It's the return of the daily retro review! That means that our weekly guessing game has also returned, giving fans of the site an easy way to win video game-related prizes. This week we're taking a look at five games that were sold as sequels, but are actually their own unique experience with no connection or continuity. We call these games faux follow-ups! Let's find out if you can guess which games we'll be reviewing this week!
CONTEST: Can you guess what games I'm reviewing? Below you will find clues for to all five games I'm reviewing. Tweet me @DefunctGames with your guesses for a chance to win a download codes and other valuable prizes. The person that gets the most right before Friday wins!
Did you know there's a sequel to Titanic? Released more than a dozen years after the Oscar-winning love story, Titanic II is an absolutely horrific disaster film released by the low-budget auteurs at The Asylum. Gone is the amazing cinematography, those million dollar effects and the cast of award winning actors. In its place is the worst kind of schlock imaginable. Titanic II tries its hardest to sink the good name of the James Cameron original.
This is exactly what Tiertex Design Studios attempted to do with Journey from Darkness: Strider Returns. Not unlike The Asylum, Tiertex is best known for its barely recognizable remakes and knock-offs of popular entertainment. Amiga, Commodore 64 and Sinclair owners got the brunt of their efforts, thanks to hatchet job versions of Rolling Thunder, U.N. Squadron, MERCS and Street Fighter II. But their most offensive work was left for the Sega Genesis.
Deja Vu [ System: NES | Pub: Kemco | Release: 1990 | Score: B- ]
You might not think that a slow-paced point and click graphic adventure game would do well on the Nintendo Entertainment System, but you would be wrong. Thanks to its strong box art and months of promotion from Nintendo Power, Shadowgate managed to become a
minor hit on the 8-bit system. It gave Kemco the confidence to release Deja Vu, a follow-ups of sorts to the unexpectedly successful puzzler.
Don't expect any continuity between this and Shadowgate, Deja Vu is its own self-contained story. You play a private investigator with a very serious problem -- he can't remember anything. All he knows is that there is a dead body and you are being framed as the murderer. Or are you? It's up to you to put the pieces together and solve this very personal case.
Hatris [ System: Game Boy | Pub: Bullet Proof | Release: 1991 | Score: D- ]
My heart goes out to Alexey Pajitnov; it really does. After developing Tetris, the world's most famous puzzle maker was expected to come up with something just as good. It's not easy to top Tetris, something that has been borne out by two decades of failed attempts.
But I have some bad news for everybody's favorite Russian developer; even if Tetris wasn't in the picture, Hatris would still be a miserable failure.
Hatris involves two hats falling from the sky. It is your job to match up enough of these hats (which include top hats, beanies, crowns, dunce caps, etc.) in order to make them disappear. Some hats take up very little room whiles others (like the top hat) will take up more space than you would like. You can switch the direction the hats are falling in, but you will always need to drop the hats together which can lead to some sticky situations.
Life Force [ System: NES | Pub: Konami | Release: 1988 | Score: B+ ]
Coming right on the heels of Gradius, Life Force was sold to American gamers as the must-own sequel of 1988. It may not have said Gradius on the box, but everything from the advertising to the name of the hero suggested this was the continuing adventures of the Vic
Viper. Twenty-five years later, I'm here to say that you were lied to. No matter what the instruction manual says, this is not the sequel to Gradius. As it turns out, Life Force is the port of the arcade classic Salamander.
While not a proper sequel, that doesn't stop Life Force from being better than Gradius in every way. What starts out looking a lot like any other 2D shoot-em-up, quickly turns into an explosive action game full of impressive boss fights and innovative level designs. And while not every idea works, Life Force is so much fun that it's a little hard to go back to regular old vanilla Gradius.
Once upon a time, there was a kooky old scientist named Doc Brown who managed to invent time travel. Unfortunately, this led to a lot of problems. First Marty McFly, Doc's teenage helper, was sent back to the 1950s, where he almost came between his mother and father hooking up. Once that adventure was over, Marty and his girlfriend had to go into the future, all the way to
2015. And when that didn't fix everything, Marty realized he had to go back to the Wild West and save Doc from bandits, gunslingers and all of the other locals from 1855.
Chances are you already know this story. After all, the Back to the Future trilogy is a cherished classic for a lot of movie fans. But let's assume you only know of Marty's adventure through Arena's dreadful Back to the Future Part III game for the Sega Genesis. Not only will you be utterly confused by what's going on, but this non-sequel will turn you against Back to the Future faster than you can say Biff Tannen.