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This isn't at all bad, especially if you're a shoot em up fanatic who wants something reminiscent of the arcade game
Starforce. The graphics are quite good and there are plenty of baddies to keep you on your toes. The Rob Hubbard tune pounds away, adding a certain freneticism to the game. I liked playing it, and as budget games go, this is certainly one of the better ones.



I'm not overly keen on this average
Starforce clone. It features some of the weakest bas-relief graphics I've seen on the 64 -- surprising, considering how simple it is to produce decent quality metallic characters. Rob Hubbard's title screen music is good, but it doesn't work so well when played throughout the game -- it would have been better to have more FX and no music during the game. As shoot em ups go this isn't bad, and at two quid it's worthy of consideration.




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!
1986 Firebird
Programmed by ?
Most text of the present article comes from the review published in the seventeenth issue of the British C64 magazine ZZAP!64 (street date: July 21st, 1986).

Firebird, 1.99 cass, joystick only

Attention all joystick wagglers of the nth degree -- your latest all zapping, all blasting, all anarchic mission is about to unfold before your very eyes, courtesy of Proteus Developments and Firebird. Warhawk is a vertically scrolling shoot em up which has you battling your way through squads of aliens over various terrains set on the none-too-stable remains of decaying asteroids.

The aliens take various forms, all with their own characteristics. There are galactic mines which plummet towards Warhawk vertically, Scorpions which stand in line waiting for your arrival then suddenly flying into a sadistic attack, and mutant Pac Men who look as if they are quite easy to deal with, but just when you think you've overcome them they turn tail and return with a vengeance. Accompanying these are other nasties which have no power to blast you, but do provide a challenge.

Your hardships are not merely restricted to advancing alien forces, oh no, amongst them are the flotsam and jetsam of outer space in the form or boulders which hurtle towards you. If you can't blast them, then avoid them -- and if you can't avoid them, then say bye-bye to your energy.

Each level is built up in a similar fashion, comprising of zapping your way through hoards of aliens (just as well your ship incorporates the latest in laser blasters, isn't it?), and knocking down towers that cover the surface of each planetoid. When you have done that for a sufficient time, then you meet the big nasty itself! Tackling it is straightforward enough, but difficult (!) -- the main tactic being shooting it to death as it whizzes across the screen. Completing that successfully, you are then launched into further stages of frantic battling.

The scoring system is simplicity itself -- the more aliens you obliterate the bigger score you get -- and it is displayed at the bottom of the screen along with your power packs, represented by nine yellow triangles which slowly diminish according to the amount of injuries you sustain. Luckily, your power packs are replenished at the beginning of each level. The levels continue with wave after wave of aliens, each level becoming more treacherous than the last.


Yawn, thought I, another cheapy shoot em up. But wait, this familiar and somewhat tired concept has been given an interesting new lease of life. In traditional ZZAP! style I played it without instructions, and let's face it, with this game who needs 'em? It just proves how playable this game is. Thrilled by the graphics and amazed by the superb sound (the music is well up to Rob Hubbard's usual excellent standards and the effects are also very good), I've been returning to it again and again. The game itself does look a little like Uridium, but then both are based on the arcade game Star Force. At only 1.99 no self-respecting 64 shoot em up freak should be without it. Excuse me, but I'm off to have another go . . .


Presentation 64%

Nothing spectacular, but adequate.

Graphics 63%
Poor use of the bas-relief effect all round.

Sound 90%
Meaty Rob Hubbard soundtrack pounds away throughout the game -- the spot FX and jingles are good, too

Hookability 86%
A delight to get into.

Lastability 79%
Not a great deal of variety, but addictive all the same.

Value For Money 86%
Lots of good solid blasting for only two quid.

Overall 80%
One of the better shoot em ups on the 64 -- one of the cheapest, too.


Htmlized by Dimitris Kiminas (29 Sep 2007)

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