Monday, 31 December 2012

The Great Escape (Flying Saucers) - TV Boy II [Atari 2600 clone]

Blind play session recorded sometime in late 2011, upscaled to HD and uploaded December 2012 for your viewing delectation. Should have been part of a 'Failed LPs' video that has not come to pass. Yet.

Sadly has nothing to do with Stevie McQueen or anything cool like that, though hamburgers are alright I suppose. Which reminds me, why do graphics in Atari games always look like food? Is that why many kids growing up in the 1980s became overweight slobs? Or perhaps that's just me?

The idea of breaking out of jail has always fascinated me, but maybe that's because I'm sat in a cell in Wormwood Scrubs. Uh oh, I hear the guards coming - leisure time is over. Back to breaking bricks for pig food and next year's mince pies, then.

Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Bog Standard Christmas (with Pages From Yack Text!) - 21.12.2012

Captured from Yack TV on 21 December, the projected end of the world.

  • [0:27] Santa's Sleigh 
  • [5:00] Save Santa 
  • [10:45] Zampabolas 

With extra tuneage by Kevin MacLeod @

Addendum: Tarantula (c)1955 Universal Studios. Damn you,, for misleading me into believing this was public domain. Fair Dealings, Fair Dealings! Meh, I suppose nobody cares.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Type-in Tacenda: A Classic Christmas

This Christmas, we're going back to the genesis (no, not the games console, or indeed that American Pro Wrestling tournament) of video games with a couple of type-in classics for the Amstrad CPC.

I can say with some certainty there is not one person watching that hasn't played either Breakout or Pong, most likely both. But have you played Bustout or Telly Tennis? If so, I pity you... :P

Bustout by Alexander Martin holds the distinction of being the first Amstrad type-in outside the system manual. Telly Tennis, meanwhile, provides a novel alternative to the classic Pong... at 0.1mph. The former holds a place in type-in history and is worth a place in this most festive of specials, but the latter? Well, I wouldn't bother.

[0:07] Bustout AKA Breakout AKA Arkanoid AKA bashing blocks
[3:07] Telly Tennis AKA Ping Pong AKA... well, Pong

Whiteboard Pong by Harold Yack

Merry Chrimbo.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Lord of the Leg-byes - Cricket Crazy [Amstrad CPC]

Of all the subjects you could make a text adventure about, cricket is probably the least likely. Thankfully, this game has little to do with the sport, instead focusing on the continuing adventures of the England cricket team circa 1988.

Action centres around events described in Ian 'Ram' Botham's autobiography 'Guano and Gower'. You'll have to watch the video to find out what happens, because the book was pulled by the ECB after only 300 copies were printed. Apparently they don't like players blabbing about top secret operations in Natangaville, Kerguezeland.

The verdict? Favourable, as it happens. It's not too difficult to find your way around, and a very British sense of humour is prevalent to brighten the most boring of situations. Plus there's a walkthrough available on the internet just in case you get confused in all the guano-pilfering action.

Goes on ten minutes too long considering I only demo half the game, but what the heck.

I wonder what we had to pick up those tea bags for? Considering why we eventually needed the cigarettes, I'd suggest they may be to feed a hungry shark with a taste for Earl Grey.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Type-in Tacenda: Not worth examining - Stonefear Castle [Amstrad CPC]

Remember, people: do *not* feed the trolls. Unless they are about to eat you, in which situation it is just about acceptable to offer them the rest of your Kit Kat. While he stares in wonderment at the vivid red wrapper, thick dollops of saliva dripping from his grog-blossomed chin, one can make good one's exit. That is, if you know the correct command(s).

Sadly, with these simplistic text adventure games, it is more a case of finding out what you have to do than having fun exploring what you aren't supposed to. As a result, you could very easily get stuck for days, perhaps weeks, until someone tells you you have to combine the hammer and the candle to create a bandage to fix your sword. Only *then* does it all become obvious. But then you realise you're stuck on the next part and promptly give up once more. :P

That sad part is, I haven't even got far enough into the game for the troll to kill me! Nothing I do or say affects him in any way, as if he is waiting patiently for the trigger word or action like a spy from one of Ian Fleming's Bond novels. I know it is possible to die, for I have seen the game's code thanks to that handy LIST command. I am too much of a BASIC noob, however, to decipher the correct solution from it. Boo!

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Couch Gaming Pilot #2 - Metal Gear Solid Demo disc [Playstation 1] with Cornelius

Haha, I will use the American comic book numbering convention if I like. Take that, stuffy old English teacher! Oh, why do these videos always end in conversations about stuff that happened at school?

My very favourite video game demo of all time has to be that found with the UK copy of ISS Pro '98 for the Playstation 1, namely Metal Gear Solid. This version only incorporates the first two areas, which you can play through in about five minutes, but we used to squeeze every bit of playability out the disc and stretch it out to half an hour.

There is another, longer MGS demo, but I have yet to get my grubby little grease-coated hands on it. When I do, one can be certain I will perform yet another monologue on its delightfulness. In short, send me all your worthless Metal Gear demos! :P

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

Monday, 10 December 2012

Type-in Tacenda: Smiley v. the Grumpies [Amstrad CPC]

If Centipods was the budget brand version of Centipede, then this is surely the free sample edition of Pac-Man. Roland Waddilove actually coded a few half-decent BASIC games in the mid-80s, but I really don't think this is one of them.

The main problem here is that it is not entirely clear how, or if you even can, defeat the enemy faces (henceforth referred to as 'ghosts' for obvious reasons). Without a method to effectively extinguish them, it is rather hard to evade the clutches (mouth?) of three frowny faces with simple yet deadly BASIC AI.

Weirdly, in a test recording for this, I did actually manage to defeat two of the three ghosts so either it *is* possible or I glitched out the game. I have not invested a second's worth of play in the game since I made this video so I am unable to confirm or deny this with any certainty.


Want a good Pac-Man game for the Amstrad? Well, you can't get much better than Pac-Man itself, I guess.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Type-in Tacenda: The Centipod Shuffle [Amstrad CPC]

Ever wonder where Apple get names for new products? That's right, they play old type-in games from 80s computing magazines.

Welcome to the Amstrad's budget brand version of Centipede. It's never going to be as good as the original, but is pretty decent as far as typed-in games go. It seems there is no story, so here is my own attempt, complete with obligatory iffy Google Translation:
"Gary the Garden Gnome was out for evening stroll in forest, when suddenly bright light came and was blind. The aliens arrived! They take the form of cuboid boxes of cardboard and advance upon Gary like centipede. 
"As sole survivor of gnome race, you must throw stones at monster to turn them to trees. When all body parts are removed, Gary must survive the next wave of alien and prevent takeover. 
"Can you save the universe from Centipod? Have fun!"

If you're the slightest bit interested (and after that story, you *should* be), you can find this game on the ultra-rare(?) 64 Typed In Programs compilation tape/disk.

It's also on this compilation, apparently.

Author: Aramello Chapman

Monday, 3 December 2012

Couch Gaming Pilot #1: Gran Turismo 3 [Playstation 2] with Gomez

A couple of months ago, I reached a point where I had to change the way I make these game videos. It was taking far longer to edit than actually make them, to the point where it was becoming less fun and even, to some extent, affecting video quality. Couch Gaming is a direct reaction to this, and features a far more off-the-cuff, raw style that is hopefully just as, if not more entertaining.

Excuse the visual quality of this first episode, but the second edition (already recorded!) will be markedly better. As for after that, I'm hoping to switch from cam-shot to DVD-captured or something. It is difficult to be sure at this point, for the series will no doubt evolve in the coming weeks and months. Whatever happens, it is sure to be an adventure.

This first pilot features myself and Mr Gomez T Rodriguez (real name?) wittering on about the internet, apocryphal tales, Wacky Races, keyrings, and pretty much anything but Gran Turismo 3. Hence, it is mildly interesting, as opposed to Quite Interesting.

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

The Couch Gaming pilots are exclusive to 8 Bit Anarchy, surely the greatest YouTube community gaming channel there ever was.

Friday, 30 November 2012

Updates: Couch Gaming, & answers to unasked questions (starring Rampage)

Hey, look! Shoutouts for stuff I'm helping out with, plus impromptu mini-Q&A.
Couch Gaming (working title) is currently in the experimental phase. It's based on a suggestion that I produce more 'TV-friendly' half hour stuff and is more of a video game-themed interview series. Currently considering and exploring possible directions for future episodes. Might do a more detailed video about this at some point in the next month.

Other people mentioned:

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Age of Empires: Rise of Rome: A Random Map longplay in five stanzas

Ah, real time strategy games - the grinder's paradise. Cue micromanagement with 1998's Age of Empires, or to be more specific, the Rise of Rome expansion pack. This longplay follows a primitive civilisation which, under the control of Harry Yack, becomes the dominant force in Square Land. Hopefully.

Parts I-V: Playlist

Colour text (ironically in white):

Part I documents the first steps in building a civilisation: collecting resources, researching technology and ultimately going out to battle. Haha, those fools won't know what hit them!

Part II focuses on the minutiae of battle. With three other civilisations baying for your blood, it's difficult to micro-manage both attack and defence, but you must, for here the game can be won and lost.

The schoolyard bickering between human and AI continues in Part III. The thing about computer controlled civilisations is that they never destroy each other. Typical, i'nt it? For that reason you just can't keep folding your 8-9 suited - you must attack when you first get the chance, for as soon as they know where you are, you're dogmeat.

We must summon the power of Schwarzenegger to simply stay alive in this world of micromanagement and poor pathfinding. More towers!

In Part IV, approximately 40 minutes of in-game time have passed since the 'epic' events of the previous instalment. You would have seen them but technical difficulties thwarted the recording process and all footage was lost. Do not fret, however, for it mainly consisted of me attempting in vain to break down the enemies' defences.

To make up for the failings of technology (and myself), one can witness yet more of me attempting in vain to break down the enemies' defences. We're in the latter part of this war and it's getting quite late, hence the decreasing volume of Mr Yack's commentary.

Mumblin' Harry returns for Part V of this extended Abomination, concluding a whole afternoon's gameplay on Age of Empires: Rise of Rome. Is it too late for the near-dead to be resurrected? One would hope not, but this *is* Mr Yack we're talking about here. Hopefully we can wrap this up early and go home for tea.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Traducciones sin Sentido (Pointless Translations) S01E01: El Laberinto del Sultan [Amstrad CPC]

Ahh, only in Jap... erm, Spain?!

It is a little known fact that Gem Software's wireframe ghost-dodging sim Sultan's Maze was so culturally significant it warranted a Spanish language version. Evidently the South-West European market for hedge-jumping was still burgeoning as late as 1989, when PEZ Software prompted the question, "are they still re-releasing this gumph?"

I promise this is the last you'll hear of Sultan's, at least for the time being. Recent Halloween festivities combined with bumper playing sessions have me nervously looking round the corner of ginnels and alleys for seemingly no rational reason. But there could be a ghost round there!

Don't worry, there aren't any illegal VHS rips of the rest of this mythical 'Pointless Translations' series on the way - all remaining footage was either destroyed or buried beneath the Thelwall Viaduct following the great Video Tape Crash of 2000.

Lo siento, pero no puedo entrar en cualquier correspondencia, en espaƱol. Wait, I mean, I apologise for not being able to enter into any correspondence in Spanish. Ugh, I dunno what happened there - I was possessed by the Demon of Google Translate or something.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Which way now? To the pub! - Sultan's Maze [Amstrad CPC] Walkthrough

After a previous, highly unsuccessful attempt to navigate the corrugated hedge maze, you would be forgiven for thinking Harry had learned his lesson. But alas, the lure of great riches was far too tempting for this traveller.

Bog Standard Reviews returns to the source of many a childhood nightmare to try and offer some advice for fellow (stupid) adventurers who wish to escape the maze with at least a shred of their life force remaining. Though I dunno why you'd even bother, because you have to put the treasures back afterwards.

Hopefully this time, armed with a new strategy and (little) knowledge of the instructions, Mr Yack will be able to avoid the LS Lowry-inspired Guardian. Pah, how can a child's matchstick model of a ghost be so much of a threat? Well, we shall see.

Apologies for the slightly iffy quality - I blame this on YouTube's encoding methods. But hey, at least this version's in colour. :)

  •  Many moons ago, I did a written review of this game. You can find it here if you're feeling brave enough. 
  •  The original (but definitely not definitive) Bog Standard Review is here.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Fat Dominik Diamond must die - Driver 2 [Sony Playstation]

Retro Yakking presents a driving masterclass courtesy sandboxy GTA wannabe Driver 2. Or not - thanks to a worrying inability to concentrate during the cut scenes, Harry Yack immediately slaughters his right hand man Jones, and the very person he was attempting to protect, one Pink Lenny.

They aren't the only ones to suffer, however, for Mr Yack's driving is almost as bad as that of an anthropomorphic yak who has pilfered a pair of severed human hands and attached them to his hooves. Needless to say, numerous innocent pedestrians with slow-motion walk cycles did not survive.

 "We do not need the boundaries of the road to tell us what to do!"

  • Music during cutscenes is not from the game but, because I am paranoid about copyright claims on music tracks. 
  • Donation by Fawltykog. Cheers, Fawlts!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Welcome to Heaven. Admittance: 100 Gold Coins - Haunted Hedges [Amstrad CPC]

Bog Standard Reviews is back!

Let's face it, the back story for Pac-Man is a bit rubbish. Some rotund anthropomorphic gobstopper popping pills found on the floor? I'd much rather control a bloke navigating a hedge maze in the spirit world. Quite why they would have such structures there is never answered in Haunted Hedges, but I suspect ghosts need a way to enjoy themselves too.

Definitely not to be confused with Haunted Hills on the Action 52 multi-cart, or indeed Sultan's Maze, which this game bears a striking similarity to.

Originally marketed as a '3D' game. Home Computing Weekly awarded the Speccy version 5 stars, while Your Computer only gave it two. What is this affront to the mighty Pac-Man, YC?!

  • Musical compositions by Kevin MacLeod.
  • Small correction: Game is copyright 1983, not '84. Note to self - double check the inlay next time.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

UK Queuing Championships [Play Expo], Manchester 2012

Finally, a benefit of living in Greater Manchester! Five quid for an any bus day pass to anywhere in the metropolitan county ain't too bad, especially when the UK's largest retro gaming Expo just so happens to be taking place up Salford way.

Although the huge collection of retro television sets is something of a nostalgia trip, scanlines don't necessarily make for decent camshot footage. Never mind, it's the consoles you're here for, eh?

Drinking game:
  • Take a shot every time I reference something from last year's video.
  • Down a full pint every time you recognise a YouTuber (there's at least one).
  • Drink a whole bottle of Toilet Duck for every reference to British pop culture.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Play Expo, EventCity, Manchester, 13 October 2012 [Photos]

It may have an all new name and location, but Play Expo (formerly Replay) still has to put up with the irritating flashbulb of Harry Yack's Fujifilm camera. This year, the plush seaside surroundings of Norbreck Castle were swapped for the slightly larger EventCity venue, situated just across the road from Manchester's Trafford Centre.

Although technical and queuing problems blighted Saturday morning, I managed to get in relatively quickly and painlessly around noon. Oh lucky me. Anyway, this is some of what I saw.

Ballin' with the pins. And dinosaurs.

The ever-present Llamasoft mascot, possibly the one from Trip-a-Tron.

Mario and Luigi pick up a Koopa burger.

Metal Gear on the Nintendo. I prefer the Playstation version, to be honest.

The oft-overlooked Neo Geo and Dreamcast.

Granny Turismo on the positively dinky PSOne.

All together now! #God save our gracious queen...#

Shootin' 'em up on the behemoth that is the Sega Master System.

Racecar action with the Sony Playstation.

Stunt Car Racer *in colour*! Wow.

Mario with the NES Zapper? I suspect that's a challenge.

Various retro consoles/computers. And more green tablecloth.

Amstrad GX4000 with Crazy Cars II.

Running repairs to the Jurassic Park table.

Video from the Saturday will be posted here in 24 hours. Hopefully you can all wait that long. ;)

Friday, 12 October 2012

Four times the juice - NBA Jam Tournament Edition [Mega Drive]

Coming soon to a school gym near you... Basketball gets even *more* commercial with a bit of jam 'n' juice. If the 50-foot dunks and 9-point baskets don't rope you in, the random earthquakes and length-of-the-court shots certainly will.

NBA Jam Tournament Edition capitalises on the rip-roaring success of its predecessor, introducing all-new power ups and play modes to milk the cash co- erm, I mean, add even more excitement to an already thrilling game.

For the brand, spanking new channel 8Bit Anarchy. Go and subscribe if you feel so inclined!

Friday, 28 September 2012

Pokemon Green Engrish translation (Bootleg) [Game Boy] Playthrough PARTS 32 & 33

After a year's downtime, the Doctor returns to offer tips on drying your washing, teaching children the English language and recession-busting haircuts. Not bad, considering this is supposed to be a let's play of Pokemon Green Engrish version.

Pokemon Engrish Part 33 can be described thusly: Breakfast arrangements; Teenage Mutant Ninja Dummy; Bob Marley; the Pokemon 'forum translation' theory; more real life Pokemon theologising; How 2; more ignorance of mainstream religions; the Queen of the Rocket Members; the grandfather kidnap plot; the solution to Britain's debt problems.

Bonus - silly quotes!

Bloke: "I never forget... dead Pipi! ... won't do! tears drop..."
Girl: "Ah, Why my yady... died? ...
Roky: "Oh! Fool! What do you do to come here? Is your PET died? ... Nuisance! He is a live! Then, at least, Outsmart him! come on!"
Roky (on losing): "Ah, beast! you do want to do! but I specially show my mercy."
Priest 1: "... ... chirp ... ... Coo,coo,coo, ...!"
Priest 1 (on losing): "Ah, ...! much help!"
Priest 2: "... this is a statement."
Priest 3: "... ... ... laugh!"
Priest 4: "Let's curse!"
Priest 5: "H'm, h'm, h'm ...! Can... win?"
Priest 5 (on losing): "... H'm I?"
Priest 6: "Ghost bloke ... ... Ah!"
Priest 7: "you do jion us, please!"
Priest 7 (on losing): "what about?"
Priest 8: "come here! Here put on some bans"
Priest 9: "... soul ...give me it back!"
Priest 10: "May be some certain sound or state!"
Priest 11: "... crying!"
Priest 11 (on losing): "shaking ..."
Priest 12: "blood-efficient state!"
Priest 13: "How, how! ...! ... how, how!"
Priest 14: "Tie up!"
Priest 14: (on losing): "Is there some thing seperated from my body?"
On throwing Monster Ball at Haha: "vYwz`! ZRbj bVox_SfeR!"
On defeating Haha: "The true face of soul is so ... . the soul of Haha's mother unable to become Buddha!"
Rocket Member 1: "Why! how are you? What do you do here?"
Rocket Member 1 (on leaving): "Hi! you remember!"
Rocket Member 2: "Every time he came the foothold of MISSILE, This old grandpa always said that don't bully PET, don't kill PET, and so on, much bored! Now we are talking about adults' chat!"
Rocket Member 2 (on losing): "spare my life, please! ..."
Rocket Member 3 (on leaving): "skunk ...! Don't think that that's all for now!"
Fuji: "Then, Mr. Fool, ... . It will be difficult to finish if treated PET without deep love while compiling the illustrated handbook PET. give you this!"
On selling Gold Ball at Pokemart: "If that's so, 5000 use US dollars for quoting prices and settling accounts!"

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Jean-Claude Van Damme Dance Fever AKA The Timecop Challenge

Blurb on back of box (maybe): "Dance your way through numerous levels of white jumpsuited Mr Motivator-trained weirdos as the FBI geddonit. Throw ineffective punches and fire invisible rounds from your handgun, but be careful not to slip on the highly polished floor!"

Timecop sold exactly two copies. The first retired to become a doorstop after one play, while the second, yellowed by tea stains, was bought by local idiot Harry Yack for £2. Still, it was worth it to see JCVD jump around like Luigi from Super Mario Bros. 2.

There is a special trophy for anyone who does not crack a single smile while watching this video. Just think, 'The Begoggled Fool' could soon be sitting proudly on your mantelpiece...

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Pixellated Rob Hubbard on German teletext

Until next Thursday, you will be able to see a wonderfully teletextised version of iconic C64 musician Rob Hubbard on Germany's ARD Text. For those not living in said country, you can view the artwork via that wonderful tool that is the internet.

The International Teletext Art Festival is running on ARD Text until 16 September, but I'm not sure if there's much more video game related content. There is a fantastic version of Mr T, however. Check it out, sucka!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Soiling your pristine childhood memories of Super Hang On [Mega Drive]

Thanks to Nookie077 for inadvertently suggesting the title.

Essentially a 'let's play', but knowing my incompetence at motorbike racing games, this is more a case of 'let's pray'. It's no secret I can't get further than the second course in Super Hang On's Arcade mode, so let's get oiled up and go for a record in personal torture. It could well go pits-up, so don't expect any more parts...

Friday, 3 August 2012

Big Fat 200 Sub Spesh (Part 2/2) - live from the Olympic Stadium

Featuring a cameo from RandomUTubeGamer93! Remember kids, it's not all about the girth of your subscriber count.

The party moves from the pub to the Olympic village in north-east London, whereupon it storms the Stadium at 3am. Since security around the Park is somewhat lax, it's easy to gain access to the game cupboard for a quick mini-Olympics.

From there it's a quick flight to Egypt for a spot of Roland-esque mummy dodging, and we return home just in time to see England hammered by South Africa at the cricket. What a day! Think I'm just about ready for a lie down after all that.

Sites mentioned in the video:

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Stop laughing at my short leg! ZX Spectrum Cricket Games

Requested by Fawltykog. After the madcap Part 1 of Retro Yakking's 200 Sub Special, we spend a lunch break with a couple of cricket sims for the ZX Spectrum.

Cue much exasperation as Harry Yack works his way through the Sunday cricket leagues of North-West England. It certainly isn't all cream teas and currant buns, as he soon finds the fielders are more than impartial to the odd margarine-coated cream cracker. He wouldn't mind so much if they washed their hands before entering the field of play. :/

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Retro Yakking Big Fat 200 Sub Spesh (Part 1/2) - live from the pub!

Welcome, one and all, to Harry Yack's 200 subscriber bash. The buffet will be serving only the finest turf and twiglets coated in mud, and there's a 20ft trough with stagnant water to quench your thirst. I'm not entirely certain what you humans eat, so I'm sorry if there's nothing to your taste.

The lounge TV will be showing the Terminator trilogy (fourth one doesn't count) on a continuous loop all night, while Atari Karaoke will be running in the snug from 11pm. Until then, you can play snooker against a floating pair of hands or attempt to build a house of cards made of beer mats while you wait for the other person to arrive.

We wholeheartedly apologise for the toilet being out of order. But to make it up to you, here's an advance showing of the Retro Yakking 200 Sub Spesh (Part 1), complete with the usual terrible jokes and footage of some of Mr Yack's favourite games.

Useful links 'n' stuff:

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Amsoft's Fruit Machine [Amstrad CPC] The Definitive Strategy Guide

Requested by Fawltykog. Join Harry Yack as he re-visits this Amstrad classic in another attempt to be inducted into the Amsoft Hall of Fame. It isn't all plain sailing, as he soon finds the machine is rigged to pay out only 33% of the advertised winnings. He chooses not to complain, however, as he remembers he is under the age of 18 and is liable to have it all taken away from him.


Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Call that a mow-job? Advanced Lawnmower Simulator [Amstrad CPC]

After Collie's definitive review of the Speccy's Advanced Lawnmower Simulator (AKA Advanced Lawnmowing Simulator, or just Lawnmower Simulator), I promised myself I wouldn't make any more videos of the game. But when I discovered an Amstrad version, I couldn't *not* give it a go!

It's a fairly faithful port, this. I find it just as hard as ever to earn that most coveted of video game rewards: the corned beef sandwich, and you can still get exploded by leaving your malfunctioning mower out in the rain. Blooming budget brands - that's the last time I do my electronics shopping at PoundSava.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A very special request [200 Sub Spesh trailer thingy] starring Holly

Please help me out by posting topics for discussion, games to play, general questions etc. for this token foray into YouTube cliche. Please try and make suggestions irrelevant...

... that is, unless it's past 21 July and the subsequent video is complete. :P

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Milk of Ultra Violet - take that, Wisdom Tree! [Indie game by Jesusisthetreeoflife]

It isn't often I'm asked to review something seriously, mostly due to my tendency to make endless irrelevant comments, but here's an honest opinion (gasp!) of The Milk of Ultra Violet, a game whose author has grand designs.

This is a game created by a fellow multimedia artist and video-maker to whom I am subscribed, namely this bloke. It's still in the development stages but the demo is definitely playable.

If you're interested in getting involved with the project, drop JesusTree (hope he doesn't mind me calling him that ;) ) a line at his channel. Any help is appreciated.

PS. This is better than anything Wisdom Tree could have done.

PPS. I believe that's 13 videos in a row containing Arnie references ;)

Monday, 25 June 2012

Oh crumbs, it's GTA San Andreas [PS2] again

Good afternoon. My Name is Sam Andreas, GTA (Grumpy Thick Arse) at Hindley University. The question I am most asked by my students is thus: "which is better, San Andreas or Vice City?" In this video, Harry Yack completely ignores this and simply mucks about for a bit. As a result, it is of no educational value whatsoever. Burp Reynolds, are you paying attention at the back there? Just to make sure you watch to the end, there will be a 50 question quiz, so ready your copybooks.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

Jimmy White's 2: Cueball [PC] Pool mode - Jackanory

Harry O'Sullivan sets out to conquer Jimmy White's 2: Cueball on the PC. Before taking on the fiendishly difficult snooker mode, it's advisable to cut one's teeth with a spot of 8-ball pool to prime oneself for the arduous tasks to come. I did plan to have a separate video once I 'completed' snooker mode, but that isn't likely to happen any time this decade. Damn your accuracy, blasted artificial intelligence! The computerised Jimmy never misses, folks. :/

Created for Superzapgaming. Check out the channel!

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Can you run a complete Road Rash [Mega Drive] race on foot?

Answers to Questions Nobody Asked No. 1 (of 1): Is it possible to run a full Road Rash race without your bike?

Idea posited by Snazzyhoppy, whose FAQ can be found here.

Suggested by Livetoby and TheCheapKills.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Let's *not* play Jimmy White's 2: Cueball [PC]

It's 2AM, and we've broken into snooker legend Jimmy White's house. Do we play one of the many types of pool games available, or perhaps a leisurely billiard exhibition with the magical pair of floating hands? Nah, better stick to the plan and look for stuff worth stealing. Hey, is that a dartboard over there?

Thanks once again to Kevin MacLeod for the music.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

The Terminator [Mega Drive] - Da Sarah CONNER Chronicles (Commentary)

Hi! Good morning! How are you? Nice to meet you!

 You've seen Arnold have a go, but now it's Harry Yack's turn to take on (or at least commentate on) the very best Cyberdyne has to throw at him. This blind commentary takes in all four levels of this rather short game that follows the plot of the movie quite well indeed.

I could have spent time to master the game but I had to take out the papers and the trash, or I don't get no spendin' cash. It doesn't maddah! Instead, game footage is provided by an actual Terminator expert. Original longplay by BimmyLee83 for, used here with kind permission. You da man, dawg!

Let's rock and roll!

Here's the US box art I was talking about. Click for full size.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

Dos and Don'ts of the Sega Mega Drive cartridge (with Electronic Arts)

Tl;dr version: Harry Yack reads cartridge text in mildly 'humorous' fashion. 

Here's a little bonus Easter egg for you all. If you've ever took the time to read the gumph written on the back of game cartridges, you'll know exactly how to take care of them. But just in case you haven't, Harry Yack guides you through the dos and don'ts of your typical Mega Drive cartridge. Well, I don't believe you can call EA Sports carts 'typical', but the points made are still at least remotely valid if you plan to, say, take your game to the swimming baths or a blast furnace. Happy Easter!

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Can I Cheat Death? [Amstrad CPC] Featuring the worst pub in the world

Easter weekend can only mean a long session down the pub. Or, in Harry Yack's case, sitting in front of his computer and typing frivolous commands into classic text adventure games based in public houses. This particular game, coded by Simon Avery, is in the public domain so can be downloaded freely here.

Sevensixsixtwo requested the game Pub Crawl for C64, but since I haven't yet managed to get the thing going, I figured this would be the next best thing.

I didn't manage to get very far, mainly due to my own ineptness at this type of game. Although I did code a few of these types of games in my formative years, they were much more linear and basic, and certainly didn't involve events as complex as buying condoms. There was, however, a certain amount of (implied) nudity, but things stopped far short of, shall we say, rumpy-pumpy. I've already given away far too much, but suffice to say that Mr Yack will probably give up and go home long before that stage. Indeed, his confidence is severely dented when his attempts to chat up the barmaid fall upon deaf ears pretty early on.

Spot the Freakazoid, Pet Shop Boys and Pink Floyd references for extra Cadbury's Creme Eggs.

Music by Kevin MacLeod.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Amstrad CPC: A Beeping Anthology

In late 2008, the Yak booted up his Amstrad CPC for the first time in more than ten years. For some reason, he felt compelled to record himself playing games that are a quarter of a decade old and upload them to the internet. Why did he think this was a good idea? And what the hell is that beeping in the background? Find out the answer to none of these questions in this compilation of Harry Yack's earliest attempts at video game commentary.

  • Download (Mpeg, right click > Save As)
So what's new for seasoned Yak-watchers? As well as the remastered Harrier Attack and Stunt Car Racer videos you've already seen on the YouTube Channel, there are new, never-before-seen edits of the Continental Circus and Sultan's Maze Bog Standard Reviews. Although they aren't all that different from the originals, I feel it's those small changes that often make the real difference. Best of all, there is no more beeping! Joy of joys.

Thanks to Kevin MacLeod of for the music in all reviews except Continental Circus.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Viewer Mail No. 642 - BURP39R's Harry Yack artwork

The Hindleyak receives something very special through the post and embarks on a 'grand' adventure. Well not really, but it is vaguely interesting.

Huge thanks to Burp Reynolds AKA LakePalmer. Cassette is from an issue of Sega Pro and 8-bit music is by Kevin MacLeod.

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Arnold Schwarzenegger plays The Terminator [Mega Drive]

Harry Yack takes a back seat as his good friend Arnie does a spot of Let's Playing. In this blind fumble through the first level of Terminator on the Mega Drive, the roles are reversed as Mr Schwarzenegger takes on the role of good guy, fighting off a bunch of Arnold clones with Uzi 9mms. And I don't think he much likes it.

Soundboards used:

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Stunt Car Racer [Amstrad CPC] Re-run sponsored by Irn Bru (in colour!)

Remember when I promised to get back to you with this game? *Cue dream sequence*

*Snap back to 'reality'*

Some three years later, the time has finally come for Harry Yack to pick up that crummy old JY3 joystick (complete with 2 suckers and making-tape seal) and finish what he started.

Thrust into the competitive world of the Stunt Car League, your super-advanced, highly aspirated monster truck-cum-flying machine must guide you through four divisions of frantic roller coaster action as you vie for the title of Ultimate Stunt Car Racer. Along the way, you face assorted uglies in head-to-head on-track combat whilst attempting not to slide uncontrollably off the edge of the mantelpiece.

This version is from 1990 and not 1989 as noted on the title screen. My mistake, but it's still quite an advanced game for its time and considering the limitations of the format. Most importantly, it's a great laugh to play and is far easier on a modern control pad. Man, I can't stress how much I hated those joysticks, and playing on keyboard is never quite the same, is it?

Creator Geoff Crammond went on to design the cult classic Formula One Grand Prix and numerous subsequent sequels. Harry Yack went on to order chips and sausages from the local Chinese chippery, getting his keyboard all greasy in the process. Now his Amstrad constantly flashes 'syntax error, ready' whenever he switches it on.

Music provided by Kevin MacLeod of Incompetech.

Massive shout out to Collie, who recently made a glorious return to the, uh, video making fraternity. Check 'im out!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets [Satellaview] - Bonus: Thanks, tricks and glitches

Like Part 5 of my Road Rash Level 5 playthrough, this video is all about you, the viewer. In it, I seek to answer/elaborate upon comments left in the past four weeks of this gargantuan Harry Yack playthrough, and I *think* I got just about everyone that did leave a message. A huge thanks to all that watched, those still watching and those that will watch in the future.

View this as a DVD extra, if you will, that demonstrates some of the hidden secrets you may have missed the first time round, such as that woman in Kakariko that can be turned into a fairy. There's also a few tips on how to become the ultimate Ancient Stone Tablets glitchmaster, and since the game is filled with them I recommend you give it a try. You never know what you'll...


Now for some additional author comments that were far too boring for the video, but by navigating to this blog I'm guessing you might be at least slightly interested, so here we go...

I've been considering the possibility of an audio podcast for quite some time now, but I'm not entirely sure what it would be about or how it would be organised. For the time being, while I was still percolating ideas for a gaming audio 'show', I resolved to instead create some podcast-length video commentaries.

Over Christmas, I'd been watching a lot of videos of Zelda-related stuff, in particular Link to the Past hacks like Euclid and Seph's deliciously evil Parallel Worlds. Having considered a LTTP Let's Play (in the traditional, 'play one hour and completely forget about it' style), I settled on a playthrough of a somewhat shorter spin-off. Since the Ancient Stone Tablets was only released in Japan, this would be completely fresh, almost like another brand new, never-before-seen hack. Except it was an official game in the Zelda series, a point of a fascination for fans and casual observers alike.

I can't remember how I stumbled across the game, but it was most likely while searching for Link to the Past-related material on YouTube. It's sad, but Ancient Stone Tablets remains hidden among the mountains of Zelda re-releases and sequels, like a poor neglected child left to navigate the Lost Woods without the aid of a map (see picture above). While it doesn't exactly add layer upon layer to the constantly developing Zelda saga (Nintendo's official timeline doesn't even mention AST), there are a few tweaked gameplay elements that make this a worthy instalment to the series and successor to LTTP.

I like to view the Ancient Stone Tablets as a pseudo sequel to Link to the Past that expands slightly on some concepts largely neglected in the original; for example, you can go through the whole game without even discovering the Golden Bee. AST remedies this to some extent, making the bee your primary method of both attack and defence right at the start of the game before you pick up your sword and shield.

As a final thank you, I must mention the guys over at, and of course the modders/hackers who have made this whole playthrough possible. As I said in part 4, you are legends, nay heroes, nay... awesome people.

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets [Satellaview] - Chapter 4/4: The Hero of Heavy and the Lucozade of Power

We're in the closing stretches of this relatively obscure Link to the Past spin-off, and this final part sees us preparing for the final battle with The Big Pig Man himself, Ganon the Gluttonous. Along the way to the porkmaster's tower, we discuss a variety of topics including the Magical Cape conspiracy, the Hyrule Screwfix catalogue(!) and the Lucozade of Power, which affords us some (fairly) useful advantages.

The final two dungeons of the game aren't as difficult as you might expect, though there are quite a few pitfalls and cheap traps that I do actually fall for in this take. Whoops. Well, I make the mistakes so you don't have to. Heh, the pretence that you're using this as a walkthrough is running pretty thin now, eh?

Also in this part: shameless grave robbing; heart puzzle protips; more moaning about Turtle Rock; benefits/drawbacks of the Magic Hammer; revenge of the Turd Slugs; switch hunting with Brian Blessed; sexual equality in the workplace; Ebeneezer Scroogin' with Sakayama the Mole; Hyrule thieves' trade system; more buyer's remorse at the fortune teller's house and the final battle that will decide the fate of Hyrule. For five minutes.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets [Satellaview] - Chapter 3/4: Lawnmower Simulator

This is where the longplay unravels ever so slightly. Screw re-records, because failure is always funny... well, almost always. This part contains the killer Desert Palace, which is every bit as annoying as its Link to the Past counterpart, and then some. Undeterred, we trek on and are rewarded by a brush with royalty. Splendid, this is pleasant!

By this point I'd already played through the whole game, which afforded me some Mystic Meg-style foresight into Chapter 4. Hopefully I didn't give too much away in saying we have to defeat Ganon, because I don't believe I've played a Zelda game that doesn't cast him as the main antagonist.

Also in this part: feeling sorry for thieves; the magic bee returns; reminiscing upon past inglories; flaunting our rusty sword; desert survival tips; our weekly puzzle failure; harassing the fortune teller; swimming pool health and safety and Sakayama the Mole. Sounds pretty good, doesn't it? Well believe me, as with most Harry Yack uploads, it really ain't. :P

Actually, I quite like this part and think it's the best yet. Chapter 4 is also pretty good, but you can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat. How can you have any pudding if you don't eat your meat?!

Saturday, 18 February 2012

The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets [Satellaview] - Chapter 2/4: Piracy is bad, mmkay?

The adventure continues with week two of the Ancient Stone Tablets Satellaview broadcast. Except, of course, this isn't being played on Satellaview, but an emulator. Unless Nintendo ever decide to release a Satellaview Classics disc (go on and do it Ninty, you know you want to), we are highly unlikely to see a release of the game outside of Japan, so the only way to play is using a Super Famicom (SNES) emulator.

After the mayhem of part 1, we pay a visit to the serene surroundings of Kakariko Village. More dungeoneering is the order of the day, and it isn't long before we start making up our own little challenges to (marginally) increase the difficulty of the bosses. After discussing the pros and cons of Hyrule's public transport system, we move on to the village and its... somewhat odd inhabitants. We also clean up a few scraps left over from Chapter One and chill out with some samples of the game's original musical tracks.

Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Legend of Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets [Satellaview] - Chapter 1/4: Research is for wimps

Almost one year after his last playthrough, Harry Yack announces his untriumphant return to the longplay fraternity with Zelda: The Ancient Stone Tablets, a somewhat obscure spinoff of Link to the Past. All will be explained in the video, but this curiously overlooked addition to the Zelda series is probably best described as an 'enhanced' version of LTTP, heavily modified to fit the Satellaview specifications. For this reason, it isn't all that hard if you've played a Zelda game before, even though it does contain a selection of brand-new puzzles.

Strap yourself onto your favourite heavy thing, because this truly is a marathon, an uncut, full length longplay covering all four parts of the original broadcast. You might decide to watch it in 10-15 minute chunks, but I wanted all the chapters to be self-contained in an attempt to mimic the St. GIGA broadcasts. To this end, one part will be uploaded here each week, and each will attempt to discuss various aspects of the game as they crop up.

In this first part, we take our first steps in the game and explain the basic gameplay differences from the Super Nintendo's Link to the Past. We also demonstrate tremendous laziness in our various poorly-researched comments (corrected via subtitles). AST veterans, please feel free to point out any other inaccuracies and I'll stick up some annotations or something, but I assure you things get slightly better (read: chaotic) in this regard as I attempt to correct errors in later parts.

Friday, 3 February 2012

John Madden Football [Mega Drive] - Johnson, you idiot!

Grab the pretzels and nachos because it's that time of year again, the one weekend all Americans shove pillows up their shirts, wear colanders on their heads and pretend to be Joe Montana.

Apologies to actual American Football players, at New York or any other team, called 'Johnson'. And yup, I did indeed miss the opportunity to pit New York against New England but the footage was recorded before I even knew who was taking part in the 2012 Superbowl, or even that it was happening this weekend. In fact I decided to turn it into a Superbowl special last Thursday because, well, I'm a massive current events bandwagon-jumper like that.

Madden was one of the first games I played for the Mega Drive and holds a special place in my memory, even though I can't bring myself to sit and watch a whole game of (real life) American football. Admittedly, however, this is mostly because the majority of NFL matches take place at 3AM GMT, meaning I'd have to adjust my sleeping patterns to such an extent I'd be forced to take a pillow to work. Somehow I don't think my boss would put up with my snoring all the way through our Tuesday meeting. I mean, he'd probably tolerate me sitting there, face planted on the desk, drool pouring all over his freshly-printed copy of last week's accounts, but he draws the line at 10 minutes of snorting bull terrier impersonations.

When creating this 'review', I realised I was going to sound like a complete idiot to all you football-literate Yack watchers, but it's a risk I was willing to take. Having recently played the game again upon the suggestion of Lakepalmer (yes, he of Games I Am Aren't Playing), I found one or two things I never noticed all those years ago. I was interested to discover that our old friend Rob Hubbard is responsible the menu music, and what a superb soundscape he has created; I don't think the Hubster is capable of composing anything other than sonic gold. (Not to be confused with Gold Sonic.)

Other intriguing and humorous little programming titbits, which are addressed in the video, make this a noteworthy addition to the Abomination series (out on Blu Ray Christmas 2028). So, Mr Lakepalmer, you're the proud beneficiary of Harry Yack's first request video.

Enscribed proudly on the front of Sega's Mega Drive is the 'high definition graphics' logo, though we haven't been able to experience the system's true visual capabilities until now, some 20-odd years later, in an age where HD television is more widespread. Perhaps playing Madden '90 on my 38 inch Toshiba LCD HD screen has artificially inflated my opinion of the game's graphics, but they are more than adequately clear, crisp and colourful. I was impressed by the scrolling, which is smooth even when taking into account any slowdown caused during the game's conversion from NTSC (US) to PAL (Europe). Though we had to endure such problems this side of the Atlantic, we weren't to know any different; it was only recently that I discovered how much faster the game runs on the North American Sega Genesis. Just check out how quickly the game runs in this video:

I guess the ultimate testament to Madden's enjoyability is that I'm not a fan of American football. Or perhaps it's because of my lack of familiarity with the sport that I like this game: I'm not picking apart its knowledge of offsides and time outs because I know so little of the rules anyway. Maybe such innocence is the best way to approach any game to avoid getting wrapped up in the cynical nit-picking that characterises my own videos. Not that I will stop making them or anything, but it does make one stop and think.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Tank Battle In The Streets (Phantom Tank) on TV Boy II [Atari 2600 clone] - Fighting back vigorously for ultimate victory

This description is written in the style of Lakepalmer's Games I Am Aren't Playing.

The inhabitants of coloured crate land have a bit of a problem. It's those pesky ghost tanks, you see. They magically fall from the sky at an alarming rate to collapse pile after pile of painstakingly stacked pallets with brightly coloured beanbags. The inhabitants, who spent all day constructing them, are tired of their hard work being ruined by these supernatural deviants, and worse still, they are being driven to madness (and often blindness) by the tanks' incessant flicker. For the sake of their mental and physical health, you have been charged with the task of destroying these pests once and for all.

Requisitioning a tank (or is it a block of cheese on wheels?) from the local military history museum, you load up your Ghostbuster phantom destructor thingy and make your way through the streets and across the village green, trapping those ghouls in miniature balls along the way. Actually, I think that was stolen from Pokemon or something. But the fact remains, you must rid this town of each and every one of those phantom fools before the local health service is overrun.

Nah, I made that up. *This* is the actual story (as seen in the image to the right):
"The energy base is being attacked by 4 or 5 vicious phantom tanks. You, driving the only armored car in the base, is fighting back vigorously for ultimate victory.

"Taking the walls as defense both sides begin street battle. The phantom tanks are finally extinguished by your vigorous fires.

"On second round, you and the enemy are confronting each other at both sides of the river. There are two bridges across the river, you must destroy the phantom tanks the moment the move onto the bridge or block their attack by moving your armored car across the river.

"The decisive battle is taken on the prairie. The enemy, with their five tanks at the same time, are attacking the base vigorously. You have to fire quickly and accurately to destroy them."

I shouldn't have bothered writing my own made up story because the real one is much better. I do so love a good bit of Engrish!