|| ||Sonic the Hedgehog is a platform game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the Mega Drive/Genesis system. It is the inaugural game in Sega's flagship Sonic the Hedgehog video game series, and was the first title developed by Sonic Team. It was first released on June 23, 1991 in North America, and the same day in Europe. This game propelled the Genesis into mass popularity in North America. After it was released, it eventually replaced Altered Beast as the game bundled with the console, and was later replaced with its first sequel, Sonic the Hedgehog 2. |
In the game, Sonic has to prevent Dr. Robotnik from collecting six of the Chaos Emeralds in an attempt to rule South Island. He must traverse six "zones", each comprising three stages or "acts", until he confronts Robotnik for the last time in the Final Zone.
The gameplay centers around elements that exploit the increased performance of the 16-bit console over its 8-bit forebears. It is notable for being both simplistic and engaging for players.
Sonic could run, jump, and roll at significantly higher speeds than most platformers of the time. Unlike other platformers, the game's levels were designed to encourage the player to progress quickly. Springs, slopes, high falls and loop-de-loops were all available to both boost and challenge the player to reach high speeds. This was all accomplished without any slowdown in framerates, adding to the experience.
Essential to the gameplay are the golden rings the player collects along his/her way in each level; a feature which would become one of the defining characteristics of the series. These items are regularly placed around the level map and serve multiple functions. First, the player collects rings to protect Sonic. As long as they have at least one ring, the player will not lose a life when injured. Instead, when hit, up to 40 of the rings the player has collected will fly outward and scatter around the immediate area, some of which can then be retrieved before they disappear. If the player runs into an enemy without a single ring, they will lose a life. If the player collects 100 rings they will gain a life, and gain an additional life for every 100 rings after that, provided the rings are not lost.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
At the time of its release, Sonic the Hedgehog boasted impressive 16-bit graphics, with richly animated sprites and varied colors, fully utilising the Mega Drive's enhanced color palette. Flowers moved, rings spun, lights blinked, and water shimmered in the background.
The game also takes full advantage of the on-board Zilog Z80 and Yamaha synthesizer sound chip, and is filled with sound effects, chimes, bops and beats following the player through the levels. Many sounds play on top of one another and most of the game's sounds were unique and of higher quality than earlier 8-bit sounds.
Besides detailed sound and animation, Sonic the Hedgehog is especially known for its dynamic music, composed by Masato Nakamura, a member of the popular J-Pop band, Dreams Come True. Using 8-bit stereo sound, the music is rich and varied throughout each level. Particularly notable are the game's recognizable main theme and the music to Star Light Zone. Sonic the Hedgehog's soundtrack is still highly popular in remixing communities on the Internet, such as OverClocked ReMix. Similarities to the Green Hill Zone theme can be found in "Dreams of an Absolution", the theme for Silver the Hedgehog in the 2006 Sonic game, also called Sonic the Hedgehog, though the song's composer Lee Brotherton claims that this was an unintentional coincidence.
|| ||Kirby's Dream Course (Kirby Bowl in Japan) is a golf video game developed by HAL Laboratory, Inc. and published by Nintendo for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System video game console. It was first released in Japan on September 21, 1994, in North America on February 1, 1995, and in Europe on August 24, 1996. It is one of four Kirby video games released for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. |
Dream Course is a golf video game which is viewed from an isometric perspective. Instead of a ball, the player tries to hit Kirby around the course and into the hole at the end. Players must set the power, angle, and spin to connect with various enemies found throughout the levels. Once all but one enemy remains, that enemy will transform into the hole. The different abilities that Kirby can obtain from many of the enemies make up a large part of the game, often being required for completion of a hole. These abilities include Kirby turning into a tornado (that can be steered), a sparkly ball (that can destroy certain obstacles), and a UFO (which allows Kirby to float and move at will for a short time). Other abilities include Kirby being able to slow down / float with a parasol, as well as stop completely as a stone.
The game has eight single player courses, with eight holes on each. There is a high score board for each level, with medals to be won on each of them. The player can unlock extra features (such as alternative versions of the courses) by winning the medals. There are Bronze, Silver, and Gold medals to be won, which are awarded to Kirby at the end of the course. There are also four two-player courses (again with eight holes).
Kirby loses one of his health points (shown as tomatoes) every time he makes a shot, and gains one every time he hits an enemy or lands in a hole. In the two-player mode, two health points are awarded for landing in the hole first, and two health points can also be lost if one player's Kirby is "attacked" by the other player's by using an ability (such as the tornado or the stone). In the single-player mode, Kirby loses one life when all his health points are gone; when Kirby runs out of lives, the game will end. Afterwards, the player can either continue from the beginning of the course or exit it. In the two-player mode, the loss of all health points causes that player to miss a turn, as their Kirby falls asleep.
In the beginning, the game was not going to be a Kirby title. Rather, it was intended to be a miniature golf game entitled Special Tee Shot. It was only midway through development that the developers retooled it with elements from the Kirby series. Special Tee Shot was eventually released in Japan only on the Satellaview add-on.
|| ||Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts ("Super Demon World Village") is a platform game developed by Capcom and initially released for the Super NES console in 1991.|
The game is set four years after Arthur rescued Princess Guinevere (Prin Prin) from the demon Loki (Lucifer). They are engaged, and are about to get married. While spending a quiet moment Guinevere is suddenly kidnapped by a Red Guard.
Players once again control the Knight Arthur in his effort to save his bride Princess Guinevere from the Ghoul Realm. This time, the ruler of the Ghoul Realm is the Demon Emperor Sardius (Samael in the Japanese version).
The game is largely similar to its prequels, though it is based more on Ghouls 'n Ghosts. In Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts, Arthur can upgrade to the bronze armor, that enables him to upgrade his weapons, and the golden one, that allows him to unleash a special magic attack by charging the attack button. A new ability of Arthur is to double jump. While he still can't change directions in mid-air, he can change the direction when he is doing his second jump.
Also new this time around is the addition of new weapons. The Bow and Arrow which allows Arthur to shoot two arrows at once and at slightly different angles, and the Scythe, which flies along the ground.
Sticking with tradition, players have to beat Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts twice in a row, the second time with a special weapon (The Goddess' Bracelet, which only appears on a second playthrough), before being treated to the true ending.
The game was featured often on the popular Nickelodeon game show Nick Arcade, in the Video Challenge portion of the show. Unfortunately, this game was not a judicious choice for contestants, due to certain technicalities in the game -- such as being forced to wait at least seven seconds after the loss of a life, to begin the next one (the map screen is shown each time a life is lost.)
To avoid religious criticism, the crosses in the game were modified from the Japanese version, where they resemble church crosses, but in the western versions, the crosses were modified into the Ankh symbol. The main villain was also renamed from Samael to Sardius and the other main villain Satan was renamed Asutaroto (A romanization of the katakana rendering of Astaroth).
|| ||Mutant League Hockey is a hockey game that was released in 1994 for the Sega Genesis. It is the spin-off of Mutant League Football. It featured many of the same teams and players but new ones as well.|
Unlike Mutant League Football which featured five species of mutant, Mutant League Hockey narrows it down to three: robots, skeletons and trolls. The game is identical in tone to its predecessor, with special plays that can cause things to happen like making the puck explode when it is picked up by an opposing player, bribing the referee to call fake penalties against the other team, and land mines and holes on the ice.
The teams in the game are ranked by a rating of zero through six skulls.
As with Mutant League Football, hazards litter the ice and death is commonplace. Players may substitute their goalie for a demon goal, a gigantic demon head that takes the place of the net; scoring on a demon goal causes it to explode. In addition, the crowd is prone to throwing weapons or other powerups onto the ice; they may be picked up and used freely. When a player dies, their corpse remains on the ice and may be tripped on; between periods, a giant slug acting as an ice resurfacer eats the debris littering the ice. As in real hockey, fights may break out. Fights in Mutant League Hockey are done as a minigame, where the objective is to knock out the opponent. Both players are still sent to the penalty box, but the player who got knocked out also takes an additional penalty for losing.
- Black Hearts (4 skulls) - spoof of Chicago Blackhawks
- Montroyale Cadavers (3 skulls) - spoof of Montréal Canadiens
- War Slammers (3 skulls)
- Deathskin Razors (3 skulls) - carryover from Mutant League Football (originally a spoof of the Oakland Raiders)
- Bruiser Bots (3 skulls) - spoof of Boston Bruins
- St. Mucus Ooze (3 skulls) - spoof of St. Louis Blues
- Mutant Monsters (4 skulls)
- The Derangers (1 skull) - spoof of New York Rangers
- Chilly Liars (2 skulls) - spoof of Philadelphia Flyers
- Mighty Weenies (0 skulls) - spoof of Mighty Ducks of Anaheim
- Pucksucker Pukes (5 skulls) - spoof of Pittsburgh Penguins
- Ice Slashers (4 skulls) - spoof of New York Islanders
- Dead Things (3 skulls) - spoof of Detroit Red Wings
- Lizard Kingz (4 skulls) - spoof of Los Angeles Kings
- Darkstar Dragons (4 skulls)
- Terminator Trolz (3 skulls)
- Turbo Techies (3 skulls)
- Screaming Evils (3 skulls) - carryover from Mutant League Football (originally a spoof of the Philadelphia Eagles)
- Slaycity Slayers (2 skulls) - carryover from Mutant League Football (originally a spoof of the Seattle Seahawks)
- The Shrimps (1 skull) - spoof of San Jose Sharks
- Toxic All-Pros (5 skulls, made of the best players from the Toxic Conference)
- Maniac All-Stars (5 skulls, made of the best players from the Maniac Conference)
- Galaxy Aces (6 skulls, made of the best players from the entire league)
|| ||NHL 96 is an ice hockey video game developed by Electronic Arts Canada. It was released on January 1, 1996 and was the successor to NHL 95.|
Widely known as the best hockey game of all-time. Fighting is reintroduced in NHL 96, as are major and double minor penalties. The PC version is the first game in the series to have multiple cameras, using EA's Virtual Stadium technology, which uses 2D sprites on a 3D environment. The cover of the game features Steve Yzerman and Scott Stevens, and Get Ready For This by 2 Unlimited is used as the game's main theme. The game includes the Quebec Nordiques, even though the team had moved and become the Colorado Avalanche before the start of the 1995-96 season. NHL 96 was the last game in the series that included two players on the cover. Since NHL 97, the games' covers have single players.
|| ||ToeJam & Earl is a series of action-adventure games for the Sega Genesis, Sega Mega Drive and Xbox consoles. The first game was released on March 12, 1991 in North America. The games feature the two eponymous characters, aliens from a planet called Funkotron, who accidentally crash on Earth after their ship collides with an asteroid.
The games were created by ToeJam & Earl Productions Inc., formerly known as Johnson Voorsanger Productions (JVP), of San Rafael, California by founders Greg Johnson and Mark Voorsanger. Scott Berfield was the producer and it was published by Sega of America. The music was written by John Baker.
- ToeJam is a skinny three-legged red alien with two ommatophores (eye-stalks), who wears a white hat, black and white sneakers resembling Chuck Taylors, and an oversized golden medallion. He moves faster than Earl.
- "Big" Earl is a chubby orange alien who wears wrap around sunglasses and blue Bermuda shorts, which tend to fall down. His life bar is longer than ToeJam's.
The game's premise starts with ToeJam & Earl cruising the stars in their spaceship, when ToeJam decides to let Earl drive. As a result, the pair crash-land on Earth, their spaceship broken into ten pieces. They must search for the pieces and reassemble their spaceship in order to return home to the planet Funkotron. As they do so, they face a variety of Earthlings that either stand in their way (by causing the player to lose health in various ways) or help by providing beneficial services (for a small fee).
The gameplay consists of the player controlling the characters around a multitude of levels in a search for their funkotronic space ship parts, while fighting earthlings with tomatoes. During the game, the player will also collect present boxes which contain special items. The items vary from food (to gain or lose health points) to rocket-skate shoes, and each different type of present box contains the same kind item.
Another notable feature of the game is the multi-screen capability. When on two players mode, if the characters get too far away from each other, the screen will split in half leaving each character free to move through the game. The players could even be on different levels at the same time. Players can assist one another by performing a high five, which equalizes health between the two. A special present, Togetherness, allows a player to teleport to the other player's location.
The two characters also talk with each other during the game, if they are close enough and if they're both not moving. When two players get together again, the characters also say things like "Yo, what's up!". They also humorously chat with each other as they ride the elevator between scenes.
|| ||Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest is a platform game developed for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System by Rare and published by Nintendo, released in 1995 as a sequel to Donkey Kong Country. Donkey Kong Country 2 begins after Donkey Kong has been captured by his persistent rival K. Rool, leaving it up to Diddy Kong and his girlfriend Dixie Kong to rescue him.|
Donkey Kong Country 2 was released to critical and commercial acclaim, having sold over 4.37 million copies worldwide, making it the sixth best-selling game on the SNES.
Donkey Kong Country 2 starts where the first game's final boss was located. The original game's island can be seen in the background, and the ship has run ashore. The first world involves leaving the ship and moving to K. Rool's island, called Crocodile Isle, where the rest of the game takes place.
In comparison with the original Donkey Kong Country, the game contains many new features. These include 75 hidden bonus stages with a collectible token rewarded for completing each. The tokens can be used to unlock the "Lost World" and eventually the final ending.
Aside from Dixie Kong and Diddy Kong, both of whom are trying to defeat K. Rool and rescue Donkey Kong from him, many other nonplayable characters can be found throughout the game. Kaptain K. Rool is the villain of the sequel. K. Rool now appears suited in pirate clothing with a rather large handheld blunderbuss. The majority of the enemies are the Kremling Krew, who patrol many areas of the island in hopes of capturing Diddy and Dixie (the game over screen shows this outcome). They are supported by their Animal Buddies (some returning from DKC and some new animals), and various other Kongs including Funky Kong who makes his return from DKC, and Cranky Kong who is back to divulge secrets of the game world and provide comic relief.
Donkey Kong Country 2, like its predecessor Donkey Kong Country, features a well received score with each piece, including the defeat music (on the SNES Version), matching its designated level. The soundtrack was composed by David Wise. The music for the Bramble Blast stage, "Stickerbrush Symphony," has been given a fast-paced orchestral remix in Super Smash Bros. Brawl.
|| ||Road Runner's Death Valley Rally is a video game released for the Super NES. It is based on the Looney Tunes characters Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner.|
Many attribute the gameplay in this game to the Sonic the Hedgehog games, due to its intense speed and gravity defying properties (such as running up walls).
The player controls Road Runner, who is to be guided across a series of levels to cross the finish mark, while avoiding Coyote and his contraptions. Coyote has a unique method of ambush for every level, ranging from the Acme BatMan outfit to explosives, and for every level there is a cut-scene of the contraption failing once the player crosses the finish mark. After completing the three main levels in an episode, the Road Runner has to battle Coyote, who is armed with a more advanced contraption. This game is known for giving no continues after all lives are lost.
The game offers the player several items to aid in the game.
- 1-Up - Appearing as a bouncing Road Runner head, awards the player an extra life.
- 500-Point icon - Awards the player 500 points upon collection.
- Bird Seed - Used to replenish the Energy meter.
- Clock - Stops time and freezes all enemies in their tracks.
- Flag - Touching a flag awards points and adds to the Flag Bonus at the end of a level. Flags are also used as checkpoints: if the player were to lose a life at any point in the level, he could resume at the last flag he touched. The flags come in four colors: yellow, green, red, and purple.
- Heart - Restores the Road Runner's health.
- Shield - Makes Road Runner invulnerable to damage for a short period of time.
All the boss levels begin with Coyote holding up a blueprint of his new mechanism to the screen, displaying how it works, and hints to its weakpoints (labeled with big exclamation marks). It is then the job of the player to disarm and destroy the contraption. After the machine is destroyed, Coyote is pummeled by its destruction and then an Opera Singer walks in, clears her throat and begins to sing. However, Coyote holds up a sign reading "Not Yet". He is then finished off by more destruction. Road Runner then moves onto the next episode.
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