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Menace

version: 1988 - year: 1990 - developer: psyclapse - publisher: psygnosis - format: a500, 1 disk - condition: near mint- rarity: hard to find

A great side-scrolling shooter exclusive to the Amiga

 

You fly out of the huge mothership to undertake your mission. She'll be back to pick you up once business is taken care of :)

 

The first boss was a shock as it literally shot sperm cells!!

 

This boss definitely has the typical Psygnosis trademark. Here, destroy the orb.

 

Try to kill bosses fast because if you take too long, their attacks will suddenly become much stronger and harder to avoid.

Review - Back in 1989, I went to one of my friend's house because he just replaced his Commodore Vic-20 with Commodore's new-borne Amiga 500. At the time, I didn't know much at all about the specs of the machine. My friend loaded one of the brand-new games he had just bought. After a few seconds, the intro screenshot appeared and from that point on, my vision of videogames for the home market changed for ever.

Blocky shapes which use to be the norm and which could represent (interchangeably) people or spaceships suddenly turned into crisp, vivid and detailed shapes of distant alien worlds. It wasn't required anymore to imagine certain things as in Menace, they were depicted with an astounding and colourful clarity. The parallax scrolling strengthened even more the illusion of actually being in the arcades, playing some high-end coin-op. Menace represented for me a turning point and my 1 year-old C-128 suddenly looked prehistoric. I just couldn't believe what was happening on the TV screen! I remember after that going very often at my friend's place to play Menace which literally shined brighter than anything else I had ever played.

The ground-breaking visuals were beyond many contemporary arcade games and the game clearly payed homage to many arcade classics such as Gradius (weapon system), Salamander (the brain-boss) and others but still managed to forge its own identity, defying even the more advanced console shooters of the time. I was unfortunately never able to finish it also because I couldn't play it whenever I felt the urge so eventually my friend sold it and it was forgotten in the mist of time. A year later when I sold my C-128 to upgrade to the A500, Menace wasn't a novelty anymore so I never actually got it, up until recently when I rediscovered it again and played it finally through!

Even today, Menace still retains some of its original charm. Sure, the audio-visuals aren't as impressive as they used to be but they stood up the test of time unlike many other games. The smooth scrolling, the varied backgrounds and bosses still look entertaining while gameplay is still surprisingly modern.

Getting killed means you lose all the power ups you've collected and this isn't too annoying up until you reach the last level. Die there and trying to go through it with the basic weapon set-up is a very frustrating and almost impossible task to achieve. The last level is noticeably harder than the others and chances are that if you get killed, you're probably better off starting back from level 1!

Old school shmups...you either love them or hate them :) In a word, if you enjoy classic shmups, you should definitely look for this game as it is probably one of the best of its kind.

Bottom line: a classic early amiga side-scrolling shooter that you shouldn't miss if you are into amiga....9/10


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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