Amstrad Action


Deliverance

Author: Trenton Webb
Publisher: Hewson Consultants
Machine: Amstrad CPC464

 
Published in Amstrad Action #59

Deliverance

There are legends and then there are legends. Raff Cecco's Stormlord fell firmly in the latter category. But if you thought that one was a doozy, then cast a critical eye over Deliverance: Stormlord II. The little wizard's back and he's in more danger than ever.

The story pits the Stormlord against an evil Black Witch who wants to enslave the winged folk. Stormy gets mad and sets out to get even with a fistful of fireballs, a bag load of bombs and a sack full of stars. The saucy sylphs are being held in the very bowels of the Abyss. So, ahead of the magical mayhem master are six levels in which he battles his way from Hell to Heaven. The fight's fast, furious and far from from fair.

Stormy has to work horizontally through the firey pits and caverns of Hades. Bats, brimstone and other things beginning with 'B' await our hero. Leaping between platforms and over sulphurous pits, he can throw fire balls to toast the opposition and clear the way.

Stormlord 2: Deliverance

The motive force for this foray into flame city are the fairies. The bottom of the garden gang have to be rescued. To save a fairy, Stormy only has to touch them and they escape in a shower of appreciative love hearts [Yuueechh - Ed]. Such rescue bids are fraught with danger. In a final solution to the fairy problem they are being dropped into a furnace, which makes missions of mercy a mortifyingly dangerous day job. The only safe platforms over these pits are bubbles, so there's not even anywhere safe to jump from. It's that lethal.

Other adventurers have tried, and died, to escape Hell. Their dropped weapons make staying alive for longer than 23.6 picoseconds feasible. Five are on offer and each has a particular effect, so cunning use of firepower is encouraged. Bombs take out large numbers of foes but are a pain to aim, while bouncing stars ricochet about splatting any demon stupid enough to get in the way.

Pure strength of weaponry is never enough in a Cecco game. Masses of millimetre perfect jumping, dodging, ducking and diving is necessary to stay alive. Stormlord can actually leap to three different heights and his Deliverance depends on players knowing exactly when and where it's safe to stand. All while fending of fanged fiends in the their thousands.

Stormlord 2: Deliverance

Thrown into the melee are some excellent sub-sections. Stormy gets some wings if he catches dragons eggs. While extra lives can be earned by helping the fairies further, rescuing even more of the sylvan folk between levels. They tip him with a gold coin, ten of which gain him an extra life. Which is just as well, because by this time the life expectancy of our hero is zero.

Deliverance looks exactly like any other Cecco game, brilliant. The graphics capture that hothouse furnace feel that is mythically Hell [Just like our new offices then - Ed]. A few of the demons from Stormie's first outing are back, but so are some new and exceedingly gruesome friends they've made in the meantime.

The sounds exhibit the same attentive coding work so obvious in the rest of the game. The music fits the theme, laden with pacey menace and the effects exhibit a satisfying explosive roar. What's more they've wired up the pause button so as the game freezes the theme music cuts back in. No big deal really but a neat touch.

Stormlord 2: Deliverance

The big problem with Deliverance is that it's almost too hard. For all its graphic allure, you'll soon be screaming in pure hatred at your CPC. Even with eight lives it takes eons to get anywhere. There are so many hazards piled on top of one another that you'll take hours just learning what traps are where. With perseverance it's possible to progress, each time getting a screen of two deeper into the game, and further out of Hell. If you're looking for one of the stiffest arcade style challenges ever, Deliverance is the answer. It's a hard one, but beatable, eventually.

Second Opinion

Deliverance is such a pretty game. The backgrounds, sprites, even the incidental graphics are simply scrumptious. It falls into the same trap as its predecessor though and, despite the nine lives, it's just too hard.

First Day Target Score

See the end of level one.

Green Screen View

Stormlord 2: Deliverance

Ruins the atmosphere but perfectly playable.

Verdict

Graphics 90%
P. Beautiful fire and brimstone.
P. Great mix of horror and fantasy.

Sonics 88%
P. Great music and effects.

Grab Factor 77%
N. It's very hard...
P. ...but that can be a spur.

Staying Power 88%
N. Tough going and gets tough.
P. A password every two levels.

Overall 89%
Another Cecco corker, but is it too hard?

Trenton Webb

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