94% Issue 12
'Sheer perfection,' enthused the anonymous CRASH reviewers of way back at the sight of Knight Lore's Filmation graphics.
The Filmation technique allows your sprite to physically interact with onscreen objects in almost any way, and with Knight Lore, the tenuously-related sequel to Underwwlde and Sabre Wulf, Ultimate's programmers surpassed themselves.
In this thrilling instalment Sabreman (the player) must brave the castle of the wizard Melkhior to find the ingredients of the potion that will cure his sudden lycanthropy (Ultimate's instructions take the form of an epic poem, but manage to say nearly the same thing). Fail, and you must remain the werewolf forever - but so what? He's a dam sight cuter than Sabreman.
Melkhior's castle is divided into rooms full of traps, structures and useful objects, all of which can be manoeuvred using Filmation. The avalanche of isometric games in this style has lessened the impact of Knight Lores graphics. Today they seem rather plain and simple, though the old Ultimate touches still stand out (the sprite looking warily over his shoulder, for example).
The game itself is a little unsophisticated for our times, too: essentially it's just a set of Manic Miner-type problems of timing, jumping and avoiding, and Filmation only comes in useful for making higher leaps.
Still, Knight Lore deserves some recognition for having started off the isometric-arcade-adventure genre proper - it's just a pity the subsequent deluge was so heavy.
Filmation fame: Ultimate's Knight Lore was followed by a deluge of isometric arcade adventures.