Commodore User

Super Zaxxon
By Sega
Commodore 64

Published in Commodore User #26

Super Zaxxon

Many of you will no doubt recall the revered - and indeed successful - Zaxxon. Here, therefore, as surely as night follows day, comes the sequel, a shoot-'em-up in the classic style.

Sequels are the things nowadays, as Sylvester Stallone has recently proved. Why didn't they call it Rambo: Second Blood I - that's what I want to know.

In Super Zaxxon, the idea is to guide your fighter first over the defended city and then through a tunnel. The whole scenario scrolls smoothly in isometric projection, i.e. a 3D 45-degree angle, and your fighter casts a sinister black shadow beneath you, thus helping you judge the height from which to blast your quaking victims to smithereens.

Super Zaxxon

Of course, you must also avoid being disintegrated by a variety of defensive forces, including a menacing horde of out-of-control vacuum cleaners, fried eggs and iced lollies. The worst problem, however, is a series of electric fences which you can either fly over (easy) or under (well nigh impossible with my arthritic fingers on the joystick).

If you can blast the iced lollies which rise to meet you from the city, there's a beefy score to be had before you carry on to do battle with the denizens of the tunnel. The vacuum cleaners are a cinch: they don't fire back - at least, not in the early stages. But the careering fried eggs must be avoided at all costs - unless you want to finish up with egg on your face (so to speak).

In carrying out this dangerous and destructive mission I couldn't help being reminded of trying to drive against the flow of rush-hour traffic over Waterloo Bridge and the Aldwych underpass.

This could be a dangerous weakness if you take the view that London commuters are quite harmless folk who don't all deserve to die. If this is what it's going to be like in the 21st century, I think I'll stay at home. You have been warned.

Peter Jones

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