So it’s a shorter blog today.
As you can see, I’ve been rather busy rearranging the site to be a little bit more attractive and interactive. It’s not looking amazing or anything yet, but I’ll get there in the end! Better to tweak and make changes now, and take advantage of the low site traffic. If there’s one advantage to being new, for me, it’s that.
I’ve also seen fit to include the all-new Jukebox that you see on the right hand side there! Until I sort it out, it’s only viewable on a desktop or in desktop mode on your mobile browser of choice. I’ll be changing up the music tracks every week or so, but if you’re a fan of 90s Redbook Audio, Synthwave and Arranged stuff, then you’ll be wanting to keep an eye on it for sure ?
I also want to take some time out to ask you lot a question – what do you think of the site so far?
I’m having such a fun time doing all of these posts, and I’d really like to know if you’re enjoying the content.
Do you only read the stuff that interests you? Or do you read everything I’m posting?
Regardless, I’ll never change the kind of content I do – I’m doing this for a reason. I find most gaming sites I visit these days to be really tedious. I hate the click-bait headlines and I’m also tired of seeing the same old games being written about. I do get it – you write what people want to read – but it seems that most gaming websites these days have really narrowed their focus to stuff like E-Sports and Games as a Service titles – with the odd cosplay gallery or indie game thrown somewhere into the mix.
As an older gamer, I just can’t bring myself to care about any of that. I’m not knocking anybody who does like that stuff, I’m just saying it’s not for me. And I’m guessing for a lot of you. There’s a tonne of activity in the retro gaming and Indie circles, and since that’s where I go to get my kicks, I’m hoping there’s a bunch of you who think the same way. I’d love to build this site up into a community, so your feedback is always appreciated.
Anyhoo, that’s enough shop-talk – here’s some interesting stuff I’ve been playing, and some neat stuff that I’ve found ?
88 HEROES – SWITCH
After I backed the Xeno Crisis Kickstarter, I wanted to see what else Bitmap Bureau had behind them, games-wise. 88 Heroes caught my eye in only the way that something coloured such a sickly shade of purple can.
I’m not too much a fan of the punishing platform game, but I did have fun with Super Meat Boy for a while there, and also Celeste on the Pocket Chip, which, incidentally, you can play in your browser HERE! All it took was one YouTube reviewer saying that he actually looked forward to the deaths in the game, and I was on-board.
88 Heroes has a lot of cool gimmicks. The main conceit of the game is that every time you die, the game will randomly give you one out of the 88 shittiest heroes on the planet. It’s this 88 that you have to get to the end of the game with, and once all the heroes are gone, it’s game over.
I played first on PC, and by the time I got my first game over, I was smitten. I knew it was something I wanted to own as a physical copy, but I had no idea one actually existed! I’d gotten a gift card for Christmas (because who doesn’t, right?), and I was looking at the Nintendo Switch section of the JB HI-FI website, and lo and behold, 88 Heroes: 98 Heroes Edition was there. Insta-buy.
I love the sense of humour that 88 Heroes exhibits – and all of it is totally my bag. Puns and pop-culture references can be tiresome, but here, it’s done really well. I rarely laugh out loud in games, and this one has me snickering away constantly. For instance, I was not expecting Eurovision Song Contest and Stock, Aitken and Waterman references. Instant rep right there.
Like most indie games, it’s right at home on the Switch. There is no barrier between wanting to play a game and then actually playing it. Just pick up the system and you’re there. 88 Heroes is my go-to at the moment on the platform. I can play for a long stretch, or for five minutes when I’ve got it, but either way, it’s perfect on the Switch.
ZERO GUNNER 2 – SWITCH
This one was a no-brainer. Though Zero Gunner 2 released this week in western territories, I picked it up from the Japanese e-shop last week. A surprise release of one of the Dreamcast’s best shmups? YES. PLEASE.
If you’ve not played Zero Gunner 2, then you’re missing out. The quirky control scheme is strange at first, but you’ll quickly grow to love it.
I’ll admit, I’ve never actually owned this one for the Dreamcast. I couldn’t even if I wanted to – it commands a fairly hefty sum on the second-hand market. What I DO have is a burned disc that I made many years ago though, so I’ve been able to at least play it on my Dreamcast that way.
So when I saw news of this release, I had to jump on it.
This port is extremely well done. The graphics have gotten a bump in resolution, and it’s been fixed for 16:9 aspect ratio of the Switch screen. It’s pretty, smooth and sounds just like it did before.
There’s also a really cool CRT filter. It looks nice in motion, though it doesn’t line up with the pixels correctly, which irritates to no end. I can understand why it’s like this – the only way for them to have really gotten the pixels in the filter to line up would have been to drop the resolution in-game with the filter enabled. Still, I think it’d be worth it for that filter at least, since it looks so good otherwise.
Even if you don’t like SHMUPS, you need to at least try Zero Gunner 2. I’m terrible at almost all SHMUPS, but I still enjoy them, and it’s even better when they’re Dreamcast SHMUPS! I hope that this is just the start of a long line of Dreamcast-to-Switch ports.
Psyvariar2 next please! ?
TRIAD 2017 NEON (C64)
I thought that every now and then, when I see something neat, I’ll throw it into one of these miscellaneous posts for you to check out. So here’s something a bit different!
If you know me at all, then you know I’m particularly fond of all the 80s throwback stuff that is popping up everywhere. I even do a Podcast with some buddies that almost exclusively covers this type of music!
I also am a big fan of Demoscene stuff. I can’t get enough of watching clever people push harware limits on old gaming hardware.
What happens when you combine both of these loves???
Pretty amazing stuff, and some killer music too! The Commodore 64 colour palette lends itself well to the 80s Neon aesthetic, I think!
The credits for this demo are as follows, and taken straight from the YouTube blurb –
- Code: Abaddon, Houbba, Icon, Nith, Tao
- Graphics: ilesj, Twoflower, Vent
- Music: Flex/Artline Designs & Contex Design: ilesj
- Text: Taper Linking:
- Icon Loader: HCL/Booze Design Help: Ruk/Booze Design
And that about does me for today!
Feel free to shoot over some cool C64 demos you’ve found, or some Switch games that you think I should check out!
And DON’T FORGET SMASH THAT PLAY BUTTON ON THE JUKEBOX!
Tags: 8-bit, 88 Heroes, Alternative, Bitmap Bureau, Blog, Blogging, C64, demo scene, Demoscene, Dreamcast, Free, Games, gaming, Nintendo, PSiKYO, Retro, SEGA, Sega Dreamcast, SHMUP, shoot em up, Switch, tech, Video Game Music, Zero Gunner 2