The best hairpin of my life on a rubbish practice run

Title says it all really other than we are talking Sega Rally on the SEGA Saturn, running 60hz Japanese version of the game

near perfect hairpin
Posted in General | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

6 Things Sega Rally Reveals After Playing Obsessively for Two Months

The GRiGaroons have been hitting Rally hard in the past two months. We’re time attacking the Championship mode in a borderline obsessive frenzy (for me at least) and it’s taken us places.

Profound places.

Because when you go this deep into a game you find the serious, hidden treasure. Some of it’s gameplay, some of it’s nostalgia, some of it’s pure, existential epiphany. And it’s all revealed below for your very-much wish fulfilment!

Number ONE. No game understands mud like Sega Rally.

And that’s a BIG claim. Because mud IS rally. It’s the USP. It’s the raison d’etre. It’s what makes the IRL sport exciting and what makes the rally game mechanics so deeply satisfying. And no racer does mud like Sega Rally. Its slides are aggressive, its racing lines link and weave through multiple corners, and its slippiest, most uncontrollable sections still demand a precise, wall-hugging drift even as the car is desperate to slam across the track. It’s a genius not matched at the time, or since. Fact.

Number TWOOOOOOO. You probably weren’t as good as you remember…

This is a cold reality all retro players must face: the game seems harder now that I’m old than back in the 90s. And, in a retro-cruelty double whammy, YouTube and Twitch have made it crystal clear how incredibly far off the pace I’ve always been. I always fancied my Sega Rally skills back in my yoof but it turns out my 25 years of gameplay have elevated me only one notch: to the rank of Semi-Noob. It’s time to look in the mirror, old man – and, dear reader, you probably need to ask some tough questions, too…

Numero TROIS: Track Design is EVERYTHING

A disclaimer: nothing makes me more cross than Gran Turismo. I know I’m shouting at the tide, I know it’s sold gajillions, I know it broke new ground yaddy yadda. But for me, it was the advent of style over substance and I humbly suggest the endless, gruelling tarmac of its fun-starved raceways are a tragic metaphor for the soulless content that mega-powered consoles have brought us so many times since. You’re entitled to love it but, I’m sorry, it’s just not fun.

You know what is fun? The intricately-designed, free-flowing, genius of Sega Rally‘s triple-header (but not Lakeside. @#!$ you Lakeside!) Rally‘s main three tracks are at once instantly playable but endlessly challenging: every playthrough is different, every corner has character, every track has a million different strategies. And, after a while, you start to see something that only the very elite games have: craft. You reveal the time, thought, and soul that went into making these courses work at every level from the beginner to expert and how everything is so precisely thought out to ensure you enjoy it. It’s artistry, it’s craftsmanship, and it’s genius. It really is.

Item No. 4 (b) in the GRiG Regional Council Meeting February Agenda: Saturns don’t like being endlessly reset

Look, I’m not immune to a rage quit. And all the above is great but it does mean I restart about fifty times before getting through a Championship run. And sadly, so far this year I’ve put one Saturn in the repair shop and my backup is sounding ropey, refusing to play the music, and groaning like a banshee with a migraine. Rally is kind of to blame, so either I need either to git gud or get a third machine…

Number 5 Is Alive! And also, the 2nd gen Saturn pad is awesome

I love the second gen Saturn pad almost as much as Rally. And wonder of wonders, after two months of gaming, I love the RetroBit wireless version almost as much as the OG. Consider this a plug – it’s a gem.

Grab A Snickers, Grab A Twix, This Final Point is Number Six! And baby, it’s deep.

Because, rage-quits aside, I’ve found a new resilience in this run at Rally. I’m not a completionist, a 100%-er, or even particularly bothered about getting to the end of a title as long as it’s fun – but, somewhere in this Championship challenge, I’ve realised the joy that’s found in committing to a game. Taking the time to explore it – to understand it – is hugely satisfying. I still don’t go for the masochism fetish that says you’re not a gamer unless you overcome the superhard mode but I do now get why a pain barrier is necessary in a game. And it’s not a blockade to bash your head against: it’s a finishing line to run through, triumphantly, gloriously, with every little bit of hard-won progress.

(I’m still quite shit at Sega Rally, though.)

Posted in General | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

On the Hunt For R.O.B and Kelly LeBrock

We’ll admit, when we first read that QualiaThe Path of Promise was about a fella taking home a new robot and falling in love with it, we obviously assumed it was a game about ROB. Falling for this little disc-spinning, block grabbing android is a no-brainer.

But sadly, it’s about Machina the Maid.

And we suspect, with the best will in the world, that her new owner didn’t choose his new housekeeper to match his NES.

Benefit of the doubt, Dr. Hiro Koshino might have picked her out as the first android to pass the Turing Test. But then, he might have flipped his petri dish over her mahoosive wangs. Who are we to assume?

The game is billed as a visual novel and the game’s makers, Sekai Project, describe their creation as a story of pure love where an android heroine and a genius hermit learn to grow together, overcome fate, and find happiness.

Sounds like a gem – but, truth be told, it’s really just making me want to go watch Weird Science. That puppy has got the loser-overcomes-sadness-through-home-grown-hottie nailed down. So, unless Dr. Hiro is gonna pop a bra on his head and turn Bill Paxton into a blob, I’ll take my nerd action somewhere else, methinks.

Anyways, QUALIA ~The Path of Promise~ is now available on Steam.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Rignall Proves He’s Still A Mean Machine

Twitter’s most important purpose is to remind you that culture is made by real people.

And never is that more useful than in the retro scene. Often our community’s social media content can be navel gazing, rehashed appreciation posts and the occasional picture of an SG-1000. (Much like this one below which we’ve shamelessly rehashed so you can appreciate it.) A bit of nostalgia is fine, but you don’t gain a huge amount from just remembering that things existed.

It’s much more interesting to understand how they came about, what was great about them and, best of all, who made them.

The stories, personalities and conflicts behind our games and consoles provide a deep source of fascinating new insights into things that are old. And on Twitter, you find a lot of gems.

Julian “Jaz” Rignall (@jazrignall) is brilliant at this. As an erstwhile journo and editor of publications throughout the 80s and 90s he characterised the spirit of the emerging scene: funny, irreverent yet passionate, Jaz and his peers at CVG and Mean Machines not only captured the zeitgeist but also built it around us. And his feed is a rich seam of historical narrative brought live, mixed with personalities both past and present.

The best of retro Twitter doesn’t just hold up an old console and ask “Remember this?!” – it builds on the past and adds to what you knew back then.

Jaz hasn’t just got a collection of old magazines – he was the one making them. And thanks to that, he’s got new stories to tell. We all have.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Tomb Raider tomfoolery abound!

So what with the recent return of the Grigish Empire, I thought I’d better get my act together and pick up my quill once more! In fact, this is my second crack of the whip after I did a post about Teri Hatcher getting THAT haircut back in ‘95 but I actually found the whole experience too depressing to leave on the Grig even 28 years later so I deleted it.

Here’s a nice picture just because.

Instead, what have I been up to? Well I’m currently in a battle of balance between playing 2 games, the fan translation of Grandia, and Tomb Raider 1, both on the Saturn.

And why is this news, you may ask? Well, it’s not. But! I thought I’d revisit a little nugget of info that’s increasingly being lost to time.

Despite its strong association with PlayStation, Tomb Raider came out first on the Sega Saturn.

Not by much, but Sega cut a deal with Core to launch Tomb Raider a couple of weeks ahead of the PlayStation version, which probably didn’t do a whole lot for it except exclude it from a good lick of polish that it could have done with, but still. It was on Saturn first!

Why even Sony themselves didn’t know this, and towards the end of 2021 (Grig first to the scoop as always), they celebrated Tomb Raiders launch with great enthusiasm! See below their tweet sent out on the 25/10/2021.

This was actually the Saturn versions launch. Eeeeeeeeeediots!

Tomb Raider actually came out on the PlayStation 14th November (US) / 22nd November (EU) from what I can see, although I am very suspicious of wrong launch dates being bandied around these days such as the PAL versions of Virtua Fighter 2 and Sega Rally which are currently being misreported all over the internet, namely thanks to people like whoever put this tweet out and despite numerous people pointing out their error, they still didn’t take it down thus leaving a legacy of false info that will be found for years to come. It’s wrong gaming history, I tell ye!

Oh and just as a bit of additional Tomb Raider info, the version I’m playing is not just your regular Tomb Raider, but Tomb Raiders! Y’see, for some reason the Japanese version references not just the raiding exploits of Lara, but the other people you meet along the way such as Pierre and the like, thus warranting an extra S on the end. Now that’s some bonus content worth owning for that extra ink!

Anyway, that’s about it for today. And I am enjoying the game still actually, the level design still shines through so I’m looking forward to the next sesh!

Posted in General | Tagged | 2 Comments

Rhythm City Challenges Our Spelling As Well As Our Conceptions of How To Engage with Music and Culture

To Roblox now, and yet another affront to my old man notions of what culture should look like. Because those crazy loons over at Warner Music Group have decided to do away with RECORDS, and forget all about TAPES, and even ditch the trusty CD! And instead ask fans to find new tunes in a “first-of-its-kind music-themed social roleplay experience”.

Good Lord!

(Personally, I like to role-play my social experience by going to Woolworths with some pals and buying the new David Gray CD for £9.99. But I suppose that’s too old fashioned for kids these days.)

Warner have teamed up with Gamefam – makers of such hits as Funky Friday and Tower of Misery – to deliver their big idea which promises users the opportunity to explore, dance, and bond with friends while competing in mini-music challenges. And if that wasn’t thrilling enough to have you reaching for your Robux, Rhythm City will also host virtual concerts and events featuring select WMG artists.


Now, if you’re a cynic like me and you’re thinking “Wait! Surely Roblox would only attract soulless, tuneless hacks to shill their wares in such an egregious fashion?” then think again pop-fans! Because Warner’s got form in this field and has previously persuaded such scions of the zeitgeist as Twenty One Pilots, David Guetta and Royal Blood to turn up in block-headed form and strut their Robloxian stuff.


This new fangled, yoof-of-today gimmeckery will launch from Feb 4th. We can barely wait!

Posted in General | Tagged | 7 Comments

Vega To Join Street Fighter 6 in Super Smackdown Shocker!

I’ve always said it: the one thing missing from Street Fighter is live commentary from a lady wrestler.

So! Imagine my joy to find that Capcom are once again listening to the fan community and, when SF6 hits our shelves on June 2nd it’ll finally be packing that missing ingredient: In-game narration! Yay!

And the latest to jump eagerly into the ring? None other than WWE megastar… Zelina Vega! Double Yay!

OK, OK, this sounds like gumph. But read on! Because Vega, also known as Thea Trinidad, joins an illustrious roster of random squawkboxes who will add their wisdom to SF’s sixth instalment in the form of play-by-play commentary and “easy-to-understand gameplay explanations”.

And let’s face facts, that’s an improvement on the pained shrieking that we normally hear while playing Street Fighter…

“Oh here comes dickhead with his cheaty kick move. No doubt he’ll do that jackass rolling on the floor thing in a sec. Oop, there it is. SHORRRRYYYYYUUUUUUKKKKEEEEENNNNNN!!!!!!”

Ahem… Problem is, the added narration seems like one more bit of junk food in a title already bloated with player titles, stickers, colours, outfits, and Drive Tickets (whatever they are) all crowding a DLC menu that has nothing to do with quality gaming. And, as if our gobs weren’t already full enough from those tasty add-on snacks, Capcom have laid on a positively gut-bursting array of side dishes in the form of minigames like karate-chopping bottles, preparing Italian cuisine, parrying basketballs… and more! (OK, we quite like the sound of those…)

Add it together, and this smorgasbord of guff starts to look hugely worrying to the long-suffering Street Fighter community who are seriously fretting that the series is running out of steam (and decent fighting ideas). But!

We at GRiG Towers are keeping the faith just a little longer – we had our grubby mitts on the game for a few rounds last year and it was looking properly tasty. Glossy, solid, fluid and satisfying – very promising indeed.

Chuck in some hyped up wrestler chat and trust us, we might just have a winner on our hands!

Posted in General | 2 Comments

New Warning for Retro CRT Fans

I Can CRT Clearly Now The Rain Has Gone

Retro fans were left reeling today after news broke that CRT’s are “bloody massive”. Reports flooded in from about 1400 GMT that old style tellies were “about twice as big as you remember” and “weighed an absolute bloody tonne”.

The revelations will send shockwaves through the older gaming community who almost all suffer with bad backs, weak wrists, and general laziness.

A spokesman for the community told about the pain of today’s gut-wrenching discovery: “Well, I tell ya. It’s a gut-wrenching discovery. It’s really painful, really,” he gibbered.

The sheer scale of the CRT situation came to light in horrific images that seemed to show a monstrous Sony behemoth attempting to eat a lowly Sega Saturn in scenes cruelly reminiscent of the mid 1990s. The beast appears to be at least three feet bigger than modern TVs, and weighing almost as much as a double-decker bus.

A vicious Sony monster, yesterday

Victims told this website that it was a crushing blow to their dreams of rescuing a CRT and admitted they’d brought one home that looked tame at first, only to find it was a nasty little beast when it got near their other tellies.

Representatives of GWAGS, the gamer wives and girlfriends group, told that “bedgell wants to bloody think again if he thinks I want to see that ugly old monster in our bedroom. And we are not talking about his wang.”

“For once,” they added, sniggering.

Posted in General | 3 Comments

Sega Rally Shenanigans at GRiG Towers

Howdy SEGA fans! How’s the most depressing month of the year treating ya? Are you face-down in a pool of your own self-loathing? Knee-deep in a dung-pile of your own ennui?

Us too!

And why are we so painfully depressed you might cry?

Why, Sega Rally of course!

Sega’s 1995 racer has got us knee-deep in a dung pile of ennui”

Since 2023 came hurtling round the track, like a Lancia Delta gunning for my rear fender, us here GRiG Boys have been pedal to the metal and the thing to the floor playing Sega’s 1995 racing gem. And as the competition’s now heating up (by which I mean I’ve learned how to do the gears after 26 years) we figured it was time to do a li’l pitstop to let you folks know how it’s going.

Sooooo… as at end of January the leaderboard is showing…

Dibbs / Pom / Numbnuts / Jackass – 1st place with 3’16″96

Boomer / Boner / Diki – 2nd place with 3’18″37

Legend / Bedgell / Studmuffin – Bringing up the rear with 3’18″39

(All times on single lap Arcade mode, Desert / Forest / Mountain)

And that’s all for now. It’s gone midnight so I’m gonna go cry myself to sleep hugging my Saturn pad and whispering dolefully about that time I did a perfect hairpin on Mountain. We’ll be back in February to announce my Phoenix-like comeback and, gosh, who knows, maybe some actual content! Until then Grigadiers!!

Posted in General | 2 Comments

Mega Drive Mini 2 Unboxing Shenanigans Abound!

Well, I wasn’t supposed to be buying any gaming paraphernalia until well after Christmas, but it’s not every day Sega actually put out a new gizmo!

And while the wait is on for a proper successor to Dreamcast, there was no way I could turn my nose up at their latest mini console offering!

The combined going rate for everything on this li’l wonder would be astronomical, thus I am obviously well within my rights to purchase this as I’m basically saving money. Or something like that.

Anyway, the unboxing fun and frolics are on Dibbs of the Grig Gaming, which much like this online tome, is also making a long overdue revival from the dead! Until I don’t update it again for another few years that is. So enjoy it while it’s hot Grigadiers, coz like my bowel motions after my back operation, it ain’t gonna be regular!

Currently smashing records at an astounding 3 views, one of which being my own to check the video plays right, DotGG is soaring like a bird on the wing again. Look out world!

Thats all for now. I‘ll see ya next time, same grig time, etc, etc, etc.

Posted in General | Tagged , , | Leave a comment