Review: C64 – The Last Amazon Trilogy

January 24, 2010

Let’s go back… to the days of Informer & Rhythm is a Dancer

The Last Amazon & its sequel, were originally produced in 1993 for the Psytronik label. Alf Yngve had already made quite a name for himself in the Shoot ’em up Construction Kit (SEUCK) scene, with playable games that often went beyond the usual expectations. But due to a lack of advertising budget, the Commodore 64’s dwindling market share, and a reluctance in the market to pay for ‘enhanced SEUCK games’, Psytronik’s business model was in real trouble. The Last Amazon games were never finished for commercial release. But instead of simply disappearing, they were distributed free on the front of Commodore Zone magazine.

Fifteen years later, emulation and the internet had both helped to re-invigorate the C64 scene, and Psytronik Software rose from the dead. CEO Jason ‘Kenz’ Mackenzie found the old Amazon games, and in late 2008, set to work on improving them. He added new loading screens. He asked ‘SEUCK powerup maker’ Shaun Coleman to add extra weapons to the Amazon games. (The Shoot em Up Construction Kit never included ‘weapon upgrades’). Richard Bayliss (of Sub Hunter fame) added fancy new frontends to the games, plus some music (in the style of Matt Gray).

If that’s not enough, Last Amazon creator Alf Yngve had another ace up his sleeve. He obtained a copy of Jon Wells’ Sideways SEUCK editor. This modification of the original editor allows the creation of horizontally scolling games. Alf utilised the sprites and background graphics from the first Last Amazon game and created a brand new sideways scrolling ‘Special Edition’. Thus, THE LAST AMAZON TRILOGY was created.

I’m going to review each game individually, starting with the original…

Read the rest of this entry »

Sad week for claymation fans

January 14, 2010

Gumby playing my baby Galaga cabinet

Like most videogame bloggers, I have a list of ‘games I’d like to make one day’ floating around my head. And one of them would be a Gumby videogame. (Actually I just found out that there’s already been one released on Gameboy Advance… that’ll teach me to not buy any Nintendo handhelds…)

For those of you unfamiliar with the lil’ guy, a quick read of Gumby’s wikipedia article should get you in the mood for watching an episode or 2 on Youtube.

But this week is a sad week for fans of his green bendiness. Gumby’s creator Art Clokey passed away. Here’s the coverage on Boing Boing & ABC news.

He was a real legend in claymation, that’s for sure.

*Strange but true: My only ever paid nightclub DJ gig was NYE 1995, at Melbourne’s Retro nightclub, under the moniker of DJ Gumby. I played Gumby videos on the big screen, wore a Gumby T-shirt & had little gumby figurines around the DJ booth.

Why didn’t I think of this? Episode 329 in the series.

January 14, 2010

Talented retrogaming blogger Gnome has returned from his army duties, and launched yet another blog.

It’s a piece of genius.

Walls of Gaming is a blog that posts wallpaper (the computer, not paper-based, kind) that is…

  1. About videogames
  2. Free

So far, Gnome’s covered retrogaming (SMB, Maniac Mansion), contemporary (Uncharted 2, No More Heroes) & Indie (Machinarium) titles. This blog deserves a heap of traffic.

Visit. Download. Be Merry.