Monday, April 4, 2011

High Speed (NES)

I almost want to do a review of this YouTube review of 'High Speed' for the NES... Narrated by a young Ben Stein.

Ok, so anyway... I just received a copy of 'High Speed' for the NES via Goozex. I dug out my RetroStation and stuck it in.

I was first struck by the awesome soundtrack, and then derailed by the terrible graphics. I was wondering if maybe the cart was not pushed down all the way, but it turns out the graphics just suck.


So, I have never actually played a real life 'High Speed' pinball machine (HS being one of the best selling pins of all time, with something like 17,000+ cabinets in existence.), though I have played the sequel, The Getaway, many times. Either way, I was expecting a straight virtual representation of the actual pin a la the other Rare pinball NES game, Pin*Bot.

No dice. Mere seconds into my first game, I collected a helicopter. WHAT? Yeah, a flashing helicopter showed up on the screen, and when I hit it, it flew down to rest on the apron. Ok... then I noticed some water bubbling up on the left of the playfield... then a tumbleweed passing by. THEN, a freaking BOMB blew up one of my flippers! ie. shattered it to pieces. A new flipper was airlifted in and installed during gameplay. So, it's a mix of the actual High Speed game, with some videogame flair. Then it turns out that collecting items leads to minigames (as seen in the YouTube review I posted above).

Maybe this doesn't seem like a big deal, but I was weirded out enough to run over to the computer to type up this mini review. It's like a mix of a 'real' pin and 'Pinball Quest', the NES pinball RPG. Yes, I just wrote 'pinball RPG'... but that's a game for another entry...

So, I'm intrigued, and will play more. My only real knock on the game (the bad graphics are a slight ding) is that the ball stops during some text, thus throwing off your rhythm. Kinda like the spiral magnets on Twilight Zone. You think the ball is coming and you flip, only to have the ball come a split-second later and pass by your flipper.

Overall: A for effort, C+ for execution.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

nail'd Demo - Out Now on XBox Live

I'm a sucker for offroad games and breakneck racing titles. Pure, Burnout 3, Trials HD. I love to imagine myself blowing past trees and kicking up mud in my opponents faces while I sit in my recliner. As such, I've been really excited to try the latest over-the-top offroad racing game, nail'd. The advertising campaign for the game has been weak at best. Apparently, it was released last November! Anyway, the demo just hit Xbox Live yesterday.

So, I sat down, started my race, and within literal seconds I was already blowing doors at top speed... right out of the starting lanes... 'ok guys, we get it... let's ease in a little...' were my first thoughts. Too much too soon. After a few races, I became accustomed to the speed. There is no 0-60. There is only 60. And by 60 I mean 160. You're ALWAYS moving at top speed. Only once did I land on a ramp wrong and it slowed me a little.

nail'd feels a bit like the PS2 game 'Downhill Domination'. Crazy stuff going on around you at all times, way over-the-top with a spoonful of charm and a knowing wink.... 'THIS is what you REALLY want from a racing game...' Not a sim in the least. It also feels just a little... off. It feels like a semi-polished budget title. A decent budget title. Not much depth, but gorgeous tracks that are constantly changing, and branching out into dozens of shortcuts. nail's has a total focus on FUN. It also reminded me of the 'Flatout' games. Yeah, they're far-fetched, but you have a great time with it in short bursts.

It turns out that nail'd was released as a budget title at $50. It's currently about $33 new on Amazon.