MASK II (Gremlin) Review | Zzap - Everygamegoing

Zzap


MASK II
By Gremlin
Commodore 64/128

 
Published in Zzap #34

Mask II | DG | JR | SJ | Verdict

Mask II

Barely rested after their last exploits, the MASK team are back in action again. This time, the five-man team are needed to help out in three missions of international importance against their eternal enemies, VENOM.

The action starts at the MASK headquarters in Boulder Hill, where the player is given the choice of three missions: Desert, VENOM Base (set in the Middle East) or Jungle. Three members of MASK are chosen for the mission, and the selected scenario is loaded.

All three scenes are horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-ups in which the player guides the heroes across the landscape. Each member of the team has his own special vehicle which can alter its form to fly or travel across water, so the player switches between the three as conditions dictate.

In each scenario, the player has a task to complete, including the recovery of a missile to destroy the VENOM base, or a stolen ruby. No time limit exists, and levels can be replayed on failure of completion.

DG

MASK I had flaws, but at least it also had variation and a fair degree of playability. MASK II has very little playability and isn't at all enjoyable.

The game graphics are rubbish, and control is unpleasant, since you're under constant siege from an enormous quantity of enemies. Consequently, you tend to die quickly, or spend time searching for a 'safe' spot.

JR

When producing a sequel, you surely take a good look at the original subject matter, find its bad points and make improvements accordingly. With MASK II I think went about the task backwards!

MASK I wasn't brilliant, but was entertaining and worthwhile. MASK II is absolutely terrible - has bugs and looks pathetic.

The plot shows an alarming lack of imagination, and the gameplay is devoid of originality. Guiding the agents across the landscape isn't at all thrilling, and the repetitive nature of the action and lack of immediate reward soon leads to boredom.

If you're a MASK fan, forget this and buy MASK I.

SJ

After a series of very good games, Gremlin release MASK II onto an unsuspecting world. It's unpolished, unprofessional and unplayable.

The graphics are of a stunningly low quality considering what Gremlin are capable of, while the gameplay is ridiculously simplistic and not particularly enthralling.

There's little else to do other than blast the enemy and switch between craft when necessary - not a terribly taxing routine. The animation on both the main sprite and the enemy craft is very poor, while the movement of the vehicle across the ground is reminiscent of early Spectrum days.

The whole game has a terribly 'unfinished' feel to it, and the final nail in the coffin is the asking price. MASK fans should steer well clear.

Verdict

Presentation 53%
The abort feature and level replay are useful options, but the multi-load process is long and tedious.

Graphics 32%
Poorly defined and animated sprites, which fail to respond to the landscape.

Sound 56%
Reasonable title tune, but poor effects.

Hookability 45%
Very simplistic, and lacks excitement.

Lastability 34%
The three scenarios are all very similar, and generate very little lasting interest.

Overall 36%
A poor sequel to MASK, which totally fails to convince or entertain in anything other than the very short term.

Mask II | DG | JR | SJ | Verdict