I worked out that I'd need about five thousand pounds to make this dream a reality and began saving. When I got to about five hundred pounds I gave up and bought an Amiga, then upgraded it. So much for dreams But did I do the right thing after all? Games like Project X tip the scales towards a Yes vote. Because, quite simply, the game is just what you'd expect from an arcade machine, except that you don't have to plunge pound coins into a slot (just as well -you've already invested more than twenty once you've got the box home). One thing arcade machines don't go heavy on is plot. Usually, it's a case of ask no questions and take no prisoners. In this case, there's an explanation for the bout of mindless violence you're about to embark upon. Ambition bites the nails of success, it's said. In this case, the ambitious types were the scientists. They decided, after an especially wild party, to play games with genetic experiments. Having created a bunch of mutated creatures, the scientists dumped these hapless, half-dead creatures on the planet Ryxx to die out. Unfortunately for you (being the one in charge of clearing up this mess) the mutants not only survived but managed to reproduce and evolve into evil death scum. Now you've got to infiltrate Ryxx and wipe out this rather virulent hangover. First clue to the size and graphical quality of this game comes when you open the box and FOUR disks fall out. This amount of storage - over 3Mbytes - usually contains the data for an epic role playing or strategy game. And as soon as disk one is in your drive, you'll begin to see justification. An attractive but unimaginative menu presents you with several options. There's a choice of two musical styles, one or two player gameplay (taking turns, not simultaneous, alas), three ship types, two skill levels and the chance to load or save the highscore table. The ships are the most interesting.
There's the fishlike slimline ship, which can move more quickly but carry less weaponry; the elephant ship, big and slow but with the potential to be a tank; and the middle ground, a good all-rounder. A nice touch is that player two may choose a different ship from player one Play starts after some fairly lengthy disk accessing. You're deposited, after a short explanation about your goal, at the start of a right-to-left scrolling star field. You're forced to fly along at a constant pace but are otherwise free to move in all directions. Right away you'll notice how well drawn and smooth the graphics are, despite the whole of the screen being utilised. Very impressive indeed A digitised voice tells you to "Destroy waves for power up!" and the fun begins. Alien craft swoop onto the screen in small formations. They are fairly easy to despatch, just a couple of hits from your forward-firing cannon deals with them. Shoot all of the creatures in a wave and that long-awaited power up appears. Pick this up and the power bar at the bottom of the screen is highlighted. For every power up symbol collected, the highlight moves along one space on the bar. The powers include speed-up, guns, homing missile, plasma bolt, magma (hot lava bolts), stealth (a nitty shield) and the disgustingly powerful laser beam.
You'll need as much power as you can grab because the fun's only just started. Mutants become more and more agile and powerful as you progress into the game. At regular intervals your skill as a pilot is tested to the full by giant monsters with huge amounts of firepower. Then there's the asteroid belts... Every iota of your game-playing experience will be needed to defeat just the first level. Then you progress to the planet where more of the punishment awaits you (and very pretty punishment it is, too). Some might say that Project X is too difficult to be incredibly addictive. I wouldn't concur to that point of view. It's tough, sure. And you'll have to be a very good player to complete it, even after hours of practise. But Project X has that special ingredient that makes it compulsive to the point of insomnia. Those of weak will power, beware. The best shoot-em-up for a long time.
Very beautiful and exciting shoot 'em up game using the AGA chip!. You can control a spaceship, and the mission is to clear the playfield. Shoot every enemy, pick up the bonus weapons and shields, and beware the asteroid battle.
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