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Alpine Games Review

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Finally got it today! Thanks to Lars Baumstark for the prompt shipping.

 

The game lives up to its promises although I have to admit that Im not a big fan of this genre...

But lets go:

 

Graphics:

 

I had high expections and the game never disappoints.

The graphics are the most polished of any post atari releases I've witnessed so far. The developers tried some 3d effects on the Lynx and it looks mostly respectable if not spectacular.

"Alpine Slalom" uses some nice texture-mapping effects never seen so far on this system.

It isn't in the same class as Blue Lightning or Stun Runner, but very VERY nice.

 

Animation is a bit lacking here and there, but its never a real issue.

 

 

Sound:

 

The Lynx isnt exactly the sound machine but the composer put a lot of effort in the music.

There are some digi-samples as well, but somewhat disorted in quality.

Overall respectable for the Lynx.

 

Gameplay:

 

If you like Califormia Games than you will love it!

It has more mini games, more play modes and is a little more satisfying.

 

As I mentioned before Im not a big fan of this genre. So I wasnt that enthusiastic about gameplay. I prefer deep gameplay like in "Klax" or "Lemmings".

AG cant deliver that for me, its quite simplicistic to be true.

 

Some disciplines are funny mini games, others feel awkward: I couldnt figure out Bobsleigh (maybe an unknown bug) because it was impossible to steer the vehicle.

"Biathlon" is cool, especially the shooting, which works like the snipers view in FPSs.

"Figure Scating" and "Snowboard Half Pipe" work like the classic FMVs scheme: its all about timing and re-typing certain button combinations.

"Slalom" plays like in the classic games and is fun for a while.

In "Snowboard Rush" you've to evade certain obstacles down a half pipe.

 

Overall the gameplay is very much like "Winter Games"

Substance is a little bit lacking, so its a typical fun-for-a-while game.

 

Rating: Great effort in terms of programming skills and graphics.

If Duranik ever decides to program another title for the Lynx I hope that project will deliver a little more depht gameplaywise.

 

80%

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if it is good like california games is,then i should like it.

i'm a little disappointed in the fact that it only receives an 8 out of 10.i was

expecting to hear a 9 or 10 at best. the fact that he does not generally like

games like this may play in the score it got,i guess.

it's good to hear that the graphics are very good to possibly phenominal in

their execution.

the control issue is the one thing i was wondering about,it sounds like the

fact that there is one.

too bad there does not seem to be a lot of replay value in it,at least it is

what i read in what he said. his not liking this genre on the lynx or what-

ever may play into this too.

the game sounds pretty good(on the surface anyway),and possibly not a

disappointment in other areas. i would like to hear more from him on this

game,or possibly other folks out there.

graphics,gameplay and replay value are where its at for me! i want to see

some more in-depth reviews on ag here on aa.--the lynxer

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if is good like california games is,then i should like it.

i'm a little disappointed in the fact that it only receives an 8 out of 10.i was

expecting to hear a 9 or 10 at best. the fact that he does not generally like

games like this may play in the score it got,i guess.

it's good to hear that the graphics are very good to possibly phenominal in

their execution.

the control issue is the one thing i was wondering about,it sounds like the

fact that there is one.

too bad there does not seem to be a lot of replay value in it,at least it is

what i read in what he said. his not liking this genre on the lynx or what-

ever may play into this too.

the game sounds pretty good(on the surface anyway),and possibly not a

disappointment in other areas. i would like to hear more from him on this

game,or possibly other folks out there.

graphics,gameplay and replay value are where its at for me! i want to see

some more in-depth reviews on ag here on aa.--the lynxer

 

I'm sure more reviews will be forthcoming shortly, but I plan to order mine from Carl, and I have to wait until he has AG in stock. :)

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if is good like california games is,then i should like it.

i'm a little disappointed in the fact that it only receives an 8 out of 10.i was

expecting to hear a 9 or 10 at best. the fact that he does not generally like

games like this may play in the score it got,i guess.

it's good to hear that the graphics are very good to possibly phenominal in

their execution.

the control issue is the one thing i was wondering about,it sounds like the

fact that there is one.

too bad there does not seem to be a lot of replay value in it,at least it is

what i read in what he said. his not liking this genre on the lynx or what-

ever may play into this too.

the game sounds pretty good(on the surface anyway),and possibly not a

disappointment in other areas. i would like to hear more from him on this

game,or possibly other folks out there.

graphics,gameplay and replay value are where its at for me! i want to see

some more in-depth reviews on ag here on aa.--the lynxer

 

I'm sure more reviews will be forthcoming shortly, but I plan to order mine from Carl, and I have to wait until he has AG in stock. :)

 

i'm much with you on this,davidcalgary. i'm waiting for a u.s. vendor to say that this can be had in north america from somewhere more local.

i'm hoping to see and hear more about this soon. more review info and

gameplay issues need to be posted here. :) other player input helps to do

a "word of mouth" promotion on many lynx games that are available out

there and that have been discussed here on aa. this rule does not always

hold true though,as i or others like different types of action,adventure or

arcade lynx conversions. some like rpgs,i'm not big on these myself,you

know.alpine games sounds to be a possible runaway hit with the right lynx

bunch out there for it. you either like sports-type sims,or you do not. if this

is rather like track and field or hyper sports,then i'll probably like it,even if

it has some bugs in it. we shall all see if we like it when or if we all get a

copy to try out.--the lynxer

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I got my copy in the mail today. Unfortunately i'm going to work now so i haven't been able to try it out yet, but i'll post my review as soon as i had some time to play it :)

 

Cheers,

Raymond

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I'm very impressed with it so far. I think that the quality is every bit as high as a commercial publisher's product back in the day, if not better to be honest.

 

I haven't really played it enough to give it a review though. It has a Bll loader built in which has got me thinking about making a cable....

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Yes, and we all see that your name is at the top of it right now too. :D I can't wait to get my hands on this game so I can take a crack at that high score list!

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I got my copy yesterday!

 

If this is an 8 I am more than happy if I can ever reach a 6 with my programming ;)

 

Unfortunately it takes a while before I can play it as my kids keep playing it right now.

 

The booklet is in full color (38 pages). The case is one of those antistatic cases they use for shipping component samples.

 

By the way... I am still impressed by the snowfall in Biathlon. Don't you agree? It is just beautiful.

 

--

Karri

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Hello Sauron!

 

just noticed that the Online Hiscore-list for Alpine Games is now available.

Yes, and we all see that your name is at the top of it right now too. I can't wait to get my hands on this game so I can take a crack at that high score list!

 

 

Hey, yes, i am in the top positions. But my mail was not intented as self-promotion (i would have used other words then ;-) ), just as a hint leading for the actual buyers which might no longer check taht website) to that new Duranik-page.

 

About those entries:

Seems that i got better results compared with Roland and Bjoern (Sage)

because i played more competitions (sometimes 8 per day) to do some statistical work about common results and the improvement in skills (to be able to set proper default values for the worldrecord list and the computer-enemy-results).

If you use only "practising" then you earn no Worldrecord for your result.

 

And those values shouldn't afraid you: They are still not the optimum.

And in fact i reached the good results in two disciplines just few days before the end of te beta-test, so there is still something to improve. ;-)

 

 

Regards

Matthias

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nice to hear that there are no bugs in that sub-game. keep us all abreast

of any other stuff you find.

has anyone found any cheats in this title yet? i would like to hear more about this title from others out there.--the lynxer

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Got my copy this thursday and had no school-obligations on friday so I played it extensively, which the Duranik records page bears proof to. :) (Come on everyone, submit your results already!)

 

First of all, this title promises nothing it doesn't hold. The graphics are just as splendid as you think, controls are great and everything runs very smooth. At first I thought gameplay was a bit shallow for some events, but once you get into it you find that there's a lot of room for tweaking and bettering your results!

 

Biathlon:

 

Absolutely mouthwatering display of graphical talent. You need timing, endurance and precision and there's a huge "just one more go"-factor significant for any great game. From time to time I find myself firing up this event just to enjoy the scenery, since when you're going for the record you better pay close attention to the "timing bars" at the bottom of the screen, making it hard to marvel at the sight of the soft snowfall, the mountain paralax scrolling etc. :love:

 

Snowboard rush:

 

Probably the hardest subgame. To achieve good results you need great memorization- and reaction skills. Only the d-pad is used and you have to steer between the ports on the right side depending on their colours. All in flawless 3D.

 

Freestyle:

 

This is the only somewhat lacking event. After a few tries you've figured out which trick-combinations render the most points and from that point on you can always hit a perfect score (I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think it's possible to score more than 45 points) having you just going through the motions.

 

Ok, my intention was to write a short synopsis of every subgame, but I'll leave the rest for you to discover yourselves. You don't want me going all emotional about the graphics and challenge of the slalom and bobsleigh events too, hehe.

 

It's pure quality through and through, leaving me hungry for more games utilizing Bjöern Sprucks magical extended colour-routine.

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Got my copy this thursday and had no school-obligations on friday so I played it extensively, which the Duranik records page bears proof to.  :) (Come on everyone, submit your results already!)

 

First of all, this title promises nothing it doesn't hold. The graphics are just as splendid as you think, controls are great and everything runs very smooth. At first I thought gameplay was a bit shallow for some events, but once you get into it you find that there's a lot of room for tweaking and bettering your results!

 

Biathlon:

 

Absolutely mouthwatering display of graphical talent. You need timing, endurance and precision and there's a huge "just one more go"-factor significant for any great game. From time to time I find myself firing up this event just to enjoy the scenery, since when you're going for the record you better pay close attention to the "timing bars" at the bottom of the screen, making it hard to marvel at the sight of the soft snowfall, the mountain paralax scrolling etc.  :love:  

 

Snowboard rush:

 

Probably the hardest subgame. To achieve good results you need great memorization- and reaction skills. Only the d-pad is used and you have to steer between the ports on the right side depending on their colours. All in flawless 3D.

 

Freestyle:

 

This is the only somewhat lacking event. After a few tries you've figured out which trick-combinations render the most points and from that point on you can always hit a perfect score (I'm not 100% sure, but I don't think it's possible to score more than 45 points) having you just going through the motions.

 

Ok, my intention was to write a short synopsis of every subgame, but I'll leave the rest for you to discover yourselves. You don't want me going all emotional about the graphics and challenge of the slalom and bobsleigh events too, hehe.

 

It's pure quality through and through, leaving me hungry for more games utilizing Bjöern Sprucks magical extended colour-routine.

 

you're starting to make my mouth water all over again,seamoon. you are

needing say some more on the other events too! you make it sound very

good,makes me want to call carl up now and get one! speak some more

on this game!--the lynxer

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Alpine Games - the best game released for the Lynx in 10 years! :cool:

 

But I guess this really dosn't say much considering how few games that have been released since the "death" of Atari, so....here is my review. Keep in mind I write this after owning and playing the game only 2-3 days. Maybe I will discover new cool features or get angry on something later. Also maybe I like this genre more than agradeneu.

 

 

Graphics: From the first intro screen and all the way to the credits screen at the end - Alpine Games looks fantastic! The game has a lot of 3d effects. The grapics is always bright and clear. Good use of different colors and nice to see the Lynx HighColour feature beeing used.. (But you will see most snow-white and ice-blue ;)) The game has some nice backgrounds. Menus and result screens are very professional done. And I agree with Karri. The snowfall in Biathlon is beautiful! But there is also a lot of others nice details...like ballons in the background lifting for the sky etc. And if you keep your eyes open you will even see Pac-man flashing by! :D There is no doubt...compared to other games, grapics in Alpine Games is among the very best. 95%

 

 

Sound: The music is awesome! :music: There is at least 6-7 different tunes that plays during the intro, in the menus, credits and result screens. There is even music during gameplay (in Figure Skating of course) I hope this is not the last we are going to hear from the musican Nils Feske! Good work! Duranik has used quite many different sound effects in this game. And they are always, if not great so, very functional. For example in Biathlon the sound plays an important roll, because it helps you with the timing when you are skiing. In some events you will hear a cheering crowd when you score points and laughs when you fail. Nice digitised sound. 98%

 

 

Packing/Manual: The game comes in the German-styled orange plastic box. The same type that was used for SIMIS, T-tris and Sokomania (Picture is posted here on the forum in an other thread) The manual is one of the sweetest things I have seen for a Lynx game. 38 pages in color! But as the manual is very tiny, 38 pages is not really that much. It has a lot of screenshots and small pictures. It descripes how to play the game very well, all button combinations. It has a few historical notes of the sport events, some background info of each character etc. The manual even has a warning note to alert people who is suffering from epeleptic syndrome, like the warning notes seen in all new games for "modern" game systems. Everything is VERY professional done! The manual is just...lovely! :love: And together with Warbirds this is accualy the only Lynx manual in color I think. 90%

 

 

Gameplay: You start out at the main menu. Here you can chose "Competition", "Practice Event" or look at "Wold Records" You can also chose "BLL loader", or "Credits"

AG has 9 different disciplines: Biathlon, Bobsleigh, Slalom, Figure Skating, Snowboard Rush, Snowboard Half Pipe, Skijumping, Freestyle Aerials and Speedskating. Quick fingers plays an important roll in almost every one of these.

 

Biathlon: This is my favorite. You need both shooting and skiing skills to master this one. Timing is important in both. Biathlon is the only event in wich I have set a new world record....yet :)

 

Bobsleigh: You need quick fingers to build up speed and get a good start. The rest of the game is all about steering. If you steer to much you will lose time but if you steer too little you will crash.

 

Slalom: Very fun and fast! I love this one.

 

Figure Skating: You control a handsome young ice princess in this event. But don't be distracted by her beauty because you will need to concentrate and type certain button combinations as fast as you can.

 

Snowboard Rush: You need quick refexes in this one. Turn right at the green flags and left at the red ones. And...the flags appears very fast. But once you have memorised the track it will be more easy. And that kind of takes away some of the fun I think.

 

Snowboard Half Pipe: Almost plays the same way as Figure Skating.

 

Skijumping: I haven't got very long in this event yet. Again quick fingers and some timing is needed.

 

Freestyle Aerials: I agree with seamoon. The least impressive game I think. To simple.

 

Speedskating: Is harder then it looks like. It's all about geting in the right rythm.

 

Once you think you have practiced each of these disciplines enough, you can chose to take part in a competition. Chose one among 7 different characters from around the world. I was very happy to find a swedish character - Sonja Snorbred (that name doesn't sounds swedish at all :P I realy hope it is not pronounced snor-bred.....because that is not a very nice name to have :lol: ) Anyway...you compete with these other characters in all 9 events. You get 10 point for gold, 6 for silver, 4 for bronze and then 3, 2, 1 for places 4-6.

 

Note: You can only set World Records when you are in a competition not while you are practicing. I think the World Records is on a good level. Quite high in some games but that gives the game a big challenge and that is good of course. The biggest challenge and one of the best things about AG is the chance you have to compare you scores to other Lynxers around the world. This is a great feature implemented by Duranik! I agree with seamoon, I hope everyone send in their records. Let's not make seamoon and Matthias feel to safe! ;) Gameplay: 90%

 

 

If I must say something negative about Alpine Games: I wish some of the events was a little longer. A longer track in Bobsleigh, some more tricks in Snowbord Half Pipe, more jumps in Freestyle. The game is over a little to soon. But it doesn't realy matter because you will coming back and play it again and again and again...I think it's imposible not to love this game! I hope Duranik will consider doing more games for the Lynx. Because as I wrote at the top..this is the best thing that has happend to the Lynx for at least 10 years. If you don't have a Alpine Games yet....do yourself a favour and order one today!!!! Overall: 95%

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Uh, after reading these praises I feel guilty.

:)

After I figured out that Bobsleigh works and the game is 100% bug free I would give it a 88%. The replay value is better than my first expressions told me as it is quite stiff to beat the competion and the records :wink:

 

It doesnt breach the 90% barrier for some reason which i mentioned before and which are mainly regarded to cetain gameplay decisions and mechanics.

 

The good things were mentioned before so I like to write a little more in depth about some disappointing spots:

 

Snowboard Rush:

I was a little disappointed with that because it promised to be a little snowboard game which it isnst exactly.

The half pipe is fake, its a gfx routine. Your boarder is tied to the ground and can move right and left on a straight line. You can't go up the slopes.

Too bad. The mechanics should be like in Stun Runner.

 

Half Pipe & Figure Skating:

 

Both are limiting the player on memorizing button commands. While this design decision is good for figure skating i think it isn't for half pipe.

However I practiced quite a lot to beat the record. ;)

 

Slalom:

 

Great game but i wish there would be a random track generator to enhance the replay value. Thus its once again memorizing....

Sometimes its the little things....

 

Ski Jump:

 

This is perfect, my favourite. Crazy button mashing and timing. Cool.

 

Speed Scating:

 

I totally skip that one. Its all bout rhythmic tapping. Extremely limited.

 

Biathlon:

Like it because of the shooting.

 

Bobsleigh:

 

Awkward at first but quite entertaining if you get through it.

 

Freestyle:

 

Better than Half Pipe and Figure Skating. You can perform tricks and coordinate them as you like, in real time.

As some review mentioned you will max out the game faster than others.

But I like the gameplay very much. One of my favourites.

 

 

Last Gripe:

 

No multiplayer. These games live and die through mp, so the lack there of

drains fun and replay value.

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No multiplayer. These games live and die through mp, so the lack there of

drains fun and replay value.

 

Well, I seen no way how to use most of these diciplines in a multiplayer game. But if you have some good ideas how to make these diciplines multi-player compatible... maybe for a "summer game" ;-)

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I didnt want to be harsh on the lack of mp in Alpine Games.

Its a great game, but I think it would be stellar if it had mp.

Its only a suggestion for possible improvements for (further) releases.

 

I think there are possibilties for mp in the actual disciplines of AG:

Skating and Biathlon would be cool head to head!

And Figure skating comlynxed with your sweetheart... ;)

However most games were designed for sp, so it was an early design decision and it isnt possible to add it as an afterthought.

 

Summer Games? Sounds great... :love:

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This sounds a lot like Winter Games on the Commodore 64 - which is a good thing. (yeah I know it was available on the 2600 etc but it even looks a bit like the C64 Winter Games in the screen shots)

 

I would prefer a summer games as I like the events better.

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Alpine Games is a very polished and great game!

 

The gameplay is nice, it is a fun game which combines many small, quite simple games into one great lot. It is much like winter games on the c64, only much more polished and professionaly made.

 

The high-colour graphics are marvellous! Very proffessional and modern. The game looks as colourfull as an Amiga/megadrive/gba game, only it is even better as the Lynx is capable of nice "3d"-zooming. We would not see snowboard rush, slalom or bobsleigh looking this good on a Amiga, Megadrive or gba. If the Lynx game creators in the early 90s would have bothered to make use of the Lynx high colour capabilities It would surely have put up more competition to the gameboy and game gear. Naturaly a talented artist like Johannes Graf is also needed, without the artist the many colours are of course good for nothing.

 

The digitized music sounds really good and the compositions are really good. Allthough it is not the familiar lynx bleeps we know and love, it is well suited to the proffessional style of the game. This music combined with the high colour- pro artist- graphics and the zooming capabilities of the lynx (in other words -THIS GAME) shows many aspects of what the lynx really is capable of. This almost 15 year old fantastic machine blows away the gba anyday.

 

Get Alpine Games! It is an 9,5-10/10 game!

 

By the way, anybody noticed? the "text/fonts" in the game is the same as in california games.

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I just received my copy of Alpine Games and spent an hour or so playing it last night. Overall, I think it is a great game. A multiplayer mode would have made it even better, but I understand the difficulties where that is concerned. Maybe one day Duranik can be convinced to do Alpine Games: comlynable. I think they will sell well over 150 of this game in the next year or so.

 

A few observations:

 

Biathlon: Since you have two bars at the bottom of the screen that you watch to press the joypad and buttons at certain times during the skiing, I found myself looking exclusively at the bottom of the screen. I couldn't tell you what the graphics in this part of the game look like. Probably a better control mechanism where you can look at your on-screen skier would have been better (much like speed-skating.)

 

Slalom: This is awesome. The graphics rock, the control feels "right" to me and easy enough for gaming losers like me to complete a run, but also hard enough to pose a challenge.

 

Skating/Snowboard half-pipe: Interesting control scheme (was this borrowed from another game? I never played Winter Games.) Unfortuantely, I find the tendency to press diagonals on the Lynx (at least for me) really makes it hard to pull off the cool tricks. Also the delay between entering the command and the skater actually performing them is, IMO, too long. Still, it doesn't detract from the game play too much and the reflections of the skater on the ice is a cool effect (I'm assuming using the lynx's hardware stretching and tilt effects?)

 

Bobsled (or BobSleigh): this is damn hard! What are you supposed to do? I tried a couple of times and couldn't get to the end of the course. The manual is not too specific about what to do.

 

Snow-board rush: the manual says: "pass the flags on the right side to avoid a penalty." An easy mistake to make when writing a manual in English, especially when it isn't your native tongue. You have to pass the gates on the side with the "low" pole-thus the "right" side (maybe they should have said "proper" side?

 

Ski jump: this is pretty cool and I like how your poor guy slides through the screen on his face to the crowd laughing when he wipes out.

 

I didn't really see the "hi-color" effects in the game, but I guess they are there. Maybe I'm just used to seeing more colors from playing games on more modern hardware that it didn't seem out of the ordinary to me.

 

I find the game fairly hard, but I'm not a very good gamer. I play just to relax now and then... I finished dead last in every event when I tried the Competition mode after practicing for awhile! LOL! Your world records are safe from me!

 

All in all, I'm glad I bought this game, it's a very polished release.

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