5th Jul 2010
Matt Simmonds is something of a legend in the Amiga/demoscene world. Under the pseudonym “4mat” he composed hundreds of famous music tracks for cracktros, demos and games. You can find over 500 of them on the Amiga Music Preservation site. MobyGames also keeps a relatively accurate list of his commercial and freeware audio work.
Today he released his album “Decades”. All of the 14 tracks on the album were created using the same tools he had available “back in the day”, namely ProTracker and FastTracker 2. I just bought the album from Amazon after having a listen on-line, and I’m really pleased at the mix of styles and raw chip sound that shines through. Some tracks carry better than others, but my personal favourite has to be “Virginia”. You can listen to the tracks below:
Read more about its production on Matt’s blog: I Hear the Sound of Waves. There is also a great interview with him on IndieGames.com. And if like me, you really enjoy what you hear, then Amazon MP3 has the goods.
Fellow Photon Stormer Ilija was saying just the other day that Matt has been in contact with him quite a bit recently. Perhaps a graphic/audio collab is on the cards? We’ll keep you posted … and Matt, if you’re up for it, we certainly have a couple of games we’d love to have your audio input on
27th Mar 2010
I downloaded the Just Cause 2 demo for my 360 a few weeks ago. It was extremely good fun. The grappling hook / parachute combo, and incredible visuals (the landscapes, oh my!) and sandbox nature really had me sold.
So I pre-ordered it for the PC and have been playing it for the past few days.
All I can say is that it’s truly jaw-dropping stuff. Once the training missions are over it’s a freeform sandbox of the highest order. The vehicles are brilliant – from screaming jet fighters, to helicopters to speedboats, and all manner of things in between.
The landscape is a thing of beauty. A whole country to explore with complex river systems, dense jungle, snow-capped mountains, sun drenched beaches and urban cities. If you can see it, you can climb it (one way or another). Visually it’s as impressive underwater as above! With thick coral reefs and a variety of fish. And wow – the day/night cycle! Casting magnificent sunsets / sunrises, and the weather conditions – from dark black clouds with downpouring rain, to heavy snow.
Yes there is a lot of gunplay. And the enemy AI won’t exactly have the Turing Test quaking in its boots. But if you are like me you’ll have fun just exploring the beauty of the place. The engine powering it is nothing short of stunning, and while the voice acting is dull, and the missions all kind of repetitive it doesn’t seem to matter – because that sense of wonder and amazement is JUST high enough to keep you engaged.
The devs responsible for the Avalanche engine ought to be rightly proud of what they have achieved, because it’s nothing short of stunning.
Best game I’ve played in a very long time.
Check out my Flickr slideshow of in-game screen shots I’ve taken over the past couple of days.
25th Feb 2010
If you were a real gamer back in the early 90’s you owned an Atari ST or an Amiga (and some poor freaks also owned PCs). But all of you would have been aware of the game developer Silmarils. Renowned for an almost Cinemaware-like level of graphics and attention to detail in their games. Most of them are classic fantasy based such as the Ishar series. This isn’t surprising given that the company were named after the symbolic jewels central in JRR Tolkein’s work The Silmarillion. This love of fantasy was evident in their games, graphics and stunning box artwork.
I was pleased to read today that DotEmu will be releasing the Silmarils Collection for the PC on March the 10th. This includes 16 games. You can make out most of them from the box shots above. Personally I always thought the Ishar trilogy and the concepts of Robinson’s Requiem were superb, so as long as this collection is keenly priced I’ll be there. Hopefully DotEmu will have done as good a job on these titles as it did on R-Type and Street Fighter.
You can sign-up to their mailing list here: http://www.silmarils-collection.com and once released (March 10th) this site will probably also contain full details of the games. For now here is a link to their newsletter announcement.
19th Feb 2010
I rarely blog about Flash games I’ve played. Very rarely in fact. I don’t really see the point, as there are a hundred other blogs out there willing to tell you their thoughts on what’s “hot and new” in the gaming world. Often full of useless suggestions about how the game could be “improved”. I’d rather you just play the games for yourself, use your own sense of judgement.
Then I come across a game like ImmorTall. And I feel it warrants 30 seconds of your life to play it, and a few minutes of mine to write about it. Because it’s different. It dares to break a few conventions, to tell a story, to draw you into something you probably aren’t used to. To make you think.
And I like that. I like that a lot. I like that Flash game developers have the balls to do this. To push boundaries, to redefine the very concept of “game”. There are no rules but their own.
Then I read the comments from the knuckleheads on Armor. And I close my eyes, and a part of me inside breaks. Crushed by the realisation that there can be so many idiots on our tiny little planet.
11th Jan 2010
I’ve got nothing much more to say other than – it’s out! The Gravity Crash soundtrack by CoLD SToRAGE is available to buy online for immediate download. It costs £10 (which is probably £3 more than it ought to) but you get 16 tracks for your money, including some awesome remixes – most notable of which is a C64 SID rendition of the title track Scarface.
Track previews, downloadable PDF booklet, exclusive mixes and direct support of the composer are included in the price. Have just thrown it on my mp3 player ready for the drive into work tomorrow. Even if you’ve never played the game, still check this out – as the man himself says, it’s a “buffet of 80s electro”
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