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Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Champ Games (MS-DOS/PC)

ChampGames / Champrogramming / Champ programming was a game developer from the US founded by John W. Champeau. Robert Cole was in charge of sound design. They produced quite a few wonderful ports of classic arcade games around 1996/1997 running on MS-DOS & Windows95 PCs.

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Mark Vergeer's picture

New consoles and Micro transactions in (Full Price) Games

Mark Smile Micro transactions in full priced games with the gameplay being so much of a grind that people are motivated to buy the advancements in the game rather than going to the process of actually playing the games is what kills modern gaming for me. Games that have that mechanic will far less likely get played by me.

Whether or not I buy a new console depends on the publishers getting their act together on the new systems. Full price games like Forza 5 and Gran Turismo 6 (on the PS3) still have microtransactions in them. If the majority of full price games will contain this mechanic, what does that mean for gaming as a whole?

Micro transactions are meant to squeeze even more money out of customers' pockets, they have nothing to do with better gameplay or enhancing the game mechanics. They largely ruin the game experience. And I believe micro transactions are something you don't want to expose kids to as they don't teach you the value of things at all. Kids need to learn to be able to deal with money responsibly and such transactions won't help them - it will most likely confuse quite a few of them. Or does it?

Ad ridden free to play games are fine for some perhaps. The model does provide people with a full game and that's fine for some and also very enjoyable. It's comparable to watching a movie that is hacked to pieces with 15 minutes of commercials thrown in every so often. I'd much rather watch without interruptions and commercials and I think I get a better experience. I choose to do the same for my gaming.

I am of the opinion that if you opt to play those free to play / Micro transaction-containing games you basically support that marketing model and the masses of people choosing to do the same will make the game developers think they have something good there.

I choose not to expose myself to that kind of marketing mechanic or as little as possible as I am human and have a right to be irrational at times. Just give me a full game for a good price that I am able to play when I want - even a couple of years down the line - which with activations and online passes and closed systems needing day 1 updates and games that are basically broken when released today can only be dreamt of.

What are your opinions on the matter?

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Mark Plays... Fez (PC)


FEZ - a puzzle game developed by Polytron Corp. Designed by Phil Fish. Released on Xbox Live Arcade intially and later on on the PC. The development of FEZ is partially captured in 'Indie Game: The Movie'.

You Play Gomez, a critter living in a 2D world that goes on a bit of a 3D adventure because of the Hexahedron scattering cubes around that Gomez has to collect in order to avoid complete and utter destruction of all that is known.

The cool thing about this game is that it uses 2D in a 3D world where the perspective makes moves and jumps possible that would otherwise not have been. This is done so by eliminating 'depth' or the Z-axis competely.

Graphics 10/10
Gameplay 9/10

This is NOT a real review but just me trying out the game. I recommend getting this on the PC as the XBoxLive version doesn't seem to get any updates to bugs (or it did corrupt a save file in the past) whereas the PC version does get frequent updates!
http://store.steampowered.com/app/224760/

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Mark Plays... Outrun2006 Coast to Coast / Outrun2SP (PC)(Post Replay 2013)


Outrun2006SP a wonderful arcade game that found its way onto the PS2 and the Xbox as well as the XBox360 - not sure about the PS3 but I am sure it's on there too. Well at Replay 2013 I finally got the chance to sit down (barely as I am a tad too tall for the machine to really fit) and play me some Outrun2006SP. I also played the full sized two seater arcade game at the Namco Arcade at the Trafford Center but that also has a hard time accommodating my long legs (I am 6'8"). So my performance was hindered by me not being too good with the pedals resulting in some rather poor gameplay :P
After getting home today I figured up Steam on the PC and downloaded the PC version of the game I bought many eons ago and it worked great. I grabbed it at 60fps which YouTube sadly degraded to 30fps so the footage is not as smooth as the original. I just had to redeem myself a little - recover my crushed ego :P

Well here's a little of me playing the game on Easy and Hard. Enjoy!

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Mark Plays... Boulderdash (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1984)


Boulderdash by First Star Software originated on the Atari-8-bit computer line, hopped over to the C64 and was actually released on a whole myriad of other platforms including the old IBM-PC. It came on 5.25" floppy disks and it is a selfbooting disk - with a modified version of MS-DOS on it that directly boots into the game.

Check out the game and see how I play until the first game over.

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Mark Plays... Centipede (IBM-PC/MS-DOS)(CGA)(1983)


Centipede on the IBM PC programmed by R.J.Grafe in 1983. It's not the official port by Atarisoft but another release sporting quite an innovative control scheme. It actually features a simulation of the trackball found on the original arcade game. It uses the space bar for firing and the cursor keys to move around the little gun-turret. Pressing a directional key is similar to giving the trackball a swirl. Pressing multiple times in rapid succesion is like giving the trackball more momentum. A bit of an indirect control scheme but it really works well. With this control scheme in place this actually makes for an excellent port.

Take a look at the video and see how I fared.

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Mark Plays... Tubular Worlds (PC / MS-DOS / Amiga / 1994)


I was going to play the Amiga game but that kept on crashing on me so I chose to do the PC version instead which is very similar if not identical.
A great R-type/Nemesis/Gradius like shoot'm up for PC and Amiga systems. Very nice smooth scrolling and a wonderful use of the 256 colours of the VGA palette. It spreads around 4 levels (worlds), has a nice weapons upgrade system comparable to that of Konami and Compile shooters. Nice soundtrack and great sound FX using the wonderful Sounblaster and FM synthesis. A two player mode is optional but I was unable to show you that as I didn't have a second player available to me. The game is controlled through either mouse, joystick or keyboard

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Mark Plays... Silpheed (PC / MS-DOS)

Silpheed is the name of the ship you fly in this 1988 game released on MS-DOS, it was originally developed on the PC8801 & FM-7 computer systems and later ported to MS-DOS, Apple II and the Tandy Coco (!!!). I originally encountered this game first on the SegaCD/MegaCD but that was a remake of the original shown here.

A great sequel called Silpheed: The Lost Planet came out for the PlayStation 2 and I just happen to own that game as well so another video with that will probably pop-up eventually.

There's also a Silpheed game on the xbox 360 which is called ' Project Sylpheed' .

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Mark Plays... Pure (Xbox 360)


Pure was published in 2008 for the Xbox360, PS3 and PC by Disney Interactive Studios and it was developed by Black Rock Studios. Here I play the xbox 360 version. This game has a very nice trick system that gives the gamer speed boosts and the chance to perform even more tricks in mid air. The emphasis is on the tricks in this game. Read more below...

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Mark Plays... Mad Riders (PC)

A great Quad / ATV arcade racing game published by Ubisoft and developed by Techland. It's available on both PC and Xbox 360, as well as PS3. I like it a lot, it's wacky and over the top, and defies all laws of physics. A fun game.

More info from Ubisoft themselves:
http://www.ubi.com/US/Games/Info.aspx?pId=10434
http://www.ubi.com/UK/Games/Info.aspx?pId=10441

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