Another classic for the evening – Galaxian. The X1 really shines with arcade ports, they have such crisp graphics.
Part of the reason for that is the PCG (programmable character generator). The video shows the PCG in action, as it appears to be loading the full-color characters in real time over the garble that initially fills the screen to create a cleaner loading screen.
The PCG is interesting in that it doesn’t seem to wipe clean if you perform a reset. I’m not sure if you can actually save the data for use elsewhere or not, though.
X1 game spotlight – Mother’s Day edition. Actually nothing to do with mothers or the holiday. Tonight we have Bokosuka Wars. Keep your king alive while advancing into enemy territory. You have an army of knights and peasants to sacrifice, I mean, assist you in your quest. It adds some challenge because of the way the characters move, which characters can cut through which obstacles, trying to surround your king by your army so you don’t risk dying, etc.
Apparently this game is unpopular on the NES? It seems subtly different in gameplay on the X1, but I quite like this game! Not amazing or anything but definitely worth a replay!
RollerBall – a pinball game for tonight’s X1 game spotlight. It’s fun in the way Atari 2600’s Video Pinball game is fun, but with a lot of additional complexity. Gameplay is divided into four screens with flippers on each one, with things like a “slot machine” and roll-over mechanisms to increase your bonus score.
A classic on most any platform, tonight’s game is Boulder Dash on my X1. I feel that the sport is very similar to the Commodore 64 version. The sound effects are nearly identical, the graphics don’t look noticeably different from memory, about the only major difference I can think of is when you start a new level or after you lose a life, there’s a sound that plays while the cave is being prepared on the C64 version that isn’t played in the X1 version. Besides that, one is a dead ringer for the other.
Actually, there’s one big short coming with this port, Or at least there’s something I can’t quite figure out. I can change the starting cave, I can change the difficulty level, and I can change the number of players, but I can’t seem to set the game to use the joystick! Cave D is as far as I was able to get using the keyboard. Those butterflies won’t stand still and die while I stumble with these controls.
Tonight’s game is Time Secret. It’s a graphic adventure with a time-travel theme. The graphics are kind of interesting. Navigating the game is a little bit clumsy, because Japanese text entry in the 80s is nothing at all like it is today. It’s much smoother and streamlined now, and while I suppose I could get used to it, I would never want to go back to this style of text entry!
I did manage to time travel in the game once, and doing so changed the environment substantially, but I ended up dying before I got around to taking a picture. Maybe I’ll try again some day.