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Review: Amiga CD Sensation: Demos R 4-Ever
By: Jason Compton
Not to be confused with the "<blank> Sensations CD" line from Epic
Marketing, this title comes from Stefan Ossowski's Schatztruhe but the name
tells it all. This CD is demos, demos, demos. Over 2,000 of them, in
fact, making this a huge collection of the collective wisdom and experience
of demo coders on the Amiga.
The organization on the CD is structured but not as helpful as I would have
liked. AGA-only demos are separated into their own directory of
ready-to-run files and the rest of the ready-to-run demos are alphabetized
in "Big Bunch", over 200 megs of demos. Ouch. DMS-compressed demos or
those requiring special disk consideration are in the Diskstuff directory,
which is further divided up by category, including AGA-only.
Special types of demos, intros and "minis" (those under 50k, but not
necessarily 40k or 4k competition demos because those are elsewhere) are
partitioned off as well. Demos entered at party competitions have their
own storage space as well.
The CD has three quick setup icons, which configure your assigns (to use
the on-disc utilities such as DMS), colors, and workbench screen to what is
ostensibly the optimal configuration for viewing demos. What that means,
of course, is PAL.
Rounding out the set is a music directory with a few treats, and a handful
of slideshows, as well as a collection of Degrader-type tools to make
navigating the CD's contents on anything but stock A500 and A1200s
As a collection, I'd have to rate this quite highly. I'm always a sucker
for creative work preserved indefinitely for low cost. The actual use of
the CD could have been so much better, though. While each demo comes with
a readme file to indicate what degrader measures must be taken to get the
demo to work, it does not make any effort to do them for you. Having just
reviewed AGA Experience 2, which does go that extra mile, I can't speak so
glowingly about this collection. Also, while the Diskstuff directory does
separate out a few choice demos for those looking for a good demo in a
hurry, the rest of the demos are not at all ranked by quality. A few more
highlights would have been appreciated.
The packaging is certainly memorable. Rather than coming as a boring jewel
box, they've tried to make it look like a covermounted CD on a magazine.
Actually, it's just a piece of cardboard that's roughly magazine sized,
with the CD's information on the back, but it's the thought that counts.
This has the downside that all you get is a sealed plastic sleeve with your
CD instead of a full jewel box. Hope you have one handy, or are a big fan
of CD wallets.
If you need a demo CD and haven't already picked up Euroscene 2 or the
Aminet collections, give this some consideration. It's more comprehensive
than AGA Experience 2, but unfortunately not as easy to use.