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Wednesday, 31 May 2023

MONTHLY 5 - May 2023

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A lot has happened in blighty this past month. Not only have we regained our rightful place as almost last in Eurovision, but we've only gone and crowned ourselves a new King! To commemorate this fact, I've been playing a game where one such monarch pillages his kingdom and sends his subjects to their deaths by fighting each other. That game is King's Bounty, and I've collated most of its ports and revisions in a compilation I call the King's Bounty Classic Collection (1990-1994 New World Computing).

That being siad, my personal pick of the month is a blatant yet highly enjoyable Myst clone called Alida: The Enigmatic Giant (2004 Dejavu Worlds). Also available is one of the earliest stabs at a 3D platformer in the unfairly forgotten Bug! for PC (1996 SEGA). For the more adventurous among you, the hack-n-slash RPG NightStone (2001 New Horizons Studios) is worth a play adn top cap out the month, we enter an educational fantasy land with beautiful art with Woodspell: The Enchanted Forest of Learning and Fun (1996 Mediola SRL).

As for the updates, we have three. Disney's Hercules: Hades Challenge and Chewy: ESC from F5 have been given the ScummVM treatment while Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace has had some tweaks for those with AMD cards. Head on over to their game pages for full details.

For this month's games, head on over past the jump. Enjoy!

Sunday, 30 April 2023

MONTHLY 5 - April 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/birthright-gorgon-alliance.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/g-nome.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/iron-blood-warriors-of-ravenloft.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/pool-of-radiance-ruins-of-myth-drannor.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/sixth-sense-investigations.html

If you saw one film in cinemas this past month, chances are it was Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves. I saw it with most of my D&D group and had an awesome time - perhaps the most fun I've had in a theatre post-pandemic. So, I thought I'd dig out some old D&D games of yesterear and give them a whirl. Of the three chosen for this month's monthly five, classic computer RPG Pool of Radiance: Ruins of Myth Drannor (2001 UbiSoft Entertainment) is my fantasy pick of the month, but with its mix of wargame strategy and first-person role-playing, Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance (1996 Sierra On-Line) is also pretty good. Less so is Iron & Blood: Warriors of Ravenloft (1996-1997 TSR & Acclaim Entertainment). This one-on-one fighter featuring well-known D&D characters, classes and races is pretty pants and I tried both the DOS and PlayStation versions in a vain attempt to find something good. For kusoge gamers only.

Beyond the giant lizards and underground chambers, I've kept the variety up with a much-requested mech action game called G-NOME (1997 7th Level Inc). For adventure-gamers there's the obscure Amiga point-and-clicker called Sixth Sense Investigations (1998 CineTECH); a respectable indie game that's heavily inspired by LucasArts' Day of the Tentacle. It's pretty good too if you can forgive its terrible Leicester-accented voice acting.

For this month's updates, we begin with Obsidian which now takes advantage of its induction to ScummVM's list of supported games. The Amazing Spider-Man Collection has also been updated and tweeked which fixes errors, adds manuals and updates emulators. See the Game Updates section or head on over to their review pages for full update info.

That's it for this month! I'll see you at the end of May for more classic gaming goodness. Until then, head on after the jump to read my thoughts on April's ragtag group of aging code.

Friday, 31 March 2023

MONTHLY 5 - March 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/antz-panic-in-anthill.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/chicken-run.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/gold-glory-road-to-el-dorado.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/shrek-game-land-activity-center.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/sinbad-legend-of-seven-seas.html

Awards season is over (and this is the first time ever where my personal favourite coincided with the Oscars), but movies will always be on my mind. As DreamWorks have been having a bit of a resurgence of late, with both Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and The Bad Guys washing out the stink that was Boss Baby, I thought I'd treat myself to some of their earlier game tie-ins. Pick of the bunch is Gold and Glory: The Road to El Dorado (2000 DreamWorks & Revolution Software), a 3D adventure game by the folks behind Broken Sword. Antz: Panic in the Anthill! (2001 Light and Shadow Production & DreamWorks LLC) takes the movie's characters and places them in a Bomberman clone. Chicken Run (2000 DreamWorks LLC, Aardman Chicken Run Ltd & Pathé Image) is a decent Baby's First Metal Gear Solid while Shrek: Game Land Activity Center (2001 TDK Mediactive, Activision & DreamWorks LLC) mimics Disney's edutainment offerings of the past. Lastly, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003 Atari Interactive & DreamWorks LLC) is an underrated movie tie-in of an underrated movie.

There are a few updates too. James Cameron's Titanic Explorer removes the need for mounted discs completely removing one of my biggest qualms about it (I should read the readmes more thoroughly). Galapagos: Mendel's Escape has now been updated to official patch 1.2 which gives the option to save anywhere. I've also changed DxWnd to a lesser version which solves the intro video distortion, but considering that was just a company logo it's a minor fix. I had thought I solved some issues in Sanity:Aiken's Artifact by forcing a reduced framerate through dgVoodoo, but it appears not. I'm beginning to think the issue stems from the NoCD patch itself so I'll have to figure out an alternative before I update again.

Until then, check out this month's games after the jump.

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

MONTHLY 5- February 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/abduction.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/dark-secrets-of-africa.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/fade-to-black.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/james-camerons-titanic-explorer.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/tilt-aka-hyper-3-d-pinball.html

The shortest month of the year is to an end, but I did manage to squeeze in some time for the Collection Chamber. First up is an obscure Amiga adventure that arrived late in the computer's lifecycle. Abduction (1998 Psyche) is a fascinating hidden gem in the pantheon of point-and-clicks that uses a top-down perspective that oozes in sci-fi atmosphere. Then, Dark Secrets of Africa (1999 New Generation Software) is a Windows RPG aiming to take an isometric bite of that Baldur's Gate pie. The sequel to Flashback is up next as the early 3D action adventure puzzles around traps and shoots at robots in a game called Fade to Black (1995 Delphine Software International). To celebrate the recent 25th aniversary of the best romantic movie boyfriends can also enjoy and its brief return to theatres, I've added the educational CD-ROM James Cameron's Titanic Explorer (1997 Fox Interactive) to the roster. To cap it all off, why not end with the pinball thrills of Tilt! (1995 NMS Software & Virgin Interactive) known as Hyper 3-D Pinball in the US.

On the update front, we have three revisions of some of last month's games, and the one I promised I'd fix then too. I wasn't entirely happy with Asghan: The Dragon Slayer's package, so I did a repack to take advantage of DDrawCompat as opposed to dgVoodoo. Dr. Slump got some tweaking of the controls so that the Turbo function no longer messes up button holds (a small patch is included if you don't fancy re-downloading the whole thing). Then there's Overboard! or Shipwreckers! if your that way inclined. As with Dr. Slump there is a small patch for those who've downloaded Version 1, but Version 2 replaces the dgVoodoo config file with one that limits the framerate. This prevents some bugs that may occur when your boat needs to bounce. And finally, as promised, I've fixed the Gravis Ultrasound crash from last month's update for Shannara. The original DOS4GW.EXE has been replaced with a newer DOS/32 Advanced DOS Extender which solves the issue. Not only that, but I've also tweaked the DOSBox-X mapper file and config a little to standardise hotkeys and restore the original aspect ratio when running in fullscreen.

That's a lot to keep you busy, so until the month of March comes to its end, check out this lot by clicking on the links after the jump.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

MONTHLY 5 - January 2023

https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/asghan-dragon-slayer.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/dr-slump.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/monster-truck-madness-2.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/overboard-aka-shipwreckers.html https://collectionchamber.blogspot.com/p/space-dude.html

It's 2023 and a full month has gone by. Other than collecting my musings of the movies and modern games I've encountered over the last year, it's time to get back to the old stuff. We have five interesting obscurities to kick off the year, starting with the fantasy Tomb Raider clone Asghan: The Dragon Slayer (1998 Silmarils). Next up is a recently translated PlayStation platformer featuring the first creation of Dragon Ball's Akira Toriyama called Dr. Slump (1998 Bandai). Then we have the racing sequel Monster Truck Madness 2 (1998 Microsoft Corporation & Terminal Reality) complete with dozens of fanmade tracks and trucks. Travel the high seas and shoot your way to treasure in Overboard! (1997 Psygnosis) otherwise known as Shipwreckers! in the US. Lastly, guest reviewer Austin takes on a crazy ride with the action-arcade-strategy hybrid that is Space Dude (1996 Evryware).

That's not all. A minor improvement to the site sees the list of all of the Labels in full view at the very bottom. It was something I didn't even think about until a random comment popped up, so hopefully it'll prove useful when browsing the hundreds of game reviews (we're edging towards 600!).

Talking about the games, we have a few updates. Shannara now uses DOSBox-X (but may have an issue so the last version remains - expect the fantasy adventure to appear here again next month), Nocturne now has some tweaks for better compatibility while also adding an editor and soundtrack too! Lastly, MetalTech EarthSiege fixes the crash at the end of Campaign 4, Mission 8 while also getting upgraded to DOSBox Daum as its emulator of choice. You can see their full details of their game pages or on the Game Updates page found to your right.

For the others, go check them out by clicking after the jump...

Thursday, 19 January 2023

TOP 10 GAMES OF 2022

It's game time! While most of my time is spent playing old-school games from the 90s, I do play a fair amount of new-school ones. My Steam account is rife with many cool titles and my GOG library isn't just made up of good old games. Read on after the jump to discover my favourites over the last year.

Sunday, 15 January 2023


I must admit, my cinema-going experiences have been getting fewer and fewer. I have seen only a handful on the silver screen this year, and all of them have been the kind of crowd-pleasing pictures I can convince my friends to see. Despite this, I believe it was an excellent year for the medium, with a few off-kilter experiments branching off into the mainstream and some streaming services supporting all kinds of genres to success too. My go to tactic is to randomly buy a month when they have enough I'm interested in and binge, baby, binge. These are my brief thoughts on a large number (though not all) of the movies I saw that were released in the UK during 2022, highlighting my highly subjective Top 10. Read on after the jump for more...