NARC: A side-scrolling shooter designed by Eugene Jarvis, NARC utilized violent action, seedy themes and digitized graphics way back in 1988. You control Max Force or Hit Man through several stages of trashy fun as you bust drug lords with dozens upon dozens of minions. You can shoot or bust perps. Some of the enemies are downright surreal, especially the final boss, who… is a giant head that shoots tongues at you? One of my favorite games in the collection.
NARC is one of Midway’s old properties that they tried to reboot in the mid-2000s. The reboot was released at a budget price point and received mixed reviews.
Satan’s Hollow: A weird and vaguely primitive shooter that feels like Galaga, only less cool. Your shots feel slower and fewer. It’s kind of cool how the sky darkens as you play. At one point, it becomes an infernal red. Mwahahahahaha!
Sinistar: This game kind of freaks me out with the titular villain’s digitized speech. You can hear him coming before you actually encounter him. His roar is particularly disturbing. Sinistar himself is my favorite thing about the game. Favorite piece of trivia: You can die twice while in Sinistar’s grip. A warrior ship’s shot can kill you first, then Sinistar’s bite kills you twice. If the warrior’s shot kills you when you have only one life left, your number of lives officially becomes negative one. As explained by creator R.J. Mical, negative one is a much larger number in computer language, resulting in the game registering it as 255 lives instead. Mical learned this when a kid in an arcade showed him.
I never got to play at the local arcade much before it shut down, and the games in this collection are mostly a little before my time, but the first two Midway Arcade Treasures anthologieswill still be fun to cover.
The old master had to kick his pupils’ butts. They learned some of his moves from being on the receiving end of them. How cool is that?!
He had them train atop the mountains to build their endurance and in the forest to train their reflexes. That night, after Li and Sammo passed out went to sleep, the old master caught Yuan training alone outside. Aww.
Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom is a game with a solid concept saddled with less-than-solid execution. The game was not made with the help of Phantasy Star co-creator Rieko Kodama, and the game was rushed.
The story is lacking much personality and characterization. Note how we get so much exposition in the third gen that finally explains the backstory and introduces the big bad, Dark Force. Another sign that the game was rushed?
If I was to ask you what PSIII is about, what would you tell me? Does the game really have any overarching themes? I could tell you about the themes of Dragon Age II (family and the conflict between the templars and mages) or Final Fantasy XIII (the veracity of free will), but for PSIII, the biggest theme I get is the problems brought upon by previous generations being left to the next generation to clean up. But the game never really delves into the emotions that such conflicts would believably invoke.
Remember Lyle? He actually died in gen two, but I forgot to bring it up. It was a missed opportunity to add characterization to the relatives that knew him.
The generation system is the game’s main gimmick, but the women are barely established, so the decisions can be hard to make. Heck, the princes are barely established as well!
The game would have been better if it had more cutscenes like the one at the end.
To the translators’ credit, Generations of Doom is a much cooler title than Successors of Time.
We made it to Lashute on planet Terminus. One of the women there said, “We wanted Siren and Lune to start another war, but we needed Rhys to bring Satellite back. And that’s exactly what that old fool did!”
The women at the start of the city told us that our deaths awaited us here.
August 18, 2010: Special thanks to Phantasy-Star.net ‘s strategies page for helping me over the hump.
Now that we’ve got Lyle in the party, I think the overworld music has changed.
Lyle joins Rhys’ party in exchange for help repairing the weather control system in Aridia, the desert region.
August 19, 2010: Ugh. After a tough dungeon, Lyle inexplicably leaves the party, only to challenge Rhys in combat in Shusoran. He’s easily dispatched, despite his spe- excuse me, TECHS…
Then, you reunite with Lena, who was the one that set Rhys free at the outset of the game. She tells you that you must insert the Moon Stone and Moon Tear into Aridia’s satellite control system to realign the moons.
Lena joins you along with Lyle. She has no techs and little HP, so she’s bringing up the rear.