Sunday, 26 May 2013

Kickstarting: Jagged Alliance Flashback

I've only completed one of the Jagged Alliance games, but it just so happens to be widely considered the series' peak. Jagged Alliance 2 is an incredible strategy game, where you recruit a selection of mercenaries to overthrow a despotic leader of a tiny country. The mercenaries are all characters in their own right, with RPG-style skill progression and their own personalities. Take the wrong collection of mercs with you, and they'll bicker and fight. The right ones can make the game endlessly easier.

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I'll no doubt cover the game in this blog, because it does make for a great game to talk about. It also has a still-active modding community, and the 1.13 patch adds a massive amount of depth to an already great game. It's charm lies in the different ways you can approach the game, from the more stealthy to the full on Schwarzenegger. But enough about the old game...

PC Gaming and Me: Memorable Music (part 1)

There was a time when PC games had to rely on the on-board "PC Speaker", which would make a lot of noise but rarely anything you would want to hear. However, such is the constant progress of the platform, it wasn't long until gamers could afford dedicated sound cards and speakers to go with their beige boxes. The difference it made was huge, even in the early days. A few small pieces of music and more realistic sound effects added so much to the experience.

Soon, sound became as integral to a game as the gameplay and graphics. Music can add mood to a game, evoke feelings and expand upon an experience. You could even craft entire games around it! But my love of music in gaming really comes down to those catchy tunes that stick in your head all day, and the soundtracks that beautifully capture the mood and style of the game.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Kickstarting: Carmageddon: Reincarnation

Carmageddon is my favourite racing game of all time. This can be attributed to several factors: It's based on the film Death Race 2000, destroying your opponents is an approved race-winning strategy, you can run over pedestrians and spectators, it was ludicrously over-the-top and it isn't half bad as a racing game either.

So when Stainless Games decided they were going to kickstart a new version, I was thrilled. All the same sort of action, but bigger, better and high definition. So I was quick to back this one, and things have been looking pretty good so far.

To get myself in the mood for the new version, I've been playing the original on my Nexus 7. All things considered, it's a rather impressive port. The controls are easy to use, and the game is just as enjoyable as I remember.