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Retro Game Review: Axis Assassin

Trip Hawkins, President of Electronic Arts says he wants EA games to be simple to learn, hot (full of action) and deep (they grow with you). Axis Assassin definitely meets all these criteria.

You, the famed Axis Assassin, can fire forward or, by reversing direction, behind you, and can move in any of four directions. With only three ships, you are engaged in a fierce fire fight with a whole slew of deadly enemies. Your battle ground is a geometric shape suspended in space and infested with Hunters, Spinners, Drones, Spores and Mutant Guards. For each successful traverse of a web (one of the geometrical figures) you gain a thousand bonus points and the dubious honour of moving on to a different and more dangerous design of web. For each web you have a single Pulse Bomb which, when set off, will disintegrate every fighter in the web.

If you time it perfectly, and detonate your pulse bomb just as you are prepared to بازی انفجار your way on to the next web, you can instead blast your way into The Nest for a deadly encounter with The Master Arachnid. Be careful, though, for this may only be a more sure way to die. Should you actually survive your encounter with the Master, you will emerge back on- to another segment of the web having gained another Assassin to help in your quest.

When you’ve completed twenty web sweeps, you’ll be elevated to the even more deadly environs of Zone Two, where the battle becomes, if anything, more intense and challenging. At the ultimate levels you’ll eventually run across the yellow exterminators, who never die except in pairs. Good Hunting! Axis Assassin is strongly reminiscent of the arcade game Tempest. You score points for blasting web strands, fighters, and for surviving web sweeps. The most frustrating part for me was having fighters slip sideways across the web to zap me. The hardest part of the game itself, at least to this poor finger twisted writer, was trying to survive the encounters with the Master Arachnid. In just about a month of playing the game, I’ve come back from the nest only three times. Usually, I find it no more than a spectacular way to suicide.

This game is definitely fast moving with very nice graphics. From a design point of view, my only complaint is that the joystick controller gives you a little too much mobility.

Many times I found myself shooting completely across the web when I really only wanted to go a strand or two. In using your pulse bombs, try to be patient. Remember that you only get one per web sweep, so hold off until the whole bloody web seems filled with fighters, and then zap them all into oblivion. Don’t hold off too long, though, since a pulse bomb at the precise instant of transfer to the next web will detour you into The Nest. And, as stated above, even if you’re not ready for it, the nest will be ready for you.

As suggested on the game package, try to hug the bottom and sides of the web as long as possible, and really try to avoid looking at your score while playing. It’s a sure way to bite the dust, stardust, that is.

 

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