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Monthly Archives: August 2017

#74: Syndicate

Iain wrote this one.

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July 1993 – Syndicate

Have we done a cyberpunk dystopia on AAA yet? Turrican was cybermetal; something as bare and isolating as Metroid doesn’t quite fit either half; Impossible Mission II came closest but has its own idiosyncratic niche (plus: too damn suave). So I guess the lovingly detailed high tech gloom of Syndicate was something new to many gamers. Its suit-encased guards and harsh architecture, its world of garish advertising screens and missions for corporate saboteurs presented in medi-scan silhouette with green lines to data, was novel and, more importantly, cool.

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Posted by on August 31, 2017 in 1993, DOS

 

#73: Starwing

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June 1993 – Starwing

Developed by Nintendo in conjunction with British company Argonaut Software, who impressed with their 1986 Amiga release Starglider, and released in Japan and the US as Star Fox, the title was changed to Starwing for European audiences due, apparently, to concerns that there might be confusion with something called StarVox and not, as one might assume, anything related to either the 1987 Spectrum/C64 release Starfox or the 1983 Atari 2600 release Star Fox (ranked 7th in a list of the worst Atari 2600 games!). Though Starwing, as a name for a space-based shooter, seems about as frightfully generic as one could get, a cursory google suggests that, by contrast, it stands in conflict with no other games, or anything else save for a “boutique management agency specializing in sports and entertainment” founded in 2011. It does, however, skirt somewhat close to being the same name as Star Wars: X-Wing, a game to which comparisons in this post were already essentially mandatory. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in 1993, SNES

 

#72: The 7th Guest

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May 1993 – The 7th Guest

In every artistic medium, there are works that defy the limitations of the conditions in which they were made to become timeless classics, creations that hold every part of their appeal countless years later. And then, on the opposite end of the scale, there are things like The 7th Guest. I’m not sure there’s a single game that we’ve covered on this blog so far that has aged as poorly as this. Like Predator and Tower of Babel before it, it suffers mightily from the issue of its primary selling point being the showcasing of shiny new technology that is now hopelessly outdated. But with The 7th Guest, the problem is exacerbated further by the technology in question being the wonders of CD-ROM and its ability to put actual real humans onto your computer screen, which the game then uses to present the world’s hammiest actors in the most cliché-ridden haunted house story known to man.

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Posted by on August 16, 2017 in 1993, DOS

 

#71: Cannon Fodder

Iain wrote this one.

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April 1993 – Cannon Fodder

WAR! (HUH!) What is it good for? Oh, we’ve already done that one. And the much more celebrated Cannon Fodder does, at a basic level, quite resemble North & South, or at least the portion of it that involved moving tiny soldiers around the screen and shooting each other dead. It narrows down and sharpens the basic mechanic — move a smaller team, with left-click to move and right-click to shoot — and adds more thoughtful strategic complications around it. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2017 in 1993, Amiga

 

#70: Sensible Soccer

Hey, it’s been a while, but we’re back. And in all the time the blog has been laying dormant, we have been writing – entries are done up to the end of 1993. Which means we can guarantee weekly updates for the next ten weeks. After that… we’ll let you know where we’re at. 


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March 1993 – Sensible Soccer

Back in 1989 when we covered Microprose Soccer (the game to which Sensible Soccer is essentially a sequel), I talked about how that game captured the feel of the kind of football played by children in playgrounds and parks more than the professional sport it ostensibly sought to simulate and how this was key to its success. Sensible Soccer, then, succeeds even more by doubling down on this approach with a few important changes.

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Posted by on August 1, 2017 in 1993, Amiga