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Oh dear. This thinly disguised but much disfigured
Time Pilot 84 clone just totally fails to do anything competently. Arcade clones are just exercises in programming, all the tricky sorting out of game design and gameplay factors needs no attention at all. All the author has to do is copy what he has seen. Space Pilot 2 completely misses the point. Essential elements from the original have totally been missed. Anirog's version is a jerkily scrolling, slow moving yawn of a game. The sprites have little idea what the background is doing. I'm sorry but Space Pilot 2 is just not worth anyone's time.
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Welcome to Game of the Week! Each week there will be a new featured game on this page. The game may be good, average or diabolically bad, it really doesn't matter! Just look at the pics, read the text and enjoy the nostalgia! :-) Game of the Week! is open to contributions so if you would like to contribute a game article for this page you're more than welcome to! Every article we receive will be considered!
Space-Pilot II
1985 Kingsoft
Programmed by Henrik Wening
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the tenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: 9 January 1986).
 

SPACE PILOT II
Anirog, 7.95 cass, joystick or keys


When Time Pilot 84 appeared, anyone who saw it gasped at its fabulous 3D bas-relief graphics. In fact it's true to say that TP 84 has influenced quite a few programmers and is responsible for a lot of the 3D bas relief games around today (Paradroid and Z for example).

Anirog's Space Pilot II is a version of TP 84, although it doesn't contain all the elements of the arcade game -- in TP 84 there were ground targets to strafe; Anirog's version hasn't any.

SP II is a classic shoot em up in the respect that there is no objective to the game other than to stay alive and score as many points as possible by killing anything that moves. The game takes place over an eight way scrolling landscape and plays very similarly to Asteroids -- your ship can be rotated through 360 degrees as it flies over the surface of the alien planet.

Kamikaze alien craft emerge from the sides of the screen and try to ram your ship, putting you in a kill or be killed situation. Occasionally a formation of three craft emerges, shoot them all and you get a points bonus. Being rammed isn't the only worry -- the aliens also fire deadly heat-seeking missiles which chase you around the screen until you either destroy them or shake-them off.

The game has several different 'stages' which get more and more difficult as you progress through them. To move from one stage to another you have to survive on a stage for a set amount of time. This time is shown on screen as a bar which slowly ticks down. When it reaches zero the landscape dissolves and your ship is automatically transported to the next, more difficult stage. There are four different landscapes in all, although they do change colour once you've been through them all.

The basic gameplay doesn't change as you go through the levels, although the aliens become faster and more cunning and the heat seeking missiles really home in at speed. An extra life is awarded for every 30,000 points you score, and you certainly need them.

One rather unusual feature of SP II is that it allows up to eight players to compete against one another in the same game -- useful if you've got a load of mates round and they all want a go.

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Space Pilot II seems to be a deluxe version of the original Space Pilot released well over a year ago by Anirog. Other than different background scenery, there is nothing new in Space Pilot II worthy of mention. Both graphics and sound are very poor by today's standards, with scrolling and sound FX to match the gameplay, ie slow and weak. As it stands Space Pilot II is too similar to its predecessor to be worthwhile -- in fact I would say considering the age of the original, this is worse.
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It's a shame that Anirog haven't produced a true
Time Pilot 84 clone with graphics like Z. As this stands, it just doesn't come up to the standards set by Rino's first release. The graphics look quite nice when static, but once they start to scroll, or rather body-pop, the whole image is ruined by the blocky movement. The sprites are pretty and colourful, but slow and jerky as they follow their trajectories. The sound isn't much cop either -- it mostly consists of high pitched whines and squeals which really jar the eardrums. The really annoying aspect of the game is the amount of time the program takes to give you a new life -- it takes ages. If you do want a Time Pilot 84 type game then have a look at the others before deciding.
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Presentation 73%
Unusual and 'novel' eight player option and attractive attract mode.

Graphics 51%
Screens look good -- until they move.

Sound 21%
Crude, nostalgic sound FX.

Hookability 36%
Dull, uninspiring play fails to spark enthusiasm.

Lastability 28%
Dull, uninspiring play fails to rekindle spark of enthusiasm.

Value For Money 32%
Modern price for an aged game.

Overall 30%
Too similar to its predecessor and nothing exciting or new to offer.
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Link to the review of the first Space-Pilot game.

Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (5 Sep 2004)

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