Greg Norman’s Ultimate Golf: Where are the Sharks?

During my recent confession disguised as a review, I admitted that I actually had a bit of a soft spot for golf games; not in a kind of ‘let’s simulate the heck out of this down to the brand of spikes in Ralph Grundleson’s special golf shoes’, but more of a casual arcade-ey soft-spot for the precise layout of the course and seeing that virtual ball sail towards the horizon from a perfectly executed QTE. I also mentioned that some of this unexpected leaning was likely down to playing Greg Norman’s Ultimate Golf on Atari ST … SHARK ATTACK!!…

… and I’m going to be upfront with my biggest criticism of the game- hold on to your hats because it’s a doozy. No game … NO!… GAME!… should feature the words ‘Shark Attack!’ right these in bright letters on the boxart if they don’t contain at least one shark. Greg Norman’s Ultimate Golf does not feature any sharks… and yet SHARK ATTACK is right there on the box, and no, I’m sorry to all you golfing a-fish-a-nandos, Greg Norman is not a shark. He is an Australian gentleman who likes to play golf. As an eight year old child this was one of my biggest gaming disappointments. I’ve waited a long time to set the record straight there. 

The whole thing got me feeling a bit nostalgic for ol’ GN’s:UG so I decided to emulate the heck out of it in an attempt to see what it is about the game that I must have at least been slightly intrigued by (yes, I could have dug out the actual ST and played… but no, I don’t have that kind of lounge space or time to spare at the moment). Continue reading “Greg Norman’s Ultimate Golf: Where are the Sharks?”

Quake VR: Queasy…

Valve’s: The Lab is still my go to VR demo for anyone wanting to give that ol’ headset their first go. Taking a playful sandbox approach to VR-ing it introduces new users to the concepts of VR in a polished and intuitive way; warp movement, picking things up, firing a bow and arrow – yes, all the core part of VR are there!

My favourite part of ‘The Lab’ however is still the Portal themed robot maintenance bay; a short linear demo with very few interactive elements that astounds me every time I give it a shot. It’s the virtual transportation in to the world of Portal that blows me away. Coming face to face with the beautifully intricate Atlas or that moment when GlaDOS drops in to view – the immersion and the sense of scale are awesome, and for a fan of the source material it gives me chills every time. It’s the same reason that for a long time my Steam VR home was the Team Fortress 2 theme, the chance to be beamed directly in to your favourite game universe is too much to pass up. Continue reading “Quake VR: Queasy…”

Remembering the Sega Game Gear: … because I have no idea where I put the thing…

*… because I can’t find my Game Gear Featured Image is provided by Nostalgia Nerd (Original) under CC-BY-2.0… oh you sweet Flickr valet of moody-lit consoles and stuff…  

… I mean, seriously… where have I put it? I know it’s here somewhere! 

Attic hunting aside, the Sega Game Gear was my first console and the company’s 1990 answer to Nintendo’s GameBoy. It’s a contest which my beloved bulky hunk of plastic never really stood a chance of winning; Nintendo’s fighter had a year head start and Tetris which catapulted it in to the stratosphere amassing over 100 million lifetime sales compared to a meagre 10 million accrued by the Game Gear. All that being said I loved that little system. Loved it in-spite of the monstrous appetite it had for AA batteries (that I rarely fed it, choosing to play mostly using a power adaptor) and that sometimes hard to see screen… and the way that if you knocked the power cable it would often reset the game. Continue reading “Remembering the Sega Game Gear: … because I have no idea where I put the thing…”

Smashing CRTs: Unpicking Sonic’s Boxes

Anyone who dares follow me on Twitter may have picked up on my recent obsession with the CRT monitors (AKA Boxes!) that litter the various zones of the early Sonic the Hedgehog Games. I don’t exactly know why my brain has been idling on these iconic ingame items, but the more I turn it over in my mind the more bizarre it seems: Hedgehog smashes CRT monitor… gets stuff!

I’ve certainly not been one to shy away from applying ‘science’ to Plant Mobius in the past, but all I have to work with here is that Sonic smashes CRT and one of five different things happen (taking the SMD original as the blueprint): He picks up 10 gold rings; Grabs the Power Boots for Super Speed; Gains a one hit shield; Becomes invulnerable for a short time; or gains an extra life. So the big question is:

Is there a scientifically feasible explanation for the CRT item boxes in Sonic the Hedgehog?  Continue reading “Smashing CRTs: Unpicking Sonic’s Boxes”

Resident Evil: Director’s Cut; What’s the Deal With That?

… oh yes, it’s another Resident Evil related post!… 

A few blog posts ago, I vaguely said that my next streaming outing was going to be ‘Resident Evil: Director’s Cut’ (RE:DC) for PS1. Unfortunately life got in the way of me actually streaming, and whilst I might cover this in more detail in an editorial, the cinematic release version of events is that I got crazy busy (both home and at work) and went on an impromptu blogging hiatus because I just couldn’t find my blogging motivation with other things happening. Part of the upshot of the hiatus was that I really wanted to play RE:DC but didn’t have the time to set up a whole streaming evening and finally gave in to playing it as-and-when I could grab a gaming session, sadly without having all you good people over to watch…

… this doesn’t mean that streaming is off the table, I still have to come up with a time and theme for my next evening on Twitch…

Part of the reason I wanted to go back to RE:DC is that it is the version of the original Resident Evil that I own, but I’ve never played it half as much as the sequels. Resident Evil 2 was my initial ticket to Raccoon City and the original game was something I discovered afterwards. The other thing that I’d never really considered was what exactly that ‘Director’s Cut’ subtitle meant or why it existed in the first place. Continue reading “Resident Evil: Director’s Cut; What’s the Deal With That?”

Microsoft Flight Simulator ’95: What Was I Thinking?

Strolling around the halls of Rezzed last weekend, my wife and I paused for a while to watch ‘Bus Simulator’; it’s a game where you drive a bus… around a route… and stop to pick up passengers. Aside from the odd curb clipping incident and missing a stop by a few feet (shocking!) very little happened for the few minutes that we stood and watched four different people have a go. I wandered away from the stand with two distinct thoughts: firstly, despite being touted as something super realistic, it’s clearly not because who drives a bus from a third person perspective? and secondly that this is a game I don’t understand.

… and if this is your thing then drive-on good person, drive-on! I’m not judging. I’ve played plenty of games that felt somewhere close to ‘a job’ in the past including ‘Viscera Cleanup Detail’ and ‘SpaceChem’ so I can understand that there is appeal in performing virtual-mundane tasks. 

Almost immediately after having this thought however I suddenly remembered something: Microsoft Flight Simulator ’95. Oh, how I wanted Microsoft Flight Simulator ’95. Continue reading “Microsoft Flight Simulator ’95: What Was I Thinking?”

Weird Retro Mumblings: Resident Evil Survivor – A Missed Opportunity

Few people know this, but way back in my mid-teens, I used to be a moderator on a Resident Evil forum (Wow, you’re learning so much about my gaming related past this month!). Looking back I guess it wasn’t for very long; after all there’s only so often that you can speculate on the seedy private life of Brian Irons or endlessly moderate a fanfic thread with the impossible task of keeping it from swerving dramatically out of the community content guidelines…

never venture on to a Resident Evil fanfic forum….

only get your Resi-fic from legitimate sources… like me..

Alongside these forums, the site offered a number of fan made guides and walkthroughs to the handful of Resident Evil titles that existed at the time. At some point the ‘top-website-person’ messaged me and asked if I would write a walkthrough for the newly released “Resident Evil Survivor”; a game that I’d picked up close to launch….

… I declined…

He persisted in his request so I finally jotted down a few notes on the various weapons and enemies within the game, but no way was I doing a walkthrough because that would mean I’d have to play the game through again at least once, but more likely several times to hit all the path branches. This wasn’t something I was prepared to embark upon; Survivor is not a good game, but it does fall in to that category of “Games that I really wanted to be good”. Continue reading “Weird Retro Mumblings: Resident Evil Survivor – A Missed Opportunity”