A day of retro gaming

Whilst I gradually use up the rest of my annual leave, i’m managing to get some personal projects started up again, updates to GTW and also a bit of retro gaming in, as well as some modern gaming. The one thing which is pretty tricky is deciding on what game exactly to play due to the tens of thousands of titles out there across a variety of platforms (And of course it is a problem which will continue to grow over the years).

In recent times i’ve been researching through old games magazines from the 80’s to recover information on games that have been missing and occasionally i’ll come across a review of a title which I haven’t played for a while. These i’ve been writing down and then loading up at the next opportunity. Normally I flag up particular titles with other gamers to check out, and thought "why not make use of the blog to share?" … so here is the first of hopefully a series of posts over time. Hopefully it may inspire you to load them up if you’re struggling on what game to load up and are spoilt for choice…

Game 1 – "Panther" (C64 – Mastertronic, 1986)

Never really played this back in the day, even though it was by the author of one of my favourite games (Blue Max). I recently decided to give it another go after reading an old review from Zzap 64 and spent a good hour trying to get good at it. You basically control a convoy which needs to scan across a waste land, picking up survivors and avoiding deadly swarms of attack waves. It’s sort of a mixture of "Blue Max 2001" and "Zaxxon" (which is ironic as both are by the same author), and a Andrew Braybrook game called "Intensity". Supported by a very good David Whittaker tune (one of his best), this is a brilliant budget title which is still reasonably fun to play.

Game 2 – "Terminator 2" (C64 – Ocean, 1991)

Bit of a nostalgia trip for me – the game and film coming out when I was about 9 / 10. I fancied digging this one out after watching the film on TV the other night. The game itself for me was a fairly good selection of typical Ocean styled sub games packaged into a reasonable representation of the film. The game become far more playable when I obtained it on Cartridge format with its instantaneous loading, and over the years i’ve had attempts to try and clock it. Yet still I am still stuck on the bloody Sarah Connor level where she must escape from the mental institute – those guards are still causing me nightmares and I always lose just as I get to the last corridor! It’s not particularly highly rated amongst most retro gamers, but i’ve got a soft spot for it due to being something I grew up with and wearing the old rose tinted specs once more…

Game 3 – "First Samurai" (C64 – Vivid Image, 1992)

Spent most of the afternoon trying to find a version which first of all loaded and also didn’t crash on my 1541U2. Finally managed and got to play a bit more of this excellent oriental arcade adventure. Think "Turrican 2" mixed with "Last Ninja" and you get "First Samurai". Although movement is a little sluggish, the game is very well done and is a great example of the C64 finishing on a high point towards the end of its commercial life. The levels are also huge!!

Game 4 – "Table Tennis" (Xbox 360 – Rockstar, 2006)

I heard good things about this game when I was getting my 360 a few years back, and picked it up for around £6 – which is a bargain! By the developers of GTA, Table Tennis is a superb simulation of the sport, but is also a lot of fun to play. I’ve constantly been playing it on and off over the past 3/4 years, and gradually mastering the higher levels. The game can be very tough, but it gives opportunity to become good and once you start beating the higher opposition, the game is very rewarding. It’s probably only a few quid now, so recommended to dig out the bargain bins.


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