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.

LR19 Spooky Mystery Video Games Mixer!

mixer

This is the first and potentially not the last post where I talk about five games that I’ve played for the new Halloween- themed volume. What is October to you? To me, October is the month where I hide inside my room during the cold weather and shove all the poached pears in the world inside my abyssal mouth. Spook times!!!

Basketball Nightmare [Sega Master System]

Basketball Nightmare DONE!

The only enjoyable thing in this game to me were the animated cutscenes that play during the slam dunks. Indeed, they are pretty rough and stiff, but I find them charming nevertheless. The overall gameplay feels like a watered- down “Tecmo NBA Basketball [NES]”, where you can also stand in front of your active opponent, which stops them right in their tracks, either until they realize half a minute later that the ball can be passed down or you steal it from them. There is quite the weird RNG when it comes to successful shots, regardless of their range! I liked the variety of the monster teams that you get to play against in the story mode. However, playing and beating each of them ends up being quite the boring task and I have no idea how I did it on my first try! Wait, I do! I kept blocking their active players!

Drac’s Night Out [NES]

Drac's Night Out 1.1 DONE!

You are Drac and you have to go out on a date with this one girl each day, for five times in a row! Every round, you have to exit your home first and then find the house where the girl lives. Exiting your home is pretty challenging, given that it gets invaded by villagers constantly. Lucky you though, you can activate traps or call for the help of various monsters. If a villager is hurt, you can consume them for blood [HP] and you transform once you’ve accumulate enough of them. Once you transform, you turn into a bat, which lets you go through a part of the level fairly quickly, ignoring all danger and whatnot. There is also a fall damage and shoes that you can collect which grant you speed and the ability to jump over wide gaps, villagers, traps and something that I didn’t knew until I finished the game was that you can jump on villagers to stun them! The house is divided by five sections and for each round, you have to exit through the door on the lowest floor, on the same section you woke up. On each new round, Drac wakes up at a different location on the highest floor. During your descend, you are free to go to other sections, which is also a key element at certain times. As the rounds go by, some traps and monsters can harm you as well and the villagers speed and invasion pace increases by a bit. Here’s few hints from me:

/ You can jump over rolling rocks and wheels if you are close enough to them and time your jump well./ [Without shoes!]

/Careful when you transition to the first section of the house on round two, as it is possible to get stuck quite early, but I guess you can [EAT] your way out of it. [?]/

/At the start of round three, to avoid fall damage when you transition to section four, you can start your jump from section three./

/The light switch needed to remove the darkness in round four is located two floors below you, on the left. It’s quite safe and easy to access, but it took ME a while to find it! At the start, I went as far as to play half of the section in complete darkness…/

/Grinding villagers for transformation can save you lots of time, mainly doing annoying transitioning from one section of the house to another and dealing with hordes of pesky villagers. There is also a switch towards the end of round five which you can access easily as a bat, rather than trying to go for the shoes and learn the platforming momentum, which will cost you a few falls./

Drac's Night Out 1.2 DONE!

The second part of the game takes a different turn from the early platforming and puts you into a top- down perspective. As Drac, now you have to locate the house of the girl, which of course is done by asking/ consuming people for directions and items. The early rounds are quite generous as they provide you with a map and the bridges in town are still intact. Later rounds, the game make you find a map from a merchant and the bridges are removed. How important those factors are depends entirely on the girl’s location, which is always randomly generated. You know, given that she is the only lady in town that can afford to dress in plain, semi- dark blue [?], it’s obvious that she comes from a rich family that probably owns half the town. There is also now the classic mob with pitchforks and torches, which are sadly, an instant GAME OVER for Drac if they come into contact with him. While I do think that the time limit within’ the game and Drac’s HP meter are quite generous, getting stuck on a path between two mob groups is probably one of the worst feelings in the video game universe, especially on later rounds, ESPECIALLY if you are going for a no- death run… Here’s be hints from me:

/As houses have both front and back exits, the same applies to entrances! I know, it’s amazing! Few people would be willing to enter through a door they can’t see though…/

/Need to cross the river but bridges are out? Trapdoors inside some houses can lead you across. You just need to find the correct houses!/

/Mob groups are the worst thing in the universe, but they can’t harm you during your transformation. [In this part, Drac transforms into a dog/ or wolf???] Pick up some shoes to boost your speed up even further during your transformation and you’ll be flying through half the town in now time! [Not really, but still, the feeling is pretty great!]

Scooby-Doo: Curse of Anubis – Pyramid of Doom!

Scooby-Doo - Curse of Anubis - Pyramid of Doom! DONE!

I was never all that big of a fan on the whole Scooby- Doo series. I remember watching a few episodes, back in the days, simply because there wasn’t anything else, more interesting, running at the time. So do I remember. At that time, the kids in my school would go crazy over the series for some reason, making conversations and topics about it for the whole day. When I was asked about my opinion, I would state that I have no interest in things that are not/related to] video games and at the time, our country wasn’t big on importing any Scooby-Doo games whatsoever.    [?]

“Scooby-Doo: Curse of Anubis – Pyramid of Doom!” is a flash game that I picked randomly a few days ago. It features and isometric view and pushing block elements, along with a limit regarding how many steps you can make. The goal is to reach the exit door in each room. Blocks serve as a mere obstacles and are not required for a specific arrangement. The ten levels that I played felt pretty decent. Maybe there could have been more, with additional gimmicks? It took me two tries to complete the game with what I assume is the highest possible score?

The thing about the game is that you have limit on your steps, not an actual time limit. Thus, you can take your time to plan your path ahead quite well. The whole isometric perspective might add a bit of a weird feeling to it, but it’s nothing too complicated really.

Scooby-Doo Mystery [Sega Genesis]

Scooby-Doo Mystery 1.1 DONE!

Scooby-Doo as an adventure game was a fairly satisfying experience. One can argue as to how it can’t match other titles in the genre of the time in terms of visuals and ESPECIALLY sound, but as a whole, I personally had no problems with any of those. The game features two chapters which are pretty short, but there is enough puzzle- solving and exploring to satisfy even the veterans of the High Mountain Adventure Game Club Dragon Breath VII. Some items are quite well hidden, so I suggest looking carefully and interacting with things in many ways as possible. There are no dead ends or bullshit- logic at hand, which is nice. Not always, but as a whole, quite nice. If you are in the mood for some casual and comfy adventure game, featuring the two blockheads from the Scooby-Doo series, you are in for quite the ride!

I like how the game gives you indirect hints/ direction through Scooby, who follows you around everywhere. You even get to interact with him at a certain, single, one point! It’s a nice little touch, but I liked it quite a lot.

Scooby-Doo Mystery 1.2 DONE!

Sweet Home [NES]

Sweet Home 1.5 DONE!

This is a survival- horror, top- down perspective game that I’ve put on a hold even since I learned about it around 2009. I saw it first on some forums, then I briefly saw some LPs, it was suggested to me by friends and foes, by my own self and eventually, there it is! 2017, Halloween blast baby, “Sweet Home”…    IS REALLY SWEET! Man, I really do regret not playing it sooner…

Sweet Home 1.4 DONE!

In the game, you take control of five people, who get locked inside an old mansion – house- building, which turns out to be haunted. Finding an exit and learning more about the ghost who locked you up are your main priorities, as well as trying to keep as many members of your party alive as possible.  You can control each person separately or you can put them into groups of up to three people. Each character has their own special thing, like one can open locked doors with a key, other can cure ill- stats, burn ropes and so on. If someone dies, you lose on their special item, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll get stuck! There are additional items that can replicate the effect of the special item that the death member possessed. There is a maid in the game and I really liked that, since you don’t see those often in games like this, especially with the power to ACTUALLY clean garbage and open new paths! Honestly, the whole cast of the game is pretty awesome, despite how simple and generic they might seem at first sight.

Sweet Home 1.2 DONE!

Each character has a limited inventory space, so a few reasons to keep as many people alive as possible are to keep items organized and to avoid needless backtracking. There are quite a lot of items within, the game – Some are needed to open new paths, other are needed for solving a certain puzzle. There is also an item which restores HP and WEAPONS! That’s right! Apart from just going around the house, collecting items and solving stuff, you also get to FIGHT! Randomly generated encounters put the lovely cast of “Sweet Home” against some pretty neat foes! Not so neat in terms of names, but visually, every enemy in “Sweet Home” I found to be pretty cool. Spooky cool!

Sweet Home 1.3 DONE!

You get experience from fighting enemies, which makes your characters stronger, up to a maximum level of 20. The battles are easier when done in a big group of three and with acquiring better weapons. While you don’t need to level up every character in the game, you do need at least three or two of them to be tough enough to face further encounters and the boss of the game. Having all your characters leveled up and well equipped lets you move them more freely, potentially dealing with encounters easily and using them from whatever part of the game you might need them. I think that Emi and Akiko are pretty important during the whole course, as locked doors and ill- stats are the things most presented within’ the game. Thus, having them leveled up and geared well is a good strategy for a successful run.

Sweet Home 1.1 DONE!

Leveling up comes naturally and no actual grinding is needed as you progress. I like how rewarding leveling up and obtaining good weapons is, to the point where it makes your group virtually untouchable by attacks from normal encounters. The logic behind the puzzles is pretty solid and easy to follow. There are two VERY WELL hidden items, which I didn’t managed to find until after I finished the game. Honestly though, they are not all that great, not game- breaking at all! More like optional, depending on how much free inventory space you can afford, really.

Playing this game, I could see how it managed to inspire various series and titles that came years after it. “Sweet Home” was like a grand feast, but I’m full. Full, full! Not just nap time- full. Damn! What a good game!

Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans – Special, late birthday edition!

Gazlowe

The thing about getting older is that each new birthday gets better and better – There is less to no cake and only few people remember it! That is, after you “gently” remind them with a leaking bucket, full of sarcasm regarding your age, flying towards their faces. Twenty- Five is by all means the age where you are supposed to get all serious about video games, since as we all know, they are a key element for a successful future where you get all the money and sex in the UNIVERSE! With “Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans”, I’ll be starting the new volume [Gran _-‘D], which will cover lots of different titles, with an aim towards the more popular once, all and all with the ultimate goal of having it as a home place for the 1000- 1001 title!

Anyways, on to the actual “Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans” content…

My first introduction to this game happened at a friend’s place, when we booted a “StarCraft” CD. [CD stands for COMPACT DISK!] There was a trailer on it for the game, which was represented by a fairly intriguing animation movie. Me and my friend were quite curious about all the unknown characters and moreover, we were wondering about what the actual gameplay is like. At that point, we’ve seen all the games from the “Warcraft” series, apart from this one. Thus, to make things easier on our minds, we just assumed that its just another RTS. At that time, our biggest priority was to just play and have good time with “StarCraft”, really! Still, from that day on, that animated trailer got stuck into my head. For more than a decade, I’ve remembered the lines and scenes from it. Finally, not a long while ago, I’ve seen a person mentioning the game and I got answers to all my questions from the past. “Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans” was a cancelled adventure game! My excitement was all over the place, by which I mean that I ate a pork chop.

WALotC DON!

Luckily, at that time, someone was also kind enough to leak the game itself. In less than thirty minutes, I’ve managed to get my hands on it, fix a thing or two to make it easier for a screen capture and there I am watching and listening to every single bit of it in anticipation.

I would say, the animation in the game feels a bit quirky. I was quite surprised, but also happy to see various characters that I’ve seen only in “Warcraft III”, like Thrall, Gazlowe, Drek’Thar,  Nazgrel, Bork’Throrp, Farnir, Michelangelo and Ooo’ Klucky! Yes, who can forget about good ol’ Ooo’ Klucky, the half- orc – half- robot- chicken with his tendency to suicide by self- destruct, causing a tremendous massive explosion. Alas, all his attempts to achieve that usually end up in vain…

Various bugs and missing voice lines are presented in the game, but given its current status, it is to be expected. We’ll just have to wait for the release of the Blizzard PC mini classics, where hopefully, our purchased machine won’t be colored in shit- black or tender yellow- green vomit nuance!

Overall, the game is pretty entertaining and the “adventure” title suits it well in terms of abstraction. Thrall’s quest to unite the orcish clans takes him to various different places and puts him in many interesting situations, like stealing a gryphon’s egg, escaping from the belly of a dragon after being swallowed, ransacking an ancient crypt and so on! Characters with unique personalities and fairly easy puzzles might just be your thing, especially if you are new to adventure games as a whole! That’s the thing about this game, isn’t it? There aren’t all that many options regarding the puzzles that must be solved, so you are bound to find a solution in no time! No bullshit, no butterflies causing rain clouds in another time and space! Just orcs having trouble dealing with strong alcohol! In the end, as a kid from the 90s, I truly enjoyed the nostalgic feeling that the game gave me. I truly regret the fact that “Warcraft Adventures: Lord of the Clans” was never released. I wonder what kind of impact would it have had on me, if I played it as a child?

Out There Somewhere is a game worth your crackers!

out there somewhere

This is a game that I casually grabbed when it was on a sale, without really giving it much of a thought. As usual, it was left untouched for a few months, which is of course a classic tradition when it comes to the STEAM platform. Once I came around to finally play it, I was left with a pretty good impression. Upfront I am willing to say that this game was way worth for what little cash I payed for it.

In the game, you play as Yuri – A guy-space man on a space ship who, with his crew, fight against a conqueror-villain person named Grigori. The game starts as a classic horizontal SHMUP, which seemed like a pretty plain part of the game to me. Not too long after ten minutes of me fighting the unbeatable boss that popped up at some point, I realized that the game MIGHT be expecting me to lose so I can proceed to a further show composed of neat CGs, all and all leading to the actual game.

The ship crashes on an unknown, mysterious planet and it’s up to you to help Yuri navigate through various platforming sections in search for parts needed for a repair. The game does a good job of giving you a proper introduction to some basic movement controls and not too many screens later, it introduces you to the bread and butter of the game: Teleportation gun! Whenever a bullet fired from the gun gets into contact with a terrain [-?beam/laser], Yuri will be instantly teleported there. Now how cool is that? I found it to be quite the great gimmick! The game really goes places with it, without even being shy about combining it with a classic, basic gimmick – That being the other gun, which shoots normal bullets that cause death and destruction. The puzzles in “Out There Somewhere” are nothing too mind-blowing, but they are definitely impressive. Enemies also exist, which you can avoid via your portal gun or you can slaughter them for your own personal survival and satisfaction, once your obtain the normal gun. Their attack and movement patterns are fairly basic, so it’s nothing a young and courageous- planet explorer can’t handle!

Out There Somewhere DONE!

“Out There Somewhere” is a pretty short game, with moderate difficulty. You are in for some great music and graphics, along with a decent sized- world to explore. The various NPCs that you meet during the game are more on the simple side in terms of dialogue and design, which reminds me a bit of the Knytt games and other similar titles. Also, the people who made this game used the Ogmo-Jumper-Ogmo engine, which explains why this game gives me additional familiar vibes. The controls are really smooth and responsive, to the point where I had trouble getting used to them. Such is the hardship of a person who plays mainly games with horrible controls…

I liked the atmosphere in the game. When it comes to planet exploring, the game managed to impress me with its own share on the idea. What I also liked about the game was the usage of checkpoints – While most people might be used to them as being a bland save option, for once they also serve as a way to trackback and undercover certain areas. You would think that this game might feel like a Metroidvania, but honestly, that aspect is pretty minor. The game is pretty linear, but it has a really decent replay value.

What I didn’t enjoy about this game was the ending sequence as well as the final boss, wherein I think there could have been more to them, especially the latter. It’s not like they are ruining the game in some fashion, but they are clearly not adding much to it.

It’s an overall 9 out there somewhere around 10!

Alice is Dead – Just kidding, it slips out!

aliceu

REMEMBER

A few years ago, which is more than half a decade, I had a pretty old and busted PC. I was pretty much restricted to playing whatever came before 2005 and also, flash games. On the funny side, things haven’t changed all that much, if anything, I am continuing the legend via a crappy laptop. Anyways, “Alice is Dead” was a title that young me found randomly on the internet, as he was quite fond of what I despise now mostly, that being whatever and every creepy/horror garbage.

“Alice is Dead” is an adventure game, which consists of three episodes. Back in 2009, only the first episode has been released and for a time being, it was also the only episode that I’ve went through and experienced. I’ve never actually took the time to play the rest of the episodes when they came out, as university work was of a higher priority. That being said, I found episode one to be quite alright, with a decent atmosphere, shadowed plot and honestly, it was pretty much the “Boogieman” song that had the biggest impact on me. Came for the puzzles and creepy things, stayed for the catchy tune! The puzzles are alright! I am saying that overall for all episodes. If you want an adventure game with a decent puzzles, this is not a bad pick.

BUT…

Alice is Dead 1 DONE!

Certain expectations crumble to dust, as episode 2 and 3 come into play. We see variety, too much variety, to the point of no good really. Voice acting, which I really didn’t enjoy. All these new characters, which of course played a huge role in further destroying my expectations for what I believed would happen after the first episode. And that’s not just Me really, I believe I stick along with a vast majority of people who no doubt wore the same shoes as I did. I wanted more of that specific feeling of desolation, as you walk the path of self-discovery. Sadly, I was presented with completely different results and while I’m quite upset about it, there is nothing bad with it. Maybe the author had an approach which does not click with my ideals, maybe it was a move born out of desperation or even innovation! WHO KNOWS? Whatever the case, the whole plot feels like a mess, but should you choose to pay little attention to it, by all means, enjoy the game.

How dead does Alice seems to be, it’s up to you! For me however, two legs are buried deep within, but the boney fingers are inches fit in my nostrils.

FOUR!!!