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The Simpsons - Homer At The Bat

Silly boys rounders. It’s the kind of game guys like me and Stephen enjoy…

Posted on June 11, 2017
Stephen: Yeah, same here. I've gotta be up early in the morning, playing baseball.

Del: Oh, baseball! Yeah! No... I love it. I always watch it on Channel Four.

Rodney: You don't like baseball! You've always called it silly boys rounders!

Del: Yeah, that was before that I knew it was 'in'! Nowadays it's the sort of game that guys like uh, me and Stephen enjoy.

Stephen: How d'you mean? Guys like me and Stephen?

Silly Boys Rounders

December 25th 1989. Another traditional Christmas special of Only Fools and Horses has just aired on BBC1. I was literally a couple of days from my 10th birthday and yet now, and with fast approaching nearly 30 years having passed since that day, I still recall that gag being recited on the television screen as I struggled to muster a belly laugh amongst the vast quantities of turkey, vegetables and chocolate scoffed throughout the day. I recall it so vividly because a) the episode in question The Jolly Boys Outing is a timeless classic. Endlessly revered and in many circles touted as one of the greatest episodes of televised comedy ever. Oh and b) I chuckled hard because I knew at the time that American sports such as gridiron and baseball, and to a different extent the short lived airing of kabaddi were popular on British television network Channel 4. Continue Reading

Limited Edition Video Games

You, me and our love affair with limited edition tat.

Posted on March 18, 2017

Rotund chubmeister Martin Roberts

“Did you have a good time?” burbles the baritone host of BBC’s Bargain Hunt, Tim Wonnacott, “Yeah!” scream the contestants, “Well done. Enjoy your £5 profit then.”

“Alice has dreamed of owning a set of copper saucepans her entire life. Hopefully by clearing out her gaf that’s full of useless tat to gullible profiteers, who we hope are just stupid enough to make a few bids, we can fulfill Alice’s dream” wails a delightfully shrill, shit-eating Alistair Appleton on daytime TV treat Cash In The Attic.

“Neil and Jason have done great with this condemned 1 bedroom studio in Lewisham. Bought for just £15,000 at auction, we’re delighted with our guidance they’ve made a whopping £150,000 profit!” squeals rotund chubmeister Martin Roberts on lunchtime favourite Homes Under The Hammer.

Profitatting

I’m hoping you are sensing a recurring theme here. We’re in the age of profitatting (a word I just made up). An age of buying up any old video game shit and flogging it off to the highest bidder. A practice that’s as old as time itself within many trade circles, but something relatively new to the world of video games. Let me have a go at explaining what, precisely, I mean by this.

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WFL Football 1974

4th & Inches: Where are they now?

“My one aspiration: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward…I press on toward the goal to win.” – Philippians 3:13

When you think of good, well known gridiron video games, what immediately comes to mind? Madden? Highly likely. NCAA Football? Probably. Tecmo Bowl? Absolutely. How about 4th & Inches? Probably not. With the current American football season now in full swing and 4th & Inches a mere handful of weeks away from celebrating it’s 30th birthday, I felt it an appropriate time to revist one of the true great elders of gridiron video games.

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Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours PS Vita 1

REVIEW: Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours. PlayStation Vita Limited Edition.

It’s difficult to leap in to this review without making it first obvious that I am a massive, near-on obsessive fan of the Darius series of video games. From posters to Laserdiscs, to tote bags to model kits, to soundtracks to VHS tapes to the games themselves. You name it, if it’s Darius-related, I’ve either owned it or it’s currently in my collection. So when Darius Burst Chronicle Saviours was announced for the PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, you could say I was mildly excited upon reading said news.

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Burunyanman Portable PSP

Burunyanman Portable PSP Flyer

Released in 2012, Burunyanman Portable originally started life as an eroge STG for the PC known as Burunyanman Hardcore! The game was later toned down (aka all the questionable, and I really do stress the word questionable, material was removed) and released for the Sony PSP handheld in both regular and limited editions. The game also appeared as a cheaper ‘best’ edition further down the line.

This is a flyer for the launch in 2012. I picked this up in one of the Trader stores in Akihabara. Burunyanman Portable is actually a great little STG, just like it was on the PC where it made it’s debut. Thankfully removing all seriously dubious adult material did not ruin enjoyment of the actual game. I would advise against importing the PC version of the game, lest you may have your collar felt!

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Under Defeat HD XBOX 360

REPRINT: WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Rev-ved Up! We chat with G.Rev president Hiroyuki Maruyama!

“The game industry in general is having a hard time and we refocus on social games and new revenue avenues. But we won’t give up!” – Hiroyuki Maruyama, President. G.Rev.

If ever a video game company commanded a mandatory abundance of respect by the bucket load, it’s G.Revolution (aka, G.Rev). A company initially founded for the sole purpose of developing shooting games, G.Rev quickly discovered that even with the goal set in stone to focus solely on shoot ‘em up games, they simply did not have the capital required to jump in to the arena and destroying all before them with magnificent, multi-million Yen titles. Instead, to acheive their goal, G.Rev worked hard on top grade titles for such respected companies as Sega, Taito Corporation and Treasure. The aim being to raise enough capital from co-devloping other projects in the hopes of being able to release their very own, 100% G.Rev titles.

That’s where the respect by the bucket loads part comes in. It’s truly an epic acheivement. Not just because of what G.Rev have accomplished in sticking to their belief of the original goal and actually following through with it, but for the fact that the product that they have produced, both as co-productions and their very own titles have been nothing short of astonishing. Indeed two titles from the G.Rev vault, Border Down and Under Defeat are widely regarded as two of the finest shooting games ever made. The latter of which will see an HD makeover and full retail release (in Japan only) on the XBOX 360 and PlayStation 3 this week.

I was incredibly honoured to be approached by Jacob Iyamu at online retailer Solaris Japan to have my tiny personal blog represented at an interview with the good folks at G.Revolution. Naturally I jumped at the chance and put forward a handful of questions for Jacob to ask Hiroyuki Maruyama, president of G.Rev on my behalf. The interview was recorded and will be available later on this month (stay tuned for more information to follow on this).

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糾明 (Microcosm)

Posted on June 23, 2015

If you have ever owned the wonderful Psygnosis video game Microcosm, specifically on the SEGA Mega CD, you may have come across a small paper pamphlet written entirely in Japanese. If you can’t read Japanese, or if your copy of Microcosm didn’t come with this fun little informational pamphlet and you appreciate a healthy dose of text spat out by an online translation engine, then your luck is well and truly in!

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metal slug 6 closeup

The joy of six. Genuinely enraptured by Metal Slug 6!

Yesterday afternoon I decided to dig out a bunch of PlayStation 2 games and give them all a bit of a once over. Stretch their legs after a long time dormant so to speak. One of the games I dug out was Metal Slug 6. A title in the famous and much-loved Metal Slug series that I think doesn’t quite get the recognition it so richly deserves. When you ask someone which of the Metal Slug games is their personal favourite, you will nearly always receive responses around any title except Metal Slug 6. To be honest up unitl yesterday afternoon I would very likely have delivered the same response.

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