It’s time to tackle the worst game on the system! No Exit receives the review and longplay treatment, also I’ve completed the full review on the Gamebase part of this website HERE if you fancy reading up more on it! This is the only 1 vs 1 beat ‘em up on the console, and frankly it’s an embarrassment.
So hello and welcome to all the new visitors who’ve come across this site from the recent Retro Gamer article (see previous post!), to say ‘hi’ to you all and give you a good overview of the GX4000 I made a fun new video where I attempt to play and review 25 GX4000 games in 25 minutes (ish)!
I’ve also made it to celebrate 25 years of the GX4000, and come September I’m sure there’ll be a bigger and better video for it.
So the latest issue of Retro Gamer magazine is out! It’s issue (load) 143 and there’s a nice 6 page spread on the GX4000 console!
This is to celebrate 25 years of the GX4000…
And nice they manage to get it on the front cover in some capacity!!
But also, they interviewed me for the article if you can believe it!! I’m so very happy and excited about this! And they even large quoted me there!
And gave me a shout out at the end of the article including for this very website!!
It’s a fantastic 6 page article, and probably the best I’ve seen on the console so far with interviews of Roland Perry (Amstrad), Rod Lawton (Amstad Action magazine), Stuart Middleton (Pang programmer), Ivan Horn (Robocop 2) and Robert Hunter (Burnin’ Rubber)!
Check out my YouTube video of this below –
So what’s the deal with the long missing in action “Gazza II” game? For a long time people have talked about “Special Criminal Investigations : Chase HQ II” as the holy grail of GX4000 games to find, however with that at least two verified carts with boxes have turned up!! With Gazza II it appears no-one has found anything at all! The following adverts started appearing in magazines and it looks like the game was made by “Empire” and to be distributed in France by “Titus” at a best guess…
Some may not be aware that it exists, most are aware that several magazines such as “Amstrad Action” (issue 65), “Mean Machines” (issue 4) and in France “Amstrad Cent Pour Cent” reviewed it as if it was a full game and took various screen shots! For example below here’s the Amstrad Action review (click to open the full review) below and AA were a magazine known for integrity and not reviewing un-finished games…
Further to this noted multi-format magazine Mean Machine’s review is below by respected gaming journalist Julian Rignall (again unlikely he would review an unfinished game) –
So do we have any further confirmation that this game was made and exists? Of course we know that a graphically cut down version was released for the CPC range, check out my YouTube video for footage (and also me discussing this mystery at the start of the video as I’m doing here!) –
But all the confirmation we need comes from the programmers John and Ste Pickford and their website –
They write that Gazza II is – “A football simulator for the 8 bit home computers which was also ported to the virtually forgotten Amstrad video game console.” The latter of course meaning the GX4000! They list that John was the programmer, Ste did the logo and font, and Simon Butler did the graphics.
Ste then goes on to add – “I was still working at Rare Manchester (previously Zippo) while John was writing this at Active Minds. They needed someone to draw the logo for the game, so I took a sickie off work at Rare, and spent a day at Active Minds drawing the logo and other little bits. Looking at the game now I see that I used the Solar Jetman font, which was a little bit cheeky.”
So we know that Empire had the programming done by a company called “Active Minds” which John worked for, I can’t find much about them seeing as so many companies use this name now for other things!
But there you go. We know the game was completed and we know at the very least review copy carts were sent out to at least 3 magazines. Was it ever manufactured properly to be sold in shops to the public? I’m guessing not. Amstrad had problems with delays in production of the carts and boxes, and it would be logical to presume that Empire pulled the plug on the game before manufacturing due to that and the poor sales of the machine. Therefore our only hope is to one day find one of the three review copy carts out there somewhere…
I’ll leave you with the French review in Amstrad Cent Pour Cent magazine…
After several years of absence on eBay and following on the heels of “Dick Tracy” recently – the even rarer “Mystical” arrives and goes for a high final price of £112.49!
It’s hard to remember, but unless I missed it this was the first time I’ve seen it on eBay in potentially 7 years. This would make it rarer than Dick Tracy, Copter271, and Panza Kick Boxing where each of them have appeared at least twice in the last few years! But back then Mystical had appeared at least a couple of times, but then for years – nothing! Strange and funny old world retro collecting is. Maybe we’ll see a couple more copies surface now that it reached a high price?
Buyer beware though, as far as I can recall it’s identical to the tape/disk release on the normal CPC! Whilst nice looking, it’s actually a fairly average vertically scrolling shooter.
The latest issue of the UK’s “Retro Gamer” magazine has a nice little article on the GX4000 this month! Featuring a round-up of the games to try in a 4 page spread. Also in the issue some other nice bits for Amstrad fans with the making of “Batman” (the isometric game), a thorough look at “Operation Thunderbolt” with bits on the CPC and GX4000 versions and also a big feature on Titus software that heavily supported the Amstrad including the GX4000 with games like Fire & Forget II, Crazy Cars II, Dick Tracy and Wild Streets!
Anyway, I made a short video about the magazine (issue “Load 139″) on my YouTube channel –
Go buy it!!
Retro Gamer is definitely worth a subscription too!
Well my last post here was a few months ago about the very same thing, but Dick Tracy emerged again on eBay and the seller was looking for a Buy It Now of £150 on two failed attempts. It later went down to £110 and was then snapped up, and I think we now know the ceiling price for this relatively rare game. I think it’s time I updated the rarity guide, for example I haven’t seen Mystical knocking around on eBay in many years now!
For the first time in many years one of the rarest GX4000 carts surfaced on eBay, and sold for an impressive EUR 116.00 (approximately £95.75)!!
Dick Tracy is a side-scrolling shoot-em-up with baddies appearing in front of you and from windows a bit like the classic Robocop game; but on a couple of stages involves some basic jumping and platforming styles. Overall though it’s not a very good game and hardly worth the value it goes for, but is now extremely rare and collectors will splash out! There’s a longplay video in my YouTube channel if you fancy checking out what your missing – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylQkJz8NNfo
The tape/disk original on the CPC range of computers was extremely poor which probably hampered sales of the GX4000 version which is a little shame given they completely re-programmed it to make use of the new Plus/GX4000 features like hardware sprites and scrolling, with the graphics also completely redrawn. So on the positive it looks and moves a lot nicer and ultimately this makes it a sought after cart – even if the game is still rubbish!
Out of the blue, a YouTube user by the name of “TheOppositeOfJesus” has uploaded LIVE video footage of the holy grail of GX4000 games in action!!
Nothing more is known about this user as of now, but we sincere hope that they assist us with dumping this cart, which can be done completely safely.
We will attempt to contact this person, hopefully they’ll be nice enough to respond and help us out here.
Well folks, it was the day of reckoning for this saga and auction… and it’s finally been sold – auction ended.
FINAL PRICE – £908.67
Yikes!!!! That’s right guys, over £900 … so at last we know the top value for this game. Maybe this will spur a few other people out there to put their copies up for auction as there must be several more at least out there. At least we know that now. All that’s left is to hope and pray the winning bidder will dump the ROM for everyone in the Amstrad community to play this game via emulators. Over on the cpcwiki.eu forums a respected contributor there has developed the hardware to safely dump this cart without any danger of causing damage to the cart and avoiding the old/common method of cracking the casing open.
Please, we urge whoever won this auction to get in touch with us here and we’ll arrange delivery of hardware, instructions for use and an easy quick way to do this. Email me us here – xyphoe [ at ] gx4000.co.uk