GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


James Pond 2 Review (Sega Genesis / Mega Drive)

Posted: 23 Dec 2016 04:17 PM PST

James Pond 2 Review

When it comes to Christmas themed retro games, I often like to have a quick play of James Pond 2 Codename: Robocod at this time of year. Whilst the character started off on the Amiga and this game has been ported to multiple systems such as the Super Nintendo and PlayStation, the version I used to play was on the Mega Drive.There's actually four James Pond games on the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive, with three being the main platformer trilogy and the other a spin-off sports title called "The Aquatic Games". He also made a cameo appearance in "Rolo to the Rescue" which I hope to review in the future.The story behind this game is that Dr. Maybe (a play on Dr. No from James Bond), has infiltrated Santa Claus' main toy factories in the North Pole and is planting bombs disguised as penguins that will detonate within 48 hours. So it's up to you to save Christmas!Your adventure begins in a wintery hub world where you gain access to new areas by going through doors that unlock once the previous one has been completed. There is a fairly well known creative cheat here which provides you with invincibility if you collect each item in order to spell out the word "CHEAT", starting with the cake, then moving onto the hammer, planet Earth, the apple and then a tap. There's also a similar cheat in the first level by spelling out the word "LIVES" with certain items too.Every so often you'll walk through a door that leads to a boss battle. These get progressively harder as you'd expect, so make sure you stock up on as many lives as you can and don't expect to just breeze through it all on your first attempt. James Pond 2 starts off very easy, but I found that it does get noticeably more difficult after the first boss, requiring faster reactions and more precise platforming skill.On your travels you'll find numerous collectibles which help improve your score, earn extra lives, allow you to fly and float down safely, plus you'll gain access vehicles to use such as cars, aeroplanes and even a flying bathtub! This game obviously doesn't take itself too seriously.During gameplay, those of you from the UK will no doubt notice the product placement of McVitie's Penguin Bars scattered about. These fancy chocolate covered bourbon biscuits were very popular at the time and are still enjoyed today.Graphically, James Pond has a very unique style. The levels look colourful and there is a lot of detail with the various enemies, animations and collectables, but in some ways it can also be considered as quite dark and basic. The backgrounds don't display much creativity in my opinion, as they look simple and tiled when you compare it to games like Sonic the Hedgehog, but overall the visuals are fairly pleasing for such an early Mega Drive title.In terms of sound the music is very infectious. These cheerful little melodies will find their way into your brain and it's very likely you'll be humming along to them for days after. Each one is pretty jolly and there's also some nice renditions of Christmas music later on in the game.The controls are nice and responsive which is good considering there's some fairly difficult and frustrating platforming in later levels. The momentum means that at times James' movements can feel a bit slippery, but hey, he's a fish and these physics do come into play later in the game. I also like how his robotic suit allows him to stretch up high and grab onto ceilings. This was a very fun mechanic that allowed for some interesting level design.Speaking of which, James Pond 2 isn't your typical "travel from left to right" platformer. A lot of areas can feel quite maze-like as you need to traverse them in multiple directions. Sometimes there's even multiple exits which can lead onto a bonus level for additional points, which helps add to the replay value if you'd like to discover them all.I did find that some of the later levels did get quite frustrating as there wasn't always a clear indication of where to go and there was a very sneaky bonus area that kept repeating until you found a very tiny exit. There were also moments of extremely precise platforming where one mistake could be very punishing, requiring you to start over. These felt like cheap tactics to me, but that might just be a personal thing and those with more patience may feel different and see it as more of a challenge.Overall I feel that James Pond 2 Codename: Robocod is an enjoyable platformer for the Sega Genesis and Mega Drive. As it was released in 1991, there are more visually impressive titles on the system, but this one still retains a lot of charming character. The gameplay in particular feels very polished. The controls are good and there's a fair amount of challenge… or patience required in later levels. 

Hello Giri dot Com

Hello Giri dot Com


Aadhaar card (e-aadhaar) misuse for fake Bank Account opening

Posted: 22 Dec 2016 10:31 AM PST

All know that only Aadhaar card ( or e-aadhaar) is enough for opening...

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GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


MyGamerXP Q&A 1000 Subscribers Special. Thank You!

Posted: 13 Dec 2016 03:38 AM PST

MyGamerXP 1000 YouTube Subscribers

To mark this special milestone of reaching 1000 YouTube subscribers I wanted to make this thank you video and answer some of the questions you've sent in.You'll learn about retro games and consoles on my wishlist, how many games I currently have in my collection, what I'd do if I won £1000 and much more. I hope you enjoy it.Thanks again to my wonderful Patreon supporters; Lewis, Kev, Jess, Mark, Lucy and Chris. I really appreciate it! You guys are amazing.Thanks also to all of you viewers and subscribers who help make this passion even more rewarding. 

GXP Gaming Blog

GXP Gaming Blog


Pit-Fighter Review (Sega Genesis / Mega Drive)

Posted: 08 Dec 2016 04:16 PM PST

Pit-Fighter Sega Review

Before the days of Street Fighter 2, when I used to go round to my cousin's house we used to play Pit-Fighter! It's certainly not considered a classic by today's standards, but it was fairly popular in it's day. I now own my cousins copy of the game which despite missing a manual, is a still a treasured part of my collection.Pit-Fighter was developed by Atari and released in the arcades in 1990. The game was then ported to just about every other console available, with the Mega Drive and Sega Genesis version being arguably the best of all the home conversions.Digitised sprites of live actors were used to give the game it's more realistic look; a technique that was later used by the legendary Mortal Kombat series. It may have even been what inspired them to go down that route. This wasn't the first game to use digitised sprites, but it's certainly one of the more popular early examples. Unfortunately the Mega Drive version doesn't include those, nor the subtle sprite-scaling technology, but it still looks and feels quite faithful to the arcade original.The basic premise of Pit-Fighter is to defeat all your opponents and earn loads of money. So much in fact, that you have to get a forklift truck to hold you over it. There's three characters to choose from, who are Buzz, Ty and Kato, each with their own unique fighting styles, and with Ty being my personal favourite.With regards to enemies there's essentially eight to beat over eleven rounds, so a couple of them are recycled. There's also a few grudge match bonus rounds where you must defeat a clone of yourself. These mix up the traditional matches a bit as they implement a three-strike system where you earn a point each time knock your opponent down. It sounds simple and straightforward, but it can get pretty tough!In terms of controls I found them to be quite basic, with each character having a standard jump, punch and kick or a special move for pressing A, B and C at the same time. Movement is fluid enough but the game does suffer a bit from collision detection issues when landing your hits. It feels a bit unfair at times and can be very frustrating in the grudge matches.One of the things I really enjoy with Pit-Fighter is the ability to throw objects such as barrels, knives and even motorcycles against each other. If you get knocked into the crowd, the throw you back out, exposing you to an easy hit and some even come out to stab you. It can be quite brutal, but very fun when you have the advantage. On some stages there's even a hidden power pill that makes you super strong! Just be careful and ensure you get to it before your opponent does.Graphically, the game does a good job for such an early title. There's a few recycled enemies and quite a lot of palette swapping to give the impression of more stage backgrounds, but it's not too noticeable. It just feels like there's not a lot of variety, but the gameplay is quite simplistic and repetitive anyway.On the subject of sound, I really like the background music of the first round. Not all of the soundtrack is great, but there is some digitized speech which is impressive for such an old game. The crowd are very clear and it really adds to the atmosphere. Sometimes the end boss (The Masked Warrior) taunts you in between stages as well, but I found that very muffled and hard to understand what he was saying.Pit-Fighter on the Mega Drive also offers a two player co-operative mode which is what me and my cousin used to play all the time. This adds more enemies to fight within each round to balance the difficulty, plus it provides a competitive element of who can earn the most prize money after each fight. 

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