>Firstly, no. I do not condone “Weird Al” Yankovic. While his music raises a slight giggle upon listen number one they quickly grate. There are only so many laughs you can get out of an average vocal talent, an accordian and a list of meals. o.o


But recently I’ve been hooked on eBay. I had £20-odd lurking in my PayPal longing to be spent. Also, I have a page of games I want (all of which are no longer available generally, a few of which are EXCEPTIONALLY rare – we’re talking £400 for mint copies of a couple of these). Suddenly, I had a brainwave – combining the two goals. Crossing off some of the games on the list, and spending the money. So, here’s what I got.

Rolling, PS2, £3
One of many “Used to own, wanted back” in the list. To extend, “Used to own when readily available, sold, then it got really bloody hard to find”. eBay was a godsend for grabbing another copy of Rolling – on play.com it was being listed second-hand at over £32… in bad condition. Just to make myself look bad when I could’ve skipped this sentence and covered it up, the main reason I wanted Rolling back was because its soundtrack contains an uber-rare song… called “I Just Farted”.

Overboard!, PS1, £5
By far (well, two quid) the most expensive game I bought, but well worth it. I never owned Overboard!, but it induces a level of nostalgia that I couldn’t match unless I was sitting in my old house again in a nappy getting scared of the bull in Bullseye (sigh o.o’). Overboard!, a 3D-but-2D-engined pirate simulator, was one of a handful of games a relative leant to me for a few weeks, along with his PlayStation, before I owned my own. That would make the last time I played Overboard! 12-14 years ago. Some things from it I remembered perfectly, others came fast back into memory with a replay of the game. It’s not a great game, but somehow it’s perfect. Part of the price was probably its intact case with the instruction manual and all the doodads, something most PS1 games I got can’t claim.

The Italian Job, PS1, £1.20
All there except a front label. This was bought due to a mix of mild nostalgia and mild bloody good fun. I got it originally the Christmas it was out. Had a lot of fun with it, no idea why I got rid. But yeah. As a random note – when I owned it before I got stuck about two missions in. I spent the vast majority of playtime in the game cheating my way to unlocking Turin and the police car and tarting about with it in there.

Killer Loop, PS1, £1.50
Disc only. Crap WipEout clone. I never owned it but I played a demo of it several years ago and retain fond memories, including a very catchy music track I’ve yet to locate in the full game.

Urban Chaos, PS1, £1.50
As above – disc only, memories of a demo version of it. Not getting along with the main game though – I’m being forced to do a driving mission (when I just want to toss about and fire weapons aimlessly) and the driving engine is, without a shadow of doubt, the worst I have ever experienced. X to accelerate, fine. Outdated but fine. But down to reverse? Seriously?! And the turning? Jesus. You’re either turning too little to do anything or taking 90 degree turns in split seconds!

V-Rally, PS1, £1.50
Disc and instruction manual. Used to own this, it was one of the first PlayStation games I owned. I remember getting three when I got the console – I can remember two but not the third (to great mental agony). V-Rally is the likeliest candidate though I still doubt it was. It was also one of a handful of games I’d played before owning my own PlayStation. Anyways, I have a lot of memories of tarting about in V-Rally, as well as being very, very good at it. As I’ve now discovered, this skill has seeped away over the ten or so years since I last played. Now I just drive into scenery and run out of time.

Grand Theft Auto 2, PS1, £2.50
The second of three complete games. I think it was my 11th or so birthday I got my underaged mits on GTA2. I’d played it previously, having been friends with someone who both owned it and got me into it. But GTA2 is amongst my favourite GTAs (a group of three – 2, Vice City and IV) for a number of reasons, including its memories, its great exploration (something I wasn’t used to at the time, but still great fun), and its absolutely ace in-house soundtrack. I have it on my PC and iPod touch and listen to it often to this day. It’s a free download on PC, btw. If you’ve not experienced GTA prior to its jump to 3D I’d recommend it.

MoHo, PS1, £2.00
Instructions/disc only. MoHo, joining the clan of remember-the-demo-disc games, is one set in the near future in which you play as a robot with a ball where its legs should reside. Throw in a load of deathmatch-like modes, obstacle courses and levels which frequently dynamically warp before your eyes, and you have a game which is still very, very good. If I’m correctly informed it was called Ball Breakers in NTSC territories. Their name may’ve been more relevant, but ours was totally cooler.

Spiderman 2: Enter Electro, PS1, £1.99
Instructions/disc. Used to own, got back, still love. Completely playable and enjoyable, it’s a game that’s aged remarkably well. Having said that, I now also want the rarer predecessor, which to f**k up most hope of finding copies is simply called Spiderman. Sigh.

Loaded, PS1, £2.00
The final of the three complete PS1 games. This was a game I was given by a relative who had found it sitting in his attic for some reason. Though gruesome and repetitive Loaded is fun in short bursts. This is one of the games I didn’t sell, though. I temporary-ish-borrow-traded it with a then-friend for Tomb Raider 2. A few years later, when said then-friend was an arrogant, thick, drug-dealing little piece of scum, I sold TR2, and now I’ve finally got my game back.

James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire, PS2, £2.63
Played this game before I owned a PlayStation 2. Was in Big W (which turned to Woolworths, which turned to dust… RIP :<) in Norwich if I correctly recall. But one of the best, if clunkiest, FPSes I know of. Got a lot of multiplayer fun out of it and went through the first half or so of the game several times (I got stuck as I’m bad at FPSes :P).

Metal Arms: Glitch In The System, PS2, £2.70
Really quite nice 3rd-person-FPS-controlled game which, despite ripping the vast majority of its elements out of more popular games including a blatantly huge influence from the Ratchet & Clank series, manages to be a very solid, enjoyable bit of gaming. Includes an addictive offline multiplayer mode which I got several hours out of. Coincidentally I got this first from Big W in Norwich – I remember it was with a friend. I had £15 to spare and wanted to turn it into some gaming, but couldn’t decide what on. He pressured me into MA:GITS (yeeeah), and turns out it was a good choice. Sold it because I got stuck. This time I’ll simply keep it and slap it until I complete it.

WWF SmackDown!: Just Bring It, PS2, 99p
I like WWE/F, as you may know. The games induced my interest in wrestling, starting with a copy of SmackDown! 2 on PS1 that I bought a long, long time ago for £5 from a car boot sale. This was bought simply because it was 99p and I don’t have it yet. It’s not very good, but there’s always the novelty of pitting Eddie Guerrero against Chris Benoit and simply telling the game it doesn’t matter who wins. Heartless, I know, especially since Benoit’s death was… well, less than calm… but eeh.

The League of Gentlemen Live, VHS, 16p
Presumed to be absolute crap. I’ve no intentions of watching it. But 16p with free P&P? Sold!

Anyways, I’m now also in possession of £30 from an old bank account I initially opened to store PS3 funds a few years ago. I’m tempted to shove it in my PayPal and cross a few more games off my list, but I think I’ll save it. There are better things I could use it. For example, in a diverting topic…

I found a really old friend on Facebook and we got chatting! When I say really old, I mean it’s been years since I spoke to her, not she’s in her 90s or something. Must be around eight years. Prior to that we were barely separable. Oddly, we dove straight into conversation and it was like the gap hadn’t existed. She’s only 5, 6 miles away so one day we’ll probably hang out for a while, catch up etc. Now that WILL be strange (for me at least), but worth doing, especially given the possibility of buggering off in a couple months.

Guess I’d better update on the GM status. As mentioned in the last post, I’m taking a hiatus from mad game creation/releasing. This is for a few reasons. Firstly, I’m currently inspirationless. Everything I have ideas for has a 2, 3, 4 or 5 on the end. I really want to cut down on sequels and try to make some genuinely awesome original games. SohoPogoHo, 1n23g4r and La Rolloux fell well short of that. mMm’s the only success story in the past year that’s not a sequel, and I’m still determined it was a fluke. I cannot get addicted to it, I get bored after the three minute mark and quit out!

What I have been, and plan on continuing, doing though is learning more. I’ve been using Maya lately, which I crafted a sparse speedboat .obj out of and developed a dodgy Hydro Thunder engine out of. If you want to give it a try, http://tr.im/QKee to download. It contains the Game Maker 8 Pro editable, the .obj, and an executable if you don’t have GM8P but are still interested. I tweeted about it but didn’t go in full – you’re welcome to use parts or all of that engine, including the speedboat model, as you please. It was a learning process for me, feel free to benefit from it too if it’s of any. It’s far from perfect but it just about works. I chose LiQid as a name because it describes the stuff the boat floats in and could be turned into an ananym with a logo.

Anyways, I intend to swot up on my GML, learn stuff I didn’t previously know and get better on stuff I’m shaky with, as it would be beneficial in the future. Also means I can improve my own personal output too. As good a year as 2009 was for my own creations (I3, NTP3, mMm, mMm’s explosion, I3’s smaller explosion, also IOTAS which was a public failure but I still like it) I really don’t feel like I learnt much. That kinda frustrates me – once upon a time I was learning at least one new technique, be it big or small, with every game. Now it’s once every five-ten games. Perhaps learning 3D modelling will let me get better with realistic 3D. DoE looked crap, I’d quite like to work on its sequel and make it less laughable.

One final topic – 750 (ex 1001) Freeware PC Games is coming along slowly. I’m currently filling in the author, genre, link, screenshot etc details for all the games. This is long-winded and repetitive. If you want to help, feel free to let me know and offer your services. I could do with both cell filling in ( http://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0AkcsqZag4d-xdExPc0h0aHNGZ2I5Qlp6eWp5Z2JmQ1E&hl=en ) and screenshots for each and every game, which two people are already kindly helping with. If it’s any incentive, you’ll get your name in a book and if you help out a substancial amount, a cut of the profits.

Anyway, that’s all for now. See y’all in the next blog!

~Andrew