Archive for the ‘Retro Games’ Category

Retro Review: California Games (SMS)

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California Games was developed by Epyx and released to almost all platforms that where available back in 1987. Two years later, it arrived on the Master System, ported by Sega itself. For those who never played the game, California Games is a compilation of 6 unconventional sport games: half-pipe (skateboarding), footbag, surfing, skating, BMX (dirt) and flying disc (frisbee).

Before highlighting the gameplay details of each one of the sports (or as the game refers to them, “events”), the elements of the game that are common to whatever sport the player selects, will be discussed.

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Retro Review: Alex Kidd in Shinobi World

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A game that features Alex Kidd and Shinobi in the same title, but does these two franchises appear in the game as well? Is this game a hybrid or a completely new one? (If you don’t remember those games, read the Alex Kidd in Miracle World and the Shinobi reviews). Well, let’s start by explaining the story of Alex Kidd in Shinobi World.

In this game, the objective of Alex Kidd is to rescue his girlfriend that has been kidnapped by the evil ninja called Hanzo, which is also the name of the villain in Shinobi. The fact that Alex has to rescue someone is the only thing in common with Miracle World and Shinobi plots, meaning that this is a new story, although similar, it is not directly based on those games.

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Retro Review: Alex Kidd in Miracle World

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Let’s start this year with a retro review of the probably most famous Master System game: Alex Kidd in Miracle World. This is a classic 8 bit platformer where the player controls Alex Kidd, who is on a quest to free his home country, Radaxian, from clutches of the evil Janken.

At a first glance, the game appears to be just like any other one in its genre: the objective is to reach the end of the level, enemies move in predefined patterns and jumps have to be timed to avoid pitfalls, gaps, and other hazards. All similarities stop there. Alex Kidd in Miracle World has much more gameplay depth than a standard platformer.

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TA3D: Total Annihilation in 3D

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Total Annihilation is a strategy game released back in 1997. It is one of those games that can make you forget about the time, even if played today. The original version is fun and complete, but what if you want to play it with 3D graphics? That’s why there is TA3D, (Total Annihilation 3D) which is a source port of the original game.

TA3D, as you might have guessed, makes it possible to play Total Annihilation with 3D graphics and some other improvements. For comparison, here are two screenshots, one is from the original game, and the other is from TA3D:

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Retro Review: Shinobi (SMS)

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Shinobi is an action game released by Sega in 1987. In this game, the player has to control a ninja called Joe Musashi, which receives a mission to rescue children hold as hostage by the ‘Ring Five’ terrorist organization. The game was originally released in the Arcades, and later ported to Sega’s 8 bit home console back in 1988.

The Master System version is much more slower and the action more paced than it’s arcade counterpart, but that doesn’t make the game any easier. In fact, the difficulty is the first thing one notices while playing Shinobi. The learning curve is steep and the game is ruthless: your timing has to be almost perfect to defeat the enemies on the screen or just avoid getting hit by bullets, boomerangs and other enemy attacks. The Bonus Stages are also very hard but can give Joe a new spell to aid him. It is a hard game even for the 1988 standards.

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