Tag Archives: Celebration

2000AD Special

2000AD is a famous, British science fiction comic that was first launched in 1977 (26th February 1977 to be precise), and I distinctly remember getting and reading the first issue and being hooked from that moment onward. 2000AD pulled no punches, with its hard-hitting fantasy storylines and stand-out characters, and it made a big impression on anyone who read it.

Continue reading 2000AD Special

Boulder Dash Special

Boulder Dash is a very special game. It is a simple idea, with cute graphics and devious gameplay that combine to make an addictive combination of arcade-style action, survival and puzzle-solving.

Continue reading Boulder Dash Special

Amstrad CPC Special

The Amstrad Colour Personal Computer (CPC) is a family of 8-bit home computers that were designed and manufactured by British company Amstrad (the infamous one led by Alan Sugar), and marketed as competition to the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum from 1984 onward.

Continue reading Amstrad CPC Special

Acorn Archimedes Special

The Acorn Archimedes is a family of home computers designed by Acorn Computers of Cambridge, England. The systems are based on Acorn‘s ARM RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture with a 32-bit CPU (using 26-bit addressing) and were manufactured from 1987 until the mid-1990s.

The Acorn Archimedes was used predominantly in UK schools throughout the late 1980s and 1990s and was one of the first home computers to use a multi-tasking WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pull-down menus) operating system which is commonly known as RISC OS. The very first Archimedes models were initially BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) branded computers, but the name “Acorn Archimedes” is commonly used to describe any of Acorn‘s contemporary designs based on the same architecture.

The Archimedes is a capable machine in terms of graphics and sound and a wide variety of 2D and 3D games appeared on the system, including many original games, a lot of clones, plus a number of official conversions of arcade games and games popular on its 16-bit rivals, the Amiga and Atari ST.

RISC OS still lives on today on the Raspberry Pi, on other devices, and in emulation. Raspberry Pi computers use ARM RISC chips and a more modern version of RISC OS exists (at the time of writing) as RISC OS Direct. Original Archimedes computers, and the Raspberry Pi, are popular with computing hobbyists and Archimedes fans still keeping the flame alive.

I don’t profess to be an expert on the subject of RISC OS or the Acorn Archimedes – in fact I’m relatively new to it – but I do like what it is capable of, and I do like many of the games. So this week I’m going to be featuring some of my favourite Archimedes games and their associated screenshots. It’s also worth noting that many of the games are legally available to download for free from the The Archimedes Software Preservation Project, although you will need either ADFFS or CDFaker installed in RISC OS to be able to mount and run their associated disk images.

Here’s a full list of what was published during our Archimedes special:

Castle Blackheart
Populous
Nebulus
E-Type
Chocks Away
Apocalypse
Cataclysm
Bug Hunter in Space
Pac-Mania
Super Pool
Mr. Doo
Fireball II
Spheres of Chaos
Hamsters

More: Acorn Archimedes on Wikipedia

Acorn-logo-small

Sony PlayStation Special

The Sony PlayStation was the first machine in the PlayStation series of video game consoles and it came out in Japan first, in 1994, and in 1995 everywhere else. It is widely seen as being the console that changed gaming forever; the console that marked the transition from cartridge-based console gaming to CD-ROM based games, and also the console that ushered in a new era of 3D gaming. It was also the console that made Sony a major player in the video game business.

Over its eleven-year lifespan 7,918 individual games were released for the PlayStation, accumulating just under a billion sales overall. The console itself became the first to sell over 100 million units.

This week I’m going to be featuring screenshots from a number of my favourite PlayStation games. Some you might have heard of (or even played), others you might never have seen before. One thing is for sure, though: interest in the original PlayStation is still going strong, some 27 years after its initial release. And that’s because these great games endure, and because emulation has breathed new life into the format.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what the blue PlayStation is: that is a development PlayStation – used by developers to create and test the games themselves. The photos are of my very own console, taken by myself, specifically for this blog.

Here’s a full list of what was published:

Rapid Reload
Kula World
No One Can Stop Mr. Domino!
Ganbare Goemon: Uchuu Kaizoku Akogingu
Devil Dice
Revelations: Persona
Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss
Pepsiman
Metal Gear Solid
Ridge Racer
Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
Strider 2
Jumping Flash!
Vib-Ribbon

Enjoy,
The King of Grabs

More: Sony PlayStation on Wikipedia

Atari Lynx Special

The Atari Lynx is a handheld console that was developed by Epyx and manufactured by Atari Corporation from 1989 to 1995, and it features a wide variety of colourful and playable games available in cartridge format.

Continue reading Atari Lynx Special

Sega Megadrive/Genesis Special

Known as the Megadrive in Japan and Europe, and the Genesis in North America, this was Sega‘s fourth generation home video games console and it was launched in 1988 in Japan (1989 in North America and 1990 in Europe).

The Megadrive/Genesis is a 16-bit console with a built-in slot for cartridges, which is how most games were played on it. It had backwards compatibility with its predecessor, the Sega Master System, and it also had a variety of important add-ons released for it, including the Sega CD and the 32X.

The unit came with two standard, three-button pads, then later (after Street Fighter II came out on the Megadrive) six button pads (like the one picture below) became more widespread.

The Megadrive sold more than 30 millions units worldwide, until it was discontinued by Sega in 1997 (although it was still being sold and supported by Majesco Entertainment until 1999).

Sega‘s console has a huge library of superb games and many are still being re-released to this day. So here’s our tribute to Sega‘s classic machine with a week of nothing but Megadrive games.

Here’s a full list of what was published:

Desert Strike
Jungle Strike
Urban Strike
Gunstar Heroes
Road Rash 3
The Immortal
Mega Bomberman
MUSHA
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Herzog Zwei
Flashback
Pier Solar and the Great Architects
Castlevania: Bloodlines
Toejam & Earl
Cosmic Spacehead
Phantasy Star III

Enjoy,
The King of Grabs

More: Megadrive/Genesis on Wikipedia

Megadrive Pad 2

Mega Drive Wide

Sega Genesis Wide

Arcade Special

The video game arcades of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s were very special places. They were where the majority of innovation was taking place in the video games industry, and over those three decades countless classic video games were released into these dingy, constantly noisy places for friends to crowd around and play. Video game arcades were social places where all kinds of different people hung out.

Arcade games were usually defined by three things. 1. You had to put coins into video games to play them (why they are also called ‘coin-ops’). 2. They usually featured the most cutting edge graphics and sound, or gimmick, to attract players to play them, and 3. They were more often than not incredibly difficult games to master, because everyone involved in their manufacture and distribution wanted you to put as much money into their machines as possible.

The good thing now is: anyone can play these games via emulation and they are quite common. Get a good emulator, like MAME for example, and you can have that arcade experience in your own home, without the need for cabinets. Of course there will always be those who prefer the real thing and have arcade machines in their own home. And those who like a hybrid of both – putting PCs and emulators, or even Raspberry Pi setups inside real arcade cabinets.

Each to their own. My particular preference is MAME on a PC – at least for getting screenshots – but I do have arcade emulators running on a number of different platforms.

The only real downside to arcade emulation is that it’s not always that easy to find the right ROMs for the right emulator. Some versions of MAME have different driver requirements, and different MAME ROMsets come with different drivers, so it can be a bit of a minefield.

One thing’s for sure though: it’s worth getting into old arcade games in some way, because they are some of the best video games ever made. The list of classics is endless and I’ve already featured many arcade games on here.

Also: arcade game screenshots always seem to look the nicest, in terms of colourfulness and crispness when blown-up on-screen, so these screenshots I’m posting are most welcome to the collection.

Here, then, is a BIG arcade special – adding more classic arcade games to the blog and more high quality screenshots. If you don’t like (or care about) arcade games I’d recommend coming back in a couple of weeks… 🙂

Here are links to what was published:

Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back
Puzznic
Narc
Altered Beast
Journey
Golden Axe
RoadBlasters
Alien Storm
S.T.U.N. Runner
Arch Rivals
Crazy Climber 2
SegaSonic the Hedgehog
Psycho-Nics Oscar
Sprint 2
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat 3
Popeye
Crystal Castles
Final Fight
R-Type Leo
Mario Bros.
Bubble Memories
Salamander 2
Mercs
Flicky
Stargate
Skull & Crossbones
Thunder Blade

Enjoy and stay safe!
The King of Grabs

More: Arcade Games on Wikipedia

Empire arcade cabinet 1