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Category Archives: Commodore 64

End of an Era: Commodore 64

71161commodore-64-systemWe’ve finished our coverage of another system, so it’s time for another one of these. Just like last time, Iain and I each ranked all of the 18 C64 games we’ve covered in the project and our combined opinions form the list below.

  1. Head Over Heels
  2. Impossible Mission II
  3. Stunt Car Racer
  4. Arkanoid: Revenge of Doh
  5. Bubble Bobble
  6. IK+
  7. Treasure Island Dizzy
  8. Creatures 2: Torture Trouble
  9. The Great Giana Sisters
  10. Fantasy World Dizzy
  11. Out Run
  12. …TRAZ
  13. Wizball
  14. Rick Dangerous
  15. Dizzy: The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure
  16. Bombuzal
  17. Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine
  18. Predator

Think Predator is a misunderstood classic? Think Head Over Heels is an overrated mess? Let us know and comment below!

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Posted by on October 22, 2016 in Commodore 64, End of an Era

 

#58: Creatures 2: Torture Trouble

58557-creatures-2-torture-trouble-commodore-64-front-cover

March 1992 – Creatures 2: Torture Trouble

It’s been quite a while since we last played a game on the Commodore 64, but we’re back for one last trip before we lay the old machine to rest for good. In 1992, it is, of course, a long way past its prime; it struggled to compete with the 8-bit consoles, let alone the 16-bit ones that will be taking centre stage over the course of this year. But just because newer and shinier machines come along, that doesn’t mean that everyone immediately throws away their old devices as the worthless heaps of junk that advertisers try to insist that they are. It’s considerably more of a gradual process. In 1992, I turned five. I surely can’t have been playing computer games at all much earlier than that. And yet I have fond memories of many of the C64 games we have covered here. We must have persisted with the C64 not just into its twilight years, but perhaps a little beyond before moving on up to the next generation, and we were perfectly happy with our obsolescence. And this is a practice that, for me at least, has continued to this day; today in 2016, I still do most of my gaming on an Xbox 360, though its successor has been around for three years now. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 18, 2016 in 1992, Commodore 64

 

#30: Stunt Car Racer

Iain wrote this one.

“Today’s racing spectators wanted power, excitement and… danger! The year is 2008 and this promises to be the fastest and most dangerous season of the lot.”

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November 1989: Stunt Car Racer

I remember playing Stunt Car Racer, but more than any other game so far, I remember something else from its oversized box. It came with a history of motorsport, and Formula 1 in particular, which eventually turned speculative, a look back from an imaginary future. You can download it from here: http://www.c64games.de/phpseiten/spieledetail.php?filnummer=417
Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 1, 2015 in 1989, Commodore 64

 

#29: Fantasy World Dizzy

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October 1989 – Fantasy World Dizzy

Fantasy World Dizzy seems to be widely regarded as the pinnacle of the Dizzy series, at least within the narrow niche where ‘the pinnacle of the Dizzy series’ is a concept with any meaning at all. This is clearly wrong – the following game, Magicland Dizzy, is superior in just about every way – but taken in context of the rest of the series, it’s easy to see why it has this reputation. Because, in gameplay terms, while Magicland does sand off a few more of the rough edges, its improvements are nothing compared to the giant leap forward that Fantasy World takes from Treasure Island. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on November 24, 2015 in 1989, Commodore 64, Dizzy

 

#26: Rick Dangerous

Rick Dangerous

July 1989: Rick Dangerous

Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat; Rick Dangerous is an absolutely stellar name for an action hero. He’s also a fairly straightforward rip-off of Indiana Jones; if the box art didn’t make this abundantly clear already, the start of the game certainly does, immediately recreating the iconic ‘run away from giant boulder’ scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Rick also delves through ancient ruins in search of priceless artifacts, wearing a fedora and an extremely smug grin at all times, although in place of Indy’s whip, he carries, and I swear I am not making this up, a pogo stick with which to incapacitate his foes. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2015 in 1989, Commodore 64

 

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#19: Bombuzal

Bombuzal

December 1988: Bombuzal

The life of a bomb disposal expert is probably, in truth, not all it’s cracked up to be. The words conjure the image of exciting James Bond-style last second saves, with lives hanging in the balance, where one tiny mistake, one slip could end it all. But the reality is, one suspects, rather less dramatic, and probably involves an awful lot of tedium. Rules that must be followed, boxes that must be checked, paperwork that must be filled out. Perhaps punctuated by the occasional explosion, yes, but only under carefully controlled circumstances. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 23, 2015 in 1988, Commodore 64

 

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#18: Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine

For this entry (and large parts of the previous), I have handed over to my brother Iain. He’s been an invaluable part of the project since the beginning, and I’m sure he will continue to be as long as it goes on. 

Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine

November 1988 – Cybernoid: The Fighting Machine

We’ve touched on the question of difficulty numerous times in the past, but this seems like an appropriate moment to really focus in. Let’s think of one simplified spectrum on which to view the possibilities of games here. At one end there is the purely narrative, telling a story with any player action being solely to make story choices, building on all of the existing powers of other storytelling media and introducing elements only interactivity can provide (see the Head Over Heels entry). At the other end there is a pure test of skill with no narrative whatsoever. That’s difficult to imagine in practise but, say, something that tests your reaction time to a beep and just prints out your time might get close. Games of skill can be about setting up a chance to learn and develop a relatively simple ability and apply it in a more complex environment and gain the satisfaction of progress and feeling and seeing one’s abilities get better. Self-improvement in accessible miniature. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in 1988, Commodore 64