Saturday, 5 May 2012

Valis: The Fantasm Soldier (Genesis / Mega Drive)

Good old anime that pits a typical high school girl that just wants to live a normal high school life against a world full of magic, fantasy, and evil.  Valis was one such game to do this on the Genesis, and arguably the most popular one to do so.  Tight controls, interesting enemies, and this anime-inspired theme were prevalent throughout the game as Yuko attempted to fulfill her destiny as the Valis warrior.

Valis The Fantasm Soldier title screen
Yuko has to fight many monsters
Fighting in the subway tunnel
First boss
Yuko learns of her destiny
Yuko after her transformation

Friday, 4 May 2012

Thexder (NES / Famicom)

It's always interesting to look back at the early days of Squaresoft when Final Fantasy wasn't even a twinkle in its creators' eyes, and the company was making all sorts of different games.  One of these early works was Thexder on the NES.  Players took control of a robot that could transform into a plane, navigating from one level to the next, blowing up whatever stood in their way.  It was simple fun with a bit of exploration tossed in.

Thexder title screen
Starting out
Running low on health
Navigating a maze
On to the second level

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Rage Racer (PlayStation)

It's a real toss up for me as to which Ridge Racer game I like the best.  My opinion tends to seesaw between Rage Racer and R4.  As polished as the latter is, and as fantastic of a soundtrack as it may have, I still find myself playing the former more.  Between the track designs, and the cars, it has an appeal that is hard to quantify.

Rage Racer title screenStarting up a grandprix
Race queen ahoy
Racing along the oceanside
A nice drive through the mountains

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

The Punisher (Genesis / Mega Drive)

Games based on comic books were were pretty hit and miss during the 8-bit and 16-bit eras.  Batman games were generally pretty good, X-Men not so much.  For me, The Punisher was decent, but not spectacular.  The game was typical beat 'em up fair, but it was a distraction for my friends and I after we got bored of the Streets of Rage games but still wanted something similar to play.

The Punisher title screen
Tossing a bad guy into some plants
Fighting on a bus
FIghting by the pool
Shooting at some baddies
Now to fight a robot

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Atomic Robo Kid (Genesis / Mega Drive)

While it's tempting to look at this game as some sort of side-scrolling action title, players spend most of their time flying around, so Atomic Robo Kid feels a lot more like a shmup.  The game has a very nice art style, some huge bosses, and can be quite difficult.  Expect to die a lot with little warning, and to have to learn a lot of enemy placements in a hurry in order to progress in this game.

Atomic Robo Kid title screen
The first level
Level two
Nice colors on this level
The first boss
A duel with another robo kid

Monday, 30 April 2012

Soccer (NES / Famicom)

I remember looking at some of those early NES games where the art on the cartridge was just some pixels from the game itself.  Very simple, and it came far before pixel art ever became popular.  It was pretty neat, and Soccer was one of those simple games.  And boy was it simple.  Looking at it now, players moved painfully slow, it was a miracle to pass or shoot the ball, and actually scoring took some serious work.

Soccer title screenSelecting a team
Starting a match
Britain gets a throw in
The goalkeeper catches the ball

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Axelay (SNES / Super Famicom)

This is probably one of my favorite of the lesser known shoot 'em ups to come out on the SNES.  For it's time, Axelay had some amazing graphics as it showed off what the console could do.  Bosses in particularly looked amazing.  Part vertical, part horizontal shooter, players could cycle between three weapon types and launch missiles at enemies.  All in all it was a very good looking, fun shmup well worth trying out.

Axelay title screen
Weapons select screen
First level
Mini boss
First level boss
Side scrolling now
Lots of little cannons on this level
Use big guns on these guys
Second level boss