Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Black Tiger


Black Tiger is one of those games I have loved since it was first released. Well, today I played it once again, after what feels like a lifetime away, and it's still a good arcade conversion. Sadly, my old joystick doesn't work well moving diagonally so you'll see lots of silly mistakes in my recording. Honestly, it's the joystick (I hate it!).

This game is a classic example of arcade fun - pick up that joystick and instantly you're having tons of fun leaping over monsters and pummelling them into oblivion. Each level not only looks superb but is really interesting to explore: I love the simple mechanics of clinging onto ledges to fire or leap towards higher places in this dingy and creepy world. What a great adventure - arcade-style - and is proving to be every bit as good as I remembered.

  
Weee!! Leap your way through the labyrinth, clinging to anything that may help ya...

  
Oh no, skeleton monsters!!! KILL THEM. In fact, why not blast everything? It's fun!

However, I must say that the joystick controls are what impress me the most which is no easy task for a one-button stick! They are immediately responsive so therefore keep the action going as fast as it should. The range of monsters is brilliant and what's better than powering-up with ridiculous weapons to crush your enemy?

Graphically, this is a stunner and considering no STe hardware scrolling is used (which is sad) the old STf keeps up with the pace perfectly. There is always so much going on and the scrolling is both fast and smooth with gorgeous sprites - I love those wonky old skeletons. However, it's the overall design which I adore because it just works so feels like a belting arcade experience. Stunning atmosphere and an all-round fantastic home conversion.

Overall, this is pretty faithful to the original and I feel US Gold did good, considering they ignored the STe hardware which would have been a huge deal. Still, this is one of my fave Atari ST games because it's just so much fun to play so top marks from me!! Download either the floppy disk via Old Games Finder or the hard disk version by Klaz!

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Atari STe demos

Awesome Atari STE demos!!

Circus BackSTage (link) (by BlaBLa, Cocoon & Sector One)
Appendix (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Cernit Trandafir (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Drone (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Massacre (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)
Strange roboTS (link) (by BlaBLa & Mandarine)
Summer Delights (link) (by Dead Hackers Society)


  

  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Killing Spree


I always loved The Lost Boys, they were like England's answer to the Carebears and their demos where absolutely out of this world. I remember my jaw dropping to the floor when they released Ooh Crikey Wot a Scorcher. What a technical masterpiece this is and their menu system to access each screen was rather unique, to say the least!

Hmm, but what if that was adapted into a game? Would it work? Take a look for yourself at Killing Spree...

Saturday, November 15, 2014

about me


I thought it might be "interesting" to provide some background information about myself for you folk living on the remote island of TOS. If you didn't know already, my name is Steve and I've been an Atari ST nutter since 1987. Of course, I had also spent 1985-87 closely following the Atari ST and drooled over the magazine game adverts that would show the ST pic alongside the 8Bit screenshots. (so much colour and detail!!)

Christmas 1987 was the year to be gobsmacked when my parents treating me to my first Atari STfm. Heck, it even came with a ton of exciting games: Xenon, Buggy Boy and Beyond The Ice Palace and none of them had colour clash nor bleeper sound effects which I was used too!!

I still regard the Atari ST as my first real computer. It wasn't just something to play games, it could do so much more and it even had a wonderful new GUI that just blew me away! This amazing machine helped me during my college years and I learned boring skills, like word processing, pixel art, a little Pascal programming, DTP, and networking. I owned it for a couple of years before replacing it with a 1mb Atari STe. The first thing I did was hook up my speakers and play MOD files in stereo using a tracker player, I forget the name...

Later on, I got a job which meant I could afford to venture deeper into paradise. Yes, I bought myself a brand new Mega 1 ST and also second-hand Falcon and a TT - happy days!! However, as the 90s evolved, I eventually reached the end and by 1997 I left for the Apple Mac. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Atari computers but it had been hard playing Doom on a friend's PC and watching everyone leave and migrate to that dreaded machine!!

The following years were spent running Atari software under emulation but I admit this lessened over time as I was sucked deeper into the Mac world. I still get called an Apple fanboy, usually anonymously on social media. Yep, that's the place brave people hide behind their keyboards... Look, I love the Mac and it's a belting computer. Like it or lump it. Lump it!! :)

In the early noughties, I ran a Mac gaming website which was dedicated to third-party mods and singleplayer maps for my all my favourite FPS games and I also ran a file server for downloads. Mod compatibility was rare back then for the Mac gamer so I started to convert these and also wrote instructions. I also had to write AppleScripts and the odd shell script to create a Mac launcher program. Fun times!

Later, I began contacting developers of mods that were incompatible on the Mac because of compiled code. It wasn't long before many kindly sent me their source code to recompile for the Mac PPC platform. Busy days back then but I helped convert a LOT of mods for Doom 3 mainly. AppleCrypt (yes, I'm sure you guessed) supported lots of other FPS games: like the AMAZING Battlefield 1942, Quake 4, Call Of Duty, Soldier Of Fortun 2, and much more.

It wasn't all work and no play, for years I was STILL addicted to Doom and I remember first running it (1997?) on my Power Mac at 640x480. A jaw-dropping moment for me. There was another game I was addicted to since 1998 and it wasn't a first-person shooter! It was a bewitching real-time adventure called Myth The Fallen Lords, long before Bungie sold out. Probably the last game that kept me up until the early hours - I'm too old these days and need lots of sleep!! But this is such an amazing game.

Fast forward and I met my better half, we bought our first house and most homeowners know what's coming next... Yes, something has to give and I ended up selling all my old Atari hardware. I shall always regret doing that because I know how great my machines were and I'll probably never be able to afford another Falcon or TT ever again... Okay, let's fast forward one last time to 2013 when something silly happened - I begin to take an interest in Atari ST games, demos and was even digging out old programs which I fondly remembered. A spark ignited inside me and I was suddenly back on the Atari ST waggon. Pretty soon I was making videos for my YouTube channel and then started to write reviews embedded into the video's description - these eventually got copied over to a blogger website and .... well, here we are!


Many never realised that I was actually in ZombieCrypt as the ultimate doom monster!!

Are you still awake? Well, I hope this hasn't bored too much? Okay, I'm probably just talking to myself now but I will say that I think it's superb to see the scene so alive and kicking. Thank you to everyone that stops by - I'm always interested in comments and suggestions so leave your comments on any article posting, even if it's just to say hello!

. . . . . . . stay Atari ST/e . . . . . . . . it's time to WRRRAAAAAAAAAP!!!!  :-)

Monday, November 10, 2014

H-Mec II


H Mec II carries on from where the first game nicely Jon and Sally Garry and appears to be a version of PacMan for the Atari STe. However, it's very different thanks to the monster AI which makes this more of a game of chase. The graphics are excellent and make use of the hardware scrolling, Blitter, and all those extra colours. Music is by a whole host of famous people like Tao, Big Alec, Count Zero and more - and all are utterly stunning!!

I could say that this is one of the better PacMan games out there but it's not. Sure, H-Mec 2 looks like PacMan and there are pills to nosh, but it actually plays very differently and being chased around a maze by angry monsters is pretty darn addictive. Instead, I'll say that this is the best game of chase for the Atari STe. Superb game.

Friday, October 31, 2014

War Zone


War Zone is Core's attempt to take on the Commando format and release a frantic shoot 'em up Rambo would be proud of. Sadly, it doesn't quite work because of its extreme difficulty as it's just too darn easy to die thanks to poor mechanics. This is one of those moments when something looks and sounds better than it actually is...

What we have here is nothing more than an average shooter which is disappointing because it looked great from the screenshots I saw before playing. The problem is that difficulty level. I'm sure nobody tested this before releasing it, which is a shame. So I'd say stick with the likes of Fernandez Must Die, Ikari Warriors, and Commando.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Starball


I've always liked Pinball but I doubt you'd ever call me an addict of the game. Something about spending cash just to bounce a ball around a jazzy glass box never really grabbed my attention for very long... But, the ST seemed to receive a number of Pinball games and some were possibly better than the real thing? Perhaps that's because I'm tight with money or I just love to see how much the Atari ST/e could impress me!

Starball is different from the competition because it was made by a couple of Lancashire lads who probably had desires to become bedroom millionaires. Now, I doubt that ever happened as many ST gamers had given up following the homebrew scene by 1994, which is a shame because this is blummin' brilliant.

 
I love the dark tones and each area is something different from what I expected with some cool fx.

I love Starball, it's not got the polish of a certain commercial offering which is understandable, but it's still got its own style and oozes its own brand of character with such different tables. The graphics and sounds are gorgeous and everything moves down your SC1224 very fast. Okay, I'm a little unsure about the physics behind all this glam because sometimes things don't seem to perform as expected, but it's shareware so I must give it a break.

If you love Pinball, this is certainly worth download and I'm positive you'll enjoy it to bits. Too think £5 was the asking price back then is shockingly good value. What a superb "PD" game and possibly one of the ST's best.

 
Check out this awesome graphics and who ever expected to see those guys in a pinball game?!!