If you thought games journalists wringing their hands over “problematic” subject matter in games was a new phenomenon… well, I got news for you, my dear reader.
U.S. Gold’s home computer conversion of Capcom’s arcade title U.N. Squadron (originally known in Japan as Area 88, after the manga it was originally based on) drew criticism from UK computer magazine ST Format in December of 1990 for being “self-righteous”, “crass” and even “propaganda”. Why? Because you shoot enemies in an obviously Middle Eastern-inspired setting — at least in the first level, anyway — and in 1990 the Gulf War had just broken out in full force.
Of course, Area 88 first came out in 1979, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good bit of outrage, shall we? Sigh. Some things never change. Anyway, this is a reasonably solid shoot ’em up, though unsurprisingly not a patch on the awesome SNES version…
Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.
Well, it’s been a fun ride, but I think I’m going to call time on my Auto Modellista career… for now, anyway.
I’ve reached a point in the game where I just don’t seem to have the right combination of cars, parts and raw skills to be able to pass the challenges I’m presented with. And so after today’s attempts, in which I experiment with a few different cars to see what difference they might make to my performance, I think it’s time to move on.
Hit the jump to see exactly what led me to this conclusion… and if you know this game well and have any suggestions on how I might be able to progress, I’ll gratefully hear them!
Continue reading Sunday Driving: I’m At My Limit – Auto Modellista #5
Who’d have thought it, eh? It’s amazing the kind of inane stupidity that spills out of one’s mouth while attempting to concentrate on something else.
This week we continue our attempts to master Capcom’s visually arresting arcade racer Auto Modellista, and start to encounter some serious resistance. And, it seems, overcoming that resistance isn’t as simple as just picking the car with the best stats from the list…
Hit the jump to see how things went in this week’s races.
Continue reading Sunday Driving: If You’re Not in First Place, You’re Not Gonna Win – Auto Modellista #4
We all have games that we enjoy a bunch, but are absolutely no good at whatsoever. For me, one of those games is Ghouls ‘n’ Ghosts… in pretty much any incarnation.
The Atari ST version was a pretty great port that offered a convincingly “console-style” experience on home computers that were never quite able to match up to dedicated gaming hardware. I may have never seen beyond about halfway through the first level (including in today’s video) but I’ll still always have fond memories of it.
Join me as I wax lyrical on the game’s excellent use of the ST’s meagre sound chip, the novelty value of platform games with undulating landscapes and, once again, my brother’s girlfriend’s father.
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Yes, it’s that time when we strap in and go for a bit of a drive, once again in Capcom’s beautiful 2002 “Gran Turismo lite” affair, Auto Modellista.
Today we take on some tougher challenges, and either start to hit the limits of what my dear little Yaris has to offer… or perhaps my own skill ceiling. Hit the jump to see what happened.
Continue reading Sunday Driving: More Faster Than I Was – Auto Modellista #3
I enjoyed Auto Modellista so much when I tried it for the first time last week that I felt it deserved another look or two. So that’s what we’re up to today!
For the unfamiliar, Auto Modellista is a 2002 release from Capcom that, alongside Monster Hunter and Resident Evil Outbreak, was supposed to be Capcom’s big break into online gaming. That, uh, didn’t quite work out — indeed, the initial Western release of Auto Modellista didn’t have any online modes at all — but it didn’t stop it being a cool, immensely stylish game.
Hit the jump for the latest video to see what I mean!
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Fear the Mighty Yaris – Auto Modellista #2
Even today, Capcom’s 2002 racing game Auto Modellista stands out as a bold and striking experiment.
By combining relatively conventional arcade-style racing gameplay with an eye-catching cel-shaded visual style, the game successfully distinguished itself from many of its peers — though sadly, relatively mediocre reviews, mostly focusing on the game’s handling and its attempts to straddle the line between deep simulation and arcade racer, meant that it sold fairly poorly.
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth checking out by any means, however — particularly if you are someone who, like me, enjoys the customisation aspect of deep sims but hates “realistic” handling. Let’s take a closer look — and keep an eye on Sunday Driving for the next few weeks to see the game in action for yourself!
Continue reading PS2 Essentials: Auto Modellista
Last week, I actually wanted to cover Capcom’s Auto Modellista, but instead ended up taking a look at Jaleco’s questionable (but actually quite entertaining) World Super Police.
The reason for this was that the copy of Auto Modellista I picked up a while back… uh, it didn’t work. I’d put it in the PS2, the drive would make chirpy zappy noises and then nothing would happen. There didn’t appear to be anything wrong with the disc itself and the PS2 was working fine, it was just a dead copy for whatever reason.
I still wanted to take a look at it because it’s a game I’ve been curious to explore for a long time. So I tracked down another copy and… well, hit the jump for the video to see how I got on.
Continue reading Sunday Driving: Feel Nothing Without Vibration – Auto Modellista #1
First released in 1989, Capcom’s Final Fight was originally conceived as a sequel to Street Fighter.
The success of Technos and Taito’s Double Dragon in 1987 (and again with its sequel in 1988) convinced Capcom to reimagine the game as a belt-scrolling beat ’em up rather than a one-on-one fighter, however, and that proved to be a solid decision. Street Fighter, meanwhile, would go on to get its true sequel in 1991… and create its own phenomenon in the process.
Final Fight, while perhaps not as well known or fondly regarded as its one-on-one stablemates today, remains a highly enjoyable game — with more depth than you might expect at first glance.
Continue reading Capcom Essentials: Final Fight
Those of you who read my coverage on Senran Kagura: Estival Versus will know how much I enjoy the beat ’em up genre… and how much I appreciate its history.
With that in mind, Capcom’s announcement that it would be releasing a new product simply called Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle made me kiss £15.99 goodbye even before the package was released. Doubly so because it was also coming to Switch… and who doesn’t want to bust some heads on the go?
Today we’ll take a high-level look at the package as a whole, then over the course of a series of Capcom Essentials articles in the coming weeks, we’ll explore the individual games in the collection in more detail. Suffice to say for now that £15.99 is a very fair price for this bundle, and I highly recommend it to all fans of the genre.
Continue reading Capcom Beat ‘Em Up Bundle: It’s The Belt For You, Lad