Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Retro Game of the Day! Granada

Retro Game of the Day! Granada

Granada by Wolfteam/Telenet, released for the Sega Genesis in 1990.

As weary gamers, even the best of us make mistakes. As the years pile on, so too does the software stack up, and there's only so much time and interest that can be given to a system's software library. In this mindset, it is understandable that certain titles can be passed over for some reason or other, and certain would-be treasures are never discovered. This, therefore, is the mission of Retro Game of the Day, so that even hardened geezer gamers like myself can have reason to pick through old titles that deserve a second chance when some of them were shorted the first time around. Granada for the Sega 16-bit is a shining example of this.

It was easy to ignore Granada when the game released. True, it was among the early offerings available for the Genesis, and therefore it wasn't facing a lot of competition; but it presented a game that looked like an "I haven't got quite enough horsepower to run Assault" that just made you wish to play that game, with all it's hi-tech gimmickry, instead. Both games charged you with piloting a super-tank in a futuristic war-torn world, though Assault featured elaborate rotation and scaling effects with every movement of your vehicle. Granada just gave you a puny, dinky tank that scrolled in a much more blase' manner, by comparison.

And so I rented Granada, and played through a bit, and it was... okay. And years later, it stuck like a splinter in my brain. "There was something about that game," like an old flame, and upon re-investigation, I found what I had missed; a masterpiece shooter on a system known for shooters, hamstrung by weak technology and muddy graphics but absolutely answering the call in game design, control, fun-factor, and audio. Granada was certainly no time-honored standard, but it stood apart from so many others of its ilk with multiple varieties of missions, wonderful ambience, and clever play control. Picking up the game now, it still has such an addictive flow that I feel lame to be writing of the game rather than playing it.

Granada represents a severely old-school methodology of game design, and most modern players will be turned off by the aesthetic and general presentation. Those who can load it up and spend some effort to pick the game apart, will find their time well spent. This is a game which should be a 16-bit classic.

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