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I guess I just like liking things


California Games II is not, as you may have spotted, the original. This is because the keyboard controls for the original are so terrible that it was mostly me mooshing every key I could find in the hope it would make me not fall off my skateboard.

Not featured in the video is snowboarding, which worked once but then never again (I suspect it works in some graphics modes – the version I got was specially poked to work in Windows instead of Dosbox. This is because the game needs two floppies, and wouldn’t load two of the sections). Snowboarding requires you to fly a helicopter up a mountain before falling down the mountain at speed. The trickiest part is landing the helicopter, which I managed to crash 23 times before even getting close to the helipad. Skill.

This is a game that has not aged as badly as some. It’s still very playable and pretty good fun if that’s what you’re into. I played it in the 1990s, so it’s possible this is nostalgia speaking, but even so it’s still graphically pretty cool. Cornering on the jetski course is still tricky, and I’m not afraid to admit any water balloons I manage to drop on the hang glide course are purely accidental.


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