Weird Retro Mumblings: Oh My! NBA Jam T.E.

Apparently first released back in 1994, NBA Jam T.E. (For Sega Mega Drive) holds the illustrious honour of being possibly the only ‘team sports’ game that I’ve ever really enjoyed. As I’ve often mentioned, one of the great things about gaming is the breadth of the medium, so whilst it’s not my preferred “Heftgröße” (as our German speaking cousins would say) I know that there are gamers out there who revel in ‘Fifa’ and ‘Madden’ as much as I do in ‘Bioshock’ and BotW. Continue reading “Weird Retro Mumblings: Oh My! NBA Jam T.E.”

QotM*: Poor Wardrobe Selection

*Question of the Month is a metaphorical puppy let loose in a ball-pool orchestrated by Later Levels

As always the game blogging community isn’t afraid to tackle the really big issues of our chosen sphere of interest. For November we’re looking at fashion choices, but not the most stylish, or sexiest, … Or even those outfits that we as gamers would like to steal from our favourite digital protagonists and strut around in from time to time (answer to all three is Link’s barbarian armour set from BotW). For this question we’ve been asked to come up with the character who has just made a plain bad choice because of the practicalities of their chosen activity. Continue reading “QotM*: Poor Wardrobe Selection”

That Was No lizard: Dino Crisis

Spoiler Warning: This article contains plot spoilers for Dino Crisis and strong dinosaur references

Motivated by my recent nostalgic ramblings about games with fixed camera angles and pre-rendered backgrounds, I decided to give something new, but of the same era and style a go, so I leapt on to eBay to pick up a copy of Capcom’s 1999 PS1 release, Dino Crisis … and now owe everyone an apology because Dino Crisis doesn’t have pre-rendered backgrounds, it takes place in 3D environment… so, sorry everyone… I was wrong… It is however a game that follows the Resident Evil style of gameplay remarkably closely which is unsurprising being directed by Shinji Mikami, produced by Capcom at a time that the early Resident Evil games were at their peak, and even mentions Resident Evil on the boxart. At the time I was aware of it mainly through playing a short (and seemingly mis-remembered) demo, although given that there were two sequels, it must had had at least a fair following and reception. From my own point of view it strummed all the right nostalgic chords that I had hoped for when I got the urge to revisit a “Resident Evil” game; so much that I played it through to completion which is more than I can say for some retro games I’ve tried to turn my hand to.   Continue reading “That Was No lizard: Dino Crisis”

Immovable Viewpoint: Reminiscing About Pre-Rendered Backgrounds

With current generation PC’s and consoles able to render glorious scenes on-the-fly in almost photo-realistic detail… well, at least until the next step forward when we’ll all look back and wonder how we ever coped with the current blocky mess of low-resolution graphics… the idea of pre-rendering backgrounds feels like a quaint footnote in the annals of gaming’s heritage. It occupied the fabled spot of cutting edge practice for a few short years around the mid to late 90’s and is most closely associated with Capcom survival horror games (the early Resident Evil games and Dino Crisis) but was used in a few other notable games including Final Fantasy VII. Of course with my self acknowledged predisposition to Resident Evil 2 I do have a soft spot for this particular visual style and, having been reminded of it following my recent nostslgia trip into Devil May Cry, my brain has been idley mulling over the technique from a practical and stylistic point of view. The ‘What’ & ‘Why’ of pre-rendered backgrounds is worth picking over before getting to how I feel about them, especially as there may be (shockingly) more than a few people reading who’ve never experienced a game with fixed camera angles and pre-rendered backgrounds. Continue reading “Immovable Viewpoint: Reminiscing About Pre-Rendered Backgrounds”

Please Insert Disk Two: Episode 2 – Devil May Cry (Podcast)

The long awaited second episode of  Please Insert Disk Twois finally here!

Sure it’s been a little while since out last audio outing, but Chinery and I have rustled together the next instalment of our gaming cultural exchange. Once again one of us has picked a gaming favourite from their personal history that somehow passed the other by… but this time the roles are reversedContinue reading “Please Insert Disk Two: Episode 2 – Devil May Cry (Podcast)”

QotM*: Which Videogame Should Have Had a Sequel?

*Question of the month is the blogging equivalent of that cup of coffee in the middle of a tedious job brought to you by those good people over at Later Levels… with a Jammy Dodger on the side… Game sequels tend to get a raw deal, developers are pressured into slapping a ‘2’ on the end of their successful title, building on the original, keeping it … Continue reading QotM*: Which Videogame Should Have Had a Sequel?

How Fast is Sonic: My Own Take on the Age Old Question

So ‘Sonic Mania’ is arriving soon and, although that may not excite many people, any of us who fought bravely in the 16-bit wars of the early 90’s on the side of the blue spiked hero will be eagerly awaiting his return to his 2D homeland where he is still loved, in all the same settings that we loved him in. It promises to be … Continue reading How Fast is Sonic: My Own Take on the Age Old Question