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Demo Reviews
by HCL/Booze Design & Jailbird/Booze Design

* Water/Aesrude *
code, music, graphics: Nightlord

Seems that vectors bring out the poetical soul of coders, I remember Exile's (not the graphician from Anubis, but the Hungarian group) "Vector Overdose" starting with modified Pet Shop Boys lyrics. In this case we're dealing with Nightlord's poem to his wife which follows the demo flow, rising vectors inbetween rasterlines. Designwise the product doesn't show much, but the music takes it all. Reminds me so much of my favourite Hubbard's "Thanatos". And probably either due to my liking to vectors, I enjoyed "Water" quite a lot. Otherwise, far from an attempt to sound too scratchy, I like vectors much more when they're bigger and faster - nevertheless, as we all know, fine pixelgraphics spice up things, especially demos.

A cute little demo to me with a nice happy tune, based mostly on "broken" chords which sort of fits the inbetween poem. Love seems to be the underlying topic, tell me about it. ;) OK, and to the vector effects. The most impressing effect is of course the last one, with realtime dithered light-sourced flat-shaded vector objects. It's small, and not fast. Also it lacks some accuracy, but I'm sure it's not an easy thing to code anyway. Good work is my overall opinion, but again, some pixel graphics wouldn't have hurt.

* Breakpoint Invitation/Padua *
code: Lord Hypnos, music: Waz, graphics: Vip

I was a Padua member for almost two years, so I exactly know how's wares producing going there. I've seen countless mailchanges on the grouplist, huge discussions - basically the enormous energy these guys put into every little release they do, even when it seems that it's no big deal really. Very fine remake sidtune by Waz, and an even smackier picture by Vip with colourfades and so damn lot of white I would never dare to use. I liked the idea of the random textdisplayer too. In my honest opinion this invitation suits its role completely.

I have some good news and some bad news. Let's start with the bad ones. I don't like cover music, not even on SID. That's an opinion, sorry about that, they sometimes slip into this reviews chapter (ironic). The graphics looks fresh, but there is one annoying thing with it: the letters have different thickness of the outlines! I don't see the art in that. As the noter this is, you shouldn't expect too cool effects. There is some text to read and that's simply it, and some fade up and down of that very text. Well, it's nice, and kind of cool. Hmm... To be honest, I don't know why Jailbird made me review an invitation text-shower (!). But he's into graphics and stuff, so perhaps this is more to him than to me. Better leave it this way. :)

* 14 and Life/Fairlight *
code: Dwangi, music: DJB, graphics: Vodka

If I tell you that I'm a huge fan of oldschool effects, DJB's music and Vodka's graphics in general - can you guess how this review will continue? Bingo. Even not amazed by, still I certainly liked it. Forasmuch as I look on it as a C64 release in miserable times. :)

Yeah, I'm with you. :) This one rocks! Oldschool music and cool gfx by Vodka, but apart from that, rather poor design. Are the vertical rasters intended to look strange on the top, or is it just me hallucinating?! Some small effects in this production and some cute gfx, that's about it. But that's called DEMO, and this is simply a good example!

* Ditherer/Civitas *
code, music: Richard, graphics: Zeitgeist (not that it counts too much, but the logo seems ripped)

Since Civitas are missing their main coder and "fame-gainer", Puterman, they seem subsiding and not really able to get in track again. This "demo/intro" was a regardful show-up at Forever 2003, but except for the long and not-so-interesting scroller, it doesn't bring anything new to me.

Hmm... Not much to say about this one actually. Not so impressing code or design, however a nice oldschool logo as they were in the early 90s. :) I can see some color bugs on the logo I'm afraid.

* Fear/Civitas *

As some kind of follow-up to "Ditherer", Civitas releases "Fear", so if you search for horroristic images and freaky mood, look somewhere else, as you won't find something like that here. Richard's routine is a horror by itself, but instead what you'd guess from the title, it's just a collection of decent graphics, good music and rookie code. They are searching for coders (and when I write this review they have found one), so no wonder why the demo looks like this in general. The graphics are okay, nothing more. JSL seems to me as a very active graphician, but I prefer more detailed pixelling and a bit more work on the shapes.

* Vision 2003 Demo/Creators+Oxyron *
code: Graham, music: Fanta, graphics: Mermaid

Beautiful piece of art, exactly what you'd expect from a joint of two of the finest C64 groups around. A bit short though, built around one single, but all the more amazing plasma effect. The graphics are great, I guessed right at first sight, typical style of Mermaid's, very technical multi-color pixelling, hats off! Unfortunately the scroll text isn't too interesting, but the screen certainly impressed even some of my family members.

Analyzing the flow of this coop-demo brings you back to the 80's. Just a single designed screen with a HiResFLI-plasma effect. The graphics is cool, as always when made by Mermaid, but it seems to be stolen from her own compo picture. The strange design of the screen is probably due to the FLI bug caused by the plasma, and I'm not sure wether it looks really ugly or just a bit. ;) Perhaps the most surprising thing about this one, is that the code is not that impressing (!). Some hazzle to make that combined dycp-tech-tech running of course, and it's still bigger than the first attempt you would come up with, but no magic this time.

* Presets/Cosine *
code, graphics: TMR, music: 4-Mat

The other demo, which is worth to review from Vision 2003. Presets, if you don't know already, has three different "modes", appearing randomly after reset and load: purple, red and gray version of the same demo base, but with different effects. Basically, if you're familiar with TMR's design and code, you won't be surprised. Some effects are really smooth and look excellent, especially the stretchers. Relying on graphics from Amiga, this time a weird Cosine logo and a font from Made (a famous graphician from Amiga/PC, talented artist who was a member of Scoopex on Amiga, and Bomb! on PC). The music from 4-Mat is absolutely amazing, old-school music rearranged in "new skins", very catchy stuff. All in all a very fine release, one of the better Cosine pieces in my opinion.

This is a nice little one-filer with some easy, but good-looking, char effects. When I say char effects, I mean that they are based on a plain char graphics screen, so then you all know the limitations rite... The demo looks rather fresh to me, and if we forget about the simplicity of the effects it really looks great. Different oldschool music is a plus, as well as the random look of the effects and the cool (converted) font. Total score: 17. ;)

* Rasta/Creators *

After the Vision release, Creators, now all on their own, are back with another Ymgve, Slc (code) and Mermaid (graphics, music) production. The demo was released on Scenecon 2003, a multiplatfrom party that was a part of an international science-fiction meeting. Unfortunately there weren't too many C64 releases, but as I see that's due to weak advertisement, a lot of C64 sceners didn't even knew there was a party going on in Hungary, unless they are visitors of or the Hungarian C64 portal... The demo contains two "real" effects, a raster split and unlimited bobs, unfortunately not designed too well, but with very fine graphics from Mermaid. The overall of the production is a bit dull to me, it lacks of that certain "spice" which would make this demo a kicker. Perhaps a bit rushed, fastly put together just for the sake of attending at the compo, and that's, in spite of everything, positive.

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