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The UKFF Retro Gaming Thread

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I was pretty disappointed after playing this game - I enjoyed it, but it just wasn't as good as I remembered.

 

When I was younger I didn't notice that it simultaneously ripped off both Mario and Sonic. Not that that's a bad thing. It's steals elements from both games and in my opinion uses them well. I only wish they'd gone the whole hog and stolen the music as well, as I think that was the main thing that ruined the gameplay experience for me. The initial version of the cartoon's theme music that they use in the first few levels now haunts my dreams, and I was really worried at one point that they'd used the same music for every single level and my child mind had blocked it out, as it should traumatic experiences. However, the music used on every other level is only better in the way getting stabbed in the foot is better than getting stabbed in the balls.

 

The actual gameplay is fast and fun, but somewhat hollow. It DOES copy Sonic and Mario, but in an extremely watered down form. That doesn't mean it's not fun, it just means you shouldn't go into the game expecting more than you're going to get.

 

EDIT:

Since my game is up next, add Chuck Rock II to the end of the list.

Edited by Ron Simmons

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I can't really say much different from the above.

 

I wanted to like the game as I do like platformers. Unfortunately due to platformers being big things back then with Sonic and Mario, the majority do tend to leave a lot to be desired. This one is no different.

 

Initial impressions aren't bad, although the graphics leave a lot to be desired. The map screen is typical affair so no flaws there, but then we get to the levels, and it all begins to go downhill.

 

Holy shit that level music is annoying. Just constant looping of the same track, the only game I've played recently that annoyed me that much was an online truck game which had the music looping after about 5 seconds, which got old after 6 seconds. As just the intro theme to the game this would have been fine, but to for them to force it on us constantly while we play the first few levels is akin to torture.

 

As for the gameplay, this suffers from the Bubsy syndrome in that it wants you to run fast, but then dumps enemies right in your path to screw you up. Thankfully it does give you a heart system so you can run full tilt into an emeny twice before the third time kills you. The flaw here however is the enemies aren't really spaced out enough to make that any good as you have to get up to speed first, and prior to getting up to speed you actually wonder if Buster will make what should be simple jumps due to a severe lack of forward momentum.

 

So you just about get up to speed and find yourself running face first into an enemy, or even worse, finding there's a pit in front of you. Now one pit by itself would have been fine, but we don't get that here. Instead we get a series of chasms with pits in them, so actually racing through the level becomes impossible, and you have to carefully jump your way to victory. Again this wouldn't be a huge problem if not for one, teeny little flaw.

 

You die the very second you touch those spikes.

 

Which means if you're taking advantage of the fact you can run through the level, you suddenly come face to face with a huge gaping pit, and if you're going at any speed then chances are you will land down one of the three they've stuck in quick succession and so it's right back to the start of the level you go, this time avoiding running at all.

 

I'm not outright saying the game isn't fun, as it does feel like there's somewhat of a good game under the surface, but I am saying that expecting a game which is any more than a slow moving platformer would be wrong, as while they give you the option of blazing through the level, most of the time you'll wind up down pits or flattened by an enemy if you even try to. What I will say is if you plan to play the game, expect disappointment unless you go in expecting a subpar Sonic.

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Another thing, how do you play it, lol I can get my lil Ben E Factor bloke running and jumping ala Flashback, but cant pick up anything nor do anything else.

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Apologies guys i totally forgot about this after expressing my interest at the start.

 

These things happen. If you wanna join in then feel free to nominate a game.

 

 

This week, this week, sees the emergence of benefactor on the Amiga. I cant really tell you much about it as I cant get off the first screen due to instructional problems.

 

What I can say is that the premise is good, a cross between Lemmings, Blackthorne, Prince of Persia and Flashback all rolled into one. You are Ben E Factor there to save some, somethings from erm, something. Look, there was this long, really long unskippable intro that was as interesting as watching paint dry that gave some exposition. I caught the general drift but my god it was boring. Could have put the secret to eternal youth in the text and I wouldnt have noticed as the Star Wars-esque text scrolled on for what seem liked for ever. So far so intro. There are lots of bells and whistles and I assume Digital (Bollocks forgotten their names) of Pinball Fantasies fame spent a long time polishing it. At the time an intro like that would have impressed. Now it just drags cos I want to play the game.

 

The game itself is strange. It has a large playing area, small sprites and lots of nice background touches, however the main sprites are empty by comparison. From what I can see you bloke is just like Conrad from Flashback in so much as can jump roll slide etc and gets hurt falling tiny little things. He cant pick up keys though can he, no that would be too straightforward, nor can he make simple jumps because the collision detection is well er a bit shit. And thats about as far as I got.

 

First level got a stone to roll down a hill climbed a ladder and then requiring a pixel perfect jump and erm thats it. have had a few goes, tried every key on the keyboard to pick up a key that's atop the ladder and that's it. That's all Ive done. Im so not getting in its untrue. With that and the most annoying intro Ive seen to a game in some time I cant say I have the will to persevere with it.

 

It may turn out that its the greatest game ever, as it stands its about as playable on Knightmare on the Commodore 64. Want to get out of that 1st room. Not in this lifetime you wont.

 

3/10 ( admittedly could change but sooo disappointing)

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I think you need to give the game more of a chance, Pat. It's an excellent little puzzler.

 

My review:

 

Benefactor was a game I used to love when I was younger. I'll admit I was a bit hesitant about playing it again as I was worried I wouldn't like it. I was worried it would have dated and simply wouldn't have been as fun as it used to be.

 

I'm glad to say my worries were unfounded.

 

The first time I played Benefacter back in the day I didn't get it right away. The graphics are tiny. The story is weird. I think CU Amiga summed it up well: "It might not look special when you first load up, but if there was ever a prize for games which improve with playing time Benefactor would definitely be shortlisted, or possibly win it." And yes, this could not necessarily be seen as a point in the game's favour. However, the reviewer went on to give the game a score of 87%

 

The play time you get from this game is enormous. There are six moons, and many levels on each. And the game changes with the moon, new problems and challenges arise with each setting and the game really creates a "different" feel when you swap scenario. You start in a kind of "underground" world, and this goes on to an Egyptian themed planet. There's also an ice planet and a "transylvanian" one amongst others. The puzzles start of as simplistic but quickly get further, and the "merry men" (the creatures you save) become vital tools to your progress. I was worried the game would feel like an extended escort mission, but it absolutely does not. Intead it feels like a frantic race against time to ensure that you save your creatures. The merry men are lemming like, but actually have their uses, and figuring out what these uses are each level is part of the fun. You form a strange attachment to these creatures, and I felt genuinely sad when I accidentally caused one to get killed by a monster.

 

The game's music makes me feel nostalgic, but to others it probably doesn't seem special. And that's fair enough. It doesn't impact on gameplay though, unlike last weeks game. Benefactor is fun, it's frantic, it makes you think, it makes you swear...it's excellent.

 

And I will score the game this week.

 

8/10

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Fucking intro.

 

"Are you ready to guide him on his biggest adventure yet?"

 

Yes I am, get the fuck on with it.

 

Right, game itself. It's not actually a bad game, although likely plays better if you try and configure the keys. I couldn't be bothered as I only found an Amiga emulator to play this game (which almost led to me giving up what with the emulator not being originally packaged with the kickstart roms it needs, because hey, that might be being useful for people).

 

My main issue with it is that it was never really clear what you had to do each time. You find the key, unlock the door to let the little guy out, then mindlessly follow him to help him move to where he has to go, and that's about it. Then you hit the third level and one false move (which is damned easy with shit keyboard configuration on a laptop, what's wrong with Q, A, O, P and Space?) and you land straight in the water and it's restart city.

 

As a whole the game could be fun, it could indeed be a nice challenge in the later levels but it's just too slow and tedious to make me even care enough to try and proceed, especially when landing in something as simple as water means I have to restart the whole fucking level, yet dropping from three times my height leaves me with barely a scratch.

 

Graphically it's pretty good when you consider the time. Musically I like it, I even like the idea behind the game, I just feel it fails in terms of actually being fun to play. The controls are clunky and become more of a chore to move your character around, whereas it should feel fluid and easy. You get none of that, just constant annoyance.

 

That being said, I'll give it 5/10. It has potential but never truly met it thanks to the clunky controls (even with a better control setup it wouldn't change that it sometimes feels like pot luck whether you make a jump of not, especially the ridiculously annoying second level where you spend more time repeating that first series of jumps than the rest of the level combined).

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That being said, I'll give it 5/10. It has potential but never truly met it thanks to the clunky controls (even with a better control setup it wouldn't change that it sometimes feels like pot luck whether you make a jump of not, especially the ridiculously annoying second level where you spend more time repeating that first series of jumps than the rest of the level combined).

I've been playing the original Amiga version, and yes, the jumping in level two is a bit annoying. However, it's not a recurring theme. I don't know if it's because you become a better judge of the jumps you need to make or what, but jumping wasn't really an issue for me as the game progressed.

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I think you need to give the game more of a chance, Pat. It's an excellent little puzzler.

 

 

Lord knows, Ive tried to give it a fair chance. Ive even save stated so I can miss the near 4 minute intro! each time. but when you go to do a jump on the first level and Ben (we can call him Ben cant we?) E Factor, hits is lickle head on the roof and falls down despite seemingly making the jump properly and lose energy for the 100th time I lose the will to carry on. Im all for playing games that are hard or unforgiven, getting a lil further each time is good, but this is stoopid

 

Like I said Iam probably missing out, it looks polished enough, but with the amount of faffing and that intro its just really off putting and makes me want to dislike the game before Ive tried.

 

I might, just to see if its any good nominate it for the Retro League I play just so that Iam not missing out and see how it does under competative play as it has a score.

 

Anyway for those interested here is that intro

 

 

and here is some game play

 

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Pat, jump wise hold fire as you jump rather than just pressing it, and he'll jump further (I had to work that bugger out for myself).

 

Its not that thats the problem, each and every time he hits his head on the roof during the jump which is unpossible surely

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I'm not sure which jump you can't make, but have you got the running/jumping shoes? You might need to use a merry man for a puzzle depending on where you are. It's certainly not an unforgivingly difficult game, I'm guessing it's a "lack of instructions" thing for you, I dunno?

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