Let’s watch GamesMaster series 1

The first episode of GamesMaster aired on Channel 4 in the UK on 7 January 1992. It was the first UK TV show dedicated to video games, and to 25 years later it remains the best.

To celebrate the glory that was GamesMaster, I decided to start watching it all over again from the start, but I decided to stream it as I did.

Joined by a bunch of lovely Tired Old Hack readers and Twitter followers, I streamed all 10 episodes from Series 1 over the course of three nights. Continue reading “Let’s watch GamesMaster series 1”

Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia (3DS) review

Nintendo / Intelligent Systems
Nintendo 3DS

Hey! Remember Fire Emblem Gaiden? Of course you don’t, you lying bastard: it was released on the Famicom (NES) in Japan 25 years ago and never made it to the west.

But fret not, because it’s back as a shiny new 3DS remake, complete with a much less concise title – Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia.

Let’s be clear, though: this ain’t your daddy’s Fire Emblem. Um, unless yer da used to live in Hokkaido or something in the early ’90s.

Echoes tells the story of the continent of Valentia, which has been divided by warring nations. One country worships the earth god Mila, whereas another worships the dark god Duma.

You play two different campaigns at once: one involving a young lad called Alm, and one starring a similarly youthful lass by the name of Celica.

Alm and Celica were childhood friends, but ‘events’ split them up early in their lives and they each go on to lead different armies on opposite sides. If you think this means an awkward reunion is inevitable, then… well, yes. Obviously. Continue reading “Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows Of Valentia (3DS) review”

Review round-up #2: NBA Playgrounds, OK Golf, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Kitty Powers, Ruin Of The Reckless

It’s time for my second review round-up, covering the games I’ve been playing over the past week or two. This time around:

• Is NBA Playgrounds more Space Jam or Shaq Fu?
• Is OK Golf more Tiger Woods ten years ago or Tiger Woods today?
• Is Puyo Puyo Tetris more Bloc Party or New Kids On The Block?
• Is Kitty Powers’ Matchmaker more drag queen or Drag Me To Hell?
• Is Ruin Of The Reckless more procedural perfection or by-the-numbers baws?

Read on to find out, innit. Continue reading “Review round-up #2: NBA Playgrounds, OK Golf, Puyo Puyo Tetris, Kitty Powers, Ruin Of The Reckless”

The 30 best Nintendo 64 games

This is the ninth in my ’30 Best’ series of articles in which I discuss my favourite games ever on a system-by-system basis for the first time in my career. In case you missed them, the full list of other ’30 Best’ articles can be found at the bottom of this page.

’30 Best’ will now be a regular series, thanks to my lovely Patreon followers helping me reach a stretch goal. If you want to contribute, please visit my Patreon page.

Few retro games consoles are as fondly remembered as the Nintendo 64.

The history books list it as the system that was thoroughly trounced by the PlayStation, but with over 32 million sold – more than the Sega Mega Drive – its influence was still notable.

Nowhere was this influence clearer than in some of the games exclusive to the system. The N64 marked Nintendo’s first proper foray into polygonal gaming (I know, the Super FX chip, but whatever), and with it came a bunch of new concepts that would go on to shape the games we play today. Continue reading “The 30 best Nintendo 64 games”

Gemhunter #8 – Close Combat: First To Fight

Time for more Gemhunter goodness, as I continue to play old forgotten video games in an attempt to find a hidden gem.

In episode 8 it’s the turn of Close Combat: First To Fight, an Xbox shooter by Destineer Studios, a developer best known for the likes of Age Of Empires III and the Mac port of Halo.

According to the blurb, this one was designed with input from US marines, and is said to have sophisticated AI. Is it the real deal though? Find out as I play the game for the first time ever. Continue reading “Gemhunter #8 – Close Combat: First To Fight”

Review round-up #1: Lego City, Neurovoider, Disney Afternoon Collection, Pic-A-Pix Color, FlatOut 4

Tired Old Hack is two years old now, and in that time the site has finally grown to a stage where I’m able to start doing what I love again: reviewing lots of games.

Most big sites review all the triple-A games but often other titles are ignored. One of the main points of Tired Old Hack is to make sure these other games get their chance. The thing is, I like to write long, meaty reviews but since I’m only one man I don’t really have the ability to do this for every game I get review code for.

Since I want to cover as many games as possible – to make sure you lovely bastards are suitably informed as to what I’m liking and what you should steer well clear of – I’ve decided to start these regular review round-ups. Continue reading “Review round-up #1: Lego City, Neurovoider, Disney Afternoon Collection, Pic-A-Pix Color, FlatOut 4”

A message to Brash Games – Fuck you


There’s an unwritten rule in games journalism that you’re supposed to treat your fellow professionals with respect.

If you have any issues with another games journalist’s article it’s not really good practice to air those issues on Twitter (even though a lot of us do), and it’s certainly considered unprofessional to write up an article that outright calls them out.

That’s why you don’t get Kotaku publishing an article simply called “suck our holes, Polygon”. Some of them may think it, but it just isn’t professional to insult fellow games journalists.

Well, guess what. I’m not a professional anymore: I do Tired Old Hack in my free time. And so we’re fucking doing this. Continue reading “A message to Brash Games – Fuck you”