All Time Classics
Copyright/Publisher: Accolade, Release Year: 1990, Genre: Various, Number Of Players: 1 or 2

Accolade have been busy lately compilation-wise and have also released All Time Classics, featuring Serve And Volley, TKO, Rack'em and Steel Thunder. Not surprisingly Serve And Volley is a tennis simulation of mammoth complexity. During any one rally, you need to choose the position of your player in order to intercept the incoming ball.

When the ball has bounced in your half a window appears showing the type of shot chosen ( be it backhand, forehand or whatever). It is then your difficult task to judge when to press the fire button, thus beginning your swing. Mis-time it and the ball thuds mockingly somewhere behind your player.

The animation and sound in the game are fairly good but because various windows are accessed during play, progress is horribly slow, it's like watching a whole game in the style of an action replay. Technically, Serve And Volley has everything but with this type of game playability should be a priority. Unfortunately there is none.

TKO stands for 'The Knock On' and is a simulation of knocking on elderly peoples' doors then running away before they see who did it (Er... Andy perhaps you'd like to play this one before you go on - Ed) Ah ha! TKO stands for 'Technical Knock Out' and is in fact a boxing simulation.

The screen is split acress the middle, each portion providing a 'through' the (black and swollen) eye' view of each boxer and by pushing the joystick in each of the eight directions you can select which type of punch you wish to use. Press fire and the punch is carried out.

At the end of three rounds a score table appears with details of the amount of punches thrown and damage caused etc, so it's quite possible to find that although you appeared to pummel your opponent he did in fact make more of an impact on you! The damage caused also becomes alarmingly abvious during the game as your character's face changes from boyish good looks to swollen bleeding pulp (who says boxing is barbaric?).

TKO isf un but only for a short time as tactical boxing plays very little part - it's simply a case of punching repeatedly and hoping for the best. If boredom sets in too much get a friend round and rearrange his face instead with the two player option.

Rack'em is not, as the name suggests, an incitement to inflict medieval torture but a pol simulation with a lot more besides. The game opens with an excellent soundtrack and animated picture of a mean 'n' moody 'Fast Eddie' Mahler-type character swaggering into the pool hall. Once into the game you have a number of options available, allowing you to play pool, snooker, eight ball or nine ball pool.

Alternatively, you can customise your own game - choose the number of reds in snooker, for instance. You can even move every single ball to any position to set up trick shots. It's all very comprehensive, but once you've mastered the technicalities of the gameplay a huge amount of ball-prodding fun can be had (smutty innuendos, courtesy Andy 'fnar' Dyer Ltd.).

Last and definitely least is Steel Thunder, a game that attempts to capture all the excitement of travelling around a battlefield at a snail's pace in an unwieldy tank. And in that respect it does the job very well. The somewhat confusing instruction booklet means that learning to play is more difficult than it should be - in fact it's far more challenging than the game itself.

And even when you do get the hang of it, poor graphics and slow, tedious gameplay makes this about as interesting as a day out with the Editor. (You're fired. Erm... the moment you've finished this compilations feature - Ed.)


INTRO SCREEN
Not an easy game to play but it could teach you a thing or two about tennis.

Good grief - these two look like they were born on the receiving end of a hook.

Ooh-er, it looks as though your balls have been squashed. Foul!

Steel Thunder

Not sure what's in the sight but if in doubt - blast it to pieces.
POWER RATING 70%
SUMMARY - Nowhere near as good as the other Accolade offering but still quite a bargain. There are worse things to spend 20 quid on (like 50 kilos of horse manure, f'rinstance)

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