Illuminated in a mesmerising green hue of ethereal beauty and presence, a home computer of old comes to life, leaps off a page in Sam Dyer’s latest masterpiece in the exceedingly rewarding “Visual Compendium“-series. Opening the impressive volume emulates perfectly that moment a computer is switched on, with every page impersonating the starkly coloured screen display of the titular ZX Spectrum. Sam Dyer’s “ZX Spectrum: A Visual Compendium” is a special experience of layered significance.
David Fox’s silent game changer
Oh how seductive the eternal evolution of technology! Oh what boredom lies in volumetric dust clouds of uncountable pixels, their toilsome birth betrayed only by the high-pitched struggle of a graphic card labouring inside a run-of-the-mill desktop computer. The mind slackens into a tupor of robotic keyboard spasms. Disbelief no longer needs suspension: with the visual display quite a spitting image of nature, the brain only needs to soften the roughest of edges. Oh what glory then the memories of old bestow on the stalwart art of retrography, the magic of 8-bit computing, beautifully preserved in Lucasfilm Games’ Rescue on Fractalus. And yet the most crucial ally in its creative success, the oft-forgotten and sadly underestimated manual of words crafted bold and true on sheets of paper rested inside boxes colourful and bold.
The circle is now complete: from The Empire Strikes Back by Parker Brothers to the LEGO Star Wars series, the Retro Asylum podcast saga on Star Wars retrogaming is (almost) the next best thing to finally welcoming back Luke, Han and Leia in The Force Awakens. Switch off your targeting computer and let retro flow through you…
While perusing vintage copies of German computing magazine Happy Computer over at kultpower.de, I read that there was potentially an earlier edition of Gauntlet on the C64 which featured “easily comprehensible speech synthesis”. Follow an intriguing dig in pixels from ages past at Frank Gasking’s always fab Games That Weren’t!
With great trepidation I turn the page to reveal the next spread of Sam Dyer’s landmark volume on the Commodore Amiga. Sadness is slowly creeping up as I briskly process the remaining years covered by Commodore Amiga: A Visual Commpendium; every letter, every pixel presented in a lavish, precisely elegant layout feasting on the glory of 16-bit graphics I savour like that eagerly sought after drop of water, enjoyed at last, after a perilous journey through a barren landscape.
The Amiga-less years have been harsh and unforgiving and this fabulous volume, clad in a pearly-white sleeve, finally provides relief to Amiga fandom. Continue reading “Review: Commodore Amiga: A Visual Commpendium by Sam Dyer, Bitmap Books”
Brick Bambi has fully announced with the second video, of a C64 work in progress graphical adventure port of the “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ” Amiga, PC, Atari ST and Mac release. Excavate more important information AND videos here >>
For an in-depth analysis of the demise of movie tie-ins see Of Movie Tie-Ins and Joystick Storytellers: The Video and Computer Game Revolution that Devoured Hollywood http://www.obiwandi.at/?p=1122
Patrik Spacek has submitted a stalwart pitch to The Walt Disney Corporation to have his fabulous looking “special edition” of Hal Barwood’s and Noah Falstein’s legendary point-and-click adventure Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis officially sanctioned and supported. On the eve of what is certain be an important event, a review of the common practice and history of “special editions” is in order. What does a product make “special” beyond the difference in pricing and packaging? Is it justifiable to attach such a powerful attribute to a word as mundane as “edition”?
Why did the computer and video game industry “tie in” with motion pictures? How come the once ubiquitous game adaptations disappeared whilst gaming is more popular and lucrative than ever?
This is an analysis of how gaming industry’s original envy turned into unsurpassed pride, of how the relationship between the motion picture and the computer and video game industries has undergone a significant change over the last four decades, of how players cast off the double-duties as brand ambassadors name-dropping a film’s title in conversations to tell their very own, very personal story of their adventures inside the bits and bytes of computer and video gaming. This is the journey of the joystick marketeer that lived to be a virtual storyteller…