Posts Tagged ‘Retro’

What if? The Amiga CD32

April 21, 2012

What if? The Amiga CD32

I love What if? scenarios. What could have been if things hadn’t gone a bit pear-shaped for a certain company. This particular scenario though surrounds the question, What if the Amiga CD32 had been a success… would we be seeing an Amiga console today? Equal to the PS3 or X-Box?

There’s plenty of debate on the interweb, schools of thought on the future of Commodore and Amiga. I’ve been dipping in and out of some forums recently and there is certainly a lot of passion surrounding this subject. However, my own personal opinion doesn’t seem to fit in with these particular debates. I’ve always dreamt of an Amiga console, a continuation of the CD32, with Commodore backed and developed hardware, chipsets and designs with the same Amiga enthusiasm for gaming, graphics and entertainment.

I look all bleary eyed as I imagine the release of the ‘Commodore Amiga *insert awesome console name here*’, the anticipation as to the specs of this new machine, the controllers, the online game play… I’ve pretty much invented this fantasy console already, it has everything that made the Amiga and its successors the gaming giants they were (and still are in my opinion).

I’ve imagined the specs, it rivals the PS3 and X-Box for graphics and online gaming, it has an entertainment centre for playing Blu-ray and downloadable movies, it has the retro back catalogue of Amiga games and software, all in a glorious online archive of classics from the past… sorry, drifted off for a bit there.

In short, I think an Amiga console would have easily fitted in amongst the latest gaming platforms, having an incredible legacy behind it and a gaming archive for it to include in its package, sitting alongside any of the latest games. Somehow (don’t ask me how) this latest Amiga console would also allow people to develop their own Amiga projects, the software played just as big a part in the history of Commodore and Amiga as the games did and it would be awesome to see that included, and of course backed by a genuine and passionate Commodore company.

Now, lets not forget this is a What if? scenario, I like to dream of what could have been, and of course in an ideal world this is where I would have liked the direction of the company to have gone. The reality of course was a lot more complicated and depressing, and currently, at least for the brand we all know and love, it’s not looking much better.

Check out another blog post on the CD32 over at Last of Commodore: Amiga CD32, it’s a lot more informative and a lot less fantasy (see above). Thanks for indulging my imagination, until my dreams come true, I’ll be playing on my Amiga 500.

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Bad Influence!

August 26, 2011

Bad Influence

 Year: 1992 – 1996

Genre: Video Game Show shown on CITV

Presenters: Violet Berlin, Andy Crane, Nam Rood, Z Wright, Studio Audience

I loved watching Bad Influence! Back in the day it was an awesome video games show which covered all the latest (back then) games consoles, games and technology, from the SNES to the N64 and even covered my favourite the Amiga, as well as the occasional PC release.

The show was presented by Violet Berlin, a video games guru, and presenter Andy Crane in a studio which was set up with consoles and various other gadgets which the studio audience could be seen playing on. The show featured games reviews (often done by members of the studio audience) in which they gave a ‘boys and girls score’ out of 5.

The show also covered the latest hardware news with reports from Z Wright in the US, who was replaced by ‘Virtual Violet’ in the final series. The show often covered in-depth looks at gaming issues and new computer technology. I always remember the launch of the Nintendo 64 (then called the Ultra 64) which is shown in the last series, as well as the virtual reality machines and robots in the US, and a special on Industrial Light and Magic. Being an Amiga fan most of my favourite episodes featured anything Amiga related, Bad Influence! Series 2 Episode 4 features the Amiga, and games such as Rise of the Robots (Meh!) Desert Strike, Robocod and the Amiga CD 32.

Another presenter was Nam Rood, an expert in games cheats who had his own special section of the show. He would present a cheat for a game (not always related to the show) in random and sometimes comical ways, usually whilst insulting the audience. I’m still not sure what a ‘furtler’ is to this day. Either way Nam Rood’s appearance was a nice break from the masses of information presented in the main show.

It was definitely one of my favourite shows, and I think Violet Berlin needs to be back on the TV at some point, she was pretty awesome. The show usually ended with a competition, and a ‘datablast’ of information that you were encouraged to record and play back to be able to read it. The datablast were pages of text displayed at speed during the end credits with all of the reviews, news, features and cheats of that weeks show.

For more information, and also the best source of information on Bad Influence! please check out this awesome Bad Influence website, where you can also watch the show! The shows themselves are taken from VHS recordings so the sound and picture on some of them isn’t so good, but it’s still great to see this show again and the effort that has gone into putting these online for us all to enjoy. The website includes information on the show, the presenters, the shows themselves spanning 4 series, and interviews with Andy Crane and Violet Berlin, the site also contains links to other related sites!

There’s also a Bad Influence YouTube channel here!

Below is Series 1, Episode 1 to get you started, which also includes the opening introduction 🙂

Amiga: Emulation and Meditation

May 12, 2011
Amiga: Emulation…
 
A distinct lack of inspiration led to a very quiet April in terms of blogging! Still, inspiration and motivation sometimes come from the oddest of sources, in this case trying to get an Amiga emulator to work on my phone. After much fiddling (I’m not the savviest when it comes to modern technology) I finally got the damned thing to work.  I played The Great Giana Sisters and Hero Quest on the way into work this morning on the train and it felt awesome.
 
I managed to get it working on the Samsung Galaxy Portal Android, it runs pretty well, but is a bit twitchy in places and the controls only really work well with platformers. Still, seeing the Amiga load screen appear on my phone was awesome in itself. Compatibility is very temperamental in places and it remains a fine balance between this and performance – it seems one cannot have everything one wants in terms of both. I’ve opted for compatibility in order to play the widest range of games possible. Unfortunately, this makes some games hard to play as the frame rate can be pretty poor with the lower performance setting, slowing the games down no end. Even so, I for one am pleased someone has taken the time to even attempt to get a half decent Amiga emulator working for a phone, and one that only needs a few tweaks to make it even better.
 
However the rest of this blog was inspired by something else entirely. It came from the many games I tried to get working, and many times an old enemy reared its head once more!
 
… and Meditation
 
Imagine if you will, a dark and rainy Sunday afternoon. Hiding yourself indoors, away from the gloom, you sit down to play some of your favourite games. Flicking on the power, the green glow of the power light appears, and the bright white screen of ‘Amiga Workbench V1.3’ bathes you in a gentle light. As you rifle through your disk box to find something to play you hear the clunk and whirr as the disk drive awaits your most treasured game. Selection made, you ready yourself for an afternoon of gaming… or so you thought, and then this appears…
 
 
Overly dramatic and full of clichés but probably a scene most Amiga fans are familiar with from their childhood, and indeed to this day.
 
Above shows the ‘Software Failure’ error, which I think speaks for itself. It is a common error I experienced (and still do) on a lot of the games and software I used, occuring when a disk had become corrupted generally leaving it unusable. The error pictured above appeared after trying to load Magicland Dizzy on an emulated Amiga 500 for my phone (setting up my actual Amiga 500 on the train proving problematic). Luckily, these things fascinate me more than annoy me these days, and you’ll also be pleased to know that no disks where harmed in the making of this post, although many in the past have fallen to this dreaded screen.
 
I always feared this black screen of doom, with its red flashing box and red text, as it usually spelt the end for the game or piece of software being used. You hoped it would never happen to a favourite game, but alas, sometimes it did (my original copy of Moonstone fell to this). It was a fair warning from your Amiga that something wasn’t right, and had pretty much refused to go any further with its operations. To this day I still do not fully understand these errors (maybe someone reading this can shed a little more light?) but I did find a few things on the interweb, where some people have already decided to try to explain it. See the links below!
 
As well as the software failure error,  the Amiga also generated ‘Guru Meditation’, which I think related more to hardware issues than software (that’s a guess by the way), with a further explanation here.  Hope this has been a little bit informative, and a trip down memory lane, nicely summed up by Retro Collect below!
 
“That shouldn’t be a good memory, but we cannot help but smile at the dreaded Commodore Amiga Red Bar of Death!”

@RetroCollect
 

Retro Adverts from Amiga Action

March 30, 2011
Retro Adverts

Amiga Action

Amiga Action 33 June 92

This post will take a look back at some of those more persuasive pages (tucked in between the reviews, previews and cheats sections) in gaming magazines of old, otherwise known as adverts! As an adult (subject to debate) I generally find adverts these days to be tedious and I skip over them as quickly as possible, however, as a child there was nothing better than seeing a brightly coloured, eye-catching ad showing me a glimpse of the next upcoming game to be released. These ads had much more appeal and I certainly didn’t skip over them. I now look back on these ads with fondness, I would turn the page  and the ad would immediately catch my attention with the selection of bright colours, words and pictures (some in-game if you were lucky) and usually persuade me to buy it.

I’ve decided to take a look first at Amiga Action, not my favourite of the Amiga magazines but definitely a good one for a wide selection of ads. Below is a gallery of some of my favourites and hopefully will also stir some similar memories for other Amiga fans! I’m very much an artist at heart and the presentation of the ads really appeals to me to this day, I have the same nostalgic feeling for certain pieces of gaming box art as well. Hope you enjoy and let me know if you have any particular favourite adverts from back in the day, or favourite box art! A few of my favourites from below will always be the great art work on the Gobliiins ad, the distinct word art of Sensible Soccer and the more cartoony looks of Dizzy, Hagar and Parasol Stars.

Please also take a look at the Retro Collect post below who have put together a selection of advertisements from a range of retro gaming magazines!

Advertisements from Retro Game Magazines Part 1

Thanks to Retro Collect for being a constant source of retro awesomeness and inspiration, especially for this post, and to Amiga Magazine Rack for the advertisement scans.

Stop making an egghibit of yourself… Treasure Island Dizzy

February 3, 2011

Treasure Island Dizzy

Genre: Puzzle/Platformer

Year: 1989

Publisher: Codemasters

Disks: 1

Music: Allister Brimble

Ah Treasure Island Dizzy, eggcellent game, you might even say… eggquisite? Ahem. I could crack plenty of those yolks but I eggpect I would lose those few loyal readers I have, and fear they would be poached from me to another blog. Right, all out of my system. Previously I reviewed Spellbound Dizzy, a game I actually don’t like that much, however I thought I’d take a look at the first Dizzy game I ever played, and made me into a long-term fan of the series. Treasure Island Dizzy was the first of the series to appear on the Amiga, but certainly not the worst by a long shot.

The graphics are cute and colourful (as expected) and by todays standards I could probably whip up similar looking sprites and backgrounds in Paint. However, this is one ofAlways good to be on top of things... the first things that attracted me to the game. The game starts with Dizzy trapped on an island, his only means of escape is to solve the usual array of puzzles as well as collect 30 gold coins to secure his passage off the island and to freedom. A simple scenario. The graphics are well drawn and look polished, despite the simple look of the backgrounds and characters. The puzzles are generally simple and follow a logical course, although can be frustrating at points if you leave certain items behind and have to move back and forth to get them.

The gameplay is challenging, not only do you have to solve all the puzzles, as well as collect all the coins, the challenge is more so as you have to complete the game with the single life you are granted at the start. No continues here and mistakes can be pretty deadly.

Snorkel, a valuable piece of kit...

However, because of this, there is pure satisfaction when completing this game as it is more than a trial at times. In this gamers opinion, the only downfall of this title is the music (let’s be honest, Dizzy games never really hit the mark with effective music? – begin debate…?)

The music was composed by Allister Brimble, who had worked on many other popular Amiga games including Alien Breed (1991) Mortal Kombat (1993) and Superfrog (1993), which all make great use of atmospheric and dramatic scores to bring the games to life, which is odd in this instance as I feel the music comes across as extremely (see – no egg joke) repetitive and just a little irritating in Treasure Island Dizzy. He also composed the music for other Dizzy titles such as Fantasy World Dizzy (1991) and Spellbound Dizzy (1992).

This is a gem of a game with some great and interesting puzzles, nasty traps and one particular nod to one of my all time favourite movies. Pleasant graphics and fun game play this isThis guy will take you for everything you've got, git...

by no means the best or greatest of Dizzy games on the Amiga but is certainly a classic and a great introduction to the series. The single life makes it a challenge and if you don’t like the music, turn it off! Simple.

One of the elements to Treasure Island Dizzy which can make the game very entertaining is the cheat codes (listed below), usually employed when I’ve forgotten a really obvious puzzle and then attempt to crash the game by taking Dizzy to areas of the game the developers didn’t intend you to go to.

Enter one of the following codes during game play to activate the corresponding cheat function.

Effect and  Code

Flight mode – icanfly 

Invincibility – eggsonlegs

High jumps – eggonaspring

Magazine Reviews:

Zero 5 Magazine (March 1990) gave Treasure Island Dizzy 78%

Amiga Longplay: Treasure Island Dizzy

Please go to the Yolkfolk.com for all your Dizzy needs and wants.

Treasure Island Dizzy has appeared in many other conversions, notably on the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS,  NES and the ZX Spectrum.

Great Scott!!!

October 31, 2010

Great Scott!!!

 

A short note and update in the world of Reality Glitch Online. Not only is this a year for some awesome anniversary’s (Mario and Back to the Future both celebrating 25 years) but it is a year ago today that I also started my blog.

My first post was on October 31st 2009 and was Dune II for the Amiga 500, follow the link to take a look!

Dune II Review (Amiga)

I still have the scribble sheet somewhere with a list of names and titles for the blog. Most of them involved the word retro somewhere along the line and the word gaming, however as I had no idea what I really wanted to write about I didn’t want to corner myself so early in the game!

Reality Glitch Online seemed to be nice and non-committal to any particular section of entertainment, allowing me to explore the usual array of games, movies, TV, theatre and of course retro gaming. Almost shortened it to RGO but thought I might get mistaken for RKO Pictures, silly me.

Still it’s been a great year, plenty to celebrate even in the face of adversity at some points, throughout I have stuck to one of my main goals and that was to keep this blog going. At the risk of this turning into a ‘Dear Diary’ moment, I started out with some bold goals (I think it was to post twice a week) amounting to 8 posts a month and 96 posts for the year, sadly I didn’t reach these dizzy heights of posting, but I’m hoping in this case it was quality over quantity!

Over the year I’ve managed to accumulate a larger back log of retro consoles and games, including a SNES and a NES (one was free, thank you Emma) and the other was £3 from a car boot sale. On top of this a menagerie of Amiga and Sega Mega Drive games, most of which also came from car boot sales, between 50p and £1 a game, you’ve really got to route through huge amounts of stuff to find those bargains.

Below are a few tips gathered from my own experience and from the interweb on blogging, in case anyone else is insane enough to start one:

1) Set aside time on a daily basis to write to improve style and voice. This could be as little as 30 minutes of writing or a single page.

2) Beat your self-doubt and inner critic. I have both and they often run rampant.

3) Connect with readers – I always see this as responding to comments, being open to feedback and tips and constructive criticism.

4) Promote your blog, double posting and spamming not advisable. Also promote and connect with others at least 3

Guybrush Threepwood

Happy Halloween 🙂

times a week.

5) Ask some questions on why you’re writing and what you’re writing. How will the reader react or benefit from reading your posts.

6) Avoid too many rants (unless of course that’s what your blog is about I guess) I prefer upbeat and helpful posts that leave me feeling informed and positive about something.

7) Develop your story telling ability and think about your writing voice – how the reader can hear you.

 

Most of all enjoy what you are writing, and set yourself realistic goals.

Thanks for reading and hopefully plenty more posts to come soon 🙂

Hope everyone is having a great weekend and Happy Halloween!

Amiga Classic Reviews: P.P. Hammer

October 20, 2010

P.P. Hammer and his Pneumatic Weapon

 

Genre: Puzzle/Platformer

Devleoper: Traveling Bits

Publisher: Demonware

Date: 1991

PP Hammer, first of all, great game and one of the first games I actually played on my Amiga 500. Also another interesting fact, as much as I love it, I’ve never managed to complete it (but there’s still time!)

Until I replayed PP Hammer last month the only thing I ever remembered about it was the slightly annoying music (especially after an hour of playing) and the fact you could easily get stuck at most points on any level if you weren’t quick enough with the ol’ pneumatic drill.

I think it’s the reason why I left playing it again for so long, I remember it being good, I just also remember not being that good at it. Have you ever played a game you know is good? But when you play it you realise how bad you are at it? Frustrating. Luckily this time around I’m not as terrible at the game!

The game follows PP Hammer as he digs drills and hammers his way through a selection of levels designed to confuse and frustrate the most patient of puzzle guru. Set against the clock time is precious and PP must collect all the treasure on the level to open up the door at the end to move onto the next world.

He can drill through certain blocks (easily distinguishable) using his pneumatic weapon which either helps him find hidden treasure or proceed through the level. However, some routes through the rock lead to dead ends and the rocks actually reform after a certain time has passed to block your exit, paths must be chosen wisely and quickly.

The levels are well designed and require a certain amount of thought, the timer adds pace to the game play and makes it that more challenging. The colours are very bright and each level is distinguishable by its theme, Rome (statues) Castle (banners/shields) and there are also the familiar themed levels, Egypt, and an ice level. PP himself is drawn well and the animation of him drilling and moving is fun to watch and cartoon like, right down to the cigarette break he takes when you don’t move him for a while (surely he needs a cuppa too?)

Playing the game through its clear this is a great game and strangely addictive as long as you have the patience for it. End of level codes really help with this as you can come back to it later and continue once you’ve calmed down enough not to want to throw it across the room. The music also not as irritating as I remember and the opening tune is actually quite catchy, the sounds are simple and the controls take a while to get used to, time can be wasted quite quickly by digging in the wrong place and lining yourself up again.

The game is a great combination of platformer and puzzler, not only do you have to work out your route through the level, a danger in itself, but you have the usual array of pitfalls and bad guys to stand in your way. However, collecting the different treasure types in satisfying the there is access to a bonus round by collection gems near the end of the level. PP Hammer is memorable for its challenging and addictive game play against all odds, I think this game could easily have had sequels and added to the puzzle genre in the same way as the Dizzy games.

See the links below from some Amiga magazine reviews back in the day!

Amiga Action 23 (Aug 1991) 88%

Amiga Power 3 (Jul 1991) 70%

CU Amiga (Jul 1991) 85%

A few opinions from the very awesome website Lemon Amiga!

Graham Humphrey – An interesting platform-puzzle game that constantly mixes the sublime with the ridiculous. A great idea that’s obviously been influenced by games such as Lode Runner, it is initially enjoyable and quite addictive too. However it veers too much into Rick Dangerous territory with invisible traps, teleports, walls and the like that you have no way of avoiding, causing it to become immensely frustrating. However there is a load to it, it’s got a lot of character and the controls work well. Level design-wise it’s one heck of a mixed bag and I suppose how much you enjoy it depends on how patient you are.

stooart – I think after strenuous playing I managed to finish this little fiend of a game! Had to keep playing to see the next level. Again, aurual and visuals nothing special but a cracking wee puzzler/platform. Actually put me in mind of Lode Runner. Two thumbs up.

Predseda – Very funny, cute and ORIGINAL game. 8-bit styled arcade, which I like.

Amiga Classic Reviews: Mortal Kombat

July 16, 2010

Mortal Kombat

Developer: Probe Software

Genre: Arcade Beat ’em up

Release Date: 1993

Publisher: Virgin Interactive

Copyright: Midway/Acclaim Entertainment

Ah, Mortal Kombat. What self respecting 12 year old doesn’t crave gore, violence and fatalities in their gaming experience, and even if you didn’t, the much cooler looking ‘K’ in combat would have sold it to you.

Created by Ed Boon and John Tobias, Mortal Kombat was released for the Amiga by Midway and Probe Software after being converted from its much more successful and shinier looking arcade counterpart. For me it was the fighting game of choice on the Amiga (although not difficult considering the competition of the poor excuse for a conversion that was Street Fighter II) and although favourable, other fighter attempts such as Body Blows and Body Blows Galactic still didn’t quite do it for me.

Although MK lost some of its shine on the transfer to the Amiga it lost none of its excellent game play experience, introducing gamers to fatalities, a selection of unique finishing moves which provided high levels of blood and gore. My original big box version even carries a 15 rating sticker, although its so small I think they hoped no-one would really notice and would buy it anyway.

The scenario is the usual caper, an array of fighters from various backgrounds and martial arts abilities compete for their lives against a greater foe, in this case Shang Tsung. All combatants have their own back stories and reasons for being there. You begin by selecting your fighter to start (Scorpion or Johnny Cage for me) and work your way up the tournament ladder, fighting the other characters, as well as yourself, endurance rounds and finally the bosses. There are also mini games in between certain bouts, where you attempt to break the joystick by wiggling it frantically from side to side in order to break through a number of materials to prove your strength, working up from wood to diamond.

In all honesty, I was impressed with the graphics when I first saw them (ah, impressionable youth) and they were very different to what I had seen from Street Fighter II. The characters were developed with digitised sprites based on actors, as opposed to the more ‘cartoony’ graphics in the aforementioned Street Fighter series. Seeing how they digitised the actors was awesome and very interesting, something I think I saw in an episode of Bad Influence, and really impressed. Since seeing the arcade version I can of course make a more informed judgement on the graphics, the arcade characters are beautifully animated but the Amiga version seems to have lost some of that shine, and looking closely edges are poorly drawn and seem rushed in places.

I love the sounds and music for this game, right from the usual sound effects of martial arts combat (someone smashing a water melon with a sledge hammer) to the eerie yet funky background and menu music. The effects and music increase the tension and atmosphere and certainly bring the characters to life. I don’t usually go for game related music, but I don’t deny there are some classic tunes out there based on them, and the Mortal Kombat theme is one of them I like listening to, so much I even have the track on my iPod (check it out below) I just like listening to how they managed to fit all those names into some sort of… song?

Playing this game again certainly brought back some good memories, and although the controls are nowhere near as easy to use on the one button joystick compared to a joy pad it was fun learning them all again. Another slight nitpick is that the characters all share the basic punches and kicks, but they do each have unique specials and fatalities. The single player game is good but nothing ever compares to 2 player, and I certainly never grow tired of Scorpion’s “get over here” and uppercut combo. I always remember to keep an eye out for the shape flying across the moon on the bridge level and recall finding Reptile for the first time. I think I even found Reptile harder to beat than Goro and Shang Tsung.

A great game all round and a highly successful series of games which followed, Mortal Kombat II introduced some awesome new characters and made some vast improvements to the game over its predecessor. Pretty good conversion as far as the Amiga goes, but considering the poor competition of Street Fighter II and Body Blows this easily comes top.

Check out some of the reviews below from back in the day.

Amiga Format 55 (January 1994) 74%

Amiga Power 33 (January 1994) 86%

CU Amiga (December 1993) 93%

And if you haven’t quite had enough yet check out the Amiga Longplay video below!

More Amiga Longplay videos can be found on YouTube and other Recorded Amiga  games can be found here!

Amiga Classic Review: Chase HQ

February 7, 2010

Chase HQ

Published: Taito (1988) Ocean (1989)

Genre: Racing/chase

Conversion: Amiga 500

Racing games in all honesty are not my genre of choice, retro gaming or modern. Odd considering one of my favourite game series on the Amiga is Lotus Turbo Challenge. Still, after playing Chase H.Q for awhile I realised I am just as bad at it as I was when I first played it on my Amiga. Chase H.Q is originally an arcade racing game (one of those cool looking cabinets where you get to sit down at a steering wheel) released by Taito in 1988. The game was converted to the usual array of popular home computers and consoles at this time by Ocean and was released for the Amiga in 1989.

You play as a police officer who works within the special chase department of the police force. At the start of each stage you are given instructions from “Nancy at Chase H.Q” via your police radio on which criminal you’ll be pursuing next. You’ll start a certain distance away from them and only have a certain amount of time to catch up. There will also be a fork in the road early on and an arrow letting you know which way to take, the other direction usually means a longer chase. Once you’ve caught up to the criminal your time limit is extended and you must ram into their car a number of times until they are forced to stop so you can arrest them.

My initial reaction was pretty good on loading this up; I had no preconceived ideas of what to expect having never played the original arcade version. The funky intro music was nice and I loved the police radio setup to give you your mission. Unfortunately it quickly went downhill; firstly the fact I couldn’t play with the music on and have sound effects. After playing with one or the other I actually decided the sound effects made the game experience a lot nicer; nothing like the sound of overtaking people at high speeds and ramming into the criminals car.

The graphics (from what I’ve seen of other conversions) didn’t seem to live up to any of them, the scenery was lacking in any style or colour and sometimes it was difficult to tell the difference between trees and buildings on the side of the road, the whole experience felt very shaky. It’s safe to say that beyond the intro music and mission briefing I didn’t like much else about this game, least of all the actual game play. For a relatively short game at 5 stages it wasn’t that easy to complete (not for yours truly anyway). I managed to get to Stage 5 but found the control system so irritating and slow to react I switched it off. You know, toys, pram etc.

To add insult to injury you only get the one chance on the final stage to catch the criminal, on the other stages you are given 3 credits or chances to do this, credits I desperately needed. Despite my admittedly biased opinion towards racing games I have tried to remain on the fence with regards to this review, but I can’t help but feel this isn’t as good as it could have been. It is still highly playable, if not short and a little hard in places, and this shouldn’t detract from the fact I can’t complete the damn game. The graphics seem to be lacking and the controls make game play and reaction times slow, in a game in which you need to go fast you inevitably end up spinning out of control through no fault of your own and begin to panic as you re-start in what appears to be slow motion.

I’m inspired to play other conversions of Chase H.Q and do a little comparison, but I don’t think I’ll be replaying this particular one anytime soon.

Check out a few other opinions back in the day!

Nice little review from CU Amiga 64 (Jan 1990)

Average stuff from Amiga Format 7 (Feb 1990) and a particularly scathing review from Amiga Power 9 (Jan 1992)

Golden Axe

January 10, 2010

Great title screen with that action packed title music to bring you into the game

Developer: Sega/Virgin Games

Genre: Side scrolling beat ‘em up

Year: 1990

Platform: Amiga 500

Disks: 1

Golden Axe takes me back to the first days of my Amiga and has always been one of my favourites. Why else would I own it the Mega Drive as well? The story is simple and revolves around three warriors who are seeking revenge against a murdering tyrant called Death=Adder, who has subsequently done each of our heroes a wrong in some form. You can play in 1 or 2 player mode and you must select from 1 of the 3 choices of character, each with their own agenda in seeking to take on Death=Adder.

Ax Battler

Ax=Battler: ‘Conan the Barbarian’ warrior type complete with stylish blue underwear and a look of “if you laugh I’ll lop your arms and head off”. Ax uses his sword and brute strength to defeat his enemies but is lacking in the magic department.

Gilius Thunderhead

 

 

Gilius=Thunderhead: Small, powerful and angry, the dwarf character is a popular choice and has a funky rolling axe to the crotch move. Nippy and reliable, not as strong as Ax but has better magic skills.

 

 

 

Tyris Flare

 

 

Tyris=Flare: ‘Red Sonja’ warrior type, with princess Leia type bikini, enemies stand and drool as you swipe at them with your sword repeatedly. Tyris main strength lies in her awesome magical ability, there’s nothing like having a huge dragon to do your bidding.

These guys have a long reach and can knock you for six…

The game play is brilliant, and although stages are short you cannot fault its pace and fighting system. In either 1 or 2 player mode you must battle through six stages, meeting different enemies throughout including skeletons, club wielding thugs, giants, knights and the odd dragon riding, axe wielding dominatrix. I’ve never liked the skeletons as they always seemed to be more nasty when attacking, especially that sword swipe across the stomach.

Your goods or your life Sir! But my goods are life…. *kick* Hey!

At the end of each stage you have the chance to replenish your health and magic by generally being rude and abusive to some passing hobbit like creatures either dressed in green (food) or blue (magic potion). A swift kick to the sack (ouch…) forces them to give up the goods. Magic is your greatest ally when taking out multiple enemies, each character, depending on how full their magic meter is, will have different creatures or natural elements to help them dispatch a number of foes on the screen, very useful if you’re low on energy and are being over whelmed. I always found by the time I’d got to Death=Adder I’d forgotten to save them up.

Tyris shows us how to balance a dragon on our heads whilst taking out the enemy…

The graphics are superb and I love the way the characters are drawn, each having their own unique special moves, strengths and weaknesses and magical abilities. The level designs are colourful and detailed and you’ll find yourself being surrounded by enemies from all sides. It’s always fun making them run off the side when the opportunity arises, all it needs is an animated look of confusion on their faces as they fall to their doom. Kicking and throwing them off the edge works just as well. Its only real drawback (certainly in this version) is the occasional pause to load, which can slow the game down a bit, otherwise it’s a stand up conversion and a game that looks just as good now as it did back in the day. The game music and story scene music is good, and the sound effects are brilliant, right down to the knocking sound of hilt to head and then a swift boot to the face.

Seems to be a distinct lack of armour around these parts…

Golden Axe on the Amiga is a great game and great conversion from the original coin op. Death=Adder is a great boss fight and always satisfying when he finally goes down, making sure of course he falls in the middle of the screen so you can experience the ‘spinning axe of death’ to its fullest. I feel the length of this version is just right, otherwise the game play would become to repetitive, which is the feeling I get after playing the Mega Drive version with the extra levels. Golden Axe is classic game and brilliant conversion and one that I keep coming back to and replaying. Its charm and appeal is timeless and if you can find someone to join in, 2 players is the way to go.

Bit o’ gameplay below if you’ve not seen the game before!