Saturday, September 15, 2018

Wings Of Death


Thalion's Wings Of Death is a vertically-scrolling shoot 'em up which even supports the extra bits 'n' bobs lurking within the Atari STe for a truly stunning production. Gorgeous graphics and beautiful audio are matched by the killer gameplay. Yet, despite my joystick skills, I've recorded another video... I love this game!!

And here are some screenshots to drool over. Okay, convinced now? Right then, download WoD!!!



Friday, September 14, 2018

Eye Of Horus

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I've been trolling through my old videos and found Logotron's Eye Of Horus. I remember this curious platformer thanks to the confusing labyrinths with many rather peculiar enemies. So it's time to revisit this...

We're a hawk-god called Horus in search of his father's body parts. Yep. Apparently, these pieces can be put back together so we're able to avenge his death!! This ancient tomb contains many traps and even the decor appears angry, so finding the bits won't be easy. Being a demigod means we have the ability to morph into a hawk, even if birds don't have any hands to carry things... Keys and Amulets can be used from operating particular elevators to summoning other so-called gods. Okay, let's waste no more time talking and rebuild Daddy!


I think Eye Of Horus nails the ancient Egyptian scenario perfectly using awesome visuals.

Looking back, I can see why I felt overwhelmed: the level design is pretty confusing at times which isn't helped by the repeating (albeit nice) backgrounds. The mechanics behind the elevators/coloured keys are unnecessarily rubbish plus I think that there are far too many amulets. All enemies are unique and it's peculiarly funny when the fixtures and fittings begin wobbling in anger. Well, at least our demigod is armed with a paper gun!

Graphically, this game is sweet and reminds me of Death Trap but the intro whiffs of Ice Palace. Scrolling is super-smooth with gorgeous animations and the hieroglyphic backgrounds are stunning. Sound effects are very zesty but with a whiff of familiarity and they're accompanied by gorgeous Whittaker music. Not his best but superb.



Having said all my moans and groans, this is a cunning platformer with lots to offer. It's different and I loved exploring the tomb but the ability to flip into a hawk is a genius move. Just have a pen and paper ready to make a map until the right amulet is found... Overall, if you're willing to put in the time, then Eye Of Horus is a fantastic game.

Budding Daniel Jackson wannabes can download Eye Of Horus for floppy or hard drive.


Okay, Okay, let's keep this civil... but Hall Of Light has awesome maps, which I feel are essential.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Jet Set Willy


I came home from work today and fancied a game of JSW. Okay, I'll never complete it but what a game!!
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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Strider



Ugh, another lame Amiga port?

I remember reading the review for Strider in ST Format who basically said it was great and, although the ST version had smaller sprites, the gameplay was faster and better than on the Amiga. I foolishly believed them and wasted my cash on a game I could not play. Boy, this was nothing more than another terrible Tiertex port!! I recently gave it a silly mention and wasn't too kind when I remembered its eye-popping scrolling and ridiculous difficulty.

Since then I've mellowed - and I've also come to realise that my gaming skills suck! So, I figured I should give it another go and you know what, I think I'm not only older but also a lot wiser. Well, ahem... Anyhow, almost three decades have passed since I last played this game so let's see what I think of Strider today.


The first level is unique and kinda Ruskie. This is the place you'll learn the controls and that swoosh!


Me? Wrong? Never!

Well, after several games, I still found it extremely difficult and failed to beat the first boss - a Flash Gordon wannabe. However, eventually, I did it!! But then fire rained down and halted my cries of joy. Thankfully, I beat him on my next attempt and proceeded to a whacky place which I enjoyed, but wished was larger. Sadly, no matter how much I tried, I couldn't beat the next boss so that was that and I gave up [see the first part of my video recording]

For some odd reason, I felt brave and booted up Strider once again only to enjoy my greatest success. Heck, I even beat the worm thingy and made it onto the following stage - which I've never seen before. This starts off great with big cats that wanted to eat me before a giant mechanical creature thing tried its luck. Banging on the fire button proved profitable and I beat him quite easily but I died later by a circular saw which came outta nowhere. Quite unfair as it's impossible to see it approaching off-screen... [see the second part of my video recording]


That swoosh is absolutely superb as are the enormous monsters. Love it!!


Aesthetics

Graphically, Strider is beautiful. From the very start, it looks the part and I think they did a cracking job of converting the arcade graphics over to the much-lower-res ST. The sprites are just freaking incredible - they all look amazing and some are huge. This is a beautiful game but, of course, something had to give for all that glam and that means we have a slightly reduced play area and the scrolling isn't nearly as smooth as it should be. Don't get me wrong, the scrolling is good and works very well but dies alongside other ST games, like Turrican for example.

The audio is tremendously entertaining, I love the beautiful tunes which are so apt for this conversion. From the very start, I was hooked, just click on the green arrow below to see what I mean. The effects aren't massive in quantity but who doesn't enjoy swooshing through each level? I think they did a great job all-round.

Okay, before I give my opinion this needs to be said: Dear ST Format, I've hated your review for years but today I hold my hands up and apologise for that!! After all these years, you was bang-on correct so please forgive me! You guys rocked and I shall blame my old opinion on my poor skills ;p



The CryptO'pinion?

Strider is absolutely superb so now I'm tempted to whack on the trainer and play through to the end? Okay, I still think that the scrolling could have been better but the gameplay is furious and makes the Amiga conversion look dull as dishwater. Strider is sleek and bucket loads of fun so don't be a fool and load it up right now.

Klaz has a spiced-up version for both floppy & hard drives which includes an option for faster gameplay!!

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Aaargh!



Aaargh?

Sometimes, I don't want to play a life-sucking adventure or learn the ins and outs of some RPG. Sometimes, I just wanna smash up stuff and then feast on many annoying human beings. Well, today I loaded up Aaargh! by Melbourne House which is basically Rampage and we can be a giant ogre or a fire-breathing dragon.

Destroy buildings, kill attacking critters, eat stupid humans and then collect an egg trophy. Watch out for the angry yocals and various dangerous critters so conserve energy by eating what you find - or those tasty humans!! Once you have the egg, it's time for a (terrible) battle with a beastie opponent before plundering the next village.

The controls are a little clumsy because our beastie must be facing in the right direction to pick up items and perform specific attack moves. Sadly, we can be knocked to the ground far too easily which is very frustrating when waiting for him to get up - and that gives other nasties more than enough time to creep up on you once again...

It's not Rampage, but it's still fun for an hour and who doesn't enjoy burning homes before eating the angry villagers? Aaargh! might be utter rubbish but I actually enjoyed it. Of course, I'm mad but it's great fun being mad!


I found this screen pretty awkward to walk around.

This is a great level and nothing is better than killing the native peasants!!

Oh no, this looks scary. Love that face in the rock!

Saturday, September 08, 2018

Gobliins 2



Funny creatures with funny expressions

The newest addition to my collection goes to Coktel Vision's Gobliins 2. The cover is very cheesy - just look at those silly faces which are quite creepy too. I only wish the sticker on the left wasn't there as I can see eyes looking at me! (I hate it when companies or shops would put their stickers on boxes!!). Anyhow, superb box art.

Right then, talking of boxes, the cover is great but let's see the back and what's inside...

Can you imagine seeing the back of this in a shop? It's so "buy me!"
The manual is short but straight to the point with information and lots of tips to get you started.
Ah, the previous own marked his possession!! I wonder who S Scott was?
Codes to stop crackers? Well, maybe not but definitely to annoy legit buyers!


It's all new (to me)

I've never played any "Goblins" game so, this is all new to me. In the sequel, a demon king has kidnapped The Prince (who's a bit of a Buffoon) but the gruesome twosome will save the day: Fingus and Winkle. This is a unique "co-op" adventure and one I'm dying to boot up later today. [grab the floppy or hard drive downloads]

I wasn't sure what to expect when I booted it up. The look is unique and comical but it's also got characteristics of other point & click adventure games like, say, Lure Of The Temptress. I kinda wish I'd have been able to buy both of the Goblin games so I could check out the original, but, I guess I download will suffice. This looks incredible though and I'm excited to play it properly. For now, check out my screenshots from my first play...


Well, I think he's choking a chicken while a giant sleeps under a tree. Nice scene!

LOL Just look at the old dude in the window. Awesome artwork.

This game is certainly living up to my expectations. I'm having a blast playing this belter!!

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Rainbow!!


I've just been laughing my little ST socks off at one of my oldest video recordings. Rainbow might not mean much to many around the globe but here in dear old Blighty it was one of the most popular TV shows for about 25 years - I really miss Zippy lol. Enjoy what is an amazing demo that pushes the Atari STe to its limits. Honest...

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Monday, September 03, 2018

Joust

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Let's get medieval!

Joust is a cracker - whether solo or with a mate - and all you need is medieval chainmail and a flying ostrich. I think this is one of those games that everyone loves so I figured that I should record a video demonstrating different versions? This also includes Winglord, an awesome take on the theme for the Atari STe.

Note: I used OpenEmu to emulate the Atari 2600/5200/7800 and Hatari for the Atari ST/e computers. My recording is best viewed directly on YouTube as each part is linked within its description.

Okay, let's start at the beginning and see what's what in the jousting world...



- A T A R I  2 6 0 0 -

First up is the Atari 2600 which I'm saddened to report I did not enjoy nearly as much as I was expecting. I don't know what it is, but I didn't gel with this version at all. Yes, the gameplay was quick and fun but I was also left a little baffled as to why I wasn't enjoying it that much. I guess that I never felt totally comfortable with the controls.

However, I will say that the sound effects are typically 2600 and very raspy! This, I absolutely love about the machine because it's so cool. Ultimately, I came away feeling cold so this isn't something I'll return to.





- A T A R I  5 2 0 0 -

I'll always be the first to admit that I'm a noob concerning the old consoles but the Atari 5200 never seems to disappoint me. Once again, it delivers the goods with a fascinating conversion that is fast and frantic but always fun and well-balanced. And it's that what I enjoyed the most for maximum, fair and balanced, gameplay.

Okay, the graphics aren't exactly pushing this machine but that doesn't matter at all. The sound effects are a brilliant step-up from those on the 2600, which I loved. The 5200 knocks it out of the park with a killer and zany experience. Looks bad, sounds great, plays even better. What a fantastic version of Joust this is!!




- A T A R I  7 8 0 0 -

Next up is the obscure Atari 7800 and what a tough conversion this machine brought to the table. It's pretty much as you would expect, so more of the same Joust'y goodness. In fact, it looks, sounds and plays superbly well but is it a hard nut to crack. Over and over (and over again) I would fail miserably and I began to question why I bother!

Like the 5200, I found the controls perfect even if I failed to progress much (and that's an understatement). This version could/should have been the best of the lot but it's just so darn difficult. Make sure you watch my video for a hilarious end to this game - I think this sums up my luck rather well with this game?




- A T A R I  S T -

Onto the Atari ST and the boys did a fantastic job. After a peculiar title screen, we are greeted with detailed sprites and lovely animations - they sure look the part!! The gameplay is spot-on perfect thanks to awesome mechanics. This is a belting conversion that I find hard to fault because it's fun to play without the irritation of being too difficult.

I'm trying not to sound like an ST fanboy but I genuinely had the most fun here. A perfect 10/10.

Floppies can be found via Old Games Finder but install to a hard drive if you can.





- A T A R I  S T e -

Winglord by Victor Bruhn is something possibly unknown to many and it runs on both ST computers - but is best on the Atari STe thanks to Blitted graphics and lots of funky DMA sounds. There are a number of changes, like unicorns and yellow jackets so it's hardly an authentic clone. Which I'm glad of. Plus I love how the unicorns strut their stuff and did I mention that we have missiles? Oh yeah!! Winglord is a magnificent alternative to Joust.