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My breaks between games on here get ever longer but I’m going to start up again this weekend, writing the first post on Monday at the latest. I’ve lost the drive I had when I was trying to complete the main part of this blog and it’s going to be a case of playing each game as and when I feel like it but I expect to speed up after Summer. I’ll have a lot more time when the rugby season finishes in a few weeks.

Since this blog is something of a gaming diary, I thought I’d post a bit of an off topic catch-up post. I still haven’t got round to playing the 2nd Tales Of Monkey Island but I’ve had a go on a few of the Interplay games I picked up in the GOG sale. I enjoyed Sacrifice a lot which I’d never played before. It’s a 3D RTS from Shiny that completely passed me by at the time but still plays well 10 years afterwards and has masses of replay value with 5 different factions to align with + the option to swap between these factions as the game progresses. At $5.99 I’d recommend this to anyone. I’ve also had brief goes on Redneck Rampage and Die By The Sword which aren’t that bad but I’m not sure I can ever see myself getting very far in either of them. With the 2 for 1 offer, I’m not too worried if I don’t play some of my purchases much as others will make up for it. I’ve already had my moneys worth out of Sacrifice. The Might and Magic 6 special edition is also out of GOG which includes every M&M game before it – this would be a must buy if I didn’t already own the boxed version. M&M is clearly inferior to Ultima in my eyes but I still enjoyed World of Xeen enormously. It’s an RPG stripped down to its most basic elements with no real dialog or plot but it does it so well that its one of those games that you sit down to play for 20 minutes and still be there 3 hours later.

It’s been said that the games on GOG often fail on being either good or old, and as much as I like GOG there is definitely some truth to this. I’ve been going properly oldskool and playing a few ZX Spectrum games, which for those of you who don’t know was a very popular home computer in the UK back in the early/mid 80’s. There’s even a challenge on youtube at the moment where a few of us old speccy types try to outdo each other on Daley Thompsons Supertest and post our efforts. What appeals to me more than anything about the Spectrum was the fact that anyone could create a game for it independently and this led to a huge number of games and loads of originality. There’s a lot of nostalgia for me going back and playing some of these old games but in all honesty the Speccy wasn’t up to much. The C64 and Apple 2 have it well beat in terms of games that are still genuinely interesting for the era. That’s not to say a lot of the games aren’t still fun – they are just a bit on the simple side. Growing up with a speccy is probably one of the reasons I can still cope with playing Apple 2 and DOS games, since they usually look and/or sound better.

To go even further off topic, I’ve discovered a very nice bit of software called Guitar Rig 3 which has seriously rekindled my interest in playing the guitar. I’ve played on and off for years without ever getting particularly good but being able to use a bit of software like this to get the sound I actually want has given me the incentive to get practicing again. This is probably going to eat into my gaming time more than anything else but my fingers aren’t up to playing for too long. I’ve decided to use youtube as a sort of video diary for my guitaring, so as I learn new stuff I can post it on there and hopefully look back at it in a few months time and see that I am actually improving. Posting on youtube also gives me some incentive to try to do a half decent job of learning something so that it isn’t embarrassingly bad. I’ll see how this works out but it will be months before I know if I’m getting anywhere.

I mentioned looking at some of Origins literature at the end of the last post but I’m going to go for a game next instead. I’m still undecided on which one but I’m veering towards Standoff. I gather the latest version fixes all the bugs and I fancy an arcade game after all the creeping around in Thief.

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