Thursday, 27 December 2018

Early Driving Games #14

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge (1990)
By: Magnetic Fields Genre: Driving Players: 1-2 Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: Commodore Amiga
Also Available For: CD32, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum

To a small percentage of people, a 'Lotus' may be a distinctive type of flower, while many more associate the word with speedy little British sports cars. Mention it to an Amiga or Atari ST fan though, and their eyes will likely immediately well up as they fondly remember one of the most beloved of all games for their treasured 16-bit home micro, and probably one of the finest racing games outside the arcades at the time of its original release. This came courtesy of Messrs Southern and Morris who comprised British developer, Magnetic Fields, and it was an instant smash hit, even making the Amiga and ST themselves more desirable to anyone who wasn't lucky enough to already own one of them. Despite being a MegaDrive owner at the time, I remember being suitably impressed myself, and I have fond memories of playing this splendid game.

Wednesday, 19 December 2018

PS4 Purchases #3

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom by FDG Entertainment (2018)

Finally (tootle tootle)! It seems like I've been waiting forever for this one. I've posted about it twice before - once in 2015 and again in 2016 - but it was starting to seem like that release date would get pushed back forever, unto the end of days... !BUT THEN!... Lo, did I wander unto Amazon's US website and there it lay, the PS4 version, glistening like a mythical treasure amidst their more expected wares, bearing a release date of December 2018 and available for pre-order! This news was met with considerable excitement but, after a quick detour, I found there was sadly no corresponding listing on the UK site. Harumph! A hastily-undertaken investigation subsequently revealed, however, that the game was indeed finished and ready to be released as a download for both PS4 and Switch, with a tantalising physical release apparently bestowed only upon American owners of those consoles.

Monday, 17 December 2018

Master System A-Z

After gamers greeted the SG-1000 with resounding indifference, Sega soon followed it up with the Master System, known as the Mark III in Japan, and it was wonderful. Here I will be taking a look at all of the games to grace its majesticness:

A is for...

Ace of Aces by Artech Digital Entertainment (1991)

An entirely uncelebrated home micro release from the mid-80's made for a strange MS conversion years later but it was better than nothing. Or was it? It's supposed to be a WWII sim that allows you to engage in dogfights as well as bomb Nazi subs and the like. Not a bad idea but somehow it was incredibly dull... (full review here)

Monday, 3 December 2018

Awesome Nature #21

Type: Mammal  Lives In: Central and South America  Conservation Status: Least Concern

Unlike a lot of awesome creatures I've warbled on about here, I have first-hand experience of these amusing rascals. I first saw one in Brazil: we had rented a villa near the beach and were eating at the outdoor table one evening when I saw one in a tree gathering fruits. I was excited to see it but that was nothing compared to my more recent encounter: I was on holiday with my wife in Mexico, staying at a resort this time, and I saw what looked like a coati from a distance. It later turned out the resort, and indeed that part of the world generally, was absolutely teeming with them! Everywhere we went in the resort, we would see them running around with their ringed tails sticking straight up in the air. They were usually in large family groups all at once too - outside our window digging for food with their long claws, running around the pool area looking for scraps, even invading the breakfast buffet hoping someone would share some fruit with them. This was something my wife and I did regularly during our time there and the little things were adorable, following us around, usually with youngsters in tow, squeaking constantly as they went. They have immediately become one of my very favourite animals!

Why It Is Awesome: They are squeaking cuties and they're everywhere!