Sunday, May 20, 2018

Tempest 2000 Music Demo


Tempest 2000 was/is an incredible gaming experience and sure made the Atari Jaguar roar like a beast. Then I remembered this recording I made of Effect's awesome Atari STe Music Disk which is pretty darn cool and brought back many happy memories. So grab yourself a copy right now from Demozoo and crank up the volume!!

  
  

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Battle Command


Late last year I planned to feature Atari's BattleZone but I couldn't get to grips with it and, no matter how much I tried, I found it sluggish with lethargic controls that just didn't feel right. In fact, I hated it and came away quite upset by this disappointment but I still had the urge to jump into a tank and kill something. How was I going to scratch this itch?

Of course, it can only be ocean's very own Battle Command, something I have since treated myself to. Okay, the story goes that two factions are at war and we are in control of a heavily armoured Mauler who has to complete a variety of different missions. Come on, let's stop right there because this is basically a BattleZone ripoff!

  

For those who love a challenge, there is a huge selection of missions ranging from the starter through to more advanced tasks like protecting a bridge, accompanying a transport, and even recovering a U-Bomb! Before you begin, the mission briefing will detail all the necessary information and then weaponry options - whilst accompanied by fantastic 3D animation. Don't let the thought of tough missions fool you, this an arcade game through and through but, if you require more of a challenge, then Battle Command certainly has many choices to keep you busy.

  

Controls are absolutely superb and it was easy controlling my tank using the mouse which handles the acceleration, turning and firing. It's worth taking the time to arm your tank properly and I must say I had a preference for the heat-seeking missiles. Inside the game's box is a nifty reference card that details the extras like the damage screen, a detailed map, and the chance to view our tank from outside which offers a cool perspective, if kinda pointless.

  

This shooter has some nice 3D and reminds me of a cross between the obvious and Mercenary, for some peculiar reason. I was hooked from the moment I saw each missions 3D imagery swirling about and loved how our tank is dropped from an aeroplane!! In-game framerate isn't exactly Resolution 101 but everything moves far smoother than Atari's lame effort and the enemy look great up-close. It's an understatement to say I really admire the graphics!

  

Battle Command is a great shoot 'em up but it's not perfect and what I didn't like was the immense size of the play area which is a slog for my little tank (and now I sound like Hubert Gruber!). This often means opponents can be a zillion miles away which feels too far for a 320x200 display to cope with... However, distant shots would have been impossible but for a suspect collision detection system that balances things out rather well.

BattleZone... Oops, sorry... Battle Command is a stonker and I've really enjoyed blasting everything in sight and even the trees feel the wrath of my insane personality! Overall, a brilliant game and one of the best arcade shooters I have in my collection. Jump inside your tank and kill everything in sight from either a floppy or hard disk.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Muzzy


Muzzy was featured in ST Format (#58) and is a budget puzzler by Enigma Software Developments. It caught my eye because I liked the old skool style visuals, plus it's something I've never actually played before!! I believe that it should be compatible with both the ST and STe (sadly, it crashes on my STFM but works dandy on the STe).

An intro kicks things off to explain the game nicely whilst accompanied by stereo music on the Atari STe. Playing my first game was confusing and I wasn't sure what to do but you soon learn the game's crazy personality. The object is always the same: collect every gem before being whisked off to do it all over again on the next zany screen. Of course, the difficulty constantly increases as does the variety of silly mechanics and vicious enemies who can kill you instantly. So fight back by blowing up these pesky critters using bombs. Which is always going to be great fun!

  

The trusty joystick is used to control little Muzzy which is simple and easy but first feels overly sensitive. Stick with it because pushing against something, whilst pressing fire, will be the most complex action you will learn.

Visually, I doubt Muzzy will blow you away with its tiny sprites, meagre 8-Bit style and by ST standards they suck. But since when have graphics ever made a game better? (Yes, I'm talking to you, Dragon's Lair). Audio is quite basic and its disappointing that DMA sound effects weren't used, especially after listening to the stereo tracker tunes!

Muzzy is a strange game alright with its many weird screens that make little sense, especially to newcomers. It's so different to what I expected and trial and error is certainly the best method to attack this unique puzzler. In my video recording, the last screen had me stumped but it was actually annoyingly obvious... and that's Muzzy for you!