Sunday, 11 June 2017

Random Retro - Duck Out (ZX Spectrum)


Duck Out (ZX Spectrum) :  

I thought it was about time I started writing about some non-Gruesome-Game-type-games on the blog again, as I've been meaning to cover such things ever since I started and have only ever really covered Tusker on the Speccy! And whilst we're sticking with the Speccy for the first Random Retro, I plan to cover games on a lot of different systems in the future....

But what is this oddity that I'm bringing to the table for starters? Well, it's Cartoon Duck a l'speccy...a dish that initially looks quite appetizing but ended up leaving a bad taste in my mouth!




The game starts with our hero (who bears a striking resemblance to a certain daft duck from Warner Bros.) trying to escape the clutches of a bloodthirsty chef who's been trying to cook him! Taking control of Dafty (which is what we'll call the duck from now on) you have to run from left to right through the level, battering enemies with a handy frying pan and dodging flying kitchen utensils as you try to reach the exit of the restaurant!




You're not just trying to stop Dafty from becoming a feathery-flamegrill though! You have another good reason to hurry along, as you're late for an appointment to meet your girlfriend in the park! So you have to battle your way through the streets, avoiding or battling tramps, rats, bats, street cats and ferocious dogs to reach the Park before the impatient lady-duck decides to leave!




It's still not over once you get to the Park either, as to get to the pond you'll have to deal with some thugs, lizards and more rats, bats, cats and dogs before finally making it to your girl and, hopefully, some smootchie-smootch-style action!




As you can tell from the screenshots, programmers Fernando and Ignacio at Dro Soft were really trying to get the cartoony-vibe right with this game, and they pretty much succeed as the graphics do indeed make you think back to lazy Saturday mornings spent watching cartoon animals inflicting torture on each other with whatever implements they could lay there hands/paws/feathers on....



There's just a few problems though. First, dodging and hitting is literally all you'll be doing as you progress through the three levels....and it gets very repetitive, very quickly! Especially when you consider the second problem...the difficulty!! Like most Spanish games I've played on the Spectrum, its just too damn tricky! Touching anything will drain your energy, and the enemies come at you thick and fast which makes the third problem the one I found most frustrating...




In order to batter the enemies you have to first hold the fire button and then press the direction you want to swing the frying pan in. However, pressing down and fire will aim the pan low in whichever direction you're facing, whilst pressing fire and up will aim directly in front of you. For some reason I found this very tricky to nail, and often when trying to hit enemies that I had to aim high for, I'd hit up before pressing fire and jump right in to them instead of smacking them!



Maybe I'm just rubbish at the game and need to spend more time with it, but the difficulty of it all makes me not really want to bother...which is a shame as it does seem like a good game is hidden in there somewhere!
Luckily, someone did indeed finish it with the help of an emulator's rollback feature and there's a play-through on Youtube at RZX Archive, which I used to get the screenshots from the later levels and which you watch below...





If you're too lazy to sit through that though, (or even lazier and don't want to skip to the end of the video) I present here some screenshots of the duck of Dafty's dreams that awaits at the end of his quest....




At least she starts off as a duck, but then bizarrely changes into a human, which suggests a melding of species the likes of which hasn't been seen since Howard The Duck...




Ultimately then, a disappointment...but still worth giving a go out of curiosity! Hopefully the next game I try will turn out better...join me again soon to find out! Later, stuffers!



Monday, 15 May 2017

C&VG 10th Anniversary Pullout - We Are 10



Another find from box rummagings today....a Tenth Anniversary pull-out from issue 120 of Computer & Video Games magazine, the longest running multi-format magazine in the UK, which was still going as a website until fairly recently! So here it is for you to take a look at...enjoy!






And I also found this Turrican hologram that came with the next issue, 121....Think I've still got the Sonic one that came with issue 120 somewhere too, so I'll probably find that in another box somewhere! Anyway, I'm off again for now...laters!

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Games That I Never Made - Part 2





Last year, I put up a post talking about some ZX Spectrum game ideas that I'd had, that due to a lack of programming skill and patience, I never actually made...you can read that by clicking here......Well, hunting through more boxes has uncovered another small group of scribblings, detailing more games that I never got round to making a reality!

(As always, click the pics to go big!)


This inlay design is for Chester The Jester a game that was probably heavily influenced by my love of Black Lamp....I remember it was going to be a similar platformy, arcade-adventure, but the actual plot details are long forgotten.....


Above is the first attempt at my Cool Dude cover...you can read about that game in the previous 'never made' post....



Ah! Now, this is a list that has a load of game ideas on it! Let's see if I can remember what these were all about....

Well Centigrubs is the modified Breakout clone from the Speccy manual I talked about last time...

The Dreamstate trilogy games were going to be text adventures I think, about some person becoming trapped in their dreams and nightmares and having to escape..

Horace The Hedgehog was going to be a Manic Miner style platformer....

Anyone For Tennis is obviously a tennis sim...

Bazooka I talked about last time, and is a scrolly shooter...the sequel was going to be more of the same!

The Adventures Of Dull was either a text adventure or a Zelda type game....can't remember which..but I do know it was going to be a parody! The Madhouse is another that I detailed last time, and is a text adventure...

The Splotch games were platformers centered around an alien character I had created for my own line of comics, which I'll be talking about at a later date! Here's an example of the strip for reference though....



Where Time Sat Down was obviously a parody of the classic Where Time Stood Still, which I planned to create with the 3D Game Maker by CRL....

The Gregory Loses His Clock-style Jeremia And The Dead Duck is another one mentioned in the other post. Jeremia And The Little Fuzzy Things was the sequel, which was going to see our hero have to deal with a Tribble-style invasion of small fluffy creatures that were taking over his town. Jeremia! was another sequel that was going to focus on Jeremia just going about his daily routine, but was still going to have some rather odd happenings going on around him...

Armageddon Track was going to be some sort of futuristic race game. Moon Buggy was going to be similar to Jetpac, with you hunting around for pieces of Moon Buggy, sticking them together and then taking it for a spin to the next area, where it would explode and you'd have to start collecting pieces again....

Moon Bu**er, or Moon Bugger, on the other hand was going to be heavily influenced by Starquake, although with a recurring baddy character, the Moon Bugger, popping up every now and again to annoy the main character as he tried to gather cheese! You can see a design for the cover of that below, which I obviously wasn't happy with as I put a line through it.....


The Mannies In The Moon was another platformer I think, and would have the player escaping capture by the moon mannies by climbing ladders and setting traps, sort of like Space Panic and Lode Runner...

And The Mystery Of Bank Holiday Island was another text adventure, where you played a detective trying to solve the aforementioned mystery.....



Above is a level design sheet for a game starring a character called Henry...you can tell exactly what sort of game it was going to be just by looking at it, but as for details about the plot or the character, I have no idea! I couldn't remember coming up with this one at all until I found the sheet!



And finally, this map was either going to be used for a text adventure, or a Fighting Fantasy style gamebook, which I was also obsessed with at the time! It must have been going to be pretty big, as this is only the first part!

So there you go...more unfinished wonders that anyone with skill is free to make real, as I have even less patience to do so these days than I did back then! Interesting to see that I never really got round to finishing what I started...something that still plagues me today, as I'm sure you regular readers of the blog have noticed! Hehe...

If I find anymore, I'll stick them in another post, but again I'm interested in reading about and seeing everybody else's ideas and designs for games on any system, that for whatever reason never got off the ground, so feel free to link to them in the comments or wherever you came to this post from...

I'll be back soon with more posts...until then, laters Stuffers!

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*Edit* Oops...forgot to add this character list!


This gives you an idea of the sort-of messed up characters I had in mind for a lot of my games.....can't remember which game this was for, but it might have been The Adventures Of Dull....

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Friday, 12 May 2017

New Pickups and Birthday Stuff (part 2)


Oh yeah! I totally forgot to post the 2nd lot of recent pick-ups! Here they are then, starting with the Pocky I got with some Birthday Cash!I like the Strawberry ones best..

And then there's this lot of PS2 games from various game and charity shops! 



ESPN International Track & Field is pretty much what you'd expect... a collection of various sporting events where you have to bash the correct buttons to participate...oh, and some ribbon twirling rhythm action...



Virtua Cop Elite Edition is both original Virtua Cop games with slightly enhanced graphics for the PS2. I'm a bit annoyed though, as I bought it thinking it would work with my original PS1 Guncom lightgun, like evry other PS2 lightgun game...but this requires the Guncom 2! Bah! Still, they're classic games..



Reign Of Fire is based on the movie of the same name, that I still haven't seen! Basically dragons have destroyed most of the world and you have to defend one of the last remaining human settlements against hordes of the flame spitting buggers as they try to toast you like marshmallows....It's pretty good fun, actually!


Guncom 2 does work with my gun, and is pretty standard shooty stuff...with loads of noise and screaming civilians to rescue from weird monsters! Feels very arcade-like! 


Evolution GT is a decent-ish racer, but a bit boring.....


And SSX On Tour is a groovy snowboarding game that probably needs no introduction....but i actually spent more time listening to the Jukebox mode than playing the game when I stuck it on to make sure it works! :)




Next up are these Cheeky comics I got from a bookshop in Edinburgh....





There's a couple of cool adverts in these too, like the Weetabix tent and the Quaver Protectors strips below...




Then there's this Minecraft annual, which is the first one I believe....it's got a few nice ideas for inspiration that I might use....





And here's some more comics that I picked up from charity shops....Cracker was a good find as it has a few characters in it that I'm unfamiliar with...and some I have very vague recollections of....




The Mighty World Of Marvel comic I was carrying around while the next Avengers movie was being filmed in Edinburgh, and I noticed a helicopter buzzing around overhead with what looked like a camera sticking out..So I had a little chuckle to myself that if there's any aerial shots of Edinburgh in the movie, I could potentially be a tiny dot with an Avengers-typecomic in that scene, and no-one will know but me...and now you lot..


And the Planet Of The Apes comic is pretty cool too, and has a nice feature on Roddy McDowall's make up!  





Another nice find was this Fortean Times Book Of Close Shaves And Amazing Luck, which tells about all sorts of narrow escapes and bizarre luckiness..


Another PS2 game I picked up was Freestyle Metal X, a MotoX game that's pretty decent....inside the box though, I also discovered a very scratched copy of  Smackdown - Shut Your Mouth, which I'm about to go check to see if it works....two for the price of one though, eh!




These cool Mario toys and keyring I picked up for £2.50 each in The Works...


And lastly, there's this Starblazer comic library-syle book, that has a rather odd story about a chap possessed by a benevolent alien entity that shares his head space, and some bizarre drawings of dolphin aliens.... 



So yeah, not a bad haul.....I should have enough for another pick-up post in, ooh...say...a month or so?




Thursday, 4 May 2017

Star Wars - The Assassination Of Darth Vader (Dark Horse 2013)



Back on Free Comic Book Day 2013, Dark Horse gave away this comic book with a story set shortly before Episode IV. I missed it at the time, due to all the free comics being gone from my local comic shop about 5 minutes after opening every Free Comic Book day, but I managed to find it in a charity shop recently with a load of others.

So I thought with it being May the Fourth and everything, I'd upload the story on to the blog for every one else who missed it...Enjoy!

(As always, click to go big!)














Oh, and remember that this year's Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday, the 6th of May! Dark Horse have some Buffy and Avatar comics for grabs this year, so if you're quicker getting to a comic book store than me, you might be able to pick those up! :)