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version: pal, 1st pint, w/o poster - year: 1992 - developer: team 17 - publisher: team 17 - format: 4 disks, 1 meg required - condition: good - rarity: slight























Review - Until 1992, there were a variety of decent shooters on Amiga 500 but honestly, none seemed to fully utilize the hidden potential of Commodore 's dream machine.

Shooters such as Xenon II Megablast by the Bitmap Brothers, X-out by the Rainbow Arts or even early stuff like Menace by Psygnosis were great since they all contributed to push the boundaries of what the Amiga could do, but it seemed more could be done! Taking a look at the market and being aware of what was going on, Team 17 decided to try to create the ultimate sidescrolling shooter on Amiga. And they did.

Technically, Project X set an unprecedented standard on Amiga. Amazing graphics that used a rich color palette, silky smooth scrolling with parallax, excellent techno style music (switchable to retro tunes for people who hate techno) and atmospheric sound effects with excellent digitized voices all contributed to enhance the audio/visual impact of the game. All this became true on Amiga 500 but a small price was to be paid: the game only worked with 1 Meg of memory requiring the casual users to upgrade their memory from the standard 512 kb of the basic machine.

Gameplay has many influences that can maybe be traced back to Gradius for the weapon system, R-type for the pace of the action and the difficulty which is set rather high. One complaint I have is that no matter how powerful you become, your ship seems always underpowered and when you lose a life, your firing power gets reduced and it becomes hard as hell to make your way through the level. Even if there is an almost load free version that came out on Amiga CD32, it doesn't take advantage at all of the AGA chipset of the new generation of Amiga machines.

Project X squeezed the Amiga OCS (Original ChipSet) to the maximum so it must be played on the machine it was intended to be played on: the Amiga 500!

Years later, a sequel called X2 showed up on Playstation. It matched the amazing graphics (of course optimized for PS) but it also brought back that same unbalanced gameplay. The problem was eventually addressed a year later when X2 was localized for the japanese market, as capcom reprogrammed the gameplay to create a true masterpiece.

Bottom line: An amazing-looking gradius- clone which tends to become too tough because of underpowered weapons. These flaws would eventually be (partially) solved with the release of the 3 disks Special Edition version of the game a year later. 8/10










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