Review by ClessAlvein05
"Excellent audiovisuals for the time, meager gameplay"
Besides the background on this game--its origins, its copyright controversy, and so on--which, while rather obscure, can be found by reading any other review or overview of the game, what is there to note? You can note that the 256-color graphics and Soundblaster sounds were good for the time, but the gameplay left a lot to be desired.
You start by seeing a 256-color VGA rendition of the Apogee logo--which in 1993 was one of the first times it had been at this quality, and not the EGA graphics that severely lagged behind the leading consoles of the time, the SNES and Genesis. You hear the Apogee song, but it sounds different--not good old Bobby Prince MIDI, but a hazy, but digitized, Sound Blaster. This sets the tone for the game's strongest points: while they were sometimes more pastel-ly and cartoonish than they had to be, the graphics were a step ahead of most PC games at the time, and the sounds, while low quality, were ahead of the AdLib/MIDI of most other games (or even PC Speaker, which was acceptable in games as respectable as Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure.)
Then you see a briefing. Pretty generic storyline, but still a good audiovisual rendition. And the characters' mouths even move during the briefings, if a little shoddily. Decent music too.
The instruction/menu screen music starts out pretty quiet, then goes into a hard guitar. It's good enough that you just want to look around the menus and actually read the instructions for a change while it plays. The title screen music is just like that, too, starting out soft but growing on with some hard bass and percussion.
Then you start actually playing. This is where the attractive exterior of the game starts to get exposed. Harry runs around ridiculously fast, so fast that you sometimes don't recognize when he runs behind some foliage and into an enemy until he lets out that annoying grunt, maybe repeatedly. The levels tend to have a lot of size but not a lot of actual action, as you have to run back and forth many times in search of the keys, in search of enough ammo to easily tackle the enemies, in search of hostages, in search of...meh. The weapons, ammunition, money, enemies and powerups aren't too badly done. You have your basic flamethrower and jetpack (although the jetpack is as awkward to use as running around,) homing missiles, grenades, and some long-range rapid-fire. The enemies are your typical variants of zombies, along with some slimes, mostly. All the sprites are a little cartoony, but the colors are a big improvement over EGA. You hear some good music, although it's not as good as in the introductory areas, and becomes repetitive in variations in later levels.
I would say if you really like old-school platformers, this MIGHT be worth finding for cheap somewhere (make sure you also have a good DOS shell.) The MOD music is available for free elsewhere, too.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 02/20/07
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