JAGUAR: Air CarsFrom: Fred Horvat (aa778@cleveland.Freenet.Edu)
Date: 09/05/97-11:37:44 AM Z
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From: aa778@cleveland.Freenet.Edu (Fred Horvat) Subject: JAGUAR: Air Cars Date: Fri Sep 5 11:37:44 1997 Air Cars Mini Review By Fred Horvat As most of you have heard by now ICD has released a limited number of Midnight Entertainment Group, Inc's 1995 game "Air Cars" for the Atari Jaguar. The game comes on cartridge with a professional label on the cartridge. Documentation is in English and about 20 pages thick. It is printed on heavy stock glossy paper in black and white. The manual is very complete showing a game play screen shot, enemies, weapons, power ups, and explaining all of them. No overlay is included, but an image of one is on the back cover. There is no box for the game but it comes shrink wrapped in a normal Jaguar game box insert with the cartridge label facing out acting as cover art. Well here is a mini review of the game with about 2 hours of playing time so far. Story Line : Story takes place in the future after a nuclear holocaust. Briefly a plot has been discovered of an organization to take over the world. They have developed advanced weapons one of them being a nuclear powered Air Car. Your spies have stolen plans and have built an Air Car. Your mission is to destroy the 28 known enemy bases with the Air Car. Support for Pro Controller : Yes, no mention is made in the manual but the top buttons make mine laying and smoke screen use very easy in the heat of battle. Multiplayer / Network Capable : Yes, and great to say up to 8 players with Catboxes or 2 with Jaglinks. I tried 2 player with the Jaglink and I'm very happy to report that it never dropped once during 30 minutes of play. So all the network errors in Doom are due to buggy code in Doom and not hardware related. Each player is a different color to help identify a good guy from bad guy on the radar and on the screen. Game Play : Involved is the best word to describe it. Midnight Entertainment Group has put a great deal of thought into this game. On the surface it appears to be a run of the mill shoot'em up type game. Granted that's what your mission is, but from what I found out immediately was that you need to plan your attacks carefully and that you have to concern yourself with weapon selection, radar, immediate power ups, saved power ups, and working every single button on the controller keypad. Your mission is to destroy all main targets at each base (level) and leave through a teleporter to reach the next level. There are 3 difficulty setting for the game. Controlling your Air Car takes practice. Your Air Car speeds up and slows down at the same rate of speed unless you have a brake power up. So approaching enemies and buildings you need to start slowing down almost before you see them. Otherwise you will ram them and take some damage. Turning the craft you have two options, one of them is normal turning which is slow and can take a large radius at speed or banked turning which turns your craft at roughly 45 degree angle for sharp turning abilities. You toggle between them with the "Option" key on the controller. I found in my limited playing time with the game the normal setting worked for me best. It was just easier to see objects upright when trying to fight and shoot them. With practice I may get the hang of the banked setting. When engaging enemies you have 2 weapons active at a time. You are defaulted a Shotgun and Auto Cannon. These are not the most powerful available but do enough damage with well placed shots to live with. If you have other weapons available you can toggle them by either pressing the "1" or "3" buttons to place them on the left or right side of your craft. To fire weapons press "A" for the right and "B" for the left. To get more powerful weapons you must destroy enemies and their weapons become available to you, but you have to get them in under 5 seconds after destroying an enemy or they are gone. Weapons range from the weaker shotgun to the destructive tank cannon. Mines and smoke grenades are available to help screen yourself and slow down or destroy enemies chasing you. Enemies can be stationary gun placements, slow and big tanks, to small and fast vehicles. After certain levels there are Bosses to contend with. I've not progressed far enough in 2 hours to meat one yet. The device you rely on the most is your radar. Simply put without it your lost. It gives you tremendous amount of information. Every enemy, building, power up, or another player is a different color and some of them flash on the radar meaning something different. In the manual each color is explained. When an enemy toasts you the view changes into a 360 degree rotating camera view from overheard. This gives you a look of the surrounding terrain and who blasted you. Graphics : >From first glance sub par for a 64 bit system. Nothing is overly detailed pretty much looks like a 8 or 16 bit graphics. Objects appear very plain looking or somewhat blocky. But not to make excuses for Midnight Entertainment Group, but this game takes place in the future after a nuclear holocaust. So how pretty would the landscape be then? The graphical atmosphere presented is pretty gloomy. You don't get to see to far in the distance, is it from fog or fall out? I don't know, but that's why your radar is so important. Sound : Thunderous explains it best! I played it through headphones on my Catbox and explosions are awesome. This is the best sounding Jag game. If hooked up to the stereo your house will really rock on the foundation. But the best part is that you have true 3D sound. For those unfamiliar with this new buzzword it means that you have true 360 degree sound. You know exactly where enemies are via sound alone. With headphones I could tell if I was getting shot from behind, left, or my right. It really adds to the playability of the game. There is no music during game play, just intro music. Overall : I'm quite pleased with the game. It's a very involved game. Don't let the graphics fool you. It may be simple looking but this is not a simple game. You won't blow through this one quickly. Add to the fact that you and up to 7 others (if you can find them) can play one hell of a seek and destroy mission. Each player can take a certain area of the base and destroy it. Only problem I saw when attacking a base together is that you can easily mistake your partner as the enemy and toast em. -- Novell DOS 7.0 - IBM OS/2 Warp 4.0 Fred Horvat Win95 - MagiC 5.0 Free-Net Atari Portfolio Sigop Compuserve ID : email@example.com Atari Classic/LYNX/Jaguar gamer
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