Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

User avatar
hydr0x
Posts: 2164
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:31 pm
Location: Germany

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by hydr0x » Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:44 am

There are countless animal platformers, here's another one:

Image

Zero the Kamikaze Squirrel
Image

Bobinator
Posts: 139
Joined: Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:13 pm
Location: The US

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by Bobinator » Tue Feb 26, 2013 1:06 am

koopa42 wrote:Harsh on Robocod, I thought it was great
Sorry, I just still think Operation Starfish beat it out in every way. More levels! Secret levels! Multiple endings! (Well, two, but still.) More speed! Run across ceilings! Woo! Robocod... all right, I admit it's not an awful game. But there are a lot of levels that are just... really, really hard to look at. That, and it's something the British gaming community seems to cream their jeans over, but nobody ever seems to know why.

Rolo to the Rescue, I remember it being pretty good. Nothing amazing, but the whole gimmick with different animals having different abilites made it stand out, and damned if it wasn't an adorable game.

To get specific about why I don't like Bubsy, it works like this: One hit kills don't work for this sort of game. In a game about slow, careful, methodical platforming, maybe. But in a game where the game expects you to charge headlong into everything, you have to expect to make a few mistakes if you can't react with lightning speed. And the game doesn't ALLOW that. The second game, while they fixed that, basically killed the speed and made every level feel mostly identical.

Mr. Nutz was probably one of the most generic platformers you're likely to find, It pretty much has no personality, nor does it do anything particular special or well. The sequel, however, greatly expanded on everything, giving it a much more Sonic-like art style, a Super Mario Word-style map system, and items that give you new abilities, like being able to fly. And then it gets one port. Which gets cancelled. censored you, Ocean.

Aero the Acrobat 1 was... eh. It's not a bad game, and it's not entirely focused around 'GO FAST ALL THE TIME NO MATTER WHAT' like a lot of the crappier mascot platformers. The issue is that it's just so hard, mostly because the game drops spikes everywhere like the spike factory exploded. The second game has a much more balanced difficulty level, and probably some of the best 2D graphics I've seen on the SNES. It's almost Rayman like, it's so good. Zero the Kamizake Squirrel... no comment. I got stuck somewhere on the second stage. I'll get back to you.

Brian the Lion... looks promising! I haven't really put much time into it, but it looks pretty good from the screenshots.

User avatar
RetroMartin
Posts: 1679
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 4:02 pm

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by RetroMartin » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:06 am

Bobinator wrote:
koopa42 wrote:Harsh on Robocod, I thought it was great
Sorry, I just still think Operation Starfish beat it out in every way. More levels! Secret levels! Multiple endings! (Well, two, but still.) More speed! Run across ceilings! Woo! Robocod... all right, I admit it's not an awful game. But there are a lot of levels that are just... really, really hard to look at. That, and it's something the British gaming community seems to cream their jeans over, but nobody ever seems to know why.

Rolo to the Rescue, I remember it being pretty good. Nothing amazing, but the whole gimmick with different animals having different abilites made it stand out, and damned if it wasn't an adorable game.

To get specific about why I don't like Bubsy, it works like this: One hit kills don't work for this sort of game. In a game about slow, careful, methodical platforming, maybe. But in a game where the game expects you to charge headlong into everything, you have to expect to make a few mistakes if you can't react with lightning speed. And the game doesn't ALLOW that. The second game, while they fixed that, basically killed the speed and made every level feel mostly identical.

Mr. Nutz was probably one of the most generic platformers you're likely to find, It pretty much has no personality, nor does it do anything particular special or well. The sequel, however, greatly expanded on everything, giving it a much more Sonic-like art style, a Super Mario Word-style map system, and items that give you new abilities, like being able to fly. And then it gets one port. Which gets cancelled. censored you, Ocean.

Aero the Acrobat 1 was... eh. It's not a bad game, and it's not entirely focused around 'GO FAST ALL THE TIME NO MATTER WHAT' like a lot of the crappier mascot platformers. The issue is that it's just so hard, mostly because the game drops spikes everywhere like the spike factory exploded. The second game has a much more balanced difficulty level, and probably some of the best 2D graphics I've seen on the SNES. It's almost Rayman like, it's so good. Zero the Kamizake Squirrel... no comment. I got stuck somewhere on the second stage. I'll get back to you.

Brian the Lion... looks promising! I haven't really put much time into it, but it looks pretty good from the screenshots.
I'm in agreement here, Operation Starfish was just a much better game, better graphics, two playable characters, loads of levels, tonnes of puns, some really fun items, multiple routes, hidden items that improved the ending (I managed to find every single damn satellite piece, lost treasure and destroy every cheese mine and stiltonium machine and rescue every agent)

Don't understand the hate on Bubsy, I thought the first one was ace, the others may have been poo but hey ho.

Don't forget Rocket Knight Adventures that starred Sparkster (now totalling 4 games and a few cameos) and then there's always Crash Bandicoot and Spyro the dragon!
Image

PSN username - MartinPhantom

User avatar
Darran@Retro Gamer
Posts: 6770
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:34 am
Location: Bournemouth
Contact:

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:04 am

Why did all Amiga and ST games have that garish background with gradient colours in them? It makes them all look the same.
Image

User avatar
adippm82
Posts: 1285
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 4:59 pm

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by adippm82 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:26 pm

Wonder Dog was pretty good,

Image

No mention yet of Toki, Ecco The Dolphin, Starfox, Battletoads, Donkey Kong, Banjo Kazooie, loads of others I'm sure.

User avatar
Antiriad2097
Posts: 26913
Joined: Wed Nov 30, 2005 2:48 pm
Location: http://s11.zetaboards.com/RetroLeague/
Contact:

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by Antiriad2097 » Tue Mar 05, 2013 1:26 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Why did all Amiga and ST games have that garish background with gradient colours in them? It makes them all look the same.
On the Amiga I guess it's because it requires almost no processor overhead since its a simple copper chip effect (iirc).

It happens less often on the ST as it doesn't have that hardware assistance (or as many colours on screen), but again its such a simple effect it doesn't take much effort to achieve.

A quick and easy means to give a parallax effect, but you're right, it is overused.
The Retro League - Where skill isn't an obstacle
Retrocanteen, home of the unfairly banned
Tom_Baker wrote:I just finished watching a film about Stockholm syndrome. It started out terrible but by the end I really liked it.

User avatar
Fishsta
Posts: 899
Joined: Fri Nov 27, 2009 7:46 am
Location: Northwich, Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by Fishsta » Tue Mar 05, 2013 4:05 am

adippm82 wrote:No mention yet of Toki
Aaaargh, that was the game of nightmares!!!

Seriously, I found it harder than Ghosts 'n' Goblins. Wish the Spectrum version had actually been finished, apparently they balanced the gameplay out a bit.
ImageImage

User avatar
joefish
Posts: 3072
Joined: Mon Mar 23, 2009 9:05 pm

Re: Animal mascots and the games that starred them

Post by joefish » Tue Mar 05, 2013 6:23 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Why did all Amiga and ST games have that garish background with gradient colours in them? It makes them all look the same.
It's an easy way to get more colours on screen than the limited palettes would allow - redefine one colour in the palette every eight (or thereabouts) pixel rows as the screen is refreshed. Done smoothly, it looks great. But because the wider range of colours was limited (9 or 12 bit RGB instead of the 24 most people are used to now) you can see obvious step changes in colour.

It made the screenshots look good in print, and allowed marketing to boast about the number of colours on-screen being more than the hardware should allow. And as Antiriad says, it can add a bit of easy parallax effect, at least to vertical scrolling. Some do it better than others though. James Pond looks awful, but something like Unreal could be very atmospheric, giving the impression of different times of day or seasons. Though being an Amiga, generally the better the graphics, the worse the gameplay.

For real cheapness look at those games where the colour bands spill over into the border, because they're meddling with colour index 0. There was an into-the-screen arcade gun game conversion that did that. On the ST you'd organise your graphics routines so that colour 1 or 15 or something became the backdrop, so the colour change didn't continue into the border.

On the ST, the change was carried out by a bit of code triggered on the horizontal reset of the TV's raster scan, known as the 'raster interrupt'. The bars of colour were referred to as 'raster bars' or 'rasters'. The C64 can do the same trick, though not as quick - it was more used to multiplex sprites, or switch from a hardware scrolled bit to a fixed score panel bit at some point down the screen.

On the Amiga, it was all timed by the Copper chip (hence the terms 'copper bars' or 'copper effects'). And when using the built-in dual-playfield parallax scrolling and shifting sprites in front and behind the layers, like Shadow of the Beast, you were forced to use colour 0 and had to go to great lengths to keep the colour change out of the border. I think it was Beast I read about where they actually set the border colour in index 0 at the start of a line, waited for the raster to reach the pixel area, then set the sky colour. Then, at the end of the pixels for that line, set it back to border colour again. Way more complex stuff than just switching colour index 1 like you would on the ST. But at least there was a chip dedicated to it on the Amiga.

</verbose> :D

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests