Ten years ago I was eight years old. Ten years ago, my elder brother owned an Amiga. Ten years ago, I stumbled across a disk called Pirates! I fell in love.
Ten yarrs (haha! oh...hoho! Oh dear...) seems like a long time, and a lot has changed. But not the love. Oh no.
The remake of Pirates! is absolutely fantastic. The same addictivity of the original has been retained. It's still a thrill to hear the wind hurtling your ship towards harbour, to sail precariously into salvoes of enemy fire and to clash swords with enemy captains, to earn gold, fame and ultimately, the governor's loverly daughters. Although a lot of these aspects now have a more console-like make up (the emphasis is now on button pressing rather than the rampant mouse-clicking of the original), they are still as fun as they ever were.
Along with this is the free-form campaign, again still as excellent as ever. I was extremely pleased to see that there have been no limits placed on your roaming and no storyline forced down your throat - if you want you need never search for your lost family, although the chance is there if you want it. The game assumes huge amounts of longevity in the simple fact that you can do whatever your piratey self wishes.
And, of course, the gorgeous new graphics refuse to be ignored. The blurred images of old are gone, the Pirates! world now assumes a colourful, beautiful, stunning identity.
I've owned this game for a long time, and at £7.99 there's no excuse for any of you to avoid it. Buy it - it's a gaming classic. 'nuff said.