Retro Watching: Unreleased FMV and Mode 7 Breaks YouTube

That vacation we took put me weeks behind on Giant Bomb videos and then work got more than a little hectic for a while there, but I finally got back to some Retro Watching this week.

The Top Story
The most interesting of the bunch was Maximum Surge. Possibly the most advanced FMV game ever conceived, it would’ve been Digital Pictures’ swan song but they closed their doors before they could finish it. The rights and material were acquired by Cyber Cinema Interactive who ultimately cut together the footage into a movie; Game Over. So we have 1995 footage of Yasmine Bleeth and Walter Koenig talking to the camera, cut together and released as a non-interactive movie in 2003. All around it’s just a fascinating horror show of FMV history and I really want to watch it.

Fighting Run (PC-Engine)
This is a peculiar mix of top-down racing and 2D fighting. It’s a little spazzy as you swerve around a track while trying to pummel a rival robot. As easy as the video makes it look, believe me, this game is tough. There’s some GIFable moments in the game so I fired it up to get better quality grabs but I couldn’t even beat the first bot. There’s a fun meta game to be played guessing the celebrity likenesses of the rival robot pilots.

King of Rally (Super Famicom)
This Japan exclusive Mode 7 racer looks fantastic. YouTube compression isn’t kind to the sprite scaling but you can gawp at the awesome Mitsubishi vehicle designs and the teardown animations. I’ll be trying this one soon so expect a video of colossal failure.

Diggers 2: Extractors (PC)
Much to my surprise, this one turned out to be more Minecraft than the Lemmings clone it looked like from old magazines. There’s digging, resource gathering, weight limits, ferrying stuff back to a shop, and tools you need to proceed. It’s a startlingly modern style game and I keep daydreaming how I’d update it today. Like that’ll ever happen.

The Loose Ends
Savage Warrior was billed as the PC’s answer to the Street Fighter craze but it’s more like a slobbering whimper of a response. It’s pretty heinous. Super Air Diver (Lock On, in the US) is another SNES cart whose Mode 7 effects are lost on YouTube’s compression. It’s really only worth watching to see the guy do a loop to avoid some missiles. Run Saber on SNES was a fun Strider/Shinobi-esque action game to watch. The alien invaders are taking over human objects so you get awesome boss fights against a garage door and a jet fighter.

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