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Fusion logo

Electronic Arts
Price: £19.99

Fusion T he first thing I saw about this game that I liked was the first page of Fusion’s manual, which gives you a short sarcastic plot under the tile of Not The Story (‘The galaxy is under threat and only you in your very very very small Trang fighter can save us…’) and then goes on to tell you that Fusion is a game. Not a simulation of a futuristic sport, but merely a computer game with you playing it. Credit where credit’s due, well done to the writer. Well, it made me laugh, anyway.

The idea behind Fusion is to traverse the many alien levels and collect all the parts of The Bomb, and then return to the start level and drop the bomb on the bomb square (recognisable because it looks like a bomb). To get to the other levels, you are going to have to do some puzzle solving.

You start on a metallic looking plateau looking out around the 360 degrees scrolling landscape of large pylons, huge holes and alien vegetation. Pathways lead off the plateau into a mazelike series of connecting paths down to ground level where, somewhere, your ship is hiding. I say hiding because if you are more than a third of a screen away, it turns on its cloaking device, rendering it invisible to all and sundry. Which, as you can imagine, makes it a bit difficult when you cannot remember where you put it. The whole point of the ship is that you can fly around at great speeds over areas that you could not go ‘on foot’, to survey the area and to get between levels. All the problem solving has to be done on foot, just like the old 64 favourite, Parallax. In fact, this game is very similar to Parallax in many way, except of course for the ultimate aim and the bit about the scientists.

Fusion The problem solving comes in the guise of locked off areas and keys. The keys are represented by large rectangular blocks on the ground, with a geometrical shape in the centre of them, either red or green. The locks are smaller versions of the keys, set against a wall or exit to another level. To activate the key, you have to run over it by foot, and as it is usually set in the centre of a maze with no clear room for the mothership to land, you have to land outside the maze and find your own way in. Plus you can only activate one red and one green key at once, so you have to plan very carefully which one you select.
You are under constant bombardment by the aliens that populate the plains. Large balls roll in your direction, continually tracking you; gun emplacements pop up Xenon-like and fire at you; homing missiles come after you all the time. There is just no getting away.

The graphics are really nice: Sharp and colourful. No-one could call the game unattractive. The scrolling is not exactly smooth, but it does have a very nice parallax effect. Well, not exactly true parallax. The backdrop is two layer, with the rear layer only seen through the holes in the front layer. The strange, but very pretty thing is, the rear layer scrolls slightly out of synchronisation with the front, so you get a terrific, if slightly weird, swinging effect.
Sound is quite nice, with a repeating tune all the way through. After a few hours, I can see how it might get boring, but then you can always turn it off.

There are two ways you can play Fusion. you can either play it as a straight, well balanced cross between frantic blasting and taxing problem solving, or you can take it as a straight shoot-‘em-up. Either way, it is a damn good game.
Tony Dillon

CU Amiga, November 1988, p.65

GRAPHICS
SOUND
PLAYABILITY
LASTABILITY
85%
74%
77%
75%
75%


Fusion logo

Electronic Arts, £24.95 disk
Fusion The year is 2188 and intergalactic travel is still not possible – so don’t get any clever ideas about warping the space time continuum or eating melange, OK? It’s JUST NOT ON!
Man has changed to cope the problems of suspended animation enough to travel about the galaxy, but any further than that and there are medical problems involved (shhh!). Even most small ships are fitted with systems to allow interstellar travel, right down to the tiny Trang class fighters.

You, Captain Gherheart Bloowd III, are the pilot of one of these fighters, known as the Flayer, and are on your way home at the end of a reconnaissance mission when a message comes in on your autocom. The computer wakes you up when the message is received, printing up the text onto a screen:

The galaxy is under threat and only you in your very small Trang class fighter can save us…

The rest disappears in a stream of garbled code. Your computer manages to locate the source of the signal and automatically programs the coordinates into your navi-computer.

All is quiet when you reach the planet, so you begin to explore. Eventually you find a carving on a wall, prophesying the coming doom, along with the way to overcome the disastrous alien assault. You must search the planet in your Trang fighter and land assault craft in search of the bomb parts needed to blow up the alien base. Once all the pieces have been found you must return to the first layer and activate the bomb icon.

Access to some grid sections and other layers of the base is gained by tripping certain switches set into the ground, each switch activating its own function. Other icons include the bomb parts themselves, extra ship functions (like shields or improved firepower) and a save game option.

All this seems easy enough, until the enemy detect your presence and launch Rotating Plasmo Spheres, Homing Missiles, Nitro-mice, UHOs (Unidentified Hovering Objects) and Ergonomic Eruptors at you. At this point you realise that it’s not going to be as easy as you thought… But then, nothing ever is, is it?

Zzap, Christmas Special, Issue 44, December 1988, p.202

Paul Glancy I must say for a start that Fusion looks absolutely wonderful! The colouring of both sprites and backdrops is incredible and the shading is so good you could almost pick the ships off the screen. The scrolling could have been a little smoother, however, as it’s a little bit bitty as it stands (or moves as it were… never mind). The gameplay is still frenetic, though, helped in no small degree by the stern, futuristic soundtrack that plays throughout. Initially the switches seem to be a bit far apart, requiring you to travel for miles in your slow-moving assault vehicle, but once you get used to the routes the distance doesn’t seem as far and you become more involved in blasting aliens to care. Fusion is a good game, that’s all there is to it. It’s not a brilliant game, just very good.

Kati Hamza There are only two words for this game: fab ‘n’ triff! The amount and variety of colour and the use made of it is superb – something which the screenshots on this page don’t fully show. The only thing that lets down the graphics is the scrolling, which is a little jerky – but the atmosphere generated by the punchy soundtrack and relentless waves of aliens is ace! The inertial control method is a bit awkward, too, at first – but once you’ve got the hang of it, just fly around and blast the baddies to bits! It’s such an unusual game that I’d fully recommend you check it out!

Maff Evans The demo copy of Fusion arrived a while ago, without any fuss at all. In fact I didn’t know what the hell it was until it loaded. Now we have the finished game, I can safely say that Electronic Arts have a really good product on their hands. The graphics are brilliant, the sprites are nicely drawn and coloured, scrolling over strange and atmospheric backgrounds. The sound is just as brill (God, did I really use that word? Blimey! I must be turning into Gordon!), sounding a bit like early Human League. At first, the game tends to be a little confusing, making you ask ‘Where the hell am I?’ but you soon get drawn into looking for the switches and bomb pieces and the question becomes ‘Have I really been playing that long?’ Bullfrog Productions have certainly learned how to use the Amiga. I mean great music, beautiful graphics… these boys have got a future!

Snowblob!
PRESENTATION 79%
No real options and an unnecessarily confusing number system.
GRAPHICS 89%
Wonderful sprites and scenery, but bumpy scrolling.
SOUND 86%
Few spot effects but a brilliant synth-pop tune.
HOOKABILITY 83%
Initially difficult to wrap your head around...
LASTABILITY 90%
...but devilishly addictive afterwards.

OVERALL 87%
A high quality shoot ´em up and an impressive debut from Bullfrog productions. Keep it up guys (and gals?)

Fatford: Oh No! Too much X-mas Pud!