Random Access Memory Lane Part 1: The Milk At School Years.

Having watched Indie Game:The Movie both myself and my fellow tea bagger Elth got a little nostalgic about ‘the good old days’ when a whole megabyte of RAM in any kind of computer was only seen in Star Trek. So we decided it might be a good idea to give you a run down of the video games that we remember from when we were littler. In order to keep you from tears of boredom from what would definitely have become the war and peace of amateur games blogging, we have cut it up into manageable under-seasoned goujon’s for your dainty palates. Anyway my turn first, let’s go waaay back to the day when shoulder pads were only just going out of fashion.

 Fantasy World Dizzy

(Commodore 64 – 1989)

To the best of my memory, which at this stage in my early development was still mushy mental ribena fueled contraption that only really had to focus on was the nuances of British Bulldogs, ensuring my lego was secure in a larger red lego brick and wanting to follow in the footsteps of fireman Sam, this was the first proper video game I played.

The exact year is not important but I think it must have been really late 80’s or right at the beginning of the 90’s. What I do remember from when I first visited my friend Thomas’ house to have tea (fish fingers I believe) is the moment I walked into his room to see this kind of brilliantly clunky keyboard affair with a huge floppy disk drive and a tape deck attached, along with an array of cassettes. When he put one of these tapes in and a video game blinked to life on this massive 9 inch monitor I was immediately mesmerised. Previously I thought tapes were only for the music of Michael Jackson and the ‘Now that’s what I call music’ albums. (I would like the record to show I have since discovered that these tapes are in fact NOT what I call music).

I can’t remember whether Dizzy was on one of these tapes or a floppy disk, but he had all the Dizzy games and the one thing that stuck out and still does to this day was Dizzy had an explorer’s hat on and wikipedia tells me this was Fantasy World Dizzy. It was immense and we played for ages. At this point I should fill you in on the plot, but I was like 8 or some shit and didn’t have a clue what was going on so again I will let wiki do the hard stuff that my memory can’t

“The game’s plot revolves around Dizzy and his girlfriend Daisy. Daisy is taken by the King Troll while walking through a forest with Dizzy, and he has to chase after her. On his way Dizzy must also collect 30 coins. Some of them are hidden quite well.”

Quite well hidden indeed, the wiki also mentions that Dizzy has garnered some kind of resurgence thanks to the usually excellent and very popular YouTube game reviewer   Zero Punctuation. Although if I am honest his video on Dizzy is a bit rubbish so here is a much better one on Skyrim instead.

So if that fairly vague recountal and completely off topic video has got you thinking “fuck yeah I would love to play a dead old game” then you’re in luck because you can download Fantasy World Dizzy for free!

-MS Dosser


(Spectrum, ’87)

Unlike Dosser I have never known the discomfort of not having a machine with which to while away the hours gaming so I began my career of gaming very early using this.

My parents can probably give you a more accurate description of Gremlin graphics’ port of the Atari Arcade classic Gauntlet but from my perspective this title was like being transported to another world. Looking at it now I cannot see any of the game I remembered mainly because my tiny brain had a much better imagination than my boring fully formed present day noggin. I vividly remember the bleak gray dungeons, large wooden doors and shining golden keys. Terrifying ghosts hurtling towards me and hell hounds firing magical fireballs all over the shop. Ducking and dodging as my chosen character (the Elf Questor obviously) taking down sorcerers and the aptly named lobbers with my trusty bow. This however is what it actually looked like. Kids eh? mental.

Is this a game or a pirate flag?

The premise of the game is actually just your standard dungeon crawler, pick a character from four basic classes, dive in knock some heads together, collect some keys and get out alive. A lot of modern hack and slash and RPG titles owe to Gauntlet their very existence and it set the mould fo all the subsequent Dungeons and Dragons inspired titles. The in-game footage may not have been very exciting but a quick look back at the box art goes someway toward explaining my misremembering of the grandness of this early adventure game.

Many sequels have been released for many different platforms but none since the first (which is available on xbox live arcade) have managed to capture my imagination as much as this iteration. Perhaps this was because of my age or even because it was my first real gaming experience that I loved this game, still do. Probably nostalgically and much less colourfully than in my younger days mind you.

So it may not have as much substance as my co-writers top-notch choice Dizzy but it really was the first of its ilk and will be remembered fondly by many a child born in the early 80’s (but probably more accurately by their parents).

– Elth

So what did you guys reckon to Part 1? If you have any thoughts please leave us a comment about these games or share your first gaming experience with us, we would love to hear from you.

Part 2 is coming on Thursday the 16th of August so please follow us by clicking the button at the top right of the page, we are also on twitter @TeaBagOrDie. Cheers big ears.


Meta Critical

When it comes to video game to movie cross overs the success ratio is, how can I put this nicely, shite. But don’t just take make my naughty word for it. Lets take a brief examination of the facts. (Warning I may shit on some of your childhood memories so you may just want skip over the next few paragraphs if you want to maintain those happy delusions)

Streetfighter: The Movie

With the game turning 25 years old not so long ago (inoright?!) it seems relevant to start here, in 1994 a film was made which on paper seems to tick all the boxes for a great movie. It had Van Damme kickin’ ass and taking names as Guile, the late great Raul Julia in his last proper movie as Bison and our nations favourite adopted daughter Kylie wearing some tight clothing. As an 11-year-old this film seemed to be the greatest movie that was and ever will be made. About a year ago I flicked over and found this polished turd on TV and I am telling you now I just couldn’t watch more than 5 minutes of it, it was diabolical in all kinds of ways from the migraine inducing script to the wafer thin storyline. Epic fail.

Mortal Kombat (both of them)

Now I love Christopher Lambert as much as the next dude and because of Highlander he will be excused forevermore. However this man cannot read, if he could he would realise how utterly substandard the scripts for these movies were and would not have done them. The first one I can almost stomach but number 2 (Annihilation) is dog shit on so many levels. If you don’t want to burn you retinas on this filth check out this audio commentary of MK2 over at JTPodcasts.com. I will say these films did one thing right and that was to only waste a small amount of money in the making of them with their limited budget

Tomb Raider (again both of them)

Now I loved these games as a teen, mainly to try in vain to get a look up Lara’s shorts when she was swimming (you know you did the same) and don’t get me wrong 11 years ago when the first movie surfaced I like most easily excitable 17-year-old boys of the time, were more than happy to sit through an action heavy and plot deficient film in the vague hope of seeing some side boob from Miss Jolie. Ok so the first one is actually OK (partly down to my inner 17-year-old) but that second one can be described in one monosyllabic, all-encompassing word – Gash.

Right, I think it best to stop the attack on shit movies you love there. I could go on about the Final Fantasy movies which all look very pretty but are boring as fuck. I could flip it and talk of how many great movies got turned into rubbish games (see Avatar, almost any movie based superhero game, any game based on a Pixar film.) or the exceptions to that rule (see Goldeneye64 and Lion King on the SNES). Instead lets look to the present and the very near future.

So in my opinion the whole game characters to the big screen hasn’t translated so well, so this next movie maker took a different route altogether and decided to make a film about the makers of games instead.

Indie Game: The Movie

If you read my co-blogger elth’s post about our society’s dismissal of gaming culture and you want to see just how much effort goes into making games, or you just want to watch an expertly crafted documentary which happens to be about games developers then please watch this. This independent film follows a few independent (indie) developers as they strive to get their games out there to the masses and documents their heartfelt struggles in making their respective games and their daily lives. This documentary is poignant at times and it really makes you feel for them and what they are going through. Either way I would suggest you watch this by purchasing from the official site or as most of you have it get it off iTunes. It’s only £6.99 ($9.99) and it will make you happy.

Right time to remove my makeup and emotions, let’s talk explosions.

Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn

Whether you are a Halo super-fan like me or you just like a good bit of sci-fi this forthcoming web-series by the team at 343 Industries shows a lot of promise. In the build up to Halo 4 this episodic story tells a tale of a group of cadets a couple of decades before the Halo game series at the beginning of the Covenant War, detailing their fight for survival. For those who have no idea what I just said this series will introduce you to the rich Halo universe and show you what you have been missing out on.

The story is not all guns and ammo, the creators of this series say it is very much character driven and aims to develop the relationships between these young soldiers facing this impossible situation. Those worried about it getting a bit too soppy this will not be a snooze fest, with Daniel Cudmore (of X-Men and Twilight fame) taking the role of a young Master Chief you can be certain that a lot of Aliens are going to die.

Needless to say I am creaming myself over this but don’t take my biased view on how good it is going to be watch the trailer here for yourself and do a little sex wee afterwards.