Thanks to what felt like endless press about virtual reality in the early 1990s and the film The Lawnmower Man, SEGA decided to throw their hat into the ring of VR. Obviously this had the possibility of making consumers look their way and maybe even tempt them to buy the Sega Genesis instead of the Super Nintendo. So what happened to this piece of technology?
VIDEO GAME STARS explains in their 90 second video. In the video, you’ll see former MTV host Alan Hunter on stage at a CES show to demonstrate this device. I wonder how people were more focused on his ridiculously loud shirt than the headset. Anyway..
If you’re wondering, I made the video. If you like it, you’re welcome. If you don’t, um, here’s Sonic going down an endless waterslide.
A few “daze” before Christmas, and all through the gameplay front, not a controller was being button-mashed to death, not even a mouse.
Actually, there was controller button-mashing, and all because of a Christmas game!
Phone Apps and Home Alone Emulators
Normally, if one is in the market for a Christmas game, one would turn to Home Alone as their (presumed only) game of choice. But if retro gaming isn’t for them, phone apps where one matches cookies and Christmasy stuff are always available.
And since I wasn’t willing to just play Home Alone (my boyfriend did a gameplay of it a few years ago, and it frustrated him), I sought out something different.
What I found was a game I’d never heard of before. A game where Santa turns potentially threatening toys and oversized rats into harmless presents to collect and drop on cities all over the world, all wrapped up in the bow of a side-scroller game.
That game, you ask? Why, Daze Before Christmas!
Daze Before Christmas
Daze Before Christmas is a 1994 side-scroller developed by Norwegian video game Funcom, and was released to the Sega Mega Drive in 1994 by Sunsoft, exclusively in Australia. A Super Nintendo release occurred in both Australia and Europe, but not in the United States. Daze Before Christmas was one of the last games released by Sunsoft’s United States division.
As Santa, you’re out to conquer the evil snowman who imprisoned your elves and kidnapped your reindeer. Using Awesome Magical Christmas Powers (my words), evil rats and toys become harmless Christmas presents. Santa collects these presents in each level, and drops them over major cities as the player progresses through the game.
The game consists of twenty-four different levels (like an Advent calendar), and pit Santa against the elements – dangerous toy factories, ice caves, snow, The North Pole, and the skies above London.
The game’s colorful graphics and fun visuals are not merely cover for a substandard game. The controls are excellent, and compliment the fun visuals. I tried the first six levels of the game, and I had fun playing what I tried so far. The graphics are very 16-bit, the music Christmas, and it is not Home Alone. That puts it in a good light already!
So, whenever you’re ready, click play below and experience…
Daze Before Christmas
Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words
After over a year of telling myself “I’ll make another gameplay video,” I finally did.
Last year, right before seeing Captain America: Civil War, I combed through the emulator archives for an Avengers/Captain America video game. My only requirement was that it came out while I was growing up. That’s it – nothing else.
What I found was Captain America and the Avengers.
Captain America and the Avengers was released by Data East in 1991 as an arcade side-scrolling/beat ’em up game. In the arcade port, players choose from four playable characters:
This part surprised me. When I think Avengers, I think Iron Man, Captain America, Hulk, Thor, Hawkeye, and Black Widow. Well, this is almost accurate. Vision is a playable character. And he doesn’t look like the Vision I know. I see Vision, I think Paul Bettany’s depiction, not a man-size solid white chocolate being.
Leaving out Thor was a bit disappointing for me, but Hawkeye and Cap more than make up for it.
And so do these descriptions!Vision the Adventurer!
The game has one player, two player, and training modes.
Training mode is designated for two players, but when you’re flying solo, you improvise.And yes, I reenacted Civil War.
Don’t feel bad for Tony Stark here. But by all means, feel bad for him here!
Reception (Both Mine and the Critics)
The original arcade cabinet ranks 5th in Watch Mojo’s Top 10 Marvel Video Games, with the Genesis version receiving favorable reviews. This is the Super Nintendo port. I wouldn’t complain that it is difficult, but the controls aren’t the greatest either. I’ve played many beat ’em ups, but this one felt overwhelming when you are playing alone and ganged up on by. If you are going to play it, play it with someone, as it is intended to be a co-op.
As you watch my gameplay video, you’ll notice I didn’t get very far. Not because I lack patience, but this video would have been five hours of me hitting “continue.” And the commentary would have devolved into me not being so kind toward the game. And really, I couldn’t allow that. I like this game! Quite possibly my only complaint – the use of the same voice for all four characters, and the obnoxious “NO!!!!” as the characters take hits from enemies. Good lord, it was obnoxious to hear it every five seconds!
That, and no Thor. But Hawkeye was there.
Goofy original outfit and all.
Go on and click play below, and if you don’t mind off-the-cuff commentary and watching me inevitably die constantly, then you’ve made the right choice. Let me know what you think – I’d love to do more gameplay videos!
Captain America and The Avengers
Upload via Allison Venezio / Allison’s Written Words
I don’t really like ‘real’ Baseball as a sport. Playing it can be fun, but the need to follow so many rules can really make it drag out.
That said, I am hugely excited about the game because I have seen its future. In only three years time – in 2020 – you’ll be seeing male, female and robotic players in the field!
Yes, the future of baseball is almost here!
In the world of Super Baseball 2020, robots jostle with human players in the Cyber Egg Stadium. To properly complete, human competitors can be equipped with powerful armour, computer sensors, and jet-packs for improved offence and defensive skills. Jet-packs!
Even the commentators are going to look cool!
Wait? What the hell is that robot? That one looks hostile! Those glowing red eyes suggest that baseball might only be the start of the robot revolution.
The image above, the one with the evil robot, can be found on the website of artist Marc Ericksen. Marc was asked to create the piece for Electronic Arts in 1994 after they had seen an earlier work created for GamePro magazine around a Japanese baseball game called Bases Loaded II: Second Season.
As you’ll see from this fantastic artwork, the future might actually involve laser swords instead of bats. You need this sort of kit if you’re going to be hitting balls thrown at light-speed by robots.
Experience the future, in Super Baseball 2020, on the Neo Geo, Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. You can see a great comparison video over on the Retro Core Youtube channel.
The side-by-side comparisons from around 10 minutes into the video are a great way to get a glimpse of the future.
This post marks the start of a new series from me: An irreverent and artistic A-Z of Neo Geo Gaming. Catchy, right?