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US Gold Ltd
1989
Arcade: Vehicle Combat
£8.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

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51
David Wilson
Chris Bourne

Blimey O'Reilly! If I was faced with a road like the one on the first screen of Last Duel, I'd probably take an alternative route! I mean it's worse than the M1, judging by the number of holes and bumps in it. Mind you at least the M1 is bereft of gun turrets blasting away and crazy cars that come speeding up behind you - which aren't just trying to read your car stickers!

This, then is Last Duel, the latest from US Gold, and it's a vertical scrolling, overhead viewpoint, shoot 'em up in which you control a fabulous three wheeled vehicle - no not a Reliant Robin - an armoured, rocket powered mean machine which becomes a rocket fighter on alternative levels. There's some loony story about twin planets and princesses to be rescued too, but the only difference this makes to the game is that if you didn't know it, you would be totally baffled when on completing the game, some crazy chick called Sheeta (Oo-er!) comes onto the screen to wink at you!

Anyway back to the game. What we have here is a sort of LED Storm but with guns and a meanie at the end of each level. At the end of the first level the meanies appear in the form of three Chinese New Year procession dragons. I don't know about you, but I always rather liked these when I saw them on telly and it seems a little unkind to machine gun them to bits. Still, if you wanna get onto the next screen... blast away! Once there you step into a flying machine, to fly in the 'Golden Mystery Zone' as the game blurb calls it. Blast the giant bat meanie at the end and it's back to the three wheeler, and so on. Like LED Storm you can boost your vehicle's bits by driving through icons In this game the icons are letter P's and they will give your gun rapid fire capabilities (Can I have a pee please. Bob?).

Last Duel is fast and tricky but it's a bit too samey for my liking. The vertical scrolling is smooth and fast, but the road overlaps onto side screens and scrolling in this direction is a bit jerky. Colour is limited as usual, which is a pity and makes a fast moving game like this all the more tricky, as you have to distinguish between incoming and outgoing bullets!

Another little moan is that the game is a multi-load and it's always more difficult to get into a game when you have to break off the gameplay to load each level. On top of all this, value for dosh, in my opinion, is affected by the fact that this game only comprises six levels. Ho-Hum! Still, if you have room in your games collection for another rolling road/scrolling space blast em up, then this is a fast, difficult example with some variety.

Lip smacking', joystick juggling', vertical scrollin', long on loadin', fast and challengin', samey shoot 'em up.

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