Relive the game that’s the spiritual precursor to BioShock, the 14-year old System Shock 2, now ready to play anew thanks to GoG.com.
Let us get one thing straight from the beginning: I love trains. My family has been involved with trains and the railroads for five generations, from my third great grandfather down to my dad. That’s not to say I know very much about trains, but there can be an argument made that it is in my blood. When I discovered that Microsoft had created a Train Simulator, along the lines of their successful Flight Simulator franchise, I was as giddy as a schoolgirl. I would finally get my best chance to test my mettle and see if I had what … Continue reading I’ve Been Playing on the Railroad . . .
Oh, why do they insist on making the same mistakes time and again? Like Hollywood, the video game industry is often looking more at how to capitalize on past success, rather than trying the risky business of innovating. Echelon, a "futuristic" flight combat game is a good example of this mindset. Look at the years of success of titles such as LucasArts Secrets of the Luftwaffe (the best combat flight sim ever!) and Microsoft’s Flight Combat and it’s easy to see that there is demand out there for this genre. And hey, futuristic stuff is always good right? But we’ll … Continue reading Do Svidanya to Originality in Russian Combat Fligh
There are some games you play, and there are some games that play you. Descent 3, the latest in 360-degree gaming, is definitely the latter. The first caveat is that if you were made a little queasy by the first titles in this series, don’t even think about playing this one. The second caveat is that if you’ve got the stomach and computer that can handle Descent 3, this may very well be the ride of your life. The Descent universe is based on the conceit of a world of robot ships and the underground bases in which they move … Continue reading Hold a tiger by the tail in Descent 3
Isn’t it amazing how much hype accompanied the arrival of the year 2000? The fact that a simple flip of the calendar page could cause such mass hysteria seems a little silly in retrospect, doesn’t it? As usual, all that was needed was a little perspective, something the real-time strategy game Pharaoh provides by the pyramid-full. With missions taking place from around 3200 to 1350 B.C., this game demonstrates that success involves thinking in the long-term. Sure, a worldwide computer meltdown could have caused problems, but that pales in comparison to trying to create and maintain an entire civilization. Egyptian … Continue reading Y2K A.D. meet Y2K B.C.
Microsoft has its good and bad points. Both in the gaming world and throughout the rest of computing, the behemoth can’t help but have an impact — ask any federal judge if this is true. With that power comes responsibility, which in the case of Links Extreme, the company evidently chose to ignore. Flat out, I can’t imagine what was going through the collective minds of those wacky Redmondians when they released this game. Built on the Links LS game engine, Links Extreme is an enigma. While Links LS and the latest Microsoft Golf are fine golf games, Links Extreme … Continue reading Links Extreme is below par
A standard refrain in any industry is that "everything old is new again." Old movies get remade, old songs get covered by new bands, and old cars always have a chance at a comeback. This year a classic was re-released. Still using the same familiar lines as the old model, the new version is peppier, cooler looking, has bright new colors, and lots of little extras. No, I’m not talking about the new Volkswagen Beetle, I’m talking about Populous: The Beginning. Oh, the hours I used to waste playing the original of this game! Back before StarCraft, Civilization, and Alpha-Centauri … Continue reading Populous: The Beginning is a devine rebirth
There has been a certain type of computer brain game that seems to get a small revival every couple of years. The biggest of these was Lemmings. Now, it’s almost the end of the 90’s and it’s time for a new brain-teasing obsession. Gruntz, a game full of protoplasmic goo and infantile humor, provides an entertaining mix of puzzles and action. Set in a cartoonish world not a thing like our own, we become involved in a race of creatures called Gruntz. Gruntz are native to the aptly named land of Groan. Chased into a wormhole by evil Disgruntled creatures, … Continue reading Gruntz brings good goo to games
Speed. Competition. Thrills. A Jedi craves not these things. However, you might be of a different mind. For all of us Lucas Lunatics out there who just haven’t gotten our fill of The Phantom Menace, you can breath a little easier. LucasArts has your fix in the form of a very un-Jedi-like game called Star Wars Episode 1 Racer. If you haven’t seen the Phantom Menace yet, then turn off your computer and go buy yourself a movie ticket. Okay, now that they have left, it is only us true believers here. While I will leave a review of the … Continue reading Episode One Racer is a Force to be reckoned with
Listen up, this is the Mayor speaking! What you haven’t heard of me before? Why, I’ve been the mayor (read "dictator") of several successful towns, some with populations of almost two million people. My least whim can topple enterprises, my slightest fancy can cause a freeway to be built next to your house. This is the fantasy that Maxis has been offering control freaks like myself for years. You get put in as mayor of your own town. No election, no campaign, you merely appoint yourself for life. Of course, it does help that you are also the town founder. … Continue reading SimCity 3000 builds on a familiar favorite