Archive for October, 2013

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 🙂