Sunday, 18 November 2012

The Great Playthrough: Game 35 - Cool Spot

Yes, I know this isn't a photo of me with the cartridge.
 I did take one, but now I can't find it... oh well!

Cool Spot
Released on: Mega Drive, SNES, Master System, Game Gear, Amiga, Game Boy, DOS
Played on: SNES
Release date: 1993

Cool Spot is a game that belongs in the category that Wikipedia proudly terms Advergames - Games that are made as an advertisement for a certain business or brand. Can you guess for what brand Cool Spot is an advert for?

Let me put it this way. The main character is a "cool" Red dot with arms and legs who wears sunglasses. And he surfs into the title screen on a green drinks bottle.... Any ideas at all?

This picture is a hint.
That's right. 7-up. (Although, in a bizarre move, all of the blatant 7-up logos etc were removed from the UK version of the game - apparently (according to Wikipedia - so I am aware this information may be about as reliable as a bus timetable) this was because 7-Up had a different mascot in Europe - Fido Dido.

"Now listen here Brawny," I hear you all say, "This seems very interesting, but why have you spent all of this blog discussing the circumstances behind the game, rather than the game itself?"

Good question. The answer? Because the game itself is very, very pedestrian.

It's not an awful game. It's graphics are quite nice, the soundtrack only mildly irritating and the gameplay is 2D platforming, which you all know by now I have a soft spot for.

But it's just so - meh.

Maybe I've been spoilt nowadays. The fact that there has been a resurgence of 2D platformers in the last few years, combined with the fact that I've never re-played Cool Spot since I was about 15 means that where I thought it would at least be entertaining fun, it just rapidly became dullness personified.

And the other thing - no character who has the word "Cool" in his name will ever be cool. Just saying.

Sorry Cool Spot - you are a 2D platformer that I shall be leaving well alone.

Rating: 3/10
Time Played: 15 Minutes
Would I play it again? No. Sorry.

Now I know what you are all thinking. "My Word, Brawny wrote a blog that I could read in just five minutes! I'm happy/sad/relieved (delete as applicable)

Well panic not! I have played the next two games in the playthrough today - so they shall be following on very soon...

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Great Playthrough: Game 34 - The World is not Enough

Wow - I look like Mr Drunken McSquinty-Eyes in this picture!

The World is Not Enough
Released on: Sony Playstation, Nintendo 64, Game Boy Colour
Played on: Sony Playstation 2
Release date: 2000

OK. Let's address the elephant in the room. Not only is this a licensed game, which means that it, by rights, ought to be a pile of droppings that the elephant in the room has left in the middle of the rug, but it is also a Bond game that comes after Goldeneye - one of the most successful licensed games of all time - so comparisons are going to be made, which will probably be unflattering, right?

Well yes. Of course they are. But my first statement in regards to The World is Not Enough is - "It's not that bad." (And I feel that is a review that they should have put on the cover.)

As I have mentioned before, my history with FPS's is that I believe they've now got way too complicated for old gamers like me - but luckily, The World is Not Enough is very simple. It's like Goldeneye but without the analog stick.

*NOTE - I had no analog stick as I was playing the Playstation version of the game. The N64 version may have been better, but I don't own that!*

The game is obviously based on the Bond film of the same name - do you remember that one? Bond drove a boat really quickly down the Thames, then fought with Begbie from Trainspotting and eventually ended up cavorting with a nuclear physicist played by Denise Richards in a submarine.

So - as far removed from reality as most Bond films then!

When developing this game, EA obviously looked at the success of Goldeneye, and decided that they didn't want to change anything in order to make the game as successful. So it's a very familiar-feeling game. However, there are a few changes to the established Goldeneye format.

The first (which I assume is primarily on the Playstation version due to the lack of an analog stick) - there's a little bit of auto aiming that helps you out. If you are close enough to an enemy and you point Bond in roughly the right direction, a little red cross appears over the enemy and when you fire, you will hit him straightaway. Now this may be sacrilegious, but I quite like this as an addition to the game, because it means that you can run down corridors shooting people without having to stop and aim side to side because your bullets are just whizzing past his left ear.

The other change from Goldeneye (apart from the pointless, badly rendered cutscenes from the film playing between levels) is the level design. It's not as good. In fact, it's nowhere near as good. The layout of the levels just seems dull - certainly there's nothing as awe-inspiring as the opening level from Goldeneye.

But it is fun - it's always fun being James Bond, and this is no exception. But it's nothing outstanding. And while I played it for the full hour, I don't see myself picking it up again anytime soon, as even if you put aside the pedestrian levels, there are a few minor faults as well - some bad collision detection, strange puzzles and levels that seem linear until one moment, at which point you have to backtrack all over the place once again.

So, it's an average game, which would do better if it wasn't compared with Goldeneye. But it always will be...

(I apologise for the short length of this review, but I didn't really have much more to say...)

Rating: 5/10
Time played: 1 Hour
Will I go back to it?: I don't see it happening to be honest...

Next time - Yet more 2D platforming - but this time with the most unsubtle use of product placement ever. It's Cool Spot on the SNES!