Issue 20 is here

Want to air your opinions on the latest issue of Retro Gamer? Step inside...

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Ash
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Post by Ash » Wed Dec 28, 2005 2:05 pm

Laser wrote:I would have liked to have seen a few comparisons between featured games on differing platforms. For example, Flashback was also on the Amiga, how did it compare graphically, sonically, sales-wise, reviews? Speedball 2 is mentioned as being ported to all sorts, but no screenshots or real info. This is not just idle grumbling :!: I believe it will help readers engage in the article when the version they played is not the one featured in the article.
Thanks for your comments Laser. I decided to focus on the Amiga version of Speedball 2 because I see that as the definitive version. Although the conversions play well there are a few changes (like the design of the pitch and the music) that make them all inferior to the original. Not even the CD32 version is as good as the Amiga 500 one. Having said that, Speedball 2 offers pretty much the same experience on each version and I don't believe that someone who didn't play the Amiga version would be unable to engage with the article.

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CraigGrannell
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Post by CraigGrannell » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:01 pm

Although the conversions play well there are a few changes (like the design of the pitch and the music) that make them all inferior to the original.
Funnily enough, I actually prefer the C64 version, because the player sprites are smaller, and because the hot-ball is far, far less powerful. It looks and sounds ropey, but it plays really well. The GBA version goes rather the other way—the screen is smaller than the Amiga's, but the characters are about the same size, so it's a real cramp-me-do!
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russgalleywood
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Post by russgalleywood » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:27 pm

Got my issue today too and it is even better than the last issue!
Only thing I was dissapointed with was the lack of a GP2X review/preview. (This was mentioned in the 'Next Issue' bit at the back of issue 19)!

Otherwise, excellent and I shall definitely be suscribing in the new year.

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed Dec 28, 2005 3:31 pm

russgalleywood wrote:Got my issue today too and it is even better than the last issue!
Only thing I was dissapointed with was the lack of a GP2X review/preview. (This was mentioned in the 'Next Issue' bit at the back of issue 19)!

Otherwise, excellent and I shall definitely be suscribing in the new year.
Glad you liked the mag Russ :)

As for the GP2X review... We were assured we'd receive one but it hasn't turned up yet. Once it does, it will definately be appearing in the mag :)
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russgalleywood
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Post by russgalleywood » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:21 pm

Thanks Darran for the prompt reply, I know GP2X's are a little sparse at the moment so I'll let you off!
Great second/20th issue though, well done to all!

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renegade_si
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Post by renegade_si » Wed Dec 28, 2005 5:28 pm

So, issue 20 eh? Very good to be honest, even better than 19. Keep it up. People are always going to moan about in-depth things written elsewhere, and there will always be mistakes in any magazine as Mayhem amongst others have already pointed out. But lets focus on the positives here. These guys have managed a phoenix from the flames here, and improved on the original formula no end. As for the disc, so what? We're all online and can download stuff as we're all big boys and girls now...So yes, I think its been a great success, so well done!

One little thing though, and this is a message to Dan Curley ex of Tiertex who did the Flashback review starting page 36....
I did loads of the testing of Flashback along with Dan Llewellyn and Martin Smith. I know my names on the credits at the end of the game, but I'm not sure of Dans and Martins.
We are all english and working for US Gold. I also did some testing of Strider II up at Tiertex, and to be honest, I'm trying to remember him but can't (sorry!).
I thought though it was 1991 as it was the end of my year off from Uni, but what do I know anymore! I can't even remember what Geoff Brown was going to call the game instead of Flashback - something like "Panacea" I think...too much alcohol I'm afraid these days...

Anyway, just thought I'd come and say "hi". Chris Abbott and Wazzaw know me as does Gordo Houghton and Paul Glancey as well as the god-like Rignall. Sorry for the name drops, so I'll go and disappear back into my hole again now. Still, it shows how good the mag is that it draw people like me back out again....However, last time I did that, I ended up entering this games competition last year, so I'd better disappear quickly..!
Keep it up guys...
US Gold/Boys Club UK Runner up 1988, European team games Champion 1989, never playing Janey Thomsons again (1hr54),
World Games Champion 1990, Gamesmaster Golden Joystick 1992, ITV Gamestars 3rd 2004

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Re:

Post by Laser » Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:31 pm

Ash wrote:I decided to focus on the Amiga version of Speedball 2 because I see that as the definitive version.
Me too! :) 'Cos that's the version I played. Or screamed at, more accurately! One of the few games I've played where I regularly got a teensy bit overexcited and shouted and made rude gestures at the TV! :oops:
Ash wrote:Although the conversions play well there are a few changes ... that make them all inferior to the original. Not even the CD32 version is as good as the Amiga 500 one.
That's an unusual situation in itself I'd have thought, and perhaps worthy of further comment.

Perhaps it wasn't the best idea for me to single out specific articles for what was intended to be a general suggestion. In the case of Speedball 2 the article describes the version I played, whereas others do not. I didn't want to imply a reader could not engage, but based on my own reactions, it's defnitely easier to engage when you have a familiar hand hold into the material. :idea:

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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed Dec 28, 2005 6:42 pm

Laser wrote: Perhaps it wasn't the best idea for me to single out specific articles for what was intended to be a general suggestion. In the case of Speedball 2 the article describes the version I played, whereas others do not. I didn't want to imply a reader could not engage, but based on my own reactions, it's defnitely easier to engage when you have a familiar hand hold into the material. :idea:
Not at all mate, this is for constructive feedback, so you're opinions are going to be valued.

I quite like the idea of featuring over versions of the game, although that wouldn't be without it's problems...

Take a game like R-Type or Lemmings. Can you imagine how much space you'd need, even if you were giving them just 50 words each...

Again, we could maybe focus on just a few of the more popular conversions, but that would upset those who had the versions we didn't cover...

Maybe, it would be better to not actually make the pieces specific to a single machine, and use various screenshots from different systems (only pointing out particularly bad/good examples).

There's more I could say, but I want to finish off Endgame ;)
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chapperz
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Post by chapperz » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:54 am

Hi all,

Sorry, didn't have chance to post my tuppence-worth on Issue 19 but now Issue 20 has arrived I just wanted to say a huge "Well Done" to all involved. What a great magazine, with people who clearly know their onions. I'm 32 now so remember the formative years of video gaming well and its great to have what you may call, colloquially speaking, "time served tradesmen" on board. I am really getting into homebrew and the GBA article was excellent, as were as the PD games I now have on my Flash Cart (Supercard, which works just fine on my DS). More homebrew articles please. Don't think the disc will be missed as long as you keep providing good download links, renegade_si is spot on with this one, we all know what we're doing, don't we?!

Can't wait for the next issue, I will definitely be subscribing after my 3rd freebie!!

Long live the C64!!!

Chapperz :D

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Re:

Post by Quaid » Thu Dec 29, 2005 5:09 pm

CraigGrannell wrote:
Laser wrote:As mentioned before, the large 2-page screenshot with micro-text down one side (Sabre Wulf, Turbo Esprit,..) is a bit too OTT, even if they are interesting. Sorry. :(
While I can't speak for the Imagine boys, this is almost certainly a budgetary issue, i.e. a way of filling up a few pages for minimum cost, so that the budget can be spent on more in-depth features elsewhere. Most magazines do something like this (for instance, a two-page illustration introducing a four-page article, meaning the four-pager actually only has two pages and one paragraph of text), but RG tends to use its large images in a more visually pleasing and useful manner than most—plus, the word counts per page are a lot higher than many magazines, meaning you largely get more "bang per buck".

I actually rather like these pages, though—I was always a fan of the big, zoomed-in screenshots in the likes of games™, but these have some context, too, meaning they're not a "waste of space".
Actually Craig these pages are nothing to do with budgetary issues, I just get a big kick out of seeing classic games blown up to full size because it always stops you in mid-flick and delivers an instant nostalgia rush. I also find them to be perfect pacing devices for the magazine, to aid the flow from one section into another. It also reminds me of those great lavish coffee table retro hardback books that I always seem to leave Borders with.
I created the huge screenshots in gamesTM for this very reason, and although a bit luxurious (and indulgent) even today they still generate the same emotions (just check out Chuckie Egg in a recent issue).
Obviously because I had already done it with gamesTM, then simply using the same idea for RG was not an option, and Simon and Darran both wanted a bit more 'meat' on the page – so the new retrosurvivals were born.

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Re:

Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:06 pm

Quaid wrote:Actually Craig these pages are nothing to do with budgetary issues
Fair enough—I was just thinking in terms of word count/writing costs. It has to be said, though, that coming from someone who's spent a number of years working in magazines, I agree with your points about pacing. Plus, I rather like the blown-up graphics, too. The text provides useful context, though, so I think the Retro Gamer "version" is superior to that used in games™.
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Post by CraigGrannell » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:14 pm

chapperz wrote:and the GBA article was excellent, as were as the PD games I now have on my Flash Cart (Supercard, which works just fine on my DS).
I'm glad you liked it—it was fun to write, and it's great to get GBA homebrew "out there", so to speak. For what it's worth, interesting developments are ongoing; for instance, the chap who did the CPC Bomb Jack conversion has started working on a CPC emulator. I'll be watching that one closely, for sure (as, I'm sure, will Darran!)
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Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:08 am

Still no sign of any Orics in the buyer's guide :(
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Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:35 am

Antiriad2097 wrote:Still no sign of any Orics in the buyer's guide :(

send me a pm mate. What you have to remember is that the second issue was already put to bed (or close to it) when the first mag came out. As a result, there's always going to be at least a month before you see any changes.
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Post by Antiriad2097 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:47 am

No worries Darran. I didn't really expect to ever see them in there, but as 'my first' I've got a soft spot for them :oops:

PM you once I get home, see if I can suss out any rates and whatnot.
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