SPECTRUM MEMORIES PART 7
Shooters were the genre of choice for many a Speccy owners. You could keep your platformers, strategy titles and racing games; we just wanted to shoot, shoot and shoot!From the very beginning videogames have featured a heavy shooting aspect. The Spe...
Posted by jdanddiet on Feb 14, 2011 22:19 (Feb 14, 2011 22:19)
Shooters were the genre of choice for many a Speccy owners. You could keep your platformers, strategy titles and racing games; we just wanted to shoot, shoot and shoot!
From the very beginning videogames have featured a heavy shooting aspect. The Spectrum followed suit with many early games merely clones of existing space-based arcade shooters. Think Melbourne House's Penetrator (Scramble); Megadodo's Pheenix (Phoenix) or Quicksilva's Spectral Invaders (I'll leave you to guess that one). These were all great games (especially Penetrator which included a cool level designer) and set a template for the genre to copy and improve upon as time progressed.
My personal favourites were as follows, in chronological order of me playing them:-
Came with my Spectrum+ bundle and was a very basic blaster that had flickery graphics but was fast and furious. I didn't have any other shooters, so it saw a lot of action!
Harrier Attack! (Durell)
Mike Richardson's classic shooter featured horrible, unredefinable keys, but was nevertheless super fun - always a thrill getting to that city at the end and bombing the crap out of it....
Moon Cresta (Incentive)
Incentive's official license of the 1980 coin-op was faithful, even if this exposed the original's simplicity somewhat.
Not one of Elite's better arcade conversions, but only because they had set their standards so high with Paperboy, Ghost 'n' Goblins and Bombjack. To be honest I always found it too tough, but it was always entertaining taking down those huge airplanes.
The shoot 'em genre really took a step forward at the end of 1986, and this Christmas present was remarkably smooth, if again, horribly tough in places.
Let's be frank the graphics did mean Lightforce was a tad overrated, but at the time I recall distinctly not caring one jot. Colourful and playable, FTL would never live up to the first game in their short lifespan.
Xevious (US Gold)
A late arcade conversion from US Gold that suffered from the original coin-op being a little long in the tooth. The Spectrum conversion was bland, although playable enough.
A real classic, and one that cemented Hewson's reputation as purveyors of gaming gold. A horizontally-scrolling shooter with (many) shades of R-Type, Zynaps boasted great graphics, sharp controls and varied levels. The Spectrum version of R-Type was pretty good too.
Is it a shooter? Is it a platformer? Or a combination of both? Well, to me, Raf Cecco's finest has always been a shmup of considerable pedigree and was ironically made more refreshing by its retrograde flick-screen approach.
Oh Konami how you dropped the ball here...my favourite arcade shooter done a terrible injustice on my favourite computer...sluggish controls, the eviscerated map layouts and power ups...oh my. Sequel Salamander, also from Konami, was only marginally better.
Star Raiders II (Activision)
A magazine freebie (Sinclair User, I think), SR2 is a very basic shooter with delusions of grandeur thanks to a first person view. Played it a lot nonetheless.
Terra Cognita (Codemasters)
A budget shooter of reasonable pedigree, for once. It can be frustrating with several dead ends, but for £1.99 was well worth it.
Flying Shark (Firebird)
One of the best. Firebird produced a super conversion of Taito's arcade original. Playable, smart, addictive and smooth.
What were your favourites?