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Hierophant
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Elevator Action Returns : Taito, 1994

Post by Hierophant » July 8th, 2014, 1:19 am

Elevator Action Returns

Taito Corporation Japan, 1994, Platform / Shooter


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As the name suggests, "Elevator Action Returns" is the 1994 sequel to Taito's 1983 classic, "Elevator Action". I guess it's a somewhat overlooked gem compared to its famous predecessor. A shame, really, because it's actually quite brilliant and destroys the original game on all fronts. A quick comparison of the graphics between the two games reveals how much more sophisticated arcade technology had become during those years:

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Elevator Action in 1983: So minimalist.

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Elevator Action Returns in 1994: Lovely! Notice the depth of field effect on the buildings further away in the background.

It's plain to see that Elevator Action Returns looks totally awesome. Such detail! It plays very well, too. Gone are the clunky control methods of the older game. Choose from the three available characters, each with their different strengths and weaknesses, and jump straight into some intense, espionage-style gameplay.

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Edie is my favourite character right now, mainly because of her sub weapon. The fire bomb creates a temporary blaze. Nearby enemies will tend to immolate themselves on the flames in a hilarious fashion.

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Entering red doors is crucial to progress.

The original Elevator Action used a 4-way joystick. Therefore, I cannot wholeheartedly recommend that game to anyone who doesn't have a dedicated 4-way. I figure that would be the case for the vast majority of readers. Playing a 4-way game with an 8-way joystick creates too many input problems which are bound to cause stupid, unnecessary deaths. No such frustrations with Elevator Action Returns, though. The tightly implemented controls make the game a complete joy to play.

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Blue doors are optional, but if you're lucky you may receive a top up for your life bar or some extra stock for your sub weapon.

Thanks to Taito's legendary in-house band, Zuntata, you'll never be short of some classy metropolitan beats to accompany the agonised cries of your victims. All the while, the top quality sounds of weapons fire and explosions will literally boom from your speakers.

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KABOOM!!! Eat rocket launcher you terrorist scum!

If you want lots of epic boss fights, then I'm afraid you'll have to look elsewhere. The main objective here is to gather intel, disarm bombs, and stylishly dispose of terrorist thugs along the way to the stage exits. There is, however, a rather interesting encounter to look forward to at the end of the game. Of course, I won't spoil that for you here. Hurry up and go play Elevator Action Returns for yourself!

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As an alternative to typical arcade end of level boss fights, you'll sometimes get sections like this where you must sit tight and try to defend against relentless waves of enemy elites.

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Back to the excellent graphics again. The screen is zoomed in here as a van arrives to deposit you at the start of Mission 3. Note the dents and rust stains on the side of the van. Such subtle environmental imperfections can be observed in many parts of the game world and help to build a nice sense of realism throughout.

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In this sequence from Mission 1 (which also appears fully in the gameplay demo below) you can see an impressive transition as the character gets dropped off by chopper outside the building then steps inside. This type of layered graphical detail is used to great effect at some other points in the game, too, so get in there and revel in the beauty of Elevator Action Returns!

My Elevator Action Returns gameplay vid.



Note: At the time of writing, there is a very minor issue with the emulation of Elevator Action Returns. In certain instances, when you move your character forward the background skips ahead suddenly instead of scrolling. Fortunately, this only occurs rarely and makes no difference to the main gameplay. It's just slightly jarring when it happens, that's all.


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Hook : Irem, 1992

Post by Hierophant » November 3rd, 2015, 5:40 am

Hook

Irem, 1992, Fighter / 2.5D


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Hook is a really fun beat 'em up romp through the timeless fantasy world of Neverland. Join Peter Pan and the Lost Boys as they pummel Captain Hook and his minions into oblivion "...for the kids' revenge"!

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Hey, man, I didn't know Neverland was in Tasmania.

Hook's gameplay is generally of the fairly standard beat 'em up style, so it's nice and easy to get into. For example, you have the usual jump+attack panic move which drains some life if it hits.

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Artificially intelligently attack me from all sides, will you?
Taste my awesome simultaneous button pressing!


Laying the boot into prone mooks is always appreciated in this type of game, as is the ability to line them up for damage from various incidental environmental objects.

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Lying down on the job eh, matey?
Allow me to assist.


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Anchor's away, boys!

There are some special touches, too, like another crowd control method besides the panic move. The idea is to land a full combo with the last hit being a 360 degree goon repellent. It depends on your character, though. Some have a very effective version of the technique, whereas it doesn't seem to apply to others that well, if at all.

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Spin to win!

Some of these scurvy dogs have the amusing ability to inadvertently aid you with berserk attacks that damage any cohorts who are unfortunate enough to get in the way.

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What shall we do with a drunken sailor?
Stand back and let him dish out alcohol-fueled rage on his fellow cutthroats.


Being an Irem game, you can be guaranteed of high quality arcade graphics and sound. They did a truly wonderful job of capturing the charm and whimsy of Neverland!

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What the hell is going here?!?
I get the feeling this guy is some kind of demented chicken abuser.


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Justice League of Chicken Avengers!

While movie licences are often the scourge of video games, Hook is a very solid title and a thumping good time which is definitely recommended for the young and the young-at-heart.

My Hook gameplay vid.




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Tecmo World Cup '90 : Tecmo, 1989

Post by eliaskeme » October 8th, 2018, 6:36 am

Tecmo World Cup '90

Tecmo, 1989, Sports / Soccer


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Originally wanted to post it after the 2014 World Cup but hey, better late than never! 2018 World Cup was good as well! :hehe:

Info: Just like every other football (soccer for all you beloved US citizens) game your goal is...well...to score as many goals as possible in order to advance to the final round and win the World Cup. This game can also be regarded as a "2.5D updated version" of Tehkan World Cup since they are both made by Tecmo and since Tehkan World Cup is pretty limited. But anyway, let's see what this game actually is :V:

First of all, you have to select one out of the 8 available national teams. All of them (except Japan) actually made it to the 1990 World Cup:

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I always picked Argentina because I love their colors or Brazil because it was (and still is) my favorite national football team. So once you select the team you want it's game time! You get a nice action picture right before the game starts:

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Game time! Time to pass the ball around and score some goals! You can do it pretty much like you could in Tehkan World Cup but this time you can also do some long passes since now the game isn't 2D. With long passes your players can do some sick moves if they are close to the goalpost:

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Yay, let's do this! Wait WHAT?! BLOCKED?! :pissed:

Ok I MIGHT have failed that but hey, that was right in front of the goalkeeper so it doesn't count! In fact since the goalpost is unusually long you can just pass the ball around from the one side to another while the goalkeeper is distracted so you have a clear area to shoot, like this:

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Ok, this is more like it, I got this now! OH COME ON! :pissed:

OH DON'T WORRY GUYS! EVEN IF YOU JUST CAN'T SCORE ANY FLASHY GOALS YOU CAN ALWAYS TRY SOME TRADITIONAL SHOOTS TO DO SO! IT'S NOT THAT HARD YOU KNOW:

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ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!! :pissed:

OK GUYS JUST IGNORE EVERYTHING I SAID! JUST RELAX AND PLAY THE GAME IN ANY WAY YOU WANT, I'M SURE YOU WILL DO BETTER THAN I DID !!! NOW EXCUSE ME I HAVE TO GO RELAX AS WELL, I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE! :arg:

*3 hours of meditation later*
Hello again guys, I'm back! I've calmed down and now I'm ready to HOPEFULLY show you how you can actually score a goal! :thumbsup:

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YES! YES! YES! YOU DON'T LIKE THAT NOW, HUH???

Looks like I'm back on track! But I think I should try another team this time. :SM:

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YEEEEEEEEEEES!!! NOW I'M UNSTOPPABLE!!!

Now you may think that after I FINALLY managed to score some goals I will stop trying so hard to beat the other teams. BUT THIS IS WHERE YOU ARE WRONG!

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IS THAT ALL YOU GOT? COME ON, BRING ME MORE TEAMS TO DESTROY!!! :viking:

Advantages: Interesting game, nice 2.5D environment. Tecmo World Cup '90 is one of many great arcade football games out there.

Disadvantages: As the game says, the audio emulation isn't 100% correct.

Videos: My Tecmo World Cup '90 gameplay video.




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