Bad Reviews + My Wish List

by Eric Schwartz
From the AmiTech Gazette, December 2018

In my patrols of Youtube, I occasionally find new Amiga-related content to share. In perhaps the most high-profile recent appearance, the ‘Angry Video Game Nerd,’ basically THE pioneer of the ‘comedic game reviews as entertainment’ genre, finally reviewed the Amiga CD-32 game console, covering several lackluster games in one video and one specifically bad CD-32 game (actually a CDTV game), “Town With No Name” in a second. I’ll admit to getting a bit miffed watching the videos, and having some ‘outsider’ bash my platform from a point of relative ignorance, (it doesn’t help that his particular console had a European power supply and needed the CD lid weighed down to stay closed), wanting to defend it, even knowing that these ‘reviews’ are played up and exaggerated for the sake of comedy. Still, the emotions flare up just the same, in that “Nobody beats up on my system but ME!” kinda way, especially when the CD-32 is apparently destroyed at the end of the second video. I’ll have to badger Mr. Rolfe (the ‘Nerd’s’ alter-ego) to return to the system and play some of the legitimately good games available for it. I’m not loaning any games or systems out though. There’s too much risk of them getting hurt.

Angry VG Nerd CD32 review

Town With No Name CDTV game

For a slightly nicer, or at least more informative Amiga-related video, I found the ‘Ahoy’ channel, which covers computer and game history subjects, and their recent video on the Amiga, specifically the system’s history from the launch of the Amiga 1000 to the later appearance of the A500 and A2000 models, a time of turmoil for Commodore and the Amiga. I learned a few things I didn’t know before watching this video, so if you’re an Amiga history buff, you might want to give it a look: Ahoy

Being the Christmas season and all, I enjoy taking this opportunity to express my “wish list” of things I’d like to see for the coming year, if not the holiday itself.

From the Apollo and Vampire people, I’d like to see a ready-for-prime-time version of their core which includes the AGA chipset and allows all video and audio to be directed out the HDMI interface. I’d also like to see the new “V4” boards, in stand-alone and add-on card versions. While there has been no talk of one, I think it would be neat to see a Vampire card for the CD-32 console, which works similar to the older SX-1 or SX-32 expansions, turning the console into a full computer with all necessary ports and interfaces, except with Vampire power and modern interfaces (such as HDMI for video out.)

From Aeon, I’d like to see an update to their version of Personal Paint that isn’t a buggy piece of crap. I’ve tried out the software on MorphOS, Vampire-Amiga, and 68060-Amiga, and all have bugs that either carried over from the old Cloanto release or added anew. When a new release has more bugs than the old, and doesn’t add the features to justify it, it’s not a worthwhile release. I can only hope the separate OS4 version has fewer issues.

As usual, I wish for some of the ‘big boys’ of past Amiga software to release their work, either to open-source development or to another developer, though right now it seems like AEON is one of the only ones picking up on older software, and based on Personal Paint and other stuff, their track record doesn’t look too good to me. Many of these probably would never be open-sourced, as they may still live on other platforms, but I’d still like to see the likes of Lightwave 5, or Photogenics 5, or Moviesetter, or a hundred other pieces of productivity software brought up to modern standards, and able to take advantage of the power of the newer systems, whether Vampire or PPC-based or accelerated emulation. Finally, I hope you all, and me too, have a good year in 2019, or at least better than some of the crap I’ve had to put up with.