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21st January 2020: Being Sensible Is Boring

Managed a spare few minutes recently to have another little go on Sensible Soccer. In one of the games I smashed 12 goals passed the Annoying Gits team, but still couldn't keep a clean sheet as Robbie Williams had to go and poke one home.

The game is so cheesy and goofy, but it's one of the rare old games I seem happy to play on quite often.

Keeper literally jumps out of the way of the ball

Keeper literally jumps out of the way of the ball

Keeper dives when the ball is already in the net

Keeper dives when the ball is already in the net

6th November 2018: Not Having A Blast

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.

I can't shoot straight

I can't shoot straight

Shooting a boss's weird bum-eye-thing

Shooting a boss's weird bum-eye-thing

Something just died

Something just died

A space crab throws sausages at me

A space crab throws sausages at me

Trying not to get licked

Trying not to get licked

Laying down fire on the end boss

Laying down fire on the end boss

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.

Not my best effort

Not my best effort

But a nice 180...

But a nice 180...

...gets me my second goal of the game

...gets me my second goal of the game

30th December 2017: Nostalgia Bomb

Every few years I enjoy travelling back through time and re-living my early teens with the aid of my Amiga emulator. Over the last couple of weeks, I've been going pretty hard.

The game I tried first in this little marathon was Formula One Grand Prix, a game I adored as a kid. Together, me and my mates went through several seasons using "hotseat" style multiplayer, with those of us that had mastered manual braking having a big advantage. When I got a PC, I completely forgot about this game and got hooked on the sequels instead, which were far better, and now I've remembered why.
I played this for one short race, where I went from back of the grid to 7th. Man it was a struggle. The frame rate is probably only 4fps or something silly, making it hard to control. How the hell did we play it back in the day? It won't be one I play again.

After that, I slapped on some Super Skidmarks, which for a while was the game of choice for me and my mate Dave, especially when we played it on his A1200. This thing is still insane and a lot of fun. It's hard to control, like you're driving your car on an ice rink, but definitely something that's still worth playing.

Of course, I couldn't crank up the Amiga emulator without playing some Sensible Soccer. It always was my favourite Amiga game, and always will be. I managed to create two new teams to bring the total to 20, just enough for a full-sized league. After going through the whole league, I won every game except draws against Final Fantasy and The Witcher, and a single loss against the Decepticons. Wouldn't have minded, but none of those teams were near the top of the league come the end. Punks.

Taking a look down the outside

Taking a look down the outside

Getting smacked about by the AI cars

Getting smacked about by the AI cars

Mooooo!

Mooooo!

My defender fails to block a shot on my goal

My defender fails to block a shot on my goal

Then I decided I wanted to finish some games, and Scoob joined me in going through a few multiplayer ones. Up first was Golden Axe, a game Scoob was sure we'd already completed back in the day, but I wasn't so sure. After getting to the end, surprisingly easily I might add, it definitely seemed familiar so we must have completed it after all.
Still, other than a bit of stutter here and there, this game was quite fun to play. Definitely better than what we played next...

After we enjoyed Golden Axe, we thought we'd give Double Dragon a try. I played this quite a lot in an arcade with my bro on holiday when we were kids, but even though I got it for the Amiga later I couldn't really remember playing it that much. No surprises why...
The Amiga version of this thing sucks ass. With inferior graphics and sound, and crappy, buggy gameplay, it's a wonder we got through it at all. But just like Golden Axe, when we got to the end, it all seemed familiar, so again, it was another one I must have completed as a kid.

Twonking some ruffians

Twonking some ruffians

Playing tennis with some ruffians

Playing tennis with some ruffians

Tyris unleashes her inner dragon on the end boss

Tyris unleashes her inner dragon on the end boss

Seriously, WTF are these graphics?

Seriously, WTF are these graphics?

Scoob beats up the Hulk

Scoob beats up the Hulk

These damn spears killed us way more than the bad guys did

These damn spears killed us way more than the bad guys did

All hell breaks loose in the final battle

All hell breaks loose in the final battle

One game I knew for a fact that I'd never finished was Battle Squadron, a game we used to simply call "Silver & Gold" when we were kids. This shooter used to kick our asses all up and down its vertically scrolling screen, and even during this play through, we had to turn a lot of the options to easier levels, something I don't think we ever knew we could do all those years ago.
It's a fairly short game, but fun and worth a run through. I'm thinking when I've got some more time I might play it solo on harder difficulty. It should be possible with the emulator's save state capability.

Shooting the shit out of the Barrax Empire

Shooting the shit out of the Barrax Empire

There are some odd enemies in this game

There are some odd enemies in this game

Splatting some huge bugs

Splatting some huge bugs

Scoob unleashes a nova bomb on the final boss

Scoob unleashes a nova bomb on the final boss

30th July 2016: Why Heroquest Is So Great. Or Not.

The Bard's Heroquest Video

The Bard's Heroquest Video

Heroquest has always been on my list of must-plays, especially after finishing Space Crusade a couple of years back. See, back in the early 90s, around the same time I started playing the Space Crusade board game, I also played a few games of Heroquest, which had been released at a similar time. Just like with Space Crusade before it, I also got hold of the computer game, but don't remember finishing a single quest in the board game or the computer game. That seemed like something I needed to change.

Inspired recently by The Bard's hilarious video, I finally found the motivation to grease the cogs of my Amiga emulator and fire this one up for a playthrough.
By the way, you should totally click the thumbnail to view that video. He even dishes out some almighty plinnage at 2:19. Can't ask for more than that.

Unfortunately, but perhaps unsurprisingly, like the Space Crusade computer game before it, this one was a frustrating slog. I started out with Tryndamere, Gragas, Varus and Karthus as my adventurers, but the silly wizard Karthus found himself very dead on just the second mission. So Malzahar came in to take his place. My team was further decimated when my save state got corrupted somehow after I had gone through the Legacy Of The Orc Warlord quest, so I had to continue with brand new characters. Gone were my barbarian's battle axe, my elf and dwarf's broadswords, and my wizard's staff. But oh well. I never really felt like things were too hard even after that problem.

I quickly came to the conclusion this thing should have had a top-down perspective like Space Crusade had. The fixed isometric camera angle proved itself to be a problem on more than one occasion. Mostly this was down to when I was trying to move. If someone just off the screen was blocking the path, I was unable to click beyond them in order to move, when normally the characters can pass each other. Also, it seemed impossible to cast spells on someone even if they were in line of sight down a corridor, as the game would tell you they were not in sight because they were off the screen. Bloody annoying.

There were other problems, like the sheer amount of clicking required. This thing actually hurt my hand at times. It felt like a clicking simulator through and through. This was not helped by the need to return to the quest's start point after completing the objectives in nearly every mission. That was just not needed.

But it's done. And that's all that counts.

Playing follow the leader

Playing follow the leader

Rescuing Sir Ragnar

Rescuing Sir Ragnar

All the bosses in the game use the same model. This is supposed to be an orc.

All the bosses in the game use the same model. This is supposed to be an orc.

Into the final mission's boss room

Into the final mission's boss room

Final boss of the game dies in one attack

Final boss of the game dies in one attack

7th October 2014: The Ancient Crusade

A marathon of an entry kicks off with the completion of another old Amiga game, in the form of Space Crusade. The board game of this got me into wargaming back in the early 90s, and I also played the computer game a little bit with my friends. I don't ever remember finishing a single mission properly, on the board game or the computer game. But that has changed now with this completion.

I know it's old and simple, but the game was a pain to get through. It was just so slow, constantly switching to pointless little animations that got old real quick. I'd have preferred if there was an option to turn those off. There were other annoying things such as the Soul Suckers being present instead of the Genestealers for some reason, and a few graphics bugs, which may have been down to the emulator.

I went into this controlling both the Imperial Fists and the Ultramarines, not knowing that the Blood Angels are supposed to have the best cards. Still, it made it more of a challenge I guess. Overall it was quite easy, up until the last couple of missions anyway. That was when the weaker Imperial Fists got slaughtered twice when under heavy close assault from many enemies. But the Ultramarines with their better close combat cards and medkit managed to forge a path through every level. Kind of a shame, as I prefer the Fists to the Ultramarines, but oh well.

The Ultramarines deploy

The Ultramarines deploy

Trapping enemies in doors

Trapping enemies in doors

A Marine loses his head, and his body

A Marine loses his head, and his body

That room is gonna be interesting...

That room is gonna be interesting...

A huge rumble kicks off

A huge rumble kicks off

Gretchin beat up a Marine

Gretchin beat up a Marine

Conga line

Conga line

Commander Keifer is killed by a Soul Sucker

Commander Keifer is killed by a Soul Sucker

That's a Dreadnought not a Soul Sucker. Silly game.

That's a Dreadnought not a Soul Sucker. Silly game.

Commander Goldstock fights for his life

Commander Goldstock fights for his life

Launcher Marine cleaning up the town

Launcher Marine cleaning up the town

In the final mission, the Fists are destroyed

In the final mission, the Fists are destroyed

The Ultramarines are able to destroy the Chaos Cube

The Ultramarines are able to destroy the Chaos Cube

Don't look so smug, you silly smurf

Don't look so smug, you silly smurf

My Amiga emulator got another workout when I had a bit of a fad recently on good old Sensible Soccer. I played four leagues on the trot, each one including more and more teams as I thought of new ones to create. It was honestly quite a bit harder than I remember it when I was a kid, and I continually failed to win the title until the fourth league where I really knuckled down. Even then, throughout the course of the madness, I had a fair few second half meltdowns, playing very badly in the second half after doing good work in the first.
But it was so much fun to just go nuts on a fondly remembered game from twenty-odd years ago.

Angron scores passed me for Chaos Utd...

Angron scores passed me for Chaos Utd...

...so I fight Chaos with chaos

...so I fight Chaos with chaos

Scoring passed the DC comics team

Scoring passed the DC comics team

Going for the lunge

Going for the lunge

Everyone's on their arse

Everyone's on their arse

Marvel's keeper tries to head it out

Marvel's keeper tries to head it out

Only Marvel beat me on the way to the title

Only Marvel beat me on the way to the title

The midfield battle against the Skumsplattaz

The midfield battle against the Skumsplattaz

Great save by Aquaman in the DC goal

Great save by Aquaman in the DC goal

Champions at last

Champions at last

18th August 2014: All I Ever Wanna Play Is Pang

Me and Scoob went back to our school years yesterday when out of the blue we decided to play Pang on my Amiga emulator. I played quite a lot of this fun bubble-burster with my mates back in the day, but it was one of the many frustrating games of the time that had no save and therefore no real way for us impatient kids to complete.
However, the Amiga emulator has a very useful save ability that allowed us to keep reloading everytime we got killed.

An hour or so later, I was able to tick this off the list of games that I'd always wanted to finish.

It's all fun and cheesy grins at first...

It's all fun and cheesy grins at first...

...but that soon changes

...but that soon changes

Pop pop pop pop

Pop pop pop pop

We're coming to burst all your bubbles, America

We're coming to burst all your bubbles, America

Leaving Scoob to do all the work

Leaving Scoob to do all the work

This slippery bastard took forever

This slippery bastard took forever

This damn level

This damn level

Get 'em dude!

Get 'em dude!

They don't make ending cinematics like this anymore

They don't make ending cinematics like this anymore

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