Thursday, 28 April 2011

'Catherine' Gets Confirmed US Release Date, Fingers Crossed Europe.

This curious little platform-puzzler/erotic-horror adventure hybrid is from Atlus and more specifically the dev team behind the Persona series, development beginning while work was still underway on Persona 4. It chronicles the story of Vincent who is left with recurring nightmares of climbing for his life after a chance meeting with the titular Catherine. Japanese audiences have already got to grips with the game over the past few months, and word is: this thing is hard. An easier version is on the cards for the Western localisation, but no word on a European release yet. In the meantime just enjoy this rather wonderful trailer.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Unboxing Helena Part 2: Unfunny/Quite Tragic Epilogue

Errrr. How should I start this? If you tried reading my previous post and couldn't play the first video then my apologies but it seems maybe I am the one who owes someone an apology. I did go in pretty hard on the guy and and it was perhaps a little more personal than it needed to be. Don't hate the player hate the game, right? Its unboxing I hate, right? Well an interesting development seems to have happened over with Decayedmatter's Youtube channel where all instances of videos with his girlfriend have been wiped. This makes me feel a little weird, and I hope my blog had nothing to do with your actions. Man in the wrong hands the internet's power of free speech can be quite destructive can't it?

Unboxing Helena

Unboxing videos rile the shit out of me. If you're a collector like me, then you know the videos I'm talking about. Its OK to admit you've watched them, I won't judge. I hate them, and I'm still watching them. Aside from giving you a glimpse of the ghastly shit these people buy (afterall anything that comes in a box bigger than you're bathroom sink and has the words COLLECTORS EDITION stamped on it is anything but) they are incredible insights into the lives of these lost individuals. I recently stumbled upon this fella who made my week. Just take a look at this bread loaf haired wazzok, going by the fear inducing moniker: Decayedmatter. Oooooooh. Now we're scared. What's interesting about this guy is that he's brought his girlfriend along. Smashing that fourth wall of geekdom to prove that shrink wrapped hunks of the Earth's precious resources aren't the only thing that gets his blood pumping. His air of smugness is brilliantly played off against her sheer lack of interest. I tell you with subtle interplay like this, Shakespeare better be taking notes:

Some months later a slightly less smug and seemingly more vunerable Decayedmatter posted this rather telling solo unboxing. A new haircut, a solumnly low volume, an air of frustration to his box handling and a decidely washed out colour pallette. Hope everything is OK with those two:

Awwwww. Don't it make your heart bleed.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Capcom's Resi Evil 15th Anniversary Celebrations Shame Mario's 25th...

Capcom's celebrations for their 15th anniversary of the Grandaddy of digital horror are well and truly underway. With new and old titles crawling out to wave their rotten limbs in the air in celebration. On 3DS we can expect: Mercernaries and Revelations. Titles that Capcom say use original assets from the HD consoles, proving the power under the hood of the new handheld. For download we can also expect HD remakes of Code Veronica X and series highlight Resident Evil 4. Plus this new gem from developers Slant Six Games who promise to deliver an online, multiplayer experience set in Resident Evil 2's Raccoon City, the story running alongside that of the original. In the words of the developers themselves they want the player 'to feel that if they had arrived at the same locations in the original Resident Evil 2 just 5 minutes earlier or later, that they would have seen the characters and events of Operation Raccoon City unfolding'. Beat that Mario and your aged Super Nes re-release. Shame.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Sometimes Nostalgia Is Best Left In The Pages Of A Magazine: Game 0006


I miss the days of pawing over column inches in Mean Machines and C&VG for the latest screenshots and snippets of info on coin ops you'd probably never see. Or if you were lucky see years later in a run down old backstreet arcade in Blackpool. DJ Boy, was one such game that seemed to evade my attention. To my C64 owning self, this 16-bit smorgasbord of colour, speed, fisticuffs and hip hop stylings seemed the thing dreams were made of, and so I eventually tracked down the Mega Drive conversion years later.

This thing is a real damp squib, porting only the bare essentials from the coin-op to make this acceptable as a game. The most glaring omission: lives. Yeah a side scrolling beat 'em up with one life. 5 rounds of rollerskate based punch 'em up action, with not so much as a single safety line, not even a continue. What were they thinking? But that's not the only problem, DJ Boy himself controls like he's skating over a bouncy castle spread with marmalade, and attacks with all the frustration of one of those dreams where your punches just won't connect. The speed of the coin-op original has been stripped as well, and the levels divided into more easily loadable data sets for the console. Breaking the already stilted flow of the game. There is some respite in the form of exchanging cash won in the game for more health, strength and speed, but often the power ups seem to make little difference. The music and sound effects don't even garner a mention and it all adds up to...well, very little.

Favourite Moment: Finally turning the game off and laughing to myself that at one time or another someone payed over £50.00 for this brand new.

Friday, 22 April 2011

That Age Old Battle...But Can It Only Truly Be Fought On The Home Consoles?

We'd already had the pre-fight preamble weeks prior on Facebook chat, the intimidation sparkling with all of the finesse and all of the offense of Zack Snyder's latest train wreck: Mortgage dodging Ryu, flamboyantly fabulous flaming Ken, unprintable stuff about Ryu and Eliza on that weekend break. Wait a minute Eliza your kid looks a little of the oriental persuasion. That kinda thing. So the stage was set, in the Ryu camp, my friend over in Leeds and fighting for the might of Ken fans everywhere, in Nottingham, me and my Nintendo 3DS cramped as close to my wi-fi router as possible for a lag free slug fest. Triumph or die!

The combination of Facebook chat and Super Street Fighter IV: 3D Edition can't be underestimated. I must admit I'm something of an online game phobe, the online arena intimidates me, getting screwed nightly in brown palette shooters by bed ridden teenagers ain't my idea of fun. But on the other end of this wi-fi signal was my old school friend, with a history of competition on countless games over the years, a genuine challenge. We wait in the lobby and the chat window beeps into overdrive. 'Kabbboooooomm', 'Oh Fuck Yeah!' 'Wiping time!' gradually becoming swiftly drafted, poorly spelled, half messages as we reach the final menus. 'I,mmna gonna# kilgg'


The blows come thick and fast, Ryu playing a defensive game, attacking with a constant and perfect stream of fireballs, I'm a close quarters kinda fighter and I'm finding it hard to get through, but once I do, I slam in with a combo all on the heavies, kicks and punches so fast they break the animation frames. The classic uppercut to dragon punch combo (the famous glitch later worked into the combat from the original World Warriors board) connects and its almost round over, But Ryu is back with an impressive string of fireballs and once again I can't get close. I attempt to break it, I dodge one, but get caught by the 2nd. K.O!. What???? I lost...

I immediately jump on the chat, but my friend has beaten me to it, 'So who's using the touch screen prompts?', I plead I haven't used them, 'So you're nailing perfect dragon punches every time?' I'm 15 again. There is something deep rooted in the competition of Street Fighter II. It has been the backbone of score settling punch ups since its release in 92 and its endurance is testimony to the basic move sets laid down 19 years ago. Its the new Chess. I have played this game in all its iterations over those years and throughout that time always with Ken.  'I am only using the touch screen for the ultras' I admit. 'OK, rematch, no touch screen'. 'Not even for Ultras?' I ask. 'No Touch Screen'.


The fight takes the same pattern as the last: defense versus offense. I struggle to get through finally landing an ultra earning combo for Ryu. At the next opening Ryu's teeth crunching Metsu Shoryuken ultra dragon punch knocks me high into the sky for a sweet K.O.

'I thought we weren't using the touch screen?' 'I didn't' comes my friends reply. I don't believe him. The only way to settle the score, a fight on the home consoles, in person. I challenge him. He accepts.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Is He Looking At Me Or You? Cross Eyed 3DS Early Adopters Offered An Explanation At Last.

The playground like bravado of to 3D or not to 3D wages on, the pantomime cries of 'it does work', 'oh no it doesn't' echo from the streets, and it seems that 3DS owners are split firmly into the camps of slider on or slider off. But what has been most perplexing is that, not unlike Nintendo's inability to prove the 3D capabilities without the unit actually in your hand, players who do and don't get along with the 3D can't prove to each other their side of the argument. This month's Edge magazine however has gone someway to explaining why some of us have genuinely seen the next dimension and why some of us have just bought a really expensive DS.

The problem lies with the type of 3D technology that has been employed by Nintendo, and heavily invested in by the rest of the gaming, movie and multi-media world. Stereoscopic 3D, regardless of whether it uses glasses or the dual screens of the 3DS system is just not conducive to the way certain people interpret 3D images. It tricks the brain into depth perception whilst still only focusing on a 2D plain, often leading to the associated, headaches, eye strain and in worst cases, nausea. So in answer to the question of whether the 3D is adequate for long haul gaming sessions, the answer is unfortunately yes for some and no for others. Whichever way you look at it the warnings that the use of the 3D can stunt the development of eyes in the youngest users is not something to be taken lightly.

So is this the end for 3D? Well, a company named See Real have been working on a new proprietory 3D technology called Holographic 3D, in which holographic projections work much more naturally with the eyes, allowing the user to find his or her own point of focus on an object presented to them in 3D and so mimicking much closer the real world physics that allow the brain to process environments in the third dimenson. But the technology is still in its infancy, and the investments and developments already forged in stereoscopic 3D may make Holographic 3D a financial impossibility, All be it a completely headache free, wonderfully realised financial impossibility.

See this month's EDGE for a much more in depth analysis

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Playing Games Is Really Hard

So its been just under a week since I began this blog to try and complete (or worst case scenario take a bloody good stab at completing) the hundreds of video games I own. I'm only 5 games in and its taking its toll. Playing games is really difficult. I don't mean due to the challenges of the games themselves, they can all be beaten. I mean actually physically sitting down to play hours upon hours of content, regardless of whether it entertains you or not. That's the hard stuff. The medium is a strange one, in that no other entertainment form asks for the same commitment of time from you. A piece of theatre, or a film or a television programme do not demand that you sit there for 60+ hours. How do people do it? Really. The games I have attempted to play this weekend include Tunguska: Secret Files on the Wii and Kirby's Epic Yarn. The former charging you with challenges such as taking an innertube from a push bike, back with you on a motorcycle to your dad's house, to put it in a bucket of water to find the puncture then combining a marigold you found in a dustbin with some glue you found in a beat up apartment, to make a puncture repair, then taking it back across town on your mo....Hmmmmm. more of a simulation of a Sunday, than a game. Kirby wasn't nearly so bad, but again after 2 or 3 hours of play I'd barely touched the surface, and had surely had enough (for now).

The medium perplexes me often, more so my absolute adoration of it. And yet despite my adoration I don't believe (much despite the oft cited 'Citizen Kane of video games') that video games have truly achieved greatness like film has. To this date there is no 'perfect' game, at least not within the narrative driven games that people are looking for it. Even in the most highly respected, multi-million dollar budget IPs I can still wander around aimlessly looking for the next clue for hours, or break the narrative flow by forgetting something in another room that requires a load screen to go back, or run repeatedly at a wall, with no consequence to my run animation, except I've kind of ground to a halt, bounding at the wall, sort of sliding along it really slowly, while not a single NPC starts laughing, not even a smirk.

I know what you are going to say. Its a different medium to film Matt, don't get all Roger Ebert on us. This is true, and is the argument I always present when trying to explain the joys of it. The modern video game is built on a set of very simple rules, rules that no longer have a place in Narrative driven games. The staples of multiple lives and deaths, high scores, levels and the ultimate goal of completion are archaic when applied to so many modern blockbusters, yet developers just can't seem to let them die. This occured to me most memorably in Alan Wake. When faced with crossing a rocky outcrop over a river I fell in, several 'none plot advancing times', only to be sent back to the edge of the river each time. Leaving my suspension of disbelief, well and truly...errrr...unsuspended. In the minutes prior to these events I had been a grizzly, chizzled and confused thriller author, on the supernatural trail of my missing wife. Now I was bloke sat on a couch playing a video game, wondering if there was anything good on Channel 4.

Perhaps the very notion of narrative driven games is the problem. Afterall that simple rule set was all that mattered before video gaming's Big Bang. The glue that would hold together the most abstract of ideas. Be it an ever hungry yellow disc trapped endlessly in a maze, or a blimp headed creature that had to jump from isometric tile to isometric tile in order to...well to progress to the next level, plain and simple. If there truly is a Citizen Kane of games or anything remotely pushing perfection then it is more likely to be Pac Man than any Ocarina Of Time. The arcade classics represent video gaming in its purest form. Modern games that share in the notion of being a game simply for the sake of it are few and far between. And its no coincidence that the handful of games I had completed before starting this blog adhered to these rules set at the foundations. Vanquish, Super Mario Galaxy and Metroid: Other M engaged you solely with marksman precise control, devastatingly simple yet rewarding game mechanics and storytelling so slight, it only seemed included as a result of peer pressure from the rest of the industry.

Modern video games are just too bloody long, and not until we see game times come down to something more like the 2 to 3 hours expected of a movie am I ever likely to engage completely in their worlds. Just think how much time we could save if we never watched another death sequence or ran whole heartedly yet aimlessly at a piece of furniture. That would shave hours off right away. In the meantime it doesn't bode well for me bringing those reviews to you any faster, but if the blog goes quiet for a few weeks you'll know where I am.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Predictably Bizarre European Name Change: Game 0005

Marvel Land for some strange reason has something of a following, enough of one to see its release on the Virtual Console Arcade in Japan. But it never really captivated me. Its stinks of a third rate Mario clone, unashamedly borrowing elements from Nintendo's level design, characters and game mechanics but with none of the refinement.

It occasionally shows moments of flair with highlights such as a high speed platform section aboard an out of control rollercoaster, rudimentary but none the less impressive Megadrive sprite rotation effects and splashes of bold presentation in the boss battle mini games. Long before 'mini games' became all hip again.

As it stands Marvel Land on the Megadrive was a reasonably faithful conversion of an already aging coin op. Today it doesn't offer much when compared with the modern evolution of the platform genre.

Favourite Moment: Defeating any of the boss mini games, sees you catching falling stars for points as you jump over monuments of past Namco Characters lit up like Vegas Casinos.


Speaks for itself really...

Possibly The Best First Party Nintendo Racer, Nintendo Never Made: Game 0004

Its testimony to Trackmania's beautifully punishing pursuit for perfect control that an instant restart key has been mapped to a face button of the Wii's classic controller. Trust me. You'll be using it. A lot. Trackmania is a refreshingly unique experience, presenting ghost racing challenges with the mental dexterity required of the very best puzzle games. Each track is a test of the most subtle nuances of control, where finding the perfect racing line is not only recommended but essential to victory. The slightest brush of your vehicle against anything that isn't road and its back to the start to try and perfect it all over again. See, I told you you'd be using that restart button.

Heed my warning: Trackmania devours time, as moreish as a movie bag of Doritos. Perfecting the most punishing courses (especially the extremely challenging author medal) can often take more than a couple of hours. But its the 'Nintendo like' application of the game's central mechanic, this quest for the perfect racing line, that keeps you coming back for more. Like the best of Nintendo's first party racers Nadio's tight controls assure you, you can always do that little bit better.

The courses are the star of Trackmania. From sprawling, sun kissed coastlines that rival anything in Outrun 2 through futuristic stadiums with loops that would make Sonic's head spin to raised plateau tracks that wouldn't look out of place with a monkey in a gashapon capsule bashing about them. Each set of tracks, be they desert, stadium, coast etc. has a designated vehicle, varying distinctively in handling which serves to keep the challenges fresh.

Visually the game presents an extremely crisp, minimalist world built purely for racing. The scant track details providing mental signposts for which lines to hit to smash those course records. Music varies from twanging hillbilly guitar riffs to the cheesiest EuroDance anthems, but it all seems to add to the charm. To put it short Trackmania is arcade racing with brains. And that's before I mentioned the track editor. Oh go on then...just one more go...

Favourite Moment: The look on your friend's face when he's on his seventh try in a row and you ask when is it your go?

No More Sequels. New Mikami and Suda 51 'Team Up' Looks Hotter Than the bullet chamber of Scarborough Fair

Seriously Shinji Mikami just can't seem to stay put for 2 minutes, bouncing from Capcom to Clover Studios, to Platinum Games and landing most recently in the lap of Goichi Suda's Grasshopper Manufacture to join forces with the one and only self styled 'punk' director. If you've taken even a passing glance at any of Mikami's or Suda 51's previous games then you'll know why everyone is a little bit excited about Shadows Of The Damned. Smashing vending machines for Absinthe power ups, yes please.

Left? When? Now?...Awww I Pressed Right...Are You Sure I'm Controlling This?: Game 0003

So tonight I rigged up the sleekest looking console set up in living history, the Sega MegaDrive/Mega CD Mark 1 combo, to take a look at one of the strangest European localisations from the 90s. Its seems in 1993 the suggestion of redubbing and localising an obscure Japanese Laserdisc arcade game featuring a teenage anime Barbarella type who displays all the cute of a Sanrio tea party and travels through time (without explanation) dusting off dinosaurs, Nazis and robots barely raised an eyebrow. The only rationale I can muster for this is that for Wolfteam and Sega it was another chance to show the west the full motion video capabilities of the Mega CD and boy did they love to do that.

Time Gal is fun. Mainly down to the super responsive load times of the game's full motion video, meaning you do feel sporadically but always instinctively in control. The controls are simple and represented on screen by four dots (top, bottom, left and right) that overlay the edges of the FMV action. If any one of these dots flashes pressing the corresponding direction on the D-pad will evade the on screen enemy, trap or pitfall. If all four flash at once, the A button will provide a really rather satisfying laser blast to the onscreen enemy's face, or, trigger a 'time stop' event in which you must choose your next action from a list of 3 suggestions before your 5 sec counter runs down. Its simplistic, yes. But the game's charm doesn't emanate from its 'Simon Says' control scheme but from Toie Animation's rainbow coloured anime romps through history, realised in some of the best quality FMV on the system. The sound design is just as kitch as the visuals, blending J-Pop themes with sixties sci-fi sound effects. An excellent English dub of Time Gal's voice rounds out the audio design, retaining much of the overexcited Japanese delivery and fleshing out Time Gal as a loveable video game heroine.

Much like Limbo, Time Gal wants to kill you, just to show off its myriad of largely funny death animations. Miss the QTE style prompt and you could find yourself sliced in two by a Gladiator, smashed on the head with a rock, or in one unfortunate instance: at the bottom of the ocean, rammed to a bone crunching death by a giant prehistoric turtle. Head First. Weirder still is that in all the death animations Time Gal shrinks to her chibi/childlike self before being lethally pulverised.

Short but often sickeningly sweet Time Gal, to the uninitiated, may sound like nothing more than a 20 minute QTE, but to those who remember the spectacle of the classic Laserdisc arcades Time Gal won't dissapoint.

Favourite moment: Flying through the air, Pteradactyls attack from both sides, a timed push of the A button fires two laser blasts left then right in quick succession, As the prehistoric birds are blown apart, our heroin backflips to reveal the inevitable anime panty shot. Well done Japan.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors...


Pandora's Tower announced for Wii

Looks like the Wii is set to get its own taste of Bayonetta style action, judging by this curious little teaser from Nintendo of Japan. Hope and pray that Pandora's Tower gets the European localisation it deserves and the fans get a new Nintendo IP to be proud off.

Wait A Minute Is This A Sequ....Nah, Can't Be: Game 0002

Chase H.Q. for me was the pinnacle of arcade racing in the 80s. Others will bang on about taking Outrun's bright red Ferrero Testosterone (That's enough of a likeness not to get sued? Right Sega?) for a spin in Outrun whilst taking a magical sound shower (whatever that was), but for me Taito's screech 'em up always had the grittier edge, placing you in an 80s cops show chase to the limits of your jurisdiction. Probably in Hawaiian shirts.

Taito's semi sequel Special Criminal Investigations never really drew me in the arcades. The ability to shoot at the purps, took a lot away from the bumper bashing action of the original. And so the franchise lay dorment, except for some truly awful console sequel attempts, until the arcade only release of Chase H.Q. II in 2007. Or so Taito would want us to believe. In 1997 Taito developed and released Ray Tracers a sequel to the 1988 race and chase original in all but name and its one of the Playstation's best kept secrets.

The game is pure Chase H.Q., radio banter crackling over the C.B. from H.Q., roads scattered with debris to blast through and of course nitro boosts. Its an ultra fast arcade racer that combines elements of pure time challenge racing with boss battles worthy of Sega's trademark on rails arcade shooters. Seriously its that good. The high speed pursuits take you through street lit city subways, over open country roads, down storm drains and round tight valley passes. Waiting for you at the end of these rollercoaster rides are some of the toughest mothers you'll ever experience on the road, step aside John Bunnell. Expect to take down monster trucks, laser firing tanks, armoured vehicles, electric scorpion tailed JCB's and a Harrier Jump Jet. Yeah. A fucking Harrier Jump Jet.

Controls are tight although only mapped to the D-pad, with no anologue support. The visuals are for the most part uncluttered, fast moving and vibrant. integrating anime styled characters with the 3D course design to deliver a slick arcade experience. The music and effects do enough to get the blood pumping, and it all adds up to one of the best arcade experiences available on Sony's aging Granddaddy to the Playstation lineage.

Favourite moment: Tearing down wide country lanes to only find the road blocked. before you know it you've veered right, crashed through the safety barrier and are plummeting into a storm drain. All the while seeming to be in (almost) complete control.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Weird None Shigsy Canon Entry: Game 0001

Its funny, you let the Big man turn his back for a second and everyone's favorite vertically challenged plumber ends up in the biggest cavalcade of WTF moments in any Mario game long before Super Mario Sunshine reared its equally confused head. That's not to say Super Mario Land isn't without its charm. It is for all intents and purposes a scaled down Super Mario Bros. All be it if you squinted at Super Mario Bros. through John Lennon's spectacles across a hazy room circa 1967. Bouncing/coin collecting fireballs, No clear antagonist, those weird hopping Japanese vampires, a new love interest and two frickin sweet schmup levels. That's before we make mention of the can can showtunes. The irony is this was the first Mario game I ever got my hands on and was disappointed by Mario games I experienced soon after until I had played enough to realise it was Super Mario Land that was just way out there. Its still a really fun and charming little game, packed with as many little hidden secrets as any of its older brothers, with a clean, paired down visual style to perform well on the limitations of the host hardware. Seasoned Gameboy fans don't need to hear any of this from me, but newcomers beware, Super Mario Land is a bit like going to work on a bag of glue. Sure everyone and everything is there, but you'll be damned if you can't put your finger on why none of it looks or sounds quite right.

Favourite moment: Jabbing the start button repeatedly as your remaining time is converted to points at the end of the level. The closer you get to 000, the faster the pause jingle gets.

I Never, Ever, Ever, Ever Want To Be This Guy...Ever

Okay. So the internet can freak me out. A lot. This guy is my ghost of christmas future, and this video was a major instigator in starting this blog. If I ever come on here and start talking about hermetically sealing games in a room or spending thousands of pounds on insurance please shoot me. Really hard in the face. With two guns.

Galvanised First Post Striking Fist X-Formation (Japanese Collector's Edition Tin)

So here it is, the first post on my attempt to crack the 100s of video games I have bought, found, begged for and (on one occasion) stolen over the past 20 or more years. C'mon it was a copy of Kid Icarus, boxed, in really good condition for the NES, sat in a cupboard in my local Youth Club. They didn't even know it was there, and I didn't even own a NES. Oh shit... So maybe you're starting to get the picture. I am becoming O.C.D. about owning video games, to the point that I have a growing number of them sat on my shelves unplayed, not just unplayed but in some circumstances sealed, shrinkwrapped, untouched by human hand. I never wanted this.

So lets go back...It was Christmas 1984, the usual mountain of toys, sweets, and other novelties lay strewn across the living room floor in heaps, torn wrapping paper scattered everywhere like a post 4th of July celebration. Then my dad brings in this huge wrapped box, its a surprise joint present for me and my brother. What the hell could it be? we wasted no time in finding out. When the paper was finally off what sat before us was a thing of wonder...An original Atari VCS, wooded out to the max. Jeez that thing looked futuristic. And with it, copies of Combat, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. It had begun. As the years marched on the Atari lost its shine, as did every subsequent machine as hardware grew in power and scope, The Commodore 64, The Atari ST, The Gameboy, numerous arcades on trips to the seaside all came and went, fuelling my love of the medium. But it wasn't until 1992 when my friend sat me down in front of Street Fighter II on the Super NES that I knew this fascination wasn't going to go away. Since then the games have gotten more obscure, searching every corner of eBay for games I read about in some other obscure corner of the internet. Rom hunts leading to ever more engaging experiences with the hardware of old. Scavenging car boots and charity shops, searching for that one gem you might find nestled in amongst the bloody FIFAs, and yes I did find an immaculate copy of Symphony of the Night for a quid on one such hunt. Its those moments that make it all worth it. But have I played it? The answer is no. I haven't played Symphony of the Night, I haven't played literally 100s of games I have picked up over the years. So that is where this blog comes in I am setting myself the challenge of playing and reviewing every single game I own. But where do you start Matt? Well I suppose it better be with my first ever console purchase (I don't collect computer games), it was Super Mario Land on the Gameboy and was not only my first console game, but was my first experience of Nintendo, my first experience of Mario, and my first ever console. So Matt do you only own and are gonna be reviewing obvious shit like Super Mario Land that we've all played a million times before? Dear reader take a look again at the title of this blog. Trust me, when I get to my Brazilian only copy of Street Fighter II on the Master System you'll already have read some seriously sofa shaking reviews on some of the more harder to find console games out there. Infidel