Retro Game Challenge? The gauntlet is down again?. Anyone can enter just put this at the top of your review to let people know what is going on: *************** Retro Challenge (set by: Shadowhawk) List your top 10 favourite retro games and right a little about them. A Retro game is anything that was on a 16-bit console or less, hand held do not count (Master System games are fin but not Gameboy games) Game series just list as 1 (Sonic 1,2,3 Just Sonic will do) please put in (brackets) next to the game title the console that you played it on. Do it in reverse order so as people read they go from your bottom of the list to the top, do 10,9,8?3,2,1 *************** 10) Brian Lara?s Cricket (Mega Drive) Game involved in you controlling a team for a whole match you bowled you batted and you fielded. It was pretty advanced offering a whole 8 shot types, and all bowling types, well advanced for the time. 9) Streets of Rage (Mega Drive) Pick a character from a choice of 3 and then use this bloke to bash up as many bad guys that stand in your way between you and the end of the level. That is about the all there is of it just beat your way to the end of the level and then fight some big bad boss. But I was young and it was violent so it has made it on to my list 8) Double Dragon (Mega Drive) Like streets of rage just fight your way to the end of the levels and fight a boss until you fight the last boss and complete the game, nothing complex. it picked streets of rage because I completed it about 20 times just because it was so enjoyable to play. 7) Back To The Future (Commodore Amiga) Play, as the kid in the film riding his skateboard, but it was set in the future so it was that hover board if anyo ne has seen the film. You drive along the streets dodging cars and traps, occasionally having to hit the odd bad guy. The aim of the game was to get to the end and meet up with the doctor. 6) Shinobi (Mega Drive) A platform game where you get to play as a ninja and throw ninja stars, I used to be able to do the levels easy enough but all the bosses were really hard. A basic platform game again just have to get to the end alive with the skills of the ninja using your sword and throwing stars to take out the bad guys. 5) Street Fighter (SNES) Some argue the best beat ?em up of all time, I think its been beaten recently but that?s another debate. The game involved about 10-20 main characters all with their own unique skills that they use to beat the guy up and win the match. The game has 2 levels of playing the one when you get it at first and you just hit the buttons as fast as you can and the next level when you learn combination moves and special moves. Who can forget ?eurgh-yukin?? A little joke for those who have played the game. 4) Pac Man (Master System) This game involved a yellow face that had a soul purpose in life to eat little dots. The game was constructed around a 2D maze where you moved around trying to get all the dots on the screen and the occasional fruit so that you could get more points. What was stopping you was little ghost that lost you a life if you touched them, but you could turn the tables certain big dots on the screen would give you the power for a given time to eat the ghosts giving you more points and sending them back to where they started from. 3) Legends (Commodore Amiga) A bit like Dungeons and Dragons, except I never played that. You control a team of 5 characters all with their own unique abilities, using these abilities you have to solve p uzzles, fight bad guys, and survive till you got out of the dungeon and became a ?legend? hence the name. The game involved a lot of thinking even though it had no storyline but to get to the next room and do the next puzzle. 2) Sonic (Mega Drive) The lovable hedgehog that is the faster thing on 2 feet in the world. This blue hedgehog, yes blue, had the technique of moving very fast and he used it to save the little animals and rid the world of evil. Idea of the game was to get from start to finish but along the way you could collect rings these would give you a higher score plus protect you. As the series went on more and more characters get introduced to extend the life span of the game, like Knuckles and Tails. 1) Robocop (Commodore Amiga) A platform game with the tin cop himself, walk along a multi-levelled platform levels and kill the bad guys and wipe out crime, but that wasn?t the only thing the game was about it also had precision shooting stages where you have to shoot the bad guy of the girl and shoot targets trying to get a certain score. Have fun © David Clark (DavidJamesClark@hotmail.com)
...with 16K RAM Pack of cou-urse!" That was the strange sing-song message I heard when I listened to the ancient "WH Smith C15 Data Cassette" which had risen unbidden to the top of my various heaps of cardboard boxes and assorted junk I'd been too lazy to chuck out. The first reaction was deep embarrassment, as it usually is when you hear your recorded voice from when you were nine years old. But slowly I realised just what this was - it was a tape of programs I'd written for the first computer programming I ever did, on that monochrome marvel, the Sinclair ZX81. Not by any means great programs - mostly copied (inaccurately) from Sinclair Programs magazine and suchlike - but there was still a feeling of hacking away at jungle undergrowth and discovering an acient temple within. To begin at the beginning. In 1981, Sinclair was already a famous name in the UK. There had been the successful programmable calculators whose prices had brought them within the reach of the ordinary person. There had been the MK14, an early board-based computer with a hex-entry keyboard - now very rare, and going for close on £1000 on eBay and the like. But most of all there was the ZX80, the first home computer to sell for under a hundred pounds. It had 1K of memory, it was slow, it had a horrible membrane "keyboard" which could only cope with capital letters,it couldn't do floating point arithmetic, the screen went blank whenever it performed a calculation (making writing action games extremely difficult!) and it overheated so violently that some owners rested a milk bottle fresh from the fridge on the case to keep things manageable. But it sold. The release of the ZX81, a year later, showed that Clive Sinclair had been busy. The machine was (in my view, anyway) more attractive with its compact black and white case, bearing the legend "ZX81" in raised red lettering. It still had 1K of RAM and the membrane keyboard, and there were still no lower case letters, but it had a floating-point ROM and the screen display could be kept on all the time, making games far more of a viable proposition. It didn't overheat (quite!) so much, and it was even cheaper - £80. Sinclair also made sure that peripherals were available from the start - there was the famous thermal printer (I never had one, to my great sadness), but the the 16K RAM pack was by some distance the most important. The problem with the RAM pack was that the package did not include a vital accessory - Blu-tak. Anyone who's ever used a ZX81 will shudder at the memory of the phrase "RAM-pack wobble" - the phenomenon of the pack working loose from its connections seemingly by itself, and crashing the entire machine - usually to a blank screen, but occasionally to a collection of randomly scrolling patterns. Memotech's highly successful Memopaks didn't suffer from this quite so badly, but it was never wise to relax entirely. Anyway, as this category is concerned with Games, games there shall be. There now follows... no, not a party political broadcast, but a meander through some of the games that brought my ZX81 days to life. And believe me, when a game takes seven minutes to load, and the slightest knock of the cassette recorder can wreck the whole operation, they have to be pretty involving to be worth the hassle! 1K CHESS ******** This was an amazing programming achievement - you couldn't castle (a major bugbear) or take en passant, and pawns could only be promoted to queens, but that was about it. The ZX81's game wasn't all that strong, but there was always the 16K Sinclair Chess for them as had the inclination. 1K BREAKOUT *********** Even after I got my RAMpack, this was a game I played regularly. There weren't any real gimmicks - you hit a £ sign once to halve its value and turn it into a dollar sign (such was the exchange rate in 1982!), then again to remove it entirely. Only one level, but the machine code coding made it slick and enjoyable. FLIGHT SIMULATOR **************** This was another of the ZX81's finest hours. The game was set at night in order to solve the "not many graphics" problem. You had the choice of making just the final approach to the airport, or of starting some miles away. There were also mountains and crosswinds to contend with, and you had a goodly number of instruments to keep under control. A "Not bad... a bit bumpy" report at the end was quite an achievement for me! PERILOUS SWAMP /SORCERER'S ISLAND ********************************* This double-sided tape gets my vote as my Desert Island ZX81 Cassette. Perilous Swamp was a fairly straightforward setup in which you had to guide yourself across the swamp, rescue the princess, kill the "poor downtrodden monsters" and accumulate "ill-gotten gains". Very simple, but the humour in the text prompts kept things lively - I usually "survived the swamp with a mixture of 1/10 skill and 9/10 luck". Sorcerer's Island was a much more ambitious game. This was an adventure set on the eponymous island, in which you had to explore your surroundings, defeating monsters to build up your "Monster Bane" rating, collecting treasure and making use of magic rings and potions. You needed quite a lot of power to defeat the Big Boss Balrog who guarded the exit from the island, and quite a lot of treasure to bribe the other major guardians. You just had to pray that you could avoid the dread phrase "The sword was magic and... pity it was poisoned"! OCEAN TRADER ************ This one seems to have been forgotten over the years. That's a shame, as it was one of my favourites. In essence a straightforward sea trading game, you sailed around the coast of England buying and selling goods - some of which were considered contraband, and could get you in serious trouble if caught by Customs. There was also the constant threat of pirate attack, and no seaman can ever ignore the ever-changing weather. Oh, and the bank was starting to make noises about your loan, too. Quite a hard game to win, this, but it held the interest. 3D MONSTER MAZE *************** I was perhaps the only ZX81er in the UK not to own this game at the time, but have played it many times since. It's basically a fairly straightforward 3D-effect labyrinth game, though that in itself was quite an achievement with the Sinclair's limited graphics capabilities (64 by 44 pixels, I think). What everyone remembers, though, is the terrifying sight of the huge Tyrannosaurus Rex bearing down on you - not a good time to hang around! ZX FORTH ******** Okay, not a game, but it was my first experience of programming in a language other than BASIC. The ZX81's BASIC was reasonable, with string-slicing capabilities lacking from some far more expensive machines, and its manual was superbly clear, but Forth was still a revelation - I loved (and still do) its extensible syntax. A shame, then, that a horrible bug in the Sinclair implementation caused occasional total lockups at unexpected times. ZX SCRAMBLE *********** Quicksilva were the name to watch in those halcyon days if you were after well-written arcade games, and my personal favourite was their version of Scramble. You flew through a twisting underground cavern, shooting aliens, bombing fuel dumps and trying not to crash. Like all the best arcade games, a simple idea done well. NUTTOID NABBING *************** This one isn't (yet) available anywhere outside my house. It's a variation on the old "press the key corresponding to the right area of the keyboard" idea, and is one of my favourites among a vast heap of ZX81 programs, games an d serious, written by my late grandfather, Peter Davis. To give you an idea of his approach, other games include "Gadfly Gadoynging", "Dudu Splatting" and "Pongo Pinging"! I'm uploading the collection to a special section on my website (see links section at the end of the op) but it's slow going, and many of the better programs will not be up for many months yet. Now of course, unless you're lucky enough still to have an original ZX81, you're going to need an emulator to play these games on. There are three I think are worth a look (on the PC, anyway - I don't know about other platforms): XTENDER2 ******** Carlo Delhez's emulator is generally regarded as the best available. It's still officially in beta, so don't complain if you get the odd glitch, but the most recent version (11B) will do more or less anything asked of it (including ZX80 emulation!), and is probably the closest thing to the old brick you can achieve on a modern PC. It supports pretty much all the tricks (high-res graphics, proper SLOW & FAST modes, QWERTY, QWERTZ or AZERTY keyboards, tape interface etc). There is also the shareware XTender1, but this is only worth considering if you have a slow compute (486 or less). VB81 **** As the name implies, this is written in Visual Basic. This one is up to v1.30, and while not quite so complete as XTender, it's still a perfectly useable emulator. One special feature is emulation of Memotech's MemoCalc spreadsheet ROM. Online Timex/Sinclair TS1000 emulator ************************************* The Timex was the US version of the ZX81, with 2K RAM as standard. This emulator is unusual in that it runs directly from a (small!) window embedded within a web page (making it quite handy as a sort of super-calculator while browsing for those who know ZX BASIC!), and there is a small library of programs for it, including a M andelbrot set generator! ===== LINKS ===== The ZX81 archive (program files especially, but also adverts, emulators and technical info): http://www.imarshall.karoo.net/zx81/ The Peter Davis ZX81 collection (very incomplete!): http://www.btinternet.com/~gplscrapyard/zx81.html Xtender: http://www.delhez.demon.nl/ VB81: http://www.imarshall.karoo.net/zx81/zx81emulators.htm Online TS1000 emulator: http://www.vavasour.ca/jeff/ts1000/ Usenet: comp.sys.sinclair (95% Spectrum, but ZX81 discussion always welcome) ZX-Team (a still-active ZX81 user group!): http://home.t-online.de/home/p.liebert/zx-team.htm
Recently on another spending binge on eBay I purchased myself the classic console that is the Nintendo Entertainment System. What a buy it turned out to be. For £12 I picked up a console, 10 games, 2 controllers and a light gun. Now you may think that the NES is so dated compared to modern consoles that you couldn't enjoy playing the games. You'd be wrong. The playability of the NES is second to none and the range of games available is amazing. For one or two pound you can pick yourself up a copy of Mario 3 and in my opinion it is one of the best games ever made. It has to be the best Mario ever, the only downside is that you can't save your progress. Due to this, you either have to leave it on, or play until you've finished. Some of the classic gmes on the NES you may remember are Mario 1, 2 and 3, Ninja Gaiden, Duck Hunt, Ikari Warriors, Double Dragon, Castlevania 1+2, Zelda 1+2, Turtles.. thwe list seems endless. To my knowledge, there are well over a hundred titles that you can pick up on an auction site such as eBay for buttons. So basically, for the price of one game on the Playstation 2 you could have- 1 NES console, 2 controllers, 1 light gun and around 25 games. Now that's not bad if you think about it. The NES may not have the greatest graphics in the World(not hte worst either) but in my opinion it hasthe greatest gameplay. Also on eBay a noticed a Powerglove, I don't know if you've heard of one of these before but it's a controller you wear as a glove. Nintendo must have been the first to come up with an idea like that, as with the light gun. The Powerglove is awesome, without the instructions I believe that it's hard to configure, but you can probably find out how to on the internet. Possible problems: the NES console itself is very reliable, the only problem that seems to arise on a lot of them is that the 72 pin connector you use for inserting cartridges gets dirty very easil y. This is due to it being a front loader unlike the Megadrive and Atari which were top loaders(you put the cartridge in the top). There are ways to fix it though so don't worry. You can open the console up and try cleaning it, purchase a new 72 pin connector(easily fitted) or buy an NES cleaning kit which are still easily available. To sum up investment for an NES is minimal, graphics are average, range of games is extensive and gameplay is outstanding. if you are truly sceptical try downlaoding an emulator first to give it a test run.
These are equally as good as or better than today’s consoles like the N64, PSX, or DC. I think the earliest one was in 1980-81 and the last in 1987-8 I own many including; ZELDA MARIO+LUIGI GOLDCLIFF DONKEY KONG DONKEY KONG JNR PARACHUTE FIRE FIGHT AND SQUISH + many others besides, They were only L.C.D displays but the graphical details are much better than today’s L.C.D games. You can’t buy the original ones any more but in places like TOYS R’ US they sell newer ones made by Nintendo which are shaped like GAME BOY’S I don’t have any of these but I hope to purchase them soon, but they are £7.99 These stock up most of my retro games collection but I also have others, which aren’t G+W. I hope to be given/buy a virtual game boy Even though these failed it was the last work by Gumpi Yoki (Game Boy inventor) who was killed in 1998. These are the best go buy the new ones!!!! ************************************************************