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Unofficial Who

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  1. Mad Max going for what The Last V8 went for on the C64 35 years ago. Madness. Also a bargain.
  2. Wow! Really competing with GamePass there!
  3. Nah, I think what you've done so far has been great. I really look forward to Monday afternoons now.
  4. Just wanted to talk about Zzap back this month. Another interesting read with a couple of highlights. The first being that in retrospect Rignall and Penn talk about how Pitstop 2 was underrated and should have received a Gold Medal in retrospect. But what was really surprising was the serve given to On Court Tennis. Not only did they reveal that the editor made the decision to make it a Sizzler but Rignall and Penn revealed their review had been altered by the editor!
  5. Rock 'n Wrestle or Bop N' Wrestle was like Fighting Warrior eagerly awaited by the other kids in my school. Most of them were wrestling fans. All of them were hungry for the next Exploding Fist. I wasn't interested because I wasn't into wrestling and still haven't played it. Melbourne House / Beam Software really suffered from second album syndrome for a long time. After the worldwide hit that was Fist nothing really measured up. Martial arts really seemed to hit a sweet spot. Boxing felt limited by comparison. Wrestling though it the other end of the spectrum being far more complicated. It doesn't work on a 2D plane and once you add a play area and movement to take advantage of the extra space you've lost a lot of memory and added a lot of complexity. This just doesn't look anywhere near as exciting as Way of the Exploding Fist, Fist 2 Tournament or International Karate. A noble effort. But it would be many years before the theatre of wrestling could be replicated digitally.
  6. Starship Andromeda is a complete mystery to me. I remember reading a positive review for it in one of the EMAP mags but it was so vague I was a bit sus of it despite how good the screengrab looked. I did hold a copy of it in my hands once but I either bought Tau Ceti or PSI 5 Trading Co instead, both excellent games. I've never found a working disk image or longplay so it remains a mystery still.
  7. It's on KLOV but not much is known. https://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7375 It might have been an MSX machine in arcade housing much like the Nintendo Playchoice. Otherwise I can't see any evidence of official releases outside the MSX / C64.
  8. Woah, apparently I'm wrong, the Sega version isn't homebrew but rather a pirate version! https://segaretro.org/Comic_Bakery
  9. If I were a venture capitalist right now I'd be swooping in and headhunting all the women in Activision because from the sound of it they're the only ones doing any work. This feels a little like the old story The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, they're going to be a lot of gamers who will try to remain ignorant of what's happening. There are those that will shrug their shoulders and play on regardless seeing the harassment of women (to the point of someone killing themselves) as part of the sacrifice required to make great art product. On the Activision side it's going to be easy for my household to stop buying their product. I don't play Call of Duty. Neither does my partner. Both of us continuing to not play Call of Duty makes not a single jot of difference. However my partner is a massive Blizzard fan. The Diablo 2 Remaster and Diablo 4 were going to be day one purchases for her. We'd probably do what we did with Diablo 3 and convince at least a couple of friends to buy in as well to play. Not happening now. The cost is too high. My partner was also telling me that a load of her friends who play Overwatch are thinking of moving away from the game and finding a non Acti-Blizzard game to play instead. Realistically I reckon most will stay but they're going to bleed a few customers from this who won't come back.
  10. The Sega Master System (through it’s backwards compatiblity with the earlier Sega console) and Colecovision have very similar internals to the MSX and there’s a lively porting market in the porting scene. I bet this is one of those ports.
  11. I was given an original copy of Comic Bakery back in '89, my friend just wanted rid of it. And I can understand why. It's repetitive although it looks lovely. Weirdly enough since the only other version is the original MSX this ends up being the best version of the game. Here's the MSX version. It plays an awful version of Yankee Doodle on a loop throughout. And here's the lovely looking C64 version. It feels a bit like Konami were trying to copy the more industrial handheld Mario games with this one and like most cooking themed games it's all about plate spinning. Keeping the machines running while keeping the grey racoon from grabbing the bread. The music is the star of the show and the reason to load this up. The title music is so good it's been used in other games, the in game music for most of the levels is good, reminding me a lot of the Pipeline intermissions. However the standout bit is the music for level 2 that's used every 2nd or 3rd level and it's great! I know it's a cover of a track used in old 40's films, I just can't put my finger on it! Here it is cued up. I know it's a cover, I just can't name it. Playing this again for the first time in decades I was still impressed by the music and the sprite work. But the game is too easy, a little frustrating (there's only ever two loaves on the track at any time meaning a maximum result of four loaves a round) and I quit having racked up loads of extra lives. I'd love to know the story behind this, I suspect they bought a job lot of Konami licences but this seemed a really odd one to go with. Still at least they were accurate about the behaviour of those racoons.
  12. Let's talk about the hidden gem in this podcast. The excellent and underrated Law of the West. My first experience with this was playing this on an SX-64 at a department store and I fell instantly in love with it. But I only had a tape drive, years later when I had a disk drive it was well out of print. That didn't stop me from playing it, I found a copy of this in a big box of disks and loved it. Almost a decade after it's release it still looked and sounded great. At the time though this was seen as a bit of a dead end for narrative games. The multiload made it unappealing for tape users. It's essentially a branching narrative made up of eleven scenes. And I'm pretty sure widespread piracy probably killed this style of game. I only ever saw it in the shops once but every well off kid I knew who had a disk drive had a dodgy copy of this in their collection. The pedigree behind this game is amazing. This is the first C64 (and last game) designed by Activision alumni Alan Miller who formed Accolade after Activision was reluctant to move from the 2600 to the C64. Mimi Doggett and Ed Bogas are on art and music duties. (A note, if you're playing this on VICE you might need to play with the sid chip settings to get all three voices playing at proper volume. In my case 6581 gave me the best result.) The game has a simple goal. You are the sheriff. Make it to sundown. The interface is simple, four dialogue choices and a gun which you can draw at any time by pushing up above the top line. It has a unique behind the hip view not seen in other games (I'm not including the weird pervy behind the hip cut scenes in Mass Effect.) The graphics are big and bold and contain lots of background incidental animation as can be seen in the gif above. At the end of the game (either by making it to sunset or ending up in Boot Hill) you get scored on the following. And here's the clever thing about each encounter. Almost every conversation can lead to information about a robbery. Some can lead to a date (very early romance options here.) Every conversation can go south and lead to a shoot out. (Or in some cases like the kid getting knifed.) If the doctor isn't in town and you're shot you will most likely die. But even if he is in town and you've dissed him for being a drunk in an early case of "he remembered that" the doc might just decide to let you die. For a long time after this the idea of conversation as a core loop in games was dead. It was used as flavour in many games. LucasArts adventures using dialogue to essentially choose your own jokes. It started to creep back into Interplay and Bioware rpgs as an alternative to combat and as mentioned in the podcast Mass Effect (and Dragon Age) bought it back to the fore. There was a lot of pushback by "real" gamers against these systems that came to a head when Jennifer Hepler dared to suggest that Bioware games could include a story mode allowing players who wanted to play these games as pure narrative experiences to do so. (Leading to some pretty unfair and gross harassment causing her to leave the industry.) The Walking Dead came out soon afterwards marking a design change for Telltale games where most of the game design revolved around dialogue choices including characters remembering past dialogue in such a way that would affect future story. Sound familiar? We're now spoiled for choice for narrative games, Telltale's output was so prolific that I'm yet to catch up. There's Quantic Dreams games for better or worse (I really enjoyed Detroit for what it's worth). Bioware's Mass Effect and Dragon Age games play really well as narrative games if you turn down the difficulty to easy. I'd love to know how many designers played Law of the West back in the day or if this kind of organically rose again from new designers. I used to play this every other year but it seemed I stopped due to suddenly being spoiled for choice and having a feast of narrative games at my fingertips. Today was my first playthrough of the game since 2011 and it's still charming, it's brief text is well written, the interface is uncomplicated and it's still one of the best looking games for the C64. It's a game where you could sit though with a walkthrough and walk a critical path to get the highest score but that misses the joy of just winging it and seeing how well (or how poorly) you fare. My second playthrough today netted me a score of 5151 with a few robberies stopped, I only got shot twice. The first playthrough? Shot by the first person I came across when a conversation went south.
  13. Gerry the Germ Goes Bodypopping isn't really a game I wanted to spend too long with. I didn't play it back in the day and playing it now I couldn't get past the lungs. Someone did though and posted loads of screengrabs. Immediately from the title screen my first thought is that it looks like a Gremlin game or someone copying their style. This is one of two screens I saw and it just seemed annoying with little time to grab the cans of oxygen before they got absorbed by the lungs. And this is the second screen I saw. And being the bladder it's actually pretty pleasant. However it also invoked memories of the Game and Watch handheld Parachute that was a much better game than this! I guess this is the kidneys? The...I have no idea. Guessing the pancreas. The heart. Ah....this is some sort of fever dream isn't it. I remember reading the reviews at the time and being a bit bemused at how offended reviewers were of the concept of the game rather than the quality. Is this a UK thing? It does feel a bit off trying it out during a pandemic and it's something I gave up on pretty quickly. I can't find much on the programmer for the C64 port but the Spectrum original was the first title by none other than Mev Dinc who became a bit of a legend later on.
  14. Yeah, you could almost make a whole topic about rubbish greyscale 8 bit scans.
  15. I liked both at the time although I give the story a lot more side eye now (the original cut that is, no idea about the new cut.)
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