Airborne Ranger Review

Airborne Ranger is a great game. It supplies a good mix of action and strategy. Although some missions are simply search and destroy, others will require you to plot out a strategy in order to avoid enemies. Some missions also have strict time limits which require players to act very quickly. Each mission type is a lot of fun to play.

One of the best missions is the liberation of a P.O.W. camp. In order to rescue the prisoners you will have to be very quiet. If the enemy realizes that you are nearby they are likely to move the prisoners and the mission will be a failure. However, this does not mean that you cannot take out the enemy troops. You can quietly sneak up on soldiers and stab them with a knife. What makes the mission even better is that you can rescue yourself. If you were captured in a previous mission as a different ranger, your previous character will be set free if this mission is successfully completed.

Using a save disk allows for many rangers to be created and moved through the ranks. Having a high ranked soldier who can choose his own mission will enable you to rescue other rangers at any time. When you first begin, you have a campaign that randomly arranges the missions. Only when the campaign is complete can you select your own missions.

Controlling a ranger is very simple. A keyboard overlay is included with the game that makes switching between weapons very easy. On the battlefield a crosshair appears in front of your gun to help with aiming. Making use of the backgrounds, the ranger can do more than simply walk, run, and shoot. Crawling through ditches is a great way to avoid enemies. If the battlefield contains water, the ranger can go underwater to hide from the enemy. Don’t stay under too long, though, or you will begin to drown.

Graphically, Airborne Ranger looks quite good. Every mission scrolls vertically at your own pace. Backgrounds are detailed and represent each mission well. Every sound is also good. Gunfire and explosions complement the overall gameplay.

Airborne Ranger could benefit from some more missions. While 12 is a fair number, they can be completed in a short amount of time. However, you will want to replay them in order to move up the ranks. With creative missions, well-designed controls, and interesting gameplay Airborne Ranger is a highly enjoyable game.

Graphics

Some more colors would result in a perfect score.

Sound

Fit the game perfectly.

Enjoyment

Great mission objectives.

Replay Value

You can continuously gain more points and medals for your ranger even after completing every mission.

Documentation

Details each mission and provides tips.

Gain Ground Overview (1991 Sega)

In the not so distant future, “Gain Ground” is a popular training game designed to prepare players for battle. Participants must make their way through five rounds reflecting different time periods in history, with each round consisting of ten stages. Of course, players are required to wear authentic battle clothing as they engage the Gain Ground androids trying to defeat them.

The goal is not only to survive long enough to reach each stage’s exit, but ultimately defeat the five “Superdroids” marking the end of each round. While the game was certainly fun for the participants, something went wrong with the central computer controlling it. The Brain, as it was called, suddenly malfunctioned and shut down the simulation, trapping those still left inside. There was also one small change: the androids were now bent on destroying all of the competitors!

Three fighters have vowed to rescue their comrades and eliminate the Brain: James, Siren and Tonga. All characters have both normal and special weapons, each possessing specific strengths and weaknesses. For instance, some weapons are only effective for reaching high places, low places or certain angles. During the course of the game, you’ll be able to rescue 17 different hostages to add to your team.

Each of these characters will offer new weapons (such as fireballs, spears, grenades, etc.) to help you progress through the stages. The five rounds are as follows: the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the Golden Age, Present Day, and the Near Future. Having trouble with some areas? Bring along a second player for simultaneous action! Gain Ground is based on Sega’s 1989 arcade game of the same name.

Features
Work your way through such stages as the Dark Ages, the Renaissance, the Golden Age, and Present Day
Navigate characters that include James, Siren and Tonga through each level to defeat the Brain
Based on the 1989 arcade game developed by Sega

1942 Arcade Game(1984) Review

Designed by Yoshiki Okamoto, who would go on to architect the Street Fighter and Final Fight franchises, 1942 is a fondly remembered vertically scrolling shooter in which players control a WWII-era plane through 32 levels of enemy-filled sea and landscapes. The first game in the “194x” series, 1942 features a special roll button that allows players to avoid dangerous situations by temporarily looping out of the 2D playfield. This, in addition to perfectly balanced gameplay, colorfully detailed graphics, and some nifty power-ups make the game a true classic.

Columns Review (1991 Sega Game Gear Game)

How close to Tetris can a puzzle game get in terms of form and feel, yet still have an underlying system that’s vastly different? Sega tries to answer that question with Columns, a surprisingly addictive game that both defies and invites comparisons to the queen mother of all puzzle games.

Columns does feel similar to Tetris in many ways. You manipulate groups of three gems, trying to stack them in horizontal, vertical or diagonal groups of three or more. You might be slightly annoyed at first by your inability to turn the gem groups sideways. After all, it would be much easier to avoid having your pile go up to the top of the screen if you could lay them down sideways. Then, you might be annoyed by the way you have to rotate the gems and arrange them; it’s not as intuitive as slipping blocks into empty holes like Tetris.

But after that, you’ll be completely charmed by the game’s unique combo system. If you arrange your gems with skill, you can chain up five or more lines of three gems in one drop. Even if you make no attempt at stacking, chances are you’ll be able to do chains of two or even three. There are only four different gem types to contend with, so the possibility for unintentional chains is quite high. And the more chains you set up, the more you’ll be entranced by Columns’ elegantly simple yet incredibly deep gameplay.

The graphics feel just right for the gameplay. Each of the gems has a different shape and color, but the Game Gear doesn’t differentiate the shapes very well. Luckily, the four colors are not only distinct and vibrant, but also manage to contrast against each other strongly. The gems are set against a black backdrop that works to enhance their coloring. This allows for quick gem identification and makes the game quite easy on the eyes. The large status indicators placed at the side of the screen are also easily readable at a glance.

Columns gives you a choice of three soundtracks. The first is a catchy, minuet-like song that seems like it’s inspired by one of the classic Tetris songs; it’s quite good nonetheless. The second song is ethereal and somewhat eerie; depending on your tastes you’ll either find it relaxing or too odd. The third is pleasant and cheerful, distinctly different from the other two songs but just as good. The three songs are different enough from each other that you will find at least one of them to your liking.

Just as addictive as Tetris, yet completely different in its own way, Columns is sure to please all puzzle fans. Even if you don’t enjoy puzzle gaming, you should give Columns a try. It might change your mind.

Graphics

Clean graphics using an excellent choice of black background against four distinct gem colors.

Sound

Three different but good songs to choose from.

Enjoyment

Highly addictive and fast-paced puzzle gaming, despite its facade of simplicity.

Replay Value

Four gem colors offer infinite variations and possibilities.

Documentation

Average documentation.

Congo Bongo Review (1983 Game)

Based on the Sega arcade game, Congo Bongo for the Intellivision is a lousy port in every conceivable way. Not only is it missing two of the original game’s four levels (Rhino Ridge and Lazy Lagoon), it has poor collision detection, unresponsive controls, and flickering, feeble graphics making it difficult to determine where you are jumping in relation to the hazards.

The Lone Ranger Review (1991 NES)

Based on the popular 1949 to 1957-TV series, The Lone Ranger is a one-of-a-kind RPG that successfully combines levels of exploration, side-scrolling action, and first-person shooting (with or without the Zapper light gun). The President has been kidnapped by Butch Cavendish’s gang, and it’s up to the Masked Man to save him. From the opening notes of the William Tell Overture to the dusty, Old West-themed graphics, the game does a great job of integrating the source material into an appropriate gameplay experience. Each of The Lone Ranger’s elements is surprisingly well executed, showing none of the mediocrity that tends to plague games attempting to cross genres. Fans of the franchise should find it especially enjoyable.

Popeye Review (1986 Game)

Though Popeye never came close to reaching the status of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, and other bona fide arcade classics, Nintendo nonetheless included Popeye for their NES as part of their ³arcade classics series. Whether or not Popeye is indeed a classic or just another old game could make for an interesting debate, but I can tell you that it is a cute, entertaining, and sometimes amusing game.

Popeye is a faithfully created port so fans of the semi-classic (how’s that for a compromise?) arcade game will enjoy it. The characters and objects move in similar patterns as the arcade game, and the level design is basically the same. Popeye even retains the strange way he walks (bobs?) up and down the stairs.

There are a few nitpicky problems such as when Popeye jumps up to catch Sweet Pea for extra points, he doesn’t actually grab the platform Sweet Pea is on and bring him down like he does in the arcade game. Popeye just sort of makes contact with the platform and gets the points. Like I said, this is nitpicking, but this example helps illustrate how minor the differences are between the two games.

One thing some gamers may not like about Popeye is its lack of fighting. If Popeye is not pumped up on spinach, he can only run from Brutus. When he does eat his spinach, one hit sends Brutus flying. There are no head-to-head slug fests in this game. On the other hand, some gamers will appreciate Popeye’s lack of violence as there are plenty of other games on the market where all the characters do is beat the snot of each other.

Popeye’s biggest weakness is redundancy. Each level requires you to do basically the same thing: gather floating objects. Even so, it is a fun game that can be enjoyed by the entire family.

P.S. I do have one question about this game: Since Popeye doesn’t have his pipe (thank you, political correctness), where do the toot! toot! sounds come from?

Graphics

The Popeye characters from the famous cartoon are easily recognizable if a bit fuzzy. The platforms and the boat are very simplistic.

Sound

The music is a delightful version of the familiar theme from the cartoon series, and the sound effects are nice as well.

Enjoyment

Those looking for a pleasant, non-violent gaming experience will enjoy Popeye.

Replay Value

The levels are a bit too similar in terms of the goals you are trying to achieve, but it is fun to try and beat your high score.

Documentation

The manual tells you everything you need to know.

Galaga Review (Video Game)

The sequel to Galaxian, Galaga is a timeless classic, showing up regularly on fans’ and magazines’ lists of greatest games ever. As with most slide-and-shoot games, players control an upward-firing ship that moves horizontally along the bottom of the screen. Bug-like alien invaders fly in looping, twirling maneuvers around the screen, settling temporarily into formations at the top of the playfield, only to swoop down again. What sets Galaga apart from most blast-a-thons, in addition to its perfectly balanced shooting action, is the strategic maneuver of letting your ship get captured, then rescuing it for double firepower. Also nifty are the challenge stages, which let players blast away unmolested for extra points.

BRAINACHE 1987 – AMSTRAD, ZX SPECTRUM

Terrible is the best way to sum up Brainache. The graphics will make
you want to tear out your eyes; the awful sound effects will convince you
to perforate your eardrums; while the gameplay is so stodgy and glitchy
that you’ll soon wish you had a time machine to stop yourself from ever
playing this. Exploring a gigantic cave might sound like an interesting
premise, but the actual execution is awful. Budget in every way.