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30th September 2012: I Control The Spice. I Control Dune.

Slowly plugged away trying to do a level a day on Dune 2, and have just managed to beat it. It was actually harder than I thought it was going to be, and I had to restart a couple of missions until I'd worked out a more efficient build order.

I have two main issues with the fighting in this game, firstly being the very hard hitting rocket turrets, followed by the bloody annoying Sandworms. I don't remember there being so many back in the original game. And they would always ignore the enemy harvesters if any of mine were nearby. I mean literally move right passed theirs to come at mine. On the penultimate level, which was for some reason the mission I had the most difficulty on, those big bastards musta had about 5 or 6 of my poor harvesters. Grr.
Overall though I do feel that the Dune Legacy version is probably a bit easier as I chose to always have the map fully revealed from the start, and you can drag to select multiple units and command them at the same time, whereas you could not do those things in the original.
Still I'm not going to complain about that. Finished another game I always wanted to finish.

The Sandworm disguises itself as a graphical bug

The Sandworm disguises itself as a graphical bug

The rarely seen spectacle of a Sandworm eating an enemy harvester

The rarely seen spectacle of a Sandworm eating an enemy harvester

Seige tanks versus the rocket turrets

Seige tanks versus the rocket turrets

Attacking the Atreides in the final mission

Attacking the Atreides in the final mission

Stop buzzing round my head you annoying flies

Stop buzzing round my head you annoying flies

Oi, give us back our Devastator

Oi, give us back our Devastator

22nd September 2012: Battling For Arrakis

Pew pew pew

Pew pew pew

I've just started to play the almighty Dune 2, which was, like many people I assume, the very first RTS I ever played. Back in the early 90s when playing this on the Amiga I got to the last level, but just could not manage to beat it. I'm gonna be woopin' this thing's ass this time though let me tell you.
I actually found a new version of this game online called Dune: Legacy, which has been created by a few fans of the old game and brings it a little more up to date. Only a little mind. But it does seem to be a much better version and even has LAN multiplayer which I might try with the Scoob, who also played it many years ago.

I've actually got quite a vast list of games to get through now. On top of all the old ones like Dune 2 that I want to go back and finish, I've got the other Humble Indie Bundle 5 games, all the Humble Indie Bundle 6 games which I've just bought, The Witcher, Torchlight, Total Annihilation and Total Annihilation: Kingdoms which I've recently got from GOG (and yes, I bought Torchlight from GOG before the HIB 6 came out). I've also just downloaded Lord Of The Rings: Online, after only recently discovering it was free to play, and am also looking forward greatly to the release of Planetside 2, which just looks ace.

25th March 2012: The Egg With The Boxing Gloves

So now I've got my emulator running, there are many old games I can finally go back and finish that I never managed as a kid. Top of this list was Fantasy World Dizzy, which I played many times on both Spectrum and Amiga. As far as I recall, my neighbour managed to get as far as rescuing Daisy, but none of us could ever rescue her and get all the coins to finish the game properly.
Of course, using the emulator with its ability to save the state of the game, this was a very small challenge, but still one I felt I had to accomplish. While playing it, I also made the following map:

Fantasy World Dizzy Map

Fantasy World Dizzy Map

I did have a tiny problem with the sound while running this on the emulator, as it kept crackling, but I just turned off the noise and slammed on the tunes instead.
So that's one more down, and on to the next...

23rd March 2012: Not So Sensible

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.

Scrapping out a win

Scrapping out a win

I then thought about what had been my staple footy game before I discovered Sensible Soccer. 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).

Cheating Argies

Cheating Argies

Really not sure what my player is up to here

Really not sure what my player is up to here

He's gonna kick me in the face!

He's gonna kick me in the face!

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