Monday, 10 December 2018

Skippin' Shame

Another month gone by without any posts. I really need to get back into the swing of things, and the Last Ninja games and DinoPark tycoon are not the games to do it. I'm just going to zip through them here and move on, which is a terrible cop out but I've run out of energy this year and I want to play something good before we hit 2019.

First up, DinoPark Tycoon. Tycoon games are never that high on my enjoyment list, and this one's no different. I spend enough of my days bored by spreadsheets, and I don't really enjoy the nitty-gritty of cash flow and hiring toilet cleaners. I don't mind the complexity of a good rpg, so that can't be the sole reason; maybe it's just because business bores me. This game is made for a younger age group, so is slightly easier to get into than other entries in the canon, but only slightly. I only played it as long as I did (and that wasn't long) because I like dinosaurs. It's very much the usual story as with all these types of games. You have to build a park - getting the right kinds of pens and food for the right kinds of dinosaurs - and put in enough maintenance staff and entertainment to keep the place running, then open the doors and theoretically watch the money roll in, then rinse and repeat with bigger dinosaurs. That's a massive oversimplification because I just didn't play it for long enough, but in the time I played it didn't give me any reason to think it might pan out differently.

Next were the two Last Ninja games. I was kind of looking forward to these because I had some fond memories of being frustrated by them on the Beeb, but I just couldn't get the controls to work. The joystick controls wouldn't play nice, and the keyboard was all over the place, sometimes buttons would do one thing, sometimes they would do another, and sometimes they would do nothing at all. Not great in a quick-reaction arcade game like this. I don't remember ever having control issues on the Beeb (other than the 3 different
length jump buttons), so it must be an emulator issue. The Last Ninja 2 controlled slightly better (apart from not being able to get him to face the right way), but attacking people in both games is frankly ludicrous and I couldn't kill anyone without losing at least one of my lives in the process. At least in the first game people have the decency to stay dead (I think), in the second game, they're back up and at you after a few seconds - not what you want when it took one and a half lives to knock them down in the first place and when you're still struggling with the controls and navigation when the guy gets back up and wallops you. It's a shame because I did really want to get through these two games and finish what I started all those years ago, but it was all just waay too frustrating, and with the control issues I had, I'm not even sure I could have finished them. Ah well, onwards!

Next up on the series list is Hard Drivin'! Never my favourite game series, or genre, but I'll give 'em a few laps. Next up on the randometer is...The L.E.D. Wars! Looks like a '90s RTS. Strangely enough, developed by Larian Studios - they of Divinity fame. Be interesting to see how it turns out. It's a Windows game, mind, so have to see if it'll work...

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