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Archive for November 2012

Review: Make My Own Music Video (Sega CD)

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Console: Sega-CD/Mega-CD
Released: 1992
Developer: Digital Pictures
Publisher: Sony Imagesoft
Instruction Manual: Not necessary
Difficulty: Non-existent
Played it as a child? Yes
Value: pricecharting.com has hilarously not even covered these games
Price: Don’t even bother
Other Releases: Absolutely Not
Digital Release? No, aside from how horrible they are, the music is timely

There is just no getting around this, these are terrible video games.  Not only are they pop groups that only existed in the early part of the 1990s, but they aren’t games at all.  You goal is just as it sounds: make a music video.  It’s a crash course in linear digital editing where three streams of video appear on the screen at once and you use the A, B, and C button to select the “active” feed that will become your master video.  Unfortunately the three feeds are made up of a random lot of public domain videos from the first half of the century, sometimes altered slightly for the beat, and the original music video for the game.  I’m not saying that these videos are directorial masterpieces, but when combined with the patethic hodgepodge of public domain video, they’re the next Star Wars, I have never once wanted to leave the feed of the main video.  Having said that, they are amazing fun at a party when you want to laugh your head off at how pathetically cheesy this generation of pop music was.

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Review: The Adventures of Willy Beamish (Sega CD)

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Console: Sega-CD/Mega-CD
Released: 1993
Developer: Dynamix
Publisher: Sierra
Instruction Manual: Not necessary
Difficulty: Moderate
Played it as a child? Yes
Value: $8.99 (used) $15.01 (new) (pricecharting.com) – Price for Sega CD version only
Price: $6.00-$10.00 (used) $88.00 (new) on eBay
Other Releases: Amiga, PC, Mac
Digital Release? No

Another early Sega CD release, while most of the games that came out near launch were cool new CD-ROM interactions and FMV games, The Adventures of Willy Beamish was a port of an Amiga point-and-click adventure title that received several enhancements on Sega’s system.  Published by Sierra, one of the two major producers of the adventure genre at the time, Willy Beamish totes you along on an adventure of a nine-year-old boy and the several decisions and influences you will deal with.  Beamish is somewhat of a troublemaker as established by the opening scene in detention on the final day of school before summer break, which begins your adventure by sneaking past your ancient teacher and getting home.  In typical Bart Simpson emulation for the time, Willy rides a skateboard, has a pet frog, and is prone to causing problems for any adults in his wake.  From then on an amusing tale of a young boy saving his town unfolds that has you doing everything from the mundane – playing with your younger sister on the swingset – to the completely crazy – combat with a vampiric babysitter.  As much as many critics have compared this game to a storybook come to life, little touches like a playable video game console in your bedroom and somewhat brancing plot paths show impressive game design for the time.

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Written by Fred Rojas

November 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm

Review: Sherlock Homes Consulting Detective (Sega CD)

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Console: Sega-CD/Mega-CD
Released: 1992
Developer: ICOM Simulations
Publisher: Sega (Sega/Mega-CD)
Instruction Manual: Not necessary
Difficulty: Moderate
Played it as a child? Yes
Value: $5.99 (used) $11.99 (new) (pricecharting.com) – Price for Sega CD version only
Price: $5.00-$10.00 (used) N/A on US Version (new) on eBay
Other Releases: FM Towns (original release, Japan only), DOS/MAC, Commodore CDTV, Turbografx-16 CD
Digital Release? Yes – an updated version with better video quality released on PC, Mac OS X, and iPad in late Sept. 2012

Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a bit of an anomaly in the realm of video games.  Much like Myst, the game premiered on CD-based consoles and computers to show off the benefits of the new technology, but was much less of a game than it was an interactive form of media.  A basic interface allowed the player to navigate various options and view content (mostly video) in order to solve one of the popular cases that originally appeared in the novel by the same name.  To show off all of the fancy marvels of a multimedia CD-ROM title there was complete focus on showing off content rather than optimizing any aspect of the game for quick playing, resulting in a few simple actions taking ridiculous amounts of time to accomplish.  I was recording gameplay videos for this article last night and it took more than 30 mins just to capture the “tutorial” that includes many icons, each with its own slow loading audio (no subtitles) background, and a video from Sherlock Holmes himself.  It was so slow-paced and boring to capture, I made the executive decision that it would be even more boring to watch and scrapped the video.  Don’t let this discourage you, especially with the re-releases likely having no load times, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective is a thought-provoking hybrid between the adventure genre and the full motion video (FMV) game.

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Review: Final Fight CD (Sega CD)

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Console: Sega-CD/Mega-CD
Released: 1993
Developer: Capcom
Publisher: Sega (Sega/Mega-CD, 32X CD)
Instruction Manual: Not necessary
Difficulty: Hard
Played it as a child? Yes
Value: $21.50 (used) $76.00 (new) (pricecharting.com) – Price for Sega CD version only
Price: $23-$60 (used) N/A on US Version (new) on eBay
Other Releases: Arcade, SNES, Gameboy Advance
Digital Release? Yes – SNES version on Virtual Console ($8), Arcade version on XBLA/PSN as Double Impact ($10)

Final Fight is a pivotal late 80s arcade release for Capcom for two reasons: it established the norms that would make up the concept of the “beat-em-up” genre for its short-lived life (although it oddly enough didn’t introduce any of them) and it created the aesthetic and building blocks of Street Fighter II.  Anyone who has played this game or SFII will immediately be familiar with that semi-realistic semi-animated graphical style of Final Fight that remained exclusive to these two titles moving forward for a few sequels (I’m considering the numerous re-hashes of SFII to be sequels).  In full disclosure this is my favorite brawler of all time and definitely ranks highly in my overall top games I’ve ever played despite the fact that Final Fight doesn’t translate well to home consoles because it’s intended to take your money and prompt more quarters rather than be completed in a finite number of lives/credits.  In order to complete the game in the allotted five credits requires you to memorize the cheaper boss battles and exploit the collision detection.  For me it was just repetitive stupid fun.

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Written by Fred Rojas

November 5, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Podcast: Obscure Survival Horror Games

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This week Fred goes solo to discuss obscure survival horror games Overblood, Enemy Zero, ObsCure, and Rule of Rose.  He discuss many aspects about the games without spoiling most of the plot and help you consider whether you’d ever want to play them.  Fred also announces October’s contest winner, announces a new contest, and sets up the game club titles for the upcoming months.


Download this episode (right click and save)

 

Written by Fred Rojas

November 1, 2012 at 2:11 pm