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  1. Alexlotl

    Game Boy & GB Advance Appreciation Thread

    Yup. Used to go for the big bucks in the pre-smartphone era, as it was generally acknowledged as being the best portable version of Scrabble, if not the best computer version full stop. Richard Herring was a big fan.
  2. Alexlotl

    Best New Music 2019

    Picked up the new Cate Le Bon album from HMV today - it’s excellent, but then that’s almost a given at this point. https://catelebon.bandcamp.com/album/reward Sonically quite a departure from previous albums, being composed on piano rather than guitar, and thus ending up synth (and, oddly, saxophone) heavy. But it’s also a return to the metronomic beats of Mug Museum after Crab Day’s departure into more irregular rhythms, and combined with the sparse backings there’s both kosmische and Young Marble Giants things going on.
  3. Alexlotl

    Currently playing...

    Also doesn’t have the issue GTA3 had where about one quarter of the map became shoot-on-sight uninhabitable after a story development, making it harder to enjoy just going sandboxing. Plus the music, of course!
  4. Alexlotl

    Currently playing...

    After dabbling with it earlier in the week, decided to have a proper crack at Pirates! Gold on the Mega Drive last night. Picked an English Adventurer, War for Profit era (1640s), on Journeyman difficulty. Rather annoyingly, the RNG started me out in Eleuthera, the sole English settlement in the sparsely populated Bahamas/Florida corner of the map, rather than the usual busier Lesser Antillies area in the east (Nevis, Monserrat, etc). If you've played a Pirates game before, you'll know that the (realistic) prevailing winds make sailing West a breeze (honk), but sailing East a bit of a chore. Fortunately, England were at war with Spain, and there were enough tiny Spanish settlements along the way to break up the journey with some pillaging, although they weren't exactly rich. Eventually made it to the lesser antillies, and purchased letters of Marque from the Dutch (also at war with Spain) and the French (currently neutral), then started pirating the shit out of the Spanish, cashing in with English and Dutch governors for titles and land. Spotted a very promising looking potential wife in Monserrat - noted for later! Also caught a rival pirate, giving me one of my 10 Pirate Goals completed. In a slight miscalculation though, I ended up recruiting too large a crew, and it was getting impossible to keep them happy, so I sold off most of my fleet, divided the plunder (a meagre 50 gold each for my vast crew) , had a few months off then set out on a new voyage. Armed with a much smaller crew, I set off to the north coast of South America to plunder the weak Spanish settlements there, flogging the spoils to the one Dutch settlement in Curacao. One of them netted me an absolute tonne of sugar, which I knew sold for 120 gold a bag in Curacao, so I belted back there as fast as I could... only to lose my flagship Barque on a reef. With almost all the sugar, and most of my men. Balls. Now with an unhappy crew spread across two tiny pinnaces, I started limping back to the Leeward Islands in search of easier pickings and a decent replacement ship. Worried about mutiny, I thought I'd better loot a small Spanish settlement on the way to keep them happy. Sailed in to discover that it was a bigger town than I expected, but that the Treasure Fleet was there! This is one of the game's absolute jackpots, that you normally have to chase down all sorts of clues to locate, and I'd lucked on it. The odds were against me, but I had to go for it. Attacked the town from the sea, belting past the forts to get into a swordfight with the commander. My 18 men vs their 89 or so! Fortunately I managed to beat their commander quickly (Rapiers FTW), causing them to flee. Over 40,000 in gold looted, and another tick on my Pirate Goals - capture treasure fleet! Made it back to Monserrat, where the governor promoted me and gave me vast tracts of land, then saved for the night. Absolutely loving this!
  5. Alexlotl

    Currently playing...

    Accidentally put a good 40 minutes into the Mega Drive port of Pirates! Gold on the Mega SG the other night. This was a US only release which I never knew existed before seeing a SNESDrunk video on it earlier in the year, but it seems to have acquired a reptuation as a hidden gem. It's a really great port! I never played the original Pirates! or Pirates! Gold (played a lot of the 3D Sid Meier's Pirates on iPad, though) so I can't say exactly how it compares to the PC versions, but it all feels very coherent, complete and finished. Certain bits have clearly been reworked for a joypad rather than a mouse, such as walking around the towns RPG style, and the cartoony-but-definitely-western art is good fun (although some of the horse-faced governors daughters are a bit alarming). Music is GEMS, but actually decent (albiet mostly renditions of traditional sailing tunes). The only bit where I feel like I'm missing a keyboard is to check various bits of status while sailing - this is a few button presses away, when it clearly should just be a hotkey. Looks like the same version was also released for CD32, but with CD audio. Well worth a look on either platform.
  6. Had a first play on the Master System version in about 30 years the other night. It was harder than I remembered, as I could vaguely remember that secrets existed, but lacked the detailed knowledge/skill to actually get them, so I fell down a lot of holes on stage 1. Soon rallied though, and beat all the stages up to the sort of stationery land with those bastard As, then ran out of "tries". I love that - tries. I'm guessing it can't be lives, because under brand guidelines, Mickey can't die? Am I right that, rather than being fully explorable/backtrackable, the levels have hard forks in them with alternative routes to the end? Amusing to see (with the benefit of more gaming context) that the chocolate boss is just a blatant rip-off of Mega Man's Yellow Devil, albeit much easier. The thematic fit justifies it, though.
  7. Yup, just the ROMs, so it won't kill the demand from actual collectors. But it will kill the demand from "maybe I'll pick that up and cherry pick a few games/buy an Everdrive" bods like me.
  8. Fairly sure they'll see release, but Kevtris The Mysterious Jailbreaker might have killed some of the demand with the jailbreak. I certainly doubt I'll bother getting one now.
  9. Alexlotl

    Rllmuk Fantasy Premier League 2018/19

    Cheers all! A good season. In descending order of importance, beat my older brother, won my work mini-league and just snuck inside the top 3K for overall ranking - 2945. Previous PB was 3194 a few years back - didn’t think I’d ever top that. All came down to a fantastic run after my first wildcard in GW15, where (with more than a little luck) I basically managed to get the new template team about 5 weeks earlier than anyone else, and went on a spree for 10GW or so. High watermark was OR 223 after GW 24. I shall enjoy the break, but I’m still looking forward to monitoring pre-season games and griping about how much TAA is going to cost next year. Oh, and get well soon FF Scout Joe. Their podcast was an essential part of my routine, and he was always the best thing on it.
  10. Alexlotl

    Sega Master System Essential Games.

    I played through the C64 version for the first time last year, in ScummVM. It’s primitive looking, but it’s all there! Zak too. I still can’t begin to imagine playing them with a joystick and no keyboard shortcuts for the verbs, though. I’d add Link’s Awakening to that best 8-bit list. But the answer is Ghost House Phantasy Star.
  11. I was rubbish at Outrun a month ago, now I can finish it 2/3 times. Worth persevering with. I found Castle of Illusion worked fine with Mega Everdrive X7 savestates, barring the usual Z80 music issues, which are fixed just by changing location or dying.
  12. Alexlotl

    Super Nintendo Appreciation Thread

    The vanilla has Save State support now, I think, but it won’t restore the state of the SPC chip, so things might sound odd until the next music track starts. The Mega Everdrive has the same problem with the Z80 - I find it liveable. The SD2SNES Pro will fix this by overloading the SPC bus and having all commands handled by an in-cart FPGA implementation of the SPC, allowing its state to be captured. However, Kevtris has already said this bus overloading won’t work on the SuperNT, meaning the Pro has no advantages.
  13. Alexlotl

    What are you playing?

    I’ve managed to beat Forbidden Desert with my 6 year old, with a bit of coaching. I think the theme of Pandemic would be a bit heavy for her, though. Forbidden Island would be perfect, but I only have a digital copy. I recall concluding that Forbidden Island was an objectively better game than vanilla Pandemic for some easily argued reason which I have now forgotten. Oh well. I like Desert; I wouldn’t say it’s better or worse than Island, but different enough to be it’s own animal. The storm mechanic, though a bit fiddly and confusing at first, means that you don’t get into that rather unthematic card-counting behaviour that you get in Pandemic/FI, where you can make educated guesses about when certain locations will come out of the deck. Has anyone played Forbidden Sky?
  14. Alexlotl

    Lemmings! Classic Game Postmortem

    There's a homebrew engine recreation on the Nintendo DS which was superb. Had the main game, Oh No More Lemmings and the various seasonal/coverdisk levels. Stylus control worked great, and you could zoom in/out for super-accurate lemming selection. Aha, here it is: http://www.mrdictionary.net/lemmings/
  15. Alexlotl

    Games Exchange

    Potential interest in Mice & Mystics (plus expansion), depending on price and whether the minis are painted!

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