GOG Sale – Interplay Action-comedy Games

MDK1 Cover
MDK1 Cover

GOG Sale – Interplay Action-comedy Games

This weekend only, you can pick up MDK 1, MDK 2, and Giants: Citizen Kabuto for $4.19 each from Good Old Games. These are the finest action-comedy games made by the old Interplay (back when it was good and run by Brian Fargo!).

MDK 1 is a 3rd person shooter that is a ton of fun! You take the role of a janitor that works in a space station and this crazy scientist commissions you to get into this badass powerarmor, morphing suit and go down to the surface of the planet and blow up a bunch of asshole aliens. The game involves a shitload of bullets being fired, jumping, sniping, and gliding with your morphing suit. It is simply BADASS! On top of that, the game is hilarious.

This game came out in 1997 both on PC and Playstation 1. It was the first game I remember seeing from Shiny. The Good Old Games version of the game comes with the manual, hi-res wallpaper, the original soundtrack, and avatar.

MDK 2 is the sequel to the awesome MDK 1. It’s longer, looks much better, but it’s a lot like the previous game. Difference here is that you don’t just play as the janitor but also as the professor and as his doggie, which has 4 arms and can fire 4 guns (pistols, uzis, etc) at the same time. More boom boom! MDK 2 is also much, much harder!

The Good Old Games version of MDK 2 comes with the manual, hi-res wallpapers, the soundtrack, artworks from the game, the storyboard artwork, and avatar.

Giants: Citizen Kabuto is the last kind of game of these action-comedies that Interplay put out. There are three different factions to play in this game: space rangers which crash landed their ship in these world while drunk flying, a super-hot heiress to an evil sea kingdom that cuts everything apart with scimitars, and the Kabuto (a giant Godzilla-like monster that goes around terrorizing the citizens of these worlds). There is just so much variation of gameplay in this game that it is such a classic, since it is basically like 3 games in one, each of those being a great game itself. The humor in the game makes fun of other kind of similar games as well and some of it is pretty braindead in a good way.

Conclusion:

You will like these games if you like action games. You will like these games if you are a fan of games like Ratchet and Clank. If you like off the wall humor in games and want to blow shit up, you will also like these games. You will like these games if you like Psychonauts. You will also like these games if you like the game Armed and Dangerous.

Click here to go to the sale!

I only recommend sales for games that are worth owning and that are actually worthwhile. 😀

Nintendo Gameboy

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The Game Boy was a worldwide success and though there were a ton of games it was Tetris that helped make the system a hit. As you can see in the commercial the winning strategy for the GB was that people of all ages could and should play it. The GB was all over the television network, almost every sitcom had someone playing the GB and they were mainly playing Tetris. ~J.A. Laraque

 Nintendo Gameboy

original Nintendo Game Boy

Ah the Nintendo Gameboy. I remember the first GB being released in the summer of 89’ even with its green pea soup colored screen and the fact that you thought your eyes were failing you every time you ran around in Super Mario Land because the game blurred, it was still one of my favorite handhelds. It was simple enough to use, it had the classic NES controls consisting of a two action buttons (A and B), a start and select button as well as a directional pad.

The Game Boy also had a headphone jack an external power supply jack so you would be able to plug it in when you didn’t have four double A batteries. One of the coolest things was the link cable which I admit I only used for one game, but the idea was to allow people to play head-to-head if each had their own Game Boy and a copy of a game that supported the link feature.

The Game Boy was a worldwide success and though there were a ton of games it was Tetris that helped make the system a hit. As you can see in the commercial the winning strategy for the GB was that people of all ages could and should play it. The GB was all over the television network, almost every sitcom had someone playing the GB and they were mainly playing Tetris.

I personally witnessed people from age 8 to 80 playing the GB, in fact back in the early ninety’s there was a report of productivity dropping in the workplace due to people playing the Game Boy. Like the Harry Potter books if you can get adults and children involved you have a winning formula and the Nintendo Game Boy was truly a winner.

The Software Hunter

Sniper sights FPS game
Sniper sights FPS game

You ever notice people don’t spend a lot of time in a software store pining over a game they wish to buy or in deep thought over if a game they are about to purchase is going to be worth it or not? While it is true that with the internet, video trailers and tons of promotion that many gamers know exactly what they are going to get out of a game I have also found people are just more willing to go with what everyone else is getting and not as willing to search out that unique game that might not be a major franchise.

I remember heading down to the only store within fifty miles that sold Amiga and Atari ST games. I would spend hours reading the back of software boxes and staring at the one or two screen shots to decide if I would pick the game up or not.

I miss talking about hardware and software with the store owner who actually knew what he or she was talking about. Today, many store personnel only know the basics and if they know a drop more it is confined to the system or game that they play. Back in the day the store owner not only knew about every system and software sold they were also involved in the community and could connect you with other people.

Sure, sometimes when picking a title it was hit or miss. A well written description and a nice screenshot could be misleading, but for the most part after spending so much time making your decision you more often than not ended up with a game that you enjoyed. Today they want you to play a game and sell it back to the store (at a loss) within a week. Many do not want a wall of software boxes standing like trophies as a testament to their gaming superiority. People want an orange envelope and the next flavor of the month.

In the software stores of old you could actually make friends. People talked to one another about which system they owned and what software titles they were playing. You would debate which game was worth the purchase because you would not be back for a month or maybe more. Now you walk quietly into the store, pick up your preorder and quietly walk back out.

Don’t get me wrong, modern day technology and accessibility has done wonders for gaming and the ability to download demos and read real user reviews is a wonderful thing, but I miss the days when we were true software hunters. It is like searching for that perfect spot for a picnic and knowing you found a gem. It is about telling your friends about the awesome game you found and getting them into it. It is about seeing your friend load up a game and wondering what it is and where did he or she get it.

Perhaps I’m getting a little too nostalgic in my old age. I guess when you used to travel over fifty miles for a TI-500 cartridge you realize it was more than just a system and a game it was a true hobby that you cared about. Now you just log in and download or click and have it mailed to you, simple, easy, but is it better?

There are still titles out there today that don’t get a lot of press. They are not sequel number 238 in a series of remakes based on a remake. These games are made by programmers who don’t have dual 32 inch screens and a coffee bar in the office. (Not that there’s anything wrong with a coffee bar) You can still be a software hunter searching out those rare titles that give you a great experience and a box you are proud to display in your office, room or basement. The question is, are you up for the hunt?

GOG Sale – Master of Magic

Master of Magic cover
Master of Magic cover

GOG Sale – Master of Magic

The grand daddy of Magic meets Civilization games (literally) is finally available on Good Old Games for $5.99. This game had many improvements over the original Civilization 1, that we now see in modern games, and the later sequels of Civilization.

You could make cities, just like in Civilization but you could do things like boost production or change the terrain using spells. Your armies level up (to a degree), as well as you getting hero units which can dramatically change the way your armies behave (sort of like Heroes of Might and Magic except that these heroes fight). You could boost army performance as well by enchanting their weapons, stats, etc. You could boost heroes as well by giving them magic items.

You research spells, manage your economy, explore areas that have monsters or the armies and cities of other wizard’s empires, etc. You cast spells in combat or in general to manipulate the world. The game is AMAZING and one of my favorite strategy games of all time. Basically, any of the early games published by Microprose were! (Civilization 1 & 2, XCOM 1 & 2, Master of Orion 1 & 2)

Click here to go to the sale!

19xx: The War against Destiny

19xx cover
19xx cover

19xx: The War against Destiny

There have been tons of airplane and ship based vertical scrolling shooters but the 1942 series always had a special place in my heart. When I came across 19xx in the arcades during the fall of 1996 I could not stop plunking in quarters because simple put, the game was fast passed and fun with a ton of flashing lights and explosions, everything a growing boy needs.

Made by Capcom 19XX is the 4th game in the series of World War II shooters, however, “Destiny” takes place in a fictional time which is why there are X’s instead of numbers. One could assume by the type of weapons and armor used in the game that the “war” was based on future technology. What we do know is you play the lone pilot who has to defeat an entire army by yourself, no pressure.

Being the only person who can prevent a nuclear apocalypse may be a big task, good thing you have three, count em, three planes to choose from. Each plane has its own strengths and weakness:

The Lighting plane is your most balanced and the one I always played as, it has medium power and speed, but is strong for homing in on enemies. Its special weapon is the Vulcan which fires straightforward shots and when powered up fires a power three shot blast.

19xx screenshot
19xx screenshot

The Mosquito is slow and powerful which is strange since it’s called the mosquito. It is slow and has weak homing capabilities, but it is powerful. The mosquito’s special weapon is missiles that fire in three different directions, when powered up the forward firing missiles become much more powerful.

The Sinden is fast and weak perfect for running away if you decide saving the world is way too hard of a job. While the Sinden has weak power it does have decent homing capabilities and its special weapon is the laser which can fires through enemies and destroyable structures allowing you to hit multiple enemies. When powered up the laser fires twin beams.

After you select your game you are given your level mission which consists of finding and defeating the boss of the level. The bosses are difference each level, for instance, level one is a large plane, level two is a large battleship and so on. You also have a rival black jet that appears from time to time, but you don’t have your final battle with him until the end.

As you progress through the levels you take out a ton of enemies of all types. There are planes, tanks, ships, ground weapons and some enemies that take much more than one shot to take out. You will come across power-ups in the game that give you different weapons like lasers, missiles and spread blasters. There are also bombs in the game which clear out most enemies when detonated.

I always used a side to side sweeping pattern with vertical scrolling games this allowed me to move out of most of the enemy fire. When a blast was about to hit me and I could not move out of the way in time I would fire my bomb which most of the time saved my life.

19xx screenshot boss
19xx screenshot boss

When you reach the end of the level you go up against a large boss. Most of the time your biggest issue is dealing with the amount of firepower coming your way, but if you take out the small weaker guns first it is then easier to avoid the larger fire and take out the boss.

As for scoring you get additional points and ranks for how many bombs you have after each mission as well as how many enemies you took out and how long it took you to destroy the boss. In addition you gain points for collecting medals that fall from certain enemies.

19XX is not ground breaking, but it did have nice graphics for the time. I especially liked the way the ships sunk, again, nothing ground breaking, but it was fun and that is what counted for me. The music was also pretty good, from the drum beat when beginning a mission to the boss battle music it really got you into the game.

Surprisingly enough the game itself was not very hard. While some of the bosses took a bit of time to lock down their pattern it was not so insane that you spent a ton of quarters on the game. I believe it had a good mix of challenge and playability. The game was defiantly a classic.

Steam Sale – Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1 for $14.99

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1
Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1

Steam Sale – Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare 1 for $14.99

If you are a fan of FPS games and you still don’t have Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, you have been missing out. Now is a good time to pick it up for $14.99 from Steam.

CoD4-MW1 is a total hit of a game and it actually lived up to its hype. The single player campaign is a lot of fun and is exciting. My favorite part of the game being the sniper mission and another part which I won’t tell since it would be a spoiler. It is shocking, though. ;-]

The game is worth buying especially since you can find a lot of players still playing this game, although a lot will be playing its sequel, Modern Warfare 2. Still, since there is a problem with the people who made this game (they fired them), I’ll take as much Modern Warfare from the original Infinity Ward team as I can.

Click here to go to the sale.

Obscure Gamer – Ebert and Art

Film critic Roger Ebert has once again caused controversy by stating that videogames can never be art and the gaming community has responded. From a Penny Arcade comic to long forum debates, there are many different views. Here’s mine.

The first problem I have with the article is his assertion that “no video gamer now living will survive long enough to experience the medium as an art form.” As a medium, gaming is developing rapidly – in 30 years we have gone from Frogger to GTA IV – and given the speed at which cinema changed from silent slapstick to Citizen Kane, it is hard not to see gaming doing the same. The other point is that there are artistic and expressive games available now, although Ebert dismisses one of them – the beautiful and haunting Flower on PS3 – in his original piece. To a list of artistic games I would add Ico and Shadow of the Colossus, and as a moving, expressive piece then it is hard to ignore Heavy Rain.

The second is the distinction between a game and a piece of art. There is artistry in games, from every pixel and texture to the creation of entire worlds. But above all else games can create an atmosphere and provoke a response. I am currently playing Dead Space and there are moments of genuine suspense, followed by the terror of the enemy attacks. It has a greater effect on me than the passive experience of watching a horror movie, something that Ebert himself would no doubt try to find merit in.

And in passing, I would say that gaming is a lot like cinema in some ways. There are summer blockbusters, there are big budget action titles (the recent Uncharted 2 springs to mind, cinematic clichés and all), charming indie nuggets that get lost in the mainstream, titles aimed at the family launched in time for Christmas, remakes and reboots and so on. But above all else, gaming is a form of escapism, just as movies are for many people.

The article by Ebert was in part written as a response to a lecture by game designer Kellee Santiago, which used footage of Flower, Braid and Waco Resurrection. And so Ebert did not actually PLAY the games, but felt “The three games she chooses as examples do not raise my hopes for a video game that will deserve my attention long enough to play it. They are, I regret to say, pathetic. I repeat: “No one in or out of the field has ever been able to cite a game worthy of comparison with the great poets, filmmakers, novelists and poets.” Santiago has now posted her response, and understandably points out his misconceptions. http://kotaku.com/5520437/my-response-to-roger-ebert-video-game-skeptic

So we have two sweeping statements from Ebert – videogames can never be art, and can never be worthy of comparison to great art. This is what prompts my anger, that he has not actually experienced the games before giving his summary judgement. Waco Resurrection is, at the end of the day, less about being a game and more about provoking a response in the player – to the events surrounding David Koresh, and how they affected our culture. (Another attempt to provoke debate and thought, the game based on the Columbine massacre, was similarly misunderstood by the wider world.) And in many ways, art is about provoking a response in the viewer.

Roger Ebert is not going to change his view on gaming without playing games, and it seems unlikely he will pick up a pad any time soon. But then, I am not going to sit down and watch Citizen Kane or any of the worthy films that Ebert would convince me represent cinema at its best. At least he acknowledges that not all cinema is art. For most of the current generation of gamers, Star Wars will always rank as a better film than a black & white epic about a tycoon. They spent school playtime running around as Luke Skywalker with his lightsabre, then went home to shoot AT-ATs on their Atari VCS. They wanted to be in the film, to be part of the story – and the game let them do that.

Super Mario Bros. 3 Commercial

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Super Mario Bros. 3 Commercial

Super Mario Bros 3 was released by Nintendo in 1990. I personally remember the Christmas I got it. My cousin, who got me into the Atari 500 and Amiga, told me he got me the game but demanded that I danced after dinner or I would not get it. Let me just tell you I danced like Rerun on What’s Happening for that game and was glad to do it.

Super Mario Bros 3 NES screenshot

SMB3 went back to the traditional style of Mario Bros while adding a ton of cool new features to the game. There were some fans that did not like the change in direction Super Mario Bros. 2 took, but SMB3 revitalized the fan base and added a ton of new fans as well.

The commercial itself is more general to the overall domination of Super Mario Bros rather than an ad for SMB3. Nintendo knew they had a hit on their hands which ended up on the top of many best games lists and spawned a television show and tons of merchandise including a cereal.

Machinarium

Machinarium screenshot
Machinarium screenshot

Machinarium review by Leandro Montesanto (english translation by Honorabili)

Developer: Amanita Design
Title: Machinarium
Release Date: October 16, 2009
Value: $20 for game + OST, physical media collector’s edition, £7
Overall Score: 10 out of 10
Free demo: http://machinarium.net/demo/
One Sentence Review: The new school of games gets its artistic avatar.

Prologue:

The game was created by the small Czech video game company Amanita Design in 2009. We play the role of the nameless robot who we’ll call “Machi” for simplicity’s sake. He is thrown out as junk into a junkyard and his mission is to rescue his girlfriend from the Black Cape brotherhood. The game is a refreshing point-and-click graphic adventure game with a unique cyberpunk setting, soundtrack, gameplay, storytelling, colorful scenery, and intricate puzzles are fresher than more contemporary games.

Gameplay, setting, & my history with this game:

Like I mentioned before, the game takes place in a cyberpunk setting although it’s extremely “cute”, which might seem strange to some. Although it is cute, the setting does remind you well of the urban sprawl, especially since every kind of robot in this society fulfills a specific kind of role. There’s poor neighborhoods filled with artists. A special detail is a church with schedules for specific robots to go pray and complete specific functions until the end of time. With it being a clever graphic adventure game, it tells the story through a comic like style of having characters talk in comic balloon dialogue popups drawn in a style that look as if a kid had drawn them but using symbols so that anybody in any country can understand what’s being said.

The gameplay takes into account distance between your character and the environment and Machi can expand and contract (stretch) his body to modify specific parts of the scenery should you need to manipulate it to complete that specific puzzle.

If we get stuck with a specific puzzle we can click the icon on the top right part of the screen which can give us a tip to try to help us solve that specific puzzle. If we really get stuck we can also refer to a guide that has a more comprehensive solve (and looks like a shoot-em-up side scrolling game in navigation).

The puzzles were hard for me but I’m not a hardcore graphic adventure game player. We see also in the game a cameo appearance of the side of the arcade machine for Space Invaders.

Music & Sounds:

The music is of great quality and at times sounds like jazz, calm then melancholic, submerging you in this bohemian world, and it seems to soothe you as you wreck your brains trying to solve the game’s many, many puzzles. It’s important to note that the music was created by Tomas Dvorak, the Czech contemporary artist, which I recommend. If you liked his work, his other work is usually published under the name Floex. The sounds in the game are well suited for how the game is and the setting is provides.

Controls & stability:

The controls are really simple. Like in every adventure game, we’re constantly using the mouse, although in the minigames we have the option to use the keyboard, which makes the interface much more intuitive and stimulating.

With respects to stability, I personally had no problems, but some friends had problems saving the game as the game saved the save game files as temporary files and any time they ran ccleanr the saved games were deleted. Since the game had that problem, Amarita Design released a patch quickly, which you can get from the company’s blog. The new versions of the game already come patched and no longer have this problem.

Value:

The digital download version can be downloaded for $20 from the Machinarium page, including the OST in mp3 format for Windows, Mac, or Linux. You can also get the game from Steam, Impulse (click here to get that version), Direct 2 Drive, and Gamers Gate. You can also get the physical version of the game for 7 pounds from ebay or amazon which includes the OST, a poster, as well as artwork, the Windows or Mac version.

Conclusion:

An unforgettable experience. I recommend playing the rest of the games from the company, especially Samorost 1 & 2.

Links of Interest:

Amanita design blog: http://machinarium.net/blog/ (you can download the demo here)
Amanita design website: http://www.amanitadesign.com/

Machinarium review en espanol

Machinarium screenshot
Machinarium screenshot

Machinarium review en español por Leandro Montesanto


DESARROLLADORA:
AMANITA DESIGN
TITULO:
MACHINARIUM
FECHA DE SALIDA: 16 de octubre del 2009
VALOR: formato virtual+ost 20 dolares;formato fisico edicion coleccionista 7 libras
PLATAFORMAS: PC (windows,linux,mac)
PUNTAJE TOTAL: 10/10
DEMO GRATUITA ONLINE: http://machinarium.net/demo/
Reseña en una oracion: la nueva escuela de juegos recibe a su artistico avatar

Prologo:

Juego realizado por la empresa Checa, Amanita Design, en el 2009; en el cual usamos a un robot sin nombre, al que se le denominara “machi” con motivos de practicidad, este es desechado como chatarra y su mision es rescatar a su novia de las manos de la hermandad Capa Negra; el despliegue resonante de su simpleza no hace valor al gran juego “point and click” (aventura grafica para nosotros) que hoy decidi reseñar ya que su ambientacion cyberpunk, su banda sonora, su sistema de juego, la forma en la cual esta contada la historia, sus coloridos escenarios y sus intrincados puzzles son lo mas fresco que vi en años de jugon.


Jugabilidad, ambientacion y mi historia con el juego:

El juego, como mencione anteriormente, transcurre en un ambiente cyberpunk, puede sonar extraño para muchos es “cute” en si, adorable, pero a su vez caotico, recuerda mucho a la vida urbana, ya que cada robot cumple un rol. Hay barrios bajos y artistas entre ellos. Un detalle sorprendente es la iglesia que tiene horarios para que los robots vayan a rezar, programados a cumplir funciones hasta el fin de los tiempos. Al ser una aventura grafica novedosa e ingeniosa, cuenta la historia de los involucrados a travez de dialogos globos tipo comics pero con animaciones simples dentro de ellas como dibujadas por un niño haciendo que se pueda jugar en cualquier pais sin necesidad de ser traducido. El sistema de juego aplica las leyes del espacio y el rango de alcance de machi ya que no podemos con el mouse atravesar la pantalla para ver que items podemos asir (agarrar) si machi no esta en un rango determinado cercano al objeto, ademas puede estirar su cuerpo verticalmente para alcanzar objetos en lo alto. Si tenemos problemas para darnos una idea de como solucionar los puzzles (un tip como se dice) podemos clickear el icono superior derecho (una lamparita) que nos orientara para seguir nuestro camino y si realmente te rendis no hace falta buscar una guia solo debemos acceder a un minijuego (en la parte superior derecha tambien) en un libro que recuerda mucho a los antigüos matamarcianos sidescroll. Vale aclarar que los puzzles estan espectacularmente armados y proveeran a los jugones de la vieja escuela un desafio. A mi personalmente me costaron mucho pero no soy un asiduo jugador de aventuras graficas; como agregado hace referencias a juegos de antaño un ejemplo seria un cameo al lado de la puerta del arcade nada mas ni nada menos que Space Invaders.

Musica y sonidos:

La musica derrocha calidad, tiene tonos jazzeros de a momentos, tranquila, melancolica, te sumerge en ese mundo bohemio y como si fuera poco al ser en su totalidad ambiental realiza un trabajo estupendo para calmarte cuando estas “luchando” contra un puzzle en tu cabeza. Ahora mismo la estoy escuchandolo para realizar esta reseña. Es importante destacar que fue creada por Tomas Dvorak, artista contemporaneo checo del cual recomiendo, si les ha gustado, sus otros trabajos musicales firmados con el pseudonimo de Floex. Los sonidos son acordes a la situacion, no destacan pero acompañan.

Controles y estabilidad:

El sitema de controles es simple, como en toda aventura grafica usamos casi enteramente el mouse, pero en los minijuegos tenemos la opcion de usar el teclado, haciendo la interface mucho mas intiuitiva y estimulante; con respecto a la estabilidad personalmente no tuve ningun problema, pero a algunos amigos tuvieron problema con el save del juego, ya que lo tomaba como archivo temporal y al pasar el ccleanr se eliminaba; debido a eso Amanita Design creo un parche de estabilidad rapidamente, se puede acceder a el via el blog de la empresa. Las nuevas ediciones del juego vienen con los parches incorporados.

Valor:

Su version en formato virtual puede conseguirse a 20 dolares en la pagina del Machinarium, con el OST incluido en formato mp3 para windows, mac o linux. Ademas para windows puede conseguirse via Steam, Impulse (para comprar esa version hasle click aqui), Direct 2 Drive y Gamers Gate; como si esto fuera poco, puede conseguirse la vercion fisica que fue lanzada este año que contiene el OST, un poster y un artwork en formato fisico para mac y windows a un precio especial de 7 libras via e bay o amazon.

Conclucion:

Una experiencia inigualable recomiendo que prueben los otros juegos de la empresa, en especial el Samorost 1 y 2

 

Links de interes:

Amanita design blog: http://machinarium.net/blog/ (se puede bajar la demo)
Amanita design website: http://www.amanitadesign.com/

CDW Playstation 3 Final Fight: Double Impact

Final Fight Double Impact box art
Final Fight Double Impact box art

The Playstation network checks in with its contribution to the classic download watch with its release of Final Fight: Double Impact. Now you can’t call yourself a classic gamer if you don’t remember the Capcom fighting classic, Final Fight, but in case you need a refresher you can check out my Classic Gaming Profile on it.

Final Fight Double Impact screenshot
Final Fight Double Impact screenshot

Now as with most rereleases there have been some upgrades done to this classic including:

Online MultiplayerRelive these classics all over again with your friends. “GGPO” network technology creates a frame-accurate arcade experience across the internet, and with online voice chat and the ability to join games in progress, it’s just like playing in the arcade. Thanks to a toggle-able open invite system, other fighters can jump right in and donate their fist or sword to the cause.

Remixed MusicSoundtrack adapted by the highly acclaimed composers responsible for Bionic Commando: Rearmed. Or if originals are your thing, hit the switch and take a blast down audio past.

High Quality Visual EnhancementFinal Fight and Magic Sword have never looked so good! By utilizing our proprietary graphic algorithm, both games now shine in crisp and clear HD glory. For the purist pixel junkies, toggle it back to play through in its classic original format.

Vault & Achievements/TrophiesA plethora of unlockables! Earn original game art, full motion video (including a long forgotten epic Final Fight cartoon), manga chapters from Udon, and fan-art for completing in-game feats! Play through in different ways to unlock everything.

LeaderboardsBring your A-game, as Final Fight and Magic Sword tracks your scores to compete and compare for bragging rights.


Now it’s called Double Impact because you also get Magic Sword, check out its own Classic Gaming Profile. Overall for the price of $9.99 the combo pack is perfect for any classic gamer looking to play some of their favorite classic games with a fresh updated look.

CDW Xbox 360: After Burner Climax

After Burner Climax box
After Burner Climax box

Today’s Classic Download Watch is from Xbox live. After Burner Climax is not the name of a Top Gun related porno it a remake of the classic arcade shooter from Sega. ABC puts a new look on a old classic spouting modernized graphic while still keeping the gameplay the way we all remember.

Here are the details from XBL:

The classic arcade game After Burner returns for a new generation of gamers. After Burner Climax™ is fast and frantic action, putting you in the cockpit of the world’s fastest fighter plane. Dodge planes, rockets, and bullets while trying to target multiple on-screen enemy aircraft. Built for all skill levels, everyone can take to the air and blaze through a branching storyline and over 20 stages. Unlock achievements along the way to win an exclusive Avatar award using your experience and expertise.

After Burner Climax screenshot
After Burner Climax screenshot

You can read the rest here.

I have to say the game looks good. It still has the action you remember from the classic, but with a fresh coat of paint that looks awesome on a HD television. You can select from four different fighter planes, the refueling plane is still there and of course the lock on missile feature where you can take out a ton of bad guys at the same time.

At only 800 Microsoft points it’s definitely a game you will want to add to your collection. Too bad it doesn’t come with the rotating cockpit.

Games Coming Out May 2010 For Consoles

Coming Soon sign
Coming Soon sign

May can bring many things, flowers, a step closer to summer break and your girlfriend getting the marriage itch. Let’s focus on games being released for consoles, after all, if you don’t get your girl flowers and marry her you will be spending your summer break alone.

Iron Man 2 (May 2nd)

The two is for double the action as you can select Iron Man or War Machine. Some of the major changes in the game are centered around Iron Man’s suit. In part 2 your suit A.I. (Jarvis) will automatically switch between power modes. For example, when you are flying more power will be given to boosters and when walking your weapons and shields will have more power. In addition the game has a lot more detail, Iron Man can destroy multiple parts of buildings and the environment before it comes crashing down. Finally the bosses are bigger than ever giving you a true comic book fighting experience. Overall, IM2 looks to be a great improvement over the first one.

Lost Planet 2 (May 9th)

It’s summertime on the Lost Planet, in part two of this shooter you move away from the ice and snow of part one and find yourself in a lush tropical paradise, well, maybe not a paradise unless you call being surrounded by huge hulking monsters and killer lizards paradise.

One of the coolest things about LP2 is the new four player co-op, now you and four of your buddies can venture out together to take down your enemies. Team work is key because you can kill each other with your weapons and general splash damage, but together you can also lay some real hurt on the local inhabitants.

In the co-op mode you have your own life bar and a team life bar. When you die you can spawn at specific points and rejoin your team, but as your time members die the team life bar drops as well. When the team life bar is empty its game over.

Lost Planet 2 has kept everything that the fans liked in the game including the various weapons, mech suits and vehicles. The grapple is still in the game and even more useful than ever as you can use it to climb on to the large bosses and ride them to death.

Alan Wake (May 16th)

Alan Wake is an adventure/horror/thriller/action game. The game looks and plays very much like a television series complete with recaps and cliffhangers between levels or “episodes”. In Alan Wake you play a struggling writer who takes a trip to the country with his wife (can you already see where this is heading?) His wife disappears and Alan begins his search for her believing she is being held for ransom.

Soon Alan discovers this sleepy little town is engulfed in an evil “darkness” that can not only posses anything it comes in contact with, but it can manifest itself into various shapes and creatures. For the most part the name of the game is to stay in the light. Light is not only used for protection, but offense as well as that is the only thing that hurts the darkness. However, you are not just running from shadows, as the body count rises the police will show up to investigate and guess who they will want to question first?

This game looks pretty cool and if you liked games like Silent Hill, Fatal Frame and Alone in the Dark then this is definitely a title to pick up.

[added by Honorabili] Red Dead Redemption, May 18th

This game looks like a much more modern and epic version of Gun, one of my favorite western games, ever. Hopefully it will also have the same kind of level of action and in-depth storyline, and incredible soundtrack.

Super Mario Galaxy 2 (May 23rd)

If you suffer from vertigo this game will kill you, in Super Mario Galaxy 2 Mario continues his planetary tour with his pal Yoshi and this time you can control his tongue and inhale pretty much anything in sight. A brand new move available to our favorite plumber is his drill that allows him to dig into and through planets to collect coins and traverse from one side to the other.

Now of course all the puzzles, jumps and characters are still there and the visuals are still as colorful and vibrant as ever. Simply put if you are a Mario fan you need to pick up this title.

So there you have it, there are more games being released in May but these are the ones we are most interested in. Feel a game should be on the list, let us know.

Question of the day #1

Question Mark papers
Question Mark papers

The question of the day began on our Facebook page where we would ask our fans various questions related to gaming. We are now expanding on this by adding a question of the day to the main site as well as our Obsolete Gamer Forums.

Today’s question:  If you could turn any video game vixen real who would it be?

J.A.’s Answer: One of the first would have to be Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury. I mean just her stance would memorize me so badly I would get my ass kicked.

Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury
Mai Shiranui from Fatal Fury



You can leave your answer as a comment or answer on our Official forums

Picture of the Day #3 Knights of the Round

Knights of the Round

To lighten things up this picture of the day comes from the game Knights of the Round which was released by Capcom in 1991. It is a pretty fun arcade game and one of the enemies you fight is called Mad Tiger. As you can see below it appears the reason he is mad is due to very hi testosterone levels.

Knights of the Round screenshot
Knights of the Round screenshot

If you ask me he has nothing to be mad about, just saying.

Knights of the Round tiger balls
Knights of the Round tiger balls

That is unless it’s a female tiger.

Classic Download Watch: Nintendo

Nintendo logo
Nintendo logo

This is a new feature to Obsolete Gamer to bring you information on classic gaming downloads for your favorite consoles from 360 to the PS3 to the Wii. Today you can download a couple of cool games for the Wii and the Nintendo DSi.

First up for the Wii Virtual Console, Mega Man 4 which was released in 1992, it plays mainly like the previous Mega Man games except it added the charge blast to your weaponry and there are tools to obtain in order to reach specific areas on some stages. You can purchase MM4 for 500 Wii points.

For the Nintendo DSi you can now download Donkey Kong Jr. In this arcade classic Donkey Kong’s son has to rescue dear old dad by swinging his way past crows and alligators to reach Mario’s cage. You can purchase Donkey Kong Jr. for 200 DSi points.

As more classic games are available for download we will bring information on them here.

Tandy Color Computer 3

TRS-80 Color Computer
TRS-80 Color Computer

Released in 1986 the Radio Shack Tandy Color Computer cost around $220 and came with 128k of RAM that could be upgraded up to 512K. With 640×192 graphic capabilities and a 64-color palette it was designed to compete with the Apple II, Amiga and Atari ST.

As stated in the commercial the TCC3 did have a number of great software titles for games and education, however for the most part people looking for educational computers turned to Apple while gamers flocked to the Amiga and Atari systems.

You got to love that originally the nerdy kid was using the computer for educational purposes and the “cooler” kid was playing games and then they pull a switch on you.

F-Zero review & strategy guide

F-Zero Title
F-Zero Title

F-Zero review & strategy guide (SNES) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“The trend-setting pioneer of futuristic racing games.”

Overall Score:
10 out of 10

Overview, Gameplay, & Strategies:

Before Wipeout came out to compete with it, F-Zero pretty much dominated the futuristic racing genre and for good reasons too. The game consists of piloting one of 4 different hover race-cars. Whereas in the past Formula 1 was a test of driving skill, in the universe of F-Zero (F0) racing hovercars has taken over this test for racing supremacy.

When the game starts, you pick one of four different cars. After picking the one that you like or that matches your skill or play style, you pick which league you want to play in. From easiest to hardest, the leagues are: Knight, Queen, and King. This modifies how hard the tracks themselves will be. Next, you pick your difficulty level. This modifies how much damage you can take and how good the A.I. of rival drivers will be. Each league has 5 tracks which are variations of each other. The tracks are Mute City, Big Blue, Sand Ocean, Death Wind, Silence, Fire Field, Port Town, Red Canyon, and White Land. They are not raced necessarily in that order rather depending on your racing league difficulty. Each track and its variations have their own strategies and all these strategies depend on what car you picked. Some cars will be nearly useless on some tracks and it will be simply a matter of surviving through the race. I say to do what I always do, which seems to work (in games and in real life): memorize all tracks and all their parts to be able to take optimal turns and know when it’s hammer down time.

F-Zero 1st place
F-Zero 1st place

The goal is to reach first place or as high a place as possible while surviving. Yes, this is a game where if you take enough damage you will die. Your car has a certain amount of power and if you take enough damage the performance of the car will be significantly lowered. When your power bar empties out, you blow up. You can also blow up by taking a ramp and jumping and landing off the track (which can happen especially in the higher difficulty leagues). Touching other cars, touching the side bumpers, and especially touching the cars that are about to explode and do explode, all damage your car, especially the last one.

After each lap, you are awarded with a speed booster. It’s a good tactic to save these until needed rather than waste them, unless you are driving on a familiar track and you know that there is a manageable part up ahead that you can blast by going beyond the full speed of your car. Every 10000 points, you get an extra life. These lives are used if you do not meet the minimum position for that lap or an overall 3rd place finish overall for the race, as well as being used up if you blew up during the race. At specific parts of a track, there are areas where if you drive over them, a ship from above will fly down and beam power to your car to heal it. A strategy here is taking into account that the ship does have a lead time for it to get aligned to the optimal position where it can share the energy with you. Stay as much on the strip as possible if you want to heal the maximum amount of power. Also, certain parts of the track have sand which slows you down (taking advantage of that can be a winning strategy as well) and some areas have a super speed boost arrow which can boost you up faster than the speed booster. It’s not always a good tactic to use these if they are positioned to boost you too fast into an area where you will need to turn aggressively and you will now be speeding out of control into a wall, for instance.

You pick the car you like over the 4 different cars, The Blue Falcon (Blue), Golden Fox (Yellow), Wild Goose (Green), and Fire Stingray (Pink). Each car has a certain amount of thrust, a certain top speed, and a certain amount of weight. All these factors are really important, like in a real car, as you have to deal with how much momentum your car has (related to weight), which is related to its handling characteristics, and its power-to-weight ratio. I did find that the way car weight is done in this game is UNREALISTIC. Whereas a lighter car in real life would be easier to control (let’s say like a Lotus Exige), the opposite in this game happens (that would be like a Chrysler 300 outmaneuvering that Lotus Exige; it would never happen). In this game having a heavier weight gives you a more predictable turn with less drifting.

Let’s look at the detailed stats of each car and discuss their strengths and weaknesses:

BLUE FALCON (Blue)
Max Power: 3200 PS
Max Speed: 457 km/h
Weight: 1260 Kg

This is the default car that most inexperienced gamers will pick but it’s actually sometimes harder than some of the heavier cars, if you don’t know how to properly use it. It has a considerable drift ability and it being the 2nd lightest car will have it been bounced around pretty hard should you crash against other cars (which happens often). The tactic for Blue Falcon is to really avoid all other cars, to anticipate your drift and floor it through turns but letting it glide (turn with not thrust) seems to work wonders. Braking is not as bad as with some other cars since it has the 2nd best acceleration as well. Keep the boosts around for emergency use.

GOLDEN FOX (Yellow)
Max Power: 2950 PS
Max Speed: 438 km/h
Weight: 1020 Kg

This car is a little rocket, with the best acceleration, but lowest top speed and challenging handling. The tactic with this car is to drive like crazy knowing that you will re-accelerate really quickly. This car is the most prone to drifting so be real careful when taking 90 degree and higher turns. The tactic of braking and gliding works the best with this car. Since you have the lowest top speed be sure to use those boosters aggressively in tracks with little turns and lots of straightaways.

WILD GOOSE (Green)
Max Power: 3670 PS
Max Speed: 462 km/h
Weight: 1620 Kg

Although this car has the 3rd best acceleration of the four. To me, it is the best overall car. It’s still a good tactic with this car to hold on to the boost until you crash or are forced to slow down then hammer down on them, especially if you can manage the upcoming turns or its an easy straightaway in front of you.

FIRE STINGRAY (Pink)
Max Power: 3800 PS
Max Speed: 478 km/h
Weight: 1960 Kg

The tactic to this car is to exploit as much as possible the fact that you have the highest top speed out of all the cars. Take advantage of the car weight to turn optimally without braking or hitting anything. This car is the one that gets screwed over the most whenever you crash since its acceleration is abysmal. Using the boosts are a vital tactic to winning with this car. Since you have the highest top speed you will also have the maximum boosted speed as well. Remember that.

Remember that the shortest way in between two points is a straight line and this game takes advantage of that. Also, the ship that gives you power does not boost your speed, so unless you need energy, don’t swerve to pick up power if you are already at max power…

Fun Factor, Replayability, & My History With This Game:

This is an old racing game but it’s still fun enough to be able to play it over and over for hours. Sure, it’s relatively short and there’s only 15 different tracks but it can be very fun to master all tracks with all cars. Fun Factor gets a score of 9 out of 10.

I’ve been playing F-Zero since 1991 when my friend Eric R. got it for his SNES. We played the living hell out of this game although at the time this was a really tough game for us. The speed scale of the game blew me away as I was used to much slower racing games on the c64, which I still played a lot back in 1991. The speed of this game did not get topped until I started to play the Wipeout games and a forgotten racing game called Motorhead. I’ve played F-Zero probably in over 1000 races. Replayability gets a score of 9 out of 10, even after close to 19 years of the original F-Zero.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

Until you get good at this game, you might find this game rather hard, especially if you up the difficulty or pick some of the harder leagues right from the start. I recommend starting on Knight at the start but at least Standard difficulty, unless you are a complete noob at racing games. There are three difficulties: Beginner, Standard, and Expert. Standard is hard enough for most gamers but Expert is where the real fun is at. Just make sure you have trained enough to be able to handle it.

Between the mix of the league and the difficulty factor, this makes for a well customizable and challenging game. Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 9 out of 10 because you can really set it once you get the hang of how the system works. Difficulty itself is up to you but I give it a score of 10 out of 10 because it can either be a relaxing game or time to get bend over and let the game hurt you.

Value:

If you have the original cartridge of you can get it for $10-15 bucks, that’s great. This game is a requirement for any real SNES library. If you are like most people and emulate it, Value is perfectly free. I think unless you get really ripped off, the game is worth buying and owning. Value gets a score of 10 out of 10, so long as it’s around the free or $10-15 price range.

Sound:

The sounds work marvels in this game as you will hear the engine jet turbines whir from a stand-still to their max peak output. The damage sounds or explosion when you die are amazing. I just love the engine whir… Sound gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Music:

Music adds a lot to a game, especially to a racing game. The music of F-Zero is one of the most loved soundtracks for the Super Nintendo. I recommend getting the original ripped files as well as checking out the remixes at Overclocked Remix.

Stability/Reliability:

Never crashes! Neither the original nor emulator do so that gets a much deserved score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

Left and Right turn in their respective directions. One button controls the thrust (gas), another brakes, another applies the speed booster, and the L/R buttons make you side drift in those specific directions. I have found the side drift to be sort of useless except during emergency situations. I found it more effective to use traditional braking/drifting techniques. Controls are fluid, especially once you get a hang of them. The control setup for this game gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

The game looks simply amazing and this was a landmark game for Nintendo showing some of the graphical and performance limits of the Super Nintendo. Whereas most other games for the SNES are 2D, this game is actually 3D, one of the few titles along with Star Fox. When I first saw this game and how quick it was, my jaw dropped. Graphics and Performance both get a score of 10 out of 10.

Conclusion:

What else can I say? This game is really a classic. I redefined the racing game genre for a lot of people. This proved to a lot of us that 16-bit systems could do a lot more than many 8-bit ones and that technology was going to create more and more advanced video games as time went on. If you have yet to play it, you are missing out on an important racing game in video game history.

Leila Uslander: SteelSeries

Steel Series logo

Name: Leila Uslander

Title: North American Marketing Manager

Company: SteelSeries

Favorite classic game: Ms. Pacman

Quote: A memory of being at the back of the local Pizza Hut and playing Ms. Pacman on a “broken”, free machine for hours.  I rode my bike back to that same Pizza Hut the next morning to play again, and they had fixed the machine. I was heartbroken, and totally addicted to the game.


NES Ice Hockey & RC Pro-AM Commercial

[youtube id=”h99jGtXtutM” width=”633″ height=”356″]

NES Ice Hockey & RC Pro-AM Commercial

It is clear the goal of commercials is to get us to buy the product or service, but there is something special when it comes to video game commercials. Maybe it is because many of us were so excited for our consoles that these commercials just got us riled up or perhaps it is because of the cheese and subliminal aspects of many of them.

NES console

This NES commercial featured the games ICE Hockey and RC Pro-AM, right from the start they mention a challenge which is to get you excited to try and beat the game followed up by informing you that your NES has the power to do it, you might not be good enough but your Nintendo is.

It is all about feeling immersed in the game which is why they keep telling you how fast the action is and how you have to be on your toes. Just look at the young man playing the game he is complete enthralled by the action.

On a side note did anyone else have siblings or friends who would turn their entire body when turning or moving while playing video games? I admit when I first played I kind of turned my hands a little, but man have I seen some people spaz out while playing. I knew this one guy who would jump when he had to in the game.

Having things fly out of the screen was also a classic tactic used to show how real something is and yes there were people who worried something would come flying out of their television screen if you bought their kids an NES.

Finally we have the mixing of video game footage and real life footage in these commercials. The idea of course is to get you to link the two and really feel as if you are playing the real thing, however, when you compare real life to the video it can sometimes through you off.

One last side note, anyone else get mad seeing G.I. Joe commercials where the kid is playing on some really cool set with caverns and fake mountains and a pond. It looked so cool to see him playing in such a cool area and then when you get your toys out you are playing in your nasty back yard, the one with no grass and dog doo everywhere, stupid dog.

Puzzle Bobble (Bust-A-Move)

Bust-A-Move SNES screen
Bust-A-Move SNES screen

Puzzle Bobble review (Bust-A-Move) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“One of the CUTEST and ADDICTING puzzle games ever!”

Overall Score:
9 out of 10

Overview, Gameplay, My History With This Game, Fun Factor, & Replayability:

Damn you, Taito… Puzzle Bobble is just so freaking cute and such a great time eater! I first saw this game when I would go to arcades and it would be the game that girls would hog all the time, especially asian girls.

Puzzle Bobble screenshot
Puzzle Bobble screenshot

The cute little dinosaurs from Bubble Bobble, Bub and Bob, are back in their own little puzzle game. The game consists of the dinos manning a cannon that shoots different bubbles filled with specific enemies, basically colors, from Bubble Bobble. When you make 3 bubbles of one kind of color they pop. If there are any bubbles connected to them that were only being held there by that string then they pop too.

The game not only requires foresight as to what bubbles to blow up on time but skill as well. Only when you die do you get targeting bubbles that help you guide where the shot will land. The rest of the time you have to learn how to accurately fire bubbles and have them be effective. If you screw up by being slightly off you could have potentially ruined the easy way to pop bubbles quickly which is a problem considering every X number of seconds the stage moves down one bubble in length. If the stage reaches the bottom of the stage, you are so very, very dead.

This game not only makes you think quickly but requires you to react quickly as well, especially the further up the levels you get. I think that’s a good blend for some serious fun! This game is sometimes peaceful enough that it can be relaxing but once you get to the later stages it will make you cry as it owns you.

I’ve been playing this game since the mid 90s and I pick it up and put it down at least once a year. I give it a Fun Factor of 8 out of 10 and Replayability a score of 8 out of 10, considering almost 15 years worth of playing it!

I’ve played it a lot on the arcade, DOS, and the SNES version as well. Look below for a full list of all versions.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

The game starts out rather simple but it gets difficult on some stages quickly. There is no way to alter the difficulty but the game is challenging as it is. If you find it easy just fly through the levels and eventually you will get to a point where your skill is maxed out and then it will get really tested.

Difficulty gets a score of 8 out of 10 since it starts out a bit slow for me but later gets heavy, giving Difficulty Versatility a score of 7 out of 10.

Value:

Puzzle Bobble (Bust-A-Move) was released on the 3DO, arcade, Game Boy & Game Boy Advanced & Color, Game Gear, iPhone, mobile phones, N-Gage, Neo Geo & Neo Geo CD & Pocket, Nintendo DS & Gamecube & Wii, PC, Playstation 1 & 2 & PSP, Sega DreamCast, SNES, VG Pocket Caplet, WonderSwan, Xbox & Xbox 360 (XBLA).

Depending on what version you get will determine how much you’ll pay. I’d say this game would easily be worth $20 tops considering it’s age and considering how available it is for emulation on just about everything. Even at $20, it’s totally worth having in your game library. At that price I’d say Value gets a score of 8 out of 10. Anything less or free is worth a 10 out of 10.

Sound:

Just like everything, even the sound is cute in this game. When the level is about to start hearing them say “Ready……. Go!” or the popping sound goes really well with the theme of the game. Sound gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Music:

The music sounds a lot like bubblegum, like j-pop but with a special arcady feel to it. It blends really well with the feel of the game and its repetitiveness makes you keep playing, at times. Even the little jingles when you beat levels are very uplifting happy songs. The music gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

No version I’ve ever seen of this game on any platform has ever crashed, not even the DOS version I used to play. Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

You don’t need many controls to play this game. Mastering the controls is another different matter though. Left moves left, right moves right, and the fire button simply launches the bubble. Again, mastering the exact spot where it will land takes skill, especially in the later stages and that aspect of the game requires aiming like a game of pool would. Controls get a score of 9 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

They made Bub and Bob even cuter than they were in Bubble Bobble and they have very much a very big Kawaii factor. The game is so cute it might make you ill. Graphics are really well drawn and they deserve a score of 10 out of 10.

The game never lags, no matter what version. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Conclusion:

If you love puzzle games and you’ve never played this, you must check it out. If you like Bubble Bobble and want to see the dinos killing stuff with their bubble cannon, you need this. If you like Kawaii stuff and cute games, you need this game badly.

***

You can play this game in the Obsolete Gamer arcade area.

Extermination

Extermination insert coin screenshot
Extermination insert coin screenshot

Extermination

In the age of vertical scrolling shoot-em-up games, Extermination attempted to do things slightly different in an attempted to mix things up. Released in 1987 by Taito you played as a solider out to rid the planet of nasty alien monsters.

The gameplay is pretty simple, you can move up and down or left and right and fire your gun at the numerous enemies that fly, run and crawl down the screen toward you. What made Extermination a bit different was you needed to kill the monsters in order to replenish your life.

As you were hit your life score would continue to drop, but as you killed the monsters tiny orbs would slowly drop down toward you. When you collected the orbs you would regain health, this helped to make sure that you killed as many monsters as you could.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FR-j7A7UbpE[/youtube]

As you traversed the landscape you could also collect power-ups to increase your firepower and by destroying rocks and trees in your path you could discover hidden bunkers that housed more power-ups.

After mowing down a ton of alien monsters you would encounter a boss or mega-monster, after defeating it you would progress to the next level.

The game was not ground breaking by any means so much so that it did not even make it to a console system, but it makes for a fun arcade game which you can fine under the M.A.M.E platform.

Nintendo cleared of infringement charges over controllers

Nintendo cleared of infringement charges over controllers

So the story goes that back in 2006 a company called Anascape Ltd. Sued Nintendo and Microsoft over specific technology used in both companies’ controllers. Microsoft settled out of court but Nintendo took on the fight and lost.

Wii Classic Controller

Nintendo was ordered to pay $21 million in damages and a ban was ordered on many of the game controllers for the Wii and GameCube. That ban was put on hold while Nintendo appealed the ruling and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit overturned the 2008 verdict.

“In 2008, the jury determined that the Wii Remote and Nunchuck did not infringe,” said Nintendo of America General Counsel Rick Flamm. “Today the Federal Circuit’s ruling confirmed that none of Nintendo’s controllers infringe. We appreciate that our position has been vindicated.”

There has been no word on what will happen to the $21 million Nintendo was ordered to pay, but I doubt they own Anascape any money.

Games Coming Out May 2010 For PC

Blur cover
Blur cover

Games Coming Out May 2010 For PC by Honorabili

April was a slow month for PC gaming. Let’s see what May 2010 has to offer us…

LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4, May 3

A lot of people enjoy these cute Lego games. Not just kids but I’ve seen a lot of adults playing them as well, simply because they are well made and fun. Harry Potter is still popular so it’s a good move for them to release this LEGO game.

Split Second, May 18

This looks like a Burnout clone. Could still be fun though…

Blur, May 25

And this one reminds me of a clone of both Burnout and Trackmania. Let’s see if it lives up to its hype. [update: It didn’t. Split Second is MUCH BETTER!]

***

Not much else reported for now. Keep checking back on this article as I will update it if I hear of anything else coming out.

Andres Martinez: baKno Games

BaKno Games logo

Name: Andres Martinez

Title: I am the founder and head of baKno Games where I do everything except for designing artwork.

Company: BaKno Games

Favorite classic game: Tetris

Quote: Maybe it was the lack of other options at the time, but I remember how that game grabbed my attention so strongly that I used to dream about falling blocks. : )


Free Stuff: Death Rally full game

Death Rally
Death Rally

Free Stuff: Death Rally full game

Remedy Entertainment, creators of Max Payne 1 and 2 are offering the full game of Death Rally for free. The game is a top down racing combat game similar a little to Vangers and Burnout (except not 3D).

The game is pretty fun, even for an old game. You race based on what difficulty you pick each time and get money based on how good you did. You keep buying better cars and upgrades both for performance and different weapons as well.

You can download the full game by clicking this link.

South Korea: Midnight Ban on Online Gaming

South Korean gamers
South Korean gamers

Midnight Ban on Online Gaming

Everyone remembers the stories out of South Korea about some gamers dying of dehydration playing games like Lineage, well South Korea’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism is tackling the problem of Online Gaming addictionn by imposing a midnight ban on online gaming for underage gamers.

So how will it work? The ban will be applied to popular online games be it RPG’s or others and underage gamers will be kicked out of the game based on the time they choose. So for example you can choose the lockout times of midnight to 6am, 1-7 a.m., or 2-8 a.m.

In addition the SK government will be implementing a slowdown system that will throttle internet speeds. If anyone has ever used Comcast Cable and tried to download multiple seasons of television shows you know what throttling does. For the rest of you it means your speeds will slow so if your online games need a lot of bandwidth and they throttle you then in effect you will not be able to play forcing you to take a break.

In my opinion this is excessive and would never work in the U.S. could you imagine, the Tea Party would have a whole new legion of followers.

Ultimate Spider-Man TV Show in the Works

Spiderman
Spiderman

Ok so it isn’t a classic game or even a game at all, but if there is one thing many gamers have in common is their love for comic books and comic book characters and what character is more classic than Spider-man?

Word on the net is that a new Spiderman cartoon based on the Ultimate Spider-Man comic is coming to Disney XD in fall 2011. This pretty much means the current series, Spectacular Spider-Man is done for.

The good news is the new series will be heavily influenced by the Brian Michael Bendis comic and since the animation rights for Spider-Man have reverted back to Marvel you will be seeing other Marvel superheroes show up on the series.

Here is the official statement from Marvel Animation:

Marvel Animation has green-lit an all-new Spider-Man animated series titled Ultimate Spider-Man. Ultimate Spider-Man will tell a coming of age story, where hapless Peter Parker evolves from a naive teen hotshot to a true hero who comes to terms with his origins and abilities. Along the way, he will have to navigate challenging relationships with mentors and super-colleagues, and emerge with a better understanding of his parents’ legacy and his own destiny. Disney XD will be the primary worldwide television platform for the all-new series which launches in Fall 2011.

Takedown Movie Review

Takedown movie poster
Takedown movie poster

Takedown movie review

Although there is another movie called Freedom Downtime about Kevin Mitnick, which is a lot more true to his real story, Takedown, to me, is the most exciting hacker movie yet made.

The movie is about two friends, Kevin Mitnick and Alex Lowe, who have been having fun hacking and doing crazy things for years but now they’re getting older and it’s riskier for them to keep doing things that can get them into trouble. Kevin at the start of the film is on probation over some past hacking exploits. They find out about different interesting technological secrets and they do what they can to get access to those secrets. They don’t necessarily break-in using computers, as people are sometimes easier to trick than computers. Many times Kevin gets a contact number for one of the tech support desks or a middle manager that works for a company that has a government contract, he calls them, gives them the name of somebody else that works there, and gets the information from them (social engineering). Sometimes, he makes fake IDs or gets information from garbage they throw out.

They meet other hackers sometimes, which sometimes are federal cops, and they do as much as they can without entrapping themselves, just to fool around and waste the Feds’ time. The movie plays out not just as a hacker movie but also a spy movie. At times it feels like Catch Me If You Can. Kevin since the start of the movie has had the heat from the cops on him with them trying to entrap him. The friend Alex is often making fun at how the media label Kevin as something sort of like a terrorist.

The main story of the movie is that Kevin is this hacker maverick which the government wants to catch, he makes an enemy out of Tomu (Tsutomu Shimomura), a hacker that is employed by the government, breaks into his computers after Tomu had dissed him after showing off in front of Congress, and Kevin finds some files that are dangerous (they can potentially crash large parts of networks/the internet) which Tomu had generated. Kevin is slowly trying to put together the files (since they are encrypted), while on the run from the cops, as Tomu helps the cops hunt him down.

The movie poses a lot of good questions. Why should individual hackers be so hunted when there are people working for the government (FBI/CIA/NSA) who are doing much worse things but they have a badge? It makes you think that the “cops and robbers” are the same thing, except that one has a badge and the other one doesn’t. How far would you be willing to go to pursuit the truth?

On one hand you have this guy Kevin pranking and tricking people, finding out stuff that corporations and the government hide from us (some stuff regarding national security, other nasty tricks used to spy on people, like the ability to tap into any phone, etc.) then you have the government hackers which are protected by the law and then you have these suit wearing federal cops that in the movie don’t really know how to combat a hacker but they’re not entirely useless with their old policing strategies. Kevin pursuits these truths to know. He brings up in the movie that he could have a lot of money by doing fraud and other things but he just wants to know the truth.

There’s a bunch of fun details in the movie such as instead of having some servers be by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), they are by Binary Equipment Corporation (BEC), which doesn’t exist but their logo is created in the same font as DEC’s. Some machines have the real logos and interfaces, such as some of the IBM servers.

The movie takes place in the early to mid 90s and the computers, software, and equipment used is pretty authentic. I thought the actors were really well chosen, especially Skeet Ulrich as Kevin (you can see the tension of being hunted at all times), Donal Logue as Alex (he plays a very happy-go-lucky best-friend that seems like a real smartass), and even Christopher McDonald as the FBI agent (he is very comical in this role).

A lot of people hate this film because it is a twist on what really happened to Kevin Mitnick but this is just a movie. Again, if you want to see what really happened to Kevin, watch Freedom Downtime. I wish they would have changed the name of the main character rather than call him Kevin Mitnick but I guess at the time his name was still hot on the press and they kind of took advantage of that. If you watch the movie by itself, ignoring the real story, you may still enjoy it. I did.

Turbo-Grafx 16

TurboGrafx 16
TurboGrafx 16

Turbo-Grafx 16

If you owned a Turbo0Grafx 16 you were either loved because you had one or hated because you had one. During the early console wars of the late 80’s the TG16 came on the scene. Released in 1989 by NEC the Turbo-Grafx 16 featured an 8-bit CPU and a dual 16-bit CPU. What this mean was it could display more colors than the NES however, the TG16 definitely had its problems.

First off was the cost, at a whopping $399 (CD version) the price was out of the range of those looking for a console system. In addition the TG16 launched with limited titles and only offered one controller. (You had to pay for a Turbo Tap to add more controllers) In Japan sales went well, but in the U.S. and Europe the TG 16 lagged greatly behind the NES and Sega Genesis.

To be fair one of the reasons there were a lack of third party software releases for the Turbo-Grafx 16 was due to Nintendo anti-competitive practices which pulled tricks like requiring exclusive contracts and other tactics making it hard for third party software developers to release titles for both or all three systems.

With that said if you asked anyone who owned a TG16 what they thought of it they would tell you it was the best system out there. With games such as Bonks Adventure, Chase H.Q., R-Type and my personal favorite, Ninja Spirit those willing to spend the cash did have some pretty awesome titles to show off.

News Bits from the Modern World #1

News on games and the gaming industry brought to you in anti-TLDR format for the morning of April 12, 2010.

Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare logo
Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare logo

We learned over the weekend that CODMW3 is in production which isn’t a surprise to many critics who believed that Activision would now be pushing to release new versions of their game once a year. Though Activision is not saying exactly when it will be released we can wager a guess that it will be just in time for the holidays. The question is, will people be willing to buy a COD game every year and will releasing these sequels so quickly lower the overall quality?

Gears of War logo
Gears of War logo

First Conan now Jim Fallon, GOW3 was to debut on Light Night, but it was spoiled when Microsoft confirmed the titles release for April 2011, oh well at least he still has one of the best house bands out there.

The Legend of Zelda (Japanese)

Legend of Zelda logo for Game Boy Color
Legend of Zelda logo for Game Boy Color

To say the Japanese do commercials a little different than the U.S. is an understatement. All the proof is right here in this commercial for the Ledged of Zelda. While it is in Japanese it’s pretty clear to make out that Link saves the princess then Gannon appears.

Legend of Zelda logo
Legend of Zelda logo

You gotta love the music and the choreographed dancing, with the props and special effects it does get you into the game, well it did for me. I mean the song is catchy even if I don’t know exactly what they are saying.

State of the LAN Party IV

LAN Party sign
LAN Party sign

 

If you missed it you can read part 1 here , part 2 here and part 3 here.

We saw how the LAN party evolved with new technology and how it inspired Alienware and how Alienware helped change the look of many LAN parties. With faster, more portable systems we saw LAN parties rise. With high-speed internet and MMO’s we watched as membership diminished.  Everyone grew older, but we were still gamers, the question was, what games will be played and how will that affect the LAN party.

When the XBOX360 was introduced, Microsoft realized with the success of XBOX Live on the XBOX that pushing forward with online community gaming was the future of console gaming. If there were a few gamers who still did not utilize the online universe of gamers beforehand, once the 360 hit the shelves even they joined in.

The 360 also brought a new type of LAN to gamers, the Console LAN or Local Play Lan was established where people would bring together multiple XBOX systems and connect them in order to multiplay. This allowed gamers to use separate television screens since for many the split screen was not a viable option.

What made XBOX live so successful was the variety it brought to gamers. You could play the hottest games like Halo 3 or classic favorites such as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  For better or worse you could chat online with fellow friends and gamers which gave console gamers pretty much all the tools a LAN member would use when gaming at a LAN party.

Software developers also realized the market created by the 360 and the Playstation 3. More computer titles were being ported over to the console. Not only that, but there were much more FPS and RTS games developed for consoles than ever before.

Many in the industry knew that computer gamers also owned a console and wanted the switch from the PC to the console to not be a shock to the system. Both 360 and PS3 were designed with top end processors and video cards. This allowed players to experience games on par and sometimes better than their PC counterparts.

Those looking for a lower cost gaming system turned to consoles to experience high end graphics and gaming without the high end price tag of computer gaming units. With online play complete with patches, demos and downloads, the console gamer had everything they needed.

By the time consoles invaded my LAN party we had reduced in size to just a few friends, but the new presence was noticed. Games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero replaced the twitch action games we played before. It saddened me at first. I believed some of us were getting too old for fast paced FPS games. Honestly I thought it was a fad, but numbers don’t lie. Interactive party games are as hot now as FPS games were ten years ago.

I embraced the change. I enjoyed playing those games (even those on the Wii) and I remembered the point of the LAN was to have fun with friends which we did have. The connectivity we have today can bring us closer together if used correctly. Having access to your friends 24/7 through XBOX Live, IM programs, FaceBook and Ventrilo can be a wonderful thing even if it does lessen the need for LAN parties.

In the end those of us who grew up during the gaming revolution will continue to be gamers for a long time to come. The games may change and the way we play them. Friends come and go and places we play will change, but the main goal stays the same, have fun.

The future of the LAN party may be more virtual, larger groups of gamers playing from their home with others across the world. With gadgets such as the iPhone sporting multiplayer capabilities, we may find ourselves having impromptu LAN parties from our phones while waiting for our oil to be changed or at the doctor’s office.

The great thing about technology is it adapts and changes the landscape. More and more people will have access to the tools to allow them to play the games they want and with that will come a community to join and interact with. The LAN party is ever changing, but will never die. As long as there are gamers there will be games and a means to play them.

gog.com sale: Special RPG Promo, 50% off

Spellforce
Spellforce

gog.com sale: Special RPG Promo, 50% off

This weekend Good Old Games has 4 RPGs on sale at 50% off: Sacred Gold edition, Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator, Spellforce Platinum edition, and Stonekeep.

Sacred is similar to Diablo and Morrowind. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (21 pages), hi-res wallpapers (6), quick-start guide, original soundtrack, Underworld soundtrack, a map of Ancaria, and avatars, as well as the expansion Sacred Underworld.

Septerra Core: Legacy of the Creator an underdog of japanese sci-fi RPGs. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (36 pages), hi-res wallpapers, artworks, maps, and avatars.

Spellforce Platinum edition is both an RPG and RTS. Made by the creators of BattleForge. The Good Old Games version includes the manual (49 pages), hi-res wallpapers, hi-res wallpaper (second pack), characters making of animation, artworks, game editor, and avatars. The bundle includes the original SpellForce: The Order of Dawn as well as the expansions SpellForce: The Breath of Winter and SpellForce: Shadow of the Phoenix.

Stonekeep is a first person RPG with more doom-like 3D but it’s the same kind of game as the Eye of the Beholder games. This version includes the manual.

Click here to go to the sale!

Star Trek Online – To Bridge or not to Bridge

Games Star Trek Online
Games Star Trek Online

So over the holiday I was able not only to get a down to earth review of the game from a friend in beta, but I was also able to see and play the game myself. As with any franchise turned into a game there are things missing or things ones want. While I will admit to being a long time fan of Star Trek I am not the kind who will just whine and moan over minor changes or differences. With that said there were quite a few things that irked me about STO from the start.

One thing that upset me the most was the lack of a bridge. To me, sitting on your bridge and commanding your ship is one of the main parts of Star Trek. When I was first told that you could only view your ship from the outside I was quite upset because I remember the classic game called Bridge Commander.

In Bridge Commander you could view your ship from the outside or from the captain’s chair where you could interact with your crew. You had a number of on screen options to choose from and it truly gave you the feeling of commanding a ship.

So far, in STO the space part of the game is completely external to your ship giving it more of an Eve Online feel. Originally there was to be no bridge at all in the game, but in mid November Cryptic announced that bridges would be added. In a press release they wrote:

It appears Cryptic has decided to add the infamous setting to STO for players to enjoy as a social destination — a hang out for bridge officers and visiting captains from other vessels. The Associated Press has reported that the game will feature 20 bridges at launch, giving even the most discerning captains their own pick on bridge design.

Regarding the addition of bridges, Craig Zinkievich, the executive producer of Star Trek Online, told the AP, “We didn’t want to have interiors at launch. We thought it was just a little bit too much. We really wanted to make sure we delivered a really deep experience, but your bridge not being in the game, it really felt like a hole in the game, and it was just something that we had to put in.”

A hole is right, but my question is, is adding a bridge only as a social hangout zone enough? Is the bridge of your ship to become nothing more than a Pocket D? (Dance club in City of Heroes) I can appreciate that Cryptic is adding bridges, but the bridge isn’t a social club. Perhaps a meet and greet, but you don’t have a ton of people lounging on your bridge.

Personally I hoped for the Bridge Commander style of game-play for the space battles in STO, but for now it looks like I will have to settle with decorating my bridge with plaques and starship models to make it all pretty for my friends. Damn I just whined and moaned about a little thing.

PIXELS by PATRICK JEAN

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PIXELS by PATRICK JEAN

Alright this is just too cool, if you love classic video game characters like Pac-Man, Space Invaders and Donkey Kong you are going to love this video made for the Paris-based visual effects company, One More Production.

Pixel World

The video, directed by Patrick Jean shows the pixelation of New York. Highlights include Donkey Kong lobbing barrels from atop the Empire State building, Space Invaders descending upon unsuspecting taxis, Tetris blocks raining down on Manhattan, Pac-Man chomping up a subway and — my personal favorite — Frogger simply hopping across the street.

While I personally loved this video I couldn’t help but think of the flyover scandal that hit New York in summer 2009. Could you imagine if this was broadcasted how many people would believe it was real and go into a panic. Oh you don’t believe people would think this was real? Well they thought this was a freaking bomb!

Dead Alewives Summoner D&D skit

So it’s friday, time to unwind and make the good old brain melt.~Honorabili

Dead Alewives Summoner D&D skit

Good chance is that if you’re an old gamer like us you grew up both playing video games and a ton of old pen & paper RPGs. So much braindead shit happens when playing RPGs usually. Dead Alewives made a skit which catches the spirit of that stupidity.

Summoner Dead Ale Wives DM
Summoner Dead Ale Wives DM

Here is my transcript of this heresy!

DM – “Galstaff, you have entered the door to the North. You are now by yourself, standing in a dark room. The pungent smell of mildew eminates from the wet dungeon walls.”

Fridge Raider – “Where are the Cheetos?”

DM – “They’re right next to you!”

Galstaff – “I cast a spell!”

Fridge Raider – “Where’s the Mountain Dew?”

DM – “In the fridge, DUH!”

Galstaff – “I wanna cast a spell!”

Fridge Raider – “Can I Mountain Dew?”

DM – “YES! You can have a Mountain Dew, just go get it!”

Galstaff – “I can cast any of these, right? On the list?”

DM – “Yes, any of the first level ones.”

Fridge Raider – “I’m gonna get a soda, anyone want one? Hey Grimm, I’m not in the room, right?”

DM – “What room??”

Galstaff – “I wanna cast ‘magic missile…'”

Fridge Raider – “The room where he’s casting all these spells from.”

DM – “He hasnt’ cast anything yet!”

Galstaff – “I am though, if you’d listen. I’m casting ‘magic missile!'”

DM – “Why are you ‘magic missile’? There’s nothing to attack here.”

Galstaff – “I… I’m attacking The Darkness!!”

(all laugh)

DM – “Fine! Fine! You attack ‘The Darkness’. There’s an elf in front of you.”

Galstaff – “Woah!”

Blue Eyes – “That’s me, right?”

DM – “He’s wearing a brown tunic and he has grey hair and blue eyes.”

Blue Eyes – “No I don’t, I have grey eyes.”

DM – “Let me see that sheet.”

Blue Eyes – “Well, it says I have blue but I decided I wanted grey eyes!”

DM – “Whatever! Okay, you guys can talk to each other now if you want.”

(silence)

Galstaff – “Hello.”

Grey Eyes – “Hello.”

Galstaff – “I am Galstaff, Sorceror of Light.”

Grey Eyes – “Then how come you had to cast ‘magic missile’?”

(laughs)

DM – “You guys are being attacked.”

Fridge Raider – “Do I see this happening?”

DM – “NO! You’re outside by the tavern!”

Fridge Raider – “Cool! I get drunk!”

DM (sighs) – “There are 7 ogres surrounding you.”

Galstaff – “How can they surround us? I had ‘Mordencaiden’s magical watchdog’ cast.”

DM – “No, you didn’t!”

Fridge Raider – “I’m getting drunk! Are there any girls there?”

Galstaff (angry) – “I totally did! You asked me if I wanted any equipment before this adventure and I said no but I need material components for all my spells so I cast ‘Mordencaiden’s faithful watchdog’.”

DM – “But you never actually cast it.”

Fridge Raider – “Roll the dice to see if I’m getting drunk!”

DM (sighs and rolls rice) – “Yeah! You are!”

Fridge Raider – “Are there any girls there?”

DM (annoyed) – “Yeah!”

Galstaff – “I did though! I completely said when you asked me.”

DM (more annoyed) – “No, you didn’t! You didn’t actually say that you were casting the spells so now there’s ogres, okay?!”

Fridge Raider – “Ogres?! Man, I got an ogre-slaying knife! It’s got a +9 against ogres!”

DM (angry) – “You’re not there! You’re getting drunk!”

Fridge Raider – “Okay but if there’s any girls there, I want to jolt/choke them!”

***

There you have it. That was the easter egg you get when you beat Summoner, making fun of Dungeons and Dragons (Satan’s Game!) and it’s typical players. My friends and I used to quote lines from that for years.

It was made by the Dead Alewives which are an 80s-90s comedy troupe. Click here to find out more about them.

Only Amiga

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Only Amiga

You know I loved my Amiga, but I don’t think I loved it enough to sign about it. It seems there are a lot of people who are willing to. This commercial features an original song sung by a woman who looks a lot like Mary Lou Retton.

Amiga 500

Sure the song is a bit cheesy and has a heaven’s gate cult feeling seeing all the people talk about how great Amiga is, but it’s all in good fun.

Though it is kind of catchy in a subliminal type of way, seeing all those people chant Only Amiga at the end of the commercial sends a chill down my spine.

Jaguar XJ-220

Jaguar XJ-220 title
Jaguar XJ-220 title

Jaguar XJ-220 review (amiga) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“A forgotten racing game in the style of the Lotus games but with its own style.”

Overall Score:
8 out of 10

Overview & My History With This Game & Stability/Reliability:

Around the time this game came out, the Lotus racing games were very popular on the Amiga. Jaguar XJ-220 is a similar game except that it is more realistic by adding a damage engine and fuel/refueling.

The game consists of you being part of the Jaguar XJ-220 team involved in races against teams that race Bugattis EB110s, Porsche 959s, Lamborghini Countaches, and Chevrolet Corvettes. You race in 12 different countries with each country having 3 tracks each in a contest to see which car model is the superior one.

Jaguar XJ220 box Amiga
Jaguar XJ220 box Amiga

You get a certain amount of championship points as well as money based on how well you place per race. The championship points will help determine whether you are beating the game or not. The money will be used to repair the cars because everything you do damages the car. Sometimes the car will just get damaged with wear and tear. Parts have 3 states, healthy, somewhat damaged (yellow), or badly damaged (red). After each race you will enter the repair screen which itemizes all car systems for you to repair depending on your budget.

Later on in the game, you must be smart and race strategically. It’s important to gauge and time just exactly when you will need to refuel your car. If you refuel too soon you risk having rival racers pass you. However, if you run out of fuel it’s even worse because your car will be forced to go about 10 MPH as you push the car to the pit stop. How much fuel you want to add is also a factor in determining how much time you spend not moving.

Jaguar XJ-220 was created by Core Design in 1992. It was released both on Amiga and the Sega Mega-CD. The game includes a track editor and a 2 player split-screen mode.

Jaguar XJ220 Amiga screenshot
Jaguar XJ220 Amiga screenshot

The car itself, the Jaguar XJ-220 is sort of like a failed supercar. The car came out at a time when the supercar market crashed. It was also one of the last cars put out by Jaguar before the company got bought out. The original design intended for the car to have a V12 but it ended up with a dual turbocharged V6 instead. The car was supposed to be able to hit 220 MPH but it realistically could hit about 213 MPH only with the original configuration. Modified XJ-220s have hit higher speeds than 220 MPH though…

As far as I go, I’ve played and beaten this game through about 20 times. I have however played this game over 100-200 times. The problem this game has is that you can save your progress but it’s RISKY. There have been many times when the game just gets stuck saving to a floppy disk and it’s basically just game over. That’s why I give Reliability/Stability a low score of 4 out of 10. The game itself doesn’t necessarily crash (although it used to make my Amiga overheat sometimes) but the save system is CRAP. I recommend setting a good 8-10 hours to sit down with a friend and beat the entire game in one sitting! That’s what we used to do.

This was the first game that left me fond memories of gaming on my Amiga, despite the saving bug.

Fun Factor & Replayability:

What I liked about this game is that it’s not just a racing game but a strategy game as well, at least to me. It made you think about the logistics of a race car. To me that’s rather clever and that added a lot of replayability to this game. The game is not appealing to some people but then again not all racing games are either. Some people will like both the racing and the planning the game requires. The racing itself is pretty quick for an old game, as well. Fun Factor for me gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Since there are different strategies you can use to try to beat the game, I give Replayability a score of 8 out of 10.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility & Controls:

You can’t make the game harder except by going to specific countries that have the most challenging tracks on purpose or by changing the control sensitivity.

Controls are simple and effective. You can set it so that either the fire button accelerates or simply by pushing forward. Braking is attained by pushing the joystick backwards. The controls are very responsive and you can change that, which affects the difficulty of the game. Sure, it’s not as realistic as today’s racing games but for the logic of racing games at that time, it’s decent. I give Controls a score of 7 out of 10.

The game itself is somewhat challenging with it getting much harder later on because of having to deal more with the logistics of damage and fuel. Difficulty gets a score of 8 out of 10, if you actually play the game through to the end.

Since you can customize the controller sensitivity and have to plan which countries to tackle in what order, Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 8 out of 10. You need to be smart about it.

Value:

This game is impossible to get other than in emulated form. Lemon Amiga has links to sites that could potentially have the game for download. Since that’s free, Value gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Sound:

You won’t hear sound unless you opt out to turn off the music. The sounds are good but it’s one or the other. I would recommend putting on the music unless you want to play other music using another computer or radio, etc. Sound gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Music:

This game has one of my favorite soundtracks for a video game. Click here to go to mirsoft.info and to download and get more specific information on the soundtrack. If you need a program to play the MOD files check out our article here on Deliplayer.

The soundtrack includes relaxing electronic music as well as a heavy metal song and funky covers of 80s tv music. Overall, the soundtrack is very unique and relaxing! It was composed by Martin Iveson and deserves a score of 10 out of 10.

The music is so badass that people have in recent years started remixing it.

Here is the link to download my favorite remix from Amiga Remix by Luther. To listen to all the remixes of the music from Jaguar XJ-220 on Amiga Remix, click here!

Check out my favorite remix by Luther here:

Graphics & Performance:

The graphics for the menus and interface are awesome. Screens where the actual car is drawn look a lot like the real car and I think it’s beautiful. The in-game cars look pretty good as well and that’s worth a high score. Graphics get a score of 9 out of 10.

The game has always run really well and I’ve never seen parts where the game lagged. The game has a sped up easter egg bug where if you play one of the radio stations rather than the CD audio during the music selection screen, the game will play super sped up. Although it acts weird, that’s not much of a problem. Performance gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Conclusion:

If you are a fan of cars and the rivalry that supercar manufacturers had in the early 90s then you will enjoy this game. If you want a racing game that makes you you as well, then this is also a game for you. At the very least, check out the soundtrack or its remixes!

Obscure Gamer – Maverick or villain?

Bobby Kotick of Activision has become a figure of hate. There is a great deal of Internet anger about the departure of the founders of Infinity Ward, the developers of Modern Warfare 2. They should have been celebrating their chart-topping success worldwide, instead there are recriminations, rumours of unpaid bonuses and a cloud hanging over the future of the Call of Duty franchise. But are the geeks right to be angry with the man?

There is a long history of mavericks in the computer industry, not all of them successful. Take Trip Hawkins. Hawkins made a bold move in founding Electronic Arts, a company where the artists who produced the games were celebrated. The distinctive gatefold covers for their early games were full of notes and tips from the designers and programmers. As the company grew, talent moved from elsewhere to be at EA and it became more than just a publisher. Hawkins’ pet project was an American Football game and he found the ideal collaborator in TV commentator (and former head coach) John Madden. With a Madden playbook, Hawkins set about creating one of the biggest franchises that continues to this day. But not all Hawkins touched turned to gold. The 3DO was ahead of its time in many ways – CD-based, but when the technology was still being perfected. High prices and the rival Sony Playstation saw the dream of a single gaming format disappear. EA continued without him, thriving on the annual updates of the sports franchises. For many that made them the target of hatred and campaigns.

The Stamper brothers also did things their own way. As Ultimate Play The Game, the Stampers played a dangerous game of holding the press at arms’ length, but the critical acclaim flowed in for their Spectrum classics. Many did not understand the decision to sell the name and the remaining games in development to U.S. Gold, but the Stampers had a reason. With the help of programmer Dave Thomas, the Stampers reverse engineered the NES, created a game and earned a lucrative developer’s license from Nintendo. The new company’s name was Rare – Designs on the Future, as seen in adverts for new talent in computer magazines during 1987. With steady income the company grew, became a big success for Nintendo and was then sold on to Microsoft. And then the Stampers left – another bold decision, or setting up something new?

Activision itself was started by a group of designers who split away from Atari, tired of not getting credit for the games they created. It became one of the first big third-party developers, buoyed by the profits from its Atari 2600 classics including Pitfall. It really hit its stride with Ghostbusters, the game of the film. But by 1988, a disastrous re-branding as Mediagenic, the troubled takeover of adventure game developer Infocom and attempts to move into other forms of software left the company in a disastrous state. Enter Robert Kotick. He invested heavily in the company, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to allow the company to continue trading. Over the next few years it restructured as a publisher and began to build. The lucrative Tony Hawk series created by Neversoft became an important part of that success, the company growing until it became once more one of the largest software publishers around.

So is Kotick’s strategy wrong? Or is it simply because the company is so big that it becomes a target? Gaming news site Kotaku hit the nail on the head with its 2010 April Fool – a re-branding as “Koticku”. Whether that is seen as satire or respect is up to the reader.

ActRaiser

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A fine blend of an action side-scroller & Populous-like god game rolled into one game. ~Honorabili

ActRaiser

In ActRaiser, you take the role of a sleeping god which has just woken up after thousands of years to find that in your absence the whole world has gone to utter crap.

ActRaiser Title
ActRaiser Title

There are multiple stages (countries) in the game and the first stage consists of you manifesting an avatar in an action side-scroller game to fight your way through some monsters, kill a boss and liberate the land. After doing that you enter a god-mode game similar to Populous where you control a little angel cherub and you fight cute monsters and help guide the civilization level of the people of that country. Some plot device happens and then you must fight the final boss in order to free that land from monsters completely.

Once you’ve done that, so long as you met all the other objectives regarding you gifting people items/technology, that country will grow to its max population/civilization level. The more population you have in a country, the more followers you have, giving you the ability to level up (you only level up that way, not by killing stuff).

The game was written by Quintet, published by Enix (Square Enix) in 1991. There is a sequel that sucks, so just stick to the original. The game originally came out on the Super Nintendo, in 2004 released as a game for mobile phones, and in 2007 re-released on the Wii.

Fun Factor, Replayability, & My History With This Game:

I’ve played this game over 30 times since the early 90s. Although the game is rather simple, it has its own style and I play it at the bare minimum once or twice a year. It only takes me about 2-3 hours to play and beat the entire game. I keep coming back because I consider it a classic.

The action side-scrolling reminds me of a simpler Castlevania or Lionheart kind of game. The god mode game is like Populous except that it’s simpler but it’s fun watching terrain blow up and having your followers find stuff around the map.

After years of playing this I give Fun Factor a score of 7 out of 10. If you are playing it fresh, you’d probably say it’s worth an 8 out of 10. Replayability for me gets a score of 6 out of 10 as well.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility:

Overall, the game is rather easy.

ActRaiser Ending
ActRaiser Ending

It could be that I’ve played it too many times and I know all the spots that enemies in the action game will attack from as well the attack patterns of all the bosses but even when I first played the game in the early 90s, the game was not too challenging. You can ignore most enemies in the action levels and there’s only really one challenging boss, the Dragon. Two of the other bosses are not so much hard but more annoying and the strategy to beat them is simple.

The god game part is super easy so long as you listen to what your followers want and shoot mainly the bats and white dragons they auto build everything themselves.

Difficulty gets a score of 3 out of 10. Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 3 out of 10 as well because some parts get tougher slightly but the overall difficulty is the same throughout most of the game.

Value:

Most people will now be playing this game on ZSNES, the SNES emulator, probably playing a ROM they downloaded off the internet. If that’s the case the game is then free, giving Value a score of 10 out of 10.

Sound:

The sounds are rather simple in this game but they are satisfactory. For me, the best sounds come in the god mode when you kill monsters and blow up their lairs. For some reason the sound that happens when your population expands has stuck to my head all these years. Sound gets a score of 7 out of 10.

Music:

The music for this game is really nice and although it’s not as popular as let’s say the music of the Final Fantasy games, it still does get remixed quite a bit. If you want to check out some of the remixes, click here to download some at ocremix. The best songs are the main action stage song that happens in the first levels, god mode town song, and the song that gets played when one of your followers invents “music”. Overall, I give the Music a score of 8 out of 10.

Stability/Reliability:

On the original SNES, I’ve never seen this game crash. I’ve never seen the emulated version crash either. Nothing to complain about here. Stability/Reliability get a score of 10 out of 10.

Controls:

The controls are pretty straight forward. The arrow keys/thumbpad move you in the direction you want. In action mode, one button makes you attack with the sword, another jumps, another detonates your magic attack. In god game mode, one button fires the cherub’s arrow while the other brings up the god powers interface screen. The only real problem I have with the gameplay and controls is that your avatar in action side-scroller mode can’t block. A lot of the gameplay comes down to just sheer chopping and jumping out of the way. The game I find easy, so it’s just me complaining, really. Controls get a score of 8 out of 10.

Graphics & Performance:

ActRaiser was well coded and both in the original and emulated version you have no problems with the game engine not being able to catch up to the action. The performance is fluid. Performance gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Since there are different modes to this game, let’s talk about the graphics for each one. The action sequence has really nice graphics for a 1991 action side-scroller. In the god-mode, the graphics look cute, even for the monsters as well as the little flying cherub that kills stuff for you. For 1991, this game gets a Graphics score of 9 out of 10.

Conclusion:

ActRaiser is a classic game for the SNES. If you are a fan of side-scrollers, you should check it out. If you also like games like Populous, although it’s very dumbed down in ActRaiser, you should also check it out. Overall, if you consider yourself a loyal SNES player, you should play this game as people who grew up playing the SNES are all very fond of this game.

Magic Sword

Magic Sword screenshot
Magic Sword screenshot

Magic Sword

At the beginning of the 90’s Capcom released Magic Sword, a side-scrolling hack-n-slash fantasy game. While the game was pretty straight forward it was fun to play just because of the sheer number of items, monsters and allies there were in the game. Magic Sword was truly an arcade classic that became a hit on the Super Nintendo.

You played as the hero named the Brave One and your mission was to scale a massive tower to slay the dark lord, Drokmar who is in position of an evil crystal called the Black Orb. Obviously with a name like that it has to be destroyed, so you head off on your adventure.

You start off with a sword and shield and as your progress will obtain new swords after you beat a boss. There are fifty-one floors of the tower with a boss after each eight, but along the way is a horde of enemies from skeletons, to Orcs to Bears that shoot magic at you.

Magic Sword screenshot ingame
Magic Sword screenshot ingame

As your slash your way through the tower of terror you will come across several different types of treasure chests some of the chests contain power-ups, food, coins and keys. When you come across a key you can use it to free prisoners who in turn will help you fight along your way. There are a total of eight allies including:

  • Big ManWho looks like Zangief’s long lost cousin. The big man is slow but swings a mean axe.
  • NinjaThis is what makes Magic Sword so cool, it has ninja’s and we all know ninja’s rock. This ninja is super fast and fires off three shurikens that ricochet off walls and hit enemies.
  • AmazonNo not the online discount store the Zena warrior princess kind. This is the only woman in the game and I am sure I saw the Brave One duck into an empty cell with her while I was A.F.K.
  • PriestStrangely enough this priest does not heal (like some in World of Warcraft am I right folks?) He casts a shield on you and fires orbs of light which totally own undead enemies.
  • ThiefWell we know why he was in jail. The thief throws bombs and tosses knifes and can find hidden treasure and traps.
  • WizardLighting Bolt, Sleep, Magic Missile, yeah he does all that.
  • KnightThe knight owns which is why you don’t get him till later in the game. His is the strongest and yet he throws spears which is kind of weird, but oh well.
  • Lizardman If you find a diamond ring the lizardman will fight alongside you, if not he will leave you. This kind of reminds me of my ex which also looked like a lizard and not one of the sexy ones from
Magic Sword box
Magic Sword box

The level design is simple but it works. Each floor is a little bit different from the last and you can go left or right depending on the floor. Sometimes it pays to go past the exit door to find more treasure and trapped allies.

As stated most of the game is just hitting the attack button while jumping over pits and ducking under traps, but mowing down hordes of monsters is fun in itself. The bosses are also pretty easy with many having simple patterns to follow to avoid their attacks.

Magic Sword also had seven hidden floors which required you do to certain things to unlock them. That and all the various items and power-ups keep you interested as you make your way up all those floors.

I was actually pretty good at this game and once beat it with only a dollar. Magic Sword was ported to the SNES and is coming to the 360 and PS3. A release date is set to April 14, 2010 for Xbox Live Arcade for 800 Microsoft points and April 15, 2010 for PlayStation Network for $9.99.

Jeffery Lee: TQ Digital

TQ Digital Entertainment logo

Name: Jeffery Lee

Title: Game operator

Company: TQ Digital

Favorite classic game: Console games: Age of Empire II, HoMM 3 Online games: Lotro, WoW

Quote: All of the games above are well designed in balance and they have a high strategy requirement if you want to play them well. Comparing to other games, their in-game graphics were the best when they were released, I was always enmeshed in those games and I often took several hours’ playing on the without interruption.


Genesis Does

[youtube id=”QkYMsVRqXxQ” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Genesis Does

Who can forget the rivalry between Sega and Nintendo? Long before people posted fan-boi comments on messages boards there was a real divide between some Nintendo fans and Sega Genesis fans. Funny thing was many people had both consoles and would still claim they were a specific fan of one over the other.

Genesis Does Michael Jackson Moonwalker

It is believed Sega fired to first shot attacking Nintendo for being too slow and later on the Genesis was looked at to be the more adult system because the games were harder and more bloody, take for instance Mortal Kombat. When MK was first released both version were edited to remove the blood and some of the fatalities, but the Genesis offered a code to add in the blood. Many fans considered the lack of blood in the SNES version to be “kiddy” and so the divide was also split by age.

Some believe today that because of that early move Nintendo decided to market to a younger audience, however, some claim that was always Nintendo’s goal. Another issue was speed, obviously the Genesis was faster than the NES, but when the Super Nintendo was released there were claims that games such as Sonic would not run at full capacity on the SNES.

Sometime late an article was released stating that Sonic could indeed run at full power on a SNES. That did not stop the wars, it made them worse. Many Nintendo fans claimed the graphics looked better on the SNES and in some cases they were correct, but what it came down to in the end was licensing with Nintendo gaining ground with titles such as Final Fantasy.

The Genesis does commercial was a hit with Sega fans and gave Nintendo fans a phrase that drove them crazy; “Genesis does what Nintendon’t” it could be heard across the school yard, the park and the dinner table and there was really never a comeback for the commercial or the phrase.

In the end it was all fun and games and in the end Sega and Nintendo began working together. Even today some find the fact that you can play a game with Sonic and Mario together sickening, but money makes strange bed fellows.

Want to see more classic commercials? Check out the Obsolete Gamer YouTube Channel.

About the Software Preservation Society (SPS)

Software Preservation Society logo
Software Preservation Society logo

About the Software Preservation Society (SPS)

SPS is a privately funded association of art collectors and computer enthusiasts striving for the preservation of computer art, namely computer games.

Art is an important cultural asset. Thousands of museums and archives all over the world preserve and restore pictures, books, movies and audio recordings and information in general for generations to come. To accomplish their assignment, national libraries are backed by law which, varying from country to country, forces production companies to deliver copies of publications, books, audio recordings and movies to the archives for long term preservation. It seems that as of today, nobody has ever thought or actively cared about the true, unmodified and verified preservation of computer games. Without any action taken, time will run out, very quickly.

Unlike games from the 1970s (delivered on solid state ROM-modules) and games from and after the mid-1990s (delivered on optical media like CD-ROMs and DVDs which are supposed to last for decades), computer games from the 1980s and early 1990s were delivered on magnetic media like tapes or floppy disks and are now at the brink of extinction.

From a preservation point of view, tapes and floppy disks are a nightmare for several reasons:

1. Tapes and floppy disks constantly degrade, in two ways. First is the physical degradation of the orientation of the metal particles which form the magnetic field and store the data. This process is slow, and given the fact that the data is encoded digitally, it may be too late to do anything when reading errors occur. Reading errors happen when it has become difficult to decide if a particular bit is 0 or 1. Preservation should occur before it becomes a gamble to get a good read.

2. Second is the chemical degradation. The metal particles bound to the plastic platter of a floppy disk or the surface of a tape can come off the surface. In fact, in most cases the bonding will simply fall apart after years of temperature changes, moisture and other issues of improper storage. Record companies struggle with this problem when remastering old recordings and have developed a process called baking where the original master tape is actually put in an oven to rebind the coating to the transport material. After baking, playback is a one try only process because the media will fall apart after passing the playback head of the machine. While similar to the original is sufficient for analogue material, even a single misinterpreted bit in the digital world means instant failure.

3. While no user can actually press industry standard vinyl recordings, CDs or DVDs at home (recordable media can be spotted by simply looking at it), tapes and floppies can actually be written and modified with consumer-grade equipment. It takes a lot of expertise to distinguish a professionally replicated medium from a home made copy. Even if a disk was produced by a commercial replicator, it does not necessarily mean that disk is still authentic and appropriate for preservation. Apart from a game possibly being copied over the original (as we have seen many times to “fix” a broken disk), many games themselves persist some kind of save state or high score, thus changing or erasing data that was available on the disk in the first place. As soon as the disk has been modified in any way, the authenticity of that copy is put into serious doubt.

SPS has successfully mastered these challenges and developed software and hardware technology to deal with the problems arising during the preservation process. Founded by computer expert and preservation pioneer István Fábián in 2001 as CAPS (the Classic Amiga Preservation Society), our highly specialized team has more than nine years of field experience. SPS members have not only been involved in playing games on the machines which are regarded retro today, but were programmers and designers also responsible for some of the games and programs available on these platforms.

While our original disk imaging tools (working on e.g. a standard Amiga 1200 with a compact flash adapter) are still good and easy to use, we are currently moving on to a completely self-contained floppy controller “KryoFlux” developed by SPS that works with any modern PC via an USB connection. This does not only speed up imaging of disks, but also enables physical media restoration of any title preserved so far.

Preservation at SPS usually is a two step process. Contributors from all over the world can help imaging disks with our unique technology. At SPS, our experts then use the Softpres Analyser to investigate the disk structure and create an IPF (Interchangeable Preservation Format) file. Scripting allows a flexible, even game-specific, way of representing data when read by a tool, or when rewritten to disk. Often rather different methods are required to represent various disk formats or copy protection methods when intended to be read by e.g. an emulator or to be written back when restoring an original disk. Due to the high quality of the preservation technology, IPFs have become the de facto standard demanded by Amiga users when looking for unmodified images true to the original.

While disks themselves are the problem that needs to be addressed quickly while they are still readable, SPS is also striving for complete archival of manuals and boxes in the form of physical products as well as digital scans. As of today, SPS has digitally archived about 3000 games produced for the Commodore Amiga, but now also supports other computer platforms like Atari ST, CPC, Spectrum and the Acorn Archimedes, to name just a few. Complete support for other platforms, like the C64 (which is a real challenge due to a second “computer” built straight into the floppy drive) is in the works, but disk imaging of such material already works today. It is only a question of manpower when the data imaged will be ready for presentation in dedicated IPF files. Again, this is a race against time to protect gems of yesterday from fading into oblivion.

For more information visit http://www.softpres.org/

Contact the Software Preservation Society:

Softpres.org Germany
Christian Bartsch
email: cb@softpres.org

Softpres.org UK
Kieron Wilkinson
email: kieron@softpres.org

***

If you want to see part of this article you can do so at SPS’s facebook page. If you want to see how their analyser software works view this facebook page. If you want to follow them through facebook click here to go to their fan page.

We must help in order to ensure that many games and programs we enjoyed in the past get preserved for generations in the future.

Glen McNamee: Obscure Internet

Obscure Internet logo
Obscure Internet logo

Name: C64Glen or Glen McNamee if I’m being formal.

Title: I do clever things for a monstrously large IT service company, as well as run Obscure Internet

Company: Obscure Internet

Favorite classic game: Wizball (Commodore 64)

Quote: It’s my favourite for a millions reasons. By the geniuses at Sensible software it’s a game I still play it regularly today, because the game play is fantastic, there is still is absolute no other game like it. It’s weirdest games ever, a stroke of mad genius, featuring screaming cats, hostile geometric shapes, and drops of paint firing bullets at you, flith raids, and a brilliant and original soundtrack.


Timeless Tortures by ZONTOX

The song was entirely written, performed and produced by Tim Spriggs. It’s based around the struggles faced while being caught in an abusive relationship, be it with a girlfriend, parents, friends etc. It’s more or less a story about moving foward, but still carrying with you (not out of choice) engraved memories. It’s open to interpretation, but thats what was going through my mind while writing the song.

[audio:http://www.obscureinternet.com/wp-content/uploads/ZONTOX-Timeless-Tortures.mp3]

Check out our interview with Zontox for more details

Burger Time

Burger Time box art
Burger Time box art

Burger Time

If there are two things that go together its video games and fast food, I have to believe that was one of the inspirations for the classic 1982 arcade game, BurgerTime. Created by Data East, BurgerTime was maze/pursuit game in the vein of classics like Pac-Man; however, instead of powering up your hero, Peter Pepper tries to crush his enemies under hamburger fixings.

You begin each level with several burger fixings sprawled out across the map. The map itself is a maze of platforms and ladders which you must navigate to walk over the burger fixings to drop them down below. The overall goal is to stack up and complete your burgers. During this endeavor you are chased down by several enemies including Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Pickle, and Mr. Egg.

Personally I always found it strange that other food would want to take you out for wanting to make burgers. I figured they would be happy you are cooking burgers and not them. Perhaps you cooked their family members earlier and they are coming back for revenge. Speaking of which does anyone else find it creepy that in the shredded mini-wheat’s commercial the dad wants his son to grow up strong so he can be eaten by humans? Oh, well back to BurgerTime.

Burger Time gameplay
Burger Time gameplay

Peter Pepper is pretty fast, but you can easily become cornered by your enemies so you want to map out your route carefully. If you become trapped Peter can fire pepper shots at enemies to stun them allowing you to run by. You can earn more pepper shots by collecting bonus food in the center of the maze.

Now you don’t just want to run and make all the burgers too quickly. While that is the overall goal the key is to crush as many enemies under the burger fixings as you do so. You can get the enemies to follow you underneath, say a burger patty, and then quickly climb above it and drop it down on top of them. You can also have them directly behind you as you run over a burger fixing causing it to fall to the next level below killing the enemies. The trick was to get as many as possible while building the burger so you earn the maximum amount of points.

The record high score for BurgerTime was 11,512,500 points. My highest score is too embarrassing to mention. BurgerTime was one of those games that you either played for hours or it pissed you off within ten minutes and you quit.

As you would expect BurgerTime was ported to a ton of consoles and computer systems and you can play it today on many phones, flash game websites and emulators.

Originally named just Hamburger, BurgerTime was truly a classic and always got me hungry when playing it. Hmmmmmmm burgers!

Here is the Burger Time parody by Mega64: