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  1. I can understand his initial annoyance at people loving it on PSPlus rather than at full price but that's the unfairness of the arts. Sometimes you make great stuff that people won't recognise until after its commercial life. But as a creative you then have a second bite at the cherry. You can say "Hey guys, I noticed you really liked our game. We really poured out life and soul into it, if you liked that you might like the new thing I'm working on or these previous works that are available in these marketplaces." This works sometimes. Or you can take the brave approach I guess and lambast your potential customers with "listen up you cheap woke fucks. You didn't deserve that game you played on PSPlus. If you didn't buy it retail day one then screw you! Oh, and maybe buy my shit?" Which I guess might have worked in a very narrow time period in the 90's?
  2. I just remember my visceral reaction being “nope” back to home page and delete. Not trying to make it a moral thing, it’s just a taste thing. Had a similar issue with The Medium. In my 20’s I would have been fine with it.
  3. Day one for the digital DLC both on Steam and the MS store. I mean why not? I have the points to buy it outright. GOTY for me.
  4. Played it as part of PSPlus and was actually pretty impressed until an early section where you have to fight infant zombies. And that was me done. Not due to wokeness, just an old man having less tolerance for graphic horror. I thought the reason it had done badly initially with reviewers was down to bugs wasn't it?
  5. I quite liked the look of Corporation back in the day, some of the screens made it look like a Weyland-Yutani simulator. The game itself though just seemed a lot less exciting. I couldn't get into this one at all so I'm not sure I'm well placed to judge it. I just bounced off it, to me it felt dull and unintuitive. Can anyone else mount a defence?
  6. Is this sudden jump in emulator quality for the Jaguar due to the great one used in Atari 50? It seems a bit of a co-incidence.
  7. On Pac-Land from http://thejumbledbox.blogspot.com/2008/05/my-year-as-video-games-programmer.html
  8. I played Wolfman back in the day as my flatmate had a compilation of Rod Pike's games on the C64. Not playing it again but just wanted to mention it because the podcast reminded me of a few things I hated about text adventures despite really wanting to like them back in the day. -Text parsers. Just the worst, especially back in the 80's when I didn't touch type. -Use of the command WAIT. This command is never an intuitive one and is either found by trial and error of the use of solutions at which point I'd think to myself "who would have thought of that? -Mazes. I hate mazes in text adventures and always saw their inclusion as an artificial way of boosting game time. Wolfman has a maze. Nope. I could probably play through this quickly with a guide to boost my games completed count but that would feel rather pointless. I am curious as to where Rod Pike is or if he is even still alive (apparently he was on the older side of middle aged back in 1988 and most of the adventure writers who might have met him have since passed.) So in short, played this back in the day, did not get far and did not really want to revisit it now.
  9. A bit from column A and a bit from column B. First of all the C64 version would be virtually unknown for anyone who hadn't played it back in the day which is a real shame. The rights issues just make it uneconomic to untangle for rerelease. You'd have to pay Namco and Quicksilva and maybe Gannon Designs? And what about the potential for the unpaid coders to step forward asking quite rightly for remuneration? So this version is lost unless you have an old tape or use an emulator. In 1988 this was the best way to play this pivotal game at home until the PC-Engine version came out a year later. But I'd argue that the arcade version isn't as well remembered and that's because of two issues. One is the weird controls which are a lot less straight forward than those for games that came later like Super Mario Brothers, Wonderboy et al. But the other is that I'm guessing it's difficult to rerelease due to the hurdles Namco have to jump through. Ignoring the look of the game being like the cartoon they'd still have to look at relicensing or replacing the music. And then there's other issues like how Namco don't actually own the rights to Ms. Pacman (now owned by AT Games, previously owned by GCC) which led to them needing to recode the arcade re-releases recently. It's always a risk when using licensed materials in your game, you get increased recognition on release but it does make subsequent re-releases a nightmare. Originally Donkey Kong was to be a Popeye game, think of how different the history of videogames would have looked if that had happened! So in conclusion I think Pac-Land is well known amongst arcade goers 40 years or older but most of the people I know under 40 would have no idea about this game despite being familiar with the titles it inspired. (IMHO of course.)
  10. And now into the rest of the bunch. Let's start with Tanium. I'd never played this back in the day, don't even remember reading the review and had no idea this was a follow up to Warhawk. The C64 at this stage is spoiled for choice when it comes to shooters. The Zzap reviewers were bored with also rans like this and as said on the podcast a few little changes could have made this into a contender. But as it is it feels too difficult and too average. It's not bad, it's just not great. Avoid. (A word I'm going to use a lot this week.)
  11. I think they ran out of time and space and it was either more levels or music. I think they made the right choice at the time. As a 2600 owner I was pretty much used to those compromises given the cuts made to arcade conversions for that machine.
  12. I think the missing secret powerups are understandable though when you're working under the pump with no documentation. Which is the better game? I'd agree with you that Green Beret is better if only because you aren't fighting the controls. Green Beret feels responsive and snappy just like the coin op whereas Pac Land is true to the coin op and annoying in parts. In terms of C64 technical prowess it did as much as Pac Land earlier. It does have the advantage though of being based off a newer coin op and having experienced C64 coders at the helm. I was surprised to find that a lot of the team on the C64 port of Pac Land had only one previous game under their belts, the underwhelming The Tube! It's interesting though, both of these games are using the full screen whereas a lot of other coin op conversions are starting to compromise with blockier sprites and large logos taking up a good portion of the screen. (Yep, I am thinking of Rolling Thunder.)
  13. Let's get this show on the road and we start off with a forgotten but incredibly important video game. Pac-Land. Pac Man in the early 80's was massive. Space Invaders had nothing on Namco's classic maze game, it was a game that appealed to EVERYONE! Playing the poor port of Pac Man on a friend's 2600 probably convinced my mother, an addict of the game to get our first console. We played the game, listened to the song, ate the lollies and stuck the stickers on our school folders. Oh and we also watched the inevitable cartoon which was rubbish but had a theme song that would work it's way into your brain. Two years later Namco released the game based off the show based off the game. Hang on, this is sounding a bit like Rockford... It was not a Rockford or Street Fighter:the Movie:the Game situation. Rather than make a copy of the original game Yoshihiro Kishimoto instead made a platform game in order to make something like the cartoon. And he succeeded. It looks and sounds as close to the cartoon as you could get in a non-laserdisc game in 1984. That earworm of a theme tune plays throughout, the weird villain is replaced though by a lost fairy you have to get back home. This game is central to mascot platformers, maybe more so than Donkey Kong. You have a large scrolling world full of obstacles, an energy metre and pickups to aid you. You can pretty easily see how this inspired Sega with Wonderboy, Capcom with Ghost's'n'Goblins and of course Nintendo with Super Mario Brothers. To my eyes this still looks the business even now, the simple lines of the backdrops and the cute sprites haven't aged at all. I did play this back in the day on the C64 as it was in that big box of discs given to me. But we all know how these conversions are compromised, especially on limited hardware. Especially in a single load game designed to run in 64K. So what's the damage? For those who haven't played this port...the only compromise is that it has only four of the levels from the arcade game. Otherwise this is as close to arcade perfect as you could get on the C64. I mean even the title screen is perfect down to needing to press F1 to register a coin drop. And it's all there. It's as close to full screen as you're going to get on the C64. There's nary a glitch in sight. It's one of the most technically impressive conversions for the C64. If you're a fan of the arcade game you need to try this port. For me it's too accurate. It also has the Track and Field style controls from the arcade game. In the original release the controls were three buttons. Left, right and jump. To change speed you would tap the left or right button just like you would in Track and Field. In the version I played in the arcade and on the C64 you get the same effect but tapping the stick rapidly left or right. I hate this. Because I always die jumping off leap boards where you tap to sort of hover / taper off your fall. And the board timing can be tricky as well. With most of my attempts ending up as above. I can't fault the C64 programmers for this, again it's part of the original design. Possibly my pick of the episode if only for the technical achievement. If only we knew who to credit? Well thanks to a quick bit of digging I've found the blog of Allan Ogg who worked for Gannon Designs for a year in 1987. His two programming credits? The Tube and Pac-Land! The whole thing is well worth a read here http://thejumbledbox.blogspot.com/2008/05/my-year-as-video-games-programmer.html The accuracy of the port is amazing given the only support they had was a photocopied manual in Japanese and an arcade machine. From the blog This was the game that killed Gannon Designs and yet again a combination of crunch and not getting paid led to more talent leaving the industry. Pac-Land despite being such an inspiration to designers throughout the 80's and 90's seems to have been forgotten. It might be due to being tied to a television licence. Or it might be that ports were so late in the day. The C64 port was started years after the arcade release. It might also be because the NES port by Namco themselves is awful. I mean it is an early NES port being released in 1985 but just compare and contrast to the above. It doesn't play that great either. How do I know? Because you can still buy the NES version now as part of a compilation on modern platforms. It's nowhere near as good as the C64 version. It's a bit of a pity the C64 version has disappeared in favour of this lesser 8 bit port.
  14. This week on Zapped to the Past https://zappedtothepast.com/ Games covered -Pac-Land -Tanium -Wolfman -Corporation -The Halls of the Things -Championship Sprint -Top Fuel Challenge -Prowler I'm not going to lie, not looking forward to this lot. The best of the bunch is a stunning conversion....of a game I don't like that much. But who knows? A hidden gem might be found. And eying off one of the worst ones I've already got a substitute from the 2600 in mind.
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