Friday, 4 May 2012

Pinball Wizard

I was just trawling the interweb during my lunch hour and came across an article about how a guy has made his money buying and selling pinball machines. He had a little YouTube clip of the pinball machines and brought back the love for a good pinball simulator. Pinball has always fascinated me and I have always wanted a full size machine in my garage but due to the costs of these things I have never got round to getting one. The next best thing to a real machine has been video game pinball but I haven’t played these for years. Many people will argue the best pinball simulator but I the one that gave me the most joy is a classic. Pinball Dreams was the first in a series of simulators for the Amiga (followed by Fantasies and Illusions) and showcased the systems processing power. This was still a 2d table but the physics of the ball was lovely and smooth considering when it was released. I loved the co-op mode on this game which gave me and my friend hours of entertainment. What co-op mode I hear you all shout!! Well technically there wasn’t a specific co-op mode but we made our own up by controlling one flipper each. I was in charge of the right and him the left, whoever mucks up get a dig in the arm. The artwork on every table was really nice and the difficulty was just right. True some tables were harder than others but this just added to the game and the playability of the title. I still haven’t got my own table but I play the next best thing retro pinball simulators.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Twisted Tuesday - Tattoo

A couple of my work colleagues were talking about tattoos the other day and how they have seemed to become more and more popular. Now I totally get tattoos although I don't have one or will ever think of having one as a prefer the au natural look and maybe I am now in the minority of not having a tattoo. I know a lot of people get tattoos for different reasons and what people do to their own body is down to themselves but sometimes you have to say "what are people thinking?". So I did a bit of digging on the internet to see how many people have retro gaming tattoos and suprisingly there is a lot. Like with all tattoos, done tastefully they can look quite cool, but there are always extremes. I don't get people who have tattoos on their knuckles or spider webs on their eyelids but again each to their own. These video game tattoos below are from the stupid to the stupider and just show how many people out there are twisted.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Hold and Give


Football, the biggest sport in many countries including here in the UK. As I sit and watch the title decider unwind (stress free neither are my team) you can't but wonder would you do anything differently. If we are talking about football, tactics and managers you probably already know which series of games I am going to talk about. Championship Manager (before the SI split) wasn't the instant hit everyone thinks it was. There was a raft of management games in the late 80s early 90s. Some little gems like Tracksuit Manager and The Manager were already established when Championship Manager was released in 1992. The only problem with the original CM release that they didn't use real players names. This was a big mistake and the game didn't really take off. They did learn by their mistakes and by the time they released CM' 93 the real player names had been introduced. From there on CM built on it's success and even moved off the computer base platform and produced CM 01/02 for the Xbox console. This was a still a success but I still say CM is a computer based game and not a console based game as it just loses its fluidity on any other format. CM series introduced us to football management and not football club management. A lot of games concentrated on every aspects of football club management like ticket prices, sponsorship dealings, stadium building and food prices. CM doesn't as a football manager deals with the team, the players and the tactics. We don't care how much a hotdog is but we do care about how a promising youngster is progressing in an U18s league. CM also did one quite major thing and that was to wipeout the competition completely. Nothing could match this game, although some tried, no one came close and gradually they stopped trying. I will always play the Championship Manager series and current playing CM 4 as we don't need a title decider here to see who is the Premier league top dog.


Herman and the Hermits

Video gaming has always been a big part of my life from an early age but I have never let it take over my life. Some people take it to extremes and it becomes an obession as they spend whole days fixed to the screen. True I think this is more so with modern gamers but I have always tried to limit my video game time so I could have other interests like actually going OUTSIDE. I know the majority of gamers don't live their life like a hermit and I have never been that way ------ until now. Now I am getting a little bit older, I am finding myself getting more and more contented with my retro game pastime. Just recently I turned down free tickets to go and watch my favourite team because I wanted to finish one of my new features on the blog. I mean this is total madness as I am having to try and convince myself to go and not become what I have said I never will be. The madness doesn't stop there though, I am actually thinking of turning down invitations to the pub because I want to complete a retro game by the end of the week. Pub and beer versus couch and retro gaming. What is happening to me? I am turning into a............geek????

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Sunday Jukebox - No.1

I had the idea of the Sunday Jukebox which takes a look at the music that inspires so many people in so many games but I have decided to evolve it a little bit. Sunday Jukebox will take a look at music and also include some great opening sequences. I did think about showing closing sequences but this would be a spoiler for people who want to complete/play games. So welcome to Sunday Jukebox No.1 and I have three tracks to share with you.
The first track on the jukebox is the opening theme music to the Amiga game Magic Pockets. Although the music wasn't an original score it still went down it my books as I good opening to an average video game. The theme music was an adaptation of Betty Boo's "Doin' The Do" which was a cult hit back in the day. Enjoy the track especially the drum beat solo at the end.
The second track is an intro to a game which once held the title of being the biggest selling French title ever. Flashback was mistakenly known as the sequel to Another World which it exactly wasn't. The lead character, Conrad, has discovered a plot to destroy earth by aliens disguising themselves as government officials. In this opening clip Conrad is trying to escape with what he knows.
The last track on the Sunday Jukebox is one of my personal favourites from a game that I constantly played throughout my childhood. This great tune was constantly in the background as you progressed from level to level whilst controlling one of the two colourful bubble blowing dragons. Bubble Bobble tune was so simple but not one of these annoying in game tunes that you wanted to mute as soon as you heard it.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Re-launch Sunday

So been putting a bit of time in the blog recently for the re-launch of Add Coin to Play. I know some people have already been look at the blog but the official re-launch will be this Sunday. This will also the mark the start of the Jukebox Sunday feature which looks at retro game music. So for all you people who can't wait for Sunday please keep checking out the blog, commenting and if you want get in contact with me or contribute. Roll on Sunday!!!!

Future plans and all that

The blog posts are growing and I am trying to put more and more content but I need a plan. I have decided to put together a few weekly features so I can get some routine in the blog and hopefully start growing from there. My first weekly feature will happen be published every Thursday. Now the thing I am going to do is a mammoth task but everyone has to start somewhere. I have wanted to play as many retro games as possible and I have always thought how many have I actually played? Every Thursday I will pick three games to play throughout the week and make my way through as many games as I can. The feature will be called The Thursday Trio and will be a great feature for me. The next feature will look at the real heart of games and evokes so many emotions. Put a coin in the Sunday Jukebox and listen to the retro game music classics. Some are good, some are bad and some are almost definately ugly. The last weekly feature will be a look at the crazy world of gaming and the lengths people go to either play their favourite games or the reactions when they don't get their own way. Twisted Tuesdays feature will identify the spoilt brats, the real game heads and the sheer loonies.