Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Headhunter Review for the Sega Dreamcast.

Sun, Jan 26th, 2020

So I’ve beaten Headhunter, and now I want to talk about it.

I was not able to take any screenshots during the game, so I’m going to steal them from Gamespot.

For those not aware, Headhunter is a game released in 2001 on the Dreamcast by Azure. The Dreamcast version was only released in PAL regions, but it was later ported to the PS2 in North America and Europe.

I would describe the game as an open world stealth game. There are motorbiking sections where you drive around from level to level, and upgrade your license, more on that later.

The story is set in mid 21st century, where there is a crime league where crime fighters capture and arrest criminals to climb up the ranks.

There also legal and black market organ harvesting in there somewhere as well, and the emphasis on saving organs to sell, and weapons that only shut their brains down without damaging any of the organs.

The game’s graphics look great for it’s time especially for the Dreamcast! They look like a game you would have seen in 2004 on the PS2, Gamecube and Xbox, but here we see them from 2001.

Both versions of the game look close, with the Dreamcast having the edge of better texture and shadow quality.

However, due to the Dreamcast’s relatively low RAM, it has to load almost every room you enter, and it gets annoying after a while. The PS2 version’s rooms are split the same way.

As for the gameplay, there are 2 sections of it, one, like I said, where you ride around what looks like Southern US on a motorbike, and the main game, which is where you run around levels, sneak up on people or just shoot them down.

The controls take some getting used to, you press Y to back yourself up to a wall, but you need to press it again to get off it, and the fact that the Dreamcast doesn’t have a second analog means that you need to aim and hold X to turn the camera. This takes getting used to.

Luckily, the game autoaims to your enemies by pressing x, so it isn’t a problem either way.

Not much else to say, you’ve probably played many action and stealth games that play just like this, so there’s not much to learn or get used to.

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The driving section also take get some getting used to. One’s natural instinct is to push the R trigger all the way down, but that causes you to wheelie and crash into walls. You have to lightly push it to be able to ride around properly. I approve of this future, as it’s more realistic.

You can’t damage your vehicle, or even properly crash. You just stop. In fact, this entire section seems pointless, and is just there to look cool.

It does, so it did it’s job.

The game also has FMV news sections that are scatterted throughout the game. I’m a sucker for cheesy FMV sequences, so I loved these!

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And also pre-rendered CGI scenes, which don’t look as nice.

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They were compressed by what is called the 4x codec, and it looks terrible in some places. Particularly, with bright colours, it’s just a mess!


The game is very story focused and linear, which works for me. I’m not a fan of games that are too open.

Later in the game, you start to encounter bosses, and they won’t go easy on you. They’re mostly trial and error. For example, there was a boss where you had to leak gas pipes to damage them, but you could also shoot them, but doing that only takes like a pixel from their massive health bar, and the gas pipe thing isn’t very apparent, so I’m willing to say that some people probably just shot it to death, which would have taken *ages*.

Around the same point, I had to copy a pattern that was 10 foreign characters long, that circled around a knob, to another similar looking knob. I had to write it down, as there was no way I could have memorised it. I hated that.

The final boss was frustrating at first, but later, you get into a flow and I really enjoyed myself at this part!


Overall, the game felt very solid for the time, and was a very enjoyable game to go through. For those who own a Dreamcast or PS2, definitely pick this one up!

Robo-Pit Review for the Sega Saturn

Sun, Dec 29th, 2019

So I got Robo Pit for the Sega Saturn for Christmas, and I completed it yesterday, and thought I’d give me thoughts on it.

For some reason, this is one of the few multiplatform games that is cheaper on the Sega Saturn compared to the Playstation, in all regions. In fact the only game I can recall that costs more on Playstation is hi-Octane, but that was because that version was far better.

Robo Pit looks the same on both, except for totally different menus, and some even say the Saturn version is the better of the two! So why it costs less is beyond me.

Anyway, onto the game. What attracted me to it was it’s resemblance to Robot Wars and the like. You build robots, which can have wheels or tracks for locomotion, and you attach weapons to the robot to damage your opponent with.

That’s where the similarities really end, the game is a 3D beat em up with tank controls. Doesn’t sound like the recipe for a good fighting game but surprisingly, it works well. Whenever I sat down to play a game, that one game turns to like 8, and I have to force myself to stop playing.

If you win a match, you win the opponents weapons (or by the looks of it, one of them in the Playstation version), and if you lose, they get yours. Naturally, you don’t want to lose, and whenever I did, I reset the game and loaded my progress.

That’s my main complaint of the game, you lose your good weapons, it’s all over. Especially if you are a beginner. Your fists are more or less useless compared to the weapons you unlock thoughout the game.

Speaking of, the weapons to fall into 4 (maybe 5) categories.
You have your close range weapons, like fists, hammers and axes.
You have your long range weapons, that shoot out, but get pulled back to you. Like the mace.
You have guns, some with ammo, and some that are unlimited as they bounce back to you.
Lastly, you have the shields, which increase your defence.

You fight your way up the ranks, starting at rank 101, and you work towards getting the top spot, which is easier said than done.

Throughout the game, you come across bosses who have no data and you only see their silhouettes in the menu. You fight them in special arenas and are harder than the other robots. Obviously.

<spoiler>

When you reach the top rank, a rank 0 is revealed. This is the final boss. This guy is the most bullshit hard boss I’ve ever faced! One hit takes a 5th of your health away! I had to constantly circle strafe them and hit them when it looked like they had an opening. Even this took a dozen tries!

After this, you get a credit sequence, showing what I think are replays of past victories.

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The music and sound effects are for the most part, forgettable, except the robot building music, which is the kind of abstract robot music you hear in the 90s, complete with sounds heard from devices at the time, and the line “Sorry, the number you have dialled is not available!”

The graphics are about average, too. They do look a little better on the PS1, as expected, but even then, nothing much to them.
You get these cute eyes, faces and head shapes to put onto your robot, they’re purely aesthetic, but they do give the game a bit of personality!

All in all, for the price it fetches, it’s definitely worth the money, in my opinion! As someone whose entire childhood was consumed by Robot Wars and Battlebots, I was satisfied, and if I had this as a kid, I’d have absolutely loved it!

I might even get the Playstation version and compare the two.

There is also a sequel exclusive to the PS1, but this one doesn’t come by often, and when it does, it’s £20 for a loose disc…

Anyway, that concludes this review, I hope you enjoyed it, and until next week: A’m oot!

Telltale Games – A retrospective: Sam & Max – The Devil’s Playhouse

Sat, Dec 21st, 2019

Continuing my series of Telltale retrospectives, I played through Sam & Max – The Devil’s Playhouse.

This time around, the game is DRM-free, and has even provided screenshots for me, which is smashing!

The disc also provided some screenshots for me, which I will scatter on this blog. No more running through Steam and remembering to take screenshots now and again! At least until the next game I cover… Read the rest of this entry »

Telltale Games – A retrospective: Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space (a.k.a. Sam & Max Season 2)

Sun, Dec 1st, 2019

I finally played and beaten the second season of Sam & Max, and this time, I have screenshot to accompany my words! I ran the game under Steam.

This game was released on PC in late 2008, and got ports to all of the 7th gen systems afterwards, so there are quite a few ways to play this.

I’ll try to be as spoiler-free as possible, but I can’t make any guarantees.

So I had trouble even running this game. The game uses SecuROM, so that would explain why nothing happened.

I tried to download “cracked” exes of the game, and all it resulted in was this.

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I was about to give up hope, and tried to download a pirated version of the game (I own a legit copy, so don’t say I robbed anyone of their money), and… it worked.

I noticed the splash screen was different in this version.

As it turns out, there are 2 different versions of this game, one named “Sam & Max – Season 2” and the one I have “Sam & Max: Beyond Time and Space”. The former from what I gather was only sold through Telltale’s site and the latter was the full retail version.

Both use SecuROM, but there are only cracked exes of the former. So I had to go with that. I burned a copy of this version for future use because it seems to be really difficult to find online. I’ll probably keep looking, though.

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So anyway, I got it working in the end. Like the first season, I found this a lot easier to figure out second time playing, but struggled near the end. I enjoyed this season a lot more than the first one, too! The stories were way more supernatural, but not edgy, and covered topics I love in a story, such as portals and time travel!

The game is also natively widescreen, (though as far as I know is letterboxed in 4:3 resolutions) and include hints during the game to help you out. Sadly the latter didn’t work very well. More on that later.

So I can adress the game one episode at a time.

So let’s begin. Read the rest of this entry »

Telltale Games – A retrospective: Sam & Max: Save The World

Sun, Nov 10th, 2019

So I decided, after watching a documentary video on the Rise & Fall of Telltale games, I decided to play all of the Telltale games I possess.

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Of which I have quite a few

Starting with the series that introduced me to the company: Sam & Max Save The World. Read the rest of this entry »

The Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher Batman Quadrilogy – A retrospective

Sun, Oct 13th, 2019

I recently watched the 4 Tim Burton/Joel Schumacher era Batman films again and I thought I might as well give my opinion on them and how my experiences were with the films, because why not? I’m hoping to just do a quick casual post on this, this won’t be a full blown article, or at least that’s not the intention… Read the rest of this entry »

Exploring the Nuon – Part 2 – Games and Demos

Sun, Oct 6th, 2019

Last week, I was talking about how I acquired my Nuon console, and how I found out the console had no copy protection, and managed to burn most of the library on discs.

I decided to of course try Tempest 3000 and it’s pretty much as good as I’d hoped. I would even place the game in my top 10 games of the sixth generation. It’s that good!

The game actually shows the Nuon was capable of some pretty cool stuff! The game is super trippy, has some insane effects and amazing techno music to go along with it!

The only problem I found was that the game is pretty blurry and it strained my eyes after a while. I’m going to get a component cable in hopes that it makes it clearer.

Playing the game again after a while made me make another observation about the Nuon: There’s no way to save data. Every game has a level selection or a password system.

Why would you, in 2000, release a game platform with no way to save progress? Memory cards were established 5 years prior! There is no excuse!

Apparently they actually planned to make memory cards and controllers to use them, and were to have LCD screens like the Dreamcast VMU and the PS1’s Pockstation. Which sounds neat, but the fact they didn’t release something like this at launch is honestly an amazing oversight!

The controller does actually look pretty cool, though, and Nuon Dome said VM Labs approved of it to be the de facto controller design, which is fair enough. It’s unique enough to be identified as a Nuon controller. Unlike some other controllers


So next I played some Merlin Racing. I can’t really comment on this one since I wasn’t able to play it as my remote can’t accept 2 inputs at once, so I have to take my finger off accelerate to turn. I’m always lapped at every race I try.

The graphics look better than Nintendo 64 but not quite Dreamcast quality, the racers are fully 3D and animated, which is not something you saw on 5th gen systems, and some environments are actually kind of detailed and populated with buildings and other stuff.

Looks and feels like an okay game, not sure I’d pay like £50 for, though. I’ll need to play it with a controller to properly assess it.


Next I tried an Iron Soldier 3 demo, and I couldn’t even play this.

The intro was unskippable, and thought “Is this what this demo is?”, and waited like 10 minutes for it to finish, and then a menu appeared, and I couldn’t control it.

So this game isn’t remote compatible, so I can’t really give my thoughts on it.


So then I tried what is called the “Nuon Interactive Sampler”, which, according to the Nuon Dome page, contained numerous playable and non-playable demos, which made me very curious as to what it had.

It was just a regular DVD, and not even a Nuon enhanced one at that. A video of this demo is available on the web archive website linked last week.

The disc starts off with a general introduction to the Nuon, highlighting all of the amazing features it has!

One of the features it was boasting was online connectivity, and I realised I’ve never seen anything close to that hype, and checked if my player even has a way to connect to the internet.

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It doesn’t. Though it has one of those power switches to support European or American power sockets, which is interesting.

Maybe later players added some port to connect to the internet, but this one has nothing. Looks like VM Labs bit off more than they could chew.

Anyway, the disc obviously has no playable demos, so what non-playable demos does it have? Well, pretty much everything that got released for the Nuon minus A -maze a port of Dragon’s Lair, Riven (a sequel to Myst), and a very interesting accessory, more on that later.

A-maze looks like a fun game, I love those kinds of ball in maze labyrinth puzzles, but the game looks like it belongs on the PS1 and Saturn graphics-wise, not something you’d expect from a $400 next gen console.

The Dragon’s Lair demo was just the trailer you see on absolutely everything and was also released on absolutely everything with an optical drive, so next.

Now I had no idea about Riven being planned for the Nuon, the Wikipedia page doesn’t even mention this. The Riven trailer wasn’t even a trailer, it was the behind the scenes making of video. I thought it was stupid to do that but as I watched it, it piqued my interest in the game more. I should probably play Myst first, though.

Now the main thing to catch my eye was a controller known as the Airplay, Which has a distinct feature of a hot swappable battery. The battery compartment has 2 holes, and the idea is that you push a new battery in and you push the old one out. I’m not gonna lie, that sounds really cool and really unique, and if this got released and had it has a kid, I’d play about with it! The controller looks pretty comfy, too!


So that’s all I have to say about the Nuon for now. As a last ditch attempt to compete with the other sixth gen systems, VM Labs made the Nuon SDK public and made later players play homebrew games, but my player doesn’t play them, and Nuance, the only Nuon emulator, barely plays them either. That and I want to burn copies and print cases, and display them with my official games.

So that means I need to get a model that plays Homebrew games, and those rarely come by, but aren’t that expensive.

So when I get myself one, I’ll be back with a part 3.

Until then, A’m oot!

Exploring the Nuon – Part 1 – Getting the thing

Sun, Sep 29th, 2019

You guys noticed I’ve been getting into the groove of weekly articles? It’s fun doing these! I gotta keep my brain active, after all!


So some years back, I heard about this system called the “Nuon”, which was like the forgotten 5th competitor to the sixth generation of consoles.

For those unaware, in 2000-2001, VM labs, a company consisting of ex-Atari employees who worked on the Panther and Jaguar, made a console that was built into some DVD players. It flopped so hard very few have even heard of it today. It’s one of the few systems to fall that deep into obscurity.

The Nuon was supposedly the reason the Playstation 2 had a DVD player built in, so if that’s true, then it made a bigger splash than we thought.

Being a fan of this era, I knew I had to get my hands on one of these. I’d been searching for years in places like Cash Converters and charity shops to see if I could get one for cheap, since people can mistake them for regular DVD players and can go for seriously cheap prices! I never found one, though, and I slowly started to forget it.

A few months ago, I watched a video that brought it back on my radar.

This time I decided “Fuck it!”, and just bought one online.

Read the rest of this entry »

My thoughts on The Cat Returns

Sun, Aug 27th, 2017

So I decided to watch The Cat Returns today, I’ve only seen a little bit of the film beforehand when it was on TV, and thought that it would be right up my alley! So I decided to get the Blu-Ray some years later, and give it watch. I finally got around to doing so, and I thought I’d write my thoughts about it here real quick. I gotta keep myself distracted from being bullied by my crippling depression and my antagonising anxiety somehow!

For those unaware, the Cat Returns is an anime film by Studio Ghibli released in 2002, and it involves cats…

I know some people are going to ask: I watched it subbed, but maybe in some cases, it might have been better to watch it dubbed, because a lot of the humor and whatnot involved the way cats spoke, which were just lost on me when listening to the Japanese, but by the time I realised this, I was well into the film, too late to change it without being put off by the sudden change.

Anyway, I thought it was a really good film. I was very into it when I watched it, at least originally. Visually, like every other Studio Ghibli film I’ve watched, it looked beautiful! It was very well drawn and animated, very colourful and cheerful! Why isn’t our world like this?!
It’s also so nice to watch a Blu-Ray film at 16:9! It’s good to actually see a film’s picture take up the entire TV screen! Thanks guys!

You can tell it wasn’t written entirely seriously, there was a lot of intentional comedy in it, and a lot of self-awareness was also present, maybe too much, almost like the writers couldn’t be bothered to rewrite the story to fill in the plot-holes, so they just leave it all in and just have characters say something like “Well, I knew we should have installed that…” or “Oh, how convenient!”. To me, it seems used as a crutch to make up for bad writing… though then again, it is an anime about a girl being sent to a kingdom of cats to marry a cat prince to rule a population of cats whilst having jokes about cats thrown at us (did I mention that this film is about cats?), so I guess anything goes, right?

This self-awareness practically made me lose my immersion, like it’s hard to feel immersed and worried about the characters if there’s always a convenient way out.

While I thought this was a really good film (and believe me, it was!), it’s not as good as the other Studio Ghibli films I’ve watched.

If you find this film on Blu-Ray or DVD for a good price, I’d say £10 or under, then go for it!

That concludes my review, I give this film 7 bags of cat-nip out of 10!

Okay, now the review is over, now go away!

5 Word Impressions – 007 Special

Sat, Jul 9th, 2016

Hey guys, I’ve watched every single 007 film, From the 1954 Casino Royale to Spectre, all in one big marathon and I have recorded my reactions for every one, all summed into 5 words each!

Are you ready? Go!

Read the rest of this entry »

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