Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Teenagent (MS-DOS)

Teenagent title screen
Developer:Metropolis Software House|Release Date:1995|Systems:DOS, Amiga

This month on Super Adventures I'm playing another point and click adventure game! But this time there's a twist: I have absolutely zero idea what this is. All I know is that GOG.com gave it to me for free when I signed up and the graphics looked a bit amateurish in the screenshots.

One thing I'm sure of though is that it's got nothing to do with the 1991 Teen Agent movie (called If Looks Could Kill in the US). This is Teenagent, one word; totally different thing. I'm guessing that it's probably a play on the word 'teenager'. It might also be a play on the word 'newsagent' but I'm kinda hoping it isn't as I'd rather jet around the world immersing myself in international intrigue than sell crisps. In fact I'd better check Wikipedia to make sure...

...oh that's interesting, it turns out that Teenagent was the first Polish game to be released on CD, though it seems GOG's given me the floppy disk version without the voice acting because those voices were all in Polish. I'm not considering that to be a problem. Plus it's running through ScummVM, but that's not a problem for me either.

Wikipedia also tells me that developer Metropolis Software isn't quite as obscure as I thought, as they made games like Gorky 17 and Infernal. In fact it was one of the longest operating game development studios in Poland before getting bought by CD Projekt in 2008 and shut down in 2009. Another fun fact: it was founded by opinionated video games bloke Adrian Chmielarz, who did programming and writing for Teenagent, before going off to make Painkiller and Bulletstorm for his new company People Can Fly, and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter for his newer company The Astronauts. So that's interesting.

Okay I'm going to take screenshots of the first hour or so and write words under them now.

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Unreal II: The Awakening (PC)

Developer:Legend Entertainment|Release Date:2003|Systems:Windows, Xbox

Today on Super Adventures I thought I'd do something wild and play a video game for once. Unreal II: The Awakening to be specific, a first person shooter from the Xbox era, when PC games often came on multiple CDs stacked up on the same spindle to maximise the chances of one of them getting scratched. That's what my copy's like anyway, so I hope it still works.

Actually I'm not sure it ever really worked properly for me, as all I can remember about the game is that I stopped playing it early on when it crashed to desktop a couple of times. But I get the feeling I probably could've gotten further in it if I'd wanted to, and now that I'm writing about it I'll endeavour to be more persistent (whether I like the game or not).

The original Unreal was co-developed by Epic and Digital Extremes, but they were busy with the Unreal Tournament side of the franchise, so Unreal II: Unnecessary Subtitle was developed by the folks who made the Return to Na Pali expansion pack instead, Legend Entertainment. This was Legend's last ever game before being shut down by their owners, but they'd been around a while and were mostly known for making adventure games. So there's a non-zero chance that the writing might be better than the first person shooting here. I'm not getting my hopes too high for either though to be honest.

(Clicking the pictures will make them bigger, but not much bigger.)

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Tearaway Thomas (Amiga)

Tearaway Thomas title screen
Developer:Global Software|Release Date:1993|Systems:Amiga

This week on Super Adventures I'm having a quick look at obscure platformer Tearaway Thomas.

It might seem a bit weird that I'm playing an Amiga game called Tearaway Thomas right after playing an Amiga game called Rolling Ronny last week, but that's because they're both filed away into the same folder in my brain. I'm finally making an effort here to learn which is which and more importantly what they even are.

As far as I can tell this is the first and last commercial video game these folks ever made, presumably because it's such an incredible work of art that they decided that trying to follow it up would be pointless and it was best to quit while they were ahead. Or maybe it's real bad and it shamed them into exile. I can't remember, that's why I'm replaying it now.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Rolling Ronny: The Errand-Boy (Amiga)

Rolling Ronny title screen amiga Orlando
Developer:Starbyte and/or Touch of Magic|Release Date:1991|Systems:Amiga, Atari ST, C64, DOS

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing an Amiga game about a clown on roller skates!

Why? Because the title Rolling Ronny popped into my head the other day for no reason and decided it was going to sit in my brain for a while. So I went looking through my memory for clues to why I remembered this name all of a sudden and realised that I have no idea what the game is. I'm sure I must have played it back in the day but what I saw on my flicking CRT TV screen was apparently so horrifying that my mind blanked it out to protect my sanity. Either that or it's just not very memorable. So now I'm playing it again so that I'll know one way or the other, for my records.

I'll give it an hour or two, take some screenshots and write what's going on underneath them as I go. Because that's what my site's about.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge (MS-DOS)

Monkey Island 2 title screen logo
Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1991|Systems:DOS, Mac, Amiga, FM Towns

This week on Super Adventures I'm playing LucasArts' legendary point-and-click adventure game Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge! Or LeChuck's Revenge: Monkey Island according to that logo up there. Either way around it's still going to screw up your meticulously organised alphabetically ordered game library.

Monkey Island 2 is a game that needs no introduction and to be honest it doesn't need any commentary or reviews either. The game's so famous and has been so thoroughly examined that anything I write about it here will be entirely redundant; I might as well just show off some screenshots and call it a day. But I just managed to find a few thousand words to type about bloody Star Wars the other day for my sci-fi site so now I feel like I can take on anything Lucasfilm can throw at me! Though the game development group had firmly switched over to the name 'LucasArts' by this point, making this the first in the series to have the iconic Golden Guy logo (there's no skit though).

I dug out my old Monkey Island Madness compilation CD for this and I'll be playing the game using ScummVM, because it's awesome. The disc also has a version of Monkey Island 1 on it that's been updated with CD quality music, but Monkey 2 only has the original MIDI soundtrack. Which is good, because it'd only screw up the dynamic iMUSE effect. Who'd even want to explore a pirate town without the music seamlessly shifting to give each area its own theme?

Alright, this is an adventure game, so by writing about the first hour or so of gameplay I'm going to inevitably end up giving SPOILERS for the early puzzles. I won't be ruining that ending for anyone who hasn't beaten it yet though... unless you've read my Curse of Monkey Island post, then I already have. Sorry.

Monday, 29 May 2017

Zillion (Master System)

Today on Super Adventures I've got good news! Mecha-neko's come back after a seven month absence to write another guest post, so I get to take the week off.

Hey stranger-folk. I'm mecha-neko and today I'm playing a Master System game I found called Zillion. Or perhaps it's ZLLON!

Developer:Sega|Release Date:1987|Systems:Sega Master System

Hmm, what to make of this? From the look of the pulsating ray-gun on the title screen, it's probably a light-gun game. But don't be fooled: the cat from Interpose (my very first Obscure-As-All-Hell Animated Cat Game August post!) twiddles ray-guns all over the place on his title screen, and that one turned out to be a side scrolling shooter. Yeah, that sounds right. "Zillion." It's like it fell right off the bottom of the periodic table or something. Gotta be a shooter.

In fact, the 27th of May is the thirtieth anniversary of Zillion! It was released in Japan on 27th May 1987. Happy birthday, Zillion! This post's going up a couple days late, 'cause cats work to their own calendar. (And I'm not making a new banner!)
But even so, why would I ever post another side-scrolling shoot-'em-up? You're just going to have to read on and find out!

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Star Wars: Rebel Assault II - The Hidden Empire (MS-DOS)

Developer:LucasArts|Release Date:1995|Systems:PC, Mac, PlayStation

It's Star Wars' 40th birthday today and I'm celebrating by playing a Star Wars video game! I was tempted to play the game for Star Wars Day a few weeks ago on May the 4th, but the 40th seems like a bigger deal (plus I'm fond of putting things off as late as I can).

So this week on Super Adventures I'm playing Star Wars: Rebel Assault II - The Hidden Empire, by Vincent Lee. I didn't really notice at the time, but LucasArts were really fond of putting the creator's name on the box back in the 90s.

To give you an idea of where this fits on the Star Wars video game timeline, it came out the same year as Dark Forces, a year after TIE Fighter and Super Return of the Jedi, and two years after the original Rebel Assault. So it was made in the finale years of the pre-Special Edition, pre-Phantom Menace era. I didn't get to play it for a long while though due to my PC being ass. In fact I still remember the shame I felt having to take it back to the shop and buy the first game instead. But hey how I was I supposed to know what the difference between a 486SX and 486DX was before the internet!

You might be wondering why it just says "Rebel Assault" up there without a "II" on it. There is a good explanation for that which I'll reveal if you scroll down to the next picture. Though before you do, I should warn you that there'll be SPOILERS for the original trilogy of Star Wars films down there too.

Semi-Random Game Box