Tag Archives: opinion

Review: Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! (PlayStation Vita)

I’m not the first to say this – and to be honest, I was CERTAIN that I would disagree – but Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack!!! (Blobs from here on in) may well be the best of PlayStation Vita’s stellar launch line-up… And it’s a PSN title, priced at just AU$11.95.

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Review: Tetris (Game Boy)

Tetris. A game that has likely been ported and adapted and reimagined so many times it’s beyond ridiculous, but there’s always one version that most gamers remember fondly – the one packed in for free with the original Game Boy. In fact, even Alexey Pajitnov, who CREATED Tetris in 1984, said that the Game Boy version was his favourite, mentioning that it was very close to his orginal version… Quite the praise.
If you’ve never played Tetris before – welcome to Planet Earth! Essentially a simple puzzle game, the player guides various shapes down a 2D pit, and tries to fit them together at the bottom. If the player can complete a line without any breaks, that line will disappear, and the player is awarded points. The game ends when the pieces pile up to the top of the pit.
One of the most memorable things about this game (apart from how deceptively simple EVERYTHING is – from the graphics to the gameplay) is the title song. Linked below for your enjoyment. Continue reading

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iCloud and iTunes Match: What are they anyway?

As the resident geek in my family, I tend to have to explain things from time to time. In fact, they’ll generally ask me even though there is a somewhat more technical nerd in the family, particularly as I tend to explain such things fairly simply (and I read a hell of a lot more info on the ‘net, so I guess I tend to understand the function of consumer products a little better).

Anyway, this is one that has come up fairly often recently – which was a surprise to me, as I thought it was a fairly straightforward concept. Turns out I’m just a nerd who spends too much time on the Internet. As a result, I decided it might be a good topic to take a brief and general look over, in the hope that the average Joe might better understand how these services will make life easier. Click through if the terms iCloud and iTunes Match mean nothing to you.

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Review: Alien vs Predator (Jaguar)

Alien vs Predator, originally released for the Jaguar in 1994, was one of the flagship titles, and in some way much of the limited success the machine had can be levied against this particular title. At a time when most AvP titles were side-scrolling beat ’em ups, this particular game was a first person shooter in the same vein as Wolfenstein and Doom (both of which were also released on Jaguar). Not only that, but you could play as a Colonial Marine, a Predator, or an Alien, an idea that was pretty damned AWESOME at the time, and has since become a staple of the AvP series. So in some ways, it was an important release (although I do recall there was some controvercy regarding its release, but I can’t remember the specific details – and I guess they don’t matter much in the context of this review anyway). Continue reading

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Console(idol)ation: Nintendo Virtual Boy

Back in 1993, Nintendo thought they had a super idea – Virtual Reality. 3D. Gaming. All in a portable device. The problem is, back in 1993, the technology didn’t REALLY exist in such a manner that would be economically and ergonomically viable. So they unleashed the Virtual Boy (such an unfortunate name) onto an unsuspecting – and unwilling – world.

Claimed by some to be the biggest commercial mistake (embarrassment?) in the videogame industry, Nintendo discontinued the Virtual Boy just a year after it’s release, and only 25 games were ever released for it… Sad.

Then again, perhaps not. The Virtual Boy headset is heavy, and comes with a stand to prop it up on a table. From there, you can stick your face in it to play games. The controller plugs in to the bottom of the headset, and actually provides the power, strangely (the system shipped with a battery pack – which used 6 AA batteries! – that clicked into the back of the controller). This lead to an understandably uncomfortable experience (and on top of this, there was apparently a notification built in to the system to instruct gamers to take a break every 15 minutes although I never noticed this myself).

Then there was the actual experience of the games themselves… The system used red LCDs, dual eyepieces, and mirrors to display very simple images in a simple kind of 3D. The effect worked, and I guess Nintendo was likely banking on the success of the Game Boy (which was monotone) as a means to justify the single colour – or perhaps it’s just because the red LCDs were cheapest. Click through to watch a video for a bit of context.  Continue reading

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