Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn Review: Relic Brawl

Real Talk By: KJ

The Shaquille O’Neal Lead series takes a big turn in direction.  Can the genre transition from 1 on 1 fighter to side-scrolling beat-em-up succeed? There’s no hiding the fact Shaq Fu (SNES/Genesis) is one of the worst games in existence.  Enter: A Legend Reborn.  What was once an Indiegogo campaign, is now a reality on PS4, XO, PC, and Nintendo Switch.  Will this crowd-funded revival “Settle The Score of 94”? Continue reading “Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn Review: Relic Brawl”

Sonic The Hedgehog (1991) Retro Review

Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback 

Sonic by this point has been through his ups and downs, but in 1991, he was a new kid on the block, competing against the biggest name in gaming to date (Super Mario).  Sega decided to use the power of the Genesis to their advantage, the biggest being in-speed.  So they came up with at hedgehog that could outrun anyone on the system, strapped on his running shoes, and made him one of the most recognizable names in gaming history.

The premise is this, Sonic is out to save his animal friends who are being captured by Dr. Robotnik, a hefty mustachioed villain with a taste for little forest animal magic.  But once you started playing the game, the story didn’t really matter that much.  Add in the fact the Sega packed this game with the console, and you had a Super Nintendo killer on your hands.

Green Hill Zone, we will never forget you.

Sonic The Hedgehog was set against a futuristic backdrop of fast paced rolling scenery.  While Mario’s biggest advantage was jumping to the heights of the clouds and taking pipes to his underground destinations, Sonic opted for just catapulting into the sky and flinging himself dangerously close to a lava waterfall.  The game runs on a fluid spectrum which allows the player to explore not only the length of the level, but also the depth, which for the time, was something new and invigorating.

Sonic also worked on a continuous health system.  All along the level our hero collects rings.  Once Sonic hits an enemy or harmful object his rings spray out from his body and start blinking.  The player has the chance to try and recollect to rings before they disappear and then continue along the level until he is hit while carrying no rings, at which point he dies and has to start the level over.  This health system worked very well for the title as Sonic is sometimes able to avoid the many pitfalls that come up on his so quickly.  This allows the player to recoup and continue instead of having a set amount of lives to keep starting the level over.  Sonic also had several level up items which included power shoes and several types of shields which allowed the players to get hit and not give up the rings they were holding.

Collecting Rings has been awesome since 1991.

The levels are also interactive, enticing the player to continue moving foward instead of stopping.  Land bridges will fall out from under you, Loops and turns require a certain speed to continue through, and fire bursts out of the ground behind and starts following you.  Bonus levels took the player one step closer to madness with a full on spinning room which required sonic to bounce around in ball form while collecting as many rings as he can using the chaos emerald.  This could be achieved by collecting fifty rings and keeping them by the end of the level.

Sonic was designed amazingly well for it’s time.  While comparisons to Super Mario Brothers did exist, there really was no reason for it.  Once you actually play the title you realize that the only comparison is that it’s platforming game.  Sonic keeps the screen decluttered with only a few numeric displays for rings and bonuses, and while some levels were set up for straight speed, getting through the level as fast as possible means that you might miss out on some well hidden secrets. Combining that with music that is unforgettable and a vibrate set of visuals and you have yourself a winner.  That’s why:

Sonic The Hedgehog Gets

5mf

5 Out of 5

What’s Legit?

+ Fast paced atmosphere

+ Incredable music and visuals

+ Excellent character design

+ Platforming genius

What’s Perpetrating?

– No two player mode

#Sonic @PlayLegit

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Saturday Night Slam Masters Retro Review (SNES, Genesis, Arcade)

saturdaynightmasters3

Real Talk By: KJ

Saturday Night Slam Masters was published by Capcom, and remains one of my favorite wrestling games. For starters, while he isn’t billed as the top star, Mike Haggar from Final Fight, is a playable character. The Ex-Mayor’s spinning lariat remains fully intact, along with his other signature slams. Another title set in the Street Fighter Universe right here!  Other characters include: Jumbo Flapjack, a super-sized grappler who runs hilariously, and is equipped with ferocious power moves. The Scorpion was Cmack’s favorite, as this character has a stance similar to Bruce Lee, and throws similar strikes. These radical dudes look and fight like a mixture between 90’s WWF and SF2. This makes for a weird hybrid, both from a presentational, and game player’s standpoint.

Fight until the vitality meter is depleted. Once this happens fighters are vulnerable to a pinfall at any time. Crowns are displayed by the player HUD to signify victories. Attack , Jump, and Pin are the three buttons available. While many moves are simple to do, the grappling carries more depth than you would expect. This takes a cue from street fighter with its command inputs. For example a fighter known as King Rasta Mon will cling to his opponent, biting him several times. Ring a bell?

One thing you’ll notice is the detail in the sprites and animations across the board. This is one hot crowd. Everyone is moving and excited for the match going on in the ring. Fast gameplay and surprising tech to accommodate it all. It’s clear this was intended to be a direct arcade port, because the mode selections all take place within the same character select screen. The game could have made navigation a lot easier in my opinion. You could see this as a plus or negative. In two player coop, if one person gets pinned, but your team advances, that person has to press start again before time runs out. You would figure that your team securing a match victory would mean everyone is good to go. This isn’t the case.

A Deathmatch mode was exclusive to the SEGA Genesis. This has the ropes covered in barbed wire. Getting tossed into the razor-sharp ropes will cause them to explode. Fire Pro Wrestling fans well appreciate this mode a lot. Oddly enough you can only play this in Two Player mode, no CPU. There are landmines outside of the ring as well. It’s just a lot of fun. Team Battle Mode is tornado style, meaning all four characters are in the ring at the same time, both men are legal. A pin-fall can happen just-like-that. Impressive that the Slam Masters can keep up with all this speedy action. If you have a multitap, four players can throw down. This is exclusive to the Super Nintendo Version.

It’s too bad there is no other mode for console owners to delve into. A traditional career mode would have been cool. We all know how awesome Haggar is, it would have been cool to get him or others in a story mode. Another gripe, The stages may have a modified ring mat here or there, but areas generally look the same.

With characters having their own theme music, walkout attire/entrances, and such Saturday Night Slam Masters was built for prime time. It’s a shame there was little promotion for this back in the day. Maybe they were overshadowed by the polarizing WWF releases from the same time frame. In my opinion, this is a better grappler than any of those titles. Whether you’re a Fighting game fan, or Wrestling, both groups are taken care of here. If you’re a casual fan of either in-fact, the gameplay should accommodate your particular style.  This gem is easy to find on Amazon and other places at reasonable prices. How about a sequel or a re-release Capcom? Throw in Zangief and El Fuerte while we’re at it.

 Saturday Night Slam Masters Gets

4mf

4 Out of 5

 

What’s Legit?

+Detailed Sprites

+Gameplay

+4 Player fun

What’s Perpetrating?

-A Big lack of modes

#SlamMasters @PlayLegit

Saturday_Night_Slam_Masters_arcade_flyer_Capcom

 

Captain America and The Avengers Retro Review

Real Talk By: Ms. Throwback

Captain America & The Avengers is a multi-platform game that was available in two different arcade versions, along with SNES, Sega Genesis, Game Gear, and Game Boy. All of the versions differ slightly.  Most notably the arcade rendition of the game was created as two completely different consoles, one of which four separate players could fight at the same time using one of the four playable characters, and another arcade console that was a two player version with each player being able to select from the four. Also it should be noted that there is an NES game with the same name that is essentially a completely different game. I played the Sega Genesis version for the sake of this review.

At the start of the game the player can choose from one of four characters, Captain America, Iron Man, Hawk Eye, and Vision. Once you’ve choose your character you get a completely lame series of text screens telling the story of how red skull has assembled a mind controlled take over team and it’s up to the avengers to stop them. I was highly disappointed in the presentation of the story line, especially after having reviewed several other comic book themed games where the story line is followed along by beautiful comic book style story art. On a good note however this same text is used within the game during the beginning of certain areas as conversations between your main character and the enemies. I like the text being used in this way more as it carries the storyline throughout the game instead of letting it drop off.

moving into actual gameplay the art becomes more noticeable, although not as impressive as it could be in the background, on-screen characters and enemies look very good.  The Sega version has the possibility of two players. I can imagine the arcade version with four players would’ve been a ton of fun as the beat-em-up chaos would’ve erupted even more with more players included. Even the one player version of the game is fun however and the feel is very fast paced on the Sega Genesis console.

In the game your character has two attack moves and one jump move, along with a special move. Depending on your character the special move changes, Captain America throws his shield at enemies, Iron Man throws a laser cannon from his arm, Hawk Eye shoots arrows across the screen, and Vision shoot lasers from his eyes. These characters can not only be chosen from at the beginning of the game, but also whenever a continue is used by the player, they can opt to choose a different character. Along with the regular moves, objects on the screen can also be utilized.

Part way through the game a surprising turn in gameplay happens when the game turns from a beat-em-up to a side scrolling shooter. Depending on the player’s character you will be shooting different objects but this is a really fun part of the game and one I appreciated to the fullest. The side-scrolling shooter portion isn’t by any means ultra challenging but it does break it up and helps keep the game from becoming too repetitive.

Overall I really enjoyed this game. While it didn’t win over my heart it was a pretty solid title and really a fun game to play. It didn’t bring anything to innovative to the table for its day, as far as classic beat-em-ups go, but it is fun to be able to play as your favorite avengers. On top of it all this is a great multiplayer game. The more people the better.

Captain America and The Avengers Gets

3mf

Out of five

What’s Legit?

+Not glitchy

+Good character art

+Fun in multiplayer

Whats Perpetrating?

-Could have had a prettier beginning story

-Background art not overly impressive

-Brings nothing new to the table for its time

Follow me @TLRMsThrowback