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Sketch

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  1. No, a rainbow planet is wierd as hell. Screws your sensors up, sort of. Trust me, theres only something like 8 in the whole game, you'll know it when you see it. The auto function has three settings I think: real time, fast, and instant. And yeah, it's shite. Besides, half the game is getting good at melee and then gravity whipping yourself around a planet while firing off a barrage of plasma death at your opponents. Yeah a joypad is a must. If you get a chance, check out Zeeman at 335.2 x 194.0 The Melnorme traders are often there, just floating about a planet. Check out each planet close up, you should bump into them eventually. As for the planet landers, you can upgrade them as you progress (the Melnorme provide this service), until then avoid landing on dangerous planets. You don't want to be stuck in deep space without one. (it's happened to me, just before I discover the motherlode on some random planet) Oh yeah, and I better add this: Due to a screw up during porting from DOS to the 3DO and then back to PC, and important piece of dialogue was lost. It basically said you have a limited amount of time to complete the game. 3 in-game years I believe. It might have been 2 though. I can check if needs be. I must admit, I'm a bit jealous. This is one of those games that has that magical "first-time" experience. You have barely scratched the surface, but believe me when I say there is so much more to discover.
  2. I will be committing that fact to memory. You never know when it might come in use to further my nefarious plans... Edit: As for the spelling mistake, sue me! I've taken the day off, and have been casually relaxing. Also, the site seems to be working for me: http://www.gamersquarter.com/
  3. I managed to fool the much talked about Kieron Gillen? In the words of my American based writing colleagues, "awesome"!
  4. heh, yeah, I know. As one of their staff writers, we've all been having a look at the feedback recieved. We appreciated your comments. Interestingly, they're branching out with writers from all over, not just the USA. Im in mainland Europe, a few live in Japan I think, and we also have one from Mexico.
  5. The thing that would give such a project real gravitas would be if British ex-snes developers for example gave interviews, and their thoughts on it as well. Though unlikely, it would be interesting to hear Rare's thoughts on what it was like developing for the system back in the day. Of course, if Nintendo gave their backing and support, it would make things immensely easy. One problem for example is dates of things, no one seemed to bloody make a note of anything back in the day, especially in the West.
  6. Cripes and blimey! I see someone has listed Radiant Silvergun up for auction, surely the bread and butter of eBay? Actually, it was me. Im not trying to promote it here, but since I have zero feedback, some people might be wary of bidding. Just to inform you, one of the site owners does know me from several other forums, so it's not like Im some random entity trying to pull a fast one. (then again, most of you might recognise Szczepaniak from a few other places too )
  7. No, the minerals (and later planetery life), NEVER regenrate. Due to clever coding, they managed to cram the data for each planet into a tiny amount of save memory. Some non-spoiler advice: * Download, and maybe print off the map I linked to. Seriously, a lot of important info needs to be taken from it. * You've heard the commander speaking about which stars have planets that yield the best minerals, right? He should give you a colour listing to work from. Violet = great. White = Not so great. * Listen to the people you meet. If they are friendly, they will often give advice on the location of rainbow worlds. (these equal money) * You've met the Melnorme right? They float around most giant stars in big white ships. Can't miss them, since theres only ever one ship of theirs at a time on screen. Use them! You should have found them before the Spathi homeworld actualy.... * Keep your eyes peeled for organic life on planets. You start discovering some soon, and they are worth PLENTY to the right people. * Keep a single spathy ship in your platoon at all times, but don't use it. Trust me on this one. It's not essential, but is a bit of fun. * Use Melee mode to practice with the ships. Right about now Im proficient enough to take down an Ur-Quan dreadnaught with a single Earth cruiser. keep practicing there, since its free. * The official game actually came with a little chart listing 10 of the best mineral planets, and some other general advice about your quest. If you need any help, or end up desperate for resources, let me know, and I can let slip with the occasional planetary location. For those interested, Im the guy who wrote the Star Control 2 planetary data FAQ on GameFAQs.
  8. Well said, very nicely worded opening post. Just to re-iterate, this Famicom book was one of the best things I had ever read, especialy good if you enjoyed the system. As you can see from the link, it features a photograph of every Famicom game ever, in its box, plus a paragraph of thoughts for the more important titles. Each game also had it's exact day of release listed, starting price, developer and publisher. Key events in it's history, how the public re-acted etc. It also covered some games that were overlooked but should have been played more. To cap it all off, it featured opening statements from the president of Nintendo, plus interviews with about a dozen developers from back in the day. All translated in English too. Basically, the full A-Z of the system just about. Though the book did have the advantage of being based on the museum exhibit at the time, which allowed everything to be photographed. But Im sure you'll agree that the idea behind it is great. I also know a guy from insertcredit forums, Maneki Neko I think, who went and made his version of the above, based on the US market. Crazy fool actually reviewed every single US game ever released, and even featured two screenshots and box art for each game. 4 games to a page, plus a few full length articles. It was a home done job, but he found a publisher, or was having it printed in small batches. The preview pages of it looked amazing, really high quality stuff. I was going to buy a copy, but then the IC forums went down. (if you know his website/email, then gimme a PM!) But it just goes to show, the formula works, and people can do it on their own with a little dedication. It can be done in a variety of ways, covering the highs, the lows, the common and not so common bits of info (there is some REALLY wierd SNES stuff out there). It would be the ultimate coffee table book too. With beautiful glossy paper. Anyway, as mentioned by Disciple, such an idea is a long shot, especially here in the West (Japan has actually made several such almanacs). The logistics for this thing would be huge. You'd need professional photographers maybe, writers, editors, a big printing/advertising budget. Getting access to a lot of the resources would be tough, unless collectors wanted to donate stuff to be photoed etc. Plus, you'd need to make sure that it didn't come across as amaturish, or from wikipedia. Basically, would you be wiling to pay £20 for it off the shelf? The entire SNES scene in your hand? I dunno, plenty to think about. Im very cynical truth to be told, but I must admit, Disciple's enthusiasm has infected me, and my interest for such a thing is certainly peaked. The only concern is, if they did an entire series.... wouldn't the retro mags go out of business?
  9. Issue two is out by the way. And I rather like it.
  10. Good god! Are you trying to make me ill? Aren't those things worth a small fortune to collectors? Also, am I mistaken, or aren't those units the only true way of getting a true RGB signal out of the NES? Such a waste. I think I need to lie down. As for FamicomStation... I always thought they were both extremely rare and expensive. I may be mistaken though. Bloody nice find regardless.
  11. My PC is situated in on a desk with an uncomfortable chair, in the warm part of the house. My games systems, with rather nifty couch, is situated in a cooler part of the house, with fans. I try and avoid the PC for gaming as much as possible. Plus I like the distance afforded by a large TV. Anyway, the probes are one of toughest enemies in the game. But, there is one character's ship who can beat it incredibly easily in 1P mode. Very mild spoilers: When you finally meet the Thraddash, in the Sextantis quadrant I think... Anyway, its way up North, to the left slightly, can't miss em. Try and get them to join you. There Thraddash Torch vessel leaves a trail of flame when you use the secondary weapon, and the probes just plow right into this, time and again. So much so, that it's possible to get the Thradash ship, never bother to complete the probe side-quest, and then simply defeat probes to earn a ridiculous amount RU for the rest of the game. When I play, the Thrads are my first port of call. Their ships can be relatively easily beaten with an Earth Cruiser. So once you get comfy with your game. Stock up on crew, enough fuel to make it there and back, and about 6-8 Earth cruisers. Less if you are proficient. I can do it on about 2-3. Then head to the Thraddash homeworld, and prove to them your strength so that they join you. After that, its probe blasting time! ************* End of Spoiler
  12. All ports, to the PC and even Xbox now, are currently unnoficial. Check out the source forge forum, to read about the Xbox port. If you have a modded system, you can FTP it over, or something. I ahevn'tlooked into it too much. The name "star control" is now owned by Infogrames, and TFB haven't the time, money, resources, or even corporate backing to port it officially to the DS or anything. Though it would work damned well. If you have a 3DO, be sure to try SC2 before selling it. If needs be, find someone with a copy of it and get "teh burnz", as they say, since with the surce code for the 3DO version being released, I doubt TFB are going to complain. Yeah, the voice acting is excellent. And it gets better. Wait until you meet the Scottish-sounding vreep-neep clan squadrons and they reveal an interesting plot revelation. Or listen to the Ur-Quan later on tell you of their history. But you're absolutely right, it works well because the controls are so intuitive. It just feels right piloting your craft, or engaging in combat. Be sure to practice the Melee mode. Which is another reason for getting the 3DO version, since it makes for a great dedicated multiplayer Melee machine. Drag the missus to the keyboard and get her to play a few multiplayer rounds with you.
  13. Regarding modules, you can always sell your old modules, and also sell your fuel. It is possible later to find a trader who sells you fuel for a ridiculously low price, which you can then sell at the base for a fortune. The lander should be visible even if you don't have enough money. I hope you haven't stumbled across a strange bug........ My v.03 copy seems fine.... I think they may be working on a port to pocket PC..... or whatever the hell you call those things. Anyway magic l0rd, I did start a topic on NTSC years ago, and only Ish paid any attention. I'm glad people are finally playing this. For those of you who were not fortunate enough to read my phenomenal article on this, I thought I should reveal some interesting facts. * Paul Reiche III and Fred Ford, of Toys For Bob, worked for 6 months unpaid on Star Control 2, with one even having to take out a $15000 loan from the bank in order to finish it. They were behind schedule and Accolade wanted to ship it without any text/dialogue, they refused, and so Accolade stopped paying them. For the last month of production they worked 7 days a week, 16 hours a day to get it done. * The music was actually a result of a contest. They lacked the time and money to create the music, so set up a MOD contest. The winners sent in contributions, and the music was alloted to where they thought it worked best. * 99% of the planetary data is actually randomly generated from a pre-defined seed. * I love this quote from Fred Ford: Also, here are some other random facts:
  14. I still have a 56k connection, it is shite. I had to use getright, and it took me 3 days to get the game. Anyone concerned about how the 1 player game in SC2 compares to SC1, they are totally different. SC1 was a strategic thing, SC2 is a proper free roaming adventure. Infinetly better than SC1, though as said, SC1 was great fun back in the day. Before landing on a planet, cheque the symbols/text that tells you the weather patterns and seismic activity of a planet. If it has high numbers, your craft may be destroyed, if the numbers are low, its safe. At a later date you can upgrade the landers to be stronger. The game really needs the map to get the most out of it, which can be donwloaded from: http://www.fileplanet.com/dl.aspx?/classic.../sc2/sc2map.zip Or for a jpeg image: http://www.classicgaming.com/starcontrol/s...2_color_map.jpg Use the map, since the location of rainbow worlds, and other cool stuff, is based on directions people give. EG: One race will say look for two blue stars orbitting each other, near their star system. Its much easier to find them with this map. It's also usefull for finding the star system that looks like a "serpent has eaten a large object" A seriouslly good game, with plenty of non-linearity. You can actually complete the game by doing most of the objectives in reverse order.
  15. www.toysforbob.com Though sadly, for the past 5 or so years they have been stuck only making Disney licences for Activision. Their latest game is Madagaskar on PS2/Xbox/GC. Handheld version were done by another contractor. Recently TFB have been bought over totally by Activision, and absorbed as an internal development team. This was last month I think. People are debating, will it mean TFB and their great games will be no more? With staff split up within the giant corporation? Or, as a fully funded internal team, will they finally be given freedom to make games as they want. Fred told me in an email that he doesn't want people to think they will never make any original games again, rather that they are biding their time for when the moment is right. Although they can't make another SC game due to the name being owned by Infogrames (didn't they also go bust?), they are eager to make an entirely new and exciting adventure game. I think work had begun on one, I remember seeing some wierd digram designs, but they couldn't find a dedicated publisher for it. It looked fairly unique..... if Im remebering it correctly. I can only hope they are given the freedom to put their amazing skills to use, and create really amazing games again. Do check out their site, and the rather funny news section.
  16. Aha! So you read the articles in Retro Gamer then? Truth be told, I never met them, since they live in the USA. But I did chat with them via email. They are actually really nice people, easily the most amiacable corporate people I know of. Then again, Toys For Bob is a small development team, quite close knit, and devoid of a lot of the cold corporate atmosphere at a lot of other places. Actually, they also enjoy interacting with fans, and a few years back set up regular IRC rooms on the net to chat with fans of their games. Which makes a nice change from other companies who simply ignore their fans. They are also quite funny and jovial, if you've read the hilarious email exchanges between Fred Ford and Chad Darrenbacker, and Fred's famous "box". At the end of the day, I'd say they were down to Earth gamers just like you and me, who are lucky enough to be in a position to make great games. They also made The Horde (sat), Pandemonium (PS1), Unholy War (PS1) and several other games.
  17. Welcome to like three months ago, man. Im only kidding. But yeah, I love SC2. So much so I wrote a feature length article on the series for Retro Gamer magazine, and even interviewed the people behind it. In fact, not only did I do that, but I also secured the free PC port for the RG cover disc. Here is the issue that had the cover disc and first half of the article: http://www.livepublishing.co.uk/retro/retro14.shtml And here is the interview where I interview the CEO of TFB, the makers of SC, Paul Reiche, and his god friend and lead programmer, Fred Ford: http://www.livepublishing.co.uk/retro/retro15.shtml The interview reveals some VERY interesting things about SC2. If you didn't feel like dloading the massive game from source force, you could always just have bought the mag. But yeah, source forge is where to get it, it is WELL worth dloading: http://sc2.sourceforge.net/ No self respecting gamer should go without it. If you don't feel like playing it on a PC, you can always buy a 3DO and play that. It is virtually identical to the above version that was featured on the mag, and is dloadable, since they basically ported the 3DO game to PC. I spent over £100 to get a 3DO and SC2, and it would have been a bargain at thrice the price. I'm not kidding, the game is ridiculously good.
  18. So long as they don't suspend me like those bastards at ebay did for selling legitimate DC imports, I will support them. Does ebay still have that BS policey of no DC imports? I hope VGA do well.
  19. Thats great to hear, I put a lot of effort into it.
  20. Sketch

    Gamestm #33

    You say the sweetest things about my writing. You should all bombard Paragon with letters demanding Darran get his own dedicated retro mag.
  21. I don't know about anyone else, but my interest in retro has nothing to do with nostalgia. I like retro games because they provide me with something lacking in todays market. Be it visual style, humour, dimensional planes, in-house music made specifically for a game, simpler control methods, old fashioned design ethos, long forgotten genres, etc. The bottom line is, games like Sam and Max, or Broken Sword aren't being made anymore. 2D platformers have been dead for years. I still enjoy Quackshot. And there are dozens of other things. I've said it before, and I will say it again. I like to find AT LEAST one new retro game a week, that I've never played before, in order to complete. Last week it was Domark's 007 The Duel on the MD, a bloody good film license. This week it's "the Unholy War", "Treasures of the Deep", and "Tail Concerto" on PS1. As such, I like it when retro reading material covers obscure things I didn't know about. Or games I'd never played that I can go out and find. I'm always uncomfortable when people say they like retro games purely for nostalgia, since it implies that such games have no geniune merit anymore.
  22. No worries man, like I said previously, feel free to say what you like about my work. I need to be kept on my toes, after all I don't want to dissapoint the readership.
  23. Strider is right. You do realise I wrote both those articles? God, I hope it's the paper! Otherwise I may be losing my touch..... I guess it's all down to target audiences, page sizes and article lengths. At least I hope so, as Im currently working on something for Strider that I think is quite exciting. Not as off-beat as Popful Mail, but an interesting examination none-the-less. (don't worry, there'll be plenty of eyes going misty with nostalgia ) Such a comparison to make between two specific articles, implies you be pulling my leg, son. Still, so long as you spare me your indifference, I dont mind either way. EDIT: On a side note, I find that the paper of both magazines have a particular scent to them. I must admit, the smell of freshly printed ink does have a rather appealing wiff to it. Though for the best paper smells, I recomend Japanese game instruction manuals, or those glossy and expensive art-books you're likely to find in Ottackers or other book stores.
  24. Sadly I only had one three page article in it this month. Since I missed the deadline somewhat. It did come with some related disc content though. I added a few additional pages of reading material, some convention galleries and an MSX game that Parallax donated. Its called Blade Lords, it should be on there. Someone have a quick check. Theres also some MSX emulators included with it, in order to play it. Its like bubble bobble, except wth a sword and some rousingly good music. Simply amazing if you emulate it with a PC gamepad. There should also be the original disk files for theose of you with an MSX system and disk drive. Im assuming this is all on there. Can anyone actually confirm it though? I should have a much bigger feature next month, but its a real technical one, so might not appeal to everyone. I have been told that after that, there should be two more of mine, one of which is pure dynamite. (it also comes with some cover disc games, which are NOT remakes ). But of course I'll be hyping that up closer to the print date. No point getting anyone excited now. But its good. Trust me. I had to hire a professional translator for a start. And by hire, I mean bribe with his name in print. Other than that, I handed in a further 4 articles, one of which might require a one-off DVD cover disc. But theres no confirmed print date yet for them. They should all prove quite interesting and off the beaten track though. Some are really good stuff. As for Meh stating that Striders section is getting better and better, wait until you read the amazingly sublime feature I'm working on for him! To quote that old song, "You ain't seen nothin yet!". Wait a minute, maybe I shouldn't be pimping my GTM work in this topic...? If so, tally ho on to the GTM topic! (actually, Strider will probably stop by this topic, in which case... Greetings Strider! )
  25. Funny you should mention one of those, I bought one the other day from an "Easy Cash" store on the mainland, for only 90 centimes. Thats like 50p. Worked well too. I think £3 was a bit high-ish. Plus, is it my imagination, or does it only have 3 buttons?! No good for street fighter then, is it?
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