Category Archives: LBoG: Game Overviews

RollerCoaster Tycoon

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Little Bit of History:  Released in 1999 for PC – RollerCoaster Tycoon is a construction and management simulation based in numerous theme parks. Designed and programmed by Chris Sawyer.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: No real ‘plot’ to talk of here – you are just given a chunk of land, some cash and the research team to help you develop, design and build your very own theme park. Build rides, attractions, shops and coasters. You can even design and create genre specific scenery and rides, you want a horror, cowboy, space theme along with various others? Well you can  – make enough money and meet mission requirements so you can move onto the next park. You can even download fan made content and parks/rides, some based on world famous attractions from around the world. You can create your very own Disney World.

Little Bit of Character: There are no characters in the game – just random customers who will enter your park looking to be entertained and amused. Though you can rename any of the characters to whatever you like, so you can name your punters after your friends and family… then make then throw up after going on crazy coasters.

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Little Bit of Influence: RollerCoaster Tycoon was not the first game in this genre – but it was the best of the lot (until the sequel). It went on to become a successful franchise with four main games and several spin-offs.

Little Bit of Memories: It was my older brother, Rob who first introduced me to this game and I admit, at the time, I was not too impressed with it. I just found it slow, dull and uninteresting. But the more I played, the more RollerCoaster Tycoon grew on me – as I learned the building mechanic, as I became more familiar with the micro managing – I soon found myself becoming a big fan and before I knew it, I’d sunk hundreds of hours into this game creating some of the most insane theme parks and roller coasters ever created.

Little Bit of Playability: RollerCoaster Tycoon is just as playable now as it was eighteen years ago. I still enjoy losing myself in its charm and deep management gameplay. Though I much prefer RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 over the original, it still holds a special place in my gaming heart. If you like theme parks, roller coasters and games – you’ll not find a better place to quench your thirst than RollerCoaster Tycoon and its sequel… and to a slightly lesser extent the third game – but stop after that, you’ll thank me later.

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I love roller coasters and theme parks so much that I have decided to start my own theme park blog; 0 to 4gs. Its early days yet as I’m tinkering with the style, etc – but feel free to check it out – more content coming soon.

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Wolfenstein 3D

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Little Bit of History: Released in 1992 originally for MS-DOS and later ported to various other machines including’ SNES, Jaguar and 3DO. Developed by id Software and published by Apogee Software. The game was the brainchild of; John Romero, Tom Hall, John Carmack and Adrian Carmack (no relation).

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Playing as William “B.J.” Blazkowicz, you have to escape Castle Wolfenstein, discover and end the Nazi plan to create an army of undead mutants and finally kill Adolf Hitler who is hiding in a bunker under the Reichstag.

Little Bit of Character: The main star is William “B.J.” Blazkowicz who you control through the game. Along the way you will encounter enemies like; Nazi soldiers, dogs, Hans & Gretel Grösse, Otto Giftmacher, General Fettgesicht and Doctor Schabbs.

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Little Bit of Influence: This game may not have been the first ever First Person Shooter (FPS), but it was the game that popularised the genre and went on to influence pretty much every single FPS that has been released since. From the immortal classic; DOOM to modern FPS of today like the Call of Duty franchise. Every FPS created today owes a debt to Wolfenstein 3D.

Little Bit of Memories: The first time I ever saw this game was on a friend’s PC and it blew me away. We had never seen a game that ran this smooth and was this violent/bloody. It was a revelation, even if we didn’t realise back then just how much of a revelation it would prove to be. The huge maps to run around in, the variety of weapons to use and of course the unparalleled amount of fun the game offered was unheard of back then.

Little Bit of Playability: To be honest, this one has not held up too well. Playing it today and it feels very sluggish and slow. The gameplay just has not held up as well as other FPS from around then (DOOM) and I honestly didn’t enjoy playing this again even if I loved it back in 92. But it is a classic and deserves to be remembered.

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There is more Wolfenstein in my Wolfenstein retrospective.

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Bomberman/Dyna Blaster

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Little Bit of History: Developed by Hudson Soft and released in 1990, this was a reboot of original 1983 game of the same name. Originally released for the PC Engine/TurboGrafx-16 as Bomberman before being ported to MS-DOS, Amiga and Atari ST re-titled as Dyna Blaster in 1991. A Commodore 64 version was planned and even advertised but it was never released.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: The single player mode had a simple story. You play as White Bomberman (yes that is the character’s name) who has to make his bomb his way through eight worlds until he reaches a castle. There he must make his way up to the top floor where Black Bomberman is holding the kidnapped daughter of the inventor who created the Bombermen.

Little Bit of Character: Not much to cover here. There is White and Black Bomberman a handful of enemies and that’s about it.

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Little Bit of Influence: This was not the first game in the franchise, as previously mentioned this was a reboot to the 1983 original. But this version was the game that kicked off the success the franchise would find with multiple sequels and spin off games that are still being released today. The franchise also spawned an Anime called; Bomberman Jetters, a toy line and even a short series of Club Nintendo comics.

Little Bit of Memories: I recall playing this game on the Amiga for its excellent multiplayer mode where four friends could bomb each other. The single player was pretty redundant to be honest, but the multiplayer mode was where all the fun was at. Then my friend Paul got the SNES port and a Multitap so four people could play at once and this was where the real fun began. A simple but fiercely competitive game that could break up friendships and families faster than a game of Monopoly. Fighting to get those bomb & explosion power ups, trying to trap your opponent in the corner, etc. Fast and frantic gameplay that though simple, kept us coming back for more.

Little Bit of Playability: This is still a great title to play now and there are literally dozens of versions to try out. I would definitely recommend the SNES port; Super Bomberman and its sequels. There are even more recent updates like; Bomberman Live, Bomberman Blast, Bomberman Ultra or Bomberman Live: Battlefest. There have been numerous Bomberman games released on pretty much every popular format, even iOS and Android as recent as this year.

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Friday The 13th – C64

Today is Friday the 13th so…

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Little Bit of History: From Domark and relased in 1985 for the Commodore 64. Later ported to the Amstrad CPC and ZX Spectrum. The game was inspired by the film series of the same name and became infamous for its jump scares. Some copies of the game even came with fake blood capsules filled with red sugar water that you could use to make it look like blood was pouring from your mouth. Also at the end of the tape was a collection of horror SFX.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: You play as one of the teenagers and are tasked with hunting down and killing Jason Voorhees while trying to protect your friends by taking them to a player selected sanctuary somewhere on the map. Jason could disguise himself as anyone of your friends and this would make him hard to find.

Little Bit of Character: You could play as 1 of 5 teenagers including; Gerry King, Bryan Bone, Amanda Baxter, Wendy Watson and Stuart Palmer. Then of course there was also Jason Voorhees.

Little Bit of Influence: Later Friday The 13th games were made like the more known one for the NES another for mobile games in 2000 and there is an all new Friday The 13th game coming to PC, Xbox One and PS4 to be relased in autumn of 2016.

Little Bit of Memories: I had this one on the same compilation tape as The Evil Dead. I always remember this one being pretty good fun even if it did have a strange soundtrack like Teddy Bears Picnic would play if you went to the woods or Old McDonald when you went to the farm. The map at the time was quite varied and fun to explore all while trying to find Jason. Oh and then there were those jump scares I mentioned as if/when Jason would kill one of your friends, you would be greeted with a image of a teenager with a machete stuck in their head and a loud digitized scream sound.

Little Bit of Playability: I was quite surprised to find this was still pretty playable today. I really enjoyed exploring the map and trying to track down Jason before he killed everyone. Though the controls did feel a little stiff, but after a while I got used to them. Still a pretty fun game to play today.

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Fallout – PC

With the release of Fallout 4 just days away. I take a look at the game that started it all.

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Little Bit of History: Developed and published by Interplay Entertainment and relased in 1997. Made available for MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and OS X. Fallout was originally going to be a direct sequel to Wasteland, a RPG relased in 1988 which was also developed by Interplay Entertainment. But Fallout used an all new system called SPECIAL, this new system made Fallout similar but too different to Wasteland for it to be considered a true sequel, so a new IP was born. The SPECIAL system went on to become the backbone of all Fallout games from this point onwards.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Fallout’s plot is set in an alternate timeline with a post-apocalyptic and retro-futuristic aesthetic. Technology, politics and culture followed a different course and while technology more advanced then we know. But cultural and societal progress has stagnated which gives the world a 1950s art deco style. On October 23 2077, a global nuclear war occurs and most major cities around the world are destroyed. The aftermath of the war do not start to fade for a hundred years. Many humans live in underground fallout shelters known as Vaults. In one of these, Vault 13 lives the protagonist’s in Southern California, where the game begins in 2161, 84 years after the war.

Little Bit of Character: You create you own custom character at the start of the game or can chose for three already pre-created characters. In your adventure you meet numerous other NPCs too many to list here. But one character worth a mention is Dogmeat, a canine companion who becomes a regular throughout the series.

Little Bit of Influence: Fallout had humble beginnings but went onto become its own successful franchise with four direct sequels, three spin offs and even four games that were ultimately cancelled. The Fallout series has become infamous for its deep, open style gameplay and branching stories.

Little Bit of Memories: I have to admit to never playing this one originally, but I did discover it years later when my brother introduced me to Fallout 3.

Little Bit of Playability: It is a little clunky and slow, but the game still offers a great deal of depth and enjoyment. Its also a game that is screaming out for a iPad/Andriod remake, the touch screen would be perfect for Fallout and Fallout 2. Still a great game today and well worth a play if you have never experienced the original Fallout (though Fallout 2 was the better of the two original games)

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Fallout 4 is relased in just four days…and I can’t wait!
Remember. War, war never changes.

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The Evil Dead – C64

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Little Bit of History: Produced by Palace Software for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. Though the ZX Spectrum version was never given a full release and only available as a “B-side” to Cauldron. The C64 version was given a full retail release in 1984. This was the first ever licensed game based on the film of the same name.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: The game is set in the cabin from the film where you have to fend of demons attacking you until you can find the Necronomicon (Book Of The Dead) to destroy it and stop the evil demons once and for all. Demons would continue to spawn and break into the cabin, you would have to kill the demons with various weapons while barricading the windows where the demons were getting in. This sounds familiar…

Little Bit of Character: You play as Ash from the movie and he is the only real character in the game aside from the nameless demons.

Little Bit of Influence: As I said before, the basic premise of this game sounds familiar. Ever play the “Zombies” mode on Call Of Duty? Stuck in a building with ever spawning enemies (zombies) and having to barricade yourself in to slow down the horde while you dispatch them with a variety of weapons? The Evil Dead on the C64 was one of the first (of what is now known as ) survival horror games and could really be credited with helping to shape an entire sub-genre of gaming.

Little Bit of Memories: I recall having this on a compilation tape for my C64 and playing it quite a bit. It was never a scary game and the graphical limitations at the time meant you never saw any blood or gore. It was a pretty family friendly game based on one of the most infamous and gory films of its day.

Little Bit of Playability: It seems very rough by todays standards. But its still a enjoyable game, though it quickly becomes repetitive and redundant. The bore factor settles in fairly quickly with this one, but it is an interesting history lesson to see one of the very first survival horror games and main influences for Call Of Duty’s Zombie mode.

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There’s more Evil Dead to come with my look at the original movie as well as try to clear up the “is Evil Dead II a remake?” misconception…join us…

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Jaws Unleashed – PS2

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Little Bit of History: Developed by Appaloosa Interactive and published by Majesco Games (THQ in Europe) and released in 2006. A pseudo-sequel to the original 1975 film and was relased for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Windows.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Amity Island is growing thanks to prestigious company: Environplus. But a growing population on Amity attracts a killer great white shark. Environplus CEO’s son is eaten by the killer shark and the CEO hires shark hunter Cruz Raddock to track and destroy the great white monster. Meanwhile, Marine Biologist Michael Brody tries to capture the shark for research.

Little Bit of Character: Michael Brody (son of Martin Brody from the original film) is joined by Amity’s Mayor; Vaughn and Cruz Raddock the shark hunter. Oh and a great white shark who is the star of the game.

Little Bit of Influence: The game was developed by the same team that made Sega Mega Drive classic Ecco The Dolphin and you can see a similar gameplay style here too. A sequel of sorts was relased called; Jaws: Ultimate Predator relased in 2011 for the Nintendo 3Ds and Wii. Plus there have been similar games relased on iOS and Android like; Hungry Shark Evolution and even an official; Jaws Revenge game too.

Little Bit of Memories: I remember this one being really good fun, mainly as you get to play as the shark. The game used an open world/sandbox style allowing you to explore the environment and kill swimmers, seas creatures and even destroy boats and scenery. The shark itself had quite a few moves it could pull off including; ramming, jumping out of the water and even whip its tail. It was a violent and bloody game…bloody good fun.

Little Bit of Playability: Yes, still playable today and I recommend the PC version if you can get it as it runs a lot smoother. It’s good mindless fun, causing mass destruction and eating swimmers while being a killer great white shark has never been so much fun.

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This is just one part of my 40th birthday celebration of Jaws. Take a look at my overview of Jaws – NES as well as my look back on the first “summer blockbuster” and how Jaws almost never made it to the big screen.

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