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Article #41 (79 is last): Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.lynx.reviews From: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung) Subject: LYNX Retroactive: Xenophobe Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys) Reply-To: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung) Date: Mon Apr 6 00:51:08 1992 Another in a series of Rob's Retroactive Lynx Reviews. ============================================================================== XENOPHOBE 1-4 players, horizontal game Atari Corp., for the Atari Lynx $39.95 Stereo? Yes OVERVIEW: What is it about video games and aliens that always end up with the former focused on destroying the latter? It's either because a first-contact game about diplomacy would be too boring, or game designers like to see things go bang. XENOPHOBE is no exception; in this adaptation of the Bally arcade game, you (and up to three other players) are assigned the duty of eliminating alien Xenos who have infested 23 space stations and bases. The similarities to a series of science-fiction thriller movies are not coincidental. You start off with a pool of nine characters; a single-player game has four lives, but a multiplayer game lasts as long as characters remain. Each player starts with a simple pistol, though more powerful guns and bombs are available. You must explore each station, eliminating all of the Xenos you find, while grabbing equipment and objects for extra health and bonuses. A character loses health from assorted attacks and from accidents, and you lose a life when it's all gone. A level ends when the base is completely overrun with Xenos, when you activate the self-destruct, or when all aliens have been destroyed. GAMEPLAY: XENOPHOBE has the right mix of static and unpredictable elements that are needed to make a good action game. While the layout and contents of each level are predictable, the specific locations are not, requiring you to hunt for the items you need. The game is difficult without being overwhelming; though the Xeno's numbers increase from level to level, a fair amount of caution will help players stay alive. Both the Xenos and the station layouts add to the freshness of the game; each type of Xeno has different attacks and weaknesses, while the stations use shafts, labs, multiple stories, and fires to add an extra element of challenge. Other diversions include equipment to repair and security systems to disarm. Since the main objective of each level is to destroy Xenos, the game can become repetitive, but there is enough variety to offset this for most players. There are a few additions in the Lynx version of XENOPHOBE that were not in the arcade, all of which add to the fun. New types of equipment expand the strategy, such as the jetpacks which allow you to fly around, safe from many attacks. The Lynx's controls are put to good use, making controlling your player much easier than with the original's three-button joystick. Multiplayer games are especially enjoyable: aside from just the cooperative nature of the game, a player can also choose to play a Xeno and hunt his friends in disguise. However, multiplayer games do tend to slow down a bit in the higher stages. GRAPHICS/SOUND: As with the arcade game, XENOPHOBE on the Lynx takes the terror out of an alien hunt through its graphics. The dark nature of the title is sharply defused with bright colors everywhere, whether it's in the layout of the station rooms or the non-threatening greens and reds of the Xenos themselves. Your cast of beings, with punny names like U2 R B52 and Dr. Zorderz, are very distinctive, and animation is used heavily through the game. Sounds are also done well with a wide variety of blasts, klaxons, and other effects. There is almost no music per se, though a low rythmic backbeat plays through much of the game. The noises are also highly functional, often acting as a hint of what awaits you in adjacent rooms; this is especially noticeable when using stereo headphones on the newer Lynx II units. SUMMARY: With its expanded gameplay and easy-to-use controls, Lynx XENOPHOBE is arguably more fun than its arcade inspiration. Sound and graphics are more than acceptable, and the multiplayer cooperative possibilities are welcome. While some people may find the game a little repetitious, as a whole this title is challenging, intriguing, and worth the money. GAMEPLAY: 8.5 GRAPHICS: 8 SOUND: 9 OVERALL: 8.5 Rating values 10 - 8 Great! This game can't get much better. 7 - 5 Good. Average game, could be improved. 4 - 2 Poor. For devotees only. 1 Ick. Shoot it. =========================================================================== Bringing you quality homebrewed Lynx reviews since 1989. --R.J. B-) //////////////////////////////////////|\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ Send whatevers to firstname.lastname@example.org | If it has pixels, I'm for it. --------------------------------------+------------------------------Lynx up! "You weren't chosen because you are the best pilot in the Air Force. You were chosen because you are the class clown and frankly, you're expendable."