ST/Amiga Format Issue 9

Issue 9 – Download

The World in February 1989
In Britain, with its most recent addition of a 4th channel on terrestrial TV back in 1982, Sky TV broadcast its first satellite TV service in Britain, eventually introducing the nation to WWF, The Simpsons and MTV and fundamentally changing the way we watch TV – now instead of only 4 channels of crap we had hundreds. Meanwhile, ITV got its rival to Aussie soap Neighbours, airing Home and Away for the first time and on the BBC Eastenders killed off Den Watts.. or did they? Following last month’s protests by British Muslims over Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, in Iran the Ayotollah placed a fatwa on him, condemning him to a life of uncertainty – the first high-profile case of what would become an ongoing pattern culminating on events like the Charlie Hebdo attacks. The last Soviet column left Afghanistan, and the first GPS satellite went into orbit paving the way for us to all become lazy bastards dependent upon Google Maps to get around.

The film charts were pretty good, with the utterly wonderful Naked Gun on top spot, Die Hard at 2, Arthur 2 at 3, Cocktail at 4 (ok so that’s not so good). In albums there’s a lot of movement week to week, but for the week I’ve picked we have a mix of the Fine Young Cannibals, Roy Orbison (twice), Gloria Estefan, New Order, Mike and the Mechanics and Elvis Costello. Definitely an eclectic mix, but overall vastly higher quality than you would find in the chart now. In the singles chart we find that Marc Almond and Gene Pitney have made it all the way to number 1, the excerable Michael Ball at 3, but some genuine bangers present like Bobby Brown’s My Prerogative, Morrissey’s Last Of The International Playboys and Holly Johnson’s Love Train.

The Magazine
After very slim pickings in issue 8 we come to issue 9 with its similarly slim pickings, but rest assured 3 of the remaining 4 issues of ST Amiga Format (before we move to ST Format proper) are absolute bangers. The big features this month include a discussion of emulators and a round-up of input devices (some very strange). News features some interesting discussion of grey imports (see page 7) and the announcement of the Mega ST 1 – a puzzling machine considering the existence of the 1040 and when one considers the Mega ST 1 doesn’t have the blitter chip etc.

Previews include the brilliant Battlehawks 1942 and Populous (I intend to cover both), along with some games I know less about like cybernoid 2 (shooter), Timescanner (pinball), Dragonscape, Thunderwing (shooter), Knight Force, Vindicator and Guardian Moons. Not an enormously exciting selection.

Missing the cut were yet another strip poker game (this time from Infogrames), Phantom Fighter (shooter), Spaceball (breakout/tennis), and some absolute drek.

Games reviewed this month:
Dragon’s Lair (‘interactive’ cartoon – Entertainment International – £44.95 – 92% Format Gold) — this is the Amiga version – the Atari ST version would later get a score in the 40s if I recall, ST Format having wised up to the lack of actual gameplay in this tech demo
War In Middle Earth (Wargame – Mastertronic – £19.99 – 91% Format Gold)
Hybris (Shooter – Gainstar – £24.95 – 82%)
Crazy Cars 2 (Racer – Titus – £19.95 – 71%)
Sword of Sodan (Run and stab – Gainstar – £24.95 – amiga only so who cares – 76%)
Custodian (Jetpack shooter – Hewson – £19.95 – a very generous 73%)
Dream Zone (Weird adventure thing – Gainstar – £24.95 – 65%)
Last Duel (Shooter – US Gold – £19.95 – 63%)

I think I might cheat and review Dragon’s Lair even though the ST version was quite a bit later, as at that time there will be a lot more to cover, and I’ll probably have a look at Crazy Cars 2.

Reviews This Month

Review: Crazy Cars 2

Crazy Cars 2 ST Amiga Format Review My ReviewCrazy Cars 2 opens with a still image using stippling effects to give the impression of more colour than was actually present and a sampled tune rather than the usual beepy chiptune fare. However, that’s about as good as this game gets. This game is terrible (sorry…More

Review: Dragon’s Lair

Dragon’s Lair ST Amiga Format Review ST Format Review (July 1990) Cheating As you can see I’ve included both the early ST Amiga Format review and the later ST Format review so you can get a sense of the evolution of the magazine and how it reviewed games, and also because I’m kinda cheating by…More

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