Archive for the 'Sport' Category

November 13, 2010

If there is anyone who can be accused of being overfriendly, it’s our own lovely Emlyn. “He’s a weasel” chirped one member of staff. “He’s chubby and cuddly” said another. “He’s a squeaky, friendly mouse” threw in a member of Britain’s yoof.

Whatever you call him, the plain and simple fact is that not many people like Emlyn. Even Princess Anne hates him. Now let’s not jump to conclusions. Just because a game is endorsed by El Wimpo doesn’t mean it’s automatically going to be crap. Far from it. Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is better than any other Speccy footy game that has appeared to date, even Matchday 2, daddy of ’em all.

What sets EHIS apart from the rest are the HUGE amount of options and the advanced control system. First things first, the options. There is quite a large amount of messing about and tweaking you can do to the game before you actually play it.

This is done via four pull down menus that between them carry more than 50 options that range from the normal things like Load and Save, as well as thigs like select a team to play and start up a cup, or season or a league. Ooooooh!

The game options let you change the basic aspects of the game itself. You can choose whether to watch the computer playing against itself, should it get the chance and whether or not to play extra time. There are 10 skill levels to choose from, as well as the chance to play practice mode, which results in all the opposing players not doing anything at all. You can also determine the number of kick directions selectable from 1 (forward kicking only), 3 (forward and 45 degrees either side) and 5 (forward, 20 and 70 degrees either side). You can choose backheel on/off and whether to have the goalie under computer control.

The teams are made of lots of individual players (Nah, really Tone? – AS), each with lots of different stats, governing how fast the character is on field, and his respective attacking, devensive and midfielding skills, all of which can be altered. Load and Save team just save stats and names of the players. Load and Save all saves all details including things like whether you are in the middle of a cup league or season. as well as all scores.

Right, that’s the boring bit over with, here comes the fun. The most important and really hooking factor of the game is that the match is accurate and includes all rules apart from offside. All free kiks, penalties, throw ins and corners are there, and they need to be judging by the accuracy of the gameplay. Everything is pixel perfect. The man currently under your control is highlighted by a halo over his head. Game control is where the game really comes into its own. You can do almost anything in Emlyn Hughes International Soccer (apart from throw coins and punch supporters when you lose) and all from simple joystick in a certain direction, and the man under your control will run in that direction. Continue to hold the joystick in that direction and the man will accelerate until he reaches top speed. Fire acts like a sort of clutch. Hold down Fire and the man continues moving in the same direction if you have the ball. If you don’t have the ball he will either do a sliding tackle, a lunge ore a diving header, depending on the vertical positioning of the mall. If you have the ball, then what you do with the joystick determines the type of the shot. If you push the joystick in the opposite direction to the way the player is facing, then the shot will be a lob. Push the joystick in the opposite direction to the way the player is facing, then the shot will be a lob. Push the joystick in the direction he’s running, and it’ll go along the floor. The length of time you hold down the button selects how hard the shot will be, from 28 different strengths. Pushing the joystick left or right from the direction the player is moving decides which direction the ball will go. Can’t be bad.

Graphics are fab, brilliant and better. All of the characters are smallish, to be sure, but detail and animation is great. All the little men run around smoothly and some of the little animations are really cute. Like the three step goal kick, and the little triumphant wave after scoring a goal. Sliding tackles and diving headers are all catered for in their own sweet way.

Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is the best footy game I’ve ever played, well, on the Speccy anyway, forget the endorsement, it’s pretty darn good, or as the great Liver puddy himself would say, “It’s great”.



Xeno

Author: admin
October 31, 2010

Download Xeno Remake

Xeno online is a simple game very stylishly presented. Imagine a sort of futuristic ice hockey meets shove ha’penny and that’s it, the whole game.

Xeno has supposedly developed from a pasttime improvised by miners on lo – basically involving drunken men pushing ice blocks at a puck. Somehow the puck has to be shoved between two poles to score a goal. The modern version features the puck and two skimmers which, despite featuring the latest technology are about as hard to control as the original blocks of ice.

The chief feature of the game the first few times you play it is the large number of different ways it is possible to score own goals by whizzing helplessly out of control and accidentally striking the puck a glancing blow. I lost 30:1 wit 25 being own goals, the first time I played.

There is a technique of course. You gradually learn how to carefully control the amount of energy you put into each push and how not to spend your time hurtling from one side of the pitch to the other.

It’s particularly dispiriting when you aren’t even in sight. The pitch extends over several screens and the computer “camera” follows the action around the puck. If you aren’t near the puck you aren’t in the picture at all.

It looks pretty wonderful though. The illusion of perspective is well achieved as you seem to be looking over the heads of the crowd at the action. The scrolling is extremely smooth and the sense of frictionless movement adds to the feeling of movement across the ice.

Xeno online has the marks of a classic game – you can develop different strategies to win. On you might find useful is going for the enemy skimmer rather than the puck. It’s unsporting of course but I was able to live with myself.

Yep. I liked it very muych. It’s very well programmed and should be noticed not only by computer gamers, but also but by designers of a new sport, as an alternative to curling.



Show Jumping

Author: admin
October 30, 2010

Show jumping is one of those sports which hasn’t been over-exposed on the Spectrum. Maybe that’s because there’s no equivalent in the amusement arcades, or perhaps software houses think show jumping is just for the girls, and not worth bothering around.

Anyway, Alligata has more than compensated with a fine simulation which should have you on the edge of your seat during the jump-offs and your family imitating the strangled tones of horse-loving commentators.

You can play on your own with up to eight people in a grand competition. The solo version is rearly a training mode, starting with easy courses and building up to the more complex arrangementsof the competition courses.

Although the screen is dull in comparison to some of the more spectacular sports simulations, tha animation of the horse and rider more than makes up for that. Alligata claims around 190 different positions for the horse and the result is very realistic, particularly when you jump a fence. The horse leaps up effectively, the rider leans forward and the back legs kick as in cleans the fence.

Control is nevertheless easy, with Left and Right turning the horse, Up and Down accelerating and decelerating, and Fire for jump. Your turning circle is naturally larger than if you are at a standstill.

The essence of show jumping is that the horse does the jumping while the rider guides the horse, and that is what happens in the Alligata game. The easy part is getting over the fence. The difficult part is making sure your horse is in the right position and moving at reasonable speed to give it a chance.

The course is spread over four screens, and before you start you are shown a diagram of the fences and the order in which you must jump them. When, at the difficult level, you have to remember ten or more fences, that in itself is a major problem. Each fence is lettered and the letter flashes to indicate the next fence, but you also have to remember from which side to jump it. If you cant’s visualise the position of fences off-screen, you are also likely to find yourself coming in at quite the wrong angle, and may even crash into one by mistake.

All the courses must be completed within 100 seconds, which is easy if things go right but hard when you have to start making detours to get back to the right place. If you don’t go fast enough, or if you try to jump the wrong fence, your horse will refuse – it’s an intelligent being and doesn’t see why it should put up with stupid orders. Three refusals and you’re disqualified, so it’s better to go for broke and hope you don’t knock too many fences down on the way.

Each fence down costs four faults, and I was pleased to see that you can knock the bars with your front feet as well as hind legs. The one thing you don’t seem to be able to do is fall off the horse. That’s probably a blessing.

Show Jumping game is immensely enjoyable, partly because it doesn’t try to be too ambitious and just concentrates on the basic mechanics of the game and getting them right. Presentation is a bit sparse – notably, there isn’t any sound during the game itself. We also found a minor bug, in that some courses stop the clock when you jump the final fence, instead of when you cross the finishing gates. The doesn’t spoil the enjoument, though, and Alligata has promised to look into the matter and fix it before the game is finally released.

If you require all the splashy background graphics and other frills, you may be a little contemptuous of Show Jumping game, but fans of the sport and those who attach more importance to the game should certainly check it out – it’s one of the more attractive simulations around.



Room Ten

Author: admin
September 25, 2010

Download Room Ten Remake

Play Room Ten Flash Remake

Utterly simple, fairly addictive, visually straightforward, but strangely effective in a geometrical sort of way. Room Ten, more than anything else, is Pong, or more precisely, 3D Pong.

Remember Pong, the game that started it all off? Pong that etched little bars into the TV set? Pong that made your eyes go funny and got boring after about two weeks and was never taken out again?

No. Not like that at all. This is 3D Pong in a reduced gravity box. This is sophisticated algorithm and subtle gameplay.

It involves bats and balls though. Mabe it’s squash for yuppie astronauts.

Designed by Pete Cooke author, gasp, of Tau Ceti, double gasp, and written by Chris Newcombe, 3D Pong Room Ten is a neat twist on a great many ideas of bat and ball.

Imagine this: a box, oblong-shaped. At either end of the oblong are two rectangular bats. A ball is served, just like tennis and off it goes in reduced gravity. All movement starts and stops slowly – it is so easy to be hopeless stuck in the wrong position. You are trying, needless to say, to get the ball back without it hitting your back wall.

The ball will behave more or less like a normal ball in the sense that you can perform all the usual tricks of spin and angling by using the bat in different ways. It’s just that you feel like you are moving in slow motion whilst the ball whizzes toward you as robustly as ever.

That’s it. The whole thing is nicely dressed up with various menues, speed options, two-player modes (probably most fun), skill level for the computer and instructions. But there’s no disguising it’s simplicity.

Graphically the thing looks like geometry diagrams, a rectangle for the bat within a rectangle for the playing box. Top of the screen is one player’s viewpoint – bottom of the screen is the other’s.

If it were a budget title it would be a classic.



11-a-side Soccer

Author: admin
September 21, 2010

11-a-side soccer has good graphics and is one of the best soccer Spectrum simulators ever issued for ZX-Spectrum, however it is unfairly much less popular than Match day. The game was published by Code Masters and belongs to the series named “4 Socccer Simulators”. After the game is loaded you can choose from the following options:

  • one player
  • two players
  • two players (one team)
  • three players
  • four players
  • customize controls (standard set)
  • Hall of fame
  • About the authors
  • Enter your name
  • Game length
  • Skills of players forming your team

The skills of players can be one of the following:

    AUTO – for beginners;
    MANUAL – for experienced players.

After you’ve chosen the number of players you will be asked to choose game difficulty: EASY, MEDIUM or HARD.

The game is held on an artificial grass. You are playing in country cup tournament. A great achievement for spectrum is implementation of soccer rules. The game provides for penalties, free kicks, yellow and even red cards. It is possible to knock down your opponent.

If you are a beginner, do not select HARD difficulty level, as you will lose with disastrous score. Don’t rely on your partners in organizing attacks.