Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Ultima V: Warriors of Destiny


Atari Legend is having a fantastic run-up to Christmas by releasing something special every day throughout December. It wasn't until the 7th when they released a hdd-patched version of Ultima 5 did I become interested. For some reason, I've not played any Ultima but this one looks especially interesting so I had to try it!

The land of Britannia has lost its king, Lord British (lol) and is now ruled by a tyrant called Blackthorn. Okay, it all sounds rather corny and the visuals might not rock the Bitmap Bros off top spot - but when did great graphics ever matter to the gameplay? I mean, just look at Rogue which I found to be a breathtaking experience. Nuff said.

  
Looks like I'm in a pretty cosy place but let's get out and explore the lush countryside.

  
Oh no, a two-headed Ettin has found me when walking over the hills. I should have run away!

First Impressions

Creating yourself a character is an usual affair and something I didn't expect but this process got little Stevie configured and straight into the thick of it. Boy, are there a large number of keys to learn for each and every action and interaction within your surroundings. This place is huge and the battles are very hard so exploring Britannia is going to be lots of fun (or agony?). But I can take it!!

I've genuinely enjoyed my first couple of games: a lovely country walk through grasslands and forests until I came upon a small bridge - with a Troll. Luckily I made it across without him noticing me but I then ran into some red demons who decided that they wanted a piece of us. Yep, my first battle didn't go down well if I'm honest... Hang on, I think I've been resurrected for another bash!

  
Vicious snakes decide to spit venom at our plucky adventurers. A bad mistake!

  
Now I feel Ultima V is finally starting to open up to this old noob. What a game!

I plan on spending the Christmas holidays playing Ultima V - with whiskey, turkey butties and mince pies beside my keyboard of course! I'm really looking forward to learning more about Ultima V and have (so far) had a brilliant few games. I'm excited but now time to takes things seriously and see how this adventure plays out.

My thanks to everyone over at Atari Legend for these daily treats!! Keep up the great work and STay Atari.

Hey look, I've just found a map! Time for a drink before leaving...

Sunday, December 09, 2018

MANDELST


MandelST is a new fractal generator developed in GFA Basic by Manos Kantzos (thanks to GeoAnas for the heads-up). I love messing about with funky fractals and this program is a cinch to use - which is a good thing for me!

Mandelbrot/Julia productions can be generated within moments but faster computers will certainly benefit from their extra grunt. Of course, emulators are a good idea unless you prefer to leave your ST on overnight! Images can be export as Degas PI1 or TIFF, which I think is extremely cool. Also, basic animations are possible which will take us deep into our freaky infinite mathematical world - what an absolutely stunning idea with great potential.

I've been having a play over the weekend and created some peculiar images and a nice animation I'm quite proud of. MandelST is a great program and it's superb to see something new coming out for the Atari ST so I'm hoping Manos continues to develop and improve upon it. Have yourself some geeky fun zooming in on infinite. I have!!


My Funky Creations


Saturday, December 08, 2018

Lupo Alberto


Do you remember the excitement when Lupo Alberto was released back in 2015? Well, today I've taken another look because I was contacted by Luca Stradiotto who supplied a cheat code that enabled me to get much deeper into this *difficult* game. Otherwise, I'd have never stood a chance! However, I got myself stuck and had to quit...

Lupo Alberto looks and sounds great but that push scrolling lets it down, especially when killed by something off-screen! But it's still good fun and the two-player co-op is a fantastic feature as is being able to change character. Overall, it's a shame that this was never released because I enjoy playing it. Well, until I got stuck!

 
 

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Clever & Smart


Magic Bytes released Clever & Smart back in 1987 which is a peculiar puzzler based on the original Spanish comic strip. We're in an odd city and appear to play as two special agents - who are controlled at the same time. Okay, they're hardly Mulder and Scully but these guys have been informed about a gifted scientist, Dr Bakterius, who is being held prisoner by a terrorist organisation called OMP. Yup, I guess it's our job to free him!

The city is viewed from above and exploring is quite a weird experience so watch out for odd characters lurking the streets - it usually ends in a brawl. Finding a cop won't help because they just disappear for some odd reason? I wandered around for a while until a car suddenly appeared with the sole purpose of running us down!

  
Terrorists are causing troubles again so let's plod through the city looking for clues... I think?

By chance, I entered the sewers through a manhole and found myself in a place that reminded me of an old ZX Spectrum game, Maziacs. I pottered about, dodging rats and silly cats, but there wasn't much else of interest other than to seek out an exit. Also, bumping into the walls displays a menu with two useless options, so I assumed I needed to find helpful items from in the city above? However, I found nothing in the three games I recorded...

Graphically, this sucks as it's almost like my Atari ST has been transformed into an Amstrad. This isn't a game you'll boot up to be blown away by gorgeous visuals and whoever created that shuffling walk (during the sewers scenes) should be shot!! Saying that I must admit some of the sprites are kinda cute and those brawls are a neat touch. Also, I wouldn't expect much from the old YM2149 other than the odd scratchy effects and annoying footsteps.

  
Wow, these sewers are bad but not as much as our shuffling walk. Funny looking sprites though!

Well, that was certainly one of the most unusual games I've ever played. Lots of careless walking about, wondering what to do and where to do - and then you get mowed down! Perhaps if I had the manual then things might have been different? However, many more hours would be needed on this bizarre puzzler and I'm not feeling the vibe. So, that's that. Anyone else played this and dying to educate this grumpy old retro gamer? Go on, I dare ya!

I hate to torture Y'all but if you fancy a go then grab yourself either the floppy or hdd versions. Good luck!