Play It Again Sam 2 (Superior/Acornsoft) Review | Electron User - Everygamegoing

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Play It Again Sam 2
By Superior/Acornsoft
Acorn Electron

Published in Electron User 5.08

This is Superior's follow-on to Play It Again Sam, and once more we have four classic hits packaged together for the price of one. First on the twin-cassette pack is Repton 3, the sequel of the original smash hit Repton, which helped make Superior what it is today.

Repton is a great little game and probably needs little introduction to Electron owners other than to say that it is based on the original diamond digging arcade adventure Boulderdash - also reviewed this month.

Repton 3 features the now famous little character who loves digging for diamonds. The object is to defuse a timebomb present in each of the 24 screens, but first every diamond in the screen has to be collected, as well as a fabulous golden crown.

The puzzles are many and varied, and there is also a deadly fungus to avoid. This grows and grows until you are eventually swallowed up and the only way to halt its progress is to surround it with rocks.

On the flip side of cassette one is Codename: Droid - Stryker's Run Part 2 - there's a map to this in this month's Arcade Corner. Stryker's Run was one of my favourite games, but until now I hadn't played its sequel - and I was impressed with what I saw.

For a start, Commander Stryker's animated figure moves even more realistically, if that is possible, and he can even crawl on his belly to negotiate low objects.

The plot behind Codename: Droid is, yet again, to foil the evil Volgans in their plot for world supremacy. This time your mission is to secretly land on the planet Volga and steal their revolutionary new spacecraft - Codename Z11 - from under their green noses.

To aid you, jet packs are to be found in various places to enable you to fly over obstacles and chasms. You also have a very sophisticated wrist terminal from which you can obtain lots of information about your current whereabouts.

To reach the enemy spacecraft, twelve levels of the complex must be descended. There are lifts, but you must first collect a security pass - which is only valid for transport either down or up one level.

Volgan guards abound and will shoot as you approach them. To keep you on your toes, the further into the complex you descend, the tougher their armour becomes, requiring more blasts from your laser to turn them into nicely animated skeletons.

This game is much more complex that its predecessor and so much is involved that I can do no more than recommend you buy this compilation and find out more.

The second cassette is devoted to games by Kevin Edwards, who first hit the charts with his excellent Galaforce, nearly two years ago (Doesn't time fly?) and it is now doing the rounds on this compilation.

If you didn't buy Galaforce the first time round, you must not miss this opportunity to play what is, in my opinion, the best shoot-'em-up for ever for the Electron and BBC Micro.

This praise is unqualified by any niggling moans. The game is sheer excellent programming, totally addictive and graphically stunning - you'll never see sprites this big move so fast on your Electron again.

Wave after wave of different aliens sweep down upon you in set patterns and the art of playing Galaforce is to memorise as many alien attack formation types as possible - if you don't, you won't last more than a few seconds in each zone.

I noticed that even the soundtrack has been faithfully copies from the BBC Micro version. Even though the Electron can't support more than one channel sound, the three-part harmony has been broken down, each part played in succession so you don't miss out on the full effect.

What surprised me was the scrolling star backdrop. I had assumed that its inclusion in the Electron version would slow things down. Nothing could be further from the truth. The action, while not quite as blindingly fast as on the BBC Micro, still comes thick and furious. I think the compilation is worth the cash for this game alone.

Moving on to the final offering on the reverse of the cassette two, Crazee Rider, I was slightly disappointed. This is Kevin Edwards' second game for Superior, but it is - pardon the pun - streets behind Galaforce.

Faced with a motorcycle racing game, I was all settled in for an exciting session. The credits looked promising, fading in and out nicely and with mounting anticipation I pressed Space to start the race.

Well, try as I may I could only hit one or two other bikes, because my acceleration was so lousy compared to everyone else's that I couldn't match speeds with any other riders until the race was well underway.

I dare say that devotees of this game will just say hard cheddar for being a useless player, but as someone who could consistently win the race in REVS on the BBC Micro with a lap time in the top three best, I couldn't help but feel that there was something missing with Crazee Rider.

Perhaps it isn't fair to compare a full racing simulation like Revs with that is obviously a knock-'em-off fun game, but it really lacked that satisfying feeling - for me, at any rate.

Chris Nixon

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