Category Archives: Retro Select

Retro Select: Nox

Westwood Studios put out some great games in their prime, including their most well-known titles such as Command & Conquer and the Eye of the Beholder series — but also some lesser-known little gems too.

Nox definitely falls into the latter category. Sadly written off as something of a Diablo II clone on its original release, it’s actually a rather distinct sort of experience featuring three separate, self-contained narratives, a great sense of structure and pacing and an excellent control scheme. Well worth your time if you like your action RPGs!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Neverwinter Nights

It’s impressive how much BioWare has fallen from grace in recent years, but that’s what being taken over by EA and completely gutted will do to you.

On Retro Select this week, we look back at an era when BioWare were actually still good. Very good, in fact; Neverwinter Nights is probably one of my favourite games from them, for its sheer flexibility if nothing else. It’s well worth checking out even today — and still has a very active community!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Tyrian 2000

The all-time classic shoot ’em ups of days gone by can typically be found in the arcades and on home consoles — devices with specialist hardware than can handle speedy scrolling and flinging masses of sprites around the screen at once.

But don’t for one second think that there aren’t great shoot ’em ups designed for classic home computers, too. Because there are some fabulous ones out there — and Tyrian is one of the very best, particularly if you crave something with a little more depth and long-term appeal than a standard arcade-style affair. Best of all, it’s free these days, too.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Dungeon Hack

Enjoy D&D games but hate that they have to end eventually — and if you want to play again you end up playing the same old story over and over?

Enter Dungeon Hack, the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 2nd Edition take on the roguelike genre, making use of Westwood’s Eye of the Beholder engine. That’s quite a pedigree, I’m sure you’ll agree — and it’s a great game, too, particularly if you enjoy hack-and-slash treasure huntin’ dungeon crawlin’.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Lands of Lore – The Throne of Chaos

VIRGIN INTERACTIVE ENTERTAINMENT PRESENTS… THE WESTWOOD STUDIOS PRODUCTION OF… LANDS OF LORE, THE THRONE OF CHAOS.

Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos from Virgin Interactive Entertainment and Westwood Studios (natch) is the only game that I never, ever, ever skip over the credit scenes for. I mean, come on, Patrick Stewart bellowing the name of the publisher and the developer with admirable sincerity? You don’t see that every day. Oh, also it’s a damn fine game, too, as evidenced by the fact I ended up playing this for nearly two hours without realising.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Quake

Quake is here! Again. Only this time around, it’s (re)releasing in a context where it actually feels fresh and interesting, rather than a technologically superior version of things we’ve seen before.

It’s fascinating quite how well Quake holds up today, particularly when compared to today’s takes on first-person shooters. Night Dive Studios’ new remaster of the game is incredibly respectful to the original while adding a bunch of conveniences that modern players would demand — and there’s a whole lot of game in there to enjoy, too.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Short Circuit

Ocean Software were rather well known for their licensed movie tie-in games — some of which were better (and more creative) than others.

This video game adaptation of Short Circuit, which was exclusive to 8-bit home computers, is one of their more inventive titles, combining a significant adventure game component with a possibly unbeatable arcade-style segment. The exact implementation varies a bit from platform to platform, but today we’re having a go at the 128K ZX Spectrum version!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Mad Nurse

Ah, the Spectrum. Legend of the 1980s gaming scene in the UK — and the mortal enemy of Atari fans like myself. Unfortunately, the fact that fanboyism goes all the way back to the earliest days of gaming means that I missed out on a lot of interesting games back in the day — that changes now!

The first of an occasional dalliance in the ZX Spectrum’s library on Retro Select is Mad Nurse, a simple but enjoyable arcade-style game released on Firebird’s £1.99 budget label. It was described as “one of the sickest games ever released” by Computer & Video Games, and involves dead babies. So that’s fun!

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Deep Water

The Simple 2000 series for PlayStation 2 remains a continual source of fascination for me — particular as a surprising number of these odd games made it west via 505 GameStreet.

Deep Water, also known as The Daikaijuu, is an open-world game about pootling around in your boat blasting sharks and cannon-toting pirates. Supposedly there are also sea monsters, too, but I couldn’t figure out how to find them…

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!

Retro Select: Beijing 2008

It’s the Olympics! Given that the Tokyo 2020 Olympics are… somewhat lacking in atmosphere due to understandable circumstances, let’s take a look back at an Olympic games where there were actually people watching.

Eurocom’s Beijing 2008, published by Sega, is an excellent multisports game with a surprisingly substantial offering for the solo player. There’s a ton of variety, there’s character progression and there’s some solid TV-style presentation. If you’re after a fun Olympics game for an older platform, this is well worth your time.

Check it out in the video below, and don’t forget to subscribe on YouTube for more!