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Shadow of the Beast - Commodore64
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Game info

WEC Le Man

WEC Le Man
GenreArcade Racing
Developer / PublisherImagine Studios
Media1 x tape
Reviewed byndial
A racing game (developed by Konami and released in 1986 on the arcades) ported by Imagine Studios on 1988 for the Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64/128, ZX Spectrum (128k).
WEC Le Man The game broke down the race in four laps (two on daytime and two after sunset), divided as well into three checkpoints. Due to the limitations of the hardware, all cars have the same design and don't correspond to actual models. The Le Mans 24-hour race is the most famous test of the endurance of both man and machine. Thankfully, you don't have to race around the circuit for 24 hours; you only have to complete four laps. Your car only has two gears, but it's fast, and you'll need to be in order to reach each of the checkpoints before your time runs out. As you progress, you'll encounter more traffic, and you'll need to be more careful, or you may crash rather spectacularly, with your car flying through the air. In general it is hard to beat the game (races) as the opposing race drivers stay most of the time in the middle of the road or slide against your side making a crash and loosing time (and thus fail to complete the laps)! Ok, the game is far from being a good coin op conversion (worst conversion than Sega's Out Run) but still it is fun to play, unfortunately only on the CPC and Spectrum. The Commodore version really sucks... which is pretty awkward.

It is one of the very few examples that a game released for the C64 offered pretty bad graphics compared to other 8bit home-computer conversions. Graphics are not what a C64 game could offer. Roads are confusing, backgrounds are missing (details that even exist on CPC and ZX versions!) and scrolling, although faster, is confusing. Scrolling is made using color cycling and it follows the same lines as all the other racing games of its time (two-color stripes scroll down the screen and get wider at the bottom). As you accelerate, the stripes scroll faster, but when at high speed they move backwards which makes the screen looks static rather than moving (looks like the famous Pole Position game, released years before!). Sprites and side objects are bigger here but minimal: some trees and road signs, lights might make an appearance; but they are few and far between! Cars are nicely drawn with excellent pseudo-3D modeling. The only other things you see are the opposing race drivers which stay most of the time in the middle of the road or slide against your side making a crash and loosing time! Ok, its counterpart versions the things are match better for the 8bit Amstrad and Spectrum in terms of colors, details and a bit of a sense of speed.
Soundwise, the C64 version is ok, offering a nice intro tune and a few nice SFX such as engine throttling, car braking etc .
  • WEC Le Man
  • WEC Le Man
  • WEC Le Man
  • WEC Le Man
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to (indicated); others not
Comparable platforms
Amstrad CPC
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Commodore C64
Hardware information

Commodore 64/128/Plus4

Commodore 64/128/Plus4CPU: C64 MOS Technology 6510 1.02MHz (NTSC version), 0.985MHz (PAL version) / C128-D MOS 8502 2MHz, Zilog Z80A 4MHz
MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB RAM Expandable to 320-640 KB / 20KB ROM
GRAPHICS: VIC II 16 colors, 320x200 (2 unique colors in each 8x8 pixel block), 160x200 (3 unique colors + 1 common color in each 4x8 block), 8 hardware sprites, Smooth scrolling
SOUND: MOS Technology 6581/8580 SID, 3-channel synthesizer with programmable ADSR envelope, 8 octaves
The Commodore 64/128/Plus4 (default) color palette
VIC20: 16-colors YPbPr palette (16 on screen)
C64/128: 16-colors YPbPr palette (16 on screen)
C-16,Plus/4: 121-colors YPbPr palette (16 on screen)
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