This is a classic arcade game for the Commodore Amiga from Psygnosis which featured all of the ususal features from the publisher:
Beautiful box art (which quite often had little to do with the game itself!), fantastic atmospheric music, beautifully drawn cut-scene images and good in-game sound effects and music.
Some of the arcade games from Psygnosis tended to be a little hit and miss, but just like their early actioner Menace this shmup tended to be more hit than miss...
So let's take a lengthy dip in the atmosphere of the highly polished Agony...
|Those beautiful cut-scenes|
It is incredibly well composed and really highlights the capabilities of the Amiga's sound hardware.
The Intro Music To This Classic Arcade Game:
So, the game music set you in the mood for some classic arcade style action, and in the main, the game delivered to you nicely.
You took the part of a (superbly animated) owl, flying over a multi-layered parallax horizontally scrolling background - all of which was beautifully drawn.
The first level even incorporated a raging see which scrolled slowly by in the distance - putting this game up there with Shadow of the Beast for jaw-dropping visuals.
|The visuals were right on the money|
In true classic arcade style there were powerups to collect (in the form of potions) which would give you a more powerful shot, a floating sword which would 'float' above you (giving a modicum of protection) and so on.
There were enemies that would come at you from unexpected places, and of course those end of level bosses which took a fair amount of damage before being overcome.
Once you got over the sumptious graphics the limited gameplay became apparent. It was actually a pretty simple shmup that lacked variety in the gameplay stakes.
Not that it makes it a bad arcade game by any means (this is still a good computer game), but when you compare it to the likes of SWIV or Apidya the gulf in class jumps up and beats you over the head with a stick.
Oh, and after a while the in-game music can tend to get on your tits too.
The game was not overly tough or long either, with six reasonable sized levels to play through, and most accomplished gamers (especially those of us who revelled in arcade games) could complete the whole game in a matter of days.
For me it falls short of the top, top shmups on the Amiga, but is still a good game in it's own right. The intro music is amongst the best ever created on the machine, and the game environments (and in between level scenes) are a joy to behold.
Each level did look quite different from the last, so kudos goes to the developers for ensuring the level design throughout the game changed as you made progress - one of the key points to any good shooter.
Despite it's relatively simple gameplay it also managed to be suitably atmospheric due to the game sprites and backgrounds having the right 'fantasy' look, evoking images of netherworlds, mythica creatures and mystical lands.
|More mystical lands to make your way through|
We recommend getting hold of the real Amiga hardware - but if not then download an Amiga emulator and download Agony. 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
RELEASE DATE: 1992
RELEASED BY: Psygnosis
DEVELOPER(S): Yves Grolet, Frank Sauer, Marc Albinet
PRICE: £25.99 - UK
Classic Arcade Action:
Classic Games, Arcade Games and Amiga Games