POF Archive: July 2013

I have been writing this drivel for decades. Browse through my archives by clicking the links below.

The Castle of Cagliostro (8/10)

I was familiar with about the first fifteen minutes of this movie from the old laser disc video game, Cliffhanger. I always preferredCliffhanger to Dragon's Lair because you were given move hints on screen. Anyhow, it turns out that Stern just used footage from this Miyazaki film and shoehorned a game on top of it. The movie is actually really good and doesn't have the heavy-handed back-to-nature message of Miyazaki's more recent films. It's just lots of action and well-paced fun.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 07/21/2013 - 22:12

Darksiders on PC (7/10)

Darksiders Hero Shot

Darksiders is a game that is utterly derivative of Zelda. You are tasked with exploring various "castles," each of which gives you a new power that will open up new areas on the map. Some of these new powers include Link's hookshot, Eopna the horse (named Ruin here), a magic musical instrument, double jump, and the Portal gun is thrown in for good measure. However, unlike a Zelda, this game is supposed to be dark and edgy. It's kinda like a modern superhero movie where they try to make a kids' franchise dark and brooding. I can't wait for the reimagining of The Wonder Twins.

You play War…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sat, 07/20/2013 - 12:04

Profile: The Ultimate Sparks Collection
Sparks - CD (10/10)

This two-disc compilation was my introduction to 70s era Sparks. It covers their best songs all the way from their inception as the band Halfnelson through Interior Design. With the exception of maybe one or two tracks, every song in this collection is great and I would recommend this as a starting point for anyone wanting to find our more about this fantastic band.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Thu, 07/18/2013 - 14:12

Exotic Creatures of the Deep
Sparks - CD (8/10)

I wasn't sure what to think of this album when I first listened to it. It feels more like a straightforward rock album than their last two with their weird, off-kilter arrangements. But, now a few years away from its release, this CD has grown on me. The album starts off strong, but somewhere near the last third of the CD tracks like "Lighten Up, Morrissey" and "Photoshop" start to drag the album down. Thankfully, the album closes with the excellent, "Likeable" which redeems it.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 14:45

Graveyard Disturbance (5/10)

Graveyard Disturbance is a silly, made-for-TV quality horror film from Lamberto Bava, and it's surprisingly bloodless considering the director. At times the dialogue becomes self-aware and there's the potential for some good horror-comedy moments, but this is mostly squandered. There is some 80s cheese appeal here and the monster makeup is pretty solid. Unfortunately, the monsters don't do anything in this except walk around and then sit at a dinner table.

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Mon, 07/15/2013 - 12:16

Imaging My IIgs Personal Data Disks

Apple IIgs Floppy Disk Images

This evening I took the time to archive all my old Apple IIgs floppies. This is something I have been meaning to do since I got my CFFA3000 card. I have been pretty lucky in that, having been told since the early nineties that floppy discs will just disintegrate over time, all of my disks are in good shape and I have never had one fail on me. But I know it will eventually happen, and probably soon. Ripping floppies to disc images on the CFFA is a piece of cake. Each of these discs took about 3 minutes to pull down onto a thumb drive as a .PO disk image. The most difficult part of the process was scanning the actual disks into photoshop so that I could have a nice digital record of my horrible teenage handwriting (seen above). The best labels are the ones where I crossed out the…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Wed, 07/10/2013 - 22:29 in

Dragon's Lair Trilogy on Nintendo Wii (7/10)

Dragon's Lair Trilogy - Box Art It took about twenty years, but I finally beat Dragon's Lair. That's twenty years of dying for no reason, guessing moves and general hair-pulling frustration. Dragon's Lair is not a good game. It breaks just about every rule of good game design. What it does have going for it is beautiful visuals, the novel concept (well, novel for the early eighties) of an interactive cartoon and tons of nostalgia for middle-aged gamers.

The Wii version is, as far as I can tell, identical to the original laser disc version with the added bonus of optional infinite lives, move hints and a special extended cut…

Submitted by Robert Gomez on Sun, 07/07/2013 - 21:30