Little Bit of History: Produced by Palace Software for the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum. Though the ZX Spectrum version was never given a full release and only available as a “B-side” to Cauldron. The C64 version was given a full retail release in 1984. This was the first ever licensed game based on the film of the same name.
Little Bit of Plot/Story: The game is set in the cabin from the film where you have to fend of demons attacking you until you can find the Necronomicon (Book Of The Dead) to destroy it and stop the evil demons once and for all. Demons would continue to spawn and break into the cabin, you would have to kill the demons with various weapons while barricading the windows where the demons were getting in. This sounds familiar…
Little Bit of Character: You play as Ash from the movie and he is the only real character in the game aside from the nameless demons.
Little Bit of Influence: As I said before, the basic premise of this game sounds familiar. Ever play the “Zombies” mode on Call Of Duty? Stuck in a building with ever spawning enemies (zombies) and having to barricade yourself in to slow down the horde while you dispatch them with a variety of weapons? The Evil Dead on the C64 was one of the first (of what is now known as ) survival horror games and could really be credited with helping to shape an entire sub-genre of gaming.
Little Bit of Memories: I recall having this on a compilation tape for my C64 and playing it quite a bit. It was never a scary game and the graphical limitations at the time meant you never saw any blood or gore. It was a pretty family friendly game based on one of the most infamous and gory films of its day.
Little Bit of Playability: It seems very rough by todays standards. But its still a enjoyable game, though it quickly becomes repetitive and redundant. The bore factor settles in fairly quickly with this one, but it is an interesting history lesson to see one of the very first survival horror games and main influences for Call Of Duty’s Zombie mode.
There’s more Evil Dead to come with my look at the original movie as well as try to clear up the “is Evil Dead II a remake?” misconception…join us…
Little Bit of History: Developed by Appaloosa Interactive and published by Majesco Games (THQ in Europe) and released in 2006. A pseudo-sequel to the original 1975 film and was relased for PlayStation 2, Xbox and Windows.
Little Bit of Plot/Story: Amity Island is growing thanks to prestigious company: Environplus. But a growing population on Amity attracts a killer great white shark. Environplus CEO’s son is eaten by the killer shark and the CEO hires shark hunter Cruz Raddock to track and destroy the great white monster. Meanwhile, Marine Biologist Michael Brody tries to capture the shark for research.
Little Bit of Character: Michael Brody (son of Martin Brody from the original film) is joined by Amity’s Mayor; Vaughn and Cruz Raddock the shark hunter. Oh and a great white shark who is the star of the game.
Little Bit of Influence: The game was developed by the same team that made Sega Mega Drive classic Ecco The Dolphin and you can see a similar gameplay style here too. A sequel of sorts was relased called; Jaws: Ultimate Predator relased in 2011 for the Nintendo 3Ds and Wii. Plus there have been similar games relased on iOS and Android like; Hungry Shark Evolution and even an official; Jaws Revenge game too.
Little Bit of Memories: I remember this one being really good fun, mainly as you get to play as the shark. The game used an open world/sandbox style allowing you to explore the environment and kill swimmers, seas creatures and even destroy boats and scenery. The shark itself had quite a few moves it could pull off including; ramming, jumping out of the water and even whip its tail. It was a violent and bloody game…bloody good fun.
Little Bit of Playability: Yes, still playable today and I recommend the PC version if you can get it as it runs a lot smoother. It’s good mindless fun, causing mass destruction and eating swimmers while being a killer great white shark has never been so much fun.
This is just one part of my 40th birthday celebration of Jaws. Take a look at my overview of Jaws – NES as well as my look back on the first “summer blockbuster” and how Jaws almost never made it to the big screen.
Little Bit of History: Developed by Westone Bit Entertainment and published by LJN for the NES, relased in 1987. Loosely based on the move of the same name and also takes inspiration from Jaws: The Revenge.
Little Bit of Plot/Story: You are captain of a boat (possibly The Orca) sailing between 2 different ports. Along the way you collect conch shells which are used as currency in the game. You spend the shells on upgrades and slowly build up your boat and eventually kill the shark.
Little Bit of Character: No real characters to speak of in the game as everything/one is unnamed.
Little Bit of Influence: The game never really went on to influence anything, it was relased and forgotten about pretty quickly. Though it does make a cameo appearance in the “antique” shop during the 2015 segment of Back To The Future II.
Little Bit of Memories: This was one of those games you may have rented over a weekend and regretted it. It was hard to remember 5 minutes after you played it, nevermind 28 years after it was relased.
Little Bit of Playability: This was hardly playable back then and definitely has not stood the test of time. It’s a horrible, grind-fest with shallow gameplay. Avoid it like a hungry great white shark.
This is just one part of my 40th birthday celebration of Jaws. Take a look at my overview of Jaws Unleashed as well as my look back on the first “summer blockbuster” and how Jaws almost never made it to the big screen.
Seeing as XCOM 2 has recently been announced as the sequel to the remake of the original. I thought I’d look at the original game that started it all.
Little Bit of History: UFO: Enemy Unknown (called X-COM: UFO Defense in North America) was released in 1994 for DOS and Amiga. Originally planned as a sequel to Mythos Games 1988 Laser Squad.The game received very strong reviews upon initial release and acquired a loyal following among strategy fans. Even several publications have listed UFO: Enemy Unknown as one of the best video games ever made. Developed by Mythos Games & MicroProse Software and published by MicroProse.
Little Bit of Plot/Story: Set in a near-future of the year 1998 (the game was released in 1994 after all) representatives from the world’s most powerful nations meet to discuss the issue of possible alien invasion. From this meeting is born the defense and research organization “Extraterrestrial Combat” (X-COM).
Little Bit of Character: The main playable characters were randomly named, but the player could rename them to whatever they wished. You would cross paths with several types of alien like; Sectoid, Cyberdisc, Floater, Reaper, Snakeman, Chryssalid, Zombie, Muton, Celatid, Silacoid, Ethereal and Sectopod.
Little Bit of Influence: The game went on to spawn it’s own successful franchise with games like; X-COM: Terror From the Deep, X-COM: Apocalypse, X-COM: Interceptor along with several others. There have also been fanmade remakes and even a full official remake called: XCOM: Enemy Unknown and a spin-off called; The Bureau: XCOM Declassified.
Little Bit of Memories: The first time I saw this game was when my brother Graham brought it home. I have to admit, I found it rather dull at first. But spending more time with the game caused me to slowly learn how deep and interesting it all was. One of the most imaginative and deep strategy games ever made.
Little Bit of Playability: I most definitely find this very playable today as well as the first official sequel; X-COM: Terror From the Deep. If you can get a hold of either the original or the sequel do it now.
Also check out my quick “Good and bad” of the remake from 2012.
Little Bit of History: Originally released on May 22, 1980 (today’s his 35th Birthday) by Namco. Pac-Man (originally called Puck-Man) was created by Tōru Iwatani based on a pizza with a slice missing. Pac-Man is one of gamings all-time great and most iconic characters. This game featured some very early AI programming in the form of the ghost enemies who were programmed to act differently. The original arcade version is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Little Bit of Plot/Story: No real plot. You control Pac-Man around mazes having to eat up all the smaller pellets and power pills to clear the maze while avoiding ghosts.
Little Bit of Character: Joining the titular Pac-Man in the game were the just as famous ghosts; Blinky was the red ghost and was the chaser following Pac-Man’s every move. Pinky was the…well pink one and designed to be an ambusher. Inky was cyan in colour and would try to get in front of Pac-Man. While Clyde the orange one was programmed to act quite randomly.
Little Bit of Influence: Pac-Man went on to spawn a long running franchise in games. But also have 2 animated TV shows, a hit single. Pac-Man would even appear in TV and films, plus he had his own themed area at Six Flags Over Texas. But Pac-Man also spawned many clones and for both arcade and home formats.
Little Bit of Memories: That intro music just before you start as well as that little ditty as Pac-Man dies is burnt into my memory forever. I recall this being one of my most loved childhood games and still is today. I also remember those cutscenes that were often very humorous.
Little Bit of Playability: For me, this is still one of the most playable games today. Its simplicity is a huge part of it’s attraction and I have Pac-Man Museum installed on my Xbox 360. I could see modern gamers not really enjoying the game though, but I would recommend trying; Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, which is a stunning remake and offers a lot of gameplay and variety.
This is just one part of my Pac-Man Birthday celebrations. Please feel free to read my Pac-Man Bio and even multi-part retrospective at every official Pac-Man game in the franchise.