There Is An Armalyte That Never Goes Out

Always make your game title easy to pun.

This is totally retro. Armalyte! It’s an official remake of the classic C64 shooter. Being a Spec-chum, I never played it back then, but always looked at its cover-art longingly. Finally playing after all this time, I discover a fairly brutal R-type/Nemesis-esque game, with a perpetual shooty drone following you around and a constantly recharging hyperblasty thing. It’s an efficient remake with updated graphics – though oddly no “classic graphic mode” which I can see. My initial criticism about the demo would be that the enemy bullets actually look a little like power-ups, which caused an embarrassing death early on. It’s also retro in another really odd way. While you can go and get the demo here, you can’t buy it as a digital download. They actually ship the disc to you. Finally, at a price of £16.99, I suspect it’s not exactly going to attract many people who aren’t predisposed to indulge in a little 80s nostalgia. Video and links to other bits of coverage follows…

EDIT: After a rush of requests, they’re planing to actually do a digital-download option for a cheaper price. Will keep you informed.

If you want to know more, just One More Game is all over it. Here’s their review of the full thing and here’s an interview with the Devs.

And a question for the room – what actual C64 and Spectrum games would you like to see receive this kind of “deluxe remake” approach? And, equally, what would you pay for them?

From this site

56 Comments

  1. nine says:

    Your punnish sins will have to be accounted for one day, Mr Gillen.

  2. Clovis says:

    I’ll pass. I prefer my trips on the fast lane to hell be two-way.

  3. Jaz says:

    I’d like to see a modern remake of the classic “SYNSO!” games by EDGE, preferably in the first person with Facebook connectivity.

  4. Alfie Noakes says:

    To die in a spaceship is such a heavenly way to die…

    • Rich says:

      If you think either burning to death, asphyxiating, or both is heavenly, that is.

      I suppose you could get lucky and just explode.

    • Alfie Noakes says:

      Whooooooooooooooosh!

    • Stu says:

      And if a bullet like a power-up, kills the both of us…

  5. Risingson says:

    Shoot at anywhere, I don’t care I don’t care I don’t care…

  6. mihor_fego says:

    eh… can I ask for an Amstrad game? It’s pretty much the same era! It would have to be Solomon’s Key, the import from the arcade version… I spent countless hours in front of the green screen playing that! A very accessible platform puzzler which could be one among those responsible for us enjoying games like Braid today.
    Let’s not start this for Amiga games though, for my wish-list of games to remake is endless…

  7. Azazel says:

    Full Duplex trip to hell plz.

  8. Wulf says:

    Had this been cheap or free, my reaction would have sounded something like this: Eeeeeeee!

    However, considering that this is £16.99, and that there’s visually superior horizontal shooty fun to be had elsewhere for free*, my reaction is sounding more like this: Meeehh.

    * Prototype 2, Hydorah, and Dark Space come to mind. I’m sure there are others I’ve forgotten too, but I’m mostly into shooters of a more vertical slant, these days.

    • Rich says:

      Dark Space looks interesting. Some of it is a bit like side-scrolling Descent.

      Shame I’ve always sucked at side-scrolling shooters.

    • Radiant says:

      Also Armalyte was £12.99 when it came out in 1988.

  9. Dan says:

    Um…that’s two quid more than I just paid for Mass Effect 2.

    So no.

    Plus my mum’s actually got my C64 at home somewhere, complete with awesome (vertical, admittedly) scrolling shooter, XENON!

  10. cdm says:

    Paradroid & Hunter’s Moon

  11. Robert says:

    And if a double-decked spaceship crashes into us……..

    As for your question: Aztec’s Challenge and *cough* G.I.Joe *cough*

  12. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Seems… Too floaty, like there’s a perpetual slowdown because of too many on-screen sprites to deal with at once. Of course, the slowdowns were also kind of a security blanket in some shmups; I remember playing R-Type on Snes and basically going “whoa” like Neo when I dodged them bullets. Except on higher difficulty levels, where it was just a death sentence given out in molasses.

    Still like my Gradius better. And Parodius, dear elder gods, how I miss playing that.

    • Radiant says:

      I need a pc re-release of Gradius V for the ps2.
      HELP ME INTERNET.

    • Wulf says:

      @Radiant

      I imagine the best you could do is emulate it. Having looked at a vid of the emulation though, it looks incredibly smooth, so it’s as close as a PC release would ever be, anyway.

      Take a look for yourself: link to youtube.com

      The configuration of the emulator used is in the description, too. So you could just buy the PS2 version, rip an ISO of it, and then play it on an emulator.

  13. Diogo Ribeiro says:

    Too clarify just a bit more: it just seems that, looking at the trailer, the ship comes off as floating rather than moving or zipping across the screen. Personally I prefer more direct, responsive movement. In any case, I’ll try to grab the demo.

  14. HexagonalBolts says:

    Is that philip glass’ music from Koyanisqatsi? Sounds similar but slightly different

  15. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    Whenever I play a modern remake of classic game, the new one never seems to match up to the original. In which case I just wind up playing the original again, making the new one a bit redundant. To me it would make more sense to instead re-do games that were really good ideas but didn’t get it right first time round – held back by the technology or similar.

    With that in mind, a random list of almost-there C64 games I’d love to see done properly: Alter Ego, Mad Doctor, Sam Manthorpe’s Detective, Hacker, Rags To Riches.

    What would I pay for them? Anywhere from US$5 to US$20, depending on how extensively they’ve been re-worked.

  16. Radiant says:

    Paradroid
    Hunter’s Moon
    Hawkeye
    Vendetta
    Navy Seals

    My brain has run out of room to remember the others right now without running to google.

  17. Dominic White says:

    That price is absolutely insane…

    And now for a nice retro 2D shooter that is likely going to be free, and is apparently due for release very soon.

    link to locomalito.com – Hydorah.

    Check out the trailer, play the demo, sit in excited anticipation of the full release. Word is it’s in beta testing now.

    • Dominic White says:

      Replying to myself to say: Blargh, beaten to a Hydorah mention already. Either way, CHECK IT OUT. It’s damn impressive.

    • Dominic White says:

      Further lamenting the death of the edit function, I’ll ramble more about Hydorah.

      The full version looks like it’s going to be 18 levels long, have 26+ bosses, and a really, really fantastic soundtrack. It sounds just how it should. The trailer alone is enough proof of this.

  18. Sunjumer says:

    Great my browser ate my well thougt out comment.

    Short version:
    I’d love to see a remake of Operation Firestart.
    Where one gets to explore a space ship wehre things went horribly wrong (TM)
    And was an interesting mixture of sedate (but tense) exploration and a frantic fight for survival.

  19. JonFitt says:

    I’d like to see all the Dizzy games given a modern overhaul.

    Also, Midnight Resistance.

    oh and of course, Chaos: The Battle of Wizrds

    • jonfitt says:

      Also,

      -Head over Heels

      -Spy vs Spy

    • RobF says:

      Spy Vs Spy is a weird one, last time I checked First Star still own the rights to the game and are (unlike with Boulderdash) pretty unwilling to do anything of note with it. Or they just haven’t had the right offer.

      I think the Trapulator is also covered by one of the legal miscellany that companies like to come up with so it’s not like it’s entirely viable to do a knock off without getting a slap to the back of the head.

      Then again, I’m not sure that the old interface would be a smart idea anyway. If barely sufficed in the eighties and you could, I’m sure, do something much much much better now.

  20. Radiant says:

    link to c64.com

    Interview with the makers of the original.

  21. theleif says:

    I’d like a remake of Sex Games, but i doubt the addictive gameplay and innovative mechanics of the game can be improved.

  22. deadbob says:

    I’d love to see the old Hewson 3d adventures

    Avalon,
    Dragontorc and
    Astro Clone.

    Actually I’m looking at them now, what the hell was ‘Sensory Animation’?, whatever it was Dragontorc had it!

    • RobF says:

      There’s a whole wealth of Hewson stuff I’d love to see redone, right down to the early Sieddab games which are ripe for a more modern/arcadey take on them.

      And Technician Ted, natch.

      Was never too fond of Astroclone, mind. A bastardisation of Avalon and the Gargoyle graphic adventure stuff wasn’t/isn’t quite to my tastes. I think I just missed the floaty bouncy stuff really though.

  23. LUCA says:

    any game by one of the greatest minds, ANDREW BRAYBROOK, someone above mentioned paradroid but also uridium, MORPHEUS owned a lot too…

    Armalyte plays as good today as it did 20+ years ago, i should know cause i play it on emulation to this day.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Flimgoblin says:

    Nostalgia crits you in the head for… well not quite enough to make me buy it :p but I will gaze longingly at the video for a bit.

  25. MadMatty says:

    Thinking of these r-type shooters for the C64, the game “IO” as in the moon, sprung to mind.
    It had some very nice graphics at the time, everything looked super cool- and gameplay was good.

    ..Ahaha here it is.. youtube is proving better and better for doses of nostalgia: