Evercade A to Z: Claymates

Interplay put out a fair few “claymation” games in their time, of varying degrees of quality!

One that was on the slightly better end of things was Claymates, an inventive and enjoyable side-scrolling platformer with some interesting level design and some peculiar mechanics.

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

Atari ST A to Z: Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles

Heroes in a half-shell! Turtle power! But only in a form friendly to the delicate eyes of the Great British Public, thank you very much, none of that “ninja” nonsense here.

Image Works’ Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles for Atari ST was a port of Konami’s NES game — and a title that made a fair few people mad when it first came out and wasn’t a port of Konami’s classic arcade game. Still, it’s an interesting title in its own right — even if the ST version perhaps isn’t the best way to experience it!

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

Atari A to Z

short;Play: Mighty Gunvolt Burst

Inti Creates, as you’ll know if you’ve read my feature on them, read my many words on Gal*Gun Double Peace and Gal*Gun 2, and listened to our Inti-centric podcast episode, make fantastic games.

One of my favourite games of theirs that doesn’t have Gal*Gun in the title is Mighty Gunvolt Burst, a game which is essentially nothing but Inti Creates fanservice. Dripping with the “enhanced retro” aesthetic the team are such masters of, this is a challenging platform adventure with satisfying progression mechanics.

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

Atari A to Z: Zone X

Gremlin Graphics was a developer who lasted a long time — from the early 8-bit days right up until the early 2000s, when the company was swallowed by Infogrames, and then folded. Today the Gremlin spirit lives on in the developer Sumo Digital.

Zone X is a classic Atari game from Gremlin Graphics I remember playing back in the day and never being able to get very far with. Turns out I still can’t get very far with it, but it’s an interesting game nonetheless!

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

Atari A to Z

An Important Update

Hello everyone, just a relatively quick one today, as I wanted to update you on a few things.

As you’ll know if you’ve been paying attention recently, I have a new day job working over at Rice Digital as the editor. It is, not to put too fine a point on it, a dream job. I spend my days getting paid to write things, make videos and go through other people’s work with a virtual red pen. I hope those of you who have stopped by have enjoyed what I’ve been doing over there — there’s plenty more to come!

Taking on that role has led me to think carefully about a few things, though, so I wanted to outline exactly what I’ve been pondering recently — and let you know what that means for my “passion projects” around the Internet.

Continue reading An Important Update

Formula 1 97: Racing, Refined

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A year after the well-received Formula 1 hit the PlayStation, Bizarre Creations proved that their apparent skill in creating great racing games wasn’t just a fluke — because they made another Formula One game, and it was even better.

Formula 1 97 hit store shelves in September of 1997, a month before the 1997 racing season came to a close. While development ran fairly smoothly — and apparently legendary commentator Murray Walker was so impressed with the game that he signed an exclusive agreement with Sony to provide commentary for another two years — Psygnosis and Sony ran into legal issues with the sport’s various governing bodies after the game launched, and ended up having to repackage, rename and rerelease the game.

Thankfully none of that matters now, and Formula 1 97 still provides an enjoyable racing experience for both arcade racer fans and more dedicated petrolheads. So let’s take a closer look!

Continue reading Formula 1 97: Racing, Refined

Around the Network

Sunday evening, and the living is eas– wait, that’s not how that goes.

I’m sleepy! I haven’t had a particularly busy weekend but I did have a fairly packed working week, and thus it’s been nice to just have a fairly laid-back weekend where I didn’t need to worry about anything in particular. So I didn’t. We had a nice Chinese takeaway, I played some Atelier and Final Fantasy, and life is good.

So with a comfy air of satisfied tiredness about me, let’s look back over what you might have missed in the last week.

Continue reading Around the Network

The Music of Atelier, Vol. 10: Atelier Ayesha – The Alchemist of Dusk

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It’s that time once again: time to celebrate the sterling work of Gust’s sound team, and the distinctive soundscape they have created over the years from the Atelier series.

As you might expect with the change in artist, overall aesthetic and tone, the sound of the Dusk series is a little different from the Arland trilogy before it — but it’s still recognisably “Atelier”.

This time around, the music is the work of Gust regulars Daisuke Achiwa and Kazuki Yanagawa as well as Yu Shimoda; the latter worked with Inti Creates on retro revival titles Mega Man 9 and 10, and joined Taito’s ZUNTATA sound team in 2017. Series mainstay Ken Nakagawa, meanwhile, stepped aside from Atelier compositions from hereon, though he returned for contributions to both Atelier Lulua and Nelke and the Legendary Alchemists’ soundtracks.

Continue reading The Music of Atelier, Vol. 10: Atelier Ayesha – The Alchemist of Dusk

Atari A to Z Flashback: RealSports Tennis

We’re nearly there! We’re nearly there! We’re so nearly through the RealSports gauntlet! Just a bit of friendly Tennis action to get through, followed by some beach volleyball, and then we’re done!

RealSports Tennis for Atari 5200 is a decent tennis game that suffers a bit from an awkward control scheme — an awkward control scheme which hasn’t been emulated particularly well in Atari Flashback Classics, as it happens. Consequently, it’s best treated as more of a curiosity than something you can really spend a lot of time with — but it’s worth acknowledging, at least!

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

Atari A to Z

Evercade A to Z: Pac-Attack

Pac-Attack is an unusual and highly memorable puzzler from Namco with a bit of an interesting history!

Those of you who listened to our end-of-2020 podcast episode will also recall that Chris declared it his Game of the Year 2020, despite the fact it released in 1993. Our recent discovery of it is all thanks to the little wonder-machine that is the Evercade — and you can enjoy it too as part of the Namco Museum Collection 2 cartridge for the system.

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

The best of overlooked and underappreciated computer and video games, from yesterday and today