After two disappointing Christmas releases, Last Duel and LED Storm, US Gold's Capcom conversion label has returned with a vengeance with home versions of the stunning one or two player coin-op, Forgotten Worlds.
The plot is fairly superficial; merely an excuse for one or two hardened jet-packers to fly a suicide mission deep into horizontally scrolling enemy territory. Complete death and destruction is the order of the day - fill anything that moves full of photon bolts, blast anything that isn't moving, terminate all life forms with extreme prejudice and take absolutely no prisoners.
The jet-packers start the mission with fairly standard plasma guns. When aliens are blasted, some of them drop blue orbs, which are collected to boost the player's cash total.
Dotted around the landscape are shops where extra weapons are purchased. There are plenty of groovy add-ons available - mini satellites which follow behind the warriors and emulate their fire, napalm bombs, two-way fire, speed-ups and homing missiles amongst other things. Naturally, the better things are, the more they cost - so spend wisely.
The extra weapons are a necessity if you are to survive the alien defence system. Hordes of flying lizards whizz about, aircraft let rip with bullets and ground installations attempt to jump you full of laser fire. Each hit sustained knocks a chunk off your energy bar - and should it fall to zero, the mission ends.
At the end of each of the game's six levels resides a large and grisly guardian which is destroyed to progress to the next level. On level one it's a bio-machine which sits out laser bolts; level two sees an enormous dragon attempt to roast the intrepid duo, or grab them with his deadly claws.
The going is certainly tough, with fast and furious action and a myriad of creatures, gun emplacements and pieces of machinery to blast into the middle of next week.
On the Amiga, the graphics are wonderful, with beautifully-drawn parallax scrolling backdrops and excellent alien sprites. It's an absolutely stunning conversion - the best I've seen from US Gold - and is easily the best Amiga shoot-'em-up to date.
Spectrum and Amstrad versions are of similar high quality. The graphics are colourful and smooth, and there's plenty of action to keep blast-'em-up fanatics on their toes - the brilliant two-player mode is the icing on the cake.
Forgotten Worlds won't be forgotten in a hurry!
A rip-roaring conversion that offers fabulous graphics, excellent sound, fast, action-packed gameplay and a brilliant two-player option. Don't miss it.
Smooth scrolling and fast and furious action conspire to make a brilliant shoot-'em-up.
More colourful than the Spectrum version, and just as playable. Great stuff!
The Commodore version is looking good, and should prove a hit with the blasting fraternity.
The graphics and scrolling may not be as good as the Amiga, but we're promised just as much action.