Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Update 11/9 - Ultima VII - IX, Harvester, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Deathtrap Dungeon, Introduction to the Demoscene

I had meant to do a mini-update with a few spooky-themed games for Halloween, except a bizarre snowstorm that tore through the northeast US left me without proper internet for a number of days. My town actually delayed the festivities until the weekend due to the horrendous amount of downed trees and power lines, so please accept these slightly late entries: Harvester, a fantastically depraved adventure game that has slightly more heart than its schlocky exterior suggests; and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which covers the controversial Atari 2600 and its more recent mobile outing. Both attracted some controversry back in the day, which might seem silly now - the Atari 2600 just didn't have the graphical prowess to create anything that didn't look ridiculous, and Harvester was immediately written off by gamers and press since it was delayed for so long. We also have a review of Deathtrap Dungeon, mostly known for its ludicrously designed heroine developed after the success of Tomb Raider, but is also based on a series of books by Ian Livingstone. We've also posted the third installment of Ultima, covering the rest of the core series, including VII (both Black Gate and Serpent Isle), VII and IX. It's sort of tragic that the most influential series in computer role playing perished with such a sad final product, but such is the result of the larger corporate influence on the marketplace.

On another note, "demoscene" is a word that's occasionally bandied about on the site - the gist of it involves homebrew coders pushing the hardware in crazy directions just for the sake of it, but this Introduction to the Demoscene article helps outline its origins, as well as some of its effects on gaming, modern and otherwise. I also translated Que Pasa, Perro? into English and put it up for download. It really is meant to be played in Spanish, because the deliberate linguistic obfuscation is one of the major points of the game, but I understand if people don't feel like brushing up a foreign language to play a goofy little text adventure (albeit a goofy little text adventure I'm quite proud of.) It also has a TVTropes page, thanks to one of the awesome folks that gave it a go. Your Weekly Kusoge is Codename Eagle, the predecessor to the Battlefield games, and one that happens to be fantastic amounts of fun just based on how terribly glitch it is.

Wizorb, the retro-style brick breaker reviewed last update, was relased on the PC earlier this week, and is avaiable for a few bucks at GamersGate. It controls quite nicely with the mouse, giving more precise control than the Xbox analog pad, and is well worth grabbing. And finally, derboo's fan translation of the Korean PC RPG Romance of the Forgotten Kingdom has been released!


  1. There is one other Fighting Fantasy game adaptation (as in, not an interactive version of the book for iPhone). It is The Warlock of Firetop Mountain for the NDS. It is a dungeon crawler similar to Ultima Underworld, but nowhere near as long and without any music save at the beginning and end.

  2. I had Deathtrap Dungeon as it was covermounted on some magazine. Even compared to the old Tomb Raider, the characters were as painful to move around as panzers. Say what you want about unrelenting platforming sections, but Lara somersaulting 3 mts high while shooting bats had its grace.

  3. Thanks for the demoscene article. I've already been a fan of the scene for a few years now, but your article is probably the best written "what is the demoscene" article there is to date and if anyone asks me what the demoscene is I'll be sure to send them your way.