May 12, 2012
As with the last Game.com game I discussed, Williams Arcade Classics is a collection of multiple games. Unlike just about every other game I’ve played on the system, this one isn’t half bad.
Collecting together Joust, Defender, Robotron, Stargate (Defender II), and Sinistar it’s not a collection to scoff at – these games are arcade classics. Because these games are so old, they’re emulated fairly accurately on the system. Now they’re not perfect, but they’re close enough to still appreciate that special something that made these games so great in the first place. Still, these games are easily available on many, many other platforms, emulated much better, and usually in larger collections of games.
Revisiting these classics reminds how instantly fun and challenging they are. They’re not perfect on the system and they suffer from the system’s motion blurring effect, but these games are still worth playing, but on a different system.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is probably the worst game. With the Game.com’s piss poor screen, any game that involves motion is pretty much an eye sore to begin with. Unfortunately, this game involves a lot of motion. What burned me about The Lost World was the awful platforming in which I controlled a character who moved like stagnant water pitted against a busy background that blended with the foreground as soon as I pressed forward. Because of the terrible blurring effect of the Game.com, I couldn’t see the dinosaurs I was supposed to shoot or dodge. Playing The Lost World: Jurassic Park was an unsettling experience.
May 11, 2012
Fighters Megamix for the Game.com wasn’t a good game. The other fighting game on the system, Mortal Kombat Trilogy, fares no better in my eyes.
Both games resemble their “big brother” versions, but playing them on the system just isn’t worth it. Whereas Fighters Megamix’s combat felt slower and more precise, Mortal Kombat Trilogy’s played more fast and loose. I button mashed my way through fights and managed to pull of some combos; I couldn’t tell you if they looked cool or not because of the system’s poor screen quality though.
Mortal Kombat Trilogy had a large character roster, fatalities, and gameplay that’s more suited to jumping in and having fun, but it’s still on the Game.com and it’s not very good.
May 11, 2012
Released as a pack-in for Tiger’s Game.com, Lights Out is one of the only games worth playing on the system, not that it’s so great that it’s worth tracking a Game.com down.
The objective of Lights Out is to rid a 5×5 grid of any panels that are lit utilizing the Game.com’s touch screen. The game has two modes although they’re not really that different. The difference stems from the method grids are completed. Players can choose to solve puzzles by only turning lights off, or by flipping any of the panels.
It’s simple to understand and it’s pretty fun. Lights Out is the type of game I could imagine playing for a few minutes before bed for many nights. It’s not worth tacking down a Game.com to play, but Lights Out is the probably most fun you’ll have on the system.
May 10, 2012
Four games into this feature and I may have found another decent title for the Game.com. I initially believed that Lights Out would be the only worthwhile game on the system, especially after realizing anything with motion would be heavily disadvantaged. It’s an oldie, but it’s a goodie, it’s Jeopardy!
Based off of the television game show, Jeopardy! the game is a fun test of random knowledge. The questions present weren’t skewed towards a younger crowd and I appreciated that. They covered a range of topics and in the few rounds I played, I didn’t encounter duplicates, although I’m sure the library of questions is small.
Thanks to the Game.com’s touch screen, inputting answers wasn’t as difficult as it’d be on a rival system like the Game Boy. Still, the poor image quality of the screen coupled with its small size and lack of backlighting made it a chore to read questions and type in answers.
I had peculiar trouble getting it to play when another cartridge was inserted into the system. In this situation the game would hang on the start screen until I acted like I was going to back out to the system menu and cancel, at which point it’d operate just fine.
I got the most fun from reading the hilarious wrong answers the computer would give occasionally, but all things considered, it still represents the game show accurately and it’s not terrible.
May 10, 2012
Indy 500 is the sole racing title on Tiger’s Game.com. Like Fighters Megamix and many other Game.com games, Indy 500 is based off of a “big brother” title. Also like Fighters Megamix, Indy 500 is based off of a Sega game.
It seems that every game on the Game.com that has on-screen movement will suffer from horrible blurring. It’s not game-ending in Indy 500 though because the car I drove remained mostly stationary while the background and fellow racers passed me by. Racing around the seemingly infinite circle track grew old fast thanks to the poor handling of my car.
Turning to the left was an ordeal in Indy 500. If I went too fast in a corner, the game would halt so it could show my car spinning out of control as I collided with the wall. I learned to feather my car around corners until they weren’t a problem. Next on my agenda was passing. This I never quite got the hang of. If I so much as looked another car wrong, the game would halt so it could my car spinning out of control as I collided with another driver. The animation of my car spinning out of control probably had more animations to it than the rest of the game! The visibility was terrible too. Thinking back, I don’t remember being able to see the nose of my car! Kidding aside, visibility was an issue as I got closer to cars ahead of me. Fortunately, upcoming turns were indicated by arrows. Needless to say, I never got a pole position in this awful excuse of a racing game.
May 10, 2012
What a bummer! Tiger Electronics’ Game.com is a pretty shoddy video game system. Released in 1997, it attempted to differentiate itself from Nintendo’s Game Boy, but personally I think it feels cheap and that probably contributed to the system apparently never catching on. It seems more like an upscale toy rather than a serious video game system.
Mimicking the PDAs of the day (remember those?), the Game.com features a touch screen and a system menu with a few layman productivity software features. Included are a phone book, calendar, and a calculator, which would’ve appealed to my younger self as I could organize important information and feel like an adult, but their functionality is reduced in the modern age we’re living in fifteen years later. Also included at the system menu level is a high score application that tracks player’s high scores through all the games they’ve played and solitaire. I really like the idea of consolidating every high score into one place and solitaire is always solid. The system also had internet functionality through a separate cartridge, but I didn’t get the opportunity to try it out.
One of the most interesting features of the Game.com is the dual cartridge slot allowing two games to be inserted at once. But with a lackluster catalog of games, there isn’t much reason to use both. Twenty games were released for the system and I believe they came in two or three waves. Nearly every one of these releases were licensed titles and a gamut of genres were present, but in my experience they were hampered by the system’s infernal motion blurring. Another hindrance to my enjoyment was the system’s monochromatic screen and lack of backlighting. But, it was mostly due to the blurring whenever there’s movement in-game.
They’re available for cheap although many of the games can be hard to track down. I was “lucky” enough to have a local game store that had an abundance of games for cheap and built a large collection very quickly. I recently decided to play through them and compose mini-reviews. This feature will continue for a couple of days.
November 17, 2011
Yesterday my girlfriend and I went to the movies and watched J. Edgar. As we were walking out I spotted a small, dark room containing about a dozen arcade games. The first thing I noticed when we walked in was two teenagers making out in a cockpit. Once I was done staring at them, we walked around and I told my girlfriend about the games. We stuck to one wall avoiding the other couple and after getting change we played a few games.
The first game we played was Cyber Troopers Virtual-On. It was developed by Sega AM3, published by Sega, and released around 1995. We picked two anime inspired mecha and fought each other until someone won two rounds. I liked that we had to sit down in a cockpit and pilot out mecha with two joysticks. In practice though we didn’t have time to figure out what the buttons did. By the time we were starting to grasp the controls, she had won. Next up was X-Men.
X-Men was developed and published by Konami in 1992. It’s a side-scrolling beat ‘em up and what I thought X-Men for the Sega Genesis was going to be. I played as Storm while she picked Wolverine; it was much easier to understand than Virtual-On. The graphics seem very detailed for when X-Men came out; our characters in particular were very large, good looking sprites. I think my joystick might’ve been messed up because I had a difficult time getting Storm to walk down. We didn’t last long but I enjoyed the minute or two we played it.
Lastly my girlfriend played Maximum Force, alone because one of the coin slots wasn’t working and it stole my change. Maximum Force is a light gun shooter developed by Mesa Logic and published by Atari Games in 1997. I didn’t find this game very attractive. The environments were poor 3D while the characters were 2D sprites. The enemies (monsters or aliens?) jumped into screen quickly and popped up all over the area, making it easy to get flustered. She lasted a while, but Maximum Force didn’t look very fun. You know what? I don’t think Maximum Force is the game she played because the descriptions of it on the internet differ from what I’ve just said.
There were plenty more arcade games but I only had three dollars worth of change and it went fast. I liked X-Men and could see myself wanting to stay and play through it, but overall it was kind of a poor experience. That doesn’t diminish my want to visit a proper arcade jam-packed with games or California Extreme, a large arcade convention, those would be fun with a friend or two. But until I do, my arcade action is limited to the movie theaters.