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Hybris

version: pal - year: 1989 - developer: discovery - publisher: discovery - format: a500, 1 disk - condition: near mint - rarity: hard to find

Simple yet masterfully programmed, Hybris should have a place in any respectable Amiga collection.

Review - Hybris is the spiritual prequel of the better known Battle Squadron and it was released by Discovery Software in the same year of Sword of Sodan.

Hybris comes out of the genius of a very small Danish team of three people and their passion and vision came through the game with astonishing clarity since vertical shmupping action hardly gets any better than this. Despite being an early release, Hybris aimed directly at the top and ended up becoming legendary!

The somewhat plain-looking backgrounds and the lack of any parallax scrolling could make it look a bit obsolete but once you get the grip of the weapon system, Hybris will suddenly become one of the most satisfying shooters ever! For one thing, your standard ship is very wide but you can switch configuration simply by circling (without shooting) and the effect will last for a limited amount of time. Switching configuration allows you to destroy enemies sitting behind barrages and it increases your firepower exponentially. There are up to 6 levels of firepower and your ship will gradually increase in size covering a huge chunk of the screen! The effect is empowering and devastating on the enemies and it looks really awesome too.

Gameplay is on the hard side and levels tend to be twice as long as you would expect but there are only 3 levels to go through. There is also a generous check point system so if you lose all your lives you won't have to start over from the first level. Sometimes, bullets will be hard to see against vividly colored backgrounds so this could cause you to die a few extra time…Also, to release the smart bomb you'll have to make a circle and press the fire button. This is also the trademark of Battle Squadron and it is certainly fun to do but in tight spots, it can become a bit cumbersome.

Despite its small flaws, Hybris manages to bring arcade quality shooting action right into the Amiga like no other game on the system. The combination of clean, slick graphics with the astounding soundtrack (up there with the music in Aleste2 for MSX2!!) and the addictive and never unfair gameplay make it an all time favourite for commodore's supporters. In a word, hunt it down!

Bottom line: a clever and very playable vertical shooter, specific to the amiga...9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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