Doom II is back

When the first Doom appeared on Xbox live, I grabbed it and played it through from beginning to end, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Yes it was mainly the nostalgia, but it was a good port, very nicely adapted to the xbox controller, and even supported multi-player for old school fragging fun. 
Now Doom II is here. I was supposed to be playing Fallout 3. But I was having a thoroughly miserable time. The 'face on' conversations, with the 'choose your response' dialogue, seem stale in a post- Mass Effect world. I didn't really care about my character - or his dad! And I was tired of going a few feet in any direction before having a random encounter with something way tougher than me, and promptly getting killed. 
So I switched that off, and downloaded Doom II onto my Xbox. And I quickly cranked my way through 5 levels with a big smile on my face. id just knew how to make fun games, back in the day. Everything is as well ported as in the first game. I struggled to remember where any of the secrets were, and spent a lot of time bumping into random walls as a consequence.... but even that makes for a perverse kind of fun.  
(I'm not sure about that 'Take down the Cyberdemon by punching him' achievement though!)
I spent a fiver, and got a game which was instantly WAY more fun than the supposed 'triple A' game I was playing before which cost - what, eight times as much? 
Let's hope next year we get Quake 1!

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I can make music, me















So this finally arrived this morning (thank you, yesasia). I've never touched a synthesizer in my life. The instruction manual is all in japanese. But still, with a little fiddling around, I had the drum machine rocking, bass lines chugging, and was free-styling a lead over the top. It's just so much fun. It invites you to experiment. It gives you so many ways to enter music. If you have ANY love of creating music, you will love this.
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Mario Kart DS

My daughter had left her cartridge of Mario Kart DS sitting next to my pc, unloved, for some months now. So yesterday I decided to pick it up and stick it in my DS lite. And now, I can't stop playing it. What a great game! Yes the AI cheats like a mofo. Yes the random distribution of power-ups brings a large element of luck into the game. But it makes for close exciting races. It makes you want to play that race again. I'm smiling even as as I'm cursing out the cheap-move-blue-shell-attack that just ruined my race in the very last corner. Just like I'm smiling when I do it to someone else. Like I'm smiling when I'm nailing a boosted start. Like I'm smiling when I finally gold star a series after many tries.
Tales of the long waits and all the 'snaking' put me off trying the online element, but purely as a one-player game, I'm having a blast.

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