Brian Bloodaxe (The Edge) Review | Crash - Everygamegoing

Crash


Brian Bloodaxe
By The Edge
Spectrum 48K

 
Published in Crash #14

Brian Bloodaxe

With overtones of Monty Python (Life of Brian?) in the wrathful hand of God striking death by lightning to the careless games player, Brian Bloodaxe sets out on a quest full of Primary Imbalance.

The Edge have abandoned 'Synurgy', what ever that was, for a more imbalanced start. Don't worry when after the animated title screen has finished doing its thing, the program crashes. Observant computer owners will notice that the Sinclair logo has become a bit moth-eaten and realise that everything is okay-yah. Soon the familiar Monty Python theme music comes up and you're away.

Away to where, you may wonder. Well the inlay doesn't help much - on purpose, as it states clearly enough. But Brian Bloodaxe is a Viking Rip Van Winkle who has woken up after being stuck in an ice block for hundreds of years. On reawakening he decides to do what he original set out to do, and conquer Britain, except now it's 1983 (a period piece as you see).

Brian Bloodaxe

Through 104 screens of platform- inspired jumping, Brian must steal the Crown Jewels and sit on the throne. The screens are variously designed, one of the early ones is a snooker table complete with killer balls for instance, and require jumping skills. Some objects can be picked up and used like the triangle on the same screen, which keeps the snooker balls away, put it can also be placed usefully and acts as a jumping platform.

The larger of the hazards can be used similarly, like the duck whose back is broad and safe as long as you walk fast enough to keep up, but watch the beak!

Primary Imbalance seems to be a highly sophisticated programming method whereby things don't always work as you might expect. Water drowns, for instance, but Brian has a fine line in walking on water as long as he keeps bouncing. On the other hand, Primary Imbalance may be nothing more sophisticated than a game frustration factor depending on how you look at it. The ability to pick up objects and use them (Brian can only carry three at a time) does make Brian Bloodaxe into more than just a platform game, as the uses of the objects are critical to success and the Throne.

Comments

Control keys: CAPS/Z left/right, C to jump, V/SPACE pick up/drop, X to use an object
Joystick: Kempston, Protek, AGF (auto detection), Sinclair 2
Keyboard play: responsive and simple to use
Use of colour: good, varied
Graphics: very good, large, well detailed and smooth
Sound: excellent continuous tune
Skill levels: 1
Lives: 3
Screens: 104

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