Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror - Remastered (PC)

Broken Sword The Smoking Mirror Remastered logo
Developer:Revolution|Release Date:1997|Systems:Win, OS X, iOS, Android

Looking back over the games I've played for my site over the last seven years, I've noticed a pattern forming: I've played a horror game for Halloween on every odd-numbered year, while even-numbered years have gotten games like Snake's Revenge and Saints Row IV at the end of October instead. Seems to me that I've got a bit of a tradition forming here... but I despise pointless traditions, so this year on Super Adventures I'm breaking the pattern by playing Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror - Remastered! I don't think I'll be seeing any ghosts or zombies in this one.

I'm torn here, because I really want to call it Broken Sword II, but there's clearly no 'II' in that logo up there. There was in the original game's logo, but they've taken it away for the Remastered version, because I guess knowing what order things go in only confuses modern audiences. Personally, I'm more confused by the subtitle. Is it referring to a mirror that's recently been used as a murder weapon? A mirror people that go out to when they fancy a quick smoke?

Wait, I forgot to mention that I'm playing the game on Halloween because it was released on October 31st, 1997, the same day as Curse of Monkey Island and the Blade Runner adventure game, so all three are twenty years old today! Well okay, technically this is only seven years old because I'm playing the Remastered version on Steam. I would've played my original CD version but I've lost it. I’ve checked shelves, I've checked boxes, I’ve checked other boxes buried underneath boxes, and it seems like the bloody game’s just vanished.

Funny thing is, when I bought the game the discs were already damaged and some of the video files wouldn’t copy when I installed it. Fortunately, when ScummVM came out there was a compatibility problem with the video codec so Revolution put revised cutscene files up for free and I could finally play this game I'd owned for years! I actually still have that install on my hard drive ready to go, but I lost half the files in a hard drive failure and now ScummVM won’t even recognise it.

It’s like fate doesn’t want me to play this game, and it doesn't care how much physical storage media it has to break to keep me from it.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Zool 2 (Amiga)

Developer:The Warp Factory|Release Date:1994 (A500 1993)|Systems:Amiga, DOS, CD32, Jaguar

Today Super Adventures has been struck by extreme serendipity. I've been playing Amiga games this month to celebrate the Amiga 500's 30th anniversary, but today is also the Amiga 1200's 25th anniversary! Also, and I didn't even realise this until someone else pointed it out to me the other day, this is my 1200th post on the site.

Seems like this is the perfect time for me to go back and replay one of the very first A1200 games I ever owned: Zool 2: AGA Version. I found it packed inside the same box as the machine itself, as it was one of the three games included in the 'Computer Combat' bundle. Shame I couldn't find the bloody code wheel that came with it ever again, after I took it out and left it somewhere. I had to play Brian the Lion instead, which kind of took some of the shine off my brand new computer.

Well that, and the fact that the A1200 turned out to only be a slight upgrade from the A500, with games that were typically the same except with obnoxious backgrounds added. It wasn't exactly the leap from NES to SNES. But I'm writing this to celebrate my beloved computer, the first I ever owned, not point out its numerous flaws, so I should get to pointing out Zool 2's flaws already.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Sensible Soccer (Amiga)

Sensible Soccer title screen
Developer:Sensible Software|Release Date:1992|Systems:Amiga, Atari ST, DOS

Hey I've got a terrible idea, how about I play Sensible Soccer?

I haven't written about a sports game on Super Adventures for about five years now because I realised early on that they weren't working out for all kinds of reasons. These reasons include: I'm terrible at them, I usually don't know the rules, they don't give me much to write about, I often end up with a lot of empty green screenshots with tiny people standing around, and I hate them.

But I'm making a special exception for Sensible Soccer, on account of it being perhaps the most beloved Amiga game ever. It seems to have a spot reserved in every top 100 list right up near the top (unless they've chosen its sequel Sensible World of Soccer instead). Plus the spiritual successor, Sociable Soccer, is coming out soon, so it seemed like a good time for it.

Okay, I'll try to get this over with quickly, with as little whining as possible. I'll show a few screenshots of bland looking menus, a few of me losing a match, then we can both get on with our day.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Bob's Bad Day (Amiga)

Bob's Bad Day title screen
Developer:The Dome|Release Date:1993|Systems:Amiga

Super Adventures Amiga Game Month continues with Bob's Bad Day! For some reason, this is the first game that jumped into my head after playing Bill's Tomato Game, funny that.

I have to level with you folks, this is not going to be a pixel art showcase and there won't be much going on in it for me to talk about. I'm pretty much only playing it as an excuse to show off the intro... though now that I think about it, the intro won't even work without the voices. Damn.

The important thing is that I'll be done with playing the game quickly and I'll not have much to write about afterwards, so I'll be able to move on to the next Amiga game and get that published before I run out of October. Theoretically.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Bill's Tomato Game (Amiga)

BIll's Tomato Game title screen
Developer:Bill|Release Date:1992|Systems:Amiga, Atari ST

It's the 30th anniversary of the Commodore Amiga 500 home computer! I mean not today specifically, it seems like it hit the Netherlands in April 1987 and the rest of Europe shortly after. But it was released in the US at some point during October, and that's all the excuse I need to make this month on Super Adventures all about AMIGA GAMES!

For the next few weeks it's all Amiga titles, nothing else. Wall to wall Amiga. Though don't worry if you're not keen on that idea; at the rate I've been writing about games lately you're likely to only see two at best.

I started by checking top 100 lists to put together a set of classic titles that really define what the system is, the most Amigary of Amiga games... but then I realised that they'd have me playing things like Sensible Soccer. So I scrapped that plan and decided to play a few of the games that have stuck in my head for whatever reason. Like Bill's Tomato Game for instance! It's a game about tomatoes made by a guy called Bill Pullan. Though it definitely isn't named after him, at least according to the manual, which I definitely didn't check just now out of curiosity.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Secret of Mana (SNES)

Secret of Mana europe pal title screen snes
Developer:Square|Release Date:1994 (1993 JP/NA)|Systems:SNES

This month on Super Adventures, I'm finally getting around to the legendary Secret of Mana!

I'm running a few weeks late here so I'll get my internet-sourced trivia introduction text out of the way quickly so I can get to the game.

• That 'Nasir' you see on the title screen is Nasir Gebelli, the programmer of Final Fantasy I, II and III.
• Trying to figure out the game's exact relation to Final Fantasy IV and Chrono Trigger could drive you nuts.
• It started out as a project codenamed "Maru Island" before becoming a Seiken Densetsu sequel.
• It was planned for the SNES CD addon, but was drastically revised and cut down for a cartridge release.
• Many of the unused ideas from the CD version ended up in Chrono Trigger.
• The dialogue was cut back even further for the English translation due to space limitations.
• It's getting a 3D remake next year!
• It's one of the games on the Super NES Classic!
• I've never played it.
• Well actually I have, but it wasn't for long and I don't think I liked it much.
• All I remember is walking down a river and maybe visiting a town before getting bored.

Also, it's one of the most popular and critically acclaimed SNES games, so I'm going to have to try not to hate on it too much.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Fallout 4 (PC)

Fallout 4 title screen logo
Developer:Bethesda|Release Date:2015|Systems:Win, PS4, Xbox One

This week month on Super Adventures I'm spoiling the first couple of hours of Fallout 4!

You might be wondering why I'm writing about a complicated modern RPG again when I should know better by now. There's already a hundred reviews, streams and YouTube videos out there about it, so it seems a bit redundant. I have a good reason though: I already played all the others (aside from Fallout Shelter and Brotherhood of Steel) and it seemed wrong to leave it out.

Plus it means I get to mention the drama going on in late 2013 when there were competing teaser sites like thesurvivor2299.com and thepropheteer.com all appearing to be revealing the game's existence, and people were trying to figure out which of them was legit and which were fake (they were all fake).

Thankfully the game actually was being developed in secret, because that's typically what you do when your last game was a huge hit (unless you're Valve). Though it seems weird to me that after all this time this was only Bethesda's second attempt at a Fallout RPG. Obsidian were the ones that made Fallout: New Vegas and I'm curious to see if Bethesda decided to take anything from it. Or take anything away from their last game.

I'll be playing it without any mods, by the way, because I'm not really keen on tweaking my game. I feel like opening the box like that lets some of the magic escape (plus I'd be too tempted to give myself an infinite ammo rocket launcher and fly around on a fire-breathing unicorn or something). Also this means I get to ignore the Creation Club entirely and all of the bullshit that goes along with that!

(Click the screenshots if you want to make them very slightly bigger.)

Semi-Random Game Box