PCZ ISSUE 117 - JULY 2002

 
 

EMULATION OF THE MONTH SPECIAL

ALL OR NOTHING (Abbex, ZX Spectrum, 1984)

Sad that the mighty Goldeneye never made it across to the PC? Casting an envious eyes at your PS2-owning chums as they sit through the endless cutscenes of Metal Gear Solid 2? Then get a grip of yourself, PC Zone reader. While console gamers can play pale tenth-generation copies, you have at your disposal the original action stealth game Ė All Or Nothing. More than a decade before Goldeneye, All Or Nothing invented the entire stealth genre on the humble 48K Speccy.

Set in a secret installation on a remote island, your job was to infiltrate the base, steal some vital plans and make good your escape. But what really made the game was the groundbreaking AI, whereby the enemy guards (and dogs) actually behaved in a believable manner that still puts some modern PC games to shame.

Blow something up to create a diversion while you try to pick a door lock. Shoot a couple of guards and watch the rest gather around in horror. Stun a man with knockout gas and steal his ID card to wander around the camp unmolested Ė until you start to do something suspicious, or another enemy discovers the body you stole it from. Frantically try to crack a safe combination before the booby trap goes off.

Run in terror as a pack of guard dogs swarms around your feet to delay you until the soldiers arrive. Break into a comms room to radio your base for extra mission time. Bribe guards to turn a blind eye to your nefarious activities, with money stolen from their dead comrades. And you only get one life. Itís just like being a real spy, viewers. Just donít ask me how I know.

All Or Nothing got pretty mixed reviews when it was released. It was a little sophisticated for its time, and even 18 years ago the graphics were pretty crude, and it disappeared without ever troubling the chart compilers. But itís one of the most accessible, atmospheric and addictive games ever created in 32K of memory. If you think your brain can lower itself to playing a game with less than 46 control keys (AON gets by on left, right, forward, select and use), and if youíre not so used to lazy-coward quicksaving that you canít handle the tension of a game where one bullet can end it all, then sinister spy shenanigans donít come much more fun than this.

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Because you want to be home in time for EastEnders.

You know what to do with a safe and a gun, donít you?

Rifle the corpse for cash and pens.

 

HI-HO SILVER LINING

Following on from the Mega CD emulation of Gens that we covered a couple of months ago, the other unsuccessful CD-based games machine of the early 90s has come under the emulation microscope. Yep, weíre talking about the Commodore CD32, the ill-fated attempt to turn the Amiga into a SNES-and-Megadrive-beating console, and the first (and so far only) games machine ever to be launched without a single game being available for it.

Leading Amiga emulator WinUAE recently added support for the CD32 (and its predecessor the CDTV), and while itís at a pretty early stage you can get some decent results, assuming you were ever insane enough to own some CD32 games in the first place. Pretty much the only one worth having was Core Designís Banshee, a fab 1942-style vertically-scrolling shoot-Ďem-up, but there were a few others worth a look (including Tony Crowtherís 3D proto-RPG Liberation), and the upside is you can find CD32 games in your local game store bargain bin for no more than 50p a shot.

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(Left) "Oh look! A big hairy spider!"

 

Emulation Zone is brought to you in association with the International World Of Stuart Foundation.