Category Archives: LBoG: Game Overviews

Jaws – NES

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Little Bit of History: Developed by Westone Bit Entertainment and published by LJN for the NES, relased in 1987. Loosely based on the move of the same name and also takes inspiration from Jaws: The Revenge.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: You are captain of a boat (possibly The Orca) sailing between 2 different ports. Along the way you collect conch shells which are used as currency in the game. You spend the shells on upgrades and slowly build up your boat and eventually kill the shark.

Little Bit of Character: No real characters to speak of in the game as everything/one is unnamed.

Little Bit of Influence: The game never really went on to influence anything, it was relased and forgotten about pretty quickly. Though it does make a cameo appearance in the “antique” shop during the 2015 segment of Back To The Future II.

Little Bit of Memories: This was one of those games you may have rented over a weekend and regretted it. It was hard to remember 5 minutes after you played it, nevermind 28 years after it was relased.

Little Bit of Playability: This was hardly playable back then and definitely has not stood the test of time. It’s a horrible, grind-fest with shallow gameplay. Avoid it like a hungry great white shark.

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This is just one part of my 40th birthday celebration of Jaws. Take a look at my overview of Jaws Unleashed 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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UFO: Enemy Unknown – Amiga

Seeing as XCOM 2 has recently been announced as the sequel to the remake of the original. I thought I’d look at the original game that started it all.

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Little Bit of History: UFO: Enemy Unknown (called X-COM: UFO Defense in North America) was released in 1994 for DOS and Amiga. Originally planned as a sequel to Mythos Games 1988 Laser Squad.The game received very strong reviews upon initial release and acquired a loyal following among strategy fans. Even several publications have listed UFO: Enemy Unknown as one of the best video games ever made. Developed by Mythos Games & MicroProse Software and published by MicroProse.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Set in a near-future of the year 1998 (the game was released in 1994 after all) representatives from the world’s most powerful nations meet to discuss the issue of possible alien invasion. From this meeting is born the defense and research organization “Extraterrestrial Combat” (X-COM).

Little Bit of Character: The main playable characters were randomly named, but the player could rename them to whatever they wished. You would cross paths with several types of alien like; Sectoid, Cyberdisc, Floater, Reaper, Snakeman, Chryssalid, Zombie, Muton, Celatid, Silacoid, Ethereal and Sectopod.

Little Bit of Influence: The game went on to spawn it’s own successful franchise with games like; X-COM: Terror From the Deep, X-COM: Apocalypse, X-COM: Interceptor along with several others. There have also been fanmade remakes and even a full official remake called: XCOM: Enemy Unknown and a spin-off called; The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.

Little Bit of Memories: The first time I saw this game was when my brother Graham brought it home. I have to admit, I found it rather dull at first. But spending more time with the game caused me to slowly learn how deep and interesting it all was. One of the most imaginative and deep strategy games ever made.

Little Bit of Playability: I most definitely find this very playable today as well as the first official sequel; X-COM: Terror From the Deep. If you can get a hold of either the original or the sequel do it now.

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Also check out my quick “Good and bad” of the remake from 2012.

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Pac-Man – Arcade

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Little Bit of History: Originally released on May 22, 1980 (today’s his 35th Birthday) by Namco. Pac-Man (originally called Puck-Man) was created by Tōru Iwatani based on a pizza with a slice missing. Pac-Man is one of gamings all-time great and most iconic characters. This game featured some very early AI programming in the form of the ghost enemies who were programmed to act differently. The original arcade version is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: No real plot. You control Pac-Man around mazes having to eat up all the smaller pellets and power pills to clear the maze while avoiding ghosts.

Little Bit of Character: Joining the titular Pac-Man in the game were the just as famous ghosts; Blinky was the red ghost and was the chaser following Pac-Man’s every move. Pinky was the…well pink one and designed to be an ambusher. Inky was cyan in colour and would try to get in front of Pac-Man. While Clyde the orange one was programmed to act quite randomly.

Little Bit of Influence: Pac-Man went on to spawn a long running franchise in games. But also have 2 animated TV shows, a hit single. Pac-Man would even appear in TV and films, plus he had his own themed area at Six Flags Over Texas. But Pac-Man also spawned many clones and for both arcade and home formats.

Little Bit of Memories: That intro music just before you start as well as that little ditty as Pac-Man dies is burnt into my memory forever. I recall this being one of my most loved childhood games and still is today. I also remember those cutscenes that were often very humorous.

Little Bit of Playability: For me, this is still one of the most playable games today. Its simplicity is a huge part of it’s attraction and I have Pac-Man Museum installed on my Xbox 360. I could see modern gamers not really enjoying the game though, but I would recommend trying; Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, which is a stunning remake and offers a lot of gameplay and variety.

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This is just one part of my Pac-Man Birthday celebrations. Please feel free to read my Pac-Man Bio and even multi-part retrospective at every official Pac-Man game in the franchise.

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Super Mario World – SNES

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Little Bit of History: Released in 1990 and bundled with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) at launch. Produced & directed by Shigeru Miyamoto and published by Nintendo. Super Mario World was THE defining platform game of it’s time and often considered to being one of the best games ever made.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: It’s a Mario game…what plot? Princess Toadstool has been kidnapped by Bowser…again and Mario & Luigi are tasked to saving her…again.

Little Bit of Character: Joining Mario and Luigi in the quest to save Princess Toadstool…again, along for the ride is dinosaur thing Yoshi. Evil King Koopa Bowser brings his Koopalings with him; Larry Koopa, Morton Koopa Jr., Wendy O. Koopa, Iggy Koopa, Roy Koopa, Lemmy Koopa and Ludwig von Koopa.

Little Bit of Influence: By this time, Super Mario was already an established IP with this being the 4th official Super Mario Brothers game. The franchise is still going today. Yoshi went on to have his own franchise starting with Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island. There was even a direct follow up planned called: Super Mario’s Wacky Worlds but it was in development for the Philips CD-i machine which was a huge failure and the game never saw the light of day. Super Mario World even spawned it’s own animated TV show.

Little Bit of Memories: My best mate Paul brought a SNES and he would stay at mine usually on a Friday night where we would stay up playing Super Mario World all night into the early hours while listening to 90’s dance music. I remember the time we finally finished the game and all 96 levels, including that damn tricky Star Road unlocking the new alternate world…all without a guide. That Butter Bridge level still haunts me to this day but the music was catchy.

Little Bit of Playability: Oh hell yes. Still one of the best (if not THE best) platform games ever made. Any classic gaming fan should play Super Mario World or it’s remake Super Mario World: Super Mario Advance 2 on the Gameboy Advance. If you have the chance to play this game…play it.

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Prince of Persia – Amiga

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Little Bit of History: Designed by Jordan Mechner and published by Brøderbund. Prince of Persia was released in 1989 and started a sub genre of gaming known as the cinematic platformer. Jordan Mechner has said he got the idea for the game from watching his younger brother running and jumping while playing. In fact the rotoscoping used for the animation of the main character is that of Jordan Mechner’s younger brother.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: You play as a nameless protagonist, you are locked in the dungeons of a place to be kept away from the Princess. The Princess is being held against her will by the evil Jaffar who forces the Princess to marry him or be executed. You have to fight your way out of the dungeons and get to the Princess before she is executed all in 60 minutes.

Little Bit of Character: Along with the nameless protagonist and even nameless Princess. There is the antagonist, Jaffar and various nameless guards and even a doppelgänger of the protagonist to contend with.

Little Bit of Influence: While Jordan Mechner has said he was influenced by Arabian Nights stories and the Indiana Jones films, Prince of Persia has gone on to become it’s own successful franchise spawning sequels, reboots and remakes. An interesting note being that the Assassin’s Creed game series was in fact originally going to be developed as a Prince of Persia spin-off called; Prince of Persia: Assassins. Prince of Persia also inspired other similar games such as the Tomb Raider and the Oddworld series among others.

Little Bit of Memories: I still remember the first time seeing this game and thoroughly being impressed by the animation. The game was a joy to play back then with action a plenty as well as offering a fair but tough challenge. Trying to work out how to defeat that darn doppelgänger had me stuck for ages until the obvious answer came to me.

Little Bit of Playability: The game is still a great little title to play now and again but some may find it a little “ropey” by today’s standards. But I urge gaming fans to try the game out or even it’s remake Prince of Persia Classic.

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Paradroid – C64

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Little Bit of History: Written by Andrew Braybrook, developed by Graftgold and published by Hewson Consultants. Released in 1985, Paradroid was a very “unusual” but original game for it’s time. A meeting of shoot em’ up and strategy in a Sci-Fi scenario.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Set on a spaceship overrun with droids, you control a special droid called the “Influence Device” and you must destroy all other droids on the ship. Starting with the low droid number of 001, you can destroy or even take over the other droids. Each droid has it’s own number with higher numbers meaning stronger more difficult droids you can become.

Little Bit of Character: There are no real characters, just hundreds of differing and numbered droids.

Little Bit of Influence: There are plenty of similar styled games available on IOS and Android. Paradroid also spawned variations and different ports on the game like: Paradroid Competition Edition, Heavy Metal Paradroid, Paradroid 90 and Paradroid 2000. Along with several fan made remakes and updates. The original Paradroid on the Commodore 64 is often hailed as one of the best and most original games on the system.

Little Bit of Memories: I have very fond memories of this game as it was something very different for the time. Picking and choosing which droid you should attempt to destroy or take over, having to think before you acted really offered a refreshing change and something original to enjoy.

Little Bit of Playability: It’s a bit clunky and sluggish by today’s standards and some of the other versions and even fan made remakes play smoother. But at it’s core is still a great action/strategic game worth revisiting in any of it’s versions.

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OutRun – Arcade

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Little Bit of History: Designed by SEGA legend Yu Suzuki, developed & published by SEGA and released in 1986. OutRun was a pioneering arcade racer and often remembered as one of the best arcade games ever made.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: No real plot. Just you taking your girlfriend in a Ferrari Testarossa for a high speed drive across some very pretty scenery.

Little Bit of Character: No real characters either as the two occupants of the car have never been named.

Little Bit of Influence: Pretty much any and every modern racing/driving game today. OutRun may not have been the first game of it’s style, but it was the one that laid the foundations for the genre today. OutRun also went on to spawn sequels and spin offs itself as well as the game being ported to pretty much every home console/computer at the time.

Little Bit of Memories: The graphics blew me away at the time and seemed so “realistic”. The speed the game moved at was just as impressive and really gave a great heart pounding, palm sweating experience. The music was also very memorable and even allowed you to choose what musical track you wanted to listen to while racing via an ingame FM radio. Also, I recall that awesome sitdown cabinet that would react to the action on screen.

Little Bit of Playability: Yes, still very playable today and a great arcade classic. Or you could try one of the more modern OutRun games with OutRun 2006: Coast 2 Coast being a personal favourite. But if you can get a hold of the arcade original I say give it a go while listening to some Magical Sound Shower.

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