The best shooter ever just got updated!
What's not to like about Tyrian? It is without a doubt the best shooter, vertical or otherwise, ever to grace any gaming platform. And with the extra fifth episode, Windows support and bugfixes, Tyrian 2000 is even better!
So what's so damn good about Tyrian anyways?
- First and foremost, the game has the best MIDI soundtrack in any game to date, even better than The 7th Guest. One of my favorite trackers, namely Alexander 'siren' Brandon, did one hell of a job on the music for this game, which is varied, well-composed and professional.
- A shooter with a plot? Hell yeah! Even the bizarre quirks in Tyrian (fruit flying around in space and sounds of explotions in outer space?) are dealt with, and the plot is actually surprisingly complex and well-written. Another thumbs up for Alex.
- Graphics: this game has, to date, the best graphics in any shooter (possibly because of the decline of the genre), especially considering that the original game is dated back to 1995. Lush environment and detailed sprites (ships, enemies and whatever there is anywhere else), along with an extremely well designed interface make this a true masterpiece.
- The programming that went into this game does not cease to amaze me. Although with lower visual detail, this game is completely playable on a 386, let alone an 486. It truly excels on a Pentium, but it's not mandatory. The visuals in this game originally left me flabbergasted -- six or seven layers of sprites, tiles and even transparent clouds? Along with fully mixed sound effects, soundtrack and dozens of sprites onscreen at any given time? Now that's the stuff.
- Great -- pardon me, AMAZING gameplay. This game has it all. Single player arcade? Got it. Single player full game with the ability to build your ship from scratch? Hallellujah. Two player? Yup. Timed battle? Hell yeah. Scorched Earth? Yes, even that. Several difficulty levels? Yup. Hard is too easy for you? No problem, just select suicide and you're on your way. Tyrian 2000 has several secret subgames and all sorts of play modes that will forever keep you busy.
Bad? In Tyrian? Don't kid yourself. This game is perfect.
The Bottom Line
In short, Tyrian's got it all. Where it really counts, and also where it doesn't.