This month in... C&VG '89
C&VG were giving away a Body Rap toy which would be strapped to your body and emit audio (bass, drum, snare, cymbal etc) when hit. They described it as a “neat little gizmo” but I can’t imagine it being anything other than dreadful.
The Amiga, ST and Amstrad versions of Titus’ car racing game "Crazy Cars II" were on the shelves, with the C64 due this month.
German software house Rainbow Arts were to release "Spherical”, a Gauntlet-style game, and "The Game" which promised to be a “space battle spectacular.”
"Technocop" from Gremlin would see the player chasing down criminals in car and on-foot sections.
France’s top gaming mag TILT held their annual awards, with UK software houses & developers doing well:
- Best Graphics: ”Rocket Ranger" Cinemaware/Mirrorsoft
- Best Animation: "Virus" David Braben/Firebird
- Best Strategy: "Tetris" Mirrorsoft
- Atmospheric Soundtrack: "Dungeon Master" FTL
- Best Shoot ‘Em Up: "Star Ray" Logotron
- Arcade Adaptation: "Operation Wolf" Ocean, "Buggy Boy" Elite
- Sports Simulation: ”Porsche Turbo Cup" Loricels
- Arcade Action Game: "Barbarian 2" Palace
- Original Action Game: "Carrier Command" Realtime/Rainbird, "Tetris" Mirrorsoft
- Action Game: "Nebulus" Hewson
- Best Educational: "Rody et Mastico" Lankhor
- Best Adventure in English: "Corruption" Magnetic Scrolls/Rainbird
- Best Adventure in French: "L’arche du Capitaine Blood" Ere
- Best Hope for the Future: "Thunderblade" Sega/US Gold
- Best Flight Sim: "F18" Electronic Arts
- Best Utility: “Gamme Cyber” Antic
Titan Books announced a new cheap pocket sized line of “famous incidents” from 2000AD comics.
A correction came from Marc Ullrech, MD at Rainbow Arts, concerning “Giana Sisters II” and "Katakis”. The former had been cancelled as they weren’t happy with the quality of it. It sounded like a departure from the controversial first game - understandable given the legal issues they ran in to. “Katakis” would now only be sold in Germany (again, due to legal issues), with a new (very similar) game, "Denaris”, to be released in conjunction with US Gold at the start of the year.
In a surprising move, Interplay split from Electronic Arts. EA had handled all their publishing and marketing, but after the success of games like "Bard’s Tale”, "Wasteland" and "Battle Chess" it was time to go it alone. Brian Fargo was quick to put an end to rumours that they would be continuing to work on “Bard’s Tale” and “Wasteland” games: “If we were to bring out sequels, then we’re just giving games to our rivals.”
Martin Walker was looking for a publisher for his new game, "Citadel”.
Just in time for Christmas was a Spitting Image “Giant Komik Book”.
C&VG apologised for calling Taito’s new coin-op “Continental Circus” rather than “Continental Circuit”.
Two guys from Teque had formed Chrysalis and their first game would be "Prison" for the Amiga and ST.
Dino Riders were apparently the hot toy this Christmas.
The C&VG staff listed what they each wanted for Christmas. Amongst Julian Rignall’s wishes: a Harley Davidson, a Eugene Jarvis arcade machine, a video camera and a chimpanzee.
There was a round up of the current compilation offerings with “Ultimate: The Collected Works” coming out on top with 98%.
This month's bumper movie section featured: “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, “Willow”, “Just Ask for Diamond”, “Blue Jean Cop”, “Call Me”, “Sunset”, “Like Father Like Son”, “Moonwalker” and “The Nature of the Beast”.
C&VG’s Nick Kelly visited the Amusement Machines Show in Tokyo to check out the latest and greatest console offerings. Nintendo admitted their line up was looking a little lacklustre, but were tight lipped on any 16bit plans. Meanwhile, Sega had already launched the Megadrive in Japan; though with the Master System having recently arrived in the UK, it looked like Brits would have a little while to wait. The PC Engine continued to impress, especially with the new CD-ROM add on.
John Minson put aside the ranting for a month to present the first annual C&VG panto.
- "Thunderblade" US Gold - Spectrum 82% ST 66% “The Sprectrum version is very good. It’s monochromatic, and consequently dodging missles is tricky because you can’t see them, but the gameplay is slightly better and more challenging than the ST, and the movement and response is much quicker!”
- "Lombard RAC Rally" Mandarin - ST 83% “Racing itself is fast and thrilling, with the best controls I’ve encountered in any computer race game. The highly convincing car interior (every dial works) and the realistic driver work extremely well, and the whole thing is enjoyable, thoroughly engrossing, and comes highly recommended.“ (Amiga version was pretty much the same, but with better graphics and sound)
- "Robocop" Ocean - Spectrum 95% Game of the Month “Robocop is one of my favourite films, and Ocean’s tie-in captures its atmosphere perfectly - I don’t think they could have done a better job… This is definitely the best film tie-in to date, and is an utterly superb game in its own right - don’t miss it.“
- "Zak McKraken and the Alien Mindbenders" Lucasfilm/US Gold - C64 85% C&VG Hit “The game is very, very funny… The puzzles are well thought out; never too difficult as to oppress, but hard enough to keep you thinking.“
- "Falcon" Mirrorsoft - ST 93% C&VG Hit “One of the things that makes Falcon special is its very fast (just spot that MiG fly past), smooth and uncannily realistic graphics. The feeling of distance is quite amazing, helped by the clever use of shadows and incredible detail.“
- "Battle Chess" Interplay/EA - Amiga 84% “Battle Chess is a game built around a gimmick, and like all gimmicks its novelty does eventually wear off. "
- "Colossus X" CDS - ST/Amiga 91% “Despite its traditional exterior, Colossus Chess X proved to be a better all-round program [compared to Battle Chess]. The sharper display and the ‘learn as it plays’ feature made it the more user-friendly of the two and has been the most played chess program in my flat of late.”
- "Neuromancer" Interplay/EA - C64 90% C&VG Hit “I’m not going to say Neuromancer is the best game I’ve ever played - it’s just very, very good. It takes a little while to fully understand exactly what is going on and what exactly you’re doing, but it’s worth it in the end.“
- "Times of Lore" Chris Roberts/Origin - C64 97% “Ultima V is being praised as Origin’s best ever product, but only if you’re into RPG’s. TOL is Origin proving to the world that RPGs can have a mass appeal and can be obtainable, even by cassette users.“
- "Rocket Ranger" Cinemaware/Mirrorsoft
- "Battle Chess" Interplay/Electronic Arts
- "Interceptor" Electronic Arts