|| ||Donkey Kong Country is a video game developed by Rare, featuring the popular arcade character, Donkey Kong. It was released for the SNES in 1994. The game was produced by Tim Stamper. A platformer featuring then-cutting edge 3d-rendered sprites, this was the first Donkey Kong game not to be produced or directed by Shigeru Miyamoto. The title also marked the effective debut of the British software company Rareware into mainstream video game stardom, and was one of the earliest games to feature the "Rareware" logo (which has since been discontinued). Following an intense marketing campaign, the original SNES version eventually sold over 9 million copies, making it the third best-selling game on the system (trailing Nintendo's Super Mario World and Super Mario All-Stars).
The game plays much like typical platforming games of its day. One noticeable difference is the inclusion of two simultaneous main characters: Donkey Kong and Diddy Kong. Each Kong can take one hit (they leave the screen and are 'kidnapped'); once both are gone, a life is lost. The two have different abilities and strengths; Donkey can slap the ground and unveil secrets, as well as defeat stronger enemies, while Diddy is faster and more athletic. The player can switch between them via a "tag" feature that would be reused throughout the series. Donkey is best used in caves, because there are stronger enemies in caves (according to the manual). Diddy is best for "acrobatic" levels.
In this game, Donkey Kong must recover his stolen hoard of bananas from King K. Rool and the Kremlings. His banana hoard is located in a cave just underneath his house. He has the special help of his best buddy, Diddy Kong, who idolizes DK. Cranky Kong lends some advice along the way. Funky Kong and Candy Kong also lend a hand. For the first time, Donkey Kong's home environment, Donkey Kong Island, is unveiled to the player.
Prior to the title's production, Rare's Chris and Tim Stamper had begun programming experiments with a Silicon Graphics workstation, with their initial focus centered around a boxing game. After impressing Nintendo with their progress, Genyo Takeda was dispatched to Japan to advise then-president Hiroshi Yamauchi. Following talks between Yamauchi and Rare, Nintendo acquired 25% of the company, which culminated in the production of a new title using the SGI technology. The Stampers expressed interest in making a game based on Donkey Kong, and were given Nintendo's consent.
As a part of Nintendo's marketing campaign, a 15 minute VHS tape titled "Donkey Kong Country: Exposed " was sent to subscribers of Nintendo Power magazine. The video takes the audience on a brief tour of Nintendo of America's headquarters in Redmond, Washington and shows footage from the game when it was in the final stages of development. Several game testers provide tips on how to access bonus levels and perform tricks throughout the game. Various interviews promote the level of graphical complexity as being revolutionary for game systems at that time. A segment at the end of the video reminds viewers that the game is available only on Nintendo's 16-bit Super NES console and not on rival 32-bit and CD-ROM based systems (e.g., Sega 32X and Sega CD) that boasted superior processing power. In a "hidden" section at the end of the cassette, the host of the video opens a door and discovers that Nintendo of America testers are playing an early development version of the Killer Instinct arcade. A character resembling Chief Thunder is shown with notable differences.
The game was revolutionary in that it was one of the first games for a mainstream home video game console to use pre-rendered 3-D graphics. It was a technique that was also used in Rare's Killer Instinct. Many later 3-D video games would also use pre-rendered 3-D together with fully 3-D objects. Rare took significant financial risks in purchasing the expensive SGI equipment used to render the graphics. Both Nintendo and Rare refer to the technique for the creating the game's graphics as "ACM" (Advanced Computer Modeling).
Nintendo producer Shigeru Miyamoto once criticized Donkey Kong Country, stating that "Donkey Kong Country proves that players will put up with mediocre gameplay as long as the art is good." Miyamoto later apologized, saying he had been too harsh due to Nintendo pressuring him at the time to make Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island more like Donkey Kong Country.
Donkey Kong Country also had a popular soundtrack which was released on CD under the title DK Jamz. Composers Robin Beanland, Eveline Fischer, and David Wise collaborated on this ensemble of jungle music. The diverse composition consists of over 20 tracks.
The soundtrack was also the focus of an OverClocked ReMix collaboration entitled Kong in Concert, later praised by Wise.
|| ||X-Men is a home console video game produced by Sega in 1993, based on the adventures of the Marvel Comics superhero team, the X-Men. One or two players can play as any of four pre-chosen X-Men. X-Men is a Mega Drive/Genesis-exclusive game and in 1995 was followed up by X-Men 2: Clone Wars.|
The game takes place in the Danger Room, a training area for the X-Men inside the X-Mansion. A virus transmitted via satellite has infected the Danger Room, disabling control and safety limits. The X-Men must endure the unpredictable behavior of the Danger Room until the virus can be located and eliminated. Once the virus is eliminated, the X-Men discover that Magneto is behind the computer virus and the final stage involves a battle with him.
Gambit, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, and Cyclops are available to play. Each character can jump and use various unlimited weapons (i.e. punch, kick) and a superpower which had a usefulness limited by a mutant power bar similar to a life meter, making the player rely more on standard attacks. The mutant power bar would slowly regenerate when depleted and when switching characters in mid-game, would revert to the status of the next characters mutant power bar from the last use.
Resetting the CPU
At the time, this game is one of few games which break the 4th wall. Once Mojo is defeated, the player must "reset the computer" for the Danger Room to stop the virus being emitted on Mojo's level. However, there are no switches for doing so. Resetting the computer is meant to be literal, in that the player has to lightly press the reset button on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis console before the time ran out. This trick was widely panned by both video game magazine critics and consumers. Holding down the reset button too long would simply reset the system as one would normally expect. This also makes the game impossible to complete when playing on the Sega Nomad, as the portable Sega Mega Drive/Genesis has no reset button.
|| ||Super Metroid, also known as Metroid 3, is an adventure video game and the third game in the Metroid series. It was developed by Nintendo Research & Development 1 and Intelligent Systems and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. The game was released in Japan in March 1994, in North America in April 1994, and in Europe in July 1994.|
The game was given near-universal acclaim, receiving an aggregated score of 96% from Game Rankings, making it the website's 19th highest-rated game. Electronic Gaming Monthly named it the Game of the Month for May 1994, gave it an Editor's Choice Award, awarded it as the Best Action Game of 1994, and named it the Best Game of All Time in 2003.
Most of Super Metroid takes place on the planet Zebes, which is a large, open-ended world with areas connected by doors and elevators. The player controls Samus as she searches the planet for a Metroid that was stolen by Ridley, the leader of the Space Pirates
The game introduces several new concepts to the series. Among them are the ability to enable and disable weapons and abilities in an inventory screen, and a Moon Walk ability, named after Michael Jackson's dance move of the same name, which allows Samus to walk backwards while firing.
Super Metroid takes place immediately after the events of Metroid 2: Return of Samus, and begins with a narrative by bounty hunter Samus Aran. Samus describes how a Metroid larva hatched from an egg and immediately imprinted upon her, believing her to be its mother. She brought the larva to Ceres Space Colony, where scientists learned that they could harness its power. Just after she left the colony, she received a distress call and returned to find the scientists dead and the larva stolen. The game begins as she follows the leader of the Space Pirates, Ridley, to the planet Zebes, where she searches for the stolen larva in a network of caves.
Along the way, Samus defeats four of the Space Pirate bosses, including Ridley, and arrives in Tourian, the heart of the Space Pirate base. There, she encounters the Metroid larva, which has now grown to an enormous size. It attacks Samus and nearly drains all of her energy before it realizes who she is, departing afterward. Samus recharges her energy and confronts Mother Brain, the biomechanical creature that controls the base's systems. Mother Brain nearly kills Samus, but is then attacked by the Metroid larva, which drains it of its energy and transfers it back to Samus. Mother Brain recovers and destroys the Metroid in retaliation, but is in turn destroyed by Samus with an extremely powerful weapon created from the energy given to her by the Metroid. Afterward, a planetwide self-destruct sequence begins, which Samus narrowly escapes.
Super Metroid was developed by Nintendo R&D1 with a staff of 15 people. The game was directed by Yoshio Sakamoto, designed by Gunpei Yokoi, Sakamoto, and Makoto Kanoh, and composed by Kenji Yamamoto. The game, which was released almost a decade after the original Metroid game, took half a year to gain approval for the initial idea, and actual development of the game took two more years to complete.
|| ||Smash TV is a 1990 arcade game created by Eugene Jarvis and Mark Turmell for Williams. Home versions were developed for various platforms and most were published by Acclaim Entertainment.|
The play mechanic is very similar to that of Eugene Jarvis' earlier Robotron: 2084, with dual-joystick controls and series of single screen areas. The theme of the game involves players competing in a violent gameshow, set in the then-future of 1999. Moving from one room to the next within the studio/arena, players have to shoot down hordes of enemies as they advance from all sides, while at the same time collecting weapons, power-up items, and assorted bonus prizes.
The game features verbal interjections from the gameshow host such as "Total Carnage! I love it!" This quote gives itself to the title of the 1991 follow-up, Total Carnage, which, while not a direct sequel, features similar gameplay.
The announcer in the game is voiced by sound designer Paul Heitsch. The script was created by the game's sole composer and sound designer Jon Hey. The voice of General Ahkboob in the sequel Total Carnage is Ed Boon, coding creator of Mortal Kombat. In the Smash TV flyer image [right] the hands at the console are Ed Boon's (left) and Jon Hey's (right).
This game is known for its graphic nature and for its later versions, where players can enter the Pleasure Dome if they collected 10 keys.
|| ||Secret of Mana, known in Japan as Seiken Densetsu 2 "The Legend of the Holy Sword 2", is an action role-playing game developed and published by Square (now Square Enix) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. |
Secret of Mana is the second installment in the Mana video game series (the first, Final Fantasy Adventure/Seiken Densetsu: Final Fantasy Gaiden was for the Game Boy). This is the only Mana game released on the Super Nintendo outside Japan. Most players outside Japan were introduced to the series through this particular game.
Rather than use the traditional turn-based battle system of games like Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, Secret of Mana uses real-time battles akin to the Legend of Zelda series' games, but with the statistical-based elements of the RPG genre and a unique "ring menu" system. With its brightly colored graphics, expansive plot, and soundtrack by Hiroki Kikuta, Secret Of Mana is considered an influential game of its time.
As is common with role-playing games of the 16-bit era, Secret of Mana is comprised entirely of a top-down perspective, in which three protagonists navigate through the terrain and fight off hostile creatures. Control may be passed between each of the three at any time; if Randi is selected as the player character, his two companions will be controlled via artificial intelligence, and vice-versa. The trio can find refuge in a town, where they can regain hit points (HP) or purchase restorative items and equipment. The game may be played simultaneously by two or three players.
Each of the three characters has individual strengths and weaknesses: The boy, while unable to use magic, excels at fighting and masters weapons at a quicker rate; the girl functions as healer, able to cast restorative and support spells; lastly, the Sprite's magic is almost entirely offensive, but he is ill-suited for melee combat.
The story takes place in a fictional world, during an unspecified period following a war between a civilization and "gods" concerning the use of mana to fuel the "Mana Fortress", a flying warship. Using the power of the Mana Sword, a hero destroyed the fortress and returned peace to the world.
The story begins when three boys from the village Potos disobey their Elder's instructions and trespass into a nearby waterfall, where a treasure is said to be kept. One of the boys (the main protagonist) stumbles and falls into the lake, where he finds a rusty sword embedded in a stone. Guided by a disembodied voice, he pulls the sword free, inadvertently unleashing monsters in Potos and the surrounding countryside. The villagers interpret the sword's removal as a bad omen, and banish the boy from Potos forever. An elderly Knight named Jema recognizes the blade as the legendary Mana Sword, and encourages the boy to re-energize it by visiting the eight Mana Temples. During his journey, the boy is joined by a Sprite child and the daughter of a nobleman from Pandora. The orphaned Sprite initially tries to con the boy out of his money, but later accompanies him in hope of recovering his lost memory. The girl joins the party in search of her lost love, Dyluck, an officer in Pandora's army who has gone missing.
|| ||EarthBound, known in Japan as Mother 2: Gyiyg no Gyakushu "Mother 2: Gyiyg Strikes Back" is a role-playing video game co-developed by Ape and HAL Laboratory and published by Nintendo for the Super NES video game console. It was designed by Shigesato Itoi, who also developed its Japan-only predecessor, Mother. It was released in Japan on August 27, 1994, and in North America on June 1, 1995. |
EarthBound features many traditional RPG elements; the player controls a party of characters who travel through the game's two dimensional world, which is composed of villages, cities, and dungeons. Along the way, battles are fought against enemies, after which, the party receives experience points for victories. Rather than utilizing an overworld map screen like most console RPGs of its era, the world is entirely seamless, with no differentiation between towns and the outside world. Another non-traditional element is the perspective used for the world. The game uses oblique projection, while most 2-D RPGs use a "top down" view on a grid or an isometric perspective.
EarthBound takes place on Earth in the year 199X. Throughout the game, four characters, known as the Chosen Four, come to compose the party in the game. They are Ness, Paula, Jeff, and Poo.
The story begins when Ness is awakened by a meteorite that has plummeted to the earth near his home, whereupon he proceeds to investigate the crash site along with his annoying next door neighbor, Pokey, who later on asks if Ness could help find his little brother, Picky. After arriving, Ness encounters an alien named Buzz Buzz, who informs Ness that he is from the future where a hostile alien, Giygas, dominates the planet. Buzz Buzz instructs Ness to embark on a journey to defeat Giygas in the present, because he is too powerful in the future. Ness then proceeds to seek out eight "sanctuaries," to unite his own powers with the Earth's and gain the strength required to confront Giygas. Buzz Buzz is later killed by Pokey's mom, who mistakes Buzz Buzz for a dung beetle, and gives Ness the Sound Stone, an item that is vital to the completion of his quest.
Ness proceeds on his quest through a variety of locales, including the town of Onett, an icy land called Winters, an oriental land called Dalaam, and a dream world called Magicant. As he goes on his journey, he encounters a variety of characters, including the other three chosen ones, Paula, a blond girl from Twoson, Jeff, a book-smart boy from Winters, and Poo, a young prince from Dalaam. There are several enemies that Ness encounters in EarthBound, including Giygas' army of Starmen. The group often runs into a blues band called the Runaway Five, helping them out and being helped out in return. Throughout the game, Ness runs into Pokey, who had joined with Giygas to take over the world. Ness eventually activates all of the "Your Sanctuary", travels to Magicant, and defeats his "Nightmare", which represented all of the evil hidden away in Ness' heart, unlocking his true power. Jeff's father, Doctor Andonuts, creates a device that will allow them to travel to the past to battle against Giygas - however, they are forced to transfer their souls from their bodies into robot bodies, as organic material can't withstand the warp through time. In the past, they encounter Giygas and Pokey in a giant spider mecha, who informs Ness and the others that Giygas has consumed so much evil power, that his mind was completely destroyed. Pokey then activates a device called the Devil's Machine, which causes Giygas' body to manifest itself into a physical form. After defeating Pokey, the machine turns off, revealing Giygas' true form, a swirling, spirit-esque, mass. It utilizes attacks that Ness and the others can't even comprehend, and speaks in a confused babble. Paula then prays to a variety of people on Earth, including their friends, such as the Runaway Five, who all pray for their safety, and eventually, she reaches out to the player, whose prayers defeat Giygas. Pokey escapes into time, and Ness and company manage to have their spirits returned to their bodies, and they all return to their homes. After the credits, Picky gives Ness a message from Pokey daring him to come looking for him.
|| ||Comix Zone is a 1995 arcade-style action game. The game's most remarkable feature is that it is set within the "panels" of a comic book. Each level consists of two "pages" and secrets are discovered by shredding the "paper" and revealing items. The unique dialogue is rendered within talk bubbles with the typical comic font. Sprites and backgrounds possess the bright colors and dynamic drawing style favored by superhero comics.
Comix Zone was widely criticized for being released too late and for being too hard and short, but it was positively received, and praised for its great game-play, graphics, and soundtrack. It became a great success due to its game-play, and is released on many collections and consoles since.
The music was composed by Howard Drossin, a known video game and movie composer. Graphics were done mainly by comic artists.
The game was originally from a concept video animated by Peter Morawiec titled "Joe Pencil Trapped In The Comix Zone". The video was made in 1992, displaying the animation of how the gameplay and the comic book elements would blend in.
Sketch Turner, a "starving artist" and freelance rock musician, is working on his newest comic book, named the "Comix Zone." Comix Zone is the story of the New World Empire's attempt to defend Earth from an invasion of alien renegades, with inspiration coming from Sketch's (oddly vivid) dreams and nightmares.
One night, while Sketch is working on Comix Zone during a storm, a massive lightning bolt strikes outside his apartment, somehow affecting the comic book too. In this instant, the main villain of Comix Zone - a powerful mutant named Mortus - manages to escape the comic book's pages, and hurl the stunned Sketch into the world of Comix Zone. Mortus intends to free himself by destroying Sketch in the comic book, as he is unable to do so in reality.
Inside the comic book, Sketch meets General Alissa Cyan, who believes he is a superhero ("the chosen one") who has come to save their post-apocalyptic world from the evil of Mortus and the alien invaders. Ignoring Sketch's protests, Alissa sends him on his mission, keeping in touch with instructions and hints via radio.
Now that Mortus has a physical presence outside of Comix Zone, he is free to change the world as he wishes, simply by drawing in enemies for Sketch to face - or in one instance burn up part of a page.
In the final (and partly unfinished) panel, Sketch finds a nuke ready to launch, and Alissa is working on defusing it. Enraged, Mortus zaps himself back into the Comix Zone and shuts Alissa inside the nuke, which starts to fill with liquid. Sketch must now defeat Mortus for good and try and prevent Alissa from drowning.
|| ||U.N. Squadron is a 1989 side scrolling shooting game released for the CPS arcade hardware by Capcom. The game was released in Japan as Area 88 and is based on the manga series of the same name, featuring the same main characters. Here, their mission is to stop a terrorist group known as Project 4. It was followed by the sequel Carrier Air Wing.
The game is a typical side scrolling shooter, going against the trend of other Capcom shooters, such as 1942, and 1943: The Battle of Midway, which are vertically scrolling shooters.
The player can choose between three mercenary pilots: Shin Kazama, Mickey Simon, and Greg Gates. Each pilot flies a specific plane and has slightly different capabilities.
- Shin Kazama: Shin flies an F-20 Tigershark; the weapons on his plane fire forward only but at a quick pace. Shin and his plane are the most balanced combination available.
- Mickey Simon: Mickey flies an F-14 Tomcat; the weapons on his plane also fire forward only, but are also larger (albeit slower), inflicting more damage than Shins plane.
- Greg Gates: Greg flies an A-10 Thunderbolt; this plane has smaller forward fire than either Shin or Mickey's planes, but it also fires a second stream downward at a 45° angle from the forward firing stream.
U.N. Squadron (known as Area 88 in Japan) was ported to the SNES in 1991. The principal difference between the SNES version and the arcade version is that in the SNES game each pilot can use a range of planes. All pilots start out with $3000 and the basic F8 Crusader and can buy other aircraft as they progress. Other differences include:
- Single player only.
- Unlike the arcade version, where the player only has one "life" per credit, the player now begins with 3 lives, and extra lives can be earned. Upon losing all lives, the player can continue -- but only three times.
- Different planes may be used by each pilot in contrast to the arcade version, where each pilot is tied to a particular aircraft.
- More weapons are available in the between-level shop, however, shields can no longer be purchased -- they must be found in the levels.
- Missions can be tackled in any order chosen by the player (as long as that mission has been reached on the overhead map shown before choosing the pilot's plane and weapons).
- Mickey Simon is known as Mickey Scymon.
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