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.
23rd March 2012 - Revisiting Classics
A few days ago I discovered the existence of GOG, which offers old PC games that are usable on current Windows. Of course, as soon as I saw the old Worms game on there I had to have it. I wrongly assumed though that the software had been tweaked so that it would install and run on XP, but instead the game is just as it was and is bundled with something called DOSBox that allows you to run it. I could have just downloaded DOSBox for free myself, as I'm pretty sure my brother's original Worms is in the loft somewhere, but oh well.
Worms was one of the first games we ever had for our first PC back when I started college in '95, and it was by far our favourite. My bro, my mates and I spent many a Saturday afternoon blowing each other's worms to pieces in a variety of silly ways, all the time trying to counter my mate Spud's dark side tactics!
Nug Nug Worm sorts two enemies out
Worms is a fairly customisable game, with the ability to add your own maps and sound effects. Back in the 90s we didn't have the capability to make our own speech, but I did add a couple of my own maps with (AFAIR) fairly little trouble. So, imagine my surprise recently when I found it very difficult to make my own maps, when I assumed it would be a doddle with newer software. Damn you Photoshop. Gimp is supposed to work though, so maybe I'll have to download that and give it a try. And when I can get around to it, I'm sure I'll be able to make my own speech sets with the contraptions that I now have available.
So far, I've only got around to entering a single team - based on the LLAP-Goch classic, "The Adventures Of Detective Cronkshonk", which I have been using to beat up on the Take That team.
After giving Worms a couple of plays, the existence of DOSBox got me thinking about other, even older games that can be played with emulators. Long before I had a PC I had a good old Amiga 500, so I decided to see if I could get the WinUAE to work. I had originally attempted to use WinUAE about 10 years ago, but the only game I ever really got to work to any decent level was called North & South (which I bloody loved by the way). Upon downloading the latest version I discovered it to be a much better bit of kit than the old one I tried, and allows you to automatically configure it to match any of the old Amiga models. And so I went hunting for the game I easily spent the most time on as a kid...
A few minutes later I was listening to the menu music of the one and only Sensible Soccer, and having a massive nostalgic experience. After starting a match I soon remembered the style of its gameplay. Your players just can not control that ball, and the slightest change in direction will see the ball dribbling away from them. So to progress up the pitch, lots of quick passes are in order (which is not easy on keyboard). Nevertheless, I came out of my first Sensible Soccer match in over 15 years with a 5-3 win, with Sparky and Choccy doing the business as usual. Really does go to show you how easy the original Sensible Soccer was, but I loved it all the same.
I then thought about what had been my staple footy game before I discovered Sensi. World Cup 90 by Genias really was not the best footy game ever made, but boy was it cool to hear that awesome music again. I set up a match and got stuck in. The gameplay really could not be more different than Sensi. In this one the ball sticks to your feet like glue, but I can not find any pass option to speak of. So instead the tactic here is run and shoot like mad. Somehow, despite not knowing what the hell was going on, I managed a 2-0 win over Argentina, the second goal of which was a bicycle kick after their keeper saved the initial shot.
Really will have to grab my joystick out of the loft and give these old footy games a proper go, as it's very hard to control those little dudes with the arrow keys.
It's my intention to get stuck into other old classic games, as many seem to be available. Fantasy World Dizzy, Gobliins 2 and 7th Guest are all calling to me, and maybe I could find Skychase which was such a cheesy laugh (those little Amiga balls as missiles - hilarious).
Really not sure what my player is up to here
He's gonna kick me in the face!