Right, I’m off to bed!
Right, I’m off to bed!
I’d love to know?
Honestly, it’s 1am in the ruddy morning and I’ve literally wasted two and a half hours of my life trying to kill the bloody boss at the end of level 3. That’s right, level 3!
I could understand the game being tougher towards its end, but this is the third sodding level. I could also understand if I’d never played a Ninja Gaiden game before, but after completing Black on all difficulty levels, I feel more than qualified to be able to handle the sequel on its normal level. Except I’m not…
Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
After finishing work everyone piled around to my house for a game of Rock Band!
Despite the fact that it’s my game and my house, I still ended up on the sodding bass (much to my disgust and Stuart’s delight). Anyway, we’re not too sure on whether we can host video’s here, so in the meantime he’s a few pics of our current line-up.
Stuart Hunt – Lead Guitar
Hunt is famed for writing features and forgetting to include screenshots, but he’s also pretty good on both Rock Band! and Guitar Hero. Check out those funky sandals. This man means business.
Stephen Williams – Drums
When he’s not making the magazine look amazing, Stephen likes to put his hands to use by laying out some sweet tuneage on the drums. You can’t see it here, but those hands are actually a blur while he’s playing.
Darran Jones – Bass Guitar
Emily Jones – Vocals
Despite being the editor of Retro Gamer, I seem to have no control in my own house, with my wife Mel saying that it’s only fair for Stuart to play Lead Guitar because he’s a guest in my house. Emily on the other hand lives under my roof, so as such has to do what I say. Therefore she’s been roped in for singing duties (Mel declined on the grounds of not being drunk enough).
Crappy controls and infuriating camera, but regardless I still enjoy this game. I’m going to avoid sounding like a complete asshole, blathering about how enchanting and fragile the game looks and how it’s probably pushing some kind of envelope under the door of the Tate Modern gallery, because, if I’m completely honest, I like this game for three reasons: that dingly dangly music that plays when you sit on the save couch, its simplicity (in narrative, gameplay and the way it builds a relationship with the player – through action not cut-scenes) and its pace. Perfectly manageable portions of puzzle action and surprisingly little backtracking – even though ironically, in the penultimate level, you learn that you’ve been running round in a giant castle-shaped circle for seven hours – means ICO is a real charmer, and those niggling flaws soon become lost inside its labyrinthine levels.
Essentially, the game’s story involves freeing and pulling a member of Kings Of Leon around a vast castle, and protecting her from shadows of gorillas and spiders. If these mysterious black apparitions, which have been dispatched by a fierce witch-like deity, capture your companion she will be whisked away and dragged through a hole in the floor. If this happens your character, a small Viking boy named ICO, is given a small window of opportunity to reach her and pull her to safety. The fragile band member is pretty useless though, she can open doors and hold hands and that’s about it, so you’ll continually find yourself running, pulling levers and jumping precarious gaps in order to guide her to safety.
She’s high maintenance and is the most bone-idle videogame character you’re ever likely to come across; the perfect virtual incarnation of an egotistical superstar, with you playing a horned publicist wiping their batty with a plank of wood.
Every relationship that occurs in this game essentially develops in real-time, and while the game is relatively short – it holds about 6-8 hours worth of gameplay – there’s a real sense of reward and satisfaction found from finishing the game.
Sadly, due to limited release and poor responses from the US and Japan, the game is pretty hard to come by now, with copies on eBay fetching some pretty princely sums. Should you come by a copy though I urge you to pick it up, having replayed it this month it’s lost none of its charm, a timeless classic if ever I’ve replayed one.
Some people use ‘scissors, paper, stone’ to settle things, others simply use their fists. Here at Retro Gamer we like to do things differently; so when we have to decide who’s going to make the tea for the rest of the day it’s decided with a good old bout of SNK’s excellent Garou: Mark of the Wolves.
I choose Terry and take an early lead by smacking Stu’s face in. Result!
Amazingly, I manage to win again with a fantastic finishing combo that looks cool and makes Stu cry like a little girl. Result!
Game 1: Darran
Changing to favourite Kim Jae Hoon, Stuart immediately gets his revenge and starts laying down the hurt.
While I moan about my joypad not working properly, Stuart gets in another fast win and starts to gloat.
Game 2: Stuart
I decide to stick with Terry and do manage to win the first round. Sadly it doesn’t last and I quickly lose the second.
The last round is incredibly tense and goes pretty much right down to the wire. Then from out of nowhere Stuart pulls off an amazing special that knocks me flatter than a pancake.
Game 3: Stuart
As Stuart starts gloating about all the tea I’m going to have to make for him I simply remind him that I’m in charge. A deflated Stuart goes off to make me a cup of tea. Magic!
Regular and casual readers alike may be very interested to hear that our latest Retro Gamer bookazine is now available for a bargain £9.99.
This classy 256-page tome is filled with some fantastic articles from previous issues, including The Making of Paperboy, GoldenEye, Chuckie Egg and Banjo Kazooie, Developer Lookbacks on Melbourne House, Sierra Online and SNK, as well as huge definitive guides to Frogger, Xevious and Lode Runner. Order it today from the Imagine Shop.
Finally got to see this film this weekend after hearing 30 or so people since its release say something to the tune of ‘the ending is disappointing’ (I’m wildly paraphrasing here). Anyway, I will now be adding my name to this facebook group. The film on the whole was great; a tense cat-and-mouse thriller where Tommy Lee Jones acts like his brain is slowly being eaten away by a parasite. Sadly, it proves quite grating after a while seeing every shot of Jones talking complete gibberish and theorising about waves and old age. The other two characters, however, the older brother from the Goonies and Frankenstein’s monster are quite brilliant, also there was a swimming dog that gets shot about 20 minutes into the picture (not sure who he/she was but they played their part well). Sadly though, the great culminates into an unsatisfying finale that leaves a taste of rat’s back in your mouth (I’m wildly over-exaggerating here). Overall, 3/5 Stars.
Lucky subscribers will already have their copy, but if you can’t wait until tomorrow’s official release here’s the rundown of what’s inside.
The Complete History: Star Wars
So vast we’re having to cover it over two issues; Retro Gamer looks back at videogaming’s biggest movie licence
The Making of… The King of Kong
After a year of silence, Billy Mitchell and Walter Day finally tell their sides of this amazing story
The Classic Game: Streets of Rage 2
It’s easily the greatest scrolling fighter to appear on any system, but what makes it so special? Stuart Hunt investigates.
The Making of… The Eye of the Beholder trilogy
Discover how Westwood Studios turned around TSR’s ailing Dungeons & Dragons franchise and made it great again
Retroinspection: Amstrad GX4000
It was going to help cement Amstrad’s place on the videogame map and beat Nintendo and Sega at their own game. Then the GX4000 actually came out…
The Making of… Star Wars
In an exclusive new interview, Retro Gamer speaks to project leader Mike Hally about Atari’s 1983 Star Wars arcade hit. Quite possibly the greatest Star Wars videogame of all time…
The Making of… Klax
Hypnotic colours, sexy voiceovers and deft tile manipulation. Find out the story behind Atari’s answer to Tetris
Retro Shamer: Shaq Fu
Surely everyone knows that putting Shaquille O’Neal in a beat-’em-up was always going to end in disaster?
The Making of… Ridge Racer
It’s one of the greatest racing franchises of all time, but how did it all begin? Namco of Japan reveals all
And Much, Much More including…
Retro Fusion ’08, SpinDizzy, Rakugaki Showtime, Vectorman, Escape From the Planet of the Robot Monsters, Super Mario Bros 2, Saint Dragon, Son of Blagger