Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Tar-gone

I think I've gone about as far as I can go with Targhan. I'm not sure how you'd describe it - maybe an action-platformer? It's not quite either of those things. Whatever it is, it's definitely of its time. They don't make games quite like it, and for good reason. Although you can use the keyboard for Targhan, it's definitely meant for the joystick - luckily the gamepad works just as well. The controls consist of movement keys and a modifier (the fire button). Press a movement key to move in that direction, or press a key plus the modifier to swing your sword in that direction. The game starts off well enough (the story's in French, so I have no idea what I'm doing) - you move across the screen, jumping pits and climbing ropes until you encounter your first enemy: a lady with a bow and arrow. There's no block key, so you need to close the gap between you fast. I didn't manage to leap over a single arrow (not even sure you can), so I manfully ran through (while the arrow ran me through) and one hack with my mighty sword dispatched the enemy to the seven hells. All hail Targhan (am I Targhan?). Carrying on my journey, I encounter some kind of bat/bird creature. I can't slash upwards, so it's a case of timing my swing for the exact point in the creature's swoop where it's actually level with my blade. Not as easy as it sounds. The next challenge I face is s small step. Time your jump wrong, and you'll end up bashing yourself on the step and kneeling down dazed for a few seconds (much like real life). A few attempts later, and I'm away. The next foolish creature to stand in my way is a minotaur with an axe. I bravely charge forwards and -whack!- there goes my energy bar. Okay. A bit more cautiously now, wait for an opening, and... Aha! Take that, the mighty sword of Targhan. Oh, you did take that, and you kept hitting me with your axe. As far as I can see, the first enemy in the game is just there to lull you into a false sense of security. While that one only takes one hit to kill, every other enemy I've met takes a good 5-10 hits. That's not so good when they're hacking away at you at the same time. Rather unfairly, their hits are fast enough to get you into a stun-lock cycle where you can't actually move between hits, while your strikes only stun them momentarily, and they can still get in another hit before you can recover from your first. As far as I can tell, this makes the game impossible (or I'm just really rubbish at it). There are items that you can pick up along your way - shurikens that you can throw (and that don't appear to do a great deal of damage), and other things that... do something? I wasn't actually able to get any other item to work. So that's me and Targhan. I was about to dismiss it after a few minutes of using keys, but I switched to joypad and got quite a bit further. I was actually quite enjoying my exploration, but I was never able to actually do anything, and the story snippets that flashed up in French didn't give me any clues. Ah well, Onwards!

Next up on the randometer is...F-29 Retaliator! Yay, a flight sim. One of my least favourite types of game. I'll take a look...might not spend too long on it. This one was quite heavily advertised back in the day. I really remember the box art...don't think I ever owned it, though.

Saved! The copy I have doesn't look complete and won't install at all. Next up on the randometer is...Ascendancy! It's a 4X game in space, apparently a bit like Masters of Orion. Could be fun.

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