Sega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear
ZILLION 2 - THE TRI FORMATION
Reviewed only last issue, and already there is a sequel, which must make Zillion 2 the fastest follow up in history. Continuing where the original left off, Zillion2 is biased more towards arcade action compared with the arcade adventure/Impossible Mission overtones of Zillion. Often, sequels are dire to say the least, but with this one Sega seem to have got it right.
JJ returns tor part two and yet again, his friends have wandered off and got themselves captured by the Norsa. JJ is the only one around who can rescue them and in the process destroy the Norsa once and for all (very unlikely considering there are strong rumours of Zillion 3 coming to the Sega later this year).
Zillion 2 is split into three separate action stages; in the first, JJ rides his jet bike along a horizontally scrolling corridor, firing a laser at the space station defenders. Enemy guards on the passageway return his fire, while jet-pac guards fly around unleashing laser bolts. JJ has to be careful that his bike does not fall down a hole in the corridor floor or run over floor lasers. It can jump to avoid these hazards and fire at any aerial station defenders. If JJ gets hit by a laser bolt or runs over floor lasers, energy is lost, but falling down a hole loses him a life.
When collected from the corridor, power capsules provide JJ with extra energy, greater laser power and even the ability to change Transformer-style into a flying robot - handy for avoiding floor hazards. Good coordination in jumping, firing and moving is essential if you are to get through this stage without dying.
In the second stage (more like Zillion). JJ leaves the bike and runs along, blasting enemy guards and other futuristic guardians, using lifts and jumping from platform to platform in the search for his lost comrades. One is held prisoner on each level. By rescuing them, the third level is accessed, where the now-familiar extra-powerful opponent has to be destroyed in order to progress to the next. Later levels bring in more guards, large, powerful killer robots, ever more complex space station layouts and even more vicious end of level foes to defeat.
Mega Cartridge: £19.95
The Sega is really coming out of its shell as more games are released with great graphics, varied gameplay, depth and high levels of payability and challenge. Zillion 2 is one such game, and it's great. Each stage demands a different method of play, and on the later levels a good deal of skill with the joystick is the only way to succeed. In terms of graphics, the game can't be faulted. Even though the Sega flicker rears its ugly head from time to time, the overall graphic quality Is notably better than the original Zillion, and If anything, is in the same style as Psygnosis'a forthcoming Obliterator (see Previews). Sega have a winner with the Zillion series and let's hope the successful game formulae used in parts one and two can be incorporated into part three (whenever it's released).