The Last 15 Blogs
Saturday, November 8, 2014
The Sorcerers (1967)
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Unreal Tournament
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Star Trek Tos Mega Poster
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Dredd 3D Comic Prologue
Friday, July 13, 2012
Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (TV Show)
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Dark Judgement
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Jock Draws Batman
Friday, February 10, 2012
Happy Birthday 2000 AD
Monday, November 28, 2011
Johnny Alpha
Monday, November 14, 2011
The Ballad of Halo Jones
Saturday, November 12, 2011
The Galaxy's Greatest Comic
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Darth Vader Says No!
Friday, September 9, 2011
Dead Island
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The Goons 60th Anniversary
Friday, July 15, 2011
Classic Game Spotlight - Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
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Tagged with "games"
Unreal Tournament
Category: General Blog
Tags: pc games fps

Way back in the year 2000 I installed a demo of Unreal Tournament on my humble PC powered by a Cyrix 166 processor with a PR of 200, and a 3DFX Voodoo 3 graphics card. I fell in love with the game, the science fiction overtones of the graphics and music as well as the fun gameplay. I bought the GOTY edition and over the course of several years I played it constantly, adding new maps and mods and also developing my own character skins and voice packs. Eventually I got a copy of UT 2003 but by then my interest had waned a little and I didn't take to the new release. It just didn't have the same feel to it, the gameplay seemed faster even though the original could get very manic, and the characters didn't seem appealing. Suffice to say I didn't play it much and I also skipped UT 2004. Cut to 2014 and I have recently purchased a copy of UT3 (released in 2007) and I feel like I have come back to my roots with PC gaming. A bit late to the party but I love the game. The sci fi elements and the music are just as good as I remember and the gameplay seems very much like it was back in the day. I have added maps and mods and some cool characters already and I find it great fun to play. The vehicles are a very nice addition, especially the towering Darkwalkers which resemble the tripods from War of the Worlds.

I somewhat miss the gametype of 'Assault' but the Warfare gametype is a decent replacement. And the hoverboard vehicle is really cool when racing away after capturing the enemy's flag. It's also got me searching YouTube to hear the old music from the original game. My setup of UT99 was pretty good in the end, a single player campaign akin to the official Nali expansion that you could play with bots and lots of really cool mutators and gametypes, a fun for a while favourite being 'Crotch Shot' which enabled you to make an instant kill if you hit an enemy square in the crotch, with the game announcer exclaiming "CROTCH SHOT!" It had amusing death explanations on the game hud such as "Kryss will never have children again" etc. Fun!

I created a backup of my UT folder so one day I might reminisce. Last time I checked it out the game ran far too fast under my processor but I believe there are fixes for that. And now I am very much looking forward to the release of Unreal Tournament 4, which will be free but will have purchasable maps and mods etc. I would definitely have to say that UT is my favourite game as I have never had so much prolonged fun on any other PC game.

Dead Island
Category: General Blog
Tags: Dead Island PC Games Gaming

Dead Island is Fallout 3 with zombies. Plenty of people are going to compare it to Dead Rising (as you can create weapons) and Left 4 Dead (as the action is first-person and good for four players online), but when I finally got past the game's obtuse opening and less than stellar cutscenes, I found a world rife with quests, interesting environments, and a character progression system that had me begging for more hours in the day. In short, Dead Island's a rough around the edges role-playing game, and I dug it.

On a small island off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the dead walk. The story didn't set my hair on fire, but everything else makes up for it. When you sit down to play, you'll choose one of four characters and for the next 20 to 30-some hours roam massive maps, take on interesting side quests, and chop the heads off hundreds of ghouls.

But Dead Island doesn't succeed because of its gore (though I liked the dismemberment). Dead Island's strength is in the world it creates. I crept into and through each environment I came to, from beaches to sewers to jail cells. I listened for the screams of the infected or the roar of a damage sponge known as a "Thug." From that perspective, I was on the island; not my character. In the beginning, I'd slaughter every zombie I saw, but by the time I got to the city and found tight alleyways overrun with monsters, I began to just run from objective to objective. No longer was I playing a game -- I was focusing on survival as if I were the one running from Point A to Point B.

Objectively speaking -- like, right now from my keyboard and not playing the actual game -- that's a stupid thing to say. Dead Island doesn't really punish you for dying. If you croak, you wait five seconds and respawn with less money. Any damage you inflicted before heading to the great beyond remains. But I say that using hindsight. When I sprinted away from a zombie and heard its growls directly behind me, my heart pounded in my chest. I didn't think "Oh, I'll just let him get me and restart back there."

You rarely feel safe in Dead Island, and that's how a zombie game should be. You have a limited stamina bar, so you can't run or swing your weapon forever. Med kits were few and far between in my experience, so scavenging for energy drinks and fruit -- which have to be used at that moment and can't be stored -- became part of the experience. Weapons degrade as you use them, so finding a "legendary" weapon was exciting, but not as exciting as finding a workbench to keep weapons in tip-top shape.

Dead Island made me my character. I chose the weapons, the enemies to attack, and the side quests to take. When I leveled up, I chose in which skill tree to invest my new point in -- so even if you joined my game as the same knives expert I play as, we wouldn't necessarily have the same abilities.

Thankfully, joining games is easy. When you're playing, a pop-up message will notify you if a player is close to you and joinable. If I see you sign on, I can invite you in. Of course, experience levels play into this. Players can only join the games of people who are equal or lesser levels. I can't be level 31 and about to win the game and have a level 1 player join me. It might sound depressing, but there are tons of character slots, so having a character for different sessions shouldn't be too tough. Plus, you can always switch your game to single-player if you just want to be left alone. Sadly, there is no local co-op.

Is Dead Island perfect? No. Far from it. As much as I lauded it, Dead Island is rough around the edges and that's sure to turn a lot of people off. First-person melee combat doesn't feel natural right away -- although aiming with the mouse is far superior to the console control schemes. The same can be said for the PC version's graphics, which are way sharper than the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360's. That said, textures tend to flicker from time to time, I'd describe every cutscene as "stiff," and the visual flaws like hands going through doors and weird mini-game meters made me laugh. Still, presentation doesn't make a game, experiences do. And they are packed into Dead Island.
Closing Comments
Dead Island probably won't win any game of the year awards. It's got visual bugs, the controls take a bit to feel normal, and the presentation in general isn't up to snuff. But the game gets a lot right. There is a huge world to explore, thousands of zombies to kill, and tons of side quests to take. Here on the other side of a 25-hour playthrough -- where I skipped a lot of side quests after Act 1 -- I'm anxious to get back into Dead Island, and despite the game's flaws, that's not something I say often.

Presentation 7.0
The story is a bit flat. It's easy enough to upgrade your weapons and such, but there's no flair to the menus.

Graphics 8.0
Environments and zombies look good, but clipping and texture flicker are issues. Cutscenes are stiff.

Sound 8.5
Every time I came to a new area, I'd listen for zombie action. I don't think I'll forget the cries of a zombie chasing me anytime soon.

Gameplay 8.0
There are tons of quests to take, you build out your version of the character, and weapon mods keep combat interesting. The melee fighting is fun but takes getting used to.

Lasting Appeal 8.5
If you can get over the game's stumbles and appreciate what it does right, you have a long campaign with online options to try out.

Overall 8.0
 
Source: IGN
Classic Game Spotlight - Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe
Category: General Blog
Tags: Speedball 2 Brutal Deluxe Commodore Amiga computer games

Probably one of the most fun games ever made and a flagship for the Commodore Amiga which as far as many are concerned was the definitive version, which boasted superb graphics and excellent sound. It certainly ranks as one of my favourite games of all time even though I never actually owned it myself, apart from the Commodore 64 version which didn't really manage to unscrew the lid of the jar, nevermind cutting the mustard.

And as any aficionado would say: "Ice Cream!"

Here's a small piece taken from the Lemon Amiga Website:

Featuring world class Bitmap Brother level trademark graphics, Speedball 2 sported an amazing atmosphere and top quality of design throughout. The screen intro was spectacular, the metallic arena is a graphic artists produce in virtuosism and the players were carefully and beautifully designed. The panel for transfers, upgrades and tactics could easily be inside a Ferrari or a Lamborghini so classy is the design, even the score bar at the bottom of the screen is a sight for the eye to behold.

The sound is flawless. Both the soundtrack, an electronic industrialised masterpiece, and the in game sound effects are superb. The clunk of the metallic ball with the metallic walls of the arena, the tacklings, the fantastic announcer voice and the humorous voice that sells ice creams during the best replays, all contribute to a fantastic atmosphere that just oozes all over the frantic gameplay.

And gameplay is where Speedball also excels. It probably wouldn't be incorrect to label Speedball 2 the best Amiga game ever, or even one of the best games ever, because, quite simply, it might very well be. Played against the computer or a friend, the gameplay is nothing short of amazing, frantic, spectacular and aggressive action.

You're called to command and\or play a Team in the sport of Speedball, a futuristic violence gladiator styled team sport that is played on metallic coliseums. Scoring a goal will wield points, as well as injuring other team players, and catching and\or hitting the myriads of bonuses splattered all over the arena.

If you never played this game, you risk not having played one if not the best game ever produced on a computer.

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