Thursday, 19 December 2019

Mega Drive A-Z

It has gone down as Sega's most successful console, proving ultra-popular in all the major territories, and is still held in high esteem today - that's right, it's the one and only, the legendary... Mega Drive! Almost 1,000 games eventually found homes on its rippling innards and I will least try to feature all of them in these listings, although I'm bound to miss the odd one or two here and there. Next up is:

L is for...

Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs by Electronic Arts (1990)

This was the game that revealed to most of us outside the US that the Lakers and Celtics were apparently basketball teams. There aren't a huge number of options here for a sports game but the fast-paced action is pretty enjoyable, even if you don't give two pieces of monkey crap about the sport.

Sunday, 15 December 2019

Arcade Shmups #26

Scramble Spirits (1988)
By: Sega Genre: Shooting Players: 1-2 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: Arcade First Day Score: 310,120 (one credit)
Also Available For: Master System, Amiga, Atari ST, MSX, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum

There weren't a massive number of shmups on the Master System - it didn't have a huge number of games of any genre I guess - but of the ones that did find their way to Sega's wonderful console, about the only one I never played was Scramble Spirits. This may have been down to the lacklustre reception it received in magazines of the day, or the fact that it has been pretty much ignored ever since. Perhaps not, but either way, I recently reminded myself that the poor neglected game exists and immediately made a mental note to investigate it forthwith. If I'm going to do that, I then reasoned, I might as well first try the original version of it, so behold: after some problems getting it running, here is the arcade version of Sega's lost shooter. Does is deserve our continued apathy?

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Film Review #112

Parker (2013)
Director: Taylor Hackford Starring: Jason Statham, Jennifer Lopez, Michael Chiklis, Bobby Cannavale, Nick Nolte, Wendell Pierce, Clifton Collins Jr, Micah Hauptman

Certificate: 15 Running Time: 118 Minutes

Tagline: "To get away clean, you have to play dirty."

Although released all the way back in 2013, the very first I heard of this film was when it popped up on the 'recently added' section of Netflix a while ago. From the cover and synopsis it sounded like yet another copy-and-paste Jason Statham action-thriller, but they can often be enjoyable in a fighty, switch-your-brain-off kind of way, so I thought I'd give it a go. It was only afterwards I discovered that's he's actually playing the star of a series of novels by Donald Westlake (written under the pen name Richard Stark), and that this film is actually an adaptation of the 19th book in the series! Crikey, I wonder why they didn't start with the first one? Anyway, the titular character is a master thief and career criminal - ruthless but principled - and is intended as something of an anti-hero. Sounds like Mr. Statham could pull that off easily enough, but do the literary origins of the story make the film a bit smarter than his usual fare?

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Game Gallery #8

After a much shorter gap than last time, I am happy to return with another Game Gallery here at Red Parsley! I have again gone with a shoot 'em up, which is probably the first vertical-scroller I ever really liked. This might be because I was quite good at it (I could even finish it!) but also because it's a genuinely stonking game.

Not only does it feature tons of distinctive enemies, some scary alien landscapes, and a load of cool power-up weapons, but it was also something of a technical marvel for the Master System which was apparently able to throw the game's many sprites around with none of the flicker that had blighted many other games. Behold, the wonder that is surely the MS's best shmup... Power Strike!

Click here for the full review of this fine game.