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Arcade: Vehicle Combat
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes

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Steve Jarratt
Chris Bourne

Capcom thunder across the countryside.

Any mental images of huge thunder clouds raining light-emitting diodes on an unsuspecting populace should be ignored immediately, since the LED of the title stands for Laser Enhanced Destruction. However, since there's precious little destruction - laser enhanced or otherwise - we'll have to stick to the plain old truth instead.

LED Storm is the latest conversion in US Gold's Capcom range, and follows the player's fortunes at the wheel of a high-powered motor vehicle as it tears across nine regions of futuristic landscape to reach the ultimate destination of Sky City.

The course taken is described by land features such as aerial roadways, dirt tracks and valleys which scroll vertically beneath the car. Progress is continually hampered by the appearance of other road-users, such as trucks, cars and frogs (getting their own back from the Frogger episode, presumably) which cause the car to spin out of control on contact. The course is also punctuated by gaps in the crumbling flyovers which are jumped over using ramps, plus other ground features such as rocks and trees which have to be avoided.

Similarly, onboard problems constantly beset the driver: energy is the ultimate limiting factor and the replenishment of energy and fuel systems is achieved by collecting the corresponding icons en route.

Reaching the end-of-stage checkpoint before the car's energy runs out allows access to the next stage of the course; failure signals the restart of the whole course.

Reviewer: Steve Jarratt

Atari ST, £19.99dk, Out Now
Amiga, £19.99dk, Out Now
Spec 128 £8.99cs, £12.99dk, Out Now
Amstrad, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent
C64/128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
IBM PC, £19.99dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 55/100
1 hour: 52/100
1 day: 50/100
1 week: 30/100
1 month: 5/100
1 year: 0/100

It takes a while to learn the courses, which is a bit offputting until some progress is made.


Banner Text


The monochrome Spectrum version suffers from the disability to scroll diagonally, although it does manage parallax. This problem is overcome by shifting the course sideways in large chunks, so keeping to the roadway is tricky at the best of times - especially considering the small screen size - which becomes annoying after a while. This artificially-imposed difficulty level plus other faults, such as becoming attached' to the kerbs, makes this the only version to steer clear of.


Extremely smart graphics, as you might expect, and great aurals, but disappointing gameplay, again because of the poor sideways scrolling. However it does profit from a faster performance than its 16-bit counterpart, and thus feels slightly more comfortable.

Graphics: 8/10

Audio: 8/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 6/10

Ace Rating: 648/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 75/100

1 hour: 60/100

1 day: 65/100

1 week: 75/100

1 month: 40/100

1 year: 10/100


Smart graphics with fast and surprisingly smooth (non-parallax) scrolling. It suffers from the same drastic sideways movement as the Spectrum, although to a lesser degree. The soundtrack fares remarkably well, with the ST soundchip working overtime.

Graphics: 7/10

Audio: 7/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 3/10

Ace Rating: 645/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 75/100

1 hour: 60/100

1 day: 65/100

1 week: 75/100

1 month: 40/100

1 year: 10/100


Another superb arcade conversion from Software Creations (authors of Bubble Bobble). All aspects of the original machine are excellently reproduced - down to the parallax scrolling on the roadway - which makes it very playable. A real throw-back to the days of Spyhunter, but a great game nonetheless. Great soundtrack, too.

Graphics: 9/10

Audio: 9/10

IQ Factor: 3/10

Fun Factor: 7/10

Ace Rating: 816/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 75/100

1 hour: 75/100

1 day: 90/100

1 week: 95/100

1 month: 55/100

1 year: 20/100


Wonderfully accurate on the C64; comparably less so with the other versions. However, the essence of the game remains totally and pleasingly intact.

Coin-op Score: 9

Screenshot Text

Spectrum - a much-needed energy capsule floats by, but cannot be collected.

Atari ST - Jumping a break in the aerial highway, the Green Coral Sea below.

Amiga - Sudden impact with an Easter Island head on the Ruins Desert section.

C64- A flying saucer passes overhead, dropping bonus icons. If the spinning red car can get its act together, the middle one provides a flashing green shield.