If you grew up in the 80's and 90's then you will know how cool the Amiga was. I remember the first time I powered up my Commodore Amiga 500 and dropped 'Shadow of the Beast' into the disk drive. I was blown away by the graphics, sound and music. Especially as my previous computer was a trusty ZX Spectrum and that's how it was for millions of computer users in the late 80's. Going from a Speccy or C64 to this leviathan, this monster of a machine was mind blowing.
The Amiga introduced me, for the first time to classic games such as the mighty absorbing Lucasarts titles. The Secret of Monkey Island and Indiana Jones were just a few games that were new to me and it was the Amiga that allowed me to experience the talents of Ron Gilbert and Tim Schafer for the first time.
The documentary is packed with interviews and the aforementioned Ron Gilbert gives his two cents on the computer. Peter Molyneux, Julian Eggebrecht (who worked on Star Wars: Rogue Squadron) and Martin Edmondson are all interviewed but that's just the tip of the iceberg. The documentary has a cast list which seems to consist of a who's who of anyone who was even remotely involved in the games industry back in the 1990's. There are snippets of sound bites throughout and there's the problem of 'From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years!'
But after about half way through I noticed there was a problem with the documentary. It repeats itself. Or rather the people being interviewed repeat what someone in the documentary has already said. It seemed to me that the directors had plenty of interview material at their disposal but wanted all of it in the documentary.
Once you get past the launch of the computer, the decision to focus on games and Commodore's marketing strategy, it's all talking heads praising the machine. The last half hour consists of everyone that has featured in the documentary saying how wonderful the Amiga is.
I want to end on a positive because 'From Bedrooms to Billions: The Amiga Years!' deserves it. If you had an Amiga then you will love this documentary, even if you didn't you will still enjoy this documentary. The retro ads and game footage will make you smile and make you want to fire up that trusty Amiga and play some classics once more. Lemmings anyone?
*Excluding the Lucasarts titles because they were awesome.
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