Tag Archives: Retro

#15: Time Crisis

Format: Coin-Op/Playstation Genre: Light Gun Game Released: 1995/1997 Developer: Namco

There’s a simple reason that Time Crisis made my life slightly better – if, in the event of some sort of apocalypse, I was forced into the position where I would need to defend my homestead against invasion, the lightning-quick sharp-shooting skills I learned from this game will surely be more than enough to repel any maruading zombies/aliens/angry Belgians. My acquired ability to pick off multiple foes in quick succession, punctuated by brief dives for cover, will undoubtedly serve me well in any situation where I am required to return small arms fire whilst conserving ammunition – basically, if there’s only one gun in the bunker and the men in blue suits are hammering down the door, just leave it to me. Job done.

time_crisis_cover1

There really is nothing quite like gunning down a small army of colour-coded international terrorists to brighten up your day. Despite the constant repetition, I never seem to tire of this game; in fact, knowing exactly where and when every single little hapless blue guy will pop out is almost comforting. It’s a warm familarity, like a dog-eared, stain-covered, favourite jacket for which each stain has its own personal story.

time-crisis-screenshot-1

I’m going to stick my geek hat on here (it’s the one with the flappy ear muffs) and tell you the extent of the misplaced devotion I have given to this game. Several years ago now – back in the days when I thought mobile phones were gimmicky and unnecessary – I spent around six months studying at Barcelona University. Otherwise starved of my computer game fix, I used to pop into the local arcade on the way to uni, although being a skint student, I limited myself to one credit – which always went into the Time Crisis coin-op. After several months of toil, sweat and frustration (well, mainly frustration), I finally managed to beat the game on one credit – the only time I’ve ever managed to finish an arcade game in one go. Beaming from ear to ear, I wallowed luxuriously in my enormous sense of achievement, then turned away from the machine with a cocksure smirk to drink in the awed looks and rapturous applause from my admiring audience – which consisted solely of the fat, moustachioed arcade owner, who was sat reading a porn magazine in the corner and who didn’t take a blind bit of notice of me.

Such is the life of the arcade gamer [sigh].

time-crisis-screenshot-2

I suppose that’s one of the most melancholy aspects of playing video games – you put hours and hours of tireless devotion into honing your skills and learning every nuance and technique the game has to offer, but in the end the only people you’re going to impress are other, equally devoted (obsessed?) gamers. It kind of adds a trickle of ennui to the whole proceedings – which turns into a flood once you realise that the arcade owner is more interested in tits than your gaming prowess.

Which is fair enough I suppose.

time-crisis-screenshot-3

Nevertheless, I continued to devote hours of practice to the home version of Time Crisis after I returned from Spain, despite the knowledge that, like all video games, all this tireless devotion would ultimately be for nought.

Unless, that is, the Belgians invade. In which case I would be able to proudly hold my head up high and say that this game, this single, mighty game, was my inspiration for taking on the entire Belgian Empire single-handedly with nothing but an automatic pistol. Perhaps, when it’s all over and I’m being triumphantly carried through the jubilant streets of a liberated London, I’ll look up and notice that Spanish arcade owner in the crowd;  lip quivering, he’ll slowly raise a salute in my honour as ‘Red Hot Senoritas’ slips from his grubby fingers, only to be trampled by the exaltant crowd.

At last, justification for my video game obses… erm, devotion.

Lewis

(Note: The screenshots in this post are taken from the arcade version of Time Crisis. All screenshots are from the excellent Arcade History website: http://www.arcade-history.com/.)

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under 1995, 1997, Coin-Op, Light Gun Game, Namco, Playstation

#12: Doshin the Giant

Format: GameCube Genre: God Game Released: 2002 Developer: Nintendo

I’ve got to admit that this game was a bit of a guilty pleasure for me. It’s obviously a kids’ game, and I obviously wasn’t a kid when I was playing it, but let’s face it, kids shouldn’t get to have all the fun.

doshin_the_giant_box_art

Doshin the Giant managed to suck me into its world entirely. At its core the game is incredibly simple, yet somehow utterly compulsive: you play a friendly yellow giant whose aim is to help four tribes scattered across several islands. The villagers’ requests are pretty simple – they generally amount to raising or lowering the ground or moving trees about – and every time you help them out they send a bit of love your way. The more they love you, the bigger you get, so that by the end of each ‘day’ in the game Doshin is usually towering above even the highest mountains. However, come the next day, he always reverts to his original size, although all the changes you made to the islands remain the same.

doshin-the-giant-planting-trees

A lot of the game’s charm comes from its visual appeal – all primary colours and smiling faces. More than anything though, it’s the sound effects that wormed their way into my head: there’s no music as such, but the background noise is a symphony of birdsong, animal noises, the lapping of the sea and the weird, high-pitched mewlings of the villagers. The whole soundscape is strangely hypnotic and relaxing: playing Doshin is almost like undergoing brain massage. Click on the video below and you can hear what I mean for yourself:

It’s not perfect of course – the simple concept, although appealing, ultimately becomes repetitive – but it’s the way this game made me feel that ensures its place on the list. As you make your way from village to village, planting and landscaping, you can’t help but build up an affection for your tiny wards, and there’s a sense of fatherly pride as you watch your little denizens go about expanding their villages and building monuments in your honour.

doshin-lowering-the-ground

But there’s the catch – the ultimate goal of the game is to get the various villages to build all 15 possible monuments, but only half of these are ‘love’ monuments. In order to get the remaining ‘hate’ monuments, you have to terrify your villagers by tapping the shoulder button and turning into Jashin the Hate Giant, allowing you to destroy the villages and murder the inhabitants.

After nurturing my villagers for so long, watching their families grow and listening to them burst into cheerful song at my approach, I was quite reluctant to rain down fiery destruction upon them, yet it was the only way to proceed. As they ran in terror while I systematically destroyed their houses, I couldn’t help but feel terribly guilty – and there are very few games I’ve played since that have managed to provoke such emotion.

jashin_the_hate_giant-fire

Who’d have thought a kids’ game could be so provocative?

Lewis

6 Comments

Filed under 2002, GameCube, God Game, Nintendo

#11: Beneath a Steel Sky

Format: Amiga Genre: Point-and-Click Adventure Released: 1994 Developer: Revolution

Ah, the point-and-click adventure – a genre so fondly remembered yet so close to extinction…

The fortunes of these most traditional of adventure games took a nosedive with the demise of the Amiga and never really recovered; the kids got into their fancy new ‘Grand Theft Autos’ and ‘Tomb Raiders’ and rapidly lost interest in figuring out how to combine broken string with some mud in order to create a mask with which to frighten the temple guard into giving you the key for the dungeon. Actually, when you put it like that it’s probably not surprising that the popularity of these games waned – after all, one of the best points about Grand Theft Auto is that you never have to spend twenty minutes painstakingly combing the screen with the mouse in a bid to work out whether you’ve missed picking up an essential item. “Ah, so that tiny yellow-green blob 14 screens back was actually a key!” is something you’ll never hear uttered by players of GTA.

beneath_a_steel_sky_cover_art

Of course, I’m doing the genre a disservice – for all the frustrating back-and-forth wandering and pixel hunting there were a hundred more golden moments of ‘Eureka!’-style puzzle solving, not to mention elaborate plot twists. For, of course, ’tis in the narrative where these games truly excel, and Beneath a Steel Sky was a shining beacon in this respect. The developers even went so far as to create a mini-comic to be shipped with the game, detailing the events leading up to the opening credits.

beneath_a_steel_sky_hunting_kangaroos

Set in a dystopian future Australia, the comic describes how the main character, Robert Foster*, is raised by Indigenous Australians after a helicopter crash in ‘The Gap’ (the Australian Outback). He learns electronics and builds himself a robot, Joey, who becomes your companion throughout the game. Upon reaching adulthood, Foster is kidnapped by stormtroopers sent from Union City (a possible future Sydney), and his tribe is murdered. The stormtroopers have been sent by LINC, the mysterious computer mainframe that controls the city.

beneath_a_steel_sky_screenshot_4

The game proper opens with a jaw-droppingly animated (for the Amiga) sequence as the helicopter crashlands in Union City and Foster escapes. It emerges that in this ruthless future world, cities comprised of mammoth skyscrapers have swallowed up most of the remaining liveable land. Working class citizens are confined to the upper levels of the city, whereas the leisure elite luxuriate below (‘beneath a steel sky’, geddit?). In order to confront LINC and learn the truth about his past, Foster must evade security and work his way down to the lower levels.

watchmen_characters

If the set-up sounds a little similar to Mega-City One in Judge Dredd, then it’s no coincidence – Dave Gibbons (of 2000 AD and Watchmen fame) did all of the artwork for the game (including the mini-comic), and every screen simply drips with cyberpunk chic. At the time it looked astonishing, and even now the dystopian backdrops are capitivating. The anticipation of what graphical delight awaited you on the next screen was almost as much of a draw as the fantastic plot.

beneath_a_steel_sky_screenshot_1

Even though the game plot was more serious than some of it’s point-and-click contemporaries (e.g. The Secret of Monkey Island), BaSS still managed to squeeze in a fair amount of humour, mostly of the British variety (i.e. double entendres and sarcasm). Indeed, the fact that the game never takes itself too seriously is one of its most enduring features (Gears of War take note – non-stop, po-faced machismo is more likely to make gamers laugh derisively into their sleeves than empathise with the characters).

beneath_a_steel_sky_screenshot_2

Of course, it wasn’t all a bed of roses. The chief problem with the game was it’s sheer size (in terms of memory space anyway): the Amiga 600 version of the game came on a whopping 15 floppy disks (which I believe is actually the most disks used by one Amiga game – correct me if I’m wrong). This meant that backtracking through screens might involve several bouts of disk-swapping and loading, which became very tedious very quickly. Luckily I upgraded to an Amiga 1200 after I got BaSS, which meant that I could load the game in its entirety onto the 1200’s mighty 60 megabyte hard drive.

Blimey, it’s crazy to think now that my current mobile phone has nearly 67 times more memory than my old Amiga 1200…

beneath_a_steel_sky_screenshot_31

The other major problem with the game was the problem shared by many point-and-clickers – that of the obscure puzzle. To be fair, BaSS was relatively good in this regard compared with some other examples in the genre, but even one of the first puzzles in the game (which involved wrenching a rung from a ladder to use as a crowbar) had me backtracking between screens for AGES. And of course, all this was in the days before GameFAQs.com (God bless you GameFAQs! Sing hallelujah, for yay, the days of becoming frustratingly stuck in video games hath endeth!).

Of all the games on this list, I’d rate BaSS in the top five games I’d like to play again, which just goes to show how much of an impression it left on me (if you fancy giving it a go yourself, you can play it for free using ScummVM). Interestingly, it seems that point-and-click adventure games are starting to make a bit of a comeback, chiefly thanks to the Nintendo Wii and DS. The laid back pace of the point-and-clicker is perfect for the older end of Nintendo’s gaming spectrum, and the Wii remote and DS stylus might as well have been custom made for playing this kind of game… With talk of a Director’s Cut of Broken Sword to be released for the Wii and DS, as well as the release of a new generation of point-and-clickers (e.g. Sam & Max: Season One, The Secret Files: Tunguska), perhaps this is the start of a point-and-click rennaissance?

In the meantime, here’s a clip of BaSS to whet your appetite – this is the CD-ROM version of the game, which used voice acting rather than text (although, inexplicably, everyone seems to be American, even though the game is set in Australia…).

Lewis

*An empty can of a certain Australian beer is found near the crash site, thus providing Foster with his surname.

4 Comments

Filed under 1994, Amiga, Point-and-Click Adventure, Revolution

#10: Super Mario Bros. 3

Format: NES Genre: Platform Released: 1990 Developer: Nintendo

Well of course Mario had to find his way onto the list somewhere.

super-mario-bros-3-box

Super Mario Bros. 3 is one of the best selling video games of all time*, and with good reason – I can’t think of many games that managed to steal away my spare time so effectively and ruthlessly over such a long period. In fact, I think I could safely say that this is the first game that I was ‘addicted’ to: my sister and I could become utterly transfixed by it for hours, only stirring to take on sustenance and perform essential ablutions.

As a sequel, it surpasses the previous two games in every respect, not least graphically. I mean, compare this:

008_smb3_screenshot1

with a screenshot from the original Super Mario Bros.:

super-mario-bros-1

and I’m sure you’ll agree there was a huge improvement all round.

Another innovation was the map screen. Gone was the old spectre of linear game progression – now you could choose the route you took through the game (well, to a limited extent anyway). Further innovations included the raccoon suit, which enabled Mario to fly (obviously) and added a certain verticality to the level designs. This was just one of the many guises Mario adopted though – my favourite was the level where he climbs into a sort of green clockwork sock, which allows him to cross spikes.

Yes, that’s right, a green clockwork sock. If there’s one thing Mario 3 isn’t short of, it’s imagination.

009_smb3_screenshot

I think my favourite part of the whole game was World 4 – Giant World, where everything was huge (natch). A simple concept yes, but there was something endearing about jumping on giant Goombas and battering walls with enormous Koopa shells.

011_smb3_screenshot

Then there were the flying ship levels that cropped up throughout the game, culminating in a giant flying ship at the end and an army of wooden ‘tanks’ – more examples of the nuggets of imagination that flew out of this game like money flying out of an Icelandic bank.

003_smb3_screenshot

However, there was one big problem with Super Mario 3 – the lack of a save game. This was rectified in the version released as part of the Super Mario All Stars game on the Super NES, but in the original, once you turned off the console, that was it. In a game as complex and huge as this one, it was heart-breaking to flick that OFF switch and know that next time you played you’d have to start all over from the beginning.

This meant that it was almost impossible to complete the game, unless you used the ‘warp whistles’ to skip several worlds. I remember that once my sister and I tried to finish the game in its entirety – we played for hours, taking it in turns to finish each level, but we still ran out of lives before we reached the end.

I think this kind of sado-masochistic gameplay is indicative of the ethos of many games at the time – it was almost accepted by gamers and game designers alike that the player would be punished for failing, but that they would keep coming back for more anyway. Of course, the lack of a save game was partly due to technical reasons – the NES console had no save memory of its own, so cartridges had to be built with ‘battery back-up’ in order for a save function to be included, and many publishers sought to avoid including this costly extra in their games. Even so, you’d think Nintendo might have wanted to push the boat out a bit for this particular game – I mean, considering it was one of the best-selling games of all time, you’d think they could at least afford to include one little battery in the cart.

solar-jetman-box1

There were other ways around the save game problem too. Many games, such as Solar Jetman, used a password system to let you skip to the last level you played with approximately the same amount of lives that you finished with. Of course, it meant having to carefully keep various lists of passwords on scrappy bits of paper – lists that were often prone to being ‘tidied’ by overzealous mothers – but it was better than having to start at the beginning every time.

It’s very different nowadays of course, and even the idea of a game that you can’t save seems faintly ridiculous. More than that though, the ethos of game design has moved away from punishing the player to constantly rewarding him or her. Even the concept of ‘lives’ is becoming old hat; ‘lives’ were originally implemented into arcade games to limit the amount of time the player could use the machine before inserting more money, but this makes no sense for console games. Indeed, many games, such as the new Prince of Persia, have now abandoned the concept of ‘dying’ completely, and seem no worse because of it.

super-mario-galaxy

This is something that the designers of Super Mario Galaxy (Nintendo Wii) seem to have realised – the player is showered with so many extra lives that the whole concept of even having ‘lives’ seems pointless. It wouldn’t surprise me if the next Mario game does away with the idea of lives altogether.

Anyway, despite the possible overtones of sado-masochism (see above), Super Mario Bros. 3 was, and still is, a delight to play. Click on the video below to see the first level in action and I guarantee your eyes will glaze over with nostalgia as soon as you hear the first bar of that music…

Lewis

* SMB3 sold 18 million copies, being surpassed only by the original Pokémon games. Technically, the original Super Mario Bros. is actually the best selling game of all time, but since it was given away free with the NES, it doesn’t really count. Hey, them’s the rules.

12 Comments

Filed under 1990, NES, Nintendo, Platform

#9: Chase HQ

Format:Amstrad CPC Genre: Arcade Released: 1989 Developer:Taito/Ocean
DISCLAIMER: All the references to Robert Maxwell and the impact he may or may not have had on the fortunes of a particular computer games retailer below are based on half remembered conversations and hearsay. Apologies if they are not exactly accurate. Though seeing as he robbed pensioners I can’t see anyone complaining.

Chase HQ was my first arcade love. It’s the first arcade game I can actually remember, well, remembering. I knew the name, I would actively seek it out in the various horrible, dingy, seaside arcades I forced my family to take me to as a kid.* It was colourful, it was noisy, you got to drive a car, bash into another car, and a man leaned out of the window and fired a gun. Brilliant. Simple, effective arcade action. I did whatever Nancy told me to do. I still probably would.

So it was only natural I would want my very own version to play at home. As Lewis has already touched on here there was a time when everyone was obsessed with something being ‘arcade perfect’. The dream held by every school boy was that they could play an exact replica of the game they played at the arcade in the comfort of their own bedroom, away from the frightening puffa-jacketed older boys who might beat them up or intimidate them by standing right behind them and watching them play.

Of course it all seems so quaint now, bloated as we are on fancy graphics and plasma tellys. Why, the arcade itself now struggles to compete with home consoles, relying on ever more elaborate and expensive gimmicks to try and get people to fritter their pound coins away as they once did with their 20ps. Ahhhh, ’twas a different time.

At the time my brother and I were proud owners of an Amstrad CPC6128k (with disc drive, and I’m sure it was spelt disc not disk back then). Now the Amstrad CPC version of Chase HQ was never going to be arcade perfect. Even at 10 years old I knew that. While the arcade version looked like this:

Arcade goodness

Arcade goodness

The Amstrad CPC version looked like this:

Amstrad... okayness

Amstrad... okayness

Didn’t matter though. I was well used to such differences and had lowered my expectations accordingly, I just wanted the chance to play Chase HQ at home. Is that really so much to ask?

I found a mail order company in an Amstrad magazine selling Chase HQ at a very reasonable price. I can’t remember how much now, something like £5, but it was cheap. I saved up the odd 20 pence and 50 pence given to me by grandparents and aunts and uncles until I had enough. I got my mum to write a cheque for me, posted my order and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And waited.

And after about 2 months my parents tired of me asking if Chase HQ had arrived every time I got home from school. My dad called the company, it seemed they had gone bust. I wasn’t going to ever get the game. They had though, in a thoughtful parting gesture, cashed my mum’s cheque, effectively stealing from a 10 year old.

Now this is were Robert Maxwell gets involved. At least I think he does. I’m sure I remember my Dad saying the company had gone bust partly because one of Maxwell’s companies, I presume Mirrorsoft but again I don’t know, owed them a huge amount of money. So, in a roundabout way, Robert Maxwell stole Chase HQ away from me. How did he sleep at night? Maybe that was the final guilty nail when he was on that boat…

Though now I think about it (and having done a little bit of research on the internet – I checked wikipedia) that doesn’t seem that likely. Still, I like to blame him, he did enough crooked things that adding another seems fair enough.

I never got Chase HQ. Very soon after that incident it became increasingly difficult to find places selling Amstrad CPC games, certainly older ones. It seemed I just wasn’t meant to play it at home. In fact after that experience I stopped playing it in the arcade. The game had been soiled in some way.

So, how did Chase HQ make my life slightly better? Well, it taught me to be wary of ads in the backs of magazines – an important lesson to learn whatever your age.

Ian

7 Comments

Filed under 1989, Amstrad CPC, Arcade, Ocean, Racing

#8: Centipede

Format: Atari 2600 Genre: Shoot ’em up Released: 1982 Developer: Atari

The Atari 2600 Junior was my first games console (the ‘Junior’ was the later version without the fancy wood panelling – that’s right kids, games consoles used to be made out of wood). It was a hand-me-down from my uncle sometime in the late 80s – he’d upgraded to an Amiga I recall – and I inherited half a dozen games along with the console itself. One of these games (and the best one by miles) was Centipede.

atari-2600-junior

The quality of the games I had for the Atari 2600 varied wildly. If you were to trawl through the multivarious retro-gaming websites on the web, you could be mistaken for thinking that the 80s was some sort of Golden Era for video games, with bedroom coders churning out mini masterpieces almost weekly. This was obviously not the case. Yes, there were some truly excellent games produced in this period, but there was also a helluva lot of practically unplayable tosh. I believe – and feel free to argue with me on this one if you like – that games nowadays are generally of a much higher standard than they’ve ever been before, partly due to higher production budgets (and therefore an added impetus to succeed on the part of the developers and publishers – produce a poor, badly selling game and you could lose millions) and partly due to higher levels of complexity, which means that games require more involvement on the part of the player. Back in the old days, games tended to be one-trick ponies, consisting of a single concept that was repeated endlessly (think of Asteroids: move ship, shoot asteroids, repeat). The upshot of this is that if the central concept was weak, then the entire game was flawed.

realsports_boxing1

One such flawed game was Realsports Boxing. I remember playing it with my sister quite a bit because it was the only two player game I had, but boy was it bad. It basically amounted to mashing the punch button as fast as you could until your opponent fell over – and that was about it.

centipede_screenshot_1

Centipede, on the other hand, despite it’s relatively simplistic graphics, managed to cram in some surprising complexity. Not only did you have to shoot the centipede as it raced down the screen towards you, you were also faced with several other types of baddie with various tricks up their various sleeves. The scorpion, for instance, would skitter about the screen poisoning mushrooms, and if the centipede touched any of these poisoned mushrooms it would head straight for you.  Likewise, the flea would drop extra mushrooms across the screen, meaning that the centipede would be more likely to rebound off them and head closer towards you. All this meant that you were constantly trying to prioritise among shooting the centipede, the baddies and the mushrooms, making for some frantic play sessions.

centipede_box_front4

One thing that always frustrated me about games back in the 80s (and indeed the 90s) was the huge discrepancy between the picture you got on the front of the game box and the actual game itself. I mean, look at the box above and then look at this:

centipede_screenshot_22

It’s a call to the Advertising Standards Agency just waiting to happen.

Of course, there’s something to be said about the way these simpler graphics encouraged you to use more imagination to fill in the blanks – and indeed, the manual for Centipede was a hotbed of artistic licence:

“You’re trapped in the perilous Enchanted Forest. Dark, dangerous mushrooms push up through the forest floor, snaring you on every side. Threatening thumps and evil buzzings fill the air. Something slippery flashes through the mushrooms, moving in on you. Suddenly, glaring eyes and quivering antennae jump right out at you! It’s the Centipede — and it’s attacking!” (from http://www.atari.com)

I think that’s what really appeals to me about this game. Although an excellent game in its own right, it reminds me of a simpler time: a time when joysticks only had one button and when games didn’t take up whole evenings of your life just to get through the tutorial. Was it a better time for games? Arguable. But it will certainly be fondly remembered.

Lewis

atari-joystick

PS.  I know they’re iconic, but those Atari joysticks were really rubbish, weren’t they? The rubber had a habit of drawing out hand sweat in a way that I’ve never since encountered in a gaming peripheral…

2 Comments

Filed under 1982, Arcade, Atari, Atari 2600

#7: Tekken 2

Format: Playstation Genre: Fighting Released: 1996 Developer: Namco
  
It’s 2000. Late May. Can’t be sure but I kind of remember it being a Tuesday. It’s lunch time. I’m in the second year of university, in the middle of my summer exams. I have an exam in an hour, I’m not doing last minute revision, not going through my notes, not preparing myself for the exam in any way. Instead I’m sitting on the floor playing Tekken 2 with my house mates. Why? Good question.
Tekken 2. Takes you back doesn't it?

Tekken 2. Takes you back doesn't it?

I’m not even that big a fan of beat ’em ups. I’m just not very good. I try my best but… Everyone else seems to fall into two camps – they either know all the moves and pull them off with supernatural ease, invaribly smacking me silly with 76 hit combos, or they have no idea what they are doing and cheerfully mash the buttons (known in gaming circles as the ‘Girl Method’), again smacking me silly through sheer enthusiasm.

Unfortunately I’m always stuck in the middle. I simply don’t have the patience to learn the moves yet I feel it would some how be cheating to just mash away. I straddle these two methods and sadly fall in the chasm between. In other words I lose. A lot.

Tekken 2 was one of the few beat ’em ups that I really tried to get to grips with (the other being Marvel Vs Capcom, sure either myself or Lew will blog about that another time). I decided to spend a lot of time learning the moves of Marshall Law, who seemed to me the sort of character a serious player would choose, like Ryu in Street Fighter II. I always picked Dhalsim or Blanka with SFII – the easy ones. Anyway, I spent a lot of time trying to master Marshall. I really tired to learn the moves and remember combos, as dull as that was.

Law mid fight. You can tell this isn't me playing as he's winning here.

Law mid fight. You can tell this isn't me playing as he's winning here.

It was a complete waste of time. I still lost. That Tuesday all those years ago I distinctly remember being roundly beaten by my friend Amy a button masher of the old school. She didn’t try to be good, she just tried to have fun. Amy too had an exam in an hour. Difference is she revised rather spend her time attempting to master a game she was never going to be good at. As I walked to the exam I realised what a stupid amount of time I had wasted. I could of been revising or at least playing. Properly playing, not turning a game into a chore.

So yeah, after Tekken 2 I never really bothered to play a beat ’em up in a ‘serious’ way again. I accepted that I would never be particularly good, and to just enjoy them for what they were. I gave up on Marshall. From then on I just picked Yoshimitsu. He had a big sword. He looked like fun.

And in the interest of fun let me finish with the supposed plot of Tekken 2. Yep, there was one. This is taken from wikipedia so it could be a fantastic practical joke. Who knew it was all about smuggled endangered species?

‘Two years have passed since the King of the Iron Fist Tournament. On a stormy night, a lone figure fights his way up a rocky cliff until he reaches the top.

The Mishima Zaibatsu, under the leadership of Kazuya Mishima, has become even more corrupt and powerful than ever before, as well as becoming involved in many illegal operations. These include kidnapping, extortion, smuggling of endangered species for illegal experiments, and blackmail. Unknown to everyone, Kazuya is being backed up by a mysterious force known as Devil, who inhabits Kazuya’s body and serves as his only counsel.

Kazuya’s activities have made enemies for him from all corners of the world, one of which is Jun Kazama, an animal rights fundamentalist. Kazuya’s biggest problem, however, is when news reaches his ears that his father, Heihachi Mishima (whom he defeated two years ago in the first King of the Iron Fist Tournament) is alive and plotting revenge against him. In an attempt to rid himself of Heihachi and his enemies once and for all, Kazuya announces the King of the Iron Fist Tournament 2, with a cash prize one thousand times the first (one trillion dollars).

Jun Kazama eventually comes face to face with Kazuya, but rather than arresting him, she finds herself drawn to him (due to Devil’s powers). She later ends up pregnant, with Kazuya being the father. In the confusion, she departs from the tournament.

In the final round, Heihachi confronts Kazuya, and they battle once again. Heihachi wins the first round, prompting Devil to take over Kazuya’s body and unleash his full power. This results with Kazuya becoming a Devil-like creature. Despite his advantages, Devil is still defeated by Heihachi, and flees the unconscious body of Kazuya.

After the tournament, Devil attempts to inhabit the body of Jun’s unborn son, but Jun manages to fight him off. Heihachi, meanwhile, takes Kazuya’s body to a volcano, and drops him in. Heihachi then escapes on a helicopter as the volcano erupts behind him, having finally taken his revenge and regained his company’.

4 Comments

Filed under 1996, Fighting, Multiplayer, Namco, Playstation