Trivia Challenge turns out to be a bit of a tug-of-war contest as players answer multiple-choice questions to move the ball towards their respective end zones. Only one player is ever actually answering questions at a given time, which is lame. The multiple-choice questions are presented through text, audio, and grainy video clips. The photo occasionally gives away an answer, but sometimes belies the answer. This game was made in 1993, and the questions date back to the 1940's!
My friends Scott and Steve really had their hands full on "rookie" level, despite the fact that they are seasoned football fans. Trivia Challenge is poorly designed, with non-responsive controls and a really dumb user interface. Answering a question faster is supposed to award you with more yardage. After a score you're rewarded with a video clip that looks so bad you'll want to avert your eyes.
There are a set number of questions during each quarter, so there's really no way to mount a big comeback or throw a "bomb". The game has a lot of pauses due to loading, so it never establishes any kind of rhythm. I tried to play against the CPU, but despite what the box claims, this is a two-player game only. Football fans looking for a better option should check out NFL Instant Replay (Philips CD-i, 1994) with its awesome "you make the call" gameplay. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
Its premise is ingenious. Five bubbly teenage girls (and one younger brother) are invited to spend the night at a house by a lake, and it gradually becomes apparent that the hosts are a family of vampires. Complicating matters are zombie-like "augers" that lurk in unoccupied rooms and attempt to kidnap the guests. One of the girls is actually an informant, played by the late Dana Plato (of Diff'rent Strokes fame). Your job is to monitor eight locations around the house (via security cameras) and trigger traps to dispose of the goons.
It's fun to snoop around, and the game is logically designed so it's possible to follow characters between rooms. When you spot an auger (or two), wait until he's in the proper position (meter turns red) before springing the trap. The creeps are disposed of in a variety of interesting ways, and it's satisfying to watch them fall through trap doors or get catapulted off the roof. Multiple events occur around the house at the same time, so you never have a complete picture of what's going on. This adds replay value, since repeated plays are required to flesh out the story.
One valid knock on the game is its marginal video quality. In addition to being very grainy, the video area consumes less than half of the screen. The game is still fun despite a few design flaws. Periodically the house owners change the "trap code", and if you're not tuned in at the right times you can lose your ability to spring traps.
Night Trap contains multiple endings but even if you don't finish it's a challenge to see how many thugs you can bag. Unfortunately your "commanding officer" tends to pull the plug on your mission too early, bringing the game to an abrupt end. It could have been better, but even after all these years Night Trap remains a fascinating trip. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
In terms of graphics, I think the developers used the old "crank up the contrast" trick to make the things look slightly different. In case you haven't played other versions of this game, The Mayan Adventure is an underachieving platformer with confusing stages and slippery controls. It's not bad if you stick with it; you're bound to get a little further each time.
The boomerang weapon is helpful, homing in on every little pesky bat or spider. And catapulting yourself from those red schlongs is always a good time. Pitfall: The Mayan Adventure is a questionable upgrade from the Genesis, but ranks about the same in terms of fun factor. © Copyright 2018 The Video Game Critic.
The game itself is pure platforming joy. The graphics are not spectacular, but the lush, layered scenery is easy on the eyes. Defeated foes drop bags of money which you'll use to stock up on armor, weapons, and food at the local village shops. Typical enemies include furry spiders, praying mantis, wizards, and those weird raccoon creatures that show up in so many anime titles. Most of the dialogue is voiced by actors, and while it slows things down I found it a refreshing change as opposed to reading a wall of text.
The controls are exceptionally crisp and I love how you can jump off (or onto) any ladder. CD-quality music plays throughout the game, and you can save your progress at any time (!) to three slots. My main issue has to do with the unforgiving difficulty. Death-by-touch is all too common, and some bosses absorb an obscene number of hits (like the Wood Golem).
Some stages (like TreeSun) are repetitive in design so it's hard to tell if you're forging ahead or revisiting an old area. Still, Popful Mail is a quality title that will keep you busy for a long time. Its colorful instruction manual is embossed, printed on heavy stock, and contains interesting translation notes. If you're a Sega CD collector, this is one title you'll definitely want in your collection. © Copyright 2012 The Video Game Critic.
The idea is to create a music video on the fly using three sets of constantly running video clips while spicing them up with visual effects. Once you're through the editing process, you can sit back and watch your creation. The video selection includes C&C music videos, old movies clips, cartoons, and other random (and often bizarre) footage. Since each video is already synchronized with the music, it's hard not to make a decent video.
But it's the visual effects department where Power Factory really falls apart. While you can slice, dice, color, freeze, blur, and pixilate the video in any number of ways, most just make your video muddy and hard(er) to watch. Worse yet, the slippery controls make it impossible to initiate certain effects when you want to. This is especially problematic in the "Edit Challenge" mode, where you're instructed beforehand to employ certain effects at specific times during the song.
Another problem is the limited number of songs. I recall being fairly sick of these tunes in 1992, and even now, having to listen to any one of these twice in a row (during edit and playback) is tiresome. Finally, the video is always played on a very small screen, making it frustratingly hard to make out the hot babes. If you have fond memories of C&C, you can bump up the score by half a grade, but gamers looking for some substance should keep their distance from Power Factory. © Copyright 2006 The Video Game Critic.
The game itself looks like an arcade-style platformer but it demands a slow, deliberate approach. Each screen plays out like its own little puzzle. Traps triggered by loose panels or pressure switches send you falling into spiked pits for a bloody death. Navigating these perilous dungeons requires becoming intimately acquainted with the controls, and that's no small order. Your prince can either tiptoe slowly or run.
When you're not pussyfooting around you tend to lurch off-screen or into a trap. Pulling yourself up ledges is no problem but climbing back down is another story. You know you're in trouble when a move requires you to press A and C at the same time! The animation is fluid but the box's claim of "quick, responsive controls" is a joke! They feel quite laggy, turning the sword fights into crapshoots.
The save option only works at the beginning of each new level, and why is "name entry" the third option when you need to do that before you save? Someone clearly didn't think this through. The exotic musical score is far too loud and I hate how it continues when you pause. Conquering each stage can be a satisfying achievement but requires a lot of restarting since there's no checkpoints. Except for the intro and possibly the music Prince of Persia could have been a normal Genesis game. It may be a classic but the sands of time have been less than kind to this Sega CD edition. © Copyright 2020 The Video Game Critic.
Prize Fighter's video footage is presented black and white. I guess they were going for the "Raging Bull" look but it looks terrible. The first-person perspective does lend itself to some dramatic footage as you're making your way to the ring, with reporters shouting questions and some kid imploring you to win. Once inside the ring the anticipation mounts as Michael Buffer belts out his trademark "are you ready to rumble" intro.
Then the match begins and you're thrown for a loop. The screen is suddenly reduced to a small square in the center. I'm used to Sega CD video consuming half of the screen, but this is more like a quarter. Instead of feeling like I'm in the ring, I feels like I'm trapped in a little box.
The boxing action is just pathetic. Two gloves are superimposed over the screen, allowing you to perform various jabs, crosses, uppercuts, dodges, and blocks. But the controls are clumsy and unresponsive. You can flail away all you want but you'll rarely make contact. You can pretty much forget about throwing combinations.
During a typical match I would throw over 300 punches and connect with 18! On the rare occasion a punch landed, a separate clip is shown of your opponent absorbing the hit, but it was clearly filmed at a completely different location. Dialing down the difficulty to "training mode" exposes what a sham this game is, as it prompts you with random arrows appearing all over the place.
The corner coaching scenes add realism but the gameplay just isn't there. Prize Fighter is an intriguing idea but the execution is wretched. I tend to enjoy full-motion video fare but Prize Fighter is an absolute joke. I'm astounded Sega would even allow its "Sega Sports" logo to be associated with this one. © Copyright 2021 The Video Game Critic.