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Past Featured Games

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Hawkeye

Hawkeye is a good game, with superb graphics and a parallax background. The music and FX are spot on, with gameplay that allows you to jump straight in and enjoy. BUT it soon becomes apparent that after a couple of goes it is a bit too simple and very repetitive. Run along a horizontal landscape following a flashing eagles eye to an object. Collect enough and it's on to the next level with exactly the same gameplay. Like I said before, good game, looks and sounds great but can become repetitive.

One question many a C64 fan ask and get the conspiracy theorists licking their lips. Why did Zzap! in issue 40 give it 96% and a Gold Medal? The simple answer could be simply they really did enjoy it and enjoy simple repetive games. Just like some people like to look at hexagons and move armies across a screen while others like to control a spaceship to face wave after wave of aliens.

The other reason is could it be to do with the fact that the Publishers that owns the company that made the game, Thalamus, publish the magazine as well and the best advertisement a game can get is a huge score? The fact that a reviewer in the early days of the magazine left to work for Thalamus? Or the author of Armalyte was given a contact at Thalamus by the Zzap! team to help him publish Armalyte. We'll never know but maybe one day on their death bed, a reviewer may tell us all.

Jun 06, 2014, submitted by FatherJack (57724)


Wizball

Some games make you wonder what went on during testing and Wizball is one of them. Commodore 64 Wizball is one of the best games on the machine but has probably one of the worst starts. I wonder who thought it would be a good idea to make the main hero hard to control to put people off. I wonder how many people during it's life time have not played it because of this which is a shame because once you collect a couple of power-ups it turns into such a great game. Put some colour into a level and you can select these power-ups to stay with you when you die. Can't imagine any other classic games trying so hard to put you off playing at the start to hide the great game it becomes.

May 30, 2014, submitted by FatherJack (57724)


Betrayal in Antara

When this game came out, the fame of Betrayal at Krondor was not omnipresent enough to ensure interest in a rather drab-looking old-fashioned RPG that didn't look very promising in the beginning. However, if you give it a chance, you'll see a wonderfully rich game with great writing, strong plot, plenty of side-questing, and clever gameplay. Undeniably underrated, and highly recommended for anybody who loved Betrayal at Krondor and wanted more of the same.

May 23, 2014, submitted by Cor 13 (172994)


International Soccer

International Soccer came along in the early days of the Commodore 64 on cartridge and became not just the best football game but one of the best C64 games for years. Easy to play, 9 skill levels and little graphical touches made this a joy to play. It would take Microprose Soccer and Emlyn Hughes International Soccer to lay claim to the crown of best football game on the C64 a couple of years later. Now a game this good so early, you would of thought this would set the blueprint on how a football game should be programmed but no, there were so many bad ones that you wondered why any were released. There aren't many good football games on the C64 let alone great ones so International Soccer can call itself the Daddy thanks to Andrew Spencer.

May 16, 2014, submitted by FatherJack (57724)

Guacamelee!: Gold Edition

There are three points I keep whining about when it comes to gaming in the last decade or so: The obsession with greyish-brown pseudo-photorealistic visuals; The OH-SO-SERIOUS, broody storylines; The hand-holding, granny's-first-videogame-is-the-new-hard gameplay.

Guacamelee! is a metroidvania that takes care of all three complaints in one swift motion before breaking a sweat: It's gorgeously colourful; it's out-and-out funny in ways no game has been for years; and the last time I remember having this kind of insane, controller-crushingly intense, masochistic FUN with a game was with Dark Souls; and before that, probably somewhere around the early 90s.

This is game design with such self-confidence that the player actually has to prove being worth of playing --and you will want to. This is the kind of game that hurts you because it loves you. And you WILL love it back. This is the kind of game old timers think of when they mourn about "the golden age of gaming".

Any gamer worth their salt needs to be playing Guacamelee! right now, and that's that.

May 09, 2014, submitted by Dr. M. "Schadenfreude" Von Katze (584)


Navy Seals

At the start of the 90s, Commodore saw to release a console called the C64GS which was short lived. Cartridge only, part of it's demise was the fact that you could play the cartridges on the standard C64. There was a brief moment in the early part of it's history where cartridges were available but were expensive to manufacture. Some major companies at the time of the revival were Ocean, Domark and System 3.

Ocean were famous for their movie tie-ins and the movie Navy Seals starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Biehn was another in a long list. The standard version of the game on cassette would of been the usual long loading time, loading in between levels and finally reloading the game after dying.

Now the game was quite hard and death was very frequent as you moved your various characters around this platform game trying to disable missiles and shoot plenty of bad guys. You can imagine how frustrating this would of been on cassette. This game really benefited from being on Cartridge, loaded straight away and you could learn from your mistakes because when you lost your lives then it was straight back into the game. Yes you had to start from level one if you died on level four but the thought of not having to wait, kept you going.

May 02, 2014, submitted by FatherJack (57724)


Streets of Rage 2 Streets Of Rage 2 is a unique classic beat 'em up with really good music composed by Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima. It was released in 1992 and has been regarded as a classic. It has good graphics and good voice overs - and the music wouldn't have sounded as good if it was on the SNES!

Apr 19, 2014, submitted by Dr Devil (59)


Star Control II

There are few games out there that defy genre classification without deteriorating into mediocre jacks-of-all-trades. Star Control II is one of those ultra-rare gems that excels in everything it does, even though it's hard to describe what it does, exactly. It is essentially an RPG masquerading as a strategy game, with adventure-like tasks and dialogues and addictive arcade action combat. It is a game of growth and exploration reminiscent of Starflight, but more plot-driven and full of exceedingly smart writing and humor - all presented with some of the best graphics and music its era was capable of. Its incredibly charismatic personality and the obvious love and dedication poured into it made it a timeless classic.

Apr 12, 2014, submitted by Cor 13 (172994)

Valdis Story: Abyssal City

What you'll find here is a fun, unique and hard as nails Metroidvania style game. The art was what attracted my attention; everything about it speaks to the creators and what they enjoy. I love old school 2D graphics like in Valdis Story; it reminds me of arcade games from the late 80's.

Part of what heartens me about the indie gaming movement is a game like Valdis Story. The project began in 2007 and represents plenty of hard work. Endless Fluff Games is a couple from NYC and the point is that solid, memorable games CAN and ARE being made in isolation without massive budgets and teams with hundreds of highly skilled engineers.

Apr 05, 2014, submitted by jlebel (2127)


Halo: Reach

First truly great Halo game that feels like it belongs to generation of the Xbox 360 console.

With all hopes lost after playing the Halo anniversary edition as my first Halo title, I decided to see if making a prequel was just to earn a few more bucks on what I already considered to be a bad franchise. Wow, was I wrong. Halo: Reach was the first game that looked simply stunning. It felt like it belongs to the 360 and graphically looked as good as Gears of War series which were graphically strong from the start. Some scenes were simply mind-blowing. The story was much more refined and moved the game forward during dramatic cut-scenes, scenery was much more versatile, and the ambiance was pretty vivid. From suspense and mystery to full scale raging battles between Covenant and Terran forces, to driving all kind of vehicles, and even space battles. Seems like Bungie got off the series just when they learned how to make a good game.

Halo lovers or not, this game gives a fine prologue to the franchise and is great to play even if you don't play others from the series. It's the first serious Halo game that drops the silly cartoonish feel when you face aliens in battle.

Mar 29, 2014, submitted by MAT (93503)


Half-Life 2: Episode Pack

With the success of Half-Life 2 and its ending open for another sequel, imagine the surprise when instead of Half-Life 3 they released the new game as Episode One after a wait of nearly two years - still better than the six years between Half-Life and Half-Life 2. A year later, Episode Two appeared. Episode One was a short and sweet game so doubts were forming for Episode Two but a much longer and more satisfying story pushed the story forward to an ending suggesting Episode Three was on its way. One year, two years and now we're in the seventh year and still no sign of it or even any news whatsoever. There has even been rumours of Episode Three becoming Half-Life 3 but like the gap between Half-Life and Half-Life 2 everything is too quiet. Gamers wait not just for the game but any news for one of the best FPS of all time.

Mar 22, 2014, submitted by FatherJack (57724)


God of War III

Brutality on a whole new level! Whe the first God of War game came out it was something special, if only for the various brutal ways one can slay mythical creatures and monsters. God of War III raises the bar and each fight with the Olympian gods is so amazing and memorable you can't help but ecstatically clap your hands in kudos to what the development team has achieved.

There may be something when you see a pack of strong villains going mad because Kratos is taking them one by one as they angrily taunt and provoke him - feeling superior all the time... that is, until the last pleading moment of their existence. In GoW3, bosses are bigger, meaner, stronger, and boss battles have never felt so fun in a game.

Mar 16, 2014, submitted by MAT (93503)