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1989
Arcade: Adventure
£9.99
£3.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K/128K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

Other Links


62
Laurence Scotford
Chris Bourne

System 3 weaves 8-bit magic.

It is very easy, when you have become used to the sort of quality and presentation usual in the best 16-bit games, to dismiss new 8-bit products as inferior titles designed to run on inferior machines. It is also easy to believe that computers like the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 have already been pushed to the limit. There has been some very impressive software developed for both of these machines in their long existence. Many programmers have found ingenious ways to get around both machines idiosyncrasies. So surely nobody is going to get anything more out them? Wrong! System 3 have done just that, with Myth.

The idea is that one of the gods, Dameron, has rebelled and begun to change history. It is forbidden for any of the good gods to intervene directly in the course of history, so they assign a mere mortal (that's you matey) to travel through several time zones in order to put things right, and ultimately face Dameron himself. The zones you must travel through are Hell, Ancient Greece and the Halls of the Medusa, Ancient Norse, and Ancient Egyptian eras.

In each zone you must complete certain tasks in the correct order to restore the natural course of history and then go forward to the next zone. Unfortunately for you there are a number of creatures and traps in each section which, unless dealt with carefully, will thwart your progress. To defend yourself against them you initially have nothing but your fists, but other weapons can be collected as the game goes on. The idea is that, as the planned confrontation with Dameron gets nearer, your powers become more and more god-like.

The game itself is essentially a two-dimensional scrolling game with platform elements. Now hold on there, before you turn the page, this isn't just any old platform game, it's the best I've ever come across, and I've played a few platform games I can tell you. So what really makes Myth stands out from the crowd?

Well, the first thing that strikes you is the quality of the animation. You've never seen anything like this on either the Spectrum or the C64. Each figure is given a life of its own. Forget stiff walks, unrealistic jumps, and unconvincing combat - you won't find any of those in this game. Every sprite from the beginning of the game to the end is captivating. As if that wasn't enough, just wait until you start moving the central character. The degree of control that System 3 has managed to squeeze out of the humble joystick is quite incredible. You'll really enjoy the way you can finely adjust your jumps and leaps, or the way you can duck and weave with the sword when you are tackling enemies.

The quality of the graphics alone would be enough to recommend this game, but there are yet more goodies in store. There is enough variety here to keep even the most easily bored person going. Each section has a very different feel to it, creating its own very special atmosphere. Take, for instance, the vicious lightning while you are fighting aboard a Viking boat in the Ancient Norse era, or the gloomy, echoing halls of Medusa in the Ancient Greek era, both extremely good effects (better executed than anything I have seen in a similar vein). Then there is the way that weapons and items you collect must be used at the correct time and in the right way to complete each section (so you can't just hack your way through). The final confrontation is also very surprising, but you are going to have to find out about that for yourself. Add to this a tremendous soundtrack and spot effects, and you have one of the best 8-bit games ever created.

Reviewer: Laurence Scotford

RELEASE BOX
C64/128, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Out Now
Spec, £9.99cs, £14.99dk, Imminent

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 65/100
1 hour: 90/100
1 day: 90/100
1 week: 70/100
1 month: 50/100
1 year: 40/100

Might not look very special at first sight. Just wait till you play.

9/10
N/A
8/10
8/10
900/1000

Banner Text

SPECTRUM VERSION

To be perfectly honest with you. I've not seen anything as accomplished as this on the humble Spectrum. Having seen the game on the C64 first, I would have expected the programmers to have copped out on this version, and gone for the usual monochrome screens. Not so - not only have they used all the available colours (yes, all eight of them), but I challenge you to discover any major attribute clash. In case you don't know the Spectrum that well, let me tell you, using lots of colour in a game of this type and managing to avoid attribute clash is not only very difficult, it's near impossible.

But, disregarding the tremendous technical achievement, there is just as good a game here as there is in the C64 version. Gameplay is slightly different, mainly in the way that puzzles are solved and each section is finished, but the atmosphere and variety is still there.

The only thing we couldn't check was the soundtrack, which has yet to be implemented, but the all of the other elements were complete and extremely impressive. If you are a Spectrum owner you should buy this game. The chances are you won't come across a better product for your machine.

C64 VERSION

Graphics: 9/10

Audio: 9/10

IQ Factor: 8/10

Fun Factor: 8/10

Ace Rating: 925/1000

Predicted Interest Curve

1 min: 80/100

1 hour: 100/100

1 day: 100/100

1 week: 95/100

1 month: 75/100

1 year: 45/100

Screenshot Text

Oh dear! It looks as if you have been caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Spectrum: Never mind the impressive sprite, just look at those clash-free colours.