Monday, 28 January 2013

100 More Gruesome Games! ( 45 - 43 )

45 - Painkiller (PC) :

Daniel Garner is another one of those game characters who is having a particularly bad time of it....whilst taking his wife Catherine out for a birthday meal one stormy, rainy night, he decides to sneak a quick loving glance at his missus, meaning he misses the truck plowing towards them and crashes the car! Both of them are killed instantly.....

His wife manages to float on up for an un-life of bliss in the clouds, but poor Daniel is trapped in Purgatory! After quite some time, an angel type called Samael appears and tells him that in order to be purified of his sins and gain entry to Heaven and meet up once more with wife, he has to kill four of Lucifer's generals in order to prevent a nasty ruckus between the nice place upstairs and evil, stinky, nasty Hell. Lucifer has been secretly amassing an army y'see, with a view to taking over Heaven, and he's already managed to secure most of Purgatory! not having much of a choice anyway, Daniel decides to help out and tools up ready to slaughter his way back into God's good books....

What you get to do then, is fight past all the demonic denizens of Hell in a first-person-shooter style, and a classic FPS style at that, which owes a lot to the likes of Doom, Quake, etc! There are 5 chapters each split into about 5 levels, and all of them take place in a wonderful variety of gloomy settings such as castles, monasteries, caves, graveyards, etc....

A surprising number of enemies appear to try and stop you too, with new ones appearing in pretty much every new level you visit. Old hags that seem to be formed from murders of crows...skeletal warriors...mad monks...there's an amazing array! But all of them die pretty swiftly when you introduce them to your arsenal of awesome weaponry!

Your main starting weapon is called the Painkiller, and is a stave with three blades attached at the end that spin round, grinding into any enemies you thrust it against. This is only the weapon's "Pain" mode though...With it's secondary "Killer" mode, the end flies off! If you charge it up before hand it will spin as it goes, causing significant damage to whoever it happens to hit. And if it lodges into a wall, it creates a sort of energy trip-wire effect, with anything wandering between you and the tip getting zapped with mystical energy and taking constant damage! It really is one of the best starting weapons I can ever remember having in a shooter!

The rest of the weapons are more standard shooter fare, but done in interesting ways...the shotgun's secondary fire works as a sort of freeze ray for instance, and rather than having a seperate Mini-gun and Rocket Launcher, the developers have decided to combine the two to a pleasingly destructive effect! All of them are a joy to use, and the constant stream of baddies gives you plenty of opportunity to do so!

I'm really enjoying the old-school style of this. It's a no-nonsense, straight forward style that I've missed whilst playing more modern FPS games. Hopefully, once this game gets it's new shiny HD remake released on new consoles, it'll be hugely successful and we'll see a load of new shooters in a similar vein!  So yeah, I totally recommend any fans of the genre to pick this up, and get blasting those evil demons back to Hell! 

44 - Domain Of The Undead (Atari 800) :

The box-art is probably the best thing about this stinker! It's basically a really poor Ghosts 'n' Goblins clone where you just move from one side of the level to the other, repeatedly shooting the rather rubbishy skeletons whilst also combating falling asleep from boredom! I don't think you should bother wasting your time with this....I'm certainly not wasting any more......

43 - Satan's Hollow (Arcade) :

After Domain Of The Undead, I needed to play a proper classic....Bally Midway's 1982 shoot-em-up was just the ticket! It's a rather groovy game, where all you have to do is defeat Satan's evil army of swooping Gargoyles, who are out to put a stop to you building a bridge to cross a lava-filled chasm leading to the big bad himself!

Flying in formation at the top of the screen, these fiendish flying freaks will drop eggs of fire and bombs to try and destroy your bridge building work, before swooping down to the screen and dive-bombing you...Luckily, you have a shield that protects you from attack for a short while, and you can fire back at the enemies as you move from the left side of the screen where you collect the bridge parts, to the right of the screen where you plonk them into position...

Occasionally, Satan's disembodied head will appear and try to spew flames on you too, so you'll need to avoid that as well! Every time you beat a wave of enemies, a little flag gets added at the side of the screen to keep tabs, but we'll get to that in a minute...

Once the bridge is complete, you can slide along onto another screen, where Satan appears and flings his trident at you. If you manage to defeat old devil-bonce, your little flags you got when kicking gargoyle-butt get added up as a bonus score, and you pop back to the first screen to fight ever more aggressive nasties!

Fairly simple in design, but actually pretty challenging, it's classic arcade gaming that will have you adding credit after credit for another go! Go get Satan behind thee now........


  1. Why've I never played Satan's Hollow???

    The backgrounds looks nice, and the game itself sounds similar to that LCD game called Caveman (heard or that? Or played it even?). Another one for the MAME-list, it seems.

  2. Yeah, I remember Caveman, but it's been so long since I played it I can't really remember how it played! :-)

    Definitely worth giving Satan's Hollow a go....or, more likely, a few go's! ;-)

    1. Caveman has you running across the screen, grabbing eggs and taking them back to your cave, all the while avoiding raining fireballs and the odd pterodactyl attack.

      It gets highly manic, very quickly!