The Top 50 - The Great Atari ST Games Survey

Discuss and discover all the great games of yesteryear!

Moderators: mknott, NickThorpe, lcarlson, Darran@Retro Gamer, MMohammed

User avatar
bolda
Posts: 1128
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:53 am
Location: World 1-1

Post by bolda » Wed Sep 24, 2008 5:11 pm

Great to see Deuteros up there (was top of my list!) To be honest, I thought it would scrape in between 50-40 at best so I'd all but given up hope of seeing it make an appearance... You're spot on about the nod to Millenium 2.2 and the genuine "shock" moments... like the point when the Methanoids declare war completely out of the blue!
GAME OVER YEEEAAAHHH!
ImageImageImage

User avatar
StickHead
Posts: 1149
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:06 pm
Contact:

Post by StickHead » Wed Sep 24, 2008 7:35 pm

^^ Spoiler Alert ^^ Do not read the post above! :lol:
The Joy of STicks - YouTube - Blog - Twitter - Facebook
New Developments and old inspirations in Atari ST gaming.

User avatar
bolda
Posts: 1128
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:53 am
Location: World 1-1

Post by bolda » Thu Sep 25, 2008 4:46 am

StickHead wrote:^^ Spoiler Alert ^^ Do not read the post above! :lol:
Ha ha! It's only a spoiler if you get a magnifying glass out to read the small print! :D

Anyway, a question for Sticko... are there any games which you've reviewed that you had never played before, until you came to review them? Or are you already familiar with all the games in the top 50? The reviews of the games which I'm familiar with read as though they were written by someone who has spent considerable time playing those games... surely you can't have so much experience of playing every game in the top 50!? :shock: :D
GAME OVER YEEEAAAHHH!
ImageImageImage

User avatar
StickHead
Posts: 1149
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:06 pm
Contact:

Post by StickHead » Thu Sep 25, 2008 5:12 pm

bolda wrote:Anyway, a question for Sticko... are there any games which you've reviewed that you had never played before, until you came to review them? Or are you already familiar with all the games in the top 50? The reviews of the games which I'm familiar with read as though they were written by someone who has spent considerable time playing those games... surely you can't have so much experience of playing every game in the top 50!? :shock: :D
I have been playing ST games since 1988, Its the only games machine I own that has been a permanent fixture. I think a lot of ST fans (or fans of old machines in general) come back to their favourites after a hiatus, but I can't get enough of my ST and have been playing it solidly for 20 years now! :D

So far, the games I was least familiar with were: Phantasie, which I had played only briefly a long time ago; Ultima V, which I had never experienced, though I have played other Ultima games; Auto Duel, which I hadn't even heard of but almost delayed the Top 50 because it's so damned compelling; and Colonial Conquest, which I also had never played, but didn't take too long to get the measure of. All the others have been played/played to death at some point.

It was great to discover some new games and rediscover some I had forgotten about. This along with all the positive comments I've received have made the effort very worthwhile.
The Joy of STicks - YouTube - Blog - Twitter - Facebook
New Developments and old inspirations in Atari ST gaming.

User avatar
sscott
Posts: 13157
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Sheffield

Post by sscott » Fri Sep 26, 2008 3:11 pm

Come on Stickhead, keep 'em comin'!
Image

User avatar
pantal00ns
Posts: 3647
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:20 am
Location: Waaayy down south

Post by pantal00ns » Fri Sep 26, 2008 4:18 pm

OldSkoolCoolFool wrote:
adrianbean wrote:Rainbow Islands only 50th,
Canon Fodder only 43rd,
Speedball only 39th,
Xenon 2 only 34th,
Speedball 2 only 29th,
Populous only 28th,
and I just can't believe that Bubble Bobble is only 25th,

I'm afraid that the games that I mentioned should, without a doubt, be in the top 10.
I never voted for any of the above... I'l get my coat now shall i? :oops:
You appear to have trouble wearing trousers, so this could be a problem :shock:

User avatar
OldSkoolCoolFool
Posts: 528
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2008 4:43 pm

Post by OldSkoolCoolFool » Fri Sep 26, 2008 5:31 pm

pantal00ns wrote:
OldSkoolCoolFool wrote:
adrianbean wrote:Rainbow Islands only 50th,
Canon Fodder only 43rd,
Speedball only 39th,
Xenon 2 only 34th,
Speedball 2 only 29th,
Populous only 28th,
and I just can't believe that Bubble Bobble is only 25th,

I'm afraid that the games that I mentioned should, without a doubt, be in the top 10.
I never voted for any of the above... I'll get my coat now shall i? :oops:
You appear to have trouble wearing trousers, so this could be a problem :shock:
Trousers can be admitedly, a bit troublesome... Coats, jackets and anoraks on the other hand i have no problems with. :wink:

Excellent thread by the way. Can't wait to see the rest! :)
Jagfest_UK wrote:Looks like your use of the letter T made your trousers fall down :wink:

User avatar
bolda
Posts: 1128
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 8:53 am
Location: World 1-1

Post by bolda » Sun Sep 28, 2008 12:48 pm

StickHead wrote:I have been playing ST games since 1988, Its the only games machine I own that has been a permanent fixture. I think a lot of ST fans (or fans of old machines in general) come back to their favourites after a hiatus, but I can't get enough of my ST and have been playing it solidly for 20 years now! :D

So far, the games I was least familiar with were: Phantasie, which I had played only briefly a long time ago; Ultima V, which I had never experienced, though I have played other Ultima games; Auto Duel, which I hadn't even heard of but almost delayed the Top 50 because it's so damned compelling; and Colonial Conquest, which I also had never played, but didn't take too long to get the measure of. All the others have been played/played to death at some point.

It was great to discover some new games and rediscover some I had forgotten about. This along with all the positive comments I've received have made the effort very worthwhile.
Coincidentally, my ST is the only "original" machine which I still own from "first time round". I had NES and Beeb before it, but sold these to get my ST. I've been using the same ST since 1991 (added a couple more to the collection in recent years) All my other retro consoles have been "re-purchased" since the mid-90's. There's just something about the ST which meant I could never part with it... it wasn't even my first love (that was the Beeb)!

Anyway, keep up the great work with the reviews (I'm going to have to get hold of Auto Duel now you mentioned it!) :D
GAME OVER YEEEAAAHHH!
ImageImageImage

User avatar
StickHead
Posts: 1149
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2007 8:06 pm
Contact:

Post by StickHead » Mon Sep 29, 2008 3:59 pm

We creep ever closer to the top 10! Here's #15-11:

#15 - Xenon

Released: 1988
Developer: Bitmap Brothers
Publisher: Melbourne House
Genre: Shoot 'em 'up

Image

Image

Captain Xod's run into a Xenite ambush and unless you can blast your way through 16 sectors of the Xenite scum to reach him in time, he'll be on the receiving end of a nasty face-hugging from one of those squiggly things we all had nightmares about after we saw Aliens.

Anyone who tries to tell you that graphics make a game need an education. Sit them down with a copy of this and its sequel and watch the epiphany grip them. Xenon II is certainly more beautiful, with its snazzy parallax and what-not, but the original shines where it matters most.

As you make your way up the vertically scrolling levels, you can morph between a ground-based tank or a airborne ship with a deft press of the space key. This adds a tactical risk/reward dilemma: often you can only destroy a wave of enemy craft (and therefore glean the available points) if you are at the same elevation as them, but by matching their elevation, you become more susceptible to their attacks. More than just points are available: as enemy craft and gun turrets are destroyed, upgrades for your craft can be collected, adding drones, lasers and smart bombs to your arsenal.

It's as hard as a bronze statue of Stu Pearce, but somehow keeps you coming back for more punishment. Every go you get just that little bit further, and you are compelled to keep playing until you see the various bosses and new scenery that you just know are around the corner.


#14 - Starglider

Released: 1986
Developer: Argonaut
Publisher: Rainbird
Genre: 3D Shoot 'em 'up

Image

Image

The Atari Power Pack of 20 games bundled with my ST when I was it was given to me for Christmas was a revelation. Conversions of great Sega coin-ops, fiendish puzzlers and top draw shooters all provided plenty of entertainment that Chrimbo morn. Starglider, however was the game that knocked me for six and left me in no doubt that I was well and truly within the glorious grip of the 16-bit era.

This is because Starglider sang to me. Sang to me! I couldn't believe my ears! Sure, listening to the tune now, it's a crackly sampled piece of dodgy eighties techno-rock that lasts all of ten seconds, but to my 8-bit trained ears this and the in-game speech were trumpet calls heralding the future of video games. The game itself wasn't bad either.

While sat in the pilot seat of your AGAV fighter, you must rid the planet Novenia of its mechanoid Egron invaders using your state-of-the-art ship's lasers and guided missiles. For all the depth implied by the novella included in the box, this game is simple vector based blaster: shoot everything that moves in return for points, and avoid being blasted by enemy lasers. If your fuel or shield energy begins to wane, you can dock with a silo for a top up. Here you can top up your missile supply as well as get some valuable info on the foes you are likely to encounter.

Heavily inspired by the Star Wars arcade hit, it's easy to see the Atari coin-op's influence here. Starglider did a good job of bringing its mentor's fast, fluid gameplay to the home, while offering more depth and freedom of movement.


#13 - Defender Of The Crown

Released: 1987
Developer: Master Design Software
Publisher: Cinemaware
Genre: Strategy

Image

Image

The King is dead! Long live the King! ... Err, who is the next king? Let's have a bit of a scrum to find out shall we?

Playing as one of four Saxon knights, you must see off the Norman invaders as you vie for your ascendancy to the throne. You start the game with a solitary castle and a pitiful 10 men. It is from this lowly status that you must build your army, expand into other territories, loot and lay siege to castles, and do battle with your Saxon rivals and Norman enemies. Other distractions include the obligatory damsel rescue, a spot of jousting (Which I always found excruciatingly difficult).

Defender Of The Crown really blew the doors off for graphics on 16-bit machines. The art direction of James Sachs was way ahead of its 1986 vintage and was used by many retail outlets to showcase the power of the new machines (not to mention by people wanting to show off to their mates).

Though sacrificing colour due to hardware limitations, the ST version included many features that the Amiga version lacked, due to the Commodore machine's release being somewhat rushed.

Though not a strategy game of any real depth or longevity, the first play through of DOTC was a memorable experience thanks to its extraordinary presentation and production values.


#12 - Captive

Released: 1990
Developer: Antony Crowther
Publisher: Mindscape
Genre: RPG

Image

Image

Captive is huge. Unbelievably vast. Its creator once said that to fully complete it would take forty years. Better get cracking then...

You are a prisoner on a starship in turmoil. Your only hope of escape is the laptop left behind in your cell. Upon booting up this laptop, you discover you have remote access to four droids. In order to break out of your jail you must successfully guide them to bases on many different planets in order to find and destroy the power generators that keep you confined.

Featuring the same real-time pseudo-3D graphics and user interface made famous by Dungeon Master, Captive procedurally generates each level you visit, allowing the game to have 64,000 levels without requiring a hefty memory upgrade. So even after the Captive is freed, there is plenty more to see and do.

As you play, the nasties you encounter get increasingly tougher, so you must make your 'bots tougher too. Each of their limbs can be replaced with better ones, though the capacity of the torso's power source must not be exceeded. The droids' skills must also be improved if they are to make use of the more advanced weaponry found later in the game.

A great premise excellently executed by the legendary Tony Crowther, if you're a fan of this kind of game, Captive really should not be missed.

#11 - Kick Off

Released: 1989
Developer: Dino Dini
Publisher: Anco
Genre: Football Simulation

Image

Image

The release of Kick Off coincided with my rebirth as a football fan. At nine years old, my Mum took me to St. Andrews to watch Birmingham City concede a late equaliser to West Bromwich Albion in a 1-1 draw. Ironically, as I took my first step in the life of anguish and pain that is being a Blues fan, Kick Off was filling my gaming life with ... pain and anguish.

You see, Kick Off is a rare breed amongst football games: gone is the zoomed out view enabling you to see what's going on, and gone is the sedate pace allowing you to ponder your next move, and most significantly, gone are the player friendly sticky boots that feature in virtually every footy game ever conceived. If you turn your player willy-nilly, you can not expect the ball to follow. Expert timing is expected at all times, as you can only turn when the ball is directly at your feet.

Kick Off is fast, furious and bollock hard (especially for an eight year old brought up on Emlyn Hughes International Soccer) but ultimately extremely rewarding. Each goal is earned through blood, sweat, tears and the aforementioned ninja timing.

Unfortunately lacking the after-touch control of later iterations (you will have to boot up the Extra Time expansion for that luxury), more than a little buggy and slow-down never more than a goal-mouth scramble away, Kick Off is far from perfect, but that excitement I felt when first playing this, eight years of age at my uncle's house is still tangible to this day.
Last edited by StickHead on Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The Joy of STicks - YouTube - Blog - Twitter - Facebook
New Developments and old inspirations in Atari ST gaming.

User avatar
Gnome
Posts: 246
Joined: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:03 pm
Location: Athens
Contact:

Post by Gnome » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:13 pm

Another fantastic set of five and... CAPTIVE! Now, that was a truly amazing RPG and I had all but forgotten about it. Tsk, tsk... All that atmosphere and I never revisited it since, well, ages. Never finished it to this day either, nor did I ever own a proper copy. Double tsk, tsk. Time to rectify this methinks. Off to eBay.

Oh, and can't wait for the top 10!
Usually blogging over at Gnome's Lair, steadily into Retro Treasures and some cabaret.

User avatar
sscott
Posts: 13157
Joined: Wed Aug 29, 2007 3:26 pm
Location: Sheffield

Post by sscott » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:35 pm

Never played Captive and will check it out. Kick Off was superb and was around before Sensi was born. You have a really easy going writing style Stickhead, 10 to go!
Image

User avatar
pantal00ns
Posts: 3647
Joined: Wed Mar 08, 2006 10:20 am
Location: Waaayy down south

Post by pantal00ns » Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:56 pm

Gnome wrote:Another fantastic set of five and... CAPTIVE! Now, that was a truly amazing RPG and I had all but forgotten about it. Tsk, tsk... All that atmosphere and I never revisited it since, well, ages. Never finished it to this day either, nor did I ever own a proper copy. Double tsk, tsk. Time to rectify this methinks. Off to eBay.

Oh, and can't wait for the top 10!
Ditto except I did own a proper copy back in the day, and I did'nt vote for it...... :? Unforgivable

Defender of the Crown, Xenon, Kick off the only footy game outside of matchday for me, and the first proper audio wow that is Starglider. Bloody good times, looking forward to the top 10 countdown.

User avatar
rossi46
Posts: 4366
Joined: Wed Dec 07, 2005 3:14 pm
Location: melrose
Contact:

Post by rossi46 » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:03 pm

+1 for the can't wait for the top 10

Keep it up, Sticky!
Thoughts and prayers.

User avatar
SirClive
Posts: 20261
Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2005 2:25 pm
Location: Planet Sinclair
Contact:

Post by SirClive » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:05 pm

Thats a really big 5 there. Hope Kick Off 2 has its own entry (at number 1).
Image

User avatar
Coopdevil
Posts: 1110
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2007 11:25 am
Location: Comfortable, tunnel-like hall.

Post by Coopdevil » Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:09 pm

Interesting to see Xenon I so high up, a game I never gave much time to back in the day. Now of course, I fancy getting it out and seeing what it has to offer which is much of the idea behind this sort of thread isn't it? :)

Coop
Last edited by Coopdevil on Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests