Sam Coupe Scrapbook

The Games
- Review of Dyzonium

Information provided by: Steven Pick

Hooray! Rejoice in the streets and celebrate as... it's ANOTHER FRED Publishing title! Three cheers for Colin! Dyzonium has been written by Balor Knight. If that name rings a bell somewhere, he was also responsible for Astroball on the SAM and Spectrum. The plot, as always, is remarkably ridiculous. It goes along the lines of "Earth's energy resources are exhausted, so you have to go out and get the energy-rich crystals of Xzreyadia (you play Dr Zyzedd, or something) watching out for the 25th time bandit invaders of Xqiarhdfr (or Llandudno, or even Xzonia). I don't know! Why couldn't they call the bloke in the spaceship "Bob" and the baddies of "Planet X" or something? It's hard to believe people get paid thousands to write this stuff!

Anyway, to cut a long plotline short, Dyzonium is your average 8 way scrolly shoot 'em up affair. Most scrolly shooters on the Coupe normally have a moving starfield and sprites as backgrounds, as it is incredibly difficult to scroll backgrounds like in the many arcade games around. You control a spaceship which has to collect as many crystals, and zap out of the level, as possible. Obviously, the aliens from Xqiarhdfr are out to get you, as well as protect these crystals with all their might. This is where your laser guns come in handy. These double fire and move in the direction you move in. You can destroy most aliens with these, but others must be manoveuvred around to get to the crystals. Icons replenish energy as well as firepower, and you can also use smart bombs to nuke entire portions of the screen.

The music is fine and the graphics are colourful. So what is the problem? Speed? Nope - everything moves nicely, with no sign of slowdown. Gameplay? Nope - there is plenty of variety and stuff to do. Difficulty? Aha! Hit the nail right on the head! You only have one life for a start. One life against 10 levels and millions of baddies. Okay, so there is an energy bar, but all too often, you end up shouting "My energy was full a moment a go!". It seems that some joker has put a colander in place of a fuel tank it seems, and the stuff is seeping out every time you play. After several completely painstaking hours of pain and pleasure, I had reached level two. Unfortunately, I died several seconds later, as an unrecognisable alien being crashed into my ship causing me to die. Oops! In my hurry to get acquainted with my new surroundings, I failed to notice the alien (which I wasn't warned of much in the inlay instructions) which was (on a second go) indestructible. What is on level 3? A planet-eating god? The office doesn't know - we haven't got past level 2 yet!

Well, that is it in a nutshell. Nice to look at, playable, but extremely tricky. Get if you're built out of something bionic, or something...

Graphics - 74% Playability - 84%
Sound - 80% Lastability - 67%

Overall - 76%

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