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Showing posts with the label Commodore 64

Turrican: SNES

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With the advent of the Nindies and the recent Konami re-releases, over the past few weeks the term Metroidvania has been slung about a lot at me. While this has not really given me a desire to play either Castlevania or Metroid, is has made me wanna play their estranged cousin - Turrican on the SNES: 

I decided to pick up the SNES version of Turrican and burn through that, though... my first fond memories and experience of Turrican was on the Commodore 64:
On the C64 the game was a different beast, for starters it was just "Turrican", not "Super Turrican".

Note:And just to add further confusion to the whole thing, there was also a "Super Turrican" on the NES, which was a mix of Turrican and Turrican 2... Phew...

Turrican on the C64, or the original Turrican had vast expansive levels and despite Turrican being referred to as a "Run and gun" it had many secrets and paths and caves to negotiate and explore which you certainly were not going to find …

Bob Wakelin: Imagination fuel

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Bit of Shitty news: Bob Wakelin is dead... You can easily be forgiven for asking who Bob Wakelin is, but truth is he probably touched your life in some way without you realising.

Bob Wakelin was particularly famous for "Box Art" back when games were physical, you used to buy games in oversized cardboard boxes or in cassette tape and box form. And on these boxes was box art. And is was art, these guys were given the unenviable task of taking 8-bit sprites and re-imagining them. And imagining is the key word here the wonder of this box art is that is set a precedence for the game itself, no-one was under any false pretences that the box art would emulate the in-game graphics, but when you were playing it it would enhance the level of imagination you placed on it, especially when trying to decipher what some of those pixels were!

Bob's portfolio is extensive and I want to just showcase a few of our favourites:

The Newzealand Story:
The New Zealand (Newzealand?) Story, a ga…

In game advertising

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It hasn't happened yet but we remember distinctly being distinctly worried in a very distinct fashion around the time that gaming really took off as there were rumblings of in-game advertising being explored as a thing. We were worried that if advertisers got the keys to our games, they'd end up looking as gaudy as real cities and we'd find ourselves strangely drawn to brands we'd never paid much attention to before.
Fortunately, that never really happened. Red Bull got into a couple of games, Wipeout and Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death. The brand seamlessly sat in the world of Wipeout. Not so much Judge Dredd. From what I can recall instead of making your way around generic docks and warehouses filled with normal crates, you made your way around docks and warehouses filled with Red Bull crates. Other than that I can't recall other adverts for real world brands in games (Mario Kart has in game billboards, hilariously advertising "green shells" and other leve…

I used to be addicted... till I got an arrow in the knee.

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There is a fantastic piece on video-game addiction floating about the internet, describing evolutionary reasons fro addiction, and more importantly discussing "Unethical Game Design". The tricks that developers use to trap the user into wanting to come back for more. A very thought provoking piece, check it out here

or here:


It's only 15 mins... c'mon.

Love and Obscure Skyrim memes,

Richie X.

Turns out we're pretty odd

This excellent little piece is up on Inside Voice about what we mean by the average gamer. It's worth a read. We're constantly worried on behalf of the nation of gamers in that the term gamer doesn't mean anything anymore. "I play WoW exclusively" is not the same person as "I only play Fifa and CoD on Friday nights after the pub". But what we love about the post is the following list quoted word for word:

* Facebook has become the platform of choice for the average gamer.
* The iPhone has taken over as the most popular platform for the average gamer.
* The console continues to be the primary gaming platform for the average gamer.
* Due to the massive popularity of free-to-play, the average gamer won’t pay for anything anymore.
* The average gamer has a subscription to Live.
* The average gamer loves microtransactions and cannot wait to buy absolutely anything offered for sale.
* The average gamer doesn’t have any online friends, is unfamiliar with chat, and w…

Painful Moments in Gaming: Treasure Island Dizzy

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Treasure Island Dizzy:
The pain isn't over yet...

The year was 1989, I had a Commodore 64. Games like Outlaw, Double Dragon and Bubble Bobble frequented my tv screen. My favourite however was Treasure Isand Dizzy from Code Masters and the Oliver Twins.
The plot was basically, you're stuck on an island and want to get back to the 'yolkfolk' . Through a series of inventory based puzzles you build a boat and get off the island by paying the shopkeeper character 30 Gold coins (which you have collected throughout).
For those of you who are unaware, this was seen as the most difficult of the Dizzy Franchise, unlike the predecessor which you had 5 lives and the sequel which had 3, in Treasure Island Dizzy you had one life.
Consider that for a moment, one life.
One life, with no ability to save the game, it was all or nothing.
This also wasn't an easy game, you had to essentially memorise the side-scrolling map, often jumping blindly in to the next screen (sc…