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Review: Hyper Quadrant
Before I start, let me just say that this is one of the very few games on The Daily Click that I've seen the download page for and really wanted to download. The information is very complete and the screenshots well chosen (not to mention the game looks great). More downloads like this one, please.
The game opens with a retro-style introduction using the font from Zero Wing. At least, that's what it looks like. Then you get your first taste of the graphics in the form of the title screen - which looks amazing. The only peculiarity here is that for some reason you can't select Extras using the normal menu - you have to click on it.
And what extras - everything from game help and information about the author, to a music test and images screens. I spent a good while here before even starting the game up.
After a brief plot summary, you're deposited on the map screen, which takes the form of a spaceship moving on a 'galaxy map'. The movement of your ship seems too fast, but I'm well aware that I would be complaining if it was too slow. What's there works fine, and it's not as if this is the main focus of the game or anything.
The focus of the game, in fact, is a platform affair, with all the standard elements present - run, shoot, jump, find your way to the next screen. It's along the same lines as some of the older Epic games - Xargon, Jill of the Jungle. It's brilliantly executed, though - particularly, as I keep saying, the graphics. The backgrounds are very detailed and varied, and the enemies are well defined and drawn. How Spram managed to consistently impress me this much I have no idea.
Later on, such effects as darkness (lighting only a circle around your character) and mid-level bosses come in to play. The game always tries something new at each turn, never leaving the player bored.
The only problem I had with the game was that it might be a little too difficult - I had trouble getting past the first boss. Now, this wouldn't be a bad thing, difficulty is good, but there doesn't seem to be any way of skipping the intro sequence. This causes a bit of unnecessary delay, because as good as the intro is you wouldn't want to see it more than a few times. This can be avoided by using the save point as soon as you begin, however.
Music, again, is well chosen and fits very well. All the music used in the game is also credited extensively, in some cases even giving the author's web address.
Also provided is a mechanism for saving the game, as touched on above - press Up when on a plate on the ground and your health will be restored, and you can also pick up from this point later.
So, it's got to be a high scoring game, but is it good enough to get my second Ten? Well, I don't see why not. A game that manages to impress this much (and obviously which had a huge amount of effort put in to it) deserves nothing less. Straight Tens, though...? Why not, I'm feeling generous.
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David Newton (DavidN)