30 ноября 1995

Part 8 - Reviews.

<b>Part 8</b> - Reviews.

*  PART 8 - REVIEWS  *

Review taken from Amiga World, Nov. 1993

Who'd  have  imagined that a walking egg -
much  less  one  wearing bright red boxing
gloves and sneakers - would take Europe by
storm?    Dizzy's    string    of   budget
arcade-adventures put the UK's Codemasters
label  (just  beginning its assault on the
US   market)   on  the  map,  and  they've
generously  collected  five  of them under
one  wrapper  for  [U.S.]  $39.99: Fantasy
World,  Magicland  Dizzy, Dizzy: Prince of
the Yolkfolk, Kwik Snax, and Fast Food.
Yes,  it's all rather twee and silly - and
perhaps  better  for the young or young at
heart  -  but I have a feeling you'll wind
up  playing  this  almost  as  much as the
kids. It's very crisply presented, but the
accent  is on playability rather than huge
production values. The levels are cleverly
assembled,  and  the  puzzles  are tougher
than you'd think. (Complaint: They've left
out my favorite, Treasure Island Dizzy.)
And  when  you've tired of the adventures,
there's  always  Kwik  Snax  and Fast Food
(sliding-block  and  maze-game spin-offs).
This egg isn't over easy. (Beware: Some of
the  games  don't  work  under 2.0 and 3.0


Review taken from Crash No.4 - April 1984

Producer:        Micromega
Memory required: All of 48K
Retail price:    Ь6.95
Language:        Machine code
Author:          Derek Brewster

'Mission:    Alien   termination   -   the
desperate  plan  to place in the mind of a
teenager  the  combined tactical skills of
all  the  planetary  leaders  in the solar
system.  MAT  is  manknd's  last hope. Now
your  mind  is Mat's mind. Take control of
the   Centurion   and  blast  off  on  the
greatest adventure of all....

Inlay  cards usually leave something to be
desired  when  describing a computer game,
but  considering  the  scope  of Code-Name
Mat,  Micromega's  is  almost  terse.  For
decades  the Myons have sought to dominate
the Solar system and they have launched an
all-out  attack,  knowing  that  Earth has
developed a revolutionary new space craft.
Unfortunately there is only the prototype,
USS  Centurion,  and  you  as  Mat  are in
command.  How  to describe the game? As we
said  in our preview feature last issue, a
starting  point  might be Star Trek games,
but  only as a convenient departure point,
for Code-Name Mat has gone boldly further,
resulting  in  a  game  of  arcade  action
combined  with real simulation which calls
for  a  number  of  different  skills.  In
brief:  The  Myons  are  attacking  Earth,
starting from the outermost planets of the
solar  system.  This  divides  the game up
effectively into sectors which equate with
the   planets   Pluto,   Neptune,  Uranus,
Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Earth. The Myons
tend  to  attack  a  planet and attempt to
reduce  it to rubble which will be used to
increase  the  numbers  of their attacking
fleet.  In the last event, it is better to
destroy  a  planet yourself than to let it
fall  into Myon claws. The solar system is
seen on the Solar Chart.
The  second chart is the Sector Scan, a 10
x  7  grid which shows the position of the
main  planet,  any  satellite  bodies like
moons, positions if Myon fleet units, your
own   defence   units   (more  later)  and
positions   of   stargates  (red  -  outer
system,   cyan  -  inner  system).  Travel
between  sectors within a planetary system
is  done by means of a warp gate. A cursor
can  be  moved  to  the desired sector and
then  the Centurion must be piloted (using
the  view  screen)  at the gate which will
appear  in  front of the craft. Failure to
achieve  the transition will result in the
Centurion  ending up in some other sector.
Travel  between  planetary systems is done
by  navigating  through  one  of  the  two
stargates in much the same way.
Long   range   Sean   is   a   3D   global
representation  of your area of space. The
Centurion  is seen as a dot at the centre.
This is one of the most amazing aspects of
the  game and one of the hardest to get to
grips  with.  A  Craft disappearing behind
you  will  reappear ahead. If you loop the
loop,  the  display will rotate vertically
as  if  you  were  looking  down through a
revolving cylinder. To play well, you must
master  your  scanner. Instrumentation and
its  use  is  very critical, flying by the
seat of your pants alone will not suffice.
Instruments  provided  at  the base of the
view   screen   are  Energy  (basically  a
strength  factor  - when it reaches zero -
you're  dead),  Velocity,  Angles  from  a
tracked    object    both   vertical   and
horizontal,  Object  range, Object number,
Shield  Status,  Tracking Computer Status.
When  the Tracking Computer is on, it will
automatically switch between a forward and
reverse  view  from  the  ship to face any
object  being  tracked,  such  as an enemy
fighter,   and  you  always  fire  in  the
selected  direction.  You  are  up against
three  types  of  enemy  craft:  Fighters,
which  will attack as soon as you enter an
area  containing  one, Cruisers, will only
attack  when within a range of 3,000; Base
Stars  (nicknamed  hamburgers), which will
attack  immediately.  If their shields are
worn  down,  hamburgers  run  away for two
minues  until the shields are regenerated.
The  Myon  attack  continues once the game
has  started  quite  independently of your
actions  unless  you stop them, of course,
and  it  takes  a  great  deal of skill to
contain  their  movement through the solar
system. Your instrumentation is vulnerable
to  damage, which can leave you blind, but
park-in  orbit around a planet will result
in  a  drone  coming  up to meet you. This
refuels  and  repairs  all  damage. If you
wish  to  play with full strategy options,
then selecting the second mode, Commander,
means  that  you  are  also  in control of
Planetary  Defence  Fleets.  These  can be
moved about and used to help in the battle
to  great  effect,  opening up a whole new
game. Fleets are communicated with via the
Subspace  Transmitter.  To  describe fully
the  complexities  of  Code-Name Mat would
take  a volume, and this introduction only
scratches the surface of the game.

'Although  there  are  loads  of  keys and
functions to get used to, you do find that
they  are  all very useful, and it doesn't
mean   that   you   can't  start  to  play
immediately.  The  graphics have hit a new
high  for the Spectrum; they are extremely
fast   and  you  are  given  an  amazingly
realistic  3D  view and they are varied as
well. I like the way that even if you have
lost  your  engines  through enemy action,
there  is  still  a  way  of  limping to a
planet  for repairs by keeping your finger
on the thrust key. This causes the engines
to stutter. The Planets are all drawn very
well,  as  are  the  drones  that  come to
refuel  the  Centurion.  This game is well
balanced  between  strategy and arcade and
there  is  a  lot  of  interaction between
player   and  computer.  Forward  planning
plays  a  major  part too. I don't think I
can  find any way of telling people to buy
this   game  that  would  be  sufficiently
adequate. Just buy it!
'First  impression  of  Codename  Mat  are
terrifying.  Not  only  are there a lot of
screens  to  cope  with, but also a lot of
keys, although joysticks may be used. But,
despite  appearances, this turns out to be
a  user-friendly  game  and,  despite it's
complexity, it isn't one where you seem to
get  lost  in  space  like  so  many other
similar  games. Mind you, I can't think of
another  game  to  really compare it with.
You   might   just  have  climbed  into  a
spaceship  and  hurtled skywards, it's all
so realistic. All the graphics are superb,
and  all  the instrumentation is essential
to  successful  playing.  Perhaps the only
cheap  effect  in  the  whole  game is the
stargate  warp  effect, with it's flashing
colours.  The  3D  is  not only effective,
it's also varied. The Long Range Scan is a
really  exciting  development.  Realism is
even  taken  to  the  degree that when the
forward view flicks to the rear, the keys,
of course, alter their left/right function
which can be confusing at first. The depth
of  the game will ensure that it is played
for a long time to come.'
'Amazing  3D  graphics! Enemy craft really
do  come from hundreds of miles away until
they  zoom  over  your  shoulder. Only the
planets  are  a bit jerky as you approach,
but  then with so many of them and in such
good  detail,  and  only  48k,  that's not
suprising. It is obviously going to take a
long  time  to  plumb  the  intricacies of
Code-Name   Mat,   and   that  means  high
addictivity,   helped  along  by  exciting
space-battles  and tremendous playability.
If  there's  anyone  out there who doesn't
like  this  game,  perhaps  they should go
back to Ludo'

Control   Keys   :   6/7  Left/Right,  8/9
Up/Down, 0 Fire : Engines: 1/2 decelerate/
accelerate,  3 decelerate to full stop, go
to cruising speed, 5 go to full speed (not
available  with  cursor joysticks): W warp
drive,  D  shields  on/off,  A  tracker, T
transmit  subspace,  F  front view, R rear
view, L long-range scan,
S sector scan, C solar chart
Joystick : AGF, Protek, Kempston, ZX2
Keyboard Play : Instantaneous
Use of Colour :  Well used
Graphics : Outstanding
Sound : Continuous, well-used
Skill Levels : 2, in effect, although they
make  for different games, and in addition
there  is  a  short  game,  full game with
medium  sized  attack fleet, and full game
with full-scale attack fleet.
Lives : As it should be - only 1!
General Rating : Out of this world!

GRAPHICS            : 95%
PLAYABILITY         : 94%
OVERALL             : 93%

You can play this great game RIGHT NOW! It
is included on this months snapshot pack!!


Review taken from Crash No.4 - April 1984
Melbourne House

I  stood  at  the  edge of the Black River
(not  very  wide  across)  and pondered my
situation.  I  had  the short strong sword
and   the   rope   courtesy  of  two  dead
(literally  stone-cold  dead)  trolls, and
the  valuable  golden  rlng snatched after
great  effort from under the nose of a now
dead   Gollum.   (It   seems  pathological
killers  are  well  catered  for  in  this
game.)  I  had  been  incarcerated in, and
escaped   from,   the  notorious  Goblln's
Dungeon   with   a  little  help  from  my
friends.   I  had  met  the  friendly  elf
Elrond, and found refuse in Beorn's house.
My  companions,  a  singing  dwarf  and  a
wandering   wizard,  had  long  been  left
behind.  Well  armed  and  supplied, I had
crossed   mountains,  killed  goblins  and
acquired  maps.  Familiar  with the almost
certain  fatality  encountered  by  taking
some routes, I had now reached an impasse,
I  could see no way of finding the dreaded
dragon,  Smaug,  or his hoard of treasure.
However, the game's superiority over other
adventures available to me, and its unique
feature     of     independently    moving
characters,  persuaded me to persevere and
my  capture  by  a  Wood Elf led me deeper
into  this  complex  game.  Eventually, by
following  the  plot in the famous book, I
found and killed the dragon and laid claim
to  his  treasure.  Unfortunately  that is
only half the game, as the treasure has to
be  carried  back  to  a  now  far distant
starting   point.   The   most  remarkable
features  of  this  Game  strike  you very
quickly.   The   high  resolution  graphic
displays  promised  are  delivered  in the
title page when the game is loading; Smaug
the    ferocious   dragon   belches   such
realistic flames at you that I almost felt
the  need  for  an  asbestos  shield!  Any
adventure  played  for the first few times
invariably  seems  to  result  in frequent
death,  and  after  restarting a few times
the   second   powerful   feature  becomes
apparent;      the     characters     move
independently  of  you,  so  you are never
sure whether your two companions will help
you  in  the next location or whether they
will  hurriedly depart to leave you in the
mercy  of  vicious  thugs  like  Wargs  or
Goblins  who will quite happily decapitate
you  despite  your pleas for mercy. Yes! I
said  pleas  for  mercy  beacuase  you can
communicate  with  friend or foe depending
on  your  inclination. This device is very
helpful  in  exploiting  the  abilities of
your  companions,  and  much  of  the game
depends on successfully communicating your
ideas to allies.
These   features   in   addition   to  the
fantastic    scenario    and    depth   of
imagination  used in Tolkien's book (Whose
plot seems tailor made for conversion into
an  adventure  game),  make this program a
remarkable    achievement.    The    high-
resolution  pictures,  of  which there are
about  30,  were drawn with the help of an
artist,  whose  eye  for colour and detail
provoke the atmosphere of Tolkiens book at
the   various   locations:  the  Bewitched
Gloomy  Place is dark and forbidding while
the   Bleak   Barren   place  is  suitably
inhospitable. The Hobbit is accompanied by
the   original  book,  which  is  followed
faithfully, and many clues are to be found
therein.  An  instruction  booklet is also
contained  in the package and explains the
highly  flexible  user  friendly  language
'Inglish'   which  the  game  understands.
This,  incidentally,  was  developed  by a
linguistics  expert  and allows for longer
more  complicated  sentences  without  the
limit  of  one objective per sentence. The
instruction  booklet  is  well written and
the  game  is  easily  entered  into.  The
high-resolution  colour displays help your
imagination   to   envisage  The  Hobbit's
world, and the response to instructions is
very   quick.  Quick  responses  are  also
required of the player as The Hobbit plays
in   real   time,   thus   adding  to  the
excitement. I can wholeheartedly recommend
this game as it is easy for the novice and
provides the veteran with a welcome change
from  the  limited  uninspired  text  only
adventures.  A  scoring  system  (mine  is
77.5%) allows for friendly competition. At
Ь14.95 it is very good value.


Другие статьи номера:

Intro - Contents.

Part 1 - Editorial and news.

Part 2 - Playing tips.

Part 3 - Games instructions.

Part 4 - Haven't i seen you before?

Part 5 - Emulate letters.

Part 6 - Spectrum quiz II.

Part 7 - Technical forum.

Part 8 - Reviews.

Part 9 - Spectrum books database (part 2).

Part 10 - Spectrum history (part 4).

Part 11 - A-Z Of Spectrum games reviews (part 4).

Part 12 - Matthew smith - the legend.

Part 13 - Spectrum games charts.

Part 14 - Spectrum on the Net.

Part 15 - Adventures.

Part 16 - Past, present and future.

Темы: Игры, Программное обеспечение, Пресса, Аппаратное обеспечение, Сеть, Демосцена, Люди, Программирование

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