Ah, those were the days...

Avengers Endgame made $1 billion in 5 days, which is impressive until you consider that it took the video game Grand Theft Auto V 3 days to achieve the same thing. As credited by the Guinness Book of Records, ‘GTA V sold 11.21 million units in its first 24 hours, and generated revenue of $815.7 million (£511.8 million), going on to reach $1 billion (£624.45 million) in sales after just three days on September 20 2013.’

It went on to make over $6 billion and counting due to recurring user spending with dlc, online etc. This dwarfs the $4 billion achieved by best-selling films such as Star Wars, Gone with the Wind and even Avatar, the highest grossing film of all time at $2.8 billion.

Gaming is on the up and while it faces teething issues like any other medium before it such as video game violence, toxic online communities, positive LGBTQ+ and diversity representations to name but a few, it is maturing, developing and undergoing its own issues including archiving and the rights of gaming staff, much like cinema before it.

This got me to thinking: Will I be talking about the year of '97 which saw the release of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Final Fantasy 7, Metal Gear Solid, GoldenEye and Half Life 2 as much as film lovers talk about the year Rocky, Star Wars and Annie Hall fought it out at the Oscars?


From my arthritic hand will I still be playing the latest iteration of Mario? I don't know... Will my misty-shortsighted vision ever set eyes on the remake of FF7? I don't know. Will my bladder still hold when I hear that the biggest ever entertainment event at the time will still be GTA, probably up to part 69 by then? I don't know but as the biggest entertainment industry which accounts for over half of all entertainment sales in the UK, I don't see why not.

LINK- DIC: Series Of Your Childhood page

LINK- Mysterious Cities Of Gold Nostalgia

LINK- The Moomins 80's Soundtrack Vinyl Review

LINK- Inspector Gadget Retro Soundtrack Review

LINK- Ulysses 31 Retro Soundtrack Review

LINK- The Mysterious Cities of Gold Retro Soundtrack Review

Manga Exhibition at the British Museum: Review

In Japan, manga has been a part of the culture for a long time. The origins of manga are debated and The Handscroll of Frolicking Animals by Kitazawa Rakuten is considered a major influence, but generally it gained prominence in the post World War 2 era where artists such as Osamu Tezuka brought some levity and lightness to proceedings with Mighty Atom or Astro Boy as he's known in the West. Tezuka was to manga what Will Eisner was to American comics; the medium existed before their arrival but they brought it to the fore and forever changed it.

Astro Boy is iconic and will feature heavily in the 2020 Olympics, which will be held in Japan.

As a young boy growing up in east London, England, I didn't know anything about manga or anime but I was consuming it unknowingly through shows such as The Mysterious Cities of Gold and Ulysses 31.
One Saturday I went into my local WH Smith and saw issue 22 of a magazine called Manga Mania and was taken by the big eyes, spiky hair style and tiny mouth and nose of the cover star that reminded me so much of the animation style I liked. When I picked it up, from the top shelf next to the more salacious magazines, I felt a bit of a rebel but upon opening it the kinetic imagery and artistry blew me away. Flicking through it I saw a mention of The Mysterious Cities of Gold in the letter pages and knew I had found something special. From then on I would buy Manga Mania monthly and purchased graphic novels, VHS films, soundtracks and even anime cels. The shop Forbidden Planet became nerd nirvana for me and I'd visit it monthly. Manga was one of my first true loves and one that has survived to this day, at least to some lesser extent. Manga is in my lifeblood and even though it doesn't feature as prominently in my daily life as it once did for me, it was formative in my youth and for that I am still grateful.

I loved getting my monthly Manga Mania fix.

I loved getting my monthly Manga Mania fix.

Since those heady underground days in the early 90s, manga has grown and thrived and its influence is spreading across the world. So, when I heard that the British Museum was hosting the largest manga exhibition outside of Japan I wasn't surprised and knew that I had to go. The British Museum has dipped its toes into the manga and anime pool before over the years but these have been smaller, more focused exhibition. This promised to be a much larger, grander affair as manga is still developing and evolving, the form has and is still contributed rather uniquely to modern culture and I'm glad that a venerable institution as the British Museum is recognising this. I visited the Kyoto International Manga Museum several years ago, which is the largest repository of manga in the world, and wanted to see how this exhibition would compare.

So the question is, is the exhibition worth visiting? In a word, yes.... but this comes heavily loaded with a proviso, which I'll go into later.

The whole show feels less like a staid exhibition but more like something you'd see at more immersive and engaging galleries, no surprise as manga means 'irresponsible pictures' and what is on show is a riotous walk-through of the medium. Being a family oriented exhibition the more controversial elements have been excised but that doesn't diminish what's on show, rather it still offers a smorgasbord of artists and genres that covers the art-form well without excluding younger generations or upsetting some sensibilities.

The exhibition starts with an introduction about the origins of manga and provides a guide on how to read it, from left to right. Then there is a section on the manga-ka, the artists who produce the manga, and the tools of their trade.

On an impressive display of collected comics are a few televisions with the chiefs and editors of the weekly manga collections which are published weekly and sell in the millions. They offer their insight into the creative, production and distribution process.

Around the corner, there is a brief look at the influence of woodblock and scroll works on the medium. There are a few stunning pieces on show but a couple stood out to me, the one where a recent piece of work by artist Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira, Domu and Memories) was compared to his woodblock forebear. The current breed of artists have built on the shoulders of giants and their influence is appreciated here.

After that, the bulk of the exhibition is split into little islands where different themes of manga and artists are explored like Love, Sports, Horror etc. This is all quite dynamic and exciting as there are banners and posters hanging from the ceiling and giant murals and original art pieces stuck on the gallery walls.

In the middle of the exhibition, there is an impressive library of manga on offer and many soft seats in which to read at your own pace.

Manga Exhibition at the British Museum

The last section of the exhibition has a couple of art installations. Kawanabe Kyosai’s theatre curtain from 1880 was painted in just four hours after the artist had imbibed several bottles of rice wine. He painted the 17 metres by five metres high piece using a huge brush and it was done in such a rush of inspiration that you can still see his footmarks on it!. It really is an impressive achievement and whilst not manga, it shows the kinetic frenetic art style that would feature in so much manga years down the line.

Kawanabe Kyosai ’s theatre curtain certainly is an impressive piece of work.

Kawanabe Kyosai’s theatre curtain certainly is an impressive piece of work.

Near the exit, a large projected montage of Studio Ghibli films at the end is a fitting bookend to an impressive exhibition.

The exhibition is a great primer for the common manga fan or someone with a cursory interest in the medium but someone looking for a deeper look into the minutiae of manga, this is not that. In my opinion the exhibition, whilst well organised and curated, had some glaring omissions in manga-ka such as Rumiko Takahashi (Mermaid Saga, Urusei Yatsura and Inuyasha) and Masamune Shirow (Ghost in the Shell, Aplleseed and Dominion Tank Police),  but on a personal level I'd have loved to have seen some works by Yoshitoshi Abe (Serial Experiment Lain, Haibane Renmei) and Yukito Kishiro (Battle Angel Alita). I understand that with such a large number of artists it is not possible to get everything in the exhibition but Takahashi and Shirow are titans of the medium and needed some mention or recognition. It’s like having an exhibition on Italian masters and forgetting to mention any of the Turtles; Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello and Michelangelo, it just wouldn’t seem complete. However, as the first real look at manga outside of Japan this is an excellent exhibition and well worth the 90 or so minutes of your time. It is an amuse-bouche to the promise of something more and for that I’m excited.

LINK: Japan: My Journey to the East

LINK- Battle Angel Alita: And So It Ends

LINK- The Moomins 80's Soundtrack Vinyl Review

LINK- Inspector Gadget Retro Soundtrack Review

LINK- Ulysses 31 Retro Soundtrack Review

LINK- The Mysterious Cities of Gold Retro Soundtrack Review

LINK- Sonic Mania Video Game Vinyl Soundtrack

LINK- Thomas Was Alone Video Game Vinyl Soundtrack Review

LINK- Akira Soundtrack Vinyl Review

The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance Trailer Drops

I watched The Dark Crystal in my early teen years and found it a bit creepy and disconcerting. I haven’t revisited it since but with the new trailer of the series dropping I might just do that. I always loved the art style by Brian Froud and the show seems to combine CGI practical puppetry effects. Maybe it’s just me but I feel that CGI works best when worked alongside practical real-world effects. I’ll revisit the original movie soon in preparation for this promising series.

The Unofficial SNES/ Super Nintendo Visual Compendium- Book Review

Gamers like me have an affinity for pixel art as we grew up with it, nostalgia is a wonderful thing and we don't need to apologise for it. Pixel art itself was born out of necessity, this economy of design came about due to the various technical limitations but often where there are limitations that is where creativity prospers and thrives.

Over the last few years there has been a boom in quality books celebrating retro video game culture, including pixel art. Bitmap Books, one of the most profilic and consistently excellent producers of such books, have just released what is arguably the console which showcased the peak of pixel art... we are, of course, talking about the might Super Nintendo Entertainment System (the Super Famicom as it was known in Japan or the SNES to Brits like me who like to abbreviate everything). 

I kickstarted the softcover edition of the book for £25 and for this I got:

  • a softcover book
  • a scan line bookmark
  • a multimedia version of the PDF, which I was able to download
  • my name in the book
  • access to the backer updates

However what of the book itself? Well, the entire package is a thing of beauty as it comes coming protected in a tough slipcase with a snazzy lenticular cover. The book itself is a snug fit and has a spot varnish cover which gives it a feel of real class. The pages themselves are vivid and brightly coloured and make no mistake, this is a weighty tome with high quality paper that feels great to the touch.

Over the course of 529 pages the SNES/ Super Famicom: A Visual Compendium showcases the very best pixel art and box art. The book features over 100 classic games, with articles from leading developers, interviews with key figures in the industry and mini-features on subjects such as homebrew games, unreleased games (including the very recently released Starfox 2) and company profiles.

This all sounds great, and it is, but a real highlights are the occasional fold-out sections on games such as Street Fighter 2, Super Mario World and Chrono Trigger which showcase the beautiful pixel art in all its stunning glory.

The interviews with creators, programmers and various people involved in the industry gives real insight in small 200 word mouthfuls that break up the artwork nicely, offering a look inside the industry at the time.

The compendium is another excellent addition to the Bitmap Books roster of video game art books and it well worth the price. Buy it now as you won't be disappointed!

The Moomins- Retro Soundtrack Review

To kick off the first of hopefully many retro soundtrack reviews I've got a spectacular starter, the vinyl of the 1980s Moomins series. I've spoken previously about how as a child the jerky, awkward animation style and the creepy title music spooked me but with time I've come to respect the art choices and direction taken with this work and have come to appreciate similar works by the Bolex Brothers and Jan Svankmajer 

Getting the vinyl itself was an interesting story worthy of Tove Jansson herself; Drift Records had procured a sizable chunk of the initial 600 vinyl shipment but on the day of their arrival into the UK the box was mislabeled and the vinyls were taken elsewhere to another warehouse with over 1000 other containers. It took over a month for the box to be found and the Moomins to be rediscovered... truly a wonderful tale for such whimsical characters, but what of the record itself? 

The record is beautifully presented within a large image from the 80s show and on the back is the track list with the blurb which reads: 

Imagine, if you will, a foreboding homemade electro-acoustic, new age, synth driven, proto-techno, imaginary world music Portastudio soundtrack for a Polish-made animated fantasy based on a modern Finnish folk tale, created for German and Austrian TV, composed in 1982 by two politically driven post-punk theatre perfomers from a shared house in Leeds!

Yeesh! Maybe I should have chosen a simpler, more straightforward album to review but this album was too good to pass up on so on we go!

This blurb is a good indicator of the musical journey you take over the course of the 30 minute or so it takes to finish the record. 

It kicks off with the Moomin Theme and it is wonderful to hear the completed piece with an elongates ending. The whole piece sounds a bit like a broken Victorian carousel mixed with a calliope falling down the stairs.

The Travelling Theme suits the title well and is a measured gentle plodding piece, almost metronome-like in its style. It has a simple beat which plays under a wonderful ethereal flute sound. This is an early highlight of the album.

Hobgoblins Hat is suitably mysterious and atmospheric with an arabesque woodwind sound and a throbbing synthesizer pulse underneath it.

Leaving Moomin Valley is grand and sweeping with gentle strings adding a sense of longing.  

Moomins Partytime sounds almost calypso in its rhythm and beat but is punctuated with whoops of joy and guttural throaty sounds which almost give it a tribal feel.  

Hattyfatteners Row is a frenetically paced track with deep throaty shouts of 'row' whilst a drum beat persistently beats. It is a driving track and almost sounds like an early garage or jungle track.

Woodland Band is a whimsical piece which brings together the sounds of various woodwind instruments and forest sounds together. The piece is quite sweet and has a 'regular' musical sound. This is another beautiful highlight of the album.

Most Unusual is exactly that; unusual. It sounds almost like a theremin mixed with a metallophone and is quite muted and moody but pleasing to the ear.

Midwinter Rites is a spooky piece which starts off with a deep percussive drum beat and strange guttural voices which growl and moan to the driving beat whilst in the background other higher screams are heard. An Indian sounding pungi piped instrument slits in and adds to the peculiarity. A strange piece indeed but an unusual highlight.

Piano Waltz is an elegant waltz piece and one of the more conventional pieces on the album but no less wonderful for that fact. 

Creepers sounds like a gamalan piece with lots of gentle rhythmic thumping and beeps flitting in and out. A melodic relaxing piece.

Woodland Band (Far Away) is a reprise of sorts of Piano Waltz but done in woodwind, it sounds so gentle and calming.

Comet Shadow is a haunting piece with howling wind and echoing whistles and a reverberating low synthesizer sound, this piece sounds moody and sinister. 

Comet Theme is a piano based theme with the same few notes played in different keys, getting faster and faster as the comet approaches I guess! 

The Moomins Theme (Ending Titles) are the same as the beginning it shorter and by my reckoning faster but I could be wrong. 

Overall the album is unlike anything I've heard before, apart from this show which I occasionally caught in my youth. It is unique, both beautiful and strange and so it is a difficult one to recommend to everyone. For people with niche tastes and quirky sensibilities this might be your bag but for most this is an uncomfortable and strange listen. I love this album and even though I know I won't listen to it very much, it's just not that sort of album, I'm glad I've got it to listen to on occasion when the need to be terrified/ whimsified takes me. If you'd like to listen to a sample of the album follow the link here.

The Nostalgia of Low Poly Art

I've spoken before about how nostalgia typically works in 20/ 30 year cycles (linked below). And so it comes to pass that on the 20th anniversary of the Playstation people have looked back with rose tinted eyes at the games of the early Playstation.

For many it was the first real introduction to the world of polygons, typically games had been 2D and sidescrolling on consoles, PCs had been experimenting with polygons for years, but due to their prohibitive price point was unavailable to many. So with the PS release the first wave of polygon games into being, looking at the gallery below you can see that the art was in it's early stages but there was a cubist beauty to its angles and contours. Many polygons had to be sacrificed in the quest for an improved frame rate. The games may look quite janky now but some, especially those with an interesting art direction, still hold up pretty well.

Over the decade we have seen the revival of pixel art and pixellated games, this has in part been due to the rise of the Indie scene and the affection that the creators have for 8 and 16 bit games... but now its the turn of polygon games. For those in the know the low poly art scene has been in full swing for about 3 years. The idea of producing simple items through limited polygons presents an interesting artistic challenge and there are many tools available to do the job. Some are easy and some are more complex but the end result can be curiously spellbinding. I have spoken before about how you can create immersive worlds without the use of photo-realistic graphics and the same applies here in low poly art, you can create wonderful worlds without needing to make it look exactly like the object as we can fill in the details ourselves. A similar event occurred in ancient Greece, although obviously not with computers, where the statues had become so lifelike that there was nowhere else to go with artistic interpretation so there was a move towards more stylised sculpture.

I for one am glad that there is yet another facet to the video game and art scene and am all for different forms of expression. Long live low poly!

LINK- Video Game Soundtracks on Vinyl

Music and Nostalgia

Authors Note: This was written on Monday 6th April 2015 on the way to Devon in the early afternoon.

I'm in the passenger seat riding shotgun in a car with my wife and recently born baby strapped into her car seat sleeping away behind me. We are in our Toyota Yaris which is bursting at the seams with baby related paraphernalia. For someone so small our baby requires a lot of equipment! Heading out onto the road for Devon my wife asks me to put on some music. Looking through the ipod I see some recent albums and artists, Adele-check, Emelie Sande-check, Ellie Goulding-check... Paul Oakenfold.... Check!  This last artist was the one I selected and as Bunkka started it brought forward a wave of nostalgia.

The late 90s were an amazing time, after xxx years of Tory rule hope seemed to be in the air with the rise of Labour and Blair. It was a time of optimism as football was coming home in Euro 96 but the biggest area of influence was music. Britpop was in full swing with Blur, Pulp and Oasis battling it out in the charts. In fact London was cool as a whole, claiming the title of 'Coolest place in the World' in Vanity Fair magazine.

This time will stick with me and many of the people of my generation due to the incredible diverse range of music.  Trance, dance, jungle and drum and bass would be battling it out in the charts next to the likes of Spice Girls and errr Aqua. The music hit the mainstream, so much so that when Sony were launching their Playstation console they promoted it alongside Wipeout with its cutting edge music tracks. There are many tracks created in this period that are stone cold classics; Beachball, For An Angel, 7 Days One Week and many many more. There are names that will stick out like Paul Oakenfold, Matt Darey, Tall Paul, Paul Van Dyke, Judge Jules, Fatboy Slim and of course Pete Tong. The music of this era had such a profound impact on my formative years that for our wedding playlist 50 percent was dance and trance, the other 50 was the usual pop fare. By far the dance floor was busiest when a pumping track came on, it felt like a club in the 90s. 
Well now with broken dreams from Bliars Labour, the Middle East up the shitter due to continued interference from countries with their own agendas and the economy in tatters due to greedy bankers and unscrupulous businesses I do look back fondly at those times. They weren't perfect by any means but the times seemed simpler. At least we still have the music memories.

Preserving the Spirit of Media Past

Preserving the past is a tricky preposition and getting trickier with the amount of information stored on fragile digital media. Filmmakers like Martin Scorsese have made it their mission to preserve classic films whilst Christopher Nolan has sought to preserve the medium of the physical film stock itself. However whose mission is it to save the audience?

We are at a watershed moment in film history, not just with the impending extinction of physical film but the demise of an audience equipped to appreciate some of its greatest works. I am a great lover of silent film and early movies, having been introduced to many in my youth by my parents and BBC 2 Sunday morning programming. I have fond memories of watching Laurel and Hardy, Buster Keaton, Harold Lloyd and Charlie Chaplin. Having attended a University which specialised in media and film studies (but studying Anthropology myself) I was introduced to many 'new' old films almost through a process of osmosis. I would take 8 to 10 VHS tapes at a time and consume them voraciously between assignments, listen in to students discussing them in the library and although many years have passed I still appreciate and watch these classic movies.

The Great Dictator is an absolute classic and contains one of the greatest speeches ever written.

I was concerned that the medium would be forgotten by the new generation- these films exist out of the childrens palate don't they? Well as a teacher I have had to endure many wet plays and this past December was a particularly soggy one, so there were more wet plays than usual. So I put on some Charlie Chaplin and Laurel and Hardy short films. There was no hype, no boombast, no 3D and no dramatic Hans Zimmer score.

My 30 pupils were motionless for a few minutes, I assumed that they were struggling to find a way in but watching patiently out of politeness to me. After a few moments I asked "Do you want me to turn it off?" and the children shouted "No!" Then the laughter started, the children were mesmerised for the length of the 25 or so minutes, they requested more clips so I worked through my collection. Children don't need to be told what to like, they will intuitively try things out and relate it to their world and experiences. In this case Charlie Chaplin was like "An old Mr Bean."

In much the same way as cinephiles do not need to guard older films, we older gamers do not need to feel like guardians of gaming heritage.

This term I have started a Retro Games Club using the Retron5 with original controllers and games to introduce children to the games of yore. The first game I unleashed on them was the SNES classic 'Street Fighter II Turbgo.' The children loved it and recognised some of the main characters. This led to a discussion on other characters that the children knew like Megaman and Pacman as well as the more famous contemporary icons from more modern games. A few of the children told me that their parents had the old systems and so they played some of the older games at home.

Punchout is the spiritual father of Wii Sports boxing, a game many children have played.

This wasn't 'Fauxstalgia' (False nostalgia) but something palpable- the children could relate to these characters and games from their own experiences and those who couldn't recognised the mechanics from their current gaming experiences. In the same way that 'Punchout' was compared to Wii Sports Boxing by my children people will always find a way in and seek out the origins of thing. Our gaming and film heritage is in good hands; God is in his heaven All is right with the world.

'From Bedroom to Billions' Review

There has never been a detailed look at the UK gaming scene in the late 70's and 80's... until now that is! Anthony and Nicola Caulfield sought to gain funding through the major UK TV channels to rectify this but after being declined they went through the process of crowdfunding and smashed through their target on Indiegogo and Kickstarter. This was all a couple of years ago and since then I have been looking forward to this documentary as most of the gaming films are American and Japan-centric. In Britain we didn't have a gaming crash in 1983, in fact there was never a more vibrant time and I'm glad that this period has now been covered in the wonderful 'From Bedrooms to Billions'

The couple leave a message in their credits to those who doubted that there was a market for this documentary.

The couple leave a message in their credits to those who doubted that there was a market for this documentary.

In the words of creators Anthony and Nicola Caulfield;

'From Bedrooms to Billions' tells the story of how the creativity and vision of a relatively small number of individuals allowed the UK to play a key, pioneering role in the shaping of the billion dollar video games industry, which today dominates the modern world’s entertainment landscape.

Developments in computer technology in the UK of the late 70’s early 80’s  helped inspire a generation of small team enthusiasts, hobbyists, school kids, bedroom coders and entrepreneurs to make and release some truly classic games. From Bedrooms to Billions reveals some of the remarkable stories, struggles and successes that saw the UK video games industry go from quite literally nothing into a major force littered with original thinkers, innovators and eccentric characters.

At 2 and a half hours this documentary is long but still whips along at a brisk pace so time flies by. There is no narration  or voiceover but rather the interviews weave the story, being expertly edited and cut to create a flow and narrative. The film starts with the early days of the UK games industry, talking about the home coders who started selling their games through adverts placed in the back of magazines. It then moves on to discuss the various Micro Meets where groups would come together to share their work and ideas.

The second part of the film talks about gaming gaining traction and the rise of distributors like US Gold and Ocean. The interviews are insightful and honest and thoroughly engaging, of particular note is the interview with Matthew Smith, creator of Jet Set Willy and Manic Miner. He was burnt out and thoroughly depressed after producing two hits at such a young age, he didn't know how to handle the fame and expectations placed on him and candidly recalls the 80's being a terrible time for him. As a gamer with much nostalgia for the 80's this section of the documentary was very interesting as it explained the introduction of the middle men and emerging business orientated approach of the industry. This professionalisation led to bigger teams and higher budgets, including the introduction of film license tie-ins and rising advertising budgets. There was a reduction in lone programmers and for many interviewed was a sign of things changing for the worst.

The final part of the film talks about the rise of the 16-bit era and the end of the micro computers. With the rise in quality and the demands on cost and skills many lone programmers either left the business altogether or went to join the big teams in America or Canada. However rather than end on a sad note there is a denouement with the rise of mobile gaming and the indie scene. Ian Livingstone, creator of 'The Next Gen Report' explains how computing is now back in British education and there is an emerging programming scene once again. This hopeful note is a wonderful end to the documentary, as a teacher in a primary school in East London I hope to show some of this film to my class to inspire them to be producers rather than just consumers.

This documentary is a brilliant look into a special time in Britain, where there was a punk spirit and where people with imagination and a hard work ethic could achieve. Compared to 'Indie Game: The Movie' the interviewees seem less egotistical and self-absorbed, more honest and engaging. This is a wonderful movie and I highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in retro gaming.

Retro Replay- by Anjum Razaq

As the children of the 80’s become the adults of the 21st century, they often yearn to revisit the halcyon experiences of their youths. Publishers are more than happy to oblige these reflective gamers- with re-releases, ports and mobile versions of these ‘classics’. The problem is that many of the experiences of our youths kind of sucked. Being young we didn’t see that but to revisit untouched ‘classics’ as an adult is often a dangerous thing. Nostalgia turns our rose-tinted memories into truths but when you revisit some games in the cold light of day, oh my are some of them bad.

Dragon's Lair on the NES- a gaming atrocity! 

Many game publishers have polished the games graphics and sound to make it more contemporary but still some of the mechanics of the game are flawed- Nostalgia is a dangerous thing. I have been playing a lot of old games over the last couple of years, from systems like the Megadrive (Genesis), Master System, SNES and NES and whilst some games are truly still amazing, many of the games are exercises in frustration and broken mechanics. Angry Video Game Nerd is an amazing youtuber who plays old computer games and even though he is very critical and swears frequently, his points are valid and with merit.

I have recently played 'Castle of Illusion' on the Megadrive and the recent update and no-matter the glossy sheen- the flaws of the original still persist in the remake. What are your opinions on the recent spate of remakes?