Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Top Three Greatest Amiga Games!

Recently, my colleague at The Pixel Empire, the most excellent Chris Weatherley (@novabug), asked fellow TPE staff writers to contribute a gaming top three for his April blog challenge. Of course, this was just another great opportunity to remind the professional 'yoof' of how amazing the Amiga was as a games machine which constantly stuck two finger up at the Super Nintendo and the Megadrive despite it's home computer stylings. But the choice of rounding down a host of titles to just three is quite insane. Where do you start when titles roll off the tongue like Formula One Grand Prix; Turrican; The Secret of Monkey Island; Flashback; Syndicate; Cannon Fodder; UFO: Enemy Unknown; The Chaos Engine; Captive; and Alien Breed to name a few. It was time to be ruthless. It was time to declare the following three games the best ever on the Amiga! 

3. Civilisation (MicroProse, Sid Meier)

Looks simple, but there is a wealth of depth in Civ's gaming mechanics. 

From tiny acorns do great oaks grow. That’s pretty much the legacy of the original Amiga version of Civilisation through to its current fifth iteration that has now seen it developed for ‘the consoles’. Still, Civ hasn’t been all that much of an evolution, as the pure game mechanics of taking on a band of settlers to grow an all conquering civilisation via a strategy master-class was the foundation of this Amiga classic. Little has changed (albeit Civ 5 is less difficult to play owing to the ‘console’ factor), which means the original version is just as replayable as any of its bigger brothers. Most importantly, there’s no other game out there that can beat Civ for its ‘just one more turn’ dynamic. And before you know it, it’s five o’freaking clock in the morning. Some of the best early morning hours of my youth and most of the summer of 1993 was spent on this bad boy, so obviously I’m not wrong. Civilisation is the best strategy game ever made. 

2. Sensible World of Soccer (Renegade, Sensible Software) 

As marvellous as Speedball 2 is Sensible Soccer probably has the greatest two-player mode ever created. Fast, frantic action that required quite a bit of skill to master made for an absolute bun-fight between argumentative brothers trying to determine which of whom was king of the motherfucking universe! Sensi would always prevail in revealing awho was the actual grandmaster. Years of ever-increasing additions to what started as little more than a bare-bones footy title with exquisite gameplay made SWOS an absolute treasure. Difficulty, depth and endeavour created a multi-directional scrolling footy title that actually played like a real footy match. The now classic stick-men sprites, the ball that refuses to glue to player’s feet, after-touch and killer sliding tackles have much to thank for the that, and whilst it is incredibly challenging to get the knack of it, once you do you’ll be a goal-scoring superstar hero! Incredible goals, frenzied gameplay, a huge management component that kind of gives Championship Manager a run for it’s money, Sensible Soccer is an absolute blast that makes both FIFA and Pro Evolution Soccer blush with embarrassment.

 You're a goal-scoring superstar hero...!

1. Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe (Imageworks, Bitmap Brothers)

Now over 20 years old and not only the best game released on the mighty Amiga, Speedball 2 remains king of the world. A phenomenal piece of gaming in every sense it has bastard hard difficulty; delicious multi-directional scrolling; a futurism design that would make Ridley Scott cream in his jeans; tonnes of ways to score making every match unique; Super fucking Nashwan; simple management content to compliment the hardcore in-game brutalism; bounce domes; the terrific score multiplier; league and challenge play; two player mode - perfect for squabbling brothers; robotic ambulances to remove players beaten to a pulp from the field of play; exquisite design in the arrangement of the Speedball arena; perfect introductory music; replays; the genius of making games only three minutes in length; super fucking quick sprites; on the money collision detection; and a scary AI that has been programmed to constantly piss on your cereal and wipe its dick on your curtains making the game insanely moreish rather than frustrating as you look to improve your teams ranking. Oh, and ice-cream. In other words it’s pretty much the perfect game. 

Ice cream!

Agree or disagree. Let me know.