Tag Archives: featured

Sony PSP Special

This week I’ve decided to focus on games for the PlayStation Portable (PSP) – the handheld video game console from Sony that really pushed the envelope in terms of graphical capabilities. It first came out in 2004 in Japan and 2005 everywhere else.

The PSP played host to a number of amazing games over its lifetime and it still has many fans to this day. The games are still readily available, even if they’re not really being made commercially any more, and better emulators are becoming more prevalent so the PSP is being rediscovered by a whole new generation of gamers.

So here’s our tribute to the PlayStation Portable and the games that can be played on it. Long may they be appreciated!

Here are links to what was published:

Ultimate Ghosts ‘N Goblins
Wipeout Pure
Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII
Tekken: Dark Resurrection
Mega Man Powered Up
Jeanne d’Arc
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories
Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles
Ape Escape: On The Loose
Gran Turismo
Little Big Planet
Patapon 3
Everybody’s Golf Portable 2

Enjoy!
The King of Grabs

More: Sony PSP on Wikipedia

Sonic the Hedgehog Special

This week I’m going to be featuring all the early Sonic the Hedgehog games on the blog.

They’re all Megadrive/Genesis games, except for one on the Sega CD. And they’re all classics, and deserve a set of grabs, showing just show beautiful and colourful they are. And, of course, a few words about what makes them good.

Oh, and these are not the only Sonic games – there are many more, and I’ll be featuring more of them over the coming weeks. Sonic fans be like: “at long last!” 🙂

Here are links to what was published:

Sonic the Hedgehog, 1991
Sonic the Hedgehog 2, 1992
Sonic Spinball, 1992
Sonic CD, 1993
Sonic the Hedgehog 3, 1993
Sonic & Knuckles, 1994
Sonic 3D Blast, 1996

Enjoy,
The King of Grabs

More: Sonic franchise on Wikipedia
Steam: Sonic franchise on Steam

Sonic-and-Tails

Amiga CD32 Special

The CD32 is a CD-ROM-based console that is basically a high-end Amiga contained within a small, grey box. It can do pretty much everything an Amiga can do, but with a few built-in extras, such as Red Book Audio (CD quality sound, streamed from the disc), CDTV compatibility, and backwards compatibility with older, 9-pin D-Sub (Atari-style) controllers of the ’80s and ’90s (including Sega Megadrive pads and existing Amiga mice and paddles).

Continue reading Amiga CD32 Special

Tony Crowther Week

Born in Sheffield in 1965, Antony Crowther is a prolific and highly-regarded British video games designer/programmer who has had success across a number of different platforms.

Crowther is particularly well known for his Commodore 64 games, although he has worked on pretty much every gaming system known to man. He still designs and programs games to this day.

Continue reading Tony Crowther Week

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).

Continue reading Commodore 16/Plus4 Special

Jonathan Smith’s Classic ZX Spectrum Games

A British programmer/developer who made a name for himself with his very first game, Pud Pud, which was published by Ocean Software for the ZX Spectrum in 1984. Smith was just 17 at the time Pud Pud was released, but was fortuitous in that his pitch to Ocean, and them signing him up as ‘talent’, was all filmed and later broadcast on television in an episode of BBC TV’s Commercial Breaks, which gave him an instant profile to an appreciative audience. Bob Wakelin‘s ace cover art also did Smith‘s early games a lot of good.

Unfortunately Jonathan Smith isn’t with us any longer; he sadly passed away in 2010, but I do know – from having read a few interviews with Smith – that he was very embarrassed about his appearance on Commercial Breaks. Which is a pity because he was great in it. And he really put himself on the map by agreeing to do it. Smith liked to work hard and “keep out of the limelight” as much as possible, and seemed to be a humble man. His work on a series of classic ZX Spectrum games will never be forgotten.

Between 1984 and 1988 Smith programmed 13 games for the Spectrum. At least five of which could be considered ‘all-time classics’.

LISTS: as created by The King of Grabs, in chronological order:

Pud Pud (1984)
Kong Strikes Back (1984)
Mikie (1985)
Hyper Sports (1985)
Daley Thompson’s Supertest (1985)
Street Hawk: Subscriber Edition (1985)
Cobra (1986)
Green Beret (1986)
Terra Cresta (1986)
Hysteria (1987)
Batman: The Caped Crusader (1988)
Firefly (1988)
Hyper Active (1988)

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan M. “Joffa” Smith (1 February 1967 – 26 June 2010).

To Infinity And Beyond: The Infinity Engine Games

The Infinity Engine by BioWare is synonymous with great RPGs. You think Infinity Engine, you think Planescape: Torment, or Baldur’s Gate. Or Icewind Dale. All great level-grinding adventures and all published by Interplay in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Continue reading To Infinity And Beyond: The Infinity Engine Games

10 Best Prince of Persia Conversions

LISTS: as decided by His Majesty The King of Grabs, in order of greatness:

1. Super Nintendo (1992)
2. PC Engine/Turbografx-16 (1991)
3. Commodore 64 (2011)
4. PC MS-DOS (1990)
5. Atari ST (1990)
6. Amiga (1990)
7. Sega CD (1992)
8. Sharp X68000 (1991)
9. ZX Spectrum (1996)
10. Megadrive/Genesis (1993)

And of course there’s always the Apple II original, which is ‘The Daddy’ of them all.

All Hail The Prince of Persia, and all hail Jordan Mechner!

More: Prince of Persia on Wikipedia

All versions of Prince of Persia on The King of Grabs:
Apple II, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, PC MS-DOS, SAM Coupé, Sharp X68000, PC Engine/Turbografx-16, Sega Master System, Sega CD, Game Boy, Super Nintendo, Nintendo Entertainment System, Megadrive/Genesis, Game Boy Color, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum

Prince-of-Persia-Cover-Apple-2

10 Best Spy Hunter Conversions

LISTS: as decided by The King of Grabs, in order of greatness:

These are just an opinion, but please do feel free to comment with your opinions. Unless you’re a comment spammer. In which case: do feel free to f*ck off…

Bally Midway‘s classic Spy Hunter is a brilliant overhead race game with guns and bumping cars and speed boats and chasing helicopters, and general high-speed excitement. It is such a good game that it has been converted to pretty much every gaming system known to man.

Here’s our rundown of the top 10 Spy Hunter conversions…

1. Nintendo Entertainment System < Probably the most fun
2. Atari 800 << Better than most
3. Commodore 64 <<< Entertaining
4. ZX Spectrum <<<< A fun conversion
5. ColecoVision <<<<< Pretty good
6. Amstrad CPC <<<<<< Reasonable
7. Atari 2600 <<<<<<< Basic
8. BBC Micro <<<<<<<< Forgettable
9. Apple II <<<<<<<< Rubbish
10. PC MS-DOS <<<<<<<<< Utterly terrible

And, of course, not forgetting the utterly brilliant arcade original.

More: Spy Hunter on Wikipedia

Spy Hunter Amstrad CPC 01