Category Archives: Gaming

Fatal Fury Special

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

A screenshot of Tung Fu Rue blocking Geese Howard's Reppuken special move

This review was originally published in Edge issue 6, March 1994

Neo-Geo owners guess what? A new game has arrived and it’s not at all what you’d expect. It’s a sort of platformy shooting arcade adventuring type thing, where two swishly dressed characters face one another and play catch the projectile.

Oh alright, it’s yet another beat ’em up – the third in the Fatal Fury series to be precise – and in spite of the amount of competition on this platform, this latest addition is still a rather good game.

So what’s so ‘special’ about Fatal Fury Special? For a start, there are more characters to choose from. The first Fatal Fury only had three, the sequel had eight, but here you can choose from 15 bone-crunching bruisers. All of them have their own unique fighting style and all come with an assortment of special moves. There are even hidden ‘power blows’ that when executed take off huge amounts of your opponent’s energy. Graphically, there are some new vibrantly coloured backgrounds – the bridge level is even more impressive – and all of them now go through a day to night transition.

With the exception of a few new tunes, the music and sound effects remain much the same: no bad thing this as they were excellent to begin with. Expert players among you will be delighted to hear that there’s a surprise ending in store, but only if you defeat all the opponents without losing a single round.

So there you go, what more could any self respecting Neo-Geo fan ever want in a beat ’em up? Fatal Fury Special looks good, has more characters, sounds great, plays brilliantly and has loads of hidden features.

But why, you ask yourselves, would I want to buy yet another beat ’em up for my machine? Well, given that a) you have an obscene amount of money and b) you wouldn’t have bought a Neo-Geo in the first place if you weren’t a beat ’em up fan, you’d be pretty daft to miss out on this as it’s the best game in this excellent series, and the second best beat ’em up (after Samurai Shodown) available on your system.

Edge rating:
Eight/10

A screenshot of Duck King hitting Joe Higashi with a flying knee

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Maximum Power Up Podcast – Episode 79: Run & Gun

This article is from RetroCollect – Retro Gaming Collectors Community. Click the title to hop over there.

MPU Ep79 Run  Gun 670x447

Join our intrepid three as we go runnin’ and gunnin’, and diving into the shoot’em up sub genre of run’n’gun games. Messers Phil, Jake and Chris Smith MkII pick up some heavy weaponry, don their bandanas and camo kecks, and jump in the chopper… or do they?

Go to Source – RetroCollect – Retro Gaming Collectors Community

 


Maximum Power Up Podcast – Episode 78: Neil West interview

This article is from RetroCollect – Retro Gaming Collectors Community. Click the title to hop over there.

MPU Ep78 Neil West Interview 670x447

In this episode we speak to Neil West another well known journalist from the 90’s. Neil was known for his work on much loved Sega magazines Sega Power and MEGA.

Go to Source – RetroCollect – Retro Gaming Collectors Community

 


No One Can Stop Mr Domino!

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

A screenshot of Mr Domino approaching a car

This review was originally published in Play issue 37, July 1998

DOUBLE BLANK OR DOUBLE SIX? JVC LAYS ITS CUTESY DOMINO CHALLENGE ON THE LINE.

sound like a game for people who wear furry, zip-up slippers and huddle under tartan blankets, but actually it’s a rather addictive (if short lived) psychedelic domino laying extravaganza. Before you turn the page belly-up laughing, just check out the screenshots – they’re absolutely gorgeous and if this game had a middle name, it’d be ‘originality’ – a word you can’t associate with the vast majority of releases.

PaRappa The Rapper grabbed attention and to a lesser extent, the same can be said for Mr Domino. Playing it is simple, but mastering it takes patience, dexterity and a smidgen of luck. You play a cute domino chappy, who is carried along a predetermined course and the idea is to lay down dominoes at specific points in order to create chain reactions. Hitting certain switches triggers off amusing cut-scenes (those crazy Japanese), but if you manage to link every switch without stumbling over one of the many obstacles in your path, you’re rewarded with a special ending for the level.

A screenshot of Mr Domino about to be intercepted by an enemy

DOUBLE BLANK
Each course is effectively a track, so that after making one circuit you return the same point. It’s unlikely that every switch will be triggered on your first jaunt, so there a plenty of time-extending First Aid crosses dotted around ensuring that you can do a few laps to complete the stage.

Unfortunately you only get to manoeuvre Mr domino left and right, there’s little else to do apart from adjust his speed, as everything is on rails. It’s great fun for a while, but there are only six stages and we finished them pretty quickly. The humour in each level makes you chortle at first, but the effect soon wears off after you’ve watched it a few times. There are bonus tiles, including Fast Forward, Slow Forward and the annoying Reset tile, but nothing can hide the short-lived challenge that Mr Domino represents. Although it’s original, stunning to look at and good fun to play, we have doubts about how long you’ll be playing it for.

Tom Sargent

Looks: 8
Sounds: 7
Gameplay: 7
Value: 5
Topples: 7

Overall: 72%
Original, but lacks lasting challenge

A screenshot of a woman finding a bomb in her oven

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Celebrate SNK’s 40th Anniversary With Retro Gamer 187

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

Retro Gamer 187 cover Retro Gamer 187 subscriber cover

The latest issue of Retro Gamer is out on Thursday 1 November, and it’s a special celebration of SNK’s 40th anniversary. The magazine comes with a sticker sheet featuring sprites and artwork from the company’s history, as well as The Mini SNK Companion – a guide to 40 great games by SNK and on SNK hardware, featuring brand new developer interviews. In the main magazine, our cover feature looks back at the company’s life, death and rebirth with a selection of interviewees from the company’s past and present. We also have an interview on the development of the SNK 40th Anniversary Collection, due for release soon on Nintendo Switch.

Of course, that’s not all we’ve got in the issue. In our regular Making Of features you can learn how the London gangster game The Getaway moved from PlayStation to PS2 during its development, find out how Gauntlet: The Third Encounter arrived on Atari Lynx and discover the tale behind Lucasarts’ classic adventure The Eidolon.

Elsewhere you’ll find a feature on the Game Boy Color (celebrating its 20th anniversary this year), Ultimate Guides to the fantasy shoot-’em-up Gynoug and the over-the-top beat-’em-up NARC, a retrospective on the developer Atomic Planet and a Bluffer’s Guide to westerns. We also speak to DotEmu about Windjammers 2 and Streets Of Rage 4, get Darren Melbourne to reveal his Desert Island Disks and pay tribute to the late composer Ben Daglish.

As always, you can pick up Retro Gamer from newsagents, digital magazine retailers and of course online via My Favourite Magazines.

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


Rocket Knight Adventures

This article is from Retro Gamer. Click the title to hop over there.

A screenshot of Sparkster using his rocket pack to fly over the sea, with a snake like enemy belowThis review originally appeared in Sega Power issue 46, September 1993

If you thought dying was all about agonising pain and the haunting sound of the final scream, think again. The creatures in the world of Zebulos just throw up their arms, smile sweetly and utter a brief but poignant squeak. Paul Pettengale marches off to stab a few of them through the heart.

PREPARE YOURSELF for a shock. Here’s a game that brings a new lease of life to the platform genre. Well, a lease of life that’s been sitting in the fridge for a few days, but it’s a lease of life nonetheless. Yes, Rocket Knight Adventures manages to effectively combine a range of gamestyles – from the frantic shoot-’em-up to the mindbending puzzler – and very entertaining it is too.

Sparkster, leader of the Rocket Knights, defenders of the realm of Zebulos, has seen his master die at the hands of an evil pig called Axle Gear. The land is also under attack from the nearby Empire of Devontindos and, to make matters worse, Axle has only gone and kidnapped the princess of the realm. Drastic action is called for. Sparkster must crush the invasion, rescue the princess – and kill the pig while he’s at it. So off Sparkster trots (or whatever it is opossums do), mercilessly slashing killer pigs, tentacled trains and giant lobsters (to name but a few) from neck to navel with his magic sword. Of course, should things get out of hand, you can always activate his rocket pack and launch the guy skyward out of danger.

The action is great fun and unrelenting, with baddies coming at you from all angles, especially after the first level. They all behave in different ways too and most boast complicated attack routines which aren’t easy to suss out. But the game is challenging in other areas…

A screenshot of Sparkster hiding from a fire blast in a castle

When the rumbling terrain gets particularly tricky, for example, you have to employ your rocket pack to avoid the danger zones. (Then again, it’s great at any time for uncovering those hidden bonuses and extra lives.)

The huge sprites in Rocket Knight Adventures, while nothing groundbreaking in themselves, are good enough, and most of the characters (especially Sparkster
himself) are especially cute in a Japanese kinda way. One novel feature about the game is that you can interact with the backgrounds (in other words, jump between foreground and background areas). Unfortunately, the nasties can do the same so you’ll have to be nifty on the pad if you want to survive.

The sound and musical effects, however, are just disappointing – and, ultimately, so is the hectic gameplay. There are two difficulty settings, but the only difference between ’em is the number of lives and continues you start off with. If you play for the first time
on Easy you’ll get at least a third of the way, if not further, into the game. Poor really.

If you’re looking for a new platformer to restore your faith in the genre, however, it’s the best yet – despite the sickeningly cutesy scenario. My advice is to just skip Easy, play it on Hard and enjoy yourself. I know I did.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 5
Addiction: 5
Brainpower: 8

Final Verdict: 82%
Great looking, loads of gameplay and no two levels are the same. The action is so damn hectic you’ll be at it for a couple of weeks. Not so sure about the longevity after
that though.

A screenshot of Sparkster piloting a giant robot into battle

Go to Source – Retro Gamer

 


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