Rare: From 8-Bit To Xbox One - Exhibition Tour

Neil headed off to The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry last weekend to witness a fantastic new exhibition celebrating legendary British video game developer, Rare!

The exhibition is called 'Rare: From 8-Bit To Xbox One' and covers three decades of iconic games such as Battletoads, Banjo-Kazooie, GoldenEye and Viva Piñata.

Then set sail on the Sea of Thieves and explore how Rare’s latest release was made!

The Exhibition is on until the 23rd of September, for more details, check out the link below:

http://www.theherbert.org/whats_on/13...

Blast Zone! Tournament - Steam Review (PC)

BB_Poster_Logo_Final-1200x675.jpg

A REVIEW BY IAN CHANDLER

Do you like Bomberman? Do you like dressing up your in game character in different outfits? Do you like loot boxes? Then you’ll LOVE Blast Zone! Tournament, currently in Early Access on steam, the sequel to Bomb Buddies (unfortunate name?) from Victory Lap Games

最终资源_NEW_Slide_IN_1-15-1200x676.jpg

The game starts with bright colourful menus and thumping techno music (though I am old so it could be any one of the millions of thumpy noises them kids listen to these days). Your avatar has the super-deformed big head anime look and has literally billions (10 billion combinations according to the publisher) of outfits, hairstyles etc. so you could spend hours dressing your little bomberperson. Also there are loot boxes you can buy for real money full of outfits and numerous other stuff.

GRAVEYARD_ZOMBIE-1200x675.png

There are ten game modes such as Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Treasure Mode (coins are sometimes released when bombs go off) and Zombie Mode, which turns any dead players into zombies who can walk through blasts and infect other players. Lots of Power-Ups are available to increase Speed and Bomb Range, as well as Ultimates which offer other abilities like being able to throw or kick bombs across the screen.

RACETRACK_BOTTOMEXPLODE-1200x675.png

The one player mode has 240 levels divided into 7 zones like Jungle, Pirate Ship and a Disco dance floor. The multiplayer options cover 283 levels across the 7 zones and allows up to 32 online players at the same time. Victory are targetting this as an esport, and like other esports games the PC requirements are minimal, listing only a Pentium with 512Mb graphics needed to run it (though I wonder how well such a machine will handle 32 players  on screen at once) and I had no issues running it at a good speed with my somewhat-overkill Ryzen 7 and GTX1080.

DANCECLUB_SCORPION-1200x675.png

So, aside from loot boxes, costumes and hundreds of levels, how does it actually PLAY?

Very well in fact, super smooth with bright colourful graphics and a good learning curve so even someone not good at Bomberman in the past can get a good game in. The one player game has a good variety of challenges and is a good way to train you for the multiplayer, which is where the long term fun is to be had. Having a screen full of characters and bombs going off in all directions really is a lot of fun with friends, and the deep customisation and many game modes really reward extended play. It’s not cheap at £15.49, but there is a lot there if you enjoy Bomberman and multiplayer gaming in general.

So, if you liked Bomberman you’ll love it, if you didn’t this won’t change your mind.

- Ian

BP_review_Blast_Zone_GREAT.jpg

Blast Zone! Tournament was provided for an unbiased review, all views expressed are those of BlastProcess.com

You can find more out about the game at the Victory Lap website:

https://victorylapgames.com/

Tom Plays WWE 2K18 (PS4)

It's a Tom Plays first, we play a wrestling game! The most recent in fact (until the next yearly update is released), WWE 2K18!

Tom jumps into the MyPlayer mode, where he creates a new wrestler and joins wrestling boot camp before heading off to appear on NXT, sadly though, Tom finds little in the way of actual wrestling in this mode, instead confronted with short snippets of gameplay and plenty of load screens.

He does however play a proper match nearer the end of the video and is happy to report that the actual Wrestling is top notch and looks fantastic!

NOTE: It would seem none of the in-game music plays back when streamed! That's pretty interesting, sorry about that, had no idea - Tom

TMA 197 – Better than Strictly!

tma.jpg

On yet another TMA, the boys discuss more than the latest episode of strictly and haiku’s! Tom’s been playing some Tetris (and quilting), but also finding Yakuza Kawami to be less than what was promised in terms of Shenmue succession. Mat’s been playing some Donut County and forcing things into holes… Beyond that, the boys debate the length of games, discuss some of their favourite retro retailers and have a good old natter about originality in games!

Listen here.

Parry's Pickups! Episode 67... - Birthday Bonus Import Special!

 

What? How? There's more Parry's Pickups!? You may be asking yourselves this question, you may not be, but it's true, all of it!

Let me explain, this video came about because there's no Episode 67 of Parry's Pickups, I accidentally missed it out...somehow... Seeing as it was my Birthday coming up and I'd bought myself a few games from Genki Video Games to celebrate, I thought, let's do a new one and make up for the missing episode!

Please enjoy :)

NOTE: This vid is NOT a paid advertisement for Genki Video Games, I do however highly want to recommend them as a great place to get imported games online. I've been buying games from them for years and the service is impeccable and I just wanted to give something back as a way of saying thanks!

Check out the site at the link below:

http://www.genkivideogames.com/

Tom Plays Yakuza Kiwami (PS4)

Tom has been persuaded by his podcasting buddy Mat to give Yakuza another another try, if only as a way to see how the genre of cinematic story driven adventure games have progressed since 1999's landmark, Shenmue.

From this hour-long play from the beginning of the game, Tom has come to the conclusion that, in Yakuza, the cutscene is king!

Guilt Battle Arena (Switch) - Let's Play - 3 Players!

112899-27mprqet-v3.jpg

Join Mike, Neil and Tom as they play a 3-player game of Guilt Battle Arena on the Nintendo Switch! Guilt Battle Arena is a frantic, local multiplayer party game for 1 to 4 players created by Invincible Cat. Make room on your couch for friends, pick an insanely cute character, and turn the competition up to 11! Engage your friends and family or compete against AI foes in frantic couch combat battles. Don’t forget to pick-up your bullet after firing your gun if you want to win!

The game is available now for Nintendo Switch from the Nintendo eShop. It's also available on PS4, Xbox One and Steam. 

To read more about the game check out the Invincible Cat Website:

http://invinciblecat.com/

And also here at the Publisher's site:

https://www.forwardxp.com/guilt-battle-arena

TMA 196 – Walking Normal

tma.jpg

On this week’s TMA, the boys finally hash out a debate 2 years in the making! Shenmue Vs. Yakuza! We talk about what we love in the games, what we hope will be their futures and the merits of English Vs. Japanese voice acting!

Besides that, Mat’s been to Paris video game hunting and Tom’s been busy thinking of a Haiku to describe his feelings on Sonic 2 for the Master System! Yup, it’s quite a podcast!

Listen here.

BROTHERS Board Game Review

Brothers_Unedited.jpg

'Brothers' is a board game created by Christophe Boelinger with art by Xavier Houssin. It's an abstract strategy type game, featuring a Modular Board with a Tile Placement game mechanic. It's easy to set-up and learn and would be suitable for kids and adults alike.

GAME DESCRIPTION: You and your brother are peaceful farmers... Or at least you were! Your herds are getting too big for the pasture. Outsmart your brother by placing your enclosures so he can’t correctly place his and show him that you’re the one with a head for cattle in the family.

Blast Process were lucky enough to be sent a copy for review but before we get into playing the game it must be unboxed first! So lets lift the lid on 'Brothers' and see what's inside shall we!?

Brothers is a small but perfectly formed package that's built from quality materials and makes for a simple, fun unboxing experience. But, how does the game play? Is it any fun? How easy is it to learn? We answer all those questions in the video below!

As you can probably tell, we enjoyed the game a lot, it was simple to set up, easy to learn but delivered a strategic and fun experience. The Blast Process Team are happy to report that we give 'Brothers' a massive thumbs up!

- Tom

You can find out more about the game here: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2...

Also head on over to the Ankama website for more great games: https://www.ankama.com/en

Nigel Parkinson draws Dennis the Menace! - Manchester Comics and Reading Festival 2018

Neil popped along to the Manchester Comics and Reading Festival where he met Comic Artist, Nigel Parkinson who has been cartooning for the Beano for many a year.

Nigel kindly agreed to create a very special Dennis Menace drawing for him, thanks Nigel!

You can check out Nigel's blog at the link below: http://nigelparkinsoncartoons.blogspo...

 

Neil popped along to the Manchester Comics and Reading Festival where he met Comic Artist, Nigel Parkinson who has been cartooning for the Beano for many a year. Nigel kindly agreed to create a very special Dennis Menace drawing for him, thanks Nigel! You can check out Nigel's blog at the link below: http://nigelparkinsoncartoons.blogspo...

Death Fungeon - Steam Review (PC)

death fungeon.jpeg

A REVIEW BY IAN CHANDLER

Death Fungeon by Ritual Games is the latest 8-bit style puzzle platformer that has elements of classics like Super Meat Boy and Prince of Persia and combines them into a £1.99 little packet of fun(geon).

There’s not a story as such, it just plonks your little mediaeval sprite in a seemingly endless dungeon and challenges you to jump and puzzle your way out. You have no weapons, spells or gimmicks, this is purely about your running and jumping abilities as a player.

ss_9b063f3e17d282458ca031b180a20235ac0d9385.1920x1080.jpg

The action takes place flick-screen style, with ladders and platforms for you to traverse. It starts you off easy, and introduces the challenges at a good and steady pace. There’s infinite lives, no time limits and when you die it starts you back at the beginning of the same screen you died on. The game also auto saves each screen you enter so you can leave and come back and not lose any progress. This makes an ideal game to play in short bursts, and also makes you want to keep coming back to see just how much further you can get.

ss_1beec84427ee148b2d49567409cfaaead471018f.1920x1080.jpg

The puzzles in the game often revolve around getting past the large ogre-like guards. They have 4 stages of alertness, from asleep to running around angrily, which is heralded by the blowing of a suitably mediaeval horn. There are large cauldrons for you to hide in, but these only work when the guards are not alerted. Later hazards include the usual spiked pits and walls, circular saws and lava pits, with trampolines joining the ladders and ledgers to enable you to get around.

ss_0cb962a9efbcfa0854c6d93dce8a671319671d43.1920x1080.jpg

The graphics are nice and colourful, and even though you are in a dungeon there’s enough variety for it not to look too samey. Music is just one tune on repeat but you can always turn it off in the menu. The controls are tight, and when playing on a joypad I experienced no issues, which is vital for a game often requiring precision jumps and quick changes in direction.

ss_2ebf1d0c4eee9aebe68f3c070d9c1782f97b9d37.1920x1080.jpg

This game is an unashamed basic platformer with bright colourful graphics, tight controls and solid gameplay. It’s not exactly original, but is a great flashback for those of us old farts who remember when 8-bit was new, yet challenging and fun for those who wouldn’t know a Commodore from a commode.

- Ian

Death Fungeon Review.jpg

Death Fungeon was provided for an unbiased review, all views expressed are those of BlastProcess.com

Tom Plays Shenmue (PS4) ...continued! - Let's look for Sailors!

For the first time ever Tom Plays goes against tradition and features a game twice! It is Shenmue though...and if any game deserves two episodes Shenmue had to be it!

Also this video exists, in part, as an apology for the last video, which, due to a terrible internet connection, made for a rather ugly live stream...we pre-recorded this one just to make sure it looked good!

Plus, Tom's not alone this time and brings Gareth into the fray once more! The two share the same fondness for the game and, having played it numerous times together previously, have plenty to talk about!

Blast Process @ PLAY Expo London 2018

play_expo.jpg

Blast Process are no strangers to PLAY Expo, having attended the Manchester event on numerous occasions previously.

Truthfully, we had a bit of shock when it was announced that there would be no Manchester Expo in 2018...we collectively pulled sad faces...all expect for Neil who exclaimed:

'I'm up for going!'

So Neil, packed up the camera, plus cameraman and took the train down to London to attend and film some of our trademark Blast Process Interviews!

For those not in the know about the event, here's the blurb from the Official PLAY Expo website:

The UK’s favourite arcade, indie and retro games show is coming to London in August 2018! Hundreds of consoles, handhelds, computers, arcades, pinballs and PC's all running the very best in classic and modern video games and all free to play!

Organised by experienced video game events specialists Replay Events the show will be full with features, exhibitors and more retro gaming mayhem than London has ever seen.

Jam packed with everything you love about gaming and popular culture, the show has something for everyone.

PLAY Expo London - 11/12 August 2018 - Retro, Arcade, Pinball, Indie, Modern Gaming, Minecraft, VR, LAN, Guests, Merchandise, Tournaments and More!

What a treat indeed! It's always a great event and we've had a lot of fun attending over the years, this year though it was just Neil who got to enjoy it, here's what he got up to...

First stop was a meet up with Nils from Robot Riot, who are making a remaster of the classic GODS!

http://www.robotriotgames.com/gods_re...

Re-experience Bitmap Brothers’ cult classic 16 Bit platformer in shiny new 3D graphics and brilliant sound.

Then Neil got chatting with Jim Bagley, who's working on the ZX Spectrum Next.

Jim's been coding video games for over 30 years, so the two had plenty to talk about, resulting in a rather informative video!

 You can find out more about the ZX Spectrum Next right here:

 https://www.specnext.com

Next up, Neil spoke to James of 'Lightfoot Bros.' to chat about a brand new point and click game that's out of this world!

The Mystery Of Woolley Mountain is a brand new point and click adventure for Windows and OSX, featuring five renegade audio scientists in their quest to rid Woolley Mountain of an evil witch.

The game is being published by Huey Games and should be available by February 2019. Find out more at:

www.woolleymountain.com

Neil's adventures didn't end there however, as he approached Artist David Rowe, who was more than happy to be interviewed for the site.

David is the man responsible for some of the most memorable video game cover art from the bygone days of video gaming. Those who are old enough to remember the ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga and other retro consoles should be more than familiar with this man's work.

Other notable work from David would include all those lovely backgrounds featured in the classic kids TV programme, Knightmare and of course the Mean Machines magazine logo.

You can check out and even purchase much of David's work at his website, which you can find a link to below:

www.davidrowe.net

Finally, he tried to run away but Neil caught him, Community Manager Gustav Hendenborg got the Blast Process treatment and chatted with Neil about the long-awaited spiritual sequel to Sensible Soccer, Sociable Soccer!

To find out more head on over to the Sociable Soccer website:

www.sociablesoccer.com

We'd like to say many thanks to Gustav and all the rest of the lovely people that took the time to be interviewed by us at the Expo.

And with that Neil packed himself and his trusty Cameraman into the train back home.

PLAY Expo is always a fantastic event, where ever it's held (there's one in Manchester in 2019) and needless to say we'll be back next year with Singstar mic in hand, to interview more gaming greats...well...Neil will at least!

UPDATE: Since returning from the event Neil gathered up all his pickups and made a little video showcasing some of things he spent his pennies on at the event!

Read more about PLAY Expo London 2018:

https://www.playexpolondon.com/

Find out more and get tickets for PLAY Expo Manchester 2019 at the link below:

https://www.playexpomanchester.com/

- Tom

Parry's Pickups! Episode 100 - Jurassic Park, Batman, Tetris and Shenmue!

100 episodes, over 400 games, Parry's Pickups celebrates it's final episode with an epic 27 minutes of Pickups!

The final episode of Parry's Pickups was always going to be a special one seeing that it coincided with the re-release of Shenmue 1 & 2, which receives some special treatment in this feature length episode.

Rest assured though it's not a completely Shenmue-centric episode, as Tom also shares his recent Game Gear pickups and his latest Tetris pickup!

So sit back, relax and enjoy this hundredth and final episode!

Tom Plays Shenmue (PS4)

Join Tom as he experiences one of his all-time favourite games for the umpteenth time, only on this occasion he's playing it on PS4!

Yes, Shenmue, the Dreamcast classic is now available on modern gaming platforms and it still plays as well as it ever did.

So sit back, relax and enjoy the beginning of Ryo Hazuki's quest to hunt down his father's killer and avenge his death...and play lots of Hang-On!