Nevryon (The 4th Dimension) Review | - Everygamegoing


By The 4th Dimension
BBC B/B+/Master 128


Oh dear dear dear. Nevryon is a lesson in how not to design a shoot-'em-up. And it's made all the worse by The 4th Dimension dressing it up as a triple A release and pretending that it's the BBC's equivalent of R-Type. It looks good in paused screenshots. But it's not. It's absolute crap.

Nevryon comes with an instruction manual so long that I don't think most people would read it. Basically, all it really needed to tell you is that Nevryon is the name of a planet and you've come to liquidate all the nasty alien shooty things that live there. But, if you think you might do that by arcade skill and joystick dexterity, are you in for a shock! This game offers you four speeds to play at but, even on the slowest setting, it gives you a playing area so cramped that even surviving longer than thirty seconds of the first level is mostly a matter of luck.

This may be the most cramped shoot-'em-up ever written. It has aliens who release bullets less than sixteen pixels away from your craft, and which seem to jump towards you at eight pixels per frame. Your craft moves when you press the buttons, yes, but not nearly at the speed you'd need to avoid things fired at this close a range! The background doesn't so much as scroll as jerk, and every landscape is overloaded with turrets, bullets and patterns of meanies. There's never a place to hide, and most aliens need to be shot at least twice before they will disappear. Which, all-too-often is an impossibility.


The graphics, I have to admit, are very good, and the parallax scrolling on the intro and in the background of the action is a fantastic effect on a machine as limited as the Beeb. The sound, on the other hand, is limited to a few blasting noises, and on more than one occasion there seemed to be some weird synching issues, with explosion sounds starting each new attempt when nothing had yet been hit.

The biggest problem with Nevryon is that it's just horrible to play. Were Cyborg Warriors not available for the BBC, I'd be tempted to conclude that this sort of epic, multiple stage, Blood Money-esque shoot-'em-up was just too ambitious a game type for the hardware. But Cyborg Warriors does exist, and it plays a whole lot better than this rage-inducing monstrosity.

Ok, it's got some R-Type elements, like the drone that sticks to the front of your ship, and perhaps if you really persevere, you might be able to hide in certain corners or areas of the screen and avoid being toasted within half a minute... but is that really what we play scrolling shoot-'em-ups for? Personally, I prefer my shoot-'em-ups to be much more fun than this. Considering Nevryon's author put his heart and soul into the creation of an ultimate shoot-'em-up on the Beeb, it's something of a tragedy that it just isn't fun to play.

In one line: All that glitters is not gold.

Dave E

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