Impressions: Populous, Killing Time, Landstalker

July 28, 2007 by · 3 Comments 

I mentioned on the About page that I’m something of a lazy gamer.  Or, at the very least, I’m not a very dedicated gamer.  When I was younger, I could dedicate myself to a single game for hours on end, day after day.  I just don’t have the attention span for that anymore.  I think it happened when I started spending more time on the internet.  So either the internet destroyed my attention span, or I just grew up a little, I’m not sure what it is.  But either way, I play a lot of games, and I play a lot of games for a couple hours at a time.

Eventually, I’ll get around to playing each game long enough to properly review it.  (After all, that’s the point of this site.)  But in the meantime, I’m going to post quick impressions of the games that I’ve been playing lately but haven’t spent enough time with to properly review.  So here goes:

  • Populous (SNES): I’m not sure what it says about a game when its tutorial mode provides absolutely no instructions in any way.  I bought the game used, cart-only, and was utterly lost.  Shouldn’t a tutorial at least describe what all the buttons on the screen do?  Once I found a transcription of the manual online, things fell into place.  This is an unusual sim/strategy/god game where your main power is to raise and lower the land so your followers can farm, gain strength, and eradicate the followers of your rival deity.  I’m going to have to spend a lot more time with this one before I really form much of an opinion of it, but I’ve found it intriguing so far.
  • Killing Time (3DO): Another awkward early 3D game for the 3DO.  It’s an FPS that does a few things right and a few other things horribly wrong.  I love the seamless transitions between areas/levels, as if it’s one big environment I’m exploring, rather than segmented levels.  I hate the ugly enemy sprites that repeat ad nauseum (there are only one or two different enemies per area).  I’ve only played through the first few areas, but so far, it seems like a technically sound game with smooth controls being brought down by poor enemy variety and a total lack of ammo.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I have to ditch my current save because I only have one bullet left and about four enemies to kill to advance any further.  Argh.
  • Landstalker (Genesis): Now this game is promising.  It’s a fun action-adventure/RPG with platforming elements, puzzle-solving, and fantastic graphics that manage to look appealing despite the miniscule color palette of the Genesis.  I was a fan of Dark Savior on the Saturn, so it’s no wonder I’m liking this one.  I’m just having some doubts about the controls, though.  It’s an isometric game, so you spend a lot of time moving in diagonals.  I’m not sure yet if the controls are unresponsive or if the six-button pad that comes with the Genesis 3 just doesn’t do diagonals well.  I think I’ll track down a different controller before making my final judgment, but so far so good.

What have you guys been playing lately?  Have any quick impressions of your own to share?  Hit the comments…

About Tim
My name is Tim. I live in Chicago, IL. I'm a retro gamer.


3 Responses to “Impressions: Populous, Killing Time, Landstalker”
  1. Steve says:

    Short attention span, a?

    If you have the time, the dedication and the passion to jot down game playing notes, I highly recommend keeping a game playing journal nearby. It helps me keep track of my game thoughts, and allows me to accurately review a game today that I beat back in July 2006. I’m beating (or getting to the last boss) all my games lately. I start one, and don’t remove it until I finish it and fill out my journal with thoughts on it. I was like you with my Saturn games 01-05. I played 30 minutes here and there, but never bothered to go through the game the whole way.

    Now I’m adamant on beating the game, or at least making it to the last section. I don’t think one can properly judge/review a game until they do that, and I’m glad you clarified. Too often I see reviews written that I know the user probably only spent an hour or so with the game. I can never take those reviews seriously. There’s a beginning, middle and end. Together, you can properly judge a game. Anyway, there’s my 1:54 AM rant, lol

  2. Tim says:

    I thought about that — picking a game, playing it straight through, and not playing anything else until it’s done. But that kind of feels like work to me. I don’t really want to force myself into playing a game that I don’t want to play at that moment because that ruins the fun for me. And playing games should be fun!

    Taking notes could be a good idea, though. That way I can take as much time as I need to finish a game without forgetting what I wanted to say.

  3. Brett Weiss says:


    I thought you might be interested in my classic video game book, which you can read about on my blog.


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