PC DOS V-Z

Alien Brigade – By Atari

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 Wacky Wheels – By Apogee Software

You could probably call Apogee the Nintendo of the PC world, and you could basically call this their Mario Kart. Since the PC never ended up getting the real thing, this makes a rather nice substitute. You pick from one of eight zoo animals, like a tiger, moose, or shark, who, for no adequately explained reason, escaped from the zoo to ride around in tiny go-karts. If you’ve played Mario Kart, you should be pretty comfortable with this. You’ve got the same behind-the-back perspective, with a very nice effect that replicates the Mode 7 technology of the SNES pretty well. Sadly, though, the frame rate isn’t quite as high as what you would see on Mario Kart, which diminishes the sense of speed a little. The actual racing is still pretty enjoyable, though. While the tracks are mostly flat, there’s the occasional obstacle like oil slicks and jump pads that let you leap over the other racers. Much like Mario Kart, you also get a few different weapons you can attack the other racers with. You might try firing the hedgehogs littered across the track, or you could go for bombs and oil slicks you can throw behind your kart. Thankfully, the AI isn’t quite as brutal as the one in Mario Kart, although that doesn’t mean they can’t catch up with you from incredible distances on the higher difficulty. If you get tired of racing against the AI, you can either race with a friend, or do battle with him on one of the arena maps. There’s even a practice mode for these arenas where you have to see how many ducks you can blast in a certain time limit. Wacky Wheels, to be blunt, isn’t quite Mario Kart. But if you don’t have Mario Kart, and you really want something like it, it’ll do just fine.

Review by Bobinator

7/10

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 WWF Wrestlemania: The Arcade Game – By Midway

Professional wrestling is a very divisive thing, especially in these modern times. There are some people who love it, while others can’t stand it. The games are no exception, especially since a lot of people don’t have the time to learn complicated inputs for holds and submissions. This game is different, however, because it puts all the best WWF wrestlers 1995 could bring you into what’s basically Mortal Kombat 3. Same digitised characters, mostly the same controls, and rather similar gameplay. The wrestlers bring more of the larger-than-life personas they have on TV. This game isn’t anywhere CLOSE to resembling reality, with The Undertaker whacking people with gravestones, Razor Ramon can grabbing people by the feet and slamming them into the floor, and everybody else able to pull off big Mortal Kombat uppercuts. You’ve also got access to some basic wrestling moves as well, like Irish whips, hip tosses and turnbuckle leaps. Since this is based off of MK3, you’ve also got huge combo strings to can pull off to deliver major damage to your enemy, if you’ve got the meter for it. If you’re the sort of person who hates real wrestling, this sort of thing might still very well interest you. It plays much more like a traditional fighting game, since once you get your opponent’s health bar down, you won’t have to worry about them getting back up. There’s no blood, with things like diamonds and bowling pins flying out of the wrestlers you pummel on, but there IS one finishing move. Can you find it? This is a very good port of the original arcade game, with some of the biggest sprites and clearest sound out of nearly all the other versions. The music doesn’t sound quite as good on an Adlib sound card, but it’s good enough for what it is. Overall, if you’re the sort who just can’t get into the theatrics of ‘real’ wrestling, but you love the MK games, this might be the perfect compromise for you.

Review by Bobinator

8/10

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 X-COM: Terror From the Deep – By Microprose

Remember that “Alien War”? Yeah, the one which involved a secret intergovernmental organisation known as “X-COM”? Well, they are needed again! Set in the year 2040, it appears that some aliens crashed in the Gulf of Mexico about 65 million years ago (by a coincidence, that also caused the extinction of the dinosaurs!), they awakened and now plan on taking over the Earth. Step into your role as a manager of an X-COM base. The game has its roots in the old “Laser Squad” series of games with its turn-based battles, as well as mixing in some resource management. The original developer of the series, Julian Gollop, was not involved in this game. Your units (and the aliens) can either engage in battle on land or underwater. The landscapes for battle are rendered in an isometric view. The graphics have a nice aquatic feel to them (excluding some of the land based missions). The sound effects are very good – the screams from fleeing humans send shivers down your spine! The music has an eerie quality to it. There is a good game in here but, and this is a big but, it is way too hard! Imagine the hardest game you have ever played, now double that, triple that, quadruple that and you might only be halfway there. This game has a difficulty curve that is astronomically high. The levels tend to be too big, which only makes this game even more unrelenting. Don't try it, unless you are a masochist!

Review by Katzkatz

5/10

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 Xargon – By Epic MegaGames

Xargon is one of the many platformers from Epic Games, the company that could be described as the Sega to Apogee's Nintendo. If you've played Epic's Jill of the Jungle, this actually uses the same engine. Xargon is still unique enough that it's still definitely worth playing, though. You play as the, er, creatively named Malvienous Havershim, magically transported to another dimension. Your goal is to make it through three episodes of levels, in an attempt to slay the evil Xargon. By firing lasers. Out of your crotch. Your goal for each level is generally to explore each stage, kill monsters with your laser crotch and find the occasional key to open locked doors. There are the occasional moments outside of the platforming, however, like when you get to explore a lake with a submersible craft. There are a lot of really good features in this game, like the hint system. The first time you come across a new feature in a level, the game will explain it to you, which makes the game very easy to pick up and start playing. There are also emeralds you can collect, and you can use these to buy power-ups at any time. These range from things like extra health, to brief invincibility, to super powerful crotch fireballs. The only real problem with this game is that you don’t get much invincibility time between hits at all, which means that standing too close to an enemy can drain your health pretty fast. A great Adlib soundtrack, a full array of digitised sound effects, and colourful 256 colour graphics round out this great package. It might not do anything particularly new and the difficulty level tends to fluctuate, but it’s a polished effort nonetheless.

Review by Bobinator

8/10

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