Amiga OS 4.1 users were greeted with a new game to play with this past week with the release of RickD, from HunoPPC who along with his team has gained notoriety on the Amiga scene for a number of welcome ports to the platform.
I say this is a new game to play with, but in reality, it is an Amiga OS 4.1 native version of the cult Core Design classic Rick Dangerous which first graced Amiga screens all the way back in 1989.
For those unfamiliar with the Rick Dangerous franchise, it is a kind of 2D Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom type of game where the objective is to navigate your way through a number of caverns whilst avoiding the baddies, running boulders and booby traps.
Part of the gameplay relies on you having to memorize exactly where the baddies are on each screen, remember where and when shots are fired from at various points and where to jump, duck and hide in order to proceed to the next part of the screen. As a result quite a bit of trial and error is required for you to progress, in addition to a lot of patience and it is certainly not a game that you should attempt to run through.
You are given a limited number of bullets and firecrackers which must be used strategically in order to ensure that you don’t run out at vital points, therefore if you find yourself able to escape a baddie simply by waiting for him to move in the opposite direction to you as opposed to shooting him dead, then it will only go to help conserve what little ammunition you have until the next stage.
So what of the Amiga OS4.1 version by HunoPPC? Well i think i may need to stop here and make you aware that this isn’t the first version of Rick Dangerous which has been ported to Amiga OS4.1. See back in 2004, Thomas Frieden of Hyperion Entertainment fame did a port of this game under the title XRick which can be downloaded at www.os4depot.com.
Unfortunately as you can see from the above video this version doesn’t run in full screen on my X5000 , nor does it support joystick controls, so the arrival of this new update from HunoPPC is welcome in that it does support joystick and joypads and more importantly will run in full-screen.
RickD can be downloaded at http://hunoppc.amiga-projects.net/content/rickd-rick-dangerous-1-2. As is customary I recommend that you tip Huno and his team a quick donation for what you feel the game is worth in order to recognise their efforts here.
This new version uses SDL and is immediately recognisable by the style of graphics used. SDL games and their menus have a particular look about them.
Huno’s very own Joystick wrapper which comes with the 20MB download ensures that you can use any USB joystick and you can whilst the game opens up in a window, you can quickly change this to full-screen mode by pressing the F1 key.
There is a configuration file which you can update to suit your tastes, personally i leave these things as they are.
Initial impressions are that the start of the game is faithful to the original, the graphics of course have had an update, the sprites certainly look larger and clearer compared to the original classic version, but truth be told there isn’t too much of a difference cosmetically between the version and the original classic version.
In fact i think i will let some videos show you the difference between the two so you can make your own minds up:
Here is the latest Amiga OS4.1 version running in 640×480 screen resolution
And here is the Classic Amiga version which on my X5000 is running in RuninUAE from the desktop and also in 640×480 screen resolution.
Whilst the Amiga OS 4.1 native version is welcome, if i am honest, i would argue that the classic version plays better here than this current port. I do find the controls harder on the OS4.1 version, trying to play with the Xeox pad here is a little uncomfortable, so i had to swap to the Competition Pro USB. This really is one of these games where you need to get the hang of a diagonal and with a joypad and analogue stick, trying some of the moves are simply more responsive with an actual joystick.
There are a few bugs too in the OS 4.1 version, for example i did find on occasion trying to move Rick around the screen that the character kept moving even though i stopped moving the Joystick. There is also a big bug in full-screen mode when it comes to game over and having to input your name on the leaderboard. You can enter your first character and then that’s it, the game locks and you have to press escape. In the background there is an output box advising of some error, but I am surprised this was left on the current release.
By comparison the controls on the classic version i find are much nicer to use especially with a joypad and the analogue sticks and it is slightly easier in the classic version to shoot or lay down a bomb.
So in all we have a new port of a classic game which does look and sound better than the original but which I feel is let down by the sub-par controls. If you don’t already have a version of the classic game, then by all means go and have a play of this new version and see what you think.
I am very much an admirer of the efforts HunoPPC and his team go into porting games across from other platforms, but in this instance i am questioning why they have ported an existing game which truth be told was already a very good classic version. A new version of a classic game should always improve on the original, see for example the excellent Cannonball released on Amiga OS4.1 last year which is a vast improvement on the dreadful Outrun Amiga port back in 1988.
Actually we could do with a few more driving games to play with on Amiga OS4.1, so how about for HunoPPC and his team’s next project, they look at trying to port a 3D driving game across 🙂
Until next time enjoy your Amigas!