Earthworm Jim first released on the Sega Genesis today in 1994. The strange side scroller married offbeat humour and experimental level design. The result was a hodgepodge of a game that was frustrating but engaging.
I have no words. Alright, I have a couple. Interplay is mostly not a thing these days, but back in the 90s, the company was publishing hit after hit. Fallout, Baldur's Gate, Alone in the Dark, Descent... the list goes on. So to discover Interplay also put together an educational movie about games programming during its wonder years... well, let's just go to the tape, shall we?
If you've gotten excited at the thought of the many six degrees of freedom games that are coming out over the next year or so, your eye might have run over the original Descent games. And that's a good thing, because they're excellent titles that hold up exceptionally well today even without HD texture packs and fan patches.
But if you've looked for the game lately, you might have noticed it's no longer available on Good Old Games. And it's supposed to be pulled from Steam shortly too — because Interplay, which has the rights to sell the originals, allegedly hasn't paid royalties for 8 years.
It seems a bit strange to do things this way this week, but my Dad is sick. Very sick, as a matter of fact to the point where (I've been informed) he was on the verge of being clinically dead the day PAX started.
I didn't actually know at the time and was only informed of this fact yesterday morning, so understandably I've had family on the mind. And given that this regular feature was coming up, the only thing I could think about was the few memories I've shared with my Dad over video games.
For years, No Mutants Allowed, a news site and message board, hung in a happy obscurity. It's the largest Fallout fansite on the internet and was founded back in the late '90s under the shadow of the first two games in the franchise.
With the fourth numbered instalment on the way it's the perfect time to take a short trip into the past, to an era when Fallout games needed lengthy explainer sub-titles and a man could proudly kill a rat by shooting it in the crotch.
The sequel to Interplay's legendary post-apocalyptic role-playing game was bigger and badder than the original Fallout, which translates into more space on the cutting room floor for discarded storylines, abandoned features, unrealized non-player characters and a fully-upgradeable, completely drive-able vehicle.
I would have loved the original Fallout so much more had the planned mutant raccoon faction made it into the game. VG Facts' "Leftovers" series looks at the S'lanter faction, extra maps, the planned Supermutant invasion and other bits left out of the post-apocalyptic classic.
It's — you guessed it — a legal issue. It all started with a news post on Good Old Games, which announced the removal of Fallout 1, 2, and Tactics from the site's catalogue. Shortly after, the trio of post-apocalyptic RPGs was "removed" (the actual pages stayed, with only the buy links being deactivated) from Steam as well.
Freespace was the world's last great space combat series, a genre you may not even be aware of if you're under the age of 20. Yet it's still quite active today; the amazing Battlestar Galactica mod Diaspora is built on Freespace 2's engine.
Black Isle was one of the great game studios of its era, but the the visionary company that existed in the '90s and early oughts is no more, and its revival is something else entirely — something that seems more sketchy every day.
Chris Avellone has previously teased that another Planescape: Torment game is not out of the question, the proviso being that it wouldn't be Planescape, so much as a spiritual successor, given all the licencing and IP issues surrounding the setting. Now Colin McComb, Avellone's writing partner-in-crime on Planescape, has scribed a blog post strongly suggesting such a successor is on the cards.
It seems like Black Isle, the game studio behind RPG classics like Fallout and Planescape: Torment, is making some sort of comeback.
As reported last week, the legal battle between Bethesda and Interplay over the final fate of a massively multiplayer online Fallout game has ended in a settlement, one that leaves full control of Fallout intellectual properties in the hands of Bethesda.