On a suicide ride

Slayer logo

IT starts well. Like all Hewson games, Slayer has a short, inconsequential plot, which owes more to the Cliche School of Popular Prose than to any amount of imagination. I mean, it takes a fairly wild blart of imagination to think that some contiguous luminous phosphor dots portray the elegant form of a craft capable of flying the vast distances between stars, visiting interesting planets and knocking the Reginald Maudling out of them on arrival. It does, believe me.

Whinge numero uno: The loading screen, rather than depicting the heroic although not altogether sane descent of a space fighter into some enemy ground station, looks for all the world like a early sixties jet fighter attempting to lance a boil.

Another fairly major downer is the huge great grey advert for FAST. Now I happen to like FAST, but this load of text is just crying out for some oik of a cracker to put in a pseudo-witticism about how they think that FAST aren't that great.

Right, now for the game. Take Scramble, multiply by Zynaps and divide by Denaris and you have Slayer, five or take several orders of magnitude.
Basically, it's a fly along the tunnel shooting the assorted colours of 18th-19th century British politicians out of anything you should happen upon. At the end of the level there is a big thing that will huff and will puff and will make you implode somewhat messily.

Not merely is the scenery deadly, it gets very close together at times. It's much closer together than it should by rights be, said he engaging Incensed Reviewer Tone (which is nothing to do with Spiritual Sky Sandalwood) because we're being short changed by 56 lines again! That makes me so angry I could eat what's left of the ozone layer and still manage a couple of tins of beans for afters.

Many games have been described as addictive; Slayer is contagious. It should be locked up as far away from anything remotely computerized and left there to die. The sound is nothing special, the graphics are equally zero-rated and the gameplay is elsewhere (in a negative sense).

If you're into awesome grossed-out pestilence, Slayer could just be your mainest groove thing. And if the rest of you are thinking that the earlier reference to British politicians of a bygone age was purely because we reviewers get paid mostly by the word, you could not be further from the truth.

It was, in fact, an ingenious descriptive link. Yes, Slayer, is the Pitts.

Slayer logo

HEWSON £19.99 * Joystick only

Horizontally-scrolling shoot-'em-ups come and go by the dozen. Nobody, it seems, ever grows tired of them. So we are probably guaranteed the continued appearance of games like this: perfectly well programmed, offering a reasonable challenge and nothing new in the gameplay department.

If you are familiar with R-Type and Zynaps then this should hold no surprises. The screen is bordered by scenery that proves fatal when collided with. Attached to it are gun emplacements at regular intervals, blasting bubbly death and laser bolts.

On the route are power-ups that give extra weapons like drones or diagonal firing, or act as smart bombs when touched. Equally unsurprising are the flying aliens and end-of-level guardians that try to destroy you.

It's difficult and, like most shoot-'em-ups, addictive, but there's nothing here to get excited about.

Slayer logo

Man nehme ein 08/15-Ballerspiel für den 64er, peppe die Grafik auf und voila: fertig ist der Top-Hit für den Amiga! Schön wär's ja, aber so oft die Formel auch ausprobiert wird - aufgegangen ist sie eigentlich noch nie...

...und den Gefallen tut sie auch Hewson's Slayer nicht. Worum geht's? "Ihr Geschäft ist der Tod, Ihr Ziel ist es, alles zu zerstören, was sich Ihnen in den Weg stellt. Läßt es sich nicht zerstören, dann gehen Sie ihm aus dem Weg" - die spärliche Anleitung bring es auf den Punkt!

Man düst also wiedermal mit einem Raumschiff durch die horizontal scrollenden Level einer Techno-Welt, sammelt hier und da ein Extra (Zusatz-schüsse, Schutzroboter, etc.) ein und ballert auf Feindformationen und Endgegner, was der Joystick hergibt.

Das Ganze ist ein mittelmäßiger "R-Type"-Verschnitt, weder besonders originell noch sonstwas.

Dabei ist die Optik gar nicht so übel: Der Loadingscreen ist immerhin ansehnlich, die eigentliche Spiel-Grafik sogar ziemlich gut, und auch das Scrolling geht butterweich vonstatten. Der Sound hingegen ist ein Schwachpunkt: Während die Titelmelodie noch ganz angenehm ins Ohr geht, muß man sich im Spielverlauf mit mageren Effekten begnügen.

Nur, ohne ordentliche Spielidee und mit derart einfallslosen Angriffsformationen ist so oder so kein Blumentopf zu gewinnen - da reißt auch die Zwei-Spieler-Option nichts mehr aus dem Feuer! (ur/ml)