Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

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VideoGameCritic
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Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Postby VideoGameCritic » January 28th, 2016, 9:21 pm

Leave feedback about my latest book review:

http://videogamecritic.com/extras/books/spectrum.htm

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scotland
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Re: Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Postby scotland » January 28th, 2016, 10:17 pm

I'm happy to see some Speccy love, even though I was a C64 guy (and learning about the VIC20 too).

You write that programmers were not deterred by limitations, and that's exactly right. Look not just at the game libraries, but at the book libraries for these machines. You'll lots of books on how to write games in BASIC, or tips and tricks for sound and graphics, and even more interesting, writing code in assembly. These are not books for professionals, but for hobbyists to learn and create. These systems, with limited memory and limited but well understood chips, allowed hobbyists to create programs like artists paint on canvas. The programs could then be inexpensively distributed on tapes or diskette. These systems still have active communities, and some of the homebrews are amazing.

Glad to see book reviews too. Keep them coming.

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Re: Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Postby Sut » January 29th, 2016, 2:48 am

Good to see the Critic branching out from just NA systems Speccy books, SG-1000 game reviews, etc. This seems a book I may look into purchasing.

Out of interest does it just cover the 48k Speccy era or does it also cover the 128k era ?

It's an interesting evolution because the system had such a long life span you could class it as a gen 2 and a gen 3 system. The games developed with the times early on you had very much Atari style games but later games played more in the NES's level. The C64 also had this two gen lifespan and shows how flexible these systems were and how talented those coders were.

Also never knew you had an ST critic ! I didn't realise they were much of a 'thing' in the states, I assumed Americans only played NES in the eighties.
Presume the game library isn't as vast as the European one but if you still have one it would be great to see some reviews some day. Although I know you tend to stay away from home computers and focus on consoles, perhaps a one off article on a selection of games ?

A great resource for ST games and all things Atari is Atarimania:

http://www.atarimania.com/atari-st-tt-falcon.html

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Re: Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 2nd, 2016, 9:21 pm

Check out their upcoming book - a Super Famicom (SNES) Art Collection book!

http://www.funstockretro.co.uk/super-fa ... ction-book

ThePixelatedGenocide
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Re: Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Postby ThePixelatedGenocide » February 3rd, 2016, 2:46 pm

Sometimes, a review just gets it. You completely nail why the Spectrum is as exciting now, as it was then. I'm an American who never even heard of the machine until about a decade ago, but with it's high resolution, minimalist canvas, it was an instant love affair.

What's most amazing about the Spectrum's technical feats to me, is that it's an Atari era machine, capable of reproducing the hyper-detailed characters seen in Street Fighter 2, almost a decade later. There's nothing else like it. And it's a machine that rewards ingenuity. You find out it's limitations with coloring in the lines, and instead of learning complex programming techniques, R-type features really thick black outlines, covered up by being in space. Genius.

Just that feat alone inspires the mind to imagine all that it can do...

And all of this, for a price half of what you'd pay for a C64, with games 1/10th and less, what you'd pay for in a console.

Best of all, anyone could try to make their own, and record it to casette. If they were skilled enough, any programmer in their bedroom could compete with the biggest game companies in the world.

It was the first truly democratic games platform.

Anyways...Love the review! Hope this inspires you to explore the challenges other systems offered, Critic.

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Re: Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Postby VideoGameCritic » February 4th, 2016, 5:04 pm

My readers can use code VGCRITIC to get 5% off everything in the store.
http://www.funstock.co.uk/

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Re: Book Review: Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Postby Sut » February 11th, 2016, 3:24 pm

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/12 ... -every-nes

The guy who did Questicle and is now working on Sega Does is looking to launch a NES compendium.

Might be worth considering for the Nintendo fans out there.


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