Posts Tagged ‘Superfrog’

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.

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2010 in review!

January 3, 2011

Nice little email of stats from WordPress so I thought I’d share 🙂

 

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2010. That’s about 29 full 747s.

 

In 2010, there were 24 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 43 posts. There were 138 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was August 25th with 153 views. The most popular post that day was Amiga Classic Review: Superfrog.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, lemonamiga.com, forums.somethingawful.com, twitter.com, and universalextras.co.uk.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bioshock, dan aykroyd, basil poledouris, jackie chan, and ray stantz.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

Amiga Classic Review: Superfrog January 2010
5 comments

2

Amiga Classic Reviews: Golden Axe January 2010
1 comment

3

Bioshock February 2010
3 comments

4

Mid Week Mini: Frank Welker April 2010
1 comment

5

Arcade Classic Reviews: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles March 2010
4 comments

Top 5 Platformers (Amiga)

March 1, 2010

Top 5 platform games on the

Amiga

It’s always difficult to name a top 5, especially when there are so many great games on the Amiga to choose from. I’ve based this small list on games I love to replay, whether on my Amiga or emulated. They also tap into deep rooted childhood memories and good times to match!

I will emphasise this list “is in my opinion” (ah, the wonders of a blog) as with any “top list” on any subject it will spark debate, which is a healthy thing anyway and hopefully some of you will put forward some of your top platformers for the Amiga as well! 

After playing through a few of my favourites, and ones I haven’t played before, my list grew substantially from the initial 5. However, as much as I’d love to waffle on these games will be hailed as an honourable mention and came close to making my list; Superfrog, Rodland, Rainbow Islands, Harlequin, Gods and Wolfchild. 

 Flashback 

Flashback is an immensely good game with great graphics and great cut scenes to move the game along in-between each level. It moves away from the usual “bouncy, jumpy” platformer and provides more of an RPG feel to it. The controls are smooth and really run well with the graphics. The intense music really sets the atmosphere for the whole game and the sound effects throughout set the tone nicely. Gameplay and appearance is similar in style to Another World but Flashback has a longer, and in my opinion better storyline (the puzzles are trickier but also follow a logical pattern). A great mix of action and puzzle solving Flashback is one I can play over and over again, even the courier jobs in level 2 aren’t all that bad. I love the intro sequence to this game and it sticks firmly in my memory to this day, the graphics blew me away and with the upbeat music felt like you were watching the intro to a movie. Good times.  

Amiga Computing 62 (Jul 1993) gave Flashback 94%  

The Great Giana Sisters  

Whichever way you like at the Great Giana Sisters people will always shout out something about Mario, but I remember first loading this up on my Amiga and being hooked right away (for an eight year old boy the title screen was fascinating in itself). I felt no need to sit there and think “this is just like that NES game” and so I played through without the hindrance of over analysis that seems to limit the mind once you’ve reached adulthood. I took it for what it was, the graphics were bright and colourful, the gameplay fun and easy going but still retained that challenging aspect to it (timing some jumps was essential). It’s certainly not the easiest game to complete and the 2 player option is just basically the same thing over again but you’ll want to make it to the end, just because. It’s also one of the few games on my Amiga I remember my sister playing (alongside Monster Business, Magic Serpent and Chips Challenge) and as far as I remember she was able to get much further through the game than I could… probably had more patience. An awesome game and worth revisiting, the music is pretty lively too.  

Article in AUI Vol. 2 No. 9 (Sep 1988) for The Great Giana Sisters
 
Turrican II  

As soon as I read or think of the name Turrican the same funky signature theme tune pops into my head and I instantly feel the need to load it up. Turrican is a fast paced platformer and one where it’s not wise to stop for too long, the amount of enemies on screen doesn’t slow the game down and you’ll always find you’re up against an enemy. The game has a great variety of weapons in order to help you take out bad guys in more ways than one; namely bounce, laser and multiple, (add in the extra morph-ball move) and you have everything you need to make it through the games 5 distinct worlds, each with its own great piece of music by Chris Huelsbeck. I love it for its intensity and non-stop gameplay, the graphics look clean and polished and I find its one of the more challenging platformers for the Amiga. On more than one occasion this game has grabbed my attention, and is one of the few times playing it became more important than being called down for dinner. Turrican II is certainly my favourite of the series but I do have a soft spot for Turrican III, mainly for the cool swingy gadget.  

CU Amiga (Feb 1992) review of Turrican II scored 94%  

Magic Pockets  

I played this because I saw it being played on Saturday morning TV (either Motormouth or Going Live!). Either way during the shows the contestant played the game either by shouting the controls down the phone or by using a touch tone phone. I loved the little character (Bitmap Kid) and the ‘cool’ (for the 90’s) animated intro sequence. BK had a unique way of taking out the bad guys, although it never made much sense why a snail would change into a candy cane after being engulfed by a whirlwind which came out someone’s pocket… crazy as that sounds when you write it down it makes sense in this awesome game. Another great from the Bitmap Brothers! The game is long enough to keep you amused for hours, until you turn to look at the clock and realise your late for school (you then get to school and remember it’s a Saturday) and feel like a complete ninny, but with the added bonus you can return home and carry on playing. The level designs are brilliant and the secret passages add an extra puzzle element to the gameplay. The game includes an impressive variety of bad guys and extra levels to keep you reaching into to your pockets for a long time to come… ooo er.  

Amiga Action 25 (Oct 1991) gave Magic Pockets 93%  

James Pond II: Robocod  

Who doesn’t want to save a bunch of hapless penguins at Christmas time from the evil yet brightly coloured clutches of James Ponds arch nemesis Dr. Maybe? It’s certainly one of the most memorable platformers for me as I was a huge fan of the James Bond movies (still am, natch) and the first Pond game. In order to defeat Dr. Maybe (who has taken over Santa’s workshop in the North Pole) Pond is equipped with a robotic suit which allows him to extend is body and grip onto very high platforms, and then shimmy along them past all manner of bad guys and deadly traps. Robocod is a great game and a welcome improvement on the gameplay of the first game (I found the underwater controls far too sensitive and the gameplay very repetitive). Robocod also introduces a series of vehicles for our hero to use adding another dimension to the game, these include a car, plane and um, a bathtub. The game looks and feels polished and is definitely the best in the series (the third game felt like a combination of the first and second without the cool robotic suit) and for all its colour and overly cute level designs the game is the most challenging, and in some places just a little bit sinister.  

Amiga Power 7 (Nov 1991) gave James Pond II: Robocod 87%  

Hope found this Top 5 enjoyable and informative, 2 awesome resource sites for everything Amiga can be found here at Amiga Magazine Rack and Lemon Amiga!  

I have also previosuly reviewed Superfrog! Check it out here!

Amiga Classic Review: Superfrog

January 2, 2010

Superfrog

Year: 1993

Developed by: Andreas Tadic – Team 17

Genre: Platformer – Scrolling Screen (3 Disks)

It’s the same old story, prince meets princess, princess falls in love with prince, jealous witch turns prince into frog and kidnaps princess. Depressed frog sits next to river, (until some shameful in-game advertising goes floating by), sees the bottle and decides to drink the stuff. It’s not a good idea to drink things you find floating down the river. The aforementioned drink turns our depressed frog into Superfrog, who then sets off to rescue the princess and defeat the witch.

There are 6 worlds to play in this great platformer from Team 17. Starting off in the Magic Woods Superfrog battles his way to the witches ‘Spooky Castle’, and is then transported through a number of twists  and turns to a fun park, ancient world, ice world (always seems to be a standard level), space level (frogs in space?) down to the final confrontation with the witch.

The levels within each world have the same objective, collect enough gold coins to open the portal to the next level and so on. Each level is designed to be challenging with just enough enemies to keep you on your toes, although this can be adjusted in the options menu between normal and hard.

There are many items to collect including coins, fruit and jewels and special items including wings, red nose (invisibility), a strange bogie like side kick you can lob at enemies and energy drinks to re-fill your meter, also keep an eye out for secret passages. Blindly running into walls (only in-game) seems to be the best way to find them.

The graphics are great and everything is nicely drawn, Rico Holmes, Eric Schwartz have both created a game where each world has its own distinct theme, design and enemies to defeat making the game play varied and interesting. Too many platform games feel like they repeat themselves after only a few levels but this one doesn’t.

The intro sequence is amusing and a nice touch in setting up the story for our hero and the music is actually pretty good, with a different score by Allister Brimble created for each world. I keep mentioning annoying and repetitive music in some of these old games (no pleasing some people) but for once I am quite impressed. Superfrog’s only real downfall is the control of its hero. For a character that can move so fast and who seems to have been the Amiga’s answer to a certain blue hedgehog, the levels aren’t really designed to support that kind of character.

The game play can be very fast and frustrating at times as running into enemies and especially spikes can happen quite often. The game has very few flaws but the more specific annoyances come in the form of being killed when running into the sides of spikes (even Sonic didn’t have that trouble).   When playing you will want to move Superfrog quickly, because he was designed that way, but in fact you need to move him relatively slowly and carefully, otherwise it would be like trying to run as fast as possible through a mine field in the hope you don’t step on one.  

Once you get used to the speed and used to the fact you can’t just go hurtling off the game is brilliant fun and highly playable. Asides from the control issues, Superfrog performs well in all other areas such as level design, graphics, music and playability.

I love coming back to this game and love the animated intro sequence, although I’m never too happy about blatant product placement in games but I think I can forgive Superfrog (and Lara Croft for that matter). After each level there is a ‘gamble option’ which opens a great little side game which enables you to gamble coins in order to score more points (up to x2) win extra lives or a level code, it breaks up the game play nicely getting you ready for the next set of levels. Superfrog is a brilliant game from Team 17 and one that has stood the test of time.

Amiga Computing June 1993 gives Superfrog a relatively high 93%

Review in Amiga Computing

Amiga Power June 1993 a lower 78%

Review in Amiga Power