Thursday, November 8, 2007

Episode 4 Delayed, Now Available

Chrontendo Episode 4 is now available for download, albeit at a much later date than originally intended. A month ago, I stated Episode 4 was "well under way." Why the delay? After recording the voiceovers, I found I was becoming increasing dissatisfied with the sound quality. After some mental debate I finally decided to obtain a better microphone. Said microphone arrived several days ago and all the voiceovers were re-recorded. I have certainly not yet mastered to art of microphone placement but am pleased with the results so far. Hopefully, this will give Chrontendo a patina of professionalism that was completely lacking in the first three episodes.

Now... about the new episode:

Our Most Valuable Game award this episode will go to Tower of Druaga.

Not well known in the US, TOD was a considerable success in Japan. While most players, myself included, would not consider it a good game, it is one of the first examples (and certainly the first on the Famicom) of a modern style console game. With its finite storyline, end-of-game boss and collectible objects and powerups, TOD points the way towards such games as Super Mario Bros. By implementing a fantasy setting, very, very light RPG elements, and a simple plot into a top-down maze game, Namco established a new type of game with TOD. The most obvious example of TOD's influence would be Legend of Zelda, released several months after this Famicom port. Surprisingly, Tower of Druaga was originally an arcade game from 1984.

Honorable mentions:

Elevator Action. A well done, accurate port of the arcade classic.
Star Force. Decent, if not spectacular vertical shooter.
Road Fighter. Underacheiving, but reasonably enjoyable top-down driving game.
Hyper Olympic. One half of the game released in US as Track and Field.
Astro Robo Sasa. Unique but difficult game featuring a little guy and his great big gun.

And the "avoid at all costs" category:

Super Arabian. Ugly, unplayable platformer.

Field Combat
. Taito commits the video game equivalent of a war crime. Yes, that thing in the character's hand is supposed to be a gun, not an oil can.
. A dull, poorly designed psuedo-3D shooter

Also featured this episode are the Robotic Operating Buddy games, Stack-Up and Gyromite, Door Door, Field Combat, Zippy Race, Honshogi and Warp Man.

Unfortunately, a minor error was included in this episode: the music used in Hyper Olympic was identified as John Williams' Olympic theme. In fact, it is from Vangelis' score for "Chariots of Fire." I suddenly realized this after uploading the video.

Chrontendo Episode 4 may be downloaded here.

Episode 5 is around 60% finished and promises to be the most eventful yet!