Monthly Archives: June 2014

Bass Cadet 03 – Streets Of Rage 2

 

 

 

Bass Cadet 03 hitting you just in time for the weekend!

 

Streets Of Rage 2 / Bare Knuckle II by the legendary Yuzo Koshiro. 

 

 

Anti-Establishment

16-BIT Shock was set up for a number of reasons, first and foremost to develop quality retro-style games with a sense of purity. This in itself, is a soft form of revolt against mainstream gaming.

Wonder Boy is a good example of what constitutes a quality game
Wonder Boy is a good example of what constitutes a quality game

You may argue that, there are plenty of retro-style games developed in the indie scene these days. Yes, there definitely are. And I happen to be 100% supportive of this. Yet, it still is a revolutionary act to develop these types of games. The mass market is in no way, shape or form encouraging or even supportive of anything that is purely retro.

This is a good thing. A very, very good thing!

If the mass market was truly backing us, not only would we be incredibly uncool. We would be completely irrelevant. For one, we wouldn’t be able to stick out like a sore thumb. And sticking out is what we should be doing – 24/7!

There really are no benefits to pandering to mainstream tastes – none!

I don’t develop games for someone’s grandpa or for someone’s kid. I don’t develop games that you can play with your wife or girlfriend. I don’t develop games that you can play with your family. I don’t develop casual games. I don’t develop social games. I don’t develop multiplayer games.

I develop games strictly for the enthusiast. Particularly the retro game enthusiast.

The reason is simple. I’m an enthusiast myself and just can’t relate with any of the other types of gaming niches. Other people may enjoy them and that’s perfectly fine. I just won’t do them.

I may have come across a bit condescending in this article. To a certain extent, that’s true. Game enthusiasts like myself, who have been gaming for over 3 decades do have a stake in this. We’ve been supporting this medium for a considerable amount of time, and our opinion counts.

Just the title screen of Operation Wolf is manlier than 95% of today's weak sauce games
Just the title screen of Operation Wolf is manlier than 95% of today’s weak sauce games

Back in the 80’s, popular, mainstream games were: Ghosts ‘n Goblins, Wonder Boy, Green Beret, 1942, Bubble Bobble, Afterburner, Out Run, Gradius, Arkanoid, Operation Wolf, Combat School, Strider and Twin Cobra. What they share in common is that they were all well-made, highly entertaining games and far superior to their modern counterparts.

For the most part, what passes for mainstream and popular nowadays, is a terrible joke. The fact, that games like Angry Birds and that other backroom abortion – Flappy Bird, are a massive success – is telling. No, these are not good games. I don’t want to use expletives, but I will say one thing – these are games fit only for the latrine. 

And that’s what I’m effectively revolting against. And I trust this applies to any self-respecting game creator reading this.

Fight the establishment! Make good games!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bass Cadet 02 – Musha Aleste

Welcome to yet another edition of Bass Cadet!

This week I’ll be showcasing another one of my favourites. Compile’s seminal Aleste series was lucky enough to get the Toaplan treatment. Two of the world’s greatest shmup developers united and gave us the mighty – Musha Aleste or M.U.S.H.A as it was known in the States.

There are no words to describe what a phenomenal game this is. Boasting fast-paced shooting action within a stunning futuristic-oriental world setting. Unlike other shmups where the player often pilots a spaceship of some sort. Here we get something way cooler. The so-called metallic uniframe super hybrid armor happens to be a fully fledged mecha. Manga and anime fans, rejoice!

This is a vertically scrolling shooter with some impressive parallax, particularly on the third stage. It was a fairly early release for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis since it came out in 1990. Which just make some of the technical achievements in this game, even more notable.

Another stand out point is the music. Composed by Toshiaki Sakoda, he managed to deliver the ultimate shooting game soundtrack of the early 90’s. Everyone who loves the genre is still reminiscing Musha Aleste’s hard rocking, heart pounding, synth-assault of an allegory of an electric metal orchestra.

It seldom gets any better than this. Few game soundtracks get the blood pumping like this one does. I am not aware of an actual OST album for Musha Aleste ever getting released. An unfortunate oversight that I hope will be rectified, one day.

Die-hard fans probably have the cart rammed in their Mega Drives permanently, the volume set to max. They get to enjoy the music every time they try to make it through to the end, on hard mode. It’s quite the experience. While the above video doesn’t even come close to recreating the exhilaration, the music is there for all to enjoy.