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Reviews of software, hardware and everything in-between.
davyK's picture

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

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#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.

Chip Hageman's picture

Quick Peeks: 1,000 Kung-Fu Maniacs

Quick Peeks[ JAN . 04 . 2011 ]
 
1,000 Kung-Fu ManiacsIt's just amazing that we can still be reviewing new Commodore 64 releases in this day and age.. and there's nothing wrong with that. You guys know that I always like to give these games a shout-out because they are getting fewer and far between. They also tend to get buried under the mass of new titles for current systems. Also, who wouldn't want some new games to play on this nearly thirty year old beast. :-)

So, today we were contacted by Shoot'em-Up Construction Kit (S.E.U.C.K) king extraordinaire, Alf Yngve, about his latest S.E.U.C.K. game release over at Psytronik Software.

Matt Barton's picture

Persuasive Games by Ian Bogost

Persuasive GamesPersuasive GamesYou may remember a review I posted a few weeks about Unit Operations, an academic book on videogames by Ian Bogost. That book, while certainly useful and insightful, is probably of interest primarily to game studies scholars. His newer book, Persuasive Games: The Expressive Power of Videogames, seems destined for a larger audience. It's a very good book with great insights and plenty of examples, especially for fans of retro and homebrew for the Atari 2600 and other early platforms. See below for my detailed review.

Chip Hageman's picture

Quick Peeks: F-1 Spirit: The way to Formula-1

Quick Peeks[ DEC . 22 . 2010 ]
 
 The Way to Formula-1Way back in the golden age of video games, the humble racing game was nary more then a line on either side of the screen with an amorphous blob in the center to denote your "car". And you know what? It was damn fun to play.

In the ensuing years, the genre pulled itself up by it's proverbial boot straps, dusted itself off and started down the road (pun intended) to refinement... Adding better graphics, physics based handling, simulating realistic weather and track conditions and emulating the driving behavior of famous drivers.

Chip Hageman's picture

Quick Peeks: Robotz DX

Quick Peeks[ DEC . 15 . 2010 ]
 
Robotz DXToday we are going to take a look at a remake of the Atari ST classic; Robotz. While not being a 1:1 port of the original game, it does a fine job of translating what made the original so much fun to play.

In fact, the game actually plays a bit faster and has more of a frantic pace than the original.. which is fine in my book.

Click here to read more..

Matt Barton's picture

My Thoughts on Ian Bogost's Unit Operations

Unit OperationsUnit OperationsI just finished reading Ian Bogost's book Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism, a book that is probably already considered a foundational work for game studies. The book is clearly written for professional academics steeped in literary theory and with some smattering of reading in computer science, philosophy, and other fields. I can't tell if his tongue is in his cheek or not when he writes in the preface, "Jargon and obfuscation is a way of laying groundwork for novel production" and that his theory, like any other, "can't be obvious" (ii). However, there are plenty of kernels of interest to anyone with a serious interest in understanding games and, perhaps more importantly, the role they play and can play in our society and culture. In this review, I'll try to break down the book's key ideas.

Chip Hageman's picture

Quick Peeks: Nanako in Classic Japanese Monster Castle [C64]

Quick Peeks
>> Quick Peeks: Nanako in Classic Japanese Monster Castle [C64]

This week we are taking a look at Inside's [Portuguese Link] oddly entertaining (not to mention, odd) platformer for the Commodore 64: Nanako in Classic Japanese Monster Castle.

Chip Hageman's picture

Quick Peeks: Space Chunks II: Lair of the Chunk Lords [BETA]

Quick Peeks
·  · ·· Quick Peeks: Space Chunks 2 ·· ·  ·

Welcome to another Quick Peeks.. This week I'm taking a look at a free form arena shooter created by George Thornton. This game has it all: Great graphics, weapon upgrades, power-ups, enemies, boss battles, wingmen, commendations, promotions and much more.

Drop in an see what all of the fuss is about.

Chip Hageman's picture

Quick Peeks: The Soul of Dracula

Three for the Road
·  · ·· Quick Peeks: The Soul of Dracula ·· ·  ·

It's Wednesday... And that can mean only one thing.. Ok, maybe not just one, but it _is_ time to take a Quick Peek at a title that will help you muddle through you tryptophan induced stupor this Thanksgiving.

This week we are taking a look at an indie title that pays homage to one of gaming's classic platformers. So before you fall asleep on the couch, pop on in and check out The Soul of Dracula...

Chip Hageman's picture

Quick Peeks: The Hoard

Three for the Road
·  · ·· Quick Peeks: The Hordes ·· ·  ·

The HordesI've been on a shooter kick recently so today we will be checking out a fun freeware shoot'em up called The Hordes. This particular game was created in the classic shoot'em up style and has a fairly linear stage progression with deceptively difficult game play.

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