Monday, 15 May 2017

SNES Review 118: Spectre

Originally Spectre was a Video game for the Apple Macintosh, developed in 1990 by Peninsula Gameworks and published in 1991 by Velocity Development. It was a 3D tank battle game basically something on the lines of the old arcade classic Battlezone by Atari (which came out 10 years earlier in the 1980's), the game did very well for itself which is proberbly why around 4 years latter a SNES version was made. I guess this is a bit of a pleasent change in a way seeing a game make its way from the Apple Macintosh on to the PC after I have coverd so many Amiga games which made there way to the SNES. Well the Macintosh game scored rave reviews.



The SNES version of the game was made by a company called Synergistic a video game developer founded in 1978 who fitting started out by publishing some of the earliest available games and applications for the Apple II family of computers. They continued developing games for various platforms into the late 1990s making 4 SNES games in total this being the second game they made for the platform (the only one I own and therefore proberbly the only one I will be reviewing).

Ok so there is basically no story to this game to explain so I guess I will just have to explain what it is that you do. Well you play the part of the pilot of a tank called a Spectre tank. This is not just any old tank the Spectre can do more than youd expect sure it can fire normal rounds but it can also shoot  powerful grenades, it can also do things you really wouldnt expect a tank to be able to do such as jump, and warp into hyperspace to quickly get far away from enemies. Using the Spectre you go from level to level progressing by collecting a certain number of flags while enemy robot tanks attack you, the higher a level you get the more intellegent, quick and strong the enemy tanks get.

The Games graphics although done in a 3D style are incredably basic, the floor is basically a never ending chess board and the only diffrence between levels is the colour of half of the squares (half are always black). You have large geometric shapes cubes, spheres, and pyramids which are all colorful, enemy tanks basically look nothing like thanks though, essentially they look triangular a bit like one of those flipper robots you see so often on Robot Wars.

Other than the enemy tanks, the flag you need to collect, and the various shapes the stages are barren. There is literally nothing else too see, so its quiet a bland game really once youve seen one level you have pretty much seen them all, things might get tougher with enemy tanks being faster or smarter but they never look any diffrent.

The Sound in this game is hardly worth a mention there is some very basic background music that is ominous and fitting I guess but it also is not the best as far as quality goes, its kind of painful. The sound effects are basic in the extreme there are pretty much only like 4 sound effects the sound of your tanks gun firing, the sound of something getting hit and the sound of you getting hit and thats about your lot apart from well there is a robot voice which says game over and level complete and such but it sounds super muffled. All in all though the sound is not much of a selling point for this game at all.

There is one single player mode and four multiplayer modes to choose from. The single player mode I have basically all ready talked about in discussing how the game works, as for the multiplayer well there is one where it's you and a drone vs. a friend and a drone which is basically 2 on 2 capture the flag, a free for all where the winner is the one who destroys the most tanks, a mode where the one who captures the most flags wins and then finally ''Allied Assault'' which is just basically a 2 player co-operative version of the single player mode.

One of the biggest issues with this game is that it came out a whole year after StarWing/StarFox came out, and it compares very very poorly to that game, sure the graphics in starfox might mostly just be diffrent shapes but they are put togther in a wide variety of ways, each level looks diffrent, the enemies look diffrent, the thing is playing this game has just made me think even more about StarFox about how much it did right about how it pieced togther every little element in a way which produced well video game magic, everything just slots togther perfectly to make somthing thats much bigger and brighter than its elements this just doesnt happen with Spectre.

I yet again have to give another game a solid average 5 out of 10, look the game is fun in short doses and doesnt really do anything that badly, but things could just be so much better and there are much better titles for snes collectors and players to buy, sure if you see this for about £5 and want to give it a shot then go for it, but its really not worth going out of your way to track a copy down or paying through the teeth for it.

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