Doom 1993

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Doom was an innovative and hugely influential fps game. although its predecessor Wolfenstein 3D released in 1992 used almost the same engine but wasn’t near enough as atmospheric as doom. It was (and still is) hugely recognised for it’s immersive qualities with 3D graphics, sound effects and scary atmosphere. Games today are shaped from the revolutionary ‘lighting’ effects system that doom had; the flickering corridor lights and dark corners were a nice touch. Also the game introduced stairs, lifts and teleporters into game play.

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Space Hulk: Vengeance Of The Blood Angels 1995

Space Hulk VotBA

I played this game from an early age and it will always be an all time favourite of mine, the version I have is on the Sega Saturn. It’s a strategy based game where you control a squad of Space Marine Terminators called ‘The Blood Angels’ facing terrifying alien enemies known as the ‘Genestealers’ and completing missions for the Imperium of man. After about 5 years of playing the game I only just realised it was made by a company called Games Workshop that also produce tabletop strategy battle games like Warhammer 40, 000. So Space Hulk is how I originally got into painting models and playing Warhammer. Also in my discovery Space Hulk was originally a board game too which you could customarily build the maps with floor tiles that slotted together.

Space Hulk boardgame

Vengeance Of The Blood Angels can be played in two ways or a combination of both. 1st person mode where you control a Terminator or you can choose to play the game by just using the map screen. A combination of both is the best case. Playing the game in first person lets you control a member of the squad independently but to give orders to other members in your squad you have to access your map screen. Orders to move, pick up/drop items, open/close doors, overwatch a selected area or shoot in a certain direction. When you enter the map mode it freezes the game for about 10 seconds which i thought was a great feature because it keeps you on your toes and you can’t spend a lot of time on the map giving orders.

Overwatch is a good ability as it allows Terminators to keep on the look out for enemies and automatically shoot any that come close. It does increases the chance of the Terminator’s weapon being jammed thus being rendered incapable of using it. This can be annoying, although the Terminators have close combat weapons, Genestealers are not foes to get into close combat with because they’ll usually wipe the floor with you (or the walls in their case). Another thing I find frustrating is the fact there are a few missions where you have Terminators which carry heavy flamers, which are like flame-throwers but more devastating. Heavy flamers can jam quite easily and if a Terminator tries to use it while its jammed it explodes and guess what…mission failed.

close up of Genestealer

The game overall had good graphics for the time. The atmosphere is scary because there’s no music but only the sounds of your squad, rapid firing of weapons and also the growls of Genestealers lurking in the next corridor. The claustrophobic atmosphere of the corridors and the environments keep the tension rising and quicken the pace, as there is no time for hesitation with the constant onslaught of Genestealers. It’s an addictive but challenging game (sometimes too difficult) but you can play random or famous missions to get into the gameplay or you can take on the actual campaign if you dare!

Alex Kidd: The Lost Stars 1988

I’m a big fan of retro games and i currently downloaded this as a rom for my Sega Master System emulator. As I’ve previously played  Alex Kidd in Miracle World (1986) and Alex Kidd in Shinobi World, which are both hugely addictive games, I found this game to be a disappointment. It’s a cutesy platform game with sickly bright colours. Although the style of it is somewhat quirky, it lacks actual game play unlike it’s predecessor.

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The game doesn’t seem to have a life system, where as if you get hit or fall down a hole it would usually result in some form of damage or death/lose a life. Instead you lose ‘time’. It’s a bit of a strange concept which I can’t really figure out how it fits with the game?? In Miracle World you pick up interesting items such as  rings which shoot fire balls, you get to drive a helicopter or a car. Lost Stars lacks the sophistication of any kind of weaponry, except what appears to be a gust of wind (well that’s what the pixels look like). The only thing I found entertaining about the game is the weird sound effect you get when you get hit by something…it’s quite funny XD