Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
Take on the might of the Mafia in a shoot-out to the death!
Back in '31 George Phoenix took on the whole of the Mob single-handed and put Big Boss Robert King behind bars - but not for long. Released on a technicality, King has now taken his revenge by kidnapping George's girl, Jane. The only thing keeping them apart are hundreds of Mafioso henchmen and the very high probability that George is going to end up looking like swiss cheese. But as a CIA operative with a grudge and a machine-gun, George Phoenix makes a pretty formidable opponent!
As if you hadn’t already guessed, you play hard-man George as he attempts to rescue his gal. All you gotta do is blast your way through the ranks of the Mafia, and extract information about Jane's whereabouts from each of the 'family' Godfathers.
Robert King has your girl - but the sneak's safe behind bullet-proof glass!
In a Chicago hotel, the family head practices his knife-throwing act on you!
Shoot that machine-gun symbol!
Down at the dockside.
In the hallway of Robert King’s palatial mansion, with 62 men left to shoot!
Mafia hoods leap from a New York building to gun you down. Your character red-lines and ducks to avoid the bullets.
The trail starts in sunny Italy, where you face the wrath of the Enrico family on the streets of Napoli. George's outline appears in the middle of the screen with a floating gun sight, and as the sight is moved to left and right, up and down, the screen scrolls with it, revealing the surrounding scenery.
To reach the head of the family, you have to shoot a set number of gunmen who appear from behind buildings, at doorways and leaping from windows. Now these guys shoot first and don't even bother asking questions later, so it's best that you waste 'em before they waste you.
Whenever you fall into the line of sight of a gunman, your outline turns red showing that you're in imminent danger of getting blasted. Time to move away, or take evasive action (known as 'ducking' in the trade) by pressing button 2.
Each time George cops a bullet, his life-meter gradually fills up with fatal red segments. If George fails to clear the level before the four minute countdown timer reaches zero, or his life-meter turns completely red, he croaks with a digitised "Ouch!" and the screen turns blood-red! But like his namesake, the phoenix, George can rise again from the ashes of the gunfire (in other words, he's got three lives).
Occasionally, you get some help in the shape of a first aid kit or machine gun symbol, which are collected by shooting them. The first aid kit reduces your wounds, while the machine gun gives you 300 rounds of rapid-fire blasting.
As long as all the hoodlums are despatched within the time limit, you are automatically placed in front of the level Boss who has to be liberally filled with lead before he finally gives in and spills the beans. As you progress through the six levels, you have to shoot more and more men on each stage and also face tougher Bosses, who lob hand grenades and throw knives.
This bloody trail continues through New York and Chicago, finally ending up (if you survive that long) in the plush mansion of the Robert King - head honcho of the whole Mafia operation. Kill him, and Jane is yours once more. Aaah...
Compared to the likes of Taito's Operation Wolf, Dead Angle wasn't a terribly fab coin-op, but the simple gameplay makes it perfect conversion material for the Master System - and a damn good conversion it is too! The graphics are well impressive, and although the backdrop is jerky character square scrolling, you don’t notice it much in the heat of battle. The large mob gunmen are nicely drawn and move well as they leap from windows, and execute rolling dives in the best shoot-out tradition.
The gameplay is a subtle blend of mindless blasting and quick wits as you attempt to nail the enemy AND avoid the hail of gunfire, through seven challenging levels.
Although it looks like a Light Phaser game, play is made comfortable by responsive joystick control and a gunsight which can be moved quickly and accurately. Ferocious all-out action and good looks - Dead Angle is a great conversion and very smart game.
▲ The backdrops are huge, very colourful and nicely detailed
▲ Enemy characters are large and adequately animated
▼ Jerky background scroll
▲ Gunshot effects are good 'n' beefy
▲ Nice bit of sampled speech on death
▲ The six different 30's-style soundtracks add some period atmosphere
▼ Six levels, but the gameplay remains much the same
▼ Fairly straightforward shoot ’em up stuff
▼ Limited room for strategy or tactical play
▲ Frenetic non-stop shooting action keeps the adrenalin flowing
▲ Six increasingly difficult levels to challenge your trigger finger
▲ Constant lure of "What does the next level look like?"
▼ Repetitive shooting action is the ultimate interest-killer
Dead Angle is good-looking blaster and a terrific conversion. Definitely one for the trigger-happy Sega owner's library.