The Superior Collection Volume 1 (Superior) Review | - Everygamegoing

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The Superior Collection Volume 1
By Superior
BBC B/B+/Master 128

The Superior Collection Volume 1

This collection has a total of eight games that can be categorised under shoot-'em-up, beat-'em-up, platforms and ladders, and maze type games. There are four games on each side of the disc, don't do what we did and waste ten minutes trying to work out how to get to side two! Well nobody's perfect eh, just turn the disc over and back in the drive (and this fella made it to 24?). There is something for everybody here! With all eight of the games covering a host of age groups with titles such as Repton and Star Striker.

Syncron

This is the new boy on the block. Superior Software have added this game to seven of their other classics. It is a vertical scrolling shoot-'em-up. The gen on this one is this. You must blast your way through sixteen missions, during each of these missions you have to collect a bunch of power orbs. But you must also find the enemy's Headquarters and destroy it which is, of course, your primary target once you have all of the power orbs. Be careful though, each orb is heavily defended by rocket launchers and enemy space craft (wicked evil aliens).

Once you've found it, you blast away at the orb which is located within a container. When you have the orb you must then return it to one of your bases. You can find out how many orbs on the status screen. This screen gives you all sorts of info on your current mission. This game is filled with loads and loads of blasting and bombing, quite enough for the shoot-'em-up fans out there, but maybe it won't hold your attention for very long.

Graphics: Monochrome but detailed, well defined sprites, if a little difficult to see. Playability: Takes a little time to get used to the speed of the game, but quite fun to play. Sound: Very little in the way of sound here, a few blip and spot effects. Overall: Very good. Difficult at first but as you get the knack it becomes a challenge.

Repton

Yes, this old chestnut - but what a chestnut it is, eh?

This was the game to play back when I was just a wee sproot at school, and it's still my personal favourite now at 24. I have spent hours on this one. It's by far the most addictive of them all.

It's a real brainteaser, this one. The deal is to guide the little green guy (called Repton, funnily enough) around twelve different mazes, collecting these massively over-proportioned diamonds, and trying to avoid the monsters that you inadvertently let loose, because they can run about two hundred times faster than you (Hmmmm, not fair!). The objective is to collect the diamonds that are placed in extremely awkward spots. To get to them, you must move rocks and things by pushing them down holes or dropping them onto others. But beware, although this sounds quite simple I can assure you that it's definitely not, as there are various obstacles to deal with. These take the form of eggs that contain lizard-type creatures. If you break one of these eggs, by pushing it off a ledge or something like this, the weird monster hatches and proceeds to chase you all over the level, waving its arms about a lot.

You can kill these by crushing them with rocks, if you're lucky enough. They are quite thick however; if they have walls between them and you, they don't think to walk round the wall! With a neat password facility and some other cool touches, Repton is a game that will have you coming back for more when all the others have lost your interest. Graphics: Not brilliant but quite colourful Mode 5 graphics. Playability: Excellent, you'll be hard-pushed to find a more playable game. Sound: A catchy in-game tune. Good if a bit repetitive. You can turn it off too. Overall: Ten out of ten.

Karate Combat

Hmmmmmmmm. Where to start with this one. Well, according to the instructions, it's set in the 'realm of the mystic Orient'. That may as well be, but that doesn't make up for the awkward controls and lack of interest that this game holds for me. Don't get me wrong, this could be quite a good game if you have the patience to suss out the controls. OK, enough of that!

The game has you cast as this tiny Oriental dude wearing a pair of pyjamas, and the idea is that you fight a series of bouts against an opponent. You have to beat the hell out of him until his energy runs out using flying kicks, high and low punches, blocks and sweeps. But watch it, the other guy will be trying his best to do the exact same to you, only he's better than you.

There are fifteen fights you knuckle your way through until you get to the Master. Having not got past the first fight, I can only speculate that he's this old dude of about 90 that can kick and punch at 100mph, like the baddie out of a Bruce Lee film. Defeat him and you get the title of The Master. The game has a Practice Mode to fine-tune your moves, which is a good idea as if you're anything like me, you will probably need it.

OK, fair enough. I don't like the game but I'll bet there is a host of people out there who'll lap it up. Just beware if you don't have much patience. Graphics: Nothing much here, but the sprites are quite detailed. Adequate would be accurate. Playability: Difficult at first, requires a little patience. Sound: Just a few smack and whack effects. Overall: Probably good in the long term, but you'll have to persevere to get anywhere with this one.

Star Striker

A cool game, this one! How many remember Space Invaders? Well this is it with a few neat touches thrown in to spice things up a bit.

OK, down to business. You have three space ships that can join together (cool eh) that you can eventually transform into a mega space fighter. You blast you way through several waves of aliens with your little ship. If you get killed then you lose one of you ships and effectively a third of your mega fighter.

At the end of each section you must dock your ship onto the next one. If you do it alright then you continue from there with a larger fighter made out of the two. This gives you extra speed and fire power for the next round. If you get through all the stages then you go back to section one and do it all over again, but it's harder and faster this time round. There's not much here and the idea is quite antiquated but it works well enough here. Good fun to play and can get to be a bit of a vendetta. Graphics are colourful, in Mode 5 and quite attractive. It's extremely playable (to the point!). Sound is only a few blips, spots and rumbles, but who cares? Overall, in a word, brilliant. Fast and furious, and fun to play.

Air Lift

Ever wanted to fly a helicopter? Well, now's your chance. Sort of. You have to fly about this amazingly flat town, where all the houses are identical and, for some reason, there are all these tanks rolling round blowing up these amazingly samey houses.

You are armed with an infinite number of bombs. Just where they are kept is bit of a mystery, but you have them all the same. Use these bombs to blow up the tanks before they total the town. If and when the tanks bomb the houses, you are required to rescue the survivors and transport them to the local hospital. You do this until there are no more houses left standing, then the houses get rebuilt in record time and you must do it all again. This does get quite repetitive after a while.

The way to do it is to hover over a house and, when it gets bombed, just blow the tank up and then land to rescue the survivors. Basically, there is nothing more to this game than that! It may be good for the sprogs in the family. Graphics: Plain but smooth Mode 5 graphics, very colourful too. Playability: It does get extremely repetitive and it's basically doing the same thing all the time (hhhmmmmmmm). Sound: Spot effects and a few explosions do nothing for this game. Overall, there's not a lot here to keep you for very long.

BMX On The Moon

Quite a funny one this is! Right then, in this game you own a 'Moon Cycle' (as the instructions describe it), and your job is to bomb around the surface of the moon and avoid a selection of meanies including space ships, bombs for the space ships, rocks and other unusual items that you just wouldn't find on the moon.

I had a great time with this one, learning to judge the gaps between craters that the bombs leave in the ground. There is always plenty of stuff happening on the screen so don't let you concentration slip for long. Again there's not much here, but this is what appeals to me about this one, simple yet fun to play.

The game is just so constant that you tend to forget this fact and carry on playing. The further you get into the game, the further you want to get. It becomes quite a vendetta at times as you want to get just that bit further, but some how that alien always manages to bomb you.

Graphics: Not much at all here but you tend not to notice. What graphics there are, are smooth and colourful. Playability: In my opinion, you will have hours of fun with this one. It's not a stunning game but it can get very challenging. The action is smooth and fast. Sound: Not a lot in the way of sound here, all the usual including the complementary annoying drone of your bike. Overall: A good little number this one, a bit plain and simple but it's challenging and fun to play, one to come back to again and again.

Wallaby

This is a platforms and ladders game with a twist: you play the part of a boxing wallaby. There are five screens of ever-increasing difficulty. The idea is to rescue your baby that has been kidnapped by these monkeys that, for some reason, have locked it in a cage. You must work your way to the top of the screen via ladders and gantries to where your baby is and free it. All the while, these annoying little monkeys (get it?) try to kill you by throwing apple cores at you (Gross!).

You have a number of lives at the start but these will quickly dwindle. There are fruit and bells scattered around the levels: Collect the fruit for points and punch the bell to reveal fruit that are worth more points. You can punch the apple cores and monkeys if you're lucky, but you must not stay still too long or you'll get an apple core on the bonce. This game can get very frustrating but I suggest that you persevere. Graphics: Simple and colourful, if a bit jerky. The sprites are well defined and very attractive. Playability: Extremely fun to play even if the learning curve is a bit high at first. Not the best game in the world but definitely one that I recommend. Sound: There is still nothing special here, but the effects are more than up to standard. Overall, a good game that takes a bit of getting used to but very good fun indeed.

Smash And Grab

In this platforms-and-ladders game, you are a rogue bank robber. The idea is to grab the bags of money that fall from the top of the screen. To do this, you must negotiate a screen full of platforms while avoiding the bobby who'll do his best to nick you.

Collect a set number of these bags and you go on to the next stage. The controls are a bit dodgy, so you must be very accurate in controlling your robber. There are these police boxes at the sides of the screen and, if you boot one, while its light is flashing then you get certain bonuses, like stopping the bobby or halting the bags of dosh, so you can get them.

The game can get very frustrating as the difficulty is set a bit too high in my opinion. I have not managed to clear the first stage yet! Graphics: Good, colourful and amusing graphics that will bring a smile to your face. Playability: There's bags of potential here if you have the patience, maybe a little too difficult all at once. Sound: Nothing special, but there are some spot effects that, after a while, can get quite repetitive. Overall, one that you will come back to when all the fancy flashing lights of the more dressed up games have lost their challenge. Very amusing, but possibly aimed more at the younger player?

Summary

There is something here for everybody, well worth a look at in my opinion. Great value for money.

Russell Wills

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