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SummaryVector graphics at its finest.
The GoodIn the time of pixel art magic, one game made a rather unique move into the land of vectors and delivered us somewhat exotic title that felt a bit ahead of its time. With the lack of 3D graphic and special effects, this game uses math power to present a rather wonderful graphic in no more than 16 colors.
The opening cinematic is full of nice details and story keeps you intrigued as you constantly run for your life from the aliens whose culture seems a strange mix of Roman era and that of science fiction. Not so technologically advanced as simply being from Another World.
You soon befriend an alien inhabitant that shares the same fate as you, being imprisoned and all, and while not constantly accompanied by him, your paths cross every now and then. Seems like the two of you share the same goal, but go different way about it. The way it is presented gives a nice touch of player not being entirely alone, but having apart of a CPU on his side, even though it may all be pre-scripted.
Levels are versatile enough not to create the feeling of repetition, in fact, they are far from being repetitive, yet last too short. The fact this game does not feature dozens of enemy combatants on every screen makes it that much more realistic and prompts you to be cautious on each confrontation. The alien weapon you very soon come in possession of is rather useful, though sometimes annoying. It can create shields as much as fire laser beam of small or large destruction, and requires recharge every now and then... but levels where you can actually recharge it are very few. Luckily, most of the levels don't require direct confrontation as much as thinking your way out which adds a nice distraction to the genre.
The BadThis game is certainly something unique, so one may understand why so many gamers think highly of it, but it is far from being one of the finest side-scrollers. The music, aside from intro and credits roll is non-existent. Sound effects, while fine, are very few at best, with no dialogs or even a talking text during actual gameplay. What little you can hear is from aliens that talk in their own language for which it would be nice to have some subtitles unless developers wanted us to feel as confused as our professor. And he may actually have a chance to understand them.
Many puzzles in the game can prove rather challenging, and direct confrontations are too hard. Developers didn't leave us much choice in our approach. The colosseum fight is one of the silliest things in the game and probably could've been done much better.
The Bottom LineWas this game really something so special? I think not. Was it unique and fun experience? Certainly. And at a times with limited storage capacity and graphics it achieved something rather wonderful. If one game deserves being called a classic, this one tops it all.
Levels are very versatile and occasionally contain beautiful landscapes (and achieving that in so little colors is no small feat). You will squash fight deadly worms, run for your life from the huge beast, firefight your way our of prison, roll through the ducts, dash out of collapsing cavern, swim your way through the underground mazes, break into a girls only spa, and even fight in the colosseum, making each level an experience on its own, so using level codes is a fine approach to continue your game.
Platform games are plentiful, but very few could be called good. This one is. It's not from the same bunch and it does not feel like an arcade game.