Tuesday 28 January 2014

Goodbye 1989, Hello 1990

Goodbye Amstrad CPC – The last of the three main 8-bit computers onto the UK market was the first to leave.  In the UK at least, sales of the system always lagged behind the Sinclair Spectrum and Commodore 64.

Hello SNK Neo-Geo Max 330 Pro-Gear Spec Advanced Entertainment System – Or Neo Geo AES to you and me. Launched in January it was basically Neo Geo MVS arcade hardware in console form.  As it was able to play the latest arcade releases (not ports) it was only for gamers with deep pockets.  In the US the basic console was $400 while games started at $200.  That’s a lot of quarters.

Hello Sega Game Gear – This handheld console was released in October as a competitor to the Nintendo Game Boy.  Although technically superior it suffered from a short battery life and couldn’t compete in terms of sales.  Due to similar hardware, Master System cartridges could be played by way of a converter.

Hello Nintendo Super Famicom – Nintendo’s 16-bit console was launched in Japan in November 1990, just over two years after its Mega Drive rival.  Nintendo needn’t have worried about being left behind as it eventually sold more units than the Sega 16-bit.

Hello Sega Mega Drive – As usual, European gamers got the shaft.  The Mega Drive eventually arrived in November, 25 months since its initial launch in Japan and 15 months after North American gamers got their hands on it.

I can’t remember what I was doing in 1990 but it couldn't have been much gaming as I hardly recognise any titles on my shortlist. Then I saw it – Ultima VI: The False Prophet.  So that’s what I was doing in 1990.  I religiously mapped all the towns and dungeons and got a long way into the game until my game disk corrupted.  I downloaded the game from gog.com a while ago and if I still find it playable I will give it another go.

The only other games I’m looking forward to are Cadaver by the Bitmap Brothers and Powermonger by Bullfrog Productions.  I had both these games for the Atari ST but never got around to playing them.

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