I have a love for those FPS games which consisted of multiple rooms, hallways, locked doors, and a bunch of enemies inhabiting them waiting for the shells of your shotgun or the force of whatever explosive weapon you’re using. Even though they lacked a complicated narrative structure and amazing graphics (compared to today) it was the arcade-style gameplay that made them awesome. That’s probably why I enjoyed Star Wars: Dark Forces.
Just like Doom, Dark Forces on the Playstation is a port; transitioning from arrow keys to a Dpad. I have not played the original but I know the PC is much more capable of running the game beyond the Playstation’s limits.
Kyle Katarn, a mercenary who was once part of the Imperial Army, is hired by the Rebel Alliance and soon discovers a sinister plan involving the creation of the Dark Trooper.
Armed with his Bryar Pistol, Kyle makes his way through various rooms that are covered with lights and complicated sets of control panels of which don’t seem to have a purpose. After many fights with the various Imperial enemies, he stops for a moment. Kyle is lost. He returns to the entrance to see if he missed a door and spends ten minutes searching for a sign of progress Dark Force’s maps are well designed but can be confusing and maze-like. Rushing waters, dark corridors, and icy rocks; the places you traverse are memorable locations filled with threats that Kyle must conquer.
The game is definitely similar to Doom and is usually considered a “Doom clone”. You defeat enemies and backtrack for that one key you might have missed. However, Dark Forces isn’t as simple; each mission you take has at least one objective for you to complete. In one mission you’ll have to place a tracking device and find a specific person in another. Most weapons have a secondary fire option such as the Thermal Detonators that can be fired with a three-second delay.
It’s a fun and addictive game but can be fairly difficult. I played it on medium and had at least one game over in each level before I could complete it. You’re given three lives and dying will restart you at a checkpoint or at the beginning of the level but you’ll still have your weapons and whatever enemies you killed will stay dead.
My only complaint with Dark Forces is the frame rate, when there’s too much going on the game begins to lag and it happens often. Still, if you’re looking for a FPS that has a Doom feel to it or if you’re just a Star Wars fan exploring the many games of the franchise this is one you should play.
I’ve never played Loaded (Reloaded is obviously a sequel) but I’ve heard it was a much better game. Sequels not living up to fans’ expectations are common; it can be hard for a developer to create a sequel to a great game. You either improve on the flawed aspects of the first or just make something entirely new.
The digital distribution of old games towards new and old gamers is something I always welcome. Sure you might get a bunch of lame mediocre titles that you’ll play out of nostalgia and find out weren’t actually that good; but the gems will show up eventually and you’ll have a blast playing them. Nintendo’s Virtual Console gives gamers the chance to relive their adventures in LoZ: OoT, Microsoft let’s you enjoy grabbing every Jiggy in Banjo-Kazooie, and Sony’s PSone classics section also gives you the opportunity of entering a whole new library of old games.
Of course the term “classic” is debatable when it comes to the majority of games being put up on the Playstation store. I guess someone out there is nostalgic about the game Rally Cross and it’s terrible driving controls. A classic to me is Tomb Raider, which thankfully has been on the store for a while. If you’re a hardcore fan of Lara’s games you probably yelled in excitement (or was just pleasantly surprised) to find out
the addition of not only the first game, but II, III, and Revelation as well. The games are reasonably priced and a bargain if you’re a member of Playstation Plus; unless you can find an even cheaper deal online.
Some of the games on the store may be mediocre or decent, but are also relatively unknown. It may sound like great fodder for this blog, but that just makes things a lot more complicated. Am I going to have to play all of these games? Is Rally Cross truly obscure? This sort of problem has been bugging me for a while. How obscure does a game need to be in order to have an entry here? If a game such as Rally Cross is added to the Playstation store then it’s technically not forgotten. Besides all that, the PSone classics section is great; even if most of the games may look uninteresting or lame. Challenge your nostalgia and give some of them a try.
Gex is one of those video game mascots that suddenly disappeared and hasn’t been talked about in a long time. Luckily, the lizard’s leave of the industry was a nice, if not abrupt, sendoff than being left around in the 2000’s spewing out mediocre and awful games like Spyro and Crash Bandicoot have done. I wouldn’t mind a Gex 4, which was contemplated for a release on the PS2, as long as it isn’t terrible and doesn’t try to stray from it’s platforming roots. I was going to do a longer write-up reviewing all 3 Gex games on the Playstation but that seemed like a little too much work considering Gex 2 and Gex 3 are a little more complex than the first game’s straight-forward 2D platforming. So, instead I’ll be taking it slowly and just review one Gex game.
Gex, our one-liner-throwing-hero, is nabbed out of the real world and enters the very medium he has spent hours obsessing over by the evil Rez, who rules the Media Dimension. The idea of entering television is awesome and allows a lot of opportunities to be taken in video games. I think it would be fantastic if another developer made a game with a similar theme.
You’ll be running, jumping, and climbing around in strange locations such as a Cemetery, a wacky Kung-Fu world, and an even wackier world inhabited by cartoon characters. Like I said this is a straight-forward 2D platformer; You defeat foes, collect power-ups, and reach the end of the stage (by collecting a remote control or two that unlock further stages) while unlocking some bonus ones as well. It’s fun and the levels definitely have variety. Sure, the game is enjoyable but don’t take it lightly as it can be pretty challenging at times. I found myself falling in several pitfalls and dying quickly from spikes and enemies because of the small amount of health you start with. The difficulty ramps up at the final stage (rightfully so) and was so frustrating that I gave up and used cheat codes in order to complete it!
Gex’s biggest flaw is the lack of a save system; To continue your game you need to use a goddamn password. I thought we were over that shit? If the 3DO version was capable of allowing you to save why can’t the Playstation version do the same? Usually I won’t even bother to play this because I have to go to the trouble of entering a password when it would have been much simpler if the game could just save where I left off.
It’s a fun platforming experience; Great music, good looking, and a challenge
(maybe I suck at the game?). The only problem I had was with the password system but other than that it’s still a good game and I believe fans of the genre will not be disappointed.
A lot of movie-based games suck. That’s something most people can agree on. You can enjoy a movie such as Clash of the Titans, but can you really enjoy it’s video game adaption? Are you willing to spend fifty bucks on mediocrity, or use that money to buy the movie and get some Burger King to go along with it? I never hear people talk about games based on TV shows. It’s always “God, Iron Man 2 sucked”, but never “Prison Break deserved better than this shit”. I hate to bring this up, but Xena is a good example of a show (that I do not enjoy) getting an alright game. It’s all about who gets the license and how they treat it. Usually, it’s just a poor cash-in attempt.
South Park entered TV and changed it forever. Four boys cursing and committing bad acts riled up politicians and parents but became a huge hit with teenagers and kids who couldn’t get enough of it’s hilarious episodes. Today, South Park has evolved and it’s pumped out many games, whether it’s on an iPhone or made for browsers. Back then there were three: A kart-racer, a first-person-shooter, and a game-show party game.
I’ll start with South Park, the FPS. I just can’t get over the game’s genre. What made the developers decide to make a FPS based on a cartoon? They probably picked a random genre out of a hat and decided to just go with it.
A giant meteor is heading towards South Park causing mass disruption in the snowy little town. Turkeys are going ape-shit, robots are on rampages, and toys have become possessed by an evil with the intent to kill. Yeah, just another day. The story may sound wacky, but by South Park standards it’s pretty normal.
The draw-distance is awful. It feels like I’m in a cartoon version of Silent Hill, but instead of fighting symbolic evil Nurses, I’m fighting possibly symbolic pissed off turkeys. Anyway, the objective here is to gather the rest of your group and visit the renaissance faire; not sure why, maybe the boys ran out of cow shit to burn?
After gathering everyone else, I fought my way towards the turkey overridden faire using deadly snowballs, one of the many unique weapons in the game. You can even piss on it for more damage.
I journeyed through the snowy terrain and met the most fearsome obstacle of all. A giant door that requires you to kill turkeys in order to open it. Expect to see this a lot and in different varieties. Opening doors and killing dozens of enemies is pretty much the only thing you’ll be doing through the entire game. Repetitiveness is the best way to describe your experience in South Park. The only variety you’ll find is in the enemies.