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Review: Liberation II
The logo screen for this game is just Microsoft WordArt... it's not the most sophisticated way of producing a logo, but it works. The title screen, even though the author has tried to liven the standard menu up a bit by having it in a semicircle shape rather than the traditional vertical arrangement, has a lot of blank space in it. Also, the music is rather a miserable MIDI drone.
Let's dive right in to the game... wait, there's an intro. It's rather nicely drawn even though it's a single frame (and you can see where the starfield repeats itself), and the story is told well throughout the game. The menus remain a bit bland, though. Extensive tutorials are provided where you can get to grips with the control of the plane and its weapons.
Now, I have to say this about the controls - it feels like they're reversed. I thought it would be easy to get the hang of them (right to pull up while facing right, left to descend) but more often than not I found myself suddenly pointing to face the ground when I meant to climb... as for the physics of the game itself, they're decent enough but they can feel rather tuggy at times, particularly when you're trying to recover from a stall.
As for the game itself... the first thing I noticed was that the counters are large and look out of place, and the sky is drawn very unconvincingly. Also, what music there is in the game isn't brilliant, and the screen tries to scroll at 800x600 which can make the game agonisingly slow. Perhaps it's just my computer. It does feel, though, that the game is in a window too large for its own good.
Good points, though, are the sprite for the plane is rather good, and the author has taken the time to put in the tutorial system, and even a set of extras which can be bought by completing levels. What lets the game down is the presentation more than anything, but it's a fair attempt at a complex game style.
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David Newton (DavidN)