Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
With his new girly hair extensions waving in the breeze, Les "look at the state of yours!" Ellis goes in search of a new hair "stylist"
Gain Ground lakes you so far Into the future, the historians, have started to introduce letters into the calender year The year is 199X (approximately 10,000 years into the future) Interactive computer games are all the rage but fads like Speedball, Future Basketball and even Xeno (remember that!) have fallen by the wayside. The game that everyone's playing nowadays is called Gain Ground, a violent game of power and greed With ingredients like that, the game was a sure-fire hit, drawing crowds from all around the solar system.
The game was simple. Contestants stood at the entrance of a land maze and were told to reach the exit without losing their lives. Trying to prevent their progress were computer controlled androids hell-bent on standing their ground and not letting anyone past Only the brave and skilled (and stupid?) took part, but the game was such an enigma that it attracted warriors from all walks of life; each had their own special talent which they hoped would take them through the deadly maze.
But being a computer-controlled game, there were bound to be bugs. For instance, once a flock of birds flew over the Gain Ground area and were shot down by a group of androids Glitches were few though, and when they did happen they were soon rectified. Until now.
The Mother Computer has gone berserk! It has not only trapped all the competitors of Gain Ground in the maze, but also all of the crowd watching the game. The three top competitors gather at the start line and decide that it is up to them to fight their way through the hostile maze and find the central computer room from where they can shut down the system Along the way, they will meet olher competitors, trapped in the middle of the game, and if they can rescue them, they will be able to join the party and aid the escape.
The Gain Ground maze is split into 50 areas, each posing a different type of problem for the trio. Luckily, each of the warriors has a different skill and weapon and the combination of the trio should be able to get them through enough areas to rescue more men. The more men you can get, the better equipped you will be to facing anything the computer can throw at you. in some areas, one character may be able to take out the whole computer defence system, while in others a combination of two or three men and their weapons will allow progress. To save time, the band of disgruntled men automatically progress to the next area when the present area is cleared. However, any men that are rescued must be taken through the exit if they're to join you (so don't finish off the computer defences if you ve got an escapee in tow). If the computer defences are too tough for you, you must guide the whole collection of men through the exit. Every ten areas, you'll encounter a screen with no exit; here the archenemy must be killed.
The one-player game unbelievably frustrating as you plan what men should be used or sacrificed on each screen. On the other hand, the two-player game is a lot easier because you can draw the enemy fire and sacrifice more men. Both are a joy to play, though.
The Mega Drive version has two plus points over the Master System version. Firstly, there's a wider range of characters, with more abilities and deeper gameplay. Secondly, the Mega Drive version is far more playable, with the Master System hampered by some very slow gameplay, But I dare say the two-player option on both versions will make both sell like hot Super Famicoms.
ALL THE KING'S MEN
The Mega Drive version of Gain Ground contains some extra characters, these are indicated with an asterisk (* - Mega Drive only).
ZULU* - Throws spears and moves fast; useful for getting guys on walls.
BARBARIAN - Moves fast, ideal for rescuing hostages.
DWARF - The most deadly character; mega fast with loads of long-range shots (wot a lad!).
ARCHER* - Fires arrows, but only straight up the screen.
FIRE WIZARD - Practically useless; cant even make the coffee!
WATER WIZARD* - Not much better; he can make the coffee, though.
WIND NINJA* - Possesses the whirlwind, useful for wiping out loads of the blighters.
NINJA - Ultra fast weapons and moves.
GUNNER - Fires sideways on MS. Fires straight up on MD.
SIDE GUNNER* - Fires sideways, useful for getting in the thick of it.
TRIPLE GUNNER* - Fires three at a time, useful for taking out a line of enemies.
MAD GUNNER* - Fires multiple rounds sideways, useful if you're surrounded.
FLAME SHOOTER - Moves very slow but his few fire bolts are deadly.
FLAME THROWER* - Shoots loads of fire bolts over a short range.
BUD THE SKUO - Slow mover but carries the most deadly weapon.
PAT THE PATRIOT - Fires six missiles (three on MS) in all directions.
GRENADE - Fires in any direction, useful for getting over walls.
FIXED GRENADE* - Only fires up the screen; still useful.
FIXED BOOMERANG* - Only fires up the screen; powerful but awkward.
BOOMERANG - Can take out loads of enemies from any angle
✘ Small sprites hard to distinguish.
✔ Masses going on, little screen flicker.
✘ Very poor in-game tune but...
✔ ... the title tune's a bit better.
✘ Dodgy collision detection and slow play.
✔ Two-player teamplay adds sparkle.
£29.99 • OUT NOW