I write about any old shite, 95% of the time I'm criticising something, such is life.





Game Review #7: Commodore 64 Part II + Atari 2600!

Last week we took a brief look at what made the Commodore 64 home computer system the success it was, as well as playing the chaotic and nonsensical game of Bionic Granny. If you’ve not seen it, you’ll probably want to take a look before you go any further with this one:


Now that our little history lesson is over, we can really get stuck into some games, so in this part I’m gonna pick out a few games out of the emulated online library, that stand out for one reason or another… Oh who am I kidding? I’m going to find the worst ones… 
These reviews aren’t really going to go into that much detail, for one thing there isn’t much to say about a lot of these due to their overall simplicity, and secondly, there’s a lot to get through. So without further ramblings, let’s get going…




Magic Carpent (I am aware they misspelled it, but for all we know it could be correct, as the game is too shitty to have a title screen to tell us otherwise)
This was made by the same people as Bionic Granny, and it sure does show, it uses the same sound effect for when you die and is just as ridiculously broken.
For a kick off, the graphics are literally nauseating, was there any need to make the black and gray area shimmer in such a way? That’s seizure soup right there!

Don’t believe me when I say it’s broken? Try pushing on the down arrow when you’re at the starting point, you get sucked in by whatever that red wall is supposed to be and lose ALL your lives, and there’s not a damn thing you can do about it, the same thing also happens if you get killed by one of those radioactive meteorites when you’re towards the BOTTOM of the screen! Now try flying upwards into the red wall from the starting point, does it happen then? No!
I’ve never seen such bollocks in all my days! 
At least the music is catchy, but after 10 minutes of crashing into boulders and getting raped by the red wall, it starts to grate…

As for what’s beyond the first screen, I haven’t a clue, the yellow spears get me everytime, my theory is that there is no game after this stage, because they made it pretty much impossible to get past those spears, they figured that there wouldn’t be any point in developing the game further, then they just took their money and laughed…




This is your typical 1980’s racing game, albeit exceedingly below average. You get a choice of one car, which is a Mercedes, I’ve tried every button and I can’t seem to find any other cars to select, so if there’s only one car to choose from, why bother asking me if I want to choose it? What’s the other option, WALK the fucking track?!
The car sound effects are a joke, I’m sure I’ve heard the skidding sound effect before, in a completely unrelated retro game, it might have been Galaga (like Space Invaders on crack) just goes to show how much it DOESN’T sound like skidding.
There’s no indication of where you’re positioned in the race, it’s difficult to overtake and practically impossible to avoid being hit up the arse as there’s no way to tell what other cars are coming up from behind. Then again, is this even a race? or are we just doing an endless loop whilst trying to avoid these other dickheads speeding around? I haven’t a clue what it’s all about, and just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, this pops up:


And you want to know what it did after this?
Absolutely nothing, because it froze and died.


Speaking of freezing and dying, the emulator website doesn’t seem to be wanting to work anymore, this is a dilemma, people! Java is against me, I don’t want to cancel this review, and I don’t want to leave it until another time…
So let’s find a substitute console to play. (This is actually happening as I type)


Yes, the Atari 2600 will do nicely! Don’t know what one of these things is?
1. HOW?
2. If not, go and look it up, no history lessons today, time is short and I’m trying to improvise here!



Pac-Man on the Atari 2600 will go down in history for several reasons, it was not only the best selling 2600 game, but at the time it was the best selling video game EVER MADE, selling approximately 7 million copies. Unfortunately, many of those 7 million copies were either returned to stores, or thrown in the bin, because the other reason why this game will go down in history is because apparently, it sucked harder than a whore in a hurry. Perhaps unfairly, it was also blamed for the North American video game crash of 1983:


That’s a lot for one small game to burden, and Pac-Man of all things! Common complaints included the poor emulation of the original Arcade version of Pac-Man, and an overall “rushed” feeling to the game, but I’m going to try and form my own opinion, so let’s give it a chance…



So yeah, it doesn’t look great, but I’ll get my complaints out of the way first. The animation isn’t great, his mouth doesn’t move with much grace, the ghosts are flickery and rubbish looking too (everyone knows that) and the sounds are way worse than what I’ve come to know and love,a Pac-Man game without the “wagawaga” noise? Just not good enough! Also, the ghosts don’t seem to stay vulnerable long enough after I’ve eaten a power-up, which is annoying, obviously!

I’m struggling to criticise it much more, aside from it looking like plop and not holding a candle to the original version, it’s not actually that bad.
At least it’s playable, and to be fair on the graphics, the capabilities of the 2600 were way less than the Arcade machines of the time. I’ve played much worse games on the internet, and I mean MUCH worse!

It just goes to show, even one of the supposed “worst games of all time”, still seems OK compared to what I’ve reviewed in the past, it says a lot about some browser games out there. However, people actually shelled out a bit of money for Pac-Man, in that case I’d be pretty pissed… but for what it is now, merely a free online retro memory, let it be, let it be… :D


OK, one last Atari 2600 game, then I’m done, it’s been a long night! :)



Oh wow! It’s the A-Team! You’re a floating Mr. T head, and I haven’t the foggiest what’s going on, what the fuck that thing is on the right hand side or anything. You can shoot these dudes in black with your head, he is Mr. T after all, so you keep shooting stuff… oh man, I’m not sure who to shoot and who not to shoot! There’s a guy that looks like The Riddler at the top, although he’s not in the screenshot… The thing on the right seems to get taller? I don’t know!
I’m just shooting and then it cuts to a different screen…


What’s happening here?! B.A. is purple?! The Riddler guy is here now, and they’re in a field, or some ungodly parallel universe?! What the fuuucckkkk?! D:
I pity the fools who made this game! THEY GON’ MEET MAH FRIEND PAAIIIINNNNN!

And do you want to know what happens after a few seconds of this screen?
It goes back to the title screen…
I fucking love retro.

*** UPDATE: I recently learned that the A-Team game was actually a prototype, and never commercially released, so now it makes so much more sense as to why it sucks so bad… ***

Cacolantern out! 

Game Review #6: Commodore 64 Part I (History, Bionic Granny)


The Commodore 64 is the best selling single home PC unit of all time, and back when it came out over 30 years ago in 1982 it was somewhat revolutionary, and to quote from the Wikipedia article I’ll be stealing facts from:

Part of its success was because it was sold in retail stores instead of electronics stores. Commodore produced many of its parts in-house to control supplies and cost. It is sometimes compared to the Ford Model T automobile for its role in bringing a new technology to middle-class households via creative mass-production.

Approximately 10,000 software titles were released for the C64, ranging from development software and office tools, all the way to 8-bit video games, which is what we’re going to focus on today…

The games came on either a floppy disk or a cassette tape, the latter being more popular over here in Europe and the former becoming more established in the United States, although sometimes the format would depend on the game, much larger games such as RPGs were more often found on floppy disks due to the infamously sluggish loading times that plagued the cassette tapes. Despite their flaws, many titles were published on cassette tapes, due to their relative cheapness to use as a developing platform, as a result they were usually cheaper than their floppy disk counterparts.


Due in part to its advanced sound and graphic hardware, and to the quality and quantity of games written for it, the Commodore 64 became better known as a gaming and home entertainment platform than as a serious business computer. The Commodore 64’s large installed user base encouraged commercial companies to flood the market with game software, even up until Commodore’s demise in 1994. Perhaps the most striking aspect of the Commodore 64’s gaming history is the sheer number of game titles written for the machine. In total there exist well over 23,000 unique game titles for the Commodore 64.


So with all that said, is it any wonder there are still enthusiasts that make their very own C64 games to this day? Well, maybe…
Anyway, I’ve barely scratched the surface of things to know about the C64, I’ve just given a quick overview of how the gaming side of things worked out back in the day, if you do want to do some more swatting up before we delve into some games, then feel free to gain some knowledge from this here Wikipedia article, it worked for me!


If not, then I don’t care, I know you came here for games, not a history lesson, but I’m merely showcasing my versatility  albeit not all that well… *cough* I just copypasted *cough*


So let’s play a C64 game, now obviously I don’t own a real Commodore, but there are many websites around that provide perfectly functioning (I hope) emulated versions of literally hundreds of classic C64 titles, as well as some newly developed games that people have made during their lunch hour at work or something.



The name alone got me interested in this one, apparently it was released by Mastertronic in 1984 and I appear to be playing the Dutch version, or it could just be a Dutch game… DUH. I’m not really sure what to expect going into this, “not much” is probably the right thing to expect…


So here we have what is supposed to be the “bionic granny” at the bottom of the screen, the idea is to beat up as many miscreant kids as you can with your big stick as they charge down the screen at you throwing what appear to be squash racquets or large fishing nets… OK, WHAT THE FUCK?! 
From what I can gather, this is set outside a school, and the kids for some barbaric reason aren’t happy with poor old granny, so have decided to try and end her life with the aforementioned squash racquets/fishing nets… I have a few questions. First of all, why are they so mad at granny? She doesn’t seem to have much malicious intent or potential to offend except for her yellow skin and oddly proportioned body?
Second of all, why do the characters in this game move so erratically and with so much piss and vinegar?! Either the entire town is under the influence of a heavy dosage of crack or they all have fireworks up their arses, just look at the way granny shakes that stick, she’s off her saggy old tits, well she ain’t called BIONIC for nothing!
Thirdly, just look at those kids, a little on the larger side don’t you think? They’re bigger than granny. They’re taller than the trees. They’re as wide as the road. THEY’RE AS TALL AS THE FOOTBALL PITCH IS WIDE!?
Graphically, nothing makes any sense whatsoever, everyone is out of proportion, everyone looks like an extra-terrestrial and everyone moves like shit on a stick. At least it’s colourful, and I suppose you can say it’s imaginative? Anyway, enough about aesthetics, let’s see how it actually plays…

As I said, the idea is to fend off these mutant children with your stick, only problem is granny can’t move upward, or in any direction other than patrolling the bottom of the screen by moving left and right, that’s fine by me, there are a few games like this, HOWEVER…
Because everything’s so fast it’s hard to avoid being hit, and if you get hit thrice you’re dead, what makes it worse is that there’s no recovery time inbetween getting hit and losing one of your lives, which means you’re gonna get fucked over big time, because by the time one squash racquet hits you, the next fishing net is right behind it, so that’s it, game over. Nice. 
One last thing I noticed is that when you die, a demonic face appears next to you for a brief second, it was too quick for me to screenshot but it’s there alright, I’m not even going to begin to speculate what it symbolizes, or indeed why anything in this game is the way it is, what a load of shit.


*** Can you believe I pressed backspace and the whole fucking page went back and I lost the whole article near the end, I was fucking raging and calling my PC a cuntbag for like 5 mins, this article was to be the retrospective and 3 games, but I’m splitting it now, I’m simply too tired to re-write the other bits, Bionic Granny simply couldn’t wait ;) Next week is all games!***



Game Review #5: MORE Parking Games… D’:

I cannot park virtual cars, I just fucking can’t, this is a fact I have known ever since I started reviewing games over 2 years ago, one of my first reviews was of the "Parking Mania" series, many of you will remember them from your school years, when they were some of the only “games" accessible to the tightly regulated school servers, as they fell under the category of "having something to do with maths and therefore essential for your education". I was later to revisit the whole series last year, here you go —> 

So with the Parking Mania saga dead and buried, I got thinking, could there possibly be a parking game out there, that I can beat? or better yet, that I actually LIKE?! Trust me, I’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to these, so let’s take a look at some more that I’ve found… *ugh*



First up, it’s Parking Master and do you hear that? Nope, neither do I, because this game is completely devoid of sound and music, as well as having no title screen, I can’t blame them for not adding music, most of the time it’s a shoddy 10 second loop that you’d only end up wanting to mute anyway, but not adding any sounds? Come on guys, put a little effort in, 


Although “effort” clearly wasn’t in mind when they came to making the graphics… The car itself looks only marginally like anything you’d drive, it’s got little brown arms for wheels, the driver appears to have painted themselves the same horrible colour as the paintjob, for camouflage purposes obviously, and when you turn the wheels his arms move like disturbing mutant pincers, lovely. 

As for the difficulty, it’s probably the least frustrating parking game I’ve played, owing to the fact you can’t lose, even when you blatantly crash into one of the FAB 1 cars inbetween the empty space, top kudos for that… So does mean I’m able to park the car?

No, it fucking doesn’t FUCK! WHY THE FUCK IS IT SO HARD?! I can’t fucking get it straight, I tell you something, I actually got it parked pretty well, not perfect, but close enough, if it were Parking Mania I’d pass the stage, although I didn’t get a screenshot because I’m a stupid idiot, and you know what the game gave me?
ABSOLUTE DIDDLY FUCKING SQUAT! It took a while for the penny to drop, but it’s finally occurred to me, there are no rewards for all of this pain and frustration, there is no “stage 2” or “congratulations”, and you know what “Qualite Pepere” means in English? According to Google Translate, it means “Quality Cushy” so they’re saying this game is quality, and is also cushy, which is like soft, not hard, wait a minute, NOT HARD?! Does that mean they think it’s EASY?! 
OH. YOU. NO. FFFFFFF… *sigh* I’ve had enough.

Next game. NOW!



OK, so it’s “Parking Perfection 3: The Exam” no, I’m really not interested in what the other two games in the series are like, let’s just get this one over with quickly before I start licking windows… 


Another game without music, at least it looks good, the examiner looks like something from a Mr. Men cartoon from the 70’s, don’t ask how I made that link, but I like it anyway… 

This is more like an exam simulator than just parking in tight spots, it has a slower and more methodical pace to it, and the fact that you’re doing your virtual driving exam makes you care more about getting it right, better than just being told to park in impossible situations. The first move is reversing around a corner, shouldn’t be too hard, right? 


What?! I only crept like, 2 feet over onto the other side of the road and you’re telling me it’s game over?! OK so maybe I went a little too fast, but man, he must have really sensitive bowels if he shits himself at something like that, it’s not like I even crashed the car!! I don’t think I’ve ever had a game over due to the fact an in-game character literally shit their pants, complete with flatulent sound effect!Then again, has anyone?

I will give this came credit where due, it looks sharp and colourful, it controls much better than any of the previous parking games I’ve played, it has a classic VW Beetle as the test car, which is one of my favourite cars ever (despite the fact this one is purple), and plus, anytime you DO fail, you always chuckle, or at least I do, because I’m immature like that…

Hehe, the examiner shit himself… :3

I love this game.

Cacolantern out!

Game Review #4: Mini Golf



Let’s kick off 2013 with a bit of class, a nice friendly game of Miniature Golf, or “Crazy Golf” if you prefer, a fun pastime for all the family and and a sport quite well represented in the world of online browser games. Unfortunately, a lot of Mini Golf games means a lot of shitty Mini Golf games, this one here is no exception…

You can tell about 5 seconds into staring at the title screen that this isn’t going to be a pleasant experience, the first thing you notice, burrowing its way into your ear drums is the music, which by browser game standards is pretty normal, and by normal, I mean fucking terrible, being so used to this generic and low quality garbage everytime I do reviews like this, I quickly found the option to turn it off, how anyone could actually play the game properly and not go bat shit insane with the music ON is beyond me…

It’s probably worth mentioning that this game supports two players, so if you happen to have an annoying “friend” who you secretly hate or a partner you wish to break up with, by all means invite them to come over one night and play virtual Mini Golf with you, and rejoice as they never speak to you again.


Let’s select our character from this queer quartet from the Academy of Boggle Eyed Lunatics shall we? Not that this actually makes any difference to how your game is played, but hey, we can give them back stories!

  • #1: Jobe (pronounced: Job-ee) born 1981 in international waters, went on to achieve satisfactory grades at college, marry an OK looking girl, and become a mediocre Mini Golf player. Sports the colour white to support his utter blandness. 
  • #2: Angela (pronounced: An-jella) Jobe’s wife, comes from a similar background, sports the colour green for extra camouflage on the field.
  • #4: Robert (pronounced: Row-bear) A Frenchman with an attitude, likes to strut his stuff (and his massive club) around the putting green, has been seen to sabotage Jobe’s caddy with a stale croissant, sports the colour red because he mixed lights and darks by accident when he was doing the laundry. 
  • #3: Kelly (pronounced: Kelleh) Fucked up bitch, knows nothing of the game, just likes to use the clubs inappropriately, currently on the run from various mental rehabilitation clinics in her homeland of Guatemala. Not to be approached under any circumstances.

Before you say anything, the game actually does number them in that order from left to right (1-2-4-3), probably because the real #3 is in Kelly’s cellar, she just stole the jumper. *** I just checked out the credits, turns out they’re all based upon people who helped make this game, to be fair, I’ve probably given them less embarrassing backgrounds ***


So what’s the game actually like then? Well the graphics for one thing are passable, that is until you look at the 3D rendering of whatever freakazoid you’ve chosen to play with, let’s just say at certain angles, they start to look less human and more like some strange undiscovered primate from the depths of the Earth’s core. 

The gameplay itself isn’t too bad, the whole “using the mouse for both direction and strength” can take a little getting used to, sometimes you find yourself pirouetting, and fidgeting a bit, especially for myself since I’m using a touchpad…

I suppose it does what it says on the tin, it’s Mini Golf, what more can you ask for? Except for better music, more interesting graphics, and people that don’t look like aliens, please.  

For those who can’t get enough of this putting bonanza, there’s a link to a game called "Mini Golf Gold" on the title screen, twice as many holes apparently, but it actually leads to nothing but Kewlbox.com’s homepage, ah well…
And on that day, nobody gave two fucks

So there’s Mini Golf, it looks rubbish, it sounds even worse, but at least it’s reasonably playable, how utterly conformist to browser game lore, I wonder if I’ll ever find another quite as bad as Parking Mania

Cacolantern out!

Basic Rules for Customers.

  1. CALM. If you’ve got a complaint, please be calm, patient, and understanding, if you get on your high horse and start kicking off, the staff are only going to hate you more for being a loudmouth twat, and therefore will be less willing to help you.
  2. STAFF AREN’T IN CHARGE. If you have any idea of how retail works, you’ll know the staff don’t set their own prices for goods, if you think something is too expensive, then don’t proceed to moan about it to the staff, do they look like Head Office to you?
  3. PATIENCE. A lot of retailers have had to make staff cuts due to the ailing economy in the past few years, meaning that in a lot of cases, when there doesn’t seem to be enough people serving on the checkouts, that’s probably all there is to give. Unless you’ve got an important meeting, are on your lunch hour, or have public transport to catch, you’ve really got no reason to bitch and moan about waiting a few extra minutes, so be fucking patient!! 
  4. LOOK. The only reason you should ask a member of staff where something is, is if you genuinely can’t find it, don’t step 3 feet inside the shop and expect to be taxied directly to what you’re looking for, laziness isn’t a good habit, so actually look before you ask, you might find something else you like too! 
  5. READ. When you see an offer, or a customer notice, please take the time to actually read it, because at the end of the day, if you haven’t read the small print, it’s your fuck up if things aren’t right at the checkout, and you haven’t got a leg to stand on, even if you do use the old favourite words “misleading” and “confusing”, because 99% of the time, an offer is neither of those things, you just haven’t read what it says
  6. HOUSEKEEPING. When you put something back on the shelf, it’d be nice to actually put it back where you got it from, instead of being a lazy, inconsiderate prick, also, if your child is messing up the displays, use a bit of discipline and tell them to tidy it up, little bastards. 
  7. MANNERS. Manners cost nothing, saying please and thank you is part of a cashier’s basic customer service training, and if you can’t even be bothered to say them, why should the cashier? Also, get the fuck off of your mobile phone when you’re at the till!
  8. COMMON SENSE: If you spot someone in uniform who looks like they’re working, then chances are that person works in the shop, so don’t ask them if they do, you look like a dipshit. 
  9. UNDERSTAND: Finally, working in retail can be extremely stressful, especially this time of year, and the overall low pay rates don’t help either, so just show some consideration and good manners for the people who work there. :)
Thanks! :D

Game Review #3: Call of Duty

It’s November 13th 2012, you know what that means!?

Nope, neither do I, but apparently some shooter game by the name of "Call of Duty: Black Ops II" was released at midnight…
Various so called “hardcore” gamers around the country queued up for the epic release and proceeded to waste their entire night pretending to be R. Lee Ermey from Full Metal Jacket, shouting abusive orders down a headset to people half their age, then wondering why school/work were ringing up the following afternoon to ask where they were. A true soldier never sleeps, except for when they play single player campaign. 

(By the way, if you’re unaware of who R. Lee Ermey is, he voiced the little green soldier in Toy Story, same style of communication, albeit without the expletives, obviously)

ANYWAY, I didn’t buy Call of Duty: Black Ops II, for several reasons:

  1. I can think of better things to spend £44.99 on, many copies of Dino Crisis 3 for me to incinerate springs to mind as a good example. 
  2. I’m really not interested in online play, I simply can’t team up with anybody who takes virtual warfare seriously, especially now that it’s set in the future, so we can’t exactly call it realistic…
  3. Therefore paying £44.99 for the single player campaign does seem a little bit of a waste, zombies or not…
  4. Also, I’m not actually very good at Call of Duty, I prefer my games to have more of a mixture of puzzle solving and action, take Tomb Raider and Dino Crisis as good examples, the only puzzle you’ll be solving with Call of Duty, is figuring out how to teabag someone…

Enough with the longest introduction to a game review ever, here’s a Call of Duty game you can play for FREE! 


Yes, you may have remembered me reviewing this ages and ages ago, but that review isn’t around anymore, and this is a brilliant time to mention it again, so sue me. 


So, the title screen has a horribly rendered screenshot of what looks to be the very first Call of Duty game, back when World War II was cool, nowadays everybody bitches about it being the subject of a video game because it’s been done half to death, although I suspect another WWII Call of Duty would still get a 9.0 from Gamespot. The title also says Call of Duty twice, once in a crappy font, and another with official franchise logo, just incase we didn’t figure it out the first time. 


In this abhorrent little game, you move side to side with your grainy looking gun, shooting identical cardboard cutout Nazis in front of a blurry background of battered old houses, look out for the fire, the only part of the game animated with any fluidity, they must have spent a little more than their lunch hour on that bit.
So you defend yourself constantly until you die, whether you die virtually, or in reality (of sheer boredom) is a matter of chance.  

Hmm, this might sound harsh, but I’d probably rather be playing the real thing right now…

On second thought, how about I switch the shit game off, publish this article and wait to see if anybody notices it because of the famous game name in the title. You never know!

Cacolantern out!