Game Of The Week - D/generation!


skeezix

Internal Development
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
8,064
Website
www.codejedi.com
Should I be posting this to gp2x general with this? Or should I just keep one thread and endlessly add them there (where no one will find them? :) The emu will be out for Pandora and Wiz soon, so ... I dont' want to post on all of them (gp2x, wiz, pandora) .. hmm :)
--


I've received a few notes regarding this 'GotW' effort; for one, since I mentioned I'd hoped to avoid the well-trodden path (reviewing the very best of the titles, and for the ST there are many) that perhaps I'm projecting to newbies only the mediocre games. Perhaps I should not avoid the true greats, or should do a special posting summing up a bunch of them, so that I can just point at it and say 'therrums!' .. I'll leave that for a later date and instead review a title which _I_ really enjoyed back in the day. I don't recall now if it was popular or not. Another note questioned about genres .. as the ST was blessed with many very different kinds of games from text adventures to puzzlers to flight sims to wargames of every kind, I could easily strike gold for anyone reader only every once in awhile.. but alas I've not the time to knock out 5-10 of these per week to address one from each genre. Still, I'll mull it over. There are of course a few very good ST fan sites such as Little Green Desktop, Atari Legend, Atari Forum, etc .. so feel free to hit them up :)

Inspiration for this post was drawn from a thought I had .. we all know that 3D 'ages worse' than 2D, and this comes quadruply so for flight-sims. While you can fire up Mario Br^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hGreat Guiana Sisters and always enjoy it regardless of how ghetto the graphics, firing up Microsoft Flight Sim 2 will be brutal nomatter how much the nostalgia. Worse still are that with flight sims using such comprehensive controls, they'll never really be playable even if you wanted to, anymore.. at least on a handheld or games console. Still, going back in my mind to great ST gaming moments, one will never forget chasing down the train that circled the landscape in Falcon and trying to fly through the open door in one of the railcars. I'll never forget when that realization struck that the screamers in Dungeon Master were both edible and would slowly respawn, and so could be herded into a room with a portcullus and trapped for an infinite food supply. I'll never forget blowing the first planet in Captive, hacking the file format of Breach so I could make my characgter 'uber', obliterating an army with one spell in Phantasie, taking over Chicago in Roadwar 2000, and I could go on, since I was quite the ST nerd.

And I will not forget in _D/Generation_ the first or second Genoq employee I rescued who ran over to say hello, and then got shot in the back by one of the traps I had tried so hard to avoid for myself. That'll teach those survivors to run over to their would be rescuers!

D/Generation is a proto horror-puzzler, a game with a sensor of humour and intelligence and yet was relatively unforgiving.

Platform: Atar ST featured, but also upon Amiga and PC. It is highly tempting for me to attempt a remake :)

Play Now: Any emu of merit will handle it for your platform of choice. OutcaST on the gp2x, CaSTaway on the PSP, and OutcaST on the Pandora or Wiz when I release it (soon!), among others. (Hatari runs it fine on desktops, Wiz and Pandora, as do STeem Engine and moron and others.)

A note on the ROMs floating about: As always I recommend ripping your own original disks, for both concerns of legality and also since usually they provide the best experience. Of course they often back then had painful protections (looking crap up in the manual, laser burnt holes in the disks, and so on), so do as you will. I've collected numerous copies and cracks of this title and must note that even some of the beefier ST emus sometimes get confused during load (unpack) time due to something some of the pack groups did. Most of them don't like my emus too much, and I never did bother to go figure out why .. still, my original disk and a very simple crack disk work fine. (If it has a scrolling or bouncy intro, its probably the one that will not work with OutcaST. If it has an intro that blinks by that you can barely notice, you're probably in luck. Look in the 'complete collection' type sources..)

Review:

Now while the artwork is functional and not striking, the gameplay I humbly submit makes up for it. One of my favorite titles of all time (Time Bandits for the ST) is also … cute, but utterly fantastic. Being a retro fan yourself I trust you can look beyong what the years have done :) The game also doesn't really have a soundtrack, so you'll have to go with me on this one.

Suffice to say it is an isometric perspective with your character dropped onto the top of a tower to deliver a package; sadly this tower, owned by a genetic engineering company (Resident Evil anyone?), has been taken over by the experiments (the A/Generation, B/Generation, etc) and you've got to find yourself a way out. Essentially each screen is a mini puzzle unto itself, with a few multi-screen gimmicks (find a key here, use it there.) Initially the player starts with no weapon and your job is to figure out which things are harmful (monsters popping out the floor, rotating on the spot, bouncing around, etc, electrified walls and floors and other traps) and which things are not (computer terminals with messages, keys, pressure plates, wall switches, doors, other civilians.) Later you'll locate a laser pistol whose shots will rebound from the walls, letting you activate certain gadgets arond corners.

Most of the gameplay is in timing — one monster will be pivoting on the spot so you'll have to run around it in the direction of rotation to stay out of harms way, while heading for a wall to push a button, and in basic logic — do this, then that, then t'other, to open a door out of this room. Usually you have to clear a room out and activate or utilize various gizmos in order to proceed in any meaningful way.

Death doesn't mean too much, which is good for what in essence is a puzzler more than an action game, but they do provide only a limited number of lives, which is a shame, but after a few matches you'll have caught onto the 'rules' and will know where to step and where not to, and can really get into the meat of the game.

So if you're looking for a game with arcade but not terribly difficult bits, and where you have to pause for just a few moments to think about how to proceed, this is a great oldie. It _is_ a bit tired to look at if you've not got the rosie glasses of nostalgia, but its a fun game that I've enjoyed in the past, and also recently on my mighty GP2x. Theres a certain sense of horror-comedy to it all which is pretty entertaining, so do be sure to activate (by walking into) computer terminals and plaques and so forth. Smell the roses, being careful they're not attack-roses first :)

Made a screenshot..
st-dgeneration.jpg


--

Posted to my blog as well so I know where to find them later: http://www.rjmitchell.ca/~jeff/blog2009/20...ek-dgeneration/
 

gaterooze

Coltrane Sundia
Joined
Aug 7, 2004
Messages
2,723
Website
Visit site
Superb game, this one. Does everything so right. I must admit I never played more than the first few levels - but it's always been one I intend going back to explore further.

Thanks for the reminder, skeezix!
 

skeezix

Internal Development
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
8,064
Website
www.codejedi.com
Well, wtf is with this. Reading above I see:

"(Hatari runs it fine on desktops, Wiz and Pandora, as do STeem Engine and moron and others.)"

It was a direct copy and paste from my blog, which reads:

"(Hatari runs it fine on desktops, Wiz and Pandora, as do STeem Engine and W i n S T o n and others.)"

Let me try a total repost here and see if the board is somehow replacing moron magicly..

jeff

Holy shit, the board replaces W i n S T o n with 'moron'! Thats amazing smile.gif

Yet "STeem" also has crazy studly caps and is unchanged. IS it some specific user the mods have hated in the past?
 

WhiteFalcon

Certified Guru
Joined
Nov 4, 2003
Messages
732
Age
40
Location
Czech Republic
Website
Visit site
A nice read Skeezix, I tried D/Generation once on the GP2X for only a short time, it seemed quite difficult to me.
Have to try it again when the Pandora arrives :)

The moron thing is really funny, at first I thought you did it on purpose to get "OutCaSTaway" ahead of other emulators ;)
 

Iorgy77

emu parasite kid
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Messages
2,068
Age
43
Location
Melbourne, Australia
Website
Visit site
W i n s t o n is a brand of cancer sticks, the board replaces brand names of coffin nails and the even word for death darts with moron moron etc..

Good review btw skeezix, I never got very far with D/Generation I have the AGA version HDD installed on my 1200 so will have to give it a play again.
 

skeezix

Internal Development
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
8,064
Website
www.codejedi.com
Any genre request? I was thinking of hitting up a tabletop wargame next week, but could do something else as well.

jeff
 

christo930

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
1,095
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
The whole "game of the week" concept is great. I also think it's a good idea to introduce games that are very good, but might not have become well known at the time because of the timing of the release or that other games that were SUPER POPULAR at the time, pushed them into the background or whatever. Maybe someone can partner up with you and each week you can talk about a game for 2 systems instead of just one. Like maybe there can be a gotw for Atari-st and another for TG16 or something. Anyway, I'm looking forward to your future gotw picks. Thanks for doing it.

Chris
 

christo930

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2004
Messages
1,095
Location
Pennsylvania, USA
skeezix posted on May 26 2009 at 03:14 PM said:
Any genre request? I was thinking of hitting up a tabletop wargame next week, but could do something else as well.

jeff
How about puzzle games or platformers?

Chris

ps... What is a tabletop war game? I always thought of tabletop games as vfd games like the coleco mini-arcades (which I have em all)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

skeezix

Internal Development
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
8,064
Website
www.codejedi.com
There were those Coleco mini-arcade machines.. I have 2 :) Loud beggers!

I was referring there to more 'board style wargames' .. ie: think of Risk, started as a board game, moved to a video game as well.

The ST was less on Platformers (that was more the Genesis and SNES consoles I think), but it had a few .. Great Guiana Sisters and so on; oneof my favourites is definately a platformer and plays in Outcast.. I was figuring it for GotW#4 in fact.

Maybe I'll do it for GotW#3 then, and bump wargame to #4.

jeff
 

skeezix

Internal Development
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
8,064
Website
www.codejedi.com
One interesting thing is that a lot of the earlier ST games are also on the Amiga, and many spill over to the consoles .. I'm forever amazed at what shows up on SNES and Genesis. Wizardry (the very early ones), Civilization, MEgalomania, etc.. amazing :) So even if I mention it for ST, I try to note the ports I've found, since they may well be playabnle on Picodrive etc.

I shoudl remember it msyelf.. some games that dont' work on Amiga or ST emus on the gp2x/wiz/etc, might well work on Genesis, and could be a good GotW that way..

jeff

But yeah, if anyone else wants to do the ST or other platforms (C64, TG16, etc..).. stand up and PM me :) Hell, could be a Genre of the Week too -- if someone wants to write up an "RPG of the Week", that could work too!
 

Brendon Williams

Still Fresh
Joined
May 29, 2008
Messages
3
Game of the week for me is WWF WRESTLEFEST - well worth the wait for it to be playable on the GP2X (thanks to FinalBurn Alpha).

However, WWF Superstars the arcade game is still not working on the GP2x which sux because it runs so well on my PC MAME... it would be game of the YEAR if someone could get it running on GP2X...
 

skeezix

Internal Development
Joined
Mar 11, 2003
Messages
8,064
Website
www.codejedi.com
MIDI is only very vaguely supported; it certainly doesn't map it out usefully. (When I was building a lot of this, it was never in my plan to make serial or MIDI or printer etc useful.. just gaming on the go.) A few beefier ST emus actually do support MIDI or at least piping it out to a file and such.

That said, the MIDI apps should often _Run_, but they will not really be useful :) (You should in theory be able to fire up Notator or Cubase and inspect a musical score, but hitting play.. who knows?) Course, most ST MIDI apps were black and white, which makes them suck on low res handhelds.

(Unless you mean Midi Maze, in which case you're a twisted sicko!)

jeff
 

Tag5

Member
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
Messages
518
Website
Visit site
Cool, will be getting D/generation later to add to the other Atari ST mini collection I have. Keep up the good work! :D
 
Top