My Life in Games

This was going to be a bit of an amble about how various games have marked key points in my life...a bit of nostalgia brought about by playing the Final Fantasy VII Remake (a mere 21 years after playing the original), however as part of the research for that I came across something really quite fascinating.

Guild Wars is still running, and I've managed to recover my account. In the space of a year I put (according to the /age command) 1,355 hours of play into the game across several characters (though mainly my monk, necromancer and elementalist). I was 29 (the year 2005), I'd had a bit of a rough year, and needed something to take my mind off life. Come my 30th birthday I decided to sort myself out and pretty much shelved the game

Anyone fancy a get-together and a run at "The Villainy of Galrath" for old times sake? I literally have no memory about how to play, but it can't be that hard, surely? I remember a bonder monk being super-powerful if you did everything exactly the right way, and that looks like the build I had on my character when I stopped playing.

To get access I needed to re-activate my ArenaNet account, then download the client (which didn't take long...hasn't broadband changed!) and then remember a characters name. It runs on the modern-day equivalent of a calculator (I have it running on integrated graphics on my laptop).

Anyhow, back to the subject. The year is 1998, and I've just moved into my hovel in Lorne Street (opposite the dealers). I'd put nearly all my money into a deposit on the flat, and really didn't have much to do. I was a member of 3 or 4 roleplay groups across the week, I was (obviously) going to Valbonnes and the old TUC at the weekend, and during the week I was playing Playstation games on a 14" portable CRT (not that I knew what a CRT was back then)...sitting on an Argos beanbag in the middle of the living room surrounded by cups and plates. I can only remember 2 of those games now, looking back.

  • Metal Gear Solid - a game I polished off in a weekend
  • Final Fantasy 7 - a game I played through 3 times, each play-through taking over a hundred hours.

I'd never been hooked by a game that much previously. Prior to the Playstation I had been a child of the Sega...I had a Master System (saved up for via a paper-round, birthday present money and the like) and a Mega-Drive (which I sold the Master System and every game I had to get). Fare like Sonic the Hedgehog, R-Type, Road Rash, Outrun, and California Games were my go-tos...lots of hours, but not really any story or plot. One game on the MegaDrive I played a lot was Herzog Zwei, effectively the precursor to Dune and Command & Conquer (and I'm still waiting on the Sega Ages Switch release for it!).

The remake of FFVII hit some real nostalgia notes. If you've never played the original, there are a number of famous scenes (views of Midgar, jumping off the train, monsters, fights etc), and they are all handled really well in what is frankly a beautiful game. I've watched the CG films for Final Fantasy (Spirits within and Advent Children), and the game is up there with them. The occasionally use FMV cut-scenes, but really the only way you can tell is by equipment changes in your party...the transitions are flawless. It took me ~30 hours to get through the Remake (part 1 of x...probably 4 I reckon), and it's a great homage. It's a different game, certainly, but it's FFVII through and through. Having the characters talk made a big difference, and the story has been fleshed out...especially some of the lesser characters such as members of the eco-terrorist organisation Avalanche.

So it got me thinking, what other games have defined periods of my life?

  • Pre-uni - Master System and Megadrive - Sonic the Hedgehog, Herzog Zwei
  • University - MegaDrive - MicroMachines, NHL Ice Hockey (both got a lot of multiplayer action in halls)
  • Reading (Lorne Street) - Playstation - Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy VII
  • Reading (Highmead) - PC - Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike
  • Reading (Glenrosa) - PC - Final Fantasy X, Guild Wars, Counter Strike (I don't remember owning a PS2, but I do remember playing FFX, so must have had one!)
  • Reading (Burghfield) - PC, Wii and Xbox 360 - Fable 2, Torchlight 2, Supreme Commander 2, Bomberman (pre-board games sessions)
  • Reading (Woodley) - PS4 and Switch - Final Fantasy XV, Last Guardian, Final Fantasy VII, Slay the Spire
  • Stag-Do - Switch - Mario Kart (seriously, a lot of Mario Kart)

My PC phase was very much focused on when I was living in shared houses, with easy gaming partners on tap (I still remember the trip-hazards of Highmead, and the regular enjoyment of panic upgrades just before a 'Con). Apart from Counterstrike and UT there is very little "real" 3D gaming in there (and of those 2 games, if you removed DE_DUST and DECK I'd probably struggle to remember any maps at all). I've always gravitated back to consoles, and I still think sofa + controller is the defacto way to play a game to enjoy it. I've accepted that my right-thumb will never let me play FPS games on a console, but I trend to play slower-paced games now. I've tried stuff like Apex Legends, and I simply don't have the fast-twitch responses needed, and modern games times-to-kill are much shorter than the good old days.


I love the concept of games defining periods of your life. I'm starting to compile a list, even though my memory is notoriously shite.

I never played Guild Wars, otherwise I'd be up for that. If you're up for some other nostalgia hits; Discord is ace for voice comms.

I remember coming round to yours at Lorne St and seeing you get to a save point in FF7. You've come a very long way from washing clothes in the bath. Lorne St had a sense of dank that I'd never seen before but most importantly, it represented your independence and I totally respected that!

I'm still middling when playing FPS (although not with my thumbs). When playing online, I never really hit the top spots, even when I played a lot. When I play with F now, I sometimes win but nearly always in the middle.

Great post, mate! Got me really thinking.

brainwipe's picture

A good starting point (especially if you've been mainly PC gaming) is your Steam profile. I'm surprised at some on my top list. For example I don't really remember enjoying Borderlands recollection of it was that it was a bit of a monotonous slog. There are a few games on there that represent some real boredom-killer games (Puzzle Quest, which I think I finished, and Spectromancer, which is a fairly bland card game). Then you get the modern (well, now sort-of retro) rogue-likes that I prefer for small session play... Torchlight, FTL, Psycho Starship Rampage). Finally, there are a couple of games of Civ in there.

babychaos's picture

Great idea; I intend on going all the way back to Commando...

Borderlands recollection of it was that it was a bit of a monotonous slog

Having replayed on SNG with the geezers; I concur. Has some cool moments but generally not a fan.

SMNC was a great laugh while it lasted. I think I get that daft-sports vibe from Rocket League now.

We've been enjoying World War Z on Epic (it was free). L4D2 ish but with better graphics and a LOT MORE ZOMBIES. And I mean a lot more. Like hundreds.

brainwipe's picture

looking at the steam times is interesting some of them are no surprise and then others it's odd that I spent so long with them magika for example I remember it but don't remember extensively playing it but supposedly I spent 230hrs on it thats like 10 days.

My gaming history starts with the Amstrad CPC 464 it's probably the first machine that was "mine" I don't remember many specific games for it Pjamarama is about the only name I can pull from my age and booze addled memory. Ah the playground arguments about which 8bit micro was best the Sinclair spectrum with its rubber keys and weird only one colour in a block graphics the crappy sound the american invader the C64 that rich people had and the 464 was a sort of middle ground with its slightly better colours if you had the colour monitor (which we did) and of course the school computer the BBC micro and it's beefy brother the BBC Master with the logo cartridge. Who knew acorn via arm would eventually take over all electronics worth a damn.

After that I had an ibm pc 8086 clone with a 5/1/4 drive and a massive inconceivably large 10mb hard drive and a high resolution green screen Hercules graphics adapter. I played a lot of stuff on that in wonderful shades of green titus the fox various flight sims a weird horror game based on the scream queen Elvira Mistress of the Dark (who at the time had no clue who she was) that probably wasn't age appropriate and I remember it being incredibly gruesome even in the primitive graphics of the time but then these were different times I remember dying a lot.

Schools at that point had switched to the Acorn Archimedes and I remember messing with those things a bunch, the school computer room run by a stern woman whose name I forget forbid the use of games so naturally there was a thriving black market. People passed round discs with lightcycle games and a three d lander game. I remember one of the first bit of useful coding I did was hack the lightcycles game to increase the number of players so if you got close we had up to 8 people all using just two keys on the keyboard. Later in my school career as a sixth former I helped maintain those machines and also worked for a humanities teacher who had a Risc PC the bigger badder brother of the Arcimedies he had gotten this thing and a secondary strong arm based cpu that could boot into windows in a sort of window in the normal risc os amazingly advanced stuff for the time he needed someone to get windows working and sort out his scanner and setup the dial up internet on it. In exchange for this tech support he let me and a few friends just use the thing and we played a few things on this and mostly abused the internet which at the time I didn't have at home.

At home we got a 386 with a 3/1/2 inch floppy and a slightly larger hdd with a vga graphics card no sound card yet. I played a lot of things on that normally pirated stuff a knock off copy of leisure suit larry with it's weird age protection that had questionnaires on history you supposedly should know if you were 18 but it was all weird american history so not sure I could pass it even now without internet access. I remember getting games from friends on multiple floppys often low density ones that had had the holes drilled out to make them pretend to be high density which only vaguely worked.

About that time the SNES came out We weren't allowed consoles at the time I forget why and my sister and me formed a pact to pool our resources and purchase one in secret for ourselves. I remember buying it from tandy and then sneaking it home inside a bin bag. The two of us having to hide in topshop when we saw our dad heading into town for some reason. We kept it in a drawer in my sisters room and played supermario world on it.

Eventually our parents caught us playing the thing and let us have it . It was quite expensive to get games for it compared to tape or disks for other machines so we didn't have many games mario was a favorite and I remember unlocking a load of the secrets the star road and such and terrible games like Jurassic park a sort of crappy fps with no save function that meant you had to just leave the thing on if you wanted to keep playing that was a real waste of birthday money. I also started playing adventure games on the pc the venerable Lure of the Temptress from Revolution Software things like the Simon the sorcerer games. I alos played shareware versions of things like doom commander keen and maybe duke nukem around this time.

I remember one of my friends whose parents were quite rich and lived in a huge house getting an imported atari jaguar and showing us alien vs predator and cybermorph or what ever the game was. I remember marveling at its clunky touch tone phone keypads on the controllers with the little overlays you slotted on. It seemed amazing he had this rare machine noone else had of course no one bought the thing and it crashed and burned but there was that moment when it seemed amazing

At somepoint we upgraded the family computer a beefy 486dx to give it a cd rom and sound card (a sound blaster 16 I think) we were probably running win 3.1 at this point. This unlocked the world of fmv games and things like rogue squadron and things like 7th guest 11th hour and phantasmagoria 1 & 2 as well as the cd based versions of lucasarts games monkey island, Full Throttle, The Broken Sword games, Disk world, and others. The weird and wonderful Tex Murphy adventure games. I also remember the amazing action games like Crusader No Remorse and the sequel Crusader No regret that has little movie cut scenes rendered in that alternate line method so you couldn't tell the video was the size of a postage stamp. All running using a trident vga graphics card in glorious 640*480 256 colours that died when we tried to upgrade to windows 95 that first time. It finished the install went to the "preparing to boot win 95 for the first time" screen and immediately fried something in the graphics card never to run again.

That machine eventually became my computer and I was quite into the idea of video capture and editing and such which was pretty tricky at the time I slowly upgraded that shell of a machine with parts better cpu's (mostly amd) more memory larger hard drives as well as esoteric capture cards that used the horribly inefficient but cutting edge for the time motion jpeg compression so I could do some rudimentary capture and editing. I made films with myt friends that way mastering the art of non linear video editing with a knock off copy of premier and all the while playing a variety of games on it things like command and conquer red alert and so on.

Then I headed off to uni and I was in halls sharing a room at Woodville house one of the offshot houses at St Andrews. I was chuffed to get a laptop to use a very early pentium mmx 166mhz of raw power that was the size of a small fridge weighed a lot and got incredibly hot with a battery life of 0.4 seconds but it had a CD drive and could just about run games I remember playing a lot of the original GTA on it. My roommate at the time had a playstation and so I was introduced to fighting games on the tiny tv we had in our shared room. The rooms in those houses had never been upgraded to proper power and as such I think they ran off a 6amp circuit something like that so you could easilly trip the breaker with too much stuff. Turning on the ps1 was a delicate dance of getting things powered up in the right sequence to not overload the thing. We played a lot of fighting games on that soul blade tekken3 we would play matches up to hundreds of rounds just the two of us for hours its a wonder I passed my degree at all. I also watched him play FFVII on it and later FFVIII when we moved out to a shared house.

In the summers I worked for a company which at the time was called Videologic down in Kings Langley back near where my parents are. They made graphics card and were eventually renamed to Imagination Technologies. They developed some at the time incredibly advanced 3d graphics accelerators based on infinite tiling architectures called PowerVR.

At the time the various competitors (and this was before ATI and Nvidia dominated the market) just used brute force to render smashing polygons down from back to front overdrawing everything and having to do all the calculations for all of the lighting and texturing as well as the transforms for everything sent to the screen even if it eventually was behind something. The PowerVR system chips had a whole host of advantages the main one being deferred shading and texturing such that it only did that part for visible polygons so it needed less horsepower for the same sorts of results. Also because it was tiled architecture you could string multiple processors together each rendering a section of a screen for more performance they were used in some arcades in that configuration. In many ways it was ahead of it's time as nvidia has been deploying tile based rendering tech the got from 3dfx in their maxwell and pascal chips. Eventually they left the pc graphics market after the kyro 2 didn't really do well in the early 2000's and became much more profitable in the mobile market pretty much all the early iphones used powervr chips and in fact they just renewed their partnership early this year so future apple devices will likely be using this tech now called just IMG.

Anyway one of the issues with it being so different to the way other 3d accelerators did things was compatability. My job there was compatibility testing this meant playing games to see if they broke things in the various adapters. It sounds great but playing to test something is quite different from playing for fun as it was sort of like boot it up play it for a little bit see if it fails somehow move on to the next game rinse repeat. If it failed you had to be able to reproduce it fill out a data on it and make sure there some other unreleated problem wasn't the cause.

When I was first there it was the era of proprietary 3d api's like 3dfx's glide and the powervr native system and to a lesser extent things like openGL and early directx. There were about 10 or so games available that had 3d acceleration so I played these a fair bit the main one I remember was biohazard or resident evil which I played through a bunch of times in small increments. I also played some unreleased or early game like the first Lego game Lego Island which was a far cry from the games they put out today being a sort of weird fps with little minigames it was an early alpha that was horribly broken in most instances.

As I went back there most summers the number of games increased exponentially 10 or so to folder and folders of cd's with more and more stuff coming out. One year another guy was there to do the same thing as me a German chap who ran a Powervr website and we played Diablo 2 multiplayer a lot, probably more than we should have done given we were being paid to test things. The boss was out for a week at one point and we probably just played that game the whole time till one of the other engineers had a go at us and we grudgingly tested some things.

They also used to play various versions of Unreal Tournament there at lunch time although the boss had very specific game modes required to give him the advantage or some such only low gravity snipers only something like that I forget the full details.

They also got their powervr hardware into the ill fated Sega Dreamcast which was the first console I bought on my own I played a lot of soul caliber the original Shenmu which was incredible at the time but looking back has a bunch of flaws.

Living outside of halls I had more space so dragged my heavily modified pc up to reading and I got a matrox Mystique graphics card with an M3d accelerator (which was a rebranded powervr chip) and that allowed me to play things like jedi knight 2 the first half life unreal tournament.

I got a Playstation 2 played games like timesplitters gta 3 and vice city san andreas

I upgraded to a voodoo2 graphics card which at the time was amazing I remember firing up thief the dark project with it and being just blown away by it.

I played a fair number of CRPG's I remember around the 3rd to 4th year of the MEng when everyone else left and the 8 meng student were more cemented into a group. I'd known Byrnie et al before we were all in the same hall and of course same lectures that but we didn't really become a unit until those last years when it was often just the 8 of us together (or really 7 as the 8th guy still mostly did his own thing we even just used to call him number 8). Byrnie and I started going to the gym together and would often discuss the Baldurs gate games I think baldurs gate 2 was the one out at the time I remember discussing the spells and mechanism. I didn't play DND and indeed only really played it much later when I picked up a game via geekclub in the US so the underlying mechanics of those AD&D based games were not known to me. Byrnie had more of that knowledge and I remember discussing the best options for various classes the spells and such mysterious concepts like THACO while we used the various weight machines and treadmills in the uni gym.

University came to an end and I got my job at Oxford Semiconductor out in didcot and the second year I was there the Xbox came out basically on my birthday. I had it shipped to the office and since it was new and exciting when it arrived I hooked it up to a tv there in the office and we booted up Halo for the first time playing that till I got an annoyed look from the boss and had to pack it away.

I was living in a tiny studio flat with a fold down bed at this point and Byrnie had gotten me started on Seti with a sort of competitive group called Team Picard I remember getting a server board which allowed me to run two Athlon processors at the same time for more power and defeating a rival Seti user in sheer power by leaving the thing running and not being able to sleep since it was in my one room. I also played some games they had a CS server and I played on that the first online gaming as I hadn't had internet at home till this point when I got NTL cable for myself.

This was also about the point I got more involved with you lot I'd vaguely known Rob at uni through Byrnie and cyb I ran into him at parties and such (maybe pete as well as vaguely remember waking in a sleeping bag on the floor in highmead in the connecting room that led to the kitchen and pete having to lift a bike over me early in the morning although that might have been after uni or I may have made it up all together) but it was around this time I attended my first Fishcon playing UT2K4 a lot Games like dawn of war and Left 4 dead really good fun to play together.

A few memories of that stand out the time I got absolutely thrashed playing Supreme Commander against a chap who played it in tournaments or something and I was the only one stupid enough to take him up on his offer of playing a game. The replay feature on that was really interesting to see how different play against a person vs a computer was. I turtled in place worked my way up the skill tree he spread out like a virus capturing resource points building nothing but basic harvesters then sending out units to capture more and more spreading across the whole map exponentially then with the vast resources he sent wave after wave of low end units to totally crush me.

I might have had one enormous experimental spider bot but he had infinite level 1 tanks. Even on the second game we played were I exploited a bug to get more resources by tricking the game into letting the assistant units boost construction to make more and more assistant units faster and faster each generating their own resources ... he still thrashed me.

I breifly shared a house with a friend form school I'd gotten a job at Oxsemi he also did cyb briefly but dropped out second year and did media studies instead so naturally had trouble getting a job in IT. We played a fair few multiplayer games together probably things like CS or UT.

He moved back home after six months not wanting to share a house anymore or at least not with me :S and I moved into my own flat and I had a Ps3 and xbox 360 and eventually got my first full hd tv I remember being amazed by Mass Effect and Fallout 3 on the thing the level of detail the wonderful colours how good the games looked compared to the old standard def stuff.

I played a few MMO's mostly I'd buy them use the free month and be done with them before I needed to subscribe. I even beta'd a few like Eve Online the game thats far more fun to hear about being played than actually play and is so committed to that idea it allows you to level up offline and actively discourages you from playing. I played City of Heroes the character creator of which was probably the best part I would spend ages crafting my hero or in later add ons villain and make an elaborate back story and head cannon then play a few levels and just forget it. I imported the original World Of Warcraft which at the time wasn't out in the UK I used to do that with many MMO's as they didn't often check where you were connecting from. WOW was the first game that requires a US credit card to sign up which I didn't have of course some people used their UK cards and just put 90210 in the zip instead I had to import a game time card at great expense to play it.

Byrnie and I also played a few of these together including the weird and wonderful "A tale in the desert" the pseudo Egyptian based mmo with no combat and just complicated crafting and law making. It was a very odd game even now I'm not sure anything like it has come along even now crafting games are more common. It was more than just the recipe for crafting, although that was part of it, it relied a lot on skill of the player with things requiring timing and or specific sequences to get the output you wanted. We joined a guild almost by mistake and became the only people in it then joined a meta guild, the game had these great works feature that required massive amounts of effort and cooperation to do and we somehow got ourselves assigned various tasks in the meta guild despite being just two people vs guild with tens of people (it was still a fairly small game) I remember working hard to produce things to meet our quota in a display of stubbornness to manage to do the thing even though it didn't really gain us anything.

We also played Star Wars Galaxies a lot we were part of a guild via the old seti forum possibly team picard or maybe team ninja by that point or liquid ninja or some such those groups tended to develop infighting and the fracture into separate groups it happened three or four times to that one group. Anyway we played with them had our characters and experienced the game be rebuilt from the original jedi is almost impossible one guy managed it. To jedi is hard it requires an epic quest lots of random work to achieve it in classes assigned randomly. To Jedi is a starting class everyone can just pick it right away. That game crashed and burned when SOE lost the liscence.

I remember playing Guildwars with Byrnie I forget who else, I do remember occasionally Pete popped in usually with a much higher level character and would drag our newbie characters along.

We also played Knights of the old republic a bit I think but that was more recently and we didn't get very far with that.

We began playing Minecraft initially all separately but slowly on a series of janky servers and steadily more dedicated setups to build an craft a shared world. I still pop in occasionally mostly to make some strange and confusing monolith or structure for Rob to be surprised by.

A regular at parties at that time was Guitar Hero I remember getting that first game and introducing it to the Meng lot at one of my birthdays Byrnie going out and purchasing a PS2 just to play that. I'm not sure he owned any other ps2 games. He got very good at it and I remember him going for additional challenge by switching to left handed mode after he'd mastered all the titles on the hardest mode right handed.

I also remember playing a lot of Wii games when going round to Pete's for board games with Bynrie Aggro and Keith. In breaks from Doom the board game or Descent or what ever we'd often get in some wii sports or raving rabids (even now I can still feel the phantom pain of those pumping mini games) or a bit of virtual console like bomberman. The wii was a great little machine for those sorts of shared games with a bit of fun motion control nonsense it was perfect for that sort of thing.

I remember us playing some sort of golf game maybe tiger woods on the Wii which rather foolishly allowed other players to mess with the current players shot by altering the wind or spin or what have you with motion controls while the ball was in flight. They hadn't anticipated a team full of arseholes who would all try and fuck over the current player and ruin whomevers shot it was at the time and as a result it was unplayable in that mode with it landing in the water the sand or just miles from the hole every time.

I moved out to the US and at some point started regularly playing games of a Sunday with you chaps it's something I look forward to something that's kept me connected with people and was much needed when I was out here somewhat alone starting over not knowing anyone this side of the pond.

GTA online obviously has been a big thing we've come back to over and over but others like Astroneer and Rocket league are also staples. Games where we can be cooperative seem to be the best where we have room to try things out make our crazy ship in raft or moon bases and rover trains in Astroneer. Hell factories in Satisfactory, teaching other Rocket Car people how to play football in Rocket League while pretending not to be a team or just delve into the depths of an asteroid as party of mining space dwarfs in Deep Rock Galactic.

Moving out here also meant I could attend things like PAX more easily getting to see the new things in gaming or just getting some behind the scenes or enthusiast sort of thing at panels (which is where i mostly go at these things). Initially i just went to PAX Prime or PAX West as it's known these days over in Seattle a short hop from where I am in San Jose but then places like Boston and PAX East, San Antonio and PAX South and even last year heading to Melbourne and PAX Aus. Many of these trips I've shared with Byrnie and then more recently with both Byrnie and Jen. We've made several trips together including a PAX as a stop on the trip.

In more recent years I've seen a lot of factory games coming along the classic Factorio but also Satisfactory and other the idea of chaining together parts of machines to make bigger and more elaborate system appeals to me a great deal.

One of the game series I enjoyed is the various Assassins Creed games a friend of mine out here basically only plays those games and we've had many discussions about those games and their extensive and convoluted stories and lore. The links to other ubisoft games the meta narrative with the film and books all good stuff.

The more recent Hitman games have also been a joy to play their elaborate systems their flexibility the sheer number of options is amazing and I see them as murder puzzle games and they have a lot of replayability and challenge.

Fallout 4 I've played through a lot too so many details and stories and ways to play in that world even after quite few playthroughs I find new things hidden in that game I've not seen before.

Gaming has been a big part of my life from the early days and I don't see it changing, one of these days I'd like to try my hand at making a full game of my own it's something I've attempted multiple times in a variety of different ways but never really gotten to a finished product. It is something I always struggle with getting projects I work on to completion I often get distracted by some new idea or just am not happy with the way things go. Maybe one day tho.

Evilmatt's picture

That went longer than I thought it would :S

Evilmatt's picture

A few memories of that stand out the time I got absolutely thrashed playing Supreme Commander against a chap who played it in tournaments or something and I was the only one stupid enough to take him up on his offer of playing a game. The replay feature on that was really interesting to see how different play against a person vs a computer was. I turtled in place worked my way up the skill tree he spread out like a virus capturing resource points building nothing but basic harvesters then sending out units to capture more and more spreading across the whole map exponentially then with the vast resources he sent wave after wave of low end units to totally crush me.

I absolutely remember was Evil Petes brother. We were looking at your monitor going "hmmm, nice base", then wandered round to see that on the other side literally everything was taken, and you were about to be crushed...all we could say was "oh no...". I think this was the same year that "ninjas in trees" was the pro-strat in Shogun:Total War.

babychaos's picture

Well, that's my lunchtime reading sorted out. Will comment soon!

brainwipe's picture

Yeah I'm not sure I could multitask like that optimizing the time to get to a new area setup then split more constructors off to two or three other locations and when they are done split again and then on and on till all the map was taken.

It was impressive to watch

Well, that's my lunchtime reading sorted out. Will comment soon!

But wait there's more I also finished editing my PAX East Video :S

Evilmatt's picture

I managed to read through while waiting for some sodding integration tests to fail-fix-break-fail-fix-run after my big merge. Win!

It's lovely to read through your gaming story and my small part of it. I completely agree that SNG has become more than just a little gathering; it's something I look forward to each week.

You'll see our stories are similar; not just the bits where we gamed together but also earlier on.

People passed round discs with lightcycle games and a three d lander game.

There was one called "Lander" that was a demo bundled with the computer. It's full game was called Zarch. It was banned seven-ways-though-hell at my school.

About that time the SNES came out We weren't allowed consoles at the time I forget why and my sister and me formed a pact to pool our resources and purchase one in secret for ourselves...

This was a wonderful story to read!

I'm still working on my reply to what is definitely my favourite thread in a long time.

brainwipe's picture

It seems to be a good time for remakes and re-releases of 90's games.

Streets of Rage 4 came out again yesterday. This is a game that fits in the "MegaDrive" era of my life, along with Double Dragon. I never owned either, but a school-mate had both and we'd spend hours pummelling the ever-living crap out of baddies and each other.

SOR4 is so good that I knew all the move-sets of the characters in seconds (god bless 25yo muscle memory). I've got it on the Switch, and it's pretty much exactly what I wanted it to be. I think my only bug-bear is that I'm used to a D-Pad to control this sort of game, and one on the inputs in particular (forward-forward-Y for the big front attack) doesn't feel quite right on a thumb-stick, the travel is too much. Fortunately there is a generous control pick-up on the double-forward action, so tends to trigger even if the input _feels_ slow to do.

babychaos's picture

I was reminded of an old game I loved back in the day Crusader: No Regret a very fun action game where you play a knock off stormtrooper/terminator called a Silencer I remember it being amazing at the time it had really great and in some cases gory graphics (one of the guns was a ultraviolet blast that burnt enemies skin off) it had a bunch of innovative features destructable environments multiple solutions to things. Not got the code to a door just blow it up. Robots you could remote control and all sorts. It had FMV cutscenes (laughably lo res now but pretty amazing at the time) and a really good sound track heres a taste

I saw it was available on GOG for one dollar so I picked it up and I'd forgotten one of the aspects of it a really weird control scheme. It's basically isometric and controls are either keys with sort of rotate on the spot move forward and back or roll left and right. It's incredibly clunky and awkward you can use the mouse but thats even worse rotating to rotate the character forward and back to move. I still played it for a bit and was enjoying myself once you get used to how to play it is not quite as bad as it seems it's still very imprecise and awkward but you can get used to it. Then I fell in some acid and died and of course it has no auto save so I would have had to start over and that was that.

Still interesting how I didn't remember the bad parts of it maybe because games from that era had pretty bad controls too dos crazyness but nice that it runs on modern machines and once you wrap your head round the controls still fun to play.

Evilmatt's picture