Posts Tagged ‘Retro’

Closure & Colonization

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

23 Comments »

It’s No Reason Thursday: Chuckie Egg

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.
Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

38 Comments »

Pixel Posse Protectors: Team Fortress Arcade

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

22 Comments »

Eurogamer Retro: Discworld Noir

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.

, , .

46 Comments »

EG Retro: Escape From Monkey Island

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.”

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

84 Comments »

Eurogamer Retro: Tomb Raider Legend

She's a brave girl, existing without internal organs.

I really do like Tomb Raider Legend. Obviously I hate its boss fights, and clearly I’m not so stupid as to enjoy the QTE nonsense that occasionally infects it. But it was such a treat to see Lara brought back to life, once more in a world tailor-made for her personal jumping distance, in a way remarkably faithful to the game’s triumphant early releases. And even more so, with its surprising sense of humour. And so it is that I celebrate this, with caveats, over on Eurogamer. I say things like,

“It’s exquisitely British, too. When realising that the clues (oh yes ‘the plot’ well, Lara’s friend Amanda didn’t die when she thought she did, and there’s this sword in bits, and something about Lara’s mum, and so on) are taking them from their exotic worldwide locations to, well, Cornwall, Lara replies, ‘As in, take the M5 to the A30, Cornwall?'”

I also had a bit of an insane post-boss fight rant which didn’t make it into the final edit, that I’ve put below.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

120 Comments »

NaClBox: Play Monkey Island In A Browser

This is a picture of Monkey Island in a browser.

That’s my slightly sensationalist tabloid headline, but it’s entirely true. So long as you own the game, etc. And via the burgeoning magic that is NaClBox. Which really does let you play Monkey Island, or indeed any other DOS game playable in DOSBox, in a web browser. If that web browser is Google’s Chrome. I know it’s true – I did it.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

45 Comments »

Eurogamer Retrospective: Dreamfall

Pants!

Oh, so on Sunday, in the middle of our yacht-based hammocking, my retrospective of Dreamfall went up on Eurogamer. The conflict the game generates in me was interesting to explore, and once again its moving story of faith and Faith won out. For instance, I utter:

“This isn’t a game that’s worried about drawing in the kids. In fact, it’s imbued with a strong tone of melancholy that it absolutely does not let go of throughout. This is a downbeat game, and goodness knows that’s rare. But it’s not so one-dimensional as to be miserable. Within the trauma, the sadness, the directionless confusion of people’s lives, is a message of extraordinary optimism, a resounding cry of hope. Because there’s faith.”

You can read the rest of it here. And I really whole-heartedly recommend reading my interview with creator Ragnar Tørnquist. I think it’s one of the best things wot I’ve done.

, , .

71 Comments »

EG Retro: Legend Of Kyrandia + MAPS!

Remember when games had graphics, eh?

This weekend saw my Eurogamer retrospective of one of the lesser-remembered adventure games of the early Nineties, the Legend Of Kyrandia: Book One. It contained moments like,

“It contained a single cursor. I’m not really sure what to do with this information. Does it undermine everything? Is everything that’s being produced now a homage to Kyrandia?

Obviously not. And not only because Kyrandia also suffers from the same issues. To say the story owes something to the King’s Quest series is a bit like saying Vodafone owes something to the Inland Revenue. In this fairytale land an evil wizard – brilliantly named Malcolm – is removing all the magic and, er, killing a few trees.”

And rather delightfully, it had me making maps for the first time in years. Below!

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

54 Comments »

Gaming Made Me: Quake

Come on in, children. You'll make friends.

This week, in our Gaming Made Me series, Lewis Denby explains to us how it was that Quake came to make him. In a very personal account, find out how violent videogaming took away a child’s loneliness, and even got him to go to school.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

124 Comments »

Eurogamer Retro: You Don’t Know Jack Vol. 1

I love you, question four.

After Richard Cobbett’s impressions of You Don’t Know Jack, it encouraged me to go all the way back to the beginning to play the original 1995 edition. And then write about it for Eurogamer. It contains things like,

“It’s a quiz game. And wow, do those usually suck as videogames. The late nineties and early 2000s were a time of great darkness, as those who cared about gaming looked at the best-seller charts and saw inane, lazy crap like the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Weakest Link games sitting in the top spot, presumably bought by the masses resulting from a mad scientist splicing slug brains into humans. But You Don’t Know Jack was something else. First and foremost, it began as a videogame, despite a few attempts at making television shows out of it. It was intended to be played this way. Yes, it pretends to award prize money, but here it acts as points for a high score. And it was really damned funny.”

You can read the rest here.

, , .

17 Comments »

Gaming Made Me: Leisure Suit Larry 1

Do doop de doopie-doop doo doo, doop doopie-doop doo...
We continue our Gaming Made Me series with a quick visit to the brain of Richard Cobbett, who might just have been exposed to an excessive amount of point ‘n’ click as a youngster. Let’s see what he has to say…

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , .

83 Comments »

Eurogamer Retro: Tron 2.0

Mercury's not as good as 13. I'm just saying.

Do you know what I did? You do? Oh. So yeah, I wrote about Tron 2.0 for Eurogamer. With the new movie coming out soon, it seemed a good time to go back to a game that is oddly similar to the plot of the next film. I wrote words. Some of them were:

My lasting memories were of three things: 1) The pink worm monster thing I could never beat. 2) The light cycle races I could never win. 3) The Disc weapon. What I’d forgotten was that it was in many ways as much of an RPG as Deus Ex. Not only is there a good deal of walking through friendly areas, or areas populated with friendly NPCs at least, but there’s a lot of chitchat with them and your companions. Combined with this is the levelling up – something that’s so incredibly rarely featured in an FPS. And then on top of that is the absolutely superb way it lets you add in various abilities, augmentations and weapons.

, , .

55 Comments »