X-Out is the follow up to R-Type, it was produced by the people who
brought you Turrican and Katakis on the Commodore, alot of pedigree.
The game has the ultimate power-up scheme, you can upgrade your ship,
add drones, add multiple fire and super weapons (activated by holding
fire). The game uses a novel scrolling technique, for the time, the
game scrolls left to right but also up and down. The Commodore hardware
was made to perform scrolling like this, the Spectrum not. The guys at
Rainbow Arts however managed to make the Spectrum scroll quite
effectively in all directions, I'm impressed.
Commodore has some nice video to introduce the game and characters, in
the game itself not much sound is heard except for the usual
explosions. The game is very well done, but something is missing
playability wise even in the original arcade game. Having said that,
the Commodore version could have been an arcade game in the early
eighties, very professional.
Spectrum put up a valid fight but the knock out came in the third
round, better graphics, bigger screen area and nicer presentation.