Gryzor (Ocean) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By Ocean
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #54


Konami's coin-op received a fairly mellow reception when it first appeared almost a year ago - arguably because its release was overshadowed by that of two breath-taking racing games: namely Konami's WEC Le Mans and Sega's Out Run. Still, its popularity hasn't stopped Imagine converting it to the C64.

Gryzor is a shoot-'em-up - more accurately, a mixture of three types of shoot-'em-up spread over eight levels. Taking control of crack commando Lance Gryzor, it's up to you to battle through and disable enemy outposts before penetrating and destroying the mothership at the end of the last level. On the first level, Lance has to negotiate a short, horizontally scrolling landscape, avoiding or destroying enemy soldiers and gun emplacements. Collecting the red pods found along the way gives you one of four extra weapons - rapid fire, laser, scatter or shield. Sadly, you can only have one of these goodies active.

Having reached the end of the level, and blown a hole in the wall of the enemy base, Lance has to find his way to the control room via a simple tunnel network. However, the corridors are patrolled by enemy guards, who are best shot before they shoot you, and a deadly electric barrier which prevents progress... until the relevant switch at the end of the corridor is destroyed.

Once the control room has been destroyed, the second outpost has to be penetrated and eradicated, which involves completing a more difficulty tunnel network and an extremely well-defended control room.

The seventh level is another horizontally scrolling landscape, only this time it's a lot longer, more varied and considerably harder. Giant, boulder-spitting American footballers make a bizarre and unwelcome appearance, along with electrified barriers and a fireball-breathing dragon's head at the end of the level.

Destroying the beast allows you to enter the mothership and attempt to reach its centre to destroy it. And, believe me, this is far from easy. The main problem is having to use the space bar to jump - and as the action hots up it becomes increasingly difficult and frustrating trying to manoeuvre Lance, shoot marauding enemy soldiers and jump at the same time...

The problems of control and toughness undermine this conversion of Gryzor. It certainly falls below the standards Ocean have created recently with the release of Platoon and Rastan Saga. Nevertheless, as conversions go, Gryzor isn't a disaster. The graphics and sound could certainly have been better, (Martin Galway is sadly missed) but I must own up to deriving some perverse gratification from playing it, so if you're a masochist this is right up your street. Everyone else out there ought to think twice before splashing out.

Gary Penn

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