Commodore User

Mag Max
By Imagine
Commodore 64/128

Published in Commodore User #46

Mag Max

Arcade conversions. In my opinion they should be burnt, have the ashes locked in a safe, then buried six foot under without a headstone. [You don't like them, then? - Ed] To be fair, not all arcade conversions are that bad, but if the Commodore was designed for arcade clones it would have 16 bits, a 640 x 400 column display and be called an Amiga. Mag Max is a shining example of how bad conversions can really be. In the arcade it was fun, a bit weak for the time it came out but it still ate a lot of my ten pences.

The plot is that you're the last hope of a devastated planet. You start with only a puny spacecraft setting out to find the robot Max. For thousands of years the planet has been at war - finally it lost. But unknown to the victors as the last resistance was quelled a switch was triggered somewhere deep in the planet and the robot Mag Max was given life.

Max, however, is in bits and pieces, not surprisingly, and scattered around the planet's surface. Each time you collect a piece of Max it joins onto your spacecraft, so when you find and collect the legs they sprout from the bottom of your craft and start walking, other bits can also be found but the game becomes increasingly more difficult and frustrating as you grow larger. It's the Terra Cresta effect.

The game is flat, and to put it rather bluntly, the aliens and their bullets travel much faster than you can, especially when you've got the full body of Mag Max. Basically though, the game doesn't have the feel of the original arcade version. It's more like a downgrade of the section in Raid Over Moscow when you're flying towards the silos in the second section.

The graphics are a real letdown, comprised of monotonous sprites which do nothing other than buzz around looking boring. The best thing about the sound is that Martin Galway has been allowed to 'remix' the now familiar Ocean/Imagine loading music.

Mark Patterson

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