(Wii Virtual Console / Commodore 64)

Mayhem in Monsterland (Wii Virtual Console / Commodore 64)

Game Profile

Mayhem is an unhappy dinosaur, as Monsterland is an unhappy place, due to an apprentice magic dinosaur who decided to practice some of his master's spells, after drinking too much cactus juice. Mayhem decides to change it back, with the help of Theo Saurus, the apprentice responsible for Monsterland being the gloomy place it is now.

The game is a side-scrolling platform game, where you play the part of Mayhem. You can kill enemies by jumping on them.

There are five levels in the game. Each one starts in unhappy mode, where Mayhem must collect enough bags of magic dust, from the enemies you face, then find your way to Theo's hidden cave. Theo then uses the dust to make the level happy again. This change is reflected in the more jazzy music, colourful landscape and even the monsters who look more friendly and cheerful.

Some of the magic, however, clumps together into magical stars, that Mayhem must collect, on the happy version of the level, to stop them falling into the wrong hands. There is a quota of stars that Mayhem must collect, before going over the finishing line.

In the happy version of the level there are more bonuses that can be collected, such as score multipliers, extra lives, extra time, etc. The most important is probably the ability to charge, allowing Mayhem to run very fast, killing any enemies in his way. Also, he stops with a skid, and extra points are awarded for a long skid over the finishing line.

Game Review

Review

USA USA Version

Posted by Mat Allen

Mayhem is an unhappy dinosaur, as Monsterland is an unhappy place, due to an apprentice magic dinosaur who decided to practice some of his master's spells, after drinking too much cactus juice.

The year 1993 saw the last of the full-price commercial games for the C64 hit the shelves as the market for 8-bit fare was finally grinding to a halt. In amongst the classics such as Alien 3, Lemmings and Nobby the Aardvark there was one game that was...

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User Comments (90)

Jazzem

#1

Jazzem said:

I got the free mobile phone port of this a while back, it was actually a really fun game. The jump/kick mechanics worked really well and made it pretty satisfying :) I'd be tempted to make this my first C64 VC purchase!

MayhemStaff

#2

Mayhem said:

It's sort of the same mechanics but a different game (there's no flying kicks in this title!). Still done by the Rowlands though.

CorbsAdmin

#3

Corbs said:

This is a great addition to the Virtual Console. You European gamers are lucky ducks. :P

And outstanding review Mat. Absolutely fantastic! :)

Jazzem

#4

Jazzem said:

@Mayhem

Oh? That's a shame as I loved the kick mechanics in the mobile game, but that's all the more incentive to get this if it plays differently :)

Kirk

#6

Kirk said:

It looks like this game ripped off some of the ideas in from Sonic and Mario then. Look at the main character design, the way he runs, the checkerboard design of the walls, the actual sound when he runs, and even the name 'Mayhem' reminds me of Sonic with his whole 'cool' and 'edgy' attitude.

Looks pretty cool.

Kelvin

#9

Kelvin said:

Great game, but Creatures 2 was better! Very good and fair review, Mat.

truercki

#10

truercki said:

This game is so much fun, maybe some younger guys will enjoy it as well ;-) I like the concept of happy and unhappy version.

Betagam7

#13

Betagam7 said:

I'm really pleased we've got this as I was too young to be allowed to mail order it first time round but I remember drooling over CF's never ending previews! Hopefully Creatures 1 & 2 will soon follow.
Wow, the C64 is starting to look like one of the best channels on VC. Great support and very few bad titles released for it.
For those worries about Mana, don't be, it'll come another week. Mayhemis this weeks killer app and there would have been no point relegating it to second spot.

Airola

#14

Airola said:

Not only this game take a lot of inspiration from Mario and Sonic but the title tune sounds almost exactly like the Tiny Toons theme :D
And it's not just the beginning of the tune but the whole track resembles a lot of Tiny Toons. Go ahead and listen! :D

Betagam7

#15

Betagam7 said:

I've given this a whirl over the last hour (managed to get to the sad stage of level 2).
I'm happy to report it plays more like Mario than Sonic and that all that uncontrollable speeding about that the hedgehog does isn't as important as tight jumping and platforming.
Having said that when you do speed about it all moves very smoothly. I've yet to see any sign of slowdown and the game mechanics themselves are very tight.
Hard? Yes, but in the sense that when you die its your fault (I can never understand people raving about Mega Man becasue its unfairly and annoyingly hard due to its own gameplay inadequacies and bad level design).
Grat game and for 500 points better than nearly any NES game out there (SMB's excluded)

Betagam7

#17

Betagam7 said:

Anyone else noticed that this game heralds the long requested arrival of the Transparent keyboard (although not sure why as you don't need to use it)

MayhemStaff

#18

Mayhem said:

Maybe they had originally planned on including the copy protection colour code sheet the game came with :p

Airola

#19

Airola said:

@Betagam7

I think Jumpman has one too.
I have Impossible Mission, Jumpman and now Mayhem in Monsterland. As I haven't used the keyboard when playing Impossible Mission, I've always thought the keyboard has always been transparent. Now as I think about it, I recall Impossible Mission had the keyboard at the bottom of the screen (and possibly not transparent) while both Jumpman and MiM have transparent keyboard on top of the screen.

CorbsAdmin

#20

Corbs said:

I wish the Commodore 64 games would come to the US Virtual Console so I can finally pack my Commodore 64 outfit away once and for all. I think my disk drive is running on its last legs as it is. :)

Jazzem

#21

Jazzem said:

I'm a newcomer to this and it's a lovely game but I'm having some trouble with the controls. They're a little too slippery and imprecise should you need to avoid enemy fire or land on the right platform. I'm going to stick with it in the hope that I get used to it.

puresthatred

#22

puresthatred said:

One thing noone seems to have mentioned is the great audio. The music for the game is outstanding, some very complicated use of the C64's SID chip to produce some pretty memorable music...use of the SID chip to produce dark detuned synth bass sounds, in game fx..very smart for a machine only capable of 3 channels of basic tones plus 1 channel of noise. A definate purchase for me. Hopefully Turrican 2 will arrive, my all time favourite C64 game and the best version of Turrican on any machine.

Mike64

#23

Mike64 said:

The C64 is getting some top games now and at 500 Wii points Mayhem in Monsterland is excellent value.
Monty On The Run & Auf Wiedersehen Monty were excellent platformers which I never completed. Can I add those to the wish list please? Both had great tunes from Rob Hubbard too if you remember.

Draygone

#24

Draygone said:

Wait, did I read that right? You press UP to jump???
throws a brick at one of the stars
Jumping should never be anything but its own dedicated button.

Kelvin

#25

Kelvin said:

Why not? It makes more sense that up should be jump, if you think about it. You press up to go, er, up.

Also, the C64 had only one fire button, so there's not much that can be done.

David77

#26

David77 said:

I have this on a C64 emulator since some years now. I Think the fact that the game have a great review it's because it's on the C64. This game came out some years after Super Mario World. Do you think it's as good? Nope. Even Super Mario Bros, who came in 1985 in us is way ahead of this game. That said, i like it, but it was released when the machine was dead since a long time.

Nath17

#27

Nath17 said:

Downloaded this out of curiosity, reeling from disappointment about the abscene of Secret of Mana and Mario Golf, but it's actually pretty good.

Jazzem

#28

Jazzem said:

I'm going to have to admit to being pretty disappointed with this :( It's not a terrible game but I was expecting to love it, I only merely 'like' it. I just can't get on with the controls.

I haven't completely given up on it but it's a regret purchase for me at the moment.

Draygone

#29

Draygone said:

@25. Kelvin
It's awkward. I've never gotten used to pressing up to jump in fighting games. I suppose I can't fault a game made for a system with only one action button, though. 'Cause we all know Nintendo is never going to allow secondary controller configurations.
also wishing he could play NES games using B&Y instead of A&B

Kelvin

#30

Kelvin said:

David77, this game did come out after Super Mario World but also on a far inferior system, so it's unfair to compare them directly. And if you think the first Super Mario Bros is "way ahead" of this game, you're crazy. Really.

Draygone, fair enough. Since I grew up playing computer (rather then console) games, pressing a button to jump strikes me as odd. ;)

Jazzem, I would have given this four (eight under the new system) stars, because despite the presentation and the technical achievement, the controls are a bit fiddly, particularly the speed dash.

soniczelda_dude

#31

soniczelda_dude said:

I don't this game is as great as you think. Look at the jumping mechanics in the video! Anyone reading this post should take their 500 points elsewhere, such as investing in say, SUPER MARIO BROS. 3 maybe!?!

David77

#33

David77 said:

@kelvin
I mean this game is respected NOW because we know it was released on a obsolete console when it was released. At that time, nobody have interest to play it. Simply because it have nothing new to offer. And Super Mario is way more played today than this one.

Will

#34

Will said:

@soniczelda dude, you wouldnt spend a £5 on the only game in gaming history to ever recieve a perfect 100% score in an established gaming magazine? You would not be curious at all as to how that would play? Your crazy. Everybody should buy this, its an amazing piece of software. Created by pure love.

Kelvin

#35

Kelvin said:

soniczelda dude, so you're basing this opinion on what? The video? Seems a strange way to judge the gameplay...

David77, the game is respected now because it's a good game, just as it was when it was released.

Jack_the_Red

#36

Jack_the_Red said:

This game is great, I first played it when I was 12 and had been hoping it would find its way on to VC. The controls are a bit odd at first, but after a couple of goes it feels very natural. I heartily recommend this game, for 500 points you can't go wrong.

Betagam7

#37

Betagam7 said:

Yes, the controls feel odd to a console gamers but back in the day (I'm officially allowed to use this phrase since turning 30!) we used a joystick with one fire button so you can't complain really as MiM was not designed with a "classic" controller or Wii remote in mind.
As for downloading SMB 3 instead, can I just say "YAWN!"
For god's sake get an an original thought in your head. Do you just want to play and experience the same old things over and over and over again. Try opening your mind to new (albeit old) ideas and concepts and you might actually find you can have fun with something that doesnt feature a red capped italian stereotype

megacody

#38

megacody said:

I loved the killer bunny scene from monty python's holy grail.

Looks a very nice, too bad I live ins a US and A. Great Success!

Betagam7

#39

Betagam7 said:

I like the way the music changes to give you an indication of whether to go Sonic rushing or careful Mario jumping

Mr_64

#40

Mr_64 said:

I can't believe people are judging the gameplay off a video! And the "I can't use up for jump" arguement is fundamentally flawed. I grew up in the one fire-button generation and there's plenty of great games that have up for jump and it doesn't hinder the gameplay in the slightest. By that logic you could argue that Street Fighter 2 is a fundamentally flawed game because you have to do all sort of weird combinations of movement and button bashing to do special moves. It's not of course.

My only criticism of the game is that it's insanely hard. The fact that you do the sad levels before the happy levels doesn't do anyone any favours either as they're always harder! If you can get over the insane difficulty levels you're rewarded with a fantastic advert of how great the C64 actually was - proving once and for all it could blow the other 8-bits out of the water.

I've noticed opinions are split between those who've actually played and owned it on the C64 and like it and those who've never seen the game but have watched a video of it. Before criticising it, give it a chance! Just because Miyamoto didn't design it doesn't mean it's not a good game!

The problem I think is the hyperboly that Commodore Format threw at it. There was no way it deserved 100%, no game does and personally I don't think Mayhem in Monsterland is the greatest C64 game of all time. It doesn't stop it being a good game, it just forces people to look for faults.

Next I'd really like to see the orignal Thalamus/Apex Creatures game released, now that is a barn-stormer of a platform game (albiet still insanely difficult)!

Ricardo91

#41

Ricardo91 said:

This looks like a ripoff of Mario, Kirby, and Sonic all in one, yet I strangely kinda want to play it.

Betagam7

#42

Betagam7 said:

Commodore Format had a VERY good relationship with the creators of MiM. They would supply them with Creature's comic strips and gave them a month by month: Making of MiM diary.
Therefore its not surprising that a deal was obviously struck to give MiM some sort of super review (especially as they were trying to cutout the middleman and sell it themselves).
Also CF probably realised that its own readership was dwindling and needed a killer game to keep people interested in ít.

Incidently its incorrect to say that MiM received the only ever 100% review.
Super Mario Allstars also received this from an unnofficial Nintendo magazine that escapes my mention, wheras Micro Machines on the Mega Drive received a similar 10/10 from gamesmaster magazine if I recall (or maybe just for playability)

Will

#43

Will said:

"There was no way it deserved 100%, no game does and personally I don't think Mayhem in Monsterland is the greatest C64 game of all time. It doesn't stop it being a good game, it just forces people to look for faults."

@ Mr.64.... true, true. As much as I love (and I mean heart and soul LOVE!) MiM, no, it didnt deserve 100% :( Those faults you mentioned people will look for?

  1. Insane difficulty, I only made it to level4 once!
  2. Falling into a bottemless pit is the cheapest, most frustrationg way to die. And it happens a lot in this game.
  3. The bug which resets your lives to one if you collect over 10.
    That last ones a b£$%^&d.
    Despite these, If I was to review it myself, it would be getting 96%-98%, its still a freakin awesome game.

@Betagam7, as far as Im aware, MiM is indeed, the only game ever to recieve a 100% score. Post a link to the super mario all stars review and Ill retract that statement, apolagise, and only ever refer to you as Master Betagam7, lol! Also, I 10/10 scores dont count, 100s of games have recieved a 10/10 score over the years.

@Mr.Cheez, I prefer the term.... inspired! This game is definitly worthy of your 500 points and time. Make sure and download whenever the states get it.

slangman

#44

slangman said:

Sounds like a great game. Although i am a bit put off that this game has fiddly controls. I might get this soon thoug i just dunno at the moment.

Betagam7

#45

Betagam7 said:

Will,

Can't tell you the name of the magazine unfortunately as I only ever read the wonderful Super Play.
It wasn't the offical Nintendo Magazine System (which would have seemed the most likely candidate) I only remember it had a front cover with 100% on it made up of Mario coins.
Much like CF's review score for MiM it was probably done as a sales gimmick.

Mr_64

#46

Mr_64 said:

I'm not sure it was so much a sales gimmick as just an acknowledgement that this was the swansong of the C64. It was a bit daft. If you want to check out the Commodore Force (aka Zzap 64) review, check out the scan of issue 102 on www.zzap64.co.uk.

Betagam7

#47

Betagam7 said:

Yeah that too, but if you read the latter issues (available scanned at http://www.commodoreformat.co.uk/ then you can see how they are desperately slagging off the SNES and PC's as flashy graphics with awful gameplay (sorry CF you were a good magazine but GET REAL will you!).
The reason is simple, their livelihood on the magazine was being threatened (note the later magazines that have taglines like "a Massive FOUR games reviewed inside") and they needed to convince people the C64 was still a viable alternative so that they would keep buying there mag. The first ever game to receive 100% might just distract people away from drooling over Super Mario World for long enough to keep them on the breadline for another few weeks. Also its evident that they really did love the magazine and the system and who would want a job like that to end.

Mr_64

#48

Mr_64 said:

To be fair, that was the a-typical response of ALL computer game mags in the 80s and early 90s. Spectrum mags levelled that accusation against C64 games, ST mags claimed their STs were better than Amigas because their CPU allowed for (slightly) faster 3D graphics. Megadrive mags slagged off the SNES for having a feeble CPU and loads of platformers. SNES mags slagged off the Megadrive to high heaven. All nonsense, but that was what the games scene was about back then, rivalaries. Nowadays we tend to be mugs and several machines from any generation of console/computer, but back then people tended to buy one from each. I can't think of many kids in my school who had a Spectrum, CPC and C64 at the same time, Amiga and ST, or a SNES and a Megadrive. I think the magazines definately pandered to that culture and it's something that's gone now and it's a shame as it had a charm slagging each other's (often pathetically slow) machine off to death.

The bitterness of the attitude towards console games is fairly justified if you ask me, there was a hell of a lot of dross on the Megadrive, SNES and PC as well as the gems and at least C64 software was as cheap as chips. In 1992/1993 loads of developers jumped ship to the SNES and PC, even though the C64 was still selling very well (believe it or not). Anyway, I doubt the 100% review would've put anyone off buying a SNES who wasn't already thinking about it in 1993!

Perhaps, as Mayhem in Monsterland was the last full price, bells and whistles C64 game, there was an element of sadness involved from Commodore Format's/Force's review team in the sense of this was the end of the C64 age. Lets put this in perspective, this game was released in the same year as Doom! A game that came on cassette tape and ran on a computer that was barely a hundreth of the power of the 486 you'd need to run Doom. Madness really!

MayhemStaff

#49

Mayhem said:

Actually I'm not sure if Lemmings hits the shops just after Mayhem. Certainly many people I know didn't get it until 1994, although I got my copy of Lemmings about the same time Mayhem turned up in the post.

Mr_64

#50

Mr_64 said:

They were reviewed in the same issue of Commodore Force anyway! It must have been neck and neck. Good grief, it took so long for the C64 version of Lemmings to come out! Still, it was quite a good conversion for the spec of the machine, despite the small screen size.

Bass_X0

#51

Bass_X0 said:

I can't see the appeal of Commodore Format - I viewed a few issues from that website and it just seemed really short especially the later issues. and some pages were in black and white. thats disgraceful for a magazine lasting until 1995. Seems like you're paying for the cassette, not the magazine. There was never any black and white pages in any of the Nintendo magazines I read back then. CVG has a black and white supplementary but that was an extra and the magazine was already incredibly full without it.

Betagam7

#52

Betagam7 said:

Bass X0. Theres a simple reason for the black and white. Its called cost reduction. As I say above they were trying to survive in an increasingly barren market (most certainly the same reason for the short length).
CF was much longer when there was more to review but got thinner and poorer quality as it went on with less to do and talk about.
It wsn't Super Play but it was a decent read (although yes, people did buy mags then mostly for the free tape)

Mr64: yes I know what you're saying but you seem to be suggesting the whole "my machines better than yours" elitism/justifying your purchase thing was a GOOD thing.

Have to say I couldn't disagree more. I woke up to the fact that company's are not your freind a very long time ago and have been all the happier for it. Owning multiple platforms is the way forward. No company should ever feel they have you in their pocket and the words "brand loyalty" are for mugs, in my opinion.

Mr_64

#53

Mr_64 said:

I'd say that in the days of machines like the C64 and Spectrum, people didn't have the money to buy all three formats. In 80s Britain, nearly everyone was totally skint so you just got the one format and made do with it. Not only that, but the gulf between the technology found in each format was so huge that each format had it's own particular style of game it did best as that was what the hardware excelled at - it wasn't necessarily a design decision. We obviously have a touch of this now with WiiMote vs a joypad but it's nowhere near as extreme.

Besides, I'd argue you're more in the pockets of companies if you do buy all three formats anyway as you've just forked out hundreds of pounds on hardware, before you have to spend the inevitable £40+ a pop on games. I personally only ever back one horse in generation of machines. I might pick another one up once it's bargain bin fodder, but I'll never subscribe to the whole "own everything" ethos.

As for having black and white pages I'd hardly call it disgraceful! I'd say the cover-tape well makes up for that. Commodore Format gave away games like Uridium for free, that's a small price to pay for not having a technicolor-ed magazine, after all you can still read the thing even if it's not in colour!

Betagam7

#54

Betagam7 said:

I appreciate people couldn't and wouldn't afford to buy more than one home computer back in the day but this doesn't mean that the whole "my computer is better than yours" argument belonged anywhere other than the playground. It was, and remains, simply a way for insecure people to justify their concerns that the huge amount of money they spent on some hardware might not be doing what the huge amount of money their neighour spent on another piece of hardware was doing.

The magazines and the companies exploit these insecurities and produce a generation of young zealots such as a certain now banned fan of Megaman who could previously be found filling up the VC forums with inane topics like "why the 360 is rubbish".
The only answer to stupid questions like that is of course "because I didn't buy one" and tells its own story about the person.

I think, or like to imagine, that most people nowerdays have become rightfully cynical to such ploys and will simply devote their energies to the games themselves.

By all means deny yourself access to the treasures of a different console for fiscal reasons (I'd have a PS3 to compliment my Wii and 360 if I could afford one). But because of "loyalty"? Then you're only cutting off your nose to spite your face...

Starwolf_UK

#55

Starwolf_UK said:

Sorry to butt in any arguments or anything but whats up with the emulation? If this video is accurate...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_J4saQEatbQ
The VC releases is meesed up (before your should but RGB, the person tried composite also and it was still oversaturated) though as was mentioned earlier the game is rather messed up from an emulation prespective :P

Betagam7

#56

Betagam7 said:

I havn't noticed that odd glitching of the music in my copy (and I'm fairly sure that I would have as its unbelievably obvious on that video).
Incidently what does he mean about the removal of borders and creatures 2?

Mr_64

#57

Mr_64 said:

The colour balance will be down to the fact that the colours you see on the Wii are the actual colours the C64 generates when it is on the VICII chip, what you see on a real C64's screen goes through some cheap and nasty analogue circuits that give it the hue that we all associate with it, and this hue varies from C64 to C64.

The glitches are probably down to the fact that a heck of a lot of programming tricks on the C64 were achieved using undocumented features of the CPU, VIC-II and SID. The SID chip in particular is affected by this. The official Commodore documentation doesn't actually relate in any way to how the chip works apparently! Obviously when someone comes to write an accurate emulator, they've got a monumental task - especially getting later games to work that are milking every last drop of power out of the machine.

Another reason could be down to the techniques used by John and Steve Rowlands (the games creators). They made extensive use of a technique called raster interrupts. This quickly alternates the colour of pixels on the screen (swapping once every 25th of a second) to make new colours. The scrolling in this game was also quite revolutionary and used very clever screen buffering techniques (for a machine without a blitter). Both of these tie exactly to the C64's old PAL timing oscillator. The PAL timing found in early PAL machines (like the C64 and Amiga) was actually 50.21 Hz, I wonder if the emulator is only outputting the game at 50 Hz. It definately makes a difference, just compare any C64 game with scrolling running on a real C64 to the same game running on any PC emulator.

As for the rivalry thing, I appreciate that it creates a zealot culture in extreme cases, but then that's going to happen unless a standardised format is introduced as there'll always be people like that. I quite liked the fact there was banter in the old magazines, that's sadly gone these days. I used to love reading magazines like Zzap and Crash back in the day and actually really looked forward to the next issue coming out, but then I was twenty years younger then!

Kelvin

#58

Kelvin said:

Hey, without that old Sega/Nintendo rivalry, Brawl matches between Sonic and Mario wouldn't be nearly as fun for us old-timers! ;)

I'd argue that the zealot culture is still rife, particularly between X360 and PS3 owners (and to a lesser extent between them and the Wii owners). It reminds me of the old days! I don't know if it's still present in the gaming mags, as I haven't read one in years.

Betagam7

#59

Betagam7 said:

Zealots will always exist, just as long as people are insecure.
My point was that its better to be above them and enjoy the rich tapestry of gaming that exists cross format than to isolate yourself based on your "loyalty" to a company that doesn't give a damn about you.

Mr_64

#60

Mr_64 said:

I suppose I'm looking at it through rose-tinted glasses. The hindsight irony of a bunch of kids rowing about which tape-loaded machine is better for hours on end and bawling on about how many colours there are on screen, etc.

With regards to the rivalry of today, I've been thinking about it more carefully and in theory it could actually be far worse with console games as in the days of the C64, format exclusive games were very rare (certainly by the late 80s). As a result you could get any game you wanted on each of the big formats, it's just some conversions fared better than others. Consoles always have format-only games, which means you can't get a particular classic game unless you buy a particular console. I see your point now Betagam7!

As for companies not giving a damn about their punters, I'm sure they must do unless they're totally stupid. Atari and Sega were the biggest games companies in the world in their prime and look what happened when they stopped delivering the goods.

Betagam7

#61

Betagam7 said:

I always hark back to the N64 UK launch as my awakening.
(note: the following story contains only rough timescales)
I bought the machine for £250 on launch day. My cousin around a month later, just before Nintendo slashed the price by about £70.
Rumours started circulating that Nintendo were getting hammered with complaints over this. Further rumours (vehemently denied by Nintendo's contactable helpline staff and THE games) then materialised that if you complained Nintendo would recompense you with a free gift.
My cousin sent off a letter and within a week received a black N64 controller and Memory Pak (value around £45) along with an apologetic letter.
I did the same, quoting what he had received. I received a letter saying "although there was a limited amount of free stock, this has now been exhausted".
I felt cheated and bitter. I was the one who'd bought the machine on launch date wasn't I? I was the loyal one...the one who had slagged off the Mega Drive and beleived the anti-Sega hype and all I get is a letter?
I woke up that day. Loyalty is for mugs because the only thing these companies care about is themselves. This all may seem obvious to an adult but to a teenager who grew up hating the Spectrum for the same reasons (I owned a C64...err, so what?) it had never occured to me.
Anyway, since then I've been thankful for that day and the appallingly insulting letter. Its meant I've been able to experience Shenmue, Nights into Dreams, Panzer Dragoon Saga, GTA 4 and even Jetpac instead of being a loyal Nintendo zealot for life.
These are, unfortunately, multinational corporations were talking about, not freindly local corner shops. Hate everyone equally I say and treat them all with cynicism. Its the only way to game...

Mr_64

#62

Mr_64 said:

Nintendo have always had a reputation for treating it's customers, particular those of us unlucky enough to be European, dreadfully so your story doesn't surprise me. However, I think they paid the price for their attitude and if it wasn't for the success of the DS and Wii, I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see the big N following Sega's path. However, they haven't. We still get the occcasional bum deal on release dates, but I wonder if C64 on the VC for Europe is some kind of small compensation for all the rough treatment we've got over the years? Possibly not, it's probably another money making scam!

As for format wars, it was very different with home computers as Commodore, Acorn, Sinclair and Amstrad did not control releases on their platform and demand format exclusive content. That came in with Nintendo "Seal of Quality" on the NES and has been the inherent post-video game crash model of console marketing ever since. Personally I think format exclusive titles are what's wrong with the console games industry as to play all the great games on any generation of console you need to buy all three machines.

As for the "early adopter tax", you get that with any technology. Think how the price of computer components, DVD players and flat-screen TVs fell so rapidly.

Betagam7

#63

Betagam7 said:

It wasn't so much the "tax" that bothered me as the fact that they seemed to be going to make up for it only to backtrack once word got out.
Compare that to Microsoft who, after slashing the UK price of the Xbox shortly after launch, recompensed ALL their early adopters with free games. Now if y9ou asked the average gamer who cared most about their customers, Nintendo or Microsoft not many people would pick the latter but its true. MS have had to do this in order to try and get a dominant position in the market. As you say, Nintendo got lazy and payed for it.
That's the advantage of being multiformat to me, if one company treats you poorly you can hop to another. That way it forces the other to up their game.
Case in point, instead of putting up with Sega's appaling PAL conversion of Streets of Rage I can go onto Xbox Live and get a properly converted version with extras.
If everybody did that, then Nintendo might start to up their game and start demanding proper conversions.
Sadly people are too blind to the problem. Even this website takes the attitude that people "just don't care".
That was the problem in the 90's and now were facing the same kind of apathy all over again.
As one of the major VC websites I wish that vc-reviews would take a more proactive attitude in campaining for this but they seem happy to let it slide.
Dissapointing, I think.

Mr_64

#64

Mr_64 said:

X-Box Live definately offers an interesting experience and it's great to see games like Speedball 2, SWOS and SOTN on there. Microsoft have certainly sorted out that side of things, but then they do have a head-start on Nintendo in the field of online gaming. My only quarm with Microsoft is that the failure rate of the 360 is outrageous, every single person I know with a 360 has had to return their console at least once, they really should have sorted that in development before releasing a fundamentally flawed machine.

With regards to the PAL vs NTSC conversion debate on VC, it's a shame that there isn't an option to play it in PAL mode or NTSC mode. It's a real wasted opportunity as it would be nice to play the games how they're supposed to be played in the case of US/Japanese games. Maybe that might happen later on down the line via an update?

MayhemStaff

#65

Mayhem said:

Unfortunately you can't really do that with C64 releases. Many of them (especially towards the end of its life) were written specifically to take advantage of timings and scanlines available in only one of the formats (usually PAL), meaning that playing them on the other format resulted in a mess.

Mr_64

#66

Mr_64 said:

I didn't mean with C64 games, as they're written with PAL in mind - this is part of the reason why Mayhem isn't actually working properly as the Wii emulator (based on Frodo) doesn't do true PAL emulation.

However, with games like Super Mario Brothers, Castlevania, etc it'd be nice to play it at full speed though (and minus borders).

Betagam7

#67

Betagam7 said:

It would be nice but unfortunately the only way we'll convince Nintendo of that is to hit them in their pockets.
I've spent over £200 on VC games so far (was quite shocked when I totted that up actually!) but I can think of many others I refuse to download because of this problem.
I'd like to see some sort of online database where you could log which games you havn't bought becasue of this problem that would provide a total amount of money lost by Nintendo as a result. This might convince them, alas I don't have a clue how to setup such a database. Anyone?

slangman

#68

slangman said:

@Betagam7 you took the words right out of my mouth. I too have tons of VC games but some i refuse to download due to the poor PAL conversions (Vectorman,Castlevania Mayham In Monsterland,etc) Oh and 4 or 5 other games i own i kinda dislike the music due to the slower music.

Betagam7

#69

Betagam7 said:

Those three games alone represent about £20 in lost revenue for nintendo and their partners. Nothing spectacular but lets look at the bigger picture.
Nintendo has sold over 1 Million Wii's in the UK alone. Lets say just 10% of those consumers feel the same way we do...no lets go even lower and say only 5% are hacked off enough to have done what you've done (at a minimum) That's ONE MILLION POUNDS of lost revenue that Nintendo could have had if it it had just enforced a 60hz policy and that's in the UK alone!
If only this could be delivered to the, frankly, blind businessmen at NOE then they might start to listen...

slangman

#70

slangman said:

If only NOE actually did that. Then i would actually stop feeling regrets about not importing a NTSC WIi in the first place as well as snapping up those games i mentioned.

Betagam7

#72

Betagam7 said:

Hang on a minute, so Nintendo can find it within itself to bother commenting on an obviously unavoidable emulation problem but it doesn't feel like it needs to explain its disgraceful 50hz , bordered games, policy!
Unbelievable!

slangman

#73

slangman said:

Well they are forced to fix it since it's not an exact port of the C64 version due to bad emulation. I don't think Nintendo gives a damn about PAL games running in 50hz which i think is quite sad.

Mr_64

#75

Mr_64 said:

I think the logic Nintendo would use is that as we're a PAL territory, we're having PAL games for good! I really wish there was an option to play them as they're supposed to be played. Still, I have this twisted logic where I grew up playing the old games with borders at PAL speed and that's how I remember them. Having them 17.5% faster would be a new experience altogether.

And think about it this way, there'll be still quite a few portable TVs in kids bedrooms that can't handle 60hz. If just one or two stories came out about little johnny's Christmas being ruined because their Nintendo didn't work with a British telly... There'd be outrage in the media and Nintendo would look like idiots. I'm sure the same problem applies in other nations that also have a 50 hz TV standard.

Mayhem in Monsterland is the pinnacle of this problem as it uses every trick in the book to milk extra performance out of the C64, including a few cheeky tricks working around the exact timing of PAL (50.2hz). Hopefully this fix will also apply to other C64 non-fixed scren games, such as Uridium, where the scrolling is nowhere near as smooth as on the real thing.

Betagam7

#76

Betagam7 said:

That excuse about the portable TV's might have been worthwhile if little Johhny had complained when nintendo released the 60hz only Majoras Mask on N64 and the gamecube collection not to mention its Hanabi import range.
There's only one excuse for Nintendo: Laziness
There's only two excuses for the consumer: Apathy or ignorance

I personally relish the "new experience" of playing Waverace 64 as it was meant ot be played but they couldn't even be bothered to fix the borders let alone the speed. Disgraceful

Mr_64

#77

Mr_64 said:

That's a fair point, and in thinking about it there were a fair few 60hz only games on the Gamecube too. I'd argue it's not laziness by Nintendo as 50hz refresh rates are used in very few countries. I don't know what it is, it's some bizarre legacy of some kind. As the Wii is emulating the VC systems it'd make no odds to release them at 60hz.

As for the consumer, ignorance is probably the main reason they invest in them. Until I saw the 60hz versions of games emulated I didn't know they ran any faster abroad, or without borders, as I'd never imported a console, so I expect the lion's share of VC buyers share a similar outlook - hence there's not been much of an outcry and they still sell very well.

There is of course another option, which is to simply not buy any VC games whatsoever and make it clear how unhappy you are with it. It'd probably take about ten lines of code tops to build a toggle switch for 50/60hz on the SNES/NES/MD emulators. Fixing the C64 properly probably won't happen as no PC emulator seems to be able to do the C64 perfectly for some reason (possibly because not even Commodore's employees had a totally accurate T&D document for the hardware) and the 60hz issue isn't anywhere near as prevalent as most of the software originated in Europe (certainly post 1985 anyway).

Me personally, I've downloaded the games as I remember them played at the speed I remember them. Call me a luddite if you must. Though having no borders would be nice!

Betagam7

#78

Betagam7 said:

Although it would be nice, the speed issue really doesn't matter as much for most games (unless were talking about F-Zero or Sonic et al) but the borders really stick in the throat. Why do some games get optimised to remove borders and yet ones like Wave Race that REALLY need it don't. I own Wave Race on cart but would gladly have bought it again on VC to play at 60hz with out the huge borders. In fact I was really excited about the prospect of buying several old games again for this.
However I now feel so insulted that I'll just play the ROM on my Xbox. I own the game legitamately so in my mind I'm entitled to play it the way it was intended.
Its disgraceful that a game you can purchase legitimately should be so inferior to one you can download illegally. Imagine the DVD industry being this backwards, where the DVD's you download illegally are perfect and the ones you buy in the shops filmed on camcorders from the back of a cinema and you can quickly see the luncay of the situation at Nintendo HQ

Mr_64

#79

Mr_64 said:

Fair point. Like I say, they're built using standard emulators so from a programming point of view, having a 50/60hz toggle would be a relatively easy feature to implement - compared with the emulator itself. Maybe if enough people complained this could happen eventually.

Like you say, it's a shame as VC would have been the perfect opportunity to address this. It wouldn't have been that much harder to give us even the option to download the US version - especially seeing as the US version is available across the pond.

Betagam7

#80

Betagam7 said:

There was an online petition which attracted 3000 signitures but online petitions never work.
The only way I think Nintendo would change is if it was pointed out just how much money it was losing through its stubborness

UltraShadow

#83

UltraShadow said:

The sound on this game is incredible! Should really use any button other than UP to jump, but thats only my opinion.

NoCashGMBob

#84

NoCashGMBob said:

Problems aside, I still think Ima give this game a go.It's better than pulling out the C64, and hella more convenient.

#85

said:

Mayhem in Monsterland is a technical marvel on the C64 that perfectly demonstrates why you should never abandon hardware near the end of it's life (Kirby's Adventure, Ristar, Super Mario RPG, Majora's Mask, and Paper Mario are a few good examples of that. Glad I was never immediately ready for the next big thing), as well as a must-buy VC game. Too bad Nintendo doesn't feel like obliging this century.

Hope you Europeans enjoyed your C64 exclusivity. At this point, with only one week of C64 games since, you practically have it back again. X_X

Kurachi

#86

Kurachi said:

hmm, i saw this cuz i like to get more C64 games, which i dont even have yet
my 1st wanted C64 game is IM and saw a platformer, so saw this, looks fun imo
btw, is it me, or does the music of 1st level sound like rock music?
looks like it to me, if you change the midi into instrumental (rock instruments)

might buy this one, that way i can play a nice never played (by me) platformer and have at least another C64 game on wanted list :D

cheetahman91

#88

cheetahman91 said:

I played this a bit on the computer and it was fun, but I found the keyboard controls uncomfortable. Hopefully this'll come to NA eventually.

Neko_Rukiafan

#89

Neko_Rukiafan said:

awwww is this going to come out stateside or not :(
this looks better then any C64 game released here so far :(

The_Ink_Pit_Ox

#90

The_Ink_Pit_Ox said:

This is currently NL's top rated game yet to be released onto the North American Virtual Console. I highly doubt it'll come any time soon, as we're going on three years without a C64 game.

Not that it bothers me all that much. I'm too young to remember the C64, and the graphics look far too primitive for my tastes.

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