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/// Send in the Clones! Part III
By Marcus Albers
Send In The Clones III: Clones, Clones, Clones, Clones...
For the past couple of weeks, I have been looking at some of the better
clones of arcade games that are currently available on InterNet. From
Pac-Man to Boulder Dash to Street Fighter II, they're all out there, folks.
Now you know about them. I'd like to wrap up this series with a look at a
couple of my favourites: Galaga, Asteroids, and Street Fighter II.
*** Street Fighter II ***
If you do not know what this game is by now, then you have been leading a
very sheltered life and you should get out more. Take a look at any video
game discussion on any BBS, and you will inevitably hear the name Street
Fighter II pop up. The game itself has spawned a Classic Edition, Turbo
Edition, Hyper Fighting, and Turbo Hyper Fighting for those of you that
cannot get enough speed. They are great fun if you have had a bad day and
feel the urge to just beat someone to a bloody pulp. Of course, as we all
know, this comes with a price, in the form of small circular silver pieces
that we so affectionately call quarters. And buying it for your computer
is better in the long run, but there is still the matter of shelling out
all that money in the first place. Can't I play it for free (legally)?
Well, TAH DAH! Here it is (sort of).
This is the closest thing that I have been able to come up with, and it
serves its purpose admirably, I might add. Fighting Warriors would have
been, IMHO, more aptly titled "Ken vs. Ryu", for this seems to be the game.
The two characters on the screen are the spitting image of Ken and Ryu,
both dressed in white karate garb. The whirlwind kick and fireball are
available to both players, if you ever figure out how to use them. The
computer uses them at its leisure, but I have yet to be able to perform
either one deliberately (I have done so while moving the joystick in every
possible direction in utter frustration). The character graphics are
excellent. The sunset-type of background is very nice, although I would
have liked to see the changing backgrounds of SFII. The digitized sounds
are a little scratchy, but are none-the-less very good. A nice game for
the days when punching out your boss just doesn't seem to be the smartest
thing to do.
*** Asteroids ***
A classic to be certain. This is very possibly one of the first arcade
games to be a hit. I still love to walk into a Holiday Inn and see one of
these beauties sitting in their arcade. I will spend about as much time on
this as any game. Of course, I am a sucker for ancient games. But she's
been Amiga-tized to keep up with the times. And readily available in at
least three different versions.
This is the least desirable of the three. The sounds are great, the
graphics are not bad, but the game play is comparable to clones found on
the venerable old C64. The main problem that I have with this version is
that the ship doesn't accelerate like it used to. You instantaniously go
from stop to warp speed (I don't think she'll take much more of it, captain)
without the slightest hesitation. It then slows just a quickly to a
floating speed when you let up on the gas. This becomes very awkward when
trying to manuvoure through millions of little tiny asteroid bits.
Notice the spelling on this one. I do not know what that has to do with
the actual game, nor does the other title that I have seen it under have
any connection with the game: wetroids. This is simply Asteroids with
weird graphics. Instead of shooting space rocks, you are now blasting away
at taunting, digitized heads of some unknown hackers. The game play is
very smooth, and the graphics, although mono, are in high-res interlace,
always a plus in my book. Check this one out if you get the chance.
Now, for my personal pick of the crop...
This is the Amiga-tized version of Astreroids that the world has been
waiting for. Game play has not changed. You are still shooting little
rocks in space. But this version sports such features as 32-colour
graphics, user configurable graphic images, and a two-player option.
The graphics for the game are loaded in from templates that can easily
be modified with DPaint, or any paint program that supports 32 colour,
320x200 graphics to produce what ever you want to shoot. Included are
graphics that make it look like the original vector graphics, a template
that turns it into the old Atari 2600 game, and even little Amigas and
diskettes (its not too hard to imagine that they are IBM-compatibles).
I have also seen a version of the template on the net that turns your ship
into a little Lemmings killer, for those of you fed up with the Psygnosis
classic. The game supports a two-player simultanious mode, for those of
you who cannot handle the meteor shower alone. You even have the option
of controling both ships at the same time, side-by-side, to double your
chances of survival. The game also has true stereo sound. It utilizes
the stereo sound channels in such a way so that is your ship is on the left
side of the screen, it will sound like it is on the left side of the screen.
As you move over to the right, the sound moves along with it. This is true
for every sound effect in the game, except for the maniacal laughter when
you die, which seems to come from everywhere when hooked up to a good
stereo system. If you cannot tell, this game is a must have. Find it
somewhere and grab hold of it quick.
*** Galaga ***
OK, one more. We all remember the Space Invaders clone Galaxians (say yes).
This went on to become Galaga. Then there was Galaga'89. Well, now there
is Galaga '92.
This is a super Amiga-tized shoot'em up that has it all: weapon power-ups,
end-of-level baddies, great graphics, smoooooooth game play. It is a very
lovely game. There are power-ups for increasing the number of shots that
you put out, doubling the shots, and increasing your speed. Yes, there is
also one to give you an extra ship. The programmer boasts over 250 frames
of animation, multiple levels, and a secret creat mode that, supposedly,
you cannot complete the game without. The only complaint that I have is
the fact that the game becomes VERY hard VERY quickly. IF you lose your
power-ups in the fifth level and up, you may just as well die quickly and
begin again. Frustrating, but a great game all together.
Well, that about does it for the world of the clones. There are hundreds
more where these came from. Some good, some really bad. Give them a try.
You may be suprised. See you next week for another look into the world
of Amiga shareware and public domain.
(* really cool ending music and crawling credits *)