Vortex is a 3D shoot ’em up developed by Argonaut Software and published by Electro Brain in North America, Sony in Europe, and Pack-In-Video in Japan in 1994. It is one of the few games (other than Star Fox, Stunt Race FX, Yoshi’s Island, Doom, Dirt Trax FX, Winter Gold, and Star Fox 2) to use the Super FX co-processor chip to allow for faster 3D graphics than the vanilla SNES is capable of.
Rocket Roger is a scrolling action game written by Steve Evans and published by Alligata Software in 1984. In it you control the titular Roger who must fly around using a jet pack and collect crystals from a series of underground caves. The crystals are needed to power your spaceship and you need to collect 99 of them to escape the planet.
Developed by an American company, called Nintendo Software Technology, Bionic Commando: Elite Forces is the only game in the Bionic Commando series to be developed and published by Nintendo (and not the franchise owner, Capcom). It first came out – exclusively for the Game Boy Color – in the year 2000, and is a sequel to Bionic Commando on the Game Boy.
Steve Turner‘s classic Ranarama originated on the ZX Spectrum in 1987. The game is an overhead Gauntlet derivative where you play as a frog (actually a wizard’s apprentice, called Mervyn, whose botched spell has turned him into a frog), who must fight his way through various levels of a maze, defeating warlocks and taking their runes.
The Atari ST version of Krisalis Software‘s 1990 adaptation of 2000AD comic anti-hero, Rogue Trooper, is the same as the Amiga version, except with a more standardised display area and without the smooth scrolling.
The scrolling is pretty jerky to be honest although it doesn’t ruin the game. Control responsiveness isn’t as good as the Amiga version either, but it’s good enough.
Melbourne House‘s Judge Dredd on the ZX Spectrum was released slightly later than the 1986 Commodore 64 version, coming out in early 1987. It was again programmed by Australian software company Beam Software, and it plays similarly to the C64 original. That is: it’s a bit of a travesty.
This 1986 adaptation of Judge Dredd – the infamous cop of the future who debuted in 2000AD comic – was developed by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House, and it’s a bit of a travesty to be honest.
John Phillips‘ Commodore 64 classic, Nebulus, is very good on the Amstrad, although it is quite slow and doesn’t have the intermission challenges of its parent. It doesn’t ruin the game, though. In fact: it may be easier to play than the original due to it being slower.
I was always under the impression that Paul Shirley‘s classic Spindizzy originated on the Commodore 64 and was ported to other machines, but this interview with Shirley says that the game was actually originated on the CPC and ported to other systems. Since Paul Shirley coded the C64 version himself I had guessed that that was a logical assumption to make, but it now looks to be wrong.
The Amstrad version of Spindizzy – one of the best games ever made in my humble opinion – is pretty much perfect, with crisp, clean, detailed graphics and responsive controls.