Saturday 31 December 2022

Missed Classic: Castle Adventure - Scenes From an Italian Restaurant Located Inside Castle Highclere

By Michael

Now that we’ve celebrated the holidays and again have an empty wine flask, I welcome you back to our visit to the unnamed castle. Welcome back to our visit to the unnamed castle. This is the reverse of a good murder mystery, because we know whodunnit. That would be me, with the sword, in the Castle Gardens, the Throne Room, and the Knights’ Hall.
I wonder if a candlestick, revolver, lead pipe, or a rope will be of use in this game?
I chose to go up. At the northernmost end of the first floor, there’s a staircase that goes up. It brings me to an identical looking “cooridor”.

Sunday 25 December 2022

Missed Classic 118: Santa and the Goblins (1983)

Written by Joe Pranevich

Merry Christmas! I have a distinct memory as a kid of sitting at my grandparents’ home a few nights before Christmas and coloring in a Christmas-themed coloring book. It wasn’t a special book or a Christmas tradition, just a happy memory at their kitchen table with a box of crayons. Thirty-nine years ago this month, a different pair of young boys sat at their kitchen table in their small town of Tenterden in Kent, England. They, too, were coloring: a stack of cassette tape inserts each with a picture of Santa and a goblin, drawn by their father. The family business was computer games and this Christmas marked the end of their first full year as game developers. I get such a warm feeling just imagining that family coming together with felt-tipped markers to put the finishing touches on something they made together. 

The story of Santa and the Goblins, indeed the entire history of Intrigue Software, comes down to one thing: family, and especially the relationship between a father and son. Like all good Christmas stories, it has a happy ending, but the path to get to that ending was not a smooth one. Feelings were hurt, relationships were shattered, and art was born from adversity. Unless you were buying TI99 software from a mail-order catalog in 1983, this is not likely a game that you have played before, but it’s a great story and I am delighted for the chance to share it with you.

You’ve heard of Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen… but did you know Santa was a skilled hand at vanquishing goblins? Read on for more.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Missed Classic 117: Oseong-gwa Haneum (1993) - Introduction

 Written by Morpheus Kitami

Advertisement, note the cost 33,000 SK Won, or $25 USD, for comparison, new games for the Sega Saturn would cost around 74,000 SK Won

Today is an interesting bit of history, its the 29th anniversary of Oseong-gwa Haneum, the title I'm about to play. Well, its being uploaded on the 29th anniversary of the game I'm about to play, parts of this were written in November.

As someone who spends time looking up Japanese media I sometimes find myself looking at titles made in other Asian countries. Those of you who are Jackie Chan fans might be aware that he starred in an adaptation of City Hunter, a manga about a Japanese private eye with a magnum revolver and a "magnum revolver". A Hong Kong film starring mostly Hong Kong actors against a product of distinctly Japanese origin. Others, with an eye more towards Asian "trash" cinema, might be aware of Japanese actress and martial artist Yukari Oshima, who starred in Hong Kong films Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky (itself another manga adaptation) as a pretty boy sadist and as an exceedingly cruel woman in Angels*. Before becoming what Wikipedia calls the "female Jackie Chan of the Philippines". In short, a lot of people and ideas bouncing around between the more open societies of eastern Asian. 

*AKA, Iron Angels, Fighting Madam, and Midnight Angels. Or Midnite Angels as my copy of the third film says. Yeah, there are three of them. Funny thing is, all these titles seem to be wrong, it should be called something along the lines of "Action Angels". All this for some stupid Hong Kong knockoff of Charlie's Angels.

Which brings us to Korea, a country I have never held much interest in compared to its neighbors, be it across land in China, or across the sea in Japan. I should clarify I'm always referring to South Korea, as North Korea has no real media to speak of beyond propaganda, some made by natives, some by those who have been kidnapped, and the rare nutjob who defected there...for some reason. This isn't because I necessarily view it is a right or just, both countries are nutty as hell, just that I'm lazy.

Nevertheless, Korea is an interesting country with many, many interesting things about it. Did you know that until recently, they used Chinese characters as their primary writing system? Their current writing system is actually one of the most modern alphabets on the planet, with it having been made in the 15th century and only used properly in the 20th. Its also the most logical of the Chinese-derived writing systems, as each character is made solely from the sounds the word should have, as opposed to how in Chinese you have things like "go" "cliff" "ten" "eye" that relate in no way to the finished character of circulation.

Sunday 18 December 2022

Blue Force – Some Days Are Just Like That

by Alex

Jake Ryan is about to have the worst day of his life on the force. That’s a pretty mean feat considering it’s only his second day on the force, but that’s how things roll on the mean streets of Jackson Beach. You saw what went down in the Tower District with our pals Frank and Tyrone, and the search for young Skip Dixon’s missing baseball card. White guys named Tyrone—what is this world coming to?

We’ll get to all of that, but first, I have a confession to make:
“I like Blue Force.”

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Dracula Unleashed - Alexander Morris, Consulting Detective

Written by Joe Pranevich

Happy Halloween! Er… Thanksgiving? Hanukkah? Christmas? New Years? What month is it? Whenever it is, welcome back to Dracula Unleashed. I hope you remembered to guess the score. 

Last time out, we watched the introductory movie. We are Alexander Morris, brother to Quincey Morris who died while facing off against Dracula in the original novel by Bram Stoker. Alexander has come to London to investigate his brother’s mysterious death ten years prior. The younger Mr. Morris’s primary character trait appears to be procrastination: not only did he delay ten years before coming to London to investigate his brother’s death, he was immediately side-tracked by meeting a woman, a beautiful young lady named Anisette. Now, several months later, Alexander has finally been inducted into the “Hades Club” on the night that Anisette’s father passed away. We ended the night with a request that we visit Anisette in the morning as her father’s doctor sedated her for her own health. That’s where we’ll start the plot today.

Sunday 11 December 2022

Missed Classic: Castle Adventure - B.J. Blazkowicz Goes Looking for Loot in Several Wrong Places

By Michael

In today’s review, we are playing a game where we direct a character who is locked in a castle, looks for loot and secrets, and picks up weapons he finds along the way to kill horrible creatures, in hopes of escaping.
This reminds me of a screensaver...
When last we left our intrepid, unnamed hero, he was killed by an ugly ogre. So, perhaps it’s time to start again.

Friday 9 December 2022

BloodNet – Elvis Lives!

Written by Will Moczarski


Before my next session of playing BloodNet I decided to consult the manual once more, originally to refine my combat skills. But then a chapter about “jury-rig components” which I had previously ignored caught my eye. It contained lists of items necessary to jury-rig certain weapons, armour but also electronic lockpicks and a cyborg. I learned that the tub, nozzle, and hose I got from that one kid in Central Park (I forget his name) will enable me to build a flame thrower. But the lockpicks and the cyborg were particularly interesting to me because they corresponded with two open quests of mine: the lockpicks may be vital in opening the locked door inside TransTech while the cyborg will probably enable me to finally download either Elvis or Charlie Flyer (or both of them). Two other sentences were also quite interesting to me: “If a jury-rig attempt fails, you stand a chance of breaking a component.” And: “One of your party members must have a tool kit for a jury-rig to be attempted.” Does one of my party members have a tool kit? I have to admit that I’m not sure.

For the cyborg I will need a cyborg body, a cyborg head, a cyber arm (only one!), a cyber leg (only one!), and a spark board. I never would have guessed the spark board had I not consulted the manual. The electronic lockpicks can be jury-rigged by carrying a lock dbase, a lockpick casing, and a diagnostic unit. Sounds doable, maybe I’ve picked them up already at some point. I also learn that the mysterious dermal filament is necessary for all sorts of suits – initial dispersion suit, refraction shield, electrolytic suit, inert rad suit, and arno suit. 

Another section about vampires in combat seemed pertinent as well but since I haven’t encountered any of them after the opening sequence (Sampson doesn’t count, right?) it may become important later on.

Wednesday 7 December 2022

What's Your Story? PsOmA

 Intro and pictures by Ilmari

We've again had an influx of new commenters and couple of What's Your Story -answers have been waiting for publication for a while. Here's the first one of them: let's all welcome the commenter with the moniker PsOmA!

It's a little big adventure for all of us

Sunday 4 December 2022

7th Guest - Final Rating

Written by Reiko

Having finished the 7th Guest and taken some time to consider the experience, I'm going to take it apart and consider what worked and what didn't. I'm glad I got to experience this classic game, but it really hasn't aged well. I wish I'd at least tried playing it back in the day so that nostalgia could have helped me out a bit.

Puzzles and Solvability

We've got a mixed bag here, for sure. Probably two-thirds of the game is solving puzzles, and the rest is trying to understand the ghostly scenes. The variety is good: we've got chess puzzles and tile puzzles and language puzzles and even a music puzzle, but the quality is uneven. Most of the puzzles are interesting to some extent, but honestly I'm struggling to think of puzzles that were truly fun.

I liked this clever twist on a maze

Now that I've finished, my favorites are still the mazes: the heart maze with the valves and the full-size maze depicted in the rug. The card and skull coin puzzles, where the goal is to find a connected path through all the objects, were also quite good: I liked making the realization that the path could jump over gaps and also previously flipped objects. The door path puzzles (the insects and the knives) were tricky but fair.