The Lost Vikings

"A new concept in video gaming"

There is more I know about the actual Vikings than there is about the fictional cartoon characters to be found in The Lost Vikings. That's an easy thing to say, though, when what you know about The Lost Vikings is that there are - one assumes - some Vikings who are lost.

I couldn't tell you anything about this game before going into it, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that the introduction cinematic of sorts doubles as a demonstration of each character's abilities - abilities that, like they showed while out hunting for food, you'll have to use in unison in order to make it through this puzzle platformer.

Sounds great - in terms of both concept and music - so let's get pillag-playing, let's get playing.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Miles per hour. I get it.

I couldn't tell you when or where I first played Sonic the Hedgehog 2, and because I couldn't tell you that, I perhaps shouldn't say words to the effect of 'I thought it was better than this'...

This Sonic sequel is definitely fast and full of... rings... and stuff, but it doesn't quite seem to be the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 that exists in my head. Maybe I'm merging memories of different Sonic titles into one, I don't know.

I do know that the best way to see what's up is to get my hands wrapped around a controller, though, so let's lace up our bright red shoes and kick it up a gear or two.


Mortal Kombat


Back in the day, I would lose horribly to my cousin in Mortal Kombat II, I believe it was. No amount of button mashing would work, and I'd be left wanting to play Mario Kart instead, where I at least stood more of a chance at actually competing.

Fast forward... decades now... and I get the chance to play Mortal Kombat, that infamous video game nasty where blood and guts and decapitations caused every videogamer 'concerned' citizens to demand action to be taken in censoring or at least alerting people to the violence contained within gaming.

It is because of Mortal Kombat that games are rated these days, such was its impact, but does that make it a good game? I'm going to play the censored SNES port to find out (and probably the Mega Drive port too).

Oh, and one more goal - I want to finally pull off a fatality for myself...


Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis

I've got a good feeling about this.

Once in a while, I'd hear about Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, thinking it was an old game but having no idea exactly how old. Heck, I imagined it as anything other than a point and click adventure, such was my knowledge of it.

I don't know why I didn't associate a Lucasfilm franchise with a genre made famous by Lucasfilm Games/LucasArts, but there we go. We can't all be geniuses. Genii? We can't all be smart.

A much loved, classic character, in a point and click adventure. It's a sentence that resulted in some small amount of concern, it had to be said, but I dove right in regardless and I am so glad I did.




I do not have good times with these types of games. Prince of Persia, Another World and now Flashback - an ironic title, perhaps. No amount of fluid animation and nice visuals can alter the fact that I just don't ever feel in control of what I'm doing and therefore have a bad time of things from the start.

By that, I mean that the control schemes these games put out are simple enough, but to me, they just feel off and plodding and wrong, and each and every mistake I make just feels like someone is laughing at my incompetence.

Only I can laugh at my incompetence, y'hear?



Good luck.

For the longest time now, I've always gotten Axelay confused with ActRaiser. They're nothing like each other, by any measure you can think of, but their names would always blur together in my mind and I'd then fail to remember what they were each about.

I can't fail anymore - I hope - having played both very clearly distinct and not at all related games, with Axelay taking the form of a visually and technically impressive space shoo-ugh, blimey, you just can't get away from these space shooters, can you?


Super Mario Kart

Suck it, DK.

Along with the (often) previously mentioned Super Mario All-Stars, my cousin's SNES was home to another Mario classic - one that was probably played more than All-Stars - Super Mario Kart.

There is no point in reading any further.

You know how good Super Mario Kart is. You want to play it right now. Go on. You should.

If you want a little bit more to read, though, do continue.



After penetration, deploy the Assault suits.

Cybernator surprised me. I had no ideas going into it what it would be about, and it turns out that you're piloting mechs. In space. And not the stupid, overly designed, dazzlingly coloured mechs that I'm frankly put off by, but grungy, militaristic, 'realistic' designs.

It was - on the premise alone - something I absolutely had to get stuck into, and I hoped that the gameplay was just as inspiring.


Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf

I want to see my children grown, but your plans might cause the end of all the world.

Back in the day, I remember playing - maybe even owning - Soviet Strike for the PlayStation, an Apache helicopter'em up where you were a one-chopper special forces unit destroying everything from the sky.

Truth be told, I've seen a few videos of that for the sake of nostalgia and I appear to remember more about the intro video and voice acting than I do about the actual game, but that's memory for you, and we're not even talking about Soviet Strike here.

No, we're talking about the game that had to come out before Soviet Strike could even be conceived, Desert Strike: Return to the Gulf, and I have a feeling it's going to be good.

Or good enough. I'm not sure really. Maybe I just have feelings for attack helicopters...


Contra III: The Alien Wars

Let's attack aggressively.

Contra has quite the reputation for being really rather difficult, and so seeing Contra III: The Alien Wars creep up the 1001 list as more and more games before it got played was somewhat daunting. Thankfully, though, I had no reason to worry, because it looks great and has options for adjusting the difficulty.

The planet is - as is often the case in video games - under attack from aliens, so we better single handedly see to that with all manner of weaponry and plenty of skill.

Sorry, Earth. Once again, this won't end well for us...


Pinball Dreams

Tilt, flip, it's all in your mind.

I think it's safe to say that everyone who had Windows around the millennium played the version of Full Tilt! Pinball that was bundled with it. I know I did - it was a nice break from Minesweeper, and if you got into a stride you'd find yourself saying 'ah, just one more go...' more times than you should have.

Pinball Dreams is a different game, though, but it's still pinball and it's still worth a look.


Alone in the Dark

"I have freed hellish forces and now the price must be paid."

I never imagined Alone in the Dark to be so bright and colourful. It's plot certainly isn't. Jeremy Hartwood has committed suicide, though some people think there's something else going on at his mansion, and a couple of them are prepared and determined enough to find out first hand.

You play as either Edward Carnby, the private investigator, or Emily Hartwood, Jeremy's niece in a fixed camera 3D survival horror game that, as I said, is bright and colourful.

What's going on here?


Final Fantasy V


I had to skip back through the 1001 list to double check I hadn't missed any, but no, it turns out that the first Final Fantasy title worth playing in the series is Final Fantasy V, and I know absolutely nothing about it.

I know about the series, but I've watched far, far more than I've played, and no matter what my views are playing them now, that's probably not going to change - but who knows?

Let's crack on with Final Fantasy V, where we're going to gather up a load of crystals, get real life jobs and kick anything that doesn't belong in this world out of it.



Micro Machines

Remember if it doesn't say Micro Machines, it's not the real thing!

While I'm not entirely sure whether I had physical Micro Machines when I was a kid (I must have had some), I definitely had one of the games, but not the original Micro Machines, hailing from the dawn of the 1990s on the NES, and spreading far and wide in the years following.

Whatever version I had (probably V3 on the PlayStation), I played the hell out of it. There was never a moment where throwing tiny little cars around tracks made of crumbs on the kitchen table - or across perilous metal ruler bridges between the workbenches, or bouncing over the sand dunes of the sand pit - was a dull choice: of course you wanted to do all of that because that's exactly what you'd do with the real toys.

So it comes as no surprise that I'm looking forward to seeing the roots of this series, back on the NES.


The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

Da daa daaa daaaaaa.

Gah, this game is bloody good, isn't it? I mean, like... just, wow.

These were not my first impressions of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. I can't really remember my first impressions, or when they were, though I suspect the SNES was yesterday's news when I first heard of A Link to the Past. I just wasn't into that kind of game back then, and as gaming developed I aligned myself towards Sony, away from Nintendo.

That meant away from the Mario games, away from the Metroids and away from all of the Zelda titles. While I've seen a whole bunch of these series and know a fair bit about them, I've never sat down to play them myself until now, really, and all I can say is... wow.


The Legend of the Mystical Ninja

No Close Ups!

Had it not been for this 1001 list, I probably wouldn't have ever come across The Legend of the Mystical Ninja. I don't rate ninja's too highly, and when it comes to SNES titles beginning with 'The Legend of', there tends to only be one name mentioned, and it's not the Mystical Ninja.

Kid Ying and Dr Yang are having a bit of trouble with a ghost lady, and that trouble can only be solved by wandering around town looking for grey cats to turn your measly stick into a much more useful yo-yo, hurling it into the townsfolk until they drop enough coins for you to gamble them away on mini-games to distract you from having to find and deal with a ghost lady.

In other words,