Feature Article

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Full-length feature articles.
Chip Hageman's picture

Three for the Road: Three Great Remakes for the PC

Three for the Road

      Ok folks, sorry about getting this edition out a day late.. I actually overshot my bandwidth quota mid-week (for the second time in six months) and had to lay-low. Next weeks edition should be out on time.. barring getting the boot by Comcast.

      Anyway, This week we are going to look at three remakes / reinterpretations of somewhat classic games. I've tested all of these under Windows XP SP3 and they worked fine.. so your Vista/Win 7 mileage may vary. If no one posts compatibility updates in the comments then I will try to test them out under Win7 Ultimate 64bit in the coming days.

Now, let's get to the games...

Chip Hageman's picture

Three for the Road: Three Great Freeware Games for the PC

Three for the Road
·  · ·· October 24th, 2010: Three Great Freeware Games for the PC ·· ·  ·

Greetings! This is a new blog series I decided to create to showcase some of the great games I've stumbled across for various platforms.   This weeks topic is freeware PC titles.. future posts will include different subjects.  I'm going to try as much as possible to keep the content retro, classic, or indie development related.  However, I did diverge a bit from that on todays post. :-)

-Gandalf42

Matt Barton's picture

The Maniac in the Mansion (Book Excerpt)

There are few computer games that evoke such poignant nostalgia as the early adventure games from LucasArts--or, as it was known in the late 1980s, Lucasfilm Games. The Secret of Monkey Island, Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Full Throttle, Day of the Tentacle, Sam & Max Hit the Road, and Grim Fandango are all masterworks that have stood the test of time. Their brilliant dialog, clever stories, zany puzzles, and unforgettable characters make them true classics: they are as enjoyable to play now as they were when they were first released. The internet is full of sites dedicated to preserving and celebrating their memory, and well-supported endeavors such as ScummVM ensure that today's gamers will continue to enjoy these revered games on modern platforms.

What is about these games that warrant such attention? The best of the Lucasfilm and LucasArts games embody the spirit and capture the magic of cult classic B-movies and popular 80s movies like Steven Spielburg's Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and Rob Reiner's The Princess Bride (1987). They are laden with references and allusions to sci-fi, fantasy, and horror books and movies--some popular, some wonderfully obscure and often terrifically geeky. It is hard to play one of these games without coming to feel like an insider, a member of a select group who recognizes Chuck the Plant as an old friend. These games resonate with the so many people because they are so deeply rooted in 80s and 90s pop culture. They show us ourselves and make us feel good about who we are.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Windows Experience Score Across My Current Systems - Discrete Graphics Make a Difference!

As detailed previously, after canceling my two year Pandora pre-order, I decided to put the money towards a Sager gaming laptop. As mentioned, this was going to be my first true gaming PC since an old Windows XP Dell desktop from I-don't-remember-when (that system is in my basement office and used as-needed). Well, the laptop arrived earlier today, so I decided to do a Windows 7 Experience score comparison between that and our other current systems, most of which, unlike the Sager, do not feature discrete graphics cards. The results were startling. I'll start with the oldest system first:

Keith Burgun's picture

How "Turn-Based" Became a Bad Word

Most of us who are heavily involved in games and game design realize the massive benefits to simple, classic turn-based mechanics. I'm not going to say that turn-based is "better" than real-time any more than a screwdriver is better than a hammer; they're just tools which we can use to get the job done. These days, however, many game designers are indeed using a hammer to nail in a screw, and building some pretty shoddy birdhouses. So many games coming out today would greatly benefit from a turn-based gameplay mechanic - often you can see that the designers knew this, but that something held them back from using one. Today I'm writing about what this something is - a deep-seated cultural mistake that we make about games in general.

Rob Daviau's picture

30 Mind-Blowing Old PC Ads

Here is a cool article I came across on TechXilla Website, interesting to look at these old PC ads and comparing them with today's machines. These would be good to show people whining about PC prices today lol! At one time a 10MB cost over $3000! Can you imagine? A couple interesting "celebrity" endorsements appear as well most should be satisfied with the inclusion of Atari and Commodore brands among othersl. Not the greatest comments accompany the article but the Ads themselves are gold, enjoy!

Matt Barton's picture

The One Paragraph Short Story Contest: Alternative Game Back Stories

Oh, yes. It's time to whittle those quills, refill those ink pots, and iron that parchment for another round of one-paragraph short stories! The theme for this year's contest is alternative game back stories. Start with a simple arcade game such as Tempest, Q*Bert, Arkanoid, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and so on, and invent a unique back story to explain what's happening on the screen. The goal is to be as creative as possible, radically re-interpreting the graphics and gameplay to invent a completely new way to look at the game. You may safely disregard cabinet art, marquees, manuals, cartoons, and so on; only the on-screen graphics are to be considered.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Armchair Arcade TV: Boogie Board Accessories Unboxing

Here's the second of the two unboxing videos I promised, following the one for the PS3 The Ultimate House Party. The next actual episode of Armchair Arcade TV, where I cover the Atari 7800's late life game, Midnight Mutants, should hit within the next week, so be sure to keep checking back at Armchair Arcade for all the latest content.

Armchair Arcade TV is in high definition (720p) and available at a wide range of locations, with a wide range of subscription options, and in a wide range of formats, including YouTube, iTunes, RSS, and many more via blip.tv!

Bill Loguidice's picture

Armchair Arcade TV: PS3 The Ultimate House Party Unboxing

Here's a standard unboxing video that I put a small bit of polish on and placed under the "Armchair Arcade TV" banner. I have another unboxing video that I'll be posting tomorrow, as well as the next actual formal episode not too long thereafter, so keep checking back here on Armchair Arcade.

Armchair Arcade TV is in high definition (720p) and available at a wide range of locations, with a wide range of subscription options, and in a wide range of formats, including YouTube, iTunes, RSS, and many more via blip.tv!

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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