Reality Check

April 14, 2015
Boo.

Boo.

Good news everyone, sort of… If you thought I didn’t post much now, just wait until August. Time for another Reality Check, this one though might have longer term effects on life in general… What I’m trying to say is, and badly, I’m going to be a Dad by the summer time!

It’s not immediately time to pack up all the games and consoles but preparations are being made to put a lot of stuff into the loft, and make room for new things, such as a cot, moses basket… and other foreign objects I’m learning all about (pram shopping is one hell of an experience, like buying a car, but more confusing).

Gaming won’t stop completely, but there’s a good chance the posts here on Reality Glitch might. I’m inspired by the amount of retro gaming Dads out there on twitter, proving that it is possible to continue your hobby whilst having kids, but at the moment I’m not wanting the distraction, I’m panicking enough as it is.

My Amiga 500 will be packed away neatly in its original box, the games stored in large plastic crates, the other games and consoles too. They might make an appearance again one day. I’ll still be tweeting away about random retro stuff, and re-tweeting all your awesome finds, pictures, reviews and collections as usual, so please follow me on twitter below.

Back in the loft with you old friend.

Thanks for reading, and donations of pipes, slippers and other Dad stuff welcome…

All the best

@RealityGlitch

My top 5 N64 games

March 10, 2015
N64

Ye Olde N64 logo

I’ve found the more you like a particular system, the harder it is to pick your top ‘5, 10, 15′ favourite games. I get the feeling many retro gaming ‘top’ lists change on a daily basis, I know mine do.

I find it harder to write a top 5 for the Amiga than I do, say the N64, as I’ve only ever owned and played a limited number of games for the latter. Therefore my list is of a limited nature in that the top 5 is taken from about 20 N64 games I’ve actually ever played extensively.

On the other hand, I’ve played many more Amiga games, over a hundred that I could class as ones I know well, and also still enjoy playing, therefore, harder to pick just 5.

Anyways, enough waffling, on to my top 5 N64 games, and the odd reason why they are my favourites.

Perfect Dark

Cool ass metallic N64 logo followed by awesome Perfect Dark title screen

Cool ass metallic N64 logo followed by awesome Perfect Dark title screen

As much as I love GoldenEye, game and movie, Perfect Dark had me gripped from the start and throughout, it was a great story within an amazing sci-fi setting, with a great lead character in Joanna Dark. Arguably an improved game all round compared to GoldenEye, bigger levels, better graphics, huge sound track and an awesome array of weaponry (Ed – You better start looking for the body armour making comments like that).

On top of the single player the multi-player blew me away with the amount of customisation you could do by making your own custom combat scenarios, and fighting bots or other players. The game is still fantastic to this day, whether you’re playing alone or with friends.

Lylat Wars

Lylat Wars, had the huge box, with huge manual, and little rumble pak

Lylat Wars, had the huge box, with huge manual, and little rumble pak

Again, like with Perfect Dark, it’s the multi-player that sells it to me in this game, as much fun and polished as the single player is there’s nothing better than jumping in your Arwing and having awesome dogfights around Corneria with other players, however, unlike Perfect Dark you’ll need to have a few friends around to join in for this one.

I used to love the rush to be the first to grab the double laser, or a bomb, which would give you a nice advantage for a little while. I also noticed, with the group I played with at least, no-one ever wanted to be the tanks in multi-player, they never seemed quite as good, or fun to play.

Mario Kart 64

I couldn't find a google image I liked, so here's a home made one...

I couldn’t find a Google image I liked, so here’s a home made one…

My favourite version to date, there’s nothing in particular I can say to explain why its my favourite, apart from the fact there’s not a single track in the whole game I entirely dislike, but definitely quite a few I’m better at than others.

A few of my favourite tracks are Koopa Troopa Beach, Wario Stadium and Royal Raceway, the first 2 offer some great short cuts and I love visiting Peach’s Castle in Royal Raceway. Probably my least favourite tracks are Sherbet Land and Yoshi Valley, I just can’t get my head round the latter and the former I get too distracted by penguins.

Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

So good I bought it twice... (sucker)

So good I bought it twice… (sucker)

Not my favourite Legend of Zelda game, (see Link’s Awakening), but Ocarina of Time was definitely the first larger scale adventure in the series I enjoyed and completed. My knowledge of the series was pretty limited having never owned a NES or SNES before my N64, so apart from the aforementioned Game Boy game this was pretty much my introduction to the series. The sheer colour and scale of the game world after playing Link’s Awakening was pretty awesome and I’ve definitely been a bigger fan of the series ever since this one.

I can still hear the Ocarina songs in my head, and my favourite level is the Shadow Temple, great atmosphere, creepy bad guys and weirdest boss by far, my least favourite is the Spirit Temple (you just couldn’t top the Shadow Temple before it).

 Rogue Squadron

Do you want to fly an X-Wing? Nah. Said nobody ever.

Do you want to fly an X-Wing? Naaaah* (*Said nobody ever)

I do like a good Star Wars game, and Rogue Squadron was awesome, even its name gets me a little bit excited (Ed – easy tiger). I find the foggy graphics a little off putting these days but then I’ve noticed that with a lot of my favourite N64 games. This was pretty much the first time I got to fly an X-Wing in a Star Wars game, so I was already sold, after borrowing it from a friend (for far too long) I ended up buying my own copy.

I’ve never quite gotten gold for every mission, and I’m not sure I’ve even finished it, but it was fun to play, great to fly each different fighter, and destroy the Empire along the way. It was a close match between this and Shadows of the Empire, but Rogue Squadron hits the nostalgia button just a little bit harder.

Thanks for taking a look at this list of my top 5 games on the N64! What are yours? I’m almost certain yours will be different, and possibly even for different reasons! Crazy.

Honourable mentions and not quite appearing in this list:

GoldenEye, Shadows of the Empire, Pokemon Stadium, F-Zero X, Donkey Kong 64

Cheers!

@RealityGlitch

Zany Golf

January 31, 2015
Advert for Zany Golf

Advert for Zany Golf

Developer: Sandcastle

Coder: Will Harvey

Disks: 1

Publisher: Electronic Arts (1988)

Platform: Amiga 500

Anyone for golf? No? Then how about Zany Golf? Still no? Ah well, luckily for me this is a 1 to 4 player game. It’s the only golf game I ever owned or played back in the day, so its high on my nostalgic feeling list, although I was also never very good at it (I couldn’t get past hole 5 ‘Fans’). Now I’ve returned to Zany Golf to see how I fair, spurred on by the fact I’ve recently beaten Tom in Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker for the first ever time.

Hamburger course, title graphics

Hamburger course, title graphics

The game starts you off gently with a relatively easy first hole (no real surprises or manic mouse wiggling required), but with each level beyond that they become progressively harder and more challenging. There are 9 holes in total, each with their own par and unique game mechanics, a score card helps the players keep a tally on who’s winning. Hole 2 ‘Hamburger’ eases the player further in by demonstrating how the game is slightly different to a normal crazy golf course; a giant hamburger covers the hole, the player has to click the left mouse button to bounce the burger up and down, and then time their shot so the burger is in the air for the ball to roll into the hole, timing is crucial.

Windmill, nice n easy to start....

Windmill, nice n easy to start….

From ‘Hamburger’ onward the player is required to either activate something, time their shots, or in one case use fans to blow the ball around the entire course. Despite these extra game play mechanics in each course the controls are some of the most basic I’ve ever come across in any golf game, relying purely on the mouse to line up your shot, pull the cursor back for power, and releasing to take the shot. It is easy to follow and see what’s happening as the graphics are simple and fun, and kind of what you’d expect a crazy golf course to look like (I’ve not been to many, once on Jersey I think…). I like the effort that’s gone into each hole to make it look as colourful as possible, including the excellent title graphics introducing each one.

Love these title graphics which appear for each hole

Love these title graphics which appear for each hole

What I most enjoy about Zany Golf is that each level is unique, challenging and fun to play. It’s easy to pick a favourite and a least favourite. One of my favourites is the ‘Pinball’ course (literally a mini pinball game before putting the ball), followed closely by an earlier course ‘Hamburger’, mentioned above. My least favourite is the course ‘Ant Hill’, a disappointing one given the clever design of the other holes, and the final level ‘Energy’, looks pretty but I still have no idea what’s going on or how I even finished it.

Pinball course, my favourite!

Pinball course, my favourite!

Energy, final level, looks amazing, but bloody hard

Energy, final level, looks amazing, but bloody hard

Zany Golf is still a great little game, and by that I mean I wish it offered slightly more holes, as it comes across as quite short. However, in this case quality wins out over quantity, the course design is superb and in some cases very inventive and each course provides a decent enough challenge that you don’t whizz through the game too quickly, and there’s always a small amount of replay value to try to best your own scores, or compete against other players.

I’m glad to say on this occasion I made it past hole 5 ‘Fans’, in fact, I finished the game. I’ve definitely noticed when revisiting some of these old games I have more patience these days, I’m assuming back in the day I was rage quitting every 5 seconds. Zany Golf is fun and inventive but a little short, purely from a selfish point of view I wanted to keep playing, it’s a fun game! It also has the most manic (and a little annoying) title music since Rolling Ronny. Despite the latter I’d highly recommend giving it a try.

Just in case you wanted to know, my score card is below!

Not bad...

Not bad…

More info and links!

Lemon Amiga page for Zany Golf

Amiga Computing Vol 1 No 12 (May 1989) Zany Golf review (95%)

CU Commodore User Amiga-64 (Apr 1989) Zany Golf review (80%)

Amiga Action 16 (Jan 1991) Zany Golf (Budget) review (81%)

Old School. Literally.

January 14, 2015

The following post is about hardware and software I remember (sort of) using throughout my school life, it doesn’t include systems used outside of school, even though they were way more fun. So I thought I’d start 2015 off with some personal history (yay?).

This was an idea I had last year but has taken me ages to get around to writing it, I wasn’t sure if it would be that interesting, and after more thought I realised I couldn’t remember that much about the systems we used to use at school. However, I’ve had a couple of helpers on this one to jog my memory, so here are the combined results! What computers did you use at school? What software and games did you play? Let me know in the comments below!

Special thanks to Simon and Nigel for their help and input in this post.

Old School. Literally.

Old School. Literally.

First School (or infant school)

RealityGlitch: My earliest memories of using any sort of computer hardware in school was a piece of hardware that sat all by itself in the corner of the classroom. The software on it we used was for drawing and painting. What seemed unique about this memory is that I remember painting (white screen, simple shapes and colours) by using a stylus (connected with a black curly lead to the hardware). Felt like magic at the time, now it seems more like a touch screen painting program, however, given this was the mid 80s that still seems pretty special. As I don’t remember the name of it, or much more than the above, I’ve not been able to find a picture or anymore information on it.

Middle School (or junior school)

Simon: We had acorn 3000’s, computers with the orange function keys. One of the programs we used to use was Impression Junior, we used to use it to draw I think, there might have also been another  drawing and painting program. A game we used to play (at break times naturally… Ed) was Moonquake. Just loved that game and used to play it all the time during break time, we were in year 7 at the time so this is just before moving up to secondary school.

Blowing things up, Moon style...

Blowing things up, Moon style…

RealityGlith: I also remember having a BBC Micro available to use in Middle School. I remember there being a single computer in our classroom, it sat on the side and we were occasionally allowed to use it. Oddly enough I don’t remember using this computer for anything in lessons. I had contacted one of my old teachers but I didn’t get a response. One of these games we played on the Acorn 3000 was indeed called Moonquake, it was a Bomberman clone, you played on the keyboard and the game play was the familiar top down grid, you blasted your way through blocks to reach the enemies.

Secondary School

RealityGlitch: Hmm, I think I should have paid more attention in school… I remember using the Acorn Archimedes, with 2Mb of RAM, which were eventually upgraded to 4Mb. Some of the software was Visual  Basic/Stylus,  the former of which we used to program and move little Lego models.

The 3 games we had was Pac-Mania, Cannon Fodder and Lemmings, I remember playing Pac-Mania quite a bit, so much so I ended up getting it for my Amiga 500 so I could play it at home as well. Good times.

One of my favourite Pac-Man games

One of my favourite Pac-Man games

Nigel: From memory, the software was the generic spreadsheet, word processing and database packages that came with system, the free program that came with the Archimedes was called DRAW.

Simon: Secondary School we had acorn 4000’s, which were like a small white desktop box with separate keyboards and mice. We used to run Impression Style which was the more grown up version of Impression Junior. We also used Eureka, a spreadsheet and database program. However because the machines only had 2mb of RAM we could only run one or the other, never at the same time. Eventually we did upgrade from 2mb to 4mb, I remember helping our teacher to upgrade them at break and lunch times.

I vaguely remember there being a manual parallel port switch to an Epson lx100 dot matrix printer, and we had to switch it over when you wanted to print from your computer.

The library had a mixture of Acorn 3000 and 4000’s, but they also had two Acorn 5000’s. These were good because they had both an Acorn and a PC in them. You used to flick the front plastic bracket over and it would change from an Acorn to a PC running Windows 95 (I think – or maybe windows 3.1).
Shiny

Acorn 5000, shiny

Just to re-iterate, this was more of a personal trip down memory lane, memories can be blurry, I’ve done a little research but as with most personal pieces the more I look into the history and information the more blurred the lines become between memory and current knowledge, it’s not supposed to be a comprehensive history of school computers.
Thought I just needed to mention this as before it’s been pointed out I don’t research enough on these things. Thanks for reading and let me know your thoughts below.
Please follow the link here to read a quick review of Moonquake for the Acorn.
http://acorncomputers.com/
All the best!
@RealityGlitch

Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker

September 5, 2014

Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker

Publisher: Virgin Games

Year: 1991

Genre: Sport/Snooker

Disks: 1

Creator: Archer MacLean

What can I say about this one that hasn’t already been said? Probably lots, but I’m too lazy for that. Still, I thought I’d give this one another go after 20 years.

Check out that title, more bright colours than a dulux paint factory at the end of a rainbow.

Check out that title, more bright colours than a dulux paint factory at the end of a rainbow.

That catchy intro music and swirly colourful animated title screen brings back a few memories, well, memories of watching someone else play this. Someone who was reluctant to give up the mouse and let me have a go. Sitting back I used to watch Tom (the ‘easy’ level AI in the game) quickly dispatch his human opponent again and again, seeing how hard the game was I was probably pleased not to be playing. Still, the few times I did get to give it a go it was often a white wash, I didn’t dare try to play against Dick, Harry or Jimmy. I quickly moved onto Archer MacLean’s Pool and left this one in the box.

First game, and loss, to Tom

First game, and loss, to Tom *shakes fist*

I didn’t fully appreciate this game back then (I was only 10, more interested in Turrican and Hunter if I remember rightly) but playing it now I’m actually enjoying it a lot more. Tom is just as hard to beat, but with patience and practice, I did start to show signs of improvement (200 more games and you’ve got him!). Too often whilst playing, just when I thought I was on a winning break, the pressure would get to much and I’d give it away. The final game came down to the pink and black. The games difficulty is probably the only criticism you could make, but with practice (and lots of patience) it is something you could probably overcome quite quickly.

Highest break in this match... its the little victories

Highest break in this match… its the little victories

After a few matches with Tom, just for a lark, I took on Jimmy, just to see what it was like difficulty wise. I scored 1 point. I’m happy with that. I’m sure the Jimmy level in the game is just in fact a demo, giving you control of the break (where I scored my 1 point) and momentarily giving you hope before Jimmy clears the table with lightning (whirlwind?) speed.

Got him on the ropes...

Got him on the ropes… check out those stats!

Back to Tom, who I played around 10 times, it was nice to see my scores improve with each game. Tom does make silly mistakes, often giving away points, but 1 or 2 mistakes doesn’t hide the fact his skill level increases dramatically after these, suddenly making incredibly difficult pots, high breaks, and often scoring even when a shot goes awry (jammy git). Just when you think you’ve won, he’ll knock the ball in from the next room without using his hands.

The closest I came to winning, fluffed it on the pink and black. I hate Tom.

The closest I came to winning, fluffed it on the pink and black. I hate Tom.

Still lots of fun to be had with this, it’s definitely a classic retro title, but more importantly, game play wise, it doesn’t feel dated at all. The controls are smooth and give you all the help, direction and angles you could possibly need for taking your shot. The sound effects are loud and fun, as are the funny faces and flies that appear on the table if you take too long over a shot. The graphics are bright and colourful but simple, which is exactly what you would expect and need for a snooker game.

My favourite part of the game, not that I was skilful enough to get one, was the round of applause that emanates from the darkness surrounding the table when you get a high enough break. It gives an extra dimension to the atmosphere of the game, one of my fondest memories is imagining the huge ‘unseen’ crowd watching on from the sidelines.

Difficultly aside the game play is still top, I’ll be playing this one for a long time to come.

Links:

Jimmy Whites Whirlwind Snooker Info Lemon Amiga http://www.lemonamiga.com/?game_id=616

Amiga Action 24 (Sep 1991) http://amr.abime.net/review_6134

Amiga Power 4 (Aug 1991) http://amr.abime.net/review_195

Check out the video below for Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker on Commodore Amiga. Gameplay & Commentary from the awesome @SteveBenway

Please check out the links below, lots of Amiga and Amiga Games info to be had!

Hall of Light http://hol.abime.net/

Lemon Amiga http://www.lemonamiga.com/

Amiga Magazine Rack http://amr.abime.net/

Duckula 2

May 17, 2014
Pretty spot on and nice intro to the game

Title artwork – pretty spot on and nice intro to the game

Publisher: Alternative Software

Disks: 1

Genre: Platformer

Played On: Amiga 500 – Emulated

I’ve been having an urge to relive some of those old cartoon favourites from back in the day. The Flintstones, Huckleberry Hound, The Jetsons, Top Cat, Duckula… Duckula you say? I didn’t even realize this had been released on the Amiga! Count Duckula was one of my favourite cartoons growing up, it was made by Cosgrove Hall (purveyor of fine animated childhood memories), and I can’t believe they’ve been keeping this secret from me all these years.

Game starts with an interesting shooter level

Game starts with an interesting shooter level

I’ve not had much luck finding a decent cartoon licence so far, so I’m playing this with standards set to low. On loading up my first impressions were, “nice title screen”, good likenesses in all the characters, colours pretty much spot on, well drawn, and they’ve had a good try at nailing the cartoon’s theme. Seems they spent quite a lot of time and effort on this title screen and short intro story. What could possibly go wrong?

Enemies are from the planet cute...

Enemies are from the planet cute…

Duckula himself looks pretty good, his sprite is well drawn and he has a neat little animation for walking, the colours again are bright and accurate. However once you actually start moving and get into the game it’s pretty clear it’s going to be an, um, interesting experience. Several screens in and never before have I been so frustrated with moving platforms in a game, which disappear and reappear as they move leaving the player guessing where you need to go next, this wouldn’t be so bad if your jumps didn’t have to be spot on, and if not, falling from even the smallest of heights you die.

All these screens look the same!

All these screens look the same!

You move from screen to screen in the usual left to right fashion, tackling tedious platforms, avoiding  terribly pointless enemies, to make your way to the next screen. Your only weapon, used to stun enemies and not kill them, is ketchup, which you launch at the enemies and who suddenly look to the player in surprise, as if to say “What did I do?”. Scattered throughout the game are packs of corn to collect, these give you invincibility for about 10 seconds.

Maybe that last caption was  slightly unfair... this has a castle in the background

Maybe that last caption was slightly unfair… this has a castle in the background

Each screen is pretty repetitive and dull, there’s no music and the sounds effects are random and bizarre. One terrible example is when you die from a fall, you’re welcomed by the most disturbing and out of place voice exclaiming “Whoops” at your expense. A few more screens into the game you reach Igor, this seemed like a nice change from the usual dullness of each screen, I thought at this point there might be some “thanks for rescuing me”, or bonus points, or perhaps witty dialogue…. nope, nothing, Igor just evaporates when walk into him. Sigh.

Even these captions are boring

Even these captions are boring

I’ve got a feeling I’ll be taking a spiralling dive towards the negative with these reviews, however, I am going into these games having never (in most cases) played them before, and with low expectations. So if a game does surprise me, I’ll say so. I tried Duckula as I’m a fan of the cartoon, so why wouldn’t I want to play the game? The title screen, box art and characters all look good, and I expect with just the screen shots and nothing else to go on it actually looked quite nice.

Thought I'd finish on this info screen. Infinitely more interesting than the game

Thought I’d finish on this info screen. Infinitely more interesting than the game

I can tell you now this is my first and will be my only time of playing this game. Appearances can be deceptive, Duckula is aesthetically pleasing (as sometimes these licenses can be), but the game however is best left on the shelf. It doesn’t do the cartoon any justice, and once again you get the feeling if this didn’t have Duckula on the label it wouldn’t have sold a single copy. An extremely glitchy and dull platformer which has Yolanda levels of frustration.  Incidentally, I didn’t reach the end, my patience ran out about halfway and I can only afford so much counselling. I checked it out on YouTube instead just to see the end boss. I wouldn’t bother, unless you’re reaaaallly bored, and curious.

Lets see how the first Duckula game compares… next time…

Nanny says no. Just no.

Nanny says no. Just no.

Retro computing magazines

January 3, 2014

Retro computing magazines

A couple of retro computing magazines I acquired over the Christmas holiday, What Micro? from August 1984, and Personal Computer World from December 1981.

I’ll get around to reading them at some point and sharing my views!

Happy Anniversary Reality Glitch…

October 31, 2013
The scariest face you'll see all day

The scariest face you’ll see all day

… which also just happens to be Halloween. Reality Glitch was born 4 years ago today, on a dark stormy Halloween night, in a small grave yard, just behind an old abandoned toy factory down the road from a mental asylum. 

I logged into WordPress and began this rather inconsistent, plot hole ridden blogging expedition into the unknown. My first blog post was a rather dismal attempt to review Dune II on the Amiga, it was okay, but it sounded a bit forced. These days I just write whatever rhubarb appears in my head, I’m amazed Reality Glitch is still going.

Anyways, on this anniversary day, and totally not a Halloween blog post*, here are a few spooky titles I’ve enjoyed playing over the years on the Amiga.

Darkseed

You know those bad dreams you were having... well...

You know those bad dreams you’ve been having… well…

Genre: Horror, Point ‘n’ Click Adventure

Released: 1992

Publisher: Cyberdreams

Disks: 7

I was always a huge HR Giger fan, I loved watching the Alien movies (before I was even technically allowed too), I used Giger as an inspiration for my GCSE art project, so when I saw Darkseed advertised I remember desperately wanting to track down a copy. It wasn’t until the late 90’s when I finally got my hands on it.

I loved the graphics and atmosphere and to a certain extent the story. I say certain extent because to be honest I’ve never completed it. Certain scenes in the game are ingrained in my mind to this day, mostly the animated parts with the baby on the doorstep, the nightmare and dream sequences, and more specifically the way the staircase is made of skulls when you cross over into the dark world. I never wanted to sleep in the game (or at all sometimes) as I knew something bizarre would happen again.

The Addams Family

If you've got a movie coming out, think Ocean.

If you’ve got a movie coming out, think Ocean.

Genre: Platformer

Released: 1992

Publisher: Ocean

Disks: 1

I remember getting this based on playing the demo on a cover disk, I wasn’t disappointed. It’s a great platformer and really fun to play, the characters are nicely drawn and look like their movie counterparts (for the most part) and this gives the whole game a great cartoony feel.

The level design I thought was excellent, vivid bright colours were nice against the dark, spooky back drops. Although pretty linear most of the time (even with all the doors etc) the gameplay and controls were simple and effective and made for a fun gaming experience, there’s plenty of secrets as well to keep you coming back. It was great to see a movie tie-in game with the actual theme music as well.

Elvira: Mistress of the Dark

Horror AND boobs. The things that fascinate you as you grow up eh.

Horror AND boobs. The things that fascinate you as you grow up eh.

Genre: Horror RPG

Released: 1990

Developer: Horrorsoft

Disks: 5

Being frightfully honest now (Ha, frightfully – Ed) I was as much drawn into this game by the character of Elvira as I was by the “I probably shouldn’t be playing this” feeling of daring and curiosity. It didn’t do me any harm playing this as a kid, but clearly after playing it, it was meant for a more mature audience.

It’s definitely less camp classic (like the movie) and more Horrorsoft pulling out all the stops gore and terror wise. I managed to finish this but I’m almost certain it took me a few years, and a few magazine walk-throughs to do it. Despite the difficulty being very hard it’s a great game, the atmosphere is second to none and the music creepy and unsettling.

Alien Breed Special Edition 1992

Stay frosty people...

Stay frosty people…

Genre: Top down Shoot ’em Up

Released: 1992

Publisher: Team 17

Disks: 2

This always reminded me of The Chaos Engine, but instead of a steam punk inspired nightmare you’re instead stuck in a claustrophobic alien inspired nightmare, with hordes of the nasty buggers hiding around every corner waiting to destroy you. Perfect.  An awesome game (extremely fun in 2 player mode) and a great atmosphere with plenty of tension.

I remember it being tough as nails, especially if you got pushed into a corner, a dead-end or stuck in a room. The lack of keys to open doors as well is something I remember being a little frustrating, given the pace of, and tension, in the game. The lack of keys is the only fault I can bring to this game, however it does not detract from the gameplay, which has plenty of polish, action and neat ideas.

Waxworks

Just like when you went to Madame Tussauds and found out how much a ticket cost... frightening.

Just like when you went to Madame Tussauds and found out how much a ticket cost… frightening.

Genre: Horror RPG

Released: 1993

Developer: Horrorsoft

Disks: 10

Waxworks on the Amiga is the creepiest of the horror games I’ve ever played (if waxworks weren’t creepy enough). It is another RPG and much in the same style as Elvira, not surprising as Horrorsoft developed Waxworks, as well as the Elvira sequel, Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerberus.  The game provides a chance to delve into numerous horror clichés and scenarios, making for a varied and all round fun game playing experience.

The quality of the graphics and the eerie sound effects really brought the waxworks to life (no pun intended) and made for some pretty stomach churning scenes. I spent most of the game staring with fascination at the waxworks more than playing the actual game. I didn’t make it through the whole game either, the 10 disks eventually destroyed at least one of my external disk drives, I’ve blamed this game ever since.

Thanks for reading, let me know you favourite horror games below in the comments :)

*totally, maybe a Halloween blog post…

Eurogamer Expo 2013: Nintendo, good show (old bean)

October 14, 2013
Nice to see this guy in action on the 3DS

Nice to see this guy in action on the 3DS

I was suitably impressed this year with the Nintendo stand at the Eurogamer Expo, and unashamedly, it took up a lot of my gaming time on the Friday. For a company that’s well over one hundred years old (albeit a different one now to what is was back then) it’s good to see it keeping up with these young whippersnappers in the world of gaming.

The range of games on offer to play was fantastic, I managed to get around to a few on both the Wii U and the 3DS, this was a feat in itself given the queues (especially for Mario Kart on the Wii U and Pokemon X/Y). The games ranged from indie classics to new up and coming releases on the Wii U and 3DS. It also inspired me to purchase a 3DS (XL in the end, thanks twitter), and left me with a long list of games I wanted to purchase for it. Including making me want to return to a franchise I’ve not played since the ‘blue and red’ versions were out.

See below for a gallery of Nintendo related shenanigans, and a few high lights, and one low light, which, to be fair, wasn’t even Nintendo’s fault.

High lights:

The staff, enthusiastic and helpful, although not always entirely knowledgeable about Nintendo as a whole, they were friendly and welcoming, giving you plenty of space to play the games.

A few of my favourite titles from the stand – Legend of Zelda: A Link between Worlds (3DS), Sonic Lost World (3DS), Putty Squad (3DS), Wind Waker HD (Wii U), Mario Kart (Wii U).

The free swag (from collecting stamps) was fun, as was the DIY Mario scenery for taking photographs.

Low lights:

Standing in the queue for Mario Kart on the Wii U but being deafened by that atrocious ‘Scan’ DJ stand at the same time. I think he got the point when we asked him to turn it down. (Ed – Polite version) Nintendo FM my arse.

The gallery above shows some of the indie gaming area with the 3DS, the swag wheel, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Breeze, Wind Waker HD, Sonic Lost World, Mario Kart 8 and a few of Link between Worlds. And just in case you were wondering, here’s a small wish list of games for my new 3DS, it should take me about 3 years to, eh, collect them all.

Pokemon Y

Animal Crossing New Leaf

Super Mario Land 3D

Ocarina of Time 3D

Luigi’s Mansion 2

Mario Kart 7

Putty Squad

Legend of Zelda, Adventure of Link, Mega Man (Virtual Console)

A great show all round and a great display from Nintendo. Thanks for reading and let me know what you thought of Nintendo’s presentation at this years Eurogamer in the comments below, plus any other game recommendations for the 3DS!

A few links, in case you needed them!

Eurogamer

Eurogamer Expo

Nintendo

Eurogamer Expo 2013 – Friday: The Social (retro) Network

October 2, 2013
Contrary to the t-shirt line up, I do not in fact work for Atari.

Contrary to the t-shirt line up, I do not work for Atari

“Don’t I know you from the internet?”

This question pretty much sums up my Friday at Eurogamer, and possibly reveals how social networking works in the 21st century. All I know is that I spent the day trying to meet as many people (from the world of twitter) as I could, with reasonable amounts of success. I met some awesome people and wish I’d met a few more, but alas, I had to fit some gaming in there too.

This post is a few snap shots of some of those people I managed to meet and links to what they do in the world of gaming and retro gaming. Naturally most of these meetings (I say meetings, rather me cautiously moving up to people and saying hi, are you *insert name here* from twitter?) occurred in the Replay Zone, see the galleries below. Apologies to a few as well who I didn’t get round to seeing, namely Mark from New Star Games, and Mark and Jamie from The Games Shed, see links at the end!

Gallery 1 – Meeting Ally, Barrie, Jools, Kevin and Krystal

Follow Retro Collect on twitter @RetroCollect or visit their website over at Retro Collect

Follow Krystal on twitter @NinjaVixen or visit her blog over at Vixen Gaming

Follow Retro Asylum on twitter @RetroAsylum1 or visit their website over at Retro Asylum

Thanks to Replay Events for setting up another awesome retro gaming area, and for persuading me to join in with the King of Fighters tournament. I’ll definitely be coming to the Play Expo next year! See some more pictures below of the retro gaming area, a few highlights included the King of Fighters tournament, finally getting to play on a Dreamcast (some sort of tennis game – see pic below), playing a few rounds on Goldeneye and working my way around games I did and didn’t recognise from the world of retro gaming. Good times.

Gallery 2: Replay Zone

Mark and Jamie on twitter @GamesShed and The Games Shed on You Tube The Games Shed

Mark Baldwin on twitter @LambkinDraw who is community manager for New Star Games

Coming up next, Nintendo at Eurogamer. Thanks for stopping by :)


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,103 other followers