• Commodore Free - Part 3

    From Stephen Walsh@1:2320/100 to All on Tue Jul 5 20:05:08 2011
    placed on our character) is just right, you do feel he is a little light
    when jumping but without this he wouldn't be able to collect everything,
    and how heavy are yellow cats? Playability is good and the frustrating
    "one more go" is here I cant really think of anything critical to say
    about the game, its well balanced and thought out. Oh did I say I like the clouds (oh ok sorry then for repeating that)

    Excellent a very good game

    Review Commodore Free

    Graphics: 9/10
    Sounds: 8/10
    Gameplay: 9/10

    OVERALL: 9/10

    IT'S MAGIC 2 REVIEW By Commodore Free

    Tom, the little tomcat, has gained a lot of experience already in his first adventure (It's Magic), his journey to the outside world. After he returned
    to the Dream Islands and was celebrated as a great hero, he since lived
    happily at his master's place, the wise wizard who taught him being a
    good magician as time passed.

    Now the Dream Islands - there, all animals live together peacefully - are in danger. And what Tom doesn't know yet is that he himself is conjuring up
    this danger by mistake! More about this you will get to know in the intro... But one thing is for sure: The Dream Islands will be pushed into chaos
    and the only one who can save them is our little Tom!

    It's Magic 1 was already nice, but It's Magic 2 tops it by all means and is
    on its way to become a true C64 classic amongst the jump 'n runs. In the picturesque intro you are introduced to the background of the game. A
    saveable high score and a fastloader are also onboard, but as the loader
    can also be disabled, the game perfectly runs on your FD-2000, HD or RAMLink!

    Minimum system requirements: C64 or C128 in C64 mode, 1541/1571 Floppy, Joystick.

    Also compatible with: 1541 Ultimate, SD2IEC, uIEC/SD, IEC-ATA, 1581, CMD FD, CMD HD, CMD RAMLink.

    This game is PAL only!

    While in It's Magic 1 Tom had to proceed against his enemies with shots and
    had to find magic items for finishing one level, now in It's Magic 2, he has advanced his magic skills so far that he can just vaporize the enemies by jumping onto them, just in the very style of Giana Sisters!
    Additionally there are of course magical helpers like invulnerability or
    time stoppers that ease Tom's life in the fight against the occupants of
    Dream Island.

    In the game there are five worlds in total, each with an own, precisely drawn multicolour graphic set. Also in contrast to its predecessor It's Magic 2 provides music during the gameplay, two compositions in every world. As
    hardly any other game, It's Magic 2 uses the ability of the C64 to display
    also hires elements in a multicolour charset. This way you will be able to discover hires elements embedded in the levels (like the dinosaur skeleton
    in level 1) that enhances the overall quality of the game graphics significantly.


    Released in 2000 this follow on to its magic 2 features 6 worlds with 5 different levels with approximately 40 different monsters in the game, each level has different graphics and in game music

    Loading up this sequel to version 1 (how can anything get much better)

    We are greeted with WELL MORE OF THE SAME REALY There does seem to be more visual details in version 2 and wow even more scrolling clouds in the
    borders we also see the score screen has updated along with the timer and

    Version 1 score board

    Version 2 Score board

    Something else has changed we can now jump onto alien creatures and kill them in part one this would result in our hero suffering a life loss, you bounce onto a creature and kill it then bounce off, as is the case in other games
    like this one. The other thing is we now don't have an option to fire
    from the start

    Graphics: 9/10
    Sound: 8/10
    Gameplay: 9/10


    BOMB MANIA REVIEW By Commodore Free

    Firstly get a four player adaptor then plug in 4 joysticks and play this, of course you will need to have at least 4 friends to get the full benefit of
    the game otherwise you will need 1 other friend as you cant play against
    the commuter in this version of the classic bomb game.

    From the splash screen you know something is going to be very special.

    And launching the game doesn't disappoint in any way

    The idea of the game is to blow up all the opposition so you are the last man standing, the game has appeared on a variety of systems and versions for the Commodore 64 exist, but something is special about this version.

    The frustrating game pay the jazzy boppy music, heck I have played this game over and over with friends, hours of time laughing and joking and still
    stone sober! Commodore Scene used to have a display with a 4 player adaptor
    and this game on; and the stand was always crowded with people wowing at the game and asking "where can I get this".

    The game play becomes obsessive the only downside of course is you need
    friends to pay as there is no computer opponent option, you can of course
    cheat and start the other players yourself but where is the fun in that, especially if you blow yourself up and still don't win, Various power-ups
    exist and blowing up bits of wall will reveal them, some are nice others
    not so nice.

    The graphics are good and the music excellent, I know for a fact when you
    beat the opposition you will be jumping around like mad shouting "in your
    face losers" then back for another game, Too many hours have been lost with
    me playing this game. Its one of PROTOVISONS Full price range at 13 euro's
    and you can tell why a demo is available, follow the links from here head for the shop in your preferred language. http://www.protovision-online.de/

    various levels add to the variety with pipes to climb in oh and watch out for the bombing ghosts

    Ha in your face losers!

    Ok you played the demo now try to stop whistling the in game music
    (ha ha cant can you see what I mean, you will now wake up singing this!)

    Review Commodore Free

    Graphics: 8/10
    Sounds: 9/10
    Gameplay: 10/10 Yep honestly

    OVERALL: 9/10

    ICE GUYS REVIEW By Commodore Free


    Ice Guys is a yet another cute jump run shoot platform game from the Protovision team. The game can be played by for 1 or 2 players
    simultaneously. The game as you would expect has multicolour graphics and superb digisynth music.

    The story so far: During the last, snow-rich winter, from some unknown
    location lots of little, mean monsters came and decided to kidnap some
    snowmen! And so, lots of these beloved creatures disappeared over night
    from gardens, sidewalks and parks, leaving big holes in the beautiful winter landscape. Two former Antarctic researchers, which are now retired and have opened an ice cafe, can't accept this impertinence by any means. They work
    out a plan and decide to fight against the nasty little monsters, to let the snowmen return to freedom.

    Ice Guys features a unique game concept, Bubble Bobble could be a named as a far relative. The objective is to throw snowballs at the little unfriendly beasts, so that these get stuck in an avalanche. You then can push this avalanche, it will roll down and hit further monsters - but be careful, as
    you probably don't want to hit your team mate or even become a victim of
    your own avalanche! In the beginning the enemies can be defeated quite
    easily, so you can make yourself familiar with the game. But soon it will become harder and fighting the monsters won't be that smooth!

    Minimum system requirements: C64 or C128 in C64 mode, 1541/1571 Floppy,
    1 or 2 Joysticks.

    Also compatible with: 1541 Ultimate.

    This game is PAL only!

    Ice Guys offers a number of possibilities to proceed in the game: Next to
    lots of extras you can also collect some special symbols which lead the
    player into a bonus game. It consists of a turbo sledge race (in 2 player
    mode of course with both players at the same time) in which you should
    collect as much ice as you can, as for 10 of them you are granted a bonus
    life, with which you even can get a dropped out second player back into the game! Also the music in Ice Guys is high above the average and the hot
    rhythms motivate you to play. Next to finest SID music the game
    features two real digisynth pieces a la Chris Hnlsbeck or Jeroen Tel.


    Super smooth snowball throwing platform game, throw snowballs at various creatures to gain points and bonus prizes and advance to more complex levels.

    The game play is just right (for me) the game starts out easy and as time progresses gradually monsters speed up and grow in numbers, until its
    frantic paced.

    Excellent graphics and Sonics accompany the game play, with smooth bouncing game play screens scrolling into play, there is little here to criticize. Throwing a snowball at a creature and hitting it x amount of time will
    render it defunded as the alien creature will be turned into a giant
    snowball, this gives out heroes chance to push the ball and kill anything
    in its tracks resulting in a bonanza of prizes and bonus points. So the real skill is to get a monster at the top level with the others underneath then
    when you push the snowball it will blast out all the opposing creatures.

    You will be screaming at the TV on this game, the frantic paced action

    Graphics: 7/10
    Sound: 7/10
    Gameplay: 7/10

    OVERALL: 7/10

    METAL DUST REVIEW By Commodore Free


    * Seven different weapon systems

    * Single or dual player mode

    * Four really big levels with a lot of small, many medium and some very big enemies

    * Giant end monsters with different attack behavior

    * Overlay color graphic objects and lots of other nice graphical effects

    * More than 1000 blocks of digi music data per level, exclusively composed by the band Welle:Erdball

    * Digi music will be played with very high CIA rate

    * Real-time mixing of digis for explosions and game effects

    * Really soft parallax scrolling with high speed areas

    * High end sprite multiplexer that still runs stable while playing high quality
    digi music

    * Outro sequences with brilliant graphics


    * a Commodore 64 with Heavy Duty Power Supply or a Commodore 128

    * a 3,5" floppy drive (FD-2000, FD-4000 or 1581)

    * a CMD SuperCPU 20 MHz Accelerator with SuperRAM Card (at least 4 MB)

    * and of course a monitor or TV as well as one or two joysticks


    In 1995, Big User aka Stefan Gutsch had the idea to program a Shoot'em Up
    for the Commodore 64 with the 8 MHz accelerator card "Flash8". He started as the only coder and graphician, and because he is not a musician, he
    digitized selected MOD music from the Amiga, using the DAISY digitizer. But because of the instability of the Flash8 card, Big User stopped development soon after.

    Fascinated by the project, some people could persuade Big User in restarting the project later on. Because of the lack of development tools - there was
    only the (a bit unstable and buggy) "Flash8 AssBlaster" - and due to some hardware problems, development went very slowly. Finally, there has been one level with some enemies and a quite big end monster. This is the level many
    of you know from scene parties and other occasions.

    At this time, about 1997, Stefan Gutsch met Chester Kollschen, creator of the top games Ice Guys and Bomb Mania. Both coders had always dreamed of
    creating a Turrican-like game. The idea of an (unofficial) successor of Turrican I and II was born. To get every C64 user the chance to play the
    game, it was decided not to require the SuperCPU for this one. Now Stefan
    could concentrate on what he can do best, great graphics and creative level design. Chester started with the hard work of programming the game, work
    name "Turrican 3". The goal was to be not only as good as but even better
    than the predecessors. Finally music had been implemented, the end monsters
    got bigger and absolutely flicker free - using a completely new designed multiplex routine. The game could even load data while one could move the player. In 1998, the project was presented to a small bunch of people during
    a scene party. But during the night, the disk was stolen and the half
    completed game was spread around the internet. Shocked by the fact that such things could happen even in the fantastic C64 scene, Chester cancelled the work. Simultaneously, Factor 5, makers of the "Turrican" games on Amiga, threatened because of copyright issues. Half a year later, Chester started again to code, this time not a game, but a new operating system that one
    time shall replace GEOS. He thought that the SuperCPU offers a great deal of power and so much possibilities that there is a need for a new,
    SuperCPU-only operating system. CLiPS was born.

    Fortunately, also Stefan regained his interest for the C64 and started
    coding. Surprisingly, the - actually cancelled - project "Metal Dust" was revived. Stefan worked hard on the game, although programming was not easy. Three more levels were created, also some end monsters were designed. But frequent setbacks and long bug hunts more and more slowed development down
    and also took away motivation. Metal Dust died again.

    Malte Mundt aka ThunderBlade could not accept the thought that such a fascinating game project should never be finished. He organised a new
    meeting between Stefan and Chester, where a new cooperation had been
    decided. Again Chester took over the code work and Stefan could concentrate
    on the graphics. In the meantime, Chester has recoded the complete game
    engine. The game concept has been redesigned and extended, for example by implementing the two-player mode. Malte and Chester reached an agreement
    with the band Welle:Erdball to get an exclusive sound track for Metal Dust.
    The graphics have been improved again, the levels got much better and much bigger. Malte digitized and arranged the music created by Welle:Erdball.
    The old enthusiasm is back. After a long time of hard work, Protovision can
    now present you Metal Dust, the first Shoot'em Up for the Commodore with SuperCPU.


    Producer: Stefan Gutsch (Big User)
    Programming: Chester Kollschen Graphics: Stefan Gutsch
    Level Music: Welle:Erdball
    Title and End sequence Music: Lars Hutzelmann (The Blue Ninja)
    Project Management: Malte Mundt (ThunderBlade) and Milo Mundt (MacGyver)


    Now for those users without a SCPU the best I can give you is that there are various YouTube videos available

    and here

    and an AVI file from the Protovision website


    When I heard about the game I became excited, I saw some of the previews and then actually managed to play the actual game at a Commodore Scene meeting.
    Now some may be saying that using a SCPU attached to the Commodore 64 turns
    the machine into something else and not a real Commodore 64, I must admit
    you have a point and how many people in the world actually own a SCPU in the first place. I am lucky enough to have one and also one on order from
    Maurice Randal that has bee waiting for him to put together for something
    like 6 years! I would advise you to stay away from him.

    So the game looks amaing and of course the sounds are just samples replayed back through the SID chip, the music is super cool matches the pace of the
    game and ties the whole project together well. However I think that most of
    the SCPU power has been utilized to replay samples, although the massive monsters and super smooth scrolling look like the game is played on a 16 bit system, there is some confusion with objects that are in the background and foreground. From my point of view I couldn't tell the difference and kept crashing into things I thought were background objects.

    The screen is absolutely full of bullets flying and bolder ships, there is no question this looks amazing, I doo feel though that the graphics would have been better created on the C64 instead of porting them from other platforms.


    Well you invested in a SCPU and lets be honest there isn't much software
    that utilizes the SCPU so you really owe it to yourself to purchase a copy,
    its just unbelievable the response from others when they see the game playing.

    On the game play front its more a question of learning flight patterns than anything else, I did see some members of Commodore Scene make it to later levels, with giant monsters virtually filling the screen. Its s tough game
    but the playability does make you go back for more.

    Graphics: 8/10
    Sound: 8/10 Well its mainly
    replaying sampled music
    Playability: 7/10

    OVERALL: 8/10

    It does have a Wow factor but the SCPU power would have been suited to more than just digi sounds playback

    JIM SLIM REVIEW By Commodore Free


    In ancient times, there was a world under a spell of terror! A wicked demon known as the warlord Gothar ruled the darklands.

    In the middle of Gothar's evil realm, there was a peaceful little kingdom called Blizland. According to the land's traditions, a magic skull had been handed down from generation to generation.

    This skull had great and mysterious powers and was used to protect the friendly
    creatures - called Blizzies - from the evil surrounding them.

    Now the warlord Gothar has stolen the magic skull.

    Darkness has fallen over the little kingdom, world peace is at stake!

    But mighty Gothar has also taken the beautiful Candy, your true love,
    captive, so this has become a personal affair to you, young Jim Slim.

    You are the chosen one to rescue the beautiful Candy and bring back the magic skull.

    On your search for Candy you will have to travel through unexplored dangerous woods, caves, mountains, and destroy every demon, monster or other hostile helper of Gothar that crosses your path.

    On your journey through the land of dragons you can collect hidden coins, treasures and keys, which will help you to survive the battles and get you through the maze. But beware, you never know what's lurking behind the doors!

    Once you reached Gothar's castle, you will have to face his menacing servants and find your way to the deepest dungeon of the castle, survive your last battle by defeating Gothar, and rescue your beautiful Candy.

    All Blizzies have left Blizland, except one old wise man who gives you a
    final piece of advice: "The easy way is not always the good way."

    You'll get yourself in the middle of extreme trouble, but Candy is surely
    worth it!

    Good luck!


    Jim Slim an original game started by Argus Designs and now released by PROTOVISION, who hold exclusive rights to the game.

    When you are challenged to a labyrinth of 15 worlds filled with monsters, and dragons challenging mazes and superb music and graphics, especially when
    World peace is at stake, not to mention the honour of your girlfriend, you
    know there isn't any excuse but to take on the challenge. When you are told
    you will be in the form of a red ball, then the challenge steps up a notch
    or rounds of the whole scenario! When you are then told "retrieve the stolen skull" then this is a challenge No one can turn down.

    The game is a jump and roll plat former, featuring colourful graphics, that change for each world and also changing sound track. There are some 15
    worlds with are split into 3 levels, the game features teleport systems,
    keys to collect to open doors, shooter power-ups, tube systems and
    trampolines And is boxed in a oversize plastic disc case with printed instructions and another disc containing various PROTOVISION demos and previews.


    To load the game you type


    This loads a Pre-loader and then starts to load the game

    And you must have all hardware speed loaders disabled, the game supports a range of hardware but the minimum requirements are a Commodore 64 and
    joystick and of course a disk drive.

    Also the game is currently released as a PAL only version.

    First we are greeted with the marketing glorious PROTOVISION splash screen, looking slicker than anything Sony or Microsoft could put together this
    really sets the scene, it's a sort of warm feeling seeing the Protovision
    logo swirl into view and the music start, who ever is responsible for the
    logo and music must feel very pleased with themselves as this is a work of great art, superb looking, and with the letters "CLASS" written all over it, well actually its PROTOVISION but you know what I mean.


    Pressing space starts to load the game and we are greeted with the Jim Slim splash screen, this stays on screen until the joystick is pressed, where we
    are taken to the story of Jim slim and something about his fate by what
    appears to be a high priestess, the swirly music plays and the words are scrolled on screen, the princess mouths to the words, although it would be better had she actually spoke them out loud, maybe as synthesised speech.

    As the story unfolds the music begins to build up, of course whenever you
    feel bored just press the fire button to go to the start screen. The music
    is very good and really sets the scene for our hero.

    ALL FIRED UP.....

    Pressing fire causes the disk to whirl as the main JIM SLIM screen is loaded into memory, the music begins to pump out and the options are given to

    Start the game, enter a password, Turn the music on/off or turn the sound effects on/off

    I quickly Rushed in and started the game.......

    As the level is started, the music fades and the first set of levels are
    loaded into memory, we are given the first password, although why we need it for level 1 I am unsure anyway for completeness we are given our first password.

    The happy music starts and is hero is placed on a GO square, with the object
    to get the "OK" Square to finish the level.

    The first level takes some getting used to, not because its hard but because you need to figure out the controls, the best advice is to Read the manual, then re read the control part! and finally test things out, holding the joystick for a longer period for example; causes our here to move 2 squares instead of just one, it takes a little time but isn't frustrating and you
    soon get used to the controls by level 3 you should be very familiar with

    A handy hint is to stay over the trampoline the more you bounce the higher
    you will go, oh and of course a red key opens a red door. Trial and error
    then tells you the first "person" you meet on level 1 doesn't seem to
    actually want to kill you, just to roll around; you seem quite same rolling over him!

    Once you have the first few levels under your belt you soon get the hang of
    the control system. Bright and colourful graphics, great animations, super Sonics power-ups and the pressure of the clock ticking away all add to the addictiveness of this platform game.

    The game does have a feel of Thing on a spring and for me personally that
    isn't a bad thing, I don't seem to be very adept at this game but, from
    memory I was pretty poor at thing on a spring.

    Graphics: 8/10
    Sound: 8/10
    Game play: 8/10
    Last ability: 8/10


    By Commodore Free

    Protovision is a German based label dedicated to development and distribution of C64 games and hardware.

    Q- Please introduce yourself and PROTOVISON to the Commodore Free Readers?

    JTR: Hi everyone, I'm Tim Jakob aka Jak T Rip aka JTR and I salute to all Commodore Free users! I'm currently active as a coder in Protovision. A long time ago I started working on my 4 Player Pac Man game "Pac It" and it's
    still work in progress - that needs to change! But I was also involved in
    our current release, Jim Slim in Dragonland.

    Poison: Hi and my name is Oliver Foerster aka Poison. I'm the main webmaster and I'm also in the orga-team. And I made three trailer videos for our games
    so far.

    MacGyver: My name is Milo aka MacGyver. I am the main an organizer: I do
    public relations and manage news. I also manage game projects, e. g. who
    needs what for which project, and who could help out. Furthermore, I'm
    helping Poison with the website. Last but not least, I inform the press about our new releases.

    Q- So what is your fascination with Commodore Machines?

    JTR: Lots of things. First of all, I love both the graphics and the sound
    more than those of any other computer. RGB isn't my thing. And did you know
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