Retail Price: £9.95
Compilations have been burgeoning recently, but Elite's Trio is different. All three games on this compilation are new.
First off there's the follow-up to Elite's successful TV licence Airwolf, not unsurprisingly titled Airwolf II. This sequel departs dramatically from reality as Stringfellow Hawke and his magnificent all-singing, all-dancing helicopter are sent to destroy a terrorising alien craft.
The chopper can move in any direction within the two-dimensional onscreen space zone. Bulbous beasties, fighter craft, and space constructions with gun emplacements must be negotiated - and if you touch any you lose a life.
The helicopter is armed with a blaster, and Airwolf's fire power can be augmented by collecting rotating objects which spin across the screen.
In the second game, 3DC, you're stranded on a wet, effluent-covered sea bed, and it's no fun unless you like that kind of thing. But escape from this traditionally isometric 3-D watery world is possible - if you can assemble the scattered sections of a submarine. Items found on the sea bed, such as a book and a key, can help you.
There are dangers. You have only three tanks of oxygen, and a molesting octopus might steal one, though his light-tentacled kleptomania can be curbed if you've got the right object. And subaqua activity increases the amount of dangerous nitrogen in your body…
But there's always Eric the eel, who can be controlled and squirms his slimy flanks into places too small for your bulk.
Third of the trio is Great Gurianos. Armed with a sword and shield and clad into a made-to-measure suit from Burton's Armoury Dept, the great Gurianos embarks upon his most dangerous mission.
As he progresses through a medieval-style flick-screen world, Gurianos encounters hostile warriors out to spill his superior blood. He can temporarily activate a protector shield that guards against flying objects, but sadly this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A series of swords also directs its scything attentions toward our hero, who must use his own sword to deflect the sharp points. And after dealing with four pieces of lethal cutlery, Gurianos develops a red supersword which gives him invincibility in combat. Swiping an airborne ball gives Gurianos extra armour for his adventure, too.
Control keys: all games definable
Joystick: Kempston, Interface 2
Use of colour: Airwolf II uses one colour and black, 3DC largely monochromatic but clever on last screen, Great Gurianos is pretty
Graphics: small and rather simple on Airwolf II, well designed isometric perspective on 3DC, large and detailed on Great Gurianos
Sound: varies between games, but some neat tunes and more useful than colourful FX
Skill levels: one
Airwolf II is a real good shoot-'em-up, with all the playability of the original Airwolf and a lot of new features to keep you addicted. The sprites are well-defined and colour is used quite effectively. It's a fine follow-up to a brilliant game. But look out, world - Great Gunanos is another violent game! it seems all you have to do is pierce as much flesh as you can. The graphics and colour are quite effective, but the addictivity is almost nil, and this game will only appeal to the swordfight addicts. 3DC is more than JUST ANOTHER 3-D game - it's good. The scenario is fairly simple, but the special effects make this game worth a look; and there's a good tune at the beginning and a neat use of colour on the last screen. Trio is a really worthwhile compilation.
Basically a shoot-'em-up, Airwolf II follows in the flight path of Transmuter and Nemesis; flying through space (helicopters in space?) and blowing away as many blowawayable things as possible. It's trashable once you've had a couple of long goes. As for Great Gurianos, well, coin-op conversions are all well and good if the machines they're licensed from are okay. But Great Gurianos isn't. The conversion is full of flickery graphics and annoyingly erratic gameplay - killing or be killed has more to do with luck than skill. It may appeal to some, but I'd give it a miss. 3DC is a horribly corny title for an aquatic forced-perspective game, but it's not bad in the 'collect the bits to make something useful' style. The gameplay, ace effects and pretty graphics make this the best game of the package.
Airwolf II was a disappointment; I enjoyed the first Airwolf, but I was bored with the sequel in ten minutes. Even on a compilation, that's not long enough. Great Gurianos (daft name) appeared to be a bit better, but after a few minutes its appeal waned, too. All rested on 3DC. And whadya know, it's quite good! The end-of-game screen is absolutely brilliant: they've blurred the background and pushed the little processor to the outer limits of speed to produce one of the most effective colour displays I've seen. Though Trio isn't inspiring, three games at this price means excellent value for money.
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