Guest Blog by Ell Dee @Every Gamer Review
All of the Role Playing Games (RPGs) that I've played are pretty much unconventional so far...well mostly The Mother series. I've been wanting to play normal RPGs for a while and I got my eyes on Dragon Quest because Akira Toriyama (I love Dragon Ball Z). So this was a game I was waiting to play because I couldn’t get it on Wii Virtual Console but I don't have the Wii. So last year I asked Santa for this game on Wii U Virtual Console and Santa gave me it...on Christmas Eve. Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars (スーパーマリオＲＰＧ Sūpā Mario Āru Pī Jī), developed by Square (now Square Enix) and published by Nintendo (for the Super Nintendo) and was released in 1996 in Japan and in the US. Somehow Europe missed out on this. Why? Because of our PAL technology, it was considered far too difficult to convert it to PAL. Another reason is that it would have taken far too long to translate it to different languages. Didn't stop Harvest Moon and Secret of Mana stopping by so what's their excuse? Oh, the graphics.
So what's the story behind Super Mario RPG? Bowser kidnaps Peach and Mario goes to save her and the world revolves around a golden sun but suddenly, a giant sword crashes down on Bowser's castle and sends Mario, Peach and Bowser flying in different directions. When Mario goes back to the castle, he finds the sword who is called Smithy, as he’s unleashed his gang to cause havoc. So Mario has to go and stop the Smithy gang with the help of some friends he meets on the way, including Mallow, a cloud boy who thinks he's a Tadpole, Geno...DA BOSS! Bowser and Peach. This is when Geno comes into play. Due to the devious plots of the Smithy Gang, the Star Road has been broken so Mario and his friends must collect seven pieces of the star pieces to fix the road. Overall story is simple; it's a Super Mario game after all. It also has humour and I giggled at a few, though the majority of the humour is mostly kid-friendly but good enough for that demographic.
Guest Blog by Kevin K @Agent_Prince
The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise has been going through a massive resurgence in the last couple of years, coinciding with the purchase of the rights by Nickelodeon. This has led to the production of a great new animated show (which is now on season 4 and it’s rather good), toys, merchandise, and a return to grace in its originating comic book medium.
With the upcoming Activision/Platinum Games collaboration imminent, what better time than to recommend 4 of the best Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games of all time, each one representing one of the team. Cowabunga dudes!
Michaelangelo = TMNT the Arcade Game (Arcade, 1989)
Video gaming at its classic best. Back in 1989, this style of arcade was everywhere: Scrolling beat em ups. What was cool was the original cabinets allowed for 4 players on screen at once, for the full team experience. It was challenging.
In typical coin-op style you had little health that soon depleted, having to part with your cash for more credits. That might sound terrible, but such was the appeal of kicking the crap out of Foot Soldiers and the supporting bosses such as Bebop, Rocksteady, even Krang, it is tough to walk away because kicking butt is what the Turtles are all about. Like Michaelangelo, TMNT Arcade is fun in short bursts, but just simple and repetitive.
Guest Blog by Todd M @The Top Loader
There are so many games I can talk endlessly about, memories and stories are constantly running through my head. But today, I'm going to do something a little different. I grew up never owning a Sega Mega Drive and in recent years I've been able to go back and buy classic games that i never got a chance to own before. So here today I'm gonna take it to the streets to play a series of games that I have always admired from a far, a franchise that I may not have the most knowledge about and honestly most likely won't be telling you anything new , what a salesman I am huh. But, what i can tell you will be my most recent impressions of - The Streets of Rage.
How do you talk about a franchise that you are not that familiar with? Well you have to shoot from the hip or in this case punch from the waist up since that's what Axel seems to do a lot here as I watch his bare knuckles turn to flames. It may have the word street in the title but this is certainly no 1 on 1 fighter. What do I see when I first start to play? Well firstly I hear an awesome soundtrack, I've never been in a situation where I've been unsure whether I should be fighting.. or dancing since it compels me to do both. Sega really came out swinging and I was left dancing, but since i see a flurry of enemies heading my way I'm sure punching out a few combos wont hurt anybody - except maybe the bad guys - which is a good thing here because this is a Beat-em-up and it's pretty straight forward. For the most part anyway as sometimes you go up and down while throwing bad guys in the air and on the ground. There is a good balance of enemies that aren't too hard but aren't that easy, until you learn their pattern of course which is a must if you are to defeat some of the harder bosses like the very agile and bouncy twins - where's Chun Li when you need her?
Streets of Rage 2 on theSega Mega Drive/Sega Genesis was a staple title in my formative gaming years. I can count at least two times when my friend and I stayed up and had our first all nighter gaming session. Bashing the A, B and C buttons on the Sega Mega Drive controller and trying so hard to beat the game. Needless to say we never did. Sega got a lot right in the nineties. You wouldn’t have believed the Video Game Market crashed less than a decade before Streets of Rage 2 was released. Not in the nineties though; we were back and firmly in to a defining era of playing video games again. Streets of Rage 2 is one of those games that everyone cherished for its storyline, game play, variety and two-player prowess.
One year later
Streets of Rage 2 is set one year after the first game’s events and it seems like a lot had changed. With the introduction of Skate, the young brother of Adam, the storyline evolves in to a rescue mission that’s centred around the captive: Adam. Max is also added in to the deadly cocktail of characters and once again the streets are the backdrop for the long fights ahead. There’s not much more to say about the story other than, conclusively it’s a rescue mission. The formula seems to work really well.
Guest Blog by Todd McDonnell @TheTopLoader
As I type I can hear a lot of loud noise coming through the internet. Have I forgotten something? I take a moments break to see what all the commotion is about. Street fighter II turned 25 and everybody's celebrating as though they were aboard one of Ken's party boats. I sit and think - has it been that long since it was 1991 - well I've done the math and apparently math doesn't lie. Should I stop typing.. as everything that needs to be said about this game has been said. I don't need to tell you again how great it is, that would be an obvious statement. Then it hits me, and no it wasn't one of Sagats Tiger Uppercuts .. again - I realize that everybody is talking about this game because, everybody - from my generation at least - has a Street Fighter story, and guess what so do I.
Street Fighter 2 ? For me it Begs the question: If this is the second game then where in the world map was the first? I had always heard of the myths surrounding the original Street Fighter - was it even real? I had never seen or heard of it before. Later on in life i did find out that it did in fact exist as I finally got a chance to play it, and how this game got a second game made based on the original is beyond belief. How do you go from a laggy, unbalanced un-fun waste of time to arguably one of the best and most important fighting games in the history of video games? This time however, Capcom lined up its quarters ready to play again and won because this new challenger certainly got it - Perfect.
Guest Blog by Alan G @GretzkiAL
Well the time is nearly upon us again and I have to admit it I feel a little more prepared for it this year. Yes folks that's right the Christmas holidays are nearly here and if you're anything like me, you are hoping that one of many video game titles out at the moment will be joining you at same stage over the festive period. In doing so, we must make the most of the purchases that love ones/dodgy looking gaming Santa’s from a UK chain of video game shops have gifted to us - and for some of us the origin of this yearly influence of tradition is set somewhere in the last century. However before thinking this narrative is about the number of Christmas consoles I received on a yearly basis it is not, as this constantly eluded me up until only last year, so this is more of a personal muse into my gaming existence.
Crafted by Gemma @Juicy Game Reviews
Who here doesn’t remember this debate? Raise your hand, there’s no shame. Perhaps you were too young? Perhaps you weren’t even born? In the early to mid-nineties a household either had a Super Nintendo console or a Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and it was often a hot debate in school as to “which one is the best”. Usually, we’d choose the console we owned and paid no regard to the technical spec. I used to say things like “I like the coloured Snes buttons (red, yellow, blue and green in PAL and JP regions) over the predominantly black Mega Drive controller. This is a pathetic argument to support the Snes but back then it was valid.
There are two ways to approach this and I’m eager to see your views in the comments: Objectively and Subjectively. Objectively we can analyse the both consoles and it is clear that the Super Nintendo wins all day long. Click here for a really easy breakdown on each console by technical specifications. Let’s not beat on about that. The Super Nintendo is clearly the superior console in terms of spec...
Guest Blog by Ken Ashton
Having formulated the idea to begin a gaming collection some time ago I spent a little time floundering in the wilderness looking for some sense of direction or inspiration of how to proceed. What becomes obvious very quickly is that there is no right or wrong way to proceed but having listened to ideas from much more experienced gamers/collectors here are some ideas which have worked for me and may prove of use to others.
By Gemma - @Juicygamereviews
Photo Credit: JP Professional Photography
For the last two years I've had the pleasure of attending the PLAY Expo in Manchester and Blackpool. Both events were packed full of every retro gaming console you could imagine. If that wasn't enough last years event had a huge arcade littered with my personal favourites like Outrun, Operation Wolf, Track and Field, Killer Instinct and a ton more. That's not all. The PLAY Expo let's you play your favourite pinball machines, enjoy cosplay shows and grab some of the most obscure games from some of the UK's top gaming vendors. Personally, I really enjoy wandering around aisle after aisle of retro gaming vendors. I was thrilled to pick up Secret of Mana boxed and complete from Warp Zone at the Blackpool event in May 2015. I can't wait to see what retro games I can grab in October. I'll see you there. Here's the official Press Release...
By Gemma ~ @Juicygamereviews
Streets of Rage 2 is arguably one of the most iconic 16bit side scroller games around. Known as Bare Knuckle II in Japan, Sega released Streets of Rage 2 in 1993 across Europe and North America (the Japanese release got released slightly earlier in 1992). For me, this time was the start of an important era of gaming: The 16bit era. By the time Streets of Rage 2 was released its predecessor, Streets of Rage, had already enjoyed almost two years of glory on the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and Sega Master System. But where would this glowing series end?
Retro Game Reviews. Mega Drive, Super Nintendo, Sega Dreamcast and more
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