Sunday, 15 March 2020

TWOFER #20: Bank Panic (Sega, 1984) + West Bank (Dinamic, 1985)


Bank Panic developed by Sanritsu Denki Co., Ltd. in 1984. Originally published as an arcade game by SEGA Enterprises Ltd. for the Japanese market. Manufactured for the American market by Bally/Midway.

Converted for the MSX computers, Sega SG-1000 and Sega Master System by Sanritsu Denki Co., Ltd. // Sega SG-1000 conversion published by SEGA Enterprises in 1985. // Sega Master System conversion published by SEGA of America in 1986. // MSX conversion published by Pony Canyon, Inc. in 1986. // Sega SG-1000 version unofficially converted for the ColecoVision by Eduardo Mello; published by Team Pixelboy in 2011.

Cloned as "West Bank" for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, MSX and Sinclair ZX Spectrum by Dinamic Software. // Sinclair ZX Spectrum version programmed by Álvaro Mateos Herrera. Original Spanish version published by Dinamic Software in 1985. English translation published by Gremlin Graphics Ltd. in 1986. // Amstrad CPC version published by Gremlin Graphics Ltd. and Dinamic Software in 1986; details unknown. // Commodore 64 version programmed by Richard J. Gibbs, with music by Fred Gray. Published by Gremlin Graphics Ltd. in 1986. Spanish version published by Dinamic Software in 1987. // MSX version written by Animagic, and published by Dinamic Software in 1989.

Unofficial conversion "Gold Bank" for the Acorn BBC Micro published by Fast Access magazine in 1989. Unofficial conversion "Bang! Bank!" for the Atari 400/800 developed by OUR 5oft, and published by Mirage Software in 1992.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


After a relatively quiet month and a half - apart from the three My Nostalgia Trip Games episodes, that is - it's time for another actual comparison. Just for the heck of starting on the right foot, this entry will be listed as both Bank Panic and West Bank in the archive, because although it's roughly the same game, some people might not be aware of either the game by its original title or the unlicenced Dinamic rewrite and its conversions. Personally, I was introduced to this game as the Gremlin translation of West Bank on the C64, and only found out sometime after emulation started becoming a thing, that it was originally an arcade game called Bank Panic, all the way from 1984. This entry is dedicated to those of you, who ever were as much in the dark as I once was.

Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Unique Games: Afterlife, Part 3

Continuing the celebrations of a new decade, and because it's been 4 years since I did my last UG: Afterlife entry, I thought this would be a good time to revisit this particular series. Considering the amount of time passing since the previous one, there should be plenty of interesting, exclusive and perhaps even unique games to browse through, so let's get straight on it!

Thursday, 9 January 2020

My Nostalgia Trip Games continues!

Just a quick update this time. In case you haven't noticed, I've been sporadically making content for my YouTube channel, the prominent series being My Nostalgia Trip Games, for which I made 16 episodes last year, featuring mostly unemulated gameplay footage. There's also a few unemulated Let's Play videos, as well as the most recently started series of comparison accompaniment videos, which are all compiled of emulated footage, just for the sake of convenience. Links to all the videos can be found under the VIDEOS menu item here.

As the header implies, the second "season" of My Nostalgia Trip Games has started with the first entry for MS-DOS games. This time, the footage is practically emulated due to DOSbox+Fraps being the only method I have of getting footage recorded. But next time, it's back to unemulated business as usual.


Thursday, 2 January 2020

Dragonfire (Imagic, 1982)

Originally designed and programmed by Bob Smith, and published by Imagic for the Atari 2600 in 1982.

Converted in 1983:
Mattel Intellivision version by Alan Smith, with graphics by Dave Durran. Commodore VIC-20 version by Tim Yu. Both versions published by Imagic.

Converted in 1983 for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum by Jim Rothrock; published in 1984 by Cheetahsoft.

Converted in 1984: Apple II version by Imagic; details unknown. ColecoVision version by David Ross, with graphics by Matthew Sarconi and Wilfredo Aguilar. Commodore 64 version by Bob Smith and David Ross (to be confirmed); published by Imagic.

Also converted in 1984 for the Tandy TRS-80 CoCo by Frank Ellis, with graphics by Matthew Sarconi; published by Tandy Corporation.

Unofficial conversions: Commodore 64 remake written with Garry Kitchen's Gamemaker by Fabian Del Priore in 1990; Atari 400/800 version written by Kemal Ezcan in Turbo Basic for a Zong magazine release in 1993; Sinclair ZX Spectrum version called "Dragonfire ZX" was made by Luca Bordoni with AGDx in 2018.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME STATUS


With no real time to make plans for an actual Christmas/New Year's entry for 2019, here's something at least perhaps a bit unexpected, so... Happy New Year, everybody, and welcome to 2020! While starting to write this entry, I was having a difficult time thinking of any other game in the history of my blog, that started its life as an Atari 2600 game. There is a perfectly good reason for that, however: apart from some random gaming through emulation, I had not been properly initiated to the Atari 2600 gaming lore until a few months ago, when I finally bought my very own Atari 2600jr, along with about a dozen games to start with - Dragonfire being one of them. Thus began a new obsession.

Dragonfire was one of Imagic's bigger successes, along with classics such as Atlantis, Cosmic Ark and Demon Attack. Sadly, the company did not recover from the North American video game crash of 1983, so their legend is forevermore tied firmly to the Atari 2600. As are their games, to be honest, since most of the positive reviews and nostalgia are directed towards the Atari versions of the games, not their conversions. So, we are here to find out, whether that's at all sensible or not.