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.

Friday, 6 December 2019

FRGR #11: Slicks 'n' Slide (Digital Footmark, 1993-2017)

Written by Timo and Juha Kauppinen.
Originally released as shareware for MS-DOS compatible PC's in 1993.
Currently available for digital purchase at Digital Footmark's website.

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INTRODUCTION


For my first Finnish Retro Game Review since taking a break, I decided to bring the series a bit closer to the present day. Not too much, though, because the game I'm about to dwell upon is still available for purchase after 26 years (!!!) of existence, and it also has been recently demade onto retro platforms. You won't be getting an actual comparison, although there is an entire chapter about the demakes. But I digress; the original Slicks 'n' Slide is such a famous Finnish game in the midst of old DOS gamers around the world, that I thought it was the only fitting game for reopening this series. With this, I wish you all a happy Finnish independence day!

Wednesday, 20 November 2019

November Newsflash

Things have been a bit quiet on this front for this month for a number of reasons. First of all, work, music and life got in the way again, but still, I'm writing new material as quickly as I'm able to.

Second, another episode of Retrogame Talkshow FINALLY got out yesterday (Random Ramblings #2) after almost half a year's delay, so we now have 8 episodes done! Click on the link right there to get to our Spreaker site, which is our main platform for the podcast. Work on the next episode has already begun, but how long that will take is anybody's guess.

In other news, which I forgot to mention earlier (sorry about that), an Italian retrogaming magazine, simply titled RetroMagazine contacted me in August about doing Italian translations of my blog articles for their magazine. The first one, which was a nice glued-together version of my original Bruce Lee comparison, including its updates, was featured in issue #17 - follow the link, if you can read Italian.

The next blog entry will be released, according to tradition, on the 6th of December - the Finnish Independence Day. Expect to read about something rather Finnish then. As for the followers of My Nostalgia Trip Games and other video series, I have decided to continue work on those in January, so you'll have to wait until then. But worry not, things are definitely brewing here.

Thursday, 31 October 2019

NGOTM: l'Abbaye des Morts (Locomalito, 2010)

Written by Locomalito, with music, sounds and promo art by Gryzor87. Originally released as freeware for Windows PC's in 2010.

Port for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k:
Programming by Yuri "Jerri" Potapov. In-game graphics and music by Paolo "Dark Horace" Arus. Loading screen by Einar Saukas. Published as digital freeware in 2014, and also a physical release by RetroWorks.

Port for the Sega Megadrive/Genesis:
Programming by Mun/MoonwatcherMD. Graphics by Gerardo Herce, Felipe Monge Corbala, Daniel Nevado and Igor Errazkin. Sounds by Paolo Arus and Manuel Gómez. Cover by Felibe Monge Corbala, Masterklown and Ozar Midrashim. Published digitally at itch.io and as a physical cartridge by PlayOnRetro and Mega Cat Studios in 2017.

Port for the Commodore 64:
Programming by Antonio Savona. Graphics by Saul Cross. Music by Gryzor and Saul Cross. Package design by Jason MacKenzie. Published by Double Sided Games and Psytronik Software in 2019.

Also released for Linux, MacOS, OUYA, Pandora, Nintendo Wii, GCW0 and Sony PlayStation Portable. The game is also reported to be in the making for at least MSX, ColecoVision, Commodore Amiga (AGA) and Sega Dreamcast.

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INTRODUCTION & GAME REVIEW


Due to the imminent arrival of yet another Halloween, and despite my previous lack of planning ahead, I decided to rush out a comparison of a few select versions of one of the most celebrated retro-styled horror-platforming games of the last decade: l'Abbaye des Morts. The reasons for only doing a comparison of a select few versions are simply, that most of the versions are basically carbon copies of the original, that it would be stupid going through all of them and finding nothing of importance, and secondly, I personally don't have access to most of the required hardware. So we only focus on the most retroest conversions currently available, in addition to the original.

Thursday, 17 October 2019

FireTrap (Data East, 1986)

Originally developed by Wood Place Inc. for the arcades, and published by Data East.

Conversion for the Commodore 64 programmed by Mike Chilton, with graphics and music by Chris Gill.

Conversions for the Amstrad CPC and Sinclair ZX Spectrum by Source Software Ltd (assumedly Ross Harris).

The home conversions were published by Electric Dreams (Activision) in 1987.

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RESTARTING RAMBLE & GAME STATUS


Due to the increasingly uncertain future of Retrogame Talkshow, I decided to get properly back to writing comparisons whenever I felt like it, which means that they will be released as quickly I can get them done. In the odd case that there isn't a video comparison available on YouTube for any specific game I'm writing on, I shall compile a companion video for it. Now, this reboot comparison was chosen this time due to its placing in the alphabetic list, and more importantly, the number of versions available, just to give me a continuation of an easy restart - hopefully.

Monday, 9 September 2019

TWOFER #19: Revs (Acornsoft, 1984) + Microcosm (Firebird, 1985)

REVS

Designed and written by Geoff Crammond.

Originally published for the Acorn BBC Micro through Acornsoft in 1984.
Conversion for the Commodore 64 published through Firebird in 1985.
Unofficial conversion for the Commodore Plus/4 by András S. in 1988.

MICROCOSM

Written for the Acorn BBC Micro by Steven Reece and David Pearce.

Converted for the Commodore 64 by Andrew E. Bailey and released by Firebird in 1986.

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INTRODUCTIONS & GAME STATUS, PLURAL


Before I venture on to talk about the games themselves, it should be noted that only one of these game comparisons was recently featured in the most current RESET 64-magazine (the 12th issue), and I just wanted to write another comparison as a big bonus thing for the blog, since I haven't been doing comparisons since starting the Retrogame Talkshow podcast and my two video series. So, now felt a good time to do something more about the blog, and I've got the feeling I might be continuing with new comparisons for a while for now. As for the second game featured in this two-fer: it was very randomly picked months after writing the Revs comparison here, and the only connections between the two games are the publisher and that both games were only ever officially released on the BBC Micro and the Commodore 64.