Archive for October, 2010

Great Scott!!!

October 31, 2010

Great Scott!!!

 

A short note and update in the world of Reality Glitch Online. Not only is this a year for some awesome anniversary’s (Mario and Back to the Future both celebrating 25 years) but it is a year ago today that I also started my blog.

My first post was on October 31st 2009 and was Dune II for the Amiga 500, follow the link to take a look!

Dune II Review (Amiga)

I still have the scribble sheet somewhere with a list of names and titles for the blog. Most of them involved the word retro somewhere along the line and the word gaming, however as I had no idea what I really wanted to write about I didn’t want to corner myself so early in the game!

Reality Glitch Online seemed to be nice and non-committal to any particular section of entertainment, allowing me to explore the usual array of games, movies, TV, theatre and of course retro gaming. Almost shortened it to RGO but thought I might get mistaken for RKO Pictures, silly me.

Still it’s been a great year, plenty to celebrate even in the face of adversity at some points, throughout I have stuck to one of my main goals and that was to keep this blog going. At the risk of this turning into a ‘Dear Diary’ moment, I started out with some bold goals (I think it was to post twice a week) amounting to 8 posts a month and 96 posts for the year, sadly I didn’t reach these dizzy heights of posting, but I’m hoping in this case it was quality over quantity!

Over the year I’ve managed to accumulate a larger back log of retro consoles and games, including a SNES and a NES (one was free, thank you Emma) and the other was £3 from a car boot sale. On top of this a menagerie of Amiga and Sega Mega Drive games, most of which also came from car boot sales, between 50p and £1 a game, you’ve really got to route through huge amounts of stuff to find those bargains.

Below are a few tips gathered from my own experience and from the interweb on blogging, in case anyone else is insane enough to start one:

1) Set aside time on a daily basis to write to improve style and voice. This could be as little as 30 minutes of writing or a single page.

2) Beat your self-doubt and inner critic. I have both and they often run rampant.

3) Connect with readers – I always see this as responding to comments, being open to feedback and tips and constructive criticism.

4) Promote your blog, double posting and spamming not advisable. Also promote and connect with others at least 3

Guybrush Threepwood

Happy Halloween 🙂

times a week.

5) Ask some questions on why you’re writing and what you’re writing. How will the reader react or benefit from reading your posts.

6) Avoid too many rants (unless of course that’s what your blog is about I guess) I prefer upbeat and helpful posts that leave me feeling informed and positive about something.

7) Develop your story telling ability and think about your writing voice – how the reader can hear you.

 

Most of all enjoy what you are writing, and set yourself realistic goals.

Thanks for reading and hopefully plenty more posts to come soon 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and Happy Halloween!

Amiga Classic Reviews: P.P. Hammer

October 20, 2010

P.P. Hammer and his Pneumatic Weapon

 

Genre: Puzzle/Platformer

Devleoper: Traveling Bits

Publisher: Demonware

Date: 1991

PP Hammer, first of all, great game and one of the first games I actually played on my Amiga 500. Also another interesting fact, as much as I love it, I’ve never managed to complete it (but there’s still time!)

Until I replayed PP Hammer last month the only thing I ever remembered about it was the slightly annoying music (especially after an hour of playing) and the fact you could easily get stuck at most points on any level if you weren’t quick enough with the ol’ pneumatic drill.

I think it’s the reason why I left playing it again for so long, I remember it being good, I just also remember not being that good at it. Have you ever played a game you know is good? But when you play it you realise how bad you are at it? Frustrating. Luckily this time around I’m not as terrible at the game!

The game follows PP Hammer as he digs drills and hammers his way through a selection of levels designed to confuse and frustrate the most patient of puzzle guru. Set against the clock time is precious and PP must collect all the treasure on the level to open up the door at the end to move onto the next world.

He can drill through certain blocks (easily distinguishable) using his pneumatic weapon which either helps him find hidden treasure or proceed through the level. However, some routes through the rock lead to dead ends and the rocks actually reform after a certain time has passed to block your exit, paths must be chosen wisely and quickly.

The levels are well designed and require a certain amount of thought, the timer adds pace to the game play and makes it that more challenging. The colours are very bright and each level is distinguishable by its theme, Rome (statues) Castle (banners/shields) and there are also the familiar themed levels, Egypt, and an ice level. PP himself is drawn well and the animation of him drilling and moving is fun to watch and cartoon like, right down to the cigarette break he takes when you don’t move him for a while (surely he needs a cuppa too?)

Playing the game through its clear this is a great game and strangely addictive as long as you have the patience for it. End of level codes really help with this as you can come back to it later and continue once you’ve calmed down enough not to want to throw it across the room. The music also not as irritating as I remember and the opening tune is actually quite catchy, the sounds are simple and the controls take a while to get used to, time can be wasted quite quickly by digging in the wrong place and lining yourself up again.

The game is a great combination of platformer and puzzler, not only do you have to work out your route through the level, a danger in itself, but you have the usual array of pitfalls and bad guys to stand in your way. However, collecting the different treasure types in satisfying the there is access to a bonus round by collection gems near the end of the level. PP Hammer is memorable for its challenging and addictive game play against all odds, I think this game could easily have had sequels and added to the puzzle genre in the same way as the Dizzy games.

See the links below from some Amiga magazine reviews back in the day!

Amiga Action 23 (Aug 1991) 88%

Amiga Power 3 (Jul 1991) 70%

CU Amiga (Jul 1991) 85%

A few opinions from the very awesome website Lemon Amiga!

Graham Humphrey – An interesting platform-puzzle game that constantly mixes the sublime with the ridiculous. A great idea that’s obviously been influenced by games such as Lode Runner, it is initially enjoyable and quite addictive too. However it veers too much into Rick Dangerous territory with invisible traps, teleports, walls and the like that you have no way of avoiding, causing it to become immensely frustrating. However there is a load to it, it’s got a lot of character and the controls work well. Level design-wise it’s one heck of a mixed bag and I suppose how much you enjoy it depends on how patient you are.

stooart – I think after strenuous playing I managed to finish this little fiend of a game! Had to keep playing to see the next level. Again, aurual and visuals nothing special but a cracking wee puzzler/platform. Actually put me in mind of Lode Runner. Two thumbs up.

Predseda – Very funny, cute and ORIGINAL game. 8-bit styled arcade, which I like.