Posts Tagged ‘Retro’

DOStant Memories

By Alec Meer on June 26th, 2014.

Reflecting on things I take for granted, things which are an everyday part of how I play videogames today, I think of what used to constitute that for me. What was my Steam forums, my C:\Program Files (x86), my Catalyst Control Center, my YouTube clips, my memes, my take-the-side-off-the-case-to-stop-it-overheating? What seemed so important that it burned?
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R2-Detailed: X-Wing Alliance Resurrected

By Alec Meer on April 16th, 2014.

Now that I’ve got a massive and over-complicated joystick, the only games I’m interested in playing are games which are best-suited to a massive and over-complicated joystick. Yes, yes, I’ll get to Freespace and its total conversions, but first I had some unfinished business to take care of. TIE Fighter was my last substantial experience with Totally Games and Lucasarts’ revered series of Star Wars-themed space combat sims, and I had only a dim sense of how the flighty-fighty games had progressed afterwards. I elected to skip X-Wing vs TIE Fighter and go straight to the end, 1999′s full 3D X-Wing Alliance.
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Another Life, Another Time: Far Cry 2 Revisited

By Alec Meer on February 14th, 2014.

From: Alec Meer,
Brighton,
February 2014

To: Alec Meer,
Bath,
October 2008

Hey kid,

Hah, I’ve probably pissed you off already, haven’t I? That was easily done back then, as I recall. Yeah, yeah, you’re no kid – right now, every one of your twenty-nine years feels like a scar. It’s been a bad year, even by your standards. You’re burning to up and leave this fusty old town you’ve spent the last eight years in, but you feel so tired, so broken, so bitter. You’re also about to sit down with Far Cry 2, and you’re not going to like it. Everything’s going to change in time, including how you feel about that game.

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I’m Hooked: Grapple Knight

By John Walker on December 13th, 2013.

GRAPPLING HOOKS! It’s pretty simple, every developer out there. If your game doesn’t include a grappling hook, then you are making a bad game. This isn’t complicated, and it’s about time everyone started taking some notice. Like Red Knight Games have with their forthcoming Grapple Knight. (Cheers, Indiegames.) Forthcoming, that is, if people will chuck them another $4k AUD or so. There’s a demo to incentivise such investiments.

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Retro: Startopia

By Alec Meer on October 26th, 2013.

‘Twas an odd coincidence that Startopia and Double Fine’s Spacebase DF-9 alpha arrived on Steam so hot on each other’s heels. The current paucity of activities in the latter would have had me hankering for the former even if a digital postman were not able to immediately deliver it to my hard drive – it’s one of few games I still have a hard copy of lurking on my shelf. Mucky Foot’s space station-set management game was something of an era-ender, the last great gasp of the Theme Park descendant genre as-was. We’re seeing a renaissance of sorts of now, with Prison Architect, Spacebase and the craven Godus, but the fully-formed, big budget age essentially ended with Startopia (though you could argue similar for the muddled Republic: The Revolution, a deeply strange Icarus of a game from Mucky Foot’s fellow post-Bullfrog offshot, Elixir.)

I’ve made Startopia my destination once again for the last couple of days, my first extensive revisit in many years, and I’m relieved to discover that it now exudes at least some of the timeless quality to be found in relative contemporaries such as Dungeon Keeper and Theme Park.
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Stunt Island & A Lament For Flight Sims’ Lost Levity

By Alec Meer on March 6th, 2013.

Once upon a time, flight simulators were the most tantalising, promise-filled facet of nascent PC gaming. First-person perspectives were the bleeding edge of software entertainment and, at that point, sticking a gun in that first person-perspective had yet to achieve the total dominance it has now. (A first-person perspective never was the only way to play a flight sim, of course, but at the time it seemed like the most thrilling one, as the skies and clouds hurtled across peripheral vision, the ground loomed and zoomed dangerously into sight and rival planes threatened to fly directly into our eyeballs.)

I thought, even post-Wolfenstein, that flying a pretend aeroplane was the single most exciting concept I’d ever heard of. Apart from flying a real aeroplane, anyway.
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1993 Redux

By Alec Meer on January 3rd, 2012.

Man - there were so many gags we weren't able to squeeze in. This actual logo only went up at the end of the day. Kieron was also frustrated that whoever had put Cannon Fodder's release date on Wikipedia got it wrong, so his in-progress Wot I Think drawing a line between the MGS4 controversy and CF had to be abandoned. Also, not enough time to actually do the Wasteland Retro piece.

RPS was all about the standard daily blogging back on April 1st 2010. Standard daily blogging as if it was April 1993. Journey back with us to the previews, Wot I Thinks, scandals and futurology of a golden age of PC gaming – and to the mindsets of our more youthful selves.
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Gaming Made Us

By Alec Meer on December 31st, 2011.

When we were younger so much younger than today

Over the years, we’ve built up a vast stock of Gaming Made Mes – highly, unashamedly, gloriously subjective features about the videogames that proved, for one reason or another, formative to writers including the RPS Hivemind and associates, and developers such as Ken Levine, Erik Wolpaw and Soren Johnson. This is the complete collection.

Some spectacular reading awaits you below, on a huge array of even more spectacular games.
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Closure & Colonization

By Alec Meer on December 30th, 2011.

In 2008, I took it upon myself to return to and finally finish a game that had hung over me for 14 years – the original Civilization sequel, Sid Meier’s Colonization (the old one, not the underwhelming Civ 4-based remake from a couple of years back). Here’s what happened.

This one’s about closure. Despite playing it zealously for weeks on end back in 1994, I didn’t ever complete a game of Sid Meier’s Colonization, a sequel of sorts to the first Civilization. Powered by Brian Reynolds as much as it was Meier, it’s a turn-based strategy tale of establishing colonies in the New World or Americas, and eventually winning independence from their avaricious motherland. My copy silently, immediately and cruelly crashed to a DOS prompt whenever I finally bested my imperial oppressors, denying me the ending sequence and sense of victory I so richly deserved. Disheartened, I duly forgot about the game for a decade and a half, but lately it flitted across my brain by chance, and a curious longing awoke within me. I need to win my colonies their independence at last. I need to know what happens. I don’t care how brief or stupid or hilariously low-tech it is. I need to know.
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It’s No Reason Thursday: Chuckie Egg

By Alec Meer on November 17th, 2011.

The bird *is* the word

It’s Thursday, there’s nothing particular going on, so let’s all play retro weirdo-treat Chuckie Egg. Yep, I’m so impressionable that I even accidentally convince myself to do things – irrelevantly mentioning the old BBC Micro/Acorn Electron/Spectrum platformer in an earlier post fixed it firmly in my mind, and with crushing inevitability, I found myself Googling for and then playing the strange, difficult tale of a farmer stealing eggs from murderous, ladder-climbing geese. Or ducks. Or chickens. Or whatever they are. In any case, they shouldn’t be able to climb ladders.
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Pixel Posse Protectors: Team Fortress Arcade

By Adam Smith on September 14th, 2011.

A team of two is no team at all

Some of you may remember a dinky demake of Left 4 Dead that Alec posted about at the tail-end of the previous decade. The chap behind it, Eric Ruth, clearly loves nothing more than making retro-pixel-tributes because he’s done a few more as well. There’s one about electronic rackets (not to be confused with Pong, which was electronic racquets) and another starring some gaudy green space marine. You know of what I speak. His upcoming project is another Valve-inspired title though, and it looks like a lot of fun. It’s Team Fortress 2 Arcade: a sidescrolling beat/shoot ‘em up. Here’s an interview and some gameplay footage captured on film by piki geek.

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Eurogamer Retro: Discworld Noir

By John Walker on September 12th, 2011.

Nothing is as noir as a vampire in a bar.

The Discworld novels are quite the divider. Everyone I know seems to love them, from my dad to my about-to-be-wife, while I’m pretty indifferent. But I do remember really enjoying Discworld Noir back in their 90s. Going back to it, I was surprised not only by how well written it is, but also how little game there actually is within all the writing. I consolidated those thoughts on Eurogamer, including bits like:

“The witch novels – that’s safer territory. Gone is the “this is a bit like that”, replaced with instead just fun storytelling and embellished fairytale. There he has me. And there’s more common ground – we can all agree that the first two Discworld games were bloody awful.”

You can read the whole piece here.

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EG Retro: Escape From Monkey Island

By John Walker on August 8th, 2011.

Le Chuck's beard has never looked finer.

I’ve had enough of the downright prejudice against Escape From Monkey Island. When I originally reviewed it for PC Gamer in 2000, I recognised what a superb adventure game it was. And replaying it eleven years later, it remains every bit as funny, clever and well constructed. Yes, Monkey Kombat sucks beyond belief and was a stupid mistake. Yes, the camera was often poor. But the adventure game it’s all in? Well, in my Eurogamer retro, I say this:

“The humour is just wonderful. It’s certainly a damned sight funnier than the first and third games in the series, making me laugh out loud a remarkable number of times. It’s a game that understands the basics, such as: ducks are funny animals. And the complicated, like… okay – there’s nothing complicated. But there’s a lot that’s clever.”

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