10 Irritating Enemies From Computer Games (Part 2)

This was a continuation of the list of irritating enemies from computer games. This list contained enemies from games that I have played and were irritating to me personally. The list was not placed in any order as I found it difficult to rate each enemy differently.

5. Artilleries from Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun

It was quiet in the GDI base. The GDI, a military force setup to combat the villainy of the evil NOD organisation, was slowly building a formidable base to launch an attack from. Soldiers were being trained, machinery was being built and the commanders were developing a strategy to fight the nearby NOD forces. Suddenly, an explosion rocked the base’s construction yard, the building that enabled the construction of the base. Pandemonium reigned as explosive shells fell out of the sky, destroying buildings and vehicles and killing soldiers, despite no enemy equipment being present in the local area. By the end of the attack, only a few buildings remained, but nothing could be built, recruits could not be trained, vehicles could not be constructed, no power was being generated, the vast army was reduced to a pile of dead bodies and ruined machines and the commander felt a sharp sense of unexpected failure. The lone attacker, an artillery, lowered it’s gun and returns to it’s headquarters from it’s attacking position, which was located far away from the ruins of the GDI base.

There was something especially annoying about this enemy, particularly as it was able to destroy bases and units and undo the player’s hard work very easily, while maintaining a safe distance. Two or more artilleries positioned together were extremely deadly as it only needed a few shells to destroy a building and they harmed it at a faster rate than it was repaired, meaning the targeted building was usually destroyed. The artilleries also had an accuracy rate of 100%, even against moving targets, which made them difficult to attack. When the artillery fired, it became visible among the darkness of the unexplored land, as if to invite the player to fight it, however, anyone the player sent would have had to avoid the barrage of shells from the vehicle and fight any enemies that were inevitably guarding it.

In summary, artilleries were enemies that could, without any prior expectation, cause the destruction of entire bases and annihilation of large armies without the player being able to prevent it.

A similarly irritating enemy were the V2 Rocket Launchers from Command & Conquer: Red Alert as these were also able to easily destroy structures and units from a long-range, but I decided to add the Artilleries to the list instead as these units had a greater range and direction of fire.

4. Spirits from Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation

During the Tomb Raider: The Last Revelation game, Lara Croft, the hero, released some spirits into the world. These spirits flew through the air to follow Lara and, if they came into contact with her, they caused her to lose a little of her health. They were also almost invincible, with the only way to defeat them was to for them to fly into one of the mysterious stone statues that were placed in the levels.

Continue reading

10 Irritating Enemies From Computer Games (Part 1)

This post listed 10 irritating enemies found in computer games. The entrants were the enemies that did not have an unique name, but formed part of the army that attacked the hero and prevented them from accomplishing their quest. These characters stood out from the other enemies because of their ability to irritate the player through the use of annoying tactics, overly-powerful weapons and cheating.

The list was also based on my personal experience, so I have only included characters from games that I have played and enemies that I, personally, found irritating. The entrants on the list were not placed in any particular order as I found it difficult to 

10. The Berserker Uruk-Hai from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers game was based on the film with the same name. At some point during the game, the player had to fight Uruk-Hai warriors and their introduction reflected the same time that these creatures were created during the film’s story. It also marked the point in the game that the player started to fight battles against the Berserker Uruk-Hai.

The Berserker Uruk-Hai were armed with a strange sword, that they would use by swinging it in a large circle above their head, and wore only a pair of trousers and a helmet. If the player was hit by the Uruk-Hai’s sword, their character would always fall to the ground and become very vulnerable to attack. The Uruk-Hai would then utilise an extremely irritating tactic, whereby they would knock the player to the ground, step back to dodge the player’s rising attack as their character got to their feet, time their next swing as the player completed the rising attack so the player could not dodge it, knock the player to the ground again and then repeat until the player’s character had died. Weirdly, if the player struck the Berserker Uruk-Hai, sometimes it would make a clang sound, as if the weapon had hit armour instead of bare flesh, and the Uruk-Hai remained unharmed.

The Berserker Uruk-Hai’s tactic made them a difficult foe to fight and the clanging when the player struck their body made it seem like a legitimate blow had been ignored, making this enemy both challenging and annoying.

9. The Members of the Leone Mafia from Grand Theft Auto 3

A variety of gangs claimed areas of Liberty City, the setting for Grand Theft Auto 3, as their territory and fiercely attacked any enemies that ventured inside. During the course of the story, the player assassinated Salvatore Leone, the leader of the Leone Mafia, and became an enemy of the gang. Continue reading

Initial Impressions of the NES Classic Games

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was a popular computer game console and some of it’s games became famous, while others started well-known computer game series. I, however, have never played any of the games released on the original NES, but I have played the games available on the NES Classic Mini, which was a device that allowed players to play 30 games that were developed for the actual NES. As someone who was unfamiliar with the original games available on the NES, I thought it would be interesting to find out how I felt playing the first few minutes of these famous games.

To clarify, the reviews of the games listed in this blog post were not based on the entirety of the game. The opinions discussed were based on playing the beginning of the games. I did not play each of the games for the same amount of time, some of the reviews were based on the first hour of playing the game, but some reviews were based on my impressions of playing the first few minutes of the game.

Balloon Fight

This was an arcade-like game where the player progressed through a series of levels and obtained points to achieve a high score. The player completed levels and collected points by defeating enemies. Enemies were defeated by the player flying into the balloons that allowed them to float in the air, which caused them to fall into water or onto ground, where the player had to hit them again to stop them flying. The player had to avoid hitting the body of the enemies, with the player losing a balloon each time contact was made.

The game felt difficult to control, as the player tapped one button to rise up and stop pressing the button to fall, which made the player feel as if they were floating across the sky. It also felt unusual that the player could fly into one side of the screen and reappear at the other side and that touching the ground was harmless, but falling into water was fatal. The game also used an attractive contrasting colour scheme, which consisted of bright colours against a black background filled with stars. The game, however, did not use music, instead a series of high-pitched noises were played during the game.

There was also an alternative mode of the game, called Balloon Run. This mode involved the player flying across the screen and avoiding obstacles.

Bubble Bobble

This was an arcade-like game where the player progressed through a series of levels and obtained points to achieve a high score. The player completed levels and gathered points by defeating enemies and collecting items. Enemies were defeated by the player launching bubbles at them, which either defeated them immediately or caused them to be encased in a floating bubble, which the player had to burst. Continue reading

10 Irritating Characters From Computer Games (Part 2)

This post was a continuation of a list of the most annoying characters to appear in computer games. This list consisted of named characters, types of enemies were not included, and the list was personal to myself, so it only included games I had played and characters that I found irritating.

5. Tingle from The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

Link rescues this strange man dressed in green, who plays an integral part of the story by translating the maps Link finds that lead to the pieces of Triforce. Tingle is useful, necessary and an extortionist. Each time Link finds a map, he has to return to Tingle’s Tower (a large wooden structure standing on an island in the middle of the sea, with Tingle’s face on the top), pay a large sum of money to him and then use the translated map to find the location of the piece of the Triforce.

It was surprising to learn that, in his quest to save the Great Sea, Link had to pay substantial sums of money to someone who prioritised profits over preventing extinction. It was also irritating that the player sometimes had to find money to pay Tingle, as it added a delay between the enjoyable parts of completing a challenge to find the treasure map and exploring the Great Sea to locate the artefact. Just to emphasise this character low morals, he appears to have enslaved two characters that resemble him, with one dressed in bright white and the other dressed in bright pink, with the sole purpose of rotating the top of his island.

Incidentally, is Tingle supposed to represent something? When he first appeared in the Majora’s Mask game, he was shown to be a grown man obsessed with finding fairies. He had no special powers (other than being able to create balloons using magic, which allowed him to float above the ground) and was always dressed in green tights. He also performed a short dance once he saw Tatl the fairy. The player could also meet Tingle’s father, who seemed a little upset that his son wanted to search for fairies, and could blackmail this character with a picture of Tingle dressed in his strange outfit. Weirdly, Tingle never appeared in Clock Town at night. Is this supposed to hint that Tingle is supposed to be an allegory for something?

4. Slippy Toad from Lylat Wars

In Lylat Wars, a team of fighter pilots embarks on a series of combat missions on planets and in areas of space to reach the enemy’s home base for a final battle with the villain. This group is made up of the brave leader Fox McCloud, the cocky Falco Lombardi, the seasoned veteran Peppy Hare and the annoying Slippy Toad. Continue reading

Ten Irritating Characters From Computer Games (Part 1)

This post was a list of the most irritating characters I have found in computer games. The entrants this list included cowardly protagonist, sarcastic superiors, annoying allies, impossible task setters and a supercharged hero. This list was personal to me, so I have only included characters from computer games I have played and ones whose characteristics were irritating to me. I have also only included named characters in the list and not enemy types.

10. Issun from Okami

Okami is an adventure game featuring the heroic deity Amaratsu, who is joined by a travelling artist called Issun. Issun, who is microscopic in size, provides much of the dialogue as he talks to the other characters in the game and makes comments to Amaratsu, while the main hero maintains her silence throughout the game.

Unfortunately, I have to question the reasoning for Nintendo to include such a character in the game. While much of the game seems to be suitable for all ages, some of Issun’s lines do seem inappropriate for young children to read. For example, whenever the player meets a young woman in the game, Issun will suddenly start remarking on her beauty. When he is not being sleazy, his speech seems to use a lot of slang, which makes him seem like a teenager from a children’s film.

9. General Rieken from Rogue Squadron

In Rogue Squadron, the player controls a spacecraft and has to fight battles and complete missions to liberate planets from the tyrannical rule of the Empire. Sometimes, however, the heroes fail because the Empire has destroyed too many civilian structures or killed too many innocent civilians. When this happens, the player hears the gruff voice of General Rieken telling them to “Return to Base, Commander, and we will discuss your tactics in private”. Continue reading

A Review of Sonic Drift 2 (Game Gear)

1995

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——————–But please comment on whether or not you think it is a spoiler——————–

The Story

Four competitors enter a racing tournament. They compete in six races. The competitor who was the most consistently fastest racer achieves the first position, with the other opponents being awarded the runner-up positions based on their success. The winner stands at the top of a podium, clutching the trophy, while the second and third place racers glare at them.

This is what people mean when they say the nineties were a simpler time.

The Review

This review was based on the version of the game released as an extra feature as part of the Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut game and not the game originally released on the Game Gear.

The story for the game was actually non-existent. The stories for similar racing games were usually very simple, competitors enter a race and a short animated sequence explains how winning the race concludes the story for the character controlled by the player. In this game, however, there were no animated sequences, so there was actually no story, other than a group of racers competing.

The gameplay for the game was fairly simple. There were six characters available to play (Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, Amy, Eggman, M. Sonic and Fang). The player had to drive along a race track to reach the end, using the brakes and acceleration to negotiate the course at the optimum speed. The player also needed to avoid obstacles that can decelerate the character or cause them to start spinning, which would delay their progress. An unique aspect of the game was the use of a drift ability. Pressing a button caused the controlled character to “drift”, which allowed them to turn around corners quicker, but, if the drift ability was used excessively, it could cause the character to start spinning. Continue reading

A Review of Sonic Drift (Game Gear)

1994

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————————-But if you cannot guess the spoiler, seek medical help urgently———-

The Story

In the middle of a field, Sonic stands by a large, red car at the side of a tarmac race track. He watches as Eggman, Tails and Amy drive past him on the road. He looks round and then jumps into his vehicle, he faces the camera and makes a thumbs-up sign with his left hand, signalling his readiness to start racing.

Sonic, Tails, Amy and Eggman all entered a driving competition. They competed in a series of four races, with each competitor accumulating points based on performance. At the end of the races, three flags were raised on flag poles showing which driver was the winner, the runner-up and third place.

The Review

This review was based on the version of the game released as an extra feature as part of the Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut game and not the game originally released on the Game Gear.

The story for the game was non-existent and had little impact on the game. The story was, like many racing games, based on the characters competing in a series of races and a winner being decided. The story ends with a short animated sequence showing flags raised on flag poles, which displayed the characters who reached the first, second and third positions. There were also short animated sequences to show how the winner’s story ended, based on which character the player was controlling. The story was very light, but this was expected for this genre of game as the focus was on the player racing against other opponents and reaching the first position, rather than an adventure to defeat an enemy and undo evil actions. Continue reading

Sonic The Hedgehog 2 (Game Gear) (Part 1)

1992

————————————–There should spoilers here, but there aren’t——————————–

The Story

One evening, Tails was running at a fast speed. As he ran past tall palm trees and across a field of light green grass, Dr. Robotnik (flying a small, mechanical machine) slowly gained on him, closely followed by Sonic the Hedgehog. As he reached Tails, a yellow pincer at the bottom of Dr. Robotnik’s aircraft started to open and shut quickly, like a mouth eagerly awaiting a meal. Dr. Robotnik accelerated and flew downwards towards Tails and used the pincer to grab the tips of the fox’s twin tails, before lifting him into the air. Sonic, who had been running below the machine, was able to reach his friend while Tails was hoisted in the air, but he could only watch and look round hopefully as the fox was suspended in front of him. Dr. Robotnik suddenly flew upwards, leaving Sonic to continue the pursuit on the ground.

Sonic passed through the Under Ground Zone and defeated a large robot. He entered the Sky High Zone. On a cliff edge, situated high among the clouds, Sonic grabbed a hanglider and positioned himself inside. He leapt off the cliff edge in a desperate attempt to continue his mission, before realising that he did not know how to use the equipment and falling though the sky to his death.

The Review

This review was based on the version of the game released as an extra feature on the Sonic Adventure DX: Director’s Cut game and not the original game released on the Game Gear. Much of the game would be the same, but the review avoided parts of the game associated specifically with playing it on the Game Gear, such as using the controls. This review was only able to cover the part of the game that I was actually able to complete and was less of a review of a game and more of an appreciation of it’s difficulty.

The story for the game seemed to resemble the story from other Sonic games. I could not comment on the entire story as I was only able to play through the beginning, but it did seem to consist of Sonic travelling through a series of locations to reach a final battle with Dr. Robotnik, leading to a conclusion of the story. One difference in this game was that Sonic’s motivation was much clearer. Unlike the other games, where Sonic wants to defeat Dr. Robotnik for a mysterious reason, in this game, the player was shown Tails being kidnapped and Sonic’s unsuccessful attempts to free him. This slightly developed and improved the story. Continue reading

10 Weirdly Terrifying Moments in Computer Games (Part 2)

This year, to celebrate Halloween, I have decided to write this post to list some strangely frightening moments in computer games. The list included only moments that were scary in a strange way, such as horror-themed levels in family friendly games, elements of games that seemed more frightening than intended and weird glitches that created a terrifying image. I did not include purposely scary moments, such as horror games.

This list only included moments I, personally, found frightening, so the games mentioned will be ones I have played and the sense of fear will be personal to me. If there are any moments that you have found scary and fit the description for a weirdly terrifying moment, please comment below.

5. The Frantic Factory Boss from Donkey Kong 64

The Kongs explored the anarchic Frantic Factory, fed Scoff the required amount of bananas and opened the portal that would take one of them to the boss. The portal invites Tiny Kong to enter.

The portal leads to a dark, metal room, containing a slightly raised platform, with a large number of blue and white squares on top. One of the squares becomes illuminated by a bright light and Tiny walks over to it. After touching the flashing square, all the squares suddenly rise up to form a collection of towers. A jolt signals that the platforms have reached their full height and Tiny looks around in shock, the bright light below her illuminating her frightened face. Sirens flash and wail next to the exit of a chute, labelled REJECT, while loud banging and rumbling can be heard from within.

A small, brightly coloured box falls from the chute and lands on one of the platforms. It jumps from platform to platform, leaving a shower of sparks in it’s wake. Suddenly, a creature, consisting of a green duck’s head and hands connected by springs, is ejected from the box to scare Tiny, before disappearing back into it’s container.

Donkey Kong 64 was a very colourful and child-friendly game, where even giant spiders had a cartoonlike, innocent look. The Frantic Factory boss, however, had a more disturbing design. He seemed very neglected, with a grim colour, injured eye and rusted springs, which made him look even more disturbing. The fact that he came from the REJECT chute also possibly suggests he underwent some psychological trauma due to this rejection. I also remember this boss was irritating to fight against, mainly because it was very easy for him to knock Tiny off the platforms and into the chasm.

4. Dancing Re-Deads from Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask

In Ikana Valley, Link finds the entrance into Ikana Castle. Opening a large door, Link enters a room to find four Re-Deads waiting. Forgetting that he is still wearing the Gibdo Mask, a mask resembling the bandaged face of a Gibdo, he runs forwards, expecting his enemies to attack. Instead of fighting, the Re-Deads (with skin the colour of dry mud, long limbs like rubber, visible ribs and dead eyes) inexplicably start dancing. Continue reading

Ten Weirdly Terrifying Moments in Computer Games (Part 1)

This year, to celebrate Halloween, I have decided to write this post to list some strangely frightening moments in computer games. The list only included moments that were scary in a strange way, such as horror-themed levels in family friendly games, elements of games that seemed more frightening than intended and weird glitches that created a terrifying image. I did not include purposely scary moments, such as horror games.

This list only included moments I, personally, found frightening, so the games mentioned will be ones I have played and the sense of fear will be personal to me. If there are any moments that you have found scary and fit the description for a weirdly terrifying moment, please comment below.

————————————————–Spoiler Alert——————————————————————

10. Egyptian from Goldeneye

James Bond walks through the Egyptian ruins, holding the golden gun in his hand, ready to fire at his enemy. He enters a long room with columns lining the edge. Walking through the room, he suddenly hears a menacing laugh and sees Baron Samedi (dressed in a ragged jacket and trousers) firing his guns at him. Bond fires a single shot, which instantly kills his attacker. Bond continues to explore the ancient structure, before hearing the same loud laugh as he enters another room. Baron Samedi attacks Bond with submachine gun fire until Bond fires another golden shot that sends Samedi falling to the floor.

Suddenly, the sky darkens, causing shadows to engulf the area and forcing Bond to walk through pitch black ruins to find his enemy. After following a secret passage, Bond reaches a dark room. He hears the terrifying laugh again and sees a barrage of laser projectiles fired at him. Bond shoots and kills Samedi a third time. Bond calmly walks along a corridor in the ruins, feeling confident that his attacker was now dead, but Baron Samedi suddenly appears again, silently running towards Bond from behind with bare feet. He stops and laughs the menacing laugh, as if victorious in battle.

Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64 was a very popular game and the Egyptian level was well-known for being a difficult secret level to unlock (as the player needed to complete the entire game on the hardest difficulty). While the rest of the game consisted of the player fighting enemies in levels mostly based on the Goldeneye film, the Egyptian level felt more similar to a horror film than an action game. Baron Samedi being able to return to life following death, the sound of Samedi’s terrifying laugh and the environment darkening towards the end of the level all contribute to the frightening atmosphere, with Baron Samedi continuing to menace Bond after the end of the level adding to the horror theme.

9. Lara Croft’s Haunting Scream from Tomb Raider The Angel of Darkness

Lara Croft sees her goal on a platform across a gap. She lines up her body to face her destination, runs towards the edge of the precipice and makes a powerful jump. Flying through the air, she realises she has misdirected her jump and falls into the abyss. She lets out a high-pitch scream as she falls though the air and then lands in a heap, a sickening crunch signalling her death. As the screen fades to black and the player re-loads their game, the terrified scream is suddenly repeated by the game. When the scream ends, the unsettling noise is repeated continuously until the player can reload the game and resurrect Lara. Continue reading