This week I’ve been playing games on the retro game streaming service Antstream. I have a lot to say about the platform, but not here. One of the games I played was Sly Spy, and it’s the first one on there I’ve completed.
It’s not a great game. Much of it plays a bit like Rolling Thunder, but without the hiding and dodging abilities that make that game so much fun. Getting through each level without being shot constantly is difficult, and so isn’t really that enjoyable. The way it’s so much of a rip-off of James Bond doesn’t work as a parody as it’s too close to the source material and not humourous with it either.
It is what it is, though – a coin chewing arcade game that hasn’t translated well to playing at home, and isn’t as good as similar titles from the same era anyway.
Yes, the sound really did break half way through. Something to do with Antstream probably.
A very long time ago, I played this a lot in the arcade. Then, also a very long time ago but not quite as long ago, I played and completed the Mega Drive version. Which, I noted at the time, was almost completely different. I never went back to the arcade original, until now.
It’s one of those games that has lots of sections that seem completely impossible but then, somehow, they become very easy. Like the crystal mammoth boss – impossible. Until you crouch, hammer fire, and take out his feet.
There are some frustrating bits, and one section where you have to jump from a mine cart thing to a platform and not die instantly by one of about five baddies waiting, but overall I found it more enjoyable (and do-able) than I ever remember.
It required all of the credits, which, if I’d not been playing it on RetroPie would have meant re-mortgaging the house, but I completed it. Boy are some of those final few levels hard.
Pang is always a go-to game in the arcades for me. That, Pac-Land, Rampage, TMNT, Street Fighter II, Mappy, Out Run. I never got very far on a single credit in the past. Perhaps level 10 if I was very lucky.
But now, I’ve done it. Life goals, and all that eh?
I’ll be honest: I wasn’t expecting much from this Level Pack. It seemed a little contrived and almost like Warner Bros was scraping around their big ol’ IP library for something a little different and came out with this. They haven’t even got a “known” character as the main figure in the set – he’s just “Gamer Kid”.
However, it turned out to be awesome.
The level itself, for the most part, is quite small and doesn’t have a great deal to do in it, but the hook is that you unlock a load of actual real emulated arcade machines as you play. Gauntlet, Gauntlet II, Joust, Super Sprint (which, bizarrely, suffers from horrible slowdown), Defender, Spy Hunter and Robotron 2084 to name a few. There’s also a Lego representation of Paperboy, in which the flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz have stolen the newspapers. It’s fun.
The dimension hub is fantastic too, with references to Rampage, Toobin’, Vindicators, Badlands, 720, Gauntlet and all sorts.
I’ve been away all week, so not been playing a huge amount in the way of games. However, my holiday was partly affected by rain, so my DS did get an airing. On that, I started playing Puzzle Quest, which is a Bejewelled/Zoo Keeper clone in an RPG setting. So you have to battle orcs and things by matching gems, and have special powers and stats and stuff. It sounds totally ridiculous, but is actually somewhat amazing.
I also played Silver Strike Bowling a fair bit. It’s an arcade machine that was in the pub where we stayed. I managed to get about 120 as my highest score – some 85 lower than the highest scorers on the leaderboard. Who, naturally, were the pub staff.
Today, upon returning, I had a bit of a catchup on XBLA. There were two new XBLA games this week – Super Contra and Wing Commander Arena. Sadly, they’re both crap.