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Article #46 (79 is last):
From: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung)
Subject: LYNX: Hydra
Posted-By: xx004 (aa399 - Len Stys)
Reply-To: ap803@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Robert Jung)
Date: Sat Jun 27 10:08:43 1992

1 player, horizontal game
Atari Corp., for the Atari Lynx
Stereo? No

    You are known as Hydra, though no government will admit you exist. You are
a mercenary whose specialty is the transport of "sensitive" packages, using
your Hydrafoil, a one-man armed speedboat. Even so, there is competition from
other agents, and danger from those who don't want your cargo delivered. Only
the best survive, but that's okay -- you are the best. Maybe.

    This is HYDRA for the Lynx, an adaptation of the Atari Games arcade title.
The action is seen from behind your boat which you pilot through nine levels
of rivers and oceans. Along the way, you can get money bags for bonuses and
crystals for extra fuel. There are also gun embankments, enemy crafts, and
other nusances, though your Hydrafoil can fly temporarily to escape dangers.
Finish a stage and you can try to win more money in a bonus stage, then buy
better weapons for the next job.

    HYDRA on the Lynx loses very little on the way to the Lynx. A single hit
will destroy your Hydrafoil, but that's not a problem, as your survival is
measured in fuel; the only way the game ends is if your gas tanks are empty.
This version is slightly easier when compared to the arcade, but remains of
average difficulty. Unlimited continues are available, but resets your score.
There is no randomness to the location of objects, on each level, but the
later levels use a large number of enemies and obstacles, coupled with a
rarity of fuel, to keep the game from being finished quickly.

    All of the buttons are used to fire weapons, change weapons and activate
your craft's air-lifting boost. There's a minor quibble with the controls --
you press down to accelerate and up to decelerate, but it has no effect on
playability. Unlike ROADBLASTERS, the steering is more gradual, makes driving
and aiming with the joypad reasonable.

    The digitized game elements of the arcade HYDRA are respectable on the
small screen, though the colors make some items look a little muddled. Also,
judging collisions requires a little experience; your first few forays will
feature lots of collisions with obstacles you thought you avoided. Sounds fit
the action accordingly, consisting mostly of the roar of your engines, chimes
when items have been picked up, a wide variety of weapons fire, and the
obligatory explosions.

    It must be said that HYDRA borrows heavily from the game ROADBLASTERS, and
offers little that's different or unusual. That doesn't make it any less fun
or exciting, however, and this Lynx version is a decent adaptation that will
be enjoyed by action players and fans of the arcade.

                GAMEPLAY:        8
                GRAPHICS:        7.5
                SOUND:           7.5
                OVERALL:         8

  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.


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