Here we go with yet another polished arcade game inspired by that classic shoot em up that ate your 10p's, Nemesis.
The unimagitively titled Project X was releasd for the Commodore Amiga in 1992 and was developed by the mostly good, Team 17 Software.
Graphically beautiful with nice sounds effects and a decent soundtrack, this arcade game had all the ingredients to be a classic in the genre. Sadly is just fell short just a little...
In the usual arcade game fashion there were a number of levels to play through, lots of powerups to collect and three different ships for the player to choose from at the beginning of the game.
The aim of the game was to navigate each of the four levels (which scrolled from right to left) and destroy the 'boss' once you had reached the end.
All of the usual powerups were in there, increase craft speed, increase firepower (which could be guns, plasma, lazers or magma cannons), install 'side shots', homing missiles or invoke a handy 'stealth' mode.
The voice-overs were pretty neat and I remember on the second level the computer would tell you 'beware, storm!' moments before a lightning strike would fork the sky. It was all highly polished stuff.
Despite the superbly drawn backgrounds (level two was very pretty), nice variety of powerups and crafts, the decent sound effects and cool voice over effects the game just lacked a certain something. The absence of an in-game soundtrack was noticeable by it's... absence, especially when compared to the likes of Apidya. You did get end of level 'boss' music and in-between level music though.
On top of all of that this game was insanely difficult. Now I regard myself as a pretty good arcade gamer, having completed the likes of Green Beret on the Speccy, Menace, First Samurai and Smash TV (to name a few), but I could never get past Level 3 on this one.
The real flaw to the game was the fact than when you lost a life most of your powerups which you had worked so hard to accumulate, were stripped away from your craft. On level 2 and onwards it was almost pointless to continue as your underpowered craft was hopelessly outmatched by the hordes of aliens which swarmed across the screen.
If the loss of a life had been a little more forgiving then the game would have been a lot more playable. It has all the elements in there: Great presentation, lovely backdrops, smooth scrolling, suitable arcade style sound effects and great weapons to mix and match. Some of the attention to detail was fantastic too; take level three where the lava and fire actually attracts your homing missiles, this was brilliant programming.
There was even a nice fast scrolling bonus stage (if you imagine Scramble without the enemy ships then jacked up on steroids you'll get the idea).
It's a shame that with a little tweaking it could have been a true classic Amiga game. As it stands this game is well remembered by Amiga gamers but most will have a few other shmups that they prefer.
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Project X. Alternatively you could try and play it online.
Please see our other Amiga retro game reviews - all links are listed in alphabetical order. Cheers guys
GENRE: Arcade game (shoot em up)
RELEASE DATE: 1992
RELEASED BY: Team 17
DEVELOPER(S): Andreas Tadic, Rico Holmes, Stefan Boberg, music by Allister Brimble & Bjorn Lynne
PRICE: £25.99 - UK
Classic Arcade Action:
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games