Thursday, 2 October 2014

Dark Star - C64 (...run away)


Suicide mission is right, just not how they thought it would be.


Time to cleanse myself, time to sit back and look at another game that helps me realise what makes a good game and what makes a great game and basically if they're not doing what THIS game is doing, it's got to be worth playing more so than this heaping pile of slag.

And it looks like I just ejaculate shots at the enemies... awesome...

Dark Star. Two words thrown together that may or may not incite fear and horror in many a Commodore 64 player. A game so bad it gained a level of infamy despite it coming from the Mastertronic which had a shaky record of releasing good and bad games over the years as a result of their policy of basically publishing inconsistent works for a myriad of bedroom programmers (me too, but was too young at the time to actually publish anything).

Dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull, dull...

So what do we have here? Dross. Shit. Pile of wank. But it's all very easy to band around amusing names (fuckpig) but what we need to do is assess WHY it's a bad game. First off, the graphics are piss poor for most games released around that time on the C64, enemies are dull and unimaginative while the level/game is based rather largely on the trench run from Star Wars but if you want to see that idea done well, go play Death Star Interceptor (Actually I might in the next review), while in this game it's drab, dull and boringly repetitive.

On one hand, I screwed up. On the other hand, this is the best thing to happen to me since starting the game.

Controls are ok, a little unresponsive at times but the scrolling of the levels judders and as such it's easy to hit... ANYTHING and be killed, instant game over and you suck harder that a Dyson in Vacuum (might need to test that idea, add it to NASA for next launch). One Hit Wonder at its finest (or worst to be fair), touch a wall, enemy, bullet or anything that isn't the black background and you're dead, game over.

Yay... Spikes.

The sound... Switch it off and play a horde of babies screaming while using an orchestra of pneumatic drills, it'd be far more preferable and wouldn't repeat as much as the music in this game does. The same few bars of poorly composed, unimaginative, bland and flat music will assault your auditory senses for the duration of the game until death finds you and gives you temporary release from this fucking BLIGHT of a game. (Yes the more I review it, the worse I feel about it). Though even the shooting and dying noises are abysmal, actually... not the dying noise, it signifies the end of this game! Such blissful release!

Whoo... I avoided death again. I envy the dead.

But the game itself. You travel down a trench and every now and then you have to make a choice to go either left or right. The right choice leads to another choice, the wrong choice kills you. You have to progressively remember the right route and make sure to take it like some utterly unfair and backwards game of Simon Says where you have to guess what Simon Says BEFORE SIMON SAYS IT!

Or switch the machine off, DO IT!

Avoid this crap by all means and if you see a diskette or tape of it, I'm officially issuing a TEP on it.