You are Xain, (yes, I know it doesn't say that on your birth certificate, but this is the seriously serious world of Speccy gaming, not yer namby pamby everyday John Smith from 4A stuff), and you have been given the awesome task of saving all the planets in the galaxy (well, three of them anyway), from the evil invaders sent by the Empire.
Starting on the first planet, you progress eastwards along the volcanic surface, killing the invaders and tank thingies that attack and shoot at you whilst you attempt to play the avenging hero. Contact with the invaders will diminish your energy, whilst the tanks will kill you instantly. But you can avoid the tanks by using your trusty ol' rocket booster which is strapped to your back, to jump over them. Various weapons can be grabbed along the way too, ranging from a one bullet at a time gun, to a three bullets at once carnage maker. And as if killing invaders and grabbing weapons wasn't enough, you must also negotiate floating clouds, jumping from one to another a la Ghosts And Goblins, before finally facing the Knight (Help me make it thr... sorry, I degrees) who lurks at the end of this level.
Having made short work of the Knight, you start to pack away your rifle and sarnies, when all of a sudden a message arrives - your mission on this planet is not yet complete. It's a hard life being a megahero. Completion of your mission can only be achieved by miraculously turning into a spaceship, and negotiating the waves of alien crafts which zoom at you from off stage right it you manage this, then its on to the second planet.
This is marginally more difficult, with flowers that eat you, birds which diminish your energy, and a rather nicely drawn dinosaur to slaughter in the middle. Then it on to another spaceship section, which seems to be the same as the first, but a little longer. Unfortunately I can't tell you about the third level because the version I played kept crashing after I'd saved the second planet.
Christian Urquhart, the author of Soldier Of Light has produced some pretty good games in the past, but sadly this is not one of his best. Sound is fairly minimal, the game is monochrome throughout, and although we cannot expect Karnov every week, I am sure colour and graphics could have been more effectively utilised. Soldier Of Light is also very easy to play, the spaceship section embarrassingly so, and I managed to complete two of the three sections within hours of picking the game up.
Unfortunately with this soldier there is no light at the end of the tunnel.
A re-released arcade conversion, this one. It originally came out at full price on one of The Edge's labels, I think, and now here it is on budget. Groan. It was one of those ones that surfaced just as everyone was reacting against the attribute problems that had been plaguing us for years and had started doing everything in monochrome. Things have changed since then, of course. Colour's back, and games like this look horribly snore-invoking.
Setting aside such prejudices and delving into the Inner workings of the program reveals... oh dear... jerky scrolling, confusing mishmashes of sprites, spluttery sound, just-too-slow movement... yeurch. If you want to you can pick up little Ps which improve your firepower, but I wasn't really taken by the idea.
If The Edge was hoping to make a few bob by flogging this to unsuspecting, impoverished readers, shame on them. Anyway, its plans have now been foiled, so ner.
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