Free Game – Hydorah

Free Game – Hydorah

In the spirit of 8 and 16 bit side scrolling shooters comes Hydorah, a free game from Locomalito.

Hydorah
Hydorah

The game is a lot of fun and plays a lot like NES/c64/Amiga games of this style like Gradius, Life Force, Disposable Hero, and Project X.

Upgrades, bosses, the usual!

You can download the full game here.

Just download the ISO and mount the game with your favorite virtual image program such as DaemonTools, Alcohol 110%, or PowerISO.

Thanks goes out to Joern Ashes for the recommendation!

Jaguar XJ-220

Jaguar XJ-220 title
Jaguar XJ-220 title

Jaguar XJ-220 review (amiga) by Honorabili

One Sentence Review:
“A forgotten racing game in the style of the Lotus games but with its own style.”

Overall Score:
8 out of 10

Overview & My History With This Game & Stability/Reliability:

Around the time this game came out, the Lotus racing games were very popular on the Amiga. Jaguar XJ-220 is a similar game except that it is more realistic by adding a damage engine and fuel/refueling.

The game consists of you being part of the Jaguar XJ-220 team involved in races against teams that race Bugattis EB110s, Porsche 959s, Lamborghini Countaches, and Chevrolet Corvettes. You race in 12 different countries with each country having 3 tracks each in a contest to see which car model is the superior one.

Jaguar XJ220 box Amiga
Jaguar XJ220 box Amiga

You get a certain amount of championship points as well as money based on how well you place per race. The championship points will help determine whether you are beating the game or not. The money will be used to repair the cars because everything you do damages the car. Sometimes the car will just get damaged with wear and tear. Parts have 3 states, healthy, somewhat damaged (yellow), or badly damaged (red). After each race you will enter the repair screen which itemizes all car systems for you to repair depending on your budget.

Later on in the game, you must be smart and race strategically. It’s important to gauge and time just exactly when you will need to refuel your car. If you refuel too soon you risk having rival racers pass you. However, if you run out of fuel it’s even worse because your car will be forced to go about 10 MPH as you push the car to the pit stop. How much fuel you want to add is also a factor in determining how much time you spend not moving.

Jaguar XJ-220 was created by Core Design in 1992. It was released both on Amiga and the Sega Mega-CD. The game includes a track editor and a 2 player split-screen mode.

Jaguar XJ220 Amiga screenshot
Jaguar XJ220 Amiga screenshot

The car itself, the Jaguar XJ-220 is sort of like a failed supercar. The car came out at a time when the supercar market crashed. It was also one of the last cars put out by Jaguar before the company got bought out. The original design intended for the car to have a V12 but it ended up with a dual turbocharged V6 instead. The car was supposed to be able to hit 220 MPH but it realistically could hit about 213 MPH only with the original configuration. Modified XJ-220s have hit higher speeds than 220 MPH though…

As far as I go, I’ve played and beaten this game through about 20 times. I have however played this game over 100-200 times. The problem this game has is that you can save your progress but it’s RISKY. There have been many times when the game just gets stuck saving to a floppy disk and it’s basically just game over. That’s why I give Reliability/Stability a low score of 4 out of 10. The game itself doesn’t necessarily crash (although it used to make my Amiga overheat sometimes) but the save system is CRAP. I recommend setting a good 8-10 hours to sit down with a friend and beat the entire game in one sitting! That’s what we used to do.

This was the first game that left me fond memories of gaming on my Amiga, despite the saving bug.

Fun Factor & Replayability:

What I liked about this game is that it’s not just a racing game but a strategy game as well, at least to me. It made you think about the logistics of a race car. To me that’s rather clever and that added a lot of replayability to this game. The game is not appealing to some people but then again not all racing games are either. Some people will like both the racing and the planning the game requires. The racing itself is pretty quick for an old game, as well. Fun Factor for me gets a score of 9 out of 10.

Since there are different strategies you can use to try to beat the game, I give Replayability a score of 8 out of 10.

Difficulty & Difficulty Versatility & Controls:

You can’t make the game harder except by going to specific countries that have the most challenging tracks on purpose or by changing the control sensitivity.

Controls are simple and effective. You can set it so that either the fire button accelerates or simply by pushing forward. Braking is attained by pushing the joystick backwards. The controls are very responsive and you can change that, which affects the difficulty of the game. Sure, it’s not as realistic as today’s racing games but for the logic of racing games at that time, it’s decent. I give Controls a score of 7 out of 10.

The game itself is somewhat challenging with it getting much harder later on because of having to deal more with the logistics of damage and fuel. Difficulty gets a score of 8 out of 10, if you actually play the game through to the end.

Since you can customize the controller sensitivity and have to plan which countries to tackle in what order, Difficulty Versatility gets a score of 8 out of 10. You need to be smart about it.

Value:

This game is impossible to get other than in emulated form. Lemon Amiga has links to sites that could potentially have the game for download. Since that’s free, Value gets a score of 10 out of 10.

Sound:

You won’t hear sound unless you opt out to turn off the music. The sounds are good but it’s one or the other. I would recommend putting on the music unless you want to play other music using another computer or radio, etc. Sound gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Music:

This game has one of my favorite soundtracks for a video game. Click here to go to mirsoft.info and to download and get more specific information on the soundtrack. If you need a program to play the MOD files check out our article here on Deliplayer.

The soundtrack includes relaxing electronic music as well as a heavy metal song and funky covers of 80s tv music. Overall, the soundtrack is very unique and relaxing! It was composed by Martin Iveson and deserves a score of 10 out of 10.

The music is so badass that people have in recent years started remixing it.

Here is the link to download my favorite remix from Amiga Remix by Luther. To listen to all the remixes of the music from Jaguar XJ-220 on Amiga Remix, click here!

Check out my favorite remix by Luther here:

Graphics & Performance:

The graphics for the menus and interface are awesome. Screens where the actual car is drawn look a lot like the real car and I think it’s beautiful. The in-game cars look pretty good as well and that’s worth a high score. Graphics get a score of 9 out of 10.

The game has always run really well and I’ve never seen parts where the game lagged. The game has a sped up easter egg bug where if you play one of the radio stations rather than the CD audio during the music selection screen, the game will play super sped up. Although it acts weird, that’s not much of a problem. Performance gets a score of 8 out of 10.

Conclusion:

If you are a fan of cars and the rivalry that supercar manufacturers had in the early 90s then you will enjoy this game. If you want a racing game that makes you you as well, then this is also a game for you. At the very least, check out the soundtrack or its remixes!

Free Stuff – Beneath A Steel Sky

Beneath A Steel Sky box
Beneath A Steel Sky box

Free Stuff – Beneath A Steel Sky

Our friends at Good Old Games are offering the full Windows XP & Vista converted version of Beneath A Steel Sky for FREE.

I first head of Beneath A Steel Sky when I mainly used to play games on my Amiga. I unfortunately was not able to play it at the time because I only had the version for the Amiga 1200 available to me and my simple Amiga 600 could not handle it.

The game is a cyberpunk/dystopia futuristic adventure game where the protagonist is trying to pursue the truth in that kind of a sinister setting.

Dave Gibbons, which worked on the Watchmen and Rogue Trooper comics, created much of the art and the setting for this game.

You can download the full game here from gog.com

Techno Cop

[youtube id=”nzsYYSznaWc” width=”633″ height=”356″]

Techno Cop

This was truly one of my most favorite games on the Amiga. In 1988 the game was released for a number of platforms including the Commodore 64 and MS-Dos. In 1990 it was released for the Sega Genesis by Razorsoft.

Developed by Gremlin Graphics, Techno Cop was a single player side scrolling action game where you played a hardcore cop in a futuristic city. You began each mission in your vehicle where you drove to the hideout of the suspect you were to kill or capture. During the driving stage you would be attacked by enemy cars which you could shoot at, if in front of you or ram off the road. The driving part of the game looked at lot like your classic Outrun view with a Spy Hunter feel to the action. You had a time limit to reach the hideout and one you did you would exit you car and the side scrolling action shooter part of the game would begin.

Techno Cop driving
Techno Cop driving

In the side scrolling part of the game you would make your way through the various hideouts of the bad guy you were after. Most of the time you were placed in a rundown building of some kind blasting away at the bad guys as the approached you or popped out of closed doors. Strangely enough there were also kids jumping and playing in these criminal infested builds right next to the toxic waste barrels. Sometimes you would also come across nude or semi-nude women (in the Sega and future versions this was edited to full clothe the women).

Truth be told the graphics were pretty bad even for the late 80’s. Both the driving and side scrolling part of the game used the same backgrounds over and over with very little changes. Each level was the same, drive shooting at cars until you get your next subject then get out and traverse a rundown building until you find the boss and either kill or capture him. Your H.U.D. or heads up display took up 40% of the screen in the form of your arm and a predator-like wrist device which displayed your target, score, health, time limit, lives and an option to switch between a net or your gun.

Techno Cop walking
Techno Cop walking

What made this game fun was the blood and gore factor. Let’s face it, to find a game in the late 80’s where when you shoot a bad guy and they turn to chum was just awesome and the fact that there were nude ladies in the game just sealed the deal. You could also shoot the jumping kids, but who would do such a thing? Even with the horrible sound effects including a slurping sound whenever you picked up the giant money bag, this game had the kind of mindless violence and action that any kid of the 80’s would enjoy.

Techno cop was one of those games that you had to play over and over even once better side scrolling shooters were released. I mean it had a warning on the box which at the time was unheard of, what kid would not want it? Simply put, if you had a computer you had to have this game. It was the kind of bloody fun we would not see again until Grand Theft Auto was released. Yet, another reason the age of the Amiga and Commodore 64 was the gold age of PC gaming.

The Amazing Spider-Man (Amiga)

[youtube id=”V7MY03AXnfc” width=”633″ height=”356″]

The Amazing Spider-Man

In my days of Amiga gaming this was the game I played the most once released. The Amazing Spider-Man was released in 1990 and could be played on multiple systems including the Atari St and the Commodore 64. It was a multi-screen platform game where you controlled everyone favorite web-headed hero on his quest to save Mary Jane from the evil Mysterio.

amazing_spider-man_amiga

Now the first thing that grabbed me was its theme song. I must have watched the info a million times just to hear it, seriously it’s almost intoxicating. I will admit that after that the game did let me down slightly.

The graphics were not that good compared to other games on the Amiga and the in game sound effects were just as behind the times, but the variance in game-play is what made this game addictive. Unlike many of the Spider-Man games of today which is mainly fighting, ASM was a puzzle solving game where your goal was to navigate Rockwell film studios to get to Mysterio’s lair.

the amazing spiderman - Amiga - gameplay screenshot

The controls were pretty simple, the Amiga used the same one button joystick as the Atari, but there were keyboard controls as well, but they were mainly for pausing or quitting the game. You could make spidey walk or climb up walls and even walk on ceilings in some cases. You could also fire your web to swing from place to place.

The game might look and sound simple, but believe me it was not. Here is the layout. Within the studio is a series of rooms that spidey must make it through to get to Mary Jane. Each room has walls and trapsand enemies to deal with in order to move on to the next. The way you progress is to hit a switch or a series of switches to open the way to the next room. This is easier said than done as there are many obstacles in your way including, robots, poison gas, reverse gravity, illusory, magnetic and slippery walls.

The Amazing Spider-Man - Amiga - Gameplay Screenshot - 2

What made this game addicting is pretty much what made Portal so much fun. Some of the traps were well thought out and took time to fight out how to overcome them. The puzzles made you think and sometimes pissed you off, but when you solved them it was pretty cool. You really never fought against anyone. Even the robots you encountered were there for you to avoid or stun with your web and then avoid.

amazing_spider-man_amiga, cover

One thing that freaked me out was the health meter on the Amiga display. It showed a picture of Spider-Man on the side standing tall in his costume. When you would take damage his body would slowly fade away revealing his skeleton beneath. So as you are playing and losing health you see yourself turning into a skeleton which to me added a really creepy element.

The game was far from perfect and suffered from some quirky controls at time as well as programming issues where walls would not work the way they should or you would randomly die for no reason. Also, sometimes the save would not work correctly which almost cost me an Amiga one day when I lost a ton of progress and almost smashed it.

A game like this would never make it today. It took time to play. Sometimes you would be in a room for an hour trying to figure it out. I understand that a game can’t be to frustrating, but the difficulty in puzzle solving and trap navigating was refreshing. Sure the graphics and sound were not that great, but the overall package was worth my time.

You can check it out yourself by finding an Amiga emulator and getting the ROM of the game, but I warn you if you can’t handle slow progress, difficult puzzles and little action then don’t put yourself though the trouble. If you are truly a old school player and want a challenge give this game a shot and let us know what you think.