Saturday 29 December 2012

Pinball FX 2: El Dorado

I was told, from clearly unreliable sources, that El Dorado was one of the lesser tables to grace Zen Pinball in 2009. And that's why you don't listen to what people have to say. Opinions suck - more guns in schools!!!

Thursday 20 December 2012

Pinball FX 2: Shaman

Hey look, it's the day nobody was waiting for - equality amongst pinball simulators by Zen Studios.

Shaman, El Dorado, Tesla and V12, four pinball tables from 2009 originally exclusive to PlayStation 3 users, are now available to Xbox 360 fans via Pinball FX 2. Trying to describe the situation hurts my head, but I'm going to review each table individually anyway because I can, starting with Shaman... right now.

Tuesday 11 December 2012

Icicle Works

It's getting cold outside, so must be time to tell Paul Weller that the river Nile flows through ten African nations and much of the continent follows Islam. We've done this every year since 1986 but he just doesn't listen!

And what better way to celebrate the festive season than Icicle Works for the Commodore 64, a game completely devoid of icicles... and work. Great stuff.

Friday 7 December 2012


That's the sound of da police.

It's new Nintendo console time, and I thought I'd try something hilarious - give my opinions on a system I've not seen and don't plan to buy, because that's totally what you want to read. Won't get that elsewhere on the internet, nope.

Saturday 1 December 2012

Hard 'n' Heavy

Remember Great Giana Sisters, the world's most famous Super Mario Bros. clone? Of course you do - the internet won't let you forget.

But what about the sequel? This is Hard 'n' Heavy for the Amiga, converted, apparently, by a man without a name. We're off to a good start.

Monday 26 November 2012

Pinball FX 2: Civil War

Time to put your PhD to good use.

Politics, pinball and Marvel Comics, all rolled up into one bundle in the form of Civil War, recently released to Pinball FX 2. Chose your coloured gimp and manipulate the powers at be. Sounds lovely.

Friday 23 November 2012

SOOG: 20 Japanese Saturn Games That Should Have Been Released in the UK

In the last two years I've become a bastion of pointless Sega knowledge, something that's unlikely to assist my day-to-day life. Generally I find the ladies don't want to know what the average battery life of a Game Gear is, so I can't see it being a route to marriage (p.s. it's roughly three-to-five hours but the later US models by Majesco bring it closer to ten - call me if you care).

Anyway I've resisted the temptation of posting lists for five years, so here is a set of Japanese-exclusive Sega Saturn games which should have been released in the United Kingdom... although these aren't necessarily the best candidates for import, nor are there strictly twenty games here. My skills in quality control clearly remain undiminished.

Thursday 8 November 2012

Edd the Duck!

Blog Squirrel, appealing to the masses.

Look, it's Edd the Duck!, a twenty-two year old Amiga game based on an old Children's BBC mascot. It's what the public wants. Maybe.

Wednesday 31 October 2012


How topical.

Praise the lord for this miracle bestowed upon us. It's gimped Castlevania for the IBM PC, here to enlighten and enthrall the masses with its thought-provoking tales of video game wonder.

Friday 26 October 2012

McDonalds Monogatari Honobono Tenchou Ikusei Game

In the days before blank-VHS manufacturer TDK hit it big in the video game industry with such timeless classics as "Westlife: Fan-o-Mania" for the PlayStation, they made McDonalds Monogatari Honobono Tenchou Ikusei Game for the Game Boy Color. It's a game who's name rolls right off your tongue... and onto the floor... after it's just been rejected from your stomach.

Tuesday 23 October 2012


Television in the United Kingdom is a wonderful thing. Last night the BBC exposed the failure of the BBC to expose the failings of the BBC, and the news story was covered on the BBC for maximum exposure.

But for everything strange brought into this world, something strange must be taken away. Today is the day when digital switchover concludes, and with that, the end of the much-loved Teletext service. Bamber Boozler has just joined the unemployment statistics.

Tuesday 16 October 2012

Sega Bass Fishing

The frightening tales of Dreamcast Collection for the Xbox 360 come to a close with Sega Bass Fishing, the game everybody wanted.

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Space Channel 5: Part 2

Hey there space cats, this is Squirrel coming to you live with Space Channel 5: Part 2, third game in "Dreamcast" Collection for the Xbox 360. Why not part 1? Because that would make too much damned sense.

Friday 5 October 2012



Zaxxon for the Dragon 32, an arcade shooter which I'm not fond of, ported to a computer I've never used. Sounds like a fine recipe for success.

Tuesday 2 October 2012

Crazy Taxi

Because this blog needs more Dreamcast games. Even if this isn't one of them.

Craaazy Taxi, part two of our wonderful journey through half-hearted Sega compilations. I made some crazy money once - I had a £5 note which set a bin on fire with no regard for human safety. What am I typing.

Friday 28 September 2012


Something interesting I found in my internet travels - Empire, political simulator for the Sega SC-3000, the home computer that nobody likes to talk about.

Tuesday 25 September 2012

Sonic Adventure

Blog Squirrel, home of obscure games.

I have in my possession a copy of Dreamcast Collection for the Xbox 360. Why this was given to me considering my fairly hefty library of real Dreamcast games is anybody's guess, but here we are, and here's the first game of the pack, the lovely Sonic Adventure, first released to Xbox Live in 2010.

Monday 17 September 2012


Over the months and years I've had tons of fun picking apart critically acclaimed games to find that they're not too great. Or at least I think that qualifies as fun... I'm not entirely sure.

But hey, here's critically "mixed" game, so I guess that means that once I've picked it apart, it'll be horrible. Nail'd for the Xbox 360, because we need to omit the "e" - that's obvious.

Monday 10 September 2012

Pinball FX 2: Plants vs. Zombies

Something current on Blog Squirrel? Better get that third runway up and running because the pigs want to fly.

Satire. And yes, I've decided to embark on individual Pinball FX 2/Zen Pinball table review(s), because outdated thoughts from mid-2011 scarcely apply to content released in recent days. This is the Plants vs. Zombies table, which deserves a mention because it breaks established norms by not being outstanding. Oh no.

Sunday 9 September 2012


The kids are playing up downstairs.

More forgettable old games to give the false impression that this blog is regularly updated with meaningful content? That's madness!

No really.

Wednesday 5 September 2012


Apparently these days it takes four years for id Software to ship a game. Here's one that probably took about four weeks.

Catacomb for DOS, one of the original works of a youthful John Carmack, back in the days before BSP trees and megatextures. It has pink walls.

Wednesday 29 August 2012

SOOG: Kickstarter

Kickstarter. What a fine establishment. It's here to fund a new generation of gaming... and film production... and a democratised middle east... and whatever else.

It's a system that's gathered nothing but praise. A project asks for money, you donate, and you can get nice little prises in return. What an excellent idea.

Friday 24 August 2012

Squirrel's Guide to Image Formats

(last updated: 30/08/11)

Image formats, there's a fun subject. We've all seen our fair share of blurry or distorted images on the web - some of it can't be avoided, but a lot of it can, and here's a guide explaining how.

Which is better, the JPG or the PNG? Find out this and much more after the jump.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Rings

Look it's almost topical. Izzy's Quest for the Olympic Rings, a Sega Mega Drive (and Super Nintendo) platform game for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. This is their legacy. I'm so very sorry.

Saturday 18 August 2012

The Darkness

Here's a game that made me physically unwell!

The Darkness, a 2007 release for the Xbox 360. I'm not going to be kind.

Wednesday 15 August 2012

Willy the Worm

Because graphics are boring.

Willy the Worm, a not-so-brilliant title for a very brilliant 1985 DOS game. It's optimised for colour monitors!

Friday 10 August 2012

Skunny: Back to the Forest

Oh god. Skunny: Back to the Forest, a 1993 DOS platform game by Copysoft. They still charge money for this. And yes, it does star more squirrels. And no, I'm not doing this on purpose.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

SOOG: Fangaming in 2012

It's Sonic Amateur Games Expo (SAGE) 2012 time! I've covered this event in previous years in varying degrees, but this year, I'm not going to bother. Shoot me.

Exceptionally poor management and conduct has allowed SAGE 2012 to underperform by leaps and bounds, but for me, the whole subject of fangaming is something I have started to drift away from. Of course, long time followers of Squirrel will note I used to run a fangaming website - arguably the most popular one of its day, but times have changed, and fangaming... isn't the same anymore.

Here's why.

Sunday 5 August 2012

Squirrel's Guide to DOSBox

(last updated: 05/03/12)
Some emulators can be seen as intuitive for all age groups. Others, less so, and only deter users from playing great games. Running old PC games through DOSBox is particularly daunting for newcomers, even though in reality, it may be the simplest emulator of all.

So, struggling to mount a C: drive? Not sure if a "Gravis Ultrasound" beats a "Sound Blaster 16"? Can't tell the difference between CGA, EGA and VGA? Maybe I can help with this guide.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Kid Chaos

Sound the alarm, it's another Sonic the Hedgehog clone.

Kid Chaos for the Commodore Amiga (and CD32!), developed by Magnetic Fields and published by Ocean Software in 1994. That's one stunning title screen there - appeal to the kids of the 90s with a reject from The Beano. Give that man a medal.

Friday 3 August 2012

Shifting Stuff

Once upon a time I set up The Obscure Ripping/Research Project, a website which attempted to document unlicensed tat before better attempts emerged. tORP has always relied on crappy freebie hosting services because it was a hobby, and when I started beefing up this blog with "guides" and "specials" I recycled the hosting to avoid opening my wallet.

I chose as the host of tORP, and a couple of years ago, this made sense. The URLs were short, the uptime was reasonable, and 110MB of space was all I really needed. Unfortunately the owners of 110MB have allowed the service to deteriorate into something pretty horrible. Servers are constantly down, support is scarce, and even registering a new account is a pointless challenge, yet the team still have the audacity to promote their paid options. There are people who haven't been able to log in for over six months - what a great service!

In an age where uploading videos, making blogs, hosting large downloadable files and connecting with your friends can be done without paying a penny, it baffles my mind why uploading HTML documents requires an investment, but such is life - it's an issue nobody wants to address (or even acknowledge) for whatever reason, and I'm not going to fight it today. But I will be severing my ties with 110MB in the coming months and doing everything of value here.

My last guide was posted in blog form, as opposed to the usual method of hosting pages off-site. The plan in the next few weeks or so is to shift earlier guides and specials over to this blog to be absorbed, so you'll likely see a few repeat posts in the days ahead. I plan to update some of them during this process, but if you've got bookmarks (*cough*) you might have to update.

Wednesday 1 August 2012

Splinter Cell: Conviction

I'm not plucking games out of the sky, whatever do you mean?

Splinter Cell: Conviction for the Xbox 360, released back in 2010. Fifth game in the long-running-but-actively-ignored-by-me Splinter Cell franchise. And now, having played a game starring Sam Fisher and his three eyed friend(s), I can actually justify why that is.

Monday 30 July 2012

Squirrel's Guide to Macintosh Emulation

(last updated: 30/07/2012)

Following my troubles emulating Dark Castle for black and white Macintoshes, I felt it was worth writing a guide. Put simply, Macintosh emulation is dreadful from a user perspective, so any help to solve that issue is time worth spent.

This is intended primarily for Windows users, though no doubt there'll be some tips for other platforms too. I'm not an amazing source for knowledge when it comes to Macs, but I solved a problem and want to share results.

Sunday 29 July 2012

Super Hang-On

Many thanks to Andlabs, who demonstrated that in order for a game to work in one emulator, sometimes you have to use two.

A quick one because it's interesting. Super Hang-On, the Macintosh version. This is a rare breed - for one, it's a Sega game on a Mac, and in 1987 that didn't happen. It's also almost entirely different to the arcade version, so it hardly qualifies as a port at all. How fancy.

Thursday 26 July 2012

Mr. Nutz: Hoppin' Mad

...on Blog Squirrel.

Can't get this on Nintendo!.. or Sega... officially. Mr. Nutz: Hoppin' Mad, once set to hit your Sega Mega Drives in early 1994, before being cancelled by the man, plunging the world into fifteen years of misery and turmoil.

Thankfully we have been liberated from the darkness and oppression, as we now have both prototype source code and working ROMs of this game to play with. No doubt a good day for the world.

Sunday 22 July 2012

Spitting Image

Such is the life of Squirrel that this is the second fighting game involving Mrs. Thatcher to cross my path... but the first not to display all its text in Korean.

Erm yes, look, another comedy sketch show turned video game for the Amiga. This one's a fighting game, made in the days before we knew how to make fighting games. What such productive lives we lived in the late 1980s.

Wednesday 18 July 2012

Monty Python's Flying Circus

This is what the kids want - a platform/shoot-'em-up game based on a then-twenty year old comedy sketch show. Monty Python's Flying Circus for the Amiga, released in 1990 by the future creators of Tomb Raider.

My brain hurts.

Sunday 15 July 2012

SOOG: Squirrel's Laws on Sequels

I'm a part-time Sega fan - there's a statement that will stun the world. Once in a while I wander over to SegaBits to get a glimpse of Sega-related news, only to then wish I hadn't, because as lovely as the site is, they clearly need to read up on the company they're plugging.

Not too long ago an article entitled "reasons why Sega is failing in the western markets" was posted. It's universally agreed that Sega is clueless these days, but one area of "concern" caught my eye - "too many risky, new IP's. Not enough of the old ones". Misuse of the apostrophe aside, this statement needs a response! Because inter-blog fights are fun or something.

Tuesday 10 July 2012

High Speed

Pinball on the NES. Think it will work? My vote is no.

Thursday 5 July 2012

Vigilance on Talos V

There is only one major issue I have with Super Metroid - it's a SNES game. Try as I might to sit down and finish it, Nintendo's unique take on audio coupled with the slow and dark nature of 16-bit Zebes means I often struggle to keep my eyes open while playing.

Thankfully, there are alternatives. Here's one; Vigilance on Talos V, released in 1996 for DOS. Gradient heavy mid-90s graphics, questionable voice acting, low production values... it's perfect.

Sunday 1 July 2012

SOOG: Sega Pico

Something new, something fresh. Something with fewer images because ImageShack keeps deleting them.

Because I'm not entirely sure whether the whole "Squirrel reviews a game you're not aware of" format always works, I figured it was time to try something different. So I present to you a potentially short-lived column: Squirrel's Opinions on Gaming. Or SOOG.

I also thought I'd start on something more positive (I use this term very loosely) before this degrades into rants about trivial features of the industry. My adventures with the Sega Pico - the Sega console nobody talks about. It'll be educational for all sorts of reasons.

Sunday 24 June 2012

Dark Castle

A few months ago, the horrendous Mega Drive (and CD-i) release of Dark Castle was roasted by the Angry Video Game Nerd for horrific controls and stupid design, and a good deed was probably done for the world.

Unfortunately, the AVGN show isn't always well informed. Turns out there's a second opinion on the internet coming from the Macintosh fans. Dark Castle, a classic? It has sequels? It has a following? Oh no!

Tuesday 19 June 2012


Look what I found on my shelf. ATF II - a two decade old "arcade" flight simulator for the IBM PC which I've never bothered to play. How does this masterpiece fare in 2012? I can't say, because I couldn't get it to run.

But that's okay, we can still experience the redundancy through this Amiga copy! What a glorious day for the world!

Monday 4 June 2012

Vote 1924... yet again

Not that I'm expecting anyone to care, but I've redesigned the SHPMDBGWL4 mini site. It was something I was meaning to do quite a while ago, a.k.a. last year. It's nothing special, but certainly better than before.

Don't ever expect to see anything "new" from the series, but if you haven't played these games yet, I urge you to give them a try. Yes the file size is a bit excessive, yes there are many references to things you won't understand, but I am genuinely interested in whether there's a market for this sort of "joke" game. SHPMDBGWL4 has broken gameplay, rubbish graphics and stolen audio, yet it still resonates with people (or at least it did in 2008).

One day I'd like to bring Quackers to the big leagues, because five years on this stupid concept still makes me laugh. The implementation here is often lousy (most of the earlier games make me cringe) but I honestly feel it's a idea with potential. I'm still waiting for the video game equivalent to Airplane! but the best the industry has managed thus far is a Stan Helsing. It's a long-term goal of mine to change that.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

1941: Counter Attack

Lock up your women and children - Squirrel's reviewing a PC Engine SuperGrafx game. Last time this happened thirteen innocent lives were lost. Some of us are still in mourning.

1941: Counter Attack. Sequel to 1943 and 1942, because fighting with the Japanese before 1945 disrupts the fabric of time, as my long time fans will tell you.

Saturday 19 May 2012


My Sega Retro journey brings me to this disaster - OutRunners for the Sega Mega Drive. What joy.

Saturday 12 May 2012


It pains me that I don't like Rage. You could say "it makes me rage"... but I've no plans to such things... even though it does. How can a game built by id Software turn out so obtuse and stupid - looking new, yet feeling old. What went wrong?

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Puyo Puyo Tsuu

Look at this. Puyo Puyo Tsuu for the Mega Drive, an iteration of one of the best puzzle games ever made. A game you all need to play, but yet I can almost guarantee nobody will, mostly due to its failure of its aesthetics to appeal to anyone. First impressions are key, and Tsuu looks like another piece of worthless Japanese tat. Isn't it great that looks can be deceiving?

Monday 16 April 2012


Oh yes, this exists.

There was once a time where Fez was fresh. That was five years ago. But fear not, for recently Polytron's party piece has finally been made available on Xbox Live Arcade. But the question is, do we still care?

Saturday 14 April 2012

Jaki Crush

"I wonder what Squirrel will post next..."

Surprise! It's an obsolete pinball game from twenty years ago! Jaki Crush, for the Super Famicom, built by Naxat Soft. We're living it large, friends.

Saturday 31 March 2012

Ninku Gaiden: Hiroyuki Daikatsugeki

Ugh. Yes, I know, illegible Japanese tat, get it off this blog, etc., and I agree - I don't like littering posts with words I can't pronounce. But I do like Pengo, and if I don't highlight this one, nobody will.

Thursday 29 March 2012

Gears of War

Despite working on a review since mid-January I can't seem to formulate paragraphs about this one. It's Gears of War, etc. Click the link.

Wednesday 28 March 2012

Sonic 2 HD

A Sonic the Hedgehog game which completely fills my screen, yet doesn't make me wish it didn't. Yep it's the alpha version of the fan-created Sonic 2 HD - what joy.

Friday 16 March 2012

King & Balloon

Man the space cannons - Richard Branson is attacking the monarchy. This is King & Balloon, released in 1980 by Namco. Remind me why we don't care.

Saturday 10 March 2012

Half-Life 2

I've been busy.

It's Half-Life 2, delivered to you by Blog Squirrel nearly eight years after PC Gamer said it was cool. Gordon Freeman is here to show us how to grow a goatee... and there's aliens or something, idk.

Sunday 19 February 2012

Donald no Magical World

A video game sponsored by the McDonald's fast-food restaurant chain? Well Christ I don't think I can cope with such a new and innovative concept - certainly haven't seen that before! And for the Sega Game Gear too? It's as if my prayers have finally been answered.

This is the poorly titled "Donald no Magical World", otherwise known as "Ronald in the Magical World", because it stars everyone's favourite clown, Ronald McDonald and he's in the... "Magical World". I'm guessing the executives in charge were hanging out there too.