Publisert: 24. april
(Invasion of the Vorticons)
One of the first games I've ever played was Commander Keen. We only had the first and fourth episodes of the game and the two were the first games I remember beating by myself. Thanks to Steam, was able to get the the other episodes, except for episode six which I have no idea where to get. I was gonna talk about both Vorticon and Galaxy games, but they are pretty different so I'll talk about the first series first.
You play as Billy Blaze, an 8-year old boy, who is your normal super genius of an IQ of 314 by day, but when he's parents are gone and his babysitter is asleep, he becomes Commander Keen. As he tests out his new rocket ship (that he made himself out of scrap) he goes to Mars and explores. He gets back to his ship all the important parts are gone and he go look for them starting his first real adventure.
While the plot is simple, it does set up the world the game takes in, and there's a good bit of lore in the help menu, like the us accidentally killing the Yorps treating human toys as relics. I also really like the idea of the villain. I won't talk about till I review the next game but I'll say he's one of the most evil, insane people I've seen.
Standard platformer stuff. It was one of the first platformers on DOS that had actually side scrolling so that's interesting. There's also a pogo stick which you can find and keep which lets you jump higher. I must also mention that while you do have an option to fight, you don't have to. If you know what your doing, you can get through episode 1 without killing any of the boss enemies(Except for the last but that's unavoidable).
I do have two nitpicks, the first involves using your gun: You have a limited ammo which isn't too bad, but to use it you have to press the buttons for jumping and the pogo stick at the same time. While this isn't to bad for most fights, the final boss may be a problem as you have to jump to get at his obvious weakpoints. The second is that you are killing people. I don't mean evil aliens I mean people. Even babies. I even saw one enemy type with blood coming out of him when he died. Really makes the game more brutal than it needs to be.
Being a dos game before proper sound and music was used, the sound effects are not good. Some are very painful to listen and are constant. I ended up turning the sound off after a while. The art is a different story. While the design in episode 1may seem bland, playing 2 and 3 really make it stand out a bit more and helps with the world building. Epi. 1 is very simple and basic, with lots of red and a grey or black background with different colored blocks scattered around. 2 has a more detail background and is more blue. 3 has a lot of color with blue skies, pink wallpaper, green grass with brown dirt and lots of grey when in a militarily building.
While it hasn't aged well in some parts, it's still a fun game which I would recommended to anyone interested in platformers
Part two of the trilogy that was never finished.
Some time after the defeat of the Grand Intellect, Billy is working on a radio to get messages from space. During his testing, he intercepts a transmission from the Shikadi, who plan to destroy the galaxy for the Gannalech. He goes to see the oracle but a page informs him that the ones who operate it have been kidnapped and imprisoned to the Shadowlands. Commander Keen goes to these lands to find the council members and stop the Shikadi. Another straight forward story. There's a bit more humor in it and Keen has more of a personalty being someone likes to save the day, tries to avoid being in trouble and gets annoyed when people get his name wrong.
Gameplay is the same for the most part with a few tweaks such using door and grabbing ledges. There's a bigger emphasis in fighting enemies this time with deadly enemies, but it's okay as Keen has made a stun gun so you not on a killing spree. Of course this doesn't apply of bugs. The levels are also longer and harder but you can save in levels, which make this one of the first games I know which made lives completely useless. Also there's pong.
Sounds improved. it's a lot softer and less grating. and there's music and it's pretty good. Art is also better with more detailed scenery and all the different creature you meet.
I couldn't get episode 6 so the series end here for me. It's a good game that was unfortunately ended too soon.
One more thing, there's a fan mod which acts as the finale to the series if anyone's interested.