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?


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...


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...


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...



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.


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'...


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.


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?


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.


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.


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.


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