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COMMODORE SCENE ISSUE 35 review

Written by Richard Bayliss

Yet again, Allan Bairstow has made another issue of the usual UK C64 paper magazine. Usually Commodore Scene is technical, but this time, issue 35 is an Arcade Extravaganza. Not only featuring C64 remakes of classic games, but some interesting articles on the original arcade machines. 

The magazine features loads of reviews from Merman/Ozone, Allan and the Art Ravers, as well as from some other contributors. Each page has a large in-depth details about chosen favourites. There is also a superb article ‚Pacman Trilogy‘, plus a few choice cuts from myself.

Starting off with the cover of the magazine. The artwork has been professionally drawn (probably by Chris, or Malte) featuring a spaceship, flying in space, blasting enemies. (This was originally going to be used for the SEUCK special I think). The back page has loads of screen shots taken from various sources. C64 remakes and also original versions. Usuall CS is 32 pages long, but this issue is 40 pages long. 

CS starts with a bit of editorial from the guy, Allan, himself. He talks about some of the drastic things that caused the delay for issue 35 to be released. Following that is the news page, which details various C64-related events, website news and new releases (despite not many happened this issue, but TND does get a mention ;o))

Turning over, we have the Commodore Scene letters/reactions page, where Commodore Scene readers can send their letters VIA Email or snail mail to Allan, and Allan replys back in the magazine. 

Later on, I was reading an interesting article all about Ubik's „Arcade Classics“. Which had four games in one. Merman/Ozone has written a thoughtful comment about the game – who published the game, and how much it had cost in 1987 when it was released by Firebird software. Music was featured in Arcade Classics by Rob Hubbard :o)

I also read through another of Mermans' interesting articles, which was all about the General Election games and he mentioned one game, which I own ‚Election Game‘ from Mastertronic, which cost L1.99, but I bought it for 50 uk sterling pence :o) I agree with the comments about all these Election games being poor.

Another arcade classic article, which interested me was all about the game ‚I-Robot‘, which Atari had released, but it looked as if nobody liked the game. There were some commentary on how this game could have been a good Commodore 64 release :o) Following that was something interesting – all about C64 light gun games. The type of light guns the C64 used, i.e. defender 64, etc. Then was a full detailed review of the games ‚Donkey Kong and Carnival/Duck Shoot‘ (you can check the pdf example on the Commodore Scene web site :o)

There was an astonishing full report about the Back In Time Live 2001 at Club DNA in Bham, UK. Many C64 celebs had joined in the fun, and it looked as if everyone had a really good time. The whole article took over four pages, and it included snippets of the big event. You even get to see who Rob Hubbard and Jeff Minter looks like right now :o)

I was very interested in reading through the history of arcade games. It detailed the timeline of arcade games, from Pong to the modern games, such as on Playstation 2. The article was an extremely interesting read. I'm sure my brother would enjoy reading the mag :o) He likes interesting computer games ;o)

The Art Ravers contributed ‚The Pacman Trilogy‘ which is also another good read. The article is dedicated to C64 and original conversions of the games, which Namcos' superstar, Pac Man were involved.

Commodore Scene would not be Commodore Scene, without any technical pages, so there is 1 1/2 pages all about arcade game play hardware, such as the steering wheels, joystick controllers, etc. ALSO the article features how possible it is to turn a PC joystick into a C64 joystick ;o) I remember when all my joysticks broke, and I could not code any more games, until Philip had fixed me a joypad – from his PC to the good old machine that we love, the Commodore 64.

There is also a page dedicated to the light gun/joystick games by Konami. ‚Operation Wolf‘ and ‚Thunderbolt‘. These were two great games, which were produced for the Commodore 64, as well as in the arcade. Both these games used the cool Ocean Loader with the superb music by Jonathan Dunn.

There is so much in the magazine, which I cannot explain, but what about the Commodore Scene cover disk? Well, the cover disk had all C64 games. Unfortunately, the CS menu is no longer used. This is because of the amount of files on the disk. I believe Merman/Ozone still compiled the cover disk for us, unless Allan did it himself :o) The programs are mainly Remember releases of the featured Arcade classics. – I have to admit that Remember have done a brilliant job with the cracking and training of these games. I have not encountered bugs anywayz. (I don't know if cracking C64 software still unlawful, but nobody can be asked to stop – therefore it continues) The coverdisks has the following files:

Centipede (Remember) Donkey Kong (Remember) Duck Shoot (Remember) Galaxion (Remember) Gremlins (Remember) Ms PacMan (Remember) Pacmania (Remember) Ping Pong (Remember) Super Pacman (Remember) Stellar 7 (SCPU Compatible as well as normal C64) Hard Drivin' (SCPU Compatible as well as normal C64) Pac-It (Was meant to be Preview V2, but Preview V1 was used again – oops, Allan – clumsy ;o)) Defuzion 3 (By Me).

Overall I really found Commodore Scene and also the cover disk very enjoyable. Each article has been nicely detailed and also the cover disk games. My favourite one was PacMania.

Special thanks also has to go to Jack Alien and Remember for their releases of those games. The documents also helps a lot. Commodore Scene – will it continue? I hope so :o)

Its' not to late to order your copy.
Go to the Commodore Scene web site.

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