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There's absolutely no doubt about it, warts and all, Defender 2000 is still one of the top games available for the Jag.
That, and the inclusion of the original, make Defender 2000 a lesson in nostalgia and solid gameplay. But if your like me, you'll spend the majority of your time playing the original.
Die Wiederbelebung des Klassikers ist leider nicht ganz geglückt. Einzig und allein die Ur-Version des Spiels fesselt den Spieler an die Konsole durch das einfache Spielprinzip und dem knackigen Schwierigkeitsgrad. Die neue Version hinkt dem direkten Konkurrenten Protector hinterher, vor allem spielerisch. Kurzweilig, aber dennoch solltet ihr nach Möglichkeit zu Protector greifen.
The glaring problem with Defender 2000 is that it isn't Defender. Yes, the object is to save the humanoids, and yes, you can fly left and right -- however, Defender 2000 feels very wrong. D2K's backgrounds are yucky, and the blazing speed renders it almost unplayable. In fact, the only way to speed around the level without dying every millisecond is to have aquired all the power-ups, and even then your fate is questionable. As for the music, let's just say that Tempest 2000 was Imagitec's magnum opus and, most probably, a fluke -- Defender 2000's cliched techo falls somewhere between I-War and T2K (closer to I-War). Also included in the cartridge is "Classic Defender", which is awesome, and "Defender Plus", which is pretty cool. It's a shame that these two versions are the gems of the cart, and "Defender 2000" is the handicap.
Just Games Retro
Defender 2000, however, is a step backward. Its new bitmap world is more technically impressive than artistically, and terrible framing makes it a burden to play. At least you get three versions for the price of one cart, and Plus and Classic are strong editions that fans will enjoy. 2000 mode, however, isn’t the showcase you would hope for.
The Atari Times
Unlike Tempest 2000, Defender 2000 adds too much to the original formula. This is a case where you can't throw in new music, graphics, and sounds and expect a great game to spew forth. Don't get me wrong, Defender 2000 is a fun game well worth the money, but most people will spend the bulk of their time with the rippin' Classic game of yesteryear.
Defender still supplies Jaguar owners with adequate shooting. But that reflects more on the quality of the Jag's game library than on this game.
The Video Game Critic
There are three versions of the game on this cartridge: original, plus, and 2000. The first version is a nice surprise. It looks like the arcade, but actually plays better! The graphics are smoother, the control is more responsive, and the explosions are better. It's also easier than the arcade and more fun overall. Things go downhill from here though. The second version adds some wild psychedelic graphics, as well as some unwanted features including "helper ships" and warp gates. Your ship is too big, making it easy to bump into things. The third version, Defender 2000, looks great but plays horribly. The scenery looks realistic, and the people even scream with digitized voices. But now the screen scrolls up and down, and your ship is huge! It moves way too fast and you can't slow down without turning around. It's a mess. At least the original Defender sound effects were incorporated into the pumping techno soundtrack. Overall, Defender 2000 takes one step forward and two steps back.
Defender 2000 gets everything that could possibly have been gotten wrong in an updating of Defender, wrong. And perhaps even worse, it makes the staggeringly excellent Tempest 2000 look like a fluke. Most of the score below is for Defender Plus, but frankly you'd do a lot better to dig out your old ST and play Psygnosis' wonderful Anarchy instead.