Fairies are no end of trouble! Especially for the returning hero Stormlord. This time the winged beauties have been kidnapped by the followers of the wicked Black Queen: underground you go to complete your rescue mission - right down into Hell (brrrr!). It's not a very nice place, with plenty of the Black Queen's minions to keep you occupied. Acid droplets, bouncing eggs, green trolls who hop around, zombies and vampires are just some of the vile creatures you face.
Whether it's a good omen or bad, a variety of weapons can be picked up: they belonged to other explorers who never escaped. Some are more powerful than others, it's up to you to discover their advantages and disadvantages as mistakes could cost you a life. Occasionally Stormlord is put into a bonus level where fairies drop him gold coins which add up to an extra life for every ten.
Another interesting feature is your ability to tame a wild dragon.
This happens when you prevent her eggs from striking the ground. With the green 'n' scaley mama on your side, your mobility and firepower increases.
The first thing that strikes you in Deliverance is the size of the character sprite - either Stormlord has been stretched on a rack or programmer Raff Cecco has seen fit to improve his stature (methinks it's the latter - Ed). The second is just how much tougher this is than its predecessor. It took me a long time to get off even the first couple of screens. The main culprits are the enemy forces - much too vicious too early in the game. I feel a lot of people may not persevere with this for that reason. Which is a shame because it really is rather good, once a bit of practice has been put in.
MARK ... 80%
'Will Raff Cecco ever rest on his laurels? I certainly hope not if he keeps producing games like this! His Cybernoid games were beyond belief, and now Stormlord looks set to carry on the tradition. Deliverance is an action packed game, full of exciting graphics and plenty of colour - and it's tough! Stormlord was a piece of cake in comparison. The tunes and sound effects which accompany the action are equally impressive. Another masterpiece of programming from Raff Cecco and Hewson which should keep you playing for ages!'
NICK ... 89%
Now first off, I have to admit that I don't play that many Speccy games (having long since graduated to far 'posher' computers). However, Stormlord was one I did play, and it taught me many things (chief among them being that making remarks like "I'm off to rescue some fairies" down the pub was as good a way as any to lose a few teeth). So when I finally got my eager little hands on the Stormlord sequel Deliverance, what didn't I do? Exactly. In fact I sneaked quietly home and played it in private.
The Deliverance scenario is not actually very different from Stormlord - there are fairies to free and monsters to mash (and adjectives to alliterate). There are a couple of major differences to it though - whereas space constrictions in the first game meant every level looked just the same as the last one, there's much more variety here. They've missed the strange trampoline-bouncing-up-in-the-air-and-then-back-down-to-earth bits out though, so it plays much more like a straight arcade game. But there's one even more crucial difference - whereas the first Stormlord was really rather difficult, Deliverance is really rather impossible. (Well almost.)
Now there are some strange people out there labouring under the impression that a good game is a hard game. Nonsense. What's the point of playing if you can't win? No, Deliverance was just too tricky for me - it took a lot of teeth-gritting to work my way beyond the first couple of screens.
Fortunately though it was well worth the effort, 'cos the whole thing's pretty impressive. Not only is it colourful and atmospheric but refreshingly crisp and clear too (with only the slight hint of colour overlap). As you shuffle your way along you come across monsters galore in every shape and colour, though (to be honest) the end-of-level nasties are a wee bit disappointing.
Big bad guys aren't the only things to dodge though - there are also fireballs, acid drops (oooh lovely! Just like they sell in the sweetie shop!) and no end of dodgy bridges and unpassable obstacles, all doing their damndest to come between you and your goal.
Ah yes, and what is your goal? Well, it's ever-so-slightly expanded from Stormlord. Instead of having to rescue a mere handful of fairies. Deliverance demands the rescue of more fairies than you could shake a Julian Clarey at. They aren't just sitting in large goldfish bowls patiently awaiting your arrival either (like they were in the first game). No, they're dropping out of the sky in droves! It's not long before you find yourself balancing on a bubble over a boiling river trying to catch about a million fairies, who're doing passable impressions of lead balloons, except without the airworthiness. (Yes, for some reason or other they all seem to have a suicide pact and are leaping like lemmings!) They're not all you've got to collect though - as well as fairies there are other... er... artifacts lying around begging to be picked up. (Don't ask me why though - perhaps you've got a sideline in antiques? After all, superheroes have got to do something on their days off.)
So, any criticisms (except for the difficulty, that is)? Well no, not really, though control of your antique-collecting sprite is a little bit odd I suppose. Once he's jumped into the air, rather than wait for him to fall back to earth, a leedle bit of joystick waggling can help him stay airborne and even keep moving. It's a bit like one of those cartoons where the character goes over the edge of a cliff and manages to run a little way through the air. Weird but useful.
I'd also say that, despite the ultra-smooth scrolling and giant state-of-the-art graphics, this game doesn't seem to quite have the individual character of some of Cecco's best work - it's a very well-designed and executed platform arcade adventure, but maybe there are a few too many of them about already. Or something. (I don't know.)
To sum up? Well, if you're looking for a demanding and exciting arcade adventure then look no further. Deliverance will keep the most skilful gamesplayer happily occupied and out of the sun for hours. The only problem for me is that playing it sort of addled my brain a bit. After only a few hours struggling with the old joystick I headed down the pub a nervous and frustrated wreck (and having totally forgotten that I wasn't going to mention the word 'fairies' to anyone in there). "Oh, hi, Paul. What've you been up to then?" came a friendly voice. "Oh, I've just been out rescuing a few fairies and... ouch! What was that for?"
We all remember Stormlord don't we? it was generally well received and so now, unleased on a sleepy market, is Deliverance - Stormlord II.
Our hero Stormlord, (for it is he), has gone to Hell. This doesn't mean that his friends don't like him because of his anti social tendencies (like killing anything he doesn't like the look of) but he's there on a mission to rescue his friends the fairies who have been captured and are held by the followers of the utterly wicked and seriously anti social, Black Queen. Stormlord must make his way through the underground caves, creep around the crypts, muddle in mines and finally frolic in the forest before reaching heaven where he must face the ultimate bouncer of the biggest club in heaven. Yep! Even St Peter gets into this game and why not?
Stormlord's way is hampered by various evil buggers including cupids, bogey coloured Trolls (Oi! That's my leg!), zombies and vampires all of whom are evil and most of whom smell as if they're well past their sell by date.
Well, rescuing fairies sounds like a job for someone with a light touch and clean fingernails but Stormlord uses sheer brute force but they are naked girlies after all. There are several weapons that are lying around that he can collect and, using the keyboard to choose one of up to five, use to their best effect. The real crux of the game is that Stormlord can 'climb' the screen using up to three jumps in succession but timing is of the essence 'cos with the little bubbles of doom that float about, death comes very easily; one knock and you're knackered. And that's true for all unmentionable unpleasantnesses.
All sounds pretty death heavy eh? Well it's very difficult to make any steady progress when you first begin and even with 9 (count 'em!) lives, it's tricky. This probably has a lot to do with Rafaelle Cecco who's one half of the programming team. He's sounds like he could be Spanish you see and the Spanish market actually seems to like games that are damned nearly impossible to complete.
So, that aside, what's it like Garfy? Well, it certainly pretty and the graphics are pretty neat. The death sequence when ol' Stormy looses a life is horrific(ally) funny but the best part must be the unfurnished fairies. I mean you can see everything it's probably a good job that they're somewhere warm.
Reviewer: Garth Sumpter
HEWSON continue to play with fairies in Stormlord II.
Not so much a sequel of the amazing arcade adventure Stormlord as a continuation - rather like an extra set of levels, only this time the puzzles are fiendishly difficult and the enemies are some of the toughest I've ever come across.
But to the story. The Viking stormlord (for the sake of argument, let's call him Lars), pleased with his success in rescuing all the enslaved fairies, took a few moments well-earned rest. In the few short days he slept, all the little folk were captured again, and this time hidden even deeper within the evil realms populated by stumpy fire-breathing dragons and naked rampant nymphettes (I kid you not). Fool that he is, Lars awakes from his slumber, wolfs down his Raisin Splitz and heads back into hell.
The game system is essentially the same as that in Stormlord. Collect objects and deposit them elsewhere to solve problems. Move the honey to distract the bees, and so on. Only this time things aren't quite as obvious as they were before. The bad guys and the tasks aren't the only things that have been improved, the weapons you can collect along the way have progressed too. My personal favourite is a small bouncing bomb that, if fired correctly, can take out a fair few nasties before disappearing off either side of the screen.
Deliverance is a slight improvement over the first game, but is nowhere near as progressive as it could have been. If you already have the first one then there might not be enough in this sequel to tempt you.
Reviewer: Tony Dillon
Spectrum, £10.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
C64/128, £10.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
Amstrad, £10.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
Predicted Interest Curve
1 min: 3/5
1 hour: 5/5
1 day: 4/5
1 week: 3/5
1 month: 2/5
1 year: 0/5
Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £10.99, Diskette: £14.99
Amstrad CPC Cassette: £10.99, Diskette: £14.99
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £10.99, Diskette: £14.99
BUT WHERE'S BURT REYNOLDS?
The Realm of the Mighty Stormlord: a mystical medieval land that once knew peace and prosperity. Its modest people worked busily, looked after their neighbour and lived happily. But this was before the evil Black Queen turned her gaze toward the Realm. She captured the many magical fairies which helped protect and keep order in the land, and put hordes of her demonic minions in their place.
As leader of both the peace-keepers and the community as a whole, it was Stormlord's job to fight off the Queen's monsters and free the fairies. Though it was a tough and dangerous task, he entered into the fray with gusto and battled on till the Realm was restored to its former glory. With the Black Queen defeated, the people celebrated. Life was good again... for a while.
But now there's a new threat. The Black Queen may be gone but her followers live on, dedicated in her memory to her ways: pure evil and an obsessive desire to rule over Stormlord's Realm. To this end they've combined their powers and captured the fairies (they really get victimised, don't they?). They've spread them through strange and foul lands, unfamiliar to the fairies, who can't find their way back to their homes in the Realm. Naturally, Stormlord must save the day.
You begin in the sweltering, claustrophobic pits of hell and, collecting hovering fairies on the way, must progress to heaven. The fairies' minds have been influenced and corrupted by the foul new places and creatures surrounding them, so it's only this most pure of places that can restore them to their usual peace-loving selves.
Each level is composed of platform networks which you navigate with the aid of Stormlord's nifty ability of multiple jumps. He can effectively leap on air, jumping up to three times in a row before falling back to the ground. Flames, spikes, acid drops, poisonous gas bubbles and bouncing eggs are just some of the hazards you must avoid using this ability.
You can fire the small arrow-shaped missiles Stormlord carries at the vampires, zombies, goblins, nasty cupids and trolls but can also use limited supplies of more powerful weapons. These are collected simply by touching them, as are the fairies.
Between levels, extra lives can be gained in a bonus round. Fairies fly above you and if touched release a gold coin; a life is awarded for every ten coins collected. This isn't as easy as it sounds because his jump-on-air ability doesn't work, but instead Stormlord can drop hearts to stand on. The bonus level is cut short if you touch a patrolling dragon but in other parts of the game it can be tamed and the warrior can ride on its back.
Raffaele Cecco has created some great games in the past, originally programmed for the Spectrum but excellently converted to C64 and later to 16-bit machines. His last creation was the original Stormlord, a highly enjoyable platform arcade adventure I reviewed way back in TGM018.
Unfortunately, I can't quite see how Mr Cecco has been spending his time. Deliverance is by no means a bad game, the opposite if anything, but it doesn't live up to the excellence of its predecessor. It sacrifices the object and exploration puzzle elements for pure arcade. Deft, dextrous jumps, pixel perfect precision sometimes necessary, and expert timing, particularly when performing double and triple jumps, are the order of the day here. Shoot-'em-up elements are stepped up, too, with more monsters to blast and a wide variety of weapons to do it with.
Deliverance is an average Raf Cecco release, but as he's one of the better, more imaginative Spectrum programmers this means it's still a good, playable platform game.
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