Just a few of my favourite (gaming) things, loved filling this out so just thought I’d share on here 🙂
Archive for the ‘PC Gaming’ Category
Game Over is a new retro gaming/internet cafe that has just opened in Old Portsmouth. It’s a great set up with many consoles on display, and more importantly, to play on, with plenty of games to choose from.
Sessions can be booked in 2 hour slots throughout the day and will give everyone a chance to book in and play through a few old favourites, or discover some new ones. I received a warm welcome when I arrived and the team are more than happy to chat and show you around even if you haven’t booked in, there’s a great atmosphere to the place and you’re drawn in from the street outside by the sound of great gaming and nostalgia.
Game Over is in the early stages of it’s (hopefully long) life so it would be great if people could help spread the word. They have plans to expand the range of games (which are being tested before being put out) and there’s the possibility of future events such as game tournaments down the line (4 player Micro Machines ‘may’ have been mentioned…).
Check out a few pictures below, and more contact details at the bottom of the page.
Few details below:
Game Over – Internet/Retrogaming Cafe
Basement, 16 High Street, PO1 2LP Portsmouth, England
£5 for a two hour session, drinks/snacks 50p each.
For more details head on over to the Facebook page below, or book a session by heading over to the Game Over website.
Thanks for looking!
After years of internal debate I finally decided to buy Minecraft, I’ve no idea why it took so long but the final thought that won the argument was… “Sure, why not”.
I’ve been playing the single player game, which pretty much goes thus; mining, crafting, building stuff, moving on, mining, crafting, building stuff, moving on, accidentally destroying village and local population, moving on, mining, crafting… you get the picture.
However, in addition to this I’ve also been inspired to build some stuff in creative mode (thanks to Helen on twitter). So feel free take a look at the fruits of my desk based labours below, the internet is alive with good reference material so a little research went into each character before hand. I found it an absorbing, fun and relaxing way to pass the time and a great way to recreate some awesome retro gaming icons.
Perhaps more to follow soon.
Thanks for looking and take care 🙂
First a little background reading, Wolfenstein 3D is a first-person shooter set during World War II, it was developed by iD Software. The protagonist is captured spy B.J. Blazkowicz, this is the character the player will use throughout the game. It was released in 1992 for MS-DOS and later ported to other systems, most of which included heavy editing, changes and removal of music, images and certain symbols. It was released with 3 episodes, but was eventually enhanced by 3 more.
Back in the day I used to play this all the time at a friend’s house. For awhile, evenings after school were dominated by this game. Door closed to his Dads office, lights off, we turned on the PC to play Wolfenstein 3D (rated PC-13…. ‘Profound Carnage’). The game came on a single (I think) 5.25-inch floppy disk, my memory is a little vague, it could have been more than one as we had more than one of the episodes. Either way, whole game or not, we couldn’t get much further than the first few floors, my friend suffered from motion sickness whenever we played, and I was a pretty terrible shot, a theme that has stayed with me through out my years playing first person shooters.
More recently, I’ve re-acquired Wolfenstein 3D. This time through Steam for the bargain price of £1.74. No more trying to get the MS-DOS version I have to run, Steam has done all the hard work for me. I might have missed this bargain if not for a good friend of mine, they were kind enough to buy me The Walking Dead for Christmas, so I logged in to install and play, naturally I got swept up in the Steam Christmas sale at the same time. Wolfenstein 3D downloaded in about 2 seconds and it loaded in about 3 (what, no updates?). It also still shows the memory/hardware and PC-13 screens, which is just awesome in itself.
Nostalgic feelings take hold as the familiar looking menus appear, all present and correct. The best has got to be the difficulty select page, it actually has some character to it. It’s the little details that make these games great.
Onto the game, I’m currently working my way through Episode 1: Escape from Castle Wolfenstein, and not doing such a bad job either. Collecting as much treasure as I can, making sure I always get 100% kill count and doing my best to run along all the walls rapidly hitting the space bar to find secret rooms, which are often hidden behind the pictures and symbols on the walls.
The game play is just as fast paced and absorbing as it was when I first played it, the graphics and sound effects (was that a door opening or closing behind me?) still give it that great atmosphere, the levels can feel vast and empty sometimes and it can feel a bit like a maze at points, however, the bread crumb trail of devastation should help you find your way through each level. Once you’ve acquired the gold key and found the lift you can head to the next floor.
You start off with a hand-gun and find better weapons as you progress. I’ve recently come across the chain gun, an awesome and devastating weapon. Enemies in this particular episode come in the form of your basic Nazi soldier, attack dogs, and blue Nazi soldier with machine gun. If I remember rightly, the other episodes include some more interesting variations on enemies.
In the other episodes the game play stays the same, you make your way through each maze like level, the difficulty increases and the enemies change as you get closer to the boss. However, each episode has its own unique story, bad guys, boss and has been visually changed. The bosses are certainly some of the more memorable from over the years, two of my favourites are a psychotic Hitler in mechanised suit of armour and chain guns (Episode 3: Die, Fuhrer, Die!), and a crazy scientist called Dr. Schabbs, a creepy guy who attacks you by throwing syringes and is surrounded by his mutated zombie experiments (Episode 2: Operation: Eisenfaust).
I still think Wolfenstein 3D looks great, the game play is really absorbing and the playability just as good as it was before. I’m enjoying playing this again and want to get through this episode by episode. At the same time I’m looking forward to being able to try episodes 4, 5 and 6, ones I’ve not played before. But right now, I must escape the castle, bring ’em on!
For more information on Wolfenstein 3D, please visit Wolfenstein Wikia.
Or for a quick go of the game, Wolfenstein 3D, enjoy!
Found this excellent collection of maps for Wolfenstein 3D over at VG Mapper, great maps, amazing work.
Just a quickie (oooo er) about Civilization II. After much twittering about this game the other day I decided to dust off my old PC copy and play it again. I found the disc in amongst a few other classics neatly stored away in a disc holder. Afraid it wouldn’t work (the disc looks pretty beaten up) I proceeded to install, it worked fine. First thing I noticed was that it was quite refreshing to install such a playable game that quickly, less than a minute from install to loading up (and not a sign of a game update required). I dove straight in to the action.
I made a custom world, medium map, played at prince level and stupidly selected the raging hordes for barbarians, I played against 4 other civilizations. I selected to be the Romans myself, so I could employ the unfunny name of ‘Naughtius Jamesius’, some things never change. The game started well until I realised I’d completely forgotten how to play, tactics and strategies were absent from the beginning and soon the 4 other civilizations were ploughing ahead with warfare, advancing technology and building wonders of the world. My only saving grace was the fact my people seemed to like me, therefore I could address my fellow leaders from a throne instead of a rock.
30 minutes into the game and the other civilizations knew I was weak (I didn’t need the pop up report to tell me that – puny Romans), it was time to make alliances and play dirty, let’s just say the Persians and Greeks had no idea what was coming and would pay for their earlier mockery. Triumphs however were short-lived, 2 hours later I was destroyed by the Vikings, Mongols and eh, barbarians. The score I reached really isn’t worth mentioning here. Still, the time playing this flew by and it is still an amazing amount of fun, I’ll be playing again over the weekend (now I’ve had a warm up game), so hopefully it’ll go a bit better next time.
Definitely one of my all time favourite turn based strategy games, I still prefer this version than some of the later Civilization games, just as addictive as it was back then too.
Developer: Team 17
Publisher: Team 17
Available On: PC, PS3, iPad, iPhone
Ah, Worms. It brings back so many great memories of playing the original on my Amiga; the big box with the funky art work, the 3 disks, the black code book for the copy protection, making a load of teams with funny names and characters – ‘Aliens’ was my favourite, with Hicks, Hudson, Ripley, Kane etc in all their Wormy awesomeness. (Get on with it – Ed)
Apologies, it’s why I like reviewing retro games…
This game is in fact the latest release from Team 17, Worms Crazy Golf, which has taken the great Worms concept and added a sporting theme (who would have thought?). Worms Crazy Golf is a fun deviation from the usual Worms format. Instead of the usual war like destruction between a number of teams you take control of a single Worm and play your way through 18 holes of golf. The game retains the familiar Worms design and landscapes but introduces a different style of game play, whilst doing its utmost to keep in the general mayhem and craziness associated with previous Worms games. There are four courses to play; Britannia, Pirate Cavern, Graveyard and Carnival, each with their own unique set of level design, characters and pitfalls.
The game begins with setting up your Worm golfer, including name, voice and other customisations, with more to be unlocked as you progress through the game, such as a range of customisable clubs and hats. Starting a single player game, and choosing career, you are able to choose from Britannia or Carnival, all with a massive 18 holes to play on each course. The courses start off easy to allow the player to get used to the controls, the game then introduce more and more unique abilities and power ups needed in order to solve levels further down the line. Abilities such as; swerving the ball in midair, using a parachute to float your ball down and into position and an array of switches, cannons and shortcuts scattered across the landscape. The initial controls are simple; a power bar dictates the strength of your swing and a trail line to show where the shot is being aimed, some levels feature ‘wind’ so shots (like the bazooka) can be curved. The additional controls are introduced gently and make the course more challenging and more interesting than your average pitch and putt.
The game is simple and fun however, even on easy you must make par or better to unlock the next hole otherwise you cannot progress. A few times I had wished for a ‘restart hole’ feature to crop up, as when you realise you are not going to make par you still have to finish the hole knowing it won’t unlock the next one, which can be a little frustrating. Having played more than a few hours of this it was the only drawback I could find – the graphics are superb and I believe Team 17 excels when it comes to making great looking games. The landscapes are beautifully designed and extremely colourful. The Worms characters are distinct amongst the landscape, as are all the other characters to be found, including a few old favourites, with exploding sheep, old ladies, and odd disgruntled gardeners. These characters can be a help or a hindrance when it comes to playing a shot, but it also adds to the randomness and great humour of the game.
The sound effects are much the same as in previous Worms games, the humour is on top form and adding personality in the voices is still a great feature (I loved Scottish from the original). Most of the sound effects come hand in hand with the environment, whether it is firing your ball from a cannon or scoring a hole in one. The music is a nice background element but nothing outstanding. It seems like Team 17 sat around a table and thought what would the Worms be doing on a Sunday afternoon, taking some time out from the mayhem to relax?
It seems the answer is here. I loved playing this game, fun and simple with plenty of bonuses and customisation to keep the playability going long after you’ve finished the courses, with plenty of scope for an expansion or two. In single player mode there are trophies to collect, and a range of challenges including the familiar Time Attack and Chip In games, the game also includes multiplayer, something I’ll be exploring once I’ve finished the single player career (bring on the pirating). A brilliant addition to the Worms franchise, a sporting triumph and challenging in places but with all the humour and randomness that makes the Worms games so popular.
Below is a few of the features available in the game, as listed on the awesome Team 17 website, including the games original blurb, which sums this game up beautifully. Please visit the site for more information on Worms games available as well as the awesome Alien Breed.
“Worms Crazy Golf is a hilarious mixture of the explosive action of Worms and the puzzle-based challenges of crazy golf! All of the trademark Worms humour, comic violence, and cartoon visuals are present, combined with addictive yet accessible golf gameplay. With extensive and replayable single-player options, and hot-seat multi-player for up to 4 players, this is not just a load of balls!“
EXTENSIVE SINGLE-PLAYER CONTENT: Single-player career mode – x3 18-hole courses – Britannia, Pirate Cavern and Graveyard, with Steam Achievements. Single-player challenge mode – x15 challenges with leaderboards.
LOCAL MULTI-PLAYER ACTION: Hot-seat multi-player for up to 4 players.
HIGHLY REPLAYABLE PUZZLE-BASED GAMEPLAY: Crazy golf! Navigate the hilarious, and increasingly challenging, holes in unique ways with interactive objects, utilities and ball spin.
WORMS HUMOUR AND CHARACTERS: Worms humour! Exploding sheep, teleports, ball-whacking Old Women, ball-stealing moles, mines, magnets and even new bats!
CRAZY CUSTOMISATION: Customise the name, hat, club, speech and balls of your worm, and earn in-game cash to unlock even more customisation options.
For some more Worms reviews, and some video of the actual gameplay, take a look at the video below from Ginx TV, which includes Worms Crazy Golf gameplay footage and interviews with the guys at Team 17.
Picture above drawn by uberflash on deviantART, link here!
Team 17 website.
Eurogamer Expo 2011
Replay – Retro Awesomness
My visit to the Eurogamer Expo gave me an opportunity to play some of the most anticipated games releases before they even hit the shops, however, the area I was most excited about seeing was from the guys at Replay. It was a fantastic opportunity to experience and play on consoles, handhelds and arcade machines from back in the day, some of which I hadn’t even played before (I kinda blinked and missed the Dreamcast when it came out).
As well as offering a huge range of consoles and games to try, highlights of which are below, the area was set up into different gaming zones. Replay Ages allowed people to play on different games and consoles, with retro machines from (amongst many others) Commodore, Atari, Nintendo, Sega and Sony. The Replay Arcade area offered a range of cabinet retro arcade machines to play on, from Bespoke Arcades. Replay Mini had a selection of handhelds. And amongst all this several areas were dedicated to tournament and multiplayer gaming.
Below is a few of the highlights and pictures of my visit to the Replay area, a fantastic look back in time and an awesome look at what will be on offer at the Replay Expo in Blackpool. Kudos to the Replay guys for making this a memorable and nostalgic visit to the Eurogamer Expo.
It’s lucky Eurogamer was spread over 4 days, as I spent quite a few hours moving from game to game in the Replay Ages section. My favourites included the Amiga 1200 playing IK+ and the Amiga 600 playing Chaos Engine and Sensible World of Soccer. It was also great to play on the Sega Master System as I’ve not used one in years and brought back some great memories of playing Alex Kidd and Sonic the Hedgehog, the game available to play this time was Bubble Bobble.
Managed to get some time playing on a few old favourites on the Sega Mega Drive and SNES in the form of Sonic the Hedgehog and Mortal Kombat, as well as Street Fighter II and Mario All Stars. Couldn’t resist having a go on Goldeneye and Mario Kart 64 in the multiplayer area on the Nintendo 64, as well as on Micro Machines which was set up on the Mega Drive. The Replay Mini Zone included examples of a range of handheld consoles, including the original Gameboy, Gameboy Colour, Gameboy Advance and the Lynx.
Hopefully you’ll be able to see something in the pictures, I won’t blame the camera. Please check out the Replay Expo and Replay Events websites, and hopefully, some of you will be going to the Expo itself, here’s a quick blurb to let you know what it’s all about!
“Replay Expo is the unique video gaming event that prides itself in celebrating both the classics as well as the very latest titles. Following the success of last year’s debut show, Replay Expo will return to the Norbreck Castle Exhibition Centre in Blackpool on the 5/6 November 2011; the final weekend of the famous Illuminations”
Guild Wars 2
Had an opportunity to play Guild Wars 2 this morning at the Eurogamer Expo, being held at Earls Court. It was on the top of my list to play so knowing these things can get quite busy I made a beeline straight for the game! Available was a fully playable demo that allowed you to create a character, complete quests and objectives, join a team and take out as many enemies as you could handle, the demo itself had a 40 minute playing limit attached, which is understandable giving the amount of interest in the game and how busy it was later in the day.
First off, the 40 minutes flew by, the game is as addictive as its predecessor and extremely fun to play, the graphics are gorgeous and the environments instantly drew me into the action. Feeling bold, as ever, I chose to make a character from the new Sylvari race, you can learn more about this new race on the Guild Wars 2 website, see link below. The character creation is much more immersive and detailed than before, with the addition of being able to choose a character from a different race. You can choose from Human, Charr, Norn, Asura and Sylvari.
The professions also have a few new additions in the form of Thief, Engineer and Guardian. The only profession I couldn’t see was Mesmer, my favourite from the first Guild Wars, so instead I went for my second favourite, Ranger. The game play itself was smooth and the controls a lot more refined, considering this game wasn’t ‘ready’ yet the demo itself was amazing, if this was a glimpse of what was to come than I’d say Guild Wars 2 will be immense. Movement is through the mouse and keyboard, combat isn’t as ‘locked in’ as it was in the first game, by this I mean there is better scope for dodging, and er, running away. A feature no longer in this game is the ability to move your character by just clicking on the area around you, this took a little getting used to. However, in recollection of the first game, it used to be a pain going to click on an enemy to attack and running off into the distance by mistake.
During the 40 minutes our team of characters spoke to several non-playing characters in order to take on missions, which proceeded to be defending various camps, towns and shorelines from enemy invasion. The combat system is excellent and easy to use, with keyboard and mouse use in order to make various attacks, enhancements and healing. There was also the opportunity to use weapons such as catapults and cannons.
The ArenaNet and NCsoft guys were really helpful in answering questions about the game and extremely knowledgable about both Guild Wars 2 and Guild Wars. I’m sure if I were a better interviewer I could have asked some more fascinating questions, but unfortunately I’m not! Here’s a brief outline of what I learned (not much – Ed)
No release date as yet (Boo! Hiss!)
Adjusted control method (which was easy to learn)
Expanded character creation, different races, new professions
No monthly fee (music to my ears)
Characters can now jump (and also fall off cliff edges *sigh*)
Characters can now go into water and swim to other areas
The environments now feature weather!
I took some pics of game play, but they really don’t do the game justice. Time for a better camera.
For more information on the new race the Sylvari, please go here, the site also has plenty of other information on the games new races, professions and other features!
Other websites of interest:
Follow Eurogamer on twitter @Eurogamer_Expo #egxp for all the latest goings on!
For now, here’s a trailer to keep you going until it’s released! Great game, great guys at the event, really sold it to me. Looking forward to this one and highly recommend it.
Year: 1992 – 1996
Genre: Video Game Show shown on CITV
Presenters: Violet Berlin, Andy Crane, Nam Rood, Z Wright, Studio Audience
I loved watching Bad Influence! Back in the day it was an awesome video games show which covered all the latest (back then) games consoles, games and technology, from the SNES to the N64 and even covered my favourite the Amiga, as well as the occasional PC release.
The show was presented by Violet Berlin, a video games guru, and presenter Andy Crane in a studio which was set up with consoles and various other gadgets which the studio audience could be seen playing on. The show featured games reviews (often done by members of the studio audience) in which they gave a ‘boys and girls score’ out of 5.
The show also covered the latest hardware news with reports from Z Wright in the US, who was replaced by ‘Virtual Violet’ in the final series. The show often covered in-depth looks at gaming issues and new computer technology. I always remember the launch of the Nintendo 64 (then called the Ultra 64) which is shown in the last series, as well as the virtual reality machines and robots in the US, and a special on Industrial Light and Magic. Being an Amiga fan most of my favourite episodes featured anything Amiga related, Bad Influence! Series 2 Episode 4 features the Amiga, and games such as Rise of the Robots (Meh!) Desert Strike, Robocod and the Amiga CD 32.
Another presenter was Nam Rood, an expert in games cheats who had his own special section of the show. He would present a cheat for a game (not always related to the show) in random and sometimes comical ways, usually whilst insulting the audience. I’m still not sure what a ‘furtler’ is to this day. Either way Nam Rood’s appearance was a nice break from the masses of information presented in the main show.
It was definitely one of my favourite shows, and I think Violet Berlin needs to be back on the TV at some point, she was pretty awesome. The show usually ended with a competition, and a ‘datablast’ of information that you were encouraged to record and play back to be able to read it. The datablast were pages of text displayed at speed during the end credits with all of the reviews, news, features and cheats of that weeks show.
For more information, and also the best source of information on Bad Influence! please check out this awesome Bad Influence website, where you can also watch the show! The shows themselves are taken from VHS recordings so the sound and picture on some of them isn’t so good, but it’s still great to see this show again and the effort that has gone into putting these online for us all to enjoy. The website includes information on the show, the presenters, the shows themselves spanning 4 series, and interviews with Andy Crane and Violet Berlin, the site also contains links to other related sites!
There’s also a Bad Influence YouTube channel here!
Below is Series 1, Episode 1 to get you started, which also includes the opening introduction 🙂
Developer: Digital Illusions
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: 2002
Awesome little FPS this, many hours of addiction and therapy needed to drag myself away. Even though the game is getting on a bit now, the graphics for one are certainly looking dated I still keep coming back for the odd game now and again, especially multi-player. The main game consists of capturing and controlling certain strategic points on the game map, almost a multiple capture the flag scenario. Once a team captures a point team members can spawn there, however when a team loses control of all of these points they cannot respawn and if all the players are killed the team with no spawn points loses (deep breath).
The player can choose to play as either the Allied powers or the Axis powers. The Allies consists of the US, UK, Soviet Union, Canada and the French. The Axis consists of Germany, Japan and Italy. Regardless of which side you chose you’ll get a choice of five different character classes to choose from; Scout, Assault, Medic, Anti-tank, and Engineer. All have certain distinct advantages depending on individual tastes, I tended to stick with Scout and Assault as they move quicker, helpful in making it to the coolest vehicle first or for general running away.
Some of my favourite scenarios in this game feature air combat. Let’s be honest, running across the vast maps, especially El Alamein, is a tad boring, driving or flying is much more fun and recommended. The game has a nice choice of vehicles to use and destroy and it’s always satisfying landing that bomb on target or engaging the enemy in a dogfight.
Although the game play remains fun (there’s nothing like trying to fly a bomber like a fighter, or seeing the pilot parachuting out of the plane you’re all in) the graphics are looking a bit naff, and the control system seems slow and clunky, especially if you’ve been sitting there playing something newer and shinier. It’s a game for Sunday afternoon when it’s raining and you’re not in the mood for anything to stressful from the gaming library.
Also released were several expansion packs for the original Battlefield 1942 titled; Battlefield 1942: The Road to Rome and Battlefield 1942: Secret Weapons of WWII. Both added various new game play modes and design concepts but in my opinion didn’t really offer anything amazing or new in terms of playability.
I enjoy this game probably more than I should but then I can’t help it. The catchy intro music even has a certain appeal, so much so I even looked up the composer Joel Eriksson for this blog, see his IMDB page here! If any of you have played Dogfight for the Amiga the theme tune gives me the same sense of nostalgia and charm for a game, on its release, I couldn’t put down for 5 minutes without getting the urge to play it again.
Check out the games intro below!