Zany Gryzor with style

Scorpion logo Amiga Computing Excellence Award

TIME is funny stuff. We don't know what it is or where it's going, but it affects us all. In the Magical Lands, Time hardly has a look in. Mighty strange things can happen. Past mixes with Future, all under the guise of The Present. Weird.

The Scorpion folk have as little as possible to do with the Magical Lands, possibly because they're a little odd but mostly because they natives aren't friendly.

So when the Princess of Scorpia is kidnapped off to the Fifth Domain of the Magical Lands, the Scorpions get worried and in true democratic style, you - a Scorpion warrior - are volunteered to be the hero.

Standard issue Scorpion weaponry are magic hands that can belt out fairly feeble death rays at a rate of knots. Along the way extra skills and weapons can be picked up - the standard weapon isn't great shakes against the guardian giant at the end of each level.

The opening screen doesn't promise much - a very small though little display, accompanied by a very short snatch of Holst's Mars. Things are not going too well in the boding department. This is rapidly cured by the start of level one, which is set in a rather odd harbour.

Speedboats mix with pirate ships and barges. Every last denizen is out to harm you - seagulls, pirates, crabs kamikaze piranhas, the lot.

Bits of the scenery decide that they're not going to be left out of this whole hurting scene, and fall on you. Large cannons take more than just a passing interest and parrots drop slightly suspect bombs on you. Does one get the idea by now that there is a faint hint of zaniness in Scorpion?

Out of the harbour, it's into the town, where everything is thrown at you. If you've been clever you'll have picked up some additional jumping abiity and some serious bidirectional firepower. Advanced overkill, or what? Frogs, dogs, skulls, snails (ra-ta-tat-ta-ta) and more, all of which can be vapourised with a quick finger point.

Getting killed produces a faintly tacky but well executed zoom routine that may cause the delicate of stomach to make an urgent call down the Great White Telephone.

The action progresses in level two to the forest - complete with rock-chucking trolls - then on to the ice lands. Digital Magic should keep this third stage well away from the BBC, the Daleks are a little too lifelike.

Everything about Scorpion screams quality and style, except for the box illustration which is a little iffy. The game is a zany Gryzor cum Green Beret hybrid with deliciously large, fast characters and plenty of big noises.

DMS may be a new software house, but this is a very polished product. There's certainly no draw for the gentle type, but if the brain can be swung into neutral, it's highly therapeutic.

One thing, it isn't easy, so there's definite long term interest here. The only slight problem is that you always restart at level one, not at the highest you reached. A mere bagatelle to the dedicated connoisseur.

Scorpion has made a jaded reviewer very happy and will be doing so for quite some time to come.

Es lebe der Schrott!

Scorpion logo

Wer sich an "Scorpion" erinnert, kriegt wahrscheinlich heute noch das Schaudern. Jetzt kommt die Fortsetzung der Baller-Mißgeburt und - kaum zu glauben - sie ist noch schlechter!

Fünf umfangreiche Level mit superweichem Scrolling, 100 Gegner, riesige Endmonster und jede Menge Extras - kling gut, was? Aber wer sagt da, daß Packungs-texte stimmen müssen? Obwohl: Das Scrolling ist wirklich ganz OK, die Level sind lang, Gegner gibt's zuhauf, und die Schlußviecher schauen tatsächlich nicht so übel aus. Trotzdem ist das Game der letzte Mist! Warum? Naja, es ist halt unspielbar.

Erstens ist die Steuerung schlecht, so schlecht, daß einem davon schlecht wird. Zweitens tauchen die Feinde am liebsten genau da auf, wo die Spielfigur gerade steht, und laufen auch genauso schnell wie sie - keine Chance, ohne Energie- und Lebensverlust durchzukommen. Drittens sind die Extrawaffen nicht nur langweilig, sondern auch so hirnrissig verteilt, daß man sie am besten gleich liegen läßt.

Viertens... aber lassen wir das. Sooo weit ist es mit der Präsentation eh nicht her: Zwar sind die Gegner (Skelette, Killerwürmer, etc.) recht ordentlich animiert, aber die Hintergründe sehen doch arg hausbacken aus.

Musikalisch ist der Titel-Soundtrack hörenswert, die Effekte während des Spiels varrieren zwischen "naja" und "oh Graus!".

Wer sich trotz ausdrücklicher Warnung vom günstigen Preis verlocken läßt, dem kann nicht geholfen werden. Allen anderen empfehlen wir "Turrican" - da können sie sich anschauen, wie so ein Actiongame aus - zusehen hat! (mm)

Scorpion logo

Digital Magic

Now then, I quite like this, but there are a few people about who do not speak of it as highly. Maybe it is only because I have played this quite a bit. I guess it is one of those games that grows on you.

You are some sort of space-suited star warrior or other who has to rid the universe of the same old evil that has a habit of cropping up in all the games these days. To rid the cosmos of this abhorration, you have to travel through five time zones, each with their own climate. Level one has you battling along a few pirate ships and then into a harbour set, seemingly, at around the end of the Seventeenth century.

The game is viewed as a left to right scroller, and scroll very nicely it does too. Sadly, there are bugs. The collision detection is awful, and the platform detection is appalling. At times you can find yourself standing on nothing at all, and at others you fall through seemingly solid areas of buildings and boats.

It is not brilliant, but once you learn to cope with the collision detection, it can be fun.