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Salamander

The plot doesn't matter, it a progressive shoot-em-up, converted from the arcades, the prelude to Nemesis. The weapons upgrade in this game is done very well. There is no speed upgrade issue to start with, this usually destroys your game after being killed once. You collect extra weapons, homing missiles, circular super laser, lasers etc but you also collect up to three 'orbes' that act as extra fighters. Your weapons fire from these orbes as well, creating a barrage of bullets flying at the enemies. When you die you have the opportunity to collect the orbes again, thus enabling you to recover without being killed off by superior enemies.
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Creating all this action, while scrolling and enemies attacking is no mean feat on the 8-bit machines. The Spectrum handles it by making the screen as small as possible, making movement extremely difficult, as the attacking tentacles are on you before you had any time to react. The game doesn't have any sound except the usal Spectrum shooting noises.

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The Commodore handles it by making a great shoot-em-up master piece, the balance between difficulty and progression is set just right. The background graphics are very good, compare that to the Spectrum crummy backgrounds. The Commodore has screens full of attacking enemies and loads of bullets flying at the enemy, more than in any compareable game (Armalyte included), a tune also plays in the background.
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The teeth in the screen above moves in and out as you fight your way from left to right. The second level plays vertically, the third level is back to horizontal.

The Commodore version is better in very respect, much better actually, the Commodore retains the feeling and look of the arcade machine while the Spectrum doesn't, to put it mildly. Two of the three Spectrum magazines gave the game a good review, that this game is seen to be good by 2/3 of reviewers is amazing, they must have been looking at Spectrum graphics for to long.

A cliche, but a Commodore winner.