Thursday, 21 April 2016

Name The Game - ZX Spectrum - Part Two

More fun with my second ZX Spectrum Screenshot Quiz. There are just 20 screenshots this time, again not all from classic games by, but I did play them back in the day so I would say this was moderately difficult.

So let's see how you do. Either give your answers in the comments here or on the Retro Rekall Page or the Retro Rekall Group or even on my personal Facebook page. Don't worry, if you need to send me a friend request I'll accept. I'm going to post up just the screenshots too on Facebook if that makes answering easier. Good Luck :)

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Top 30 Arcade Games from the Silver Age (1986-1995)

As promised here is the follow up to The Top 30 Golden Age Video Games (1978-1985).

The period from 1986 up to 1995 is, in my mind, the silver age of arcade video games. Improved graphics and sound but less inventiveness. Specific genres of video games were cemented in the psyche by this time. Shoot'em ups, Beat'em ups, Platform and Racing games ruled the roost. At this point I had a terrible job and the arcade after work was my chill out time until Saturday afternoon came along. But in the evenings sometimes I was the only person in the whole arcade.

Towards the end of the eighties I went to college to improve my skills in the hope of getting a much better job. There I met a bunch of friends who also enjoyed video games. We regularly visited the arcades after lectures to play games like Double Dragon and my personal favourite, the game I could make 10p last for three quarters of an hour, 1943. I also remember watching a guy play Dragons Lair and completing it, without even looking at the screen.

But still the slow down was obvious. People had home consoles and computers which were proving much more popular than a visit to the arcade. By the time the Sony Playstation came along everybody had one and nobody went to the arcades anymore. The arcade game manufacturers tried to create games that would be difficult to physically reproduce at home but even this didn't halt the decline. Instead of a weekly pastime arcades became something you checked out whilst on an annual holiday. The arcades were dead. But they would return.

So without further ado here are my Top 30 Silver Age Video Games. Note this is my own personal list and if you don't agree with it, which you probably won't with it being subjective an all, it would be great to see your comments.

Number 30 - Robocop - 1988, Data East

Based on the violent sci-fi action movie of the same name. Side scrolling run and gun game where you can punch and shoot enemies and take on the end of level bosses to save old Detroit. I preferred to just watch more skillful players on this rather than play it myself, but it looked pretty good.

Number 29 - U.N. Squadron - 1989 , Capcom

Take on helicopters, tanks and gun emplacements in this side scrolling shooter with huge end of level bosses to deal with too. A bit run of the mill but I still enjoyed it a lot.

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Retro Japan Computer Special - Fujitsu FM Towns (Aka. FMT) + Games

One of the last unique Japanese PC variants before companies moved their focus into producing IBM PC clones. Fujitsu produced the top selling FM-7 before the NEC's PC-8801 came along. NEC also produced the PC-9801 which, at one point, had over 70% of the market in Japan. So Fujitsu decided to produce a computer with better graphics, better sound and innovative multimedia features to rival NEC's best seller.

They came up with the FM-Towns which included a CD-ROM drive as a standard component, along with a mouse-driven OS, 24-bit color, and PCM sound. Even though it was superior to the PC-9801 in many ways it was unable to knock it off the top spot. Around 4 years after it's initial release Fujitsu even released a games console that was compatible with existing FM-Towns software called the FM-Towns Marty. Eventually with the addition of a DOS/V mode switch the computer began to resemble yet another IBM PC clone and lost much of it's uniqueness.


CPU: Intel 80386
Memory: 1-6 Mb RAM
Resolution: 640 x 480, 640 x 400, 360 x 240, 320 x 240
Sound: 8 channels PCM (19.2 KHz) + 6 channels PCM

Many western games were released for the FM-Towns along with a lot of Japanese hentai games. The games I'm going to show here will be in neither of those categories as they're either too well known in the western world or just not something I'd be interesting in playing.

So here are thirty great games, in alphabetical order, that you can play on the FM Towns. If you have a PC you can also play these games using the Unz emulator found here

Alltynex - Siter Skain 1997

A top-down vertical shooter developed by Satoshi Yoshida, of Siter Skain fame, where The fighter can change into a more powerful but slower mech.

Dead of the Brain - Fairytale 1993

A horror adventure game where interaction is via verb commands and objects on the screen. One feature is timed tasks where the player has to solve problems before zombies kill people.