Monday, September 26, 2011

Video: Wossie Pimps Office XP



It occurred to me, as I was watching Microsoft's terrible gaming promos on the Microsoft Football disc a few weeks ago, that there was another Microsoft promo in my possession that needed to find it's way to YouTube. On a U2 sampler given away with the Sunday Times in 2001 was an extensive, multimedia extravaganza touting the merits of the upcoming, at the time, Office XP. The big draws of this presentation were undoubtedly the two videos featuring British TV's Jonathan Ross.

The first one serves as the intro to the whole thing, as Wossie tells us why he needs the miracle that is Office XP to organise his busy showbiz life. In the second, he poses questions about the new wonder software to the disembodied voice of Tom Baker, before signing off with the most cringe-worthy, self-congratulatory (on Microsoft's part) line imaginable.

I'll take that bet, Jonathan. Believe me, I will. :D

Screamer (PC) Save File



I think I may have hit a brick wall with my conquest of World Rally Fever at this stage. Literally, there's a series of fucking walls in the middle of one of the Pro Cup tracks that I can't for the life of me avoid. :D I did, however, beat another hard, old-ass PC racing game called Screamer the other week, unlocking the rocket car and the Afterburner difficulty in the process.

If you want to check out this game-breaking ride, or indeed the everyone-has-a-rocket-car mode without the soul-crushing difficulty that would otherwise entail, I've put up a copy of my save file (with instructions on how to use it) here. Enjoy!

Free Stuff: Freeware DOS Games Part 3



SkyRoads

A neat little game where you pilot a spacecaft on a series of gap-filled, obstacle-ridden space roads by moving from left to right, jumping and adjusting your acceleration as necessary. This is one of the few games here that I actually put some decent time into and I'd definitely recommend it. Not a huge fan of the music though - sounds like they re-purposed some tunes from a scrapped adventure game or something.



SkyRoads Xmas Special

A holiday-themed version of SkyRoads. The levels seem to be completely different here and you get an added dose of festive cheer.



Kosmonaut

The original SkyRoads game. It's looks quite a bit more dated than the others, having been released in 1990, but it plays identically and it's just as fun.



Snarf

This is sort of like Pac-Man, if Pac-Man could shoot at ghosts and had about thirty hits before he bit it. You'd think that'd make this way easier, but the plentiful, aggressive enemies, clunky controls and the pitiful rate at which you haul your ass across the maze make this pretty frustrating to play (at least from the little I've played of it anyway).



Squarez Deluxe!

A sort-of upside down Tetris where you move shapes from a box at the bottom of the screen and try to from 3x3 squares with them. Playing it now, I screwed myself within minutes, blocking the box off and preventing myself from moving any shapes onto the play area. Seems alright though.



Stargunner

A horizontal shooter that straight-up starts up with a Star Wars opening crawl. It looks like you might need to tinker with the DosBox configuration file to get this one running properly as everything's running way too fast under my usual settings. From what I played though, this seems hard as balls.



Supaplex

A puzzle game quite similar to Heartlight PC from Part 2 of this feature, except that you now play as a red Pac-Man, chewing through circuit boards. This seems quite a bit more polished than Heartlight, with a more manageable difficulty level too.



Supernova

An Apogee text adventure set on a mining colony on a planet called Barre-An, where you mine barre-an. I guess the message they're trying to get across is that the planet you're on is a lush, green paradise or something.



Taking Care of Business

A puzzle-platformer that seems to mainly revolve around moving boxes (Soul Reaver fans should love it then). The controls seem a bit wonky and even from the first level, I can tell that this'll get insanely difficult later on. Thankfully you can choose to play any level you want right from the start.



Troll's Tale

A text adventure for kids by Al Lowe. It's very similar to several Leisuresoft games they had at my primary school in the mid 90's. I actually started to do a Let's Play of this a few years ago. It's embarrassingly bad, but knowing me I'm sure it'll find it's way on here eventually. :D (Edit: And it has)



Xenophage: Alien Bloodsport

A 2D fighter from Apogee. Graphics look great, but not sure there's a whole lot of depth to the fighting.

And with that, I can finally put my free-game-downloading, title-screen-capturing follies to rest and if it steered some of you guys in the direction of some neat DOS games in the process, all the better. :D

If you've missed out on the first two parts from back in August, you can check them out here and here.

Retromags Release: When I'm Sixty-Four Issue 1


Having been a registered member of the Retromags forum for almost four years without either downloading or uploading a single magazine or indeed, posting on said forum, I thought it was about time I changed that a few days ago and started unleashing a few of the old magazines I have in my small collection for the benefit of all. :D

I'm starting off with a pretty obscure one: the first issue of When I'm Sixty-Four, an Irish N64 fanzine made by a chap called Gearoid Reidy from Co. Offaly. I sent away for a copy of it in the Summer of 1998 after hearing about it on RTÉ's teletext service. I wasn't too thrilled by the bundle of photocopied A4 sheets I got in the post at the time, but looking at it now, I'm really impressed by the amount of work that must have gone into writing, laying out and illustrating this thing. This issue issue alone features lengthy reviews of Banjo-Kazooie, Quake, Snowboard Kids and Mystical Ninja Starring Goemon; retro reviews of Secret of Mana and Donkey Kong Country and even finishes up with first part of an original Legend of Zelda comic drawn by the author.


Sadly I don't know what became of the fanzine after this; maybe this was the only issue. Who knows? After thirteen years, this may well be the only copy of the fanzine in existence. :D Whatever the case may be, you can check out the first issue right now over at Retromags.

deviantArt Updates 26/09/11

A bumper crop of deviations this week. First up is Doodles 2, a collage of some more college-drawn doodles from 2006/2007 that I came across recently, some of which I forgot I even did. RoboGuy is a slightly more recent drawing from 2009, featuring robot that looks like it may have well been drawn by a ten year old, indulging their fantasies of arm-based mass destruction. :D Finally this week we have Vanishing Point and Highway, two more huge, kaleidoscope images I made while fiddling around with Spooky Guy a few months ago. (Ew!)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Microsoft Trailer Dump



Tuesday last week I got an odd urge to get the copy of Microsoft Football that came with our first PC and give it a go with a 360 controller. Despite it being one of the only two PC games we had in 1998, I never played it much because I could never get the hang of the keyboard controls. Thanks to that, I never really figured out if it was any good or not. I guess I haven't put in the time yet to access it's quality, but I can definitely say that the dozen or so terrace chants that loop endlessly throughout the game make playing with the sound on bloody unbearable. :D

Picking the MS Football disc up again reminded me that there were several awesome, and by that I mean really cheesy and terrible, trailers on there for various games and accessories that Microsoft were producing or publishing at the time. Several of them were on YouTube already, but I though the world needed to experience the magic of the others, so I spent the rest of the night capturing and uploading these masterpieces of mid 90s video game advertising. Uh, enjoy?



First up, this woman tells us about her husband's fantasies.



Check out this rotating handle!



Like no other b-ball game!

(That's what the kids call it, right?)



"Video Game Character of the Year"

deviantArt Updates 16/09/11

More wallpaper this week, I'm afraid. :D Fuzzy and Tubes are both bits of abstract wallpaper, both originating from a Paint Shop Pro doodling session back in January and both given a bit of a touch-up last month. Meanwhile over in scrap land, I've uploaded the original, unmodified version of Link's Serenade. Fans of bad Zelda fan art rejoice! :D

Friday, September 2, 2011

deviantArt Updates 02/09/11

For this week's new stuff, I'm taking a trip back to my trusty old sketch pad. To kick things off I've got a double helping of Zelda fan art. Link is a cartoon I drew around Spring 2009 of a slightly cheesed-off Link from the Zelda series. Stretching way further back in time is Link's Serenade, a spruced-up version of a rough drawing I did in 1999 or 2000 of Link trying to win over Princess Ruto's heart with song. (Why Ruto, I don't know; I'd have taken Malon over her or Zelda any day of the week. :D). Lastly is Nerd Rage, another cartoon from 2009, this time of a nerd seething with fury, probably about that Ruto diss.