Dominator (System 3) Review | Commodore User - Everygamegoing

Commodore User

By System 3
Amiga 500

Published in Commodore User #70


Amiga Dominator follows along the same lines as all the other versions gamewise. You know, hideous evil threatening to take over the galaxy, fly along numerous levels killing everything in sight and more besides. That's basically all there is to it, which isn't a good sign. There are one or two tricks up Dominator's sleeve, but nothing to really lift it, and what you are left with unfortunately, is basically a better than average shoot-'em-up.

The first level has you flying upwards through some creature's innards. Waves of aliens fly down towards you, while little hands claw at you from the walls. Later levels have you flying left to right through various landscapes fighting all manner of strange enemies, from large floating foetuses, manic sets of molars and huge fire-spitting frogs.

To begin with, your ship is a pathetic little thing. Slow moving with a poor rate of fire, but that is somewhat rectified as you fly through the game. You collect tokens by shooting certain aliens, and these can either give you extra weapons, such as multiples or side-firing lasers, or speed-ups. However, these are few and far between, and also have the detraction of running out after a short amount of time.


So, that's the basic idea (or concept, as Mark Cale would have it) but what is the gameplay like? Not all that good, I'm afraid. For a start, it just doesn't offer anything new. As a game design, Dominator falls well below standard. The library of good 16-bit shoot-'em-ups is restricted to a handful of games, and this won't be an addition. A game of this type needs more than good graphics to impress. Dominator lacks speed and, further, any innovative features to bolster its appeal.

The graphics, in almost complete contradiction to everything else, are great. The sprites are sharply designed and the backgrounds are wonderful. All animated, eyes and mouths open and close, hands swing and small muscles open and close. The enemy sprites look great too, especially the foetuses. A sick idea, but neat.

The sound on the other hand, is far from brilliant. In-game effects are dull and the explosion effects at the end of a level reminds me of nothing so much as the explosion sound when you destroy a base in Firepower.

Much as I hate to say it, Dominator is a disappointment. It promises a great deal but ultimately fails to deliver.

Tony Dillon

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