Vectorball (Mastertronic) Review | Amstrad Action - Everygamegoing

Amstrad Action


Vectorball
By Mastertronic
Amstrad/Spectrum

 
Published in Amstrad Action #38

Vectorball

A futuristic ball game, Vectorball is played between two robotic players over an irregular pitch. The idea is to score as many goals as you can and concede as few as possible within a time limit. Five matches are played, and you can play another per son or the computer.

The playing area is viewed from slightly above and at an angle. It scrolls as the ball moves around to show the goals and the robotic players. A click ticks away the seconds on screen too.

You move your robot around trying to catch the ball. If you're moving when you catch it then you carry on because of the momentum, otherwise you have to stand still. Once you have the ball you can shoot in any direction. Shot power is increased by extending your neck.

There are four different pitches to play on: hills, ditches, waves and mixed. With hills you have a generally flat pitch with some hills (more hills on higher skill levels). Ditches are the opposite of hills and waves are troughs that run both along and across the pitch. With mixed you have a jumble of all three types to give a very-strange playing area indeed.

Colour's not used brilliantly, since most of the screen is black with white lines. Scrolling of the pitch is fast and the two robots zoom around. There's some flicker, but not enough to ruin the game. On the title screen there's a good tune, but effects in the game are simplistic.

You don't get a completely stupid computer opponent and so you'll play a good few games before you start beating it on a regular basis. The most irritating thing about it is waiting to play between games because there's a very long pause. Control is confusing as you switch from directional when you run around the pitch to rotational when the ball is in your possession. One or the other is fine, but not both.

Not bad for a budget game, but that's all it could be.

Second Opinion

The bizarre joystick controls on this drove me absolutely potty. Getting going is just so frustrating that I suspect many players, like me, won't have the patience. And why should they?

First Day Target Score

Beat the computer.

Green Screen View

Mainly mono anyway.

Verdict

Graphics 63%
P. Fast scrolling and well-designed pitches.
N. Lacking in colour.

Sonics 52%
P. Tune on title screen.
N. Few effects.

Grab Factor 66%
P. Intriguing game design.
N. Confusing controls detract from the game.

Staying Power 55%
P. Tough computer opponent.
N. Will tire of it rapidly.

Overall 62%
It's good, but not that good.

GBH