LED Storm

Author: Julian Rignall
Publisher: Go!
Machine: Spectrum 48K/128K

Published in Computer & Video Games #88

LED Storm

I don't like to start a review on a negative note, but it has to be said that LED Storm is one of the most feeble arcade games of the year. It really isn't very good.

So why did US Gold buy the rights? Well, when they signed their deal with Capcom, they secured the licence to convert the next ten Capcom titles, and, unfortunately, LED Storm is one of them. I suppose that's the way the cookie crumbles - in such a deal, you get brilliant titles like Ghouls 'N Ghosts (Ghosts 'N Goblins II) and Black Tiger, and turkeys like LED Storm.

The game is basically a derivative of the old Bumpin' Buggies theme which was popular about five years ago. The player takes control of a car, viewed from overhead, and races up a vertically scrolling road. Pressing Fire makes the car jump, which is useful for leaping on and destroying fellow road hogs, and also housing over holes in the road.

L. E. D. Storm

There are nine levels of very similar action, and the objective is simply to race to the end of each. An energy meter on the right of the screen ticks down as the car zooms up the screen, but fortunately extra energy can be picked up by running over fuel cans, or passing one of the three checkpoints en route. Should all energy be used, the game ends.

If the car falls through a hole on the road or crashes into an obstacle, it's replaced - but vital energy is lost in the process.

And that's LED Storm in a nutshell.

L. E. D. Storm

The ST conversion is weak, and suffers from a major fault: it's far too easy. The game is already simplistic, and this is further compounded by the fact that it's possible to complete all nine levels with little practice. The graphics are pathetic, with poorly-drawn backdrops and sprites that lack definition. Sound is good, though, with the ST's normally tinny sound ship producing an atmospheric tune - without the use of samples!

The Spectrum version is far more playable and is a lot tougher - but the gameplay is still very simplistic and not particularly addictive. The graphics and sound are alright - it's just the gameplay that's lacking.

LED Storm would make ideal fodder for the Kixx budget label - in fact I'd more than likely recommend it at budget price, but as a full-price game it just doesn't make the grade.

Julian Rignall

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