Novastorm

aka: Scavenger 4
FM Towns Specs [ all ]
(prices updated 9/27 1:01 AM )

Description official descriptions

In the distant future, humans have left Earth, carrying its ecosystem with them. However, the journey to the stars lasted longer than they had thought. Computers took control of navigation, and humans had nothing else to do but sleep, dreaming of a new paradise. When the mysterious Scarab-X forces attacked, the Scavenger 4 squadron became humanity's only hope for survival.

Novastorm is a rail shooter in which players blast enemies against a cinematic backdrop, trying to kill the computer-controlled fighters before they take over the world. Unlike first-generation interactive movies with action, the game has hooks into the environment: if the player-controlled fighter moves into the path of a pre-rendered obstacle, there is a collision and the craft takes damage.

Spellings

  • スカベンジャー 4 - Japanese FM Towns spelling
  • ノバストーム - Japanese spelling
  • 诺瓦风暴 - Simplified Chinese spelling

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Credits (FM Towns version)

41 People (38 developers, 3 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 67% (based on 32 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 44 ratings with 5 reviews)

The Full-Motion Shooter

The Good
Novastorm shined in two departments: a solid, pre-rendered atmosphere heightened by an excellent electronic soundtrack. The game came out during the infancy of "high speed" CD-ROM drives and the proliferation of full-motion video driven adventures. As a shooter it held up well: exciting, unpredictable fly-throughs and interesting level bosses. The first level threw the player into a lava-laden planet surface and later took him/her into icy terrains as well as space. Novastorm's weapons were the standard pea-shooter as well as a smart bomb or two. It was basic, but the variance in levels kept things fresh and challenging.

The Bad
Because the entire backdrop was pre-rendered full motion video, I never quite knew what zones would damage the craft. As such, certain segments became a case of trial and error.

The Bottom Line
Novastorm was a computer-fair showcase alongside the latest PCs of the time. Although most computers won't run it now, Novastorm will be remembered as a creative shooter that fans should not have missed. Arguably one of the best soundtracks in a shoot 'em up.

DOS · by James P. Wong (2403) · 2004

Don't let the term 'Interactive Movie' throw you -- this is a very good shooter.

The Good
Novastorm is a solid example of what an arcade shooter in front of a motion video backdrop should be. The gameplay is challenging without being frustrating, the graphics are good, the powerups are balanced, and the end-level bosses are creative in appearance (as opposed to simply being huge things you pound on at the end of a level). Of particular note is the music soundtrack, which consists of several high-energy, light techno tunes that match the urgency of the gameplay well.

Another nice touch is a small radar screen in the upper corner that shows you where the end-level boss you're currently fighting is vulnerable, and how much stamina he has left.

It's also apparent that a lot of time went into creating the pre-rendered 3D graphics and sequences.

The Bad
The music was apparently sampled at 11Khz to conserve space and processor time. The music is so good that you lament you can't hear it at a higher quality.

The Bottom Line
A good arcade shooter with good music and some creative end-level bosses.

DOS · by Trixter (8947) · 1999

A solid arcade shooter every gamer should experience...

The Good
I recently played Novastorm again (and finished it --yeah, quite easy) and I enjoyed the game as I did in my first experience. Once again I saw how good Novastorm was (sure it still is).

I didn't play many shooters in front of a motion video backdrop (maybe none, I don't know) but I guess as Trixter says, "Novastorm is a solid example of what an arcade shooter in front of a motion video backdrop should be". The game almost did every element of itself absolutely right to be an adequate reason for this opinion and I still can't easily forget the taste I got from Novastorm...

However unfortunately Novastorm wasn't appreciated by most of the critics and has never earned a place in good games' heaven. Just look at what PC Format was saying in their issue 39 (December 1994), "... Highly unoriginal in both concept and execution, Novastorm is yet another unsatisfaying CD-ROM game with an over-long intro sequence, far too much emphasis on the graphics and not enough on gameplay." Was it? Absolutely not...

The Bad
I like Novastorm so much that I can't find an appropriate flaw for it 8-)

The Bottom Line
Novastorm is still the best Psygnosis game (in PC platform of course, who can forget Agony and their other masterpiece creations made for Amiga?) and sure one of the best shoot'em ups ever made for PC with Raptor, Tyrian and Xenon 2 (Xenon was a good conversion)...

DOS · by Accatone (5191) · 2000

[ View all 5 player reviews ]

Trivia

Amiga version

The game was announced to be released for Amiga CD32 in November 1994. It was previewed in many Amiga magazines of that era, however the game was cancelled.

Awards

The game received two awards in GameFan's 1994 "Megawards" (Vol 3, Iss. 1)

  • Overall Best Shooter Game of the Year
  • Best 3DO Shooter Game of the Year

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Trixter.

3DO, SEGA CD added by Corn Popper. PlayStation added by Adam Baratz. FM Towns added by Terok Nor.

Additional contributors: Timo W., Big John WV, CaesarZX, DreinIX, mailmanppa, Rik Hideto.

Game added September 14th, 1999. Last modified August 22nd, 2023.