Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Generalising video game impostors throughout history - First pixels

Right, you've had your slice of the famous so it's time for a refill, and with it, some that you may not immediately think of, or possibly even know.

Expect much, along with the butch and Starsky and Hutch.

You've got to love the bullshit I dream up...


Call them clones, call them rip offs, in fact call them whatever you jolly well like.


Whether you agree or not, their similarity is like The Feeling, Undeniable


Sssshhhhhh, let the feast commence.



First off, I really did consider including this among the famous.  If you ignore the earlier 1985 Speccy version, this is International Karate on C64 released in 1986.  
This is a chop from Techno's 1984 Karate Champ.  A guy in red and white, overseen by a referee and exactly the same principle, hmmm.

Hang on a kick, a certain Ryu and Ken were originally dressed in white and red respectively.  Well it's worth considering isn't it?
SNK's 1990 action packed Neo Geo debut Nam 1975. 
TAD Corporation's Cabal is a 1988 classic and enjoyed some excellent home ports.
SNK probably avoided a lawsuit because apart from other bits and bobs, Nam scrolled and Cabal enjoyed static action.


Of course SNK's effort is naturally a more technically impressive beast but regardless, it's still far too similar to escape the rip off tag.  It's no accident that I've displayed how the bonus points are introduced and I could go on and on but I won't because it's time to move on.    
Namco's Deadstorm Pirates was first released in this monster arcade cabinet in 2010.  It features a mounted gun with a wheel the player must turn at set points in order to avoid obstacles.  This is criminally similar to... 
...Sega's 2006 Let's Go Jungle! Lost on the Island of Spice because apart from its cabinet look, the guns are virtually the same design and instead of a wheel, it has an action button.  A sequel was announced but as yet, not a reality.  Sega are hardly lightweights so going up against Namco would have been an interesting stand off in court.
To settle up, a cousin of Let's Go Jungle was Sega's The Ocean Hunter in 1998.  Overall, this was the best as each boss was named after a famous mythological sea creature such as The Kraken and Charybdis.
The 'blue' hero in Taito's Power Blazer in 1990 was armed with a boomerang.
Capcom's Mega Man began life on the NES in 1987 and never looked back...
This is Apex Design's Payback for the Amiga in 2001.  It looks nothing like the original Grand Theft Auto?
Yeah, of course it thefting doesn't.  Why DMA Design (who would become Rockstar North) didn't annihilate those responsible back in 1997 remains baffling.


Oh dear, this describes itself as Commando: Steel Disaster.  Mannasoft made this possible for the DS in 2008.  It's admittedly a great looking run and gun effort.

Unfortunately though, twelve years earlier there was something called Nazca's Metal Slug for the Neo Geo.  This is wholly unacceptable...

Oh, before anybody screams Konami's Contra, this is at best 'the same type of game'.

Before Metal Slug, there was Irem's Gunforce hence why the graphic design in the 1996 original is rather similar.

For clarification purposes, Metal Slug doesn't rip off Gunforce because Nazca Corporation was founded by a bunch of former disgruntled Irem employees.  SNK only made it their own franchise after buying out Nazca. 

For pixels and chuckles, here's some visual proof...

A boss from Metal Slug 2.

Similar shenanigans in Irem's 1994 sequel.



Hostage rescuing in Metal Slug which...


...also featured in Gunforce.

Nice little history lesson, right?

The near present day now and this char model belongs to Biart's Deep Black in 2012.  Who does this remind you of?

Yup, Isaac Clarke, as his nightmare in Dead Space largely involved depriving Necromorphs of limbs, zero G and solving pretty generic puzzles.

I like this one and could be easily be a clone but whatever, this is Video System's Aero Fighters in 1992 with sequels later appearing on Neo Geo.

Anyway, this is Sega's 1987 Sonic Boom.  Oi, where's Guile when you need him?

This is one 8 bit veterans should remember.


The above two screens are from the limited but fun 1986 Bally Midway arcade Rampage.  I'd also like to think that this inspired SNK's King of the Monsters.

Even at such a young age, I remember this hugely controversial effort.  Published by Go! in 1988, this is Ramparts.

All they did was swap monsters for knights and skyscrapers for castles.  For what it's worth, this is the Speccy version and ports for the C64 and Amstrad CPC also existed.

The last few aren't really rip offs but do steal elements from other games that have gone before.

This is SNK's Eight Man and not one of the Neo Geo's most memorable outings from 1991.  I know you can't appreciate it but this involves our protagonist 'running'.

Many will have played the superb Mega Drive port but this particular part of Sega's alien buster also saw you 'running' in 1990.

The video game adaptation of Stallone vs Snipes action yarn Demolition Man set in the politically correct future had a few different versions made.  This incredibly limited one on one fighting section was unique to the 3D0 in 1994.


I immediately compare that to the awful Amiga turd of Cameron's blockbuster.  It plays nearly as awful as how both terminators look.  LJN were involved...

So a terrible game nicks from an even bigger shit storm.  Who knows if this was even noticed? 

That concludes this taste and the next part should provide more kick than Bruce Lee.

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