Friday, 2 December 2016


Howdy all.  Well it's finally here, Christmas time is upon us and I hope you're all eager to get the festive season started.  Regular readers will know this is my very favourite time of the year and I eagerly look forward to it.  All of December is Christmas to me, not just the one day and this year it's even more special as I've decided it's the perfect time to kickstart my two blogs.

It's about time, as both of my sites have been somewhat neglected for a while now.  So, inspired by the blogosphere's current trend of writers dedicating a post to each and every day of the month for what's been named 'Blogmas', I'm doing my own Twelve Posts of Christmas.  Nope, I'm not doing thirty-one posts!  I'm not that crazy.

Instead this blog and The Oink! Blog will each have six posts apiece (the introduction for Oink! went up yesterday) to get me back into the swing of things.  Sometimes life takes a hold and leads us off in other directions whether we like it or not and it's important to find a way back to what we love.  Setting deadlines for my posts with each and every issue of Oink! (and now the issues of Commodore Format here too) was a great motivator to keep me going and I'm immensely proud of what I achieved here over nearly three years.  So with that in mind, what can you expect to see coming up on Recovering From a Scratch?


Finally another review! Yes it's been a very, very long time and there's still only the two of them on the site, but that's about to change.  I've covered this second volume in the Commodore 64: a visual commpendium series before when it arrived, including my excitement at seeing my name in print in an actual book for the first time.  However, that little inclusion will not stop me from giving this the impartial once-over the first volume received when I reviewed it early this year.  Will it be another corker?  Find out on the 7th.

Wow, I've just realised I received this second book way, way back in August and have yet to write it up!  It really is time to remedy such things.


As I mentioned in a previous post I have a wish list which is being added to with each issue of Commodore Format I read and I'm going to start covering it here on the blog.  To begin with I'll be listing the games I had as a teen which I'd like to get my hands on and it'll interesting to see if they match up to the memories.  There's also those classics which I'd always wanted but never did get around to buying.  Then there's the games I read about every month in the aforementioned magazine and craved but again, mainly due to not exactly having disposable income at that age, I went without.

Now as I work my way through CF I'm patiently adding titles one at a time from each issue as I read their reviews or special features.  While I'm up to #16 at the moment, I'm going to go back to the start and write up the 'new' games for my wish list after each month's edition has been covered, along with some scans or photos of CF.  To begin with on the 14th I'll cover those games that were added before I even began reading CF; the ones from my childhood I just have to have again.


Reset 64 is a popular online C64 fanzine edited by the talented Kevin Tilley in Australia.  Currently on its 9th edition each issue gets released simply when they're ready.  It's available for free on their website but for the latest issue Kevin decided to try his hand at a physical printed copy.  The result is a gorgeous, shiny 84-page magazine packed to the brim with the latest in Commodore 64 news, reviews and special features.  I'll be taking a much-overdue closer look at this on the blog on the 16th.


The first regular feature of Scratch is the read-through of the simply awesome Commodore Format and this month #4 is a little treasure-trove of classic reviews, with a movie tie-in special and coverage of some truly brilliant games based on the cinema releases of 1990.  Movie games get a bad rap and it's usually justified these days, but it certainly wasn't so back then and I'll be showing some off on the date of the issue's original release, the 20th.

While I've tried to incorporate other features from each issue so far in order to introduce you to the format (no pun intended) of the mag, this time I will be focussing on the games and it makes for fascinating reading when you consider the cheap cash-ins players are subjected to today.

(Well, when I say "fascinating" that's me as a C64 fan reading this issue of CF, not necessarily your experience reading my post!)


Another review?  They're like buses aren't they?  What feels like an age ago I reviewed a childhood favourite in the guise of Fantasy World Dizzy and then purchased the first game in the series and promised I'd be working my way through them.  Finally it's happening and thanks to a friend there's more sequels awaiting my joystick in the new year too.  At the time the Dizzy games were sometimes criticised for being too similar to each other, while others would praise them for a winning formula and consistent gameplay.  Which side will I come down on?  I'm interest to find out after only ever playing one game before and loving it.  I'll start the journey on my birthday too on the 21st, which is the 25th anniversary of the purchase of not just my first Dizzy game but my first ever C64 game!

Old.  So, so old.


For many of us our first experience with our own C64 was on some distant Christmas Morning, running into the living room and seeing it sitting there waiting for us.  We all have fond memories of unpacking it for the first time and maybe a soft spot for those first few games we played.  I've always intended to go back and write about those times and the days of Parallel Logic, the software "company" a friend and I set up in the latter days of the 64's original lifespan.  What better day to start this story than on Christmas Day?

There you have it, hopefully lots to look forward to if that doesn't sound too big-headed.  There's certainly a lot for me to do across these two blogs and I'm looking forward to a lot of writing surrounded by Christmas decorations while I drink out of my Rudolph mug and listen to Shakin' Stevens.

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