Back when I rented Super Nintendo games a lot I rented Actraiser every weekend until one weekend the game wasn’t there and then the following weekend it was there again but when I rented it again my save game was gone and that’s the end of my Actraiser story the end.
As you or may not know as well as doing this silly comic I am also one of the team members of Reset 64, a magazine devoted to the wonderful world of the Commodore 64! You can read all nine issues we have made so far here. I write reviews and do new comics for the magazine, and the team are a real awesome bunch of folks who love the mighty C64 as much as I do (which uh IS A LOT).
To help celebrate the latest issue (it really is a pearler) the gang got together to make a podcast! It’s about how we put the magazine together, what bits of it we liked the most, and even some talk about NEW games shhh don’t tell anyone. I ended up raving a bit about Eugene Jarvis, WHAT A SHOCK.
Take a listen here, and we’d love to hear what you think!
Great news, everyone! We just launched a Kickstarter campaign to get the next Blow The Cartridge comic book made, and YOU can help this happen!
Like previous Blow The Cartridge comic books, this new issue will have brand new comics that are made especially for the book, and be at least 36 pages of retrogaming good times. That’s a lot of comics about old video games!
Also, if that wasn’t enough – we’re doing something awesome we haven’t done before: hiring a talented person to do the cover! Ant Stiller is a well-known name in retrogaming, being an award-winning game developer and artist who has done art for game covers, backgrounds and so much more! I’m sure you’ll agree that the work in progress cover he has made looks astounding, and the final version will look even better!
Once again we’re offering guest appearances in the comic! Imagine how cool it will be to have your face in a brand new comic strip made especially for the issue!
The print copy I’m especially excited for, as we’re using the high-resolution original art files to make the visuals really shine on the page. And I’m also offering a reward where I will do a personalised sketch in your copy!
There’s also a handy-dandy digital version on offer too for the ultimate in portability and convenience, so no matter how you like to read your comics, you’re covered!
Zak McKracken introduced me to many weird things – alien telephone operators, Egyptian relics on the moon, and great pieces of art made from bent kitchen knives – but to me it’ll always be the game that introduced me to San Francisco.
The city was interesting and alive and so far away from my remote, desolate suburb that hosted one broken payphone, a closed water park and a dilapidated outdoor cinema that just played Brian Brown movies. I had to go there! The game – with its focus on a globe-trotting writer that explored the world in search of a world-saving scoop – pointed me towards becoming a journalist myself, in the hope I could see cool cities like this one.
Yes, Zak had all the classic ingredients of a good adventure game – solid puzzles, believable characters and enough humour to urge you towards the next plot point – but to me the sense of character that was given to the city made it so memorable.
I ended up flying off to San Francisco for several work trips, completing a life goal that I had to wait almost 20 years for. Sure, there were no weird aliens trying to take over the world or places I could drop cultural artifacts off at, but the city was just as alive and magical as I always imagined it. I was just bummed I forgot to bring my Groucho Marx mask!
Through this series of blog posts I’ve made a conscious effort to not write about licensed games – games that have their source material in another medium or format. Well, I’m breaking this a bit by writing about The Young Ones, which is a very original game about a TV show.
I loved The Young Ones on TV. That show was a revelation. It was loud, it was needlessly violent, and it was just plain odd. It introduced me to surrealism and slapstick and the sound of Madness. I adored Alexei Sayle. There was a fat guy on TV and people were laughing at his jokes. I was a fat kid not on TV and I wanted so very much for people to laugh at my jokes!
So then I found that there was a Young Ones game on the Commodore 64. Talk about a winning combination, right?
WRONG. The game is more boring than playing Monopoly and wondering what it would be like if you were playing with real money. It’s a game where the four main protagonist wander aimlessly around the house picking up, putting down and talking about all the objects they find. That’s pretty much it. I guess there was a thing you had to do with the items but I couldn’t figure it out for the life of me. I didn’t want this! I wanted a game where you could smack Rick in the head with a cricket bat. Now that’s entertainment.
However, I learned a valuable lesson – never assume a game is good because you liked the license. Take that, fascists!
But what really got me hooked was the shop.
In between levels, you can spend money earned at a shop that upgrades your ship. What I really liked was that instead of just being presented a menu of available upgrades, in X-Out you could see the upgrades be applied to your ship in a little window. It was like having a dress up doll, but for spaceships!
…wait, where are you going?