines and games consoles). I'm also really looking forward to talking with loads of you gamers who are as nuts about retro gaming as I am!!!The event will be held in Manchester on the 10th and 11th October at EventCity (I'll be there on Saturday). More information is available on their website: www.playexpo.net.
Posted: 22 Sep 2015 02:14 AM PDT
My friend Simon has created a few interesting "how to" setup guides for various retro gaming consoles. With all the serious technology guides out there, I was really surprised when I saw this video!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vSkaEJqVkeYSimon (or "Shambles11" as he is also known), has a great personality and sense of humour! He creates a great mix of videos on YouTube such as game reviews for the SNES and Xbox One, pick-up videos, mini let's plays, helpful guides (actually helpful... not like this!) and much more.I often watch his Super Nintendo videos as he gives some great commentary and plays/records the real games on the original hardware (no emulators here). He's constantly building his collection and sharing that journey (he's found some great deals in the past!).I'd say he's definitely worth following on twitter and subscribing to his YouTube channel.He has also done instructional videos for the GameBoy, Sega Genesis/Mega Drive and PlayStation 1.
Posted: 22 Sep 2015 01:45 AM PDT
That's right; Gamestop have decided it will no longer sell console bundles that include digital copies of games instead of physical ones.I know that a lot of people out there seem to be very anti-GameStop, but personally I think this is a great move for gamers and collectors, although obviously I don't think we were the core focus here. This appears to be more of a business decision for protecting GameStop's future.As a collector of retro games, I love having them all displayed on the shelves and sharing photos online with the gaming community. It's a popular thing to do on social media networks like instagram, twitter and facebook. With this newer generation of consoles, the majority of my collection seems to be digital, which feels a bit empty.Taking photos obviously isn't my main concern here! Originally digital games were presented as a convenient method of distributing games; No printed manuals, plastic boxes, shipping costs, storage costs, etc. All these savings would then be passed onto the customer, right? Cheap games for everyone! Yay!!! ... Nope. Not the case. Instead we are presented with over inflated costs (sometimes double the cost or more than what you could buy in retail) for the "convenience"?Anyway, this decision by GameStop to only sell bundles that come with physical games is cool, but there is also a selfish reason behind this too. Namely their business model and the profits they make with trade-in games. In fact I believe it is where they make the most of their profit? So of course they wouldn't want this to go away (their shareholders certainly wouldn't!), which is why I believe they are trying to slow down the inevitable digital take over.I say "inevitable" because as much as I dislike the idea (mostly due to nostalgia and the love of collecting physical things), I do believe we will be muscled out and forced to use this method at some point. Nintendo are already rumoured to be going "digital only" with their next console (the NX) and I'm sure Microsoft and Sony already want to do the same.
Your Thoughts?I'm interested to know what you think of this announcement and the sale of digital vs physical games in general? I'd also like to know what you think of me creating these types of videos in the future (opinion pieces / podcast kind of things).Let me know in the comments below!
Posted: 14 Sep 2015 04:02 AM PDT
Bart vs the Space Mutants was released for the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive back in 1992 and is basically just a graphically updated version of the NES game released the year before, which was in fact the first Simpsons game ever created for home consoles.The basic story for the game is that aliens have invaded Springfield and it is up to you (Bart) to prevent them from building a "super weapon" by spraying things purple, collecting hats and stealing balloons… Yeah… you heard me right…
"Don't Have a Cow, Man!"At least the graphics are okay for an early 16 bit game. The first level in particular is a colourful representation of the streets of Springfield, with plenty of references to keep Simpsons fans happy. One example I really enjoyed was the ability to prank call Moe's Tavern. It took longer to work out than necessary and with no hints or direction at all, but it was a fun discovery.I'm afraid that's about all I have nice to say about the game though. One of the main things that makes or breaks a platformer are its controls and unfortunately Bart vs the Space Mutants is an absolute mess. Both run and jump are assigned to the same button and a long jump requires you to hold down two buttons at the same time. The inventory management is also a bit of a pain to use, often requiring you to pause the game to switch items.
"Ay Caramba!"Another issue I have with this game is the punishing difficulty. I don't mind games being tough and I do enjoy a challenge, but this just feels either lazy or broken. The collision detection feels off in places, especially in later levels and to be honest, I've only ever made it far in this game by using save states on an emulator. You only get five lives, no continues and it only takes two hits to kill you, so... good luck! If you're looking for an enjoyable Simpsons game, then I'm sorry to say that Bart vs the Space Mutants isn't it. This game is tough and barely worth the effort and patience required for even some of the biggest Simpsons fans out there. Every few years I seem to forget just how bad it is and play it again. Somehow there's some nostalgia here that keeps me coming back, but it doesn't take too long to get frustrated with it.
"Eat My Shorts!"I've heard that the NES version of this game is slightly better, although still pretty horrible, so if you want to experience some Simpsons fun, I recommend you play the original Arcade game! Now that really was awesome! There's also a couple of fun titles on the PS2 like "Hit and Run" and "Road Rage", so check those out if you get a chance.As for me, that's all for this video, so please like and subscribe if you haven't already. If you've played this game before, feel free to share your opinions and experiences in the comments below. I love hearing what you guys think of the games I review and as always; thanks for watching and I'll see you in the next video!
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