Retro Game Friday: Syphon Filter

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a cult classic. It’s Syphon Filter!

Plot Synopsis: In the year 1999, Gabriel Logan and his partner Lian Xing investigate a series of biological outbreaks triggered by international terrorist Erich Rhoemer. When fellow agent Ellis loses contact during a mission in Costa Rica, the top-secret Agency dispatches Gabe and Lian to find him. They discover Ellis is dead, and Rhoemer’s suspected drug operation is a cover for the viral operation. Another outbreak in Nepal leads to more questions when an infected person who should have died somehow survived…

Plot: The plot is pretty great, honestly I didn’t remember much of the plot before writing this article though given how long it’s been since I played this game. If it weren’t for some recent rumors of a new entry in the series or remake I might never have remembered this game.

Characters: Gabe is a pretty decent main character, but he wasn’t as memorable as Snake from Metal Gear Solid which was a game that really overshadowed this game. The rest of the cast also suffers from that problem.

Gameplay: The gameplay however was pretty good, if you could get over the frame rate loss that occurred occasionally. It featured stealth and combat sections, much like Metal Gear Solid. However the AI was probably the best part of this game, it was very good for it’s time and allowed for much more replay value.

Art: The art has aged poorly, additionally while the textures of the game were good, the actual animation suffered from some frame rate issues.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: This is a game that probably deserves a remake, given how much of a cult following the game has. If that occurs I’d say wait for that, since the art has aged poorly.

For those who like: Stealth Games, Great AI (for the time), Interesting Gameplay.

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

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Retro Game Friday: Soul Reaver

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a real classic game. It’s Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver!

Plot Synopsis: Raziel approaches Kain’s throne and extends newly grown wings. In an act of seeming jealousy, Kain tears the bones from Raziel’s wings and has him thrown into the Lake of the Dead, a large natural whirlpool; however, Raziel is resurrected as a wraith by The Elder God to become his “soul reaver” and kill Kain, thus restoring Nosgoth.

Plot: The plot is pretty good, although due to legal issues between developer and publisher there were some parts missing from the game that were added to later games.

Gameplay: A hack and slash this game is pretty damn fun. In addition gliding with Raziel’s wings was tons of fun. Honestly the game mostly revolves around switching back and forth between material and spectral planes to either attack enemies or complete puzzles.

Characters: The characters were okay, with Raziel being on a quest for vengeance the cast is fairly jaded which was odd for me at the time. Granted I was a kid, but it was a marked difference from games like Zelda or Donkey Kong.

Art: The art has aged poorly, however there are rumors that this will be getting a remake or remaster.

Music: I don’t remember much of it, mostly I remember my cousin laughing as I took down enemies.

Overall: This is a great game, often thought to be the best in the series. Hopefully a remaster will be coming soon.

For those who like: Action, Hack and Slashs, Intriguing Gameplay, Good Plot.

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

Retro Game Friday: F-Zero GX

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with the last entry in a series that is long overdue for another game. It’s F-Zero GX!

Plot: This had a story mode, but I honestly don’t remember it at all, which isn’t a good sign.

Gameplay: The gameplay of GX is okay, but it honestly felt more like Wipeout than F-Zero did with it’s past entry F-Zero X, which is a pity as that game was all about tight curves and high speed. This game felt more linear, and the times it wasn’t were awkward or downright frustrating for anyone with less than stellar reflexes. That said it was still a fun game, but if you didn’t have those reflexes playing this game is more an exercise in frustration than anything else.

Art: The art is okay, but it’s aged poorly, not as bad as an N64 game, but still poorly.

Music: I don’t remember a whit of it, sorry.

Overall: An okay sequel, but not a perfect sequel.

Retro Game Friday: Advance Wars 2

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with the sequel to one of my favorite GBA games. It’s Advance Wars 2!

Plot Synopsis: While the Allied Nations were still recovering from the war in Cosmo Land, the Black Hole Army had already recovered and has decided to launch a large-scale invasion on Macro Land. Along with the original Black Hole army’s commanding officers (COs), four new COs were recruited, under the command of Sturm…

Plot: The plot is fairly simplistic, but not terrible either. It’s nothing spectacular, but that was never the point of the game, at least to me.

Gameplay: The gameplay is excellent, and while it only adds one new unit, the Neotank, it honestly didn’t need more units. My favorite tactic of using a tank to block a pass and artillery behind it to deal damage is still an excellent strategy and so I enjoyed the gameplay quite a bit. It’s simple to use, but difficult to master, which is always a good sign when talking about strategy games.

Art: It looks not that much differently from the first game, and honestly that’s a good thing. The art has aged really well, but that’s how it is with pixel art.

Music: I don’t remember it at all, sorry.

Overall: A solid sequel, and a ton of fun to play.

For those who like: Turn-Based Strategy, Strategy, War Games, Excellent Gameplay, Great Artwork.

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

Retro Game Friday: F-Zero X

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that is often overlooked. It’s F-Zero X!

Plot Synopsis: This didn’t have a plot.

Gameplay: This is a high speed racing game ala Wipeout, but with a hell of a lot less forgiveness. You could and were able to destroy your competitors on the race track by bashing them off it to their doom, and that was actually a whole game mode in and of itself. Honestly I had a lot of fun with it, as I’ve always been a bit of a speed freak, it being my go to mode of combat, or in this case racing, in pretty much any game.

Art: The art has aged really poorly, but that’s to be expected with a Nintendo 64 game.

Music: I don’t remember much of it, but it was intense that much I do remember.

Overall: A great game and loads of fun, if you had the reflexes to play it at least.

For those who like: High Speed Games, Racing, Unforgiving Gameplay.

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

Retro Game Friday: Bastion

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a real classic. It’s Bastion!

Plot Synopsis: In the immediate aftermath of the Calamity, a catastrophic event that suddenly fractured the city of Caelondia as well as the surrounding areas into many floating pieces, disrupting its ecology and reducing most of its people to ash. The Kid awakens on one of the few remaining pieces of the old world and sets off for the eponymous Bastion, where everyone was supposed to go in troubled times…

Plot: The plot is pretty great, not super intense or deep, but good nonetheless. Along with the fact that the constant narration is pretty freaking hilarious at times.

Characters: The cast is rather small, but it’s not bad. Though I have to admit I like Rucks the most, if only because of his voice.

Gameplay: The gameplay plays a lot like a Diablo game, with the player defeating enemies from an isometric view. That being said it also is a bit like classic 2D Zelda games in that you can only choose to use two weapons at a time, although unlike Zelda you can’t choose to switch your two weapons except at specific areas. All the while you hear the narrator speak about what you do in the game, which is pretty funny sometimes.

Music: The music was awesome, and that’s really all I’ll say about it. I enjoyed the hell out of it and the voicework, especially the narrator.

Art: Being somewhat 2D and cel-shaded the artwork has aged rather well, which is always a plus for me.

Overall: If you’ve never played Bastion, you ought to go do so as soon as possible.

For those who like: Action, Adventure, Drama, Awesome Narration, Good Plot, Fantastic Gameplay, Great Cast of Characters, Excellent Artwork, Spectacular Musical Score.

Not for those who don’t like: All of the above, but how can you hate all that?

Retro Game Friday: Hey You Pikachu

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game most people don’t know exists. It’s Hey You Pikachu!

Plot Synopsis: There really isn’t a plot.

Gameplay: You played the game almost exclusively with the included Voice Recognition Unit. Seeing as it’s the one of only 2 games to ever use the peripheral, you can imagine that this was mostly a gimmick game. Honestly there’s really not that much going for this game, as it’s pretty much just like a more kid friendly Seaman game.

Art: Having been made for the Nintendo 64, the art has aged poorly as you might expect.

Music: I don’t remember it, sorry.

Overall: Skip this game, it’s truly a poor excuse for a game that existed just to capitalize on the popularity of Pikachu.

For those who like: Terrible Games, Voice Controls.

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