Tag Archives: American

Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Megadrive/Genesis

Released in 1992, one year after the classic Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2‘s big contribution to the series was the introduction of two-player games of Sonic. It was also a Japanese/American co-production this time, by Sega Technical Institute.

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Ms. Pac-Man, Arcade

The 1982 sequel to the smash hit Pac-Man originally started out as a third party modification kit for Pac-Man machines, developed by General Computer Corporation, and called ‘Crazy Otto‘.

After legal action from Atari, GCC was forced to present Crazy Otto to Midway, the North American distributor of Pac-Man, who bought the game and developed it into Ms. Pac-Man.

Further complicating the story, apparently Midway did this without Pac-Man‘s original owner Namco‘s consent, which caused some licensing issues later. The truth is by no means clear, but in the murky world of video game licensing it is sometimes the case that people sell and exploit rights to products they have no right to.

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H.E.R.O., ZX Spectrum

The ZX Spectrum version of John Van Ryzin‘s classic rescue game, H.E.R.O., looks pretty basic when compared to other versions, but plays just as well as all the others.

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Defender of the Crown II, Amiga CD32

Wow… Now this is something special… An enhanced version of Cinemaware‘s classic Defender of the Crown, with cool new sequences and graphics not seen in the original!

Defender of the Crown II was created by James D. Sachs in 1993 and is seemingly a bit of an ‘auteur piece’, since Sachs programmed it, made the graphics, and did the music himself. And – it has to be said – he did a brilliant job. Defender of the Crown II is arguably the best iteration of the original game and was clearly a labour of love for him.

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Star Wars: Yoda Stories, Game Boy Color

Released in 1999, Star Wars: Yoda Stories is a procedurally-generated pocket adventure featuring Luke Skywalker, and – of course – Yoda, and is set in the time between The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi when Luke is still undergoing his Jedi training.

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Portal, PC

Portal is a legendary first-person puzzle/gravity game developed and published by Valve in 2007.

I say “gravity game” because Portal combines basic physics (acceleration, velocity, gravity, and inertia), with the ability to open up entry and exit portals, to create a game so beautifully simple-yet-complex that it is almost beyond belief…

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The Temple of Elemental Evil, PC

The Temple of Elemental Evil [ToEE] is a licensed Dungeons & Dragons RPG that was first released in 2003 by Atari. It is based on the Greyhawk campaign setting and uses the D&D 3.5 edition ruleset.

One look at The Temple of Elemental Evil and you’re going to think: “Baldur’s Gate“… Because it very much looks and plays like that particular game. That said: the game does have some heritage in the Fallout series, because Tim Cain (the lead designer on the original Fallout games) was also director of this.

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Commodore 16/Plus4 Special

The Commodore 16 is a somewhat underrated home computer that had a relatively short lifespan and was intended as a low-cost replacement for the Commodore VIC-20.

It had 16K of RAM (thus the name) and a 6502 compatible CPU that ran twice as fast as the CPU in its older and more expensive cousin, the Commodore 64. It had a video and sound chipset called “TED” that offered a colour palette of 121 colours, and more efficient use of video memory than the C64, but it had no hardware sprites (it did however have a built-in software sprite routine with fewer restrictions than on hardware sprites).

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