World of Playstation article.

When Chris put up the pictures of the following German PSX article covering ECTS we were interested to see what they actually said. Chris posted the relevant pages to me and with  help from a German exchange student of mine we did a very rough translation of the bits that Chris originally put up on his site at  http://www.netyaroze-europe.com/~CHRISC/page6.htm . While not as Ďtenaciously scaryí as translation from Japanese the text is still has off beat moments. I think they gave Robert Swan an unreasonably hard ride for his Adventure Game, but I will refrain from mentioning cultural stereotypes and inability to appreciate irony etc ...

The very end of the article says something like: all those who would like to present their game in this magazine are welcome to send the games to us Ö So there you go, an invitation to fame in Germany (though I suppose the invitation is directed to their German audience)

The student who helped with the translation Andreas Henschel (ahenschel@hotmail.com) will endeavour to find out the address to send things to, so you mail him if you want to.

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Blitter Boy.

The author Chris Chadwick operated on his debut more than a whole year. In this 12 months he learned the programming language C as well as the programming of the Playstation from the bottom. During the ECTS in London we had the opportunity, to chat with Chris a little. Although " Blitter Boy " looks like an Amiga play, Chris insured us that he had programmed beforehand only on a Spectrum. Complete programming as well as all diagrams and animations were completed or sketched by him. Chris tried now a place in the computer industry to get, which without 3D-Kenntnisse (?) is however quite difficult. Blitter Boy is one of the few Yaroze games, which can convince on the whole line. Diagram, technique and sound are on a very high level and exceed some commercially distributed games. Prisoned in the space suit you begin your fight against the bad ghosts (Pacman is greeting).  Besides you must also collect a few babies who stamp you to the Daddy by a skillful "da da" and show their gratefulness for being rescued with a sweet heart. Once collected, the toddlers follow you in a duck march, whereby arbitrarily many of the cry necks can be collect it.  In case the babies should face a ghost in the meantime a ghost, they announce this with loud crying and start to break ranks again.

In the centre of your play arena is the tractor beam, which brings the babies in security. All in all a nice idea, which was set perfectly in scene. From here we wish Chris success with its further career as a  " bit and byte juggler ".
 

Adventure Game.

In only 4 four weeks Robert Swan made a small RPG for the PSX, just like that. The 3D graphics are kept relatively simple but effective but whereas the camera sometimes placed in a way so that you canít see whatís happening. The animations (if you can call them this) are quite thin. Details like eyes or nose or mouth are not there. With the on screen text you communicate with other inhabitants, the text of which criticises Robertís laziness. For defence you have a very simple sword with a short range. You are trotting and sliding through mountains and valleys while the classical midi music drives you nuts after three minutes to such a degree you would like to meet the programmer in person. For the Yaroze there are better role games, but what can you expect after only 4 weeks programming?
 

Brain dead.

A motorcycle race of the special kind is presented by Olly Read. While in most games focus on being first, you have to find the next Ďpilsbarí. After loading the real bad graphics are significant, 16 colours are not impressive for anyone nowdays. After we clicked through all the shabbily designed menu graphics we go on our search with one out of four vehicles. After a couple of meters we realise why BD deserves four stars. The graphics run at 50 fps with out visible popup or flickering. The 3d buildings remind us of early psx games thanks to their low polygon count. The steering lags but it does contain a rear view mirror. Thanks to the fast graphics BD temps you to take a ride in the greenery over and over again.
 
 

Total Soccer

With TS Charles Chapman keeps in touch with the good old times of kickoff. The pitch is shown from above and scrolls smoothly in all directions. You can choose from over 70 teams among them Bayem Munich and Werder Bremen, with the kit rendered correctly. In the background you can hear the bellow of the audience and they comment every move of the game with a changing murmur. The steering is ingeniously simple, besides normal shooting you can also pass to team-mates. Like the standard for soccer games you can also spin all kinds of shots which cause problems for some goalkeepers.  Practice is divided into 10 parts, familiarises you with the steering.
 

Pushy 2

With P2 weíve got another Sokoban clone. In more or less big stores you have to place the boxes on the marked places. Sounds easier than it is in reality because you  canít pull the boxes. Once youíre in a dead-end you canít go back. Once a box reached itís place it changes itís colour. Pushing himself is a small Flummy and jumps continuously with an annoying sound through the landscape. Besides this it does not produce any sounds.  While in the beginning there are no problems, the hard time limits will be in your neck from the 3rd level on. In the later levels there are new boxes, which have different properties eg: soap bubbles which once you push them the keep going until they meet and obstacle. Thanks to a password you can jump over a level already played. After only 10 weeks P2 renders as an interesting puzzle game where the level design probably is the most time consuming.
 

Mine Field.

If youíre used to struggling with windows you should be familiar with MineSweeper. This interesting puzzle game, which every boss hates to see on the screen but we love because it distracts us from work, is now available on the PSX as well. On minefields that differ in size there are coloured bombs scattered around which are not visible. With the mouse cursor you click on one of the blue fields, now all the neighbouring fields, which donít contain bombs, are shown. All explosive fields and those neighbours stay covered in  Ö etc etc .. the later levels the fields are bigger and number of bombs increased. Like we said itís an interesting game which is ported well to the PSX.
 

Haunted Maze.

HM is another representative of the pacman mania. You go through the level in the 3D view where you are not restricted to the original field structure of the original pacman, but you can walk freely around. As bait there are scattered hearts, clover, stars and moons, which improve your score. As ghost they used relatively stupid treeheads but the popular killer peas from the original are unfortunately not present. The whole business is rendered in the PSX hi res mode and looks very good due to 50 fps. HM is probably one of the first Yaroze games to support the analogue stick and thatís why itís excellently steerable. Classical midi tracks emphasise the dungeon chase, whereas impressive samples announce the dying.
 

Psychon

The author BJ has obviously a strange relationship to blood. How else would you explain that every shot enemy after one rotation of their own axis goes to the ground in a sea of blood.  If you know the Amiga classic game Alien Breed, you know what to expect. The pitch scrolls smoothly in all directions must be cleared of enemies. To this end you have a fully automatic machine gun where the ammunition is restricted though. Power ups, which are scattered all over the level, and extra ammunition, make your mission easier (quite a lot actually). It can be played by two players but the screen is not divided which is why you should march in the same direction. Thanks to the many animated graphics elements and the sombre sound emphasis Psychon is one of the highlights of the Net Yaroze games.
 

Mah Jongg

In a ten day programming marathon author GR  made a meticulous revival of the classical Mah Jongg. The principals of the game should be obvious [ goes on to explain game etc etc]  It uses the highest resolution of the PSX which is the reason for the slightly interlaced flickering but on the other hand the rendering of the bricks is very precise. All actions like clicking or removing of the stones is emphasised acoustically but unfortunately totally lacks a background music.