TIME IS NOT MY FRIEND…
Oh boy how time flies, eight years ago I wrote an article about my Psygnosis collection and I promised to do a second one if it was popular enough, and oh boy was it popular and still is, sorry for taking this long :/
I did not forget about it but I certainly did not realize before now that it had been an amazing 5 years ago since I wrote it.
This time around we take a look at a lot of stinkers but do not fear as there are some gems here too.
The Train Wreck…
One of Psygnosis’s first games and in my opinion one of the worst games to ever grace the Amiga, I have no idea what went wrong with this one but I can remember this being shit back on launch too, it didn’t take long before this one went into the bargain bins either for whatever reason, certainly not for being a fantastic game for sure.
Not much to say about this one other than I wanted it so badly to be another awesome game like Summer Games and Decathlon on the C64, It looked so good in the screenshots but it wasn’t anything else than a trainwreck.
Not even the box is great, boring art with a boring design.
Verdict: Trainwreck, this is one of the worst games to grace the Amiga.
REFLECTIONS RETURN, TO THE AWESOME…
Reflections tried something new after the MEGA HIT Shadow Of The Beast and that was the game Shoot ‘Em Up Awesome which essentially is both a space shooter where you also land on the ground and walk around shooting in an Alien Breed type of game.
The game kicks off with an Awesome (pun intended) intro and sets off huge expectations for many gamers who got sad when they saw the boring first level, This is one of those games that gets better the further you get and in my opinion one of the better Psygnosis games from the early years.
A game that never got the praise it should have gotten, It might not be a forgotten gem but it certainly is one of the games you should try a bit more before you put it back into the cupboard or delete it from your Whdload/Tosec collection.
Verdict: A really good and varied Shoot ‘Em Up that has both incredible Boxart as well as in-game graphics and music, is well recommended to all of you.
CUTE TOMATO PUZZLER…
This is one of those games that I wanted as soon as I saw the screenshots in a magazine preview, it looked like it would be another hit like Lemmings and at the time it was hyped like crazy with shop demos (If I remember correctly it was only a rolling demo) and adverts in not only Amiga magazines but also in gameshow on the telly and so on.
One of my most played games on the Amiga for sure, I completed it the first weekend I got the game as I went to school far from home and only home like every fourth week or so, oh and I remember my mother was angry at me for not going outside at all that weekend.
The intro is both cute and funny, with simple but effective graphics and animation.
This game is an Amiga exclusive and that shows.
Verdict: Absolutely what one would call a classic, cute intro.
WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN…
1994 was a bit of a rollercoaster year for Psygnosis, three ( Dracula, Cliffhanger, and Last Action Hero ) out of 18 games were a stinker, and another five were canceled ( Hardcore, Nova Storm, Magician’s Castle, Operation GII, and Scavenger) and it all probably had a lot to do with Sony buying them and trying to get the rest of the games out as quickly as possible to get some money in the bank before the PlayStation came out.
Dracula looked amazing in the first preview but in the end, it didn’t live up to anything it promised really, a shame as it could have been a really good game.
Verdict: Not a trainwreck but most that bought this probably played it only for a day or two before putting it in the cupboard and never looking back (I didn’t play it more than an hour or two).
WHEN SPECTRUM AND AMIGA LOOK THE SAME…
The first game from Psygnosis on the Amiga was a very overhyped game that promised a lot but didn’t deliver at all. The game looked like a Spectrum game and sounded even worse. How this game ended up like this is to me a mystery, yes the game was first announced as Bandersnatch and was a Psyclapse and Imagine software game that began its life in 1984.
The only somewhat OK thing about this game is its box art, With that said I somewhat feel that it doesn’t really fit the game.
Verdict: Not a lot to say about this game but I believe this is the only Amiga game that looks like a Spectrum game, a horrible game and my least played Psygnosis game I think.
BEAST IS NOT THE ONLY TRILOGY FROM PSYGNOSIS…
This is another Psygnosis game that I played very little and to this day I still miss the prequel and sequel of this game, the reason for this was that back in the day I didn’t like this game so I never bothered buying the sequels.
The box art is pretty cool and original for an Amiga game and I remember I bought it only for that without checking a pirated copy or anything. I was too young to really enjoy an adventure game like this and it took a few years before I completed my first few adventure games (Fascination and Future Wars) and got bitten by the adventure games bug.
I really need to return to this one day, and the same for the sequels.
Verdict: Lovely box, a game that I didn’t enjoy all that much back in the day but I might like it today.
MORE LIKE DEAD SPACE…
Another early Psygnosis game this one and I have already blogged about it a few years back, This was one of those games that I never bought back in the day.
Horrible game but there is something really cool here and that is the box art It used the new standard Psygnosis box look, Another cool thing is that it comes with a comic that is really nice oh and there is also a poster in the box which is really good.
Not much to say here, the game is a first-person Shoot ‘Em Up that is up there with the quality of the horrible Arena and Brataccas also released in 1986.
Verdict: Great looking box, poster, and comic but the rest is bloody awful.
A newly acquired compilation that I had never seen before someone on the Amiga Collector Group on Facebook showed it there.
The compilation is actually 1 out of 3 which means I probably should get those other two as well.
The games included are Infestation, Shadow Of The Beast, and Nitro.
Verdict: Not a bad compilation really, some good games, and it was probably priced right when it came out too.
AN OVERLOOKED GEM?…
At the time this came out I really had no idea how to play a Dungeon Crawler and it wasn’t before Hired Guns came out that I figured out the concept, so I returned to this and Rebellion a while later.
Obitus is one of those forgotten gems I think as it really is a good game that plays very well and looked and felt like a proper Psygnosis game although no one from there worked on it.
The box art is really good and it comes in two variations, a big box and a normal-sized one.
Verdict: A classic with exceptionally good box art, a proper looker, and one that all collectors out there should have.
WORST CONTROL SYSTEM EVER?
This is yet another Psygnosis title that I never got into, the control system put me off from the get-go and while my brother really enjoyed it I felt that this game was another shitty game from the then-overhyped team.
I eventually tried the game a few years later and I somewhat appreciated it a bit more although I still found it fiddly and annoying thanks to the unnecessary control system.
Awesome box art and the game has eventually grown on me in terms of how it looks and sounds but in no way is one that I would recommend.
Verdict: An early Psygnosis title that was one of the last ones for years that I didn’t enjoy.
THE GEM THAT NO ONE BOUGHT?…
Now this is one heck of a looker and most likely why Psygnosis picked it up, yes The game is very brown and it is a cyberpunk-themed Dungeon Crawler but it is one of those games that grew quickly on me once I gave it a chance.
The game plays like a dream and while not as good as Hired Guns it still delivers one of the best settings in an RPG on the Amiga, and most of all it is nothing like other games on the Amiga due to the side view and also a first-person view, etc.
The intro with the speech and very cool graphics helps set the atmosphere where it should be before you start playing the actual game
Verdict: Really cool box and it has an awesome intro accompanied by one heck of a soundtrack. One of the best 3party games published by Psygnosis. There is also a splendid intro by the way.
THE GAME THAT CHANGED EVERYTHING?…
Now, this is one heck of a game that blew the whole gaming industry’s head off in a matter of seconds, It had incredible graphics and an excellent soundtrack with gameplay that worked for many but not everyone yet most found it to be just incredibly anyway thanks to the production value of it all.
Huge bosses, lots of hidden stuff and it had so many new ideas that most games after it tried to copy it with various results.
I honestly struggled with this game but I had friends (Hei, Hei Jan Roger, and Kenneth) as well as my brother who managed to complete the game while I was watching, It all left me in awe and I tried for years to beat the game but it took me like a decade to finally pull it off.
Verdict: This is one of the games that changed the industry overnight, It also comes in a huge box with a t-shirt which made it even more popular. A fantastic-looking game accompanied by a soundtrack by David Whittaker. A Must-have just like most if not all of the Reflections Amiga games.
THE START OF SOMETHING WONDERFUL?…
This was the first game from Bizzare Creations, Well they renamed it to that in 1994 anyway and it is up there with one of my favorite games of all time, Yes Wiz’n Liz which is another game from the same team.
A great game that while far from the best game that year just kept going up for my GOTY, with fast and frantic action accompanied by an excellent soundtrack by no other than Tim Wright, all this wrapped around a technical level of achievement up there with many of the best Psygnosis games to hit the Amiga.
A nice intro that I liked back then, these days it is very limited and umm, not all that good really
Verdict: A classic that a lot of people loved back then and probably do today, it has a rendered intro that impressed friends back in the day.
IT KEPT ON WALKING?…
This game is one heck of a looker and it brought the industry to new levels, but most never got to see the later levels thanks to the brutal difficulty which is sad as then most would have seen that the game turns really repetitive and some of the sounds really get on your nerves after a few hours (if not less).
A fine Psygnosis game by all means but it is a bit overhyped, It does have an intro though and it is pretty violent with blood and everything which was, of course, brilliant back then for the teenager.
Cool control system and a genuine thought trough system that was later copied in a lot of games like ABUSE.
Verdict: A showcase title that never ceases to impress but once you actually play it for more than a few hours you will realize that it is very repetitive and has some really annoying sounds too. Got a cool short intro, and a really cool box too.
THE LAST PSYGNOSIS TITLE ON AMIGA?
X-IT – DATA DESIGNS. 1995.
This game is a bit out of the norm for the typical Psygnosis Amiga title but at the same time (at least to me) a very welcome game with loads of cool ideas and a solid graphical style, the graphics do remind me quite a lot to their other Amiga game Pinkie
While Data Design’s history on Amiga might not have been insanely good they still got out two rather good games and helped on a few turkeys like Rise Of The Robots but the history after that was very much a budget games company that never impressed me or the press beyond a few games anyway.
X-IT is one of the games I played a lot with friends but almost never alone.
Verdict: A pretty good game with cool graphics, music, and gameplay. Not a classic but certainly one all puzzler heads needs to give a shot.
THE END OF A SERIES…
That concludes my Psygnosis Amiga collection, I do miss some titles indeed but that might change one day, These two articles have a lot of games in them, and to be honest, not sure if I will bother getting the rest as well, The prices are just mental really, I just went and bought 2 titles the last two years and I am not really sure if it was worth it 😉
Hope you guys enjoyed the series and I hope to do an OCEAN or LucasFilm or whatever next, with that said, I am extremely ineffective these days and blog very little as many of you guys know by now, I just spend too much time on other stuff (most Amiga related of course) but I do hope to return strong one day and do 12 posts a month or so.
EDIT: I just noticed that I messed up on the pictures, will do new ones of both the missing ones and the ones that suck in quality later on. Sorry for the mess, noticed it too late, and pulling the post now would just be too silly.Follow Us... Inspire Us To Get Better... Keep The Flame Alive