Posts Tagged ‘virtual console’

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I’ve mentioned previously that one of my favourite games on my Amiga computer was Turrican II. Frantic. Platform. Awesomeness. Hard as hell, but awesome. (The difficulty could have had something to do with the fact that I was playing it with joystick meant for flight simulations….) Also, the music is phenomenal. Anyway, I was reminded again of this classic with this week’s release of Super Turrican for the SNES Virtual Console. I had tried Super Turrican due to my fondness of Turrican II, but I remember feeling a little disappointed, so I won’t bother getting it for VC. But Super Turrican II looks a little better, and I might consider that if it comes out. And, if you have a Windows PC, I really recommend checking out this fan-made game, Hurrican. It gets awesome reviews and it looks really sweet. You can get a level editor for it, too! Free. Go get it. Now. While you’re waiting for it to download, you can watch Street Fighter: the Later Years.

Hmm.. While I’m mentioning classic Amiga games that have been remade for Windows, I should also mention Warblade (Shareware), a modern take on Deluxe Galaga.

Less than a week until Brawl (May 9th, 2008)… Yum.

2D Game Art and the Virtual Console

HD Pixel Art

I’m a bit of a game art aficionado. Actually, I’m an admirer of many things related to games (shock), but right now I’m going to talk a little about art specifically. Concept art: awesome. 2D art: awesome. Animated pixel art: awesome. And now HD pixel art? Well, Capcom is redoing their infamous game, (Super) Street Fighter 2 (Turbo), for the XBox 360 and PS3 in glorious 1080p HD. What they’ve released so far, looks pretty cool.

More images and information at the Capcom Digital Blog.

But with the resolution so high, I don’t think it’s fair to call it pixel art. The artist no longer has to be concerned with having enough pixels available in the character’s head to portray a complete face, or how they’re going to fake multiple digits on the character’s hand that is only 4 pixels wide. It is simply… digital art now. 🙂 It’s fun watching in-game art approach polished concept art!

However, I must watch this HD generation from afar, for now, as I have neither an HD system nor an HD TV. I have only a Wii and a small CRT (not even wide screen). But I’m among the majority, so I’ll remain confident I will receive some high quality games that I can enjoy for a long while yet – they just won’t look as pretty.

Some cool articles on video game sprite evolution: Mario, Castle Vania, and Sonic.

Interesting quote:

Shigeru Miyamoto made him look the way he does because of hardware limitations of the time. He was given a mustache to seperate his nose from his face, overalls so arm movements were visible, and a hat because hair was hard to draw.

And the book they’re from.

Virtual Console Rant

Speaking of Wii, Super Mario Bros. 2, often referred to as the black sheep of the series just came out on Virtual Console, yesterday. That game is great, but why can’t Nintendo just release Super Mario All-Stars on VC and get it over with?! I have All-Stars on SNES, so I can’t justify getting anything less on VC. Same with Capcom and Street Fighter! They are guilty of starting with the oldest game of the series some six months back, just to release the next in the series (an improvement in the existing game, nothing uniquely different, making the previous version obsolete) a week or two ago, making all the people that bought the original feel ripped off. Awesome way to treat your fans, guys. Really impressive.

Both of these Street Fighters are the same price on the VC: 800pts. One can’t help but feel that Wii owners are getting the short end of the stick. PS3 and 360 owners get a revamped HD version of the latest (best) version with added net play and other goodies. While Wii owners get to progressively download all of the classics from the nineties in their original form, starting with the first. At least Street Fighter 2 Turbo: Hyper Fighting is the last version released on SNES, so we shouldn’t expect to be shafted any more in the SNES VC. Of course, Street Fighter Alpha 2 may be on its way, but at least it’s a reasonably different game. I wonder if we’ll get to witness this same fan-milking by SNK when the Neo Geo becomes available on the VC this summer. Samurai Showdown 1, 2, 3, …. I hope not. Go straight to the good stuff. Quality over quantity, please.

And in a store, when the newer game comes out, the older one goes into the bargain bin. Where is the bargain bin on the Virtual Console? There’s no stock to get rid of. The older game, smug with defiance, remains equally priced next to its usurper. Any consumer considering the older game is likely doing so because they found it first, unaware there is a better title for the exact same price, making them a victim. This is made even worse with the lack of sorting options and meta data on the Wii shopping channel. A “Related Games” link for each game could be very useful to the buyer. A virtual bargain bin would be awesome, and could even increase sales (baseless blind guess). The Virtual Console is obviously very successful and still very young, but I hope Nintendo plans for some evolution in its life-cycle to make it more dynamic and mature.

After many hours of playing…

I finished Zelda: Twilight Princess (Wii), the other day. After beating the game and watching the ending cinematics, I thought about the overall experience. It’s an extremely long game, but not terribly difficult. Yes, some of the puzzles stumped me for a while, and when I figured them out, they were thus a little more rewarding. Well, that’s not entirely true. Sometimes, it was more of an “Oh my god, I just wasted my time on that!?” kinda feeling. This usually occurred when I missed something obvious, or the game failed to make something obvious.

But I had almost no troubles at all surviving. I can think of a few moments that were intense, but I had trouble recalling if I actually died. Ever. I had to load up my game and let the nearest baddy kill me to see if I recognized the death sequence. I did, so I must have died at least a few times. The boss in the Sky Temple (3rd last dungeon), I beat without even getting hit. The final boss I got hit quite a bit, and I think I even used a fairy (maybe two), but I did not die. There’s a place called the “the Cave of Ordeals” in the desert, which contains a long series of levels (50, actually) filled with increasingly difficult enemies, and rewards at every 10th floor. I went in a little cocky and very nearly died on the last couple levels, making it very intense. I had to use 2 fairies and a fairy tear. I was down to just a couple hearts at the end. This was possibly the hardest part in the game, it’s completely optional, and was very satisfying. 🙂 The desert temple boss is awesome. I didn’t die, but it’s very fast paced and exciting. There’s also a moblin camp outside the temple that is quite difficult (and fun) if you charge through it. It’s very difficult to balance difficulty of the game with frustration of the player… and the difficulty must come from the game, not from the crappy controls. Zelda has awesome controls & game play, by the way. It looks like the New Super Mario Bros (which I thought looked awesome) may suffer in a similar way.

I enjoyed the story of Twilight Princess, and I could even feel a little emotion swirling around in my hollow interior during the ending sequence. But I feel a lot of the characters and relationships could have been fleshed out a little more. A lot more. Without giving away spoilers, I’d say the Ooccaa are a prime example. I got the feeling that the game was rushed in parts. Being originally created as a Gamecube game and ported to Wii in time for its launch, it very likely was. Here and there it seemed to lack the Nintendo polish that I’ve come to expect. But overall, it was still an awesome game.

I broke down and downloaded Gunstar Heroes for the Wii Virtual Console. 800 of my precious points… gone. About $10 CDN. I’d say that’s way too much for a Genesis game, but the game seems pretty good and is most definitely not too easy. 🙂 So who wants to spend a night playing GSH w/me? 😀 gameplay clicky!