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Ack
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by Ack Tue May 14, 2019 9:18 pm

Nemoide wrote:
Ack wrote:Maybe I'll install some terrible PC games and give them a go.


SOMEONE ought to play Daikatana...

Someone already has beaten it, both on PC and N64. That same someone actually quit a summer challenge over it, because...ooph.

It's not so bad in multiplayer though.
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prfsnl_gmr
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by prfsnl_gmr Tue May 14, 2019 9:49 pm

Regale us with tales of awful games, Ack!
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alienjesus
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by alienjesus Tue May 14, 2019 10:00 pm

Ack wrote:
Nemoide wrote:
Ack wrote:Maybe I'll install some terrible PC games and give them a go.


SOMEONE ought to play Daikatana...

Someone already has beaten it, both on PC and N64. That same someone actually quit a summer challenge over it, because...ooph.

It's not so bad in multiplayer though.


Sounds like someone needs to play it on GBC still!
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Ack
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by Ack Tue May 14, 2019 10:31 pm

alienjesus wrote:
Sounds like someone needs to play it on GBC still!

Yeah, but that would be a good game!

prfsnl_gmr wrote:Regale us with tales of awful games, Ack!


Aww, ye want a story? Well let me tell ye a tale of the horror of Nintendo 64 fighting games, as only old salty Ack knows of the depths and what they hold for thee.

Now ye may be thinking, "Oh, that console doesn't have any fighters." But yee'd be wrong. And yee'd be dead! Many a night has old Ack kept a watchful eye on me television screen and a watchful ear listening for the horrid screams of the beasts within. Dark Rift. Deadly Arts. PowerPuff Girls in Chemical X-traction. Why, I even tangled with the treacherous final boss of Mortal Kombat 4 more than once. But these all pale in the face of Dual Heroes.

Dual Heroes. The name alone makes nuns weep and virgins shudder in their cold beds. Such a horrid curse the likes of it hasn't been known to fighter fans since. Controls make no sense. The AI goes full moron at the drop of a hat, yet you can't understand how to actually beat anything. The storyline is ridiculous garbage in a genre full of ridiculous garbage storylines. It reeks of death and the sea, the worse parts of the sea, full of dead fish and raw sewage. Aye, it be an unplayable mess, destined to break the hearts and curse the eyes of mortal man.

Sometimes I hear it calling me from across the waves, which be terrifying since I live a landlocked lubber's life a good few hundred miles from the ocean. Yet still it calls. And still I chain meself to bed at night, avoiding its wails as it tries to demand I play. No, there be horrors enough in the world not to spring Dual Heroes into it.

Now leave an old, withered dog to his pipe and his fire, ye scurvy lubber. The night's too black to be thinking of dark thoughts best left forgotten.
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MrPopo
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by MrPopo Tue May 14, 2019 11:21 pm

Hey now, Dark Rift was decidedly average.
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by Sload Soap Thu May 16, 2019 11:48 pm

I decided to really dredge the depths for this month and have chosen a few notorious C64 titles.

First up and the best of the worst is The Rocky Horror Show.
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Like a lot of bad British computer games, RHS is a collectathon taking place in a single location, gives the player no means to defend themselves and is on a timer. You can play as Brad or Janet and the aim is collect parts of a map or flag (it's not clear) scattered around the mansion while avoiding the transexual Translyvanians who roam it's halls. It's a fairly simple set up but is immediately marred by the execution.

Controlling the player is stiff and slow even for a C64 game and trying to avoid the various enemies is a real chore as they just randomly bumble about in corridors. You can only pick up one section of the flag/map at a time and have to take it one particular room to be placed down. So if you happen to find 4 pieces of the map/flag/whatever in the furthest reach of the house...tough shit. Looks like you're making 4 trips.

That's as long as you don't get hit. In this game you don't take damage when hit, oh no. Instead you will be forced to do the Timewarp, with an enemy screaming "IT'S JUST A STEP TO THE LEFT" which is so brazen it renders you clothesless. In this state of clotheslessness, you have the additional task of covering your modesty before you can continue as you are so bashful you can no longer pick up items. Brad/Janet scuttle around in a very undignified manner covering their undercrackers with their hands until you find their clothes. Well I say clothes, I mean a mess of purple pixels, which exasperatingly can be randomly placed anywhere in the mansion. This happens everytime you touch an enemy.

Actually that's not true; Riff Raff forgoes the Timewarp treatment and just obliterates you with his.. well I think it's a gun but it could also be a vacuum cleaner? I can't tell what it is but it's an instant game over. Oh yeah to add to the fun, he spends most of his time patrolling the corridors nearest to where you have to place the map pieces. What larks!

Did I mention the map pieces themselves are also randomly placed on each playthrough? Yeah, so you can get in a position where you either can't complete the game as the final piece is in a room you can't enter (keys are finite) or they can be all placed in the first three screens and you win easily. While you do all this you are treated to a tinny 20 second loop of the Timewarp every drunk Aunties favourite dance number rendered through the C64s gloopy soundboard. Cooooool.

And yet. And yet. There is something here. Perhaps it's just the absolute insanity of it, the broken mechanics do actually end up giving the game a strange "just one more go" feel. I also appreciate that in 1985 a game based on a big property could be made by two blokes in their bedrooms, fulled by pro-plus and cigs. I like that the The Carpenters Arms is credited in the titles along with Pete's Mum. That sort of weird earnestness that the C64 and Spectrum did so well is mostly lacking even in today's modern indie scene. So it's not all bad but it's mostly bad.

Next up is Street Fighter II.
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File this under sort of impressive but ultimately pointless. The C64 had a very long life in Europe and the UK in particular so this was not just some homebrew job but an official Capcom joint, albeit by way of their UK publishing chums at US Gold.

The problems are all technical and obvious to anyone remotely familiar with the average C64 set up. A tape deck is not a great medium for a fast arcade experience and there is A LOT of loading even on emulators. Then there is the basic issue of porting a six button fighter to a system that typically only has one. This leads to kicks and punches seeming random (they aren't) and special moves being easier to pull off than a regular attack. You can beat the game pretty easily by just spamming special moves by just hitting attack and a direction. I pummeled everyone as Ken with an endless flurry of hurricane kicks. And much like Rocky Horror, and most C64 games tbh, there is one song on repeat, this time a not bad but much too short rendition of the player select theme, probably chosen because it is the shortest most recognizably Street Fighter tune.

Not good, not fun, at best mildly interesting, at worst borderline unplayable and with SFII being on pretty much everything these days pretty pointless.

Finally we have The A-Team.
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This is easily the most WTF game I have ever played. It's hard to actually says it's a bad game because it's not a game. It's an Andy Kaufman joke written in Basic. It's an avant-garde Dali performance piece tossed aside for being too out there. Erik Petermeijer may have put his name to this game but that's surely a front for a relic that washed up on the shores of chaos, an attempt by eldritch powers to break the minds of mortals.

First and foremost the A-Team does not even get the A-Team part right. You don't play as any of the eponymous team of mercs but rather as a bog standard solider. The team do appear but for whatever deranged reason they are portrayed as disembodied heads, sliding unnervingly back and forth across the screen, mocking you with winks and smiles as they rain down terror on you.

Oh yeah, the A-Team are the baddies in this game. Makes sense right? When you watched the show you know you thought "cor, if only they could make a game where I play as a hapless soldier and blow Murdock's smug face off, that'd be the best". It'd be like a game based on Murder she Wrote where you play as the typewriter or Dr Quinn Medicine Woman where you're smallpox. But this is the game we have and that's the aim. Kill the A-Team. Kill them and kill them some more. Never let up, never give in.

In what is the sloppiest and laziest Space Invaders clone I've ever played, you slide back and forth across the tiny playarea shooting the gurning faces above hoping against hope you don't get insta killed by a bullet that materialized 1mm above your head. It's so shoddy you can die (which means sitting through a very slowly typed message every single time) then immediately die again before you can even tap a key. Not even the same second, the same damn frame of life can be your last.

And the controls. Jesus. Wept. You don't merely move left to right in A-Team when the keys are pressed, such obviousness is for the plebs. No, instead you must commit to sliding left and right. Are you committed to going left cos you're going all the way left, boy, no stops, no breaks. If it wrapped around this might kind of work but as it is changing direction is basically broken as you can't stop a slide quick enough to dodge fire with any degree of skill. Which kind of begs the question: how can you break the controls of a game where you can only move along the X-Axis? How does that work?

I got to level two but with only three lives and the relentless assault of the big giant heads I had to give up. The game was making me feel queasy not helped by the two frames of animation on B.A Barrachus that make him look like a leering cenobite from Hellraiser.

And the most surreal feature? The one and only song in the game? The main theme from Star Wars. Because of course it is.
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by prfsnl_gmr Fri May 17, 2019 8:12 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:

Great reviews. The A-Team review is classic. “It’s an Andy Kaufman joke written in Basic.” :lol: Also, the C64 version of Street Fighter II sounds a lot like the Atari 2600 version of Double Dragon, and impressive feat of programming that resulted in a very bad game.
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by BoneSnapDeez Fri May 17, 2019 3:40 pm

@Sload Soap

Stratospheric IQ post. As a European, do you have an epic C64 collection?

I've got a handful of arcade ports here and have finished exactly zero of them. Kinda tempted to give them another shot, now that I have a C64 controller. I dunno if any are notoriously bad enough to fit the theme of this month, however.

Amazing that Street Fighter II was released on the system. This is what happens when your computer's lifespan exists within three console generations, I suppose.
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by Sload Soap Fri May 17, 2019 8:41 pm

Thanks guys. Worryingly, The A-Team is not even considered the worst C64 game with Lazer Kendo and Super Boxing supposedly worse. A truly terrible thought. Apparently there is a 2600 A-Team game where you play as Mr T's decapitated head so this license has previous in the floating head department.

To answer your question, Bone, I do not own a C64 any longer so I emulate. I did consider getting a new one but I have moved house a few times recently and have instead been cutting back on my physical collection in general. Emulation also means you can speed up load times and I was not one of those who ever held any fondness for those long waits. I think SFII would have been pretty unbearable without it. I considered getting that C64 mini but I heard mixed things about it, mostly that it seemed more of a faff to add new games than to just use an emulator on my laptop.
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Re: May Together Retro: Bad to the Bone!

by BoneSnapDeez Sat May 18, 2019 8:44 am

I hear ya. While I do have a C64, there's a pretty goof chance I'll never buy another physical game for it. As of now I average maybe one new C64 game every two years.

Doing something a little different now -- (re)playing the ARPG Lagoon on SNES. A critically panned game, but one I've personally enjoyed. Attempting to look at it with a more critical eye. Combat seems to be the sticking point for most folks. I don't hate it, but it certainly isn't ideal. It's caught in this weird gray area between Zelda combat and Ys combat. This is button-press combat, with an animated sword, but the lead character is decidedly right handed and the sword's range is super-short. There is ranged magic, however, which eliminates a lot of issues here. HP and MP both regenerate quickly while standing still.

The soundtrack is absolutely glorious, if not a little overindulgent in the bass department.
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