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  Arcade to Spectrum (Another battle of conversion) 1of...





The Mighty Spectrum might be small but It was worth its wait in rubber keyed fun when the god programmers coded arcade conversions on it. Lee's takes another look at the games that saved your inserting coin after coin in the arcades. Now you could do it at home with a cup of tea.

The ratings below consider the overall likeness to its arcade parent, including graphics and sound

read the previous arcade to Atari feature here
read the previous arcade to C64 feature here

Pac land
Arcade original :Namco - Spectrum conversion :Quicksilva

A mighty coin op Pac land is, taking the ideas from the cartoon of the same name taken from the Pacman series of games (still with us?) Its very cartoon like with some lovely visuals and a nice boppy tune ripped straight from the cartoon. Its very different from the various other Pac games as its now a platform game. But its very, very playable and later bloody hard.

Did they get it right?
Its all gone a bit pear shaped with Pac Land on the Spectrum. It is more like a nightmare than a dream to play. Quicksilva seem to have just dumped the arcade games playability and knocked this up. Graphics and sound are unbelievably dull and the screen now flicks instead of scrolls. File under how arcade games should not be converted 2

Arcade original :Konami - Spectrum conversion :Imagine 

A hidden gem or a right school detention mess? Mikie sure is strange. School games are a weird one, but Mikie's arcade antics are quite addictive although the gameplay suffers from screen to screen as some seem badly designed. Enjoyable in a school teacher throwing teeth kind of way.

Did they get it right?
Now this is more like it. Programmed with love, Mikie just has a quality to it. Everything is in place and even the graphics and sound are amazingly good. It feels more at home than the C64 version. It feels better than the arcade even 9

Arcade original :Sega - Spectrum conversion :Activision 

One of those four player things. Lots of power ups, jumping and shooting action. quite cool in a Gauntlet four player type game, even has a guy in it called Lee for extra points :)

Did they get it right?
Very plain. The 8 bit versions of Quartet seems to lack what the arcade showed off most - it's graphics - Strip this away and you are left with a dull jump and shoot game. It is playable though but better, much better, after a few beers :) 4

Space Harrier
Arcade original :Sega - Spec conversion :Elite Systems 

They must have scoffed when they thought they could release this on the C64 and other 8 bits and they did. The arcade game is one massive affair of big graphics and sound and had a moving chair that followed the action. One of Sega's best games for me. 

Did they get it right?
The funky but scruffy versions of Space Harrier on the C64 were quite nice. Could it work on the Speccy? A big thankful yes as Space Harrier is a much fun arcade conversion marvel. Don't be put off by the visuals and sonics, Space Harrier Spectrum is a playable romp across alien worlds. Very cool indeed 8



Arcade original :Capcom - Spec conversion :Elite Systems 

A real smart arcade game, with novel gameplay and visuals and sonics that made you laugh. Being a Paperboy is so much fun (in the arcades)

Did they get it right?
This is another Spectrum classic. It feels like a smaller, more rounded version of the coin op but it is very remarkable game. The control seems to the best here as it works wonders on a kempston and lots of features of the arcade game made it here intact. Who could ask for more? 9

Ikari Warriors
Arcade original :SNK - Spectrum conversion :Elite

A One man (or two) against an army. Think Rambo. Lots of death and destruction in a tricky shoot em up. Bonus points are the amazing tanks you can nip into and trundle over the enemy. Good.

Did they get it right?
Like Commando (see below) This is a fine attempt at some action. With hardly any colour, the Spectrum version seems hopeless but upon playing the game seems a spot on version of its arcade brother. and back are the Tanks! 7

Arcade original :Capcom - Spectrum conversion :Elite

One of the best loved one against the army type games. Make yourself a hero and mow down all the sprites and rush each area with a bag of grenades.

Did they get it right?
Looking at the 128k hack version this is so fun. The 48k one was a good ride but add the Rob Hubbard soundtrack from the C64 game (that was a remix of the arcade original) is a match made in arcade Jamma board heaven. The fluidity of play is a real lure too. file under how arcade should be done (and sometimes made better) 10


720 Degrees
Arcade original :Atari - Spectrum conversion :US Gold

C64 conversion (US) :Tengen

Using the same chip boards as Paperboy, 720 moves the gameplay on and treats us again to a fun world of jumping and collecting action. It's a cracking arcade game that had a novel controller to pull of all the moves as you collected gold awards. Loud too.

Did they get it right?
Just with a little artistic license, The little Spectrum version is a nice challenge on the arcade giant. Gone is nearly everything visual and sonic style (but you did get the soundtrack of the coin op on side two of the cassette) besides that, it has nearly all the features, tricks, stunts and bonuses of the original. Good solid fun 7

Road Runner
Arcade original :Atari - Spectrum conversion :US Gold








Yes, Road Runner is a cool Atari coin op that follows the fab cartoon in the adventures of the bloody bird. It looks like the cartoon. Some good design on the levels and I love the music.

Did they get it right?
I have not played the Spectrum version but asking Internet chums, many did and one even played the game on an emulator for me. Tony said "Pretty much all there, despite having a large picture of both Wile E and Roadrunner on each side of the screen that distracted me from the game many a time"

Hmmmm  5


Star Wars
Arcade original :Atari - Spectrum conversion :Domark

The most playable and downright best arcade game ever. Using vector graphics and some fine visual and oral sounds, Star Wars is like being in the film...if it was made out of lines. Yes, I'm using the same lines as I did on the first Arcade to Atari feature, I am lazy...so sue me

Did they get it right?
Star Wars Spectrum uses quite a lot of processing time resulting in no sound during play! Where's my sound? Still SW is a more faithful game than other systems, and has all the features but I really need sound in my games to enjoy them. Its not a disaster though. 6

Ghosts 'n Goblins
Arcade original :Capcom - Spec conversion :Elite Systems 

One of the most fun packed arcade romps I know. and you can run about in your underpants. Natch.

Did they get it right?
You could not imagine the Spectrum game to work but it does, big style. Featuring large sprites, nice sound and smooth scrolling (are you taking note PacLand) Ghosts n Goblins is faithful and shockingly on par with the stunning C64 version which is stuff we like to see. Leaves a fabulous feeling of satisfaction after playing. 10


Honorable mention...

3D Starstrike
Realtime Software

Forget the old fashioned 3D tagline, Starstrike is a meaty version of the Star Wars coin op. complete with all levels (plus one bad last level). You just could not get away with it these days. Better than the official game!



More to come...




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