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The Retro Years

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      07.09.2010 14:27

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      An old classic!

      The Sega Game Gear is an old handheld console from Sega released in the 90's. It features similar style graphics compared to that on both the Sega Master System and the Sega Mega Drive consoles. The game gear has a similar key layout to that of a Nintendo Game Boy, having two buttons on the right hand side for game play, and a typical up, down, left, right, navigation pad for movement. The Game Gear is quite bulky and wide, and is held horizontality rather than vertically. Overall I'd say the Game Gear was a good console, had good games, a fantastic TV adaptor could also be bought, which can still be used now. Until they turn analogue TV off on the switchover anyway. An entertaining buy if you can find one. Typical places to look are on EBAY, or at budget games shops such as Grainger Games, Game, Etc. A blast from the past!

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      27.05.2007 03:03
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      Really Old Console

      In 1985 Nintendo release the NES or Nintendo Entertainment System. It was an immediate success and helped pull the game industry out of its doldrums caused by the Video Games Crash of 1983. While the NES was top dog for the remainder of the 80s, the Sega Master System was stuck behind its glory. Created and released not long after the NES, the Sega Master System was a much overlooked console. It is a sad fact really: the Master System had some great games and innovative gadgets at the time and I do feel that after all these years, it really does deserve its dues. So, as a tribute to Sega’s first video games console, here is my review of the Sega Master System. Firstly, I have to comment to the designs of the Master System. There are three main different ones. There’s the keyboard styled first version, the oval shaped Master System II and the only slightly different Sega Master System III (Which was only released in Brazil). I have to say that all three versions, especially the original actually look really good. They aren’t sleek or sexy like the PS3 but they have that unique quality, like the Vectrex that makes them nice to watch. The games aren’t half-bad either. The majority of the games I’ve played on the Master System (Sonic The Hedgehog, Alex Kidd, After Burner) have decent graphics that look bright and colorful. There are some rubbish looking games as well (Prince of Persia springs to mind) but on the whole, the Sega Master System is very good in terms of the games graphics. Sound quality from the games on the Master System can be a bit... tinny. It’s not grating or especially annoying but it could have been improved slightly. Some games though don’t have this problem at all so that proves that it can be done. The quality of the games on the Master System is, like all consoles, a hit and miss affair. The classic titles on the console are those that have proven to be great: After Burner, Alex Kidd, Shinobi, Space Harriers and so many others! If you want to get a Master System, get the games that are the best quality. Easiest way to check that is to use the internet and especially Wikipedia. The quality of these games is brilliant and helps make the purchase of a MS a worthwhile decision. There are also some innovative gadgets available for the console as well. The most interesting I can think of is the 3D glasses, which, as it sounds, is a pair of glasses that you wear that make certain games 3D! This is years before Mode 7 on the SNES so technically, this could be considered the first console to provide true 3D gaming. Overall, if you want a Sega console, this isn’t a bad place to start. It has great games, good graphics, bearable sound and that hint of genius amid it all. Savor it everyone because for all we know, there could be no more Master Systems left in the near future.

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        03.04.2005 21:08
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        Review on Super ghouls n’ Ghost for the Snes. I first played this game on the SNES during the mid-1990s, you play as a knight called Arthur who has to try and rescue the princess, from the evil demons who have kidnapped her. The game The game starts with Arthur and his beloved princess being together, but some evil Demons break into the castle and kidnap the princess and now Arthur must rescue her from the monsters. So can you save the princess from the terror of the monsters? You have to work your through nine daunting levels, some of the levels consist of 2-parts so it’s really like playing through 18 levels. You will fight against many different enemies such as Zombies, ghost demons, Statues and many other evil creatures. Most of the enemies start off quite easy to defeat and avoid. The levels are 2-D based and you scroll from left to right in the majority of them but somewhere you will go upwards and in all different directions. The levels are varied and different from each other while keeping the same basic pattern. You will start a level you will go from left to right fighting, ghost and all the ghoulish beings that appear and having to jump over obstacles then getting to the end of the level to fight an end of level boss. This sounds really easy but it’s not it does prove quite challenging but fun at the same time. I will now tell you a bit about the levels. The first level you come across you are in a forest/graveyard where Zombies wolfs and wild dogs and fire breathing creatures appear, the level looks quite good and the background music creates a good atmosphere. The Second level you find yourself on a haunted ship that is sinking. In this level you fight against ghost and all different kinds of spook, the ship is slowly sinking so you have to move quite fast to avoid dying. Once you have got past the ship you find your self on a raft in the middle of the sea where a there is a storm and the sea waves are constantly moving up and down you will fight against many different sea creatures, jumping of spikes. When you get to the end of the level you will fight against the second boss that is a bit more challenge then the first. When you defeat a boss you are given a key that lets you advance to the next level. The levels get harder the further you get in the game, and so do the enemies so it’s important to and stay out of harms reach where possible. I will give a brief description of the rest of the levels. The remaining levels consist of a fire level where you get attack by large fire breathing cats. You have to avoid the fire or you will get hit, in another level you climb a big tower where you fire against many evil foes. The levels towards the end of the games you are mainly making yourself are a large church type building where you fight against most of the enemies from the game. When you get to the final level and you fight against a weird bloke who fires some kind of laser at you have to hit him in the head to defeat him. Once you have defeated him you would expect this to be the end of the game but no, the princess contacts you telling you, there is a tougher boss that you would not be able to defeat with a special brace that gives you special powers. So here we go again all the way from the first level, but this time the level is much harder and the enemies appear much faster, and the zombies jump from there coffins at you. This game is quite tough because unlike games today you cannot save the game so you have to complete the whole game without turning the machine off. Once you do get to the end with the bracelet you have to fight the final boss who is rather gigantic in size, You have to have this boss on the head which is hard is he is so high up and he fires a range of different weapons at you. You Armour/Weapons This is one of the best things about this game there are so many different weapons available like bow and arrows, Swords, knifes, axes and many more weapons. You start with a Grey a suit of armour that can be upgraded; you up grade your suit and get weapons by finding treasure chests. The suits available are A green suits which gives your weapons more power for instants the bow and arrow when fired will auto aim for your enemies. The best upgradeable suit is the golden suit that lets you do an additional special ability. Hold your fire button down then something would happen e.g. hidden treasure chest would appear. The controls You use the D-pad to control the Arthur. The Y and A button allow you to fire your weapons and the B button allows you too jump. There is also a double jump move you do this by jumping once and while in the air you press B again. The Graphics The graphics are pretty good most of the levels have a scary look but will not really shock compared to today’s games like Resident evil. The backgrounds and the monsters both look good. This game does stand up well considering it is over 10 years old. The sound The sound in this game is one of the best features, with the spooky background music in the ship level and the cold music in the wintery levels. The sound of the enemies being hurt is realistic also. Overall This is a classic game that most people would of played. The graphics are a bit dated now but still look good for their age. But most importantly this game still plays as well any game today and is very enjoyable to play. I recommended this game to fans of resident evil and to kids of the age 8years or more not really any gore in this but it would probably not keep the interest of a young child for too long. I rate this game 4/5 of fun because it is a real fun adventure. You can probably get this game on Ebay for in-between £2-6 on Ebay. Thanks for reading my review James :)

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          04.06.2003 21:26
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          (Note: I have *no* idea why the first bit of this is coming out in all lower-case. It looks fine in the DY submission box. Honestly, I haven't forgotten how to write in the time I've been away!) Those of us who started school in 1980 or so are really very lucky indeed. It's true. On the one hand, we just missed the lunacies of the National Curriculum, Records of Achievement, SATs and so on. But on the other, we got to do GCSEs with major coursework components, have a proper choice of Options at 14... and experience computing as [insert deity's name if you like, 'cause I haven't got one] intended it. Caning was abolished in the 1980s as well (though what the hell it was allowed for anyway beats me. No pun intended). And Chris Tarrant wasn't on the telly. What more could anyone ask for? Consider this. We are probably the only generation that will ever live to be routinely taught computer programming at school from the age of nine. If you had a micro in 1984, then if you wanted to do much besides zap aliens you needed to be able to program. Even the various cheats the computer magazines published required a vague understanding of POKE statments. Every home computer manual taught programming: there were magazines full of BASIC listings to type in. It was taken as read: this generation would know how to program. Mind you, it mattered in terms of playground cred what sort of machine you had. I still had a ZX81 in the mid-Eighties, which was practically antique by then; I remember my dad going into Boots in 1984 and asking about games for it, and practically being laughed out of the shop. Which isn't to say that there wasn't some good ZX81 software - there was an adventure game called "Sorcerer's Island" which I played for hours and hours on end. (Though a fair chunk of that was just waiting for the cassette to finish loading...) The dread question, "WHAT TO DO NOW?" haunted my dreams, a nd my only ambition was to see "YOU ARE NOW MONSTER-BANE GRADE 1", so that I could actually beat a moster larger than "A NICE AND SILLY SHEEP GUARDING NOTHING"... Then there were the arcade games from Quiksilva (the tradition of illiteracy in computing already being well-established by this time), and lots of programs from Sinclair itself. The Flight Simulator was a wonderful achevement on a 16K machine with no colour or sound facilities, and probably represents the pinnacle of ZX81 programming, even when put up against Software Farm's efforts in the machine's dying days that somehow squeezed high-res graphics out of the black brick. Not that it was a 16K machine out of the box. Oh no, you got a mighty 1K as standard, in which you could do... well, not very much at all, really. There was a playable chess program that ran on the 1K machine - read that and weep, all you PC types whinging about how 256 megabytes is too little - which was a staggering achievement when you think about it, but really you needed a 16K RAM Pack, and that meant the dreaded "RAM Pack Wobble" - a nasty condition caused by knocking the machine that wiped the whole memory. Thus, Blu-tak became every ZX81er's best friend... But what if your parents were less miserly than mine? (Not hard, to be honest!) Well, come with me into the grotty black-and-white pages of "Your Computer", and we'll see what we can find... Let's be stunningly unoriginal and start off with the ZX Spectrum. The followup to the ZX81, this had 48K RAM (there was a 16K version, but it was feeble), <gasp> a beeper and <even bigger gasp> colour. Though the way the screen was programmed meant that overlapping images in two different colours caused the dreaded "colour clash". There were zillions of games available for the Speccy, some of which were actually half-decent, and in the six months or so between the absolute, definite, final quoted delivery date and the machine actually turning up you could browse your way through "Your Spectrum" (later "Your Sinclair"), "Sinclair User" and the legendary &quo t;Crash" magazine. Not that I ever had a Spectrum, so I don't really know what was legendary about it, but those who did assure me that this is so. The deadly rival of the Speccy (and still is) the Commodore 64, remembered for a silly advert with an elephant in it showing off its vast 64K RAM. Also for a hideous cyan on blue screen, which was probably intended to put users off trying to program it, as CBM64 BASIC is without doubt the worst ever released for a major computer. In a quite fantastic piece of brilliance, Commodore stuffed their machine full of sound and graphics features - including the excellent SID sound chip - but provided almost no BASIC commands at all to work them. You had to invoke machine code even to clear the screen. Whatever its devotees might say, it was really a games machine pure and simple, and pretty good at it too. Not that these two were the only machines in town. There were the American machines from Apple, Atari and Tandy, but they were horribly overpriced. In any case, at this time Britain led the world in home computer ownership, and people didn't see any reason to buy expensive (and often inferior) foreign machines when their Spectrum could do all they wanted. The Commodore range were really something of an exception in this regard. During the boom years around 1983-4, it seemed that every month's "Your Computer" had a review of a new machine that would change the world. The Dragon 32 (not bad), the Mattel Aquarius (terrible), the Camputers Lynx (interesting, but never got popular), the Memotech MTX (even more interesting, but even less popular), the Grundy Newbrain (an overgrown calculator), the Colour Genie (the what?), the Oric (too French - give one to Dubya today!), the Jupiter Ace (used Forth instead of BASIC; flopped)... the list goes on and on and on. All that these things have in common is that they weren't very popular. The only real exception to that was Amstrad, who cleverly packaged their CPC range as a complete system - you got the machine, a monitor and a cassette player (or disc drive) all in one. It didn't sell as many as the CBM64 or Spectrum, but did respectable business, and was really the last truly successful 8-bit home micro. (Unless you count the Amstrad PCW, which I tend to think was really more of a business machine, though lots of homes had one.) Finally, we get to the meat of this piece. Thanks to hefty government subsidy (yep, under Thatcher. Odd, isn't it?), schools didn't have Spectrums or Commodores, but were stuffed full of Acorn's fabulously brilliant and wonderful BBC Micro. This came out even before the Spectrum, yet had a specification which walked all over it. A proper keyboard, a hugely superior and extremely fast BASIC with inline assembler as standard, a very flexible multi-channel sound generator, eight screen modes with up to 640x256 resolution, Teletext, so many expansion ports that half a dozen of them had to go underneath. What's quietly amused me sometimes is the way that PC users get all excited about things that BBCs took for granted 20 years ago. LANs? Yup - the Econet could link 254 Beebs. Dual CPUs? Yup - you could have your normal 6502 in the Beeb *and* a Z80 running CP/M across the "Tube" interface. Dual boot systems? Yup (well, sort of) - you could fit paged ROM chips that let you start up in BASIC, Forth, word processors, assemblers, etc. And so it goes on. It's impossible to say exactly what a Beeb can do precisely *because* there are so many expansion options that almost anything is possible given enough time, money and bloody-minded stupidity. The problem, of course, is that all this co st money. The Model B machine, which was the standard (as the model A was cheap and grotty), cost £399, which was more than twice a 48K Spectrum. For a home user without any of the subsidies available to schools, that was a heck of a lot of cash. And the very fact that it *was* "the school micro" meant that it was something of an unfashionable machine. Except for one thing - Acornsoft. It's maybe a bit unfair to single them out - other companies, notably Superior (who live on as Superior Interactive) produced some excellent software too - but Acornsoft's original range of arcade rip-offs - er, conversions - were quite superb. Snapper (ie Pacman), Arcadians (Galaxian) and Planetoid (Defender) are among the best 8-bit games ever released, with excellent and colourful graphics, decent sound and above all tremendous *gameplay*. Remember gameplay? It's what we had before 3D cards came along. Acornsoft had some very notable other hits as well. One of the best was Revs, a Formula 3 driving simulation which was among the first to feature a proper 3D cockpit view. This was programmed by a gentleman by the name of Geoff Crammond. Some of you might perhaps have heard of him; he went on to do the F1GP series for PCs, but this was his first racing game. Mind you, even Revs wasn't the game that ensured Acornsoft's immortality. That was... ...Elite. If you don't know what Elite is, then what, pray, are you doing reading a retro op? You clearly have a major gap in your education. Go and fill it, and then come back. [Time passes...] Okay, done that now? Right. Elite was released for just about every format going, but it was written first and foremost for the BBC Micro. That, on its own, justifies the Beeb's existence. I like old computers. Emulators are great things. But the Beeb is special. I've got a real one, purchased in 1996 from an Atari(!) user group stand at a computer fair. Fifte en quid it cost me, and what a wonderful investment that was. It's a Model B Plus, which means (among other things) that it doesn't need extra chips fitting to use a disc drive, and it's utterly and completely wonderful. So there.

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            18.02.2003 18:08
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            Dear all, Before Amiga 2000 models came out, I remember the Amiga 500 were released. Most of my friends had these back in the late 80's, early 90's - but for me it was the original and the first released - the A1000. I dunno about you guys but, I can remember leaving school during the lunch break (actually acting out a 007 escape scene) with my mate with the deranged passion to play on the Amiga, for an hour or so, and then sneak back through those school gates before teh lunch break was over - we left no trail behind us... what did we play? Speedball 2. ice-cream-ice cream ... anybody ice-cream? Actually I had a programmer/hacker - the friendly neighhbouhood type - and he used to get all the best games from Europe and the US before they even reached Australian shores. He'd get them for free... and luckily enough I would do. Good old XCOPY went a long way! He'd copy games for me that would reach Australian markets 6 months later. For free too. I remember playing Wolfchild, having recieved it from my friend for free - then seeing it for $70 in the shop shelf 6 months later. God those were the days when we'd stay up till the wee wee hours of the morning trying to complete Sword of Sodan, or Moonstone. No way - Playstation is indeed technology for the future - but Commodore Amiga is the Pillar or originality and superb gameplay with the sound and music to match. See if you can remember any of these!!! Apidya james Pond (classis platformer) cardiaxx (unbelievable scrolling shoot-em up) Pit fighter (classic remake of the Timezone version) Shadow Warriors Lethal Xcess The Killling Game Show (great sound) Barbarian 2 switchblade ps) an anyone remember the name of that Amiga game that was based on the TRON MOVIE (the part where the fight each other with those rebounding energy discs)? Did you know th at Commodore Amiga means Girlfriend (In portuguese)?! cheers, Norrin Raad.

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              07.02.2003 08:05
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              This game was made by Taito and came out in 1988. Its a one or two player adventure game. It has passwords. I think its one of the greatest games ever made. Theres two charcters in this game which are Bubble and the other Bobble. You can play either one or if playing two players both are used. Your weapon is blowing bubbles and to kill your enemy, you have to blow a bubble over them and then jump on them. The idea of the game is to kill all the baddies and you do this for one hundred rounds. Each round has around eight baddies. Theres different kinds of baddies such as little robots, ghosts, a drunken monster etc. Make sure you complete the round quickly though as if you take your time, the angry monster ghost thing comes out and kills you if you aint quick. Theres loads of different items to pick up in each round. Theres shoes which speed you up loads, chewing gum makes you able to blow bubbles further distance, fire makes you blow fire and kills your enemys instantly, the book kills all the monsters in a second, the walking stick again kills all the monsters, the umbrella lets you skip a few rounds and theres lots more. At the end of each round every bubble that is floating around, turns in bonus food. So when you have one monster left its best to blow lots of bubbles into the air then kill the monster. Then lots of food such as apples fall down. The food is worth points and the more points you have you earn a life. When you reach the one hundred and first round, you fight the boss. You have to keep hitting him with lightning as you get lightning instead of bubles on last round. This takes 100 hits and you really need two players to complete this. Another reason you need two players is, that if you complete the game in one player mode the ending says bad ending. As you are out to save your girl freinds and we cant have just one girl getting her guy eh hehe. If you do play one player theres a cheat which lets another pla yer join in. Simply click on the other controller to join in just before he dies the boss. You would think that was the game over would you. Well the game starts all over again as Super Bubble Bobble. Its the same again one rounds but this time the monsters are even more angrier. You have to go get your girl freinds again. Then you will get the proper ending this time. The graphics are excellent for this game, the tunes are excellent as theres loads of tunes and sound effects and the game play is excellent as even when you complete all 200 rounds you want to play it again.

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                20.06.2002 01:35

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                See retro tv console at http://www.paramountzone.com/megajoy.htm - Advantages: fun, cool, 80's!! - Disadvantages: bad graphics

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                31.01.2002 02:57
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                • "Frustrating @ times"

                I was sitting at home, just the other day having just finished reading the complete works of Charles Dickens, and written my four hundred page thesis on "how modern day literature just doesn't compare" when I thought, its just like computer games.... So I wrote a thesis on that too... Well, not really! I didn't actually write the first thesis either! I've never written a thesis, I’m not even exactly sure what a thesis is... but that’s not the point! As I sat down to play on my Nintendo 64, I thought about how complicated computer games are getting nowadays with all these 3D graphics and complicated plots and how simple they used to be back when I was a boy....a small boy...well, a young boy...Anyway, I decided to get out my Nintendo Entertainment System (NES, as us computer kids used to call it), a predecessor to my N64. So I got out my pink feather duster and brushed aside the cob-webs and dust from 4 or 5 years and dug out the consul which had been out of action all this time. I remembered how it used to sit in my small living room, curled up by the fireplace, purring gently and contentedly. The memories started flooding back... and I felt my heart skip a beat as the excitement rapidly built up inside me! I could feel butterflies in my stomach! I hurriedly plugged my baby in and inserted an all time classic - super Mario 1.... I was faced with a blank screen :( I was a distraught, and filled with a mixture of sad bitter disappointment and hatred for the infernal machine, I kicked it..... and to my delight up popped the friendly Mario start screen with the traditional "plinky-plonky" music! (and that's the technical expression for it, I promise!) As Mario hopped about the screen, boyish giggles and squeaks could be heard as I squashed "goombas" and other sorts of evil sounding creatures from the dark depths of Mario world. I was glued to the screen for hours, miss ing lunch and my usual afternoon siesta, and even missed my afternoon tea of scones with strawberry jam. But luckily my dear mother brought me one which I stuffed in my face frantically as I continued to battle against the Stage 6 boss - Bowser Kooper, who is in fact the boss of every stage, because when you defeat him at the end of each stage, he just runs away and comes back to fight you when you've completed the next stage. I also found it curious that he lives in a lava filled castles which all look suspiciously similar! Also if Bowser were to decide to go for a walk, he would have to work his way through the assault course of lava pits and fireballs which I have to go through to reach him, and another thing I didn't understand was that he doesn't seem to have a kitchen, so why is he so fat?! Anyway, I reached the final level, defeated Bowser Kooper (once again), rescued the princess daisy, embraced her lustfully in my arms, had my milk and cookies and went to bed. It had been a long day. However, my fight of good against evil was not over, for the next day I was to wake at sun rise, ready to play Super Mario 2, (in which my arch-enemy has been resurrected somehow, and the princess re-captured!) No complicated plots, no sophisticated 3D graphics, no tricky controls, just four buttons, an over-sized lizard/monster thing to kill and a beautiful princess to save! Those were the good old days!

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                  20.10.2001 04:12
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                  So when were these golden days of the past? Games just keep evolving and you think that they can't get any better. However, they do and it just seems the norm. It's only when you look back at old games that you see exactly how advanced we are today. Have you seen Cobra on the Speccie. It looks cack today but I thought it was ok when it was released. What a loser! I've owned and played quite a few machines over the years. I really only got ones that were the top ones. You know C64, Megadrive, Dreamcast. I did go out on a limb once and buy a Game Gear but I only got a couple of games on it. Shiobi and Sonic, I think they were the only ones I got. Handhelds are basically, for me at least, at a bit of a waste. They'll never recapture the excitement of the Game and Watch. I remember Vermin where you just had two large arms and had to bash moles. Easy to play but quite addictive. It started quite slow and built up in speed. Maybe the Gameboy Advance will recapture the magic of the SNES but I doubt it. Mainly because the SNES was great in it's day but in todays market,mmmm, maybe not. Pitfall: the Mayan thingie was an absolute must game. It even featured a full sub-game of the original, years before Shenmue put two whole games into another one. Though Space Harrier is worth buying Shenmue for, if you don't like the idea of that game. I loved it on the C64, it only cost about 3 quid as well. That's another thing the cost. I must have had about 100 games on the C64 because they were around 3 to 4 quid. Hey, they weren't all cheap and nasty. Although looking back most probably were. It was really when I got an Amiga that my gaming increased. I remember Magic Pockets being one of my faves. It was a platform game (where are they now) where you "killed" your enemies by throwing a tornado out of your pocket. A quick tap of the fire button (that's what I called 'em) released a small one and the lon ger you held it the bigger it got (ooh, no, missus). I think I whiled away quite a while of my youth on it. I nearly forgot my fave C64 game. Rainbow Islands. What a corker! You had to make your way to the top of the level by using the platforms and also by the rainbows you made. The rainbows being your weapon as well. You could trap an enemy under them and also build a tower of them which caused mass death below. The end of level guardians were quite tough too. I only remembe a spider and a vampire one at the moment. The vampire attacked using bats and was pretty dam fast as well. I moved on from the Amiga to a Megadrive. Pretty good machine. The best Sonic being the Sonic and Knuckles one. I loved playing Knuckles. He could do loads more than Sonic and he looked cooler too. Although I must admit there is one game that knocked all the Megadrive ones for six. SUPERMARIO BROTHERS III. Why the big letters? Well, it was this game that helped me fail my GCSE's. Oh, yes indeedy. It isn't an excuse because Mario was much more important than school. I played it for about 4 hours every night and it took me about 3 months to master it. You couldn't save where you were which added to the frustration but made you memorise all the shortcuts. There were things called warp whistles that allowed you to skip certain levels. Depending on where you used it, you could get right to the last level. Although you needed the lives first because it was very difficult. I seem to be dwelling in the old days. I could go on to say how great Warcraft 2 is but you don't get the feel now. It's the same with any past game. We've really come too far to play bygone games. Even when they enhance them you don't get the same feel. Well, I wouldn't mind playing a 3D Paperboy. So I'll end by saying that my all time favourite game is probably Shenmue. I know it isn't really too retro but no game has ever felt like it. It is really like livi ng in a game. Even inteacting in the arcade seems totally weird. All I can say is if we have games like that now and things like SSX, what will the future hold. Maybe a workable virtual reality simulator unlike the blocky and crude one of a few years back. I'd buy that for a dollar. UPDATE I didn't realise but I made no comment about the title of this. It refers to Killer Instinct on the SNES. I always like Fulgore although his combos were quite hard to pull off. In fact it was quite a tricky combo technique all round. Three forwards, two backs and a couple of buttons. The really awesome fighter that was the best of the lot. You can forget Streetfighter. It was Mortal Kombat 2. Baraka was awesome, with the old knives sticking out. His fatalities were amazing. I even managed to get them to work when I played it in an arcade. Decapitation, spearing through the chest and I think there was another. The babe-alities were much harder to do. As for Liu Kang, who played that guy. All that whataring and stuff. What a puff! Katana always kicked my ass though. Every dam time!

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                    11.10.2001 19:52
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                    We all have very fond memories of the first games that we played as these were the ones that got us addicted to gaming. Be it in the heady old days of the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore or the age of the Master System or Nes we all reminisce about those early days of gaming. Frequently put forward opinions are that the old games were the best and that they have never or will ever be beaten. I'd like to put an end to this rubbish right now! How many of these people singing the praises of old machines and truly ancient games have dusted off their old consoles and had a play on them recently. What hardly any...nobody? Well thats a suprise, maybe if some people did this then the blanket would be lifted from their eyes and they would see the retro games in their own light. Firstly to put the record straight on where I am coming from. I started gaming at a very young age on a Spectrum ZX. From this I progressed to a Sega Master system, then mega drive to my current beloved Playstation which I have had for around 4 years. I used to be one of those people who reminisced fondly of the good old days every now and again. Whenever the subject of old systems and games came up rest assured I would be in the conversation. That was until last week when I undertook the mammoth task of clearing out the loft. I soon became bored of this when I discovered my old long since forgotten games consoles and decided it would be a laugh to travel back in time ten or so years. This was a big mistake as my fond view of retro gaming was shattered in the next few days. The first system that I set up was my dusty old spectrum. For those of you who can't remember this machine it was produced right back in the early days of gaming when games were not made on CD's, must be catridges then I hear you yell, nope before that, think way back to when games for the spectrum were made on audio tape type things. I searched through the dwindling selec tion of games until I found a likely looking suspect that I vaguely remember to be a kind of pre-frogger game involving a rabbit. (if anyone has any information concerning this game or system I would be grateful for it) I carefully and respectfully put this game into my antique Spectrum and waited and waited and waited. 5 min, 10 min, 20 min, 30 min loading time, I tell you waiting that long will sure take your loving view of retro games away. In the end I gave up waiting for the game to load and moved forward a couple of years to my aged Master System. Now this is probably a console that you can remember properly, does Alex the Kid ring a bell...yes thought it would. Now I used to remember this game as one of the best I have ever played-thats looking back for you! The master system seemed to me a phenominal step forward in gaming with shorter loading times crisper graphics and catridges. It was a great gaming console of the time make no mistake but play on it now and you will either be disapointed or you will laugh at it as I did. This was mainly out of disbelief that I could have rated some of these games as unbeatable. I will talk now about Alex the kid which I am sure most Master system owners will be familiar with as it was the game that came on if the console was turned on with no catridge inside- I have always thought this to be a great idea and wondered why Sega did not carry it through to the Mega Drive. Anyway whilst playing this game I was amazed out how different it was to what I remebered it to be. It was now a very annoying game where you controlled a monkey boy called Alex with the biggest ears you've ever seen. I won't go in to the playabilty and graphics of this game too much but suffice it to say they were poor. One thing I must comment on about this game as to the overall point of the game. As far as I could work out the main objective of this game was to make Alex eat as many burgers as possible. Obviously we didn't care about this in the master systems heyday but how many of you would trade in the great games of today for this. Not many I would think. Now I do not want to be too down on the Master system so I will say this, it was one of the only two good consoles available in the day along with the snes and was very good for its time. Another downfall of this console that people seem to forget with time is that it had no save function. This made longer games like Fantastic Dizzy, you know the one with the egg, almost impossible to complete. So if you think retro games are the best ever maybe you should throw away your memory cards to be back in the olden or 'golden' age of gaming. No takers-Didn't think so. Finally I came on to the most modern of my retro machines and games the Sega Mega drive. Now this is the sort of retro I can handle, so the graphics are lets face it crap, but the games are genuinly playable. Games like Sonic the Hedgehog are actually good and can still be played today as the spark of a good idea is still there. I was quite pleased with the way that the mega drive all be it fairly old could still hold its own against my playstation in terms of which one I played on. However this did not last long and I'm sure that even the most avid retro games fan would have to agree that you need to play on modern games to get back in to the present time. Retro gaming. In my view it is probably best for you to carry on dreaming those hazy dreams of old when gaming was much better than it is now. If you do, as I did, decide to replay some of these old games be prepared to have your illusions shattered. In another ten years I will probably fondly remember games like Gran Turismo 2 and Final fantasy 7 but I could never imagine dragging them out again and thinking they were rubbish. This feeling is where the love of retro games comes from and is why everyone has good memories. Retro Games-Best left untouched .

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                      19.09.2001 05:19
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                      Computer gaming the retro years. I have been a computer user now for a great my years and for most of these years I have played games. Hell, I used to work for a computer games company, but recently I have yet to find a game that stirs up the same emotions and addiction as the games of old. There was a day not so long ago when home computers and the gaming industry weren’t all about flashy graphics, 3D animation and stereo surround sound but they where more interested in making playable, dare I say interesting games. These were however limited to what the machines that they ran on could or couldn't do. This is a brief opinion of these older machines and the games that ran on them. Games which used to make my heart race when I played them, these are the games, which made the computers of old so good. I can remember the first console we ever owned. It was an Atari 2600 console, which my dad bought from my uncle. The games on this machine, where, shall we say primative. Games such as Pong, Zaxxon and space invaders. The Atari 2600 was one of the first games consoles to be available to the home user and brought arcade quality games directly into your home, once connected to your TV. Looking like a very basic box, it was black with fake wooden sides, the 2600 had 4 buttons and a slot for you to insert the games cartridge into. Pretty simple huh! The box also came with 2 joysticks and 2 paddles. The joysticks were for most games but the paddles where for such games as Pong where there movement of the characters on screen was a simple left and right or up and down. Each set of controllers had a fire button on which worked exactly the same as today’s games controller's. This was the first time I had ever seen a joystick and the joystick port on the 2600 was to become the standard for years to come with later computers using the same shape of port. The graphics and sound on the 2600 where very basic. This was the early 80’s remember, so there wasn’t the state of the art graphics and sound that we’re all accustomed to now. The most influential games on the 2600 where Pong, Pitfall, Frogger and Pole Position. Pong was a computerised version of table tennis but the ball could bounce off the sides of the screen. If you missed the ball and it went behind your little bat on the screen you lost a point, the one who reached the allotted score first, won the game. Pitfall was one of the first platform games but your character could swing from platform to platform on ropes which dangled from the roof of the game. The aim was to reach the goal at the end of the level. If I remember rightly, but I’m not sure you had to collect something along the way, not sure though. Frogger, you played a little frog and your aim was to hop across a stream, off logs and turtles and then cross a road dodging the cars and trucks which moved along this road. You then entered one of the little coves and collected another frog, which you then had to get back across the road and stream. You then repeated this again and again. Pole Position was one of the first racing games available. This was my favourite game of the time. You first had to qualify and then you got to race. The only problem with the design of the game was that it looked like you where constantly driving over the crest of a hill. I suppose this was to get the animation to look better. Excellent game though, Never did manage to finish in 1st position. The next big advance was when the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64 appeared on the screen. This added another dimension into the gaming box by giving you a computer instead of just a games machine. These machines had a keyboard which allowed you not only to play games but to also program your own games (if you where clever enough!) or to use utility software which could be bought. These machines howe ver where used primarily as a games machine as this is what they where designed for. Plus the keyboards where very primative. In the case of the Spectrum it was made of rubber! The ZX Spectrum was the brainchild of Sir Clive Sinclair and was released in 1982. Sinclair had previously made calculators and this new device is what made the Sinclair company. The first major game for this machine was Jet Pac or Manic Miner. I can’t remember which came first. Jet Pac was a game where you where a little space man who’s aim was to build a space ship from bits which dropped from the top of the screen whilst dodging space debris which was flying around the screen. Once built, you had to fuel the rocket and then get in to it. It would then fly off the screen and you would be moved onto the next level where you would start again. Manic miner was a platform game where you played the part of a little miner who had to walk around the screen picking up shiny flashy things until all where collected. Then the exit gate would flash, meaning it was open. The problem you faced was that each level had a certain number of baddies which you had to avoid as they could not be killed plus certain platforms would dissolve when stood on. This kept me quite for many an hour I can tell you. I think my parent loved the Spectrum more than I did! Hahaha. The next machine up on the retro list is the Commodore 64. This is perhaps the father of all modern games machines as it was the first machine to have loads of colours on screen and superb sound, mainly due to the number of musicians who found that they could write simple music using this machine. The graphics on the C64 as it was known, weren’t anything to write home about as they often looked a little blurred when you used lots of colours (64 in all, 32 main colours, 32 half tones(shades)) unlike the Spectrum which had 8 colours (Wow! remember at the time the PC only had 4) but th e definition of the display was a lot sharper than the C64. Maybe the difference between running your computer in 640x480 and 1024x768 pixels. This however didn’t stop the C64 stamping is authority in the gaming world. Most memorable games on the C64 aren't the early games as they where pants, but the later games from around the mid to late 80’s. If you had a C64 then you will remember such games as ‘Monty on the run’ or ‘Thing on a Spring’. Both these games where platform games, which required you to jump or spring around the screen collecting various items, but what was most memorable was the music that accompanied these two games. Written by a music wiz called, Rob Hubbard. This guy's music set the game you where playing on fire. This was the thing which set the C64 apart from other machines and caused many a playground argument. Unlike the Atari 2600 the Spectrum and the C64 used tapes to load the games in to memory, this was slow but made the games really cheap, I think in the dying days on these machines the game prices dropped as low as 2 pounds. Sinclair did try to make the game loading faster for there machine by bringing out a cartridge and a device called a Microdrive, which was like a fast loading tape. Only problem with these two was that they never became popular as the games industry found it expensive to replicate the games. The C64 also had other loading methods available, it had a cartridge slot and earlier games where released on cartridge, it also had a disk drive, which used standard 5.25 inch disks. This did have some success but the majority of people had tape drives as they came with the machine. The previous machines where what was called 8 bit machines as the processors used for these machines processed information 8 bits at a time, I wont go into great detail as this is supposed to be entertaining and explaining how computers work is as dull as ditch water! T he next generation of games machines that came along where termed 16 bit as the processors used 16 bits at a time. These machines where the Commodore Amiga and the Atari ST. Both of these machine introduced a new dimension to computers as not only could you play games but you could also get serious software for them. The previous machines had serious software but it was impossible to use it properly as neither machine has a proper keyboard, much like your PC today, or they where too slow or the information was too difficult to save to tape. The Amiga and the ST both had a Operating system similar in look and feel to Windows 95, but this was 1990. Plus both machine had a 3.5 inch floppy disk drive which allowed data to be loaded and saved quickly. Plus you could (at ridiculous cost) buy hard drives for both machines. The thing that set the Atari ST and the Amiga on the road to success was the quality of the games. These newer machines still had games as playable as there older counterparts but they had superb graphics and stereo sound. Also, as the ST and the Amiga used the same processor the games industry had no problem converting their games from one machine to another. So what games made the Amiga and ST so popular? Well one of the first games to make people sit up and take notice was Rainbow Islands. You played Bob a little cartoon character who’s sole purpose in life is to climb, jump or walk from the bottom of the screen to the goal at the top of the level. Whilst doing this Bob must dodge or shoot the baddies that get in his way. Bob’s secret weapon was that he could shoot rainbows out of his body! He could also collect power ups which allowed him to shoot more rainbows in one go, (up to 3) and also to shoot rainbows faster. If Bob fired a rainbow at an enemy and then jumped onto the rainbow it would fall onto the baddy and turn it into a diamond. Depending on the screen position the baddy was killed in depended on what colour diamond you got. Collect all 8 colours and you got a free life. A very simple game but one I have only ever finished once. Other games which set bench marks for the gaming industry are the Shadow of a Beast series from Pygnosis. This again was a platform game but particular attention had been paid to the graphics and sound whilst retaining playability. This was one of those games that made you sit up and say ‘Wow!’ when you saw it. Another game which, made you want to play it again and again was Stunt Car Racer. A particularly poor looking games that kept you coming bad for more. Not to win but to see how far you could jump your car and how much damage you could do to it when jumped. The basic premise of the game was, you're a racing car driver and you have to race other cars on a raised track and not fall off. Falling off is bad. The more you crash or fall off the track the more you damage your car. Damage it too much and its game over. However the race course is 3 dimensional and goes up, down, left and right, but some tracks also had things like drawbridges which had to be timed right before you tried to jump over them. Get it wrong and your either crashing or you end up flying skyward, then crashing! I know there are other machines, which evolved during this time, but I wanted to concentrate on the computers and not totally on the consoles. I know that consoles have a place in today’s market, hell! I even own most of today’s consoles but I really wanted to do my best to explain my love of the older machines. I still own a C64, a Spectrum and a Commodore Amiga but they could so with dusting off and giving a new lease of life. However, the latest generation of PC’s are powerful enough to emulate the older machines, you can even get a Nintendo 64 emulator and a Playstation emulator. !!!! A lot of the games mentioned above are available to download and run on yo ur emulator. Go on give them a try and experience the nostalgia of the old machines and the playability of the past. © copyright 2001, Mike Porter.

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                        16.09.2001 20:57
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                        The Atari ST had some truly great games the likes of which are still seen today. My first exhibit is SimCity, the graphics by today’s standards are nothing special but the game play was great inspiring sequels on the PC which are the same game with a few extras and better graphics The next game I bring up is Xenon 2 it had a truly great soundtrack and the simplicity of it made it a hit. You were a spaceship on a slow rolling screen shooting groups of enemies, when you killed a group of baddies you got cash which at the end of the level you spent on upgrading your ship. Another classic has to be Double Dragon and its sequels. You have o fight your way through hordes of baddies in this game, Two options hit or kick, with the addition of a bat, whip, barrel or dagger simple fun R-type incredibly hard, incredibly fun, cool music if you've played it you will like it Lemmings, No introduction needed. Lots of easily recognisable tunes, simple 8 choices of actions the best of all of the series Need I go on? There are thousands of games available for the Atari ST. I won't say they were all good but some were classics. The only reason I still aren't playing on my Atari ST is because my lead connecting the Atari ST to my monitor is broken and if anyone knows were I can get a lead from it would be appreciated

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                          28.06.2001 02:06
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                          Being a depressed teenager in the school holidays spending days at a time in bed is not the most fun you're gonna have in your life. But I remember having a faithful friend in the shape of an Amiga, complete with Sensible World Of Soccer. The graphics weren't the best, it took a while to load, and there wasn't any commentary, but for a sad football anorak wanting to take a crap third division team all the way to the best team in Europe, the game was by far the best. By playing the career game mode, you are given 20 seasons to manage your team. When you won games you got more money, when you lost games you got the sack, you had a youth team which enabled you to groom youngsters and then flog them to improve your squad. Chances were if you were good enough, you'd even get offered the England job. If you were bad enough you'd end up in the Outer Mongolian 4th division! Fair enough, games like Fifa and ISS have great graphics and virtual players, but these don't come close to Sensible Soccer in terms of playability and individual success. There is no greater feat on a computer footy game to taking Wycombe Wanderers to the top of the Premier League in less than 10 seasons - even if it does seem to take forever!

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                          25.06.2001 03:29
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                          Renga and Haiku, a Japanese poetic form Origin ****** Approximately in the 13th century in Japan arose the poetic form of the Haiku. Haiku championships carried out, in the 17th century in Japan so that this short poetic form increased. The roots was the rhythm 5-7-5-7-7 (syllables) the Renga, a chain poem, develops from the Tanka, an other poetic form. A party-game was the Renga, in the 13 century. A verse consisted of 5-7-5 syllables rhythm the first player, the second player answers with a 7-7 syllables and so on. Both funny and dirty forms of the Haikai-Renga arisen. The independent art form of the Haiku arose from the Hokku, the start verse of the Haikai-Renga. The most important Japanese poets of the Hokku (Haiku) were Buson (1716-1783), Issa (1763-1827) and Shiki (1867-1902). It was called Haiku, only since the end of the 19th century, this poetic form spread in the 20th century in the whole world particularly in North America. What is a Haiku? ************** The form --------- The three-liner-poem is called Haiku and it consists of 17 syllables. 1st line 5 syllables 2nd line 7 syllables 3rd line 5 syllables The contents ------------- The Haiku describe somehow with the topic the nature or nature-pictures. Not important is he rhyme. You can’t explain a Haiku, you need a sense for it. Not only one truth has the Haiku, the interpretation is free for everybody. I learned to know Haiku in englishtown.de, an English school in the internet, at a writing-competition, therefore my first Haikus was written also in English. I wrote also Haikus in German and I will write my next Haiku in Bosnian-language. My English Haikus ------------------ Drew the summer-rain, risen rainbow to heaven all colour the world ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Burning summer wind present Fatahmorga na, a cool glass of beer ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ snow stings by flower sun replaces the winter green triumph over ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ In the woods the fox meets the hunter by daylight it not saw moonlight ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ It shines the sun the earthworm very cries hopes for the rain I don't give my Haikus any titles, I think, the most important point of the Haikus is the liberty of the thoughts and headings only limit your thoughts. You can answer me with 7&7 syllables.

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                            23.05.2001 17:10
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                            Retro gaming..the good old days..before everything got ruined by accountants, marketing people and overpaid whizzkid programmers..the days of bedroom coding, ZX spectrums screeching away as you struggled to load up the latest £2.99 wondergame from Woolies. Or is that all a load of nostagia tinged b***shit? I got my hands on a Zx Spectrum last year,and a stack of games. Back in the day I was a proud owner of a Zx Spectrum +2 and enjoyed playing tons of cool games. So what was it like going back to an 8 bit machine? To be truthful, it was a big letdown. Most of the old games were just old games, and pretty rubbish. There were a couple of gems like "Head over Heels", "Uridium", "Aliens", "saboteur" but most of the games were really crap. I'm not talking about the limited colour pallete, simple graphics or screechy sounds, but the majority of the games were just limited, unplayable and boring. Going back to the SNES and Master System was less of a shock, as most of the games were better than the Spectrum games. "Space Harrier", "Outrun", "Shinobi" and "Super Mario World" are still solid, playable, entertaining games. And then the PC. I just bought a 1GHZ Athlon based PC with 64MG Geforce graphics card, 5.1 cinema speakers, etc. As well as getting Half-Life, Deus Ex, etc. I got The Ultimate Doom collection and Duke Nukem 3D. I have fond memories of Doom on the PC from my college days. It wasn't too good this time round. After a while I got really bored, and found it really limited and stale. Duke Nukem3d was a different story, way more interaction, a great sense of humour and limited "3D" which made a major difference compared to Doom. Maybe we've been spoiled by the new games like Half-Life and Black&White? I found this after getting a DVD player, watching video tapes has been a real let down - poor colour depth, picture stability, etc. It's hard to watch videos once you've seen DVD. It's the same for me with computers and video games. You can enjoy the old games for a while, and the really good old games still provide hours of entertainment. But most of the old games I've played are just...old. Things have really improved in the last 10 years, especially on the PC. Look at the game experience you get on a Dreamcast, playing MDK2 or Jet Set Radio, and compare that to playing an old spectrum game like Spitfire 40. It just doesn't compare. Maybe games were more "pure" back then, we didn't get seduced by 32 bit graphics and tri-linear filtering? Retro games are cool, as long as you pick the best games on each platform. We tend to forget that for every "super mario world" or "Sabrewulf" there were 100 crap games.

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