terça-feira, 28 de outubro de 2014

It's a Pixel THING response to Steve Benway's TAG Video

Hi, guys! This is my response to Steve Benway's Tag video from yesterday, October 23rd.
You can check out Steve's original tag video by clicking on the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A5u2zO8eGJo

The questions are:
1. What State/Province/Country/City/Village do you live in?
2. How did you get into collecting?
3. What does your significant other think of your gaming hobby?
4. Favorite game of all time?
5. First person you were ever subscribed too?

And now, I would like to tag:
• ShiryuGL: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCq7NSS5gsfD5nW0O3YcTr-w
• 1UPGameOver: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2QQacaXe_O7dlkqPG9iWaA
• Bill Benton: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoL_GLS7R8ibPS-NW1dgDcg
• Lazy Game Reviews (LGR): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLx053rWZxCiYWsBETgdKrQ
• Metal Jesus Rocks: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEFymXY4eFCo_AchSpxwyrg

Hope you respond! :)


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sexta-feira, 24 de outubro de 2014

Micro Machines [1994, PC DOS] Review - It's a Pixel THING

In 1991, Codemasters thought that it would be great idea to publish a game based on those cute little cars from the Micro Machines toys franchise. And they hit the spot right in the middle!

After the huge success on the NES, Sega Megadrive and Amiga, the DOS version was inevitable. It came three years later, in 1994, and was only available in Europe featuring improved graphics and some awesome groovy music and sound effects. This particular version was developed by Big Red Software, the same guys that, two years later, made the crazy DOS exclusive title Big Red Racing that I’ve already reviewed. If you missed it, just click on the rectangle shown on your screen.

From the kitchen table to the children’s playground, from the pool table to the bathroom, etc, etc, Micro Machines will have you discover many different tracks, each one more difficult than the other, that you’ll eventually master using normal or even peculiar tiny vehicles to do so. There’s race cars, helicopters, tanks, dune buggies and even boats to use, each one in their special strange and, at the same time, familiar environment, in which you must navigate your way around obstacles such as sandcastles, coffee mugs and pot plants whilst navigating jumps set up using books and the like whilst sticking to a makeshift track painted onto the floor in chalk.

If, in your childhood, you used to play with toy cars around the house, you’ll be awfully attracted to this game! Even today, it happens to me!

Different options are available. If you play against the computer you’ll have to choose three opponents that are very different from each other, with their personal strengths and weaknesses. Nice touch! You can also play against a friend on the same computer. You and your buddy have 4 lives each and you will try to go as fast as you can so that your mate will be behind you and, consequently, ends up crossing the boundaries of the screen losing, for that matter, one of his precious 4 lives. This makes the game more tense and exciting!

Bear in mind: to win a race you need to know the course. There’s no room for wimps in this game, as you attempt to barge your opponents into track-side obstacles or off the track altogether and several of the courses were designed with this in mind.

Controlling the different types of vehicle is extremely fun. Its handling is responsive and varies from one vehicle to the next, adding yet further longevity.
It is also possible to play Micro Machines hooking up two computers using a modem through a telephone connection or even using a null modem cable.

The in game atmosphere is also extremely enjoyable with nice music and a ton of sound effects on jumps, crossing the finish line, skidding, crashing, you name it!

This game only needs 1 megabyte of hard disk space. If you don’t have that 1 megabyte available, just play it directly from a 3.5 inch floppy disk by clicking on the executable file. It may be a small game in size, but huge on quality of gameplay and production.

Micro Machines is an addictive top-down racing game that captivates your attention for hours. So be prepared! It is a wonderfully simple game with a brilliant concept that can, even today, be enjoyed by all age groups.

If you're into retro stuff, please subscribe at http://www.youtube.com/user/ThePixelTHING and visit http://www.facebook.com/PixelThing & http://twitter.com/Pixel_THING

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sexta-feira, 17 de outubro de 2014

Myth - History in the Making [1992, Amiga] Review - It's a Pixel THING

I grew up enjoying all Ray Harryhousen’s extraordinary movies with cutting edge stop motion technology and one of my favorite films of all time is Jason and the Argonauts. Ray left us a remarkable legacy of adventure and action packed titles that will prevail for many years to come.

So, where MYTH fits into all this? Well, if you played the ZED X Spectrum or Commodore 64 version back in 1989 or, this one, the Amiga version released in 1992, you’ll know what I’m trying to say. MYTH is a stupendous videogame title extremely based on Rays Harryousen’s movies. As seen on my last episode, videogames in the 80s were highly influenced by the movie industry.

Developed and released by UK based software house System 3 for the greatest machines of late 80s, its pinnacle is the Amiga version. This version was on development for over two years after the 8 bit versions were out. So, it had to be good!

An Atari ST port of the Amiga game was also on development, but it ended up on the recycle bin. So, if you want to grab a 16 bit version of MYTH, the Amiga is the only one available, but in two flavors: disk or CD. Yes, there was a CD32 port that, unfortunately, didn’t have any improvement over the original Amiga game.

The game is split into five stages and, as opposed to what we saw in the Zed X Spectrum and C64 versions, we play with a barbarian character. Each stage consists of three levels which contain different styles of strategy and gameplay. Obviously, Mythology is what this game is all about and it covers Greek, Egyptian, Celtic and Norse. You’ll be travelling to these mythological sites which include the appropriate monsters and beasts to each particular mythology.

The objective it to slay the most evil God that ever walked this Earth, named Dameron, that killed a close friend of the main barbarian character. You must go through all this maze of platforms, killing everything that moves and solving puzzles as you go.

In the very first level we begin in Hades, the Greek Hell, and its mythology is instantly apparent as the first skeletons and blood sucking harpies appear on screen. Killing the harpies you can pick up extra energy and very important weapons to face the enemy in a more confident way. To escape from Hell you must find a way to get the trident weapon, ‘cause it’s the only way to kill the Cerberus, the three headed dog whilst, in the second level, you find yourself on the Crypts of Medusa where you need to collect the Medusa’s shield, so you can protect yourself from her evil rays.

There’s other mythological creatures to confront, such as the Hydra, Achilles and Nidhogg. Each one requires different skills to kill it. This is one of the things that makes this game so enjoyable, the nonlinear approach that we’re asked to make on every single level. Thinking of that, it is also kind of educational, forcing us to find ways of reaching victorious to the end of each level.

We’ll be also visiting amazing places like Valhallas’s castle and the great pyramid of Egypt where you’ll be searching for King Tut’s Tomb and treasure chamber.
The final battle against Dameron has a shoot ‘em up kind of feel to it. You’re flying and trying to kill the giant head of heads in this fast scrolling section.

Just for curiosity the NES version of this game, that probably was the only one available in the United States, was an enormous piece of royal crap! They even used Conan as the main character and changed the name to “Conan: The Mysteries of Time”. Upon its release, in 1991, all magazines were unanimous: this is an ugly, sad and uninspired version of an extraordinary game!

The basic idea in all platform games is to kill everything in sight and reach for the end of each level. Well, Myth is this and much more.

If platforming puzzle action is your thing, Myth is one of the best there is!

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sexta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2014

Deathchase [1983, ZX Spectrum] Review - It's a Pixel THING

Many players still insist on calling it 3D Deathchase. It’s just Deathchase, people! The 3D logo stamped on the cover was just to make it more appealing to buyers!

Back in 1983, three dimensional environments were something that was out of this world and Deathchase was a true pioneer to bring 3D action into the Zed X Spectrum.

It was developed by Mervyn Estcourt and published by MicroMega in the UK, and Ventamatic in Spain, and was an exclusive title for the Sinclair Zed X 81 and the Zed X Spectrum 48k.

As you might know, videogames in the eighties were greatly inspired by the movie industry. I’m not talking about direct film conversions to home consoles and computers. Back in those days, even original games were based in what we saw in the big screen. In this particular case, Deathchase was certainly influenced by the futuristic bike chases from Return of The Jedi and Tron, two blockbuster movies that were really hot in 1983.

In Deathchase you’re a mercenary patrolling, night and day, the vast landscape with your motorcycle avoiding collisions with trees and eliminating other hostile bikers that survived the Great War. For bonus points, you must take down helicopters and tanks that appear on the horizon and, gladly, they’re not armed! You’re the only survivor that had access to infinite ammunition! YEAHHH BABY!!! Just like a friend of mine would say: COME GET SOME!!

To advance to the next level, you only need to take down the other two riders, one blue and the other yellow. When you fire your guns, you can control the bullets just by steering the bike. It’s kind of handy, most of the time! When you take both riders down, you advance to a night version of the same level and, when you capture the other two - as I call them - riders of the night, you get a new daytime level with more trees to avoid! And so forth.

The game is amazingly fast and it only needs 16k of RAM to run! As incredible as it may sound, Deathchase is more addictive than most similar games made for today’s hardware. You’re only required to apply full throttle, turn left and right and use the auto-fire button option on the joystick to play this game. There’s no complicated and stressful combination of keys to master. You only need to concentrate and, in an instant, you’re transported to this huge forest being almost hypnotized by this amazing landscape. We can practically smell the burned fuel and the morning dew.

The only thing that is somewhat annoying is the sound of your motorbike. After a while it becomes a bit unbearable! But, there’s always a solution for that! Turn the volume a notch down, grab your smartphone and tune in to one retrogaming internet radio and you’re good to go blasting your way through the thick forests!

Deathchase was well received by the press and got a 92% rating from Crash magazine. Nine years later, in 1992, was even considered by Your Sinclair magazine as The Best Spectrum Game Ever!

As you can see, I was introduced to this wonderful world of video gaming by a title that, in the last days of the Zed X Spectrum, was considered to be the number one game for that particular gaming platform. It was such an honor, believe me!

I don’t understand why the author of this awesome game, Mr. Mervyn Estcourt, refuses to grant interviews to the retrogaming community. It kind of reminds me of the infamous and most famous Portuguese Zed X Spectrum exclusive title called “Paradise Café” that, even to this day, no one knows who made it. Perhaps, because of its sexual and controversial contents, we’ll never discover who was “behind” this gem. Probably someone that is, nowadays, well known from the public and doesn’t want to be linked to Reinaldo…

31 years have passed and Deathchase is still capable of giving a sense of accomplishment for every concluded level. You’ll be wanting to play it one more time, again, and again, and again. Thanks to its extremely accurate controls and collision system, it is a truly addictive game, even for today’s standards.

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quarta-feira, 1 de outubro de 2014

Video Game Pick Ups - 34 Games - It's a Pixel THING

Take a look at the 34 video games I have added to my collection over the last couple of months! There's XBOX 360, original XBOX, PlayStation 2 and PC games!.

The soundtrack in the background is from a portuguese metal band - Atonement - in which I was the drummer. You can download the full album from the following link: http://www.mediafire.com/download/n2zbqqmimjz/ATONEMENT-Beyond_The_Shrine_Of_Doom%5B2003%5D-Black_Melodic_Metal_Portugal_.rar

If you're into retro stuff, please subscribe at https://www.youtube.com/user/ThePixelTHING and visit https://www.facebook.com/PixelThing
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