Author Topic: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers  (Read 2427 times)

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Offline Zoe Robinson

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GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« on: 19:37, 22 December 15 »
When I started collecting issues of Amstrad Action, this little "gem" was reviewed in the second issue I collected. I was amazed at the time that the AA team had given it only 6%, because I didn't think it was possible to score that low!


Since it's Christmas, I thought it would be a good idea to review a Christmas-themed game. This one came straight to mind.


I wish it hadn't.  :doh:


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4IOWu6mkBE[/youtube]


The weirdest thing is, as scrollers go it's really nicely done. It's actually very smooth!

Offline robcfg

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #1 on: 21:27, 22 December 15 »
Now, this one is really bad!

It's seems to be technically ok but for the music, and a ludicrous gameplay.

With a nice gameplay it wouldn't have been a bad game.

Thanks for going to that hell to warn us! XD

Offline arnoldorroland

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #2 on: 23:45, 22 December 15 »
Is it better than Alternative's "The Official Father Christmas" though? And who did Alternative pay to get that licence...

Offline Puresox

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #3 on: 00:53, 23 December 15 »
I don't think it is so bad for a budget release definitely don't consider it 6%   rated game  If you Put Double Dragon 3 86% and Santa's Xmas Capers 6% side by side I know which I would choose . And it blows 'Alternatives' Xmas offering which was very gloomy looking IMO  I know which would put  me in the Xmas spirit,  If I was a kid and had put it in to play over xmas , I'd have been happy enough with it , Bright colourful Graphics and it looks like they have put some effort into its presentation Its not the best horizontal shooter in the world but on the Amstrad there wasn't much in the way of those type shooters . I am certain I would have enjoyed it .Trying to think of any other Xmas Genre games out there?.


Scrub that,Maybe being a bit generous ,on it lol .
Just about acceptable cos it is a budget release.
The first boss is a great sprite of a mean looking Snowman and is a fair challenge , you get silent night played as a reward , which sounded half in tune, COuldn't seem to drop presents though so don't know whats what with that


Oh man ... :picard2: [size=78%] I can't excuse the music on it though? I mean what the hell went on with that ,Is that a programming error or just someone just tone deaf?  That is really off, and it is not the most difficult of tunes to get right ,technically.[/size]
« Last Edit: 01:23, 23 December 15 by Puresox »

Offline chinnyhill10

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #4 on: 03:11, 23 December 15 »
Right up there with Count Duckula 2. The usually fluffy Linda Barker didn't hold back in Your Sinclair "It's complete and utter drivel" and "Imagine a class of infants making a Christmassy computer game and you'll have a good idea of what this is like."
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Offline Puresox

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #5 on: 04:06, 23 December 15 »
No comparison , the game plays and can be enjoyed by some , I don't mind it as a little shoot em up , it is a challenge . Count Duckula doesn't even function as a playable game.

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #6 on: 08:04, 23 December 15 »
As pointed out in AA52 Review of the Official Father Christmas it's a kids game because it was very easy for them to complete it. They gave it 60%, which I thought was fair, though the Spectrum Graphics obviously are off-putting.


Play "Yogi's Great Escape" instead Zoe, not a Xmas game, but still remember getting that game for Xmas and playing it Xmas day.  :D
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Offline Zoe Robinson

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #7 on: 12:34, 23 December 15 »
I've heard of Yogi's Great Escape but never played it. I will give it a look at some point.


With regard to this game being a challenge, it's certainly that. It has a few things going for it (the very smooth scrolling for a start - I recall this being a 128k-only game, which is making me think they are using the extra 64k memory block to overcome the CPC's screen memory problem for scrolling) and with a few tweaks it could have been a good game. As it stands however, the challenge is mostly in keeping yourself playing it. There's no staying power, the screen quickly fills with too many enemies to make the "challenge" enjoyable and there's absolutely zero point to playing it.


It needed a couple more weeks of tweaking, and then it would have been okay.

Offline EgoTrip

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #8 on: 13:38, 23 December 15 »
Santa's Christmas Capers? More like Satan's Christmas Capers. The music is worse than my attempts and that's saying something.

If it wasn't such an obvious cash in, and some real effort was put into it, it could have been good. The coders obviously knew what they were doing. Shame about the musician though.
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Offline Nich

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #9 on: 13:52, 23 December 15 »
I recall this being a 128k-only game, which is making me think they are using the extra 64k memory block to overcome the CPC's screen memory problem for scrolling).

I'm pretty sure the original cassette version of the game works in 64K of memory. Unfortunately all the cracks of the game out there require 128K of memory.

Offline Zoe Robinson

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #10 on: 16:20, 23 December 15 »
The coders obviously knew what they were doing. Shame about the musician though.


A musician friend listened to the music on this from my video and worked out what the problem is. There are no flats or sharps used anywhere in the tune. It's just natural notes; which makes it sound so bad. This is a massive oversight, since the CPC can clearly play sharps and flats.

Offline andycadley

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #11 on: 16:57, 23 December 15 »
Which makes me suspect someone trying to transcribe it from sheet music without actually knowing how to read sheet music....

Offline Puresox

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #12 on: 17:35, 23 December 15 »
I've heard of Yogi's Great Escape but never played it. I will give it a look at some point.


With regard to this game being a challenge, it's certainly that. It has a few things going for it (the very smooth scrolling for a start - I recall this being a 128k-only game, which is making me think they are using the extra 64k memory block to overcome the CPC's screen memory problem for scrolling) and with a few tweaks it could have been a good game. As it stands however, the challenge is mostly in keeping yourself playing it. There's no staying power, the screen quickly fills with too many enemies to make the "challenge" enjoyable and there's absolutely zero point to playing it.


It needed a couple more weeks of tweaking, and then it would have been okay.
Skills issues

Offline Zoe Robinson

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #13 on: 19:41, 23 December 15 »
Skills issues


Hardly. The exact same issue was raised by reviewers back when the game was released. It's not a  "skills issue", it's a pathetic design issue.

Offline Puresox

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #14 on: 16:29, 24 December 15 »
have to say the Official Santa claus game from Alternative, wins from a Musical perspective, really nicely put together Xmas tunes, they would have been nice to have had them running during the gameplay to enhance the atmosphere though. Unfortunately the Game Is a little flawed compared to the C64 version and I expect the Spectrum version no doubt , The first game where you have to build the sleigh the elves are unable to climb the ladders it seems , and only run backwards and forward  in random , so it makes building the sled very difficult and hit and miss, you will need to play the game to understand what I mean. The second part of the game is pleasant enough for a little kid , you write out your xmas list and pick presents to deliver, you then have to catch all 5/6 of them as they fall randomly from the top of the  screen , not exactly taxing and no risk involved, only time is against you I believe. The final part has you in the sleigh flying over different continents trying to drop the presents into the designated spot dodging the clouds,birds and planes. This has to be done with 6 pressies for each continent before sun rise . But it didn't seem to matter when I played it , It was an everyones a winner game . Well it is for kids I suppose . The graphics are just too gloomy to make it a great Xmas game and usual Spectrum  graphics.
Trying to think of any other Xmas games, Ahh wasn't there a cool little Santa Jet Pac Clone which was not bad? Will have to have a search.

Offline Puresox

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #15 on: 16:53, 24 December 15 »
Well Here is my entry for the best Xmas Game on the Amstrad,
http://www.cpc-power.com/index.php?page=detail&num=5385


And I think this was from Computing with the Amstrad , not sure , but it has some fun games and a nice package for Xmas , I believe Jet Pac Santa is on it , which is a pretty enjoyable but not as polished Jet Pac clone .

Offline arnoldemu

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #16 on: 22:24, 24 December 15 »
OMG! The game uses rupture demo technique to split the screen!
That is suprising.
I don't think it uses hardware scrolling though.
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Offline Gryzor

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #17 on: 20:24, 17 March 16 »
Well, it's a silly little game, but 6%? Nope.


And yes I know I'm quite late, even with the Russian calendar :D

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #18 on: 23:57, 17 March 16 »
I'd agree that AA were brutal on some of them games. Take World Cup Carnival for instance, it was given nothing for an overall score, which makes it seem like it took a test and got it totally wrong! To have something get nothing though, the reviewer is simply saying "I wish this game never existed!", but were able to give something for Graphics, Sound, Grab Factor & Staying Power (even though the two later things only received 5%). Still, the game probably should of got something in the region of 8-11% based on percentages given in the other 4 categories.


The problem with Santa's Christmas Capers was AA simply only gave it a score without any other scores for Graphics, Sound, Grab Factor & Staying Power.
« Last Edit: 00:01, 18 March 16 by AMSDOS »
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Offline Zoe Robinson

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #19 on: 01:04, 18 March 16 »
I recall Amstrad Action had a policy of any reviewer who thought a game sucked worse than a cheap whore having to get another reviewer to take a look at the game, just to make sure they weren't being overly harsh. In light of that, it seems that not only did two people really hate Santa's Christmas Capers but there were also two reviews who wished World Cup Carnival didn't exist! I wonder if they were the same reviewers?

Offline AMSDOS

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #20 on: 02:18, 18 March 16 »
I recall Amstrad Action had a policy of any reviewer who thought a game sucked worse than a cheap whore having to get another reviewer to take a look at the game, just to make sure they weren't being overly harsh. In light of that, it seems that not only did two people really hate Santa's Christmas Capers but there were also two reviews who wished World Cup Carnival didn't exist! I wonder if they were the same reviewers?


Yes they had someone give a Second Opinion, by the time SCC came along it was neglected to a Budget Bonanza page which had no Second Opinion. Can understand doing a brief summary for Budget games that were originally Full-Price, but SCC was nothing else but a Budget game. Originally what AA did with Budget Games was give them half a page, so one on top of the page and one below and those still had the appropriate Scores & Second opinion, which all changed when AA started the monthly Covertapes.
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Offline Puresox

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Re: GameHammer - Santa's Christmas Capers
« Reply #21 on: 02:44, 18 March 16 »
The World Cup GAme deserved such a crap score because it was an insult to the buying public , the game was an Artic game that was released couple of years earlier. So I agree with what they did on that one , lots of others i don't think warranted the massive High or Low scores , which I have already bleated on about. A Budget Santa game 6% is dumb , when you look at so many other crap budget releases . Which had relevent and understandable marking