Thursday, 9 February 2012

for those who follow this.

I made an even neewer blog a few weeks ago. This blog and the world of everything are very much dead and they will never see any new content.
If you want to read my posts then you need to follow this site.

This site I promise will not die, I update it weekly without fail.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

New blog

Here is a link to my brand new blog.

I may still suppose my current one with the odd new post but this is my main.

Daytona USA SEGA Saturn

Daytona USA was a launch title for the SEGA Saturn and conversion of the 1993 arcade hit of the same name, with the new Saturn hardware came promises of arcade perfection and exciting gameplay, sadly that wasn't the case. SEGA in their infinite wisdom decided that it would be a good idea to claim that this was an arcade perfect conversion and I quote:
“Brought to you by the top game coders AM2, this pixel-perfect conversion of the smash-hit coin-op contains all the bumper-to-bumper action found in the stunning arcade original.”

The game does resemble the coin-op very well but in no way is it an arcade perfect conversion, no chance. From that shot alone we can tell that the graphics have been down-graded due to the fact that the Saturn was not made for 3D.
The SEGA Saturn was a 2D power house it wasn't made to be used for full 3D graphics like the Playstation and N64 were. I could understand if SEGA had done this with say Afterburner II on the Mega drive because at first glance the conversion would seem quite accurate but with the Saturn it is just too obvious that the conversion is not arcade perfect.

To add to the Saturn's 3D woes the game suffers from a lowered frame rate, the game is still fast but a lowered frame rate isn't going to do the game any favours especially when there is a lot going on. What is worse though is the games awful, awful pop-up, playing this I can understand why most developers felt the need to use fog for distancing, it is so bad that you can look in front of you and see nothing, while pop-up isn't normally a problem it can lead to you driving into corners with the expert course is the most noticeable offender.

To the games credit it does really try to keep the feel of the original game and does so with some success, the gameplay has held up fairly well in the conversion the vehicles have a similar handling to the ones in the arcade game and they still get horribly smashed when you crash.
The gameplay aspect was where the most effort was put in with this port and it shows. Sometimes though the Saturn controllers just don't cut it, you really need something with tighter steering, this is why getting a steering wheel is important if you want to get full enjoyment out of this game, the wheel gives you much, much better control over your car and makes it easier to drift and turn without crashing.

At its core Daytona USA is an arcade racer that continues to the tradition of Outrun and Virtua Racing that sees you racing to check points within a strict time limit, if the timer runs out it is game over. The Saturn adds the new Saturn mode to the game to try and add more variety but all it does is give you the choice on an extra car, tweaked gameplay and no time limit so unless you are doing a practise run on the circuits you'll probably just stick to the arcade mode.

I think the biggest crime made by the developers was the decision to completely drop any multiplayer which is a very baffling decision considering that the multiplayer was one of the big pulls for the arcade version. You see back in 1993 Ridge Racer and Daytona USA were the two big racers in the arcade and each changed the racing genre in their own ways, Daytona went for full arcade style gameplay with fast cars and mutliplayer for up to 8 people, Ridge Racer on the other hand went for slightly more realistic gameplay, vehicle selection and a bigger emphasis on solo play offering no multiplayer at all. The result was that Ridge racer ended up feeling very alive with it's big city while Daytona felt somewhat soulless with it's faceless racing circuits.
With that in mind multiplayer was the big thing that Daytona had going for it, take that away and the experience ends up feeling a bit empty.

The original soundtrack has been re-recorded for the conversion, people have debated over which version has the better tunes, I prefer the arcade soundtrack but the two are pretty much identical.

In all despite a big list of set backs Daytona is still a very enjoyable and faithful conversion of the arcade game as long as you don't mind playing it alone, it doesn't hold a candle to the arcade version but considering what the Saturn was capable of it was a good effort, especially for a launch title.

Farewell GigaPepsiMan's Gaming Blog 2009-2011

After over a year of hardly any activity I am saying farewell to this blog, I'm not shutting it down so anyone who wants to read it can but I am starting a new blog with a new direction.
I'll link the blog later.

Mini Review: The Battles of 3-D World Runner

At first glance The 3-D Battles of World Runner is a rip off of SEGA's Space Harrier that is because it is.
This wouldn't be the first time that Square made a game that bared a close resemblance to one of SEGA's arcade titles, they also made Rad Racer which bared a resemblance to Out Run.
3-D World Runner does contain some original ideas, most of the game is spent running past and dodging obstacles that get in your way, these can range from blob monsters to fires to bottomless pits.
After several minutes of running and jumping you get to the boss battle and at that point the game turns into a complete rip off of Space Harrier for starters the bosses look like the Dragons from Space Harrier and when fighting the boss 3-D Runner hovers in the air shooting fireballs at the boss until it is dead.
The game follows this cycle so it can feel repetitive after a while. 3-D World Runner looks easy but don't be fooled it is harder than it looks the game relies on reaction and timing.
Like Rad Racer the game features a 3-D mode that can be turned on and off by pressing the select button sadly it is the old type of 3-D that doesn't really work, with or without the glasses it is a bit of a mess.
The game is very pretty with colourful worlds and a cheery soundtrack. It has imagery similar to that of SEGA's Fantasy Zone with use of lots of light colours such as pink, green and sky blue.
In all The 3-D Battles of World Runner has enough originality to make it worth while, the game is fast paced and is not for the slow of hand.

Sonic Colurs Nintendo Wii Review

Sonic Colours Nintendo Wii Version

We are less than a year away from Sonic the Hedgehog's 20th anniversary and to honour this milestone Sonic Team need to pull out all the stocks so that we don't get another disaster like Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. Sonic has been on a very bumpy road for the last ten years and has become one of the laughing stocks of gaming. If there was ever a good time to make a comeback it would be now.

Sonic Colours is everything that Sonic Unleashed should have been, those horrible beat'em up stages, gone. What we are left with is fast paced gameplay and some brilliant set pieces. Sonic himself controls much like he did in Unleashed only this time he is better rounded meaning that he is easier to control in both the high speed areas and careful platforming areas.
The game is taking ideas from the classic Sonic formula with the most important being that you must slow down every now and then, by doing this the high speed that fans crave feels much more rewarding. Once again the game sees Sonic constantly switching between a 2D and 3D plane to keep the game play fresh and please both newer players and Sonic purists.
In the last ten years Sonic has been let down by multiple gameplay gimmicks that have more bad than good, once again Sonic Team have tried a new gameplay gimmick in an attempt to keep things fresh and to their credit they finally got it right. The unique gameplay element to Sonic Colours are the multicoloured aliens called Wisps who are just basically optional power ups. Yes for once we are not having a gimmick forced on us as if to say “ooh look at what Sonic can do now”, if I must be honest the wisps make the game feel very “Super Mario”.
It seems sonic is taking a few ideas of Mario with the newest being the ability to swim, yes this is never explained but Sonic has all of a sudden learned how to swim, it must because of the Olympic games. This change has both a positive and negative effect. On the upside water doesn't instantly kill Sonic more, on the downside being underwater isn't tense or scary any more and you hardly worry about drowning.
If there was one thing that could single handedly ruin any Sonic game it was instant death pits that came out of nowhere, it used to be that you could tell the quality of a stages design by the number of death pits that would kill you without warning. The frustration caused by those pits is similar to the frustration you feel when you slip on ice only to stand up and slip again. Thankfully the stage design is much better this time around with death pits only appearing in a few stages rather than all of them, the pits are better placed too meaning that you can see them before they can kill you. These changes only help the game to feel more fair which is good because past titles could be frustrating to the point where the player would quit.
While the game does improve on a lot of short comings it does still suffer from shoddy combat and the odd frustrating moments in later stages. The boss battles are well thought out but they lose impact when you realise that you have to fight them twice.
The game is reasonably paced for a Sonic game and while 5 hours may seem short the game does offer several hours of replay value with challenge modes and unlockable stages.


Prince of Persia Sands of Tme Nintendo GameCube Review

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

With the Prince of Persia franchise you are always sure of two things, “realistic” platforming and instant Death Traps.

The realistic platforming really needed working on because before The Sands of Time the best realistic platforming going was in the Tomb Raider games and look how they turned out. That old style of platforming was outdated and it nearly killed the Tomb Raider franchise so Ubisoft had to start from scratch. What we got in the end was gameplay that would look right at home in a Wachoski Brothers Matrix flick, the Prince has gone from being slow, clunky to fast, fluid and slick. Oddly enough this style of platforming was so effective that Tomb Raider went and copied it. Since this change the series has followed the formula of run, jump and climb. In all the Prince controls like a dream, the gameplay in this area has been balanced to the point where it feels almost completely fair.
The death traps were always going to be the cause of frustration, players needed an alternative to restarting the level constantly, because of this “The Sands” were introduced to the gameplay giving you the ability to rewind time and fix mistakes such as taking a nasty fall and dying. This mechanic is brilliant because it lets the game keep the risk and reward gameplay while getting rid of the frustration. It also adds some humour to the game allowing you to drop 60 feet and then watch in amusement as you jump straight back up. If you don't like the Prince then you can just drop him in a spike pit over and over again.
The thing I dislike about the likes of Mirrors Edge is how you get a game over whenever you die. This breaks the flow of the game, get rid of that flow and the enjoyment factor just plummets. When you consider that the game is about fast paced, well thought out platforming the last thing you want is for it to be a chore.
The only aspect of the gameplay that can be criticised is the combat which in comparison to the rest of the game feels slow and cumbersome, it is another case of hit the enemy when they are not attacking and block when they are, you can jump over enemies and use a variety of attacks but most of the foes are unaffected by these special moves so you are left having to use the hit and run method which is just dull.

Not to give the game too much credit it does have a few annoying moments with the best examples being a door puzzle that is really nothing more than a guessing game and the fact that the bosses are total pushovers.