Awful 16-bit Platformers

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Antiriad2097
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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:46 am

The Hardest of All Freds wrote:Chuck Rock.
Also on ST and Amiga, so perhaps its those systems limitations to blame for a port of a less than brilliant game?
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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by The Laird » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:51 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
The Laird wrote:we interviewed Ian Stewart of Gremlin on RVG recently and he revealed that Zool is being brought back very soon in more than one way!
No, he didn't.

He states its a favoured IP and we might see it again soon, but there's no confirmation of anything beyond that vague suggestion.

Is there some info that was cut from the published interview or have you spoken to him since that caused this confusion?
To quote Ian:
I’m looking at re-introducing ZOOL as well as allowing Games Britannia use the IP for its 2013 games design competition.
That is far from vague. There is a definite statement of fact that we will be seeing Zool again in some shape or form.

I have also added the following snippet to the interview:
I have also been running a competition at Sheffield Hallam University that allows students to use the Zool character to come up with a game that will be eventually made into a PlayStation minis game
I hope that clears things up for you.

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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by ChipTune » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:34 am

merman wrote:You are completely wrong on Plok. Great game.

I have to disagree. It looks absolutely pathetic and has the most basic and dull gameplay of all. This might have been acceptable as a cheapo Amiga game or freeware / PD title.. but as a fully fledged SNES cartridge it is an embarrassment.
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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by ChipTune » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:36 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:
The Hardest of All Freds wrote:Chuck Rock.
Also on ST and Amiga, so perhaps its those systems limitations to blame for a port of a less than brilliant game?
I'd forgotten about chuck rock.. That was pretty dire too. I also thought the sequel was awful, maybe even worse than the first one. That screaming baby was a terrible choice of protagonist.

When you actually count the decent platformers on SNES it is a surprisingly low number.
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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by joefish » Mon Mar 25, 2013 10:55 am

Zool was at its absolute worst on the original GameBoy, where the fast scrolling made the whole screen just one grey smudge. But even when you could see what you were doing on the 16-bit versions, there wasn't really that much to do. The levels simply weren't designed for speed-running, the way Sonic's are.

Sadly the ST and Amiga got an awful lot of lame platform games as developers tried to copy the bigger sellers on the 16 bit consoles. Some of them never really appreciated that those only dominated the consoles because that style of game (2D scrolling layers + sprites) was precisely what the consoles' hardware was designed to do, so it came all too easy to the laziest of developers. At least some developers were there to give us some decent 3D stuff on the computers. I don't see what would have been so bad about sticking to flip-screens, as scrolling scenery took up nearly all the processing capability in every game that featured it.

The other thing I can appreciate as a developer is the lack of set-piece challenges of the sort that kept the console games interesting. If you'd spent months optimising the scrolling and sprite routines for an ST or Amiga game, you had neither the time nor inclination to go much further. On the SNES or Megadrive, with that capability handed to you on a plate, you could afford to muck about with tricks like using scenery layers to make screen-sized enemies and the like to wow the player.

About the closest the 16-bit computers got was the set-piece scrolling of the opening level of Shadow of the Beast, and then it only impressed on the Amiga. Following that there was Unreal, which looked even better (at least, in static screenshots) and played even worse.

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Re: Awful 16-bit Platformers

Post by ChipTune » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:10 am

I always thought the Amiga struggled to do good platform games. Superfrog is good, but is very overrated for what is essentially an above average game, with a neat character. If it had come out in that exact form on the consoles it would have sunk without trace.

A few of my favourite amiga platformers are quite random.. Traps N Treasures, Globdule, Benefactor.. and then the usual suspects like Rainbow Islands and New Zealand Story. But there is no point playign those now as we can enjoy the proper arcade versions via compilations or MAME.

Back to awful games though.. Lester the Unlikely is one people need to see to believe. Good lord is is seriously bad.

I can decend into swearing here so instead have a look a something I published a few minutes ago. I hope many of you will get a laugh out of it. feel free to suggest more crap games and I can add them in.. This one is SNES only for now. But other systems will be covered in the future. Probably the Amiga, seeing as we are discussing it here.

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Re: Awful 16-bit Platformers

Post by psj3809 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:49 am

ChipTune wrote:But there is no point playign those now as we can enjoy the proper arcade versions via compilations or MAME.
Disagree with the above, i love playing the version 'i grew up with'. Of course Bubble Bobble/New Zealand Story were far better in the arcades, but on the Speccy i grew up with Bubble Bobble as we didnt have an arcade near us so i like to play that from time to time on the Speccy, New Zealand Story i love the Amiga version so tend to play that a lot.

Again of course MAME is far better but its like some 14 year old saying 'why do you bother playing those old crappy games, you get far better games on the X-Box' etc. A kid might laugh and say 'why are you playing that crappy blocky Doom game (which i know you love), why dont you play the latest FPS with stunning graphics instead ?'.

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Re: Awful 16-bit Platformers

Post by snowkatt » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:57 am

we moving the hate to the 16 bit consoles now ?

..good i actually know these games and hate most of them
hey wait ! i got a new complaint !

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Re: Awful 16-bit Platformers

Post by psj3809 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:05 pm

I loved my Speccy, tons, i dont know what it was about the 16 bit years. Had an Amiga, thought most of the games were totally overpriced ( i was used to 1.99 or 7.95 games from the speccy years !). I think the Amiga also coincided with me getting a Megadrive and being about 18 discovering going out tons to pubs and meeting girls !

I dont try and emulate many 16 bit games on the amiga/ST, think it was just a decade where i wasnt that interested in games as much (Got back into gaming late 90's due to emulation).

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Re: Awful 16-bit Platformers

Post by The Hardest of All Freds » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:12 pm

Platformers on the 16-bits were the equivalent of FPS's this gen. One or two classics and a billion souless, imaginationless clones. A genre that has become very "paint by numbers".
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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by hydr0x » Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:31 pm

ChipTune wrote:
merman wrote:You are completely wrong on Plok. Great game.

I have to disagree. It looks absolutely pathetic and has the most basic and dull gameplay of all. This might have been acceptable as a cheapo Amiga game or freeware / PD title.. but as a fully fledged SNES cartridge it is an embarrassment.
Aaaah, so THAT's why Nintendo actually published this in Germany, because they thought it was an embarrassment for the console.

Also, just read your feature on your blog, you can't possibly have played Ardy Lightfoot for any decent amount of time. It's a great platformer, one of the best non Nintendo/Konami/Capcom ones. The first level is INCREDIBLY dull but completely unrepresentative of the whole game.
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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:01 pm

I’m looking at re-introducing ZOOL as well as allowing Games Britannia use the IP for its 2013 games design competition.
'looking at' is purely speculative, no firm announcement of any return on any platform there. Its only your knowledge about the minis that skews that view, which wasn't in the original interview. How many times have we heard rumours that old franchises will be returning only for things to not work out? Using the IP in a competition is no guarantee of a result either.

Given your desire for accuracy in RG I'm surprised you're reading it any other way.
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Re: Awful Platformers

Post by killbot » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:14 pm

Antiriad2097 wrote:
I’m looking at re-introducing ZOOL as well as allowing Games Britannia use the IP for its 2013 games design competition.
'looking at' is purely speculative, no firm announcement of any return on any platform there. Its only your knowledge about the minis that skews that view, which wasn't in the original interview. How many times have we heard rumours that old franchises will be returning only for things to not work out? Using the IP in a competition is no guarantee of a result either.

Given your desire for accuracy in RG I'm surprised you're reading it any other way.
Wasn't the terrible Wii platformer Ninjabread Man originally planned as a third Zool game?
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Re: Awful 16-bit Platformers

Post by joefish » Mon Mar 25, 2013 1:26 pm

It may not be a popular view, but I think Earthworm Jim is pretty awful. It's one of many cartoon-style platformers where the drawing and animation seems to have been far more important that any sort of gameplay. The scenery is all drawn in a loose cartoon style with an overlay of sharp but completely invisible platform 'edges' to stand on and fall off, without really ever knowing what's safe and what isn't. You're forever guessing where you can go next or how far you can move before you fall - the SNES equivalent of Jack and the Beanstalk on the Spectrum.
Last edited by joefish on Tue Mar 26, 2013 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Awful 16-bit Platformers

Post by nakamura » Mon Mar 25, 2013 3:05 pm

Earthworm Jim wasn't that good I agree. Typical Shiny game, all lovely animation and weak design.
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