The Dark Court

Reviews of new c64 demos.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

"The Works" by Panda Design

The Works
Panda Design
score: 5/10

One of the few advantages of a more compact scene is that it's easier to follow the progress of certain people & groups. Case in question: Panda Design, less than a year old and seemingly consisting of just one person (although 'officially' there are 2 more guys involved), radiantx. This is his fourth demo in about six months time, and like his previous production "Blueprint for Organic Toy" it's certainly quite charming, built around a catchy tune. More important though is the fact that he doesn't seem to take things too seriously, resulting in some firm tongue-in-cheek moments, my favorite being the 'this sentence describes itself' cut-scene lyric.

There's still a lot left to be desired though: the creator's inexperience shows in the crude transitions, and some ideas deserved a much better execution. Another weak point is the low visual quality, which given the fact that the other members of the group supposedly are graphicians is quite ironic. Let's hope they'll be more involved next time because right now radiantx is just not good enough to pull all the weight by himself.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

"Beertime IVA" by Dekadence

Beertime IVA
score: 6/10

Dekadence have always been more miss than hit for me, with only Beertime 2 leaving a somewhat favorable impression. Their 'big screen' style has its fans though; at the time of writing this is in the top 10 demo list on csdb. Now we all know that doesn't mean much (the voting system there has been defect from the get-go) but it's clear that people like it. And it's not hard to see why: it features some really cool effects (reminding me a bit of the old Reflex demos), timed to a great soundtrack. Too bad about that 'mandatory' plasma creeping up again, and the complete lack of coherency. Still, as far as Dekadence demos go, this one's pretty good.

"Living" by Glance

score: 4/10

I have a confession to make: if it wasn't for my friend and fellow Focus member Ben specifically asking me to do so, I would never have reviewed this demo, as it's rather hard to write about something that leaves you cold. Still, I made a promise, so here goes nothing ..

Glance is a relatively new demogroup from Turkey, founded in May 2004 but just now making itself known to the world. The only real active Turkish scener in the last few years, Nightlord, is part of the team, just like a bunch of ex-Bronx members. Too bad that here their combined experience results in a rather lacklustre product, with only a few moments of mild inspiration before once again falling back to many-times-done-before effects. Graphically it's not very good either, with the much discussed 'frog and the city' picture even succeeding in making my eyes hurt. Not a demo I really want to see again, that much is sure.