Categories
Games Wii

Metal Slug Anthology

Metal SlugThe Metal Slug series of games is over 10 years old now but I only came across them for the first time last year through MAME, the arcade emulator. The games are run and gun shoot em ups with great hand drawn graphics, and frenetic gameplay. You can read about the first game on Wikipedia.

Metal Slug is a series of run and gun video games first released on Neo-Geo arcade machines and game consoles created by SNK. It was also ported to other consoles, such as the Sega Saturn, the PlayStation, the Neo-Geo Pocket Color and more recently, the Game Boy Advance, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Xbox 360 and Nintendo DS. There is also an anthology of the first 7 games in the main series (including Metal Slug X) available for the Wii, PlayStation Portable, and PlayStation 2.

They’re great fun to play, and with an Xbox 360 controller hooked up to my computer the experience in SDLMame was as close to perfect as it could be. When I saw Metal Slug Anthology for the Wii in Gamestop and for only 25 Euro last weekend I had to buy it! All those games in one package, on one CD? How could I resist? Unfortunately I should have checked the reviews first. Metacritic gave it 73%, but the first user review points out the huge flaw that makes all the games totally unplayable.
Metal Slug

Once you’re in a game, the default control has grenades set to motion control. If you’ve ever played a metal slug, you’d know that these games are hard, and require split second reactions. There isn’t time to shake the controller up and down. Fortunately there’s 1 control setup that uses the gamecube controller. But with just 3 buttons, it’s baffling why they couldn’t have used 3 buttons on the wiimote.

There are a number of different control configurations, but all are just as hopelessly bad as each other and I don’t have a Gamecube controller. A shame really because they’re arcade perfect conversions. As they should be. Credits for the game include M68k emulation so I presume the exact same code is running on the Wii. Why oh why did they screw it up with a crap control system?

If you really must play Metal Slug, the first game in the series was also released on the Wii virtual console and supports the classic controller. There’s also SNK Arcade Classics Volume 1 but besides Metal Slug it doesn’t seem to be a good value compilation.

Even though the control system is all messed up in the Wii version of Metal Slug Anthology, I’m glad I could support SNK in some small way. Back to SDLMame for me though.

Update! This morning I played Metal Slug on the Wii using a knock off Gamecube controller and it rocks. Sure, you still have the lengthy loading times at the start but otherwise the controllers are fine. Here’s the controller screen and a shot of my “Gameexpert” Gamecube controller. Bought that in Zavvi at a knock down price!

metal-slug-wii-controls

gamecube-controller

Categories
Games

Xenon 2 Megablast

Xenon 2 Megablast. If you know this game, you’ll know the soundtrack. This game by The Bitmap Brothers had great title music by “Bomb The Bass”. It was a shoot ’em up released in 1989 although I didn’t play it until years later when I played it on the Atari ST and years later before I’d play it on the Amiga. The Amiga version is widely regarded as the best version and if you look around you can find the adf download fairly easily.

Hand on heart, I have to admit I didn’t like this game much. I love the genre and I’ll happily blast away at Armalyte(C64) or Raiden(Arcade) but Xenon 2 just never did it for me. I do love the soundtrack though!

Here’s a longplay of Xenon 2 in WinUAE. It’s over 48 minutes long but watch a bit of it and you’ll get a taster for the gameplay!

The Bitmap Brothers have created an updated Xenon game, Xenon 2000 but it’s Windows only so I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried it! As luck would have it, someone has created a video of the new game. It’s more a demo than anything else by the looks of things unfortunately.

So, what are your favourite shoot ’em ups? In no particular order mine would probably be:

  1. Armalyte
  2. Syndicate
  3. Raiden
  4. Quake
  5. Half Life

Geometry Wars Galaxies is almost there but it’s too new. I’ll have to wait a few years before I decide if it goes on the list or not!

Categories
Games

Geometry Wars Galaxies

Geometry Wars Galaxies review
First impressions of this much anticipated 2D shooter for the Nintendo Wii are not good. I played with the Wii remote and the nunchuck and from what I’ve just read on an Amazon review it’s much better with the classic controller.

With the Wiimote and Nunchuck it sucks, you have a cursor on the screen and you aim that where you want to shoot and fly with the Nunchuck joystick. With the Wii Classic Controller it Rocks, you fly in any direction with the right joystick and simultaneously you shoot in any direction with the left joystick. Which as you can imagine makes for some teh sweet maneuvering as you pwn alien space noobs.

Then again, another reviewer says the remote+nunchuck are better. Anyone care to share their experiences?

You can use the classic controller if you’re that inept, but the controls with the remote are one of the best things about this game.

Maybe it reflects the old school shooter idea behind the game, but I found the main menu and name entry systems unnecessarily difficult to use. Instead of pointing and clicking with the Wii remote like you’d expect, you use the Wii remote control pad to move through options. Scrolling through the alphabet to spell “Donncha” is no fun.

How does it play? in a word, hectic. You control a small ship and a drone that fires at wave upon wave of incoming baddies, all set on a flat 2D grid. The Wii remote controls where you shoot, while the nunchuck joystick moves your ship around. When enemies die they leave behind geoms which you collect for power ups and for unlocking extra bits and pieces. As expected it starts off slowly but even the trainer planet quickly becomes cluttered with pixels and flying debris as you shoot every enemy bearing down on you. Power ups increase the firing width of your main gun and upgrade your drone. There is a certain satisfaction to be got when you’re doing well, when your weapons are upgraded and you’re laying into the swarms of approaching shapes. Unfortunately it’s short lived and I quickly succumb to the deluge as I try to figure out where to look next.

Recommended? I’m not going to give it the thumbs up just yet. Every single review I’ve read of this game has been positive and I did enjoy the intense gameplay so check the comments on this post in a few days time when I’ve played it a little more! Play.com have this game for 20.99 Euro so it won’t break the bank to buy it either if you’re a shoot’em up fan!

I had hoped for a shooter I could pick up and play for 5 minute stints and it’s proved to be such a game. I rarely lasted longer than that amount of time on any level. Yeah, I suck don’t I? 🙂

Categories
Games

Addictive Online Games

These games should come with a health warning. Really. They should. I was happily going about my business, when up they pop and literally assault me with their great playability and gameplay. My wife heard the scream from downstairs but thought it was the baby. Before she looked into the office it was too late. I was hooked. So, don’t tell me you weren’t warned and take a peek at the following online games.

  • A month ago Frank blogged about Boomshine, a fiendish game where you have to start a chain reaction that destroys all the balls on the screen. It’s fiendish because I managed to get to the very last level but could get no further.
  • A week after that, he blogged about another game. Does Frank have any conscience? Does he not realise his visitors will lay waste to the zombies in an orgy of blood and violence? Yes, I’m talking about Boxhead. I spent a good few minutes happily mowing down the zombies with all sorts of weaponry until in a daze I emerged tired and weary from my desk.
  • Finally today, I stumbled upon Robert Scoble’s post about Kongregate, a company that hosts online games. They are the ultimate in evil. They have (almost?) 1000 games ready to be played. I’ll be there for days! My first port of call there was The Fancy Pants Adventure. It’s a mix of Super Mario, with bits of that Sega hedgehog, Sonic, thrown in for good measure. Add a not half bad soundtrack and special effects and it keeps on trucking. You’ll have to pry my dead fingers from the keyboard..

As previously mentioned, I sort of like Desktop Tower Defense. If you’re a fan too, check out the new version on their site. New graphics, updated sound effects and a few gameplay enhancements too. Best of all, Paul and Dave who created the game have their blog on WordPress.com! They announced the new version a while back.

Now, I don’t think many people will get as far as this, but do you have a favourite online game? I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Fourth of July to all my US readers, you’ll have something to keep yourselves busy with today!

Categories
Games Web

Desktop Tower Defense should be banned

Desktop Tower Defense could be the most addictive game I’ve played in a while, which is why you should not play it. Never, really, don’t go there. Or if you do, play it now and get it out of your system before you go back to work on Monday.

It’s rather good. I’d write more but I’m in the middle of a game…

desktoptower.png

Later .. Two days later Michael Arrington says exactly the same as me. Thanks Donal for the heads up! I’d like to think that he read it here but I suspect the only thing we share are our sentiments about this addictive game.

Categories
Games Web When-in-Ireland

Is this living?

Is this living?

I spotted this on a large advertising hoarding on the Western Road in Cork this afternoon and snapped it to remind myself to look it up. It’s right by UCC and in the perfect spot to attract the attention of webs savvy students. URLs on hoardings are like honey to a bee with me. I will snap off a few shots of the sign as a reminder and visit later. When I did visit thisisliving.ie I was presented with the following page.

thisisliving-ie.jpg

I have to ask, if I’m visiting thisisliving.ie what country do you think I’m in?

After selecting Ireland and hitting “Enter” I was brought into a nice animation of a resort or hotel which built up and zoomed away again, and then repeated with another 2 locations before being brought to a hotel reception. I signed in and clicked around for about 5 minutes before getting bored of all the loading. It reminded me of the days spent loading C64 games from datasette. At least then I had the cool Ocean or Thalamus loading music to entertain me..

The copyright notice at the bottom of page identifies “Sony Computer” and a quick search took me to this post which has the following tv ad for the Playstation 3. Apparently this advertising campaign has been running all over Europe since January. I’m sure I would have come across a games console somewhere if I had persisted!

Game footage in the above trailer does look pretty. Anyone bought a PS3 yet? Someone told me they’re going for about €600 or so. That correct? You could buy a reasonably specced “home PC” for that much! Supposedly Ireland has a less than healthy obsession with everything Playstation so I’m sure they’re selling like hotcakes!

Categories
C64 Games Movies

Youtube feeds my C64 Nostalgia

It’s all Mark’s fault. He mentioned Codemasters, then Dizzy, then he posted this movie of Magicland Dizzy completed in super-fast time. I had to search for more.

The following post contains several Youtube videos so click more if you want to see Gyroscope, Ghosts and Goblins, Barbarian and other Commodore 64 classics brought to life again!

Continue reading “Youtube feeds my C64 Nostalgia”

Categories
Games Linux

TuxKart 3D racer!

apt-cache search racing returns a number of interesting looking games, one of which is TuxKart by Steve and Oliver Baker. A quick “apt-get install” and I was up and racing!

The game itself is simple, and if you’ve played any of the other kart games around it’ll be familiar. I laughed when Tux first ran over a fish and heard a big gulp sound but it might get annoying to those around you, so turn the volume down!

Check out the homepage linked above for screen shots!

Categories
Games

Frank Miller's SIN CITY – Flash Game

Frank Miller’s Sin City provides the inspiration for this game. It’s simple but addictive!
(via)

Categories
Games

Flash Arcade Games

Play classic games such as Tetris, Pacman, Space Invaders and more!