Sunday 27 October 2013

Fantastic FPS Roguelike DELVER receives massive upgrade!

Back, and better than ever!

Back in December of 2012, I discovered an insanely addictive, first person RPG by the name of Delver. It was the work of one man, Chad Cunnigan, and was for sale on his website for the measly sum of £5. This small outlay entitled the purchaser to the alpha version of the game, with free updates when they appeared. I absolutely adored Delver, thanks to it's charming pixellated visuals, atmospheric soundtrack and incredibly absorbing gameplay - you can read my full review here. I noticed a few months ago that Delver had appeared on Steam, after a successful greenlight campaign - well deserved in my opinion - but I thought nothing of it as I already owned it. Well, imagine my intense excitement when I saw some screenshots a few days ago showing Delver with a funky new visual style. I found my original email I received upon purchasing the game 10 months ago and, low and behold, I had a steam key and a newly updated version ready to download.

Thursday 24 October 2013

REVIEW SPECIAL - Crash Bandicoot 1, 2, and 3 (Playstation)

A new hero arrives

Long before Naughty Dog brought us the dark and emotive exploits of a man escorting a young girl across the zombie filled ruins of America, or the cinematic, over-the-top adventures of Nathan Drake in Uncharted - or even before Jak & Daxter finally bested Mario in the 3d platformer stakes - they gave us a certain crazed bandicoot named Crash. This wild eyed, slightly insane, furry critter would go on to star in a multitude of sequels and inevitable spin-off titles created by many different developers, but his debut, and its two sequels on the original Sony Playstation, heralding the start of a new style of platforming game, as well as finally giving Sony a mascot to stand proudly alongside Mario and Sonic. 

Monday 21 October 2013

REVIEW - Donkey Me : Raiders of the Lost Ark (PC)

I hate snakes!

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, if that is the case then Donkey Me must surely be on its knees with a mouthful of the original Donkey Kong arcade game, as it's so close to Nintendo's giant Ape's 1980 adventure that I am surprised Nintendo's lawyers haven't tried to shut down the developer's site. I am glad that this hasn't happened, though, as Donkey Me is a fantastic homage to the original platform game, but also manages to inject its own identity by expanding on the original formula and adding the graphical style and sounds of the fantastic Indiana Jones movies (so that would be Lucasfilms' lawyers added to the mix then).

Friday 18 October 2013

Smooth McGroove - Amazing Acapella Renditions of Retro Videogame Soundtracks

Groove is in the heart

If you love retro game music as much as I do and haven't heard of Smooth McGroove, then you really need to head on over to YouTube post haste and check out his fantastic Acapella renditions of classic videogame soundtracks.

There are loads of instantly recognisable classic tunes here, with plenty of Zelda and Final Fantasy Themes as well as Mario, Street Fighter 2, Castlevania, Sonic, Mega Man, Phoenix Wright, Kirby and even Tetris making an appearance. Even Smooth's cat, Charl, gets involved in the videos and is as adorable as Mr. McGroove is talented.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

REVIEW - Rogue Legacy (PC)

When I first heard about Rogue Legacy my heart skipped a beat, after all, here was another 2D non-linear platformer, with RPG elements and, best of all, randomly generated levels - or roguelike as it is generally known - A winning combination. So when it finally arrived I was super excited to unsheathe my sword and head into the castle to do battle with a collection of hideous evil minions.

Sunday 13 October 2013

Retro Review - Dashin' Desperados (Mega Drive / Genesis)

Three's a crowd

Dashin' Desperados is a peculiar game indeed. Essentially an on-foot platform racing game, you are put in the boots of a cowboy named Will who must race against a rival gunslinger who goes by the name of Rick. The point of this competitive racing? Why, to get laid of course - what greater accomplishment could there be? For waiting at the end of each course is a slut named Jenny. I have deemed her to be a slut due to the fact that she doesn't seem to care who wins the race and will happily make out with the victor. She also starts each race by beckoning the two cowboys with a sultry "come on", while showing off her cleavage in a low cut dress. I think she just wants a threesome, but is hoping the two guys take the initiative.

Friday 11 October 2013

REVIEW - Volgarr The Viking (PC)

I do enjoy a good hack and slash adventure, and have done since I first clapped my eyes on Taito's epic Rastan coin-op way back when I was a wee nipper. Navigating a 2D fantasy world, wielding a mighty sword to do battle with hideous beasts has always had an extremely appealing lure. As much as I enjoy my platforming action involving cute anthropomorphic characters, bright sunny forests to explore and coins / apples / gems (delete as appropriate) to collect, there is something captivating about a darker realm, with volcanoes, temples, graveyards and dragon's lairs. Rastan still remains one of my favourite arcade games of all time, and while many games have attempted to reuse this winning formula, I have never found anything to beat it for satisfying my 2D hack and slash itch. So it was with gratuitous levels of excitement that I approached Volgarr the Viking, after all, it has all the correct ingredients to match or even (gasp) beat Rastan as the chop-em-up 2D platformer of choice.

Tuesday 8 October 2013

Retro Review - Mole Mania (Gameboy)

We're going deeper underground!

You have to feel sorry for poor old moles, not only do they have to contend with appalling vision, but they also risk getting beaten over the head with a shovel by an irate farmer every time they pop their fuzzy little heads above ground. As if this weren't bad enough, poor old Muddy Mole, star of this cutesy puzzle game on Nintendo's Gameboy, has to deal with his entire family being kidnapped by the oddly named farmer, Jinbei. Quite what a grown man wants to do with a load of mole pups is beyond me (probably best not to dwell on the possibilities), but the spiteful old bastard now holds them hostage and it is up to you to rescue them.

Saturday 5 October 2013

REVIEW - Maximus Action Carnage (PC)

War is Hell

Maximus Action Carnage is a amusingly titled retro shoot-em-up from Bruno R. Marcos, author of the impressive Arcade Game Studio - a program that allows users to create their very own arcade style games. A vertically scrolling shoot-em-up (sorry, Shmup) with a war theme, MAC is clearly based on Capcom's classic 1985 coin-op hit, Commando. The year is 1942 and the Japanese Army have invaded and conquered South-East Asia. With the Allied forces retreating or having surrendered to the Japanese, it is down to one last soldier, a man who refuses to give in, who refuses to stop fighting. That man is you, Maximus Malone.

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Retro Review - Die Hard Trilogy (Playstation)

Yippie-Ki-Yay (obviously!)

People often claim that something can be so bad that it is actually good. I, personally, have never really agreed with this statement, as I usually find that if something is, indeed, bad, then it usually is best avoided. However, I think I may have found the exception to this in the form of Die Hard Trilogy on the original Playstation - a game that constantly makes me laugh out loud (sorry, LOL .. sigh) due to its terrible graphics, completely gratuitous and ridiculous gore, comic voice acting, or liberties taken with the source material. Yet it's a game that I keep coming back to.