24/05/2017

Puzzle Bobble

Where, for some reason, we all Bust a Move.




Ahh, Puzzle Bobble. I don't think I've ever played you. Played plenty of 'homages' to you, a fair few rip-offs, and probably a few adult-themed variations of you, but I don't think I've ever played the original Puzzle Bobble.

Not that there's much difference in any of these games, though, bar the skin slapped on top of them, the sound effects coming out of them and the degree to which the developers have gone power-up mad - thankfully not the case with the original arcade game.

Let's just chill and pop some bubbles, shall we?

23/05/2017

Point Blank

Quota Complete




Doctors Don and Dan seem awfully familiar, but I can't for the life of me place them anywhere in my memory.

I owned a GunCon for the PlayStation and definitely used it for playing some of the Die Hard game, but that can't have been all I got that peripheral for. Did I get it for Time Crisis? Doesn't ring any bells. Did I get it for Point Blank? Again, I'm just not sure I ever owned that.

As you might have worked out by now, Point Blank is a light gun game that made its way from the arcades to the PlayStation and onto the Nintendo DS, and the very astute readers out there will note that I owned a GunCon. Past tense. We're not going to be shooting any television screens this time around - if I've even played this before in the first place.

'You don't need to be serious to be a success' appears to be the mantra for this games development, so let's shoot all kinds of things against the clock for no real reason at all.


19/05/2017

Monster Max

It was a graveyard smash.




I don't have the best of times with these isometric titles, like Knight Lore and, here, Monster Max, but it's been a while since we've seen one, and this one is on the Game Boy, of all things. I've never heard of it, naturally, so we'll dive right in and see how far we get.

Music has been banned and our titular protagonist is a guitarist, so you can already see the conflict that will play out in this game, but how will we go about being able to play some tunes once more?

18/05/2017

Gravity Power

Feel the power! It's a new game, yes it is!


Not appearing... the players. Source // Lysator.liu.se


Asteroids, Thrust, Lunar Lander... remember them? Of course you do. Games where the difference between gracefully flying through a canyon and splatting into the side of it is the well-controlled use of the thrust button.

These games are both fun and infuriating, as mastering them often requires plenty of practice and some knowledge of physics is an added bonus. But, what would happen if you were to split the screen down the middle and let friend battle friend?

Gravity Power would happen.

17/05/2017

Little Big Adventure

No Fun Zone. Dr FunFrock's orders.




Not for the first time in this endeavour of mine have I had absolutely no idea what a game was before playing it, but that's getting increasingly unlikely these days. For the moment, though, games of the past can still surprise me, and Little Big Adventure surprised me.

It's 1994 and from the overactive imagination of the French comes a story - an adventure, if you will - of a lowly hero escaping from a police state to save his planet.

Isometric 2D backgrounds, animated 3D character models interacting above it, and a somewhat freeform environment that allows players to explore on their own, as much as follow any set path. It has enough to at least warrant an "Ok then, let's see what this is all about", so it's time to see what this is all about.

16/05/2017

Tempest 2000

Superzapper Recharged? Yes! Yes! Yes!


Source // Wikipedia


I was unable to play Tempest back when it came up on the 1001 list, and wouldn't you know it, I'm unable to play Tempest 2000 either, an updated and fine tuned homage to the blaster from the past.

Take your... { ... and hammer the fire button as you speed around psychedelic shapes in synesthetic overload.

15/05/2017

Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament

"Without a doubt the best Mega Drive game there is."




After you've played a Micro Machines game, you can understand why one of them might make a list of 1001 Must-Play Video Games, but to have two of the series make the cut must mean something pretty special.

If the first Micro Machines merely introduced a frantic, fun-filled racer to gamers, then Micro Machines 2: Turbo Tournament perfected it. It looks great, it demands skill and mastery, and you can play with up to 7 other physical human beings on the same Sega Mega Drive.

8 players. 4 controllers. 2 of which are plugged into the cartridge itself. Just what else have I missed from the 1990s?

13/05/2017

Final Fantasy VI

a.k.a. Final Fantasy III




A long time ago, I was told to get Final Fantasy VII because it was just that good. What did I do? I got Final Fantasy VI because it came with a demo for Final Fantasy X, which was obviously the better purchase - a taste of the past with a glimpse at the future too.

Well, I didn't play too much of either Final Fantasy VI or the Final Fantasy X demo, probably because a tonne of other games were out, all far more advanced than a port of a SNES game from the mid-1990s. I was definitely not the kind of gamer who cared too much about the past back then.

Fast forward to today, and I've got to revisit this game for the 1001 list. Knowing what I know now, I wonder what I'll think of it this time around...

12/05/2017

Earthworm Jim

Cow Launched




Earthworm Jim practically screams the '90s, doesn't he? In what other decade does a super suit fall onto an Earthworm, turning him into a superhero intent on serving some justice to ne'er-do-wells and spending some quality time with Princess What's-Her-Name? In no other decade is your answer.

Charge up your blaster pistol, whip your head back and forth and get ready to launch that cow, because I'm going down to the junkyard as a super worm.


09/05/2017

Doom II: Hell on Earth

Secret: 0%




The differences between Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth are slight but mighty. Episodes are replaced with a single story, still retaining the rambling level designs of the original. New weapons join familiar faces with expected results. Enemies return from Hell, or whatever Hell analogue they came from, to wreak havoc upon your person, often from hidden alcoves opened without your knowledge from behind.

It's Doom refined, and once again I'm going to play it through the Doomsday Engine.

05/05/2017

EarthBound

This Game Stinks.




For the longest time, I avoided playing EarthBound largely because I knew it was the English version of Japanese title Mother 2, and knowing that it was a translated sequel somehow meant that it's safe to ignore.

What a dumb thing to think.

For starters, a great many games are English versions of Japanese titles, and still, I play them. Then there are games whose sequels don't rely on prior knowledge of the series in order to play. There are also games with confusing title differences between regions - Final Fantasy VI for example - yet you still play them because of what they are as a single entity.

Yet I had never given EarthBound a second thought, and for that, I'd like to apologise, because it's pretty funky, isn't it?

01/05/2017

Tekken

Perfect.




You always remember your first, don't you? While it probably wasn't the first fighting series I ever played, the Tekken series is the series that I have the most fun with because I grew up with Tekken 2, bought for me by my grandmother.

As such, it is in Tekken that I feel at home, control-wise, timing-wise. It is in Tekken where the best characters can be found. It is Tekken that gets chosen over Virtua Fighter, Dead or Alive and probably even Street Fighter.

But I haven't played the original, in the arcades or on the PlayStation, and I'm eager to find out if I can slot right into the rhythm of the game - to see if it all comes back to me, like riding a bike or suplexing a native American woman.




Ooooohhh, this is going to be good.

28/04/2017

Breath of Fire II

The party has fallen.




Role playing games are quite decisive, aren't they? You can love one and loathe another. You can hope one goes on and on and hope another just ends already. With the prospect of tens of hours of potential playtime ahead of you, you'd hope that you could get some kind of idea which type of RPG whatever it is your playing will turn out to be.

With Breath of Fire II on the SNES, it wasn't long before I knew where I stood with it - or rather where I fell face first onto the deck with it.

27/04/2017

Shadowrun

There is nobody here, but us... Mice!




The SNES was capable of quite a bit, wasn't it? When it's not spewing out the bright colours of Zelda or Mode 7-ing the hell out of Super Mario Kart, it also shows a grim future where corporations are in control and firearms will greatly increase your chance of survival. Like Syndicate, perhaps.

Shadowrun, based on the pencil and paper RPG of the same name, has you navigating this gloomy world in an effort to find out who you are and what you were doing before being gunned down and left for dead, and it's going to see you get familiar with guns, magic and hacking - a mix that doesn't immediately seem like it'd work, but hey... it might work.

25/04/2017

Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds

You cannot use that.




It's been said before and it'll be said again, but going through video game history in this way really allows you to see the major milestones in a given genre, be it by looking back and seeing where something came from, or looking further back to see how far a title has brought gaming forward.

Ultima Underworld II: Labyrinth of Worlds is a classic example of this. I love that it shows the early days of 'proper' first-person role-playing games to which the likes of The Elder Scrolls owe a little and that it can be compared to the likes of Dungeon Master from the 1980s to see how much improvement has been made in six or so years of technological advancements.

There's a lot of content still to come on the 1001 list that will offer similar chances to look forward and backwards through history, but for now, we are - once more - going to save Britannia.

21/04/2017

Virtua Fighter

"Everything you have heard about Virtua Fighter is true. And then some."




We've had a couple of great fighting games in this 1001 list so far. International Karate + and Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting have stood out personally, but this is something quite different. This is the birth of the three-dimensional fighting game genre, and for all its blocky models coloured almost as garishly as possible, Virtua Fighter should never be forgotten for what it gave to the gaming world.

Whether at home or in the arcades, with a punch, kick and defence button next to your joystick, you're all set to beat your opponent senseless in heavy hitting and somewhat realistic hand to hand combat.

I'm looking forward to bashing those buttons.

19/04/2017

Zombies Ate My Neighbors

Extra Bonus Victim!




I knew of Zombies Ate My Neighbors long before I had any idea what the game was about. I had come across the title while looking through lists of available to download .wav music files, back when you had to dial into the Internet in order to see the world as it really was, rather than as it was portrayed in Encyclop√¶dia Brittanica. Guile's Street Fighter theme was more interesting to me at the time, but the title Zombies Ate My Neighbors stuck in my mind.

By that, I mean that I didn't expand upon my zombie knowledge until decades later when I learned it was a run and gun zombie-em-up, and it's not until now that I've even bothered to play it.

Will I be able to save my neighbours before an untimely death? There's no time to lose!

18/04/2017

The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening

Wow! This looks pretty heavy!




Zelda on the Game Boy, you say? That should probably be pretty good, shouldn't it? Cramming an entire adventure into a Game Boy cartridge shouldn't be too big an ask, but there's bound to be some expectations thanks to a certain Link to the Past...

Enough beating around the bush, let's slash the sword with our name on it through all the vegetation in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. Is it a spin-off? A side story? Alternate universe? Inspired by? I don't know, but it is different.

12/04/2017

The 251/1001 Milestone Awards

Source // Ars Technica


Good Lord, we've actually done it. We've gone through a quarter of the 1001 list. Haven't played all of them, sadly, and definitely haven't finished many (any?) of them, but what a trip it has been so far. The things we've learned! The sights we've seen! The games we're finally aware of beyond having heard the title, once, in passing!

The arcade still calls to us, but the consoles are coming thick and fast. We're moving into territory that I'm more familiar with, and picking out the top tens of each batch for The Milestone Awards is getting harder and harder.

For The 251/1001 Milestone Awards, we're trying to prune through fifty titles from Super Castlevania IV to The 7th Guest. Which titles will run away with an award? Let's find out.


Continuing with tradition, we start with The Indifferent 5, a list of five games that merely contribute to the mise-en-scene. They're not bad, but they're not scene-stealers either. They are what they are - there for those who want them.

Mega Lo Mania, Sensible Software
The Incredible Machine, Kevin Ryan
Axelay, Konami
Secret of Mana, Square
Plok, Software Creations

I wonder how many of those were untouchable classics to some people...


Now that list was tricky, so this next award is nigh on impossible. In this latest batch of fifty must play video games, which title urges me to ask What Was That 1 Even Put On The List For?


Oh no, wait - this one is easy.

What Was Lemmings Even Put On The List For?

Bloody Lemmings. Ugh.


A 1001 list without 1001 entries is a silly list, so if we've taken out all the Lemmings, we have to plug the hole with something else. What forgotten gems are there that should have been included first time round? Let's find out by shouting You Forgot What?! and listening for a response...





Kirby's Dream Land! How in the name of all that is Holy could you leave Kirby's Dream Land off the list? It's Kirby's goddamn Dream Land for Christ's sake.

Sorry. Childhood favourite.


With that error firmly corrected, we can shove enough quarters into the coin slot to get through the rest of this post. Bring on The Top Ten.


10: Cybernator, NCS Corp
Mechs! Mmmmmmechs!

9: Micro Machines, Codemasters
Wee mini motor racing around the breakfast table. It's genius.

8: Sonic the Hedgehog (2?), Sonic Team
They're basically the same, right?

7: Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting, Capcom
The absurd title caused it to drop a few places.

6: NBA Jam, Midway
It's on fire, and hopefully, you are when playing it too. Not literally.

5: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, LucasArts
This is how you do point and click games. Trust me, I'm an expert now.

4: UFO: Enemy Unknown / X-COM: UFO Defence, Mythos Games, MicroProse Software
The business management simulator you didn't know you wanted.

3: Doom, id Software
DOOM.

2: Super Mario Kart, Nintendo EAD
Such a fun part of my childhood and it still holds up.


What, then, could possibly top the list? What game filled me with so much joy that nothing else could compare - not even Super Mario Kart, which is incredible? Well, Nintendo EAD is on form once more, because the number 1 spot belongs to The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. No contest. Clear winner. Don't even try to argue.



To finish up, we must mash together The Top Ten with the current best of the best to form The Topper Than That Top Ten list - the ten best games from the 251 we've seen so far. The Oregon Trail seems so far away now that we're at The 7th Guest, and we're still only 1/4 of the way through this 1001 list. It's going to get tough picking out my top picks, but here are the current champions.



10: Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, LucasArts
Other LucasArts titles might get all the praise, but this is where I want to spend time gaming. You know, if I was forced to play point and click adventures.

9: UFO: Enemy Unknown / X-COM: UFO Defence, Mythos Games, MicroProse Software
Don't take it seriously and it's a blast.

8: The Oregon Trail, MECC
250 games preceded it, and it's still in this best of the best top ten. How? How?!

7: Bomberman, Hudson Soft
I just see his name and all those childhood multiplayer sessions come right to the front of my mind.

6: Tetris, Alexey Pajitnov
What will topple Tetris? It's slipping down the list, but we're still waiting for that one piece...

5: Super Mario Bros., Nintendo R&D4
Slipping, but it's a go-to game for good times.

4: Doom, id Software
It's just so iconic, isn't it? Whether you're good at it or not, you've got your memories of it.

3: Super Mario World, Nintendo EAD
Yoshi, nooooo!

2: Super Mario Kart, Nintendo EAD
Absolute winner. It just had the sad fortune of being around at a time when a certain other absolute winner was...

1: The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Nintendo EAD
This absolute winner. It just screams SNES to me, and I can't believe I've not played it until now.


Would you believe I'm a devotee to Sony, their hardware, their exclusives? How my tiny little gaming brain has changed thanks to this list, eh? Recommending Nintendo title after Nintendo title. Well, they're probably going to be staying there for a while, so we'll have to wait and see what the next batch of games contains.

It begins with a title by the name of, ooh, what was it now, The Legend ooooffff... Zelda.

Ah nuts.

11/04/2017

The 7th Guest

Feeling lonely?




Having not had a computer for my early childhood, there is no possible way that I'd have caught The 7th Guest in all its original two CD glory - a game so big and detailed that not even the vast storage space of a single CD could contain it.

Joking aside, this game was one of the first pieces of media to really push for consumers to buy CD-ROM drives and welcome the future, and for video gaming (according to developers Trilobyte) that meant mixing pre-rendered 3D backgrounds with live action characters.

Kind of like Return to Zork, I guess, but better. Personally speaking.

We are a disembodied spirit in a spooky old house. What horrors will we witness? What secrets will we uncover? What will we rate the acting out of ten? Let's dive right in.

06/04/2017

The Settlers

Project 'Settlers': To create an economy simulation without it being boring.


Source // Wikipedia


In most games where the victor is determined by the greatest military force, you're not tasked with managing a whole lot beyond where your units move, what they do, and how to pay for them to be developed in the first place. Juggling resources is often a case of asking yourself, 'do I have enough of Resource X? Yes? Good'.

Not so in The Settlers, for in order to dominate your neighbours in war, your must grow your mighty empire from the ground up, and everything needs something from somewhere else. Builders need to be fed, but fishermen need their huts to be constructed, and both will get on with their tasks as best as they can - if the required resources eventually get to them via your road networks.

Your carefully laid out road networks.

You did think about the road network, didn't you?

04/04/2017

Secret of Mana

You Idiots!




The problem with embarking on a challenge like this is that the sheer scope of some games means I'll never get to really know what they're about, because I'll never have the time in the world to sit down with them for hours and hours and hours on end, especially if they're Role Playing Games like Secret of Mana.

The world is in peril, an epic quest is thrust upon you, how will you manage to vanquish evil and save the day? I'll never know...

30/03/2017

Plok

I've been diddled again!




Words are hard to come by when Plok is on the screen. The 1001 entry for this title mentions how everyone and their dog wanted their own mascot, a la Sega and Sonic, but Plok came to that particular party too late. So late that he might as well have been lost to history, but here he is, walloping fleas with his giant cartoon fists...

Just what is going on here?

29/03/2017

Frontier: Elite II

WARNING: Undercarriage down.


Source // Wikipedia


Ten years after Elite comes its incredible sequel, Frontier: Elite II. How do I know it's incredible? Not by playing it, that's for sure...

Cast your minds back to that E3, when No Man's Sky was announced with an impressive trailer that promised the Universe. I was hyped. You were probably hyped too. And then somewhere, at the back of the hall, an old guy shouted, "Hey, that's like Frontier!"

Want to be a space trader? You can! Want to be a fighter pilot? You can! Want to wreak as much havoc as you can before getting blown out of the sky, only the sky is space and it's full of Newtonian physics calculations that require you to have a degree in astrophysics in order to get anywhere? You can!

Frontier is about to become one of my biggest love/hate games...

27/03/2017

UFO: Enemy Unknown

a.k.a. X-COM: UFO Defense




Did I mention Laser Squad was like X-COM back when I wrote about Laser Squad? I must have. I don't like going back over old posts unless absolutely necessary - probably because of all the typos I'd find - so I'll assume that I did mention the similarity.

It's an obvious similarity, really, when X-COM: UFO Defense, or UFO: Enemy Unknown, is essentially a sequel to Laser Squad - if not in terms of plot than in terms of gameplay. That means equipping your soldiers (or forgetting to) and carefully heading (or blindly running) into dangerous, alien-infested territories, only this time we've got global politics, base building and resource management to deal with as well.

Say hello to our squad. Say goodbye to half of them...



22/03/2017

Sam & Max Hit the Road

Greetings from the USA.




If you were to ask me what Sam and Max look like, I could at least bluff some knowledge of the two - a dog and a rabbit. What do they do? Maaaaaybe cops or something? I don't know too much about them beyond that.

So, it was about time I finally saw who they were in Sam & Max Hit the Road, a point and click adventure that sees our heroes search for some escaped carnival attractions. Seeing as Sam and Max are part of the 'Freelance Police', that must surely mean there's more to the story than meets the eye.

Can we find out what's going on without looking up too many hints this time? Haha. Ha. Hhhyeahh...

17/03/2017

Syndicate

Observing. Going. Assassinate.






Do you have a business that requires, uh... protection? Do you need some competitors, shall we say... dealt with? Have you got enough funds to construct your own cyborg death squads to travel the globe and brainwash the locals into caring about you and nobody else, using lethal force whenever necessary?

If the answer is yes, then you should probably get your hands on Syndicate, a real-time strategy title that sees you order fully armed rubber coated cyborgs in a variety of missions that will hopefully conclude with your complete control of the planet.

I must say, it sounds like quite the setting, doesn't it? A grim future where business is conducted with bullets and terrorism goes hand in hand with taxation and taking control of the populace. Consider me interested.

16/03/2017

SimCity 2000

The Citizens are Revolting



Source // Wikipedia



Let's just get this clear if I haven't already mentioned it. The idea of SimCity is great. Fantastic. What better way to light up the imagination than allowing gamers to watch their creations get built and develop in front of their eyes?

The top down, circuit board looking SimCity has been redeveloped into the genre-defining SimCity 2000, a game with everything you expect from a city builder of this era, and then some more things you forgot about.

What it does is great, but there's always a 'but'...

15/03/2017

Ridge Racer

It's Ridge Racer. Riiidge Raceeer!






It has to have been around twenty years since I last played Ridge Racer on the beloved PlayStation. While the arcade original has all the graphics and the framerates and whatnot, it is the PlayStation port (in the form of the Platinum re-release, if memory serves) that I picture when tasked with imagining what Ridge Racer is.

Graceful (ish) drifting, bright colours and patented loading screen mini-games in the form of Galaga... I can't wait to race around some ridges.



14/03/2017

Return to Zork

Simply Gruesome.





"Return to Zork? Return to Zork? As in, the Zork? That text adventure from way back when? Are we going to be going through another text adventure in the mid-1990s?"

That was more or less my initial reaction upon seeing Return to Zork in the list, before tracking it down and seeing that, no, actually we're not going back into the realm of text adventure, but are witnessing its evolution into point and click.

Though we've done a few point and click games already, so I guess we're seeing the Zork series evolve into point and click... such an important event that the developers have gone all out with their graphics budget to show it.




Look at that. A nod to the first game, from 13 years earlier, within the first minute of this game. The rest of the game can't look this good, can it?

10/03/2017

Daytona USA

Rolling Start!!



Source // Den of Geek


How could I not know of Daytona USA? Literally, how could I have not come across this game in any form, at any point in my gaming history? It's the racing game that did 60fps texture mapped polygons and did them pretty damn well. When it is in motion, Daytona USA looks fantastic - bright and colourful, and arcadey without being offputting. When it's a still image, it doesn't look like it came from the early 1990s.

Daytona USA may only offer a basic racing game, albeit one with drifting, damage and slipstreaming, but it's one I want to dive right into and play right now.


02/03/2017

Ecco the Dolphin

Underwater escort missions? My favourite!





I certainly didn't come across Ecco the Dolphin in my childhood, but when and where I did finally see it is anyone's guess. P2 remembers it from her youth, which must go to show how much street cred she has over me when it comes to retro gaming.

Ecco the Dolphin is not what it may first seem. Not by a long shot. I thought Doom had a weird plot, but this one might just trump it, for you play as the titular Ecco on a quest to save see life from being harvested by aliens. And if that's not insane enough, you travel through time to do so too.

I thought it was just a relaxing platformer of sorts. How terribly wrong I was.

01/03/2017

Gunstar Heroes

Your journey ends here!





Sometimes it feels like there are an alarmingly high number of games on this 1001 list that I just don't know anything about. I don't think the number is that high, but I don't even know of Gunstar Heroes in passing, so I'm going into yet another game blind as a bat and seeing where I end up.

In this one, we play as Red or Blue Gunstar in a side-scrolling shoot 'em up run and gunner to gather a handful of crystals before the big bad robot known as Golden Silver uses them to wreak havoc on civilisation. We'll enlist help from Professor Brown and we'll fight General Grey's efforts to thwart us.

Yeah.

Based on the plot synopsis, it's no wonder I know nothing about this game...

28/02/2017

Doom

To Quit is to Lose.



Source // Wikipedia


In the late 1990s if I recall correctly (very early 2000s otherwise), I was at yet another cousin's house. He was younger than me and I was barely into double digits, but he really wanted to play a game on the computer that I hope his father got for himself, rather than his young and impressionable son because that game was Doom.

I don't remember much of it at all. I don't even remember playing it myself. Perhaps I only just watched. Whatever happened, Doom didn't leave a lasting impression on me, certainly from that encounter, and yet I - like many gamers I'm sure - know all about Doom, no matter how much we've played it.

It's time to grab our shotguns, chainsaws and BFG's because we're about to go to Hell.

25/02/2017

Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle

Ding!





When I saw Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle creep up the 1001 list as its turn grew nearer, I knew I'd have to be prepared for a bit of frustration and a lack of progress. These types of games just aren't my favourite, but once again, a friendlier remastered version is available to play, so I should at least be able to marvel at the artwork if nothing else.

It's a bit of a negative outlook, that, but we'll see where it takes us.

22/02/2017

Cannon Fodder

"War has never been so much fun"





Though the name gives a few clues, I really had no idea what I was in for with Cannon Fodder, from the same sensible minds behind previous 1001 titles Wizball and Mega Lo Mania.

A strategy by way of a shoot 'em up, or maybe a shooter by the way of strategy, Cannon Fodder sees you point your privates in the right direction across multiple missions and locations, where permadeath is just a bullet away. And yet it's cartoony and humorous; a satirical approach to war and violence.

It's about time I found out what fighting on the front line is all about.

21/02/2017

Myst

Read a book, people.





Before this quest of mine, I knew that Myst was important to video game history and that it was going to be quite the adventure when it came time to playing it. That was about all I knew, save for that it was a puzzler of some sort, and that it'd be unlikely I'd make it very far.

You see, there are puzzle games that keep things focused, and there are puzzle games that are Myst, and I'm really not very into puzzle games that are Myst...

17/02/2017

NBA Jam

Boomshakalaka





Previously, I mentioned how I've probably played more of Street Fighter: The Movie than any other version of Street Fighter, and that's because it was the only game in the series that my PlayStation owning cousins had. They had a few other games in general, of course - much better games - one of which was an incarnation of NBA Jam, if I'm remembering correctly. If I'm not, I don't know what it was...

NBA Jam takes the sport of Basketball and turns it up to 11, but not in the sense of taking things 'extreme' or whatever, but of making the players and their plays larger than life. The series turned heroes into superheroes and fast action into blisteringly quick games of high scoring tension.

I have not played a game like this in quite some time, and I'm looking forward to doing so once more.

15/02/2017

Street Fighter II Turbo: Hyper Fighting

How you doing, Ken?





Ah, Street Fighter. Long have I known of your characters, hummed your theme music, mocked your catchphrases and yet rarely have I ever sat down and played a game of yours for any length of time. It's usually a round or two here and there, and the game I've probably played the most could well be Street Fighter: The Movie.

This isn't that, though. This is regarded as the peak in the Street Fighter II series. This is Street Fighter II' Turbo: Hyper Fighting and I'm looking forward to pulling off a Hadouken or two because I like to set my expectations quite low and be easily impressed when exceeding them.

10/02/2017

Dune II

I wanna really, really, really wanna zigazig ah





I've watched Dune. Definitely once, but maybe twice. At one point in time, I had a replica prop gun from Dune. Not a highly detailed hero prop, more a block of painted resin or whatever it was. That square looking handgun that Patrick Stewart had if memory serves. Anyway, I'm somewhat aware of Dune, but haven't got a clue about Dune II.

From the developers who would go on to create Command & Conquer, a series I am aware of, comes the real-time strategy title that introduces all kinds of gameplay mechanics to the genre. Dune II is perhaps the grandfather of RTS, certainly in a form familiar to me, and yet I know diddlysquat about it.

Probably involves a lot of spice, though...

07/02/2017

Ultima VII

I shall be your companion... your provider... and your master!





Somewhere, many years ago, I caught sight of Ultima VII on YouTube - one of the versions at least. I don't know whether it was The Black Gate, Forge of Virtue, Serpent Isle or The Silver Seed, but I am definitely aware that Ultima VII is an interesting looking top down role playing game.

The 1001 list expresses this title to be the peak of the Ultima series, with designer Richard Garriott holding it as one of his favourites - though with two parts, each with an expansion, there's a lot of Ultima VII that players should find something to like, right?

Let's dive right into The Black Gate and see what's what.

03/02/2017

The Incredible Machine

Gooooold-berg. Goooooold-berg.





Just what is so incredible about The Incredible Machine? I've no idea - I haven't heard of it or its numerous sequels and spin-offs at any point in my past.

The Incredible Machine is both a puzzle and a toy box that focuses on Rube Goldberg-like machines, having you arrange a set of given objects onto the field of play in such a way that they interact with each other to produce results like smashing a fish tank or dunking a basketball.

This is going to tax my brain, I can feel it.