Sod blasting billions of horrible green snotty monsters from the planet Xurigg for a game of Invaders - rescuing fairies is where it's at. You've got it all if you're a barbarian from the dark ages, I can tell you: action, girls and a kinky set of sheepskin togs that'd keep the Joan Collins Fan Club happy for at least a week...
"Stormlord the barbarian was having a bit of fun, see. Playing around with the local bunch of fairies and wood nymphs - well, nobody thought anything of it them days. Anyway he was having a bit of a laugh, right, and stone me, all the fairy folk an' that disappeared - poof! Worr, Stormy was a bit on the 'ole miffed side I can tell you.
"So off 'ee went, see, goes looking for them dunn'ee. An then 'ee finds out that this evil witch wossername's behind it all. She'd gone and locked up all the fairies by themselves in dungeons an 'at - all over the place they are. That fairy power of theirs, you know it's the stuff that keeps all the riff-raff out of the neighbourbod, well it's just about run out if you ask me 'cos there's all these strange types around the place now.
"Well I reckon that if Stormlord don't get his skates on and rescue all them fairies a bit sharpish that witch'll have his guts for garters and then where'll we be 'eh? With no one around to protect us from the likes of 'er, eh? We'll be for the high jump and no mistake, you mark my words, mate..."
Stormlord is a flip screen arcade/adventure with the player taking the control of (you've guessed it) Stormlord the hard man, in his quest to rescue fairydom and the rest of the inhabitants of his land from the evil clutches of the nasty witch (sounds a bit familiar dunnit?). The basic aim is to locate and rescue the fairies. The status bar displays how many fairies you've got to find to complete a level and the time you've got left to do it in. To rescue a fairy you simply walk over it, but things aren't quite that simple as they're often inaccessible or guarded by traps or some of the witches henchmen.
Scattered around Stormlord's world you'll find all sorts of objects to help you in your quest - these are automatically picked up and swopped with the object currently in Stormlord's pocket. Their uses are nearly always pretty obvious - for instance bees are attracted by the honey pot, so if a swarm of bees is guarding the entrance to a fairy's dungeon swop the honey pot for an object near by and hey presto, the bees should move towards the honey leaving a safe passage to the fairy. Simple enough for mere mortals like me to be in with a chance of completing the game without too much of a headache.
Another neat feature is the springboard. Like the objects, correct use of this is vital if you're going to succeed. A little like a teleporter, the springboard transports you from one location to another when you walk over it - watch out though, you might get sprung into a trap.
Your character, despite his larger than normal size, is remarkably easy to move around with the original(ish) left, right, crouch, jump and fire controls. Getting to grips with these takes a little longer than usual because both jump and fire controls are variable - the longer the jump key is pressed the higher the jump, and you can shoot out either bolts of energy or a powerful sword depending on how quick you are with the key presses.
The game is split up into several levels and an end of level sub-game. Completing a level is just a matter of rescuing all the fairies in it. Once you've completed a level you're magically transported to a peaceful land where the fairies that you've just rescued are having a bit of rest and recreation. The object of the sub-game is to try and get a couple of extra lives - fairly important as during the main game these get depleted somewhat rapidly. To gain an extra life you have to collect fairy tears. Aw! And as any self respecting mythologist knows, the only way you're going to get a fairy to cry is to break her heart. Stormlord, being a bit of a lad, doesn't have much trouble in this department. Instead of firing nasty swords and stuff he shoots kisses up into the air at the fairies (innit cute!). Once the snogging session is over the fairy's heart is instantly broken and she sheds a tear for her lost love to pick up (I think I'm going to throw up...!). Once you've gotten tears Stormlord is awarded an extra life.
This is another masterpeice of game design and programming from Hewson's ace Raffaelle Cecco but after Exolon, Cybernoid and Cybernoid II what else would we expect? From the moment I started play I was completely enthralled in Stormlord's world, large colourful graphics and great sound keep the player playing and my guess is that it'll keep most people happy until they complete it. For once I can't see a thing worth whingeing about, so I won't - just go and buy it.
Another stormer from Raffaelle Cecco. Buy it!
Stormlord the first two levels - Tipped!
Level 1 - GuideGo left and get key.Go right through worms and open door.Use first visible spring-board.Go right through rain and dragons and get fairy.Go left and use spring board.Go left and get honey pot.Go right and swop honey pot for key this diverting swarm of bees.Get fairy from brick chamber.Go right through eggs and flies and open chamber door with key.Get fairy and use spring board.Go right and get honey pot.Go left and swop honey pot for umbrella thus diverting swarm.Go right until out of visible range of bees (so they calm down).Go left and get key.Go right (ignore first door) through worms and open chamber door.Get final fairy - Hooray!Level 2 - GuideGo left and get key.Go right through pawns and open chamber.Go right through second pawns and get shoes.Go left and get fairy, use spring board.Go left and jump over high skull wall.Go left through worms.Swop shoes for umbrella.Use springboard.Get fairy in rainy chamber.Go right through dragons and get key (disintegrate the platform the key is on).Go left through the dragons and open door to use springboard.Get fairy.Go right and use springboard.Use springboard - get by open door - get shoes.Go right through flies and get honey pot.Drop down and use springboard.Divert swarm and get fairy.Go right and open chamber door.Get shoes.Get fairy on high ledge.Use spring board whilst pressing right to avoid fly trap and get final fairy - Yipee!