Saturday, 28 March 2015

Remembering... Kempston Interface And Joysticks

kempston joystick

David Hayward get to grips with his Spectrum gaming this week

Gaming on the old rubber keyboard, 'dead flesh', 48K Spectrum was a part of our childhood and adolescence that we won't forget in a hurry. But often, the keyboard just wasn't up to the task of controlling the game the way we wanted it to.

Take Taito's Flying Shark, Operation Wolf and the hardware-destroying Daley Thompson's Decathlon, for example; these were games where the keyboard needed to take a back seat while the gamer got to grips with the latest joystick.

How YouTube is changing gaming forever

YouTube gaming

After all the fights over copyright infringement fell away, one of the greatest forces in gaming today emerged, and YouTube became dominated by gamers more popular than the biggest music acts. What does it mean for the future of gaming and how is the industry adapting?

Who’s more famous? PewDiePie or Cliff Bleszinski? Who is more likely to be recognised walking down the street by a group of 14-year olds, Stampy or Hideo Kojima? Only a couple of years ago such questions would have been completely ridiculous and even now they carry a faint aura of absurdity to them. The answer feels like it should obviously be the developer, but a shift has taken place in the way we consume our games and there’s a generation of players who know their gaming commentators better than the creators. YouTube is changing gaming forever.

Homeworld Remastered Collection

Homeworld Remastered Collection

Amongst the spate of remasters, remakes and rehashes of the last few years, Homeworld is more worthwhile than others. While the worst examples have been cynical attempts to cash-in with a casual re-skin or improved texture pack, the best have added genuine value to the original proposition. Happily, the Homeworld Remastered Collection falls into the latter camp, with new franchise custodian, Gearbox Software, even taking the opportunity to make small adjustments to improve the underlying game based on wisdom drawn from careful retrospection and a vocal fan base.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number

The difficult second album problem applies not only to music. In the realm of videogames, plenty of revered games and creators have been undermined by an inability to provide a sequel that is anywhere near the quality of the original. But from the challenging content to the arresting visuals, from the achingly cool music to the ferocious difficulty, everything that made Hotline Miami great is served up once again here.

Don’t think the similarities undermine the experience, though. A range of initially subtle changes to the formula eventually reveal themselves as impactful and welcome alterations and additions. Most immediate is the greater diversity. Where the first game saw you ransack a number of buildings that featured uniformly similar shades of pink floors,whitewalls and brown doors, here you’re quickly moved between interior and exterior locations, gang hideouts and film sets, forests and night clubs. It’s a glorious diversification of a focused visual style and one that elegantly destroys the naysayers claiming ‘pixel art’ has killed itself through cliché and saturation.

What you need to know about the new MacBook

new MacBook


You might have missed it at a recent Apple keynote where much of the limelight was on (once again) the Apple Watch and such other announcements as HBO NOW, but the Cupertino firm also showed off a refresh of its venerable notebook range that is well worth a second look. A thinner, lighter and all-new MacBook was given an airing, along with such features as a revamped design, revised keyboard and introduction of a USB-C port.