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Protocol Penguin

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    Games, obv.

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  1. I always liked Llamatron on the Amiga. Thought it was a fun take on a decade-old arcade game, with its unashamedly retro-styled graphics, raw gameplay and offbeat design decisions. Sure, it was all rather bare-bones and not exactly original, but it was solid entertainment on the cheap. (Hang on, did Jeff Minter essentially create the precursor to today’s retro-styled indie games?!)
  2. I’m not going to pass comment on Super Turrican, because unfortunately I’ve never played it. Looks like a bit of remix and reimagining of Turricans 1 and 2, having some YouTube footage. But it’s not an Amiga game, so I wouldn’t judge it as such even if I had played enough of it to decide.
  3. I would’ve put down the opinion that Turrican and Turrican 2 belong in the same category as Shadow of the Beast, being glorified Amiga tech demos that are utterly lousy games to play, but I’ll row that back a bit. Turrican 1 and 2 are still among the best looking and sounding OCS Amiga games, and they do get a fair bit right (the control scheme, given the lack of multi-button controller), and it’s an interesting fusion of its influences; Metroid, Contra, Psychonics Oscar, etc. However... the level design, enemy layouts and lots of miscellaneous irritating things in the gameplay design really drag the Turricans down to “mediocre Europlatform shooters with hardware-pushing presentation” status. They aren’t classic games, rather iconic games, and I couldn’t recommend playing them now other than to get a sense of how capable the vanilla Amiga was at the hands of technically competent programmers.
  4. I don’t think you can objectively compare the Donkey Kong Country series to the typical Europlatformers of the era and say that they’re of the same quality. I mean, the DKC series definitely aren’t top-tier 16-bit platformers, but they’re definitely above a huge step above the rubbish you’d get on the Amiga in 1994, and are superior most of the western-developed platformers available on the Super NES and Mega Drive. (Also, DKC2 is definitely one of those sequels that palpably improves on its predecessor.)
  5. I don’t disagree with that. The Mega CD has been flanderised as the system that was dominated by awful American FMV games, but it was always much more than that.
  6. A JRPG, a driving game and a fighting game/arcade conversion. Not exactly an innovative range of software...
  7. Its graphics have aged horribly by modern standards, yes. But recognise the historical context: Of its hardware generation, it had the by far the most influential and innovative games library, even if solely due to Super Mario 64, Goldeneye and Ocarina of Time.
  8. If you like later Trek it’s genuinely worth a look at 60s Trek for curiosity value if you do a ‘greatest hits’ tour,’ but I wouldn’t recommend a full watch-through. Random example, Errand of Mercy is worth seeing for how the Klingons made their entrance, and not how fans of TNG and later Trek would recognise them (no, I don’t mean the visual differences).
  9. Forget it Pete, it’s Debasertown.
  10. Avery Brooks was certainly a competent actor, but his performances were often too variable in quality. Obviously a primarily a stage actor, he often struggled to tone it down for the acting style suitable for TV shows of the time, but occasionally just acted bored and phoning it in. With the right direction and script and other factors, he was great though, it’s just a shame he wasn’t more consistently top-tier. Still, DS9 > all other Treks.
  11. Watched it last night, had to play around with the sound settings on my TV to hear the dialogue. As for the film score, it’s the worst I’ve heard in a while, like analogue synths being thrown down the stairs of a multi-story car park. If the film had be scored differently, it’d have been more enjoyable, IMO. Still, it’s definitely worth a watch, and the film is great at subverting viewers’ expectations at certain pressure points in the plot.
  12. I haven’t played Ocarina of Time since my second play-through all the way back in 2011, but it still sticks with me as the game that really made me think the 3DS was going to be more than a Virtual Boy style disaster, and that the glass-less 3D was something wonderful (even the crappier 3D on the non-New launch model). Oh, and most importantly, I enjoyed it much more than the original version on the N64, which I always liked, but never clicked with me as being a unquestionable classic as much as Super Mario 64 did. I think it’s one of the most important games for the 3DS, and it’s certainly still my favourite single-player game for the system.
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