Virtual Reality 1 (Elite) Review | Amiga Power - Everygamegoing

Amiga Power

Virtual Reality 1
By Elite
Amiga 500

Published in Amiga Power #5

Virtual Reality 1

Elite have gone for the 'grand old men' approach with five fairly creaky but undeniably classic solid 3D games in one package at a not entirely attractive price. If you already own two or three of these games, you'd have to think twice, but for new Amiga owners this is an almost unmissable compilation. I mean, just look at the pedigree...

Stunt Car Racer

Geoff Grammond's two-and-a-bit-year-old high-powered 3D driving sim puts you in a, erm, 'stunt car' on a selection of elevated courses peppered with nasty turns, stomach churning drops and suicidal leaps. One mistake and you've flipped over the edge of the elevated, roller-coaster like track - the only problem with the game really, as by the time you're winched back on any race will be as good as lost.

Quite possibly the most original driving game ever, it's impossible to get your driving skills just perfect before tackling the impressive computer opponents - this is one of those rare games that's actually as much fun in practice mode as in a real race - while a two Amiga link-up option for taking on pals proves to be the ultimate fun. Quite simple, Stunt Car is still one of the best - if not the best - games of its genre, and a worthy number ten in our All-Time Top 100 Games. The only downside is that compilation makers seem to have started regarding this as a bit of a banker, and it's starting to make more appearances than Michael Caine.

Midwinter - Another golden oldie but, again, well worth a look - interest in it should be at a peak, with the sequel (Flames Of Freedom) just weeks away from release. Here we have a huge mish-mash of strategy and action with a multitude of screens, options, characters and vehicles - Mike Singleton has updated his old Lords Of Midnight idea, but this time set in a JG Ballard-like post apocalyptic world, and it almost works.

Certainly this arcade/adventure-style tale of near-future freedom fighters defending their frozen island from a tin-pot dictator looks impressive - if only it didn't have so many ludicrous gameplay flaws. Despite problems though, it still made our Top 100 - at number 66.

Carrier Command

Not surprisingly, this places you in command of a futuristic aircraft carrier, on a mission to take control of a group of islands and eventually defeat an enemy carrier lurking somewhere about. This game - part flight sim, part tank sim, part strategy game and wholy original - has proved a massive influence on all sorts of games (even if it hasn't spawned all that many direct imitators) and remains an all-time classic three years on. Slightly slow and dated looking nowadays you might say, but undeniably still a classic - something confirmed by its number 15 (15!) placing in our All-Time Top 100.

Starglider 2

Another one from Arganaut Software and possibly (just possibly) the best of the bunch. It's a lush 3D space adventure starting oodles of enemy ships, more planets and moons than you could hope to explode, various odd bits of space wildlife and a delicious line in space pirates. It's the sort of game that people live inside, and, once you've got the hang of it, it's hard not to get sucked in - defintely a game due a critical rething, especially as Empire's largely similar Eye Of The Storm, programmed by some of the same people, is due soon.

International Soccer Challenge

Oh dear. This is where the compilation lets itself down - this MicroProse soccer sim (sequel to MicroProse Soccer) what with its first player perspective and lovely 3D-ness, was originally billed as a real advance for the genre, but in practice proved to be a huge yawn. It's far too easy, and the sound (in particular) is abysmal.

Time we skipped straight past it really, and got to...

The Bottom Line

Ignoring the footie game, a quite incredible compilation - there's enough gameplay in here to keep you going for months, with some of these unadulterated classics.

At £7 a game, this is a must for anyone who hasn't had the chance to explore these landmarks - the only downer really has to be the high price. You may be better off buying the four true 3D games as they become available as standalone budget releases instead.

Colin Campbell

Other Amiga 500 Game Reviews By Colin Campbell

  • Magnum: The Compilation Front Cover
    Magnum: The Compilation
  • Elf Front Cover
  • Rugby: The World Cup Front Cover
    Rugby: The World Cup
  • The Cardinal Of The Kremlin Front Cover
    The Cardinal Of The Kremlin
  • Wacky Races Front Cover
    Wacky Races
  • James Pond 2: Robocod Front Cover
    James Pond 2: Robocod
  • Crime Does Not Pay Front Cover
    Crime Does Not Pay
  • Football Director II: Revamped Front Cover
    Football Director II: Revamped
  • Mean Machine Front Cover
    Mean Machine
  • Silent Service II Front Cover
    Silent Service II