star fox

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Star Fox 64

star foxStar Fox brought gamers an action-flight game to the SNES; an experience a lot of people remembered and introduced gamers to an interesting cast of characters: a talking fox, toad, rabbit, and a falcon. Not quite the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crew, but similar in a lot of ways except for the aerial combat and the sci-fi genre. However, after the first installment, rumors pegged a second one coming to the SNES, but in reality all we saw was a completed version that never saw the daylight in North America and then news of it all disappeared. When the Nintendo 64 debuted, it brought the revival of the four-man aerial team once again and delivered an experience excited gamers wanted everywhere.

Star Fox 64 came out on July 1, 1997 and left a mark in my gaming history. The original Star Fox was damn good (and difficult like a mutha) and the graphics were ahead of its time. This time, Nintendo decided to revolutionize the controller with the debut of Star Fox 64. The Rumble Pak was born and no gamer ever looked back at games without the rumblin’-bumblin’ feel. But the Rumble Pak wasn’t the real reason gamers wanted to play the game. Oh no. It just enhanced the experience Miyamoto set out to do. The game brought aerial combat at its finest.

Continue reading

mission impossible

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Mission: Impossible (Nintendo 64)

I usually buy or receive video games based on viewing multiple reviews to get a better idea on the games worth getting.  The higher-rated games are always going to be at the top of my list, but once in a while, an average or bad video game will come across my gaming history.  Mission: Impossible is one of the few games that sneaked through my “good games security checkpoint” and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

oceanMission: Impossible wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t great either.  The sound was terrible, the graphics weren’t excellent, the controls were wonky, but there was some solid gameplay. Ocean could have made the game better if they just fine-tuned the game a little bit more, but either time wasn’t on their side or they probably just wanted to release it after the movie came out.  It’s a shame they didn’t do a better job. Continue reading

(Really) Old Video Game Review: GoldenEye 007

The name is Bond.  James Bond.  BAM!  Who doesn’t want to be a badass spy with some badass toys.  GoldenEye 007, for the Nintendo 64, redefined friendships all across the world on August 25, 1997.  Almost 25 years has passed since one of the greatest movie games ever made.  Hell, it was one of the best FPS shooters of all time and it was all thanks to Rare’s (the game developers) great vision for both the single player and multiplayer.

Silence is golden.

Kids all across the world were in for a treat, when Rare released this game.  However, it wasn’t a game that probably wasn’t viewed as a must-have title in the beginning because well…it was based off a movie.  Movie games are notoriously crappy.  Holy crap, that is an understatement.  Especially in 1997, there were a very few games (and I mean few) that were decent enough to play.  So GoldenEye 007 already had its hands full with anticipation from gamers.  Well luckily, or should I say thankfully, Rare did a damn good job (and that was an understatement too). Continue reading

They're all over you!

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Star Wars: Rogue Squadron

Star Wars is a franchise many love and hold dear to their hearts (well… at least the original trilogies).  After watching Star Wars on VHS (yes, I am pretty old), then watching the re-released specials in the theaters, I always wanted to be apart of the best thing about Star Wars, the space battles.  Now, many probably like the idea of using the lightsaber more, but seriously…it’s just a light up sword.  The space battles amazed me, like how the opening sequence of Saving Private Ryan amazed me.  There was just chaos, but it wasn’t just any chaos, it was beautiful.  I wanted to be immersed in that chaos and that is what Factor 5 (the developers) allowed me to do.  Star Wars: Rogue Squadron was released on December 7, 1998 on the Nintendo 64 and brought the world one of THE best Star Wars games, ever.

Ewoks are better at taking the AT-ST’s out.

Story was about the Rogue Squadron team taking on various missions throughout the Star Wars universe.  The Rogue Squadron is a bunch of elite Rebel space pilots, who are tasked to do the impossible.  From assaulting various Imperial camps to protecting or collecting a valuable person, the Rogue Squadron is sent to deal with enemies of all shapes and sizes. Many of the missions are based off the Star Wars books.  Of course it would be ridiculous if Factor 5 just put in the only three space battles in the Star Wars (original) Trilogy.  So, expanding the game with books was one way to not only lengthen the game, but also put in an interesting story line.  To this day, I don’t know anything about the Star Wars universe (except the movies) to this day, but the game still had a great way explaining the various plot points in the Star Wars universe. Continue reading

(Really) Old Video Game Review: Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater

This is Genesis, the first of the action sports games that caught the attention of millions of kids.  Nothing brings back memories of trying to get 1,000,000 points on Warehouse with Rowley (even though the score counter stopped at 999,999).  Tony Hawk games today are nothing compared to the ones of yesteryear.  This was a time when Activision was a decent company (not like today’s standards) and brought out some interesting games to the market.

It first came out on the Playstation (One) on August 31, 1999 (!!!) and then onto some other systems later in life.  Man this game makes me feel old, but not as old as other games I’ve played.  Anyways, this game had a new revolutionary control system for…well…the whole skating genre.  Games in the past were never as smooth and simple as this game.  The controls reminded me of playing a fighting game.  Certain combination of buttons equaled into awesome string of tricks.  The layout of the controls were perfect.

The graphics back then were pretty good on the system, as it showed pretty detailed levels. The best level design is the Warehouse level, it was simple yet, it was the one level you can pretty much max out on the scoreboard. The characters were nicely detailed as they each came with their own personalities.  The different levels offered in the game came with great variety, where some were just an open area to just go about your own speed and there were some that forces the player to go one way.

The gameplay was amazing.  It was seriously innovative at the time.  Nothing was remotely close to what Tony Hawk Pro Skater provided at that time.  The levels were timed and you had to find the best places to pull the best combos for points.  Each skater had a special move once you filled up your special bar, so you can pull crazier combo and raise your score.  The combination of moves that can be pulled off were complex, but simple the more you practiced. There were objectives you had to complete on each level as well.  For example, you had to collect letters that spelled S-K-A-T-E, collect videos, and run into boxes to name a few, which then help boost your stats on each skater.  Plus you can get new wheels and deck designs…even though you can’t really see them during game.  It made you want to finish EVERYTHING, so you can brag to your friends that you completed the game by doing all the objectives and finding the secret level.

The number of tricks available were incredible.  There were so many, it kept the trick combos from getting stale.  You wanted to try out every kind of variable possible.  It was again, perfect.

The videos that were included in the game showing the AWESOME skills of each real life pro skater featured in the game made it even more of a reason to complete the game.  The montage of the skaters were amazing.  Also the montage of the random skaters getting injure was great.  This game was the main reason I tried picking up skating as a hobby…but that never really got anywhere, so let’s just skip that part of my life.

The sound effects were clean as you can distinguish the grinding metal of the rail and the trucks of the skateboard to the skaters making “Uhhhh…” sounds when the mess up and fall. The music was freaking dope as well.  You had music from The Dead Kennedys to Goldfinger.  The various punk, ska, and rock just kept you well in tuned with the game.  It just added to the amazing experience.  Everything from the sound, to the graphics (at the time), and gameplay just made this game into a monster.  There was just enough realism and just enough of fantasy put together that just made sense.

There were still some chinks in its armor, such as some bugs where you fell through a level or get stuck (literally) on a level.  Also, the level design could have some room for improvement, but these are nit picking the game really. Overall, the game gets a 9.1 out of 10. Easily a classic.

Rating: 9.1/10

Continue reading