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Archive for the ‘nostalgia’ tag

Games I Own: Lego Racers

Posted on 8th Jul 2010 at 11:19 by Joe Martin with 17 comments

Joe Martin
I never had any of the classic consoles as a kid, only an old Amiga A500+ and occasional access to the BBC Microcomputer at school or the one in my Dad’s office. That means I missed out on some of the apparent classics, like Mario Kart, so I can’t really comment on how Lego Racers compares to what many hold up as the king of kart games. All I can say is that I really liked Lego Racers.

In terms of gameplay and features there’s not really much to say about the original Lego Racers other than that it was a kart racer. You had little racing cars made of Lego and you went through a series of levels, trying to place ahead of the boss of each league. In each race you could collect power-ups to turn the tide of the race – missile attacks, oil slicks, rocket boosters, the usual fare. Unlike the latter Lego Racers 2, the first game didn’t have a big open-world for you to explore between races, just the levels and a few hidden shortcuts.

In fact, the only remotely original feature it had was the most logical and obvious one possible, given the franchise – you could build your own cars from unlocked bits of Lego. Supposedly the design might change how your car handled, but if there was any evidence or indication of that then it was so minimal that I can’t honestly say I ever noticed. Instead, I just tried to make my car look as badass as possible.

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Games I Own: Nerf Arena Blast Demo

Posted on 30th Jun 2010 at 10:10 by Joe Martin with 19 comments

Joe Martin
Yes, you read that correctly, the Nerf Arena Blast Demo – i.e. not the full game. It came on a coverdisk for a games magazine years and years ago and is one of three demos that I’ve hung on to without ever bothering to pick up the full game.

Released in 1999, Nerf Arena Blast was one of several forays that Nerf made into the games industry and is essentially just a brightly coloured FPS that swaps out the usual assault rifles and rocket launchers for Nerf blasters. I’ve never played the full game, but the demo featured two levels and gamemodes – one a straight deathmatch, the other a scavenger hunt variant, both against bots.

Nerf Arena wasn’t a fantastic game, at least if the demo is anything to go by, but it’s not as bad as you might expect. It was built on the original Unreal engine, which leant it some smoothness and graphical aplomb. It was also a lot faster and more fun than you’d think – mainly because the lurid neon levels were full of shortcuts, secrets and jump-pads to keep things interesting.

Still, it was by no means a spectacular game and the reason I’ve kept it around for so long isn’t anything to do with the game itself, not really. I’ve not even thought about actually playing it for a decade.

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