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Zapped to the Past podcast (C64)


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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Camel said:

Yeah Fist was astounding on release. Usurped by IK of course. I'm not sure it was much better than Karate Champ though.

 

Fist is so much smoother and just looks good whereas Karate Champ looks and feels a little choppy by comparison. edit imho

Edited by Unofficial Who
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Are we talking about C64 Karate Champ or the arcade game? Double joystick control elevated the game somewhat in the arcade. The C64 version isn't great, no.

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11 minutes ago, Camel said:

Are we talking about C64 Karate Champ or the arcade game? Double joystick control elevated the game somewhat in the arcade. The C64 version isn't great, no.

 

Both. The art and animation carries the C64 version for me. And at the time I wasn't keen on dual sticks. Might have to give it a retry.

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I used to play the arcade game in a video shop in Tooting. It was difficult and the controls took a while to get used to but it was something totally different and great fun once it clicked. Fist definitely improved on it and is the better game but I'm not sure it's that much better.

 

There was also Kung-Fu on the Spectrum which came out the same year as Karate Champ (1984) which I loved at the time but is very, very slow so not in the same league.

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32 minutes ago, squirtle said:

Be interested to hear what people's thoughts are on Thing on a Spring...?

 

29 minutes ago, Camel said:

Awful game that got a pass because it's nicely presented. Like many games actually.

 

I love C64 platform games. Impossible Mission and Monty on the Run were two of my favourite games on the C64. So when I had a chance to borrow Thing on a Spring I jumped at it. After all Zzap couldn't shut up about it.

 

I returned it the next day. Great music. Fantastic music. But the game was so messy. It was very hard to work out how far you could jump and bouncing off something and ending up worse that you were before was an experience I only recently relived with Getting Over It with Brendan Foddy.

 

It just looks messy too. I present to you the most C64 image ever taken.

 

300px-ThingOAS5symbole.png

 

Did not like it then, don't like it now sadly. Maybe I came to it too late?

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On 18/03/2021 at 21:46, squirtle said:

Music maketh the game, as we pointed out.

 

And it can break it to. Duran Duran's A View to a Kill is good enough but not something you'd want on repeat. And yet that's what you face in the game of the same name.

 

First is the car chase though Paris a Windows 3.1 screensaver.

 

300px-Paris_aviewtoakill2_spiel.png

 

The problem here is that it's one of those games where it makes sense to just look at the map and ignore the 3D screen making half of the screen redundant.

 

The second part

 

300px-Halle_aviewtoakill_spiel.png

 

is a clumsy looking graphic adventure and the third part commits the biggest gaming sin.

 

300px-aviewtoakill.jpg

 

That of reminding you of other games like it you'd rather be playing.

 

In my case Journey by Ozi Soft. A much better option!

 

AJourney_Animation.gif

 

Not much more to say about this except that I'm glad I ignored the cover feature on C&VG and instead borrowed this off a friend.

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Posted (edited)

I kind of like the sprite design in Stop the Express

 

They're very Japanese and look like something you'd expect to see on the MSX. Which isn't a surprise because it's by Hudson Soft! That Hudson Soft.

 

maxresdefault.jpg

 

The C64 is capable of much better. The two frame animation, the jerky nature of the movement of the game and the "black box" around the characters to avoid attribute colour clash point to this being a bare bones port from the Spectrum. I did have a little fun revisiting this as for the first time I realised the birds weren't to be avoided but grabbed as something to throw at the bad guys. But like the hosts the best I could manage was five carriages before getting bored.

 

Hudson would later revisit this for the NES but would make some changes, giving you the ability to throw knives instead. This looks a lot more fun and more in line with what a C64 owner would expect. Well in 1983-84 that is.

 

 

edit, weirdly enough the running along the top of trains thing is still something that works in films but can be really annoying in videogames as I found out recently playing Assassin's Creed Chronicles:Russia.

 

833402-assassin-s-creed-chronicles-russi

 

That proved more annoying than fun as well.

 

Edited by Unofficial Who
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Yes Stop the Express is another of those hi-res monochrome ports. The thing about those kind of ports is - as soon as you change it from a character-based hi-res affair to something more in line with a standard C64 game (chunky hardware sprites, more colours), it becomes a far less faithful port.

 

I think it's a fantastic game, personally, though I've played the Spectrum version a lot more than this one. And yes, it's a port of a Japanese game.

 

I think these kinds of games really highlight the differences in what different people want from games. I spent a couple of hours last night playing One Finger Death Punch on the 360 and had to force myself to stop playing as I needed to do other stuff. That game has literally two buttons to control the entire thing. You attack someone to the left or to the right and that's it. I can see how people would get bored with that. For me, it's fucking amazing; an almost perfect test of reflexes and concentration.

 

Stop the Express is like that for me. It's a very simple affair (almost Game & Watch simple) but it is essentially an ongoing skill test. Which is the thing that I love most about video games. Other people enjoy video games for other reasons but for me that is the core attraction.

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I think with run along and stab stuff I'm just waiting for Green Beret at this point or the multitude of other far better takes on that formula. Like we said, this feels a year old game. 

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Yeah, Green Beret hasn't aged very well at all. It's horribly unfair. Whereas the gameplay in this still holds up. And it's not a run along and stab game. Are you sure you played it? ;)

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1 hour ago, Camel said:

Yes Stop the Express is another of those hi-res monochrome ports. The thing about those kind of ports is - as soon as you change it from a character-based hi-res affair to something more in line with a standard C64 game (chunky hardware sprites, more colours), it becomes a far less faithful port.

 

I think it's a fantastic game, personally, though I've played the Spectrum version a lot more than this one. And yes, it's a port of a Japanese game.

 

 

I think that's the main issue with it, straight Spectrum ports tend to suffer from slowdown, I have no doubt if I was playing this on a Colecovision back in the day (the closest we had to the MSX) then I would have thought it was the bee's knees. I'm kind of keen to dig out a Spectrum emulator and give this another shot, 13 year old me would have been convinced it was some sort of followup to Elevator Action.

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That's true about Spectrum ports. And some are just wrong, wrong wrong. eg, Manic Miner. Ugh.

 

I don't remember this being slower than the Spectrum version, but I'll fire it up later and give it a go. 

 

I really want to play the NES version, but it won't run properly on a PAL machine and I don't really do emulation these days. When I eventually get a Famicom, I'll be giving it a whirl.

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31 minutes ago, Camel said:

Yeah, Green Beret hasn't aged very well at all. It's horribly unfair. Whereas the gameplay in this still holds up. And it's not a run along and stab game. Are you sure you played it? ;)

I did play it and found that I wanted to stab stuff. I didn't play it for very long because I just didn't get on with it at all. I'm trying to remember. We recorded this before Christmas so it's time back now. My impressions on the show are definitely what I felt about it and my co-host was equally unimpressed.

 

Watch what you say about Green Beret though. Now there's a game that rewards skill.

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Green Beret is definitely one of those games that I had fond memories of, now tarnished by returning to it. The arcade version I knew from that same Tooting video shop and it was a bit of a sensation at the time. C64 version I found really disappointing on returning to it and it suffers from requiring the space bar during play. BBC version is hilariously bad. Pretty sure I came close to completing a version of it when it came up in retro club here last year. Might have been the NES or arcade version. 

 

The best vintage jump-around-on-platforms-dispatching-enemies-at-close-quarters game is Shao-Lin's Road (arcade,obvs) anyway so this is all just bubbles really. That game plays 100% fairly and offers some amazing in-the-zone gaming. Green Beret is often just frustrating, sadly.

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I remember the Spectrum magazines going mad for Brian Bloodaxe so my brother or I buying it and just not getting anywhere in it at all. Arcade adventures are universally disappointing in my experience.

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5 hours ago, Camel said:

I remember the Spectrum magazines going mad for Brian Bloodaxe so my brother or I buying it and just not getting anywhere in it at all. Arcade adventures are universally disappointing in my experience.

The C64 version is a thing of horror. 

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4 hours ago, squirtle said:

Episode 6 is out!

Games covered

 

-The Fourth Protocol

-Jump Jet

-Brian Bloodaxe

-Confuzion

-Captive

-Jet Set Willy 2

-Lands of Havoc

-Elidon

-International Tennis

 

I can't wait to try out Brian Bloodaxe. Love arcade adventures and I've heard this name mentioned many times!

 

Quick question...is this the last for this issue? No love for Dig Dug?

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20 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

Games covered

 

-The Fourth Protocol

-Jump Jet

-Brian Bloodaxe

-Confuzion

-Captive

-Jet Set Willy 2

-Lands of Havoc

-Elidon

-International Tennis

 

I can't wait to try out Brian Bloodaxe. Love arcade adventures and I've heard this name mentioned many times!

 

Quick question...is this the last for this issue? No love for Dig Dug?

It is, yes. We, well I, decided that we'd rather focus on original games rather than look at arcade ports of much older titles as we just wouldn't have a lot to say about them and I think the nine games we chose here, along with the nine in the previous episode are due to that. I do like Dig Dug, but what else can you say about it? 

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Brian Bloodaxe

 

Yeah, I'm not going to play that.

 

Here's someone who subjected themselves to it. For 12 minutes.

 

 

Ripping off Monty Python, Matthew Smith and being incredibly crap. Worse than I remember when I saw this at a friend's house decades ago.

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58 minutes ago, Unofficial Who said:

Brian Bloodaxe

 

Yeah, I'm not going to play that.

 

Here's someone who subjected themselves to it. For 12 minutes.

 

 

Ripping off Monty Python, Matthew Smith and being incredibly crap. Worse than I remember when I saw this at a friend's house decades ago.

Awful game. Awful. 

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Thing on a Spring was another game which benefitted from cheats (this time built in so I think they knew). There's absolutely no point to the oil draining corridor sections and the challenge was just to not get stuck in scenery with cheats on. We played it loads.

And another Mastertronic game I played a load of. This time the obscure Captive. It was like nothing I'd played, an actual puzzling adventure. Rough as toast graphically but I think I persevered to completion. Same with its sequel Spooks.

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