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

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17
Paul Sumner, Mark Caswell, Phil King
Chris Bourne

DEVASTATING DUELLIT DUO

According to the King, Princess Sheeta has been kidnapped by baddies from the evil planet of Mu. While you may suspect she's run off to change her name to something bearable like Ingrid or Beatrice, you've still got to try and rescue her.

Your rescue attempt takes the form of six distinct levels (multiloaded one at a time) of vertically-scrolling blasting. Your vehicle changes after each level, alternating between a Reliant Robin look-a-like and a spaceplane. In the simultaneous two-player mode, one player controls the car while the other gets the spaceplane. The main difference between them is the way the car must jump over holes in the play area, whereas the spaceplane just hovers. Extra firepower for both can be gained by collecting floating symbols. This is useful for the huge alien which must be defeated at the end of each level - after which the Princess appears again, with more desperate cries for help.

The monochromatic vertical scrolling and the car suggest a LED Storm clone, but here the scrolling is glitchy and not as fast. The main fault with Last Duel, though, is the way progress can easily be made by mindless, continuous jumping and blasting. Only partially compensating for this fault are some impressively-large squirming monsters and the two-player option. Worth a look, but certainly not the game to break my LED Storm addiction.

PHIL ... 70%

THE ESSENTIALS
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: some impressive, large aliens, but dubious vertical scrolling
Sound: in-game effects
Options: one or two players

CRITICISM

'Last Duel is frustrating. But when eventually mastered the game reveals itself to contain more luck than judgement. And unlike say LED Storm I never had the feeling there was a good game underneath worth persistence. It's also very difficult to see what's happening on later stages, with lots of bullets swirling over a repulsive purple background. Disappointing.' MARK … 62%

'When US Gold's GO! Brought out 1943! I thought they'd forgotten how to produce a decent vertically-scrolling action game. With Gold's LED Storm (Smashed on page 12) out this month I was forced to set my words - Last Duel has shoved them even further down my throat. Tiertex (Thunder Blade) have produced some slick presentation combined with some impressive graphics (albeit a bit jerky at times) to form another addictive shoot-'em-up. The frequent appearances of the Princess add that extra bit of addiction. It may not be as good as LED Storm, but at least you can shoot things!' PAUL … 75%

General Rating: Don't be fooled by the car - this is not a driving game, but an above average shoot-'em-up.

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CHOOSE YOUR WEAPONS

Keep jumping and firing on Level One - you'll easily get to the end.

Make sure that you collect the power symbols at the start of the second level: you'll really need them later.

On Level Two, position the spaceplane between four of the worm holes and the 9 worms will not touch you.

When in the car, your best chance of defeating the large aliens is to continuously jump and shoot.

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Dual-player action in the Last Duel.