On Her Majesty’s Sega Mega Drive

Addams Family Values Review

The family may be creepy and kooky, but it must be said, after the prior performance of the last licensed game on this series, Donald in Maui Mallard, it doesn’t look good for the next tie-in title: Addams Family Values. Look at the, ahem, long and illustrious line of movie-based games like Home Alone, Independence Day, Transformers – these are games that were clearly not made with quality in mind, ruining many a weekend for poor, unsuspecting gamers upon their release. Yes, one could easily counter with examples like The Simpsons Game or Goldeneye or even The Warriors, but it’s fair to say that we’ve all been burned too many times in the past. Rolling into a movie-based game is much like rolling the dice – let’s just hope we don’t come up with snake-eyes.

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N64 Connoisseur

N64 Review #18- Banjo-Kazooie

Do you smell that? Smells like a fresh review! Now that all of my Nintendo 64 reviews have been united in one place, I can carry on with the journey. As it would turn out, not a moment too soon, either. If you have been on a deserted island for the last month or otherwise totally shielded from the internet, then two things are true. First, I envy you. Second, you have yet to hear about Yooka-Laylee, the spiritual successor to Banjo-Kazooie that currently sits at 1000% of its original fundraising goal on Kickstarter. Also, in this fantasy scenario, it’s your first day back in civilization and you chose 1 More Castle? You, sir or madam, have exquisite taste. Anyhow, after being kicked in the nostalgia and going against my long standing personal policy of ignoring Kickstarter by backing this project, I got a hankerin’ to play what inspired it. So I did. Read More

Retro Power

Retro Power: Issue 7

Congratulations to Kefka for being our #1 villain of the month! It wasn’t really a contest, but we’re declaring him and the people who submitted him as an answer to be our winners. Your prizes will be our undying respect and admiration. At least for the people who answered. Kefka himself seems like a terrible person, being a villain and all. We sincerely hope you enjoy all of the content as much as we enjoyed reading and writing it!

-Alex and Valerie

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1 More Comrade – Extended Edition

Hello folks!

Remember April’s Fool 2015? The whole site turned into a communist wonderland. I don’t know if you guys enjoyed it, but Chris Swartz, Alex Weiss and I sure did. If you recall, we had recorded a spoof, per se, of the famed 1 More Castle podcast. To be honest, we didn’t really have the chance to do much conversation before the recording and jumped right into it. If you’re like our audio engineer and part time wizard Eric Hunter, you may have noticed we seemed a lot more comfortable with each other after the music break than beforehand. Read More

Game Overkill

Game Overkill – Mega Man

The original Mega Man is the red-headed step-child of Mega Man games and I don’t understand why. Besides working as a graphic designer on Street Fighter, this is Keiji Inafune’s first game! Plus, in a series with 6 games (on the NES), it is far from the worst and you’d think the fact that it was the one to launch the series would temper criticism of its flaws. That is, if you can even find people willing to bother criticising it. Most people seem to forget about it completely. Honestly, I was surprised the game made the list based on this.
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The Castellan's Notes

2: When Spam Attacks

Andrew Carreiro waved his hand arcanely. Under the light of his mystic arts, the scorch marks were made to glow, and reveal more intricate details; this way and that were whispy trails, like a spider’s legs tracing away from its body.
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Pixel Gallery

Bonk’s Adventure

Retro Platforms: Amiga, Arcade, Game Boy, NES, TurboGrafx-16

Platform Reviewed: TurboGrafx-16

Although the fourth generation of video game consoles tends to be remembered as a battle between the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis, a lesser-known combatant was the TurboGrafx-16. The result of a collaborative development between Hudson Soft and NEC Corporation, the system supported almost 500 simultaneous colors in-game, used card-like game cartridges, allowed five players at once, and had six entire wavetable synthesis audio channels; if that last point didn’t get you totally excited, then maybe seeing its various fast-paced shooters will. Several classics originated on the TurboGrafx-16 as well, such as the disturbing Crush Pinball series, most of the intense Star Soldier franchise, and the whimsical Bonk games. Bonk’s Adventure, the first entry in the system’s prehistoric mascot series, is how I first learned about the TurboGrafx-16, but does it do the system justice?
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On Her Majesty’s Sega Mega Drive

International Rugby Review

If I may indulge you for a second, I’m going to say something unrelated to video games and remarkably un-British. I hate rugby. Yes, I know that the UK has some great teams, ones that have achieved remarkable success in the past, but the sport runs at a plodding pace, all the players are about as interesting as the supporting cast of a CBS sitcom, and the commentary teams grate my ears and brain. As a matter of fact, I prefer American football, but don’t tell Queen Elizabeth I said that. Anyway, with the overwhelming annoyance I feel towards the sport, you can imagine how badly I reacted when I learned I would have to review a title called International Rugby. I’ll tell you for sure right now, I wouldn’t care if this were called Local Rugby Starring Bobby B From Down The Street, I will not enjoy this in any shape or form, but I will persist.

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The Retro Critic

Tetris Worlds

Here’s one I played recently.

With the exception of the sublime Hatris and other such loving rip-offs, Tetris is one of those games I never felt the need to try different versions of. It was the first game I played on the original Game Boy and it was perfect: the blocks, the music, the lack of colour, I loved it all. I would later play a couple of phone versions of the game but they would be very similar to the original.
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GMZ #2-12 – Everybody Hates Konami

Hide Your Games, Konami Might Be Coming For Them

By D. Madnar

You’ve certainly already heard that Konami and Hideo Kojima appear to have had a less than amicable break up, with Konami removing his name and his production company’s name from the Silent Hills: PT and the upcoming Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain box art, and then not only removing PT from the Playstation Store, but also somehow having them deleted from the consoles themselves.
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On Her Majesty’s Sega Mega Drive

Worms Review

There are a number of admired British institutions: fish and chips, Top Gear, the BBC (if you pretend the 70s and 80s never happened) and soccer all come to mind. However, none of those even compare to the wonder that is Worms, which is a true British original. Worms is a rare exception to cover in this series as many of the games I review are old, dusty, and forgotten – but not Worms. Worms was the small acorn that gave us the mighty oak. While many Americans may be more au fait with titles like Armageddon and 3D, this is where it all began. This one is a bit of a discovery for me, as I have never been able to secure a copy of this game until now. My first foray into Worms was the stellar World Party for PlayStation, which I adored at the time, but on more recent plays, I was disappointed to see that, especially with the new HD releases on Steam, the game has not aged well at all. So, you can imagine my trepidation at the idea of how rusty the very first one might be.

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The Retro Critic

Oddworld Adventures

Why does this game even exist?

Just look at that title screen, how ugly it is.

But that’s not even the point: Oddworld Adventures is, in fact, a good game… on the PS1, where it was known as Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee. Why did Nintendo agree to adapt that particular game to their clearly not advanced enough Game Boy? Because it did well with its inventive gameplay style, cool graphics and involving storyline.

All of which are barely present on the Game Boy, incidentally.
The plot sees an alien (or “Mudokon,” to be precise) discover that the factory he works for as a slave is planning to release a new food product made out of his peers’ bodies. Which is pretty dark and disturbing. Add to that the weirdly comical way in which he first finds out about this, through looking at posters advertising the company’s old and new products.

Paramite Pies

Scrab Cakes

New N Tasty

As delicious as those Scrab Cakes look to Abe, he’s not too big on becoming “something new ‘n’ tasty” after he overhears a board meeting where all is revealed to him.

By the way, I only understand this plot through the Playstation version of the game because the Game Boy port could honestly be about anything. The plot is reduced to a vague cloud of vague vaguery and before you can take a second to figure it out, the game just starts.

Bigface Oddworld

Here’s a couple of questions: who am I and what’s a “Bigface”?

Is that blurry grey thing a Bigface?

Paramites + Scrabs

Ok that kinda makes sense but I’m unclear as to what “Paramites” and “Scrabs” actually are, not to mention what the Bigface has to do with any of this.

Plot Oddworld


To translate: Scrabs and Paramites are things used for food you’ll probably encounter along the way and the Bigface saves your life for some reason.

As to why this all rhymes somehow, I’m not quite sure.

I think the Bigface is actually a Yoda-style character who guides you throughout the game but it really feels like the Game Boy version is starting you off on like the 3rd level or something. There’s big plot chunks missing, which is a shame since the game’s story is interesting and is meant to hook you in right away.

I mean, Oddworld isn’t Batman, a franchise as old as time with a premise so famous little kids and 80 year-olds alike probably know it. This deserved a little more clarity/effort.

I also mean “clarity” literally, look at this screenshot:

Abe Oddworld

I think I’m looking at Abe but, really, it could be anything.

Whatever it is, it’s freakin’ terrifying.

Anyway, the game itself is a platformer in which good old Abe walks and jumps around a factory, interacting with other characters with the ultimate goal of liberating all the slaves who work there before they are turned into yoghurt. And when I say “interacting” I mean interacting! The cool thing about this game is the “Gamespeak” which enables you to chant to other characters and get them to pull levers for you and such through some form of telepathy.

Gamespeak Oddworld

Like Garfield!

It’s not just some heroic rescue mission, the factory workers all work together to escape which makes releasing each of them quite rewarding. The Game Boy port only really includes one level from the main game, however, which is a bit rubbish and means you don’t get the full experience as it was intended.

Abe can also throw items including rocks, meat, even grenades but the problem with him is that everything kills him: jumping too high, holding a grenade for too long, being attacked or simply being touched by something unfriendly. Basically, just make sure you get good at this Gamespeak thing quick and write down those passwords.

One of the four Gamespeak functions you’re left with after the Game Boy transfer, by the way, is farting.

So, to recap, we’ve got no colour, no story, no levels but we’ve got farting.



Garfield Slap

On the plus side, the animation on the characters is not bad for the portable console. Not bad for a PS1-to-Game Boy adaptation, anyway. You jump a little like you do in Prince Of Persia and other such games where you grab onto the edge of a ledge and pull yourself up.

Hanging Abe Oddworld

It may sound like I’m trashing this game but, make no mistake, I do genuinely like the original version and this lesser port, while infuriatingly restricted, is still very much playable. You can still tell there’s something pretty cool in there somewhere.

The Playstation offers a fuller game but this one can be enjoyed on a more basic level, as a simple platformer which just happens to have an eccentric, experimental feel to it. Abe’s not just a telepathic messiah, a bizarre-looking demi-god who literally farts wisdom from his rear, he’s also a video game character and, as such, he is doomed to avoid randomly falling objects while jumping on inconvenient platforms:

Balls Falling Oddworld

And because, in video games, no floor is without gaps, Abe is also often required to activate something in order to proceed with his journey.

Pull Lever Oddworld

There are annoying tasks to perform, tasks that if someone asked you nicely to take care of and even paid you to do you’d still laugh in their face.

Paramites Oddworld

Of course, no matter what you do, you never get recognition. All that happens is everything that exists wants to kill you and doesn’t stop trying to do just that, even oversized irises from a giant’s eyeball!

Eye Oddworld

Or… whatever that’s actually meant to be.

Point being: this may not be the Oddworld game you want to play but, as a game, it still just about works. It’s really not the type of thing that works on the original Game Boy, a system that’s at its best when it keeps things simple (see Tetris), so I do recommend checking it out on the PS1 where you can also find decent spin-offs and sequels.

Oddworld is definitely a franchise to look into.

Even if the games are the type that send you passive aggressive mixed messages right at the end.

Ending Oddworld

Did I actually do a great job or are you just saying that so I don’t throw my Game Boy into a cat right now?

‘Cause I’ll do it!


That’s what I thought.

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