Friday, 30 November 2012

Updates: Couch Gaming, retrounlim.com & 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 Incompetech.com, 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.