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Article #1 (16 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Subject: JAGUAR: Crescent Galaxy
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Fri Feb 25 02:06:39 1994

From: ((Sulu, Master of Navigation))


Distributed by Atari Corp.
Programmed by Circle Reserves.

        The Crescent Galaxy is being invaded by the mysterious agent
known only as ODD-IT, and his minions have captured five planetary
systems.  You must clear out the four outlying planets before
attacking the central home world.  Good luck, McFur.  You'll
need plenty of luck, as well as skill.  You'll also need your
wing(wo)man Cutter Lynx...

Graphics: The graphics are the best thing about this game.  Compared
to other contemporary home systems, the Jaguar's bitmaps are fabulous.
Your enemies are composed of multiple bitmaps switched to appear
animated (IE: asteroids, bosses, "jelly") and the backgrounds are very
attractive.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that the
background and the foreground don't vary much while your ship moves
around.  While there is no slowdown, there is also a rarity of the
various graphic effects we Jaguar owners would like to see (IE:
morphing, "texture mapping", zooming, etc).  It's basically bitmap
sprites flying at you very fast.  Whee.
        RATING: ***

Sound: The game has no background music.  You get some opening music
which annoys after several listenings, some music when you select a
world, and then nothing.  While some appreciate this, I would like to
hear some background music with the option of turning it off.  Also,
you cannot turn down the sound while playing (you can set stuff in the pregame
stage though).  For game sound, you get various different explosions, zaps,
and gunfire.  The stereo effects are very good, but seem wasted since
they only reflect where stuff is on the screen.  In Cybermorph this is
crucial since you only get the front perspective.  However in this
game you do see everything (except for some enemies: see Gameplay) so
why bother with the stereo?  In all, I was expecting significantly
        RATING: **

Gameplay: Now here's where Crescent Galaxy really disappoints.  First
off, your ship is too big and slow.  One enemy touch and you explode.
If you have any experience with scrollers like 1942/3, twin eagle,
raiden, etc, you will notice how little maneuvering room you have and
how cramped the screen seems.  In addition, while the approaches to
the bosses are difficult thanks to the cramped slowness of your ship,
the bosses themselves are laughably simple once you manage to
accumulate some powerups.  While you may die several times trying to
get to the boss, you won't even get scratched on them if you learn the
trick.  Also, the controllers which were so luxuriously comfortable
for Cybermorph will have you howling in pain with this game.  I
believe this is caused by your slow ship.  You end up having to cram
down the joypad and your hands soon cramp.  Selecting powerups is
cumbersome as well if you don't pause, and while it is easy enough to
pause the pausing does break up the gameplay. 
        Some good points are: There are nine powerups to keep it
interesting, and you can fire really fast once you get used to it.
        By the way, the game does not give you the option to enter
initials.  It only keeps the high scores.
        RATING: *

Overall Rating: To quickly sum up, I was expecting far better from the
first commercial Jaguar release (besides the excellent Cybermorph).
While I admittedly favor puzzle or strategy games, I'm familiar with
the arcade examples in the genre to know that this game is, in
comparison, severely lacking.  The good news is that it only cost
$49.95 (while some other home systems' sucky games can cost up to
$75!).  The rest is mostly bad news.  I use this game to show how well
the Jaguar can play bitmaps, but when it comes to actually
entertaining myself I stick to Cybermorph.
        RATING: * + 1/2*

Improvements: oh so many!
1) speed up the ship
2) shrink the ship and the "inter-boss" baddies
3) tougher bosses
4) perhaps a system of damage to your ship instead of the one touch
you're dead style
6) offer two player mode (the closest thing you get is computter lynx)


        Hope to get my next game soon... can't decide among T2k, E/DD,
or Raiden...  guess I'll just have to flip a (3 sided?) coin?

   Mathew A.  Hennessy, because  life's too  short for  cheap  beer.
  ITCMATT@UBVMS [bitnet]

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