Jurassic Park (DOS 1993) – Split Personality

“Who better to get the children through Jurassic Park than a dinosaur expert” – John Hammond … to be said in a warm Scottish accent… 

Who better indeed than Alan Grant? The embodiment of Good-Sam-Neil; as oppose to Bad-Sam-Neil that we all know and were terrified by in Event Horizon.

The latest in my very leisurely quest to explore the many Jurassic Park games goes right back to 1993 where it all started with the PC game released by Ocean software. Ocean were also responsible for the Nintendo (NES, GB, SNES) Jurassic Park games which all took a more top-down action approach when compared to the side-scrolling action of the SEGA games; but those are DNA strands to break down another day. The PC version is most similar to the SNES version with both isometric and first person segments, but they are two quite different games as I managed to complete the PC version whereas any time I’ve attempted the SNES version I’ve failed to make it more than one-hundred in-game meters from the opening screen. Continue reading “Jurassic Park (DOS 1993) – Split Personality”

Editorial: July 2018 – Toasty…

Hello and a happy July to you all; doesn’t seem like so long ago that I was wrapped up warm in the middle of a blizzard writing March’s Editorial and now the UK is in the sweaty grip of a heatwave with people standing on street corners tutting disapprovingly at hose users and making statements about liking it hot, but not this hot.

… of course from a gaming point of view the past month has held the joy of E3, seemingly endless logos and carefully scripted trailers being paraded out to the cheers of a crowd somewhere in the press conference at an unsocial time for anyone in the UK to watch; not that I’m bitter. I don’t generally get caught up too caught up in the E3 hype, but this year I think I enjoyed that collective sense of anticipation in the community more than in the past and there were a few things that caught my attention even at this early stage. I’m was very excited to finally see some of the Resident Evil 2 remake and thrilled that it looks really… really… good. Within the list of other announcements I’m quietly intrigued by Wolfenstein: The Young Blood; TNO was excellent, but neither Old Blood or New Colossus quite captured that same feeling. At this stage there are very few details other than it being a co-op experience so I’ve quietly been trying to convince my wife that she should play TNO in preparation for Young Blood’s release.  Continue reading “Editorial: July 2018 – Toasty…”

Postman Pat on Atari ST: Hell on Earth

The phrase “Retro-Gaming” conjures up images of PacMan, Mario, Space Invaders, but for many of us it’s also associated with one of the vast array of home computers that we grew up with before PC’s became the default computing platform. Regular travellers to my corner of the internet will know that some of my earliest gaming was on the Atari STe; a titan of the late 80’s home computing market with its desktop graphical interface a resplendent green whilst many PC users of the time were still command-lining it up in DOS.

Of course I was way too young to use it for anything practical, but this bulky grey box set up in the study was undeniably a source of intrigue for my young mind and my parents had furnished us with a modest selection of games…. including Postman Pat…. Continue reading “Postman Pat on Atari ST: Hell on Earth”

Night in the Woods: Feeling Stuff

Stuff! Heck, we all feel “Stuff”, you know from time to time, like… you know when feelings and things…

The truth is, despite that masterfully elegant opening paragraph, I’m pretty bad at articulating feelings. In my “day-job” this isn’t a problem; few people really want to know how metallurgy makes me feel, so the papers and reports tend to just stick to the science. However, that’s just my daylight hour alter-ego and outside those hours I’m someone who loves games that make me feel things. Of course I do feel things all the time, but I’m rarely called upon to explain, understand, or write down exactly what I’m feeling.

So recently I’ve been playing “Night in the Woods” (I’m some way through, but havn’t completed it yet so no spoilers in the comments please!) and it makes me feel things in a way that the simple charming 2D graphics of an anthropomorphised cat manage to hide really well to the casual observer. It’s a game all about feelings and I’m going to do my best to break down what it makes me feel, and maybe even why.

Continue reading “Night in the Woods: Feeling Stuff”

QotM*: Empire Building

*Question of the Month is some blueberries on meringue with ice cream served on a sunny day by Later Levels

As I sit here on the triple throne of Green Hill Zone, The Mushroom Kingdom, and Hyrule, I’d like to take a moment to recount for you the story of how I came to acquire this power. The challenge, if I recall correctly, was laid down by one Luna of GamersUnitedGG, inscribed for the ages in the legendary “Master Post” and archived in the great library of Later Levels. I’d made my way there some years ago to find a truth, but as I read that text, it began to form in my mind a dark challenge that, when translated in to the tongue of the current age, read thus:

You are a new villain trying to make a name for yourself so you have decided to take over the Mushroom Kingdom, Green Hill Zone and Hyrule. Who are you and how will you defeat each hero and take over? Continue reading “QotM*: Empire Building”

Resident Evil 2 Remake: E3 Trailer Breakdown

Anyone who… well… has ever heard my talk about gaming will more than likely know that Resident Evil 2 is not only my go-to answer for “Favourite Game”, but also holds a very special place in my gaming history. The escapades of Leon & Claire as they escape Raccoon City forms part of my own plot of sacred gaming ground and with the announcement of Capcom’s intention to remake it I scrunched up my eyes and wished for them to tread gently and carefully with something I hold so dear. With this year’s E3 I awoke on Tuesday morning to take in the two trailers of this revisiting to Raccoon City and as I sipped my coffee, sat on the train, sat through a teleconference, and everything else I did that day, my mind set about trying to process exactly how I felt about what I’d seen first thing in the morning. It wasn’t until I arrived back home that I watched them for a second time… and then a third… and then some more to try and figure this out. Honestly I won’t know how I feel about it until January next year when I’m playing it, but for now, here is my breakdown of the Resident Evil 2 Remake… or RE2Make for ease of typing.  Continue reading “Resident Evil 2 Remake: E3 Trailer Breakdown”

Spy Party: Purloin That Guest List

Hello… are you sitting comfortably?…no, come closer… slide your chair in… closer… closer… move in to uncomfortably close territory as though you’re trying to see the flaw in a waxwork. Now start studying my behaviour intensely and try to work out if I’m doing anything devious.. am I?… 

This is what Spy Party feels like.

Spy Party is a game that has been in development for an extraordinary length of time. I first heard about it in an issue of Games tm (so back when I still bought print magazines) maybe ten or more years ago. Since then I’ve kept an occasional eye on the Spy Party website for development updates, I even bought the game in beta (although didn’t really play it at that point), and finally in recent months it has hit Steam; albeit in early access form. It was the simple, yet instantly understandable, concept that hooked my interest, held it for all those years and is what makes it a very interesting experience now I’ve finally spent some time playing. Continue reading “Spy Party: Purloin That Guest List”