Tagged: PS1

How I lost control, part 1

I honestly can barely stand the Dualshock line of controllers. Hate is too strong a word, but I’m definitely Dualshock-averse. When I want to play a multi-platform game, I’ll nearly always avoid the Playstation consoles: I’ll pick the Saturn port over the PS1, Gamecube or Xbox over PS2, and Wii or Wii U over PS3, purely based on controller preference. Replacing the Dualshock has become my obsession lately, and I’m writing this post to share my journey. If I can help even one person through their own Dualshock nightmare, then it’s been worth it. Continue reading

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Weird Video Wednesday: Beam-dueling in G-Darius (PS1)

World dominating fish-robots aside, I don’t know if I’d consider G-Darius the weirdest title out there, but as far as gimmicks go “beam-dueling” is certainly unique, not to mention visually arresting.

What does count as weird is the fishy-mechanical nature of these bosses. Something all the Darius games share are aquatic-robotic nemeses. Well, every franchise needs a Unique Selling Point I suppose. Much like what happened in the Megaman series (Sheep Man says hello), G-Darius is the sixth in the series and as a result features some absurdly named fish bosses: Tripod Sardine and Accordion Hazard anyone?!

This particular boss fight featured in the video however is against the slightly more conventionally titled Fire Fossil. Fire Fossil is great because, thanks to a whole lot of laser action, the boss fight allows for the most extreme example of beam-dueling in the entire game, to the point where it’s basically Dragon Ball Z: The Videogame (quite apart from all of those actual DBZ games).

G-Darius, alongside Adventures of Alundra, was one of the first PS1 games I got after picking up the system. I love having an arcade-y game to dig into and explore alongside a longer, more expansive game like an RPG. As a result of that habit, I now invariably associate G-Darius with Alundra, and so the fact that I’ve lavished Alundra with praise more than once makes my silence on G-Darius practically feel like a betrayal. But now I’m saved, and it was all thanks to you, Weird Video Wednesday! Tune in next time for more weird videos. (Weird Video Wednesday is brought to you by Japan.)

R-Type Delta (PS1)

I’ll begin with a confession: I have only seen the credits to this game once, and only after nine hours, yes nine hours of total play. On easy. Difficulty be damned, it’s a fine game – a doggedly old school shooter that is vastly out of sync with the direction the shmup genre went in during the late 90s (a path it’s still treading) – towards FAST, FRANTIC, BULLET-HELL ACTION. Instead R-Type Delta continues and builds on the tradition of its predecessors with an all-together slower, more considered, and ultimately much more tense experience as a result.

Delta is the Playstation 1 reboot of the R-Type series and the first console exclusive of the series. Of course, the early R-Types are the best known: the original was a defining moment in shmup history, becoming enormously influential for environments that are ever-ready to kill you, as well as the memorable floating invincible buddy you drag along beside you and have limited yet highly strategic control over. Continue reading

What is a videogame – the mystery of Broken Sword (PC/PS1/Wii/GBA/DS)

This post came out of United We Game’s What is a Game community writing challenge. I was already plotting a written piece of some sort on Shadow of the Templars, but wasn’t sure what my “angle” would be, so thanks to them. Really, thanks, because I’m not the only one with positive things to say about Broken Sword recently!

Videogames and books. Not the best of bedfellows, some might say. In the case of 1996’s Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars (aka Circle of Blood) though, there’s more than a little speculation online that Dan Brown took inspiration from its themes, setting, characters, plot – just about everything and anything – when he wrote The Da Vinci Code, published in 2003. Certainly it shares with Broken Sword a preoccupation with the myth (conspiracy?) of the Knights Templar. Now, I’m not really interested here in making direct comparisons between Broken Sword and Dan Brown’s novel. Instead I want to talk about what distinguishes these two mediums, novels and videogames. There are a lot of great features in Broken Sword – a strong story, believable characters and sharp, funny dialogue – but gameplay, it seems to me, is less essential to the mix. So my question is: would Broken Sword work just as well, if not better, as a novel? Could it have had the success of The Da Vinci Code, before The Da Vinci Code? What would be lost from the game if you took out all that pointing and the clicking? Continue reading

Super special R-Type Delta (PS1) giveaway!

Hello readers, and happy new year! Welcome to our first game giveaway and, although we came up with the idea of having a giveaway on the blog what seems like an age ago, it wasn’t until very recently that the question of how we could do it was finally solved. To win a copy of R-Type Delta on PS1 all we ask is that you read on and comment on this post. In brief: we are planning on mailing, yes, posting, physical copies of this PS1 game, strange and old-hat as it sounds in these days of Steam, PSN, online gifting, voucher codes and whatnot. Of course, being based in the UK we have the PAL release, so it won’t work on American/Japanese Playstations. We will post anywhere though, UK, international, you name it. Continue reading

Street Racer (Saturn)

“It’s Ridge Racer!!! Rrrriddggge Racerrrr!” Anyone remember Sony at E3 2006? Those were the good old days, weren’t they? Everyone knows though that ten years before that, 1996, had the best old days, as Street Racer clearly proves. In this game, up to 8 players can take to the streets and race it up in speedy vehicles. ‘Ready for action? Want to play dirty? Can you handle the pace?’, the blurb asks. If you insist: hell yes, yes please and I think so, respectively.

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Charity shop gaming

Charity shops and flea markets should be every gamer’s best friend. Rummaging around for games in musty shops feels almost like a game to me. I love the mystery of not knowing what will be there, and it feels great those times when you find valuable/rare/unusual/cool games on sale for a pittance. Bombastic was a recent charity shop find, an excellent one at that, and even more recently I got an inside tip from (of all people) my mother, on a bunch of games for sale at a charity shop she volunteers in. Without knowing specific titles or even the total number of games, I asked if she could buy them for me. She bought all the PS1 games, but turned down Goldeneye on N64 out of hand because she figured I must already own it…bless you Mum, you know me so well 😥

Now the haul is in and we’re looking at 8 PS1 titles here of varying quality and interest, including one duplicate of a game I already own – not a surprising duplicate, since Rayman, the 2D platformer of choice for dedicated masochists, was an early PS1 release and the best ever selling PS1 game in the UK. With that knowledge, all those Rayman ports and re-releases churned out over the years with no accompanying fanfare suddenly make a good deal of sense as exact equivalents of the well known flatulent concept, the Ninja Fart, aka silent but deadly. Continue reading