Title: VincentX's Retroviews
Description: Classics from my Collection
VincentX - June 22, 2008 02:59 AM (GMT)
Lately I've become a collector of classic games and I figured I'd start giving little Retro Reviews on some of the ones I've picked up.
These won't be full in depth reviews; more like quick paragraphs summing up the games; which is why I'm making a thread that will house all of them.
Yes and I realize a lot of people do this but I'm bored and I'd like to take advantage of my collection. Oh and I'm only picking games that I actually own; not ROMs as it's not the same as playing them with the original controllers.
So to start off let's go with a true classic:
Castlevania for NES (1987)
The Castlevania series has become pretty big nowadays with large quests similar to those of the Metroid series. However, the original was a very straight forward 2D platforming action game. It's concept was simple: you are Simon Belmont and your mission is to kill Dracula.
Control wise this game is spot on; though jumping is a little stiff; however Simon will perform his actions immediately and will whip and jump at command.
The music and sound of this game are still good; the tunes are catchy and have that classic Konami style.
Graphically this game has aged decently; Simon's sprite is pretty basic but the backgrounds and enemies are well designed.
This game is still a good challenge but luckily the game is generous with checkpoints and even if you get a game over you only go back to the beginning of the level instead of the entire game. This helps give the game a nice difficulty balance.
Overall Castlevania on the NES, while some parts have aged better than others; is still a very fun game and is worth picking up if you can find it. ^_^
VincentX - June 28, 2008 10:50 PM (GMT)
Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (Genesis, 1994)
Everyone knows Sonic, the speedy blue hedgehog with attitude that allowed Sega to take on Nintendo in the early to mid 90's. Granted now his console games make him only seem like a shadow (PUN!) of his former self; but back in the day this little blue bugger was the freaking man...or hedgehog...whatever.
Sonic 1 and 2 were giant hits and so with Sonic the Hedgehog 3, Sega had to make sure they trumped both of them. So did they? Well kinda.
The first major change this game added was...SAVE FILES! Yes folks you can now save your game in Sonic! No more restarting from the beginning when you get that Game Over screen!
The graphics got a nice upgrade and Sonic now has a more three dimensional look to his sprite. The music, it's still good; but personally I liked Sonic 2's the best; especially Casino Night Zone; that was my fav.
Controls are spot on as always and the addition of the different shields was a nice way to spice up the gameplay. The bubble shield especially since it negates the need to grab air bubbles when underwater.
Well with all these great features is the game perfect...no; but it's close. My only real complaint is that some of the later levels can get very frustrating and confusing. This is caused due to multiple parts of levels looking very similar so it's possible to get lost in some.
Despite this Sonic 3 is definitely a kickass title and as the second to last true Sonic game on the Genesis, it does the series proud. ^_^
VincentX - July 28, 2008 09:08 PM (GMT)
Alisia Dragoon (Sega Genesis, 1992, Game Arts, Action)
For those who haven't heard of it; Alisia Dragoon is a very fun action game for the Sega Genesis.
In it you play as Alisia, whose main method of attack is a stream of lightning which can break appart and target multiple enemies. As you progress you can power up your lightning attack; also if you wait a few seconds it will charge up and you can release a set of rotating bands of lightning.
You also get to choose from a set of "pets" that will fly by you and help you fight:
A dragon that breathes fire, a fire ball, another little dragon that shoots boomerangs; and another little dragon that breathes different fireballs and can charge up and blast all enemies.
Graphically the game is well done and the soundtrack is varied and pushes the limited abilities of the Genesis's sound.
The game plays like a normal platforming action game and the controls work very well. If there is a complaint to be had it's that the game can be extremely difficult and you are only given one life. You need to find additional continues and lives but be prepared to restart a lot.
Overall despite it's slightly unfair difficulty; Alisia Dragoon is a very fun title for the Sega Genesis and I highly recommend getting it if you can find it.
VincentX - August 2, 2008 05:28 AM (GMT)
Android Assault: The Revenge of Bari-Arm (Sega CD, 1994, Human Ent, Shmup)
Shoot-em ups, for the most part, is a love 'em or hate 'em Genre filled with some pretty damn awesome...and pretty damn awful...games that have been around for decades.
Android Assault for the Sega CD is the type of game that doesn't have too many stand out features; but is an extremely solid entry in its genre.
Control is spot on and you can adjust the speed of your Android/Ship by pressing a button, which is always a nice feature.
There are different weapon types; each of which has multiple levels of power that you can reach by grabbing symbols that say "POWER." Plus when you're not firing you are constantly charging your weapon and you can fire a charged version of the weapon that will change depended how much you've powered it up.
There's your basic laser which fires a powerful beam that lasts as long as the charge. There's lock on missiles that fire a stream of energy that targets the closest enemies and flies around the screen. There's also a fireball weapon that shoots large flames when charged.
Plus, you'll know when you're at the top level of power when your ship transforms into an Android like a Gundam.
The graphics are good; well detailed and the frame rate is very good. Music is a little generic for the genre but it takes advantage of the Sega CD's audio capabilities and sounds crisp.
Overall Android Assault is a very solid game for the Sega CD and it's also not very expensive too. If you've got a Sega CD and you like Shmups then you should definitely look into picking up Android Assault.
VincentX - November 3, 2008 07:44 AM (GMT)
X-Men Children of the Atom (Sega Saturn, 1996, Capcom/Acclaim, 2D Fighting)
I first heard about this game from Screw Attack in their video game vault and they mentioned that the Saturn version was the best home console version to get. So when I got my Saturn from a classic game store near me they had this on the shelf and I immediately picked it up.
In short; it's a terrific fighting game and it's easy to see how it's a pre-cursor to the Vs. series that Capcom started with X-Men vs. Street Fighter.
You get to select from a decent amount of X-Men heroes and villains such as Wolverine, Cyclops, Omega Red and Silver Samurai. Each of them has a few special moves, such as Cyclops' Optic Blast and Wolverine's Tornado Claw. Plus they have two super moves and all of the characters are very different. Wolverine is the ultimate quick strike and close up character while the Sentinal has its size and long range that make it very dangerous.
The game runs very smoothly even when there's a lot going on on screen and the characters have all their animation frames, which allows for precise attacks. Controls are spot on and the game works great with the 2nd Generation Saturn Controller.
The music is classic Capcom Fighting game flair and fits the X-Men very well.
Overall if you have a Sega Saturn and enjoy fighting games, there's no reason for you not to pick up X-Men Children of the Atom.
VincentX - March 28, 2009 04:54 PM (GMT)
Darkstalkers 3 (PS1) vs. Vampire Savior (Saturn)
One of the things that made me want the Sega Saturn was how 2D fighters are practically Arcade Perfect translations on it.
So after using a 10% off coupon on Ebay, I picked up Vampire Savior, the Japanese and Saturn version of Darkstalkers 3 that I already own on the PS1.
Here's the differences:
After playing Savior for a short time it's easy to see that gameplay wise it is superior to the PS1 Darkstalkers 3. All frames of animation are intact and the framerate is a little faster as well. Also, the Saturn version only has one initial loading screen; after that there are almost NO load times.
As for the PS1 version; the gameplay, while the game is definitely playable; is a little more sluggish and you do notice the missing animation frames. Also, there are loading screens for when you go into a mode and for whenever a fight is going to begin.
I've been using the PS1 controller for fighting games for years so I do find it to work well. However the Saturn controller is easily the best controller made for 2D Fighters due to its six button layout and confortable D-Pad.
Not much difference; both use Japanese voices and the music sounds about the same.
Now here is where the PS1 version has an advantage over the Saturn version. Vampire Savior is a no frills arcade port; you get Arcade, Versus and an option mode; nothing else.
Darkstalkers 3 has a training mode, a character color edit mode and an image gallery.
I got Vampire Savior for 16 bucks on eBay, and there were many people selling it for around that much. However you do need the ability to play imports on the Saturn to play it. Don't worry, this is easy to do since all you need is an Action Replay 4in1 cart, which will run you between 20 and 30 bucks (and allow you to play any import on the Saturn). But make sure you get a newer version since the first model doesn't support Vampire Savior. I got mine off Play Asia last year and it works like a charm.
Darkstalkers 3 is easily found on eBay, though the cheapest price I currently see is about 25 bucks. But it is an US release so you won't need any extra mods to play it.
In all honesty if you have only one of the two systems I recommend getting Darkstalkers 3 or Vampire Savior because they are great 2D fighting games.
If you have both and you don't mind the lack of extra modes; the Saturn version is the way to go. The menus are in English too so the game is REALLY easy to navigate and play if you don't know Japanese.
VincentX - January 31, 2010 08:11 PM (GMT)
Super Turrican (SNES, 1993, Factor 5/Seika, Run 'n Gun/Platformer)
What was the best comparison to my reaction after playing this game for the first time? Well to borrow a phrase from the Nostalgia Critic's Moonwalker Review, "Holy mother of god that is so freakin' cool!"
Super Turrican is an amazing title for the SNES and succeeds in every single possible way.
Think Contra meets Mega Man X and you've got the basis for the amazing gameplay. Multiple gun types from the classic Spread Fire to a Bouncing and Ricocheting blaster; as well as limited full screen bomb attacks. The controls are PERFECT and extremely responsive; the platforming never seems forced and the difficulty is just right, not easy but not too hard either.
Damn! Colors, detail, no slowdown, animation; this game is definition of what made the SNES great in the Graphics department.
The soundtrack is AMAZING! The music is very catchy and has that 16-bit style that so many SNES games had; but in a good way. The sound effects are terrific too and there's even some cool voice samples.
Multiple difficulties, multiple weapons and just pure fun gameplay make Super Turrican a title you'll want to play over and over.
If you've got an SNES and some money burning a hole in your pocket, GET THIS GAME. If you have a Wii and some points for the Virtual Console, DOWNLOAD IT NOW. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.
VincentX - February 10, 2010 07:23 AM (GMT)
F-Zero (SNES, 1991, Nintendo, Futuristic Racing)
Mode 7 Graphics ahoy! What could be a tech demo for Mode 7 graphics, F-Zero is one of the defining racing games for the SNES. Not only did it show off some of the graphical muscle of the system but it's damn fun to boot.
I hadn't played this game in over a decade when I bought it off e-bay but it was 7 bucks well spent as F-Zero holds up incredibly well. I gotta say I like it more than the Gamecube release; it's a lot more simple but a lot more fun. There's a large amount of tracks, multiple difficulties and a learning curve that is just right. Add a terrific soundtrack to the mix and you've got an instant classic.
If you've got an SNES lying around and you don't have F-Zero, get it. If you have a Wii then definitely download this off the Virtual Console; you won't be disappointed.