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%% UseNet Review - Body Blows Galactic AGA             by DAVID ZVEKIC %%
%%                                          cs922097@ariel.cs.yorku.ca %%
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PRODUCT NAME

        Body Blows Galactic - AGA


BRIEF DESCRIPTION

    A beat-em-up game which pits 12 different fighters from 6 different 
    worlds against one another.


AUTHOR/COMPANY INFORMATION

        Name:           Team17 Software Ltd
        Address:        Marwood House, Garden St, 
                        Wakefield, West Yorkshire
                        WF1 1DX
                        England

        Telephone:      (0)924 201846



LIST PRICE

     #29.99 (that's pounds)
     I paid $22 Canadian for it, but I bought a special copy that used to
     be given away for free as some promotion for A1200's.  My copy didn't 
     have a box, just a plastic bag with 2 disks and a manual.




SPECIAL HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

        HARDWARE

                AGA obviosly.  <An OCS version exists however>

                RAM: 1 MB required. 
                     Extra memory above 1 MB will be used to store data 
                     during play.



        SOFTWARE
        
                NONE, unless you have an NTSC Amiga.
                I had to use Chris Hames' Degrader 1.30 to get it to work
                in PAL.  The early startup control doesn't help.
                
                Body Blows Galactic works on all versions of the OS.


COPY PROTECTION

  Disk-based (the disk itself cannot be copied with DiskCopy)
  I couldn't get DMS to copy it either.

  NOT hard drive installable.

  Original disks required for use, however no data is ever saved to
  disk so you can leave them write protected (and are encouraged to
  do so in the manual).

  I rate the copy protection as somewhere between Acceptable and Annoying.
  People used to such things would not be bothered however I'm worried
  that my original disks might get damaged.


MACHINE USED FOR TESTING

        A4000/030 - NTSC
        2 MB Chip RAM + 2MB Fast RAM
        1 external 880 k floppy + the standard A4000 disk drives etc.
        C= 1942 Monitor.
        Kickstart 3.0, Workbench 3.0
        Also used Chris Hames' Degrader 1.30 to switch to PAL mode.
        
        Also tried it on:

        A1200 - NTSC
        2 MB Chip RAM + 4 MB Fast RAM
        GVP SCSI+Fast Ram /w FPU option.
        Internal Clock
        C= 1942 Monitor
        Kickstart 3.0, Workbench 3.0



INSTALLATION

         None required.  Just DO IT!

REVIEW

  When I first arrived at one of my friendly neighborhood Amiga
  dealers (YES there are several in my town), I wasn't planning on buying
  anything, in particular. One of my pals was picking up an A4000 which he
  had on lay away (for almost a year as far as I know). Anyways, I'm not
  that big on video games in general (anymore), especially the OS
  non-compliant variety that take over your machine and don't let you
  multitask or heaven forbid don't install on your hard drive.
        
  I did decide to pick up the first issue of Amiga Game Zone magazine
  (which was damn good, I'll do a review on that later), and while we were
  about to leave I saw a few games in the discount bin without boxes at
  significantly reduced prices. Body Blows Galactic was among them. At $22
  dollars I figured I couldn't lose, even if it was OS non-compliant. I
  remember paying (happily I might add) over $50 for Intellivision games
  and upwards of $80 for Nintendo games. This copy was originally part of
  a special A1200 promotion, which explained the low price and lack of a
  box.

  Anyways, when we returned from the dealership I immedietly tried the
  disk on my friend's A1200.  To my surprise it worked!  What didn't
  surprise me was that the bottom 50 or so scan lines were missing from
  the screen.  This is typical of PAL games brought over here.  I wish
  developers would show more consideration for North American Amiga
  owners.  But I digress.

  I tried rebooting with the Early Startup Control set to PAL, but that
  didn't work (or surprise me) either.  So with-out having a copy of
  degrader handy we tried out the game sans the bottom 10% of the
  screen.

  The first thing you'll notice when after the game boots is the amazing
  intro music!  I'm talking real cool! Sort of a Techno-House
  dance tune, with digitized effects and a chorus that occasionaly
  chants the phrase "Body Blows" in time with the beat.  Anime
  style portraits of the characters then appear one at a time
  while flying pixels make neat patterns in the backdrop.
            
  The title screen itself consists of a beatifully rendered
  characters which are reflected below as if on water.  This
  rippling water effect is used later on in one of the sceneries
  where the characters actually fight in an ankle deep rippling pond next
  to more than 1 animated waterfall.

  Pressing the fire button brings you to a main menu.  Where you
  get your typical playing options.
                                        
  You can play against the computer or against a friend. In
  tournament mode you can have either 4 or 8 players using any of
  the 12 characters (Yes, you can all pick the same character's if
  you like).  There are several game options also.  Matches can
  either be determined in a single round, or by playing a best 2 of 3.
  A match can have a time limit of 60 or 90 seconds per round or
  have unlimited time.  There are 3 difficulty levels when playing
  against the computer.  There is also a special mercy mode, which
  prevents the other character from being able to hit you
  immedietly after you stand up (after being knocked down).
        
  Now the fun part: playing the game.
      
  The central theme/plot/concept (such as it is) of the game is that 2
  characters from Body Blows after defeating the evil Max "decide to take
  on the universe and challenge the meanest and toughest in an
  Intergalactic Competition, to become the ultimate Galactic Warrior." Yes
  it sounds hokey (sp?) but it's an excuse to have a fight.
 
  Playability is extremely high. My little 11 year old Nintendo raised
  brother is bugging me all the time to play Body Blows Galactic.
  According to him it is better than the SNES Street Fighter II. It's been
  a while since I've played SNES Street Fighter II, so I don't remember.
  The graphics are certainly better than SNES SFII. *THAT* I can remember.
  Several of the worlds in Body Blows Galactic AGA sport full screen
  parallax. Not only do objects in the scenery scroll left and right but
  up and down as well when a character jumps. There are also objects which
  scroll infront of the action as well as behind. One of them is a waist
  high wire mesh fence or devider which you can actually see through. The
  paralax is about as good as I've seen in a beat-em-up on a home computer
  or video game console. It certainly puts SFII or Mortal Kombat for Amiga
  to shame. (Of course I'm comparing an AGA game to 2 ECS games there).

  All of the sceneries in Body Blows Galactic are very nice to look at,
  and lend themselves well to the mood of the game.  The joystick
  control is very responsive, and the moves are easy to learn. There are
  20 to 21 moves for each character and Body Blows Galactic gets all of
  those using only a 1 fire button joystick.  There is no keyboard
  support, so you need at least 1 joystick or 2 for multiple
  players.

  Each of the 6 worlds has unique background music which stay
  comfortably in the background.  All of the songs are very well
  done and the music doesn't steal audio channels from the sound effects
  (or vice versa it seems).  All of the characters make different
  sounds when they punch, kick or whatnot and this adds greatly to the
  game.  One character Lazer, makes sounds like "hik!" "hook" ,
  "uk" and things along those lines. A friend got very frustrated
  when I kept catching him with the "hik!" move. This lead to a
  joke that went along the lines of "all you need is a 'hik!' and
  everything will be ok!"  It was funny at the time! :)

  I should mention that the AGA version sports more colours,
  better quality sound, more sound effects and tweaked music over
  the OCS version.  So I can't vouch for the OCS sound.
        
  All of the characters have very distinct personalities with all
  the flavour and atmosphere of any of the other more well known
  beat-em-ups, without resorting to look-a-likes.  i.e. Sub-Zero and
  Scorpion from Mortal Kombat. You get 12 UNIQUE characters with
  Body Blows Galactic!


DOCUMENTATION

  The Documentation was adequete.  It came in 4 languages and explained 
  how to do the moves and a little history on each of the worlds. It 
  also included a price list for other Team17 games.

  It was easy to read and mildly interesting for all of the 10 or
  15 minutes it took to read.


 
 LIKES AND DISLIKES

  What can I say.  It should have been hard drive installable.  And
  it should have been mode promotable to DBLPAL.  At least it should
  provide a means for switching to PAL from NTSC.  I know many
  pirate copies of games include PAL booters.  What kind of a
  message does this send when pirate games are more playable than
  store bought versions?

  If there isn't an NTSC version of this game and you are running
  of your TV in North America, you won't be able to play it.
        
  The music is superb. The graphics are superb. The feel and
  playability is excellent. This is a game I will be proud to show my PC
  loving, SNES loving and Genesis loving friends (along with Alien Breed
  II AGA). Someone I know (who has never owned an Amiga) appears to be
  thinking about getting a CD32 contingent on an NTSC version of this game
  and Alien Breed 2. Go TEAM17!! Get some North American Support
  happening!
        
  I liked that I didn't need to get a 2 buttom joystick to use all the
  moves, but at the same time I sort of wish I did cause I'd really like
  more moves. Only 1 button is used in this game.

COMPARISON TO OTHER SIMILAR PRODUCTS

  There is no Comparison.  Body Blows Galactic is the best beatem up
  on the Amiga I've ever seen.  I've played SFII (which I couldn't
  stand and is completely un-playable and WAY to fast and jerky on my
  A4000, not to mention lame sound effects) Mortal Kombat (which I could
  stand if I had an A500, but I can't stand on an AGA machine even if
  it had parallax scrolling which it doesn't!), and some other
  game whose name eludes me but rest assured is the worse of the 4.
        
 BUGS
  If you could call PAL a bug, then it has a bug.


VENDOR SUPPORT

  Haven't had any need to call the vendor, although Team17 does
  encourage you to call them if you experience problems.

WARRANTY

  I don't think there is a warranty.  Although I expect Team17
  will replace damage disked at a small cost.  But don't quote me
  on that.

CONCLUSIONS
       
  Overall I rate Body Blows Galactic a **** out of 5 stars.

  If it had been hard drive installable, mode promoteable and
  multitasked I'd have given it 5 out of 5.  If you are looking
  for a beat em up for your Amiga.  BUY THIS!

  This is a damn good game and if you are a fan of this genre you should
  definitly buy Body Blows Galactic.

  Final impressions?  I've rubbed my left thumb raw from playing
  Body Blows Galactic!  I haven't done that since Double Dribble
  for the original NES.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE

  Copyright 1994 David Zvekic. All rights reserved.
        
  Permission is explicitly granted to distribute freely in any
  manner as long as no modifications apart from spelling or
  grammatical corrections are made.