OCEAN DEMO PREVIEWS: TOP GUN AND WHIZBALL by Richard Karsmakers
It seems that Ocean is working hard at the moment so that they
will be able to launch some more ST games soon. Their first
program (published through their Imagine label) was a big
success: "Arkanoid". Their second program was "Tai Pan", which
was not alltogether that good - the press reacted accordingly.
But, so it seems, they will be launching some pretty good
The impression in this article are from two demos that were sent
to me (thanks, Mr. Rowland!). I know that screenshots and
advertisements of "Slapfight" and "Army Moves" have been seen,
but these will not be talked about here. Maybe some other time.
For many years, Wiz and his fantastic cat lived happily in
brightly coloured Wizworld. All was not well, however, as a
malevolent force had discovered this vista and intended to stamp
out brilliance once and for all.
The evil Zark and his horrbile sprites have moved in to eliminate
the spectrum and render all landscapes drab and grey.
So jump in your transporter and with the help of your faithful
servant Catelite restore Wizworld to its former glory.
Peter Johnson, well know from "Arkanoid", is doing it again: He's
making a game that everyone will play and that will end high in
any software top 10! The game is a Sensible Software concept and
is called "Wizball". The demo shows fantastic graphics, SMOOTH
horizontal scrolling and thrilling and compulsive gameplay (this
is how the manual puts it, and I cannot think of any better
phrases to describe it). You are Wiz, a bouncing ball that has to
bring back colour in Wizworld. On your quest, you have to destroy
evil sprites (fantastic graphics!) and collect droplets using the
Catelite (that you can get fresh from training college if you
activate the right bonus). All that I have seen is either equal
or (much) better than the Commodore 64 version, although many
routines still have to be added to the final version (I suppose
that's why people call it a demo). The sound effects are (of
course) inferior to the C-64 version, and I doubt that these will
be much better in the final version. Let us hope for the best.
When "Wizball" will finally appear, it will probably turn out to
be one of the best and most original games on the ST. Let's wait
for it - hoping that we won't have to wait too long.
The second demo was from a game called "Top Gun". This game puts
you in the pilot's seat of an F14 Tomcat. 3D vector graphics and
split screen display (! Isn't this unique on the ST?!) allow one
or two players to combat head to head or against the computer.
Your armements in this nerve tingling aerial duel are heat
seeking missiles and 20mm rapid fire cannon. Many skills have to
be brought in to play such as reflexes, manoeuvering ability and
accuracy to become the best of the best. "Top Gun" mavericks the
That's what a xerox copy of the manual said. Well, the demo
doesn't show off any nerve tingling or any mavericking. The whole
thing left an impression to me of utter boredom. I think I should
have loaded in "Top Gun" first - after watching "Wizball",
everything else seems a bit stupid. I'll try to switch my
'objectivity' switch to hyper-ultra-super-duper-objective. OK.
The startup screen is good: A couple of Tomcats flying in
formation with the sun on the background. Kinda missed the
gorgeous girl hanging on the back of Tom Cruise, though. Anyway,
next came some animation (so so) on a well drawn picture.
Everything that came after that was equal to nothing.
You could actually fly a bit, but either it was night flying or
the game indeed only offered a horizon. No, Mr. Ocean, ST users
don't need a straight C-64 conversion like that! It must be made
a lot better to sell well, I think.
So let's keep our eyes open for "Wizball". "Top Gun" is too
boring to play (or might it be because it was only a demo?).
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.