Bring me to the Main Page   Bring me to the Reviews Index

Disposable hero logo

H Disposable hero o-hum, another day, another shoot em up. But wait, there is something very different about Disposable Hero. In fact, there are two things very different about it. The first is that it looks gorgeous and the second is that it is incredibly difficult.
"Ha!" I hear you snort. "We are seasoned veterans, we have tangled with every plasma-death-spitting alien in the galaxy, and you want to know the problem with shoot em ups? They are just too damn easy".
Well, it is an oft-heard complaint that many shoot em ups are not challenging enough, but Disposable Hero is truly difficult. The bad news is that it is too difficult. And o not just take my word for it, everybody in the office who picked up the joystick came to the same conclusion: Disposable Hero looks great, but it is ridiculously tricky.

If you were to draw Disposable Hero’s family tree, somewhere in the roots you would find Xenon 2. Disposable Hero puts you in control of a spacecraft which you must steer past various bad things, and blast your way past some stubborn end-of-level and mid-level meanies.
The Xenon 2 influence is most pronounced in the ‘shop’ element of the game in which you collect various engine and weapon power-ups, by finding the blueprints on your travels. These power-ups are built in a factory, and when they are ready, you collect them by landing on a blue factory dome.

The six levels are full of adversaries of a flying, fishy, futuristic and demonic nature and it is all stunningly well drawn. The ship is easy enough to control, but it can be a pain not being able to reverse. The collision detection is reasonable, and the factory element well-constructed.
Oh, by the way, the reason for all this blasting is that the Free World has been ravaged by warfare and you have been chosen to penetrate alien strongholds and return with the blueprints that will help rebuild its techonology.

All the plus factors about Disposable HeroAmiga Format rating of the mid to high Eighties, but even with a fully tooled-up ship, it is too difficult. Lightning reactions count for little and too often the game comes down to relentless pounding, which does not make for good gameplay, no matter how strong the graphics are.

If you are a seriously committed shoot em up freak, you might D-Hero a challenge. But for most people it will be a frustrating, but good-looking exercise in getting blasted to bits.
Richard Jones

Amiga Format, Issue 55, January 1994, p.p.58-59

DISPOSABLE
HERO
PROGRAMMERS
Mario van Zeist
PUBLISHER
Gremlin Graphics 0742 753423
PRICE
£25.99
RELEASED
Out now

Disposable hero needs 1 Meg to run

GRAPHICS
09 out of 10
The truly excellent backdrops add immensely to the game’s style.

SOUND
07 out of 10
Unobtrusive background sound. Reasonable blasting and zapping effects

. ADDICTION
05 out of 10
Like nouvelle cuisine, D-Hero looks great, but it won’t satisfy your hunger.

PLAYABILITY
05 out of 10
D-Hero is too difficult, and that is as big a turn off as a game being too easy.

VERDICT
"If you think shoot em ups are too easy, then try D-Hero. Some might find it a rewarding challenge, but for most it will be a frustrating and annoying game."
70%


Disposable hero logo

Vor einem Jahr hatten wir eine Horizontalknallerei aus dem Hause Prestige namens "Impulse" im Preview – jetzt heißt sie anders und kommt von Gremlin. Egal, der Wegwerfheld hat es faustdick hinter dem Laser!

Disposable hero Bei der aktuellen Plattform-Schwemme ist so eine knackige Ballerei ja richtig erfrischend, da sieht man auch gerne über die einfallslose Story von dern bösen Aliens, der bedrohten Erde und dem heldenhaften Raumpiloten hinweg. Zumal Genre-Highlights wie „Apidya“ und „Project X“ mittlerweile zwei Jahre am Buckel haben und der kürzlich vorgestellte Horizontalhammer „Uridium 2“ den Feuerfinger natürlich auch nicht bis in alle Ewigkeit jücken läßt...

Stauben wir also unseren Lieblingsstick ab und glühen die Wumme vor, es wollen mal wieder fünf große Levels von links nach rechts durchballert sein. An leckerem Kanonenfutter herrscht dabei nun wirklich kein Mangel, allüberall warten festinstallierte Geschütze, freilaufende Walker-Robots, freischwebende Aliens und supergroße Mittel- bzw. Endgegner darauf, vom Screen gepustet zu werden. Für die dazu erforderliche Feuerkraft sorgt neben der obligaten Standardkanone ein cleveres Extrawaffensystem: Man sammelt undterwegs Icons oder Power-Ups ein und macht dann an gekennzeichneten Rastplätzen halt, um dort am Waffenscreen ganz nach Bedarf Flankenlaser, Zielsuchraketen oder andere, teils recht eindrucksvolle Knallkörper zu montieren. Völlig beliebige Kombinationen sind dabei aber nicht möglich, Art und Umfang der Bewaffnung hängen vielmehr auch von der vorhandenen Motorisierung ab.

Auch sonst ist das Gameplay nicht um Ideen verlegen, z.B. indem sich der eingestellte Schwierigkeitsgrad durch unterschiedliche Feindformationen bemerkbar macht. Dennoch wird das Spiel auf der einfachsten Stufe nicht zu leicht und bleibt auf der schwersten immer noch zu schaffen – der Helden-Raumer verkraftet doch einige Treffer. Nicht minder beeindruckend ist hier die Masse an Grafikdetails: Da fliegen etwa beim Endgegner mit der Riesen-Uzi die Projektilhülsen nach allen Seiten weg. Glasbehälter splittern nach Beschuß in tausend Teile, und bei Beschleunigungsmanövern sieht man richtig, wie die Raketentriebwerke anspringen. Nicht zu vergessen kleine Kabinettstückchen wie spiegelnde Wasseroberflächen, auf die man recht häufig trifft. Trotz all der optischen Pracht gibt es so gut wie keine Nachladepausen, und kein Geruckel trübt das schöne Hild der leibevoll gestalteten Techno-, Organo- und Planetenwelten. Für angenehmes Ohrensausen sorgen unterdessen feine Musik und passende Sound-FX.

Was fehlt also zum Hit? Wenig, aber doch ein bißchen: Die Angriffswellen können einen Tick ideenreicher gestaltet sein, ein Team-Modus war nirgends zu entdecken, und ein, zwei schicke 3D-Einlagen hätten auch nicht geschadet. Doch letzten Endes ist das Haarspalterei – Amiganer mit Ballerfaible werden den Disposable Hero gewiß nicht so schnell wegwerfen! (rl)

Amiga Joker, January 1994, p.31

DISPOSABLE HERO
(GREMLIN)
BALLERKNALLER
81%
"FEURIG"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
82%
84%
78%
74%
82%
81%
VARIABEL: 4 STUFEN
PREIS DM 79,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
1 MB
2/JA
NEIN
HIGHSCORES: 7 PLÄTZE
ANLEITUNG


Disposable hero logo

Get your trigger finger oiled and ready once more as Gremlin prepare to fire their retaliatory shot at Team 17’s Project X. Tony Dillon doesn’t need to oil his finger; he’s as greasy as they come.

T Disposable hero here was a point, a couple of years ago, where shoot ‘em ups were ten a penny. You couldn’t open the review pages of a magazine without seeing ‘Deathblazer’ or Alien Run or some similarly macho name staring out at you, promising the wildest ride of your life, and another joystick consigned to the bin. A lot of them were awful, but some of them were wonderful.

Unfortunately, the genre slipped into a coma when Mario and Sonic made their collective presence felt, and since then we’ve been slowly choking on a bubblegum diet composed entirely of sweet cartoon characters and chocolately platforms and even more sickeningly fluffy ‘heroes’ whom we’re all expected to wear the T-Shirt of.

God, it’s only Syndicate that’s kept me sane. But what’s this? Could we be returned to the glorious days of ‘shoot first, shoot a bit more, keep on shooting and forget the questioning’? It could be, if Gremlin’s latest acquisition, Disposable Hero, is anything to go by. Why, it even has a stale and tacky plot! No bad thing in itself, especially when it so blatantly and pathetically tries to hide the fact that the game is nothing more than an all-out violence orgy! For those who are interested, the game is set way into the future – somewhere around the twenty eight century, after most of the human race has been wiped out by aliens. Well, what did they expect, poking around all over the unknown universe to see if they could find life, only to start all-out war with it when they struck lucky. Now, only a small pocket of resistance is left. In a word, you and as the Disposable Hero, you have to go against the might of the alien armada across an alien landscape.

Have I made the point that it is a pure arcade blaster with little need for thought and stacks of work laid out for both your joystick and your index finger? If you thought Project X was tough, then you ain’t seen nothing. This game throws everything, and I do mean everything at you. The landscape attacks you. The small scaly things that crawl over the landscape attack you. In fact, anything that moves is likely to have a pop at you if you turn your back on them for a second.

Of course, the millions of alien ‘things’ that fly around go for the throat in a big way. To think, all you have to fight back with is a tiny little fighter with a pathetic laser gun and your own resources. Not that’s the strict truth, of course. You can upgrade your ship’s weapons and capabilities, taking this small, harmless 2CV of a craft and turning it into a gunmetal grey Capri with furry seats, a stereo with at least two dozen bass speakers and some rather nutty custom fairing. For full information on all the weapons available, check the panel on the opposite page. What that panel won’t tell you, however, is how you actually manage to get the weapons.

Disposable hero There’s no money involved. You don’t need to trade a single thing and you definitely don’t get weapons as reward for your gun prowess. Instead, a more sensible system is employed. Each weapon and improvement requires a certain amount of power to function, and your engine is only capable of putting out a certain amount of gigawatts. In the same way, the hull only has so much room, so the trick lies in balance. You can have any weapons you like, provided that your engine has the juice to power them and there’s actually room for them on the ship. Naturally, the first thing you’ll need to get is a bigger engine, after which you can quite comfortably fit a three way firing cannon, an energy shield and a couple of homing missiles, which should make life a hell of a lot more violent.

The graphics are very attractive, you have to admit, but there are a few points where the finely detailed sprites and backdrops can cause major problems. The backdrop is made up of two components: the scenery which is purely decorative and scrolls along in the background and the foreground obstacles, which are hard, unbreakable and completely fatal should you smash into them when you can’t tell the difference between the two. The whole things does look stunning though.

It plays well too. The ship manoeuvres well, and responds quickly to the joystick commands that come thick and fast in the midst of battle. Autofire is automatic, so all you need to do is keep your finger on the button to unleash a ‘stream of death’. There are four difficulty levels to choose from, so the enemy are never too overwhelming, just whelming enough, and the variety of attack waves and enemy styles keep the whole thing interesting. Not the most original game ever, but a fun blast that is good for a few weeks.

SOUND BLASTER

Sound has always been regarded by games players as a very important part of the atmospherics in a game, but it always seems to be sadly neglected by most software houses. D-Hero is different, thankfully, supplying the player with not only some superb pieces of music that sound like they’ve come out of Blade Runner, and a collection of suitably explosive sound effects, with a mixer on the menu screen that lets you choose the volumes of both.

CU Amiga, October 1993, p.p.94-95

TOOLING UP
If it’s weapons you’re after, it’s weapons you’ll get. Here’s a selection of what’s on offer.
Pulse Laser
The basic, standard Pulse Laser.
Sonic Disruptor
The Sonic Disruptor.
Nuclear Projector
The Nuclear Projector.
Vertical firing cannon
Vertical firing cannon.
Ion Deflector Shield
Ion Deflector Shield. Saves 50% of damage.
Basic engine accelerator
A basic engine accelerator.
Advanced accelerator
A more advanced accelerator.
More powerful shield
A more powerful shield.
Second most powerful accelerator
The second most powerful accelerator.
Massive accelerator
A massive accelerator.
Grenade launcher
A grenade launcher, for more destruction.
Orbiting pods
Orbiting pods swing round the ship.
Basic engine
A basic engine increases power.
Larger engine
A larger engine means even more.
Enhanced engine
How much power do you need?
Strongest engine
The biggest, and strongest engine.
Tracking cannons
Tracking cannons follow the enemy.
Pulse cannon
A powerful, front firing pulse cannon.
Three way firing cannons
Upgrade to three way firing cannons.
Homing missiles
Homing missiles make life easier.

GREMLIN £25.99
A500
A1500
A500+
A2000
A600
A3000
A1200
A4000
GREMLIN GRAPHICS, CARVER HOUSE, CARVER STREET, SHEFFIELD S1 4FS. TEL: 0742 753423
 
RELEASE DATE:
GENRE:
TEAM:
CONTROLS:
NUMBER OF DISKS:
NUMBER OF PLAYERS:
HARD DISK INSTALLABLE:
MEMORY:
 
OUT NOW
SHOOT-‘EM-UP
IN HOUSE
JOYSTICK
2
1
NO
1Mb
 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
84%
87%
74%
81%
A fast paced, well polished shoot ‘em up.
OVERALL: 79%



Disposable hero CD32 logo  CD32

Gremlin 0742 753423 * £29.99
It is not exactly a title to inspire confidence – do you really want to be a hero if you are disposable? Hey, I am perfectly happy to be a living coward if it is all the same with you. Anyway, where were we? Oh computer games, that is it. Disposable Hero is a traditional style space shoot em up except that it is a bit posher than the rest. You can even dock off at factories to get extra bits for your ship to help you defeat the fiendishly fearsome end of level baddies.

It looks fantastic, much prettier than Defender but by heck it is difficult. And with all the spectacular scenery you occasionally lose your way, crashing into stuff you thought you could fly over. Double drat. But fans of the genre should be able to get their teeth into it. I still prefer Project-X.
Steve Bradley

70%

Amiga Format, Issue 59, May 1994, p.p.86-87


Disposable hero CD32 logo  CD32

Langsam schießen sich die Hersteller wortwörtlich auch auf CD ein: "Overkill" war schon nicht schlecht, "Seek & Destroy" noch besser – jetzt läßt Gremlin den Laser-Leser so richtig heißlaufen!

Disposable hero Der Horizontalscroller um den "Wegwerfhelden" ist mit einer derart schauerlich übersetzten Anleitung geplaft, daß man dieses Faltblatt am liebsten tatsächlich wegwerfen würde. Andererseits haben Stilblüten wie "Du mußt zur nächsten Werkstat Bewgw Deinem Pfeil und schau auf" schon einen gewissen Unterhaltungswert – was man vom im Vergleich zur ursprünglichen Version deutlich aufgepeppten Spiel selbst erst recht behaupten kann...

Okay, die bereits im Original famose Optik wartet nur ab und an mit ein paar neuen Details auf, und daß die Musik nun standesgemäß von der CD kommt und eine Handvoll zusätzlicher Sound-FX ertönt, ist schon fast eine Selbstverständlichkeit. Auch daß die Steuerung via Joystick und Pad gleichermaßen gut von der hand geht, konnte man erwarten; die Verbesserungen im Gameplay hingegen nicht: Nahezu alle unfairen Stellen wurden entschärft und der vormals recht herbe Schwierigkeitsgrad insgesamt auf ein ertrágliches Niveau gesenkt – zusammen mit dem gewohnten Erhalt der mühsam erballerten Waffen nach einem Exitus ergibt sich in der Summe jetzt eine Action-Arie der Sonderklasse!

Amiga Joker Hit Das zu durchfliegende Feindgebiet erstreckt sich über rund ein halbes Dutzend Welten, die den Spieler je nach Schwierigkeitsgrad mit unterschiedlichen Herausforderungen konfrontieren. Beim Flug durch die Techno-Landschaft sind das etwa kleinere Raumer, riesige Walker oder mit Tentaklen bewehrte Flugrobbis, spätere Organo-Abschnitte bieten Ekelbiester aller Klassen, und das Unterwasser-Szenario beinhaltet z.B. auch gefáhrliche Seebeben. Nirgends wurde an extradicken Mittel- und Endgegnern gespart, passend dazu gibt es eine vielfähige Ausstattung. Während ein Energieschirm mehrere Treffer wegsteckt, kann der Gleiter nämlich mit Sammel-Icons mit Dreiwege-Schuß, Luft-Boden-Geschossen oder Zielsuchraketen bestückt werden, die bei einem kleinen Zwischenstop an einer Station anzuflanschen sind. Dabei hängt die maximal mögliche Ausrüstung nicht zuletzt von der Motorisierung ab, man sollte das Standardtriebwerk mit der geringen Nutzlast also beizeiten auswechseln.

So ungewöhnlich dieses Waffensystem ist, so hübsch ist hier die Optik: Da spiegelt sich die Grafik auf einer animierten Wasseroberfläche wider, Glasplatten zerbersten nach Beschuß in Tausende Scherben, und beim Uzi-Endgegner sieht man die leeren MG-Hülsen in alle Richtungen davonjagen. Demgegenüber wirken manche der Angriffsformationen leider etwas altbacken, und ein umfangreiches Intro fehlt ebenso wie spektakuläre 3D-Effekte, animierte Zwischensequenzen oder ein Team-Modus. Doch selbst wenn bei der Konvertierung somit sicher noch etwas mehr möglich gewesen wäre – mehr Spielspaß bietet bislang keine Ballerknaller auf Amiga-CD! (rl)

Amiga Joker, May 1994, p.73

DISPOSABLE HERO
(GREMLIN)
BALLERKNALLER
85%
"AUFGEMOTZT"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
SOUND-FX
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
82%
84%
82%
79%
84%
86%
VARIABEL: 4 STUFEN
PREIS DM 79,-
CD
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
NEIN
ANLEITUNG


Disposable hero CD32 logo  CD32  CU Amiga Screen Star

GREMLIN, £29.99 OUT NOW
T Disposable hero CD32 he CD32 should have some absolutely scorching shoot ‘em-ups by now. Software companies have been churning out absolute monster blasters for years for far less impressive tech-spec machines than Commodore’s console, so where are they? Gremlin is not well known for its shoot ‘em up pedigree, but they have given it a damn good shot through with Disposable Hero.

Take to the helm of a lightweight star-fighter and scrape your way through five levels of complete carnage. It has to be said, Disposable Hero is tought with a capital T. There is so much packing the screen that you are constantly fighting two enemies at once, the never ending barrage of enemy fighter and the complicated intertwining backgrounds and detail on every level. There is so much going on it is incredibly hard to keep your attention on shooting with accuracy at gun emplacements and the like. Most of the time it is a case of dodging and shooting into thin air!

The graphics are fabulously detailed. Enemy ships actually look battle scarred and possess little animated bits of machinery on their surfaces that twist or click as they speed towards you. The secret of success is in the various pods/domes you will find. They hide shops where you can stock up on weapons. Your ship will only carry so much though, and certain combinations will not do, so cunning choices have to be made to stay in the game. There is a total of 32 weapons to choose from but you do not have instant access to them all. Scattered throughout the hostile enemy levels you will find various bonus pods that have to be collected to buy better equipment.

And boy are you going to need those upgrades! The enemy fighters move F.A.S.T. Quite often it is better to dodge the on-coming traffic then stand and fight it. Scooch down to the bottom of the screen, pausing to get a look at your reflection, and then speeding straight up to the top again will get you out of many a scrape. But be careful! Space between the backgrounds and sprites is very tight. If you keep your head and make it to the end of the level you will find the big boys waiting. Gigantic guardians hand around and block your path onward. Apart from being deadly they possess fantastic detail, like steam and moving parts animated to full effect.

Disposable Hero is a vital addition to the lagging CD32 software library. If you do not buy it, I cannot imagine what else you must be using your machine for!
Tony Dillon

86%

CU Amiga, May 1994, p.48