Categories
Games

Retro Asylum on Stunt Car Racer

The guys on the Retro Asylum podcast played Stunt Car Racer this month. That game is one of my favourites. A wild roller coaster of a game where you literally drive a car around a roller coaster.

I played the C64 version for hours on end and listening to them prompted me to set up FS-UAE again as I wanted to try out the Amiga version once more. I think I’ve only ever played that version in emulation as I didn’t have the game when I had an Amiga 500.

Anyway, FS-UAE is a great emulator based on the Winuae Amiga emulator. It uses openretro.org for database files including graphics and game information which is really helpful. It’s sort of an Amiga version of Gamebase64! Here’s a video describing how to set it up. I’ll leave it up to you to find the games and everything else but it’s not hard to find them.

Stunt Car Racer is an amazing game, and in my opinion still holds up today as a decent game. Sure, the graphics are simplistic, sound is limited but what is there is superbly polished.

The Amiga and Atari ST versions even had simultaneous multiplayer which I sadly never experienced but I’d love to know if FS-UAE could handle using some sort of virtual null modem cable to connect emulators on two machines together. It does emulate the Amiga serial port so there might be hope for the future. I found this thread about Winuae but people there didn’t have much luck.

So, what does Stunt Car Racer look like? Here’s someone who doesn’t know how to play it but he’s very entertaining and he learns as he goes..

The game is set on a roller coaster. Timing and speed are everything. You have to hit ramps at the right speed to jump gaps, and failing to line up a turn or a jump in time would result in a crash.

Here’s a much better driver, including the TNT version which I haven’t played yet but looks hard as nails!

[1] This game was created by AmiGer/CARE (http://www.discreetfx.com/care/) by modifying the original game Stunt Car Racer. The TNT of the title stands for “The New Tracks”. A track designer was written in Delphi and used to create 8 new tracks to race. The title screen and menu screen have been modified, as well as the colour palette. [2] The disk version has the track colours incorrect in the track preview window – they retain the reds from the original. The WHDLoad version fixes this problem. [3] 2-player mode via null-modem connection.

This is one of the few games I play exclusively with the keyboard. Start a race and press “p” to pause, then f1 to redefine the keys. I usually use , . t g [space] and then press o to unpause.

Stunt Car Racer appeared on multiple platforms: Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Speccy, and Amstrad machines all had versions. Here’s a video comparing them. It’s amazing what Geoff Crammond and porting teams did back then!

Earlier this year, (2019 for those coming across this post in the future), the game was ported to the BBC Master and it flies along!

That looks way smoother and faster than the C64 version!

There is a sort-of modern remake. The game Assetto Corsa features the first track!

Stunt Car Racer is an amazing racing game. Track down the Amiga version, fire up Winuae or FS-UAE and give it a whirl. You’ll love it!

Categories
Games Music

Megablast Banjo Remix

Here’s rather impressive remix of the Xenon 2 Megablast main title tune created by a talented banjo player!

Long time readers may remember I used the original music in a video for a short but fun game of Bad Company 2. We joined a game with nobody on the other side so we had fun with the crates, grenades, bullets and smoke. Looking at the date on the video I can’t believe that was almost six years ago!

Categories
Games

I was a big fan of Stunt Car Racer on th…

I was a big fan of Stunt Car Racer on the C64, and later played it on the Amiga too but I never knew about Stunt Car Racer TNT.

TNT is an extra tracks mod of the Amiga version released a few years ago by AmiGer. Here’s his announcement post:

Stunt Car Racer TNT (The New Tracks) will be released around christmas.

Modifications

Eight new tracks:
DIZZY DESCENT, WITTY WAY, CRAZY CAPER, AMAZING ADEPT, JERKILY JUMP, EVILLY EPISODE, TEASING TEMPER and RAT RACE

Track parameters changed:
start positions, start height, damage sensitivity, boost count

AI speed adjusted/changed for all tracks

Some visual adjustments
e.g. race colours, track names gfx dropped, title screen modified etc.

AGA fixed

Cracked 🙂

Long time readers will know my dislike for Blur and I’ve hardly played NFS Hot Pursuit since I got it last month but Stunt Car Racer gripped me like no other racer since. It required perfectly timed boosts, cornering and was literally a rollercoaster of a ride.

Categories
Games

Cannon Fodder theme by Press Play On Tape

Thanks David for the comment linking to this video. It’s so great it deserves a post of it’s own.

Press Play On Tape get on stage with Jon Hare and play the Cannon Fodder theme with game controllers. Playstation and Xbox controllers of various types were used as well as a retro arcade joystick played by Jon.

It’s well worth watching even if you don’t remember the game!

Categories
Games

Extreme Cannon Fodder

David produced a montage of great clips from Geoff’s Youtube channel and played the old Cannon Fodder theme tune in the background. I can’t believe this hasn’t been done before but maybe the average Youtuber is too young to remember this classic Amiga game!

Geoff himself used the same tune in this Squad Rush video as he and his team annihilated the opposition. Cannon fodder indeed!

Montage clips are from Modern Warfare 2 and Bad Company 2 of course. If you’re curious, here’s the Cannon Fodder intro and here’s some gameplay from the game. Great game, but I always preferred Syndicate.

Categories
Games

Hours of fun with Syndicate

Syndicate

  1. Have Macbook. Check.
  2. Have DOSBox. Check.
  3. Have external mouse. Check.
  4. Have Syndicate. Check.

Syndicate is a game I played a lot in the early nineties. I was never any good at games (some things never change!), but this is one of the few games I stuck with and managed to finish. The original game came out in 1993 for DOS and the Amiga. It was on the Amiga that I first came across it but the DOS version is easier to run these days. Luckily both versions are exactly the same.

What do you need? First of all, download the latest version of DOSBox. It’s available for Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and many other operating systems.

Now look for the game itself. You can download Syndicate in many places so search for it using Google. Some would describe it as abandonware as the game can’t be bought any more but it’s a legal grey area. Bullfrog still own the copyright to the game so if you don’t own a copy downloading it is, strictly speaking, an act of piracy.

Unzip Syndicate in a convenient location and launch DOSBox. The familiar DOS prompt will open, on the Z: drive so mount the Syndicate directory using the command of the same name. If you’ve installed it in /games/Syndicate/ use the following:

mount c /games/Syndicate

Now change to drive C using

c:

You may need to edit synd.bat if it’s there (to set up your sound card) or just run main.exe as I did. The game will launch and probably run a little too quickly. Slow it down with CTRL-F11, and use ALT-Enter to enter fullscreen mode. CTRL-F12 will speed it up again, handy for researching new weapons and mods. 🙂

In fullscreen mode, you’ll swear you’re using an Amiga again! Enjoy what must be one of the best shoot ’em ups, ever!

There’s also an opensource version of Syndicate. It hasn’t been updated since 2007 though. Anyone with game coding experience want to lend a hand?

As a special bonus, here’s the Atlantic Accelerator. It’s the very last level in the original Syndicate. This guy makes it appear really easy but it’s not. This level takes quite a bit of time to master! Just read his video description for all that he went through.

Or better yet, check out this video of American Revolt. Wow, all those enemy syndicate guys descend on you like flies to a …

Categories
Games

Batman: Arkham Asylum reviews roll in

Oh yes, I remember well the original Batman The Movie game. Bloody good it was, even if I didn’t get that far in it. Amazing music to top it all off. I can still hear the first level beat in my head all these years later.
I only played it on the C64 but the Zzap 64! screenshots of the Amiga version had me wishing I owned the more powerful 16 bit machine.

Batman The Movie, C64
Batman The Movie, C64

Batman The Movie, Amiga
Batman The Movie, Amiga

Actually, I remember seeing the flip screen Batman The Caped Crusader on someone’s Amstrad CPC 464 too but I never got into that sort of thing myself.

This year’s “Batman: Arkham Asylum” is another story altogether. I played the demo on Xbox Live last weekend and was blown away first by the amazing intro and the visuals, but then by how easy it was to swing from Gargoyle to Gargoyle, doing the Batman thing! The demo itself isn’t that long but it’s a great taster for what’s to come!

batman attack

The guys at Joystiq loved the game too, giving the game a very favourable review, even going so far as to say,

Easily the best video game 2009 has had to offer thus far.

The game’s Metacritic score has hit a very impressive 91 putting it in the 20 of Xbox 360 games.

Yes, of course the game is on my wishlist. Now if only there were 26 hours in a day…

PS. Just in case you’re not convinced, check out this metareview of lots of other glowing reviews. I want!

Categories
demoscene

State of the Art by Spaceballs

This Amiga demo blew me away when I first saw it. There are better ones out there but I think the dancing figures were such an unusual feature at the time it struck a chord with a lot of people.

Check out the follow up demo, Nine Fingers and other releases by Spaceballs. Of course, you should grab the original disks for State of the Art and 9 Fingers and watch on a real Amiga rather than watching a low quality Youtube video!

Categories
Games

Xenon 2 Megablast

Xenon 2 Megablast. If you know this game, you’ll know the soundtrack. This game by The Bitmap Brothers had great title music by “Bomb The Bass”. It was a shoot ’em up released in 1989 although I didn’t play it until years later when I played it on the Atari ST and years later before I’d play it on the Amiga. The Amiga version is widely regarded as the best version and if you look around you can find the adf download fairly easily.

Hand on heart, I have to admit I didn’t like this game much. I love the genre and I’ll happily blast away at Armalyte(C64) or Raiden(Arcade) but Xenon 2 just never did it for me. I do love the soundtrack though!

Here’s a longplay of Xenon 2 in WinUAE. It’s over 48 minutes long but watch a bit of it and you’ll get a taster for the gameplay!

The Bitmap Brothers have created an updated Xenon game, Xenon 2000 but it’s Windows only so I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried it! As luck would have it, someone has created a video of the new game. It’s more a demo than anything else by the looks of things unfortunately.

So, what are your favourite shoot ’em ups? In no particular order mine would probably be:

  1. Armalyte
  2. Syndicate
  3. Raiden
  4. Quake
  5. Half Life

Geometry Wars Galaxies is almost there but it’s too new. I’ll have to wait a few years before I decide if it goes on the list or not!