It’s time to once again enter the world of survival horror with one of the earliest examples of the genre: Atari’s Haunted House.
Haunted House can be seen as an evolution of the Adventure formula in that it involves navigating a preset map, manipulating objects and avoiding enemies. The twist this time around is that you’re in a spooky old mansion full of locked doors, tarantulas and a rather annoyed old ghost. Oh, and it’s dark. Very dark. Except on the first difficulty level, but only babies play Game 1 on Haunted House.
Today’s game hails from the relatively early days of what would go on to become an incredibly popular genre worldwide: the RPG.
Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress is often regarded as the “black sheep” of the Ultima series, but it nicely demonstrates how things worked for this type of game back in the Good Old Days… as well as makes me realise that I really had no need to feel intimidated by the supposed complexity of RPGs back when I was a kid!
The ST version perhaps isn’t the most visually impressive game you’ll see on the platform, but it does make good use of the GEM interface, and provides some solid, enjoyable adventuring action!
Hey! Listen! Do you like Zelda? If so, then take a moment to give thanks to 1979’s Adventure for Atari.
Adventure is an early example of a top-down action-adventure, and has been cited as an important influence on the development of subsequent titles such as The Legend of Zelda. While it may look primitive today, its abstract graphics, simple sound and straightforward mechanics still do a surprising amount to stir the imagination, even today.
It’s also the first ever game to feature an “Easter Egg” — and it’s all because the programmer Warren Robinett, quite reasonably, decided that he wanted to actually be credited for his hard work!
How tough is our girl Rorona? Only tough enough to fell both a dragon and a demon in a single expedition, that’s how tough!
In this week’s installment of our New Game Plus run through Atelier Rorona DX, we find ourselves exploring Night’s Domain, a dungeon at the northernmost tip of Arland that is somewhat… mysterious and otherworldly in nature. It’s full of some of the most valuable, high-quality ingredients in the game, though, so it’s well worth taking your time to explore… if you’re up to the challenge, that is!
Meanwhile, there’s a final bit of intrigue with Lionela… could she have finally found some peace in her life…?
The PS2 was a delightful period of experimentation for a lot of developers. And the fact that the only option for distribution was on physical media helped these titles get both noticed at the time, and fondly remembered long after the fact.
2000’s Sky Odyssey isn’t a game I ever played back in the day, but having familiarised myself with it for the first time recently, I have discovered it to be one of those titles for which a simple, offhand mention tends to trigger a gushing torrent of effusive praise from anyone who was there first time around. This is a game that people loved back in the day — and yet it’s mostly unheard of today. The very definition of a hidden gem; a forgotten classic.
The advantage of its underappreciated status, of course, is that it means you can pick up a copy for 50p down your local CEX, enjoy a fine, fine addition to your PS2 collection and still have change for an overpriced cup of shopping centre coffee. Let’s take a closer look. At the game, not the coffee.
Our “second playthrough” adventures in the world of Atelier Rorona DX continue, this time with an important pest control job!
It seems the Nearby Forest has been infested with vultures, and Rorona is clearly the right person to get rid of them. At least it’s a distraction from the myriad neuroses and mental scars Astrid and her absentee parents have almost certainly left on her by this point…
But surely, surely there must be an easier way of clearing out the vultures than just booping them all on the head with a(n admittedly massively overpowered) stick, right…?
There are some games in which it feels absolutely impossible to get anywhere meaningful… but where you still feel you’re having a good time regardless.
One such example is Airball for the Atari ST, a strange isometric adventure in which you play an unfortunate young individual who crossed paths with an evil wizard with a penchant for turning people into rubber balls.
Can you escape from the wizard’s mansion? It has over 150 rooms, you know…
It’s time for our weekly visit to the kingdom of Arland, as our New Game Plus runthrough of Atelier Rorona DX on Nintendo Switch continues!
We’re well into the game’s second year now, and all sorts of interesting things are happening. Rorona is still devastatingly overpowered, however; can no-one provide her with a decent fight? She’s the Lu Bu of the Atelier world at this point.
Hit the jump to see how today’s crafting, gathering and Puni-splattering went.
One of the most interesting things about looking back over really old games is reminding yourself just how long certain companies have been around.
Today’s Atari ST game, Zombi, was actually Ubi Soft’s first ever game in its original Amstrad CPC incarnation. The ST version followed a little while later, but it was still early days for this up-and-coming French publisher at the time.
As for the game itself? It’s a first-person action adventure that gives you very little feedback on the actions you take, making it rather hard to work out what you’re supposed to be doing, even if you’ve read the woefully inadequate manual! Cool music, though…
The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards that I’ve devised in collaboration with the community as an excuse to celebrate the games, experiences and fanbases that have left a particular impression on me in 2018. Find out more and leave a suggestion here!
A really interesting aspect of characterisation is when creators are able to put together a character who might initially seem obnoxious or odious in some way, then gradually bring the player to sympathise with them — or at least vaguely understand them –over the course of the complete narrative.
It’s a difficult thing to pull off, for sure; the most common approach taken to create this effect is to have an “anti-hero” main character, but in those instances it’s very easy to go overboard on the edginess and just create someone who is an unrelatable sociopath or psychopath.
But when it’s done right, it can make for some really interesting storytelling. So who fell into that category for me this year…?