Category Archives: 1993

#96: Syndicate

Format: Amiga Genre: Tactical shooting/Real-time tactics Released: 1993 Developer: Bullfrog Productions

I’ve always been interested in politics and, well, power. I distinctly remember aged 7 or 8 explaining to a classmate that Margaret Thatcher was a Prime Minister, not a President as Britain didn’t have Presidents. When I was given the action figure of Hordak (main villian of She-Ra and former mentor of Skeletor of course) I considered the ramifications amongst the villians of suddenly having the old boss back. Who would they back? Could Skeletor be deposed? Could civil war break out on Snake Mountain?

I was an odd child in many ways.

By the time I was 13 I had started to think about how power should be used and, most importantly, who should be in charge. My conclusion? That I should be in charge. Yes, me. Sadly at 13 I realised I was some time away from seizing power. Sorry, did I say seizing? I obviously meant to say ‘become politically active, maybe getting involved in local politics or something’…

While I waited to get old enough to fulfil my political destiny I played games that seemed to have a political or, ahem, power-hungry bent. Civilization, Command & Conquer, Colonization, Rise of Nations, and, the subject of this post, Syndicate.

See my Empire grow... Ooo har har har!

Syndicate is set in a Blade Runner-esque future where nation states and governments have been replaced by corrupt corporations. The people have been numbed into submission by having a chip inserted into their heads which alters reality, making them see a world of sunshine and lollipops rather than the dystopian nightmare it actually is. Imagine the iPhone ten years from now.

Rather than make you a freedom fighter or something similar (booooooooring), Syndicate puts you at the head of one of these naughty businesses. The aim of the game is to forcibly take over all other rival corporations – effectively take over the world. You do this by sending a team of four heavily armed cyborgs into various global hotspots to commit sabotage, oppression and bit of old-fashioned political assassination. Successfully complete the mission and a chunk of the world would become yours. It certainly puts the aggressive in ‘aggressive takeover’.

A rival suffers from an unfortunate 'accident'.

Each mission takes place in a city. One of the most impressive things about Syndicate, especially considering when it came out, is the way each level felt like a real city. Yes, they all look the same, but they seem like living, breathing places. Police are patrolling the streets, cars and trains are moving around the place and people are going about their daily business. Well, they were going about their daily business until cyborgs got in the way.

Sorry everyone, boss says I've got to clear the area.

Of course you didn’t just have to kill people, you could also hypnotize them, kidnap them and turn them into cyborgs to use in future missions. You could raise taxes in each territory you owned and invest those funds in weapon research and upgrading your cyborgs, giving them fancy new legs, skin and eyes.

We can rebuild him...

The great thing about Syndicate was, though simple to play, it had a surprising amount of depth. It wasn’t a case of just shooting everything that moved (though there was thankfully a lot of that) but also managing your resources. The way each of your cyborg agents reacted in missions could be altered by adjusting their IPA (Intelligence, Perception and Adrenaline). Raise taxes too sharply and you might have a rebellion on your hands in your territory. Want more intelligence before you start a mission? OK, but that info will cost you money.

There’s something about seeing the colour of your empire slowly spread across the map of the world that is just so appealing. Every time you successfully completed a mission you saw the cut scene below. I never got tired of watching it.

In the manual it explains that like all power mad villains your base of operations is an airship. Oh yes!

Unfortunately, for various reasons I never played either of the follow ups – ‘American Revolt‘ (an expansion pack for the original game) and Syndicate Wars, a full sequel released on the Playstation and PC in 1996. I would love an updated version though. Even though it’s not something I ever do, an online Syndicate would be awesome, especially as the world of Syndicate seems to get a bit closer every day…

Ian

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Filed under 1993, Amiga, Bullfrog Productions, Real-Time Tactics

#93: Super Star Wars

Format: Super NES Genre: Run and Gun Released: 1993 Developer: Sculptured Software/Lucasarts

Super Star Wars blew my tiny little adolescent mind when I first played it. Graphically it was superb, with crisp and colourful visuals that really captured the look of the film, and even today it still looks pretty damn good. In particular, I remember the Mode 7-generated battle above the Death Star was spectacular at the time, as was the climactic fight against Darth Vader’s TIE fighter at the end – although sadly I only saw this on a couple of occasions because the game was so f*****g hard. But more on that in a minute…

As well as looking fantastic, Super Star Wars sounded amazing. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it has possibly the best sound effects and music on the SNES – the 16-bit versions of the famous Star Wars tunes are absolutely spot on, and the sound effects are probably the meatiest on the console (apart, perhaps, from the OTT gun noises in Super Smash TV). Particular praise should go to the noise that the womp rats make when you shoot them – it sounds more like a train being shunted off a bridge than the demise of a fleshy sci-fi creature (listen to the video below to hear for yourself). But then again, the extravagant sound effects are in keeping with a run and gun game that has all the knobs turned up to 11 – I mean, practically everything explodes in a ball of flame when you shoot it, even the Jawas (who also fly comically off the screen with a satisfying ‘ooOOOtiiini’ noise lifted straight from the film).

Apparently Luke used to bullseye womp rats in his T-16 back home, although here it appears he couldn't hit a barn door with a banjo.

But for all its preening good looks and aural bombast, Super Star Wars was always a little rough around the edges when it came to the gameplay department. Sadly, the massive sprites and evocative music don’t quite cover up the shoddy collision detection, inept bosses and utterly infuriating level design…

…but at the time I could forgive it – the all-consuming desire to see the next gorgeously realised level had me hooked, and the showy visuals – not to mention the fact that it’s Star Wars goddammit – were enough to keep me plugging away until I finally, FINALLY, managed to finish it. Although looking back now with the benefit of hindsight, I’m amazed I had the patience…

The landspeeder had considerably more 'oomph' in the game than it did in the film.

Here at 101 Video Games, we generally write our reviews based on our personal memories of the games, rather than what they’re actually like to play now. The idea is to generate a record of the games that enriched our lives, rather than a list of ‘top’ games – hence the inclusion of games that taught us a valuable life lesson (Rise of the Robots) or that simply made us smile (Dog Walking). However, I got so nostalgic about Super Star Wars after watching videos of it while researching this post, I ended up downloading it from the Wii Virtual Console so I could play it again.

A fatal mistake.

What do you mean, "you don't remember this from the movie"?

It all started off pleasantly enough as I happily romped across the dunes of Tatooine, blasting the local fauna into oblivion with carefree abandon and generally having a whale of a time. But then I started noticing the cracks…

[Lewis sits playing through the first level of Super Star Wars. Gradually his brow begins to furrow and a slight frown plays across his mouth as he nears the end of the stage. We listen in to his internal monologue…] “Hold on, no matter what I do, I don’t seem to be able to avoid getting hit by these creatures – maybe my reflexes aren’t as good as they used to be? …Or is it because you actually CAN’T avoid them and the developers just decided to throw loads of health boosts at you to make up for it? Wait a minute, here’s the sarlacc pit boss… oh, you can’t avoid his attacks either. And now I’m dead and the restart point seems to be practically at the beginning of the level. That’s …erm… frustrating.”

Worst. Boss. Ever.

Yes, 17 years is a long time in the world of video games, and little things we now take for granted – like reasonably spaced restart points – were thin on the ground back in 1993. But there are some aspects of Super Star Wars that are frankly just the result of poor design, like the inability to avoid getting hit, or the all-too-common ‘leaps of faith’ where you can’t see the platform you’re meant to be jumping onto (which usually results in you landing in that all-too-common ‘insta-kill’ lava instead).

[We rejoin Lewis’s inner monologue as he starts level 3 outside the Jawa sandcrawler.] “Ah, I remember this bit! I love that noise the Jawas make when you shoot them! Right, just need to make my way to the top of the sandcrawler by navigating these moving, wafer-thin platforms… Oh. I’ve fallen right back to the beginning. Right let’s try again… Hmm, seems a little tricky to persuade Luke to do that spinny ‘super jump’ thing, I seem to end up doing a ‘normal’  jump half of the time… Oh. I’ve fallen again.]

"Stay on target. Stay on target. Stay on... oh, I'm dead."

[Fifteen minutes later…]

“Right, finally got to the top! Now I just need to jump insid… hold on, gun emplacements? WTF? Oh. Dead again.”

[Another fifteen minutes later…]

“OK, I think I’m getting near the bottom of the sandcrawler now, although those myriad boucing lasers and security flamethrowers were a tad annoying. Still, I’ve been playing for ages, so I can’t be too far away… Hold on, I’ve come to a dead end and I can’t see what’s at the bottom of this drop. Must be another platform I guess, I’ll just jump down… Oh. It’s ‘insta-kill’ lava. That’s a bit… erm… irritating. Oh, and I’ve been taken back to almost the very beginning of the level… Right, I think I need to stop playing and find somewhere I can hurl this controller in rage without damaging any expensive electronics equipment.”

In a nutshell, Super Star Wars is just a tiny bit infuriating. But my younger self just couldn’t get enough of it – perhaps in the pre-internet, pre-‘instant access’ era I had a little more patience. And let’s face it, games were just harder back then, not like these namby-pamby modern games.

So bearing that in mind, I’ve decided to embrace Super Star Wars for what it is and dismiss its faults as the foibles of a bygone age – welcome to our video game canon old friend. Although if it’s all right with you, I’d prefer to remember you as the esteemed game of my youth rather than the frustrating throwback I bought in a fit of nostalgia.

(Skip to the 2.30 mark to go straight to the gameplay.)

Lewis

(Cover art from www.mobygames.com, screenshots from www.gamefaqs.com)

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Filed under 1993, Lucasarts, Run and Gun, Sculptured Software, Super NES

#70: Starwing (Star Fox)

Format: Super NES Genre: 3D Shooter/Rail shooter Released: 1993 Developer: Nintendo/Argonaut Software

I remember seeing the first screenshots of Star Fox* in a games magazine and being totally confused by what appeared to be a random jumble of triangles. But when I finally saw the game in motion (probably on the mediocre ITV games show Bad Influence) it completely blew my tiny little adolescent mind. 3D? On the Super NES? What black magic is this?!

That’ll be the Super FX chip then, which not only made all them fancy polygons possible, it also made the game pretty damn expensive (about £55 I seem to remember, although correct me if I’m wrong). Still, it was worth every penny, if only to score bragging rights in the playground. And do you know what? The game felt expensive.

For a start the cartridge was noticeably heavier than other SNES carts – and everyone knows heavy equals expensive – but beyond that it was obvious that a lot of time, effort and money had been put into polishing and tweaking every little bit of the game. The music was fantastic, a sweeping orchestral score that perfectly fitted the grandiose space opera storyline, and the sound effects were also spot on (except for the noise of your Arwing being hit by laser fire, which sounded oddly like someone punching through a sheet of A4 paper).

Graphically, Star Fox was leagues ahead of anything else around at the time on home consoles – there just wasn’t anything like it. It seems odd to think now, but in 1993 3D was a rare novelty that was almost entirely confined to cutting edge arcade games (I remember when my local Quasar centre got a Virtua Fighter arcade cabinet – swarms of us gathered round it in awe like it was the Holy Grail). But the key thing about Star Fox was that it had the gameplay to back up the good looks, with varied and interesting levels and some ingenious bosses. I particularly liked the final confrontation, when old monkey-faced villain Andross conjured up an enormous floating head that promptly tried to swallow you whole.

It’s a shame there weren’t a few more Super FX games – apart from Star Fox, the only ones I remember are the brilliant Stunt Race FX and the not-so-brilliant Vortex… although a quick look on Wikipedia reveals that the chip found its way into Doom and Super Mario World 2 as well. It seems a shame that Argonaut went to so much time and trouble on building their little magic chip only for it to be used so little… although I suppose it was pretty expensive to manufacture, which must have put off most developers.

Star Fox wasn’t a particularly long game, but the branching routes and secret levels made it eminently replayable. I must have played through the whole thing at least a dozen times, which is partly a reflection of the game’s brilliance and partly a reflection of my limited games collection (I think I had about six games in all).

It’s hardly surprising I didn’t have many games – this was in the days when the secondhand games market didn’t really exist and most games kept their value for much longer (as opposed to today’s games market, where new titles drop to half price a couple of months after release). Games took months to save up for, and I could only afford to buy two or three a year – but Star Fox was worth every penny of my pocket money.

Lewis

*Well, technically it was called Starwing in the UK for interminably dull legal reasons (and presumably for the same reasons, the sequel was called Lylat Wars instead of Star Fox 64). But everyone I knew called it Star Fox anyway.

(Screenshots from http://www.vgmuseum.com/)

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Filed under 1993, 3D Shooter, Argonaut Software, Nintendo, Rail Shooter, Super NES

#58: Star Wars Arcade

Format: Coin-Op Genre: Space Combat Simulator Released: 1993 Developer: Sega

For a long time I thought I’d just imagined this game. Whenever I asked people whether they’d played Star Wars Arcade, they always thought I meant the 1983 version, then they’d start going on about how the vector graphics were way ahead of their time and how the digitized voices were amazing, yadda yadda yadda. And I’d just sit there going “No! No! The other one, the one set during Return of the Jedi…” and they’d look at me like I had a screw loose.

But look carefully upon the picture above all ye doubters – it does exist! Thanks to The Internet(TM) I’ve unearthed proof that in 1993, ten years after Atari released the insanely popular Star Wars Arcade, Sega released… Star Wars Arcade. Thus proving that although the game may have been erased from the collective memory of everyone else on the planet, I AM NOT GOING MAD. Phew.

A slightly dark screenshot from the arcade version.

Presumably the game was a massive flop – partly because no-one seems to have ever heard of it and partly because I only ever saw it in one arcade (in Barcelona of all places, seven years after it was released). I only have very vague memories of playing the game, although I remember being impressed by the graphics (considering it was a seven-year-old game) and disappointed about how difficult and expensive it was. It kept me coming back though and, along with Time Crisis 2 and Jambo! Safari (another brilliant but obscure Sega arcade game), it sucked up a goodly percentage of my pesetas.

The Sega 32X version of Star Wars Arcade. Or is it the arcade version? Er...

Apparently Star Wars Arcade was converted to the Sega 32X in 1994, although seeing as only around ten people actually bought a 32X, I’m not surprised that the game has had such little impact on the popular consciousness. I’m almost tempted to get hold of a 32X just to have another go on it, although inevitably I think I’d be disappointed.

Perhaps it’s better just to keep the memory of a frustrating, fleeting and above all fun arcade game that’s been – for better or worse – lost to the world…

Lewis

(Images from The Killer List Of Video Games.)

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Filed under 1993, Coin-Op, Sega, Space Combat Simulator

#49: Mortal Kombat II

Format: Super NES Genre: Fighting Released: 1993 Developer: Midway

[A swoosh of static gives way to an ‘insert disk’ icon, accompanied by two electronic bleeps. Rudimentary wireframe graphics flit over the screen as choral singing emanates from the television speakers, accompanied by a clanging industrial beat.  The wireframe shapes resolve into a kind of gothic throne, and as the music reaches a crescendo we zoom onto the face of the throne’s occupant – Patrick Moore. Suddenly there’s a crash of thunder, the screen whites out, and in the place of Patrick Moore’s sage visage is the word ‘GamesMaster’, with the ‘M’ picked out in florid gothic script.]

[Cut to the inside of what appears to be some kind of cathedral. Wild cheering erupts from the assembled audience as the camera swoops towards a figure dressed in a red sports jacket and crisply ironed white trousers. The look is topped off with floppy hair and Lennon glasses.]

Dominik Diamond: Hello, and welcome to GamesMaster.

[The excited cheering dies down and Dominik turns to camera 2, hands clasped earnestly.]

DD: And without further ado, let’s go over to GamesMaster to find out tonight’s challenge!

[The be-monocled face of the renowned astronomer and (supposed) games expert Patrick Moore fizzes into life on the screen, topped by some kind of metal cowl that looks like it was knocked up on an Amiga in someone’s lunch break.]

GamesMaster: Greetings! Tonight’s challenge is on the gore-fest Mortal Kombat II. The pugilists will have 1 minute to inflict as much damage as possible on their opponent. Extra points will be awarded for brutality!

DD: Thank you GamesMaster! So let’s meet tonight’s opponents – Jet from Gladiators and The Bloke From 2 Unlimited!

[Wild applause accompanied by industrial music. Jet and The Bloke From 2 Unlimited walk down the aisle of the church, escorted by two monks. Jet is wearing her Gladiators costume and looks slightly uncomfortable at being surrounded by an audience of leering 14-year-old nerds. I’d describe The Bloke From 2 Unlimited but no-one can actually remember what he  looks like. Let’s face it, he wasn’t the one you were looking at in the videos. The challengers take their seats. Dominik moves into what appears to be an altar and stands next to a man wearing a garish bandana and a hoodie.]

DD: And with me as always in the commentary box is Rad Toon from Mean Machines magazine. So Rad, can you give the contestants some advice?

Rad Toon: Well, what they’ve really got to focus on is moving their characters next to each other and pressing the punch or kick buttons. The real experts, like me, can use secret combinations of button presses to unleash what we in the industry call ‘special moves’, but perhaps we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves.

DD: And what about fatalities? Do you think we’ll see any of those today?

RT: [Looks confused] …what?

DD: OK, thanks Rad, let’s go over to the contestants. Jet, The Bloke From 2 Unlimited, you have 1 minute to pound your opponent into submission, starting… NOW!

[Wild cheering as the fight begins. The Bloke From 2 Unlimited is using Kung Lao and immediately unleashes a special move, flinging his razor-edged hat across the screen and causing Jet’s character, Scorpion, to spout fountains of blood. Jet looks down at her controller in confusion and starts pressing the A button repeatedly. The she laughs a bit – a rather self-aware laugh, as if she’s feeling suddenly awkward. She has clearly never played a computer game in her life.]

RT: Jet is using some classic Mortal Kombat tactics here, repeatedly pressing one button to create a flurry of fists that’s all but impossible to penetrate. But wait! She’s switched tactics! Now she’s making a stealthy retreat by running in the opposite direction from her opponent and just crouching in a corner… Ah, but The Bloke From 2 Unlimited has seen through the ruse and is just kicking her repeatedly… Jet’s trying a new tactic – she’s put down the controller and has starting doing her hair in an effort to confuse her opponent. But it hasn’t worked! The Bloke From 2 Unlimited is doing something with the controller… the screen’s gone dark… wait, what’s Kung Lao doing? Oh my God he’s sliced Scorpion in half! I didn’t know you could do… I mean, of course, the classic Kung Lao fatality, it’s what I always do when I play against my games expert friends. Who I always beat, by the way.

DD: Thanks Rad, now let’s go over to the contestants. Jet, what happened?

Jet: Did I lose? I thought I was the other one!

DD: And on that bombshell it’s time to go over to GamesMaster for the Consoltation Zone.

[Cut to a dodgy-looking CGI room. A short, rotund child with glasses materialises in front of the GamesMaster.]

Rotund Child: [Speaking with lisp] GamessssMaster, how do I get infinite lives on Joe & Mac: Caveman Ninja on the Sssssuper NESSS?

[Before you can hear GamesMaster’s wisdom on the subject, a shout of “TEA’S READY!!!” echoes from the kitchen. You press the television off switch and GamesMaster’s Amiga-generated face shrinks to a white dot in the middle of the screen.]

Scorpion vs. President Baraka with classic ‘toasty’ fatality.

Dexter Fletcher-era Gamesmaster, featuring the actors from Mortal Kombat.

Lewis

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Filed under 1993, Fighting, Midway, Super NES

#46: The Settlers

Format: Amiga Genre: RTS Released: 1993 Developer: Blue Byte

The Settlers has to be one of my favourite games of all time. If you’ve never heard of it, think Age of Empires but with more personality and a lot less fighting – unlike most RTS games, in The Settlers waging war generally takes a back seat to gathering corn and chopping wood  (it’s called ‘The Settlers’ after all, not ‘The Warmongers’).

Perhaps the key to this game’s appeal is the graphics. It looked astonishingly beautiful at the time, and even today the game’s looks stand up well under scrutiny, exuding a sort of timeless charm. The tiny people who made up your kingdom were wonderfully animated – as they baked bread, harvested corn, went to work in the mines or even just sauntered along the roads you developed a real affection for them, and this made you all the more determined to protect them from the enemies massing at your country’s borders.

Losing land in The Settlers was heartbreaking. If enemy soldiers captured one of your guard huts, the front line would change, and any of your buildings immediately around the hut would burst into flames, leaving the occupants to hotfoot it back across the newly realigned border. The sight of homeless woodcutters, bakers and sawmill workers flooding over your border from their freshly razed places of work was enough to bring a tear to the eye. Watching the tiny refugees make their way back to the home castle would make me thirst for revenge, stirring me to gather a mighty army and cast down doom upon those cowardly enemies who would commit such a treacherous act, never resting until I had slaked my thirst with the taste of my enemies’ blood. Or something like that anyway. Without the slaking.

However, the best bit about The Settlers was the two-player mode. Perhaps uniquely for an RTS game, you could play split-screen head-to-head, although of course this carries the obvious disadvantage that your opponent can see exactly what you’re up to. Still, having the option to play on one computer was a nice touch, although it was definitely worth the extra effort to link two Amigas together for full-screen play.

Ah, those were the days! Alex from round the corner would lug his Amiga over to mine and I’d struggle downstairs with the spare bedroom telly so we could play Settlers head to head. We’d sit there in a state of rapt concentration, the only sound the frantic clicking of mouse buttons as we sought to strengthen and expand our settlers’ empires. Mum would occasionally pop her head round the door to check we hadn’t died of an embolism, usually bringing with her a plate of Penguins, Viscounts or, if we were particularly lucky, raisin Clubs. Ah, Club bars! Whatever happened to them? “If you like a lotta chocolate on your biscuit…” [Coughs] Hold on, I’ve come over all nostalgia TV clip show…  just give me a second here.

Right, I’m back. OK, so the thing about playing against Alex was that after a while the heartbreaking intensity of burning down each others’ buildings just got too much. I don’t know, perhaps we were both too young to face up to the horrors of war, but in the end we decided to make a truce, of sorts. I mean, after the 100th border-realignment-triggered bakery conflagration there comes a point when you just have to say: “Enough! Do you not care about the little people? Let’s stop this senseless waste! Hey guys, why can’t we all just work together to build a better world?”

And so rather than fight against each other to dominate the whole world map, we decided to limit our sessions to a time limit and decide who won by comparing the stats for land gained, wealth, corn production, wood production, and so on. OK, reading that back it sounds incredibly – for want of a better word – lame, but it certainly kept us happy. And if you’d only seen all those tiny helpless people fleeing from burning buildings, I think you’d agree with me that it was A BETTER WAY.

[Looks up to heaven as God rays filter through the ceiling, accompanied by angelic singing.]

Lewis

(Screenshots from http://www.lemonamiga.com/)

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Filed under 1993, Amiga, Blue Byte, RTS

#40: NBA Jam

Format: Super NES Genre: Sports Released: 1993 Developer: Midway

You’ve probably noticed that there are precious few sports games on this list – the reason being that I hardly ever play them. I’ve never quite been able to get to grips with football games (people I’m playing against often wonder why I cheer when they score – it’s usually because I thought I was controlling their team), and the only sports game that has successfully piqued my interest in recent memory is Golf on Wii Sports. Back in 1993 though, you’d have had to pry the joypad out of my hands with a crowbar to stop me playing NBA Jam.

It’s not like I even like basketball – in fact I find it incredibly boring – but somehow this game managed to make basketball not only bearable to watch but actually exciting. Its first stroke of genius was to get rid of all those surplus players on the court – with only two players per team there’s none of the usual confusion you get with sports games over which player you’re controlling and where they’re going to pass the ball next and hold-on-I-didn’t-mean-to-pass-it-over-there-damn-you-computer-for-cheating-oh-now-you’ve-gone-and-scored DAMN THIS MACHINE. No, none of that.

The second wave of the genius wand ensured that all of the gameplay knobs were turned up to eleven – you don’t just slam dunk the ball in this game, you leap 30 feet into the air, spin 360 degrees, do the splits and dunk the ball so hard the backboard shatters, as multiple flashbulbs erupt in the audience and the announcer builds himself into a frenzy.

Realistic? No, but who cares, this is a video game, right?

"BOOMSHAKALAKA!"

Speaking of the announcer, the sampled speech was a real highlight – speech was rarity in games before the CD-based consoles arrived. As I remember, the announcers didn’t have that many soundbites, but for some reason they never got repetitive (maybe I was still tickled by the novelty of people speaking IN A GAME). The best bit was when a player scored three points in a row, which caused him to (literally) become ‘on fire’, accompanied by the commentator booming “HE’S ON FIRE!”. The phrase has penetrated my brain to such an extent that I still find myself thinking “HE’S ON FIRE!” every time I do something noteworthy in a game.

‘Achievement: Brumak Rodeo 10G’

[Thinks] “HE’S ON FIRE!”

"HE'S ON FIRE!"

But the true brilliance of NBA Jam emerged in multiplayer – the game was good when played alone, but it was utterly fantastic with four players. Along with Super Bomberman, it was one of the first games to be compatible with the Super NES multitap – imagine kids, you had to fork out £20 just to play with more than person! – and the two games barely left my SNES for the whole of 93 and 94. You can keep your Modern Warfare 2, just give me NBA Jam, four controllers, a bottle of Virgin Cola, Maid Marian and her Merry Men on the telly and several flavours of Push Pops, and I’ll be happy.

Lewis

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Filed under 1993, Midway, Sports, Super NES