Posts Tagged ‘80s games’


2 April, 2018


Yes, I this bloggo is still “going”. No, I don’t update this blog nearly as much as I ought to because I’m procrastinatory (is that a word) and occasionally lazy.

Anyway, there’s a point to this mild bout of self-loathing mixed with apology.

Airwolf was an American TV show of the ’80s about some dick (called “Stringfellow Hawke”, which was surely a “cool” alias with his real name being Butterby Smallweed or something) with a helicopter that was better than most helicopters because “secret” or something, I can’t remember the details because it was all very silly* but it was popular with kids of a certain age. Naturally, that meant an 8-bit video game was licensed and produced, also called Airwolf. Unlike far too many ’80s licenses, it bore some relation to the TV series. It was also joystick-chuckingly, teeth-grindingly fucking difficult and involved having to penetrate some “base” defended by self-replicating blue walls and massive satellite dishes and other crazy nonsense of the type created by 80s programmers pressurised by their 80s bosses with chunky mobile phones, gelled hair and braces harassing them about “deadlines” and “Mr Udagawa”.

Anyway, many many years later when those kids have all grown up and got a bit fat and bald, someone’s gone and modded the original game. But not, as you might think, to make it easier. No, instead to make the helicopter actually look like the one from the TV show and to add some sweet AY music doing a close approximation of the series’ ace title music. If you want to beat the game you’ll still have to “git gud” “bro'” (something something “60fps HD”).

Linky and details here.

*I’m sure Ernest Borgnine featured in there as well, he always did back then

“Itsa me, I’m a lady!”

13 March, 2013

PaulineI’m sure most of you have seen this already, but if you haven’t take a look at this hack of Donkey Kong with the gender roles reversed.

Now we just need a hack of the Temple of Doom arcade machine where a small child with a whip rescues dozens of captured American archaeologists in fedoras.

Rampant Ninja-related crimes these days…

4 March, 2013

“I’m going to beat up these ninjas, then I’m going to break-dance beside a really really big ghetto blaster!”

Discovering that games you’ve known for ages and been a bit dismissive of before are actually quite good, an occasional series.

This last couple of days I’ve really been enjoying playing Dragon Ninja (known in that America as Bad Dudes vs Dragonninja). I’ve been playing it for years and never really cared all that much for it thinking of it as a piece of nostalgic fluff but the other day something clicked and I got right into it.

I think the main secret of enjoying Dragon Ninja is really simple: play it using only the one coin and don’t use continues. When you aren’t able to just stick another credit in and play on it stops being so straightforward and actually becomes both challenging and highly enjoyable. For an ’80s coin-op game it’s also really fair on you, giving you plenty of opportunities to avoid the bad guys and get a swift kick in there before they do the same to you.

It’s also charmingly of it’s time, with its cheesy Reagan-referencing storyline and the “bad dudes” late-80s get-up (white jeans!). I also love the motorway-set second level (something very similar also appears in the Gameboy colour take on Shinobi) and the way that it’s basically similar bad guys all the way through. It really feels like you’re taking on a massive hoard of ninjas.

Still can’t get past the multiplying ninja-bloke at the end of stage 3, though.

Now with added extra stuff!

29 October, 2012

Ere, oo’ be you?

As another stop-gap post in the “Matty plays the Humble Bundle” series (and I’ve been busying myself writing the next, erm, write-up for that so don’t worry) I thought I’d write a post about something which has been interesting me recently about arcade conversions for home computers/consoles in the misty mists of yesteryear. Reader, I’m talking about exclusive extra content. For example:

The Sega Megadrive version of Mercs has a whole alternative version of the game to play alongside the arcade orignal.

The Megadrive version of the stupidly-named shooter Slap Fight has the same.

Bignonia’s unofficial Amiga conversions of the C64 version of conversions of old arcade machines (did that make sense?) include extra levels, including a whole new stage for their conversion of Donkey Kong.

The Gameboy Advance cartridge Arcade Advance features conversions of a number of ’80s arcade games but using the Konami Code reveals a whole bunch of alternative and enhanced versions including Rush’n’Attack/Green Beret having additional levels.

I seem to remember reading that the Megadrive version of Golden Axe features an additional level.

As I discovered on YouTube today, the Sega Master System version of R-Type has a new hidden level.

Can anyone think of any others? I’ll post more here under the appropriate tag as I discover/remember them.

“How do you make it play games, sir?” – Daredevil Dennis

21 May, 2012

“They shouldn’t have put Dennis in the water if they didn’t want him to make waves”

Daredevil Dennis. If there was ever a name that someone who works as a stuntman for a living shouldn’t have it’s Dennis. Max would work, or Butch, or even Mark. But not Dennis. Never mind the Beano character in the Franz Ferdinand jumper, Dennis just isn’t a very “hard” name, it’s a name for people who work shop floors or in banks. It’s not designed for people who look the world in the eye. Has there ever been a monarch or dictator called Dennis? Exactly.

I’m drifting. Daredevil Dennis is a brilliantly simple game for the BBC Micro and, after an awful lot of humming and hawing (Exile, which for a long time was intended to be the final game in this series, is just too damn complicated and I really can’t be arsed with complicated games most of the time, Dragon Rider which was briefly going to be its replacement is utter shit), it’s the game I’m going to be talking about today.

There’s not an awful lot to say, and I mean that in the best possibly way. DD (as I’m now going to annoyingly call it) has only three control keys – accelerate, break and jump. Taking control of the titular stuntman astride a motorbike, the player must complete a series of levels in which Dennis needs to perform a number of stunts (such as leaping a house or, erm, dodging under a massive bouncing policeman) in order to proceed to the next scene in which he will do much the same, often with different vehicles (speedboat, skis). The player earns money (ie score points) for performing these stunts and can obtain a little more by collecting yellow packages dropped by a helicopter although these sometimes knock Dennis for six instead, as does the chopper itself if Dennis happens to be doing one of his leaps around the same time as its flying overhead. If it looks like such a collision is on the cards and Dennis needs to leap an obstacle then the player can hit the “brake” key and he’ll stop, although he only seems to be able to do this once per level. The player has three “takes” (each one delivered with a nice little clapperboard animation) to get things right before being fired and, presumably, Daredevil Butch finishing Furious Man Jumps The Lighthouse And Bouncy Ball in 3D instead.

DD is addictive and fun for two simple reasons: it’s very easy to play and its very tricky. Even when you do master it there are several skill levels to test your mettle. Straightforward, easy to play, difficult to master, completely daft and above all fun. What videogames ought to be, in short.