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/// Usenet Review: Cybernetix
By Marcus Albers
This is a side scrolling shoot'em up with parallax scrolling,
excellent animation, digitized sound F/X, and multiple weapons. The
game is shareware and can be found on any Aminet ftp site in the
Name: Vision Software
Address: Unit 10, St. Kevin's Arcade
This game is shareware, and the registration fee is 5 pounds
sterling (about 10 US dollars should do it). What do you get for your
money? The satisfaction of having registered this excellent game.
SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS
NTSC Standard mode. Operates in PAL mode.
Not compatible while A570 CD-ROM drive is enabled.
MACHINE USED FOR TESTING
1 megabyte Chip RAM
External floppy drive
A570 CD-ROM drive
I remember the world of shareware for the Commodore 64 way back
when. If I was able to find a game that used sprites instead of a custom
character set, it was an excellent find. But finding games that even came
close to being commercial quality was unheard of. Things very well may
have <changed, but I have now entered the world of Amiga shareware. This
began in the summer of 1992, when I ordered my first shareware disk from
DevWare. I loaded the first program on the disk, a game called Hate which
is a Zaxxon clone. I was greeted with a high-res 32 color title screen and
4 voice stereo sound. I was shocked! Was this the world of Amiga
shareware? Yes, it was. And it continues to get better...
Enter Cybernetix. This is a shoot'em up in the style of Defender
and Sanxion. Basic plot: shoot everything that moves. Nothing too
cerebral here, but it is fun nonetheless. This is a jewel of a find that
should be added to anyone's collection, even if you don't play shoot'em up
as a general rule.
The game uses left-right scrolling, with a parallax scrolling
starfield. Your mission is to clear the asteroids and aliens which arrive
in waves. A small radar system at the top of the screen, a la Defender,
shows all of the active aliens remaining in the wave. The longer it takes
you to clear a wave, the more aliens show up. The asteroids are destroyed
in a matter reminiscent of the old Asteroids game on the Atari 2600: you
shoot the big one, and two smaller ones fly off. The smaller asteroids will
often yield blue energy crystals. These can be picked up for points, or you
can leave them for one of the types of alien space craft to pick up. If one
of these aliens picks up two of the crystals, and you shoot the alien, it
yields a power-up. This gives you a special ability ranging from speeding
up your shots to giving you a spread gun to yielding a temporary shield.
These are very useful, especially in the later levels when things seem to
get impossibly fast.
As I have mentioned before, the animation, graphics, and sound in
this game are all superb. The asteroid rotation animation is excellent,
almost to the point where it might be mistaken for ray-traced animation.
Your ship's explosion is quite spectacular as well: not just your basic
go-down-in-flames type explosion, but actual parts of your ship go flying.
The warnings ("sector cleared" and such) are done with digitized voice. And
yes, it is British for those Americans that can't stand the accent :-) (my
dad can't, but I happen to love the sound of the British voice). None of
the digitizing is scratchy in the least. As far as actual graphics, I
believe they are 32 color hires graphics. The game doesn't run in
overscan, which would be nice, nor does it run in interlaced mode.
All of the documentation that is needed is available on the startup
screen of the game, including pictures of the aliens and what they do.
LIKES AND DISLIKES
What did I like? The graphics and animation are first-rate. The
sound is just as good. I always like shoot'em ups that have multiple
weapons; this gives the game a little more variety.
What didn't I like? Not much. A "continue" option would have been a
welcome addition. Overscan and interlace support would have been welcome as
well. Other than that, not much.
The only bug that I found was that the title screen tends to flash;
i.e., the graphics jump a bit. This doesn't follow into the actual game,
so I believe that it is a minor bug.
I rate this game 9.4 out of a possible 10 points.