Now Playing: Highway Hunter (1994)

I’ve been neglecting my old computer since I got that new tv…so I must rectify that with some old-timey games, starting with Highway Hunter!

There’s not a lot to say about Highway Hunter, really. It’s kind of a Super Spy Hunter clone published by Epic Megagames back in the 90s. It’s simple and fun and has a decent, if a little amateurish, 90s midi soundtrack.

I’m not entirely sure why it didn’t get any of the recognition that other similar games of the time, like Raptor or Tyrian, got.

It had good variety in its levels, enemies, and weapons. It had a lot of interesting level locations and bosses. It even had a level where it turns out that the road you’ve been driving on is actually a giant snake and the boss is the snake’s head, and somehow you blow up the snake’s head and drive off into the sunset on the body of the snake whose head you just blew up, which makes no fucking sense at all but damn is that fucking metal or what?

The only downsides are that the game has some slowdown issues even on modern systems and is pretty short, about 90 minutes to blow through all 3 episodes. Very solid, fun little 90s shooter though.

Now Playing: Phantasmagoria (1995)

Phantasmagoria is a horror adventure by Roberta Williams, creator of the King’s Quest series. It is also one of the earliest and biggest games of the FMV craze of the 90s. It had an astounding (at the time) 7 whole discs (that’s in CDs, if you crazy kids even know what those are anymore) and was said to contain some pretty controversial and highly graphic material. I’ve always wanted to try it out to finally know once and for all, the truth about Phantasmagoria. Well…it kinda sucks.

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Now Playing: Wing Commander IV (1996)

After the success of Wing Commander III, Chris Roberts and crew apparently got a much larger budget for IV. The frequency and scope of the cutscenes increased quite a bit, with the actors even performing on actual physical sets instead of being pasted on cg backgrounds. Apparently there was a rare, special DVD version back in the day too, for the ten people who had DVD-roms on their PCs back in ’96. It was interesting to see all the ultra-90s design and effects in “high quality”.

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Now Playing: Wing Commander III (1994)

Ah, Wing Commander 3. Back when I was a kid that was just starting to get into PC games there was stuff like Wolfenstein 3D that caused me to say “Holy shit dad, we need a Sound Blaster!”, there was stuff like Return to Zork and Wing Commander 2 that caused me to say “Holy shit dad, we need a CD-ROM!”, and then there came Wing Commander 3, which led to the first “Holy shit dad, we need a whole new PC to play this shit!”.

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Elvira: Mistress of the Dark (1990)

Decided to finally start these series after all these years of meaning to get around to it. Elvira is a strange mix of genres that is part Shadowgate and part Eye of the Beholder and actually has very little to do with Elvira and more to do with a castle full of random, crazy shit that really, really wants you to die.

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Now Playing: Star Wars – Dark Forces (1995)

The Star Wars bug has not quite left me yet, and so I am forced to choose between the many excellent old Star Wars games out there to play again. I could have gone for the original Battlefronts, or the old Super Nintendo trilogy, or maybe Republic Commando, but in the end I decided to go with the Dark Forces/Jedi Knight series.

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