Tuesday, 31 January 2017

TV Shows #13

Beyond (2017)
Developed By: Adam Nussdorf Starring: Burkely Duffield, Dilan Gwyn, Jeff Pierre, Jonathan Whitesell, Peter Kelamis, Michael McGrady, Romy Rosemont, Alex Diakun, Jordan Calloway

Certificate: 12A? Running Time: 45-50 Minutes per Episode, 10 Episodes

There really are more TV shows right now than ever before, with new ones appearing every day, or so it seems. The first new show of 2017 that I've tried is this one and surprisingly it's not a Netflix offering either, arriving instead courtesy of ABC, and is another one of those mystery/conspiracy shows that are so popular lately. This one starts off by showing us two friends - Holden and Kevin (Duffield/Calloway), both 12 - hanging out one summer evening when Kevin's bullying older brother Jeff shows up, resulting in a chase that ends with Holden unconscious in a spooky wood. Moving forward 12 years we find that Holden has spent the intervening time in a coma - a coma that he is just now waking from, apparently with no ill effects. News of Holden's recovery spreads fast and he finds himself a celebrity in the small American town in which he and his bewildered family live. Or possibly a small Canadian town since the show is filmed there.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Games of the Year - 2016

I'm a bit late with this but finally I've gotten around to the now-traditional 'Games of the Year' post! As mentioned in another recent post, it's been an eventful year for me, and one that's seen a few changes too, not all of which were welcome, and as a result, what was looking like a good, productive year blog-wise actually ended up fizzling out in a largely unspectacular and somewhat frustrating way.

I'll be back though, hopefully with a vengeance as there are still tons of things I want to write about here. As always, whether you are chance visitors or long-term readers of my page, I hope you continue to enjoy my various posts. Feedback is always welcome, positive or negative - what would you like to see more of or less of? In the meantime, here are the Top Ten Best Games I reviewed during 2016:

10. Wonder Boy by Sega (1986) - Arcade

This Sega classic was actually supposed to be the first game I ever reviewed here at Red Parsley, I'm not sure why it took me so long. Oh well, least I got to it, even if it did take me 6 years! It was worth the wait too - the runny leapy action might be a bit unforgiving but it's great fun, and it still plays really well. (full review here)

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Sega Super Scaler Games #5 - Part 1

After Burner (1987)
By: Sega Genre: Shooting Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium-Hard
Featured Version: Arcade First Day Score: 24,000
Also Available For: PlayStation 2, 32X, X68000, FM Towns, Master System, Game Boy Advance, NES, Amiga, Atari ST, PC, MSX, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum

Games such as Hang On and Space Harrier were big hits for Sega and helped cement their reputation as purveyors of technically impressive arcade games that were also great fun to play, but few games would ever equal the impact that OutRun had. It is still fondly remembered today as one of the true greats but in the mid-80's it was simply jaw-dropping, so the game Sega followed it up with would have to be truly spectacular. It came just over a year later and saw players leave the tarmac behind and return to the skies. This time, however, they weren't colourful skies filled with peculiar alien creatures but were our own skies here on earth. That game was of course After Burner and it would go on to huge success itself. Some players, perhaps improbably, even preferred it to its predecessor.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Film Review #94

Passengers (2016)
Director: Morten Tyldum Starring: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen, Laurence Fishburne

Certificate: 12A Running Time: 116 Minutes

Tagline: "There is a reason they woke up"

The wonderful world of science fiction has given us many possible solutions to the problematic nature of interstellar travel over the years but generally they tend to fall into one of two categories. Firstly we have faster than light propulsion as featured in various forms in films and shows, notably stuff like Star Trek, and secondly we have cryo-sleep or suspended animation or whatever else you might want to call it, which involves effectively 'freezing' someone for the lengthy duration of a slower than light speed trip. It is the latter that Jon Spaihts, the writer of Passengers, has gone for with his story which was written back in 2007 and features an enormous ship called the Avalon. On board are a number of crew members and 5,000 passengers who are all on a one-way trip to colonise a planet dubbed Homestead II. A trip that is set to take some 120 years.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Gaming Flashbacks #2

As a gamer I've been more or less exclusively playing retro stuff for years now. The last 'current' console I was genuinely excited about was the Dreamcast and its quick demise made me sad. Even then, though, I still spent a lot of time with my many older systems. Since then, I've dabbled with the odd newer game of course - a few original Xbox and PS3 games for example - but even then there is one aspect of gaming I have practically no experience in: online gaming.

I'm sure at least most of you reading this, even those who think of yourselves as hardcore retroheads, probably still play modern games as well, and these days that generally means at least some degree of online tomfoolery. Some games like Titanfall and Destiny give you no other option, but I have somehow avoided doing this almost entirely. I'm not quite sure why if I'm honest, I don't hate the idea or anything like that, it's just something I've never gotten around to trying properly.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

MegaDrive Shmups #9

Granada (1991)
By: Wolf Team / Telenet Genre: Shooting Players: 1 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Sega MegaDrive / Genesis First Day Score: 496,784
Also Available For: X68000

The MegaDrive is justifiably famed the world over for its ultra-splendid selection of shooters but most of these are of the usual horizontal and vertical scrolling varieties. One game that bucked that trend by offering more ground-based, free-roaming action was Granada (not 'XGranadaX' as it's often called, understandably). It wasn't a well known game over here in the UK, largely on account of the fact that it wasn't released here, but it was a game that intrigued me enough to seek it out at my friendly local import emporium, and I had a lot of fun with it. And how could I not? After all, we're not just in control of a mere tank here but a 'Hyper Cannon Tank' brimming with advanced weaponry which you must guide through some sort of unspecified battle being waged on 'the peaceful streets of Tobora' (though maybe not right now) where you'll face 'the giant flying battleship Astarsha' as well as Valsic, another HCT.