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Archive for October, 2009

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The Best Serialised Cartoon

Posted by Big Boo on October 3rd, 2009

During the 1980’s Children’s BBC aired a great number of memorable cartoons which were long running serialised stories. I’ve written about Dogtanian and the Three Muskehounds and Mysterious Cities of Gold on this very site, but there were a number of others including space drama Ulysses 31 and Around the World with Willy Fogg, a version of the classic tale Around the World in Eighty Days.

Of course not all of them were great. There was the ill advised Dogtanian sequel, which wasn’t a patch on the original, for example.

One thing all these cartoons seemed to share were great theme tunes. Maybe it was just because they ran for so long that the theme songs still lodge in my brain, but I can sing (or at least hum) most of them today. The stories were also very good though, and the cliffhanger endings ensured you tuned in next time as well.

Presented below are a number of these classic cartoons, so go ahead and pick your favourite!

Which was the best serial cartoon show?
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Newsfield Computer Magazines – Crash, Zzap! 64 and Amtix

Posted by Big Boo on October 2nd, 2009

zzap 64Back in the 1980’s there were a wide variety of home computers available, but arguably the most popular in the UK were the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC. OK, the BBC Micro was popular too, but when it came to playing videogames, those first three were normally the best choice for quantity and variety of games. And before people complain, I know, the BBC Micro may have spawned the classic Elite, but it wasn’t exactly overladen in games compared to the others.

The quality of the games available for these computers was not always guaranteed though, and so before owners forked out between five and fifteen pounds for a cassette tape with the latest game on many would first turn to the reviews in a computer magazine to help them in their choice. Some of the best respected magazines for games reviews came from the magazine publisher Newsfield.

The first Newfield review magazine was named Crash, and it solely covered ZX Spectrum games when it was launched in 1984. Compared to the other magazines available at the time it was a fresh direction. It was all presented in an edgy, more cool approach than the more stuffy attempts of other magazines.

Gone were the type in listings for naff games written by other readers, and instead you got extensive reviews of the games, handy tips and cheats (remember the good old POKE codes?), and maps and play guides for different games. The reviews were particularly revolutionary because they often had the opinions of more than one reviewer. If all the reviewers liked it, chances are it was a good game, and if it was really good it could be given the coveted Crash Smash award!

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