30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 8

8: Best Soundtrack?

This was a tough question for me because there are many games I think have amazing music.

30 Day Challenge 8

However, for consistency, I’ve gone with Super Hang On. Sure, there are only four tunes to select from, but they are all amazing. I love their urgency – a motorcycle game needs songs that suit the speed of the action and Sega have nailed it here

30 dat challenge 8-b

I will say though – the Mega Drive version’s soundtrack is a bit too soft and piano based for me; I was raised on the Atari ST’s grungy blast of noise.  You can’t go wrong either way though…

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30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 7

Day 7: Favourite video game couple?

30 Day Challenge 7

I wasn’t sure if I should pick Max Payne and Mona Sax, but I couldn’t think of anyone better. If they weren’t together long enough to be classed as a couple, then they should have been. I’ve never played Max Payne 3, but think it’s odd that there is no Mona in the story.

I spent the summer of 2005 in a dark room after a bad break up, playing Max Payne 1 and 2. It was exactly what I needed – a chance to lose myself in an adventure and take my mind off things. I was drawn to Max and his quest…and had no problem gunning down the hundreds of goons who had wronged him.

The relationship between Max and Mona was a big factor, especially in the second game and I wanted them to make it. Alas, they didn’t…unless you play on the highest difficulty. Naturally, I didn’t play Max Payne 2 on the highest difficulty, so no happy ending for me. Still, two damaged souls joining forces to take on a dark and corrupt city was something I warmed to and still remember fondly to this day…

…unlike the film. Jackie from That 70’s Show as Mona Sax? No thanks….

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 6

Day 6: Most annoying character?

30 Day Challenge 6

I hate Donkey Kong with a passion. His sole reason for existing seems to be to stop me succeeding at Mario Kart. Whatever version of Mario Kart I play, from Mario Kart Super Circuit to Mario Kart 8, the big lump seems to go out of his way to take me out of the race. I’ve vowed to never play any other Donkey Kong game due to his vendetta against me.

When he’s not slamming into me on tight corners, Donkey Kong is launching bananas about with no regard for his own safety, speeding past me via A.I. rubber banding or just  taking my item boxes.

Yet…Mario Kart would be poorer without Donkey Kong. For sheer entertainment value, fighting with Donkey Kong has led to many classic games of Mario Kart. Plus, everyone needs an enemy and I’m no different…and if a cartoon monkey who attacks me during kart races is my worst enemy, I’m probably not doing too badly….

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 5

Day 5: Game character you feel you are most like?

I know exactly which video game character I’m most like…

30 Day Challenge 5

I feel like Michael De Santa from Grand Theft Auto V. When I played GTA V, I was in my previous job. An administration job that was slowly grinding me down. The parallels between me and Michael then were worrying. Little sleep, struggling to relate to people, feeling a bit old and out of place. Plus I spent most my time wearing shirt and pants for work, so I had the ‘business casual’ look going too.

I was even starting to organise my work like Michael planned heists with Lester. Sadly,  I wasn’t allowed an office in an abandoned building and a big planning board.

Nearly two years on, I still feel the similarities. We both mean well, but can sometimes be insensitive. We’re both nostalgic for the past – Michael with classic films and me with retro games. We can both be grumpy but very protective. Not sure I’d go as far as Michael with the jet ski level, but I’d like to think I’d be close.

…just to clarify though, I haven’t killed anyone and haven’t robbed any banks. Yet….

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 4

Day 4: Your guilty pleasure game?

This was a tough question for me – I don’t really have a ‘guilty pleasure’ game. I’ll happily play most games and quite enjoy naff games.

However, thinking about it, there is a terrible game I’ve loved over the years and I would probably still play, if I had the means.

30 day challenge 4

When I was a kid with a Master System, I was obsessed with fighting games and wanted to get Alien Storm. The Alien Storm I wanted was the arcade game, with it’s big graphics, three characters and frantic action. The Alien Storm I got was the hopeless Master System port, with it’s tiny graphics, clunky gameplay and awful soundtrack. The Master System generally struggles with big Sega arcade ports and Alien Storm is a prime example.

However, back in those days, you made do. So I gritted my teeth, cracked my knuckles and gave Master System Alien Storm a go…and found myself enjoying it. I couldn’t beat Master System Alien Storm, but I had a good go, invested some decent time into it and had some good times with it. I’m actually quite conflicted about Master System Alien Storm – yes, it’s rubbish but it’s rubbish that entertained me back when I didn’t have many games. You know when you have that friend or family member who you think is an idiot, but will defend against any criticism from others outside your social circle/immediate family? Alien Storm on the Master System is my 8-bit equivalent.

I have the Mega Drive version of Alien Storm on Steam and I really like it but…I kinda miss the Master System version. To this game, I will still often hum the Master System’s pained rendition of the soundtrack (even with awful synth drums….duf duf duf duf duf!) and fondly remember playing a game that I have a real love/hate relationship with…

30 Day Video Game Challenge Day 3

Day 3: A game that is underrated?

There was only possible one pick for me!

30 Day Challenge 3

If you’ve been round these parts before, you’ll know of my love for Sega’s eighties brawler. I don’t think it’s the greatest game ever or anything, but it doesn’t deserve the hate it gets. Altered Beast is something anyone can enjoy for a few minutes and is so ridiculous that it makes me smile every time I play it.

I even wrote a ten point defence of Altered Beast over the summer and I stand by these points. I advise you grab a copy of Altered Beast next time you see it reduced in a sale…

30 Day Video Game Challenge: Day 2

Day 2: Favourite video game character?

This is an easy one for me…

30 Day Challenge 2

Yeah, Travis Touchdown from No More Heroes! I picked up No More Heroes on the Wii many years ago and fell in love with Travis straight away. I think it’s because I can relate to him. He’s not some do-gooder or someone who’s perfect. He’s flawed and stupid, but it’s hard not to warm to him. I find myself laughing at his take on the world, as dumb as it can be.

I like his world a lot – Santa Destroy is full of violent battles…but also lots of mundane tasks and jobs. Much like real life, with lots of drama one minute and tedium the next..I can relate. I can understand why I’m playing the game too…it’s not Watchdogs 2 where I’m doing illegal things for supposedly noble reasons…Travis wants money, fame and respect, things I can understand.

In short, Travis isn’t some faceless, jacked up marine or a ‘Mary Sue’ of a hero…he’s a huge nerd who’s got a goal and motives I can relate to and he loves pro wrestling. It’s a no-brainer really!

All I need to do now is finish the damn game. I’ve played and traded it twice (Wii and PS3) and it’s one of my biggest gaming regrets. No More Heroes is a great example of why I created Retro Redress – to finally finish games that I’ve loved and abandoned or had to trade in. Hopefully, one day we get a PS4 remaster….