Those galactic fiends are at it again. You give 'em just enough time to get over your last attack and what do they do? Repair their lasers and start shooting photons at you again. Denaris, previously named Katakis, is US Gold's answer to the hugely popular R-Type.
Between the ravages of out-of-control computers and the unfortunate effects of nuclear war, the planet Denaris is in a fairly poor state. The idea is that you must fly over the confines of this over-powered planet and rid it of its robotic enemies. There is an advantage to this kind of vicarious extermination - lots of death without the blood.
It is a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up with enough enemies to make you wonder if you were really meant to be around. Besides blasting everything that moves and looks as ugly as a politician, you need to avoid the occasional indestructible missiles and pick up additional weaponry. These are not just a bonus, they are an essential. Unless you are well equipped you will never get very far.
Weapons range from a scatter-shot which will fire several missiles with each tap of the fire-button, right up to a power-shot, and multi-directional lasers. Besides these, there is a special attachment which will speed up gameplay. This might sound like a great idea but steering your ship around faster speeds is not to be advised - you drop dead quicker than an armadillo in a gas chamber.
Towards the end of each level you encounter one super monster. He does not generally move around too quickly but he soaks up firepower like a sponge. You will need to have acquired more than your fair share of weaponry to make an impression.
One of the best features of Denaris is the way you can retrieve weapons after resurrection. When you get killed you can start again the middle of a level, provided you have progressed far enough. Both laser weapons and the good old power-shot appear almost instantly so you won't need to face an onslaught of ugly characters without the basic requirements of all space-explorers.
GRAPHICS AND SOUND
Nobody would argue that the vertically scrolling shoot-em-up is addictive but it is such an old idea now that it takes a lot to make this type of game original. Where Denaris really excels is in the brilliance of its graphics. The scrolling is smooth, if a little slow at times. The huge number of different monsters which range from odd little astronaut heads to wandering robots have been superbly animated to such a degree that it gives you a warm glow watching them vanish in a puff of smoke. In addition, the end of level monsters are massive creatures which have been designed to look as menacingly as possible.
Sound effects are also a cut above average. Besides good load-up music there is real arcade-quality sound effects with echoing phaser noises over the gentle purr of your craft.
There has been much controversy over Denaris' similarity to Activision's R-Type, and it is not unfounded. Denaris is almost identical to the R-Type arcade game. However, it is far superior to the ST conversion with better servinfs of well-defined graphics, smooth scrolling and a more sophisticated feel about the whole game. There is still an interminable wait between levels but the arcade action is addictive as ever.
The Amiga version of Denaris is virtually a completely different game, bar the fact that they share the same plot and scroll the same way. It is nevertheless a very slick, albeit unoriginal, arcade game, which, if anything, owes even more to the original R-Type than its 64 counterpart.
The gameplay is the same, with you controlling the ship shooting the nasties and every so often receiving an icon to increase your shield and firepower with the same kind of weapons (bouncing lasers, homing missiles and a beam laser). Otherwise, the levels and most of the aliens are completely different to look at.
The only moan I have is the loading time between games though when placed up against Op Wolf on the Amiga it seems mercifully short (if you can call a minute short for restarting a game).
It is impossible to compare Amiga Denaris with the same game on the 64. What I can say is that it is another fantastic arcade shoot em up with all the vital additions essential for a great blast - hot graphics, a hot soundtrack coupled with neat sound effects. Denaris is very, very addictive. The number of levels and its toughness make it excellent value.
What a bastard! This game is hard, very much harder than I remember. But on the other hand I mostly played the C64-Version of this game years ago. This version looks much better and it is still a good game. Be prepared to die often. It's still pretty addictive - at least I tried again and again. Finally you know when to avoid and when to shoot as fast as your fingers allow you to. The game gets managable once you get some nice extras that protect you. This one can really keep you at the computer for a while. It did last night - yes, it was a good feeling to play Katakis again!
This is a legendary C64 shoot 'em up game, with amazing smooth scroll and very hard and exciting gameplay. This is the Amiga version, which was enhanched only in it's graphics, but still reminds the old ages. Very nice, worth to try, but the C64 version still rules the world.
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