First it was Star Wars in which a war was carried out against a backdrop of stars, then it was The Empire Strikes Back in which The Empire, er, struck back and now it's Return Of The Jedi in which (Yes we know, in which the Jedi come back again. Now get on with it or you're fired. Ed). Eeeer. Oh dear. Um, anyway, we now have the third part of the trilogy, so without further ado let's have a meatshop.
If you were expecting something in the same vein as Domark's two previous Star Wars (vector graphic shoot 'em ups') then you'd be wrong. This one's a scroller. A diagonal scroller to boot (like Alien Highway and Highway Encounter). There are various different stages to the game, so let's start with level one (and why not). It's a diagonally scrolling (top right to bottom left) forest of Endor. You play Princess Leia on a speederbike and you have to avoid both the trees and the Imperial Stormtroopers (also on speederbikes). Both would be easy one their own, but together things are decidedly tricky. Keeping out of the way of the Stormtroopers taking you out unawares from behind (oo-er). if you get to the end of this stage you'll be treated to the sight of a band of Ewoks dong somehting that will make them go blind, or at least that's what it looks like.
The next stage is the Death Star, where you're in control of the Millenium Falcon with the task of blowing up the central reactor. Again it's a diagonal scroller, and the object is to avoid the dangerous protrusions jutting from every wall as they scroll inexorably towards you. Avoid enough protrusions, blow up the reactor and it's onto stage three, which is really more of stage one, bit with more trees and Stormtroopers. Stage four is more diagonal scrolling, only this time you in charge of an Imperial Scout Walker, and you've got to avoid/shoot oncoming logs and boulders.
Graphically the game is quite neat. The scrolling is fast and smooth, and the sprites are nicely animated. The control response is very good too. In fact it's all quite addictive - but the real problem is substance, or rather lack of it. If you're looking for something to while away a bit of time then you could do worse than Return Of The Jedi, but if you're looking for something a bit more 'special' then maybe this isn't for you. It's not awful by any means, but then again it ain't brilliant either.
"Use the force, Luke!" "Here they come!" "You mean the girl I've been trying to snog for the last two films is my sister?" - Yes, it's The Return Of The Jedi! Having done vector graphics to death with Star Wars and Empire, Atari plumped for a new diagonally-scrolling 3D routine that translates spookily well onto the Speccy. Although all three levels are of the advance-through-area-dodging-obstacles-and-shooting-Imperials type they're sufficiently different to repulse the dreadied snoozies. Best is the one where Leia escapes through the Endorian forests on a speeder bike, bashing the pursuing bikers into trees or leading them into fiendish traps. Next up (or down, if you see what I mean), follow Lando as he pilots the Millenium Falcon into the new Death Star, blows up its reactor then races the explosion to the exit! Last, and least, you're either Chewie in an AT-ST dodging rolling logs, or Lando (again) blasting through the Imperial Fleet. Presumably to emulate the cross-cutting action of the picture, the game flips you between the two (but before you can get the hang of either). Overall though, it's a nifty conversion - fast and (if not exactly furious) reasonably spirited. Warp Factor 9 (Oh, drat! That's Star Trek!)
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