Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Nov 30, 2009 2:24 pm

What makes this 8-bit game so important?
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by jdanddiet » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:33 pm

At the time, the different type of levels and gameplay was quite novel; the presentation was slicker and more professional; and the gameplay was pretty nifty too.
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by ipmarks » Mon Nov 30, 2009 8:38 pm

The way it was about four or five different genres in one was very important I think. On their own each level wouldn't have made a great game, but all together and with a good storyline behind it they worked fantastically.

It pains me to say it but the C64 one is much more of a classic than the Spectrum version... which is a bit pants in sections (the tank driving is not great for example).

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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Havantgottaclue » Mon Nov 30, 2009 9:41 pm

For someone like me, born in the mid-70s, Beach Head is the first game I ever remember really waiting for with bated breath while it loaded up, and is for me, the very definition of the word 'classic'. Having started out as a Commodore 64 enthusiast with the modest charms of games from Mastertronic, Rabbit Software, Anirog and Bubble Bus, the all-American Beach Head promised unprecedented variety, scope and presentation. The graphics were up there with the best of their time and the game sustained interest through the different challenges it set and the slick programming that made it all hang together so well. What's more, it still plays pretty well today.
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by paranoid marvin » Mon Nov 30, 2009 10:44 pm

*Speccy Version* Right from the start the game smacked of professionalism. At a time when many games still didnt allow the player to rediefine their own keys,the front-end interface with choice of controls , skill levels , number of players and even allowing you to type in your name made the whole experience feel more polished and personal.
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by yakmag » Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:11 pm

For me it's one of the 1st games to have some depth behind it.

Bit of a story, amazing graphics, top sound and different game play levels, unheard of in the early 80's!

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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Mayhem » Wed Dec 02, 2009 1:41 am

It's the game that launched Access Software really and laid the foundations for much of their future success. It was also an early indicator of the quality of software available from the other side of the pond at the time...
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Bub&Bob » Wed Dec 02, 2009 8:39 am

Its a classic because without it there wouldn't have been Beach Head II which was one of my C64 favourites
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Denny Haynes » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:14 pm

Presentation, fantastic graphics, variety in levels, superb sonics and superb playability.
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Britnostalgic » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:20 pm

Each level brings something new... one minute you're bombing the crap outta German Frigates, the next your driving tanks through a croute infested minefield. Whats not to like.

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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Smurph » Thu Dec 03, 2009 11:25 pm

I don't know that it's a classic, really. I can see that when it first came out there was little else like it, and it's very well executed, but there are some poor sections that let it down. If all of them were great, then that would be what would make a classic.
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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by The Last Ginja » Sat Dec 05, 2009 10:56 am

It felt like a full scale invasion on the dictators country, manouever your fleet either head on or a sneak attack. Next take out the air assault, and then drive your tank to smash down his front door.

With each section having a knock on effect to the amount of tanks you had for the land assault, it made everything so tense. Brilliant, brilliant game.

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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by Chinnico » Thu Dec 10, 2009 10:46 pm

I got my C64 only in 1984, after an Atari 2600 and a Colecovision. It was my first home computer. At first, most of the games I played were simple conversions from older platforms or old arcade clones, with little graphic or sound enhancement over their previous installation (keep in mind that game's distribution and availability in Italy in the early 80's was limited and mostly committed to piracy...). Also, I found that many early original C64 games lacked a proper 'professional' product look and the quality was progressing in a very linear way from the earlier generation.
Later the same year my cousin brought me a load of his games to try on my brand new 1541 floppy disk drive. Among those were a handful of outstanding 1983 titles, like Aztec Challenge, Archon, The Hobbit, BC's Quest for Tyres, Blue Max... and Beach Head.
In my opinion 1983 marks the line when game developers began to realise the creative possibilities made available by new machines such the Speccy and C64 and started putting them into practice. Beach Head is a good example in that sense: it didn't simply add great graphics and sound to the same old trite arcade action; but additionally provided a movie-like background, tying each section together in a coherent whole and giving the action a precise direction.
Design wise, it was a huge step forward and a very succesful one if compared to previous attempts (and even to following ones, considering the history of multi event, tie-ins and licensed games...).
The fact that today it might appear not having aged well, mostly due to the simplicity of the 'minigames' (as we would call them today), only confirms how well Beach Head had hit the right spot. Beach Head was a success because being able to play a story, rather than a collection of dull action excercises, was the vision that it managed to deliver to all those have appreciated it. Not many were the titles capable of attaining the same result and for such, in my opinion, it deserves the definition of 'classic'.

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Re: Beach Head - Why It's a Classic

Post by khisanth » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:20 pm

For me the different sections were extremely good in their own right. Requiring skill, nerves of steel, judgement and maybe a bit of luck. It was such a different original game.

If you had some friends with you, each of you might be good at a certain level so you could hand the joystick over and have a sort of co-op experience.

The sense of satisfaction getting through the minefield or getting your tank through the course was superb!
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