Creatures, if you’re unfamiliar, is an artificial life-raising game (not unlike Wobbledogs, heehee, you guys remember THAT one?) where you raise little – well, creatures – known as Norns. They eat, they drink, they talk, and they have a surprisingly comprehensive biological simulation running inside them.
There’s three games in the series, give-or-take a few games people choose to not acknowledge, and whether or not you consider Docking Station to be its own game or merely a free hanger-on to the much more robust Creatures 3. Whatever. Three games! But today I am focusing on the first one.
This game occupied an interesting niche in my life, not like any other game I can think of. I liked pet games, sure; Petz was my favorite computer game, second to none. But something about Creatures was so… meaty. There was so much to do in it, so much to poke around in and chew on.
But it was also unrelentingly terrifying. What was up with that?
We. Love. Chex Quest. It’s one of the best games of all time. It’s certainly the best Doom game of all time. AND it came with a free box of cereal – you can’t beat that for a bargain! In the classic shooter community, Chex Quest has always had a tiny but dedicated core of fans who have clamored for years for more cereal-based shooter content.
Limited Run is a company of game merchandise makers that, by no small coincidence, caters to small fandoms by making fun feely packs with trinkets and shirts and fun things like that. And wow, they made a CHEX QUEST BOX! Real Chex Quest merch for real Chex Quest fans! It was an instant buy, even if it cost 150 dollars. And so, in April of 2020, we placed our order the second we saw it. It was our little quarantine gift to ourselves. It would be worth it.
And so we waited. And waited. Just like how we were waiting for quarantine to end.
Our order did not arrive until January of 2021. Nine months later. We know it was a pre-order, we know there was a Dang Pandemic on, but oh man, that’s a long time to wait. We were almost at the point of giving up completely on this ever arriving when we finally got the notification it had shipped. Now it’s here, and has cemented us as Real Chex Quest fans. So why not go over it, and take a look at everything that came in it?
The colors were so beautiful.
They promised me so much. Whenever I felt sad, or lonely, or worried, all I would do is listen to the colors, and they would promise me that all things would be okay. They did things no other colors could do. Have you ever smelled a color? Tasted a color? No, not in the way somebody with synesthesia would, either. Really tasted a color, tasted it in the same way that you could taste a piece of chocolate, savoring its flavor and swallowing it and feeling it inside you, warm and pleasant. I hadn’t either, until the colors of Wishbone were revealed to me.
Nobody else can understand. The Wishbone colors speak, and they sing, and they dance, and they do so, so much for me. I cannot live without them. I will not live without them. They are everything to me. No family, no friends, nobody can compare. How could they? They cannot show me delights the way Wishbone can. They call me mad when I try to even gently describe, to convince them to look at the colors.
Maybe I am mad. But if madness is the price for happiness, I do not care. The colors are worth any price. The colors are everything.
Super Mario 64 did more than just bring Mario to the third dimension: it literally defined a new genre and revolutionized video gaming for the rest of eternity. It’s impossible to overstate just how important Super Mario 64 was to the world of video gaming. Almost every single 3D video game produced after Super Mario 64 has drawn from its groundbreaking new mechanics.
But it’s not all fancy industry-changing technology in the world of Super Mario 64. This game changed something else about the world of video games… it introduced a world of fear. With the new 3D world came new 3D horrors, and these scarred the minds of a whole generation of gamers.
Where would modern horror gaming be without Big Boo’s Haunt, the Mad Piano, and Unagi? Although these kinds of scares may now seem simplistic, the world of horror would not be where it is today if they did not give us a glimpse of the potential that 3D games could provide.
After the jump, we’ll see these revolutionary frights first hand, and learn about what it meant to see 3D fear for the first time.
Hey, kids! Do you like Chex Cereal? Do you like DOOM? Of course you do! Well, what if I told you there was a way you could enjoy Chex and DOOM at the same time? No, no I’m serious – wait – no, don’t leave – hold on –
Chex Quest was an unusual entity in the world of video games, namely because it was one of the few games ever used to promote a brand of breakfast cereal. Released in 1996, it was packaged in with boxes of Chex for free and given nationwide distribution. It’s doubly unusual because the game in question is a commercially sold DOOM mod – a total conversion of the first DOOM game, completely done over with new graphics, sounds, and gameplay.
A second Chex Quest game was made hot on the heels of the first one, but promises of a third never realized. Although fans made plenty of mods to fill in the gap, it wasn’t until 2008 when Charles Jacobi, one of the lead artists on the original Chex Quest, made his own official Chex Quest 3 with the first two games bundled in.
Get out your bootspoons, because after the jump we’ll dig right in and discuss the history, gameplay, and our thoughts about all three games.
Why the hell did they decide to make Sonic the Hedgehog the star of an educational game for children? Who allowed this to happen? We want names. Who, somewhere in the leadership of Sega, let this happen? Who?
In the mid-1990s, Sonic the Hedgehog was one of the hottest video game characters out there. His too-cool attitude and the blisteringly fast gameplay of his games made him the slick alternative to the stuffy Mario. And with how popular he was, this meant there was a bounty of Sonic the Hedgehog branded everything: Sonic the Hedgehog toys, Sonic the Hedgehog comics, Sonic the Hedgehog cartoons, Sonic the Hedgehog canned pasta… The list goes on. It only makes sense that Sega would want a Sonic the Hedgehog game for elementary schoolers, right?
In comes Sonic’s Schoolhouse, a tale of bad branding decisions and corporate failure.
This is the first article in our new series, Retrospectacles, where we look back at beloved pop cultural sensations and break them down for the utterly cringeworthy things about them. From Sonic to the Catholic church, nothing is sacred from the eyes of dogmatic opinions and random development factoids. Speaking of Sonic, the poor blue hedgehog just happens to be our first target!
Sonic 3D Blast, also known as Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island, was a 1996 platformer developed by Traveller’s Tales and Sonic Team. Published for the Sega Genesis a year before the console’s discontinuation, at one of the worst points of Sonic the Hedgehog’s lifespan as a franchise, there were a lot of things to go wrong here.
After the jump, we’ll delve into the history of the band-aid Sega used to cover up the gaping wound that Sonic X-treme left, touch upon the timeline of Sonic in 3D, find out about birds, and take a trip to Hell!