From 1988 to 2001 they released a string of diverse games - from the arcade shooting of Xenon and Xenon 2 to the futuristic sports of the Speedball series - becoming best known for their distinct visual style... which was all sort chunky and shiny, with no deep blacks... Look, I know that's a terrible description of it, but you try coming up with something better.
Truthfully... I loved what The Bitmaps' games looked like, but always found them a bit wanting in the gameplay department. They were too tough, too fiddly; often a case of style over substance. Still, you know what people are like; they just want good looking games that have been made by some men in sunglasses who fanny around near helicopters, pretending to be cool.
And here we are in 2019; one of The Bitmaps' most heralded Amiga/ST games - Gods - is back to be reevaluated in the harsh, unflattering, light of the 21st Century.
Gods is one of those games that, in this day and age, would be called a "Metroidvania" - a term I don't particularly appreciate, because it reminds me of the early days of gaming, when old people would describe every game, irrespective of what it was, as "A Space Invaders".
In short, it was, and is, a platform shoot 'em up, set in a demon-infested Ancient Greece, with some annoying puzzle elements. That's basically what a "Metroidvania" is, isn't it? Sort of? To be honest, I'm not entirely sure, and I don't think many people are entirely sure. What was wrong with "platform shoot 'em up" or "platform adventure"? Why d'you have to come up with stupid new names for things?
And while I am at it, you can shove the term "Roguelike" up your arse too. What does that even mean? Call it a "randomly-generated RPG" or something. Now you even get these idiots calling Dead Cells a "roguelike metroidvania", which to anybody with a life just reads like a load of random nonsense words stuck together.
Back in my day, at least the names we gave genres made sense. If you asked some millennial games journo to find a way to describe driving games, they'd probably call them "speedthrusters" or "winvards" or "drift-bois".
Hey - let's come up with a term for people who come up with these terms! Let's call them, oh, I dunno... "wankertwats" or "callowcretins".
It gets right under my shirt it does. Metroidvania and Roguelike, for pity's sake. Just fuck off.
Where was I? Oh yeah. I was meant to be reviewing Gods...
Right, basically, Gods Remastered overhauls the visuals and sound of the original - albeit in a way that cleverly adds absolutely nothing to the experience. Beyond that, it's the same, clunky, nicely-animated-but-not-much-else, game that it always was.
Though you can flick back and forth between the new version and the old one, it's completely pointless, given that Bitmap Brothers games were mainly known for their visuals and sound. It's like asking some rando to remix The Joshua Tree, and he replaces The Edge's guitar with the yelps of a robot dog.
The new graphics add nothing, and merely serve to strip away the character of the original. Without that distinct Bitmaps sheen, Gods is revealed as a slow, frustrating, and woefully dated game. I defy even the most rabid Amiga fanboy to think that it stands up to scrutiny in 2019.
I'm fine with old games getting remastered - and I appreciate that the remastering here is optional - but we have to be prepared to see these games in the context of the era in which they were released. At the time, Gods was heralded as a classic. That's fine. Once upon a time, people also thought asbestos was a pretty neat idea.
But at £15, or whatever it is selling for on the Nintendo store, you're essentially saying it's still worth fifteen quid - and you're asking it to be considered alongside the likes of Unravel or Pikuniku.
Frankly, time has not been kind to Gods, and I don't know why anybody barring the most masochistic of nostalgists would even bother with it.
SCORE: £15 out of £35