Chaos has taken hold; anarchy reigns. The struggle lor power is all. But enough of my problems! Seriously (well, as serious as any shoot 'em up), D-Hero, a "Boys without Brains Production", doesn't strive for too much originality in plot.
That's actually being unfair to the genre in toto. No matter how clever you might be, blasting away every so often is not a bad thing. I remember hearing Terry Pratchett, one of the country's best selling authors, saying recently that although he enjoyed in-depth games, he had to admit that every once in a while he liked to shoot the out of everything. Besides all of which, I like them.
OK, so we've got it sorted. D-Hero is a blast 'em up. Who cares about plot? (Oh, do you? In that case, aliens, swines that they are, have devastated the human race and only a highly valued (not!) bunch of Disposable Heroes can save mankind by flying in and stealing the blueprints of the necessary technology.)
After a suitably cinematic intro, the music kicks in and you can make your choices. How loud do you want the music? Very. Sound effects? Please. Difficulty? Well, it doesn't really matter. The difference between Easy (for training), Normal, Hard and Arcade is not that noticeable - they are all pretty tough. Once into the game, you can see just how polished it really is. The water below mirrors your ship (anyone remember The Killing Game Show?). The music roars (except in the office where, alas, people might notice that you're not actually working!).
The power-ups are obtained by picking up scrolls (the blue prints) and entering the grey domes (a sort of shop) after leaving enough time for the plans to be developed by your R&D people. These domes also help in other ways - after entering one, all
Gremlin have noticed that we like to have a good choice. Grenade launchers, vertical fire, bombs, accelerators... All the normal stuff and much, much more.
Here we come to a point which shows D-Hero's quality. If you have to squeeze through a narrow gap, but have, say, the hovering pods fitted to the ship, they will fold in behind you in order to fit through the tunnel, rather than remain there regardless and simply fly through the wall. It may not sound much, but it is an indication of good thought and care. The gameplay is fast, furious and addictive. It's never easy, but not impossible. Result? Addiction. Eventually, you do succeed, but there's no time to rest on your laurels.
The end of level guardians are not weaklings, but find their vulnerable spot and if you have chosen the right add-ons, they will quickly be dispatched. Don't get too close to them when they blow though or they'll take you with them.
D-Hero looks incredibly similar to R-Type II and its ilk, but that's no bad thing. The graphics are colourful and excellently drawn. The sprites are varied. The music kicks. The gameplay addicts. I like it! (Oh, had you guessed?)
Disposable Hero does credit to the field. It is not rushed. It has been released when it was ready and the quality shines through. I admit that there's little in the way of originality, but it is a shoot 'em up. I play them to wipe out bad guys and de-stress (Ah, how reviewing games can be stressful!) and not to stretch my imagination. Perhaps we do expect a little bit more from a game these days. Is something like D-Hero too linear? Have we seen it all before? Maybe, but a good shoot em up is a good shoot 'em up. No pretensions. There you have it. The human race is in need of a hero, a disposable one. Only you can save mankind.
The best shoot'em up game on Amiga. Amazing graphics and music, extra hard levels, two spaceship, huge collection of weapons. More than three weapon can be armed at one time, shields, underwater level, etc. Whatever you want!
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