Saturday 27 September 2014

Return of the son of more heaps of UPDATES strikes back with a vengeance!

Phew! If that title doesn't get your attention, nothing will. Anyway, this has been way overdue, but I have been waiting for a couple of new conversions to be finished and released before finishing off this entry. One of them is still waiting for a release, but more on that later on. Anyhow, this Updates entry will hopefully be the last fully fledged one, because I intend to update every entry one at a time for their respective entries, when the need arises. Currently, some entries need to be completely re-edited, but at least BRUCE LEE, BUMP 'N JUMP, THE SENTINEL, DUCK TALES and the SABOTEUR Twofer entries, as well as the DEATHCHASE bit from Unique Games #1 have now been fixed, and more will be worked on with time.

For this entry, however, I will probably need to warn you that I have dug up quite a lot of info previously unknown to myself about quite a lot of games, so if you're interested in this sort of stuff, grab a cup of coffee and click on "Read more" to read further. It is quite irritating that sources like Wikipedia and MobyGames don't always hold all the basic release information about all the games, and missed information can sometimes be found months after finishing the original entries. This time, the updatees are in order of appearance: WHERE TIME STOOD STILL, ARCADIA, ROAD FIGHTER, THE GREAT GIANA SISTERS, SPACE TAXI and COMMANDO. These updates will also be implemented into all the original comparison entries, when I have the time to update them.

Monday 22 September 2014

James Bond 007 (Parker Brothers, 1983)

Developed and published by Parker Brothers in 1983 for Atari 5200, Atari 8-bit computers, ColecoVision and Commodore 64.

Developed for the Atari 2600 by On Time Software:
Lead design and programming by Joseph Gaucher
Music by Dan Kurchevsky
Graphics by Kathy Von
Produced by Louis Marbel for Parker Brothers

Developed for the Sega SG-1000 by Parker Brothers, and published by Tsukuda Original in 1984.



I always liked the idea of playing as the world's most popular secret agent, James Bond. The fact that none of the computer/video games were never properly good until GoldenEye came out, never hindered my quest to virtually restore the world peace. Although Domark made the bulk of the 1980's James Bond games, it all started with this eponymous title by Parker Brothers in 1983, which is a bit strange, since Parker Brothers is an American brand, and James Bond is decidedly not. I don't know whether I'll be making this James Bond thing into a series or not, because the Domark games are not very playable.

Currently, James Bond 007 by Parker Brothers has been rated 5.1 with 25 votes at Lemon64; the Atari 8-bit version has a 7.9/10 with 61 votes at Atarimania, while the A5200 version only has one vote with a 9.0, and the A2600 version has no rating at all. The rest of the scores come from MobyGames, since I couldn't find scores elsewhere, beginning with the missing A2600 score, which is a 3.5 out of 5 from 3 votes. The ColecoVision version has 2 votes, which add up to 3.1, and the SG-1000 version is still awaiting a vote. I have no idea what one is supposed to make out of all that, so I think it is best to move on.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

TWOFER #7: Xeno + Wibstars (A'n'F Software, 1986)


Developed by Binary Design Ltd for ZX Spectrum:
Coding by Matthew Rhodes
Graphics by Ste Pickford
Sounds by Pete Harrison

Converted for the Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 by Nick Vincent with graphics by Ste Pickford.
C64 title screen by Jeremy Nelson.


Developed by Icon Design Ltd for ZX Spectrum:
Coding by Ste Cork
Graphics by Mark O'Neill
Sounds by Tony Williams

Also released for Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64; no further credits available.



For the first two-for-one entry for this year, we have another one of my early years favourites called Xeno, and a randomly chosen game of which I had no previous knowledge of from the same publisher. Xeno is a strange tilted-view turn-based hockey game of sorts - kind of like Lucasfilm Games' Ballblazer, but from a different angle. The other chosen game, Wibstars, seems to be an arcade/actiony sort of a title with many different level types. So, there couldn't be two games more different from each other in a two-for-one retro game comparison. Both games were released for our regular threesome, which should make for a nice comparison twofer.

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Trantor: The Last Stormtrooper (Go!, 1987)

Developed by Probe Software for the Amstrad CPC in 1987: Coding by David Perry - Graphics by Nick Bruty - Music by David Whittaker

Converted for the ZX Spectrum and Atari ST by David Quinn.

Converted for the Commodore 64 by Brian O'Shaughnessy with loading screen by Paul Docherty and music by David Whittaker.

Also converted for the MSX computers in 1987 by Probe Software, but details are unknown.

Converted for the IBM-PC compatibles by Brian O'Shaughnessy, and published by Keypunch Software, Inc. in 1988.



We have another request about to be filled here. This one I have very low expectations of, due to it being rather boring and awkward on the C64, which is the only platform I've played it on so far, but looking at all the other source websites that I use, Trantor has a fairly good reputation elsewhere.

It's another one of those games that got a 10 out of 10 at CPC Game Reviews, and the CPC Softs site assumedly has a rating of 16.29 out of 20.00. 7 voters at Generation-MSX have rated their version a rather good 3.5 out of 5.0; at World of Spectrum, the game has a very respectable 7.78 from 29 votes; and 37 Lemon64'ers have given the C64 version a measly 5.2 out of 10. The only DOS rating I could find was at MobyGames, which was a surprisingly low 1.5 out 5.0, considering Home of the Underdogs' review thought it a good effort (but they didn't have a rating). In any case, this looks to be another interesting comparison.

Thursday 4 September 2014

Unique Games! - Part 5

It's time for another set of exclusive, if not exactly unique games, although there are bound to be a few of those in the mix as well. At least, let's hope there are. Due to my still rather busy schedule, I had to cut it short this time and include only 6 machines to pick the games for, but that should be enough anyway, lest we run out of games in the near future... right. Note that the title says "Part 5" - this is because I sort of expected the Afterlife Games to be a one-off special episode that didn't belong to the same series as such, but who knows. Anyway, this time, we have mostly some familiar machines to go through again, but a first-timer is also in the game now: the Tangerine Oric computers, which we will start with.