modern culture since 1991

Wings Over Sealand

Burning bridge extinguished 1

Posted on May 21, 2018 by RevStu

I came by a little snippet of games-magazine history this week – via an unlikely route that needn't concern us here – and I just thought I'd share it for the historical record.

Atari ST Review was a magazine published by EMAP  in 1992 and 1993, when after just 12 issues it was suddenly sold to Europress, leading to this editorial column in a suspiciously large typeface:

But alert readers might have noticed (from the slightly off alignment of the red border) that the column actually took the form of a hastily-applied sticker. Because that wasn't the editor's original leader.

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28* Years Later 7

Posted on April 25, 2018 by RevStu


So, yeah. It was on this day in 1991 that the first ever proper issue of Amiga Power (A Magazine With Tatty Shoes, or something) hit Britons' newsagents' shelves.



And while vast numbers of old games magazines are now available to read as lovely friendly PDFs or similar that you can load up onto your computer or electro-tablet and flick through page by page in a gratifying manner, AP inexplicably isn't.

Or is it? Or IS it? OR IS IT?

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When all your dreams come true 1

Posted on January 05, 2018 by RevStu

I was as pleased as a big fat walrus with a free bucket of haddock today to be able to contribute to the week-long one-off revival celebrating the 25th anniversary of the start of the majestic Digitiser. 

Especially when I got a lovely new Panel 4 picture from Mr Biffo (instead of money). But I got a bit distracted in the column, and forgot to talk about the thing I meant to talk about, so I'm going to talk about it now.

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This is why games are terrible now 1

Posted on November 20, 2017 by RevStu

It happens at 2m 30s, if you're in a hurry.

Seriously, all those millions in development, all the hundreds of pounds people have spent buying the PS4 and the VR headset and the game and the upgrade – how hard could it be to have it detect when you'd gone seriously off track and have the navigator go "ARGH! SHIT! OW! BLOODY HELL, GET BACK ON THE ROAD YOU MORON!", so as to not completely ruin the whole thing?

How dull-witted do you have to be, how far have you missed the point by, to obsess over every last wheelnut in the name of "realism" and then sit the player beside a virtually-real companion who keeps calmly reading out directions even as the car he's in plummets down a mountainside on its roof? For God's sake.

I despair, I really do.

Blurred lines Comments Off on Blurred lines

Posted on June 18, 2017 by RevStu

There's nothing about Ramboat (Genera, free, iOS and Android) that isn't interesting. The game itself is a short, punchy and fun pure arcade shooter that most obviously channels Metal Slug and Irem's much-underrated In The Hunt. Indeed, it's basically a very clever adaptation of the latter game for one-thumb control, but presented with all the beautifully-detailed character of the former.

But this isn't the article I've been meaning to write for years about the fascinating and often incredibly elegant and even revolutionary ways that developers have rejigged every traditional game genre for touchscreen devices in order to avoid going down the horribly unsatisfactory route of the "virtual d-pad".

Because the other most intriguing aspect of modern gaming*, particularly on mobile formats, is the monetisation of it. And in the case of Ramboat, the opportunity for an experiment presented itself.

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The Modern Videogames Console: A Guide 6

Posted on February 23, 2017 by RevStu

The process of simply buying the Xbox One took me either three days or eight weeks, depending on how you look at it, due to a combination of how retail works these days and the gibbering random madness that is GAME's pricing and corporate structure. But I'm not even going to get into that here.


What you should know is what happened next.

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Your hair is beautiful tonight 4

Posted on September 05, 2015 by RevStu

You know that bit in Superman 2 where Superman is forced by General Zod and his evil Krypton buddies into the magic power-removing chamber, except that Supes has somehow cunningly rewired it so that the space rays or whatever get deflected to everywhere OUTSIDE the chamber instead and they're the ones that lose all their powers while he stays super?


That's basically what's happened in Weston-super-Mare this month.

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Would you like to play a game? 17

Posted on December 23, 2014 by RevStu

Since the demise of the Nintendo DS, I've done almost all of my videogaming on smartphones and tablets. A confluence of circumstances made traditional console formats less attractive for a variety of reasons, but also saw me spend more money on gaming than I had done in years. iOS and Android games offer a huge range of incredibly good titles at mindbogglingly tiny prices, almost all of them capable of fitting into whatever free time you have available.


(And not just because they're short, snappy arcade twitch games like Super Hexagon or Impossible Road. Classics like Civilisation and Shadowrun have been revived brilliantly to suit the format, and traditional genres such as scrolling shooters have actually been improved by touchscreen controls, with the likes of Dodonpachi and Raiden rendered far more player-friendly without reducing their fearsome difficulty one iota. Pinball games and others can finally get the aspect ratio they've always wanted.)

More to the point, it almost never takes 47 days to download one.

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Posted on June 21, 2013 by RevStu

Never been prouder of my adopted hometown.


If that's not the best opening sentence you read today, your money back.

The anti-social gamer 6

Posted on June 17, 2013 by RevStu

Hey, videogame developers! Fuck the fucking fuck off with this fucking cuntery:


Thanks so much.

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Space filler 4

Posted on June 11, 2013 by RevStu

Wordplay! Because not only is this article a token attempt at having a post on WoSland for the first time since nineteen-banana, it's about putting something on the empty shelves of the infinitely annoying Newsstand app in iOS.


I've been delving around the App Store newsagents, and after a world of pain found a bunch of totally free publications (no time-limited trials or any of that guff) that aren't completely awful, and will stop you having to look at that ugly, undeleteable, unhideable icon. You can see them in the pic above. Links/descriptions below.

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Revenge of the radio star 12

Posted on March 25, 2013 by RevStu

Something's puzzled me for more than 15 years, viewers, and an article I read today brought it back to mind, so I'm going to raise it very briefly in the hopes that someone might even now be able to answer the question for me.

There's something odd about the chart above, isn't there?

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    Hello. I am the Rev. Stuart Campbell,
    a semi-obsolete neo-culture journalist.
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