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Protocol Penguin

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  1. Kirby Super Star (aka Kirby’s Fun Pak) is one of my favourite games on the system. It’s pure fun to play with a younger relative and/or casual gamer in two-player mode. Crystalis is showing its age, but could be an interesting diversion for fans of Studio Ghibli films.
  2. Were those of you who were playing the game circa 1992 playing on PAL consoles? Because Super Castlevania IV is horribly sluggish on PAL consoles, and doesn't show the game as it's meant to be. The game clicked for me once I first played the game on a Super Famicom, at the speed and pace the designers originally intended, and I've held it in high regard ever since.
  3. Wave Race and 1080 on the GameCube were such disappointments compared to the N64 instalments. Both really over-complicated the control systems, and were disappointingly Americanised. (Neither sequels were bad games by any stretch, just not as good as they should’ve been given their heritage.)
  4. Bit depressing to read this thread – I had assumed that the Switch’s direct successor could easily have BC, due to the Switch using mobile phone technology inside (well, an ARM processor).
  5. Lidl seem to be selling the Mega Drive Mini now (standard UK edition).
  6. Acquiring several AGA versions of games for my then-new Amiga 1200 that I already owned the OCS versions of wasn't a good move. Particularly as the AGA re-dos almost always looked visually cluttered and garish. The Chaos Engine was the only one that seemed a visual improvement, IMO, due to its subtle changes to its colour palette. I bought my (PAL) GameCube with Luigi's Mansion and Rogue Squadron because that was the bundle offered by Woolworths. Luigi's Mansion I loved, and still do, despite its brevity, but Rogue Squadron I've always thought was just little more than a tech demo with a popular branding attached. Perhaps Star Wars fans would argue differently? I bought Super Mario 64 DS on (UK) Nintendo DS launch day, because it seemed the least-worst launch game. Or the one that would last the longest to completion, unlike Wario Ware. I know Super Mario 64 DS wasn't critically mauled or anything back in 2004/5, but in retrospect it was pretty awful, and genuinely one the worst things Nintendo has released under the banner of the Mario series in the last two decades. How Nintendo released something that controlled so poorly, I have no idea... (As an inversion of this trope, I bought Tetris DX with my Game Boy Color to justify getting the new Game Boy at launch, to the derision of my parents, who couldn't believe that I'd paid to buy a mere variation of something that I already had. You know what? It was one of the best purchases I made for the GBC, and competed very strongly with my imported copy of Pokémon Blue for dominance of the cartridge slot.)
  7. Turrican and Turrican 2 deserve to be bracketed alongside Shadow of the Beast as Amiga games which have iconic sound and visuals, but utterly lousy gameplay and level design. All style and poor substance, the lot of them.
  8. Xenon 2? It’s the game where one can accuse the Bitmaps of being a style-over-substance outfit. The game design is dire for a vertical shooter: compare it to something of the same vintage like Tatsujin on the Mega Drive, and Xenon 2’s shortcomings are very apparent. It does look and sound superb for a game from 1989, but the playability’s not there. Anyway, Cadaver is a game I’ve never played, but it looks intriguing from YouTube footage! Shame we never saw more examples of the isometric adventure genre being updated for the 16-bit computers.
  9. I’m surprised that Shinobi 3 is not far more well-regarded than Revenge of Shinobi, because it’s aged considerably better, and doesn’t feel as clunky and unforgiving to play. Guess Shinobi 3’s legacy is marred by it not being a Big Impressive Launch Window Title that everyone skews to own and play.
  10. Super Mario World is still and always has been an inherently superior game to its main competitor on the Mega Drive, the Sonic the Hedgehog series. Despite its simple graphics, and modest selection of block types, every level of SMW feels genuinely unique and finely-crafted. Contrast that with the chaos and confusion of Sonic series, with its poorly-designed identikit levels and often loud, disorientating graphics. SMW also rewards mastery of its game world with access to its secrets (the Star Road and the special courses), while the Sonic series makes you play sub-games unrelated to the main gameplay in order to be completist. SMW is just better all round as a piece of art and entertainment. Yep, full agreement here. It’s vibrant but not too garish, each ‘world’ at least tries to do something unique, the bonus stages at least connects to the core gameplay somehow, and it always entertains more than it ever frustrates.
  11. So, I’m following up Evangelion by watching The Secret of Blue Water(!). Are the infamous Island Episodes really that bad, and if they are, how far do I skip ahead?
  12. TBH, think when J. Whittaker decides to end her run, the Beeb should give the series a well-deserved rest for several years before coming back with a soft reboot/reinvention of DW. The formula is still stuck in 2005, and what made DW feel revitalised and modern back then, certainly doesn’t now.
  13. I still think that a fourth Kelvin timeline film will never happen. Or if it does emerge, it'll be retooled into something else.
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