• Tag Archives retrocomputing
  • Predator 2 (Amiga)

    Predator 2 – by Konami for the Amiga


    Predator 2 was released in 1990 and is based on the movie of the same name. You take the role of a Los Angeles police Lieutenant whose unfortunate job it is to stop illegal aliens of a new kind. The game plays very much like Operation Wolf without the light gun. You must put the crosshairs on the target and fire. The Amiga and other 16-bit editions offer the benefit of having mouse control.

    While the graphics are quite good (at least in the Amiga version), the gameplay leaves a little to be desired. I’m not a fan of the shooter on rails genre for the most part anyway and this game does little to advance the genre other than having even more violence than average. In addition to killing aliens, you must also collect ammunition and power-ups and avoid killing civilians.

    In addition to the Amiga, this game was also released for the Commodore 64, DOS, Atari ST and others. Of these version, the Amiga version is the best. If this is your type of game, you’ll have to track down an original copy for the Amiga or use emulation as this game has never been re-released as far as I know. There was also a Sega Genesis version of the game but it was released a couple of years later and is a completely different game played from an isometric point of view.

    Images above are for the Amiga version of the game.

  • WordPro 4 Plus (CBM 8032)


    Source: Commodore: The MicroComputer Magazine – Issue Number 21 – December/January 1982

    Today, the vast majority of people who use word processing software are using some version of Microsoft Office, or perhaps an Open Office variant or Google Docs. However, there used to be far more choices. This particular ad from the December/January 1982 issue of Commodore MicroComputers is for one such product called WordPro 4 Plus for the Commodore CBM 8032.

    The Commodore 8032 was a later entry into Commodore PET line of computers. Initially considered home/personal computers, the PET line was popular in schools in North America, particularly in Canada. The 8032 was an enhanced version that included improvements like an 80 column display (vs. 40), a better keyboard and more memory. At a time when CP/M dominated the business world but before the days of the DOS stranglehold and before the Apple II dominated in schools, the PET line had a pretty successful run.

    I believe that WordPro 4 Plus and WordPro 3 Plus were released close to the same time. The difference was that WordPro 4 Plus was for the Commodore 8032 and WordPro 3 Plus was for the Commodore 64. I couldn’t find what the original price for the 8032 version was but I suspect it was more than the $89.95 of the Commodore 64 version.

    These versions of WordPro offered enhancements over previous versions including math functions, superscripts, subscripts, bold overstrike, exit to BASIC, variable lines per inch, additional pitch settings, audible feedback, pause command, and simultaneous input/output. All features that are either commonly taken for granted today or otherwise don’t apply.

  • Defender of the Crown (Amiga)

    Defender of the Crown was initially released in 1986 for the Amiga and subsequently ported to a number of other systems. It was the first game released by Cinemaware. It is a landmark game and important for the Amiga in particular. Defender of the Crown was the first game that really demonstrated the graphics capabilities of the Amiga and was a huge step forward in terms of graphics standards for computer and video games in general.

    Defender of the Crown is an action strategy game in which you play the role of Saxon Lord trying to fight off the Normans and sometimes Saxon rivals. Interestingly, because Cinemaware was facing financial difficulties, the game was released in an unfinished state, or at least a number of features that were originally intended were incomplete and removed from the initial release. The result was a more simplistic game than was originally intended. However, it was still an excellent game despite this and was released to rave reviews.

    After the initial Amiga release, Defender of the Crown was ported to the Atari ST, DOS, Macintosh, NES, Apple IIgs, Commodore 64 and other platforms. Some ports were better than others. For example, the graphics and sound in the NES and DOS versions suffered quite a bit but the Commodore 64 version ended up being an excellent port despite that systems limitations when compared to the Amiga. On the other hand, some of the previously unfinished more in depth strategic elements were put back in those versions.

    There were a couple of remakes/rereleases in later years, including a new version called Robin Hood: Defender of the Crown that was released in 2003 for the PS2, Xbox and Windows. A digitally remastered version of some Cinemaware games were released including Defender of the Crown. If you are looking to play the original, I recommend the Amiga, Atari ST or Commodore 64 versions.

    The images above are all from the Amiga version.

    Defender of the Crown, Commodore Amiga (1986)