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, my name is Steve and I've been an Atari ST nutter since 1988. Of course, I had spent 1985-88 closely following Atari ST scene and drooling over magazine ads and reviews: those graphics blew me away!

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 weird colour clash or the bleeper sound that I was used to hearing!!

I still regard the Atari ST as my first real computer. It wasn't just something to play games, it could do far more thanks to a wonderful GUI using a mouse!! 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 upgrading to the mighty Atari STe. That was the day I finally got to hook up my speakers to play MOD tunes in stereo using a tracker player, I forget which... though I doubt it was as jaw-dropping as Sirius!

Later on, when I got a job, I could afford to venture deeper into paradise. Yes, I bought myself a brand new Mega 1 ST and (later) a 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!


Did anyone realise that this was me featured in the ZombieCrypt slideshow?? The ultimate doom nasty!!

Are you still awake? Well, I hope this 'readme' hasn't bored too much? Okay, I think it's great to see the scene so alive in the 21st century and I am blown away by everyone that stops by this little hommage to the best 16-bit computer on the planet. Greetings to all Atari ST nutters wherever you are - say hello and let me know!

. . . . . . . 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.