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And so Paul Voysey came to have an idea. It was an idea for a game. A game called
NEXUS. And the idea was good. He shared this idea with a software house called Beyond. And Beyond saw that it was good. So they agreed to market the idea. This inspired Paul further. He began to put his idea onto a computer. Time passed and Paul presented Beyond with an incomplete version of his idea. And Beyond were impressed. So much so that they showed NEXUS to all and sundry. Some took advantage at the situation and reviewed NEXUS even though it was deemed very incomplete. Others justly previewed the game. Paul was undeterred. He continued to program NEXUS. But there were problems. Beyond were swallowed up by British Telecom. But again Paul was undeterred. He eventually finished NEXUS. And it was released unto the public. And they saw the game. And they saw that it was not good. Poor Paul. He spent a year programming an idea. Six months too long. His idea went stale . . . I don't like NEXUS much. It hasn't really changed from the demo we saw last year, which is a shame as it could have been a damn good game. But it's not. Both graphics and sound do little to impress and make the game look shoddy and unfinished. In fact, I wonder if it is finished. It's a monotonous affair and isn't much fun to play. I became bored very quickly due to the awkward, but clever and unusual, control method and the repetitiveness of the game. And to think that Psi Warrior was written by the same guy. Admittedly, Psi Warrior is also rather repetitive and could have been better, but it's certainly more playable than this.

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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!
NEXUS
1986 NEXUS
Programmed by Paul Voysey & Tayo Olowu
 
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the sixteenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 10th, 1986).
 

NEXUS
Nexus, 9.95 cass, 14.95 disk, joystick only


Journalists worldwide have always known of the dangers of getting involved with drugs, most by personal experience. NEXUS features one such journalist . . .

Working for small-time newspaper, The Clarion, gets your average experienced journalist a bit depressed, especially when there's no opportunity to practise your tried and tested Vietnam survival skills. But, to save our hero (played by yourself) before he becomes integrated with the humdrum working masses, he is called into active service by his editor. It seems that you are to be flown out to Colombia where a colleague has been investigating a drugs racket. News of a violent kidnapping has reached these shores and you, because of your past Ramboesque training, have been chosen to get your chum out of the villainous grasp of a South American drugs baron. But to pay for the air fare, you must also return with a scoop story to unwrap the truth about the evil drugs racket. This plot gives the game two ways of achieving your objective.

Either way you must first locate your friend, Tayo, in the drug ring's HQ and then you may gather enough information which can be found in the building to blow the drugs racket or you may simply make a quick getaway by fighting off or blowing up everyone in your way. Information, which can be gathered by searching objects in rooms within the complex, comes in the form of broken up sentences. At your mission briefing you were given 32 rumours about the dealings behind the secret operation which need to be proved. Spurred on by the pleasurable thought of a massive pay rise if you return with the wanted dough you gather all 128 pieces of information. Once collected they have to be transformed with use of your journalistic skills into recognisable sentences. This can be done on the editing terminals and creates -- 32 answers to 32 questions.

If you manage to get this far you can start thinking about promotion whilst transferring the constructed sentences back to base via the black transmission terminals in the Transmission room. If, however, you care little for the wishes of your editor and decide to make a run for it then you are well equipped with machine gun and stun grenades which can be found in the complex. Function mode allows you, among other things, to swap between weapons which you may have in your possession. Items like these and all different fighting body movements are controlled entirely by 8 joystick directions. Your martial arts skills don't go to waste in this game, as you are able to perform several movements to knock out the baddies, including kicks, punches and defensive moves. Mind you other characters in the game may well have the same motive and if your body becomes prone to standing in the path of too many high velocity bullets or flying enemy feet, then you'll find yourself in hospital and capture will lead to imprisonment.

NEXUS are in fact undercover agents who, with possible financial backing from an unknown governmental source, are trying to break the drugs ring from the inside. One such undercover agent is Tony who meets you at HQ as you arrive and leads you to a blue personnel terminal. These allow you to retrieve information on the skills and location of NEXUS members. Other members of NEXUS will help you during the game as you come into contact with them. If you do cooperate with them then in return they'll help you escape from prison if necessary. Communication between yourself and other characters is in the form of worded messages which appear in the text window on screen. On screen features are many and include the main animated play area and radar which shows position of characters and objects on your present floor as informative black and white blobs. Digitised pictures of NEXUS members and opponents also appear on screen to help with much needed identification. After all, once you have full cooperation with NEXUS, completing NEXUS should become an easier task, making Tayo a free man and yourself one very rich journalist.

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The scenario may read, to the discerning consumer, like the run-up to a quality game but I'd call it deception.
NEXUS carries more than a small similarity to Impossible Mission, both in gameplay, collecting pieces of puzzle and connecting them together to solve the game, and in animation of the main character. The difference between the two is all too clear though: Impossible Mission was done before and is much better. Both sound and graphics equally do nothing for the game and the amount of on-screen glitches is enough to be ashamed of. Other problems in the graphics department include being able to walk through walls. Joystick handling is heavy, and many of the possible moves seem useless in gameplay. At 9.95 NEXUS is highly overpriced but perhaps the 'NEXUS box, packaging of a thousand uses' makes up for the duff game inside.
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NEXUS is great! I love it, just ignore that stupid cassette in the box and you can have a brill time mucking about with the 'alternative' packaging. Yes! Amaze and astound your friends, for only 9.95 you can become the proud owner of a great high tech looking plastic box with which absolutely hundred of things can be done. Ski down Kilamanjaro with it strapped to your feet; use it as an arm shield when trying to throttle a venom spitting cobra; selotape it around your head to make a trendy pair of opaque wraparound shades that are all the rage in St Tropez! The possibilities are just limited by your imagination!!! If, however, the stupid cassette in the box is what you're interested in then I'm afraid that NEXUS will provide not a lot in the way of entertainment. Avoid it at all costs. Anyway, where was I? Using my NEXUS box as a pretend shaver, that was it . . .
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Presentation 90%

Comprehensive instructions and very good use of joystick.

Graphics 43%
On the whole, poor. The backdrops are rather bland and the sprites are poorly defined and not very well animated. They also tend to judder a lot.

Sound 45%
Short, repetitious
and uninspiring 'tunes'.

Hookability 52%
Enthralling scenario, but initially confusing to play.

Lastability 50%
There's quite a lot to do, but the packaging still has more variety than the game.

Value For Money 45%
Gets the rating for packaging alone.

Overall 50%
Basically, a disappointing game which is lacking polish and playability.
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Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (15 Aug 2006)
Only the first of the above screenshots existed in the original review.

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