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  1. Street Hassle is going to be a weird one as I'm going to have to describe it from memory since I can't find a non-corrupted version to play. It's a weird game. Set in Melbourne (originally) you stride around wearing your sunglasses, underpants and punch random "bad guys." Which include blind men gorilla's (probably a drop bear in disguise) grannies and dogs. I remember it feeling a lot like an improvement on their earlier work Fighting Warrior but in much worse taste. I do remember this being passed around the playground as a kid but the appeal was rather limited and I didn't even keep a copy of it. It's certainly....er....unique.
  2. Action Force was never going to be my thing. I wasn't a big fan of contemporary military toys like GI Joe and all the reviews at the time made the game sound like a pain. Think Falcon Patrol crossed with an escort mission where you have to pick up and drop bridge segments in order to get a car to the end of the level. The sprites are big and bold but your helicopter is such a big target and the swarm so relentless that on trying this I died several times in five minutes. Was anyone actually proficient playing this back in the day? It makes Airwolf look like a walk in the park. Oh, and you only get one life. Unless there's a way to get more. Not one of my favourite Gang of Five games, stick with Dan Dare or Scrabble.
  3. I was thinking about this today on the way home from work. Why Captain America? Why Yogi Bear? These were at the time almost dead properties. Comics weren't doing great and Yogi was known purely through syndication and I'm pretty sure I wasn't alone in only having it on in the background because of a lack of content. There's a few licences like this and I think Graham and @squirtle identified why these sorts of titles were licensed. Not only would they have been fairly cheap (compared to say Indiana Jones) but they have name recognition among parents at the time. I wouldn't be interested in buying a game based on a Marvel comic at the time or on Yogi. But my mother or grandparents would be tempted and if I wasn't a reader of Zzap at that time I probably would have received a "Sunday Best."
  4. I watched a lot of Yogi Bear as a kid but for some reason I developed an irrational hatred of the character. Something about bears wearing ties rub me the wrong way. So I was never going to buy this or even pirate it. I do remember seeing the map of the game in Zzap and the structure of skipping above ground parts using underground tunnels being very much like Pitfall. I will give it this, it looks like the cartoon. I could not work out how to get past the first river despite trying several times before realising "hang on, I hate Yogi Bear. Why am I playing this again?" Sorry Boo Boo. Get used to that cage.
  5. Has there been any other series of films that have inspired videogames more than the Indiana Jones films? Raiding tombs, exploring exotic locales and er....giving us mine cart levels? Weirdly enough official Indiana Jones games on the 8bit machines did not fare so well. There was the over ambitious and yet incredibly arcane Raiders of the Lost Ark on the 2600. The weird platform game Indiana Jones and the Lost Kingdom. And then there was the game based on the arcade game based on the really problematic and now second worst movie in the franchise The Temple of Doom. I could spend hundreds of words talking about how awful Temple of Doom was but for me as a kid it was a movie that was terrifying and yet disappointing. The arcade game by Atari looked and sounded amazing at the time but now it looks and feels pretty dated. But let's look at the game. First the title screen featuring Thindiana Jones and....I actually think this is an improvement over the arcade. I'll leave it to you to judge. Arcade. C64. The arcade game appears to run on similar hardware to other Atari games at the time like Road Runner and Paperboy. The first level sees you whipping guards and freeing kids. It made me feel a little uneasy as the sounds that come from the guards when you whip them sound very much like white dudes making "native in pain" voices. Let's just say it is very of its time. But the collision detection feels really fuzzy here. The C64 version is a bit of a shock. Indy is dressed all in white, a brave fashion choice inspired more by Leisure Suit Larry than our favourite treasure hunter. You thankfully lose the sampled speech but the play area is smaller and whipping a guard often spawns another instantly making it very hard to get around without getting touched. And a single touch will lose you a life. Making your way to the exit you come across the mine cart level. Is this the first mine cart level in a game? I'm pretty sure this was the movie that inspired the hateful things. I remember being well impressed by the arcade shot of this in C&VG as a kid. The C64 version looks awful in comparison and my C64 journey ended here. Also it commits the cardinal sin of multiload games starting immediately when the section loads which will lose you a life immediately if you weren't sitting on top of the keys waiting. Then there's a final level which feels like it was half put together at the end of the day in the arcade. Grab the stone and scuttle out the door to do it all again. I can't speak as to how this plays on the C64. I can't blame the people who put this together, it's a very average port of a very average arcade game based off an average sequel movie. This is one of those cases where even a fan of the arcade machine would have to ask themselves "would I get tired of this if I just played this in the arcade before I spent ten quid in plays?" I reckon you would. And then there's the competition, would I play this over Pitfall 2 or Montezuma's Revenge? Both games arguably inspired by the Indiana Jones movies? Nope. Indy wouldn't really come into his own until Lucasarts took on the game based on the next movie on the next generation of hardware.
  6. Since I mentioned Fists'n'Throttles it's only fair to talk briefly about Thundercats one of the bonus games I got along with Buggy Boy. First there's the odd loading screen. Around this time image scanners were starting to become popular and I suspect various elements were scanned to save on time. On the upside the logo looks great and despite being nothing to do with the cartoon I quite liked the music. As for the game itself it's attractive enough. Well half attractive. I always thought the digitised look of the far background didn't match the bold clean pixel art in the foreground. The scrolling and the animation is smooth. But there are issues. -You start off running to the left. I can't put my finger on why but this is always uncomfortable in a non Metroid game. -The enemies are relentless. Hitting one instantly spawns another. This is old school jumping too, once you leap you're committed. which means many will be the time you leap only for an enemy to spawn and run at you. -Your tolerance to touch is zero. You die immediately. I actually got really good at this at the time because I was sure there was more to the game. And the flying bits were pretty neat. Being able to take control of a vehicle directly from foot was rare back in 1987. In the end I found a poke to give me infinite lives and time and without the time pressure there to drive you forward it's easy to see how little there was here. Is this Gargoyle's fault? Not really, there had been a rich tradition of companies repurposing original games to get a licensed game out in the marketplace cheaply. GTW64 makes the case that this probably was the case here. https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/wolf/ Gargoyle had previously helped save Elite's bacon in regards to a certain cartoon dog a couple of years before. And to give Gargoyle credit they certainly had a reputation for games with big well animated sprites. There has always been an issue with licensed games. They're usually expensive (or at the very least take up some of the development budget) and there is usually a time pressure to release it as quickly as possible. Pre 1984 this led to some dire games being released but it was Ghostbusters that set the most famous precedent for taking a part completed game and using it as the basis for a solid tie in title. For those unfamiliar https://www.gamesthatwerent.com/gtw64/car-wars/ I played this a lot back in the day because it was well animated, because it came on the same tape as a far better game and because I was desperate for some sort of Rygar / Rastan variant. It was ok in 1987 but I can't recommend it now. I mean it's better than the C64 port of Rastan Saga but when you've got games like Antiriad already out there this is a shallow substitute.
  7. I remember Captain America in: The Doom Tube of Dr. Megalomann getting good reviews in some magazines. Not Zzap though who panned it. This was a weird departure for Adventure Soft and for Stefan Ufnowski who previously worked on the much lauded text adventures Rebel Planet and Kayleth. I remember reading some complaints from Adventure Soft at the time that players just weren't approaching the game the right way at all. I can see why though, it feels very obtuse and I'm guessing most players got as far as I did. There is an actual game here though but even watching this walkthrough looked confusing. So a weird bit of trivia, on the B side to the tape is a song that the in game music appears to be based off. Who's Crying Now by Resister. Who's crying now? Anyone who bought this game with their pocket money I suspect!
  8. The first game is one of my favourite games of all time on the C64. Buggy Boy. I first saw images of this in C&VG and wasn't really interested. It used a three screen set up which at the time felt like a bit of a novelty and an overpriced one at that. (Not pictured below the left and right screens.) But then a playable demo was released on the first cover tape to grace Commodore User, the "Cool Spool." It offered a time limited trial of one of the tracks and I was hooked. Let's get some things out of the way. I disagree with @squirtle and Graham on this one, I think it's more than worthy of a gold medal. But all of the points they raised? Completely on the ball. -It's a conversion of a deeply average arcade game. -It's not even a faithful conversion of the arcade game. -It's arguably not a racing game due to the unique control scheme. All of these things are totally true. The bits that are faithful? Well there's a buggy. There are five courses. Offroad. North. West. East. South. They've pulled the view back so like the arcade you can see all three lanes but you lose that massive buggy sprite. All the elements from the arcade game are there, you can use logs to bunny hop. You can use loose rocks to tilt up on two wheels. You can race along ramps and through tunnels and across bridges. There are flags to pick up and soccer balls to hit with your car. But the controls are weird. There is no fighting the steering wheel here, no centrifugal forces at play. And whether or not you enjoy this game will depend on how you feel about this. For some people it feels a little weightless and turns what should be a racer into an obstacle game. For those who fall in love with it there's a feeing of control that's unique to this game that is not a racer, it's an obstacle game / time trial. So if you're like me and you loved games like this or this or even this then this might be your jam. It might look like a racing game but it isn't, it's a joyous score attack dodging game. I couldn't find a copy of this at first and continued to play the demo regularly until I managed to score a copy of it as part of the compilation Fists'n'Throttles which I bought just for Buggy Boy. (Ikari Warriors, Thundercats and Dragon's Lair being bonuses and the less said about Enduro Racer the better.) This game felt tailor made for me, it's bright, cheerful and it's a single load. It probably helps that when I was a little kid one of my favourite cartoons was Speed Buggy and the buggy in this reminded me a lot of that. (In the US the game was actually called Speed Buggy although it wasn't a tie in with the show.) Is it the greatest racing game on the C64? Don't be silly. But it is my favourite car based game on the C64, I still dig it out to play at least once a year. I've heard from people who've played other versions that the C64 version is the best one due to the handling with not even the Amiga conversion feeling as good. I'll have to take their word for it. It's my favourite game of this episode and while I agree with most of @squirtle and Graham's points I think this is far from mediocre. I highly recommend you try it to judge for yourself.
  9. A new episode drops. https://zappedtothepast.com/ Featured this episode -Buggy Boy -Captain America -Thundercats -Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom -Yogi Bear -Action Force -Street Hassle -Computer Scrabble Deluxe -How to be a Complete Bastard -Super Sprint -Microball -Shoot-em-up Construction Kit
  10. https://venturebeat.com/2022/06/25/gaming-legend-bernie-stolar-passes-away/? I remember him being interviewed quite a bit in Next Gen magazine back in the day.
  11. Jun 26/06 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge (PC) This is a lovely throwback to how I remember these old beat-em ups being and not what they actually were. Because this is made for the home rather than the arcade it's a lot friendlier and if you want you can tone down the level so every level feels like the fun level one of this sort of game. (And if you want it to be nails hard you can play it in arcade mode.) It's short but I had a lot of fun despite playing it the wrong way, that is alone and playing as April O'Neil instead of one of the turtles. It just made me feel like it was 1991 all over again. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Earlier this month. 17/06 Psycho Soldier (Arcade/PC) 16/06 Prehistoric Isle in 1930 (Arcade/PC) 16/06 Street Smart (Arcade/PC) 12/06 Midnight Scenes:The Nanny (PC) Earlier this year
  12. Frame rate was fine for me but that's on PS5. I'd say if you can't get on with it now you're safe to give it a miss. I loved it, my partner was keen to try it and she found it slow, made her feel ill and gave her a massive headache. It's an acquired taste. That's the best thing with this model though, don't like it just move onto something else!
  13. There's an internal logic and they give you just enough clues to work out what's happening. But Kojima doesn't trust the audience so usually you're midway through thinking "ah I get it" when a character will grab you and lay pipe plot wise for the next half hour. An amazing idea for an apocalypse though.
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