Tuesday 13 November 2012

Goodbye 1986, Hello 1987

Hello Amiga 500 - Announced at the same time as the Amiga 2000 and released in early 1987.  It was the entry-level Amiga model sold as a direct competitor to the then dominant Atari ST.

Hello VGA - Video Graphics Array was introduced by IBM in April 1987 on their PS/2 line of computers.  With up to 256 different colours on screen at once, the PC was at last able to display decent graphics. 

Hello Sinclair Spectrum +3 - The ultimate Spectrum model went on sale in June.  The +3 model came equipped with an inbuilt 3-inch floppy disk drive in place of the tape drive.  Despite being released late into the life of the Spectrum it did well, making up 15% of all models sold.

Hello Sega Master System (again) - Launched in Europe in September it proved more popular than the NES.  It eventually outsold the Nintendo machine despite the NES having an 11 month head start.

Hello PC Engine - Released in Japan in October 1987.  The PC Engine was never officially released in the UK, but thanks to articles in various magazines there was a demand for 'grey' imports.  In those pre-internet days I remember seeing magazine adverts selling the machine  and games for exorbitant prices.

1987 looks like being a long year with several RPGs to wade through.  There is a good mix of console and 8-bit and 16-bit computer releases this year.  What games am I looking forward to that I have never played?  Two 8-bit games that seem to be universally praised are Head over Heels* and Wizball.  I was disappointed with Jon Ritman's Batman so I hope Head over Heels will make up for it.  Two seminal NES games also stand out for me - Final Fantasy** and The Legend of Zelda.  It will be interesting to find out how well they all fare in 2012.

*Sorry, Head over Heels simply didn't do anything for me and consequently won't by in my blog. I must not like Jon Ritman's style of isometric games.

**Yes, I know Final Fantasy wasn't released in English until 1990.  I'm going with the Japanese release date as I want try Final Fantasy II (1988) and Final Fantasy III (1990) in chronological order.


  1. Ever play The Last Ninja? It was pretty good on C64 although it did have some fiddly bits requiring pixel perfect jumping.

    I remember the sequel from 1988 being better, although I never played the following games that came after the sequel.

    However, given you didn't like Head Over Heels you might not like The Last Ninja. It is also in isometric perspective. I must admit it that I use to think Head Over Heels was great but I find it a bit plodding now.

    1987 also was the year that IK+ was released on C64 and that was pretty good.

    1. Hi Chief. I did have Last Ninja and IK+ on my shortlist.

      With Last Ninja, I just couldn't get to grips with the controls even though I really like the isometric games from Ultimate Play the Game. I played the sequel too, but don't really remember anything about it - I may have had the same issues.

      I used to have IK+ on my ST and loved it back in the day, but nowadays it's a bit too repetitive to be considered one of my All Time Favourite Games, especially with the single background.

    2. Makes sense. I should really give them a try before recommending as nostalgia will be playing a part in what I remember were good games from that era.