Atari A to Z Flashback: Brain Games

It’s good to give the ol’ noggin a bit of a workout now and again, and that’s exactly what 1978’s Brain Games for Atari 2600 intended to do.

Consisting of several different games relating to memory and perception, Brain Games is a surprisingly fun little package that is all the more remarkable when you consider how early in the VCS’ lifetime it came out.

It was also a direct influence on the popular children’s toy Simon, so it’s got genuine historical significance, too!

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

Pokémon Sword and Shield: Living a Trainer’s Life

When the original Pokémon games were announced, I didn’t initially realise that they were RPGs — at least partly because I wasn’t overly familiar with how RPGs worked myself at the time.

Nowadays, of course, I know much better. But “RPG” is such a broad term, particularly when you throw its tabletop counterpart into the mix. There are lots of different ways you can approach the idea of an “RPG” from a mechanical perspective, and lots of different games over the years — including Pokémon — have experimented with the formula.

Pokémon Sword and Shield are, of course, no exception. Let’s take a closer look at the game’s mechanical components and contemplate how these games approach the idea of you “role-playing” as a Pokémon Trainer.

Continue reading Pokémon Sword and Shield: Living a Trainer’s Life

Final Fantasy Marathon: Pack a Lunch – Final Fantasy I #24

Oh boy. It’s a long ‘un today… but it’s worthwhile. We finally clear Whisperwind Cove, and with it, the Soul of Chaos dungeons are complete!

Well, except for going back and fighting all the bosses we didn’t see before, obviously. But I’ll spare you that for now, as we’re getting ever-closer to the end of this first game in the series.

Pack a lunch, there’s a long journey ahead.

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Second Chance Award

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!

In 2017, the Second Chance award related to a game that I initially bounced off, but later came back to and found myself having a great deal of fun with. This year, it’s something a little different.

In the last few years, we’ve seen huge growth in the fields of remasters, remakes and re-releases of classic games — attempts to give games from years gone by a second chance at success. Sometimes these are a welcome sight; at other times, they feel like a cynical cash-grab.

Did anything fall into the former category this year? Well, yes, as it happens…

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Second Chance Award

Atari ST A to Z: King’s Quest

A few of you have been asking for full playthroughs of adventure games after the episodes on Uninvited and Borrowed Time — so here you go!

Today’s game is an all-time classic that probably needs very little introduction. It’s Roberta Williams’ King’s Quest for Sierra, a fairytale adventure with a penchant for killing off its protagonist in a variety of unpleasant ways.

I remember getting stuck for months on these games as a kid. Turns out you can clear them in a couple of hours if you know (mostly) what you’re doing…

Find a full archive of all the Atari A to Z videos on the official site.

The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Most “Retro” Modern Game

The MoeGamer Awards are a series of “alternative” awards I’ve devised in collaboration with the community to celebrate the sorts of things that never get celebrated in end-of-year roundups! Find out more here — and feel free to leave a suggestion on that post if you have any good ideas!

Last week, we celebrated the Least “Retro” Retro Game, a title that, despite being quite old at this point, still remains fun and solid to this day. Today, we take a slightly different angle.

Over the course of the last few years, independent developers in particular have been very keen to adopt a retro-inspired look and feel to their games. And some pull it off better than others.

It’s a lot more than just using pixelated graphics and chiptune music, you know, so today’s award celebrates the modern game that most clearly understands, appreciates and pays homage to older titles while simultaneously being something that is downright desirable to play in 2019. If you’ve listened to a particular recent podcast, the choice here will be obvious, but let’s do the thing anyway…

And the winner is…

Continue reading The MoeGamer 2019 Awards: The Most “Retro” Modern Game

Warriors Wednesday: Oi’m William, So I Am – Warriors All-Stars #8

One of my favourite things about Warriors All-Stars is, to be honest, its main selling point: the fact it brings together characters from disparate franchises to fight alongside one another.

So far, our recruits have pretty much exclusively been cute girls with varying degrees of terrifyingness about them, but today we bring on a big ol’ hairy man to shake things up a bit. It’s William from Nioh.

At the time of writing, I haven’t played Nioh, but William seems like a likeable enough chap… and he’s very good at understanding Japanese people despite resolutely speaking English at all times!

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