editorial

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davyK's picture

Middle aged gamer's collection #25 Caravan Shooting Collection (SNES)

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#25 Caravan Shooting Collection (SNES)

Caravanning - this is a pastime in the UK that gets a lot of flak. People towing mobile homes behind their cars means they have a reduced max speed limit and given the slow speed and lack of visibility to the driver behind, is a source of some ire on UK roads. Perhaps some UK readers think this is a game produced to relieve the stress of encountering a caravan on the roads by allowing players to blast them off the road - sadly that is not the case.

Let me take you to Japan in the mid-80s when the Famicom/NES ruled the video-game world. At this time, Hudsonsoft were releasing some 2D shmups for the NES and part of the marketing effort was some sort of road show where temporary game-fests were set up around the country and video game competitions were ran with the highest score on the latest Hudson shmup for the NES being the aim. This seemed to be quite a phenomenon in Japan and ran for several years. It gave birth to the idea of caravan modes in some shmups - which is a quick 2 or 5 minute score attack mode which is a featured mode of lots of shmups released in later years.

Keith Burgun's picture

GOG's Death (Not?) and the Shame of Abandonware

gog.com's logo. RIPToday, Good Old Games (gog.com) shut down. It was one of the very few ways available to customers who want to purchase a game that's more than five years old.  This is sad news, but not nearly as sad as the cannibalistic reality that we've been living with for a very long time.

"Abandonware" is a term that should fill the heart of anyone who cares about computer gaming with shame.  Imagine if you couldn't buy or borrow a book written more than five years ago - or if older films like Casa Blanca or Citizen Kane were simply impossible to get your hands on.  The grim situation - if you're not already familiar is this.  After a game is about 5 to 10 years old, two things happen.  Firstly, it is "succeeded" by a sequel.  Instead of adding bug fixes, new content and other improvements to the original game, those are usually released in a new box and sold as a separate piece of software.  Then, the old software is simply forgotten, and it is assumed that no one cares about them and they are not sold.  The other problem that leads to the existence of Abandonware is the insane, frothing-at-the mouth technology arms race that we've found ourselves embroiled in since day one.  Technology has, of course, always been linked to computer games;  but for the past twenty years, the situation has been ridiculous.  If your software is more than six or seven years old, chances are most people won't even have a suitable platform to play your game on.

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