Buster Bros

buster bros

This week’s Turbo Views video features the 1989 game Buster Bros. In this game two brothers must go around the world destroying balloons that are terrorizing cities and landmarks (I never heard of balloon terrorists).  There are 17 locations in the game from Mt. Fuji to New York and over 50 stages of gameplay. The game was originally released to the arcades and then ported to several consoles systems and you can play one and two player games.

Super Bat Puncher

Super bat puncher - box

Here’s something to look out for…. Super Bat Puncher. Created by Julius Riecke. Currently still in the works but has a lot completed so far. Punching bats has never been so much fun until now. You can play the demo athttp://morphcat.de/superbatpuncher/

Super bat puncher

I asked Julius if he plans on having cartridges of this game made and he stated that yes they will be made. There are a few demo carts out there right now. More later in time. Check out this little clip from SBP.

Kung Fu Fight

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

We are always on the lookout for retro style mobile games and we found a winner with Kung Fu Fight. Created by Nostatic Software this mobile game combines the classic style of gameplay in controls, action and difficulty.

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

You are a farm boy who has to rescue the kidnapped girl and you do this by running, sliding, jumping and fighting your way through increasingly difficult levels. I am not kidding here, even on the normal setting it gets hard, Ninja Gadien hard.

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

The controls are simple enough. Your character is constantly running and along the way there are various obstacles you have to deal with. For some like bad guys and breakable items you hit the attack button, for tables and other items hanging from above you slide underneath and for the rest you jump over it.

Kung Fu Fight - Android - gameplay screenshot

Sounds easy enough, but so did Kung-Fu Master and just like that game it’s much harder to do than it seems. You begin with simple obstacles to overcome and the game will tell you what to do, but timing is everything so just because it says “jump” that does not mean you might not jump to early or too late. As the game progress the stages get harder and harder.

Overall, this is a great retro inspired game that will keep you entertained if not frustrated while you try to beat all the levels. The storyline, music, sound effects and graphics are all retro themed and executed well. It can sometimes be hard to hit the right buttons especially when you are further in the game, but with practice you will get it.

For 99 cents on Google Play it’s worth the buy for any retro gaming fan.

Weird games: Cubivore

[youtube id=”53fftSg_IHY” width=”633″ height=”356″]


I think a game where you tear the limbs of enemies and eat them, have an ability called “Tale a Doo” and can mate with multiple females by going to the “Love Tunnel” constitutes a weird game. Cubivore: Survival of the Fittest is an action adventure game created by Saru Brunei and released for the Nintendo GameCube in 2002.

Cubivore - gameplay screenshot

In Cubivore your goal is to become strong enough to kill the top Cubivore known as the Killer Cubivore who is slowly killing nature due to gorging on the land. The only way to become strong enough to take on the Killer Cubivore and his cronies is to mutation and create offspring that will be able to defeat him.

Cubivore - gameplay screenshot

Most of the gameplay revolves around traveling the world fighting other Cubivore’s and ripping off their libs. You also collect hearts throughout the game that will allow the female Cubivore’s you mate with to have children. The process of mutation and creating offspring actually has a strategy to it even if the combat itself is simple.

Cubivore - gameplay screenshot

The game is definitely weird, but it is unique in its gameplay design. The graphics are extremely outdated and the music, while not bad can get old real fast. That really was the problem with the game overall, it became way to repetitive.

Long before Spore Cubivore introduced us to a weird new world of evolution and survival of the fittest.

Martian Marine Lander

Martian Marine Lander

Here’s a little indie gaming treat for cheapass gamers like myself: Martian Marine Lander. The premise is simple: guide your Martian spacecraft full of Martian Marines down to Earth so that the invasion can begin. Of course, Earth has defense forces, and they’re keenly interested in turning your craft into space dust, so the lander needs to be protected by dexterously angling your force fields to absorb damage while floating down to the surface.

Martian Marine Lander

It’s harder than it sounds, as inertia tends to keep your craft rolling in the wrong direction just when you need the shields to be facing elsewhere! And don’t think you can just plummet down at a breakneck pace to avoid all the weaponry altogether: making a run for it causes the Lander to explode into so many little pieces from the stress.

Martian Marine Lander


This game reminds me of classic retro games you could find on your Atari 2600 in that the game difficulty adjusts to your level, giving you new challenges to overcome, yet with modern music and graphics. In fact, I found myself sucked into the game for a considerable length of time before realizing that food and water were also an important part of my regular routine.

If this sounds like your cup of tea, check out http://www.martianmarinelander.com/ and shell out the mere $4.95 it costs to download the full game, and enjoy!

Mega Man

mega man - nes - gameplay screenshot

Mega Man

The first Mega Man had a lot of potential which turned out to be the legend we know today. It all started with this simple side scroller game. The game developed into an amazing franchise and you’ll definitely feel the tough beginnings it went through. One can relate this game to both Mega Man 9 and 10 for the current gen consoles as it mimics the early beginnings of how tough gameplay could be. Anyways, lets take a look at this awesome game.

mega man - nes - gameplay screenshot

The music is what made Capcom games unique at many times during the NES era. You could just listen to a game’s music and know it was made by Capcom. The game has very awesome music although not as memorable as other Mega Man games. You’ll love the entire soundtrack that’s for sure. This is the beginning of something amazing after all.

mega man - nes - gameplay screenshot

The graphics are very stable. They are nothing amazing but it does make you feel like if you are in the future. The game looks and feels great overall. There aren’t that many weird things off from the game but it wouldn’t make any sense since it’s from the future. The bad guys are definitely known by many with such simple names as Cut Man and Guts Man…. Yeah, I remember those.

mega man - nes - gameplay screenshot

The gameplay is quite tough. This is one of the more difficult Mega Man games out there mainly because there is no Mega buster, no sliding, no E-tanks…I can go on and on. You’ll have to use your best Mega skills to get through this. It’ll be worth it though!

mega man - nes - gameplay screenshot

A game like this is good to return to from time to time especially if you want to have a Mega Man marathon. I had a few of those in the past…they are lots of fun! The game is definitely short enough to get through it in just over an hour so you won’t be wasting whole evenings on it. It’s Mega Man after all!

The game is the first one of the legendary blue bomber. It’s just so much nostalgia to play through it after such a long time. I feel it’s a great way to feel the beginnings of things and even look for inspiration. Games like these are legends and we should cherish them even if we don’t find them that appealing.

Black Friday Fights


If you ever want to see what would humanity be like in a post apocalyptic world where you had to fight for every resource well here you go. Behold the worst of Black Friday fights.

This is from 2012 in a Walmart over cell phones:

This is from 2011 in a Walmart over video games:

Here is a compilation for 2011:

From Victoria’s Secret Black Friday

Cosplay: Comback

It’s been a while since we had a pure cosplay featuring  awesome cosplay ladies from the video game world. We are truly thankful for sexy cosplay be it on a Black Friday or Cyber Monday.


Three reasons to love New Super Mario Bros 2


Since it arrived on Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo 3DS XL earlier this year, New Super Mario Bros 2 has stayed firmly in the top half of the UK top ten. But what is it about this latest entry in the Mario franchise that makes it the next evolution in the series? Here are three things we love about the game.


More Coins

When it was announced that New Super Mario Bros 2 would offer gamers the chance to collect one million coins, it was an incredibly exciting idea. Of course, the reality is that this is damned difficult and you would need to truly master the game to achieve it – but the fact that it’s an option gives us something to aim for!


More team-ups

Though there have been Mario games throughout the ages that have challenged gamers to either pit their skills against each other or team up, the co-operative gameplay of New Super Mario Bros 2 is some of the best we’ve seen to date. As you can both play to save coins in the same account, it also means making that magical million even more of a possibility!

More Content

There is plenty of longevity in New Super Mario Bros. 2 itself that will keep you entertained, but the fact that Nintendo has also made even more course packs available to download gives it an extra level of value for money that is difficult to ignore. These are designed to build on the coin target challenges of the title and can be played again and again until you have truly mastered them.

It’s been a busy year not only for Nintendo but for Mario himself. Not only has the platform legend popped up in a new adventure on Nintendo 3Ds and Nintendo 3DS XL, but he’ll also be helping to launch the upcoming Wii U in New Super Mario Bros. U. Let’s hope he’s up to the challenge!

South Park


I wanted to do a review that had something do to with Thanksgiving even if it was a stretch and behold I found South Park. Published in 1999 from Acclaim this first person shooter features your four favorite characters from the show all voiced by the original actors, but sadly there is little else than that to mark as a bright spot for the game.


The story is that a comet is heading towards South Park and apparently that has caused all kinds of crazy things to happen. From evil turkeys to living toys it is up to the boys to stop them. Now first off, the game at the time looked great and that is most likely because it was not too difficult from a programing standpoint to turn the 2D paper characters into 3D. Along with the bright colors of South Park the game at the time was a visual treat.

south park game turkey

During the single player campaign you are treated to cut screens featuring original dialog from many South Park notables including Chef who gives you your “mission briefings”.  Sadly, the first person aspect of the game is lacking. One reason is because even back then the AI was pretty weak. It was almost impossible to get taken out unless you got swarmed by a ton of enemies. The weapons were also way underpowered which makes sense considering they are kids, but so many of the enemies and especially the bosses took so many hits to kill it got boring real fast.


Another thing that gets old is the repetitive voices when running around in mission mode or multiplayer. At first it is cool to hear the characters react to being hit or finding things, but after hearing it 100 times you almost want to mute the game. One bright spot in the game for me personally was the multiplayer. Not because it was much better than the single player, but because of the dancing gun which you can see an example of in the video below.

The game was made on the Turok 2 engine and was released for the N64, Sony Playstation and what I played it on, the PC. South Park is just good enough to give it a run through once if nothing else than to experience the graphics and original dialog, oh and the dancing gun. Beyond that it was a weak shooter where most of the enemies ran straight at you and the boss had patterns a video gaming noob could detect. The game did feature the boys killing turkeys and having Thanksgiving dinner and so it has found a place as a legit Thanksgiving themed game.

Kingston HyperX 3K Series 120 GB SSD

Kingston HyperX 3K 120 GB SSD

Although J.A. Laraque has already reviewed the 240 GB version of the Kingston HyperX 3K SSD, I reviewed the 120 GB version, comparing it to the Patriot Memory Wildfire 120 GB SSD and to my 3 TB Seagate hard drive.

The drives were all tested on my main gaming PC, which may be familiar to you from my Gaming PC Benchmark Guides. The specs are the following:

OS: 64-bit Windows 7 Ultimate edition
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD5
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 3.7 Ghz per core 6 MB L3 cache AM3+ socket processor
Video Card: Sapphire ATI 6870 1 GB
Memory: Kingston HyperX 16 GB (4 X 4 GB) 240 pin DDR3 SDRAM 1600 (PC3 12800) Quad Channel Kit non-ECC unbuffered CAS 9 1.65V RAM
Sound Card: onboard sound via a Realtek ALC889 chipset
Storage: Seagate Barracuda XT ST33000651AS 3 TB 7200 RPM 64 MB Cache SATA 6.0 Gb/s 3.5″ internal hard drive OEM
Case: Thermaltake Xaser III LANFire VM2000A Case
Power Supply: hec X-Power 780W (peak) 600W (mean) ATX12V v2.3/EPS 12V v2.91 SLI nVidia Hybrid-SLI Certified CrossFire power supply
Peripherals: Lite-On iHAS124-04 DVD Burner

If you are concerned with the features of the Kingston HyperX SSD please read J.A. Laraque’s review as he talks about them in detail.

The benchmarks I use to test hard drives and SSDs are the AS SSD Benchmark, ATTO Disk Benchmark, and CrystalDiskMark.

Under the AS SSD Benchmark the Kingston HyperX 3k 120 GB SSD yielded:

AS SSD Benchmark Kingston HyperX SSD

Let’s look at the numbers in detail using Excel:

AS SSD Kingston HyperX vs Patriot Memory Wildfire

Under the ATTO benchmark the Kingston HyperX 3k 120 GB SSD yielded:

ATTO Disk Benchmark Kingston HyperX SSD

Time to look at the numbers in detail in Excel again:

ATTO Disk Benchmark Kingston HyperX vs Patriot Memory Wildfire

Under the CrystalDiskMark benchmark the Kingston HyperX 3k 120 GB SSD yielded:

CrystalDiskMark Kingston HyperX SSD

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Mambo Number 5 and by that I mean it’s Excel:

CrystalDiskMark Kingston HyperX vs Patriot Memory Wildfire


Overall, both the Kingston HyperX and Patriot Memory Wildfire seriously beat the hard drive in just about every test as shown in these tests. Comparing both SSDs to one another the Wildfire is faster under two of the three benchmarks and the HyperX is faster in one of the three benchmarks. I normalized the score of all three reviews and took the average of the normalized scores and I must conclude that the Wildfire under most operations is about 12.74% faster than the HyperX. In order words, the HyperX is only about 88.70% as fast as the Wildfire.

Now I know you must be saying “Well I thought this was a review on the HyperX, why did it get less performance than the Wildfire?” Well, the Wildfire is a more expensive SSD and the HyperX is more inexpensive and more mass produced. For what you get, both SSDs are highly recommended, especially when being used for your operating system drive. So yes, the Wildfire won the performance race but most likely you will end up buying a HyperX because the performance is slightly less and the price is significantly lower.

Fate of the World: Tipping Point

Fate of the World - Tipping Point - indie - pc gameplay screenshot
Fate of the World: Tipping Point is a unique, deeply political, scientific and thus truly rare beast. It also is an indie game that plays a lot like a card game and is tasking you, the player, with saving the world. Well, humanity to be precise, as I’m pretty sure that the world will do just fine without us. Shockingly though, saving humanity does not involve fighting aliens with ridiculously sized guns or destroying hordes of zombies while exposing nefarious conspiracies. No. This time around it involves tackling real societal problems and their environmental and political consequences in a frighteningly realistic manner.
Fate of the World - Tipping Point - indie - pc gameplay screenshot
Fate of the World is after all based on the scientific and political theories of Prof. Myles Allen, and does an incredible job in transforming an apparently complex set of ideas into a game; not that I’m aware of the good professor’s theory mind, but I’ve apparently been exposed to quite a few similar ones. The EU’s official environmental policies do, for example, spring to mind: environmentalism mixed with moderate free market doctrines and capitalist developmental ideas…
Fate of the World - Tipping Point - indie - pc gameplay screenshot

Problem is that such a profoundly political game cannot simply be judged as a mere piece of entertainment software. It should and will have to face political and scientific criticism and -happily- what with me being a geographer, there are a ton of things I disagree with. Now, I could tire both you and myself by providing an extensive critique, but I will simply stick to my key problems: a) the game seems to ignore the political importance of the masses, b) it considers capitalism as a natural and unchangeable socioeconomic reality, c) it fails to see such facts as the strong relationship of services and production and d) it is incredibly deterministic.

Fate of the World - Tipping Point - indie - pc gameplay screenshot
Now, this doesn’t mean that the game isn’t good or that it doesn’t base itself on a sound scientific base. It’s just that I couldn’t help but notice a few things I strongly disagree with and mainly that generally irritating bourgeois, supposedly technocratic school of thought. It does make quite a few decent and generally accepted points though and I can’t help but admit that some of the game’s ideological problems might be attributed to the fact that turning a theory into something enjoyable, let alone playable, is very difficult indeed. But I really don’t want to sound negative. Really. Fate of the World: Tipping Point is a great, deviously educational, rich and incredibly thought-provoking game.
Fate of the World - Tipping Point - indie - pc gameplay screenshot
I am, after all, most impressed with what Fate of the World actually achieves. It’s an astoundingly simple to play strategy game that manages to be both deep and educational. Let me give you an example of play: you have to make sure that the living standards of Africa rise, while its carbon emissions fall; you thus buy agents for northern and southern Africa (each agent allows one card to be played in the region he/she is stationed); you buy and play an equal number of cards to your agents (cards are usually certain policies); you click the end turn button and hope for the best. Sadly Africa gets destroyed. Well, the first few times you tackle its problems at least.
Fate of the World - Tipping Point - indie - pc gameplay screenshot
Playing, you see, is easy and the mechanics straightforward. Understanding the consequences of your choices is another matter entirely and this is what makes the game such a brilliant offering. You could help industry, but damage the environment and them wages. You could go for supposedly eco-friendly fuel and somehow kill off the panda. You could educate people only to have them revolt (which does make a lot of sense) and so on and so forth. What’s more you have a ton of scenarios and cards to play around with and a multitude of connections to discover.
Fate of the World - Tipping Point - indie - pc gameplay screenshot
Oh, and if you already own the original Fate of the World, you should really upgrade it to Tipping Point. It features some apparently important updates and fixes, and two whole DLC packs. You can get the game and the upgrade pack right here.

Verdict: Despite some political shortcoming only a few will notice, this is an excellent strategy game, that can indeed educate on certain environmental truths. Definitely worth your time.

Pocket Gal


Pocket Gal (1987)
By: Data East  Genre: Sports  Players: 1-2  Difficulty: Easy
Featured Version: Arcade  First Day Score: 9,300 (one credit)
Also Available For: Nothing


Love them or hate them, videogames are big business. Those of us who partake in their wonders, however, have taken a lot of stick over the years for the sake our ‘nerdy’ hobby so it doesn’t really help matters when developers release blatantly pervy games featuring titillating girlies in various states of undress. Most of the time this is of course a less-than-subtle attempt to grab the cash of lonely gamers with a bare minimum of effort. Indeed, the games that facilitate these giggling girlies are usually utter trash – the flimsiest of excuses for the nudity and immoral material contained within, and that’s when there even is a game at all! But could there be any genuinely good games hidden amidst this nonsense? In a series of new features here at Red Parsley, I will bravely attempt to uncover an answer to this intriguing mystery!


As you’ve probably already seen, the first game of this feature is a pool-based game. It’s a Japanese game but as far as I can tell there’s no fancy options or tournaments. When you start, you’ll see a chart featuring four different classes, each of which is represented by a ‘sultry’ lady and you have to work your way up the ranks, so to speak. This naturally involves playing pool. There is a two-player mode but in the one-player mode there is surprisingly no computer-controlled opponent. Instead, you must simply pot all the balls (tee hee!) yourself. Bonus points are awarded for potting multiple balls in succession and for following their numbered sequence. The more points you get, the quicker the girlie will get her kit off! That’s right, for the object of the game appears to be simply to disrobe the ladies – first they’ll lose their outer-garments, then their underwear, and the further up the rankings you get, the more effort is required to persuade them to do so! Oo-er…


This ‘effort’ comes in the form of stages. There are more of them per girlie the further you get and they alternate between frames of regular pool (is it still called a ‘frame’ in pool?) and trick shots. A predictibly simple interface enables you to take the shots – just move your aim, represented by a dotted line, and set the power. It’s hardly a complicated process so you should find yourself smacking the balls around (giggity) in no time. There are a few different variations of pool during the course of the game (6 ball, 9 ball, etc) and it’s possible to add topspin, backspin, and swerve to the cue ball during play, but that’s about as complex as things get. So, your prize for playing well may nudge this game toward the ‘adult’ side of things, but is it even worth playing it at all? Well, not for the ‘prize’ itself, obviously – even in its day this was hardly an obscene game – but it’s actually not bad.

As you can see, the graphics are hardly anything to write home about. The tables themselves, whilst coming in several different colours, didn’t exactly require the finest hardware in the world, but everything looks okay. More importantly, the balls move around fairly accurately, at least to my non-expert eyes, and playing the game can be pretty entertaining in short bursts. The different variations and trick shots help to keep it from becoming too repetitive and there’s some pretty decent music and sound effects too (even a bit of speech!). As for the girlies themselves… well, they’re more amusing than anything else, but that was probably the point I suppose. It’s certainly not worth playing the game just to see their ‘boobies’ but Pocket Gal is a surprisingly enjoyable game regardless. Obviously there’s not much in the way of depth so it does get repetitive after a while, but it’s good fun while it lasts.

RKS Score: 6/10

Logitech G27 Racing Wheel Review

Logitech G37 Racing Wheel

For those of you that know me well, you know that racing is one of my favorite activities to do not just in the gaming world but in real life as well. As far as reality goes, I’ve owned a track ready racing Mustang since 2004. I’ve been racing cars since about 1997 both on the street and at the track. The first time I ever raced a professional racing go-kart was about 1989. The first racing games I’ve played were Pole Position and Pit Stop 1 and 2 on the c64. The first arcade racing game I’ve ever played was Sega’s Outrun with the arcade console feeling like a car with pedals, steering wheel, and shifter. I’ve played almost every racing game ever made from games like RC Pro AM on NES, the Top Gear series on SNES, Lotus series on Amiga, Chase HQ on the arcade, Jaguar XJ 220 on the Amiga, Grand Prix Legends on PC, every Trackmania game on PC, every Need For Speed game on PC and consoles, every Codemasters racing game ever made, etc. I was ranked in the top 10 US players for Trackmania Nations when they were doing the world championship for the game.

Today I will look at Logitech’s G27 Racing Wheel. It is designed to be used with PC and with the Playstation 3 console.


Setup – Installation and Software:

The installation on the PS3 is basically a plug and play procedure. For PC, you simply install the software from the drivers CD that comes with the unit. Shortly after installing the software and drivers you get prompted to plug in the wheel to one of your USB ports and it will be detected. You will know that the wheel is detected because it will spin like a bat out of hell for about two to three seconds and it will flash the tachometer RPM lights. After that, you can calibrate the wheel if it is needed. Once you’re done doing that, you’re ready to use it. Configuration and sub-calibration can be done through whatever game you are going to play.

The Wheel also comes with (RFactor) which is a very popular racing simulator.


Setup – Assembly and Physical Installation:

The first thing you want to do is connect all the subcomponents of the wheel to the main wheel unit. This means that you will plug in the pedals, shifter console, and AC adapter unit. After you have done so, you may need to assess your gaming desk area to make sure you have enough physical space to mount the wheel properly to a desk or table as well as find a comfortable chair and distance to your TV or monitor. You also want to make sure that all cables are tucked away so that they don’t interfere as you use the controller.

Both the wheel and shifter have plastic screws which you can use to secure them to the edge of your desk or table. I have found that they can slide off sometimes if the bottom surface of your desk doesn’t have the right kind of surface for them to stick to. I wish Logitech would have added a rubber surface of the plastic area that holds the controller in place. To me without such a surface friction it is easy for the controller to become loose while using it. Since I’m a low-tech-fix kind of guy, this isn’t much of a problem. I recommend to either glue a thin rubber piece to each plastic end or the even easier fix is to use a piece of cardboard in between the surfaces (just make sure you screw the plastic screws as tight as possible).

You might have to be careful as well with the pedals because the bottom is plastic as well. Since I have a tile floor all over my house I had to use a small portable rug to place it under the pedals as well as putting a heavy object behind the pedals to keep them from slipping further (remember you’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on them with your feet).

Once you have setup the wheel as needed, the fun starts!


Test On Multiple Racing Games:

I tested the wheel on RFactor, Dirt 2, Dirt 3, Dirt Showdown, Grid, Trackmania United, Trackmania Nations, F1 2010, F1 2011, and F1 2012. For most of the games the wheel was enabled through the game options of the game if it didn’t automatically detect it and set it as the default control method. You can enable the motion feedback to get a more real feel of driving a real car with the resistance would feel in a real steering wheel. I found that with the G27 it was more enjoyable to do so after first of calibrating it to feel as you need it to based on your driving style. Also, it was overall more enjoyable on racing games which are more simulator than arcade style racing games. Simulators need exactness, whereas most arcade racers can be played even with keyboard or a cheap handheld controller.

Using a racing wheel on games like the Codemasters F1 games is almost necessary. I found it nearly unplayable to play such games using just a pure keyboard. With a racing wheel such as the G27 it becomes a real F1 car that you’re driving rather than a musclecar like it would feel with a primitive controller. It’s all about precision when you use a wheel. For this reason although we have the computer technology to do it, we still use a pedal and steering wheel in real cars as opposed to using joysticks like a normal video game controller or the controller for an RC car.


Construction and Feel:

The materials used in the G27 are sturdy and it feels almost like you are racing using a aftermarket racing wheel like a Momo steering wheel for a racecar. Although most of the parts are plastic the G27 is durable under most wear and tear situations.

The shifter is both soft and sturdy. I would compare it to using a shifter in a manual Japanese car like Honda Prelude or Nissan Skyline. The wheel itself has flappy paddles which can be used to much like in a real Ferrari or Lamborghini. It is a matter of personal preference and the G27 provides both the flappy paddles and the normal manual shifter. The wheel part has an LED tachometer, which is color coated green, yellow, and red, which makes using a manual gearbox a more viable option in your game.

Since the pedals are made out of drilled metal it feels like the pedals found in a modified street car or a racecar. As they are sturdy, it’s no problem to push down on them as hard as you can, if need be. With the inclusion of a clutch pedal that’s highly responsive you can power drift to your hearts content if you want to drive like that.

logitech g27

Conclusion and Recommendations:

If you are serious about playing racing simulators I recommend a wheel like the G27 to get the precision you need for competitive racing.

A racing wheel system like this one works extremely well when paired up with the Playseat chairs that are ideal for having a sturdy armature that keeps your controllers in place and gives you a much more realistic car feel. I haven’t tested the G27 with a Playseat chair but I have used a chair like that at multiple game conventions and they do make a huge difference and are much more favorable over using a regular chair and desk/table for setting up a racing wheel.

The G27 costs about $200 retail so it might be outside the budget for many gamers but then again there aren’t that many racing simulation gamers out there anymore and those that are into that genre are always concerned with having as good of a controller as possible to be able to execute precise maneuvers.

Gamer Profile: John A Pompa

John A Pompa

Name: John A Pompa

Favorite Classic Game: Super Mario Bros. (NES)

Quote: Out of all the games I own, and have played.  Super Mario Bros. is that one game that just never gets old. It was the first game that I ever owned (not played) when I got an NES for Christmas.  Everything about that game is just perfect, the game play, sound effects, music, tricks & secrets. The game is such a timeless classic that Nintendo has re-released it so many times now, and parts of the game and images and music still turn up in modern Super Mario games.

Bio: I love all games.  Both old and new, but the classic/retro ones, are the ones that appeal to me more.  I’m a collector of game systems and computers. It seems the older I get, the farther I drift back in these gaming machines.  The older stuff, and this is just my own personal opinion, has a much greater re-play value.  I mean  Batman ArkhamCity on the Xbox 360 or PS3 is great, looks amazing and is super fun.   But once it’s beaten, I will most likely never go back to it.  Yars’ Revenge on the Atari 2600 is a different story with me, that game could never get old.

I remember when my brother and I were younger, we would go to the arcade in our local Mall on the weekends.  Mom and Dad would give us a few dollars to get quarters with, and it was greatest feeling in the world, seemed like the possibilities were endless.  Who would have guessed, those same games in the arcade, would still be as relevant in my life almost 25-30 years later.  Now I’m older and have found new ways to keep these classics alive in my heart.  Places like Twin Galaxies and Retrocade allow me to compete with scores, talk about all these great games, and find others who share the same passions in life.  And with the streaming of the Internet, all these gaming generations can come together as one.  This is a great time for all video game players.

Astro Wars Review

Astro Wars - portable tabletop

Back in the early 80’s, the closest thing to having an arcade in your home was to have one of a plethora of electronic tabletops. In a sea of these portable tabletops, one stood out head and shoulders – Grandstand’s (Epoch developed), Astro Wars. Everything about this black and grey beast was and still is uber cool. It looks like a miniature arcade and it even plays like one. It has a 2-way metal joystick (for left and right movement) and one big plastic fire button – what more could you want !

Astro Wars - portable tabletop

Even after three decades, the hardware oozes coolness. Just look at the unit ! The display is a “vacuum fluorescent display”, or VFD (the box says Multicolour FIP Display !). This was used on consumer-electronics equipment back in the early 80’s, like calculators. Unlike liquid crystal displays, a VFD could emit a very bright light with high contrast and could support display elements of various colours.

Astro Wars - portable tabletop

The unit feels sturdy and can be powered by mains (6 Volt) or with four ‘C’ batteries. The unit is “portable” – perhaps only around the house as you wouldn’t want to lug it around.

Astro Wars - portable tabletop

So, how does this Astro Wars play ? Well, as a shoot’em up, it is quite simple – move your earth ship left / right to avoid missiles from the fierce squadron of attacking fighters and fire back to blast them into smithereens. Once you blast away waves of enemy fighters, warships and command ships, you attempt the docking manoeuvre – landing the upper module to the rocket part of your earth ship. Succeed with this manoeuvre, and you are given extra points. Speaking of points, once you reach 9999, the counter resets to zero and you have effectively “clocked the game”. When you do end up finishing the game, you still want to re-play it. Now that is saying something for a game that has been around for 30+ years. How many other games can you say that about ? OK, I hear people screaming Pac-Man and Donkey Kong, and yes, them too.

If you want a cool piece of gaming history with “pew-pew sounds” and a great game to boot, then hunt down this unit – you will not regret it.

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones

Overall Rating: 2.5/5 Stars

Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot

Published by Technos, this time with Acclaim providing development work, the third game in the Double Dragon series on the NES console was released. Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones continued the storyline with Billy and Jimmy Lee (or, as a humorous typo in the two-player intro names them, Bimmy and Jimmy) now master senseis teaching at their own dojo. However, they are attacked, and in the dying words of their student Brett, discover that not only has Marion gone mysteriously missing, but powerful forces have once again reared their ugly heads and picked a fight with the Lee brothers.


Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot

One or two players can try to conquer the five levels of globe-trotting martials arts beatdown with the Lee brothers. The third Double Dragon iteration borrows some gameplay aspects from the first and second games, culminating in the most challenging of the trio by far. The A button punches, the B button kicks, and the fighting mechanics work similarly to the first two titles, whereas the player is given a health bar (though it seems to deteriorate more rapidly this time around), and the enemies can be grappled with and taken advantage of (get your mind out of the gutter for just a moment here) while there are elbow-dropped and kicked within a headlock.

Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot

Pressing A and B together jumps, while pressing a button on the way down performs a jump kick; pressing A and B together at the apex performs the classic Cyclone Spinning Kick, a devastating move for enemies on either side; and pressing a button on the way up initiates the “somer-assault,” a sweet little tricky move that grabs an enemy’s head before tossing them violently out of the way. Other combinations are available as well, such as jump-kicking off a wall for a more powerful jump kick, or even two players combining for mid-air moves, like the ultimate double spinning kick.

Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot

As with any good old-fashioned beat-’em-up game, dozens upon dozens of enemies will attack the protagonist(s), typically in waves of two. The levels tend to conclude in boss fights, although in Double Dragon III they pose an interesting twist: Defeating a boss recruits them onto the Lee team, meaning that when the player dies, they can now control one of the new characters instead, like the slow fat powerful guy or the quick high-jumping ninja guy. Before picking up any additional allies, the player just has the one life, adding to this title’s brutal difficulty.


Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot

This is a lush, gorgeous game. This characters sport a new fluidity of movement unseen in the prior two games; with, perhaps, the herky-jerky exception of the “somer-assault” flipping animation. Otherwise, though, the punches look cleaner and the enemies move with more convincing appeal. The backgrounds are rendered very pleasantly, stretching the NES palette to its max to get the levels right as the Lee brothers travel across the world. The visuals of the game are fantastic for an 8-bit rendition.


Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot

It is the opinion of this reviewer that the soundtrack of background music offered in Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones is inferior to the prior two games in the series. With that being said, the music is still fairly good for a cartridge title on the NES, exploring a wide range of harmonic arrangements and beat-’em-up-appropriate beats. The title track is a little cheesy (not to mention the scrolling-color effect of the “III” featured), but the overall effect works well. The sound effects are still great, with meaty punch and kick effects providing the satisfying “oomph” of every hit and point of contact. Does any other sound effect matter on a beat-’em-up? The answer is no.


Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot

Double Dragon III shows interesting progression for the franchise: The light-RPG move-unlocking aspect of the first entry continues to be abandoned, while the direction-based controls of the second game are given up as well. Instead, the use of a single life per character is nonchalantly introduced, along with multiple characters, and the new foe-swinging “somer-assault” attack. The actual plotline is notable as well, providing a remarkable ending twist that will not be spoiled here.
Double Dragon III - The Sacred Stones - NES - Gameplay screenshot
However, perhaps the most noteworthy shift in design choice is the difficulty level. This is a noticeably very hard game, with its degree of challenge prominently noted in other reviews, videos, and features across the Internet. Not only is the single-life restriction a harsh restraint on the player, but enemies attack more vicious, more quickly on average, and generally seem to have a “smarter” artificial intelligence, though in the 8-bit days this just means broken movement and attack patterns in their programming.


This is a brutal video game, but brutal because the computer is relentlessly unwaveringly tough, the move set boils down to only a couple of effective options at most in any given situation despite the expanded repertoire, and there is no real saving grace to make up for the shifts upward in difficulty, as even the weapons seem fewer and far between. Some side-scrolling action NES video games such as Battletoads, Mega Man, and Ninja Gaiden are notably difficult, but for reasons of tight stage design, a mix of precision-jumping puzzles and enemy encounters, and bosses that gradually ratchet upward on the difficulty scale. Then others, like The Adventures of Bayou Billy and Double Dragon III: The Sacred Stones, are hard because the player is wedged into a corner of limited gameplay opportunities, broken A.I., and a winning strategy that strays toward move spamming instead of allowing fluid creativity throughout a satisfying playthrough. A challenging game can be an excellent game; but, in the end, Double Dragon III boils down to a less-fun, less-pure, frustratingly quirk-tough take on the Dragon franchise, kicking two and a half stars out of five.


blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Released by Atlus Co Ltd in 1992 this Japanese space shooter might look a little familiar when you first start off. Honestly, at first I thought I was playing a bootleg copy of R-type, but as the game continues on you find enough differences to move it out of the bootleg category and into the standard space shooter category.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Now don’t get me wrong if you love these types of games then you’ll understand there is only so much you can do, but the key question becomes, is the gameplay fun. In BlazeOn you fight one against an army of enemies and like R-type you are not always in free open space. You end up traveling inside enemy bases and end up fighting a boss at the end.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

When you start off your ship has two attacks, your main blaster and a missile that fires straight ahead at enemies. After a while you will encounter some enemies that when you kill them they will leave an outline of themselves and when you fly into it you morph into your own version of that enemy.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Now you have access to their abilities which gives you an even bigger upper hand on the enemy. Some of the enemies you can morph into have a special attack with limited charges while others are specialized for certain conditions like fighting inside the base and shooting at turrets and such.

blazeon-atlus - nes - gameplay screenshot

Like most space shooters the idea is not to get overwhelmed, especially when in a base when you have enemies flying at you while turrets and other defenses are trying to take you out. Obviously the key is to be in an upgraded ship when you get to a boss so you can take it out quicker.

Overall the game is fun, you have you basic controls and decent fight music including individual scores for the boss fights. The game can get frustrating at times as some of the enemies you morph into are not especially useful when you get them. Again, twitch factor is the key to avoid being killed quickly like I am in the video.

Final Soldier

final soldier - pc engine - gameplay screenshot

This week’s classic game review features the 1991 scrolling shooter, Final Soldier. Developed by Now Production and published by Hudson Soft this is the third game in the Star Soldier series. The game features 7 stages and two challenge modes and at the start of the game you can choose what weapon will apply to the color power-up you can use.

Here is the story:

final soldier - pc engine - gameplay screenshot

On Earth in the 23rd century, a space time warp opens up over the Atlantic Ocean. From it comes an enormous invasion force analyzed to come from the 25th century. As Earth is attacked by the alien war machines, it is revealed that the culprits are identified as the Gader’el, a race of large bio-mechanic creatures, who have the ability to freely manipulate space and time; after conquering the future Earth in the 25th century, the Gader’el decided to ensure their influence on mankind by traveling back in time to the 23rd century, conquering that time and then going further into Earth’s past.

final soldier - pc engine - gameplay screenshot

As the armed forces of every country on Earth combats the Gader’el, each scientific academy collaborates on making a weapon capable of destroying the Gader’el’s strongest weapons. The result is the Dryad, a single-fighter spaceship capable of wielding several types of futuristic weapons. The Dryad’s flight path and mission is to warp into the Future Zone in order to reach the Gader’el headquarters and destroy their leader.

Blast Off

Blastoff - namco - arcade - gameplay screenshot

Blast Off was released in Japan in 1989 and is the sequel to the space shooter Bosconian which was released in 1981. Created by Namco this game is pretty much the typical vertical space shooter in where it is you versus and army of enemies, however your ship is armed with some pretty badass weapons.

One thing that is a little different is your ship can switch weapons and while that in itself is not unique, what is, is the fact that dependent on the color of the laser you select you can shoot behind you.

Blastoff - namco - arcade - gameplay screenshot

Here is the weapon rundown:

The Red color features two lasers in a spiral pattern

The Blue color features one laser straight ahead, one behind

The Yellow color features one laser straight ahead, one left, and one right

The Green color features two lasers diagonally forward (one to the left and one to the right), and one straight behind.

In addition, you can hold down the fire button and the ship will fire off a powerful spherical laser. As you can see in the short video you have to have your twitch factor at a high level or you will die pretty quick, but honestly it is not as hard as some of the classic space shooters, I just suck that bad.

Geoff Mendicino on His Tourney for Charity: LOVE of Florida 2012

Geoff Mendicino

Last time Geoff Mendicino was interviewed, he gave us insight on his role in the Fighting Game Community, or FGC. He not only professionally plays fighting games, of course, but also creates videos to help other players and even make them laugh. This time, he’s taking it all to a new level with his tournament for charity: LOVE of Florida 2012.

Geoff Mendicino

What brought about the idea of running a charity event? Was this planned or more of a spur of the moment kind of occasion?

A number of factors came into effect for me to ultimately create a charity tournament.

It’s close to the holiday season. As an aspiring FSU Criminologist grad student, a lot of the disadvantaged and less fortunate kids out there get brought to our attention.

Tallahassee is also a very unknown part of the Florida scene, especially the tournament scene. This is the perfect opportunity to put Tallahassee on the map, before I leave for good to pursue my goals in California the same month.

I’ve been a part of the Fighting Game Community for 5 years now, and I wanted to give something back. Not only to the FGC, but also outside our community to the needy.

Overall, mixing the tight family-like community from fighting games to bring awareness and help to those in need. That’s my inspiration.

So you’re not only contributing to those in need, but once again the FGC as well. It’s a lot to take on, especially with the weight of a life changing event like moving. With schooling in mind, will the FGC still have a large role in your life?

Sadly, only time will tell. The FGC will always be a large part of my life, but once I move to parts unknown it might take me a while to get settled back into the community.

Understandable. This tournament is going to be streamed, right? Do you have a link and maybe any others you may want to share, yet?

Yes! Every game on the roster will be streamed at one point.

Our stream will be available for live viewing of the event on December 15th from 10:00 AM to around 11:30 PM EST.
Darksydegeoff on Twitch.tv

Geoff Mendicino

Where will the viewers be able to make donations?

There will be a donation link on the stream page!

What are the fighting games that will be featured?

So far on our list, we have Guilty Gear, Persona 4: Arena, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, King of Fighters XIII, SSFIV AE 2012, Street Fighter x Tekken, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and a special free game to enter for everyone who just wants to be fun which we’ll be announcing later. Games may change depending on circumstances, but what you see there is very solid.

What is the best way to contact you if there are any more questions to be answered?

Feel free to contact Geoff Mendicino on Facebook for any personal inquiries and darksydegeoff@gmail.com for business inquires.

Will there be other events happening during the stream?

We have a very special raffle where 100% of the proceeds go directly towards Child’s Play. I can’t talk about the sponsors we’ve received at the moment because we’re finalizing things, but we’ll have fightstick giveaways, Fighting Game Celebrity memorabilia, artwork and tons of things we’re giving away at this raffle.

How were you able to find a suitable location for such a large event?

We’ve worked together with local LAN center Gamescape to make this event as convenient as possible to everyone. $0 venue fee and all the open space of a cleared out Old Navy. B.O. will not be a problem!

B.O can get pretty wicked during these types of things. Well I think that about wraps up all of the most important questions! Do you have anything you would like to add, Geoff?

We have the utmost support from all around the community for this event, from California’s CrossCounter TV to our own Floridian backyard with Alex Jebailey from CEO. Thank you to everyone who has contributed; I promise you an amazing event. Love you all!


I would also like to add that the facebook event page for LOVE of Florida: 2012 is public and located here: LOVE of Florida 2012
There are specifics for the players who plan to attend and other details.

This is a great opportunity to contribute to what is truly important and what many seem to forget during the holidays. There is more to gamers than doritos, mountain dew, and body odor. This is a great example!

No really, I’m serious. There’s more to it than that.

Contact me at ladydeathanji@obsoletegamer.com if necessary.

Did you know: Sonic had a Girlfriend?

madonna in a red dress

Did you know: Sonic had a Girlfriend?

It’s true our favorite blue hedgehog originally had a girlfriend named Madonna that was to appear in the original Sonic the Hedgehog game. Madonna was described as a blonde haired skinny human woman in a form-fitting red dress.

Apparently Madonna was to chase Sonic around kind of like Amy Rose does in some of the current Sonic games. She was created by Hirokazu Yasuhara, but Madonna eventually was scrapped due in large part to Madeline Schroeder and her wanting to soften the Sonic character for children. She also felt it would appeal better to foreign countries without Madonna feeling that character felt to “Japanese”.

Other Sonic Facts

Sonic and MJ

In addition to losing his girlfriend Sonic originally was to be part of a rock band and only 15 years old. I am beginning to see a pattern here. His shoes were inspired by a pair of Michael Jackson’s boots and the reason Sonic died when he fell in water is because Sonic programmer, Yuji Naka mistakenly thought that hedgehogs could not swim.

As a bonus, check out this retrospective on Sonic the Hedgehog

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse

Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse - NES - Gameplay screenshot
This is said to be the best Castlevania for the NES and I do agree with that for once. It’s probably the most complete Castlevania for the 8-bit console. I wouldn’t say otherwise because there isn’t much competition to begin with. You have a humble first game and a total turn around in the sequel. Finally, Konami releases a nice gem to finish off the series before moving to the SNES. Anyways, this game kicks ass in many different ways!
Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse - NES - Gameplay screenshot
The Castlevania series has always been a hit because of their wonderful sound scores. It doesn’t matter which game you are playing, you’ll familiarize yourself with the music in no time. The tunes on this game are no different. They are amazing and memorable. The music motivates you to get through the level and find that evil fiend Dracula. Hands down!
Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse - NES - Gameplay screenshot
The graphics are one of the best for the NES. They are as detailed as they can get. You can’t get much for the 8-bit console but then again, some of the most memorable games are for this same console. The game will be a joy for your retro loving eyes.
Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse - NES - Gameplay screenshot
The gameplay is one of the best. The game will challenge you along the way but you’ll have new allies to help you as well. Be sure to know the basics and be able to balance your team in order to get through the game. The controls are very responsive and don’t disappoint. Difficulty has always been a factor on Castlevania games. Konami did a great job at balancing the difficulty level. You won’t find it impossible but it won’t be an easy ride!
Castlevania III - Dracula's Curse - NES - Gameplay screenshot
The game is always great to come back to and play on such holidays as Halloween. It’s a classic and classic ultimately mean that you can come back and enjoy it time and again! Ready to hunt for vampires again?
The game itself is a perfect addition for your collection. You can’t say much of the negative side of the game because there isn’t much. Maybe trying to fuse the Castlevania 2 features within the game would’ve revolutionized it although other games did it already (Faxanadu, Zelda 2) But it definitely would’ve been welcomed.

Halo Cosplay

This week in honor of the release of Halo 4 we bring you some awesome lady Halo Cosplayers, enjoy!




As I prepared for the excruciating experience of preparing my entry into the Review a Bad Game Day worldwide self-flagellation exercise, I realized two key historical gaming themes: first, the rise of the 3D adventure was not without its failures along the way, and second, the history of putrid games released on the PC is an unfortunately long and varied one. My choice, the promisingly-titled first-person AD&D game, Deathkeep, is an evidential exhibit in both.

Deathkeep - pc game - gameplay screenshot

To understand Deathkeep we need to journey back in time to 1987, when Strategic Simulations, Incorporated (SSI), was granted the AD&D license from TSR, Inc. The next seven years were wondrous for the PC Dungeons & Dragons player, as the company released many quality RPGs, beginning with the Gold Box series (of whichSecret of the Silver Blades remains my all-time favorite), the Eye of the Beholderseries, and the later SVGA games such as Menzoberranzan and the Ravenloftgames. I can recall many hours of gaming in the AD&D universe thanks to the talented development teams at SSI. Unfortunately, this review is not about one of those games.

Deathkeep - pc game - gameplay screenshot

The AD&D license expired in 1994, which meant that no new development of games using the AD&D ruleset could be initiated, but games already under production could finish their development cycle. This is how Deathkeep could stay alive and be released on April 30, 1996, a full two years after the license had expired. So between the extra time given to the game and the need to make it the crowning achievement – the legacy, as it were – of the SSI experience with the AD&D universe, you would expect this game to well-nigh pulse with energy while still in the box. You would certainly not expect what appeared to be a very late April Fool’s Day prank from the lads and lasses at SSI.

Deathkeep - pc game - gameplay screenshot

The game begins with a brief semi-animated (mostly a slideshow that occasionally animates, similar to the early days of graphic adventures) which sets up the quest: Stop a generic AD&D villain from reacquiring his long-lost power by recovering three special Orbs from his ancient lair – his “Deathkeep” – which he raised amidst a Dwarven fortress, and deliver them to an ancient three-armed skeleton creature’s temple hidden within that same fortress. Well, not every game can have an interesting and creative storyline, and the hope of those starting the game was that perhaps the game itself would rise above the “every DM in the world has run this story” plot. Unfortunately, the opening sequence may have been the highlight of the game.

Deathkeep - pc game - gameplay screenshot


The first real worry that this game might be broken comes immediately after the opening sequence, when you choose your character. Typically in a RPG, a player selects their gender, race, class, abilities, equipment, and so forth, customizing their character and giving it their own unique stamp. In Deathkeep, the game presents a total of THREE characters to choose from: a male Dwarven Fighter, a female Elven Mage, and a male Half-Elf Fighter/Mage. Astonishingly, that’s it. Not even a choice in gender for each character, so if you’re not into cross-dressing but you do like playing Mages, you’re out of luck. At least you could name your character.

Deathkeep - pc game - gameplay screenshot

As for the gameplay itself, the control mechanism was efficient enough: you could opt to use your keyboard or your mouse for a full range of motions. Combat was handled by facing the creature you wanted to disappear and clicking on your mouse until it was gone. No real problem, aside from the incredibly chunky graphics, that is. Maps and inventory screens displayed in 640×480, but the game ran in 320×200, resulting in walls with very poor textures, and creatures that looked like they would be right at home in today’s Minecraft but with lower resolution. The whole game was just hard on the eyes, and considering the some of the amazing games that were released that same year, SSI really had no excuse.

Deathkeep - pc game - gameplay screenshot

So why was Deathkeep such an embarrassment? The answer lies in the timing of the loss of the AD&D license and what system the game was originally designed to play on: the Panasonic 3DO. Deathkeep was first released for the 3DO in 1995, a full year before the Windows release. The 3DO was a 32-bit video game system whose core processor ran at 12.5 MHz, and whose video output was either 640×480 or 320×240 (on 60 MHz North America systems…50 MHz PAL versions ran much better graphics at 768×576 or 384×288). The game was simply ported over to Windows, with less than stellar results.  Of course, the game wasn’t all that good on the 3DO, either.

Deathkeep - pc game - gameplay screenshot

Here’s a little humorous tidbit of knowledge found in the game’s documentation for anyone wondering why I don’t have any screenshots of gameplay: Deathkeep does not permit Windows multi-tasking. Attempts at doing so exits the game. Not a single screenshot utility works, not the standard PrtScn/Paint combo, not Gadwin, not MWSnap, not Screen Rip32, nothing. Perhaps the developers wanted no visual evidence that might implicate them in this sorry mess of a PC-RPG, perhaps not. Truly this is a bad, bad game.


Deathkeep was promoted as a 1st person 3D game set in the AD&D universe, with “…dungeon delving the way you like it – fast, furious and fun!”  I was one of the unfortunates who purchased the game upon its release (and still have it in my collection of AD&D PC games), and after revisiting it for this review, I am reminded of what I thought back in 1996: This game is neither fast, nor furious, nor fun. It’s games like this one that helped spawn the world-wide “Review a Bad Game Day” phenomena which hopefully will help gamers tell other gamers of some of the pitfalls that await them, while simultaneously presenting an opportunity for us to share our pain with sympathetic readers. So my fellow retrogaming enthusiasts, consider this a solemn warning: should you encounter the excrement that is Deathkeep in your travels, run, don’t walk, away from this game before you suffer as I have suffered!

The Book of Unwritten Tales

The Book of Unwritten Tales - pc game - gameplay screenshot
It’s been quite some time since I last played an adventure game that took me over 15 hours to finish, and, admittedly, that was an (apparently undisclosed) offering released over 10 years ago. Seems that expansive point and clickers are so passé these days… Shockingly and quite unexpectedly then, The Book of Unwritten Tales entertained me for quite a bit more than that, while remaining a brand new game. A rare kind of brand new adventure game actually: the epic kind!
The Book of Unwritten Tales - pc game - gameplay screenshot -
Then again, everything epic isn’t by definition a great idea. Epic can easily turn into dull, though that definitely is not the case with The Book of Unwritten Tales. I already mentioned it entertained me, didn’t I? It is after all such a varied, engaging, wisely paced and well-crafted game that it never feels padded, tedious or boring and will, as soon as you finish it, leave a big gaping, err, gap in your psyche in a way only, well, epic, fantasy novels and a rare few games manage. Thankfully, said gap is easy to heal, but you get the point.
The Book of Unwritten Tales - pc game - gameplay screenshot
 We are not talking Tolkien, Martin and Moorcock here, we are talking Terry Pratchett. We are talking light-hearted fantasy with more than a few humorous touches, that is neither satire nor farce. The Book of Unwritten Tales, you see, is set in a more or less proper fantasy world. There are mages, there are trolls, there are gnomes (yay!), there are knights and castles, there are undead, there are hidden artifacts, there are heroes, there are elves, there are dragons and there’s a battle between good and evil going on. On the other hand, everything feels like it’s taking place in some sort of tongue-in-cheek version of a standard MMORPG setting. The gnomes’ machines never seem to properly work, the orcs are organizing battles in order to support their weapons industry, mystical rings are trusted to little creatures, dragons get fearsome with the help of manuals and Death himself is despairing over the genre’s lack of dead bodies.
The Book of Unwritten Tales - pc game - gameplay screenshot - 1
Intrigued? Well, you really should be, as King Art (the game’s developers) have nailed both the setting and the writing. Even better, they have nailed the humour and have created an atmosphere not wholly dissimilar to the one prevalent in Monkey Island 2The Book of Unwritten Tales (hence BoUT; sorry, can’t be bothered otherwise) can be both (moderately) dark and hilariously funny. And that scene with the forgotten mummy has easily squeezed itself into my funniest gaming moments ever; it’s that good, it is, but not as funny as a certain later segment in the game where a gibberish-talking yet oddly playable character tries to provide with descriptions using only noises and gestures.
The Book of Unwritten Tales - pc game - gameplay screenshot
BoUT, as you may have already guessed, does provide with more than one playable characters; it provides with four. There’s a young gnome that craves for magic, a slightly under-dressed elf, a Han Solo inspired rogue and his blobby sidekick. Each one has different abilities and is utilized for solving different kinds of puzzles.
The Book of Unwritten Tales - pc game - gameplay screenshot
Speaking of puzzles, they are generally easy, brilliantly integrated in the plot and quite varied, as they do let gamers mix potions, talk their way out of situations, combine items, solve mechanical problems and even navigate maps based on vague and ancient writings. Admittedly a few of them (only a couple I believe) are not particularly well designed, but I do suppose that coming up with dozens of puzzles and expecting each and every one to be brilliant is simply impossible. Even Gabriel Knight 3 and Grim Fandango had their moments of pointless frustration…
The Book of Unwritten Tales - pc game - gameplay screenshot - 1
Then again, for every minor flaw one might discover, there’s at least one beautiful (and very dynamic) background, one brilliantly voiced character, one original puzzle or, at least, one smart joke to set things right. BoUT is, tiny problems aside, destined to become classic.
Verdict: A fantastic, stunning, humorous, fantasy adventure for people that can appreciate humour. Grab it now (here) or -at the very least- try its demo.

Video Game Character Dating Profiles: Joy

You should message me if: You can handle my “climax mode”.~Joy

Video Game Character Dating Profiles: Joy

This is what happens when you wake up at 3am after going to bed at 1am and not getting more than 4 hours sleep within the last three days. I present to you, Joy’s OK Cupid profile.


Name: Joy

Occupation:  Angel\Fappathon Material

Likes: Dodging bullets, Threesomes, Contortionists, Singing Hymns

Dislikes: Atheists, Other women not named Joy, “Wooden Horses”


My Self Summary: I’m just a fun loving girls who likes to sing to her daddy during the day and bend into pretzels at night. People think I have a multiple personality disorder, but those are just my sisters who never give me a moment’s peace. I am a huge fan of the Matrix movies.

What I’m doing with my life: I am in a renaissance period where I am exploring myself by imitating others. I love to pretend I am other people. Okay, truth be known I have only impersonated one other person and it did not work out well. Everyone is a critic.

I’m really good at: Singing, Dancing, Bending over backwards, Avoiding things flying at my face (most of the time).

The first things people usually notice about me: My lack of shame. The others told me my entrance was too slutty, but they are just jealous bitches. My name is Joy not Sister Mary Kate and with a body crafted by Ukrainian gymnast it would be a crime not to show it off.

Favorite books, movies, shows, music and Food: There is only one book I ready and if you cannot guess it I doubt we will match up well. As far as music I like only my own singing and sorry, what the hell is food?

The six things I could never do without: My two sisters, Glucosamine and Ghondroitin, Skin tight clothing and go-go boots.

I spend a lot of time thinking about: My chapter placement in that book in Bayonetta and the fact that if you translate the script written under my name it says “NSFW”.

On a typical Friday night I am: Dancing in my Bayonetta costume with my sisters and practicing my moaning.

The most private thing I’m willing to admit: There is a light show everytime I orgasm.

I’m looking for:

  • Guys who likes freaks
  • Ages 18 to (How do you put the infinity sign here?)
  • Near Heaven
  • New friends, Activity (gymnastics) partners, Long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long long distance dating.

You should message me if: You can handle my “climax mode”.

You should NOT message me if: You like Torture attacks.

Interested? Go ahead… Send her a message

Wreck-It Ralph: The backstory behind the classic Tapper arcade video game

Wreck-It Ralph: The backstory behind the classic Tapper arcade video game

Out of all the vintage arcade video games that make cameos in Disney’s new Wreck-It Ralph film, which opened this weekend, perhaps none are as much of a surprise to old school gamers as Tapper, Bally Midway’s 1983 cult classic.

wreck-it-ralph - tapper

Originally conceived as an arcade title for bars and taverns, Tapper went into business with an official license with Budweiser, courtesy of Midway marketing guru Tom Nieman, and was programmed by Scott Morrison and Steve Meyer. A cabinet resembling a real bar, complete with cupholders, a brass footrail and a small beer tap as a controller, housed the unique coin-op title.

The object of Tapper was to control your speedy bartender as he tries to keep up with thirsty patrons who are capable of chugging their beer quickly and tend to get grumpy if they don’t get another right away. After the bartender fills a beer glass he slides it down to the customers, who slide back an empty one if they’d like to wet their whistle some more. The first level takes place in a saloon setting, with an athletic contest, punk bar and space alien bar appearing in future levels.

wreck-it-ralph - tapper

At one point a special chip was ordered to record burping sounds for use within the game. The production crew for Tapper sat around one night drinking beer and burping into a microphone, but once the concept was installed into the game it quickly became annoying. The idea was dropped.

The game was a modest success at a time when the arcade market was falling into a deep slump due to over saturation of product and locations. Around 3,300 Tapper machines were sold, and not all of them to bars and taverns as expected. When concerns arose about alcoholic advertising appearing in arcade locations where children might see it, Midway released an altered version of the game called Root Beer Tapper. The basic concept of the game was the same, but with root beer replacing Budweiser, removal of many of the bar elements from the game cabinet and replacing the bartender with a younger and more family friendly looking soda jerk.

wreck-it-ralph - tapper

Root Beer Tapper also allowed for the game to be licensed for home consoles of the time, though another licensing arrangement appeared in other home versions where soft drink Mountain Dew was the product of choice. The root beer version appears in all other modern day console re-releases.

In Wreck-It Ralph, Tapper’s is the name of the hangout where all the arcade characters gather at the end of a hard day. While it is quickly noted on screen that root beer is served there, the bartender is the mustached tapper from the original version. The arcade cabinet within the film features art from the original Tapper arcade machine with the root beer version on-screen.


This film appearance appears likely to cement the Bally Midway classic into pop culture some 29 years after it’s original release.

Gamer Profile: Sandeep Parikh


Name: Sandeep Parikh

Known as: Zaboo, the Warlock

Series: The Guild


Favorite Classic Video Game: Galaga and The Legend of Zelda

Quote: I played Galaga with my older brothers, they would steer and I would shoot. Happy memories there. And then Zelda is what truly transformed me into a gamer. I made a whole show about it! www.legendofneil.com it’s about a guy who get sucked into Zelda and has to fight his way out.

Bio: Sandeep Parikh acts in fun stuff like The Guild only when he doesn’t have to audition. (thanks Felicia!) He’s primarily a writer/director. His latest creation is the Comedy Central produced webseries, The Legend of Neil which is about a guy who gets sucked into Zelda. Sandeep also founded and runs EffinFunny, a stand up and sketch comedy community. He’s currently in talks with everybody about producing everything. He’s repped at William Morris. They’re busy so don’t call. Unless its about Sandeep, then do call.


Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

Wizorb (2011)
By: Tribute Genre: Bat ‘n’ Ball Players: Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: PC First Day Score: 952
Also Available For: Apple Mac, Xbox Live
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

As video games evolve over the years it’s inevitable that advances in technology will see new genres born, and equally inevitable is that sadly a few older genres will become extinct. One that I thought had gone the way of the latter is that of bat ‘n’ ball games, or brick-breakers, or Breakout clones, or whatever you prefer to call them. They originally came about as a one-player version of the first commercially successful game ever – Pong. This obviously makes them one of the oldest and most basic types of game around which shouldn’t make their demise too surprising! But wait… What’s this? Splendid indie developer, Tribute, has sought to revitalise the ailing genre with this very game!
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

The fruit of their endeavours is Wizorb which, as unlikely as it may sound, it actually a RPG-ish take on the traditional bat ‘n’ ball style of game. It’s set in the once peaceful Kingdom of Gorudo which has been cursed and is now threatened by a mysterious evil presence. Their last hope for salvation rested with a skilled swordsman named Owain but shortly after embarking on his mission to rid the land of evil, he disappeared. Then, when all hope seemed lost, a stranger stepped forward to save the helpless townsfolk: Cyrus, a wizard from a distant land who’s versed not only in both black and white magic but is also master of a secret magic art called… Wizorb!
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

The quest undertaken by Cyrus encompasses five ‘worlds’ (which are actually themed areas of Gorudo), each of which consists of twelve levels before a boss battle. As with most games of this type, successful completion of a level is achieved by destroying all the bricks on it and there are several different types. However, each single-screen level also includes a few enemy creatures and these need to be destroyed as well by smacking them with the ball, or ‘orb’ as is the case here, and keeping it in play by deflecting it with the bat, or ‘magic wand’. The orb does of course gradually increase in speed the longer it’s in play but Cyrus isn’t restricted to the wand and orb method of clearing the bricks. He’s also able to deploy various magic spells and it’s from here that at least some of the game’s RPG-ness comes.
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

He can use splendid magical abilities at any time as long as he has sufficient power available and there are two types – black and white. There are also two variations of each which are used depending on where the orb is in relation to the wand at the time of use. If it’s very close, using black magic will unleash the Magna Orb which can smash through lots of bricks at once while using white magic will slow the orb down and give you limited control of it for a short while. If the ball is not close to the wand, using black magic will shoot a Fireball which can destroy bricks or hurt enemies (including bosses – hooray!) while using white magic allows you to alter the orb’s trajectory. There are also two other magics – Teleport which allows you to reposition the ball after losing a life and Recover which refills a portion of your magic-meter if you manage to hit the orb with the wand eight times without hitting a block or enemy.
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

Each magic uses up a set percentage of your reserves but luckily using Recover magic isn’t your only means of replenishing your supplies. Destroying bricks often results in items drifting down the screen and these can include potions (replenish 20% of your magic), coins (ups your gold reserves by one), gems (worth ten gold coins), keys (unlock doors), hearts (extra life), or most rare of all, a fairy (which flies around the screen randomly dropping items). As you make your way through the game though, other items called Curses start joining the more helpful items which have a variety of effects depending on the curse. They might shrink your wand, increase the speed of the orb, steal some of your magic or gold, prevent the orb from causing damage for a short while, impair your wand’s movement, or even cost you a life.
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

As well as several different sizes of normal bricks, there are also lots of other kinds such as shield blocks, ones made of stone or ruby, the inevitable unbreakable variety, and each world has its own generic ‘decoration’ brick as well (crates in the first world, bushes in the second, etc). There are also several block-sized features like bumpers, switches, runes, and treasure chests which may contain either a reward or a curse! Some levels feature doors. Ones that are already open generally lead to a similar exit elsewhere on the screen but locked ones need to be opened by hitting switch blocks or collecting keys. These either lead to a bonus room with lots of bubbles filled with items, or to a shop where you can use your gold reserves to buy other items, some of which are available in-game and others that aren’t.
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

The shops sell several helpful items for very reasonable prices such as potions, a longer wand (snigger), extra lives, magnets (sticky wand), slow orb (orb starts at half-speed), multi-orb (three orbs at once), strong orb (double damage), or even a jewel crown which blinds you for being greedy! There’s also all sorts of different bonuses to aim for, some of which are awarded at the end of a level, others at the end of a world. Talking of the worlds, each is named (Clover Village, Slime Forest, Rotten Mines, Cursed Castle, and Netherworld) and home to some of its own features including one type of enemy for each – Wolfkids (who live in towns), Slimes (which move slowly by hopping), Eyeballs (who thrive in dark areas), Ghosts (which can teleport), and finally, Skull Knights (who can deflect the orb with their sword).
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

Each world also has a boss, which usually takes the form of a giant version of that world’s standard enemy, and it’s own graphical theme – medieval-style town, grassy plains, rocky mines, royal castle, and even spooky, mystical, spacey stuff! Regardless of the theme, however, the graphics are absolutely fantastic throughout. As a recent game, Wizorb obviously doesn’t feature state-of-the-art 3D environments and ten billion polygons per brick and all that stuff but Tribute pride themselves on being perveyors of fine pixel art and to that end it is a success, for it is indeed a wonderful-looking game. The presentation is of the highest quality and includes plenty of detailed options and instructions screens, and in-game, things are of an equally high standard.
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

The levels themselves have had about as much detail packed into them as you would think possible without distracting from the actual gameplay. Each world has a great style and, while some are more colourful than others, all are superbly detailed and full of character. There’s also a lot of nice touches like the pink slimy curses, watching a Magna Orb smash through tons of bricks, or even the old codger himself, Cyrus, who makes a few appearances. All the sprites are detailed and appealing (even the enemies) but Cyrus is my favourite! The audio is also superb with lots of nice effects and some great music. Each world has its own tune (Slime World has the best in my opinion) and there are a few others for the title screen, bonus rounds, boss fights, etc.
Wizorb - pc gameplay screenshot

However, of greater importance than the aesthetics with games like this is the design of the levels and the controls used to play them. Happily, both aspects of Wizorb are also superb. Movement of your ‘wand’ is achieved by either mouse or keyboard and while both are accurate and fairly forgiving, the mouse obviously offers greater accuracy, although efforts have been made to keep the keyboard option as close as possible. You can launch the orb in any direction you want at the start of a level or life as well which certainly makes tackling the more fiendishly-designed levels a little easier. It’s not an overly easy game to actually play but the increase in difficulty is nice and gradual and you can save at any time too – each reload gives a full quota of continues so it doesn’t take too long to see all the game has to offer.

When such an apparently simple game offers as much as this one does though, it feels like a privilege to see it all, and there are plenty of bonuses and achievements to keep you playing which is all the more impressive given the game’s meagre asking price. There’s even a village you can explore called ‘Tarot’ which is in ruins at the start of the game but by making donations to villagers you can help to rebuild it and then make use of its services. Things like this are what make Wizorb such an appealing game to play – it’s always clear how much love and effort has gone into it which makes you love it back even more! It’s a great game anyway but if you have even the merest hint of fondness for bat ‘n’ ball games, Wizorb is an essential purchase – it could be the best couple of quid you ever spend.

RKS Score: 9/10

Space Harrier

space_harrier - arcade - gameplay screenshot

Yu Suzuki, Sega’s answer to Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto, has produced some of the most iconic arcade games ever. How does Out Run, After Burner, Power Drift, Super Hang-On and Virtua Fighter (to name a few) grab you ? Before all these superlative arcade titles, it was the 1985 hit Space Harrier, that propelled Yu into the stratosphere of legendary game developers.

space_harrier - arcade - gameplay screenshot

The gameplay is simple and addictive. As a third-person rail shooter, you whiz around the screen (you can run along the ground or fly), shooting at the enemies that come flying into the foreground. While making your way through each level, you must also avoid enemy projectiles and any stationary objects in your way.

space_harrier - arcade - gameplay screenshot

At the end of each level, you battle the bosses. These bad dudes are tough to beat. You will find yourself dodging and weaving while relentlessly shooting away, hoping they die before you do. Once you defeat all the bosses that reappear on level 18, the game is completed. If you do get this far, give yourself a pat on the back.


Space Harrier’s legacy has been propagated ever since it appeared in the arcades. If you are lucky enough to find the sit-down version of the game, grab as many coins as you can and start pumping them in. Mr. Yu Suzuki, take a bow.

space_harrier - arcade - gameplay screenshot

GraphicsThere is some cool pseudo-3D sprite scaling going on, which for the time, was damn awesome. It still holds up today.


SoundPretty cool soundtrack and nice meaty effects of your blaster as you mow down the enemies


PlayabilityUsing the analogue flight stick control, Space Harrier gives you precision perfect control of your character as you dart around the screen, avoiding and shooting at stuff


LastabilityConsidering it was released in 1985 and gamers are still talking about it, I think that speaks volumes of its legacy


OverallSeek it and play it, now !


space_harrier - arcade - gameplay screenshot

Year: 1985
Genre: Shooter (into the screen)
Number of simultaneous players: 1
Maximum number of players: 1
Gameplay: Single
Joystick: Analog stick with trigger [Fire]
Sound: Amplified Stereo (two channel)