in the day when computers loaded games off cassettes, the golden
era of the 8 bit computers, there was a guy called Andrew Braybrook,
who just jumped from programming stuff for the Dragon 32 in a company,
to develop games for the Commodore 64, because the Dragon collapsed.
And with this move, one of the legends among european programmers
was born. Andrew created some of the most stunning games of the
time. This guy had a hobby (or obsession?): to squeeze the most
out of the platform he was working on. From his mind came the much
acclaimed Uridium on the Commodore 64, and a good number
of years later, he made the much-wanted sequel, which Uridium fans
bought by the lorryload. But were they ripped off or was that hard-earned
cash well spent? Let's take a look...
Uridium 2 you fly your Manta ship towards the incoming fleets
of Leviathan dreadnoughts. There are 6 fleets in total, each containing
a number of dreadnoughts (I think about 5 or 6). When you face each
dreadnought, you have to attack the ship's onboard defense vessels,
and also the deck defense system it has. Your goal in each dreadnought
is to destroy a number of enemy attack waves, and then proceed to
land on the dreadnought's deck, breach into the reactor core and
destroy it. To complete the task, you can choose from various game
Player gameplay : Take on the Leviathan fleets by yourself.
Players Simultaneous gameplay: Grab a mate and kick Leviathan ass
Players Alternate gameplay: Oldschool style, compete to see who
Player+Drone gameplay: If you don't have a mate to play with, use
2 Players with Drones gameplay: Same as 2 Players Alternate, but
each player has a drone.
game delivers as expected. The gameplay from the C64 version was
retained, along with obvious tweaks and enhancements here and there,
like the ability to grab various powerups (shown below).
top to bottom, left to right: 500 points, 1000 points, Twin
Laser, Twin Bombs, Aim Bomb, Shield, Beam Laser, Homing Missiles,
Earthquake, Circle Laser, Ripple Laser, Spread Shot, Seeker, X2
the game is good. The dreadnoughts are nicely drawn, with lots of
detail and little animations everywhere. The sprites are good looking
and well animated. Attention to detail is big.
sound is good. The background music fits the levels well, fast
tempo songs that fit the 'kill kill kill!' mood. Sound effects are
the usual thing: sampled female voices here and there, stock shmup
laser sounds, you know the deal.
is the most important part of the game. The game is original. The
game is fast. It has to be the fastest shmup the Amiga has. It scrolls
to its side but it has a top-down view, and you control the scroll's
direction and speed. In later levels, even walls appear in the deck,
which you will obviously have to avoid, making for some evasive
actions (or explosions) worth to be seen. However the walls don't
appear from thin air and smash you. You have a scanner in the bottom
of the screen, which shows a simplified dreadnought map, and it
serves the function of locating walls, incoming ships, deck foes
for attack waves, they're not fixed. There is completely no memorization
to be done here. Attack waves appear randomly at you, from your
back or your front, but they don't just pop up in front of your
nose and blast you. Everytime a new attack wave appears, you hear
a sound that alerts you and then you can check the scanner to see
where they're coming from. Some waves have a formation leader, which
is painted in another color and will give extra points and a Victory
point once shot. These Victory points allow you to get to the end
of level a lot faster.
the enemies work is something else, which I have not seen in any
other shmup. The little ships actually have some slick AI routines.
You might start to chase them, and suddenly, they change the formation
to avoid your bullets, or to make you smash into a wall, or even
worse, they might do a wickedly fast loop, get on your back and
shoot you to death. They're really very smart and each one in the
formation seem to know what the other one is going to do.
a lot more to say about Uridium 2, since as the levels progress,
gameplay elements are added (like scanner jammers), but this revie
wcan't take forever, so I suggest you to give this game a go. No
flashy cut-scenes, no intros, just 100% pure shoot'em up action.
This game is a shmup you just don't want to miss, so I'd say that
if you don't have an Amiga, you should be getting one right now