Retro Game Review- Wolfenstein 3D Classic

System: PC
Overall: 4/5
Game Summary: You’re an allied spy. The Nazis caught you. You’ve made a shiv and you gutted your guard. Taking his gun you strike out against the oppressive captors and work your way out of this Swastika clad hellhole. Taking their ammo and blasting them to ribbons along with collecting their “Reclaimed” treasures you make your way to the apex. All the way to ROBO HITLER. At its time, Wolfenstein was one of the few games to be as gory, violent, and controversial. Packed with FPS action, little to no storyline, secrets, and a gorefest of killing Nazis and their trained shepards- this game when I played it as a child introduced me to the HORRORS of what guns could do to people because the few action films I saw back in the 90s were pretty tame.

Graphics: Greatest at its time. Sadly- gave me Resolution Sickness. It was eye candy and compared to what we have now- its not much to see. This game set a standard. Met and exceeded- and its legacy lives on today in ALL games that we play.

Music: Spooky, a little strange at times, and hidden in Morris Code W3D was up to par with the opening and closing of doors and sounds of gunfire and German screaming.

Replay: All things considered it had multiple “difficulties”. Most tapered off into just being hard or easy based on maps, enemy population, damage and ammo at hand. This game had some secrets to find and many people have seen some of it in the newest sequels to the game (re-imaginings to some)!

In the End: We are left with a Grandfather Game. If you are new to playing you’ve missed out on the gold of an early era. If you haven’t then go get your roots!

Retrospective- What was Shareware?

I remember, back in the late 80’s and early 90’s we had  Shareware and Freeware that allowed people to have one episode of a full games allowing you to get a feel for the game and the content. One could say that us kids without much money and no system had but 1 hope…SHAREWARE. Some games were only obtainable through CDs included in PC Gamer Magazine or the CDs included in the “Strategy Guides” but many publishers would release the licenses to their first “Episode” of a game or first few dozen levels.

These were popularized by games like:

Duke Nukem
Jill of the Jungle
Word Rescue
Math Rescue
Commander Keen
Haunted House 3D
Wolfenstine 3D
One Must Fall 20XX
And many other Titles from Sunsoft, Apogee, id, and the like..

These games killed the time we had when there was nothing to do. When one says “You have the demo?” I think the days of Shareware. Where games were only a few megs and you didn’t need the internet just to play demos (As a matter of fact, the internet was not even common back then). In contrast in the later years Shareware faded. Custom expansions and fan-made content would be more popular through the distribution of PC Gamer and the “Planets” websites (or various fan hubs hosting files).

Now adays mods are common and some publishers, like Blizzard, include tools to make custom versions, mods, and even arcade games built on their platform for various franchises ala Starcraft 2 Map/Game Editor or the newest incarnation of DooM with the level editor. Robust content and AAA titles have demos readily downloadable through Hubs like Steam, Origin, and their own sites. There were a LOT of games out there to pick up…

Retro Game Review Sonic and Knuckles on the Sega

System: Sega Genesis
Overall: **** 4/5
Game Summary:Though pushing the processing of sprites on a screen at once Sonic lacked much of the display gloss of later games on the Genisis. The first game itself was a launch title. The rest were sequels that added something new with each update. Sonic has become a large part of both Anime and “Fur” culture. Though the story was simple and the gameplay lacking little more then “Jump on the enemies or run into them with your spikes” it kept us entertained. Sonic has moved into the new age with console games. The fusion of Nintendo and Sega has brought to us Sonic on the NES of today.

Graphics: Sonic wasn’t realistic but we were given much expression with the cartoon sprites that was him and his companions. The game lacked polish in the first 2 but the third and forth installments made up for in both background and foreground effects. You were moving so fast most of the time you didn’t have the seconds to critique most of the area anyways. It was Sega’s “BLAST PROCESSING”, right?

Music: The highlight of the sonic games was the composition of in game songs and the ever so classic ring gain and ring loss sound. We enjoyed it. And sometimes when you close your eyes after playing, you can hear the Green Hill Zone theme.

Replay: Sonic was a set of time trials. You’ve always got to get the best time. Points and time and rings. That’s all you really worried about until you got to the boss, ahh Beating Robotnik was always fun.

In the End: Go and play this game. Even if you have to buy an old used Genesis and the games to do it. Its worth it. These are the games that kept Nintendo grinding away at production for stronger systems. Mario was slow and hopping while Sonic was spin Dashing his way through robots. The worst thing Mario took on was a freaking fire breathing lizard! C’mon guys (well, Sonic and his pals did fight the “True Perfect Being” which was a fire-bubble Lizard but we’re not talking about that, today).

Retro Game Review- Jill of the Jungle

System: PC (DOS)
Overall: *** (3/5)
Game Summary: When you think “Laura Croft” or “The Night Elves” from WoW did you ever wonder where it all came from? Well for those who remember the contender: Jill! To keep pace with Keen and Duke, Jill was produced to offer another romp through a DOS Coded wonderland. Jill never engaged any bosses in combat. And for a game like this the puzzles were enough…

Graphics: DOS is DOS. Colors were standard. Jill had a nitch though- one of the few females you could adventure as in the early 90s. This was done by Epic Megagames (One Must Fall…UNREAL) so this was one of their little steps on the way to stardom. Not too flashy but didn’t ever give me a headache. So it worked for what it was- at the time.

Music: Jill had little to nothing. Sounds were stock. And little was “new” for its production. Appogee used quite a bit of this in their other games- nominal amount of sounds- but structure to give it a solid feeling.

Replay:There was none. No skill level, no different maps after the main ones. If you wanted to see how fast you could o through it you could!

In the End: Jill was fun for its time. Back then all three games were like 15 bucks. Roughly a month of saved chore money. Now a days it lurks in various torrents and floats around nearly forgotten.

-From No Deal Forum, Circa 2007
-Robert R.

Retrospective- How to watch Tenchi Muyo

Time to get down to business, TENCHI STYLE!

First you must understand “Tenchi Muyo!” is an adaption from a serial Manga. You will NEVER get the whole story from the anime. That being said we must also consider that in their Storyline Universe “Lady Tokimi” resets the timeline with various alternating factors, thus, making each story different shows/possibilities from the SAME universe. They do NOT all intersect but SOME do! To make it easier I’ve categorized the following with relevance to the CORE Continuity and Numbered as per their significance. *Demarks importance of the anime on contrast to the others “Spinnoffs”:

  1. *Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki– The Core storyline/Continuity and closest adaptation from the original Manga. We are introduced to Tenchi and the main cast along with the main conflict and story of the show.
  2. *Tenchi Muyo! GXP– The Core Storyline/continuity takes a break for a “Pseudo-Second Generation” as the Main Character, Tenchi’s cousin is abducted and is drafted into the Space police and embarks on adventures through the TM Universe.
  3. *Tenchi Muyo! Ryo-Ohki OVA–  This is the COMPLETION of the Original manga adaption with Tenchi and the gang. Characters introduced from GXP make a return appearance and their “Secondary Roles” become “Significant Primary Roles”
  4. Tenchi Muyo! War on Geminar– Taking place years AFTER the events of the OVA with Tenchi’s half-brother. Though the it does leave a few allusions to the ORIGINAL Storyline/Continuity it acts as a “Stand Alone” in a Spinoff-like manner.
  5. *Tenchi Universe– This is a “Core Retelling” of the Manga. Antagonists have been changed and added to give the story a “Broader Universal Depth”. The quality is different while the direction was along similar lines (but not the same). This series is a MUST WATCH due to the Cartoon Network Popularization of this anime.
  6. Tenchi in Tokyo– This is a Spinnoff with the same characters from the OVA and TU. The story resumes at the point of Tenchi moving to Tokyo and handling school while the girls handle his moving and a NEW enemy.
  7. Magical Girl Pretty Sammy/Pretty Sammy Magical Girl Club- Another Spinnoff with a focus on the “Magical Girl Pretty Sammy” idea. Though it has NOTHING to do with the original show the popularization of it gave it stand-alone status in Japan.
  8. Tenchi Muyo! Movies– Often Spinn-Offs set in either “Tenchi Muyo!” or “Tenchi Universe” that don’t have much effect on the main storylines (or made after they were finished).
  9. Various other Cross-Over shows– Not named here but there are a few. Check them out at your own PERIL!

-Robert R.