Friday, 24 April 2020

SNES game review 44 Mortal Kombat

My game today is Mortal Kombat the arcade fighting game developed and published by Midway (in 1992) It was subsequently released by Acclaim Entertainment for just about every home video game system that existed back then. It was a massive seller and was one of the few competitors for street fighter 2’s crown in a market which was usually filled with awful semi functioning clones. It started a whole series of games but more than that it actually spawned a successful film adaptation in 1995. It sparked a great deal of controversy though for its depiction of extreme violence and bloodshed by using realistic (for the time) digitized graphics. This game was involved in several hearings on video game violence the results of which resulted in the introduction of age-specific content description ratings for video games. This game certainly changed the world of video games.

When mortal kombat came it came riding a huge train load of hype, at the time nearly all games were released on a friday but mortal kombat just had to break the trend it was released on a monday which was dubbed Mortal Monday… No matter how long ago that was I still remember it for one reason and that’s the fact that the man who owned the local games shop agreed to give a select number of his loyal customers the game on the friday before that. My brother was one of them, he brought the megadrive version and we spent the entire weekend before its release playing it.. Its not uncommon now to get the odd game a day or maybe two before release because it has been posted out and arrived early but back then this was more or less unheard of.
Eventually I decided to get the snes version when I saw it at a greatly reduced price. Now a lot of people would expect the snes version to be an improvement and maybe the graphics were a touch clearer but if anything the gritty quality of the megadrive version actually helped to give it a certain grind house feel and if anything covered some of the blur present in the sprites a little and that’s before you even got to the infamous blood code. On both the snes and megadrive versions of mortal kombat when you put them in the machine they would load up and one of the first things you would notice was the absence of blood. For the mega drive there was a simple code you could input which would switch on the gore, unfortunately the snes version simply did not feature this and no button combinations or joypad caresses would get claret flowing.
A snes magazine in the uk actually ran an april fools which tried to make its readers believe that the blood was in there as well as an option to play as the boss characters but that the cart needed extra weight adding to it to make all of this obtainable. What they told you to do was glue a one pence piece on to the top of your cartridge before going through a combination of button presses which would open some kind of debug menu. I remember that even after they had admitted it was all a giant wind up I would come across seconds hand copies of the game in various stores and markets which still had a penny firmly glued to the top of them. The funny thing is there were kids at school who swore on there life that they had gotten into this debug menu and then promptly denied ever having said it latter. Now the game mortal kombat often gets compared to is street fighter 2 and yes I admit street fighter 2 is better for combos and has several other advantages but I think MK has enough of its own qualities to warrant its place in the fighting fans collection. Personally I love the characters and there back stories sure people will argue that sub zero and scorpion are essentially palate swaps but there portrayal as mortal enemies from warring clans and just how cool they both were in general was more than enough to make me not care. In some ways it can be said the graphics haven’t aged as well as more basic sprites but I don’t know something about them appeals to me and kind of reminds me of old kung fu films I guess its down to your personal preferences. One thing I loved with Mk was the music and sound effects the beat in the various songs just got you in the mood to rip somebodies head off and the sounds being cried out such as scorpion shouting ”get over here” just had an epic quality to them. I find the game greatly playable but not without its limits, the way I see it is as an excellent starting block for a franchise and I can’t help but give it a 7 out of 10. (I give the mega drive a 8 out of 10 though it just feels more tailored to the system and I guess I am just ”loyal to the gore” (bonus points for anyone who knows where this quote comes from)
If you want to play the game on your SNES it is going to cost you around £10 for a pal cart or about £20 for a boxed copy, if you own a megadrive you might want to consider getting a copy on that instead. I also dont want to give anything away but you might want to look at the prices of other games in the series as well.

Monday, 2 March 2020

My Febuary 2020 Retro Game purchases

My retro buying in Febuary started on the 6th when I went in a pawn store and grabbed a few bits I grabbed Natural Doctrine for the Vita for £8 complete, The great escape for xbox complete for 50p, Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the ring for xbox complete for 50p, 1080 snowboarding for n64 cart only £2, Wave race 64 for n64 ntsc japanese cart only for £2.50, The incredibles for gba cart only £1
Spiderman 2 for gba cart only for £1, David beckham soccer for gba cart only for £1, Shark tale for gba cart only for £1, Spongebob squarepants the movie for gba cart only for £1, Monsters inc+ finding nemo for gba cart only for £1 and Dracula Crazy Vampire for GBC cart only for £2. So not a bad little start to the month there.
On the 7th I grabbed one of those Gamestick consoles boxed all the bits including the pad and a 32gig micro SD card for £9 apparently the game store for them is shutdown but there supposed to be able to be hacked to download Android programme from elsewhere and quiet decent for a spot of emulation. I have to admit that I havent actually done anything with this yet there is just not enough time in the day.

On the 11th I grabbed a famicom for £30 no power supply but I'm using a megadrive 1 supply at the moment, I also started getting some games for it and got Final lap for famicom cart only £3, Clu clu land for famicom cart only £3, Yoshi's egg for famicom cart only £2.50, Dr Mario for famicom cart only £3.50, Star juster for famicom cart only for £3, Super Mario Bros for famicom cart only £4.50
Super Mario Bros 3 for famicom cart only £4.50 and Hino Tori for famicom cart only for £3 
On the 12th  I got Spartan X for famicom for £3 it's king Fu master but it's called Spartan X over there to tie in with a Jackie Chan film. Its a game I played a lot as a kid on the Atari 2600
On the 14th I got Wing Island for the Wii complete for £1 , I remember reading a lot about this game back in the day so now I will get to see what it's like

On the 15th I got a bundle of 11 Famicom carts for £20 the contents of which ill list below.

Astro Boy mighty atom
Dragons Quest 3 (two copies of this)
Sky Kid
Yie Ar Kung Fu
Twin Bee (damaged label)
Dragon Quest 2
Gegege No Kitaro
Then two carts with almost none existant labels which I believe are 1942 and Donkey kong junior
 On the 18th I got a few more Famicom bits I got City Adventure Touch cart only £3, Argus cart only for £4, Magical taruruuto kun - fantastic world cart only £4, Bomber King cart only for £4.50 and Warpman cart only for £4 this ones based on an old namco arcade machine and is actually better than arcade perfect not something you see much on old consoles I also got Resident evil 4 with steel box complete for ps2 for £1 and God of War 2 complete for ps2 for £1

On the 19th I grabbed XIII complete for the original Xbox today for £1 I remember really enjoying this back in the day.
On the 20th I got a fair few bits, I think I might just be a tiny bit Famicom obbsessed at the moment. I got Super Star Force - Nintendo Famicom cart only £4, DRAGON BUSTER - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3, TAKAHASHI MEIJIN NO BUG-TTE - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50 (its a spin off to Adventure Island), Obake no q tarou. Wanwan panic - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50, Ninja Hattori kun - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3, Senjou no ookami - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50 (Capcom's Commando), SUPER CHINESE Nintendo Famicom cart only £4,Ninja jajamaru-kun Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50, CHALLENGER - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3 NAGAGUTSU O HAITA NEKO - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3 (platformer translates to somethig about a cat in a hat), Musashi no ken: tadaima shugyou - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50 Meikyuu kumikyoku - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50 (aka Milon's Secret Castle), Xevious - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50, Dynamite bowl - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50, MAPPY - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3.50 Sanrio cup: pon Pon volleyball - Nintendo Famicom cart only £3 and Dino Crisis 2 for PS1 complete for £12

On the 24th I got even more Famicom carts, I will chill out when I have around 50 I think. This is strange for me as its the most focused I have been on collecting in a long time, usually its random megadrive thing followed by n64 thing etc I got Excite bike cart only for £5, Mickey mouse: FUSHIGI no kuni cart only for £3.50, DRAGON SLAYER IV cart only for £3.50, YOUBAI KURABU cart only for £3.50, BIRD WEEK cart only for £3, Ice Climber cart only for £5, The Goonies cart only for £3.50 and DORAEMON cart only for £3.50
On the 27th I Grabbed a Pandora S5 for £75 it has 998 games on it, I have wanted one of these for ages played a bit of wrestlefest and Simpsons arcade on it to test it and then the next day played a whole bunch of fighting games with my daughter, it was a lot of fun going through stuff from my old arcade days sat in the comfort of my own home, a real flashback to when I used to actually own a Jamma arcade Cabinet.

On the 28th when I grabbed two PS1 games today from a charity shop. I got StarTrek invasion complete for £1 and Apocalypse complete for £1

I ended the month on the 29th when I grabbed two games nothing major but nice and cheap Scarface complete for ps2 for 25pence and Lord of the rings return of the King complete for ps2 for 25pence not a bad end to the month really.
If I have added this up properly this means I spent £306 this momth on retro games which is proberbly an all time high record for me, everyone deserves a treat now and then though I guess.

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Retro game purchases in January 2020

M retro purchases for the month started on the 6th when I got two sets of Donkey Konga Bongos  from a charity shop for £5 each, I already have one set, wasn't sure if the game even allows for 3 players or if its 2 player only as its years since I've played it but figured id like them.

on the 8th I got two Xbox 360 slim's with all wires and power supplies but no pads one with a 250gig hardrive and one with a 320gig hardrive for £40. Unfortunatly one of the power supplies turned out to be a dud. I decided to keep the 320gig one for myself as a spare and im giving the other to my girlfriends niece and nephews with the working power supply as soon as a pad is sorted for it.

On the 9th I got a good little charity shop haul I got
Ni no Kuni complete for PS3 £1
Mirrors edge for Xbox 360 complete for 50p
Mine craft missing manual for Xbox 360 £3
Skyrim complete for Xbox 360 for 50p
Far cry 3 complete for Xbox 360 for £1
Saints row 4 complete for Xbox 360 for 50p
Terraria missing manual for Xbox 360 for 50p
Devil may cry 4 complete for Xbox 360 for £1
Halo 3 complete for Xbox 360 for 50p
Crackdown complete for Xbox 360 for 50p
Rainbow 6 Vegas 2 complete for Xbox 360 for 50p
Batman arkham asylum GOTY complete for Xbox for 50p
Xbox live arcade compilation disc sealed complete for Xbox 360 for £1.50
007 agent under fire missing manual for Xbox for £1
and a Datel max memory ps2 memory card sealed for £2 
On the 12th I grabbed a loose Goldeneye N64 cart for £3, the shop had other N64 loose carts but they were all £30 or more none of which were really worth that much.

On the 13th I grabbed a few bits, I went in about 8 diffrent charity shops a lot of which had nothing but I managed to get...

Burnout Legends (platinum version) complete for PSP for £1
Prince of Persia Revelations complete for PSP for £1
Gran Turismo 5 complete for PS3 for 25p
Call of duty 4 complete for PS3 for 25p
and Metal Gear Solid 4 (platinum version) complete for PS3 for 25p

there were some 25p Wii stuff but the discs had been scratched across the floor so bad theyd be useless as anything but coasters luckily the PS3 discs are all clean as anything.

On the 21st I weirdly purchased a 3rd Xbox 360 for the month, I saw a pad in a charity shop in great condition and asked how much and it turned out to be with a 360 arcade unit with all its wires and a 60gig hardrive for £15 and I needed the pad so I grabbed it.

I went in a charity shop on the 22nd and got

Ratchet and Clank 3 complete for PS2 for 50p
Red faction 2 complete for PS2 for 50p
Hitman Absolution complete for ps3 for £1
A wired 360 after glow pad for £2
2 official 360 pads missing battery covers £4
Logitech 3rd party GameCube pad for £1 
Its funny how I couldnt get a pad for love nor money so ended up buying a machine then its raining pads days later. I suppose thats sods law.
On the 30th I got a few bits from a charity shop I got

Naruto Shippuden ultimate ninja storm revolution for ps3 complete for £1
Stars wars force unleashed 2 for Xbox 360 complete for £1 
I ended the month on the 31st by buying  a few bits from a pawn store I got

G-police for ps1 discs case and manual but missing front cover 50pence

David Beckham Soccer for ps1 boxed missing manual for 50p

The jungle book Grove party for ps1 complete for 50p

Pro wrestling powermove for ps1 complete for 50p

Dead or Alive 3 (classics version) for Xbox complete for 50p

The Bigs for Wii complete for 20p 
I spent £92.95 this month on old games if my maths is correctly. I think it is quiet a lot considering the stuff I got and ironically the thing I am most happy about getting is Pro Wrestling Powermove for 50p because I really love my wrestling, bit of a strange month though because a lot of it was focused around getting an Xbox 360 up and running for someone else instead on purly collecting.

Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Retro Purchases December 2019

I didnt really grab much at all during December I guess I was just to busy with the whole of Christmas and getting everything ready for that. I grabbed my first few retro purchases on the 3rd of the month when I went into a charity shop and grabbed The Thing for Xbox complete for 50pence, Tony Hawk's American Wasteland for Xbox complete for 50pence and MTV Music Generator 3 for Xbox complete for 50Pence.

Then on the 11th I got street fighter 2 for the SNES cart only for 50pence from CEX, the weird thing being that they had another copy in for £6 reading the sticker on it though this one said Street fighter 2 virtual console so I am guessing it was misspriced/misslabeled but then again it helped me so I am not going to moan. I also went in a charity shop and grabbed conflict desert strike for Xbox complete for £1 and CSI dark motives for DS complete for £1.

On the 31st I went in to a charity shop and I grabbed Championship Manager 2006 for the Original Xbox complete for £1  and F-1 World Grand Prix 2 cart only for the N64 for £1.50

So in December I spent £6.50 which is an all time low but then hey what are you going to do.

I am aware that I have not been posting here much but if you check my YouTube channel you will see I have been reasonably busy as of late. I am sure that as we head in to the new year I will post something up on here about my intentions for the new year and the future of my channel.

Sunday, 1 December 2019

November Retro game purchases 2019

On the 1st of November I started my retro puchasing by going in to an indy games store and I grabbed a Metalic pink DS lite with a paw print on it and charger for £15 and I also grabbed Super RC Pro Am cart only for Gameboy for £3 which I dont think was to bad a start to the month

On the 8th I grabbed a few bits from a pawn store I visited I got LA Rush for Xbox complete for 50p,MechAssault 2 Lone wolf for Xbox complete for 50p, Commandos strike force for xbox complete for 50p, Doom 3 for Xbox complete for 50p, Black for xbox complete for 50p, Miami Vice for Xbox complete for 50p, The Chronicles of Riddick escape from butcher bay for xbox complete for 50p, OutRun 2006 Coast 2 Coast for psp missing manual for £2, Driven for Gamecube complete for £2 and Tetris 2 cart only for gameboy for £3

On the 11th I went to a diffrent pawn store and got Orphen: Scion of Sorcery for ps2 complete for 50p, Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets for ps1 complete for 50p, Destruction Derby for ps1, disc and manual in empty playstation case for 50p and NBA Courtside 2002 for gamecube complete for £1
On the 18th I once again found myself in a pawn store where I grabbed Burnout 3 for Xbox missing manual 50p, Prince of Persia warrior within for Xbox missing manual 50p, Mechassault for Xbox complete 50p and SSX on tour for Xbox complete 50p

As soon as I got home I  had a bash on Burnout 3 , shoved it in the Xbox 360 and played it using backwards compatability and all I can say is that I still blooming love this game just as much as I ever did.
On the 20th I grabbed a few charity shop bitswhich I was fairly happy with. I got Fifa street 2 for xbox complete for 50p, crash bandicoot the wrath of cortex (classics version) for xbox complete for £1, The sims 2 pets for psp complete for £1 and World Rally Championship for psp complete for £1

The last retro thing I grabebd was on the 27th when I visited an indy shop and grabbed a few bits, I got Ganbare Goemon (AKA mystic Ninja) Japanese cart only for Nintendo 64 for £3.50, Super Puyo Puyo Japanese complete SNES/Super Famicom game for £5.50,  Space Invaders Japanese Complete SNES/Super Famicom game for £7 andDonkey Kong Country Japanese cart only for SNES/Super Famicom for £3

So my total spend this month on retro gear was £56.50 which for me I would consider a sort of middle amount compared to how much and how little I have spent in the past. For me the highlight is simply all the great original Xbox stuff I grabbed for so little. Retro gaming is always seen as an expensive hobby but I think deals like this show that if you look around and dont jump at the first thing you see you can actually retro game on a budget.

Sunday, 10 November 2019

SNES Review 152: Kirby's Dream Course

I remember showing my daughter a Kirby animated series when she was younger and the theme song starting with something on the lines of Kirby Kirby Kirby he is the star of the show, Kirby Kirby Kirby is the name you all know, the truth is though as adorable as the little pink cuddly ball is he has always sort of lived in Mario's shadow. The thing is though that Kirby is an interesting little character whose looks and abilities kind of lend him well to various different kinds of games.
Over the years the little pink ones roundness has allowed him to stand in for a pinball in Kirby's Pinball Land, to be a ball in Kirby's Block Ball. And to tilt and tumble all over the place in the motion-controlled aptly named Kirby: Tilt 'n' Tumble and, here, in this game what does Kirby stand in for well he stands in for a golf ball. You see this is something Kirby has going for him with his squishy roundness in a Mario Golf game you'd just see Mario knocking a ball around but here in Kirby's Dream Course you get to see his royal pinkness being the ball.

If I had to tell someone about this game in a nutshell as quickly as possible then I would basically describe it as being a miniature golf game with a Kirby theme. One of the things which makes this interesting for a SNES game is that it is presented in a three-quarter isometric perspective. The courses are rendered on checker-board style grids and are filled with the standard enemies you would see in Kirby's platformers. I have to admit that I have a certain warmness for sports based titles that throw interesting characters in to the mix, give me a PGA tour golf or a Fifa and I will probably mentally half turn off playing it but throw some interesting characters and crazy powers in a sports title and I will be all over it, my favourite sports titles have been things like the NeoGeo 2020 Baseball with robots in it and Mario Strikers Charged, I guess the less real it is the more on board I can get with it. I guess this is reflected in the fact there a bunch of golf games on the SNES and this is only the second one I have reviewed and heck the first one I reviewed featured a golf playing robot.
OK so basically you hit poor little Kirby like a golf ball with the aim being to send him crashing into every single one of the enemies on the field once you have hit everyone of them bar one then the final bad guy will basically turn in the hole, get Kirby into the hole and congratulations thats a level done, but its a golf style game so just managing it eventually is not good enough nope you will be given a target number of hits and the idea is to come under par.

OK so at least at first the basics are just like any standard normal golf game choose the direction your going to hit the ball, how much power your going to put into your shot, where abouts your going to hit the ball, will you hit it dead on or will you try to give it a little bit of spin or chip it up. Then you go and absorb powers from Kirby's foes such as a parasol. There are ten abilities all of them are clones of powers from Kirby enemies and they are here to try and help you get around the course and if you really want to do well your going to have to learn how to use each and every one of them. You get the aforementioned parasol which helps you float down to the ground, a high jump which helps you jump a stone power which halts your movement instantly at the press of a button, a wheel which makes you shoot off like a rocket.
I think the game has a great concept, and Kirby is a great little character and there is a lot to the game, there are eight different courses to unlock each containing eight holes there's also a two-player mode which you can either have someone enjoy with you or suffer through with you depending on your and there thoughts on the game. In honesty I enjoyed it more in two player mode probably because my player two swore at it and cursed it just as much as I did and that made it both a little more fun and a little more bearable.
If I did a lets play of this game it would pretty much just be a video of me complaining and running through all of the cusses and venom that finds its way to the tip of my tongue. I cant really call this game a bad game, there are things I like about it but it just drives me blooming crazy, sure I do have a bit of fun with it but I also never feel that far away from rage quitting and telling Kirby to take a hike.
Kirby's Dream Course is probably one of his least known games, and that's why I was so surprised to see it taking up a slot on the Classic mini SNES. I never knew about this game back when I was a young SNES owner in fact it didn't enter my life until years and years later when someone gave it me for Christmas knowing I was a game collector so I have no real nostalgia for it and yet I feel bad taking a dump on poor old Kirby yet I cant help but score this game with a lowly 5, its ok, it has good presentation and it applies Kirby's powers well to the game of golf and it feels like it really really tries and yet its just not the game for me. If you want to try it well a loose Pal cart tends to go for £15 and up with boxed copies usually being around £60 when you see them, if you can play imports you'll occasionally see a loose Japanese cart for about £5 and to be honest that's kind of what I would pay for this game, I wanted to enjoy it more I really did.

Monday, 4 November 2019

Tales from the Crypt Fat Tuesday, the original article

Previously when talking about Tales from the Crypt Fat Tuesday/ Dead Easy I quoted a article from a Tales from the Crypt Magazine special about Demon Knight. I had real issues reading the article as all I had was very poor resolution scans to deal with, now I have sat and really strained my eyes and used software I didnt previously have in order to copy down every single word from this article so that others can read it with ease. Still not enough is known about this film and I seem to be one of only a very small amount of bloggers talking about it, so here it is in an easy to read format with yet one more piece of concept art and a picture of the front cover of the magazine this article was apparently taken from. I have included the authors name at the bottom as I am not in anyway taking credit for the article, I just wanted it up and easy to read and figured this was something I could do for the horror community.




Demonic possession, resurrection, religious icongraphy and other worldly temptation are ambitious concepts to be tackling for the first Tales from the Crypt feature Demon Knight. But with two more movies to go, what do you do for an encore? 

''The next one is more psychological than blood, grue and gore'' says A L Katz with a smile. ''As a Matter of fact, today we wrote a scne where a shadow figure squeezes through the skull of an old lady and into her brain. And that's just where the movie begins.''

Much like the TV eries, the movie franchise will also attempt to branch out into different horizons, according to Katz and writing partner Gil Adler. The latter will also be directing the second Crypt feature, whih is tentativelty titled Fat Tuesday and scheduled to go into production in Februrary on a $12 million budget. ''When you think of a Crypt movie, you think ironic, sardonic humour and you also think of a certain amount of scares and gore.. Adler explains. ''And as with the series, there are some nice twists and turns along the way. You think you're being lef one way and we twist it into another direction.''

Based on a script by J.P. Kelly, Fat Tuesday will be set in the Deep South (possibly New Orleans) and concerns a man trying to determine what happened in his past, and how memories of that past will bring back a malevolent entiity if they are ever recalled. ''As this guy get closer to the truth he also gets closer to rleasing this thing from the prison inside of him,'' Katz explains, ''We will be creating a unique Bad guy- one you've never seem before that is compelling and funny. It will scare the shit out of you.''

As with the Crypt shows, Adler and Katz have spent an extensive amount of time rewordking Fat Tuesday into the Crypt style (a title change is expected before the film is released).

''The script that J.P. Kelly wrote was intresting and very compelling but as with all things, we've played with it, thought about it and molded it over, so it has evolved into another life of its own.'' says Katz. ''His original story was very much about a man remembering something from his past and it possibly involved child abuse, which was a little too much to tackle. But the idea of a man remembering something from his past was an intriguing idea. The setting J.P. placed it in was fascinating, and there's even a swamp in there that becomes a character of its own. It's sort of a perverse den where heaven and hell meet and is filled with magic- dark and dangerous magic.''

As for potentialmakeup FX, Todd Masters' shop is currently creating preliminary designs(which will include, among other things, an evil Harlequin), but the artist notes that it won't be as extensive show as Demon Knight proved to be. ''Its more scary in the Haunting sense.'' explains Masters, ''But there is enough stuff in there to keep us going.''

The unique structure of the film franchise has  also create an intresting dynamic. When the idea of features was initially being thrown around, the three main executive producers, Richard Donner, Robert Zemeckis and Walter Hil, all considered directing one each. As time went on, their involvment resulted in each picking a script and nurturing the project along with another director at the helm. Thus Zemeckis oversaw Demon Knight, Donner will be close to Fat Tuesday and Hill will be involved with an urban horror opus currently entitled Body Count (which producer Joel Silver describes as a modern Frankenstein tale) - though the story for the third movie is still tentative.

''Each of the films could be franchisable in its own right.'' explains Katz. ''It's not altogther impossible. Several characters could be taken into sequels, and I don'tthink it would be all that suprisingif that's what happens. In the end, were trying to create satisfying, fulfilling mythologies, and the probability that at least one movie won't be able to contain them is not exactly a revelation.''  
                                                                -Anthony C. Ferrante

SNES game review 44 Mortal Kombat

  My game today is Mortal Kombat the arcade fighting game developed and published by Midway (in 1992) It was subsequently released ...