StarFighter 3000 Iyonix
Matthew Thompson reviews the new Iyonix compatible StarFighter 3000
There is a bit of a shortage of games for the Iyonix, but all is not lost as we have a version of StarFighter 3000 which has been updated and improved and also now fully works on the Iyonix.
This is the 3rd release of Star Fighter each time being released by someone different (Fednet/iSV/APDL) as a game its pretty much the same as before but there are lots of new features added.
The game now comes in a DVD box on CDROM with manual, also included on the CD are Air Supremacy, Sunburst and Elite, but these don't work directly on the Iyonix, although Elite & Air Supremacy both work fine on !A310emu by Jan De Boer although I couldnt get Sunburst to work, although !A310emu is still work in progress this may change later on.
Upon loading we get the Starfighter intro, but now it installs itself onto the iconbar like so.
Its from here you can configure and set up the game exactly the way you want it, you can configure the look and detail level of the game, the sound, the control of the game - mouse,keyboard (fully redefinable) or Joystick.
There is also a comprehensive inbuilt HTML manual available in which goes into more detail about the game and can be displayed in any web browser.
Onto the game itself, and the main new feature in this version is the ability to run the game within the desktop, by default it runs in the desktop,but you can configure it not to and start in full screen mode if you prefer, if you play in the desktop mode you can bring up a different menu in the middle of the game which will pause the game and give you a number of different options, from here you can choose whether to play in or out of the desktop change the size of the playing window and you can also save out screenshots of the game which can be used in reviews - which is exactly what i did! You can also get to the configure options and the help manual as well, all of these configuration options are only available if you play the game in the desktop.
The next screen shows you the map of the playing area, from here you can look at the map in more depth, read through the mission objective and also visit the shop and improve your craft with more powerful lasers, more shields and better engine power, you can return to these screens during the game at any time by pressing "M" or "S", although you cannot buy anything from the shop during the game, perhaps its early closing?
When you've finished everything, it's then on to the game itself, and it is the same game as previous versions, the same landscapes and mission objectives, but seeing as I never got past the first couple of levels its almost like a new game!
You fly your spacecraft around the landscape destroying most of it on the way to completing the mission in which you have to complete a specific task to go to the next level.
Along the way there are many bonuses to be picked up extra lives, missiles and tokens which can be used in the shop to buy powerups, when the mission is completed which may involve destroying certain targets or simply docking with the mothership (which is by no means easy) you get a level analysis, plus bonuses, and the password for the next levels. The levels are set out in a pyramid structure, so from level 1 you can go to either level 2 or 3 and then 4,5 or 6 and so on, so you can have a different game every time.
Although this is not a new new game it keeps the game alive and has brought it right up to date and it now works on the new generation of machines, making it into a multi-tasking application works well and is an excellent improvement, my only real criticism is that the graphics do look a bit blocky and dated maybe they could be re-done to take advantage of the high resolution modes that the Iyonix offers?
Overall it is a welcome improvement on a very good game which started life as an Acorn game before being ported across to other machines, and not that hasn't happened that often over the years, definitely worth getting if you've not owned it before, and still worth it even if you have.
The Starfighter homepage can be found at http://starfighter.acornarcade.com.