Unstable Night

Those of you who follow Magic are probably aware that a new Un set is on our tables; Unstable. I admit I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to it (and Magic in general). But when spoilers started coming out, revealing that the set might actually be fun to draft and play, I decided, why not? I was able to get a good deal on boxes, so I took advantage that. You can grab a box from Amazon (or a similar shop) for a bit over $100 at the time of this writing. That price is a testament to the popularity of the set. Considering how much Wizards is said to be overprinting product these days. You’ll probably want to hold off though once the rush is over, with a rumored second printing next year, the price will probably go down.

Anyhow, tonight, the gaming group is getting together to draft Unstable. I’m crossing my fingers that I get a kitten, while our resident spikes will be going hard for the squirrels. I’ll update this post when I have impressions to share.

Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally Long Play

As played by arronmunroe, Road Runner’s Death Valley Rally (SNES). This was actually one of my first SNES games. I wasn’t good at it back then, and it’s probably just a passable platformer today (with the Looney Tunes license). But what was astonishing back in 1992 (1993?) was how good the game got the art style and animation. Great run by arronmunroe.

There was a slew of licensed Disney games that were quite prominent as I recall (Aladdin in particular). So this game is probably just par for the course.

WWF Raw SNES Longplay

As played by Ajax Pain, a longplay of WWF Raw (SNES version):

I didn’t know the SNES WWF games were referred to as a “trilogy” but I guess it makes sense. Acclaim (on its LJN brand) published three similar WWF games in the early 90s. Super Wrestlemania, Royal Rumble, and Raw.  I still own (and on rare occasions boot up the ROMs) of these games. I preferred Royal Rumble to Raw, which tried to bolt on fighting game-like special moves. These weren’t great games by any means. But for their time, these were simple games that were fun to play. Not a lot of strategic thinking required in the “tug of war” grappling system.

There’s scanty development information available about the teams that put these games together. I suppose as licensed properties for pro wrestling, not many care about the gritty details of how they were produced. But if you do know some of the history, let me know. I’d be interested in hearing about it.

Longplay: Rez (Dreamcast)

Rez on the Dreamcast, as played by RickyC. Rez is a stylish rails shooter that I remember getting coverage back in the Dreamcast years. But I never played it. The video is about an hour and ten minutes long.

Note the peculiar style of the game, particularly the sound effects. Rez is a sort of musical game in a way. This post at Gamasutra explains more:

What Rez does next with the audio is where it becomes interesting. There aren’t any specific sound effects in the game, at least not in the traditional sense. Rather, the sounds meld into the music itself, with synthesized sounds playing as you shoot that fit the surrounding music and feel like a part of the track.

The player, as a result, feels as if he is affecting the music along with the gameplay, rather than the music being ancillary. This draws the player further into the game, and makes the sound and gameplay feel as one cohesive, intertwined unit, instead of separate entities

Interesting. If it’s still available on Xbox Live, I might add it to the Back Catalog.

Star Soldier (GameCube Remake) LongPlay

Star Soldier, as played by ScHlAChi. This is a 2003 remake of the 1986 arcade classic by Hudson, for the Gamecube and PS2. The 40 minute longplay below is of the GCN version.

I never got into Star Soldier, but the overhead shooter, replete with breakable tiles, wave enemies, and enormous bosses, should be recognizable to anybody who’s played one before. The only shooter of this kind I ever really got into was Alpha Mission, which I remember being really hard on NES.

Monsters of Doom Comparisons

If you’ve played Doom over the years you might have noticed that a lot of the enemies are the same. Part of the appeal of the series is being able to trace the visual evolution of the technology. Game Intros & Finales demonstrates this nicely in their video, Doom 1993 – 2016. It’s almost 20 minutes long, but you get the idea. Here’s what the baddies looked like in Doom, Doom, and Doom:

I had no idea that Pain Elemental only appeared in Doom II, by the way. Besides the Cyber Demon and the Imp, I guess the Revenant is an iconic villain. He’s mostly unchanged throughout the series.