Written by  :  Optimus (83)
Written on  :  May 30, 2008
Platform  :  Amstrad CPC
Rating  :  3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars3.75 Stars

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Quite O.K. port for the Amstrad CPC. Kinda too hard and cut off though..

The Good

I really adore the graphics, the music and the atmosphere they create. And this one is a bit a different than the original game the port is based in.

What I like the most is the music. Instead of the classic arcade tunes, a different soundtrack was written especially for the CPC that is maybe one of the most amazing themes I have ever heard on the CPC. Actually the sounds/instruments that were used have a very unique sounding, one I cannot describe, a heavy bass sound, some sounding like cymbal some like deep underground drums, I really cannot describe but it's quite different and more reach in sounds and atmosphere than any other CPC tune you might have heard. It has remained in my mind since the first day I have played this game in 1989.

I also find the graphics quite appealing for it's time and not only. And the dark gothic themes are very well presented here despite the low resolution of the CPC. The sprites are smooth enough and there is even hardware scrolling used but only when the player reaches an edge of the screen (and the action freezes). Proper scrolling is not very easy to do on the CPC and this one was maybe one of the first games to do it for it's time. I think that technically both in music and graphics the game is really well done.

The Bad

There are a lot of cutoff's from the original. And some even make the game even harder than it is. Ok, there are no weapon bonuses and neither can the player shoot up or down but it's not very important as the fact that when the knight is hit he instantly turns into bones instead of losing his armor and getting another chance.

Also there are only 3 levels instead of the 5-6 (or more?) of the arcade. Still, it's not that bad since the controls/movement are nicely done and it gets quite playable in the easy levels. Learning it, despite it's difficulty, one case sometimes reach the beginning of the 3rd level but then the hell begins. It's doable though since I have seen people bringing the game to it's knees.

The Bottom Line

I was expecting quite a worse port for the poor Amstrad but I was positively surprised. This is one of the few good classics on the CPC, I believe you will adore the music and you will like the mood that the minimal graphics create. And quite the reductions in gameplay from the original and it's difficulty, I think it is quite fun to play for a while and the frustration in the later levels might fade out as someone learns how to play in specific levels. Check it out if you are into CPC games or if you ask for a challenge!