Posts Tagged ‘Arcade’

Call me a sucker for everything retro. When I heard that Midway Arcade Origins was coming to Xbox 360 I knew that I had to get it. Of course every time they offered a compilation of old school classics I ended up buying it no matter what console I had at the time, and Midway‘s retro offerings have been whored out on all of them to date. Sure nothing has changed since the time when I played most of these games back in the ’80s and early ’90s except for the fact is that this time there’s achievements. Challenge accepted! Now where do I insert the virtual tokens?

PROS:

More Than 30 Classic Games
Actually there are 31 games which solidifies the more than 30 games message in the advertising. Some of the games I really enjoyed including Smash TV, Total Carnage, Defender, Sinistar, Joust, Arch Rivals, Rampage, and more. Of course there’s some games in this collection that I wish would just die. Yes, I’m talking to you Pit Fighter and Spy Hunter 2. Overall this compilation of old school classics is quite enjoyable giving me some nostalgic memories of days gone by. This collection also has multiple ways of playing with Free Play where I can keep entering virtual quarters and play as long as I want, and Score Attack which only gives me a set number of lives. Score Attack is also the only way to unlock each game’s achievement.

CONS:

Terrible Controls
For a collection of games that have been faithfully emulated you would think a tweak or two in the control department would help. Sadly, that is not the case here. The main problems show up on titles that used trackball and steering wheel controls. The analog stick is the only alternative, but on games like Championship Sprint and even Marble Madness it can prove to be quite a pain in the ass to control. I’ve also noticed a slight hiccup issue with the analog controls in Smash TV. I don’t get it. The controls work great on the XBLA version. Why not on this one?

No Online Multiplayer
Multiplayer is included with Midway Arcade Origins in the form of couch multiplayer, but I think this collection would be even better with some form of online multiplayer. The games that were available on Xbox Live Arcade, before their delisting, had online multiplayer making for some fun. Sadly, the only online functionality this set has is online leaderboards. Maybe the thought of being number one on the leaderboards is enough for some people since the days of these games was achieving a high score. Then there are games like Rampage, Arch Rivals, and others that are much better with some competition both online and on the couch.

Missing Games
While Midway Arcade Origins features an eclectic collection of games there are a few titles that have been omitted. Where’s NARC? It’s on all the other collections, but not here. Why? How about Pigskin 621 A.D.? Arch Rivals is here, why not this one? Primal Rage? Hydro Thunder? I could go on and on. Some people out there on the internet message boards have even mentioned the Mortal Kombat games. I guess they haven’t noticed yet, but those games are in one “Kollection” on Xbox Live Arcade. Hopefully WB Games has plans on a follow up down the road, because there are so many titles for at least another release.

IN CONCLUSION

Midway Arcade Origins clearly fills the need for retro gamers like myself with a nice compilation of classic titles, but the control issues on some games along with the omission of other titles sort of hurts it. Some of these games are fun for a long time, but there are others that have aged so badly that I’ll just play to earn the achievement and then steer clear of them forever. This is a collection for serious retro gaming fans. Everyone else (especially those born after the early ’90s) should give it at least a rental just to see what gaming was like in the early days.

Developer: WB Games
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-2 (local multiplayer)
Price: $29.99

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GAME STATUS: Made my last stand against the Shadows
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 23 OUT OF 30 (255 Gamerscore)

For my original review on Deadlight click HERE.

The Shadows, The New Law, The Ratman. These are just a few of my encounters that took place in the streets of Seattle in 1986. A city filled with the undead and a select few trying to survive against all odds. The New Law however had other plans and Randall Wayne wanted no part of it. Everyday was a battle for survival and the hope to find his family only to find out that Randall killed his wife and daughter a while back so that they wouldn’t join the ranks of the undead. I think I’ll file this as one of those M. Night Shyamalan plot twists.

Deadlight was a game that reminded me a lot of Limbo. There was plenty of platforming that sometimes drove me batshit crazy when I died…a lot. The jumping mechanics were not completely solid as I would miss the spot to jump to by just a hair and die. That sucked, but then again Deadlight classifies itself as one of those trial and error games so I stuck with it no matter how frustrated I got especially during the Ratman act where your doing tons of jumps, avoiding wall saws, and solving puzzles using a slingshot just so he can tell you to find his son.

As for the weapons, well I have to say that they’re somewhat useful. The fire axe is very trusty when your in a grind, but the guns on the other hand are only as good as when ammo is nearby. Clearing a horde of zombies may not work so well either, because Deadlight is not a game about killing. It’s more about survival or lack thereof at the end when I made my last stand helping my final survivor escape.

WELL I MADE MY FINAL STAND. IS THERE RESURRECTION IN MY IMMEDIATE FUTURE?

Other than the handheld games, serial killer IDs, and diary entries to collect I don’t see another playthrough at all. Deadlight was a fun game while it lasted, but the plot won’t surprise me anymore. The Rat levels drove me crazy enough in that Limbo sort of sense. Plus there were times where I would fall through the ground and run through the air in a game crashing glitch. With all that said I’ll let Randall Wayne’s final stand be known as heroic, and let Deadlight rest in peace deleted from my hard drive.

Developer: Tequila Works
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)

Seattle. July 4, 1986. 185 days after the infection. The zombie apocalypse is well underway. Every day becomes a battle for survival against insurmountable odds. Do I continue on with my search for hope, or just put a bullet in my head and end the misery? Wait a minute! How many of these apocalyptic nightmare games have I been a part of? Way too many I suppose, but who cares. Bring on the zombies! Now where was I? Oh yeah, I’m struggling to survive to hopefully one day reunite with my family.

With no cure for the infection and no hope in sight, Randall Wayne goes on his endless search for hope. His urge to find his family is his only motivation for survival against the “shadows.” That’s the term used for the dark, red eyed menace that populate the streets of Seattle and are ready to ravage my corpse if I fail. The shadows are everywhere. Just when I think that the rotted mound of flesh on the ground is just another dead body it will end up being the one coming after me. The shadows aren’t the only problem in town. There’s also a faction called “The New Law” that seems to have their own agenda as well.

Deadlight, from Tequila Works, brings me back to a rather familiar territory…zombies. Sure it’s another apocalypse, but this time things feel a little different than what I’ve went through many times before. Most of the time it’s me putting round after round into the heads of the undead leaving them in a bloody mess. Deadlight is a little different as it’s more about surviving. There is the occasional weapon here and there which allow me to dish out some zombie justice, but ammo is limited and stamina becomes an issue. Sometimes it’s better to run from the danger rather than face it head on.

Playing as a 2D/3D side scrolling platformer, Deadlight channels memories of when I played the trial and error nightmare of Limbo especially when I reached the second act featuring a character known as “The Rat.” Running and jumping was more important than shooting and melee attacks as I reached for new heights. Sometimes I failed a jump or twos which led me to my death as I was impaled by spikes, but after a while I got the mechanics down making the game a tad easier while still dying here and there. At least when I died I would revive at the last checkpoint due to my ability of the unlimited continue.

The zombified shadows reminded me of walkers in The Walking Dead which is quite creepy. I never knew if a person was alive or undead as I walked past them. Then the chill set in as they got up and started to chase me down. Good thing these shadows are rather dumb as I would solve a random puzzle here and there to do things like electrify them, cause them to fall to their deaths from a deep hole in the ground, and even drop a heavy object or two on them. Watching the shadows die was pretty satisfying and even drew a chuckle from me. As for The New Law? Well that’s a challenge in itself especially when they have a chopper and they’re shooting at me.

Unique visuals reminiscent of Shadow Complex, graphic novel presentation, tough as hell platforming, plenty of collectibles to find, easy to earn achievements based on popular ’80s songs, and a few plot twists that had me saying “What the fuck!” Deadlight clearly is a game that is far from perfect, but it does have just enough to keep me interested in the 2-3 hours that it takes to beat the game.

Developer: Tequila Works
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)

GAME STATUS: Completed and won on multiple game modes
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 8 out of 12 (90 Gamerscore)

For my original review of Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition click HERE.

I crossed through rush hour traffic. I braved the raging rivers. I survived diving turtles, crocs, otters, and snakes. I even got foggy style with some female frogs as I took them to my lily pad across the river. Frogger is classic and fun, but will the Hyper Arcade Edition join Pac-Man Championship Edition as an awesome remake? Well here’s my post thoughts.

In the early going, I was impressed with the new version of the classic Frogger. Zombie Studios brought the classic gameplay (which I loved) and upgraded the look even going as far as creating theme options based on Konami classics Castlevania, Contra, and Dance Dance Revolution. These new themes were nice to play for a game or two, but lost their luster after that as I moved back to the original look. The music selection was pretty good with some electronic and dubstep beats giving me an extra hop to my step as I rocked my way to the lily pads.

As for the other gameplay modes. Well just like the classic themes they only hold their value for just a few games and become completely forgettable later. Games modes like Battle Royale, Paint, and Tile Capture get really boring after awhile. I did assign bots for some sort of challen ge, but I got none. It became too easy. What would’ve made this better would be some sort of online multiplayer which would keep anyone playing for an extra week or two. Couch multiplayer and bot play can only do so much.

DO I CONTINUE TO RISK BECOMING POSSIBLE ROADKILL?

Frogger was a lot of fun in my earlier gaming days, but now it doesn’t feel quite the same to me. Don’t get me wrong I’ll still play the classic arcade game (which I still have on my hard drive), but the Pac-Man Championship Edition style makeover was not really needed. It’s just one Frogger version too many yet I have four versions of Pac-Man on my hard drive. Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition was fun while it lasted, but it’s not a game that’s going to stay on my hard drive. Consider this frog retired and the game deleted.

Developer: Konami, Zombie Studios
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-4 (Local Multiplayer)
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

Back in 2005, it addicted me. Seven years later, I’m back for more. PopCap Games made a sequel to the addicting puzzle game Zuma, and this time revenge is on their mind. Revenge for what? Addiction? Lost employee production at the workplace? I really don’t know, but what I do know is that our amphibian hero is back, he’s got balls, and he’s not afraid to use them.

Zuma’s Revenge continues once again on the same color ball matching puzzle adventure. Not much has changed except for the scenery. Gone are the tombs and in is the lush jungle scenery of this unique tropical island. Unfortunately, the natives don’t take to kindly to the frog coming to their home, and are plotting a scheme to eat him. Well I can’t let the natives make frog legs out of me so it looks like there is one thing left to do…bring on the puzzles!

Just like the previous game, Zuma’s Revenge plays out as a “match three” puzzle game where I would match at least three balls of one color. Once that is accomplished the balls disappear and I repeat the same action until I cleared each stage. Sounds simple right? Well that’s because it is, however Zuma is a tough game to master. Levels will get much harder leaving very little room for error. Power-ups also come into play featuring score multipliers, bombs, laser beams, tri-shots, and even flow reversal. Each of the power-ups, along with some various chain reaction combos, offer a new sense of strategy as well as helping me finish a level in one piece.

New to Zuma’s Revenge is boss battles which in a way reminds me of the old school classic Space Invaders. All I needed to do is clear the balls in the way of the boss and fire. I like the addition because it really breaks up the monotony of puzzle action. Also new is the addition of Spirit Animals which changes the dynamic of the game in terms of power-ups and other bonuses happening more frequently by earning Spirit Tokens to level them up for even more bonuses. More bonuses lead to higher scores and more tokens to spend.

Zuma’s Revenge is more than just a basic puzzle game. It’s an addiction. Every time I play I work myself into a frenzy just to get that high score or move deeper in the game. Well Popcap added some extra game modes to keep me playing for a log time. Weekly Challenges for scoring, Boss Rush which is pretty self explanatory, and Iron Frog for the hardcore Zuma players. There’s plenty to do here in Zuma’s Revenge to keep me hooked for months and years to come making the 800 Microsoft Point ($10.00) asking price well worth it.

Considering the fact that I have this game on multiple platforms, including the iPad & iPhone, I really seem to enjoy Zuma’s Revenge on Xbox Live Arcade even more. With the multitude of game modes Zuma’s Revenge has, it’s safe to assume that this game will be more than just filler between shooters and racing games. Zuma’s Revenge is hardcore within itself which makes it a game for more than just casual players. Zuma’s Revenge is awesome as well as highly addictive. This means everyone should download this game right now.

Developer: PopCap Games
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

Why did the frog cross the road?

Thirty years later, we’re still answering that question on why a frog is crazy enough to hop through rush hour traffic and a river filled with logs and alligators all for the prize of a casual lily pad. Maybe even a female frog to share it with. Love sure makes a frog go wild now doesn’t it. Then again the same goes for humens and the classic arcade game. Just ask George Costanza from Seinfeld.

Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition, from Konami and Zombie Studios, takes the classic game I loved since the arcade and Atari 2600 days and gives it a Pac-Man Championship Edition style upgrade. I went into this game with rather low expectations thinking that the game might suck, but after a couple of hours trying out all the different game modes I started to get hooked. This game is a lot better than I thought.

Sticking to the classic formula, Frogger will have you crossing the street and raging river to the lily pad. Sure the classic gameplay is fun, but this Hyper Edition has so much more to offer. New to the game is Challenge Mode, Tile Capture, Battle Royale, Lady Frog Rescue, Paint, Twin Frogger and Frogger Freak Out. Other than the single player game the Hyper Arcade Edition features plenty of local or CPU controlled bots in mulltiplayer action. My favorites included Tile Capture with tons of frantic action and Battle Royale with some Frogger style deathmatch action. Paint is also good in single player which brings a bit of a puzzle element to the game.

Another great feature to this game is the addition of some Konami themed backgrounds including Castlevania, Contra, and Dance Dance Revolution just to name a few. Hopefully you remember the Konami Code to unlock Contra. If you don’t then you might want to click the link for the code. These themed levels really triggered the nostaglic side of me and were all fun to play. Maybe Zombie Studios can create a few more themes including Metal Gear Solid, Gyruss, or even Skate or Die.

Even after thirty years, Frogger’s simplistic gameplay still finds new ways to keep me coming back. It’s not a game that blows me away graphically, but that was never the point to begin with. Frogger Hyper Arcade Edition clearly is a game that I would recommend for fans of the classic game.

Developer: Konami, Zombie Studios
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-4 (Local Multiplayer)
Price: 800 Microsoft Points ($10.00)

With the promises of fortune and fame I made my way into the darkness of the mines. As I pass through the threshold I distinctly begin to recall the tales of those before me brave enough to enter, but they never came back. Did they strike it rich, or perish in the randomness of the dark that followed. What exactly is down there? Treasure, or dare I say snakes. I hate snakes!

Spelunky, from original developer Derek Yu of Mossmouth, lets me channel my inner Indiana Jones all in search of the big score. Plenty of gold, rubies, and crystals lie in the depths below. Of course where theres riches there’s also danger. Why just today I came across a golden idol. Something is rather familiar about this trinket of great worth. I swear I’ve seen this before in Raiders of the Lost Ark along with the consequences of that huge boulder that followed, but that was Hollywood. There’s no way this would happen here in Spelunky, so I decided to swipe the idol. Why is everything shaking all of a sudden? Oh shit!

After getting ran over by that boulder I realized that death is pretty much a commonality in Spelunky. I fall off a cliff…dead. Get impaled in spikes…dead. Get hit by a few creatures…dead. Get touched by a ghost…dead. Piss off the shopkeeper…dead. Death may be common, but the real punishment was what happened after I died. I started back at the beginning in a new randomly created level. Health was also tough to come by since I needed to help a damsel in distress. Saving her got me a kiss and a point of health as a reward. I liked being the savior, but every once in a while I like to have a little “fun” with the damsel as I tossed her around, whipped her a few times, and even set off a bomb or two killing her in the process. Oops! It was an accident! I swear!

With all the hours I spent playing Spelunky the only thought that went through my head while cursing at the TV was “Holy shit! This game is hard!” I actually applaud the game’s difficulty, because it reminded me of the old days of gaming. Spelunky made me think whether that gold was worth the possibility of getting hurt. Is there treasure in that pot or another snake? Is getting one point of health from the lovely damsel worth two points of damage from the arrow trap nearby? Do I use one of my limited bombs or rope in my inventory, because I never know when the next shopkeeper will mysteriously show up. Everything is so random, and that’s what makes Spelunky a great game.

Spelunky may be a tough to master, but the game’s goal was not to punish me. Sure it might feel like that after dying hundreds of times and starting over from the beginning, but what the game is really doing is teaching me. Teaching me to not be a dumbass and consider doing the smart thing instead. If something is not really worth it than don’t do it, and save that precious health for another day. Using my brain and thinking things through, but not think too long, because that chill I now feel in the air is the ghost who’s about to kill me. Mr. Wizard, I need an exit…NOW!

Whether I’m playing the thrilling adventure, or jamming on the couch with some friends in the multiplayer mode (which is a blast to play) Spelunky is a lot of fun. There’s so much to explore and accomplish. The “risk vs. reward” concept is well done, and even the achievements are a challenge to earn. There’s an addictive quality with Spelunky that will keep me playing for a long time as I try to reach that next level or get that higher score. I highly recommend all of you out there looking for a real challenge to download this game today. It’s well worth it.

Developer: Derek Yu, Mossmouth
Platform: Xbox Live Arcade
Players: 1-4 (Local Multiplayer)
Price: 1200 Microsoft Points ($15.00)