They say you can't beat the old 'uns, and once you've seen Datastorm, youl have to agree. Datastorm is one of the the best shoot'em-ups I've ever played. Based on a worn and torn idea, it falls somewhere between Stargate, Dropzone and Defender, in both gameplay and design.
Just to jog your memory, as if it needed it, you are on a rescue mission. For each level, there are eight pods rolling around on the surface of the planet. You have to fly out and bring them back to the base, visible by it's large radio antenna. That's the simple bit. The only problem is that you ain't the only one that wants to get the pods. An attacking alien force is also out to get them, and so you also have to wipe them out.
As you zip about the horizontally scrolling lunar landscape, you come across many different kinds of enemy. There are the regular troops, not completely dissimilar to ye olde Space Invaders. These hover about a bit, occasionally taking a pot shot or two in your direction. Every now and then one will swoop down and take a pod. These have to be shot - but be careful not to hit the pod. Other aliens include small spacecraft that fire rapidly, clusters that hang from the ceiling and small diamonds that, when shot, transform into three homing missiles.
Major problems appear in the form of large mother ships. These can be either (a) a fleet of very fast luminous ships that travel as one and shoot a lot (b) a large squid whose legs have to be blown off piece by piece or (c) a huge skull that takes quite a few hits, to say the least.
At first glance, Datastorm is a game that most people will find themselves saying 'seen it all before' - even so, they'lI get hooked. That was the secret to all the classic games - they were incredibly addictive and addictiveness is a quality missing in so many games these days. Datastorm is simple to play, easy to get hooked on, and a damn sight harder to let go of.
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