Thursday 28 September 2023

Homeworld - Scorpions and Spiders

Written by Reiko

Welcome back to Gateway II. Apologies for the long wait through the summer. Back to your regularly scheduled coverage now. Previously, we were sent to be an ambassador to a giant alien artifact that was suddenly detected in the solar system. When we approached, it sucked us in and now we're stuck, unable to leave, just like everyone else that had accidentally jumped to it from Gateway. We met the last one of these, injured by a vicious spider robot run by a hostile AI. Now we're making our way through several alien zoo areas in an attempt to bypass the robot and get to the control center of the artifact.
This is the guy we had to impress.

Tuesday 26 September 2023

Leisure Suit Larry 6: Marking My Territory

by Alex
I just can’t get away from Jim Walls, no matter how I try.

For some reason, while playing through Leisure Suit Larry 6, I decided to read up on Trickster’s old entries on Sierra’s Jim Walls-designed 1989 classic, Codename: ICEMAN.

Ha ha, “classic.” Calling a frustrating, hateful mess of a game “classic” is just my special brand of sarcastic humor designed to make you laugh by calling something the clear opposite of what it is. Classic me!
Ha ha! Dropping in a new game mechanic that punishes the player for using the game’s save and restore function without any sort of warning, thereby preventing them from getting a key item that will help later on. Classic Jim Walls!

Saturday 23 September 2023

Lost in Time — Jokers, Alternate Version, and Final Rating

Written by Michael
Let’s travel the world and time for a special police force to catch a criminal!
I won’t lie. Lost in Time was not my favorite game ever, but it wasn’t the worst, either. But we’ll get to that. During the gameplay, I never checked out the hint system, so that needs attention. Also, I want to check out the CD version that came out the next year.

But first, I need to discuss a theft. Not of valuable treasure, and not protected by wizard slaves like Yoruba. No, it’s puzzles.

Throughout this playthrough, I've been comparing this game to some others. See, it seems that nearly this entire game was stolen from the Leisure Suit Larry series, past and future to this game’s release. That makes sense, of course, since this game has the technology of time travel.

In no particular order, here’s some of the theft I discovered. Al Lowe, I believe you have grounds for a lawsuit.

Monday 18 September 2023

Lost in Time — Won!

Written by Michael
I said, hey, what’s going on?
With this post, we will finish our playthrough of this game. Should we be afraid, when the world’s biggest fan of this game, commenter SpanishCoktelVisionFanClub, comments that the “last section in the island [...] feels like a different game meaning a game that comes with the cereals?”

They aren’t wrong. The last section of this game feels completely different, in both good and bad ways. For example, they finally found a music composer! The theme for the beach sounds like it was inspired by the Caribbean-themed music from Monkey Island, and I mean nothing bad about that -- it was the first bit of background music I not only noticed, but rather enjoyed. And there are varied music tracks in most of the different rooms in this session.

Friday 15 September 2023

Missed Classic - Gram Cats (グラムキャッツ) - Won and Summary

Written by Morpheus Kitami

Despite this joke, I did not get plastered during the playing or writing of this review, though I probably should have.

Right, let's get this over with. Apologies for the delays, half of that is down to an awful Japanese game I played on my own blog, which, funnily enough uses more complex language than this adult game, and half is...well, you'll see.

Monday 11 September 2023

Missed Classic: Plundered Hearts - Alternate Endings, Cut Content, and Final Rating

Written by Joe Pranevich

Last time out, we completed Plundered Hearts. Lady Dimsford was reunited with her father and (presumably) her soon-to-be stepmother, escaped the island with her pirate beau, and settled for a domestic existence somewhere in North America. Plundered Hearts is a swashbuckling adventure that feels at home next to A Princess Bride– which is amazing as both the game and movie came out in September 1987. Fans of romantic pirate adventures truly hit the jackpot that month! (The Princess Bride film was based on the 1973 novel of the same name; Briggs could equally have been inspired by the original work.) The game includes four “good” endings and I already found the “best” of those. I’ll look at the alternate paths briefly before locking in the score.

Plundered Hearts was also a game built under difficult constraints: a text-heavy game in the style of late Infocom but built using the original Z-machine. To even come close to fitting in those constraints, Briggs had to cut a lot from her original vision. In an interview conducted for the Get Lamp documentary, she admitted that, “Because it was my first game, they gave me nine months to write it… and I finished it in six. I spent the next three just cutting stuff out. It was way way too big to fit, because I was the last game to fit on a Commodore 64. There was all that great stuff to cut, so I did a lot of cutting.” 

We don’t have all of the “great stuff” that she alluded to, but we do have traces of her ideas left behind in the Infocom source code leak. Was the game better because of its editing? Or was there a better game that had to be cut down to size? I look forward to finding out. 

Friday 1 September 2023

Lost in Time - One, Two, Three Lock Box

Written by Michael
This game could use a good food fight scene.
A pre-med (or was it pre-law) student once told me, “Don’t get mad, get even!” So, I’m not getting mad at this game. I’m plotting against it, secretly in my head, just biding my time.

This is going to be a longer post -- my goal is to finish the game in the next post. This has gone on long enough, and we need to save valuable kilobits on the Blogger server for much more important games on the schedule... oh, wait, never mind.

I know that two commenters who are big fans of the game feel I might be a little harsh in my criticisms of the game along the way, and I’d like to remind them that there are good things as well, but it’s a disservice to the community if I hold in the bad. I’m trying to keep the negativity at bay, to keep this a fun read, and make fun of the game when it crosses the line.

At the close of the last session, I had recently returned from a flashback session in the present time to the past, where I am now. (Sadly, I have no contact with my high school English teachers, so I cannot think of a better way to formulate that sentence.) Some goals and unsolved puzzles include untying Melkior and unlocking Yoruba. Yoruba was useful, he gave me a knife, so that seems like a good plan. Melkior is a whiny little [*bleep*], so I’m a little more reluctant about that goal.