19/05/2015

☆ Commodore Amiga Dreams 2015 ☆ #Retrogaming #GamersUnite

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"Commodore Amiga Dream Machine"
Last night I had a dream about an Amiga 500+ that had been left in a car park underneath my car with a massive box of disks!
I saw this as a sign to write about the amazing Amiga as I feel I have neglected it recently in the column inches department.

Disk Discovery
When I was a fledgling gamer I had always admired video games on disks. It just seemed so high tech, even James Bond gadgety, compared to the rudimentary cassette tapes that I used to load up my Atari 800 XE/XL video games.
A disk drive for me was the ultimate in technology at the time, hence why I fell in love with the Spectrum +3.
The thing with the Amiga was that it not only had a disk drive, the disks were the cool looking 3.5" variety and looked mega cool stored in a disk box on a desk with an Amiga proudly sitting on it.
The Amiga made you feel like you were a computer wizard, like you were starring in W4RG4M3$ as you typed away on your keyboard!
From the moment I played my best mate Paul's and his brother Danny's Amiga 500+ I knew I had to own one of these wondrous machines.
The thing that made my head spin even more was when my mate made the Amiga TALK!!!
Yes, this cream beauty of a machine could talk! I had to have one!
The mouse for me was also so cool, it was a massive departure from what I was used to on any other system that I had used at the time and again it just felt so next generation.
The thing that always puzzled me though was the modulator thingy that hung out of the back of my mates A500, we used to look at it and wonder why it was there (this was obviously pre internet days)
Also, the weight of the power supply was like the equivalent of 4 house bricks taped together. The thing is it wasn't seen as a negative, it just felt like it was made to last.


It's All About To Kick Off
The first game I ever played on the Amiga 500+ was Kick Off 2. The game came with massive hype from my friends at school and I just had to play it.
My first game I was absolutely awful at it. I couldn't shoot, pass or dribble for toffee, let alone score a goal!!
The thing is that's what endeared me to the game. What's the fun in being great at something without having to work at it?
Then, just as I was beginning to get good at Kick Off 2 (after months of going to Paul & Danny's house to play it) along came Sensible Soccer which then took all my attention after I played it at another friends house. My other friend Craig not only had Sensi Soccer he also had the brand new Amiga 600 with 1MB of memory!!! It was love at first sight and it was then I decided that all my hard earned pocket money would be going into buying an Amiga 600.



Amazing Amiga Arrives
When I finally got that amazing machine from the cool people at Special Reserve I was obviously the happiest lad in London.
I set it up in my loft room like it was a command & control centre. I also had a printer attached to it which was to be my favourite gadget for a good few years!
My Amiga 600 also had a brand new game to play with, the ultimate game to hear the birds chirp at 4am as you realise it was Friday evening and it's now Saturday morning……
Yes, Championship Manager 93 had arrived and it was to reside inside my A600 for months on end as I played the game until I couldn't play it anymore and when that happened I played CM 94 until I couldn't play it anymore. My love of the Champ Manager series was fuelled by hundreds of playground conversations revolving around who to buy, bargain players, tactics, record goal scorers, team printouts and countless other minutiae of the Champ Manager series.
My Amiga was a work horse when it came to video games. I'd always save for a new game to play alongside Champ Manager and it would always be a highly rated superstar purchase as I tended to do my research on my games back then the same as I do now (except without the use of the internet).
It goes without saying that the highlights of my non CM games were any of the Lucas Arts point and click adventures of the day. Monkey Island 2 was great but at the time I fell for Indiana Jones & the Fate Of Atalntis. Mainly because of my love for the Spielberg films which left me thirsty for adventure with Indy! Indy & The Fate Of Atlantis opened my eyes up to the possibilities of a great story and brilliant mechanics in a game. It's fed my passion for those type of games since as I moved away from sports games and more into the RPG/Adventure games.



Gone But Not Forgotten
The Amiga 600 was my best mate right through my school years right up until I was 17 and I'd discovered music and girls. My Amiga was sold and I was computer less…..
Looking back now maybe I just OD'd on video games for those glorious 5 years and needed a break or maybe I didn't actually realise how much of a big part of my life that video games were or still are….
I will always look back on those Amiga years as being some of the greatest years of my video gaming life in terms of discovery of new IP that was separate to my obsession with Football Manager Sims!
Maybe my dream was a call from my old Amiga to say "Hello old friend, don't forget about all the good times we had in the 90's"
Don't worry amazing Amiga, I wont forget (ever)