Retro Game Friday: Rainbow Six

This week I’m back with an oldie for Retro Game Friday. It’s Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six!

Plot: The plot is okay, but pretty standard Clancy fare. If you’ve read any of his other books you’ll get the basic picture, US government agents and/or spec ops agent(s) go against foreign antagonists to save the day. Pretty cut and dry.

Gameplay: This is a tactical shooter, which means that you are given limited assets and you can’t go in guns blazing to win. You have to use your head in order to make it through each level and plan ahead if you want to win. Most levels are actually really short in terms of actual gameplay, but the planning of each mission takes much more time and if you do it poorly you’ll most likely fail. This did a fairly decent job at pulling off this concept and set the stage for many future games in the Rainbox Six series.

Art: The art is pretty terrible now, but back then it was fairly awesome. Still it’s nothing great looking at it now.

Music: I don’t remember much of the music, but I remember it feeling appropriate it for the game.

Overall: A fairly decent game, but later entries do a better job and look better as well.

For those who like: Tactical Shooters, Planning, Forethought, Tom Clancy.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Movie Monday: The Hunt for Red October

This week for Movie Monday I’m back with another true classic. It’s The Hunt for Red October!

Plot: This a military thriller in the truest sense of the words, and the plot is pretty amazingly done. It’s got pretty much everything you could want from political intrigue to heart-pounding action sequences. I can’t say much more without spoiling it, but I will say that this has the Jack Ryan character from many of Clancy’s other novels and movies featured prominently in this one as well.

Casting: Sean Connery is cast as the Russian lead, Marko Ramius who pilots the titular Red October and Alec Baldwin who portrays Jack Ryan. The rest of the cast is just as well done, but these two really took the spotlight and they did a great job of it. Ironically Connery was not the first pick for Ramius.

Cinematography: It’s very well done, and considering how impractical filming on a real sub is they did a great job portraying it. The effects weren’t super amazing, but they weren’t terrible either.

Music: The music was pretty great, which is pretty obvious once you consider it won an Academy Award for Sound Editing. While it’s mostly done in English, the switch between Russian and English at the beginning was pretty well done.

Overall: A fun movie that you probably ought to watch if you haven’t seen it before.

For those who like: Military Fiction, Thrillers, Drama, Action, Sean Connery and/or Alec Baldwin.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Splinter Cell

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that really took the Stealth genre and made it popular. It’s Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell!

Plot Synopsis: In April 2004, the President of Georgia is assassinated, allowing Georgian billionaire Kombayn Nikoladze to seize power with a bloodless coup d’état. In August 2004, former U.S. Navy SEAL officer and Gulf War veteran Sam Fisher is recruited by the National Security Agency to work within its newly formed division, “Third Echelon.” Working with his old friend Irving Lambert, Fisher is introduced to technical expert Anna “Grim” Grimsdóttír, and field runner Vernon Wilkes Jr. In October 2004, Fisher is dispatched to Tbilisi, Georgia to investigate the disappearance of two CIA officers.

Plot: The plot is pretty standard Military Thriller which should come as no surprise as this is part of the Tom Clancy franchise.

Gameplay: This game took the stealth genre and made it mainstream paving the way for future games like Assassin’s Creed. The main draw of the gameplay was the use of the light and shadows. You were encouraged to take your time and carefully move from shadow to shadow to get around. You couldn’t really go in with guns blazing and just shoot your way through the game. You had limited ammo, and even than your armaments were usually more non-lethal than anything else.

Artwork: Sadly the art has aged incredibly poorly, but at the time they were pretty damn good.

Music: I don’t remember any of the music sadly.

Overall: A fun game, but with a very aged art and gameplay compared to modern day games, it’s probably best left in the bargain bin.

For those who like: Military-Thrillers, Tom Clancy, Stealth.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: MechWarrior

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a real oldie. It’s MechWarrior, the original 1989 game!

Plot Synopsis: The story follows a mechwarrior by the name of Gideon Braver Vandenburg. His family has been murdered and the chalice that proves he is heir to the throne of his planet, Ander’s Moon, has been stolen. Without the chalice he is exiled. Gideon must develop a force of mechwarriors and battlemechs, find those who committed the acts against his family, and take his revenge within five years or all is lost…

Plot: The plot is okay, but not super amazing either. That being said that wasn’t really the point of the game.

Gameplay: Honestly it played a bit like Battlezone, just a bit more complicated with various classes of mechs ranging from quick types to hard hitting types with tons of weaponry . There was also a sim portion to it that revolved around purchasing and repairing your Mechs as well as negotiating contracts with various factions. It was pretty fun, but it was heavily limited by the hardware.

Art: It’s aged really poorly, but that’s to be expected from a game made in 1989.

Music: I don’t remember any of it, if it even had music.

Overall: A fun game, but later entries in the series would probably be more appealing to more modern gamers.

For those who like: Sci-Fi, Military Games, Mecha, Action, Drama.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

Retro Game Friday: Crysis

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that was the benchmark for graphics in gaming for a while. It’s Crysis!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins on August 7, 2020 when North Korean forces led by General Ri-Chan Kyong take control of the Lingshan Islands. A team of American civilian archaeologists, led by Dr. Rosenthal, send out a distress call indicating that they have discovered something that could change the world. A week later, Raptor Team is dispatched to the islands, with the core mission of evacuating them and securing any valuable information that they have. The team consists of Nomad, Psycho, Aztec, Jester and team leader Prophet (all under code names); they are outfitted with Nanosuits, which help protect them from gunfire and explosions, as well as giving them superhuman strength and abilities. As they perform a high-altitude jump onto one of the islands, an unknown flying entity disrupts the jump by smashing into Nomad, and the team is separated.

Plot: The plot is okay, but it’s not super amazing either. That being said it wasn’t terrible either. It just was, and while Mediocre isn’t quite the right word I want to use, it’s the best I can come up with at the moment with a splitting headache.

Gameplay: This plays like a lot like other FPS, the big “gimmick” for Crysis though was the ability to switch between various power armor modes. There was Speed, Armor, Strength and Cloak. Frankly I preferred Speed as I enjoyed getting reloading faster, but that might just be my personal preference for speed archetypes in almost every game.

Graphics: This game’s max settings were incredibly expensive to be usable at the time of release because of how much strain they caused. You might remember hearing the question “Can it run Crysis?” as a way of determining how much of a powerhouse your PC was. So yes, the game looked pretty damn amazing. That being said it still aged not particularly well, but a hell of a lot better than Halo CE did, although that is a game from the previous generation of gaming.

Music: Honestly don’t remember it, and frankly I might not have ever listened to it as I was using a roommates computer to play it during college.

Overall: A good game, but mostly famous for being a graphical nightmare for PCs if you didn’t have a powerful enough computer.

For those who like: FPS Games, Sci-Fi, Military Fiction, Drama, Action, Awesome Artwork (especially in the day).

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.