Author Archives: J.C

The Lost Cover Disks: Test Drive 3

Do you remember Test Drive 3? Despite being part of a now relatively known series, the chances were that you missed out entirely on the third part. This is because as the third entry in the now long-running series, Test Drive 3: The Passion (full, sensual title) was a rather unremarkable game: it was a dam hot mess almost impossible to control, unless your preferred driving style was “schizophrenic robot”.

testdrive3_1

Despite this, Test Drive 3 was awesome – but not for the reasons you might think. Naturally, in a game about race cars, racing is the last thing you want to do, instead, it was all about what was outside of the road that makes Test Drive 3 one of the greatest driving games of all time.

Read the rest of this entry

Advertisements

The Lost Cover Disks: The Baldies

Do you remember Baldies? No,no – not the equally obscure band.,. the real-time strategy/disturbing Deliverance-style inbreeding sim from 1995? Still no? Well then, wWelcome, my friend, to a game where bald men fight to the death and also sometimes breed in a Battle Royale style sim game. Welcome.. to Baldies.

baldies_1

That’s right, someone thought it was a good idea to make a game exclusively revolving around bald men who live, work, and uh, procreate together. How? Just go with it. Also, be prepared for a fair bit of slaughtering their neighbours on the menu, because in the 90’s, it wasn’t entertainment unless mass extinction was the ultimate goal.

Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Play Helherron #3: First Steps

Welcome back to my playthrough of old school tactics RPG Helherron. In previous articles, I went through the painstaking process of creating eight characters who hopefully won’t die painfully. Now, I begin the actual game.

The brief intro

After the arduous process of creating characters, who may or may not even survive the first battle, we are finally welcomed into the game proper.

A quick exposition tale tells is that the king has been kidnapped, villages are being raided by furries, and if that wasn’t enough, a curse has been placed over the region.  In the midst of this, the adventuring team Dimetrodon Inc is dumped into our little house. Pretty cramped for 8 people, but those were the times.

Read the rest of this entry

The Lost Cover Disks: Wacky Wheels

While not the most obscure of games, Wacky Wheels was well received yet was not quite the smash hit it hoped to be, and flounders in relative obscurity in these modern times.

Skidding in the drift of the more successful Mario Kart, Wacky Wheels attempted to emulate the same gameplay on the arguably superior (by that time) hardware of the IBM Personal Computer. Mode 7 Chip? We don’t need no stinking chip! What resulted was a less spectacular Mario Kart clone, but that was all it needed to do to be fun – it worked.

Read the rest of this entry

[Let’s Play] Helherron #2: Character Creation (cont.)

Welcome back to the second article covering my palythrough of the excellent old school game Helherron.

When we last left off, we had whipped up the first half of our party, a relatively standard D&D style grouping of fighter, mage, healer and thief. While this sounds like a pretty competent mix, we sorely need some heavy hitting tanks, and more magical firepower than a single mage can provide.

Read the rest of this entry

[Alpha] Drift Stage

Drift Stage is another retro-inspired racer that isn’t afraid to express its love for neon. Admittedly, the alpha demo (download below) isn’t much and came out ages ago (sorry about that), but the project looks very much alive and has been receiving regular updates, anyone interested might want to test the ignition.

driftstage_1

Read the rest of this entry

World of Horror

An old school macintosh hypertext adventure game styled after the horrific works of Jun Ito? Shut up and take my sanity! World of Horror peeks back beyond the cosmic veil to the beginning of the point and click adventure era, in what is as much a love letter to old school gaming as it is to old school horror.

WorldOfHorror_1

The demo we played (dd12 at the time of downloading, latest version is dd15 -ed) was a bit rough around the edges, with an interface that is sometimes more scary than the monsters, but if you can keep grip of your mental faculties long enough, you may just enjoy World of Horror has to offer before succumbing to the embrace of the eternal abyss.

Read the rest of this entry

Let’s Play Helherron #1: Character Creation

I’m going to try my hand at something different, and test out a “Let’s Play” style series of articles. The popularity of Youtube means it’s disturbingly hard to find a let’s play that isn’t some guy over-the-top screaming at the screen and constantly nagging you to subscribe. Just like we are taking blogging back to its roots by focusing just on the games, I want to bring back the more traditional playthrough that focuses just on documenting the game, kind of like the cRPG addict‘s approach.

The first session will cover a game I recently wrote about: old school tactical RPG Helherron. A hardcore tactics-RPG game that treats you mean, but keeps you keen with amazing tactical combat, rewarding exploration, and satisfying character progression. Check out the link for an overview of the game.

I chose to cover Helherron for two reasons: it’s probably one of the best tactical RPGs out there, even now, over a decade after it was made, yet there is little to no coverage of this excellent indie gem. Secondly, I never managed to finish it, and hoping documenting the game will help push me to go all the way (and possibly attract helpful hints from commenters).

We begin our first article with the rather involved character creation process to get through first. Let’s begin.

Read the rest of this entry

[Freeware] Mariovania

Let’s face it, Bowser is horribly incompetent. The number of times his plans for world domination have been thwarted by a overweight plumber from Brooklyn should be enough of a signal to call it quits. But what if Bowser… teamed up with Dracula? That is very the question Mariovania answers.

Die, Bowser! You don’t belong in this world! Not quite the same ring to it, but just go with it.

mariovania_1

Actually, considering Drac’s similarly lacklustre record, actually, probably not a whole lot would be different. But the combination of Mario platforming and Castlevania stlye exploration works surprisingly well.

Read the rest of this entry

The Lost Coverdisks: Titus the Fox

Welcome to the Lost Coverdisks…! A feature where we dig through those old weird games found on the gaming mag coverdisks, in obscure shareware bargain bins, or just long forgotten 90’s retro games. Join us each month(?) as we sample a different slice of history and check up on its modern ports and remakes.

This time around we take a look at Titus the Fox – a game I discovered on the PC Format #7 coverdisk way back.

Titus the Fox is a classic platformer released in 1992 by Titus Interactive, finding a home on the good old Amiga, as well as the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, and DOS. It starred the titular fox engaging in the popular pastime of 90s platforming characters – rescuing his girlfriend from the clutches of some faceless jerk.

titusthefox_title

Hardware limitations, for all their setbacks, helped to push developers to come up with innovative and sometimes insane tricks and workarounds, and sometimes just plain make the game so fun, innovative or well-designed that you’ll play it – even if it was in cyan and magenta.

Titus the Fox is not one of those games.

Read the rest of this entry