quinta-feira, 31 de dezembro de 2015

2015 Re-Cap: Best Videos, Feedback & Shout-outs - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#76




2015 was a great year for the show, so let’s take a look at some highlights and statistics that are shaping the path to where the channel is going!

And have an awesome 2016!


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• Ep#62: “The ZX Spectrum: Why it was so Popular and my Top 26 Games” - https://youtu.be/KKqTqEyi7ec

• Ep#52: “Celebrating 30 Years of the Amiga: My Top 26 Games” - https://youtu.be/odzHl0llccI

• Ep#33: “Dakar & Off-Road Rally Games Overview” - https://youtu.be/Wo6nnU3KBbc

• Ep#39: “Castlevania: Spectral Interlude [2015, ZX Spectrum] Review” - https://youtu.be/etWSWGODZiw

• Ep#44: “Gotek Floppy Amiga Emulator Review” - https://youtu.be/3JaTr1UNJfU

• Ep#31: “WolfChild [1992, Amiga / SNES] Review" - https://youtu.be/KpvuX-qlOUg

• Ep#4, “Ocean Software: Rise and Fall of a Giant” - https://youtu.be/DGThKfu5nmo

• Ep#16: “Rick Dangerous [1989, Amiga / ZX Spectrum / C64 / DOS] Review” - https://youtu.be/SB_jM6vtlmU

• Ep#23: “ALIEN [1984, ZX Spectrum] Review" - https://youtu.be/brm3DXJQ28w

• Ep#8: “Commodore and the Amiga Mistakes” - https://youtu.be/EanpAALIqBo

• Ep#41: “Lookback at Europress Software & Mini Office Amiga Review” - https://youtu.be/1DI8DM1k54M

• Ep#49: “TOPO Soft and ERBE Software in the Golden Age of Spanish Video Games” - https://youtu.be/owDArv5aChQ

• Ep#50: “IBM Model M Mechanical Keyboard - Restoration” - https://youtu.be/V5H99gCRjnw

• Ep#55: “E3 Retrospective, Part 1/2: 1995-2005” - https://youtu.be/RfYCX10jHHg

• Ep#56: “E3 Retrospective, Part 2/2: 2006-2015” - https://youtu.be/zk2QZK9s8Ww

• Ep#63: “RAMBO video games Retrospective [1985-2014]” - https://youtu.be/SV7CVdTEcfg


#pixelthing


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segunda-feira, 28 de dezembro de 2015

Baja: Edge of Control [2008, Xbox 360] - Stage 5/9 - It's Play Time! - Ep.#11




Fifth stage (of 9) of the Baja 1000 event present in Baja: Edge of Control, released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in September of 2008, and where everything went wrong!

This is the much smoother Xbox 360 version and we'll be racing our way against many other drivers in this Baja 1000 race that is based in the real off-road race.

Thanks for watching!


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quinta-feira, 24 de dezembro de 2015

The Origins of Cover Media - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#75




Many of you will certainly remember the tapes, disks and, more recently, CDs that started to come bundled with our favorite video game magazines, but do you recall when it all began?

Let’s take a look!


#pixelthing


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sábado, 19 de dezembro de 2015

DiRT Rally [2015, PC] Review - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#74




A new rally simulation has finally arrived!

This year, Codemasters surprised everyone when they’ve announced, back in April, DiRT Rally as an early access on Steam and that they would shape the game with the feedback from players.

Let's take a look at what DiRT Rally turned out to be now that its final version is here!


Official page: https://www.dirtgame.com


Buy it now from Steam: http://store.steampowered.com/app/310560/


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Baja: Edge of Control [2008, Xbox 360] - Stage 4/9 - It's Play Time! - Ep.#10




Fourth stage (of 9) of the Baja 1000 event present in Baja: Edge of Control, released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in September of 2008.

This is the much smoother Xbox 360 version and we'll be racing our way against many other drivers in this Baja 1000 race that is based in the real off-road race.

Thanks for watching!


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domingo, 13 de dezembro de 2015

Baja: Edge of Control [2008, Xbox 360] - Stage 3/9 - It's Play Time! - Ep.#9




Third stage (of 9) of the Baja 1000 event present in Baja: Edge of Control, released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in September of 2008.

This is the much smoother Xbox 360 version and we'll be racing our way against many other drivers in this Baja 1000 race that is based in the real off-road race.

Thanks for watching!


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quarta-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2015

How to Sell a Game in the 80s (and Early 90s - EU) - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#73




In the 80s, and even early 90s, graphics weren’t, at all, the selling point of video game. Covers and adverts on magazines were!

Let’s take a look at some examples on how to sell a computer game in the 80s and early 90s!


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domingo, 6 de dezembro de 2015

Baja: Edge of Control [2008, Xbox 360] - Stage 2/9 - It's Play Time! - Ep.#8




Second stage (of 9) of the Baja 1000 event present in Baja: Edge of Control, released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in September of 2008.

This is the much smoother Xbox 360 version and we'll be racing our way against many other racers in this Baja 1000 race that is based in the real off-road race.

Thanks for watching!


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segunda-feira, 30 de novembro de 2015

Celebrating 25 Years of the Mega Drive (EU): My Top 10 games - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#72




In Europe, the Sega Mega Drive turns 25 in this precise day, 30th of November of 2015.

So, let’s take a look at my personal Top 10 video games for this highly popular system!


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Baja: Edge of Control [2008, Xbox 360] - Stage 1/9 - It's Play Time! - Ep.#7




This is the first of nine videos that I'll be bringing in the next weeks. It's the main event present in Baja: Edge of Control, released for Xbox 360 and PS3 in September of 2008.

This is the much smoother Xbox 360 version and we'll be racing our way against many other racers in this Baja 1000 race that is based in the real off-road race.

Thanks for watching!


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quinta-feira, 26 de novembro de 2015

segunda-feira, 16 de novembro de 2015

Celebrating 10 Years of the Xbox 360: My Top 10 games - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#70




The Xbox 360 is turning 10 years old! And it’s simply one of my favorite video game consoles ever!

So, let’s just start celebrating its 10th birthday by pointing out my top 10 titles! And, you’ll certainly be surprised with my number 1!

Let’s take a look!


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segunda-feira, 2 de novembro de 2015

Paradise Café, the complete Story [1985, ZX Spectrum] - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#69




Viewer discretion is advised!


For Halloween and for episode 69, here's the story of the most famous Portuguese video game of all time and, also, the most pirated ever... in Portugal, obviously!



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sexta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2015

Alley Cat [1984, MS-DOS] - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#68




This episode is dedicated to my wife that, along with my 5 year old kid, are simply my heroes that, 5 years ago, fought bravely and survived throughout some really harsh times.


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sábado, 17 de outubro de 2015

Channel Update: CC - It's a Pixel THING VLOG #2




English transcriptions, or subtitles, will be added to all my videos, from now on and, also, my oldest ones from Season 1!

You can now watch, right away, my latest videos from the ongoing Season 2 with English subtitles already present. It's pretty handy for viewers with hearing problems and for those who simply want to watch with the volume down!


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quarta-feira, 7 de outubro de 2015

terça-feira, 6 de outubro de 2015

PushStart #56: the very First Portuguese Retro Gaming Magazine



Be aware: this newly arrived physical mag is only available by ordering it through it's own website!


Question: So, what's the fuss all about?
Answer: It's a printable mag mainly about retro gaming (90%)! Cool!

Q: But, is it any good?
A: Well... hummmmm.... It's so freakingly good! And written by people that really knows about (retro) gaming, not being influenced by brands or sponsors or whatever! There! I said it!






To commemorate PushStart's 5th birthday, the guys behind the project decided to embark into a new adventure converting their digital and free publication into a physical and paid version.
Right after its announcement on facebook, I immediately order it using the online form available in PushStart's website, and the mag was delivered at my door step four days later.


With delicious graphical details, awesome writing and clever sections, PushStart #56 is an amazing piece of enjoyable reading, the good old fashioned way! I must applaud the iniciative from this group of guys that, most of them, collect video games, related stuff and also have their own youtube channels.
pic. 1
pic. 3
The Mentor of the project is, no more nor less, Ivan Barroso, Portuguese video game designer, historian, professor and writer, with some books already published (pictures 1 and 2) and another on its way (picture 3), and also had time to contribute to Sam Pettus' "Service Games - The Rise And Fall of Sega" (picture 4). So, I believe that PushStart is, indeed, in good hands!

pic. 2
pic. 4
I don't want to spoil anything, but, even so, there are some aspects that I would like to mention that could be rectified (or not) in future issues:

• the extreme good paper quality that must be handled with care if we want to preserve the magazine;

• the use of the Times New Roman font (or similar), maybe for a more retro feeling (??);

• in an issue dedicated to the Amiga 500, I was surprised that they didn't mention the A300 and its repositioning as A600, that came to be the substitute of the A500+.
Three minor details that are attenuated by the inspiring and passionate writing from PushStart's team.


Before you ask, yes, it is definitely worth buying because of all the things I've just wrote, even for the Times New Roman aspect! Believe me, you won't be disapointed! Unless you don't know how to read Portuguese.. now, that's a serious problem..



To conclude, I must highlight the team's relaxed and honest depicted opinions and, as well, the rather amusing and highly entertaining unveiling of their very own experiences with video games thrughout the years. That's what PushStart was always about, right from the beginning: an awesome, compelling and extremely enjoyable (retro) gaming publication!




I'm now desperately waiting for PushStart #57 that will arrive in November!

segunda-feira, 28 de setembro de 2015

Celebrating 20 Years of the PlayStation: My Top 10 games - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#66




20 years ago this revolutionary console took the world by storm. It was Sony’s revenge against Nintendo, but, the main victim ended up being Sega.

Let’s take a look at its origins and browse through my personal favorite 10 video games on the system.


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segunda-feira, 14 de setembro de 2015

Celebrating 16 Years of the Dreamcast: My Top 10 games - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#65




The Sega Dreamcast is turning 16 years old! Well, at least in the United States and Europe! So, to commemorate the birthday of one of the most impressive and underrated consoles ever, here’s my personal Top 10 video games for Sega’s last system!

Happy 16th birthday, Dreamcast!


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domingo, 6 de setembro de 2015

Video Game Pickups #6 - 19 Games HUGE Donation - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#64




Let's take a look at a HUGE donation from a fan of the channel and, as well, the 19 video games that I've recently added to my collection! There's stuff for the PC, original XBOX, XBOX 360, PlayStation 2 and PlayStation 3!

Enjoy!


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terça-feira, 1 de setembro de 2015

RAMBO video games Retrospective [1985-2014] - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#63




The Rambo movie franchise was always a nice subject for video game developers to adapt and bring that armored mayhem to consoles and computers, so, in this episode of the Pixel THING we’ll be taking a look at the titles based in this 80s action movie hero.


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Dirt Rally [2015, PC] - It's Play Time! - Ep.#6




A tribute to the best rally game ever, even in it's early access!

Finally, 2004's Richard Burns Rally got a proper adversary!


Note: this footage was taken from even before the Pikes Peak and the enhanced force feedback packs were released! It's a really very early access! Can you imagine how it is right now? A thousand times better!!!



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segunda-feira, 24 de agosto de 2015

The ZX Spectrum: Why it was so Popular & My Top 26 Games - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#62




33 years ago there was this little thing that, in Europe, revolutionized the home computer business! People were accustomed to black and white graphics and the ZX Spectrum came to the rescue with its rainbow motif!

Let’s take a quick look at its origins and point out my 26 favorite games on the system from this early model to the later ones!


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segunda-feira, 17 de agosto de 2015

It's a Pixel THING Complete Season One




This is the entire first season of It's a Pixel THING, over 6 hours of content compiled into one single video for your viewing convenience and pleasure!

It's cool to watch the evolution on presentation from the host (myself!) and video and audio quality.

There's other alternative ways for watching the episodes, like using the series playlists below or go directly to the "videos" tab on my channel.

The "Pick Ups" videos and other "special" episodes are not included in this compilation.

Thanks for watching!


It's a Pixel THING Episodes PlayList (newest to oldest): https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLArECn6rOyzfVqBVa8EgeZPvLt5v0kUCV


• 0:25 - Episode 1: My 4 Favorite Arcade Off Road / Rally Racing Videogames of All Time

• 10:16 - Star Wars: Dark Forces [1995, MS-DOS] Review

• 17:41 - My 4 Best Sim Racing Videogames

• 29:33 - Ocean Software: Rise and Fall of a Giant

• 40:02 - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1989, MS-DOS/Amiga] Adventure Game Review

• 46:05 - Ugh! [1992, Amiga/MS-DOS] Review

• 52:18 - Big Red Racing [1996, MS-DOS] Review

• 56:22 - Commodore and the Amiga Mistakes

• 1:11:16 - Fuzzball [1991/1992, Amiga] Review

• 1:17:10 - 5 Playstation 2 (PS2) Underrated Games

• 1:26:00 - Batman: The Movie [1989, ZX Spectrum] Review

• 1:30:24 - Top 6 Mountain Bike Videogames

• 1:39:38 - FUEL: a thought [2009, PC • XBOX360 • PS3]

• 1:44:52 - ALIEN 3 [1993, SNES] Review

• 1:49:02 - Indiana Jones and the Infernal Machine [1999, PC/Windows] Review

• 1:55:40 - Rick Dangerous [1989, Amiga / ZX Spectrum / C64 / DOS] Review

• 2:01:34 - Rock'n'Roll [1989, Commodore Amiga] Review

• 2:05:54 - Deathchase [1983, ZX Spectrum] Review

• 2:12:24 - Myth - History in the Making [1992, Amiga] Review

• 2:19:28 - Micro Machines [1994, MS-DOS] Review

• 2:24:17 - ALIEN [1984, ZX Spectrum] Review

• 2:28:57 - Trials Fusion [2014, PC] Review

• 2:34:44 - The Great Escape [1986, ZX Spectrum] Review

• 2:41:21 - The First Samurai [1991, Amiga / SNES] Review

• 2:48:37 - Late 90s PC gaming Rig - IBM NetVista [type 6793]

• 2:57:39 - The Untouchables [1989, C64] Review

• 3:02:58 - 10 Must Have PS2 Games

• 3:17:03 - WolfChild [1992, Amiga / SNES] Review

• 3:23:29 - 10 Arcade Games for Xmas

• 3:34:04 - Dakar [Off-Road Rally] Games Overview

• 3:45:19 - MX vs ATV Unleashed [2006, PC] Overview

• 3:51:16 - Personal 10 Best 8 & 16 bit Intro Tunes [Home Computers]

• 4:01:31 - Assassin [1992, Amiga] Review

• 4:07:22 - 15 Video Games for Valentine's Day

• 4:19:21 - Castlevania: Spectral Interlude [2015, ZX Spectrum] Review

• 4:23:42 - Video Games based on Oscar Winning Movies for Best Picture

• 4:36:00 - Lookback at Europress Software & Mini Office Amiga Review

• 4:46:55 - Rally Trophy [2001, PC/Windows] Review

• 4:53:50 - Targa [2014/1995, Super Nintendo] Review

• 4:58:43 - Gotek Floppy Amiga Emulator Review

• 5:07:16 - Restoring my old IBM PS/1 486DX2 66MHz

• 5:17:37 - War In Middle Earth [1988, ZX Spectrum / MS-DOS / Amiga] Review

• 5:24:27 - 6 Amazing Games that are still Exclusive to the Playstation 2

• 5:33:31 - TOPO Soft and ERBE Software in the Golden Age of Spanish Video Games

• 5:50:51 - IBM Model M Mechanical Keyboard

• 2:57:50 - Celebrating 30 Years of the Amiga: My Top 26 Games


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My awesome little RetroStorageBox - It's a Pixel THING special#




One of my latest and awesome pick ups! A little box coated with recycled keys from old keyboards from de 80s and 90s!

Check it out!


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sexta-feira, 14 de agosto de 2015

Antiriad, the very first Metroidvania [1986, C64 / CPC / ZX Spectrum] - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#61




This game was released in October of 1986. 2 months earlier, in August, Metroid was made available in Japan for the Famicom Disk System. In September, and also for the Famicom Disk System, Akumajou Dracula – aka Castlevania – was, as well, released in Japan. So, unknowingly, The Sacred Armour of Antiriad gave birth to the metroidvania subgenre.


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terça-feira, 4 de agosto de 2015

A few Favorite Games on a few Different Systems - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#60




While cleaning and reorganizing things on my room, I was hugely struck by nostalgia when I was going through my collection. So many memories flashed right away through my mind, and I just sat and played some of my personal favorite video games on the systems that I have plugged in and ready to play.


First stop: 1987 
Game: Combat School, a Konami arcade original game converted by Ocean Software for 8bit home computers.
If you wanna break your joystick or smash the keys on your computer, this is the perfect game for that! We play as a recruit and must finish seven training events in order to graduate, but, in the end, we’ll be sent onto a mission to rescue some hostages that are being held by terrorists. This final level somewhat reminds me of Target Renegade and other similar titles.





Next stop: 1993 
Game: Cannon Fodder, a Sensible Software original video game considered as one of the best titles ever created. And was available for different platforms, but the one I’ve played the most was the Amiga version.
This action-strategy shoot-em-up game is so freaking hilarious and pronouncing its title in Portuguese was a subject of laughter back in high school, where we used to duplicate floppy disks using that useful tool know as X-Copy.
If you haven’t played it, you are not a gamer!!

  



Still in 1993, one title that I’ve missed on the mega drive / genesis was Jurassic Park.
 I thought that it was similar to the Amiga version. How I was wrong! This is as awesome game and easily one of my favorites on this system!
We play as Dr. Grant and we must battle through this hostile environment. Or, we can just play as a Raptor engaging other dinosaurs and avoiding the many traps. Such an awesome game!








Jumping right into 1995, Star Wars Dark Forces means a lot to me.
 It was the first game I bought with my own money and still my favorite first person shooter ever. It brought so many innovative ideas to the genre that are still present in today’s video games and it was the first Lucas Arts’ venture into this new world of first person shooters. Oddly, was banned from a lot of countries ‘cause it was seen as a Doom clone! I’ve already reviewed this game; it was, in fact, my second video, so, if you’re interested, just browse my channel or use the search tool.






Let’s continue our journey and take a quick stop in 1999.
The game: Sega Rally 2, on the Dreamcast. 
So many awesome moments playing this one with my friends at the arcades. We just couldn’t wait to play it on the Dreamcast, and spend entire weekends organizing championships and trying to beat each other and get to the top of the chart!
Highly addictive and super fun!








One of the first exclusive orginal Xbox titles was Transworld Snowboarding that I’ve just discovered recently. It was released by Atari in 2002 and is simply one of the best snowboard game I’ve ever played! It features 17 real world locations and it tries to simulate real life snowboarding tricks. The sense of speed riding down the mountains performing professional stunts is just highly entertaining and time consuming, ‘cause you’ll find yourself playing this game for many hours!






A year later, in 2003, Rockstar Games released the PC edition of my Grand Theft Auto favorite game: Vice City, probably because of its 80s inspired theme. I really love all things eighties related and Scarface is also one of my favorite movies ever. So, both subjects combined just made my day back when Vice City was announced! It was also available for other systems, but the PC version, as Tina Turner would say: “is simply the best” for its superior graphical and high quality looking box with embossed title and subtitle and this shiny Vice City outline!
A must play and a must have for every fan of the franchise!





Rushing now to 2005, this is, without any doubt, an hidden gem on the Playstation 2: Batman Begins, based on the movie with the same name.
Eurocom did an amazing job with this game and almost all in-game voices were provided by the real actors from the movie. This is a stealth action-adventure type of game where we stalk our enemies and invoke fear into them. I really love the fighting style implemented onto Batman Begins with huge and awesome powerful moves and martial arts techniques.
And the environmental audio is of extreme high quality! Again, an hidden gem that the press just crushed back when the game was out! Did they played it? I don’t think so.




And finally, in 2010, Rockstar Games did it again, this time with Red Dead Redemption
that is on my top 10 list of best video games ever made. I simply love to explore this huge wasteland, with amazing and beautifully detailed landscapes. I really hope that a sequel will be revealed soon!
The music, sounds and voice acting are of exceptional quality and execution, and if you play it using a surround sound system, you’ll be immediately transported back in time to those perilous and dusty western locations.
Red Dead Redemption was a kind of white flag of peace to every GTA fan that were disappointed with its kind of weak fourth chapter. I personally enjoyed the PC version of GTA IV, but, after finishing it, I felt somewhat incomplete. Red Dead Redemption came to the rescue and filled up that hole left by GTA IV.


I’m sure that you’ve all played these games and, if you haven’t, just give those a try! I guarantee you that it won’t be a waste of time!

I’m now gonna continue to enjoy my vacations and discover some more titles that are buried deep down in my collection!



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domingo, 26 de julho de 2015

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade [1992, MegaDrive/Genesis] Review - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#59




As a huge Indiana Jones fan, I was immediately addicted to the ZX Spectrum version of the Last Crusade released after the premiere of the movie, back in 1989.

This new Indiana Jones adventure was available for practically every single 8 and 16 bit systems available, and, on a few 16 bit computers, there was also a graphic adventure edition that I consider to be one of the best point and click adventure games ever made. One of my first videos was about the DOS and Amiga versions of the point and click graphic adventure of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, so, if you’re interested to see one of my early reviews, just click on the rectangle.

I’ve, just recently, played the Megadrive/Genesis action game of the Last Crusade that was released 3 years later.  It has some pretty nice tweaks and little details that differ from those home computer ports from ’89.

So, let’s start it up and have a taste of Indy’s whip!

Produced in 1992 by U.S. Gold, it’s an obvious adaptation of the third Indiana Jones movie that I consider to be the best, and it was adapted from that older home computer video game that was released about the same time as the movie itself and took advantage of that. The Action Game of the Last Crusade can be really frustrating and extremely difficult when we try it for the first time, but if you’re an Indiana Jones fan like me, you just won’t quit easily! And, if you love the movie as much as I do, you’ll also enjoy this game!

Indy can punch or use his trustful whip to stun and get rid of all the enemies that prowl in all the five levels of the game. So, we’ll be searching for the Cross of Coronado in Utah, also in Utah try to escape a chase on top of this circus train avoiding the thugs and all the animals, explore the catacombs in Venice, ascend Castle Brunwald in Austria and, finally, get the Holy Grail and rescue Indy’s father from certain death.

Graphically, the megadrive/genesis version of the Last Crusade is simply the best.

Sprites of the enemies and even of Indy could be a lot better for a game that was released 3 years later that the original. But I can live with that, ‘cause the action just compensates that! As for the backgrounds, I found them pretty good and follow the scenes of the movie quite well and with a nice parallax scrooling that was absent from those early versions from 1989. That rain effect on the fourth level in the Castle of Brunwald is nicely done and, again, a better approach to the scenes of the movie.

Now, as for sound and music, some bits were adapted directly from the soundtrack of the movie but with a pretty bad result, and there’s some other tunes that have little or nothing to do with an Indiana Jones adventure. And Sega’s 16 bit console was surely capable of a lot better. As for the sound effects, those are nicely done and just do their job.

So, this multidirectional platform game is quite enjoyable, but for Indiana Jones fans only. It doesn’t bring any newer of fresher stuff to the genre. On the contrary, it brings new stuff to that 1989 original Last Crusade video game released for home computers. So, for this, I consider the megadrive/genesis version the best of them all.

I forgot to mention that in the end of some levels there’s a tougher enemy to kill, and if you’re willing to try it out and need some help to advance to the next level, there’s this combination of button strokes that will provide just that: when the LucasFilm logo appears, press A, B, C - B, C, A - C, A, B, and you’re good to go!


The game is not too bad as most gamers say, but there are a hell lot better platform games for you to enjoy! And, if you want to play an excellent game with Indy, try Indiana Jones’ Greatest Adventures for the Super Nintendo.


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domingo, 19 de julho de 2015

The Game Over Controversy [1987, multiple 8 bit systems] - It's a Pixel THING - Ep.#58




Luis Royo is a Spanish artist, responsible for many astonishing fantasy illustrations published in so many media formats that range from art books and magazines all through music CD covers and video games.

So, in 1987 and in that last area, Dinamic Software hired Royo to create the artwork for their latest title that was about to be released: Game Over.

Adverts on magazines, not only in Spain but also in France and the United Kingdom, was all around and, in this last country, the drawing had a huge negative impact because of the offending portrayal of this awesomely gorgeous girl that was showing more than it would be probably allowed. The game was being published by Imagine Software and it caused a huge controversial wave of negative feedback that also helped selling the game!

Game Over is an amazing action run and gun platformer by Ignácio Ruiz, also know as “Snatcho”, where we play as Arkos, a mega Terminator once faithful to the beautiful and evil Princess Gremla, yes, that one! Our mission is to kill her and put an end to her cruel and oppressive leadership. To do that, we need to fight our way through this linear prison planet called Hypsis engaging these hordes of enemies and reach the end where a ship will transport us to the next planet.

Once arrived into this new world, the planet Sckunn, the challenge is bigger and not as linear as the first one. Gladly, instead of grenades, we managed to get a giant laser which destroys all that crosses our path. Unfortunately this laser is limited. We can only use it twenty five times.

Planet Sckunn is divided into two stages: the Forest and the Palace. We must be very careful not to drown in the first one, so we must avoid the lakes at all costs. Once arrived in the Palace, there are elevators that takes us, you guessed it, to different floors. Be aware of mines that are scattered around the palace and will obviously explode when touched!

But, before we slain the evil Princess, let’s take a deeper look into her controversial portrait. That original artwork appeared, 3 years earlier, on a cover of Heavy Metal, an American science fiction and fantasy comics magazine that is around since April of 1977. Because of its “adult illustrated fantasy” content, there was never any type of fuss around its covers’ possible visual disturbance. But, when that same drawing ended up on an inlay of a ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX and Commodore 64 video game, intended for kids, and with Imagine’s quality seal, the negative impact was huge! Nonetheless, it also helped to sell lots of copies!

Something had to be done quickly to reduce that negative impact that Game Over’s cover made in the United Kingdom, even after a huge poster had been offered to the readers of issue 21 of Your Sinclair magazine. That meant that almost every bedroom in UK had a Game Over poster with Princess Gremla in all her glory!

Retailers demanded that cassette and disk inlays started being printed with Dinamic’s logo on top of the offending nipple and, as well in some covers with a screenshot of the game itself. At the same time, art editor of Crash Magazine, Oli Frey, was working over the original Luis Royo artwork placing a kind of steel plate putting an end to the controversy.. kind of.

Game Over ended up winning the award for best advert and best video game cover of the year by readers of Crash Magazine.

The game was also available for DOS, but only in Spain. This port was developed by Pedro Sudón and has graphics taken directly from the ZX Spectrum version.



I’ll soon be covering with more detail this topic about video game cover art from mid-eighties to early nineties that was, for me, the most incredible and competitive Era with so many great artists leaving their mark in the video game industry.



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