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1941 icon

Capcom - 1990

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1941 flyer

Go stick it on your wall tough guy

(2 on a scale of 0 to 10)

Capcom chose 1941 for the third installment of their popular World War II shoot-em-up series, and with good reason. 1941 was a year. 

I must confess fellow pixel-pricks that three months ago, after playing this game, I slipped into a terrible coma. Thankfully I woke up yesterday at tea time. Which was ace.

The doctors said I’d be fine and that I’d regain use of my eyebrows in time. Unfortunately though I don’t remember much of the game except that the sprites were about as thrilling as a vegans Christmas hamper.

The music to was desperately tuneless and left me wanting to detune my own eardrums. You’d get more joy out of a high-five sound with Jeremy Beadle’s corpse.

Except for the awesome ones I’ve never been a huge fan of top-down shoot-em-ups. They give me the yips. I’m certainly not a fan of this outing. Boo Capcom, booo.

1941 screen shot 1

After the coma I lost my job…

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...and all my friends…

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...but thank goodness for Capcom

Amazing Maze icon

Midway - 1976

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Amazing Maze flyer

Horse shit

(1 on a scale of 0 to 10)

If you’re looking for some red hot maze action, hell, I know was, look no further than Midways 1976 classic Amazing Maze. Amazing.

The game pits you against the computer and has you frantically trying to navigate your cursor through a randomly generated top-down maze. The goal is to reach an exit located on the opposite side of the maze from whence your opponent starts out before they in turn reach your starting position. Got that?

You can sense the early fascination the maze held at Midway’s lair, this probably being the forgotten launching pad for the ultra-shit Pac-Man game by Namco which was later licensed back to Midway for a laugh.

An horrific publicity stunt in ‘77 saw the development team disguise themselves as mazes and muck about outside a mall* in Angeltown, Tennessee. What followed saw an entire generation of teenage shoppers simply vanish from the face of the planet in an event that is now known simply as ‘The Amazing Angeltown Maze Mishappening’.

You Rom M’Lord magazine at the time declared the event ‘beyond all comprehensible reason’ and ‘grossly in-human’ which subsequently saw the departure of several key figures from the Midway board. It is believed they fled to Atari to evade all earthly laws. 

What’s particularly retarded about this game is the music. It only plays a note if you move your cursor. The idea being I guess, is that a free-flowing, one-take move to reach the end of the maze produces a composed, unbroken stream of notes. It’s thoroughly annoying though and after your presumably sterling efforts and countless wasted pounds getting the chicks damp watching you stick-shift and wheel-spin head first through walls on Atari’s ludicrously risible Hard Drivin’, any attempt to impress here will be disastrously audible and rightfully dry them up faster than the tears of a serial killer.

My advice to you sir, leave well alone.

*Shopping Centre

Amazing Maze screen shot 1

Sexy French maze

Amazing Maze screen shot 2

Brian Maze

Amazing Maze screen shot 3

Mmmm, maize

Robocop icon

Data East - 1988

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Robocop flyer

serve the public trust… uphold the law… protect the innocent… upgrade to Windows 2.1

(7 on a scale of 0 to 10)

A man tortured and hideously scarred by his enemies, left for dead and awoken on a lab table to find himself machined into a corporate drone willing and able to carry out their every thankless task no matter how violated and worthless it leaves his cheapened soul.

But enough about me, Robocop is pretty cool.

You play Murphy, a man-cop turned robot, a man-cop robot hell-bent on seeking out and thanking those repsonsible for his new-found awesomeness. Standing in his way, a moaning and jealous Clarence J Boddicker, a failed overseas representivite for Findus with a wicked bend for party dust. We can understand his plight, but only in an deeply arrogant way.

The game starts out insane enough in Murphy showing off by punching punk sucks with his 12 tonne wrist adornment. It’s not long though before he tires of this jest and - in what I believe to be one of the single most coolest video game animations - unholsters a shit-burst hand cannon. It was at that point back in 1988, in such awe on witnessing this display, that I turned to my then brother, shook him by the hand and walked out of that arcade. I can’t tell you what became of him. I never went back.

Needless to say I’ve played this game many times since and never tire of the resonating bass of gunfire and fist-i-cuffs dealt out by Murphy’s law.

It all leads me wonder, though, “What if ED-209 were real and under my control, huh? That’d show those bullies”.

To sum up, I’d recommend you play it. It’s a game.

Robocop screen shot 1

Don’t look at me Robocop, shoot that bad guy….. Up there, fuck’s sake

Robocop screen shot 2

He can’t jump that high in real life, the game is a little sparing with the truth

Robocop screen shot 3

Help? God helps those who help themselves. Stupid bitch

Robocop screen shot 4

Shoot Robocop in foot - drive away in van

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There’s always at least one gang member with crane operating experience, it seems

Robocop screen shot 6

Ta da!

Shinobi icon

Sega - 1987

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Shinobi flyer

Part of Sega’s ‘Shinobi’ collection as displayed in la Louvre

(8 on a scale of 0 to 10)

I love Shinobi. If Shinobi were a nubile teen queen with a bountiful inheritance and a perfect set of bronzed, near-orange, grapefruit-weight orbs, super-enhanced under a nut-tight t-shirt, I’d fuck it. In fact, I’d fuck it even if it were a dead tramp.

The story is sheer flex. A criminal group called Zeed has done something, or perhaps some things, to put Shinobi on its ass. It’s ace.

It’s quite a hard game. However, what truly drains the blood from your cock is the fact that you haven’t any continues on the last level. This is insane because the last level is rock and you never get a chance to practice it properly. I finished it by cheating with save states. The last boss looks like Jimmy Carr.

Between levels there is a nice bonus stage. Wandering rat-like ninjas plague towards you as you try to genocide them away. I’ve only pulled it off twice, but that’s mainly because I’m too slick to care.

The object of the game is to save tent-loads of children. The Zeed cartel hates children, as any sensible organization should. Shinobi loves the kids, probably because he’s a sex-flop with a flat, dead dick and can’t have his own. Actually, that’s going way too far. Shinobi is all right.

In the background of the second part of the second level there are these warehouses that are lit within by lonely neon. The sky is night-blue and it feels like a deep cake made of melancholy. I often cry when I get to this bit, and one night I was crying about it because Sega was going bust and because Princess Diana had just been shot.

Do it.

Shinobi screen shot 1

Shinobi trying unsuccessfully to re-decorate his hallway

Shinobi screen shot 2

Monroe on row and row ...

Shinobi screen shot 3

Baffling

Shinobi screen shot 4

TWAT!!

Shinobi screen shot 5

Gypo frogman

Shinobi screen shot 6

You ever seen that bit in Dad’s Army the movie? No?

UN Squadron icon

Capcom - 1989

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UN Squadron flyer

One freakishly massive eye is clearly better than two

(5 on a scale of 0 to 10)

A geek would tell you that this game is called Area 88 in Japan, but as I’m not a geek I won’t tell you that. This is a sideways shooter, replete with first level, backgrounds and ending sequence. It’s all right, but not that all right.

Most shooters have you raining bollocks on alien operations but this one puts you very much in the face of some irksome earthly forces. You control real life planes such as the A-12 Ball Blaster and the F-17 Kittyshite. There are so many apposite features that you may believe that you are truly killing real men and women.

It’s quite an easy game. I managed to finish it using only 376 credits. At the end of the game Saddam Hussein climbs out of a coffin and gives you a medal.

The game’s music is super brilliant. Oddly it sounds very, very reminiscent of Kate Bush’s early stuff. It could actually be a case of that synchronicity bullshit that stoned lepers claim to have discovered existing between things like Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz. Or between The Stone Roses’ Second Coming album and that episode of Neighbours when Bouncer got its license revoked and Toady fingered the mayor.

A good time shooter, then, that’s defo worth a 5-minute fumble in between dinners.

UN Squadron screen shot 1

Bowie and his spiders in jars

UN Squadron screen shot 2

Hiding his boner for Mission 3

UN Squadron screen shot 3

High above the Bland Canyon

UN Squadron screen shot 4

Behold! Another very rubbish and stationary defence tower

UN Squadron screen shot 5

“Irem? Ha, they’ll never find out”

UN Squadron screen shot 6

Cheers then