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Batman The Movie - Commodore64
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International Karate + - Commodore64
Xyphoes Fantasy - AmstradCPC
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Turrican 2 - Amiga
Shadow of the Beast - Amiga
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Turrican 2 - AtariST
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Alien Soldier - Megadrive
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Resident Evil Zero - GameCube
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Under Defeat - Dreamcast
Soul Calibur 2 - GameCube
Metroid Prime 2 - GameCube
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Raiden - Lynx
Robocod - GameGear
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Game info
AmstradCPC

3D Grand Prix

3D Grand Prix
GenreRacing Sim
Developer / PublisherAmsoft
Released1985
Media1 x tape
Rating
Graphics:
Sound:
Gameplay:
Good
Reviewed byndial
Race through 8 international Grand Prix circuits. You must finish each race in any of the first 3 positions to qualify for the next circuit. 3D Grand Prix was another of Amsofts' little gems straight out of the box and was so classic that most CPC owners should remember playing it back to the days!
 
Review
3D Grand PrixDuring racing other cars will try to overtake you and many sometimes crash into you. Crashing will cause you to lose a position and while trying to start and gain some speed again, other cars will overtake you easily.
Cockpit is displaying driving information including rpm counter, speed counter, temperature gauge, gear selector all being animated in real-time! There is also full use of the two wing mirrors which notify you of the other car action behind you! And all these features are found in a formula racer game for the Amstrad CPC computers back in 1985! Gears are manual and up to 4 which can be decreased or increased at any time. You need to check your engine temperature gauge at all times, as in higher rpm your engine oil reaching higher temperatures than normal. This will cause your acceleration to freeze for a few seconds until temperature falls in normal temps. Also care must be taken when entering the bends, requiring to slow-down on time as you'll lost grip easily (screeching tires will notify you) and unfortunately you do not have the change then to make an adjustment. The car will go off the road until full stop loosing position(s). Each track has different impact to your driving, depending weather conditions. In such, clear sky tracks are the best to control your car, but in stages of low temperature with snow etc handling is even harder in bends. There is also a night (!) stage in which visibility is hard, thus easily to lost grip or hit on an opposite car!
3D Grand Prix for the Amstrad CPC series was amazing back then, without any major glitches in gameplay or graphics. It's still a quite playable racer and quite addictive!

Although graphics may look basic at a first glance, I must say that for a 1985 game running on a CPC, they are exceptional! Of course graphics are not in 3D rather than pseudo-3D. The tracks are well drawn, same for the opposing cars with several colors on screen and acceptable enough (for the CPC standards) frame-rate. The cockpit view is wonderful and, as already said, is displaying driving information including rpm counter, speed counter, temperature gauge, gear selector all being animated in real-time! Both wing mirrors are working in real-time, notifying you of the other car action behind you! The wheels are animated using simple effects defining rolling and turning! Spites (Formulas) are massive too. Astonishing isn't it!
The sound should be at a load volume and you won't want to turn it down here! During the races there are enough SFX that does the job well, including engine noise, gear change, collisions sounds and even screeching tires!
 
Screenshots
  • 3D Grand Prix
  • 3D Grand Prix
  • 3D Grand Prix
  • 3D Grand Prix
  • 3D Grand Prix
  • 3D Grand Prix
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  • 3D Grand Prix
  • 3D Grand Prix
 
Gameplay sample
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Hardware information

Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128

Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ
MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards)
GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported
SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.
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The Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128 (default) color palette
RGB 27-colors palette (16 on screen)
 
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