Tuesday 31 March 2020

Knight Rider (Ocean Software, 1986)

Amstrad CPC version written by Anthony Heartley and Gary Knight.

Commodore 64 version written by Grant Harrison and Kevin Grieve.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum version written by Antony R. Lill and Gary Knight, with loading screen by Frederick David Thorpe.

All versions published by Ocean Software in 1986.



Disastrous games based on TV shows were a vogue thing in the 80's, and FRGCB has already touched the subject with Elite's Dukes of Hazzard and the Fall Guy some time ago. Since I apparently didn't learn from that mistake, I decided to attempt tackling at least one of Ocean Software's offerings in the same vein. Out of a few good candidates, such as Miami Vice, It's A Knockout and Roland's Rat Race, I decided to go for the fantastically horrendous Knight Rider, because firstly, it epitomizes everything that was wrong with the idea of trying to turn an exciting TV-show into a computer game, and secondly, it's the only one of the lot, which actually offended me even as a young kid, since I was a fan of the show, as well as most of Ocean's offerings that I knew of. Thirdly, it allows me to speak of two other Knight Rider games in the same context.

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.



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.