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Written by  :  Игги Друге (46392)
Written on  :  Mar 23, 2007
Platform  :  Amiga
Rating  :  4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars4.75 Stars

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Random Access do it again!

The Good

As an arcade conversion, this is as good as it gets. How the hell do you squeeze a game playing on three screens onto the small Amiga screen? Random Access (best known for the ground-breaking Silkworm conversion) came to the same conclusion as Taito et al when they did their console versions, but took the consequences to the edge; they reduced the playfield to a narrow strip, thereby mimicing the long screen on the arcade original, albeit with reduced resolution.

But what they also did, was to render the graphics as close to the arcade original as they could. This was when 512 kB was still the standard configuration, but the graphics are really well-drawn. Slightly Amiga-ish, but not far away from the coin-op. And the music!

After having heard the Atari and Speccy renditions of the fabulous, inventive, legendary arcade soundtracks, I was expecting what was to be expected – a conversion of the Atari ST tune, only with stringy, bleepy synth sounds. I was amazed when what came out of the speakers was the original Zuntata sound track; rendered as close to the original as humanly possible on the four channel Paula chip. Remember that this was at least a year before the Amiga at last got rid of the curse of bad Atari ST conversions and in an environment lacking in memory – it was a bold move to give the musician so much memory and freedom to revive the spectacular sound track. He did it. You can't believe it's an Amiga if you close your eyes.

The Bad

The basic premise is limited. The arcade original is a rather slow side-scroller about a robot ninja slaughtering soldiers. With three screens, a big sound amplifier and lots and lots of memory, it made a name for itself, but in the end, it was just Taito's over-done (and simplistic) answer to Sega's Shinobi. When you remove the three screens screens, the huge loudspeakers and the sit-down cabinet, all that remains is a fairly unoriginal slash'em'up. And the thin, wide screen is not as impressive as three, big screens.

The Bottom Line

Everything bad about this game is Taito's fault. Everything good is to Random Access's credit. The Amiga was never known for good arcade conversions, but this is one of the few good ones. If you like the original game, but can't afford an entire coin-op cabinet, you can't go much wrong with the Amiga conversion. Brilliant.