It’s an unusual title to be sure, but bear with with me.
I’ve long publicized my love for Epic Mickey, the Wii exclusive Mickey Mouse title from designer Warren Spector. Sure, it was pretty exciting in that it not only brought back Mickey Mouse as a video gaming hero (Anyone with a NES or Genesis can understand why that was such a big deal), but it fed into my love of Disney history.
Epic Mickey 2, now a multi-console title, looks to be great. Fully voiced characters, more Disney lore, and a musical, of all things. It sounds pretty exciting, and my faith is tested on which version to get, as Junction Point is still making the Wii version the lead SKU.
And then the 3DS version titled Epic Mickey: The Power of Illusion was announced.
But I’m getting ahead of myself now. For you see, my title actually does have a point. Scrooge McDuck has both faced the Phantom Blot and heard of the Wasteland very recently, thanks to Warren Spector’s run on the DuckTales comic. This particular menace was faced by not only Scrooge, but also Darkwing Duck and related cast teamed up with Duckburg’s finest Read the rest of this entry
While my opinions of my time working with Midway have been touched upon here, I wanted to get a little more into the history of some of those titles. I always had a soft spot for two major areas of their games: The Mortal Kombat series, and their arcade classics. How could you not have a fond reverence for titles such as Defender, Robotron: 2084, Joust, Rampage, Spy Hunter and others? Not to mention in 1996 when they acquired most of Atari’s arcade classics like Gauntlet, Paperboy, and Marble Madness. I say “most” because somewhere along the way, Midway lost publishing rights to a handful of these titles, and they reverted back to “new” Atari. I never got the full story of what happened there. One day, we were publishing Asteroids, Centipede, and Crystal Castles, and then one day, we weren’t.
But I loved this series largely because of my fondness for preserving the history of gaming. Certainly, both Arcade’s Greatest Hits and Midway Arcade Treasures highlighted some real gems, but as the series progressed, the already basic interfaces got even more simplistic, and the last compilation just seemed like an afterthought to toss a Read the rest of this entry
While I still have a few “End of Year” games to discuss, after having beaten(!) VVVVVV, I had to talk about it.
The above mentioned title, with its six consonants, is very similar to the other punish-fest Super Meat Boy. Both have simplistic graphics, both have catchy music, and both games have you dying. A lot. A LOT.
Players step into the anti-grav shoes of Captain Viridian as he looks for his lost crew in this dangerous and unstable dimension. The graphics are monochrome and very simplistic, not unlike a Commodore 64 or early computer games. All of this, of course, is just a backdrop for the gameplay, but the characters have a charming appeal to them regardless.
The game itself is there to beat you senseless, however. It’s all purely a matter of timing, or figuring out the fiendish trap that the room lays out before you, or just simply being fast enough. And yet, for the number of times that I did in any given room, I never felt cheated, and it never felt unfair. This wasn’t BS design. This was challenge, and it puts a platformer enthusiast’s skills to the test. Read the rest of this entry
It’s crazy (for me, anyway) to think that “The Great Atari Vs. Intellivision War” was over 30 years ago. 30 years. Some of you folk weren’t even born yet, and video games were out and about, fighting for living room dominance. You’ve probably seen or heard of some of these games. They look like cave paintings in comparison to today’s games, or a basic Lego set.
And yet, they are still fighting it out.
There have been two volumes of Atari Greatest Hits and one Intellivision Lives! – The latter had lived in “Development Hell” for the longest time, yet saw the light of day last Fall. These games were all recently released on the Nintendo DS for about $20 a title. Atari games are easy to port (usually, depending on who is developing it). Intellivision games usually come across as a nightmare, save for the excellent PC/Mac versions of the Intellivision Lives!/Intellivision Rocks! compilations. I’ll get to that in a moment, but if you like “The Old Days”, or wanted to see what the fuss was about, these three titles are really good examples.
I’m one of those “old” gamers. I’ve been playing video games for over 30 years, which is a little startling in itself, and as much as my friends deride me for it (though I’ll never understand why), I still like playing the “old” game.
I’m sure there’s a good chunk of my readership that wasn’t alive during the first great “Console War”. Not Nintendo Vs. Sega, but Atari Vs. Intellivision.
Intellivision was a weird beast. The first real competition for the mega-popular Atari, and unconventional advertising campaign featuring journalist George Plimpton, and a very long run as far as game systems go (1979-1991). While it didn’t have the licensed fervor that Atari had, it did have a lot of Mattel licenses (Masters of the Universe), Tron, Dungeons & Dragons, and a majority of the popular arcade titles of the time. It also had Imagic as a third-party developer, which had some truly creative games on the system. And then there was Activision during its heyday.