Theme Hospital was developed by Bullfrog Productions and published by Electronic Arts in 1997. The aim of the game is for the player to design and manage a hospital. Like most of Bullfrog’s games, Theme Hospital is permeated by an eccentric sense of humour. The game is the thematic successor to Theme Park, which was also produced by Bullfrog.
The player has no direct control over the patients that wander the hospital, although gameplay largely centres on influencing their actions in one way or another. The player does, however, have the ability to pick up any staff member in the building and move them to a different area and to expel any patients from the hospital. The player may also force the patient into taking a chance of possible cure at the risk of killing the patient and rearrange the queue of each of the rooms in the hospital.
Each level consists of an empty hospital to plan and design, with set goals in the fields of financial attainment, patients cured, percent of patients cured, and hospital value. Holding negative funds or allowing sufficient patients to die will bring about losing requirements. When the goals have been met the player has the option to move on to a new, more elaborate hospital with tougher winning conditions and more diseases present. The final level in the game, ‘Battenburg‘ consists of an enormous, yet somewhat awkward, hospital with all the diseases and rooms in the game present, all disasters frequent and very high winning requirements.
Crazy Taxi is an open world racing game developed by Hitmaker and published by Sega. The game was ported to the Dreamcast in 2000. The main objective of the game is to pick up customers and take them to their chosen destination as quickly as possible. Along the way, money can be earned by performing stunts such as near misses with other vehicles. The player is directed to a destination by a large green arrow at the top of the screen. The arrow does not adjust based on obstacles, but rather points in the general direction of the destination. Once the player arrives near the destination, they must stop within a specified zone. When the destination is reached, that customer’s fare is added to the player’s total money earned. Ratings are then awarded depending on how long the player took to complete the journey. If the customer’s timer runs out before the player reaches the destination the customer jumps from the taxi.
Players can select three, five or ten minute settings, or the Arcade Rules used in the original coin-op version of the game. In the three time-limited settings, play continues for the designated period of time, after which the cab automatically stops and no more points can be scored. Under Arcade Rules, the player starts with an initial time limit of one minute, which can be extended through time bonuses earned for quick deliveries. Console versions of the game also feature a mode known as Crazy Box, a set of minigames that feature challenges such as picking up and dropping off a number of customers within a time limit, bowling using the taxi as a ball, and popping giant balloons in a field.
The arcade version of the game includes one stage, and an additional original stage was added for the console versions. Both stages are based in sunny coastal California locales, with steep hills and other strong similarities to San Francisco. The player has a choice of four drivers and their cabs, each of whom has slightly different attributes.
- Crazy Taxi Mashup (gamepadglory.wordpress.com)
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- Crazy Taxi iOS review (mobot.net)
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The gameplay is a turn-based tactics game where players take turns controlling individual members of their squad of hogs to engage in combat with the opposition, similar to Worms. Each turn, a player takes control of a single squad member in a third-person perspective to move around the map including jumping over terrain and swimming over bodies of water yet can only engage in combat when stationary. Each turn has a set time limit that ends if the timer counts down to zero, the player skips their turn, a weapon or ability is used or if they have accidentally injured themselves such as walking into a mine field or falling from a high surface. Other hazards include bodies of water that while can be swam in, is damaging to nearly all types of soldiers that drains health as they swim. If a teammate is knocked into water by an opponent, they will automatically swim to the nearby shore line. While difficult, it is also possible to knock hogs off the map resulting in instant death. If all health is gone and the player is on land, they will fall over with a last comical remark before exploding.
The tune for the game is John Philip Sousa‘s Liberty Bell March. The design of the game is discussed in the book The Game Maker’s Apprentice, which is co-authored by the lead programmer of the game and has a foreword by one of the game’s designers. Voice over work was provided by comedian Rik Mayall shown in the following clip.
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The player controls a small mosquito,named Mr Moskeeto, who has taken up residency in the house of the Yamada family, life-sized humans that serve as the protagonist‘s food source in the game. The goal of the game is to stock up on blood through the summer so that the mosquito will survive the winter ahead. The player is tasked with sucking blood from specific body parts of the family members without being noticed. If the player is not careful, the human will become stressed and eventually attack.
The game is made up of a series of stages which must be unlocked in order by completing each previous stage. Players can choose their own path though each stage. At the start of each stage is a briefing detailing the room where the stage takes place, the victim and areas on their body from which blood can be sucked, and any prevalent dangers. The rooms in each stage are fully explorable. Each room has items hidden in obscure places which can bring various benefits.
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Super Mario Sunshine: Retro game of the day
Super Mario Sunshine, developed by Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development and published by Nintendo for the GameCube. It was released in October 2002 across Europe. It is the second 3D Mario platformer, following Super Mario 64. The game takes place on the tropical Isle Delfino, where Mario, Princess Peach and five Toads are taking a vacation. A villain resembling Mario, known as Shadow Mario, vandalises the entire island with graffiti and Mario gets blamed for the mess. Later on, Mario is ordered to clean up Isle Delfino, while saving Princess Peach from Shadow Mario. Mario cleans up the island with a device called Flash Liquidizer Ultra Dousing Device or FLUDD for short.
When Mario first acquires FLUDD he can spray and hover using its nozzles, it can be upgraded later in the game to extend functionality. The rocket nozzle, which blasts Mario up high into the air and the turbo nozzle, which lets Mario sprint at high speed on land and water and break down specific doors. Mario can also ride Yoshi later in the game, who can eat fruit and squirt the juice of that fruit. This juice can be used to dissolve orange generators acting as obstacles, and briefly transform enemies into platforms for Mario to step on. The color of Yoshi and color of its juice depends on the type of fruit last eaten.
There are 240 blue coins and 120 Shine Sprites. Each level consists of eight tasks, which may be played again at will once they are completed. Once the player has collected enough Shine Sprites, a new level is available at Delfino Plaza, either by the acquisition of a new ability or a plot-related event. Of the 120 Shine Sprites, 24 are gained by collecting and trading Blue Coins at a rate of 10 coins per sprite. Gameplay proceeds in this fashion until all of the Shadow Mario-related missions are completed, which unlocks the level containing the final boss. Check out this crazy tv spot!
- Super Mario Sunshine 2 Is Long Overdue (nintychronicle.wordpress.com)
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The Teenage Mutant Ginger Turtles are back, and they’re ready to deliver a smashing good time. In celebration of the 30th anniversary of these heroes in a half-shell, Teenage Mutant Ginger Turtles: The Next Mutation brings the Turtles swinging back into action for a thrilling new original adventure. Get ready to shout “Cowabunga!” as you brawl your way across a series of environments, dispatching enemies with true Ginger rage.
Developed by the team behind brawling classics Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Dead or Alive, Teenage Mutant Ginger Turtles: The Next Mutation lets you exhibit your turtle power in a variety of interactive, destructive environments, including a moving train, a whale’s back and a burning building. Show off your mutant ninja reflexes as you dodge laser beams, ravenous alligators, rushing water and more. Explore an exciting original single-player Story mode written with co-creator Peter Griffin in which you can unlock side missions to earn shells that let you buy goodies or improve your mini game scores. Then go online to battle in four-person brawls in a variety of tournament modes that accommodate up to 16 players.
Key Game Features:
- Fight your way across a series of interactive, destructible environments, including a sinking ship, a moving train, a burning building and a whale’s back.
- Experience an exciting original single-player story mode written in collaboration with TMNT co-creator Peter Griffin.
- Complete side missions in Story mode to earn shells you can use to buy goodies or improve your mini game scores.
- Use any of four different controllers to guide the action: the Gamepad, Wii U Pro Controller, Wii Remote or Nunchuk.
- Take the battle online for 16-player tournament modes, including Battle Royal, Winner Stays, Loser Stays and Spectator modes.
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Gran Turismo: Retro game of the day
With yesterdays exciting announcement from Sony about the release of its latest incarnation of Polyphony Digitals long running racing simulator series, Gran Turismo 6 for PS3, we thought it only right that today’s retro game of the day was the original.
After five years in development Gran Turismo was published by Sony Computer Entertainment and released in 1997 for the PlayStation console. A year later the game’s development group was established as Polyphony Digital. To date has spawned over 10 spin-offs and sequels.
Gran Turismo is based on the racing simulator genre and uses two different modes, Arcade Mode and Simulation Mode. In the arcade mode, the player can freely choose the courses and vehicles they wish to use. Winning races unlocks additional cars and courses. In simulation mode the player is required to earn different driver’s licenses in order to qualify for events, and earn credits, trophies and prize cars. The credits can then be used to purchase additional vehicles and for parts for tuning. Gran Turismo features 140 cars and 11 race tracks, long with their reversed versions.
- Gran Turismo 6 – watch full presentation from Silverstone (vg247.com)
- Gran Turismo 6 page found on official site (vg247.com)
- Gran Turismo 6 officially announced, available this holiday (joystiq.com)
- Gran Turismo 6 Confirmed via Leaked Press Release (autoevolution.com)
- Sony shows off Move, PlayStation Plus at E3 (video roundup) (reviews.cnet.com)
Eternal Darkness: Retro game of the day
Eternal Darkness is a survival horror video game released for the GameCube. Developed by Silicon Knights and originally planned for the Nintendo 64, it was released November 2002 in Europe. It was the first video game published directly by Nintendo to be rated M for mature by the software rating board.
Eternal Darkness’ plot revolves around Alexandra Roivas, who is investigating the mysterious murder of her grandfather Edward Roivas. While exploring his Rhode Island mansion, she discovers a secret room containing, among other odd items, a book bound with human skin and bone. When she reads this book, The Tome of Eternal Darkness, she experiences a scene in the life of Pious Augustus, a respected Roman military commander in 26 BC. Pious is led by mysterious voices to an underground temple, where he chooses one of three mysterious artifacts. The artifact transforms him into an undead warlock, the Liche, and makes him slave to one of three Ancients, powerful godlike beings whose Essences are incarnated as the artifacts. As the plot unfolds, it becomes clear that Pious is attempting to summon his Ancient into this reality, while the powerful fourth “Corpse God” Mantorok is bound on Earth already, apparently helpless to stop it. If this summoning came to pass, the Ancient would feast on the bodies and souls of all living beings, and cast the universe into the horror of eternal darkness. The game utilises sanity effects to enhance the gameplay.
Though not a commercial success, Eternal Darkness was widely praised, winning the Outstanding Achievement in Character or Story Development award at the Annual Interactive Achievement Awards long with numerous other awards.
- ‘Shadow of the Eternals’ Revealed as ‘Eternal Darkness’ Sequel (bagogames.com)
- Eternal Darkness spiritual sucessor teased, reveal and crowdfunding campaign launch May 6 (polygon.com)
- Precursor Games Says It Will “Definitely Discuss” Releasing Eternal Darkness On Wii U (mynintendonews.com)
- Eternal Darkness Inspired Shadow of the Eternals Launched Kickstarter on Monday (news.softpedia.com)
Retro game of the day
Well what can I say, this possibly the first game that I actually completed and I mean actually completed not the usual ‘Oh yea I completed that game’ just to show off in the playground. Super Mario Bros. 3 was developed and published by Nintendo for the NES and is the third game in the series, the clue is in the name. Released in 1991, in Europe, the game focuses on Mario and Luigi who embark to a quest to save Princess Peach for a change.
Mario and Luigi battle through eight worlds in an attempt to restore order to the Mushroom World. This version of Mario introduced brand new power-ups which could augment their abilities, establishing several conventions that have also been featured in later titles of the franchise. Completing stages allows the player to progress through the overworld map and to succeeding worlds. Each world features a final stage with a boss to defeat. The first seven worlds feature an airship controlled by one of the Koopalings, while the player battles Bowser in his castle at the end of the eighth world.
Super Mario Bros. 3 also included a multiplayer option which allowed two players to co-operatively. Through this mode players can also access several minigames, including a remake of the original Mario Bros. arcade game.
- !Nintendo Wall Graphics – New Super Mario Bros (nintendowallgraphicssupermariosaleusa9.wordpress.com)
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