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Games Currently Playing:

-Dragon Quest IX
-Dragonage: Origins
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therottingzombie.blogspot.com

Am 28 years old, live in Northampton, England, work as a internet administrator. Like horror films, rock music, zombie books etc etc.

My gamertag is Happyhead UK, I really really want to play online games with friendly people,as I hate playing with strangers, I really feel like I'm missing out on online games due to this fact so am envious of all the people with thier fancy 'friend lists'!

Anyway my first console was a BBC Acorn Electron, I loved it, had hundreds of games for it. My fave games were the Repton ones, as well as Crazy Rider, and a game set in a underground base that I can't recall the title of. All good things come to an end though. One day the cassette box thing broke, rather then get a new one my parents chucked the whole thing away, and sold all the games to some dodgy bloke at a car boot sale for 5.

That was the end of my console owning days I assumed. My friends all had Master Systems, so we would spend hours playing Alex Kidd and Sonic, I thought the graphics and sound were unbelivable.

One birthday I find a big present, I open it to find surrounded by a legion of angels a Megadrive, a pure virgin Megadrive, with Altered Beast and Sonic. Before that day I had not even realised such a beast of power existed.

I become the cool kid in the neighbourhood with everyone wanting to play it. A year later a bitter war erupted, a enemy appeared on the horizon - the Super NES...

It was a bitter and bloody battle over the next few years. Some of my friends got Megadrives, while other friends were torn asunder and got Super NES's, a civil war of apocalyptic proportions. Fighting in the streets, gangs armed with Game Gears and Gameboys beating each other into bloody chunks, a literal Hell on Earth.

Looking back I think this is were my dislike of Nintendo appeared. Don't get me wrong, nowadays I love Nintendo games, I own a GBA, DS, Gamecube and Wii, but at the root of my being I will always love Sega more. To this day I dislike Mario. I think the games are amazing, but he himself I detest. I refuse to believe there is such a thing as a bad Sonic game, I just turn a blind eye to the bad ones...anyway I digress.

After that I brought a NES, sold it, though liked it, brought a Super NES (my fave game of all time is the Super NES version of Batman Returns), sold it to get a Playstation, sold that when I got a Playstation 2, brought an almighty Dreamcast (RIP), and got a N64 for Goldeneye. Swallowed my pride and brought a Xbox. The rest is history.

Now I own a Dreamcast, Wii, Xbox, 360, Playstation 2, Master System, Megadrive (my pride, over 200 games), GBA, DS, NES, Super NES, and a Gamecube (which I have misplaced somewhere).
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I have had quite a games orientated week which has now led to a slight boredom of them for the moment. I blame that most on the humid weather which has reduced me to a sloth like state, and so unable to sit up. It is impossible for me to play games while lying down.

So here is the news in the world of Happyhead…

After quite a large absence from playing Guitar Hero 3 (mostly due to me being crap at it) I went back to it to discover I had somehow increased my skills 100 fold. I burned my way through normal mode, and had lots of fun with the Muse songs I downloaded. I don’t know why I suddenly improved so much, but I’m glad I did evolve my skills as it is very fun now. Hard mode beckons to me.

I brought a NES last week,the NES had the flashing red light of death, so it was a nightmare getting it to work. I went on a crash course in NES fixing (a quick browse of YouTube) and then stripped my NES down to the bone. After a small operation I successfully removed the darn security chip from the mother board. The NES now works perfectly, success, heh.



Last Friday Contra 4 arrived from Play-Asia. It is very good, but quite tough. I was brought up on a diet of the Megadrive Hard Corps Contra game, generally said to be the hardest Contra game in existence, but to tell the truth I never got past level 4 of that game, so suck at the DS one.
My friend has declared he will only do co-op with me when I have gotten good at it. That may be a long time.

At the same time as Contra 4 arriving, the soundtrack to Lost Odyssey also arrived. The soundtrack is good, but most the music looses a lot when it isn’t heard within the context of the game, unlike other soundtracks, such as the Silent Hill 2 one, where the music is fantastic regardless.

On the DS front, I started to get a yearning to use my R4 for nefarious means. Currently I use it just to play ROMS of games I already own. But the pull of the dark side is strong.

On a tangent – I despair at the crapness of the Mii Contest channel. I had such high hopes for it when it first came about. I still do it, and like it, it’s just that what they ask you to create is Sir Lieutenant Lord Suck, stuff like Heidi, I mean WTF? Give me something interesting to create!



Lastly I have been watching a few films of games. Silent Hill I still declare to me a great conversion, the film does feel at times too much like a game though, but hell it looks great.
I also saw Resident Evil, and it is still one of my fave films of all time, I cannot recall the amount of times I have seen that film. Most people hate it, but not me!

Anyway, that was my week in games.








I recently discovered the joys of E-bay after finally setting up a Paypal account, I did this as I wished to get a Super NES and NES. This I have now done.

I love E-bay. Sure my first purchase - A Super NES was a tad expensive. It cost me £36 (excluding P and P) for a Super NES, 2 offical controllers, Super Mario World, Super Mario All-Stars, Zoop, and Fifa (which I swapped with a friend for Batman Returns).

My 2nd purchase was great though. For £34 (again excluding P and P) I got a NES. The NES came with a Zapper gun, 2 controllers, a Joystick plus these games:

Tennis
Probotector
Double Dragon 2
Super Mario Brothers
Super Mario Brothers 3
Duck Hunt
Solar Jetman
Snake Rattle N Roll
Life Force
Paperboy
Rollargames
Stealth
Pin Bot
Micro Machines
Low G Man
The Goonies 2
Castlevania 2
Goal!
Gradius
Gun Smoke
Burai Fighter
Hook



Damn good bargain!

Trying my luck again I put in a bid for 12 Megadrive games. Out of the 12 there was only 3 I didn't have (Lemmings, Superman, and California Games). I won the bidding, so got 12 games for the sum of £2.20!



I'm sorry, I probably shouldn't get so excited, but I'm a E-bay virgin, so there you go!

On a different note, I remembered with half pride and half sadness today that I once turned down a one night stand with a moderatly attractive girl as 'Dead Rising' was coming out the next day and I wanted to be home for when the postman called. Such a geek.








I had part 1 of my top 10 games of the film. If you missed that, then that can be found at http://www.destructoid.com/blogs/Happyhead/happyhead-s-top-10-games-of-the-movie-part-1-96457.phtml Here is part 2 which features my final top 5 best use of film licence in games.

No.5 – Alien 3 (Megadrive)



I have heard great things about the SNES version of Alien 3, but have never played it (apart from one painful time on an emulator using a keyboard). The Megadrive version is a solid platform action game.

Instead of emulating the films lack of weapons, you start off with a machine gun, flame thrower, grenade launcher, and grenades. You have a radar in the top corner of the screen which shows where enemies are, but it relies on batteries to keep it powered up, so regularly fails which is cool. Most levels involve you as the shaven headed Ripley working your way around a maze type location in an effort to rescue captured Prisoners and get to the exit before the time runs out. Fail to rescue the Prisoners in time and you are treated to a cutscene of the remaining Prisoners having their chests bursting open. Nice.

The levels start off in the familiar prison of the film, later levels include living quarter areas, and industrial areas. The game is fun, but it does get really repetitive as nothing really ever changes. Some levels just require you to survive rather than rescue anything, and there is a few boss levels.

The sound effects and music are fantastic, I always remember watching a video which came free with a gaming magazine, and being real impressed with the video footage of the game.

No.4 – The Warriors (X-Box)



I had never had any interest in watching The Warriors. I had seen the poster for the film before, and always thought it looked really bleak and unpleasant. I love Rockstar games though, I have a weakness for them, so as soon as I saw The Warriors game cheap I picked it up.

This is a really good use of a film licence. The game plays out partly like Manhunt, and partly like a 3d brawler. The fighting is solid, and quite satisfyingly violent. The vast majority of the game is original story, taking place before the events of the film, and is very engaging. The last 1/3 of the game is based on the events of the film, it has a far different feel to the earlier missions, but was engaging as well.

The game features a 2 player co-op mode, I guess that would have been cool, but I didn’t know anyone to try it out with. A bonus after completing the game is a Double Dragon clone scrolling beat em up which is real fun!

After finishing the game I was so impressed that I went out and brought The Warriors DVD. I was really disappointed the first time I saw it, as I was expecting it to follow exactly what happened in the film sections of the game, and it felt like bits were missing. Having watched it several times since then I have been able to see it on its own terms and loooove it.

No.3 – Aladdin (Megadrive)



I loved the film, and I liked the sequels. The game was a classic platformer closely following the events of the film. It looked real pretty, and had great music influenced by the films songs. There were many nods to Disney in the game, such as Sebastian the crab (from the Little Mermaid film) being chained up in the background during the dungeon level, and various Mickey Mouse ears appearing at random places in the background of levels.

The boss fights were terrible, each one was just boring as hell, and the game is very easy, but a great platformer none the less.

No.2 – Toy Story (Megadrive)



This was released later in the Megadrives life, and is a very good looking game for the system. The animation of everything is beautiful.

The game is mostly platform based, but there is lots of curve balls to ensure the game never gets boring. These include driving levels – both side scrolling, and into the screen, levels where your being chased, even a first person perspective level. Levels always have something unexpected in them. Whether it be suddenly getting your head set on fire leading to Woody becoming out of control, or spending a whole level disguised as a drinks container.

No.1 – Batman Returns (SNES)



Favourite game of all time. That is all that needs to be said…but really this is a great beat em up. The music, sound effects, level design, all amazing. Different endings depending on the difficulty, lots of nice little touches such as turning juggler clown enemies into normal clown enemies by making them drop their juggling tools.



And that is the conclusion of my list. In my opinion the best film licences of all time. Ones which just missed out on my list include Punisher (X-box), Gremlins (Acorn Electron) and Terminator (Megadrive)



Ones which would never ever be on my list even if they were the only film licence games ever made include Home Alone (Megadrive), Batman and Robin (Playstation) and Waynes World (SNES).









Games based on film licences are often assumed to be rubbish, and mostly, yes they are. But there are also some amazing games based on films. Without further ado - here is my list of my top 10 games based on films ever!

10. Moonwalker (Megadrive)



The music is the very best thing about this game! I just wanted to get that point across first. Each level features a different famous Wacko Jacko song. So there is 'Smooth Criminal' for the Club level, 'Beat It' for the Street level, dissapointinly some cruddy song for the Graveyard level (it should have been Thriller!), 'Billie Jean' for the Cave level, and finally 'Bad' for the final level.

The game features Michael whose goal each level is to hunt down little girls who are hiding from him throughout the levels. Along the way you fight a multitude of enemies by kicking magical Jackson dust at them. Once you have found all the kiddies, the cheeky chimp Bubbles jumps onto your shoulder and leads you to a boss fight where you make the enemies dance themselfs to death.

A good use of the licence seeing as how completly shit the film was. (Plus not only can you turn into a robot, but the game features Zombies, and any game with Zombies is automatically fantastic!)

9. Batman Returns (Megadrive)



Playing this game is akin to watching 'Strawdogs' it wears you out with its sheer bleakness. The game is a platformer with levels very loosely based on the film. The level design is quite good actually. A prime example is level 2. The level starts in a half collapsed building, which rests at an odd angle. After that there is a mid-boss battle with 2 giant statues before a fantastic Cathedral section brings the level to a close.

The games is very dark, as in literally hard to see anything. It is a very hard game, really damn hard! I once managed to get to the end of game boss, but just the once. It's really hard not to get relentlesly punished by the dodgy controls. The music is original rather than follow the SNES route and use variations of the films score. A miserable game, but creates a real mood.

8. Batman (Megadrive)



An early Megadrive game released in 1989 the game is nonetheless a classic platformer for the system. The music is amazing, though results in the sound effects being really cruddy (somehow Sunsoft decided to use the exact same sound effects in the 1993 shite game 'Superman').

The levels follow closely the film locations, in between levels digitised film shots are used to good effect. To split up the pace of the game there are 2 side scrolling driving levels. One has you in the Batmobile, the other one has you piloting the Batwing. These help to keep the game feeling fresh without getting repetitive.

Batman can fire batarangs, as well as use a grappling hook to reach out of the way platforms, though most enemies can be dispatched by punching them or doing a knee drop on them.

7. Batman Begins (X-Box)



Hell I like Batman ok! Not apologising! Batman Begins is a 3d platformer. It features a mix of stealth and fighting. You are able to increase the fear of the enemies by blowing up oil drums and things near them.

I have only played through this once, so can't recall much, other then I really enjoyed it. Theres a great level where you have to escape Arkham and avoid SWAT members, a crap level where you as Bruce Wayne have to escape your burning mansion, and a ok'ish level with you driving the cool Batmobile. In between levels you get hidiously compressed clips from the film, could have done without them!

6. Die Hard Trilogy (Playstation)



As the title implies - not just based on one of the films but (at the time) all three. The films each have a different gameplay genre attached to them.

Die Hard sees you in a 3d action game, you travel to each level of the Office building rescuing hostages and blowing the crap out of enemies. The best thing about this game is the amount of destruction you can do to the environment. I never got tired of blasting windows to pieces.

Die Harder is a on-rails light-gunner. I actually brought a light gun for this game. The amount of destruction you can do to the scenery on this game is stupid! This was my fave out of the 3.

Die Hard with a vengence completes the package. This one is kinda like Crazy Taxi. It sees you crazily driving from one end of new york to the other defusing bombs before the time limit runs out, was very hard!


Oh! what is this? where are the rest? Well I decided to split this into two as I am blabbing far too much to keep anyones attention for so long a list as ten. If you have read this far then thanks, if you have not you won't be seeing this anyway : )

TO BE CONTINUED... (more Batman goodness next time)








Here is a list of my top 10 favourite game bosses. These are my personal favourites, not necessary the hardest, in fact many of them are damn easy, but the most memorable. The image qualities are dreadful, however I am at work, so had no time to look for better shots...

10.

From Strider (Megadrive) – The Council

I was never a fan of Strider, that is apart from the fantastic first level which is near flawless in design. At the end of the first level you drop down into a Council Chamber, lots and lots of Councillers are seated in the background. Suddunly they all leap up and form into a giant centipede of men, the lead Counciller takes the head. Armed with a giant sickle the centipede monstrosity chases you around the room. You can walk on its back, as well as hang off it when it climbs up the walls. This was an unexpected and memorable boss.

9.

From Tiny Toon Adventures (Megadrive) – Montana Max

The level leading up to this final boss is one long chase sequence. Elmira (I think that’s her name) chases you (as Buster Bunny). If she catches you, she hugs you to literal death.
After this great sequence you enter a room. The room contains a large blue robot. Montana Max (inside the robot) shouts at you before attacking. The robot shoots lasers, charges you, and fires off its hands. After a few hits the robots head blows up to reveal Max. A few more hits and it’s all over. The great thing about this fight is the music, its so mad cap and exciting. Every time you jump on Max’s head the robot collapses to its knees and Max gets a funny pained expression on his head. So yeah, cool boss.

8.

From Streets of Rage 2 (Megadrive) – Barbon the Bartender

The second part of the first level takes place in a bar. At the end of the bar level, behind a counter is Barbon, he’s cleaning a glass. Seeing you, he turns and leaves the level. After dispatching an electric whip prossy you exit the level after him.
The boss fight takes place in the ally behind the bar. Rain hammers down in sheets. Barbon stands facing you, surrounded by his loyal cronies. As you walk towards him he shouts (in cool speech no less) “Come on!” and rips off his shirt. Such a great atmosphere leads up to this boss, and he does have some quite powerful sounding kicks.

7.

From Splatterhouse 2 (Megadrive) – The big blobby many headed thing



After rescuing Jennifer from Hell and escaping the island via a speedboat (during which you fight a severely pissed off Octopus monster) You (as Rick) and your girlfriend walk towards some woods. The sky suddenly turns dark. Sensing trouble Rick turns to Jennifer and indicates her to wait. Walking forward alone the big blobby many headed thing appears. It floats around the screen spitting human heads, dog heads, and blobs of flesh at you. After some punishment it transforms into a speedy bat. Finally it turns to stone and crumbles to dust. This boss is so god damn hard! But a perfect end to a fantastic game totally full of great bosses.

6.

From Resident Evil (Playstation/Saturn) – Tyrant

After fighting the useless slow failed experiment the Tyrant in the Spencer Mansion you (as Jill or Chris) head towards the Mansions helicopter pad for rescue by Brad. Suddenly the Tyrant bursts out of the ground for round two. This time he is super fast, charging across at you with his massive clawed arm flailing. Seemingly invincible until Brad drops you a Rocket Launcher. The Rocket blasts him into pieces (shown by various different angles).
The great thing about this for me was how unexpected it was. My first play through I didn’t get this fight (due to not fulfilling the conditions) so on my second play through I totally expected just to get on the helicopter, and was more than shocked when this uber-bastard turned up : )

5.

From Super Mario World (SNES) – Bowser



The perfect location for a fight – on top of a castle, at night, with thunder blasting away. Bowser appears in his flying clown ship, the Princess pops her head out the vehicle screaming for help. Then Bowser attacks… a great boss made memorable by the fantastic mode 7 as Bowser flies right into the screen from the background. I love the way that towards the end of the fight the Clown ship with the smiley face on it suddenly gets a really evil look on it’s face. A fantastic end to the fight as well, with Bowser spinning off into the background out of control (just like Darth Vader does in Star Wars).

4.

From Final Fantasy 7 (Playstation) – Sephiroth



Sure, an obvious one, but I was really impressed by this boss. There aren’t many bosses who have their own song being sung by a choir. Sephiroth the great in his one winged angel form. I tried fighting him normally once, he had great attacks, such as sending giant planet destroying meteors against you (I think), but ever since that one fight I just use de-barrier, then Knights of the Round Summon with x4 damage and he’s finished. There is also the fantastic fight afterwards. Just Cloud vs a topless Sephiroth in the dark, fantastic!

3.

From Rocket Knight Adventures (Megadrive) – Axel Gear (?)



In Rocket Knight Adventures Axel Gear is a ex-Rocket Knight turned evil. He is like the alter ego of the main character – the last Rocket Knight Sparkster. He turns up as a level boss during the game (a memorable fight with you and him both in robot suits) but it’s the mid-level fight with him that was the best boss fight of the game.

You have flown through space to the Pig Star, the base of the evil pig computer thingy. Halfway though the Pig Star you enter a large room which is pitch black. Suddenly the silhouette of Axel Gear leaps into the room. The lights come on and begins an epic one on one sword fight. After defeating him, Axel collapses.
Leaping up he uses his rocket pack to fly at full pelt into the wall of the room, doing so causes the wall to rip off, and the vacuum of space causes you to be sucked out the Pig Star. You manage to grab onto a bar, and begins the second part of the fight.
The great thing about this fight is that you are consistently fighting with the pull of the vacuum, so you have to fight while desperately clinging on to one of 3 different poles in the room. Axel flies around with his rocket pack, doing charges at you.
Once he is defeated the game turns black and white, the music stops, and in slow motion Axel is helplessly sucked out into space and never seen again. A beautiful sequence.

2.

From Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (Megadrive) – Robotnik



You arrive at the Death Egg space station in pursuit of Robotnik. The level seems quiet, too quiet. Entering a room a window in the background opens to reveal a watching Robotnik while a robot sonic descends from the sky. As with Sonic 1 there are no rings on the final level, so one stupid move results in death.
After battling the cool metal sonic you enter a long corridor which Robotnik is legging down. Chasing him you enter a large chamber, the view from the background windows shows the planet Mobius, and is quite impressive. Robotnik leaps into a small pod, which rises up out the ground to reveal he is inside a giant Robotnik robot. The music is epic for this boss! Once defeated the robots arms and legs fall off, the body collapses to the ground as the whole Death Egg begins blowing up, you run down a passageway, and leap out into space, exciting stuff.

1.

From Streets of Rage 2 (Megadrive) – Mr X



Another Streets of Rage boss, but this was the first memorable boss I thought of. In Mr X’s base you have ascended a lift to the top of his penthouse. Mr X sits on a throne in the background, watching you in apparent boredom as you dispatch his goons. Then with a wave of his hand he gets his bodyguard – Shiva to attack. Shiva has awesome boss music, and is very very hard. Each time he hits you Mr X lets out a big laugh. Finally with him dead Mr X stands up. Armed with a machine gun the final battle begins. The music as for all these boss battles mentioned is fantastic. Mr X looks powerful, and his gun is so cool. Running to one of the corners he will start firing bullets everywhere, not caring if he mows down his own henchmen. Finally after some punishment he is defeated. He gets sent flying through the air, spare machine gun bullets flying up everywhere. He lands with a massive thump, straight away he stands up, but the pain is too much, he collapses again, game won! Fantastic!








Soleil is a fantastic RPG, and much under appreciated.



Soleil was an RPG released for the Megadrive. It was a Zelda style game starring a boy armed with a Sword. On his birthday he is cursed by a mysterious fortune teller who gives him the ability to speak to animals and monsters, but no longer able to understand humans. That’s about it for plot. There is a lot of time travel in the game, caused by a mysterious hurricane which keeps appearing. Basically you travel around the game world collecting animal friends along the way.

The animals all have different skills which prove beneficial. These abilities range from abilities for your sword (such as the ability to throw it, and then control it to hit switches, or to give the sword different properties) to other abilities, such as the ability to jump.

What was great about the game is that by being able to understand the monsters you meet you come to the realisation that the humans are all basically bastards, and the monsters are completely misunderstood. For example, at the beginning of the game while still able to talk to humans you travel to a Castle where you see the King present a brave Warrior with a golden sword. Throughout the game this ‘brave’ warrior turns up hunting monsters who you know to be innocent, and they run in fear from him who they see as the monster.

There is actually a boss in the game who doesn’t even attack you. After killing him, he asks you why you felt the need to always destroy. It really makes you as the player feel like a jerk.

Another bit I found really clever is one of the time travel levels. The village you come from had the legend of a hero who in the past had saved the village after a bunch of monsters had invaded it. Going back in time to this event, you meet the monsters. They managed to escape the Castle dungeons they were locked up in, before hiding in the village church where they were found and butchered. As they lay dying they question why they have been killed just for being different, and say they only ever attacked humans out of defence. This provides a very different outlook to the humans version. Things like this happen throughout the game.

Religion plays a heavy part in the game. One part of the game sees you climbing the Tower of Babel. When you get to the top you actually enter Heaven. In Heaven God shouts at you before sending a demon to battle you. After it’s death God condemns you and all humanity for the violence they cause. Then he casts you out.



The game also has its bizarre quirky parts. On the beach level Sonic is there sunbathing. When you try and talk to him he says something like ‘I’m too cool to talk to you’. He serves absolutely no purpose in the game. Fairy tales are used in some parts of the game. The first quest is basically Little Red Riding Hood, ends with a fight with a Wolf in an old woman’s cottage. Later in the game one of the quests is based on the Wizard of Oz.
Other bizarreness can be found in one of the later boss battles. You are in a small Pac-man type maze and basically have to collect these items to destroy the bosses who are chasing you round.



This game is amazing, and as far as I can tell, is a hidden gem, recommended!