VIXEN: SOFTWARE FEATURE/REVIEW/COMPETITION by Richard Karsmakers
Definitely the most important game to be talked about in this
time's issue of ST NEWS is the latest Martech release, "Vixen".
This issue is dedicated to Ms. Vixen herself: Corinne Russell
(see this time's piccy), and we therefore considered it more than
appropriate to supply you with an extensive "Vixen" review.
ILL-TEMPERED WOMEN AND SHE-FOXES
The first thing that struck me, was the fact that the word
"Vixen" was already known to my "1st Word Plus" spelling checker
without me having to add it to its dictionary (this might sound
stupid, especially if you live in an English speaking country,
but you must keep on remembering that I am Dutch and that I
merely thought "Vixen" to be a fantasy name for a game). Since I
suspect that there are more people out there that do not know
what "Vixen" means, I'll hereby supply you with what my Chamber's
Twentieth Century Dictionary (1942 edition) said about it:
Vixen, vik'sn, n. a she-fox: an ill-tempered woman. --adjs.
Vix'en, Vix'enish, Vix'enly, ill-tempered, snarling. [Formerly
also vixon ; a form of fixen -- A.S. fyxen , a she-fox.]
One could have known this already after having seen the front
cover of the package (as well as the large poster): A possibly
'ill-tempered' but ever so prodigious girl, clad in very little
else except a designer leopard-skin bikini. No doubt, summer
started at that very same instant as far as I was concerned - at
least the temperatures (or were it just my temperatures?!)
suddenly seemed to be rising rapidly. Outside, I could still
vaguely sense the cats and dogs falling on my attic window and
the deep grey sky. Was it actually thundering, too?
PLAYING THE GAME
Not letting the package go out of my amazed gaze, I inserted the
disk in the drive and booted the game. After a couple of seconds,
I was blown off my socks by a brilliantly digitized and well
proportioned impression of Ms. Russell's ubiquity. So I got hold
of my joystick and waited for things to come.
After a while (I was quite eager, so I was glad it didn't take a
long time to load), I could start playing the game. In "Vixen",
the player controls Corinne (or should I say: Vixen? I think
Corinne's a nicer name), whipping her way through a dense jungle
filled on a planet called Granath with the strangest creatures -
varying from small elephants on caterpillar tracks to man-high
monsters that defy rational description. Mankind as well as most
other mammals have been destroyed by reptilians, and Corinne's
the only one left. Our powerful lone female (LONE?! Why didn't
she phone ME?!?) is the only match for her foes, and she has to
whip 'em to death. While doing that, bonuses (such as GEMs and
KILLs need to be collected). When done properly, she'll change
from the gracefully moving female into a beautifully animated
The graphics in the game are up to high standards, and I cannot
stop to be amazed by the way in which the programmer actually
made her walk like a woman (!); many programmers have difficulty
enough with animating a male on the screen (which really isn't
that difficult, as men move far more clumsily than women), but
what this man has done....it, again, defies description!
Since this is a software review, too, I really can't keep on
talking about this mindstirring girl and not even about the way
in which she has been converted into this amazing computer game.
What about the quality of the game? What about the music and the
As one might have noticed above, I was literally flattened by
the title picture (see this time's ST NEWS piccy). The other
graphics are also quite excellent - Corinne's not a mere 'blob'
as often to be seen in other games (including the 8-bit versions
of "Vixen", I'm afraid) but a shape with recognizable forms.
Excellent! The monsters in the game are not as well animated as
Vixen herself, though still quite realistic. The background are
well done, too. I only think the scrolling (horizontal) could've
been and should've been better.
The music was done by Jason C. Brooke, according to some of my
friends "a rising star at the firmament of music programmers".
The music is indeed very well done, and gets very close to the
Commodore 64 version of the tune (as we all know, the 64's sound
chip IS much better than the ST's and this is thus a compliment
for the ST version).
Concluding, one may say that "Vixen" is not merely a game sold
on the back of Corinne Russell (although that has no doubt
contributed to its success); it's a good game altogether, which
is fun to play and becomes more and more difficult as one
advances through the levels. The scrolling could have been
better, but that's about the only 'negative' thing I can come up
Value for Money: 8
Price: £19.99/79.50 Dutch guilders
Remark: GREAT (!) packaging, moderate scrolling
Now, what about the Vixen that's wipping her way through the
aforementioned jungle? While writing this review, I got a sudden
urge to contact whoever I had to contact to get to know more
about her. After spending far too much money on the telephone (I
hope I'm already moved to study at Utrecht university when the
bill arrives) I finally got through to Ms. Russell. My heart was
beating in my throat and my sweating hands were hardly able to
hold the note on which I had written down the most personal
questions I could ask.
Anyway, as some of you might know already from the many pictures
that were published in recent months, Corinne, having spent 24
springs on this beautiful earth, is a gorgeous blonde with
breathtaking green eyes, 1.73 metres tall. She's been trained as
a dancer, both classical and modern, and used to be one of the
girls present in the good old "Benny Hill Show" (a Benny Hill-
Billie). Her hobbies are dancing, rollerskating, horseriding
and...acrobatics! After finding all this out, I finally went to
the most crucial question that will probably be of interest to
most of you: Had she already entered into a state of matrimony,
or was she perhaps in another way 'spoken for'? Well, the answer
was a considerable relief: She's SINGLE! Ooof.
The last question I asked her was very intimate indeed. And this
is the question you will need to find out the answer to for
yourself in the...
Yes! Once again, ST NEWS organizes a great competition! We have
FIVE SIGNED COPIES OF "VIXEN" (WITH POSTER) to give away to the
lucky people who know the answer to the following question:--
* WHAT ARE CORINNE'S BUST-, WAIST-AND HIP MEASUREMENTS? *
Please write your answer on a post-card and send it to the
following address before September 1st, 1988:
Negende Donk 4
NL-5233 PJ Den Bosch
The ones that come closest to Corinne's actual measurements will
get the prizes - and when these are too many, we will probably
give them to whoever sent the most beautiful post card!
Members or employees of the editorial staff of ST NEWS or any of
the participating companies are not eligible to enter.
Oh yes; we are very sorry that we cannot let the winners go to
London to check Corinne's sizes for themselves...
Many thanks have to go to Debbie "blushing" Allen (Martech), who
put me into contact with Barrington Harvey PR (thanks to Nadia
Singh) and who arranged the prizes - also thanks that we were
allowed to use the title pic in this issue of ST NEWS! And, of
course, many thanks and kisses (very funny, ED.) to Ms. Corinne
Russell: If you ever hop over to Holland, you may consider
yourself invited to a nice candlelight dinner on my 10 by 10 feet
student's room in Utrecht if you want to...