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Article #6 (16 is last):
From: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Newsgroups: freenet.sci.comp.atari.product.jaguar.reviews
Subject: JAGUAR: Tempest 2000
Reply-To: xx004@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Atari SIG)
Date: Mon Mar 21 15:31:54 1994


-From: cupples@iastate.edu (Rob Cupples)
-Date: Mon Mar 14 00:44:21 1994

I won the priveledge to have my preorder copy of Tempest 2000 sent to
me early.  I'm sorry I haven't been here earlier, but that's life
trying to get everything done as a grad student. :)  Here is a sort of
review of the game.  It is now spring break here and I will be glad to
answer any questions you may have.

Controller:

Left moves clockwise and right moves counterclockwise.  The movement
is much better than you would expect.  If you remember from the arcade
game, the blaster "fidgets" before flipping over into the neighboring
lane.  This allows you to tap the control pad in order to move only
one or two lanes over without the blaster being oversensitive to the 
controls.  On the other hand if you hold down on the button a hair
longer, the blaster quickly zips around the rim.  The problem with
this is that you might get into some awkward area and can't remember
if you should press left or right to get out of the way.

The 'A' button activate the jump, the 'B' button fires and the 'C'
button is the super zapper.  There is a menu that allows you to change
this setup.  The jump is a new feature only found in the Tempest 2000 
version.  Press it and the blaster jumps off of the rim and the web
shrinks back a little bit giving you a brief moment to shoot enemies
on top of the rim before coming back down.

Overlay:

There isn't any overlay, or at least there wasn't one in my box or
mentioned in the manual.  You really don't need it.  There are only 5
things you can do with the control pad.  The first two are the obvious
ones: 0 toggles the music, # and * resets the game.  The other options
control the view of the web.  Pressing a button in the first column
gives the default view in which the web is slightly larger than the
screen and the game tries to keep the view such that the blaster is
towards the center of the screen.  If the blaster moves quickly from
one side of the web to the other, the web drifts over to the new view
rather than jumping suddenly.  This view can be bothersome at times in
that often there are blind spots.  A button in the second column
actives the fixed web view in which the web seems a too small for the
screen, and a button pressed in the third column is a closer view of
the first view.

Traditional Tempest:

The levels are there and the characters all seem to move the same.
It's been too long ago for me to tell if all of the web designs and
enemy movements are exactly the same, but they seem to be.  The
annoying thing is that all of the sound effects are wrong.  For
example, the pulsars are supposed to make a nice humming vibration
noise while they are trying to electrocute you.  Instead, they hiss
like a damn cat.  All of the old tricks work too.  You can shoot a
flipper on the rim as it flips on top of you, you can slide underneath
a flipper when he is in the middle of a flip, and you can slide past a
fuseball when it is at a junction in the wire frame.

Other than the levels and the mechanics, the game is by no means an
exact translation of the original game.  The little details of the
original are all gone: I miss the limitations of the vector monitor.
The scores are filled polygons rather than drawn by straight line
segments, the superzapper recharge between levels appears as a word in
a similar filled polygon font which rocks back and forth on its base
and is announced by a female voice, there are crazy starfield patterns
and the webs twirl in 3-D as you approach them rather than just coming
straight at you.  Don't get me wrong, all of these things are a plus
in the other games, but don't seem right when used in a game called 
'Traditional Tempest'.  I guess that is why they didn't call it
'Classic Tempest' instead.

Tempest Plus:

In the one-player mode, this is pretty much the same as Traditional
Tempest but with added visual and sound effects.  When the enemy is
hit he explodes into star dust and is accompanied by the sound of an
exploding mortar.  One version allows you to play with an artificial
intelligence android who is invincible and is really pretty good.
A third version allows two players to play cooperatively on the same
web.  Oddly none of the games have a two player each taking his own
turn version.

Tempest Duel:

I don't want to comment much on this one since I don't have a second
controller and playing partner to give it a good run down.  Two
players face each other at opposite ends of the same web and try to
kill each other.  The problem is each player has a mirror in front of
him which is only down when he is firing.  In the meantime, enemies are
moving toward both players.

Tempest 2000:

The most pronounced feature about Tempest 2000 are the powerups.  About
after every second or third enemy is shot, several dots forming
circles dance up the lane followed by a sort of box.  If you catch the
box, some announcement bursts filling the screen.  These announcements
along with the accompany bursts of dying enemies can be distracting
leaving you blind for a couple of moments, but makes the whole game
exciting along with the dance club soundtrack that plays in all of the
versions.  The powerups include a particle laser which mows down the
enemy, 'Zappo 2000': 2000 points, the AI Droid who helps you finish the
level, 'Jump Enabled' allowing you to jump off of the web, 'Super
Zapper' which I can't remember if this recharges your super zapper or
instantly ignites when you get it, 'Warp Bonus Tokens' which I'll
explain in a moment, and 'Out of here!' which is 5000 points plus the
end of the round.  When you collect three warp tokens you get to go to
one of three warp zones of which only two I've played.  The first one
puts you flying through space beneath a psychodelic plane trying to
place a pair of crosshairs so that you fly through a series of hoops
trying to collect bonuses.  Once you screw up a hoop its over.
Supposedly, there is a fixed number of hoops, but I've never made it
yet.  The first time I was at this warp zone, I didn't know what I was
supposed to be doing.  I flew around a bit aimlessly.  I notice that
the only noise was a heavy breathing sound like the time Hal locked
Dave out of the spaceship in 2001.  I was waiting to hear, 'What do
you think you are doing, Dave?'.  The second warp zone I ran into
involves something similar to the half-pipe in Sonic II.  You try
to following this shifting green spray paint stripe down the tube.
I've only been there once and I bombed it completely.  As part of the
challenge of the warp zones, the controls are sensitive to taps on the
direction pad.

Tempest 2000 also include a few new enemies.  They include mutant
flippers, mirrors, demon heads, and UFO's.  The mutant flippers are
much faster and look a little different than regular flippers.  The
demon head can be a b*tch!  It looks the head of a steer.  When you
shoot it, parts of the face are destroyed but the horns continue to fly
up the web.  If you don't have enough room to move they will clip you
and kill you.  Eventhough I've made it to level 31, I haven't seen a
single mirror or UFO yet so I can't comment on them.

Tempest 2000 is the only version which allows you the enter high
scores (I think) and allows you to collect keys.  Keys are simply
markers of the highest odd numbered level that you have ever cleared.
They are saved when the power is turned off and allow you to start on
any of the odd numbered levels up to and including the level of the
key.

Credits:

I thought I would list some of these from the manual since some of you
are fond of them.  Of course Jeff Minter has been mentioned several
times in this newsgroup before, but I have never seen any of his
previous work.

Programming: Jeff Minter
Art: Joby Wood
Music and SFX: Ted and Carrie Tahquechi
Producer: John Skruch

Should you buy it?:

The sound track and special effects make the game exciting, but
beneath it all its Tempest.  If you turn off the sound track and
select the fixed view on Traditional Tempest, then a lot of the
excitement will go away and you will realize this is just Tempest.
If you didn't like it when it was in the arcade because you got too
frustrated at your limited progress like a lot of people I knew back
then, then you probably won't like it now.  Where am I coming from?  I
played Tempest for several months.  I could make it all the way up to
the yellow figure eight which took a LOT OF PRACTICE with small
increments in improvement to reach and an incredible amount of
practice to make it up to the next level (the white circle).  After
that the game disappeared completely from my hometown about two years
after it was introduced.  Being the second best at it in town, I was 
ticked.  I wanted to see the end of the game with the rumoured
random-ordered green webs.  I was willing to spend the time and the
money, but the arcade owner said it had to go because it didn't make
enough money anymore.

Despite all the excitement of the game, the Jaguar doesn't seem to
even pant heavily.  It took me a while to realize why.  Of course,
there are no dozens of textured mapped walls and such to worry about!


Are there any questions?  I'll try to answer them.  Of course I
probably forgot something since I did type all of this in only one
sitting.

Rob Cupples
cupples@iastate





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