Now Playing: Secret Agent (1992)

Sometimes you just need to bust out an old DOS action-platformer! This is another fine classic title by the legendary Apogee games and it’s no coincidence that it all looks more than a little bit similar to the original Duke Nukem. This (as well as the also very similar looking Crystal Caves) were both made by the same designer of the Duke Nukem series, though oddly enough, they both came out after Duke Nukem. I guess they didn’t expect Duke Nukem to take off the way it did!

Anyway, it’s all very similar to Duke Nukem in gameplay too. You need to search through the levels to find a bunch of key items and perform a bunch of key actions in order to open the exit. You’ll need destroy the radar dish and find the dynamite to open the exit door before you can leave, but of course it isn’t going to be that simple. You’ll need to find various colored keys to open locked doors and find a computer disk and a computer to use it on to disable deadly laser fields too.

Unlike Duke Nukem, there’s an overworld screen where you can walk around and pick different levels to go to, though the order makes no difference at all. The biggest difference though is the greater emphasis on platforming over shooting. Secret Agent isn’t quite the action hero Duke was, in fact you even have a limited supply of ammo, forcing you to be a little more careful in your combat encounters.

The levels can be pretty complicated and aside from the enemies there are a lot of traps, some instantly deadly. You also only get 3 hits and 1 life, but you have unlimited continues so it’s not so bad.

While Secret Agent may not have gotten the fame and recognition of Duke Nukem, it still serves as an example of the same fine talent that went into Duke Nukem and so many other memorable Apogee games. It’s a fun little game and still holds up quite well for its age.

Playing this again after all these years really gave me an itch for more old DOS games like this. Stuff like Dangerous Dave, Bio Menace, or Clyde’s Adventure. I’ll have to try to fit some of those in sometime soon…

The Mystery Blogger Award

The Shameless Narcissist nominated me for this award, let’s see…uh, I don’t even want to say how long ago that was. Oops. Time sure flies when you’re cranking out game reviews and other assorted ramblings non-stop, but I promised myself I’d do this this year, and so naturally I waited until the very last minute to do it…so, surprise! I did actually notice and remember, it just got a little buried under a long to-do list of things. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I was going to do this either. I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but I don’t tend to talk about myself too much on here other than what new toy I’m playing with. For all my babbling, I’m a pretty private and anti-social person, and so something like this seemed as uncomfortable as going outside in the sun. I’m trying to reform my curmudgeonly image though (a little bit), and as welcoming and friendly as this community has been (I’ve only met one person I’ve wanted to punch in the face so far, which is some kind of personal record for me), and when a request like this comes from someone as respectable as The Shameless Narcissist, I could hardly refuse such an offer.

THE RULES:

  • Display the award logo on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  • Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  • Answer five questions from the nominator.
  • Nominate from 10 to 20 bloggers.
  • Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
  • Share the link to your best post.

What is the Mystery Blogger Award?

*The award was created by Okoto Enigma*

“Mystery Blogger Award”  is an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging; and they do it with so much love and passion.

Three Things About Me:

  1. I’m an elderly college student who is currently trying to complete a major in Computer Science. I’m almost twice as old as everyone else here because I wasted many years of my life being a depressed, drugged up nihilistic asshole and have only relatively recently finally begun to do something worthwhile with my life. I actually originally intended to get into IT, but after having straight A’s for the first 2 years or so, and after having my first programming class, I made a semi-impulsive decision to switch over to Computer Science because I wanted to learn something more unique and challenging. I may have gotten in a little over my head at first, as my perfect grade record was immediately shattered as I found the difficulty curve had increased much more than I expected. For a while I was starting to worry that I’d made a mistake and really screwed myself by changing to this field, but I kept at it until I finally got my head wrapped around it and am finally feeling confident that I can actually succeed in this field. I look forward to serving our future robot overlords well.
  2. I attribute this drastic, positive change in my life entirely to my wife, who kept on me to get off my ass and do something with myself (but wasn’t too pushy about it) and gave me the confidence, the will, and the motivation to aspire to greater things than busting my ass at ungrateful, shitty restaurant manager jobs. She is also responsible for introducing me to the strange new feeling of happiness, which has allowed me to live and enjoy my life without feeling the need to drown my misery in drugs.
  3. I have the greatest cat of all time. Her name is Pantha and she is a perfect, spoiled little princess. Don’t get me started on her because I will literally start showing you hundreds of pictures of her. I will restrain myself and only post this one for now: 

The Shameless Narcissist’s Questions:

  1. What’s your favorite kind of scented candle? Not really my thing, but if it was I’d probably use something like Mmm,  “old timber, leather, and maybe some blood…”.
  2. Do you prefer physical copies or eBooks?  In the same vein, do you prefer digital copies or physical for video games? Books I definitely prefer the real thing, but I do have a lot of digital stuff too because you just can’t have or have room for every single physical book you ever possibly wanted. I used to feel the same way about games, but the digital versions are slowly winning me over in that area with all the damn sales all the time and with so many games being digital-only these days.
  3. What’s your favorite nail polish color (yes guys can answer, too!)? Again, not really my thing. I was more into jewelry/accessories in my youth. Spiky, skully rings and chains and spikes everywhere. Good times. I’ve cut down to simply wearing all black most of the time these days. I even finally got my hair cut short recently. What a sellout.
  4. Philosophical question: Do you think humans are inherently good or are we amoral (lacking morals as in neutral, as opposed to immoral, which is against “common” morals) only exhibiting them because it’s the cost of living in a culture/society and they become so ingrained that we believe them to be inherent? People love to reduce everything to simplistic binary states where there’s only right/wrong, good/evil, us/them and everyone conveniently falls into one box or the other depending on if other people happen to agree with their personal belief system or not, but the world just isn’t that simple. People are all driven by their own inherent survival instincts and that base need we all have for companionship in one form or another, and everyone processes these needs in very different ways and at varying levels of efficiency. Our base animal impulses are like the bios that’s embedded in our hardware, and our personality is the operating system that communicates between our emotions and these base impulses, and naturally, everyone would rather this process be as basic and dumbed down as possible, and this is how we ended up with Macs! I hope this answered the question sufficiently.
  5. Silver or gold? I like silver because he had that cool mask. The one guy that gets this reference is going to think it’s hilarious. Seriously though, I prefer silver. Silver kills everything don’t you know? Vampires, werewolves, demons, babies, etc. What CAN’T you kill by shoving silver through its heart?

My best post:

Apparently my most viewed post is…Now Playing: Bloodnet (1993)? Weird. That’s a really old one from back when I didn’t think anyone at all was reading this stuff. I guess not too many other people are covering Bloodnet out there!

My Nominations:

AmbiGaming

Retro Redress

Raistlin0903

My Side Of The Laundry Room

Hundstrasse

Lightning Ellen

Cheap Boss Attack

I Played The Game!

Games and Stuff

I Heart Old Games

My Questions for the Nominees:

(Which I’m going to go ahead and give my answers to too, because I can’t help it)

  1. What is your favorite sugary breakfast cereal and why? (I quit eating them myself, but Lucky Charms was always my favorite back in the day)
  2. Blue pill or red pill? In other words, would you want to be pulled out of the matrix to live a dirty cave in the middle of a radioactive wasteland having shitty raves, eating nothing but cave moss and bugs for life, and getting murdered by robots or would you rather stay in there and eat the tasty digital steak? (Me, I’d stay in the digital world. Why not? Looking back on it, I’m really not sure what the downside was. Seemed like everyone’s quality of life was way higher in the digital world.)
  3. Who is your favorite superhero(ine) and why? (I always liked Spider-Man the most because as ridiculous as his life is, he still had the closest to realistic problems. He’s always trying to balance his secret identity with his personal life and usually destroying the latter to preserve the former because he just cared too damn much. That and the jokes and great enemies.)
  4. What is your favorite video game specifically from your childhood and why? (Contra, easily. It never ever gets old no matter how many times I play it.)
  5. Would you like to live forever and why or why not? (Me, I say all that “immortality would be boring” is for suckers. I’d live forever and love it, preferably as some kind of Lawnmower Man style digital god, but perhaps I’ve said too much…)

Well, that’s it then. I’ve done it. Naturally, I don’t intend for anyone mentioned here to feel at all obligated to reply to this. If this isn’t your thing, I understand perfectly and hold no ill will if you don’t do one. Now, I gotta get back to my long family Christmas vacation which will likely be so uneventful that I’ll never speak of it again. Happy holidays to all you masochistic readers out there!

A Quick Byte: The Fall

A MOST AGREEABLE PASTIME

603874316Not to be confused with other “Fall” games, like Black: The Fall, or apparently another completely unrelated game also called The Fall, this particular The Fall is more of a point and click adventure…sort of. The Fall is the fascinating story of a mysterious person future soldier who has crash landed on a mysterious planet. Mystery person seems to be injured and unconscious, so their fancy advanced battle suit’s AI takes over and begins its quest to find medical attention for its wounded user. The AI has full motor control over the suit, along with many other functions, though most of these are locked and/or damaged, to be opened again through future actions.

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For the most part, this all plays out in the form of what is mostly reminiscent of a point and click adventure, though it controls like a side-scrolling action game and features some very rudimentary combat…

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Review: Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite

A MOST AGREEABLE PASTIME

capcom-2-1003801.jpgMarvel vs. Capcom Infinite is finally here and if the internet is to be believed, it’s the latest Mass Effect: Andromeda-type controversy, because OMG TWO CHARACTER’S FACES LOOK WEIRD IN CUTSCENES! I admit, there really are precisely two characters who have weird faces in otherwise incredible looking cutscenes. I was so distraught when I gazed upon these two faces of questionable quality that I cried and vomited simultaneously, then called my mom and told her to take this pile of garbage back to the virtual landfill from which it sprang! Sorry, just kidding, game’s awesome.

21768667_10154800070481366_5159684307330252527_o SO FEW CHARACTERS TOO!

As I said previously, upon playing the demo, the single player campaign’s fan-fiction-ish mashing together of classic Marvel and Capcom characters repeatedly punches me right in the nostalgias. Yes, the story is incredibly cheesy and childish. It often feels much like something you would have seen in a Saturday…

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You like Castlevania, don’t you? Part IV

A MOST AGREEABLE PASTIME

Castlevania_-_Symphony_of_the_Night_(gamebox)Symphony of the Night is not just hands-down the greatest Castlevania game of all time, but I also consider it one of the top 5 greatest video games of all time. It is not just the original Metroidvania, but it’s the pinnacle of subgenre. Great looking backgrounds and enemies, incredible level design, a large array of interesting locations and a crazy boss for each of them, an amazing soundtrack, and more items than you’ll ever find no matter how many times you play. Seriously, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve beaten this and I’ve still never gotten that damn Crissaegrim (the ultimate weapon in the game, only found through random drop), which angers me to no end, because I let a friend play my copy of this back in high school and he literally found it by accident within minutes. Someday…

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People complain about the voice acting…

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A Quick Byte: Abzu

A MOST AGREEABLE PASTIME

5359645-lWowwwww, where did this game come from? I had heard nice things about it, but it didn’t look or sound particularly amazing. It really just looks like Journey, but underwater, and while Journey also surprised me with it’s endearing simplicity, it’s got nothing on the sheer beauty of the world of Abzu.

I grabbed this when it was one of the free PS Plus games a month or two ago, not really expecting much, but hey free is free. I ended up trying it out recently when I had a few hours to kill between longer games, half-expecting that it would just end up deleted and forgotten like the majority of the free monthly games offered. Oh, how wrong I was.

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I think it’s something that has to be seen in its full glory to really have the same impact. Not only do screenshots do it justice, but even…

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Review: Night Trap 25th Anniversary Edition

A MOST AGREEABLE PASTIME

imageI have a confession to make. I’ve never played Night Trap before! It sure seems like something I’d have played, doesn’t it? I’ve always wanted to try it, but I never had a Sega CD and I just never got around to playing the later ports. On the plus side, this means I went into this completely untainted by any nostalgic bias.

The first thing I noticed about Night Trap was that it was indeed a very dated game. It was originally designed as a VHS game and it definitely shows, for better or worse.

21543815_10154762728881366_5327540073846809914_o Doesn’t seem to be anything suspicious going on here

From the characters, the sets, the plot, the dialogue, the tone, the music, and everything else, this game just bleeds 80’s-ness. It all feels very much like some kind of cheesy made-for-TV horror movie that you would have seen in the early 80’s. The kind that’s…

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Show us your game collection, Richenbaum!

A MOST AGREEABLE PASTIME

I’m not one to start bragging about my toys unsolicited, but Sir Lucius was kind enough to ask, perhaps not realizing that like some nerdy vampire, once invited, I will be all up in your business.

Today’s tour begins with the living room. Here we have the PS4 Pro, PSVR, Xbone, and disgustingly excessive 4K HDR smart TV.

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It was this or have children, so we went for the TV.

This particular TV has an Android OS capable of emulation and external flash and hard drive use so just about all my old-timey console games are now playable directly on the TV, which is good because there doesn’t seem to be any room left in here to plug any more consoles into this thing!

Let me also add, for anyone wondering, that the 4K hype is absolutely true (especially if you have HDR too). It’s a costly transition…

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How to pick up chicks in Quake 2

A MOST AGREEABLE PASTIME

Stay a while and listen while I break from my usual M.O. of reviewing hoards of games to recount an offbeat tale of railguns and romance.

It was some time ago, so far back that I can’t quite recall the exact year, but I can narrow it down to near the end of the previous century. I was wasting time on mIRC, which is technically a program designed for chatting, but in reality is a filthy cesspool of illicit activity and depravity. It must have seemed so idyllic to all us poor, angry youths with emotional issues and flexible morals, but that’s a tale for another time. The point is that I was speaking to an associate from an industrial music room and in the throes of our collective boredom we decided to try our hands at an online deathmatch game of Quake 2.

quake2chick and I don’t mean these…

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