Back in early 1984, when I was first exposed to the Commodore 64, one of the games that I had a chance to play a fair bit of was Blue Max by Synapse Software (SynSoft in the UK). In the game, you take on the role of a hot-shot World War I biplane pilot by the name of Max Chatsworth who is known affectionately to his friends as Blue Max.
The game is essentially a 3/4 perspective vertical shooter similar to Zaxxon in presentation. You have at your disposal a machine gun with unlimited ammo as well as a finite number of bombs which you can use to take out buildings, tanks, bridges, roads and boats. Overall control of the plane is very responsive, although (as with Zaxxon) keeping your altitude straight can be rather tricky. The shadow cast by your plane helps a lot in determining your horizontal location on the level (for bombing purposes) but you need to match your altitude to that of the enemy planes in order to shoot them down. You also need to mind your altitude to do strafing as well as estimate the time for a dropped bomb to reach its target.
Ever since the early 90s I have been experimenting with Linux. Editing the xconfig file with VI with all sorts of refresh rates and resolution values making sure not to make my monitor go poof in the dark. I am more or less system agnostic and like to tinker with all sorts of technologies and software so it is not in my nature to become a fan-boy or pick sides. I have been using Macs next to MS-DOS & Windows machines and have always more or less had a spare running some variant of Linux. Often with varying results where it was fairly easy to completely bugger up an install making you start all over again. The way to go was the command line interface combined with VI, both were not very intuitive and it could be a very nasty experience getting it all up and running. I never ended up replacing my desktop completely with a Linux install as there would always be cracks in the foundation, with certain things I needed not working or buggering up. So I stuck with Windows & OS X but the open-aspects of Linux really were a very big pull and I always kept an eye out for new Linux developments. So after many failed attempts to replace my Windows OS with Linux here I am trying it again to see if this time around it is all worth it.
Read more below to see/experience how it all went.
In this video I take a look at the Japanese Playstation disc with the game Zanac X which is becoming more rare by the day :( Go check it out.
Zanac is a very cool series of Shmup games created by Compile. The game originated on the MSX and NES but also found its way on many other systems like this Playstation One version. It's very similar to other Compile shmups like PowerStrike, Aleste, Super Aleste, M.U.S.H.A. All these games feature a similar weapons system.
Other good Compile shmups are Blazing Lazers on the TG16 and Gunnac on the Nes.
A nice little platformer with gameplay somewhat remeniscent of that of Burgertime & Mappy. It was brought out on the MSX platform in Japan and also had an Arcade version out in Japan.
In this clip I show the MSX version and the Arcade version and talk a little about the differences between the two and try to play the game as well.
Taito released this in 1984.
Space Manbow by Konami was a great shmup that shared a lot of family resemblances to Gradius and Parodius. It featured a very similar weapons system. A great game and a must-have for any MSX2 owner who likes shmups.
Sadly this game never was released outside of Japan.
It did come out on cell-phones/mobile phones in Japan in 2006 and it came out on the Wii's Virtual Console in 2009, sadly also Japan only.
The game only comes on cartridge and it features a special SCC soundchip that greatly enhances the sound capabilities of the MSX2 platform. A great looking, sounding and playing game.
Galaga Destination Earth is a turn of the century incarnation of the well known Galaga game. But it has a twist to the gameplay making it into a bit of an all compassing shmup. It shares similarities with Gyrus, Gradius and even Panzer Dragoon Ortha. Go check it out.
Burnout - this is the first iteration of a great series of racing games. I explain a little about the game and then I do some gameplay. Neither of which is really good as it is tough to do both at the same time :P
I touch on the new 2013-03 YouTube layout too.
Cloak and Dagger - a cool dual stick video game created by Atari back in 1984. It is closely tied into a movie with the same name:
(Cloak & Dagger is a 1984 film directed by Richard Franklin starring Henry Thomas, Dabney Coleman and Michael Murphy. It is a remake of the 1949 film The Window. It was originally released in a double feature with The Last Starfighter on July 13, 1984 and then released separately on August 10, 1984.)
It was supposed to be released on the Atari 5200 but due to the video game crash that never happened. A cool bit of information about this game can be found over at AtariHQ:
Space Dungeon is one of these shooters that has two joysticks to control the game. The left one for movement and the right one for firing. It is very similar to Robotron 2084 or SmashTV.
Well worth checking out yet the only home port of it in existence is on the 5200.
Black Widow is one of these shooters that has two joysticks to control the game the left one for movement and the right one for firing. It almost looks like Geometry Wars with a big Spider's Web yet this game is from 1982 and plays quite similar to Robotron or Smash-TV.
Well worth checking out as there are ports for the original Playstation, Playstation 2, PC, XBox, XBox360 and even the NGage got a port!
Read more below...