Posts Tagged ‘Retro’

I Seem To Be Having Trouble Starting Titan Quest

Titan Quest is a game I’ve gone back to a few times over the eight or so years since it came out. A straight, classic(al) Action RPG, I find it hard to fully justify why its calm ways engross me so much. Yet every so often it calls to me, so back once again I went. And found I couldn’t start. Not because of technology issues – it holds up extremely well – but because of that opening moment: it felt too good.

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DOStant Memories

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

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

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

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

‘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

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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