Thursday, 9 October 2014

Death Star Interceptor - C64

It could be a lot worse... Dark Star worse.

Having looked at an atrocious game last week, I'm looking back at another space based C64 shooter that at least manages to be entertaining though not quite the golden answer to gaming we're all hoping for. Take one dab of fan boy-ism for Star Wars (Namely the Trench run from the last few action scenes of the film) add a dose of repetition and a few sound effects and you'll have yourself a good representation of this game: Death Star Interceptor.

Take off! Unless you crash... Seriously, who builds this?

The game starts with, oddly enough, take off. In which you'll have to successfully navigate yourself out of the entrance into Outer Space or risk losing one of your shields. Incidentally with all your shields gone, you'll lose a life. Once into Outer space you'll locked into combat with multiple enemies that will attack you on sight while being able to move slightly forwards into the background and pull back into the foreground to get around multiple attacks. Once you've killed enough enemies, the main enemy comes forth to give you a slap session before you chase them back to the Death Star and you so begin your trench run.

Fighting the main enemy.

On the trench run you'll encounter multiple different stages that will have a multitude of different enemies. Ranging from avoiding walls that block your route, shooting down missile attacks, going head to head against the main ship that happily fires several shots AFTER IT IS DEAD, to running down walls again with enemies attacking you, giant enemies, tanks and finally getting a shot at the exhaust port that lets you blow up the Death Star and ultimately beat the level. Yes I said LEVEL.

Once won, Death Star Interceptor plays through but faster and quicker than before.

It's the trench run... With a paint job?

There's enough variation in the game to keep it interesting though the drawn out access between levels can wane the attention from time to time and the constantly changing blue and white trench tends to hide and mask inadvertently the enemies' shots. Perhaps if the trench was more grey and darker grey than white and blue, this could have solved an issue. On top of that, all the enemies (and even the launch pad, strangely enough) cycle through the key colours the C64 has to offer as if undergoing a never-ending decision of which skin to wear to the game.

Dodge left or right, you've a few seconds to work it out or get hit.

There's a few odd quirks about the game however, firstly there's the fact that if you sit in the bottom right of the screen, you cannot be hit, you cannot die and you cannot lose, (You also cannot win as you need to be in the middle to fire the last shot) but it's a lovely little breather spot and you can kill SOME enemies there, infinitely helpful as progression is made by points scored rather than time spent in a level.

Those shots on the screen were fired AFTER the last enemy was killed.

Other small quirks are that the bullets/projectiles fired by the enemies can take various paths and routes along the lines of what the enemies can take for a small duration, resulting in shots being fired that bend and turn corners towards you and in some cases, can come back on screen from enemies that have left the view of the game and no longer pose a threat to the player (but clearly they still do). You can also get hit multiple times by the same bullet if you repeatedly move into and out of its reach.

Hide in the corner, it's safer.

The audio in the game is not very impressive however, the initial music takes priority over the control of the game and you've got to wait until it's done before you can start the game and playing the game is spent usually with some odd sine wave oscillating back and forth along the frequencies up until a certain level either overloads it or just silences the game, from there it's nice and quiet with the usual pew pew noises of your shots and explosions of dying and dead enemies.

I win, going home now.

All in all, it's not a great game but I'll happily cut my own arms off and feed them to my own arse while playing this than go back to Dark Star again.