Hello, and welcome the very first issue of "The Retro Times". In this magazine, we review, analyse, and compare retro systems, handhelds, and games. In each issue, there will be one article on the history of something, a feature article on a retro console, and an interview with a father figure of video games. This week, we have an exclusive review of the original version of sim city, for the Amiga 500, in-depth look at the history of the Commodore 64, as well as the history of video game graphics. (Magnavox to PS4).
We thank you for reading this copy of "The Retro Times" and hope you enjoy it, and read it in the future. In the future you can send us letters or emails and ask us questions, which will be featured in an "Ask us" section. If is inappropriate, we will not feature it. If you want to send us a review, you have a chance of it being featured in our magazine as well. (it must be a video). if you have any suggestions, send it to us. We probably won't reply. As a whole, our team recommends you do not use emulators, because they are illegal and you are giving money to a thief.
written by Omar Darda-Teixeira
The commodore 64 has left a mark on the world of PC gaming, and the world of computers.
This is the legendary commodore 64, in all of its glory
The commodore 64 has left a legacy, and has shaped the PC gaming market. Guinness World Records has listed it as the best selling home computer of all time! So what made this computer so good and remembered? Join us as we look back at the history of this machine, from it's humble beginnings, to it's saddening ending.
The commodore 64 began life in the winter of 1982. Commodore's previous machine, the VIC-20 was still selling strong, but commodore had made it's new machine more powerful, with 64k of memory, which at the time was a lot, and far more than it's competitors, the Atari 800 and the Apple II. It was priced at $599, but was too expensive for people. But with some clever marketing tricks, like rapidly dropping the price, and being able to trade in something like a ZX Spectrum or Apple II for a discounted price. With this, more and more people bought the machine, with many first getting at at birthday's and christmas. The commodore 64 had no inbuilt disk drive or cassette tape deck, which were essential for playing games. So these were released separately or in bundles. It also had didn't include a monitor without a bundle, but people could hook it up to a TV or buy the monitor. The commodore 64 has received plenty of good reviews, with many calling it the best of its time. The Commodore 64 went through multiple revisions. It's first revision was region exclusive to japan even though it was announced in Germany and Canada. It was called the Commodore MAX, even though it wasn't to its max. It only had 8kb compared to the 64kb,(this was A LOT for its time), which the standard the model had. the second revision was released in more places this time. It was given the awesome name of "SX-64", and was a portable version of the computer. It was the first portable computer to have a full colour built in monitor, which was 5 inches. It had a built in floppy disk drive, a cartridge slot awkwardly placed near the back, and a keyboard. (Of course). A picture is below.
This is the SX-64. It looks like a piece of luggage, and it weighs a whopping 10.5 kg. The stand can double as a handle bar.
The last revision was called the Commodore 64C. It was an updated version of the computer, with a slicker keyboard, improved disk drive and was capable outputting S-video, which was amazing quality at the time, (our HDMI). So what made this machine so memorable and favourited among the retro community? To find this out we interviewed different people who owned a C64. One person (who has asked to remain anonymous) said that they originally wanted a ZX spectrum, but their dad convinced him to ask for a C64. "I spent so many hours, playing games like impossible mission, elite and more on that C64". Others also remember having memories like this, spending a lot of time playing games. One person even "borrowed" it off his sister so he could play it. "I am forever grateful for my sister for parting with a large chunk of her college savings to by a C64" he says. "She barely used it, so I borrowed (stole) it and kept it in my room. I am surprised it didn't burn a hole in my carpet, sitting there for the 4-5 years I had it". So this is why the C64 is so well remembered, and even though some might be nostalgic, we still think it up there with the best consoles of all time. The Commodore officially came to a close in 1995, because of its waning sales, and demand for more powerful 16-bit computers was growing larger. the Nintendo Entertainment system, or NES, had stolen a lot of the gaming market in the US, selling 7 million in its first year, which was almost as much the C64 had sold in five years! The main reason it was discontinued was because of the price of floppy discs. Even though it was officially discontinued, many people still make games for the system, and it is still popular. The C64 was continued with the Commodore Amiga, more commonly known as Amiga 500, in 1987.
In every issue of "The Retro Time", we hope to review retro games, and inform the readers about the games, whether they are good or not, and give them a rating out of ten. In this issue, we are kicking things off with a "classic" pc game, Sim City. The footage was recorded by us (no joke), voice from apple speaking tracks, and music from the official undertale album (because there is no music).
Because this is the first issue of "The Retro Times", we decided it would be good if we had a section in out first issue about the evolution of video game graphics. It has evolved a lot over 40 years, from white dots on a screen to photo-realistic visuals and thrilling gameplay. So here is the evolution of video game graphics.
To start things off we have the Odyssey made by magnavox. The graphics were as simple as they could be. They were white cubes, so plastic overlays had to be put over the TV screen so there was something to do on it.
Above is the Atari 2600 hundred. This was a HUGE advancement. Everything was displayed without the need for plastic overlays, worked on all TV's, (not just magnavox TV's) and was an instant success. It was the king of the 70's.
This if from the Colecovision. This was one of the competitors of the Atari and had advanced graphics, and better arcade conversions, which were a big thing at the time. It would have been extremely successful if Atari hadn't caused the video game crash of 1983. Fore two years, video games on consoles were neglected, and no games were made for them. Then in 1985, the unthinkable happened.
After two years of nothing, the NES brought back the gaming community after the crash, and featured near-perfect arcade conversions, had amazing games like duck hunt (above), introduced the world tho super Mario, and blew the competition out of the water. It started the 8-bit era for consoles, and for many is the best console of all time.
The Sega Mega Drive, released in 1989, it marked the start 16-bit era. Soon in 1990, the Super Nintendo was released by nintendo and featured more bright colourful graphics but sacrificed speed for this. The mega drive was the most popular 16-bit machine, and outsold the super nintendo.
The super nintendo also marked another important milestone for gaming. It was the first home console that was able to display 3D graphics with the use of the Super FX chip. The first game to use this feature was star fox, pictured above. The FX chip was upgraded into the FX chip 2, and was only used in Doom, a popular pc game at the time.
The PS1 was released in 1994 and marked the start of pure 3d gaming. It was 32-bit and outsold it's competitors, the Sega Saturn, which was just as powerful, and the Nintendo 64, which was 64-bit. It also used CD technology which cold store more memory, so the games were bigger and better than the N64's games. Many games that were planned for the N64, like Final Fantasy 7 (above), Grand Theft Auto, Metal Gear Solid and many more were instead made for the ps1 because it was more powerful, and had more memory than the N64's cartridges.
This is the N64. It still used cartridges even though the more powerful CD technology was around, and because of this had little 3rd party support. It was seen as a children's console unlike the PS1, which was seen as a cool adults console. It marked the beginning of Nintendo's end.
In 2006, The Xbox 360, PS3 and Nintendo Wii were released to he public. the Wii did extremely well, because of it's ground breaking motion controls. We have no idea how many bits these have.
Before you say we took a picture of real life, this is what video games have come to. They look breathtaking, with the amount of power they have now, and feature amazing gameplay, even if it is nowhere near as good as retro games.