Tag Archive: Megadrive


T’other day, I was reading on TVTropes the comments/page relating to the Sega/Nintendo wars of the early 90s. Of course we in the UK missed out on a lot of it – except perhaps in the pages of the computer media where Sega and Nintendo fan boys (and girls too) would just trash each other, chiefly to no other avail than to prove Freud correct. Did it ultimately matter though in the development of 4th Generation consoles? On paper, it was no-contest. The Megadrive (or Genesis to the rest of the world) was a lousy console compared with the SNES; weaker processes, lousy RAM, poor colour palette and yet it was more than able to hold its own against Nintendo’s offering. Of course, Sega’s winning strategy was superior marketing, particularly in North America. They didn’t so much promote themselves so much as reassure existing owners that their product was the superior one. Nintendo appeared to use the power of momentum to help their cause and when Streetfighter 2 was released…no contest. But those days feel wholly removed from today’s “Console Wars” are more than about the machine and the games but what multimedia experiences are on offer.

It’s still fun to speculate what would have happened had Commodore not run out of money for the CD32 or had the judge in the case not barred the console from being shipped to North America over allegations of infringements. Perhaps it’s more partisan of me but I think it would have kept up with the Playstation as games such as GTA would have had a simultaneous release and Commodore was still backed by many developers – or at least those who hadn’t been gobbled up by Sony (like Psygnosis). Would a three-way war with Sega have helped the Saturn? Not impossible I guess. More competition means more opportunity for software houses. Would it have also kept Commodore in the PC market? Say an “Amiga 10K” powered by Intel or AMD? Who can say?I finally reached the now infamous torture scene in GTA V and having played through it, I admit I was left thoroughly uncomfortable by it all. I should acknowledge the creativity and design of Rockstar for making this scene so realistic and awkward – it’s difficult to invest emotion into a video game character, particularly an NPC. But conversely, it was OTT, even for the world of GTA which is an exercise in hyperbole. All in all, I was pleased when the victim of the torture was helped to escape in a cut scene and I hope that if there is a GTA VI, we learn his character has a better time of it outside of Los Santos.

Dr Do(o)m and I played a game of Eldritch Horror on Saturday, chiefly as I wanted to relearn the rules ahead of Thursday. I was Chun-Li and he was the Shaman (as opposed to Ebenezeer Goode’s Shamen). We lasted one hour and a giant spider consumed the world. So sorry folks. Still, I think the nuances are sorted out so bring on the challenge. It’s been what – four months but I finally broke out the Talisman Woodlands expansion pack with Dr Do(o)m and Brendan and we just didn’t finish the game. It plays a little differently compared with the other three board-adding expansion packs as the use of fate has been overhauled whilst the new characters have special abilities involving the use of tokens (I was the ancient oak and I could get stronger as the game progressed). Also, as one progressed through the woodlands, there were game-changing effects in play with a different goal for each player. That said, progress seemed to be slow and measured. It’s not a region in Talisman you can just blindly enter and expect to progress through like the Highlands or the Dungeon for example but you need to build up a little before wandering around blithely. I also feel that this expansion needs to be played with one of the other boards – no other reason than a gut instinct. Using the card-only expansions wasn’t enough.

I also downloaded a copy of Picross 6 for the 3DS, I think the first major purchase (major???) for that console in six months. I was also pleased at the number of free puzzles unlocked as I own titles 1-5 (they give freebies). It’ll keep me busy for a while at least. My oft-repeated rant to Nintendo still stands however – release more damn games through the Virtual Console Service! I don’t care about independent titles being squeezed out third party developers, I want to play the games of yesteryear either for the first time or on a nostalgia trip. And if they can put some Master System games on there too…perfect.

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Watch, Play, Drink

One of the sillier things from last week was the fact that I purchased the blu-ray copies of Archer Season 2 and the Dark Knight Returns part 2 early in the week and lugged them to and from work Tuesday through Friday. It’s not that hard to remember to take the damn things out and yet…

I’d been waiting for part 2 of DKR for months now as the first half was a fantastic adaptation of the 1986 classic, right down to the iconic individual comic book frames and news reports. Part 2 was every bit as good as the first part – they picked a good voice actor for the Joker though of course, Mark Hamill would have been aces in my book. And the final battle between Superman and Batman was a little more even matched than the stomp battle depicted in the comic book. Still, I really would like to see DKR2 adapted for the small screen. And if I win the Euromillions jackpot on Friday, I vow to make it happen (bought five tickets).

And thankee to everyone who thumbed-up the last post about Berlin’s Computer Game museum. Sometimes the best things in life don’t happen by design but by random chance and fortuitousness. To my knowledge, there is a Retro Game Museum in the UK but it’s been sited in several places, last known in Leicester. Funny; I might have lived in Nottingham for eight years but I never, ever went to Leicester. Perhaps it’s time to change that.

On the theme of games, I have been sucking up the iPad purchases lately. First was Mini Ninjas which was a Starbucks Freebie (I needed a Frappuccino and the Coffee one is the lightest in calories) whilst the second was Robot Unicorn Attack 2 – you know, for the colours and the corny soundtracks. And yesterday I snaffled He-Man after seeing it on Wikipedia which is just as camp as the 80s cartoon it’s based on (rather than the recent update). He-Man plays just like a Megadrive (or Genesis for my US readers) game albeit with sexier graphics. I assume they couldn’t get the licence for the original music which is a shame as that is the only thing missing from such a fun “sword-n-run” app. And I’ve found my mojo! Zoo Keeper Battle – finally getting back within the top 50,000.

There hasn’t been much in the diary to report. Went to Ceajay & Alex’s housewarming on Saturday and got drunk though not appallingly so. Left at 1.30 and eventually came crashing in through the front door at 4.10am. How it took 2½ hours to get home I just don’t know but it did and there we are. I did buy some of the new Crabbies flavours – they’ve expanded their ginger beer range into Raspberry & Strawberry and Lime. They taste like liquid Refreshers and I can see them being utterly lethal. Strawberry and Ginger doesn’t sound like it goes together but actually, strawberries atop a cheesecake made with a ginger biscuit base is very not bad. So yeah.

On Sunday I went with Brendan to watch Star Trek: Into Darkness. To borrow a phrase from Garik “Face” Loran, there were plot holes in that film so wide that one could pilot a Death Star through them. It was held back by sloppy, lazy writing: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman & Damon Lindelhof should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves for putting together such a weak story. It kinda robbed the joy out of the film. I must admit though, my views could be coloured by the douchebags kicking the back of my seat in the cinema. They claimed it was accidental but I still felt like crushing their skulls in my hand à la Khan.

Hmm, this weekend is Xian’s birthday. Once again he wants a picnic in the park and once again, rain is forecast. The boy has zero luck when it comes to his birthday despite being in the middle of June. It has wazzed it down every year as long as I’ve known him. Haven’t decided on a gift as yet; he has exacting requirements these days and I did the chocolate thing last year. Hard liquor is always welcome though, albeit a cliché; will consider other options.

And the rolling stone gathers no moss. Despite pleading and threats, I may be moving house again in three months time. Watch this space for further whining.