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Exeposé

| WEEK SIX

GAMES

www.exepose.ex.ac.uk

It’s Astounding; Time is Fleeting Take a jump to the left and a step to the right to discover these nostalgic retro romps Alex Kidd in Miracle World Platform: SEGA Master System Release: November 1986 ALEX KIDD for the SEGA Master System provided some of the most thrilling rock-paper-scissors battles of my early childhood. This wasn’t the playground; you were playing to stay alive. Seriously, if you lost, little Alex would turn into a ghost and ascend into the sky. This of course was not the bulk of the game, but made up of the majority of the boss battles… usually against big burly men whose skulls would magically detach beTomba!

Platform: PS1

TOMBA! is a platformer where you take control of a pink-haired wild boy out for revenge against seven evil magic pigs. Yes. Pink-haired wild boy. Evil. Magic. Pigs. If that doesn’t spark your interest, you may want to take a long, hard look at yourself in the mirror. After a YouTube infused nostalgia trip prompted a download from the PSN store, I couldn’t help but feel some apprehension. It had been fourteen years since I first jumped into the Crash Team Racing

fore Alex pummelled it with his magical inflating fist. Yes – this game is Japanese. In between such exhilarating events, the game provided enjoyable platforming action through diverse environments with a variety of tools at your disposal. These ranged from a simple bike to an item which marches dozens of miniature Alex’s towards their doom. Oh, and avoid the Grim Reaper. He will look for you, he will find you – and he will kill you.

FOR years, good old Crash Bandicoot served as the poster boy for Sony’s first foray into the console market with the then brandspanking new PlayStation system. It is unfortunate that since then he has been unceremoniously thrown into a box of former gaming legends, where I can only assume he, Spyro, Mega Man and other forgotten mascots are locked in some sort of Gladiator-style fight for freedom (Rayman being the last contender to break free). In the franchise’s

Release: September 1999

hey-day, developers Naughty Dog decided to challenge Nintendo’s Mario Kart with their own casual racing game. When Crash Team Racing hit stores, it was obvious that it was a gaming experience that stood shoulder to shoulder with its rival. While at its core just a simple karting game, speed, skill and a distinctive Crash Bandicoot bravado gave it a style that set it deservedly apart from the crowd and it fittingly remains a cult-classic. EAMONN CUSTANCE

Dwarf Fortress

Platform: PC

HAVE you ever been heartbroken to find your three-month project made obselete or destroyed in minutes? Then don’t play Dwarf Fortress, whose tagline is “Losing is fun”. A cross between Minecraft (which it helped inspire) and Sim City, you control a small pack of dwarfs on their quest to survive. The learning curve is not steep so much as vertical and you are bound to lose at some point. The game is sort of like managing an Oc-

cupy camp: dealing with homeless people (wild animals you can domesticate); defending against raids (the police); maintaining a balance between tech progression and resource management (bicycle generators and libraries). Despite being made in 2002 with ASCII graphics, it continues to be updated (still in alpha) by the tireless work of a tiny handful of people at Bay12Games. If you need a hardcore long-term project, check it out.

Deus Ex Platform: PC DEUS EX is one of the few games to combine story-telling, good gameplay and interesting, mature philosophical debate and still be mainstream and commercially successful. If you want to appear a sophisticated gamer, play this and feign disinterest in the depressingly old graphics, lack of facial expressions and laughable AI traits, glory in the twisting plot, references to political and philosophical theorists and cyberpunk culture (steampunk but

Release: August 2006

Release: June 2000

for cool kids, it gave us The Matrix). One of the few games to successfully pull off the choose-yourdestiny trope without sacrificing plot, Deus Ex also boasts an ass-kicking soundtrack and humour of a quality not seen until perhaps Portal. Deus Ex is a rare game which glides seamlessly from stealth and gunfights to morality and role-playing elements. Just pretend the sequels didn’t happen - same as The Matrix, incidentally. ROBERT J HARRIS

Sandbox Which game character would you least like to be and why? Laurie Pope: Luigi. His inferiority complex must be through the roof. Alex Phelps: Tails because he is basically Sonic’s bitch. Dom Ford: Navi from Legend of Zelda. All she does is try to help and succeeds only in being insanely annoying. Gemma Joyce: Slender Man! He just wants a friend...

Release: December 1997

manic world of Tomba! If it turned out I was simply running on childish memories, it would lead to nothing but disappointment. Thankfully, when the game started I decided that I must have been a youngster of impeccable gaming taste. The story, characters and atmosphere ooze a colourful and refreshingly uplifting charm, and with solid gameplay liberally sprinkled with RPG goodness, it remains a winning package that everyone can enjoy.

Platform: PS1

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Frankie Ainsworth: Pyramid Head: “My sword’s heavy, my hat hurts and I keep getting awkwardly brought into games where I don’t belong.“ Kate Gray: Princess Peach, because she’s like, the ONLY girl in the Mushroom Kingdom, and I think we all know what that means.

Play This Planescape: Torment

What is it? One of the old-school roleplaying classics that laid the foundations for the story-driven gaming experiences that are so popular today, and the gem in Black Isle Studios’ gleaming crown. Deep, dark, and as intriguing as a John Grisham novel, this involving retro-masterpiece isn’t afraid to ask the tough questions, with its fun, if dated, isometric gameplay, beautiful soundtrack, and eerily fantastical “Dark Ages” art direction. Be warned: not for the faint of heart - but then, can’t a fantastic game change the nature of a man? Where do I get it? You can find this game and a whole host of other hidden gems from gaming’s ancient past on GOG.com (Good Old Games) for just £6.50. AZAD NALBANDIAN

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2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

2012/13 Week 6 Issue 599  

Students are struck by a spate of attacks in Exeter, and we launch our Save Our Sreetlights campaign. Screen review the new Bond film, while...

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