review

davyK's picture

7000 Club Nintendo stars = SNES classic controller for Wii

Just cashed in my club nintendo stars for this (all 7000 of them). Its a replica SNES controller for using with virtual console games - it plugs into the remote for wireless authentic SNES gaming :).

davyK's picture

Middle Aged Gamers Collection #52 - Darius Gaiden - Sega Saturn

Darius GaidenDarius Gaiden
Playing console shmups in the PAL region can be hit or miss - even if we do get some releases that the US doesn't, we still miss out on a lot of Japanese releases. Nowadays PAL ports aren't an issue, and the 360 is proving to be an excellent home for modern day titles, but during the 32bit era, which was a bright spot in the history of shmups, PAL releases were thin on the ground.

davyK's picture

Middle Aged Gamers Collection #43 - #51 "Chess Set"

Star Chess (Videomaster)Star Chess (Videomaster)

Chessmaster II - PS1
Virtual Kasparov - PS1
Checkmate - PS1
Virtual Chess 64 - N64
Chessmaster - PS2
Wii Chess - Wii
CXG Computachess - dedicated
Mephisto Atlanta - dedicated
Videomaster Star Chess - dedicated

In 1968, international chess master, computer programmer and author David Levy made a bet that he would not lose a chess match to a computer program within 10 years. In 1978 he collected his winnings of £1,250. A tidy sum - but he didn't make another bet. Maybe Mr Levy saw the writing on the wall for chess as the ultimate challenge to computer programmers at the time. Now in 2011, chess games can be bought at an impulse purchase price that will trounce all but those at the very top of the chess playing fraternity.

davyK's picture

Middle-aged gamer's collection #36-#42 - The rest of the Atari 7800 games

Tower Toppler (Atari 7800)Tower Toppler (Atari 7800)#36 - #42 - The rest of my 7800 collection

While the old 7800 is connected up I may as well cover the other games I have, including a homebrew effort.

Nathaniel Tolbert's picture

Champions Online - Free for all - Thoughts and opinions

Champions OnlineChampions OnlineHello everyone! Long time no post. First thing's first I can happily say, that I have completed my degree and graduated as of March 1st, 2011. It's just my first computer science degree and there are two more I am after so I will start on them soon.

So as many people know about a month or so ago, Atari and Cryptic games announced that they were turning Champions Online in to a free to play game. After my final ended last Wednesday and I actually had time to sit down and check it out, I thought I might share my thoughts and opinions on my playtime so far.

The game is based on the a tabletop role playing game of the same name, Champions. It uses the same attributes in game as in the table top game but it doesn't seem to influence characters as much as it does in the tabletop game. It takes place in a fictional city, I believe in Canada called Millennium City. You play the typical role of super hero extraordinaire. Your mission? To defeat all the bad guys that are running amok in Millennium City. Now I cannot say much about plot line as I have only played about 10 hours worth of game time, making it to the paltry level of 11. But I shall start with the graphics set of this review first.

davyK's picture

Middle aged gamer's collection #25 Caravan Shooting Collection (SNES)

title title
#25 Caravan Shooting Collection (SNES)

Caravanning - this is a pastime in the UK that gets a lot of flak. People towing mobile homes behind their cars means they have a reduced max speed limit and given the slow speed and lack of visibility to the driver behind, is a source of some ire on UK roads. Perhaps some UK readers think this is a game produced to relieve the stress of encountering a caravan on the roads by allowing players to blast them off the road - sadly that is not the case.

Let me take you to Japan in the mid-80s when the Famicom/NES ruled the video-game world. At this time, Hudsonsoft were releasing some 2D shmups for the NES and part of the marketing effort was some sort of road show where temporary game-fests were set up around the country and video game competitions were ran with the highest score on the latest Hudson shmup for the NES being the aim. This seemed to be quite a phenomenon in Japan and ran for several years. It gave birth to the idea of caravan modes in some shmups - which is a quick 2 or 5 minute score attack mode which is a featured mode of lots of shmups released in later years.

davyK's picture

Middle-Aged gamer's collection - R-Type "Box Set"

R-TypesR-Types
R-Type III (SNES)
R-Type Delta (PS1)
R-Type Final (PS2)

The shmup genre has many landmark titles scattered across its early history; but there are influential shmups and then there is R-Type. Its main innovation, the force orb which can be attached to either end of the ship or left to wander free may open up all sorts of possibilities - but R-Type's levels are pretty strict - it is a trial and error memory based shooter which probably wouldn't be successful today - so the creativity hinted at by the force orbs isn't entirely realised. Still, these games deliver lots of entertainment despite this and their high difficulty level, and are still well loved by shmup fans.

davyK's picture

Middle-aged gamer's collection #20

Body Special 264 (Sega Saturn)#20 Body Special 264 (Saturn)

I've been a bit middle-of-the-road in my last few posts. Mario Party, Bust-a-Move and Williams Arcade Hits may well have sold loads and given pleasure to millions - but there isn't much to say about them that hasn't already been said by better scribes than I. So I've decided to dip into my obscure games pile for this post and this one is certainly off the beaten track.

Every so often, people talk about games "growing" up and the creation of "mature games". Sometimes folk even mention adult games. But what are adult/mature themed games? To be honest the games industry seems to think that the "adult" gamer wants to play WWII first person shooters or open sandbox style roam-arounds such as Grand Theft Auto. Well for me this couldn't be further from the truth. Responsible adults don't have the time that such games require and to be honest while I'll happily play a bit of Call of Duty from time to time (I have the Wii version which is quite splendid and features some nice online options too) I don't tend to stick at them. Life gets in the way and any mission mode ultimately gets dropped - witness other games I have abandoned - Shenmue (Ryo is still in the first arcade I found!) or GTA Vice City where the novelty of driving around to 80s music running people over lost its sheen quite quickly. I lost interest at the bit where I'm attacked by a bunch of waiters and cooks from a restaurant - quite early on in the game. I keep telling myself I'll go back to these - maybe in my retirement if the hardware lasts.

davyK's picture

Middle aged gamer's collection #16-18

#16-#18. Williams Arcade's Greatest Hits (SNES) / Midway's Arcade's Greatest Hits (Dreamcast)/ Midway presents Arcade's Greatest Hits (Saturn)

Here's another example of me doing a double-dip (or triple-dip in this case) - paying for the same title on a different platform. I can't resist retro compilations for consoles. I have amassed quite a few over the years and the number of retro compilations available for a console has actually been a factor in the purchasing decision for console - certainly for the PS1 and PS2.

Matt Barton's picture

Soulgotha Reviews Vintage Games

Donnie (aka Soulgotha) has just posted a very detailed and accurate review of our book Vintage Games. Check it out, and while you're there, be sure to subscribe to this man's channel. I've never been disappointed by any of his videos. He does a range of topics, not just videogames, though all of them are entertaining and worth watching (I especially love his rants, comedies, and magic tricks).

Be sure to mention you heard about him on Armchair Arcade!

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