Seething Cauldron of Pop Culture Talk

Irascible Analysis of Popular Culture

SNES vs. Genesis: Strider and Strider Returns

Strider and Strider Returns

The first Strider, developed by Capcom and published by Sega for the Genesis in September 1990, follows the exploits of the titular character as he venture through various locations in a futuristic Soviet Union. The one thing you need to know above all else about Strider is that he is exceedingly agile, leaping through the air and performing flips and other feats with ease. His main weapons is his sword, which he uses against all sorts of robots and other enemies that get in his way. There are a number of boss battles scattered around, none of them are particularly wild, but they break the monotony of fighting average enemies all the time. The game is a bit on the hard side, but the main issue is figuring out what works against the boss characters and exploiting their weaknesses, although it does have a tendency to a be a bit cheap at times [especially by surprising you with enemies where you might not expect one, or not in the way that you expect]. So, again, memorizing what happens when and where it the key to success. Unlike many other run-and-gun, and run-and-slash, titles, Strider has a bit more platforming than most, with the levels have vertical elevation and Strider being able to leap quite high and even hang from ledges. It’s a bit dated, and the Genesis port isn’t perfect, but it’s fun enough in its own right and a nice little piece of Capcom history.

There’s a sequel, developed by Tiertex [the team behind the Master System port of the original Strider] and published by US Gold, but it’s really not very good. The controls feel floaty and slow. Best to just ignore this one ever existed and play the REAL Strider 2 [developed by Capcom and available on arcade or PS1].

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SNES vs. Genesis: Splatterhouse 3, Neugier, and Equinox

Splatterhouse 3

Published and developed by Namco for the Genesis in March 1993, Splatterhouse is an action game with a horror bent. In this game, rather than running from a masked freak with an axe, you ARE the maxed freak with the axe. Although you’re actually after your kidnapped wife and kid, rather than trying to hunt down a group of nubile teens. The action takes place in a huge mansion filled with all sort of monsters who you must take down before advancing to the next room. When you gather some power orbs, your character can transform into a bulked up version of himself for a few moments of monster-pounding. There are also a few items scattered around in some rooms that can be used to bash opponents. Overall, it’s a kind of fun game, but a bit on the slow side and repetitive. Nothing really amazing here.

Neugier

Here’s another Zelda clone developed by Wolf Team [now Namco Tales Studio] and published by Telenet Japan for the SNES in March 1993. It was to be released in North American by Renovation Products, but the project was eventually cancelled. As with Zelda, you move along a isometric world and use a sword a various other weapons to fight enemies as Duke tries to figure out the mystery behind a series of ships being lost near his homeland, Neugier. The graphics aren’t anything all that great, although there are some interesting things with the music [even if it isn’t really that special overall either]. The game feels really floaty and attack an armed enemy from the front is a very frustrating affair, more than half the time you’ll end up getting hit as well. Your character has a decent amount of health and enemies do drop health items occasionally, but it’s still really hard, even in the introductory level. Overall, it’s just not that fun and I can’t really recommend it for anyone but someone who’s played every Zelda clone and wants one more.

Equinox

Now here is an interesting action/adventure game, developed by Software Creations and published by Sony Imagesoft for the SNES in 1994. While at first glance it might appear to be yet another Zelda clone, it actually has more in common with Genesis classic Landstalker. It has a similar view and a similar emphasis on puzzles and platforming. The sprites in this game are large and colorful, almost looking like a cartoon, and it’s got some decent music to go along with it. Aside from puzzling and platforming there are all sort of traps and monsters to avoid or, in the case of the latter, fight. It’s not the great game ever made, but it’s a pretty fun game that does some things that not many others of its genre do, so for that alone it’s worth checking out. Equinox is the sequel to Solstice on the NES.

April 24, 2010 Posted by | Console Wars, Games | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment