Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
It’s the middle of the 21st century and the Earth’s on the brink of disaster (yawn). After five massive attacks from Halley’s space army, spies report the evil lord is soon to launch his final arsenal on our poor ravaged planet. Earth is already hanging by a thread and a sixth attack could just about finish it off! Horrors!
The world’s national defense councils put their metaphorical heads together and developed a super attack spacecraft, Earth’s last stand against the threatening holocaust. You’ve been chosen to fight through Halley’s attacking forces, into the alien army’s massive space station and the heart of their defence network. In other words, another thinly disguised kamikazi mission.
The title screen features some clever scrolling and. combined with the action-packed demo, is a nice introduction. Select difficulty (Easy, Normal or Hard) and the type of destructive beam you want to use (Normal or Turbo). It’s a tough choice (not!).
Using the sweaty joypad (well, it soon will be), pilot the spacecraft through A six increasingly difficult stages to Lord Halley’s i huge space base, blasting everything in sight. Points are awarded for blasting enemy vessels, comets and item carriers.
At the end of each stage, check your score, damage to Earth and distance travelled by the detailed space map, which shows your route across the solar system.
Weedy defenceless Earth will suffer damage if enemy vessels pass by unmolested; this is shown as a percentage. However, for every 2,000 points you accumulate 1% of the damage is repaired.
If Earth receives 100% damage, you’re dead, it’s Game Over and you’ve failed in your mission. Ho-hum. Thank goodness for the three continue plays, eh?!
Inside asteroids and satellites you find items that give protection, points or more destructive power; simply position your ship over the item to pick it up.
Collect six rocket icons to gain maximum destructive firepower and/or add up to four explosive pods to your arsenal — use them as extra cannons or launch them at enemy vessels. To gain max speed, collect five such items. Pick up a protective icon to activate your laser shield but this disappears after a few hits.
Getting hit by a comet, enemy fire or crashing into a meteorite loses one of three ships. It’s a blessing you don’t go back to square one with firepower. For instance, if you’ve collected five power-ups, your ship will return with four.
Throughout Halley Wars, a combination of patriotic anthems and shooting sounds assault your ears with great effect. They’re the perfect match for the superb galactic scenery and unadventurous but near-perfect Game Gear sprites.
A very similar game to last issue’s Aleste, Halley Wars is fast, addictive shooting action. There’s always the feeling you could do so much better, given just one more chance.
There’s nothing revolutionary about the advanced Space Invaders gamepJay, but who can complain when everything’s been done so well?
Okay gang, it’s yet another shoot-’em-up! (‘Oh no!’ cry a nation of SEGA FORCE readers). Hang on a sec, this one’s not too bad. It’s addictive, so that’s the first hurdle overcome, and it’s fast, so that’s two points in its favour. The graphics aren’t anything to write home about, but it’s a relief to see all weapons left intact when a life’s lost. Halley’s Comet is due in 2062. I wonder if they’ll be churning out games like this then...?
A polished product, highly addictive but nothing original
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