Reviews by Aladar
A 16bit era stealth gameAladar | June 28, 2011 | Review of Bonanza Bros
Well, color me surprised! A 16-bit stealth game! That alone is probably enough to say about this game, since.. well, it isn't about much. You're playing as one of the two thieves, going along various estates/companies, stealing objects specified at the start of the game. There is the usual assortment of various enemies, and you have to make sure you will either not be seen, or can incapacite (well, in this game just knock out) your enemies. The game mostly feels like a classic platformer, except for the option to hide behind walls and doors to avoid being seen. The real annoyance of this game is a constant split-screen that is there even if you play alone, otherwise, it's an interesting concept and solid game.
Wait, what?!Aladar | June 28, 2011 | Review of Decap Attack starring Chuck D. Head
Well, isn't that a weird story.. Still, even with that, Decap Attack is yet another dime-a-dozen platformer for good old Genesis. And not particularly good one, either. I'll just right to the chase - the game is really mediocre, feeling like every other platformer ever from every possible angle. The only thing (besides the story and main character, of course), that stood out for me was the fact that the controls in this game are pretty bad.
Your character has the classic "sliding" moving mechanic, but.. it's implemented just plain wrong. Instead of making the walking de-facto better, like in Super Mario Bros., let's say, this game just feels horribly sloppy whenever you walk. Whenever you push the directional pad, your character starts walking slowly towards it's target, and then he takes up running. That fact, coupled with the slippery nature of his feet, makes for some really bad maneuvering. Also, your character can't attack while crouching, so, while you can slide under some enemy, you are pretty much in a bad luck when someone gets in your way while doing so.. It's not the WORST platformer from the selection, but there are much better titles you can buy.
Way more fun than I expected!Aladar | June 28, 2011 | Review of Shadow Dancer
Well, this was better than I expected! In Shadow Dancer, you take on a role of a ninja, saving world from.. some evil forces. The game doesn't really bother to tell you much, story-wise.. But that surely isn't why you want to play this game, is it? If I'm right, then you don't have to worry - the gameplay is great! I'm not particularly a fan of tough-as-nails sidecrollers, but this one blew me away.
The gameplay is really basic - you have your hero and his dog (which you should probably be able to use, but God knows how..), a number of people you have to save till next stage, and an endless supply of shurikens and enemies. The rest is history, as they say. You can also pick up some powerups in forms of hte rescued people, trading your shurikens for deadly.. plasma projectiles? I'll also note that this game thankfully didn't go the cheap route and doesn't send a fast-running warriors at you out of nowhere - sure, they are assaulting you from every direction possible, but you always have just enough time to react. Not much else to note here, except maybe the fact that, yes, this IS a hard game, but it's so fun that you will be trying to replay the stages again and again!
Keep out.Aladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Super Thunder Blade
I was trying to find something nice to say about this game, but, sadly, I didn't find anything at all. The animation is choppy, the game runs kind of slow, the control is pretty bad, graphics are really simple, background is just few colors, and with the positioning of the camera, you can't see your enemies half of the time. Basically, it feels like a mediocre NES game.. Afterburner, this is not. You can get more quality time from a flash game, and you save your money.
Pretty, but mediocreAladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of VectorMan
The first thing that blew me away when I fired up this game were the graphics. It's apparent that this game came out late in the Genesis history, because it has pretty breathtaking graphics and REALLY good animation. But the game itself.. is basically your completely average platformer. The biggest problem I've had with it was the fact that enemies pop up seemingly out of nowhere, or start to shoot at you when they get even a single pixel exposed, which means you pretty much have to run and fire at the same time, and pray that you shoot them before they shoot you. Even if you expect the enemy, there is little to do once he starts shooting before you can even see him.. Call me biased, but I prefer classic elimination by jumping on things' heads, rather than.. well, this. Game's pretty, but mediocre.
Didn't age wellAladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Altered Beast
If you are a fan of this game, you probably don't even read any reviews and buy it on sight. If you are not.. you should really reconsider buying this game. It REALLY didn't age well. The graphics are simple, bordering with unpleasantly looking, animation is horribly simple and stiff, your hero walks like he has spine made out of steel, and the gameplay is really lacking. The only piece of story I got was "I have rescued you from your grave to find my daughter". I don't think there is much more to say to this, it's a below average beat em up with pretty bad graphics, and generally feels like something out of '89 coin-op machine. There are better games on Genesis to buy than this, believe me.
A beautiful, but dusted, gemAladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Comix Zone
You're a comics artist that somehow gets trapped in his own comics by a villain trying to kill you and turn your own creation against you.. well, that's about as deep as the story gets. Gameplay-wise, that's a whole other league, though! Comix Zone has amazing graphics, and quite untypical way of playing - you are literally going through one frame of a comic book to another! Enemies are usually pretty tough to kill, but no worries, the combat system is very well done for having only one button assigned to it. This game also has branching paths, with one usually more difficult than the other, so you'll have to choose wisely. Going thru this game will be a real challenge, as it's known for it's difficulty and only one lone life, after that it's game over. For this price, it's an absolute must-have, if you like retro gaming and beat'em'ups!
A cult classicAladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Hitman 2: Silent Assassin [Playfire]
Oh my, Number 47 is at it again! There is not really much to say about Hitman 2 that you don't already know, so I will try to keep it short, but informative as possible. I must admit I played only the first two installments in the series (not counting playing demo of the third), and I can say that this one is definitely the superior of the two. Leaving aside general improvements, like graphics and control, Hitman 2 is a very interesting stealth classic that leaves you basically doing what you want - there are numerous ways to complete each mission, from completely silent, careful way to just all-out carnage. This game won't limit your imagination much, but it won't hesitate to punish your mistakes either. Choose your steps wisely, and remember to clear up after yourself!
I'm sorry..Aladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Mark Leung: Revenge of the Bitch
..I guess this is how it ends when non-Japanese people try to make a Japanese style RPG.. The game is bland, boring, with pretty bad combat system/boring combats, and looks pretty bad even for an indie game. I guess the "humor" was meant to be a main selling point here, but.. Let's just say it isn't my cup of tea. I find it just too juvenile, in the style of 90s parody movies (Haha, main hero has an ugly girl crushing on him, haha. Hehe, now I'm killing bunnies.). There are some moments I've found quite funny (Hero can't progress further on his quest, because chair is blocking his way - found it a nice poke into some of the very stupid obstacles found in RPGs), but don't hold your breath too much for it. Oh, and there are live-action cutscenes. Those are probably the worst point of this game..
It's your choice..Aladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Magicka: Wizard's Survival Kit DLC
I.. am seriously confused by this. The one point of view is that this is a completely shameless money milking using the old DLC trick.. the other point of view is.. it costs less than a cup of coffee.. But then again, do you want to buy a DLC that gives almost nothing to the game, even if it's as cheap?
The choice is yours, I guess. Myself, I don't like the fact that Magicka developers are starting to shower us with more-or-less pointless DLCs. Also, the +1 Staff is, as the name says, a stronger version of the regular Staff, so this is just another case of "you pay extra, you get stronger" fad..
And yes, the spell is the only useful thing in this DLC - but then again, useful may not be the word, as it can very easily kill your whole party if you aren't lucky..
Well, there is an original game..Aladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Uplink DNS
Well, there is a game I didn't see equivalent of yet (at least at the time of release..)! Uplink is a simulator of hacking in a future. Sadly, this game seemed to get overlooked at it's release, although it was probably expected.. The game puts you in front of your trusty PC, connected to your rented box that you got from a hacker corporation.. and then lets you have your way with the Web. You can get jobs from bulletins, ranging from simple "hack to x and steal/delete data from their servers" to increasingly more difficult (and interesting) jobs like hacking into social security database and changing pieces of identities. After you progress far enough, there is a story going on as well. It's definitely original and a lot of fun, if you don't mind the minimalistic "graphics", challenging difficulty and the fact that it does get repetitive after some while..
Classic revisited AND much moreAladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of TrackMania United Forever
Remember Stunts? A little old PC gem that let's you race on all sorts of crazy tracks, that was wildly popular in it's time? well, then you will know basically what this game plays like. Sometimes, it almost feels like an improved, polished and ressurected version of Stunts. Amazingly fun crazy arcade racing with endless possibilities (thanks to map editors and other shenanigans) that will eat your time for breakfast. Throw in multiplayer, leaderboards, de-facto ingame social networking and multiple game modes, and you've got yourself an addiction!
Great game with amazing atmosphereAladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Mafia
Maybe I'm a bit biased when I say this, but here it goes anyway: This was, until not so long ago, the best GTA clone you could get.
But that probably wasn't the main reason why the game was so popular in it's time - at least for me, that would be the story and the setting. The game does absolutely brilliant job of getting you sucked into the game world set in 30s USA, full of bad guys, beautiful women, guns and illegal booze. While it may not have had the best graphics in it's time and a licensed all-star OST, the atmosphere the whole city emits is just incredible. I imagine the story is to thank for that as well - it's a great, thrilling story about a guy that was just in a bad place at a bad time, and it changed his life forever. It's engrossing, and I would love to see it on the big screen.
The gameplay itself, admittedly, can feel a little bit off sometimes - AI probably gets the biggest flak - but it doesn't intercept with the gameplay much, or, not at all - at least it didn't in my case. The only other complaint I have would be sometimes unnecesarry spikes in mission difficulty - remember the dreaded Formula 1 mission?
Other than that, this game certainly left a beautiful memory, and I would recommend it to everyone.
Second best RPG of it's system. :)Aladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Shining Force™ II
First of all, I have to admit, I didn't finish this game.. but what I did play, I really liked!
I'm a big oldschool gaming fan, particularly of the 16bit RPGs, so when I found this game, I knew I just have to try it - and I wasn't disappointed. While the graphics are not the best that Sega's little box of awesome could produce (I particularly disliked the portraits - they were looking a little too 'childish' to me, as weird as that sounds), it didn't matter - at least to me - because of that nice, oldschool feeling the game has.
The story, admittedly, didn't interest me much. Your opinions may, of course, differ, but I've found it a little bit too basic and the dialogues too.. bland. It just kind of lacked the epicness of some of it's brethrens that I am used to - particularly of Final Fantasy, or, if we have to stay on the same system, Phantasy Star. While those have a story where I actually care about both the characters and the world, I played this just for the sake of, well, the gameplay.
Which already says something about the gameplay - It's really fun! Surprisingly, this game doesn't use the usual fight system you can be used to from a lot of other console RPGs, but an interesting turn-by-turn overhead strategy system.. if that doesn't make sense, think Final Fantasy Tactics. There are a lot of great characters to play with, and a lot of nice spells to use. It's worth nothing that you get little to none random battles in this game as well, so you can enjoy the story and progress further without hundreds of random battles in your way.
All in all, I'd say this was Genesis' second best RPG - right after the brilliant Phantasy Star 4 - so, it's definitely worth getting!
An improvement to already great seriesAladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of Sid Meier’s Civilization® V
Civilisation 5 may be the only game in literally years that I counted days to. I love the Civilization series, I spent countless hours on it's first and second installment in particular, so I was pretty excited to see what new has Sid Meyer to offer this time.
I gotta say I wasn't let down a bit.
There probably isn't much to say about this game, since to most gamers, it would be just stating the obvious, but I'll try. If you enjoyed the last two installments of the series, this is definitely a game for you. I've found it a step forward in generally every direction it took. The graphics are pretty, and the gameplay is still the same - long, dragging out, but enjoyable, smart, awarding patience and punishing recklessness hard. Sadly, I can't comment on multiplayer, because I didn't have anyone to play with me..
The only issues I would adress are that it sometimes slows down on my (admittedly old) PC (I know, I know..), and the DLC money-milking that was mentioned here before me - but on the other hand, it IS adding a new content that would unless not make it to the game at all, and ignoring the DLCs doesn't hurt the game at all, so..
Plus, it's really fun seeing Gandhi kicking all kinds of ass! ;)
Loved it!Aladar | June 27, 2011 | Review of BioShock® 2 DNS
I have to admit, I did approach this game with lots of skepticism, because I really, REALLY didn't like the first one. I can't really pinpoint on what it was that put me off of that game, though - other than the controls felt somewhat unnatural to me, if that makes even a speck of sense - but I just couldn't play it past the first 30 minutes.
Then, along came Bioshock 2. I decided to give it a try.. and I loved it. All the "issues" I had with the first game were completely gone; this game just felt RIGHT. I absolutely enjoyed playing it all the way to the ending credits, especially after Borderlands, which put me off a little bit.
The gameplay is fun, the graphics are pretty great, the steampunkish enviroment is beautiful and horrifying at the same time, the weapons are fun to use, and the branching path/multiple ending gameplay is a nice plus; not many developers feel the need to add any replayability to FPS story-wise.. The only bone I have to pick with this game is the fact that saving little sisters can be quite long and frustrating some times - which is why I got the bad end at first. Also, the game felt a little bit on the short side - somewhere along 6-8 hours - which isn't too bad for today's standarts I guess, especially for shooters, but it would be nice to stay in Rapture few hours longer, wouldn't it?
One of the iconic titles of it's time.Aladar | May 25, 2011 | Review of Crazy Taxi DNS
Do you remember when you used to play this game with your friends, and had lots of fun with this? If you are one of the fans of this game from it's glory days, I guess you don't need any reviews to get this game - if you, however, never played any Crazy Taxi adaptation before.. Well, I would recommend you to look elsewhere. The game didn't really age well, and what once was fun to many, is now just mediocre game plagues by bad port (emulation?). I would recommend looking for some of the PC ports of the series, but beware - riding the Crazy Taxi isn't as fun as it once used to be..
Good, innovative, but..Aladar | May 25, 2011 | Review of Borderlands
Let me get this straight right away: Borderlands ISN'T a bad game. It certainly has it's pluses, including somewhat innovative gameplay, very nice cell-shaded graphics, lots of lootable stuff, different classes..
While the game does take at least some 10 hours to finish without any DLC, I found myself pretty bored by the routine of the gameplay about halfway through.. I still finished it, because, it's not like it turns "boring", but it's just the same thing all over again - and while this didn't really bother me in some other games (Diablo, anyone?), here, the excitement just.. "died". I guess it was because the game had nothing new to offer, except storyline push.. Then again, I never played it co-op, which most people really praise.
Mine final verdict would be: go for it if you don't expect tens of hours of gameplay and if you don't mind game that gets monotonous somewhat fast. It's still a great fun at least those few first hours! :)
Amazing stuff!Aladar | May 25, 2011 | Review of Super Meat Boy
I gotta admit, I am not usually a fan of indie games - but in the case of Super Meat Boy, I am definitely more than ready to back off with that statment!
With great gameplay designed to bring the best from 8 and 16bit platforming era, the only comparison that comes to mind is "very challenging and really morbid kid of Mario and Sonic" - the game is addictive, fast, and HARD, with great (albeit a little twisted) sense of humor and constant nods and references to 8bit classics. And as if that wouldn't be enough to make a great game, you get unlockable bonus worlds, new characters to play with, amazing soundtrack and even more replayability in form of harder campaign once you finish the main game.. AND a replay feature where you can watch hundreds of Meat Boys die :)
Still a blast!Aladar | May 24, 2011 | Review of Sonic The Hedgehog 2 [Playfire]
I've always seen Sonic 2 as probably the best game in the series, and even years after it's original release, it STILL delivers! The fast, loop-full, exciting gameplay and it's charming 16bit graphics are still amazing today, even if you weren't around in his "glory days"! It has absolutely everything you could ever want from a good platformer, AND it is brilliantly challenging without being unnecesarilly frustrating. Great for those moments when you just want to kill some time and you aren't looking for any form of "highly intellectual" entertainment. A real gem!
An old gem, faded by timeAladar | May 24, 2011 | Review of Virtua Fighter 2
There is no denying that Virtua Fighter 2 was a hit when it first came out - and the PC fans were especially glad, because, well, what else was there that wasn't ages old already? Unfortunately, 17 years after it's release, it isn't such a great game. Sure, for PC fans, there weren't much other choices, but even then, the gameplay is very dated for today's standarts, feels very sluggish, and it's once breakthrough graphics now seem laughable and ugly. This is one of the games that won't probably be as great as you remember it.
Just like the old days!Aladar | May 24, 2011 | Review of Golden Axe
..aah, I still remember mashing my keyboard to this amazing game.. this is a 16bit beat'em'up at it's finest - even though it was nothing new then, and certainly isn't nothing new now, I can guarantee that this game is still loads of fun!
All the needed ingredients are there - three great charactes, each with their own special moves, well-designed enemies, very challenging gameplay, fun to play levels, mounts, and great co-op mode. AND a minigame where you can kick midgets around inbetween levels to get bonuses! What's more to want?
Best HoMaM clone ever?Aladar | May 24, 2011 | Review of Kings Bounty: The Legend
Remember the days when you used to spend most of the time in front of PC, playing Heroes of Might and Magic? Remember being disappointed once the fourth installment came and went? Remember playing this game? If not, now is the time. This game is a brilliant mix between some classic real-time RPGs and turn-based strategies such as HoMaM series. And to justify iself, it also has quite a few ideas of it's own.
Unlike most of the other Homam clones, this game is heavily quest-based, and de-facto freeform. You can go whenever you want, as long as it won't kill you. Another notable difference is recruitment of an army - you don't get every available unit in your castle, but in their own respective recruitment places - plus, each map has it's own units, so there is plenty of way for tacticising - will you leave your half-dead army behind and recruit local creatures, or will you go back to your home town to recruit loyal soldiers? But beware, the number of recruits is limited!
There is really a lot to the game, and the only downside is the weak story and pretty bad dialogues. It's clear they weren't to be taken seriously, but they are still pretty bland and uninteresting.. other than that, amazing game!