Tempest 2000 is generally considered one of the Atari Jaguar's best games. For those who never had the chance to play the game on that system, rejoice -- it's now been faithfully reproduced and ported to the PC. If you're a fan of the original arcade version of Tempest, you're in for hours and hours of frenetic gameplay.
All modernized classic game remakes should follow the groundwork laid by Tempest 2000. Although the rotary control of the arcade original isn't available on the PC, the game is nearly perfect in just about every other way. The spirit and basic play mechanics of Tempest are intact while the power-ups and other additions do nothing but enhance gameplay. Of special note is the way in which the action kicks into high gear when you upgrade weaponry with the particle laser.
Another interesting addition is the ability to jump over enemies crawling along the edges, a nicely integrated feature that adds a new dimension to the Tempest concept without detracting from standard gameplay. The new enemies present fresh and fun new challenges since you'll be shot at quickly and frequently in the higher levels. Thankfully, the SuperZapper smart bombs that are absolutely crucial in Tempest 2000 remain intact and the new AI droids are helpful without being distracting.
The original Tempest was the first Atari game to feature color vector graphics. As gorgeous as the game looked in the early 1980s, the visuals in Tempest 2000 are just as stunning nearly two decades later. The graphics are a cross between a laser-light show, a cosmic rainbow on some futuristic planet and a tremendous fireworks display. Lastly, the game features some rocking techno tunes and nice voice effects; in fact, the music fits the action perfectly and is so good that it warrants its own CD soundtrack.
Graphics: The awesome graphics feature vibrant, pulsating colors and a sleek design. The game has an icy-cool, sci-fi look that fits the action perfectly.
Sound: Crank up the speakers on your PC and get ready to jam. Even if you've never been a fan of techno-rave music, you'll most likely find the music in Tempest 2000 worth a listen.
Enjoyment: If you enjoy games like Star Castle, Gyruss, Tempest and Galaga or, if you just have a pulse, you'll love Tempest 2000.
Replay Value: Tons of levels, killer two-player action and riveting gameplay add up to a game that you'll keep in your collection permanently.
Tempest 2000 is a remake/upgrade of the popular Atari vector graphics-based shooter.
Blast your way through over 100+ levels, shooting the creatures that come out from the other side of the web to drag you in. Collect power-ups (jump, AI robots and more) to trippy graphics and colorful explosions as a thumping techno-house soundtrack blasts in the background.
Collect enough bonuses, and be subjected to two different types of bonus rounds as you navigate through rings, or try to ride a spiral tube.
Also included in the gameplay is an intense two-player mode to team up with or go head to head against another player, or even play a version of the original arcade game. There are four modes of gameplay in all: Traditional Tempest, Tempest Duel, Tempest Plus and Tempest 2000.
Face the web....
Back in the early 1980s, Atari's Tempest was one of the best-selling games on both home systems and in the arcades. Given the current prettier-means-better thinking in the computer games industry, it's no small wonder that Tempest 2000 has not followed the overly ambitious, let's-make-the-game-in-3D trend of some other recent video-game comebacks. Instead, Tempest 2000 tries to preserve the addictive fun while upping the "kinetic ante" of the original. In other words, it tries to compound on the original Tempest's specialty, which is fast-paced, in-your-face noise and action.
To that end, Tempest 2000 succeeds-perhaps far too well. As in the original the game allows players to manipulate a 3-D vortex while avoiding missiles and spikes. There are 3-D enemies, awesome weapons and many visual effects. The game is much, much harder than the 1980s original: webs don't just sit on the screen while you travel around them- they bob up and down and around, which sometimes means that one side of the web or the other is not always visible on the screen. All the original enemies in Tempest are here, plus you now get Mutant Flippers, Demon Heads, and UFO's, all much more aggressive and more elusive than the old enemies. To complicate things, "power-ups" are now sometimes fired at you, and if you catch them, you can get extra points, extra guys, laser beams (which emit a cool noisy effect), and the power to jump in the air and fire down on your enemies. You can even get an AI-controlled robot buddy that will help you in your kill-everything cause.
Tempest was already fast-paced, but it's arguable that Tempest 2000 is just overly frantic. The game is definitely a much more difficult, noisier version of the original. I did get addicted all over again, though, what with the jumping, laser beams, and AI robots that greatly enhance gameplay And, in the end, Tempest 2000 is similar enough in gameplay to the original that it brings back a huge dose of nostalgia. You can even blast your friends in "Duel Mode," or team up in a "Team-Up Mode." Both die-hard fans of the original Tempest and newcomers will have much to like in this souped-up version of the arcade hit, although they should be prepared for some serious thumb-blistering sessions.
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