22/09/2017

GTI Club: Rally Côte d'Azur

Go Ahead. Keep This Way.


Source // Moby Games


A rallying game set in the French Riviera, where the sun constantly shines and the fact that eight drivers are smashing cars through restaurant seating in an effort to take drastic shortcuts to catch the front-runners isn't worried about? Why GTI Club: Rally Côte d'Azur, you've captured my attention...

21/09/2017

Nights into Dreams

New Record though...




As I think I've mentioned before, the Sega consoles flew right past me as a child. I have more fingers on one hand than I know people who owned a Mega Drive, and I couldn't tell you anyone who owned a Saturn and insisted that I play Nights into Dreams, a chilled version of Sonic the Hedgehog, you might say, with more depth and fewer animals.

Dream energy is getting stolen from unsuspecting dreamers Elliot and Claris, and it is up to a flying jester-looking guy called Nights to help them get it back. It's the right thing to do, I suppose.

17/09/2017

International Track & Field

Brilliant! Excellent! You are the winner!




Aaahhhh-thletics. Athletics can be interesting. Events are shows of strength, both physical and in character. The competitors hail from all kinds of backgrounds and upbringings and compete on the levelest playing field that there could possibly be, with absolutely no drugs in sight.

There aren't any drugs in International Track & Field, but there is the potential for drama. The extreme lows of frustration are followed by the exhilarating highs of victory as players battle it out across eleven track and field events, either against the computer or a bunch of other people on the same couch.

I don't have a bunch of people or a couch, so I'm going toe to toe against ol' CPU to see where I stand in this world of sport. May I bash my buttons with precision and skill, rather than blind rage, all in an effort to cross the line first, throw the thing the furthest, or whatever else we find ourselves doing.

15/09/2017

Guardian Heroes

"Does he obey our commands? This is gonna be fun!"


Source // NeoGAF


Do you like side-scrolling beat 'em ups? Do you like role-playing games? Do the stories you enact simply have to include branching paths and multiple endings? Do you only have a Sega Saturn with which to experience all these things, and must have them all appear in one game? Then it looks like Guardian Heroes is for you and your weirdly specific preferences.

Four young warriors have stumbled across an epic sword, and then the troubles really start, as they find themselves brought into a battle between spirits of the Earth and the Sky. And I thought it was just a button masher.

12/09/2017

The Neverhood

*gibberish mumble mumble brrrpbrpbrrp*




"The Neverhood? Neverhood of it before in my life!"

Seriously though, I haven't seen nor heard of The Neverhood up until this point in time, and I am perhaps gladder than I've ever been to see that corrected and to fill in another blank spot in my knowledge of gaming history.

Created by the guy who brought you Earthworm Jim comes the somewhat silly adventure of Klaymen, seemingly alone in the world called The Neverhood. Not much adventuring to be had with nobody to interact with, is there? What's a funny point and click without funny conversation trees?

Oh yeah, this game is a point and click. Aaaaand, let's go!

08/09/2017

Mario Kart 64

Poomp!




"Who loves Super Mario Kart?"
"I love Super Mario Kart. That's a classic game, right there, yessirree."
"Who wants to see it leap into the third dimension, a strange place where tracks can have curves and bumps and uppy-downy bits and scenery - actual scenery?"
"I'd like to see that, yes, certainly."
"Then I give to you, Mario Kart 64. All the graphical power of the Nintendo 64, with none of the sprite work from yesteryear."
"But there's spri--"
"Sssh."

There's something inherently fun about not letting go of the accelerator as you tear around an otherworldly race track, dropping bananas and F-bombs as you go. I don't know what it is exactly. Maybe it's the fact that it's so not serious, and yet in a multiplayer battle - literally or not - it sure can be.

Mario Kart 64 is perhaps the forgotten Mario Kart game. It hasn't aged brilliantly, but that's not going to stop me from rediscovering it twenty-odd years later.



06/09/2017

Civilization II

"Your attempted 'review' makes us laugh."




A while back, I said that I would never have the time for a proper game of Civilization, where I'm in control of every tiny detail, micromanaging my units across the globe. I had fun with it, but felt it was a little bit automatic, with advisors prompting me into this or that, promising me that it would mean something in the future - only I never knew what, exactly.

Why was I going down this path? Why should I build this unit? What is my strategy? I had little idea and was just following the motions until eventually wiped off the face of the map.

Fast forward to the here and now, and it's Civilization IIs time to put my knowledge to the test. What's changed? What's new? Will I still start as the English?




Well, duh, yeah.

30/08/2017

Command & Conquer: Red Alert

Sooner or later, time will tell...




Until fairly recently, there were only two Command & Conquer titles that I'd owned, despite enjoying them a fair bit. The original, naturally, and Command & Conquer: Red Alert, both for the PlayStation. It'd be close to two decades before I'd gotten PC versions of them, and others, in The First Decade collection.

For this entry, I wanted to go and check out the PlayStation port before the PC version, mostly because I didn't do so for C&C and really ought to have done so. It's time to correct that mistake with Red Alert, and a version that I've not played this Millennium.




Alfred Einstein has gone back in time and killed Adolf Hitler, changing history as we know it. Has he done so for the better? What world do we now live in? Red Alert shows that we'll still find reasons to go to war.

28/08/2017

Duke Nukem 3D

Hail to the King, baby.


Source // Wikipedia


I've always seen the early days of first person shooters as Doom vs Duke Nukem. Why, I don't know, because there's a whole load of games I'm ignoring from those early days, but it's those two that have defined the early days of the genre for me.

Now Doom isn't a serious game, but when you stack it up against anything starring the Duke, it most certainly is a serious title. And yet the Duke Nukem series isn't really a straight up piss take of the genre like I thought it was.

It's a parody but still requires you to be alert, quick witted, and thorough in your level exploration, and my first proper look at the series is here, now, in the form of Duke Nukem 3D.

All the Duke wanted was a vacation, but no, Los Angeles is infested with aliens who have turned the police force into violent pigs. Literally violent pig-men. It's the tongue-in-cheek Duke Nukem series alright...

25/08/2017

The 301/1001 Milestone Awards



"Remember us." As simple an order as a game can give. "Remember why you played." For they did not wish tribute, nor song, nor monuments, nor poems of console wars and valour. Their wish was simple. "Remember us", they said to me. That was their hope, should any free soul across these technologies, in all the countless centuries yet to be. May all our voices whisper to you from the ageless cartridges, "Go tell the gamers, new player, that here by gaming greatness, we lie."

Oh, these Milestone Awards are like GCSEs - they get harder every time and still count for very little, but here we are, celebrating the next batch of brilliance that has been paraded before us. The 301/1001 Milestone Awards will see us struggle to select the best, the worst and the middles from The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening to Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, and there are going to be cuts.

It is perhaps this list, more than any, that shows you how biased I am with all of these classic titles. This is the point in time where my childhood really started moving. It is the moment when memories really formed, and the first-hand experience with games I played for hours upon hours starts to leave lasting impressions.

Objectivity has gone out of the window, though to be fair, I don't know if it was ever in the room to begin with.


Speaking of beginnings, let's get The Indifferent 5 out of the way. Five games that, were they to be cast in 300, would be the guys towards the back of the pack, to flesh out the scene. Heck, their generic actions are probably copied and pasted - if they're even real people in the first place. They are, in no particular order, as follows.

The Dig, LucasArts
Virtua Cop 2, Sega AM2
Sub-Terrania, Zyrinx
Monster Max, Rare
Gravity Power, Jens Andersson and Jan Kronqvist

May you be remembered by a stone epitaph a few thousand years from now.



There is, unfortunately, one game that shouldn't be remembered in stone. One game from this batch must be the answer to the question What Was That 1 Even Put On The List For? The answer is simple.

What Was Little Big Adventure Even Put On The List For?

Just... ugh.



Why couldn't we have been allowed to play Twisted Metal instead? Or even Pokémon Red/Blue? In fact, if the list isn't going to take itself seriously, then I'm not going to take the next award seriously either. You Forgot What?! is the question we're bellowing into the beyond, and the beyond shouts back...





Of course it does. Why wouldn't it shout back The Lion King? He's the King of everything up to the goddamn horizon, after all.



Right. Down to business. The battlefield is strewn with combatants. Most will fall. Some who should have survived will definitely not. You're not going to like The Top Ten if you're a fan of Nintendo - I'm just sayin'.


10: Puzzle Bobble, Taito Corporation
Wee little time wasters do have their uses.

9: Worms, Team17
Name something after your friends and then drop rockets on their heads? Yes, please.

8: Yoshi's Island, Nintendo EAD
A little change of pace and something different to look at too. It's lovely.

7: Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament, Supersonic Software
My inner child definitely voted for this one. I don't know why I listen to him sometimes, he knows nothing.

6: Wipeout, Psygnosis
The music is still on shuffle, the design is still top notch, The Omega Collection is still waiting to be purchased, though...

5: Tekken, Namco
It's not even my favourite Tekken title, but damn it I'm a sucker for it.

4: Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Totally Games
Hella difficult, but I so want to get into it somehow.

3: Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, Blizzard Entertainment
Didn't think I'd like it, couldn't put it down.

2: Command & Conquer, Westwood Studios
That. Theme music. Mmm.


Which leaves us with only one title. I told you that if you're a Nintendo fan this list isn't for you because there's no way I could not give the number 1 spot to Descent. Yes, that's right, even with Super Metroid on the list.



However, there is a bucket load of Nintendo titles on The Topper Than That Top Ten list - the best games from the 301 that have been played so far. How many of them still stand tall against these latest entries? Is The Oregon Trail still featured? Cavil! Stop Waffling. Gamers! Come and argue.


10: The Oregon Trail, MECC
It's slipping! It's slipping but hasn't died yet. Still clinging to glory despite being the first game on the list.

9: Bomberman, Hudson Soft
I want to play another round right now.

8: Command & Conquer, Westwood Studios.
Played for hours, completed, played again. The sign of a good game, surely?

7: Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov
The screen is filling up now... It can't be too long before the pieces fall too fast for us to stay in control.

6: Super Mario Bros., Nintendo R&D4
He's still Super, but he's also slipping down the rankings.

5: Descent, Parallax Software
The puns will write themselves come The 351/1001 Milestone Awards, but until then, it sits right in the middle. Or hovers there, until it gets turned upside down and drives into a wall.

4: Doom, id Software
I hear someone has managed to get it to run on board games now.

3: Super Mario World, Nintendo EAD
Yoshiiiiiiiiiiii!!!

2: Super Mario Kart, Nintendo EAD
Wipeout is great, but Mario Kart is Mario Kart.

1: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Nintendo EAD
The builders are in next door and I can't think straight over the sound of the machinery, but one look at a screen of Zelda - any screen - and I'm whisked away to a place where I just can't be bothered by the outside world.


So that's that, then. A few changes, but Nintendo still dominate. The 1990s are really steamrolling ahead now, and the next batch of 50 games begins with some guy called Duke Nukem. I'm sure he'll be a pleasant chap.

Until next time, game on.