12 / 29 / 2010
I was going to do Cortex Command next because it looked really neat.
However, apparently it's still in "beta" (even though they're charging
money for it) and they expect it to be for like three or four more
years. I guess I could deal with that if it was playable, but for some
reason it has trouble with graphics on my brand new Win 7 PC and has to
default to "VGA mode", which means a 1/3 of the screen box with text
that's so scrunched and in such a tiny font I can barely even read it.
So yeah, if they come out with a final version eventually that doesn't
rape my eyes, I'll play it then. Until then, no thanks.
For now please enjoy Revenge of the Titans
(PC), which closes out the Humble Indie Bundle 2, as well as 2010!
12 / 26 / 2010
Welcome back from the Festivus feasts! Hmm ... pretty soon it'll be 2011
and we'll have a fresh new News page. But as for 2010 ... IT'S NOT OVER YET!!!!!!!
For now, we're pushing onward with all this indie PC stuff. Today, Machinarium
, possibly the most adorable game ever, and Osmos
, a "Zen games" puzzler.
12 / 22 / 2010
Wow, talk about your backlogs. So I just got an email from the Humble
Bundle guys, and those of us that donated over seven bucks or so
apparently now get access to the first Humble Bundle too, which is 6
more games I haven't played. Just prior to this TWEEST, I went on Steam
for the first time ever, which maybe wasn't the best idea in the middle
of their big holiday sale. I think I bought 12 games? Or so? Some were
in bundles so IDK. Apparently this goes on with "daily deals" for like 2
more weeks, too, so there could be Moar. Oh well. There's worse
problems - scurvy, lack of potable drinking water, being captured by
Somali pirates, etc. I'll soldier through.
Of course I'm broke now so I can't buy you guys any presents. So I did
the next best thing with 0.00, which is to go through the old reviews
(in Articles/Reviews > Browse By Console) and mark all the freeware
with a "FREE" tag, so you can find all the non-piratey free shit without
combing dozens of reviews. This includes original creations released as
freeware as well as commercial products that the rights-holders have
released as freeware on a non-temporary basis. Of course the vast
majority of this stuff is in the PC section but you get the odd ROM
creation that doesn't use too many pirated assets to qualify, or that
have been released into the wild with the blessing of their creators,
like that prototype Another World/Out of this World port for the Gameboy
Fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra ra!
12 / 21 / 2010
A Tale Of Two Platformers ... one is 2D, an attempt at art, symbolic,
impressionist, maybe a little full of itself ... the other is 3D, wholly
conventional, based on a "Skinnerian rewards schedule", yet crafted and
executed nearly perfectly. Braid
(PC) and Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy
(PS2). WHAT A TWEEST!
12 / 18 / 2010
Two times in my life now, Final Fantasy X
has come to me when I wasn't really looking for it or even thinking
about it. First as a surprise Xmas gift in 2002, now as part of a trade
someone else proposed.
Man, I'm not one to accumulate "backlogs", but between jumping on holiday sales and trading old games on GameTZ
, I've managed to accumulate a pretty hefty one. I picked up this year's Humble Bundle
on impulse, mostly due to wanting to see what all the hoopla is over
Braid and Machinarium, so I guess those will be next up ... maybe?
12 / 05 / 2010
Alright, let's switch it up to some lighter fare today. How about the
two Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles games for Gameboy Advance - TMNT
and TMNT 2: Battle Nexus
. They're not all bad, but it's no Golden Age of Konami.
12 / 03 / 2010
So last time out, we looked at Fable, a game that gives you an
unexpected sucker-punch in the nads at the end that comes out of
absolutely nowhere. Shadow Of The Colossus
(PS2), conversely, builds you up through the narrative for a more
polite and expected nad-punch in the end. That's not why it got the Meh
though, the nut-punching was pretty well executed I thought.
11 / 29 / 2010
Just adding a couple of disappointing mid-90s titles today, Fable
(PC) and Fade To Black
11 / 26 / 2010
Introducing a new Gamecube
section ... I bought it at a HIGH price!
Anyway I figured Black Friday was a great day to add Resident Evil 4
, what with all the Ganado-like behavior as people climb all over each other for glorified store clearance items.
11 / 21 / 2010
Finally got through the beast that is Final Fantasy XII
(PS2) ... and then for some reason I felt like playing Magic Sword
(Arcade) ... guess the final dungeon reminded me of it?
11 / 17 / 2010
Alright let's try and push Seizure-Inducing Arnold down the page a bit.
I stumbled across a couple of good Sonic fan-made games so I thought I'd do a bit of reportage - Sonic the Hedgehog Megamix
, a complete revamp of Sonic 1 but in the form of a Sega CD ISO, and Sonic Robo Blast 2
, kind of a mad scientist 3D rendition of Sonic in the DOOM engine (that works surprisingly well.)
11 / 6 / 2010
Here in California, we'd all love for the Governator to be the Wild
Barbarian King of our hearts forever. Unfortunately, he got termed out
and they elected some old dood. So let's send him off in style with what
is clearly his finest work, Total Recall
for the NES.
11 / 5 / 2010
I think I've lamented here on a few occasions that cyberpunk is
the perfect setting for gaming, and yet it was relatively rarely used,
and even more rarely used well. Here's two of the better efforts for PC -
, a turn-based strategy game from New World, and Neuromancer
, an adventure/RPG based on the Gibson book.
10 / 26 / 2010
Guess it's time for the obligatory Halloween update ... Halloween
for 2600 seemed an obvious choice ... Dr. Chaos
is an obscure Goonies 2 knockoff for the NES with legitimately disturbing fat duck women chasing you ... and finally Halloween Harry
has absolutely nothing to do with Halloween, which I guess is why they changed the name to Alien Carnage.
10 / 09 / 2010
Decided to do something different for this update so I'm taking a look at some old Laserdisc games ... well OK Dragon's Lair 3D
(PC) isn't a Laserdisc game ... but Badlands
and Cliff Hanger
10 / 03 / 2010
Slow going on the gaming front right now, buds. Typical mid-term school busyness and all that. Got a review up of Yakuza
for the PS2, though.
09 / 20 / 2010
Inscrible your glorious name here! Here we have a fighting game update
that is a little ahead of schedule as it was originally supposed to also
include Power Stone 2 for Dreamcast, but apparently my copy that has
been sitting in storage untouched for like ten years has died of old age
or something :(
So here's Guilty Gear X
and Virtua Fighter 4
for PS2 and Capcom vs SNK 2
09 / 17 / 2010
Diving back into the PS2 bargain bin today with two games that have vastly different themes but share a major similarity. Stuntman
is yet another driving game from the folks that brought you Driver and Demolition Derby, while Mad Maestro
is a Japanese rhythm game that has you playing as an orchestra
conductor. The similarity is that they are both great and original
concepts, yet the execution in both cases comes off quite
09 / 12 / 2010
The dusty old MSX section gets a bit of new life today with the addition of Metal Gear
and Metal Gear 2
. Also taking a look at this oddball (but interesting) ROM hack Sonic 2 XL
which is not rated simply due to the fact that I'm not sure if the designers even intended for you to be able to play it.
09 / 06 / 2010
Everyone's favorite evil monolithic entity gets a couple of entries today with The Godfather
and Medal of Honor: Frontline
, both for PS2
08 / 29 / 2010
Adding the HOMM series to the pile with Heroes of Might & Magic
, Heroes of Might & Magic II
, and Heroes of Might & Magic III
. All exceptional turn-based strategy games for the PC, if you've somehow not heard of them.
08 / 22 / 2010
Today, ESPN NFL 2K5
and ESPN NHL 2K5
for the PS2, also collectively known as the best $1.98 I've ever spent.
08 / 16 / 2010
OK Sega, it was fun but now I'm Over U.
Back to musty PC oldies for a bit with Torin's Passage
, which (I think) was Al Lowe's last adventure game, and King's Bounty
, the early (and more RPG-ish) precursor to the Heroes of Might and Magic series.
08 / 13 / 2010
The new Dreamcast put me in a nostalgic Sega mood so here's a big batch of it.
Arcade : Virtua Fighter
, Golden Axe: Revenge of Death Adder
, Shadow Dancer
, Dynamite Dux
32X : Knuckles Chaotix
, After Burner Complete
Master System : Alex Kidd in Miracle World
, Virtua Fighter Animation
08 / 09 / 2010
Whew! After Suikoden III and the two Shenmues over the course of about
the last two months, I'm ready for some brainless shooting action. How
and Border Down
for Dreamcast, and this cute little demake/demo Goldeneye 2D
for PC (not rated due to only having 1 level then apparently the designers fell into a Mystery Vortex)
08 / 06 / 2010
There'll be a Shenmue 3 someday ... there's too much interest in it for
there not to be, in some form ... I'm just worried it'll be rushed
garbage when it finally does appear, rather than something up to the
standard of the first two games.
Anyway, let's put Ryo to bed for now with Shenmue 2
(Dreamcast) and After Burner II
08 / 01 / 2010
Let's take a quick break from Shenmue 2 for some hot zombie action. Did
you know there's already two "de-makes" of Left 4 Dead floating around?
Yep, Pixel Force: Left 4 Dead
and Left 4k Dead
. And that's a fact, Jack.
07 / 30 / 2010
What else would we debut a new Dreamcast
section with but Shenmue
Also, I've been updating the woefully incomplete Shenmue Completist's Guide
I had pretty much abandoned eight years ago. Aside from a couple of
capsule toy lists, however, it's now actually pretty close to complete
and pretty useful.
As to what prompted the Dreamcast love? Amazon.com has a shit ton of brand new ones selling for $89.
I haven't seen an explanation anywhere of where they came from, but I
assume it's something like the batch that ThinkGeek had last year, that
were found in a crate in the back of some warehouse that was being
cleaned out or something. Anyway, I bought it expecting one of the later
9000 series print runs from 2006 or 2007, possibly a Japanese system,
but I got a U.S. 3000 series manufactured in 2000! I don't know where
the hell these things have been all these years but it looked perfectly
preserved, was factory sealed, and is running like a champ. Anyway, just
a tip-off for the other retro enthusiasts out there.
07 / 28 / 2010
Suck it down, Fantasy Zone! Let's shoot the hell out of fantastic lands with Space Harrier
and then try not to die in a horrible accident with Hang On
, Yu Suzuki's two earliest arcade hits and still two of Sega's better arcade titles.
07 / 24 / 2010
This is not a JO-king matter!
Mega Man day today ... turned out to be more like Meh-ga Man though.
Mega Man X4
and Mega Man 8
for Playstation, Mega Man 7
07 / 21 / 2010
Taking a look at a couple of oddball ports of Dragon's Lair today. First, the Sega CD
version, which is one of the most complete ports, but also one of the ugliest. Then, the Gameboy Color
port ... no it's not any of that side-scrolling junk, it's an actual
port of the actual game to 4 MB of GBC cartridge. In spite of the Meh
face you'll be surprised how well that actually works out.
07 / 19 / 2010
Just a couple of depressing games today, man. You might as well not even read today's update.
and Postal Plus
, both for PC.
07 / 16 / 2010
Slow on the updates lately due mostly to moving into a new place. But I was also grinding my way through about 70 hours of Suikoden III
07 / 07 / 2010
(PC) cost about $4 million to make ... I'm guessing The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
(Atari 2600) didn't cost more than $4,000 or so ... yet they come out with the same rating. Hmm.
06 / 26 / 2010
does NOT wipe his own ass. Neither does Bushido Blade 2
. Maybe because they're fighting off hordes of ninjers all day long?
is also back in operation.
06 / 21 / 2010
The Wii Virtual Console
index is back up, huzzah.
Today I was planning on uploading Bioforge
and Bad Mojo Redux to do a sort of "gross and obscure PC games" update.
Unfortunately, Bad Mojo is one of those obnoxious games that tries to
force you to install some old-ass 1990s version of Quicktime to play it.
Wasn't the Redux re-release made solely to fix stuff like this? Oh
well. Hardcore Gaming 101
has a great write-up on it.
06 / 17 / 2010
Creep with me, as I crawl through some Oldwarez.
A hefty dose of Sneaking and Peeping this time with Keef the Thief
, Nippon Safes Inc.
, and Thief Gold
for PC, as well as Tenchu: Wrath of Heaven
06 / 09 / 2010
I was gonna wait to finish Keef The Thief and make that part of this
update, but I haven't even started it yet, it'll be a week at least
before I'm done writing that up probably. Figured I'd better upload what
I have on hand since it's been over two weeks. And that would be
obscure PC adventure games - Eric The Unready
is one of the last true text adventures from a major studio and kind of
a swan song for the genre (at least commercially), while Eternam
is so bizarre I can't even summarize it.
05 / 25 / 2010
As you hit the road for Memorial Day weekend, don't forget your 2x4 with nails through it!
Badass Biker Attitude day with Full Throttle
for PC, which is probably the world's only biker adventure game, and Road Rash
, Road Rash 2
and Road Rash 3
05 / 19 / 2010
Today, two FPS games that are set in the far future, feature alien
entities who possess and zombify humans, and yet couldn't be more
different. But are both quite excellent in their own way. System Shock 2
(PC) adds a psychological horror tinge and a layer of sophistication and depth to the usual PC FPS formula, whereas Timesplitters 2
(PS2) is just a really well executed console FPS in the lineage of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark.
05 / 09 / 2010
Alright, so once there was a computer game publisher called Accolade.
They were pretty big in their day and had some big hits, but by the
2000s had faded off into obscurity. During their prime they did as most
big publishers did, however, which included devouring smaller publishers
and releasing their games. One of their acquisitions was Horror Soft, a
company which was even more interesting for acquiring the rights to use
Elvira as their logo before they even released their first game - a
horror/RPG called Personal Nightmare. While Elvira only had title screen
duties on that one, she'd go on to be the centerpiece of the two
follow-ups to that game: Elvira
and Elvira 2
(there was a final game in this loose series called Waxworks, in which
Elvira went back to simply showing her cleavage on the title screen.)
Much like the lady herself, the games are great-looking and lurid but can be a real ball buster at times.
05 / 05 / 2010
Today - Lufia
and the Shit Ton of Atari 2600 Games
04 / 24 / 2010
Wasn't I going to play Grim Fandango
back around the actual Dia De Los Muertes? Oh well, what's six months anymore.
Seems Groader is active again too, with a look at a couple of groundbreaking 1990s molestation sims for Amiga and PC.
04 / 17 / 2010
I always thought Jose Bobo from the NES port of Double Dragon 2 was the
most hilarious of the Abobo family by far, but FabioBobo here from the
arcade version definitely is in close contention.
Anyway, big hodgepodge of short reviews for today's update.
Arcade : Double Dragon 2
, Metamorphic Force
, Puzzle De Bowling
PC : Can You Jump It?
NES : Kings Of The Beach
Sega 32x : Kolibri
SNES : No Escape
Genesis : Micro Machines Military
Atari 2600 : Z-Tack
, Zoo Fun
, Yar's Revenge
, Worm War I
04 / 10 / 2010
I have to give Ecstatica
points for being the only game I know of that lets you beat monsters to death with a Bible, but other than that, it and Ecstatica 2
are pretty much just lurid garbage.
When I was a kid I was a total nut for Sierra adventures, and I still like 'em quite a bit, but I always avoided EcoQuest
and EcoQuest 2
thinking they'd be tediously preachy and too kiddie. Was pleasantly surprised to the contrary.
04 / 08 / 2010
Today's theme: Obscure Konami arcade games with cowboy themes. And I give you Iron Horse
and Wild West Cowboys of Moo Mesa
04 / 05 / 2010
Back to the PC oldies for today. Dune
and Cruise For A Corpse
are very pretty but end up being disappointing to play, whereas Dune 2
is a little uglier but a lot more fun.
03 / 31 / 2010
I wanted some light-duty action games while I do all this "academic"
writing this week, so I decided to go for some Mega Man X for SNES ... I
played these two about 5+ years ago and had a lot less patience for
them then, but coming back to them now, I find that Mega Man X2
is better than I remember ... Mega Man X3
still kinda sucks though.
03 / 28 / 2010
Today, a study in polar opposites in mood and atmosphere. Dreamweb
is dreary, brooding and ultimately pretty depressing, while RunMan: Race Around The World
is all cheer and sunshine. Both for PC. RunMan is free, Dreamweb might as well be.
03 / 25 / 2010
Wooo Spring Break ... get out the red plastic cups and order the keg!
... Or not, since 3 out of the 4 classes that I'm in this semester
pulled the Dick Move of doing "take home midterms" that were issued this
week and are due right after the break ... effectively forcing us to
work through the break.
I guess there's no point in going anywhere, but I'll at least have some
time to kick back and catch up on games. To get started here's the
Awesome piece of Freeware Varicella
and the Decent piece of Freeware Moneyseize
The former is a really cool text adventure/strategy that puts you in
the shoes of a Machiavellian schemer with only a few hours to seize
power, and the latter is like a hard Mario clone with a Wario clone as
the main character.
And then there's ... Drakkhen
for SNES? How did that get in there?
03 / 21 / 2010
Alright, enough whinging ... let's get back to work!
for PC and Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2
for GBA ... two off-beat RPGs that have some good things going for them but also have some issues
03 / 17 / 2010
The arcade and some of the PC reviews are temporarily hosed. I was
writing those for Associated Content, and today they abruptly deleted my
account out of the blue. I'm going to try to recover them from Google
Cache/Wayback Machine and host them here locally. Don't really have time
to do that right now tho as it's midterm period. Maybe over Spring
Break. Anyway, a shit ton of reviews in those two sections are MIA for
- The aforementioned reviews are still accessible.
Apparently when they said "We're deleting your content and banning you",
what they actually meant was "We're removing your access to the site
and not paying you any more, but we're keeping your content up so we can
still make money off of it." Don't ever get suckered into writing for
I'm still porting the reviews here, in case they do actually CODE RED
BALEET EVERYTHING at some point, and also just on general principle.
Final Update 3/19
- After swearing at their VP of Business and
Legal Affairs (or somesuch) they re-opened the account. I'm leaving the
original links up, since basically the two options here are Get Paid For
That Work or Don't Get Paid For That Work - I can't force them to
remove the articles, so they continue to make money off of them whether I
do or not. I'm done writing for them though. And I'm backing up
everything that's posted there just in case.
03 / 10 / 2010
Just a small update today with reviews of Viewtiful Joe 2
for PS2 and Duke Nukem 64
... it looks like Groader is back in action after a long hiatus though,
taking a look at the (deservedly) obscure Brad Stallion adventure game
03 / 06 / 2010
You know, between the PS2 outselling the PS3
and every Gamestop (at least in the San Francisco area) seemingly
consisting of about 70% used PS2 games and 30% everything else, I'm
actually starting to feel a little Relevant here. I'm hip! I'm with it!
Here's Clock Tower 3
Also, speaking of quasi-relevance, here's some new Nintendo DS import action - Doki Doki Majo Shinpan 2
(unrated), which roughly translates to "Underage Witch Molesting 2."
This will now become the most clicked-on link on this entire site by
hundreds of hits.
02 / 28 / 2010
Today we're proud to debut the Playstation 2
section, putting us on the cutting edge of (early 2000s) technology.
The first additions to mark the occasion are Metal Gear Solid 2
and Metal Gear Solid 3
. Plus, a review of PC classic System Shock
, which anticipated a number of games across various genres, but particularly Metal Gear Solid in a number of respects.
02 / 20 / 2010
Yep, moar PC oldies
Castle of Dr. Brain
, Island of Dr. Brain
and Tangled Tales
Oh, I almost forgot - I noticed the vast majority of the site's traffic
is now coming from Google searches for specific game reviews, so I
assume most of those who continue onward from that have no idea what all
the faces are about. So I posted an Explanation of the Rating System
here, which you'll also now see a perma-link to at the top of the Articles/Reviews section.
02 / 13 / 2010
Hmm ... to go out on Valentine's Day for overpriced food and a night of Hot Sax ... or to play PC oldies?
, Traffic Department 2129
and Codename: Iceman
02 / 10 / 2010
Just wanted to drop a quick update to mention this freeware game Eversion
, which I've been having a good time with ... but it seems at least a bit inspired by Monster Party
, so I figured it was about time to fire that one up and add it to the pile.
Never played/heard of it? Possibly the most randomly gory/disturbing/lulzy game on the NES.
02 / 06 / 2010
Did you know? New studies prove that Big Deez in your mouf is, indeed, bad for your health.
GTA: Vice City
and GTA: San Andreas
officially finish up the backlog from the site move. Whew! On to newer and shinier things.
02 / 04 / 2010
Today we take a look at two of the most interesting adventure games ever made - you can make a very strong case for Gabriel Knight
being the best of the genre to date, and I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream
out surprisingly strong and playable in spite of the design team's
relative inexperience and author Harlan Ellison's curmudgeonly
01 / 28 / 2010
Moar GBA today, with the fairly disappointing Mario Pinball Land
and Metal Slug Advance
, but also the surprisingly excellent (and sadly obscure) Racing Gears Advance
There's also Companions of Xanth
for PC, an adventure based on the work of that horny old goat Piers Anthony.
01 / 25 / 2010
OK, now I'm working through stuff that I played during the site move,
but only have scribbled notes to work from rather than a full review
ready to go.
For today - Retro Game Challenge
and Super Dodgeball Brawlers
for DS, and DK: King of Swing
for the ol' GBA
01 / 14 / 2010
Alright, time to upload a shit ton of reviews that got backed up over the two month break while the site was being moved ...
Playstation: Dragon Warrior VII
, Guilty Gear
, Jumping Flash
, Parappa the Rapper
Nintendo DS: Chrono Trigger DS
Super NES: Super Star Wars
, Final Fight 3
Gameboy Advance: Baseball Advance
, Batman Begins
PC: Alien Breed: Obliteration
01 / 13 / 2010
Yay, site's moved and up and running!
You'll notice we have our own .com URL now (platoscavern.com), but you
can also access the site at platoscavern2.talkspot.com. After Jan 31,
the old URL (platoscavern.talkspot.com) *should* also automatically
WUT'S BEEN DUN
* Ported over all content successfully. All reviews are accesible
through the Browse By Console page, which is 100% up and working, though
the other pages (Wii Virtual Console, Badass Platforming, etc.) haven't
been rebuilt yet. You can still get at those through the old site until
Jan 31, and by then I hope to have them rebuilt here. Hardly anyone was
using them anyway, so shouldn't be of much concern atm really.
* Corrected a lot of spelling and grammar errors and jacked-up links. Not everything, but damn close to it.
* Added screenshots to a few reviews that were lacking for them.
* Added a lot of supplementary links to reviews. Sorry, didn't keep track of them all.
* Nintendo Handheld Archive has been eliminated and split into separate
Gameboy, Gameboy Color, Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS pages in the
Browse By Console menu
WUT AIN'T DUN
* Most reviews don't have a left-hand side navigation bar. I have to
figure out if there's a way to add that other than going through and
manually adding one to each page. In the meantime, that's what Gord
created the Back Button for!
* Site generally looks kinda ugly and clunky. I'll work on overall look and formatting over the next few weeks.
* As mentioned before, some review indexes (Wii VC, Xbox Live Arcade, etc.) haven't been rebuilt yet.
* In the Old News sections, images will display, but the links will
cease to work after the 31st. I doubt I'll ever fix that. All Old News
that's added from this point forward, however, will have working links.
So it's just 2007-09 that won't. Oh well.
* The comments from the old site couldn't be carried over, as they use two completely different systems.
* The forum (Let's Not Listen) also has to be re-established here. I'll get around to that eventually.
* Amazon sidebar ads aren't displaying now for some reason. Yeah, I
know, no one but me cares, but it's bugging me. This ain't a charity,
That's it! Plenty of new reviews pending, there should be a steady stream of updates for the next few weeks at least.