February 1991

The World In February 1991

In the UK the IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street. There were no injuries but that is probably why it’s so heavily fortified these days. It wasn’t always thus. We also got heavy snow, which was great for me as it let me build some awesome snowmen. Photos of me doing this were quite rightly destroyed. There were bombings at Paddington and Victoria Street stations (it’s quite terroristy this month – back in those days it was the Irish who did most of it). In what would prove to be history’s biggest error, Tim Berners-Lee introduced WorldWideWeb, the first web browser.

The US news was mostly dominated by the Gulf War, though there was a collision between two planes as well and an imposter at Princeton University – quite an interesting tale if you feel like googling James Hogue.

Elsewhere in the world Haiti got their first democratically-elected president. He lasted until September before being ousted. Lithuania declared independence, while the Visegrad Agreement pushed Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland towards free-market capitalism. In the Gulf War, Iraq accepted a ceasefire agreement proposed by the Russians, but the US rejected hte agreement, giving Iraq 24 hours to leave Kuwait. They did indeed leave, setting fire to the Kuwaiti oil fields as they left, the fire lasting several months. In Thailand they had yet another coup. Having lived there during one, I can confirm they’re quite regular occurrances.

On TV not much happened. A very quiet month, unless you like news reports showing missile-eye views of raids on Iraq.

The film charts are actually quite interesting, with some films I’ve heard of. You’ve got Dances With Wolves at #1, the mediocre Three Men & A Little Lady (sequel to 3 Men And A Baby) at #2, and Kindergarten Cop at #3. I had no idea that there was a Ducktales movie, but it turns out it was a thing, and it hit #4. Rocky V was sufficiently bad as to put the franchise on ice, while Home Alone is still there hanging on.

I had to pick this – weirdly controversial these days because we’ve all gone completely mad

The album chart is starting to show some signs of recovery from Christmas with a new Queen album at #1, admittedly not their finest work but still at least not a greatest hits album. Wicked Game from Chris Isaak is the latest of those greatest hits albums, with 4 of the top 10 still occupied by greatest hits collections. Belinda Carlisle’s Runaway Horses was still there having been released in 1989, and Gloria Estefan had one of her weaker albums Into The Light at #2.

Not Queen’s finest work…

The singles chart is a little healthier, with Queen at #1, but more interestingly KLF at #2 with 3AM Eternal. Seal at #4 with Crazy is a decent tune. Gonna Make You Sweat by C&C Music Factory is good clean pop fun, though the less said about Wiggle It by 2 In A Room the better. We do at least get the absolute classic mega-banger, I’ve Had The Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warner.

Gotta love a bit of KLF
Turn the speakers up and dance around the room
I don’t care if it’s cheesy as hell, I love it

This Month’s Magazines

ST Format Issue 20

Reviews This Month

Review: Tournament Golf (Atari ST)

ST Format Review (Issue 20) Equipment Used/Recommended MiSTer box running the Atari ST core – a 1MB STE running TOS 1.62 – you can replicate this with the Steem emulator. Automation 433, Medway Boys 103, SuperGAU 381/2 Speedlink USB Joystick My Review I absolutely hate golf. It’s a horrendously boring sport to watch, and on…More

Review: Enchanted Land (Atari ST)

ST Format Review (Issue 20) Equipment Used/Recommended MiSTer box running the Atari ST core – a 1MB STE running TOS 1.62 – you can replicate this with the Steem emulator. D-Bug 148, Superior 55 Speedlink USB Joystick My Review Enchanted Land is a particularly interesting game in that it marks the entry of demo group…More

Review: Turrican 2 (Atari ST)

ST Format Review (Issue 20) Equipment Used/Recommended MiSTer box running the Atari ST core – a 1MB STE running TOS 1.62 – you can replicate this with the Steem emulator. Any of Automation 449, Pompey Pirates 75, Superior 57, SuperGAU 403/469/769/808/844, Vectronix 566 Speedlink USB Joystick My Review So you’d be forgiven for feeling a…More

Review: Gazza 2 (Atari ST)

ST Format Review (Issue 20) Equipment Used/Recommended MiSTer box running the Atari ST core – a 1MB STE running TOS 1.62 – you can replicate this with the Steem emulator. Any of Automation 404, Fuzion 39, Pompey Pirates 69 Speedlink USB Joystick My Review Time for another football game review. The magazine screenshots make it…More

February 1990

The World in February 1990
In the UK Ayotollah Khomeini renewed his fatwa on Salman Rushdie, a move which turned out to be the tip of a large iceberg we’re facing today. A bomb exploded in Leicester. Other than that, not much.

In US news there was a pay dispute in MLB and Buster Douglas knocked out Mike Tyson. Voyager 1 sent back the famous Pale Blue Dot photo. US flights stopped allowing smoking on flights under 6 hours long.

Elsewhere in the world in the USSR the communist party voted to end its monopoly of power, opening the way for elections. Nelson Mandela was released. German reunification was agreed. Big news, all happening at once. I miss the days when news was so good.

On TV Sky Movies was encrypted and became Sky’s first pay channel. Quantum Leap made its debut on BBC2. The Mitchell brothers arrived in Eastenders.

The film charts have Honey I Shrunk The Kids at #1, a good, honest fun while I know less about Sea Of Love and Internal Affairs. Overall though it seems a fairly weak chart.

The album chart sees Phil Collins remain at number one, but the rest of the chart isn’t great. Tanita Tikaram is in at #3 off the back of World In Union for the rugby, Cat Stevens is at #6, I suppose we do at least have Technotronic at #8 with Pump Up The Jam so it’s not all shit.

The singles chart has some absolute ABSOLUTE MEGA-BANGERS. Sinead with Nothing Compares 2 U (written by Prince) is an all-time classic, while I’ll always enjoy a bit of Technotronic and can do the whole rap to Get Up at #2, Dub Be Good To me at #3 is fantastic, what a top 3!

We Cover The Following Magazine Issues This Month (Click Images For More)

ST Format Issue 8

Reviews This Month

Review: Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. There are a couple of scene releases, one from Fuzion and one from Automation, I’ve gone with Fuzion here as I’ve not featured them before. This one has a really good bit of chip…More

Review: Wild Streets

Wild Streets ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. There doesn’t seem to be a warez release for this but thankfully Atarimania had my back. We start with a nicely drawn loading/logo screen, as we patiently wait for the disk to chug. Sampled sounds…More

Review: Black Tiger

Black Tiger ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. This is Automation disk 240. The intro has some ok music, some wibbly text with a palette-shifting text giving the impression of scrolling, bouncy balls, etc. The user of overscan here is pretty clever stuff.…More

Review: Rings Of Medusa

Rings Of Medusa ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. This is Pompey Pirates #37, quite a simple menu with a cool picture of a knight, some sscrolly text and a graphic equaliser in the border, along with a decent chip tune. It comes…More

February 1989

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.

We Cover These Magazine Issues This Month

ST/Amiga Format Issue 9

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

Other Magazines (February 1990)

Other Magazines (released February 1990)
So looking at the previous time I did this I cocked up and got different months for The One and Zero. Oops!

The One – Issue 18 (March 1990)

The cover is a bit of a mess, with bits of E-Motion, Sudden Impact, TV Sports Basketball and Pipe Mania. They really needed to pin it down a bit. We have a preview for Cinemaware’s Reach For The Sky – te problem is that while the screenshots look great, Cinemaware games just absolutely suck. No depth, shitty minigames, great graphics. That’s them in a nutshell. There’s a preview for Impossamole which I’m pretty sure I never saw a review for, and another short one for the magnificent Speedball 2. Inject it into my veins baby. We have a reveal for Chase HQ 2, Microprose making coin-ops out of F19 Stealth Fighter. March releases will see Gun Boat from Accolade, then the game that sucked days, weeks, months of my life, Player Manager (think Kick Off with a management game tacked on), Rock Star Ate My Hamster, Ski Or Die, Space Harrier 2, Rainbow Islands, Football Manager World Cup Edition, Pinball Magic, Dan Dare 3, etc – all these get passing mentions. We get an in-depth look at Infestation, a work in progress, and at Barbarian 2. More exciting is an article on Cadaver – I find it interesting how quite a few of these simply have the sprite sheets from games as well as actual screenshots. Cadaver was hugely impressive.

The reviews see E-Motion (92%) and Warhead (93%) review well though frankly neither interest me. The Colonel’s Bequest (80%) on the other hand does – I don’t think ST Format ever covered it so I’ve made a note to get to it when we reach its place in the timeline. The PC version is reviewed here, with no promise of ST/Amiga versions. Conquest (Virus/Zarch with tanks) gets 80% – hopefully there’s an actual game there. Pipemania gets a well-deserved 89%, Stryx gets 68% for what looks like formulaic fare, Crackdown gets 88%, and TV Sports Basketball, with its lovely presentation in cut-scenes (though crude in-match graphics) gets 93%.

Zero – Issue 5 (March 1990)

Zero covers always looked classier than The One and this is no exception, with this one focusing on The Lost Patrol, a game of astounding graphical prowess. In the news we see that for the ST/Amiga versions of F-19 Stealth Fighter the US coding team was binned and a British team started from scratch. If that is the case that was an impressively fast turn-around given it was reviewed in July’s ST Format (spoiler – 96% and one of the games I spent sooooooo much time on).

We get an extensive preview of Manchester United, a football game that doesn’t look too exciting. More interesting are previews of BSS Jane Seymour and Castle Master. We have a bit of a group test on racing games, where Hard Drivin continues to pull the wool over the eyes of reviewers. At least the review for Indianapolis 500 was about right.

Lost Patrol gets 89%, the graphics are astounding. Pipemania gets 92%, it’s still a classic. Midwinter gets 94% which is well deserved. Space Harrier 2 gets 85% – I think it got savaged in ST Format. Hex strategy Full Metal Planete gets 88%, Conqueror gets 75%, the fascinating Dragon’s Breath gets 78%. Some classics in there no doubt.