Did some work behind the scenes of the game blog page so that the game filters now work much better.
A couple of months back I found loads of old notes about all the old Epic Space Marine games we played, starting from back when I was in high school. I thought it would be a good idea to type them all up as best I could, and upload them all. While I was at it, I also converted the Epic-S and 40K battle reports from their PDF state to HTML, and they can be found on the Warhammer 40K page.
Finally got my pointing pictures up and into the Vault. Don't ask me why.
This is where you can read any of my irregular wafflings about computer gaming. The whole point of this blog is to help motivate me to properly finish games, whether they be recent ones or older ones I played when I was younger that I never managed to beat.
Xenon 2 Megablast was a game I tried to play a few times back on my old Amiga in the early 90s. I quite liked the style and sound of it back then, but I think I remember finding it too hard or just preferred Battle Squadron which I could play co-op with my mates.
I recently went through this thing on my Amiga emulator, and holy crap, I know now why I may have found it so frustrating. This thing was a ballache.
For starters, the ship does not automatically shoot when you hold the fire button down, so I had to spam it like a crazy person. You can purchase an auto-fire upgrade from the in-game shop, but even with that the ship did not fire as fast as I could do it manually. In addition, that upgrade seemed to vanish whenever I died.
And I died a lot.
By far the worst thing about the game was trying to weave the ship through some of the levels with tight corridors. Whenever the ship hit a wall it would just stick to it and jitter around like it had got ants in its pants. This was very frustrating when trying to dodge enemy fire that was being sent at me from all directions.
If I'd not died at all the game probably would have passed very quickly. However, as stated earlier, I died a lot, and I'd have never finished the game using just the 3 default credits. Luckily, like what we did for Pang, I used the emulator's save state feature to constantly reload and make progress that way. It took me a lot longer than it probably should have done.
For some weird reason, I fancied taking a stroll down memory lane with another game I used to play on my old Amiga. This one was John Lowe's Ultimate Darts.
This wasn't a game I played a ton of back in the day, but I remember having a few little fads on it here and there. After firing it up after all these years I jumped into a game of soccer darts, and tried to see if I could remember how to hit those 180s.
Once I'd got the feel of it again, the opposing player could not even push forward on the attack, and I won pretty easily. Not a difficult game though, to be fair.
Back in the very early 2000s I played a bit of Diablo 2 after hearing my bro talking about it. He'd played it co-op with a few of his friends and they all seemed really into it, so I ended up giving it a try.
It was all well and good, and I was quite into it. That is, until the third act I believe it was. During that part of the game, as far as I can remember, you are tasked with collecting three items that will allow you to unlock some magical staircase and continue the adventure.
Now, I collected these items, and used them to open the way forward. Then, I saved the game and turned it off. The next time I came to play the game, I found that the way forward was again closed, and all of the items had vanished from my inventory. As I didn't feel like playing most of the third act again, I just gave up.
I never really bothered with the game after that other than a few years later when Scoob and I started to play it co-op but didn't even get out of the first act.
Anyway, fast forward to this September, and out of the blue we decided to try again. After (seeming) to get it to run on my two current computers, we fought our way through act one, and were enjoying our couple of hours in the game every weekend.
However, the progress did not come without its costs, as at several times, my older computer just decided to crash in a variety of ways.
After the last crash on the first sewer mission of act two, we seem to have decided to not push this one any further. Unfortunately, this again seems to leave this game in its perpetual state of limbo, as it's unlikely I'll play it on my own.
Just not sure what to say. This game appears to be cursed for me for whatever reason.
After the Diablo 2 disappointment, we have instead been dipping our toes into a much more modern game that I bought from GOG a short while back. This game is all about surviving in a city after a zombie outbreak, and it's called Dying Light.
Though it's early days yet I'm really liking it so far. We're just a few percent into the story, but to be honest we've spent most of our time just running around, looting, and beating the snot out of zombies. The mission we did last weekend unlocked the interesting day-night cycle of the game, as during the night, much more powerful zombies come out to play who are seemingly impossible to stop with our starting weapons and equipment.
There's no doubt we'll be spending a good few weekends more on this little beast.
Yesterday Scoob and I continued our recent run of finishing some games, and completed the next chapter in the Serious Sam franchise, The Second Encounter.
Unsurprisingly, this thing was just as mad as the first, maybe more so. While it was kind-of fun to just lose ourselves in brainless gun action, the fatigue started to set in much faster than when we played the first game last year. Because of this, it took us longer to get through it, as we only played a level or two every weekend.
I can't really say much more about it, as it was literally just like the first one.
And like the first one, it's been ticked off the to do list. Never to be played again, I imagine.
Just recently Scoob and I have been going through Serious Sam: The Second Encounter, and playing that pretty old FPS got me thinking about a really old FPS, in the shape of Dark Forces. I had played this not long after it came out in the 90s, but never finished it. Last time I looked at the game, someone was working on a promising mod for it called DarkXL, which made the game a little more up to date and added in proper mouse controls. It was my plan to wait for that mod to be completed, but unfortunately it doesn't look like it's had any development for some years.
Out of curiosity, I did some searching as to whether there were any other ways to play the original game a bit more comfortably. As luck would have it, many people had reported success using a tool called GlovePIE, which makes it possible to play with the mouse.
So after a great deal of tinkering to get Dark Forces, DOSBox, GlovePIE and Fraps all configured so that I could play and take screenshots, I once again stepped into Kyle's boots, around two decades after first doing so.
This was a massive nostalgia trip, and though I couldn't remember all of the levels and locations in the game, many of them brought back memories of playing it as a teenager. Without a doubt, playing it with the mouse helped a great deal, and it was nowhere near as awkward as trying to play it on the keyboard. Yet, the game does not have a targeting reticule, and instead Kyle kind-of auto-aims at enemies in his line of sight. This means sometimes you can try and shoot at one enemy, but Kyle picks another and your shots go off in a totally different direction. Also, it makes it impossible to lead your targets when they are moving, as Kyle always aims at where they are at that moment. It made fighting flying enemies a lot harder such as the Dark Troopers and Boba Fett.
I thought at first that the game seemed really easy, and I picked up enough spare lives to max out at 9. Then I got captured by Jabba the Hutt and had to fight his Krayt Dragon. I didn't think I was supposed to fight it hand to hand so instead I was running around trying to escape somehow. By the time I gave up and just punched the thing in the face a bunch, I had lost 5 lives and was down to 4. From that point on, the game became a lot more challenging, and included some shady level design such as placing sneaky enemies waiting to ambush you as you go up elevators and such. My lives were slowly whittled away and I only had two remaining when I went against final boss General Mohc. Luckily, that guy gave me no trouble compared to his Dark Trooper underlings, and I was able to pull out the win.
Pretty damn stoked to have finally finished this game, as it's one of a handful that have hung over my head for years. It also means that I've completed the entire Jedi Knight series featuring Kyle, at long last. Cool.
It's been quite a long time since I first tried Star Trek Fleet Ops, but just recently had another little hankering for it. I remember not really liking this mod when I first played it a few years ago, I think due to it not seeming like something that should be played single player.
For no other reason than just to check it out again, I did some skirmishes that unsurprisingly left me feeling exactly the same way about it. If I put on limited resources, the AI can build ships way faster than me. But if I use unlimited resources, I can go straight for big ships which the AI just doesn't do for some reason, and it's too easy.
Hot on the heels of Party Hard, we just got through another game with old style pixel graphics. There sure are a lot of games that look like this out these days...
This one is very much inspired by 80s, side-scrolling beat-em-ups like Double Dragon and Streets Of Rage, and that is why Scoob in particular really wanted to try it. In the game, which is called Mother Russia Bleeds, players take control of several characters who have been imprisoned in an alternate history Russia, where they have been turned into test subjects for a new drug called Nekro.
It's up to the players to escape, overthrow the evil government, and break their addiction to the drug.
Man, this game was dark, brutal and bloody. You can beat the absolute snot out of the bad guys, and they you, and it was not uncommon to see people getting their limbs or heads blown off or cut off.
There were a few irritating parts, and none more so than the end boss. After taking out the government stooges, the characters experience a vivid hallucination where they must fight a representation of the Nekro drug. The fight takes place over three progressively more frustrating stages. It probably took us 20-25 attempts to beat this guy on normal difficulty, until on the last try, everything just clicked into place and we took him down in very short order.
Overall, the gameplay was fairly solid, and probably the best game of this type I can remember playing. Not that I've played all that many, mind. As for the story though, it was pretty much your typical affair, with only the addition of the drug addiction making it stand out as anything different.
Mostly a fun game though, and one we were glad to have played.