Sunday Driving: Threshold Break

Well, after a disastrous morning of my computer pretending to be dead… I finally managed to get an episode of Sunday Driving recorded!

Our Split/Second adventures continue as we progress through the game’s “Season” mode, the challenges growing ever more severe as we reach each new episode.

Hit the jump to see how today’s automotive mayhem went…

Continue reading Sunday Driving: Threshold Break

Around the Network

Good weekend, friends! It’s time once again for that weekly review of what’s been going on here on MoeGamer and elsewhere around my little network.

You almost didn’t get anything out of me today because I’ve had a string of computer disasters today — the USB ports in the front of my PC’s case have broken, my old hard drive (which apparently held the Windows Boot Manager) died completely, preventing Windows from booting even from another drive, and even the god-damn power button on the case snapped its clips and became unusable. All these issues have since been resolved through varying degrees of creativity, meaning I have a working (if somewhat jury-rigged) computer once again — and hopefully there will be a Sunday Driving video for you to enjoy later in the evening.

But enough of my woes. Let’s see what you might have missed this week…

Continue reading Around the Network

Atari A to Z Flashback: Canyon Bomber

Time after time in gaming, we’ve seen that the simplest concepts can be some of the most effective and addictive.

Atari’s Canyon Bomber, originally released to arcades in 1977, is a prime example of this. You only need one button to play, and that button drops bombs. The concept is so simple anyone — even someone not at all familiar with video games — can understand and enjoy it. Drop bombs, hit things, score points. Whoever scores most points, wins.

And one of the best things about this game when compared to some of its contemporaries is that the simplistic concept means that it was very straightforward to implement a “computer-controlled” opponent to compete against if you didn’t happen to have a friend handy. So even those of us with no friends can still enjoy this game… and end up playing it a lot longer than you might expect!

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

428: Shibuya Scramble – The Mechanics of Storytelling

When we’re talking about conventional games — particularly today’s games — it’s important to consider them from a wide variety of perspectives.

Typically, we look at a game from several different angles: the way it’s presented through its sights and sounds; the way it plays through its mechanics; and, where applicable, how it handles its story.

When contemplating visual novels, the balance tends to be a little different. We tend to up the focus on narrative considerably, and in many cases mechanics don’t enter the picture at all — many visual novels simply don’t have any! That is, unless you’re 428: Shibuya Scramble, in which case your narrative and mechanics combine together to produce something exceedingly interesting…

Continue reading 428: Shibuya Scramble – The Mechanics of Storytelling

New Game Plus: Creating Explosives

When returning to a game for a second playthrough, it’s always incredibly satisfying when you manage to complete an objective well ahead of “schedule”.

Despite only certain things carrying over to a New Game Plus run in the various incarnations of Atelier Roronayou can still bash out a lot of the early game content very easily, leaving you with plenty of time to make money, grind for experience, build up your relationship values and just generally have a good time in this pastel-coloured world.

Hit the jump to see just how quickly I managed to satisfy the second assignment…

Continue reading New Game Plus: Creating Explosives

Atari ST A to Z: U.N. Squadron

If you thought games journalists wringing their hands over “problematic” subject matter in games was a new phenomenon… well, I got news for you, my dear reader.

U.S. Gold’s home computer conversion of Capcom’s arcade title U.N. Squadron (originally known in Japan as Area 88, after the manga it was originally based on) drew criticism from UK computer magazine ST Format in December of 1990 for being “self-righteous”, “crass” and even “propaganda”. Why? Because you shoot enemies in an obviously Middle Eastern-inspired setting — at least in the first level, anyway — and in 1990 the Gulf War had just broken out in full force.

Of course, Area 88 first came out in 1979, but let’s not let facts get in the way of a good bit of outrage, shall we? Sigh. Some things never change. Anyway, this is a reasonably solid shoot ’em up, though unsurprisingly not a patch on the awesome SNES version…

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

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