Konami Ltd
1987
Arcade: Shoot-em-up
£7.95
£2.99
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
Multiple schemes (see individual downloads)

24,25
Graham Taylor
Chris Bourne

CLASSIC

It was a hit in the arcades, is it a hit on the Spectrum? Konami did a good job with Jailbreak (reviewed elsewhere this issue) but Nemesis was a game with such a powerful mixture of high speed and stunning graphics it always seemed the more difficult conversion task.

Nemesis for those who have never seen the coin-op is a highly advanced eighties permutation of that old seventies classic. Scramble in which you, lone space cruiser, weaved your way through ever narrower and more twisted caverns dodging assaults by alien ships and ground bases that lobbed things at you.

Nemesis is about piloting your space cruiser around a series of landscapes (technology has gone beyond mere caverns). There are still assorted spaceships blasting away at you and ground objects attacking you but the size, variety and sheer viciousness of the opponents has increased exponentially (that's a lot).

Space cruisers look pretty much as they always did in such games, but as you play Nemesis you soon realise that graphics have come a pretty long way from the days of little blocks with bits on the top. In Nemesis, there are gun emplacements that walk, giant skeletons which rise ominously from the tunnel walls and enormous alien battleships that fire missiles, volcanoes and an assortment of peculiar objects bizarre in the way that only computer programmers know how.

It isn't all a matter of flying as fast as you can. Not only is it sometimes vital to vary your speed to get past obstacles, but sometimes you just don't have a choice. At certain points the program 'stops'. At one point you find yourself trapped betwixt a couple of volcanoes spewing surprisingly cylindrical lava, you just have to grin and bear it. At another point you have to attack an enormous spaceship which will not let you pass.

There are chances in the game that increase your fire power from the piffling little laser you begin with. In some sections of the game, you'd better have exactly the right weapon or Blam! - time to hand over the ole battle cruiser ignition keys.

The programming is pretty good, but the big problem with moving lots of shapes all at once, some of them very big, is smoothness. All things considered the amount of jerkyness is absolutely minimal.

The gameplay, fairly easy to begin with and horrendous at the finish. Funnily enough the quality of the graphics roughly matches the difficulty of the level i.e. the really stunning stuff comes, almost as a reward, towards the end of the game.

An unashamed shoot-em-up but an excellent conversion of the arcade game and, in places, graphically excellent - check out the alien creatures that rise and fall and the gruesome faces that drift around the screen. Scramble for the present day.

Label: Konami
Author: In-house
Price: £7.95
Joystick: various
Memory: 48K/128K
Reviewer: Graham Taylor

*****

An excellent conversion of the wonderful coin-op. Straightforward gameplay but some stunning animated graphics.

5/5