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Matt Barton's picture

Matt Chat 190: Divine Divinity

I'm back this week with a retrospective of Larian Studio's Divine Divinity, a 2002 release. It's a brilliant take on the Diablo genre, with immaculate artwork and one of the best soundtracks ever.

Download the mp4.
Support the Divinity: Original Sin kickstarter--3 days left!
Buy Divine Divinity from GOG.com using this link. No extra cost to you, but the show gets a kickback!

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Rage Racer (PSone)

I take a look at the third part of the Ridge Racer series called 'Rage Racer'. A game by Namco released in 1996-1997 for the original PlayStation. A game quite different from the first two releases of Ridge Racer where it's not just simply racing but it is possible to advance, get more experience and basically experience a racing career. You can earn money and you get to upgrade your car and/or buy different ones.

You race within 5 racing classes on 4 different four tracks in this game - quite a bit different from the first two Ridge Racers and at the same time they look and feel familiar, especially the start/finish is similar. The car manufacturers found in the game are Gnade (Germany), Age (France), Lizard (USA) and Absoluto (Italy). All types and makes have different features and behaviours. The prologue movie on the game disc is different between American/EU release and the Japanese release. The Music in the game is quite distinct different from the first two releases.

Read more below if you want to see a complete list of all the Ridge Racer games out there.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Sonic & Sega All Stars Racing (My 1st-' ish' actually 2nd look)

Here I check out the PC version running on Steam (not H2O vaporized but the PC gaming platform by Valve) for the first-ish time. Actually the first video I shot of my 1st race went t*ts up so I had to reshoot it so this video basically is my 2nd look at the game.

I took a look at the sequel a little while ago. I know it is out of order but what can you do, that's just how I do things. So this game is a very cool racing game, 1st in a series at that, from the Sega stable. It was brought out on the Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo DS, Microsoft Windows , iOS and Mac OS X. Gameplay is very similar to games like Mario Kart, Konami Krazy Racers and Crash Team Racing. Everything is there Sonic and his pals, the blue Sega skies, the over-saturated colours, fast paced action. Love it!

Chip Hageman's picture

C64 Review: Blue Max

Back in early 1984, when I was first exposed to the Commodore 64, one of the games that I had a chance to play a fair bit of was Blue Max by Synapse Software (SynSoft in the UK). In the game, you take on the role of a hot-shot World War I biplane pilot by the name of Max Chatsworth who is known affectionately to his friends as Blue Max.

The game is essentially a 3/4 perspective vertical shooter similar to Zaxxon in presentation. You have at your disposal a machine gun with unlimited ammo as well as a finite number of bombs which you can use to take out buildings, tanks, bridges, roads and boats. Overall control of the plane is very responsive, although (as with Zaxxon) keeping your altitude straight can be rather tricky. The shadow cast by your plane helps a lot in determining your horizontal location on the level (for bombing purposes) but you need to match your altitude to that of the enemy planes in order to shoot them down. You also need to mind your altitude to do strafing as well as estimate the time for a dropped bomb to reach its target.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Linux as a Desktop OS - how is it this time around?

Ever since the early 90s I have been experimenting with Linux. Editing the xconfig file with VI with all sorts of refresh rates and resolution values making sure not to make my monitor go poof in the dark. I am more or less system agnostic and like to tinker with all sorts of technologies and software so it is not in my nature to become a fan-boy or pick sides. I have been using Macs next to MS-DOS & Windows machines and have always more or less had a spare running some variant of Linux. Often with varying results where it was fairly easy to completely bugger up an install making you start all over again. The way to go was the command line interface combined with VI, both were not very intuitive and it could be a very nasty experience getting it all up and running. I never ended up replacing my desktop completely with a Linux install as there would always be cracks in the foundation, with certain things I needed not working or buggering up. So I stuck with Windows & OS X but the open-aspects of Linux really were a very big pull and I always kept an eye out for new Linux developments. So after many failed attempts to replace my Windows OS with Linux here I am trying it again to see if this time around it is all worth it.

Read more below to see/experience how it all went.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Zanac X (PS1)

In this video I take a look at the Japanese Playstation disc with the game Zanac X which is becoming more rare by the day :( Go check it out.

Zanac is a very cool series of Shmup games created by Compile. The game originated on the MSX and NES but also found its way on many other systems like this Playstation One version. It's very similar to other Compile shmups like PowerStrike, Aleste, Super Aleste, M.U.S.H.A. All these games feature a similar weapons system.

Other good Compile shmups are Blazing Lazers on the TG16 and Gunnac on the Nes.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Boggy'84 (MSX & Arcade)

A nice little platformer with gameplay somewhat remeniscent of that of Burgertime & Mappy. It was brought out on the MSX platform in Japan and also had an Arcade version out in Japan.
In this clip I show the MSX version and the Arcade version and talk a little about the differences between the two and try to play the game as well.

Taito released this in 1984.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Space Manbow (MSX2)

Space Manbow by Konami was a great shmup that shared a lot of family resemblances to Gradius and Parodius. It featured a very similar weapons system. A great game and a must-have for any MSX2 owner who likes shmups.
Sadly this game never was released outside of Japan.

It did come out on cell-phones/mobile phones in Japan in 2006 and it came out on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2009, sadly also Japan only.

The game only comes on cartridge and it features a special SCC soundchip that greatly enhances the sound capabilities of the MSX2 platform. A great looking, sounding and playing game.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark plays... Galaga Destination Earth (PS1)

Galaga Destination Earth is a turn of the century incarnation of the well known Galaga game. But it has a twist to the gameplay making it into a bit of an all compassing shmup. It shares similarities with Gyrus, Gradius and even Panzer Dragoon Ortha. Go check it out.

Mark Vergeer's picture

Mark Plays... Burnout (Gamecube)

Burnout - this is the first iteration of a great series of racing games. I explain a little about the game and then I do some gameplay. Neither of which is really good as it is tough to do both at the same time :P

I touch on the new 2013-03 YouTube layout too.

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