The Rob Blanc Trilogy – In space, I don’t know where to go…

space squid

I’ve always been fascinated with space in general, since probably the early age of Me being two or three years old. It was around that time for sure, as I remember that it was then, when I learned how to read properly. It all started with old encyclopedias, which I can still eye across my desk right now – All in fairly decent condition. If anything, my family was very caring towards books in general. Then, my love for space carried over to educational magazines and comic books. I was really having a blast in the 90s with all the reading material that I acquired, but truly, a huge step towards my total space- fantasy satisfaction, love-love, was the time when my brother rented the forth episode of the “Star Wars” saga. Afterwards, I fell hard for the franchise, what with watching the episodes when they aired on TV after midnight or with the various video games that I was later introduced to. Darth Vader seemed so awesome and cool to young Me back then…

Of course, other franchises made their way into my heart as well, like “Alien” and not “Star Trek”. I’ve never seen any movie, episode, Christmas special or whatever of it. “Star Trek” will probably remain an unexplored territory for Me, as honestly, I’m not really feeling it as a whole. At least not from the bits that I have seen or have been told about by my English teacher at university. Ugh…

I will always remember the time when they aired “Alien: Resurrection” and I was curious to watch it, despite my grandma’s warnings. Look, I loved space and the idea of existing aliens, but honestly, that was probably the scariest thing seven years old Me has watched, up until then!

I also played a lot of “Star Craft”, which seemed to me like the most complex game at the time. That’s how games usually feel like when you are new to them and lack proper experience.

Rob Blanc I DONE!

“The Rob Blanc Trilogy” is a composition of THREE, old adventure games, created by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, that take on the whole space science- fantasy, exploration nation, aliens and heroes of all kind, vortex comedy night stand genre. The three games were made on an early version of the AGS engine, which was based on the MS-DOS system… I was not aware that something like that was a thing, until now, I’ve gotta say! Thanks to the power of MS-DOS emulation though, running these games on a modern operating system is quite the easy task. Thank god! Thank god for people with functional brains!

Each one of the three “Rob Blanc” games is fairly short in length and easy regarding difficulty. The plot follows a guy named Rob Blanc, who is picked by god- like beings [?] to become defender of the universe and fight evil that might pose a threat to it. The story escalates pretty quickly towards a climax or more like, anti- climax, leading towards the ultimate end where I ask myself: “Is it just me or the second and the third game feel rushed towards the later parts?” The first game and the early parts of the other two titles feel decently designed, but after that it’s just the obvious – You are in one small room, here’s this one item, use it on the one possible object in the room. Maybe that’s just me, maybe I’m being harsh for no real reason on these games! I enjoyed them for what they are though. They are not “Monkey Island”, but if anything, they feel like a good first pick for someone who might want to get into adventure games. “The Rob Blanc Trilogy” might not live up to modern standards, but honestly, even the MS- Pain graphics ain’t as bad as the author himself states it during the gameplay of the second title and that silly, main theme [?] tune is still suck in my head. How odd…

My honest score for the whole trilogy is 4.7 out of 10. It was decently amusing.

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The Trials of Odysseus Kent – Video tape killed the blow- up doll!

bideo tape

I remember that the first movie that I’ve watched on a video tape was “Robin Hood” by Disney. It was around ’95/’96 or so, when I was still blooming as a kid. I quite enjoyed the movie for its colorful and charismatic characters, along with the heart- warming, comedy bits to it. I haven’t seen or read anything about “Robin Hood” related until then, so it was more or less my first experience with the legend. The fact that every character was a different animal enhanced the magic even further for young ‘Me’.

Weirdly enough, the dub for the movie in my country was done by one person only. The whole narration felt like a story told by that person, with the voices of the characters being directly connected to it, rather than being solely cast for each different scene. I think there might have been scenes where most of the dub was pretty lazy, but honestly, I haven’t seen that movie in like… over two decades now!

Around the time I got my Famiclone, my brother also introduced me to the concept of recording things from the T.V. on a video tape via the VCR. I remember recording beating “Mortal Kombat 2” by Hummer Team on the “Robin Hood” video tape, after the movie ends. I also remember the silly fact that I paused at some point, because I needed to use the bathroom real bad. Sadly, the tape actually belonged to a friend of my mother, so we had to give it back… after six years of the initial rent. [?] R.I.P. my very first LP…

Kent DONE!

By the end of the 90s, I’ve managed to create lots of good memories with my family and the various movies that we’ve watched on video tapes. “Mulan” was a movie that I really enjoyed, especially due to the fact that I was hyped for it beforehand by reading about it in various magazines. Everyone in my family was fond of it and I didn’t even knew that there was a sequel? WELL THEN… I remember seen almost all of the “Asterix & Obelix” movies made until and around that time. The one where they go to America had a spotlight on T.V., being praised by all and all. When I saw the clip with the song they sang at the Indian village, I was completely captured by it. Seeing it a few years later, I thought it was pretty neat. When you are within’ the age range of five to ten, everything seems neat and awesome, really. Is it because I didn’t knew better? Was content quality higher back then? Could it be because my life was just easier due to me leeching off my relatives? WHO KNOWS!

I could tell you the sad tale of the fate of video tapes during my teen years, but I prefer not to. All that you should know is that I was happy and not a single bit of change in the system can kill the memory of a thousand sombrero snacks being eaten!

“The Trials of Odysseus Kent” is an adventure game, where you can give pornographic video tapes to a creepy, perverted man, who, in exchange, will provide you with all the blow- up sex dolls in the universe. That’s it, of course, after he’s done with them and the major damage is already in effect. Then again, who said that rising an army and taking over the world would be an easy task?

Poacher – Yorkshirevania Puddi’

yorkshire puddi

I really do enjoy the exploration parts in Metroidvanias – Finding hidden power-ups and gradually growing your character stronger and stronger, all in all for the sake of a final confrontation with a certain powerful entity… it’s a unique feeling that lead to the birth of many titles and various additional concepts over the years. It’s all fun and laughs until the ending screen, where the rabbit-girl puts on a space suit and goes off-screen for her morning jog, followed by your total time of seven play hours along with a 98% completion rate message. Calling to the Sega of Ubisoft, you learn that there was an item that you missed, which can only be acquired by avoiding Dr. Willy’s burger junkyard. A moment later you also realize that the phone you are using is just a can of diet coke, which of course just adds to your crumbling desire to go through the same game over again. NO THANK YOU!!!

Poacher is a Metroidvania by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw, which follows the adventures of an Yorkshire countryman named Derek Badger and a ghost lady named Rebecca on their quest to bring peace to an underground kingdom consisting of ghost people, dark ones and pelicans. The plot is quite easy to follow and is fairy solid, which is a good addition to the usual “Lonely exploration nation”. “Poacher” is quite similar to “Cave Story”, only easier and a bit more dull around the edges when it comes to the platforming, puzzle solving and boss fights. Though regarding that matter, maybe we should exclude the secret boss in the game, who can pose quite the challenge. We are talking about a learning curve of 20 to 40 minutes – even more, depending on skill and experience.

Poacher DONE!

In all honesty, while “Poacher” could have offered a bit more in many aspects, the length and the learning curve of the game are a good examples of how to set a good replay value. I’ve played through the game in total of three times, all in all to get all the achievements, which add quite a spice to the gameplay. I had fun on each run, especially on the last one where I figured out how to access the secret boss. I guess the main reason why I enjoyed the game was due to the fact that it manages to properly reward you for your efforts, while eliminating classic annoying bits that we find in many other games from the same genre. You get a map [And at some point additional marks on it that point out where various items/ \special places\ are located], you get check points at proper places – not too many close to or far away each other… You even get a GOOD hint at how to access the secret hard- ass boss!

You also collect money from slain enemies, which you can use to buy items from a shopkeeper, once you’ve unlocked him. For mere 350 coins, you can buy a self- healing power- up and destroy pretty much 80% of the overall difficulty in the game. HAPPY HUNTING!!!

I love the special skin for Derek that you can unlock once you do a 100$ completion rate. Shoot a baddie, Pound comes out flying instead of cartridge. NEAT!

I wasn’t really impressed by the moves that you acquire that’s vital to your progress, like wall- jumping, diving, etc . Classy, but a bit boring. Also, getting out of water could be really annoying, depending on location. *cough* screen transition *cough*

In the end, it’s all thanks to pudding and weird dialect to rack up some extra point for my final decision to give “Poacher” a 6.7 out of 10! NOW LET’S ALL GET DOWN TO THE PUB, HELL YEAH DRUNK GIRL GHOSTS!

1213 – Out of This Space Station

1213

As one of Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw’s takes on cinematic platformers, “1213” turns out as a fairly rough product, with few innovative ideas here and there. I was honestly impressed when I learned that he made the game using “Adventure Game Studio” of all things! Though I have played “1213” a long time ago, I remember reaching the boss in the first episode only, wherein I gave up on fighting him, since I had way too much trouble figuring out his pattern. [Somehow.]

I don’t have a rich history on dealing with cinematic platformers. My first experience with them was in middle school when I was introduced to the first two “Oddworld” games, which I really, really loved and played through a bunch’a times. Later, in high school, I stumbled upon “Out of This World” on the SNES which… I didn’t really like. I played a bit of it and honestly, I was not enjoying myself after a dozen of deaths, nor did I had the desire to go on. After that I learned about many other titles from the genre, like “Flashback”, “Heart of Darkness”, “Blackthorne”, “Banana Prince” . ect…/

BUT…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…what makes “1213” so special than other titles from the same genre, other than the engine used for its creation? To be fair, nothing in terms of graphics or animations. They are still quite good for a one man developer army though. In “1213” you take the role of a mutant-person who is under a series of experiments, what with drug testing and going through daily physical obstacles of gym nightmare. fat Pete’s hell across the hotdog stand routine. There is also an “ambitious” scientist guy who hates you and cares about you at the same time, all in all mixed in a juice of drama, a teacher-lady, evil mutants and it’s all on a space station, above our beloved and completely obliterated of any life, planet EARTH! /spoilers:spoilers/ The overall plot in the game is pretty involved and interesting to follow and the characters are pretty likeable. The overall course of the game is mainly finding item X and bringing it to place Y, all and all while dealing with enemies by shooting them with your 50/50 [?] hit or miss gun. But isn’t that the main formula in all those cinematic platformers? NO! You get to do even more things in other similar titles, like saving hostages and throwing bombs and…and… fltintg]?????? with a racoon suit. In “Escape from Monkey Island” you even get to talk to pirates who are really good at darts at the SCUMM BAR, so there’s that as well!

1213- Episode 1 DONE!

The bosses in the game are pretty impressive and fun to fight, aren’t they? I’m a bit disappointed by the last one, which is pure platforming and pressing buttons. Unlike the actual levels, there is a fair amount of challenge to the bosses, which I really liked. I find the healing system in the game to be pretty interesting and unique as well. I am a big fan of showers, I shower every day or two, sometimes I don’t leave the shower for a week and AS in the game, I feel healthier and refreshed with every single shower session.

“1213” is your “GO” choice if you are looking for some mediocre cinematic platforming ACTION! Plot-wise, you are in for a good ride, A RIDE TO HELL CANDY;LAND THAT’S IT! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

End score: 1213 out of 10.

Lab.Room 19’s 100 SNES titles challenge and a new third volume announcement

1463775231582[1] aka cm] tries to draw Hji

That’s right!I got the itch for playing some SNES games and I couldn’t shake it off, what with the first NES volume being done,as well as the entries for the second volume, I reached a situation where I am out of games to play.Thus, until I post what’s left for the second volume, I’ll mainly focus on finishing various SNES games.How good it will go?I don’t know!I am not all that familiar with the SNES!I’ve only finished around 10-15 titles or so… But we’ll see!Anyway’s that’s that…

Right after I’m done with the second volume, I’ll start working on the third one.The main focus are going to be games made by Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw.The reason for this pick is mostly due to the fact that I have cleared some of his games in the past and right now, I kinda wish to cover games that I’ve cleared before.Along with that, I also wish to check out other titles that he did and I never had the opportunity to play.Once I’m done with the third volume, I’ll be doing something a bit special and different from the LR19’s usual routine.Until then, there won’t be any new volumes popping out early or late, for one reason or another.