Tag Archives: Wizards

Gemfire, Super Nintendo

Gemfire is a turn-based medieval strategy game developed and published by Koei. It was first released for the NES/Famicom in 1991 and given an updated Super Nintendo release in 1992.

The NES and Super Nintendo versions are essentially the same game, but the SNES version has updated graphics and sound.

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Gemfire, NES/Famicom

Gemfire is a fantasy, turn-based, conquest/strategy war game developed and published by Koei for the NES/Famicom and first released in 1991. It is known as Royal Blood in its native Japan and was called Gemfire for its North American English language release.

The game is similar to the classic Defender of the Crown, in that the aim is to dominate a map of territories that are occupied by opponent’s castles and armies.

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South Park: The Stick of Truth, PC

South Park: The Stick of Truth is a – gasp – turn-based RPG based on the popular South Park animated series. It was developed by Obsidian and published by Ubisoft in 2014. It was co-written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, co-creators of South Park, and is a hilarious level-grinder with tons of detail, loads of quests, graphics that are identical to the TV show, and all the voices that South Park fans have come to know and love (most provided by Stone and Parker).

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Pentagram, Atari 8-Bit

Created by Jose Pereira, Miker, and Mariuszw in 2016, this Atari -8-bit homebrew conversion of Ultimate‘s Pentagram is not a bad effort overall. It seems to run slightly faster than the ZX Spectrum original, although it’s probably fair to say that it also inherits its shortcomings.

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Knight Lore, Atari 8-Bit

This conversion of the classic Knight Lore was ported to the 8-bit Atari by Krzysztof Dudek, Mario Krix, and Michal Radecki in 2008. And it’s another somewhat disappointing conversion, to be honest.

What I find frustrating about these homebrew conversions is how the programmers sometimes decide to change things to the detriment to the game, and don’t seem to realise that their choices are bad…

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Knight Lore Retrospec Remake, PC

Some Retrospec remakes are very good, but occasionally they get it wrong and put something out that doesn’t really work. Knight Lore and Alien 8 are two Retrospec remakes of Ultimate games that just do not work as well as the originals.

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Pentagram, Commodore 64

Ultimate Play the Game‘s isometric platform adventure, Pentagram, was never officially released for the Commodore 64, so fans took it upon themselves to convert it themselves, some thirty years after its original release. This port was released in 2017 by Rod & Emu.

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Pentagram, MSX

Pentagram was released for the MSX in 1986, and it’s not really an Ultimate game, in truth, because it wasn’t written by the original Ultimate team; it’s a US Gold game. It’s not a bad game, though, even though it doesn’t have the flair or humour of an authentic Ultimate game.

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Knight Lore, Commodore 64

This 2019 Commodore 64 homebrew conversion of the classic Knight Lore is arguably even better than the brilliant ZX Spectrum original. Spectrum owners will not want to hear that, but – being objective – this port does make the game more enjoyable to play. I also managed to get further into the game than I ever managed on the Spectrum, although I did use quick saves (but no cheats).

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Vampire: Master of Darkness, Game Gear

Let’s not beat around the bush: Vampire: Master of Darkness is a blatant rip-off of Castlevania, but it’s a good one. It was developed by SIMS Co., Ltd. and published by Sega for the Master System and Game Gear in 1992.

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