Dec 29, 2008

Under (Not So) Heavy Construction

As you might have noticed this blog is currently being shaped into its new unholy form. Things will change and be unstable for a while (as long as this post still exists). Please be patient for a few hours and do stick around. All will be better soon.

Update: The main part of what I had in mind is now in place. Still, a lot of things have to be done, fixed, changed, tweaked and added, but -fortunately- the blog is back to being as operational as any Death Start could ever hope to be.

Resonance Posterized

Happy? Intrigued? Bemused? Lost? Nostalgic? Slightly horny? Ready to click on things? Click here.

Dec 24, 2008

Ideas and Suggestions

Don't know if I mentioned this before, but I'm really working on a drastic update of Gnome's Lair, that will include changes of the aesthetic sort, some brand new content and a slight reorganization of, err, stuff (and sorts). Now, while things are being done in the background, I'd truly appreciate any ideas, suggestions etc you dear lovable people might have to offer. Is there anything you'd like to see changed/added/removed/whatevered from the blog?

Dec 22, 2008

Cthulhu Remakes Commonplace Retro Books And Asks For Nothing

While I was slaving away in the dungeons of Notblogging, the excellent Retro Remakes team brought mankind the aptly named Retro Remakes Competition 2008, whereas the sinister lot behind TIG Source unleashed the Lovecraft inspired entries to the Commonplace Book Competition. Now, I obviously lacked the time to play through all those lovely and quite freeware games, but I can at least comment on a few. Here goes:

This Cursed Rock is a beautifully pixel-art illustrated arcade-adventure-platfromer with an interesting story and a distinctly Lovecraftian mood. Haven't quite finished it yet, but I'm pretty sure this is a loose adaptation of the Call of Cthulhu short story trilogy and -at the same time- an obvious labour of love. Highly polished and playable too.

Deathchase, obviously a remake of ZX Spectrum classic 3D Deathchase, is simply brilliant. Potentialy better than the original too, what with it sporting an intuitive and extremely well-thought of control method and a sense of speed the Speccy just couldn't manage. All it needs are a few touches and Deathchase will be the ultimate tree-avoiding simulator.

Herbert West, that well-known fictional character we'd all love to employ as an animateur, is also starring in the visually stunning, definitely innovative and quite tough Carrion Re-animating. The game has been put together in an obviously very professional way, has a few great touches of humour and -I'm afraid- could use slightly better controls. Then again, I never managed to shine at Night Shift either.

Insomnia is another tough one, but you can be assured that controls wont be your problem. This is a highly atmospheric, yet heavily action oriented, offering that will remind you of the hardest days of the 8-bit era and show you just how difficult and frantic a platformer can be. Brilliant and well-written too.

The Empire Strikes Back. Yes, a remake of the original arcade obviously and one of the best Star Wars games to hit the PC during the last decade. You have to try it. Really have to. Highly playable and ridiculously addictive. Could use an online leaderboard, mind.

Death Lights Dancing. Interesting, quirky, heavy on atmosphere, not quite playable. If anyone cares for a mouse-driven row-simulator in a dark setting, well, be my guest. Surely a great idea is hidden in this still unpolished effort.

Ultimate Bruce Lee. Simply the ultimate version of the ultimate platform-fighter that was Bruce Lee on the 8-bits. Two new jaw-dropping graphical re-interpretations, an almost faithful remake of the original, fantastic music, a ton of unlockable new modes and excellent controls turn this into a truly brilliant remake. Which I love. Apparently.

Dec 20, 2008

New, indie, shiny, yet so very retro

Ahh, an almost proper post for an almost fully revived blog. Feels quite nice you know. Even more so when it's a post about them three latest additions to what can only be described as the Gnome's Lair link pool, presented in stirct order of discovery, exactly as any retro indie blog should do.

So, let's start with Matty's aptly named Matty on Games, shall we? It is after all a relatively young and excellently written blog on indie games, retro games, and -maybe- some other stuff too. Other stuff, that is, that happily range from a review of a truly obscure Atari ST game on grandads to Willy's Weirdy Nightmare. Oh, and ZX Spectrum and strategy gaming lovers will also find more than enough articles to cater to their (very special indeed) needs.

The Joy of Sticks, on the other hand, is a retro gaming blog with a strong indie side and an unhealthy obsession with all things Atari ST, that sports some excellent writing. It is thus totally dissimilar to Matty's effort, despite also being the home of the utterly impressive Great Atari ST Game Survey; a definitve top 50 ST games list as voted over four of the better gaming forums.

Now, to round things up and add a splash of variety to your online reading, you should also, oh wise reader, visit Just One More Game too. It is, you see, a blog, it has a strong retro side, doesn't ignore the odd indie offering, finds coin-ops amusing and is shockingly enough truly well written. Game on and some Retro Remakes 08 coverage seem like the places to start.

Dec 18, 2008

I guess I'm back!

No, really. Just finished printing the -admittedly first- draft of my dissertation and, well, now I'm back. Properly so. Nice, isn't it? And wait till you see me blogging on games (well, mostly) from revolting Athens... How very surreal, sad and inspiring. Anyway. Time to start working on that promised redesign of the Lair. Cheers everyone!

Dec 10, 2008

A look from the papers

That's the front page of the widest read Greek newspaper. The title reads "Goodbye Alexis" and right under it, painted on Syntagma square in front of the parliament is what's on everyone's lips: "15 years old dead. 6/12. Cops - Pigs - Murderers". The police on the other hand prefer to show their remorse and prove what a lovable caring lot they are by going for them rather more action-oriented shots:

Dec 7, 2008

When the state murders...

This kid, a 15 year old boy named Alexander, was brutally murdered last night by the Greek police. He was shot straight to the heart for actually daring to talk back to a cop. Athens is already burning and so is the rest of the country. No cover up will do. The murderers and their colleagues will pay.