Star Raiders II (Atarisoft) Review | Computer & Video Games - Everygamegoing


Star Raiders II
By Atarisoft
Atari XE/XL

Published in Computer & Video Games #66

Star Raiders II

In the early years of the home computer, the Atari was a favoured machine, but was overpriced. Some of the games that have been released are considered to be classics - Miner 2049'er and Star Raiders II is destined to follow them into the book of Atari classics. Star Raiders was released in 1979 only on the Ataris, now eight years later we have the follow-up, which will be making an appearance on the big three machines from Electric Dreams, around the middle of March.

Star Raiders II on the Atari turns out to be an upgraded game that was never released from three years ago. That game was called The Last Starfighter, but due to the copyright laws has not been released until now. The main differences are a new title screen and the controls of the Liberty Star (your ship) have been made mode responsive.

The Zylon fleet has been laying dormant building up their weapons and defences since their defeat and are on the offence once more, threatening the star system of Celos IV with total destruction once again. You are the only person that stands in their way. Your mission is to defend all the cities in the Celos IV star system. The cities are spread over three major planets and one moon in orbit around the planet Teris, the number of cities you have to protect varies each time you play the game.

In the fighting sequences you have to destroy a varying number of fighters; some of the fleets have motherships which are the ships responsible for the destruction of your cities. The motherships take a various number of hits depending on what type it is. The blue mothership takes two hits, the green takes three and the red takes four hits before you destroy them. In combat you do not have very good control over your ship as it does not go left or right very quickly and up and down seems non-existent. It is lucky that the zylon fleets have the worst pilots ever trained (unless they were trained for some to do shooting practice on them).

To travel from planet to planet or between the two star systems you are given a three-dimensional view of the system that you are in. To decide on your next destination, a line appears from where you are and all you have to do is place it on your destination and press fire, your ship is then plunged into hyperspace and the arrival is almost instant. On the versions from Electric Dreams this part of the game will almost certainly be changed.

The graphics may be a bit blocky but have been used to the very best, the way a fighter is winged and spins off into a big explosion is showing the Atari graphics at their very best. Sound effects are also used to the very best with quite a good title screen tune. The Atari version is worthy of being our Game of the Month.

If you have got an Atari then rush out and get this game now; if you have only got a cassette-based machine then buy a disc drive as well as it is certainly worth it, with software like this appearing on the Atari scene.