The ZX Spectrum – 28 today!

Happy birthday to the machine that got me into the world of computing – the good old ZX Spectrum! It’s a mighty 28 years old today, which makes me feel really bloody old. For me it’s never really gone away, of course – I still have several of them kicking around the house, and I haven’t owned a computer in the last 20 years which hasn’t had an emulator and a bunch o’ games permanently installed on it. But ah, for those dim and distant days of my youth when it was all still fresh and exciting! Read more of this post



I’ve not posted videos before but I just can’t resist this one – it’s absolutely fantastic! Watch in awe as a bunch of pixellated heroes of yesteryear trash the world. 😀

End of an offline era (possibly)

Last weekend I have mostly been playing…. online. It was a free ‘Gold’ weekend for Silvers (although you would never have known if you didn’t know about it already – no advertising of the fact whatsoever as far as I can tell) so I thought I’d break with tradition and actually try some stuff out. Yes, believe it or not I’ve somehow managed to avoid ever playing a game online until now. And bearing in mind that I was a complete online n00b, I wasn’t expecting much of either myself or the experience in general. What I found was… curious. Read more of this post

Eurogamer Expo 2009 – The Review

EG Expo 2009So, yesterday I spent a rather long day at the Eurogamer Expo in Leeds. My legs may never forgive me, but myself and a small band of merry forumites had a marvellous day meeting the staff and playing some stuff that we hadn’t played before! If you’ve got a ticket for one of the upcoming days then you’re likely to come away rather pleased.

While it’s all still fresh in my head, I’ve done a super-quick round-up of everything I paid even slight attention to. Have fun! 🙂

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Dyson (for now)

Dyson... or not.

Thinking about it, I should have mentioned Dyson on here already. I have no idea why I haven’t – it’s by far my favourite ‘indie’ PC game of the last… forever. Originally developed for TIGSource‘s procedurally generated games competition by Rudolf Kremers and Alex May, it’s an utterly gorgeous ambient space-based RTS (sort of) where you ‘grow’ your biological armies from ‘space trees’ and take over the galaxy. Beautiful to look at, graceful in motion and with a superb soundtrack it’s consumed many an hour of me and my son’s time over the last year or so.

And now… now they’ve gone the whole hog and it’s to become a commercial product, vastly expanded upon compared to its original freebie format. Given that I feel I already owe them my money just for the original version, I probably also owe them a bit of a plug… so here it is! 🙂

The game’s out next month, as you can see from their latest blog post and they’re also hosting a competition to give it a new name before release. Possibly to avoid the wrath of irate vacuum cleaner salesmen. Get over there and try the free version if you haven’t already – I (almost) guarantee that you’ll love it.

Recommended: Shadow Complex

"That spider in the bath, dear? I'm going to need a bigger newspaper."

Super Metroid was, so they tell me, a classic. I say “so they tell me” because I have a shocking admission to make – I’ve never actually played it for more than about ten minutes. Before you kick me out of the gaming club, I was very much a ‘computer’ kind of guy during the 16-bit era so that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it. The fact that I now own a SNES and have somehow managed to avoid picking up a copy remains a mystery, however.

Regardless, I’m a fan of the “Metroidvania” style of game – the first Metroid Prime was excellent (aside from Meta Ridley, I still wake up screaming occasionally even now) and I’ve enjoyed various flavours of Castlevania over the years, so I was moderately interested in Shadow Complex when it was first announced at E3. However, the Splinter Cell styling didn’t really appeal and it didn’t look quite as Metroidy as some people said it was so I was a little dubious.

I was also a little wrong.

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“Well you’re obviously not Dr. Kildare, then!”

Let's raise a peoples' army and seize control of the state!

Patience. It’s a virtue, apparently. Recent revelations have also lead me to believe that I now have significantly less of it than I used to have in the past, especially when it comes to games. The release of the hi-def remix of The Secret of Monkey Island on Xbox Live Arcade almost had me reaching into my pocket – this was, after all, a game which I remembered very fondly indeed. Back in the dim and distant past when I was but a spotty youth I must’ve gone through the entire game at least a dozen times on my trusty Atari ST despite the fact that it came on four disks and took seemingly forever to load. Then once I upgraded to a PC I went through the whole thing again – several times. This was one of my favourite games, and one which was undiminished in my memory – an all-time classic which obviously would never age. Hmm.

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