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Oscar AGA logo  AGA  A1200 Speziell

Wurde ja wirklich zeit, daß unser Chefredakteur mal mit einem Game seines Namens geadelt wird – passenderweise läuft die Plattform-Arie nur auf edlen 1200ern und handelt von ausgestorbenen Urviechern!.

Oscar Okay, wir geben es ja zu: Unser Oskar scheibt sich anders und überhaupt hat diese Hüpfical viel mehr mit Stephen Spielbergs „Jurassic Park“ als mit unserem Redaktions-Terminator zu tun. Noch ehe Ocean das offizielle Spiel zum Film vom Stapel läßt, sind die Jungs von Flair Software nämlich auf den Zug der Zeit aufgesprungen und eröffnen einen digitalen Dino-Park, in dem die begehrten Filmauszeichnungen einzusammeln sind...

Per Stick steuert man einen entzückend gezeichneten Knirps durch multidirektional scrollende Levels, um im bunten Vergnügungspark voller Urechsen jene Oscars aufzuklauben, von denen Mr. Spielberg gar nicht genug bekommen kann. Sind all die Teilweise gut versteckten Trophäen im Sack, muß nur noch der Ausgang erreicht werden – freilich ohne zuvor einem Saurier zum Opfer zu fallen. Und das ist schon deshalb kein Zuckerschlecken, weil die Dinos nur durch einem mehrfachen Hopser zu beseitigen sind und der Existenzkampf hier am Boden, zu Wasser und in der Luft tobt. Die wolkigen Gefilde werden dabei von großen Flugechsen und kaum erkennbaren Minidrachen beherrscht, während die diversen Fische und Quallen im feuchten Element zwar nicht ganz so urig aussehen wie ihre erdverbundenen Kollegen, jedoch nicht minder gefährlich sind.

Oscar Kurz und gut, man ist dankbar für die allerorten bereitliegenden Extras bzw. die damit verbundenen Spezialfähigkeiten. Das wichtigste Utensil ist ein Jojo, leistet doch zum Saurier-Klatschen ebensogute Dienste wie zum Zertrümmern hinderlicher Wände; ja, sogar als kletterseil ist das Teil zu gebrauchen. Ebenfalls sehr nützlich sind einzusammelnde Flügel, die für zeitlich begrenzte Flugfähigkeit sorgen. Und die übliche Plattform-Kost wie Zusatzleben oder Bonuspunkte ist ohnehin nie verkehrt, denn bei diesem Spiel ist das, obwohl die nett animierten Gegner meist nur stereotyp auf vorgegebenen Bahnen herumträmpeln. Neben dem Umwelt-Zoo hat man nämlich auch mit einer etwas durchwachsenen Steuerung zu kämpfen – wer sich beim Monstersprung nur ein paar Milimeter verschätzt, kann sich in der Sekunde von einem vier Bildschirmleben verabschieden!

Wäre doch schade, schließlich ist die Grafik umwerfend detailliert und gagreich gestaltet (Dinos in Unterwäsche!) , das Parallax-Scrolling klappt soft, und die fetzige Musik tröstet locker über die fehlenden Effekte unseres Testmusters hinweg. Kein Wunder, handelt es sich bei Oscar doch um jenes Spiel, das jedem neuen CD beiliegen soll – an der CD-Version mit Mega-Intro, neuen 3D-Effekten und zwei zusätzlichen Levels wird aber noch gestrickt. Egal, denn auch mit vorliegender 1200er-Variante hat die Dinomania am Monitor einen vorläufigen Höhepunkt erreicht; selbst wenn es bei Oscar nicht ganz für einen Oscar langt... (md)

Amiga Joker, October 1993, p.73

OSCAR
(FLAIR SOFTWARE)
PLATFORM - DINOS
78%
"BILDSCHÖN"
Amiga Joker
GRAFIK
ANIMATION
MUSIK
HANDHABUNG
DAUERSPAß
90%
79%
80%
62%
74%
77%
VARIABEL: 5 STUFEN
PREIS DM 59,-
SPEICHERBEDARF
DISKS/ZWEITFLOPPY
HD-INSTALLATION
SPEICHERBAR
DEUTSCH
2 MB
3/JA
JA
HIGHSCORES
ANL. (TEILW.)


Oscar CD32 logo  CD32

Am 1200er gefiel Flairs Jump & Run recht gut, die dem CD32 beiliegende Version hat sogar etwas hübschere Grafik, Musik von der CD, eine bessere Steuerung und ein paar zusätzliche Levels zu bieten. Andererseits haben die Plattform-Dinos auf der Schillerscheibe mit technischen Patzern zu kämpfen, was insgesamt zu Punktabzug führt: 70 Prozent. (rl)

Amiga Joker, December 1993, p.82


Oscar CD32 logo  CD32

Flair £25.99

Oscar Oh dear. I am still finding this a bit hard to believe, to be honest. The CD32’s rather nice joypad has no less than seven buttons on it. Oscar uses ‘up’ to jump. Otherwise, this is, as far as I can tell, exactly the same game as the less-than-amazing A1200 version we reviewed last month. It is still almost completely impossible to see the bad guys against the backgrounds on most of the levels, it is still littered with bits where you have to leap off the screen and just hope for the best, only to end up plummeting down a bottomless lift shaft or similar, you still have to bounce on the soppiest baddies three times to dispose of them (a pointless annoyance that even the PC version ironed out), and it is still basically just a more garish version of Trolls with most of the good bits taken out.
Stuart Campbell

Amiga Power, Issue 32, December 1993, p.p.98-99

THE BOTTOM LINE
CD32 Like the most generic and dull platform game you have ever seen, with some of the most annoying features from traditional computer games thrown in on top. I really dislike this quite intensely, and even more so because it is trying to sell itself as the game that is going to make the CD32 happen. Nice character, though.
51
P E R C E N T


Oscar CD32 logo  CD32

Trolls was a surprise smash. Now Flair are looking to repeat that success with the CD32 flagship game. Tony Dillon was less than impressed.

Oscar CD32 I really enjoyed Trolls. The colourful and playable romp through a selection of fast-paced, maze-like levels made this platform adventure a winner in my book, as well as everyone else’s. That's probably why Flair have spent the recent months developing Oscar in a similar vein to Trolls. However, if the game looks a little similar to Trolls, that's only because it is, in essence, the same game, with just some different graphics and a couple more bells and whistles added.

FIND MYSELF
As far as the plot is concerned, there isn't much there to write home about. Oscar has had all his Oscars stolen (the small golden statues) and scattered about the sets of a collection of films, seven or nine depending of the version you've got. Each film set contains all the nasties and enemies you would expect to see, such as the aliens from Alien in 'Sci Fi Encounters', albeit with bright red noses and comical expressions, or amusing stereotyped policemen parading their beat in 'Cartoon Capers'. Possibly the most visually recognisable level is 'War Games', as the entire thing is in black and white!

Oscar's nicest graphic twist is in the underwater segments. Some levels are flooded to a certain point and, when you are above the water line, all you can see is the level reflected on the surface of the lake. Not much new there, but as soon as you dive below the surface, the palette changes and a whole new world is revealed. Of course, the controls change as Oscar starts to swim, but that's only to be expected.

GO YO YO!
The one biggest throwback from the days of Trolls is the inclusion of the Yo-yo. Most platform games, you normally kill the enemy sprites by leaping on their heads (a horribly outdated way of doing things, and one part of the whole platform genre that really needs something fresh). Some games even let you collect guns and what not. Oscar, on the other hand, lets you collect a small ball on a string. But this is no ordinary ball. Not only can it knock out enemy sprites at five paces (albeit after three hits), it can also be used as a swing! Leaping into the air and then firing it at a nearby platform will occasionally cause it to attach to the underside of the said object, leaving to swoop by yelling in a Tarzan fashion.

Oscar CD32 But the proof in any game is in the playing, and this is really where Oscar falls on its face. First off, if you want to play it with the joypad - forget it! You will need to use a lot of diagonals for jumping across gaps, and the joypad supplied with the machine just isn't all that hot when it comes to diagonals. I would have like to have seen one of the buttons used as a jump control, but these things are always easy to say with hindsight!

So, using your favourite joystick, what do you find? A very sluggish game, that's what. Oscar is trying to be a fast paced platformer, but fails miserably due to the abysmally slow controls. Sure, you can belt all over the screen, but just try to time a jump when you're running at full speed!

As I've already said, it's a very colourful game. Generally there are over one hundred colours on screen at any one time, with the main sprite taking 32 colours, the panel at the bottom of the screen taking another 32, a sixteen colour foreground and over 40 more making up the copperlist in the back. It might sound very nice, but it causes horrendous problems.

Take a look at any screenshots on this page, and see how easy it is to make out platforms and enemy sprites. It isn't. Everything looks very complicated, and even more so when everything is moving. Why do graphic artists feel that they need to use so many colours? It does nothing more than make the game harder to play. I got extremely fed up repeatedly walking into things that I just couldn't see.

Oscar has all the makings of an excellent platform game, but it seems that Flair have tried too hard in all the wrong places. Not the best entry point to the world of CD32 games!

CU Amiga, November 1993, p.p.138-139

BIG DIFFERENCE
The CD32 version of Oscar has nine levels, along with some superb MIDI sound and enhanced effects, or so what we are told by Flair. The version we have reviewed here has only seven levels and the standard A1200 sound. Are we cheating you? I think not, as we actually reviewed the version of the game that came boxed with our CD32,. It seems that in an effort to get the machine out early, Commodore haven't waited for the full CD32 version, shipping the first batch of machines with the normal Amiga version. I don't know about you, but having bought the machine, I would be extremely annoyed to discover that none of the console's new features have been implemented on the bundled software, and would certainly expect Commodore to replace my CD. Apparently, there are no plans to do this. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

FLAIR – free with CD32
FLAIR SOFTWARE, THE SMITHY SIDE, PONTELAND, NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE NE20 9BD. TEL: 0661 860260
 
RELEASE DATE:
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OUT NOW
PLATFORM
JOYPAD, JOYSTICK
1
 
GRAPHICS
SOUND
LASTABILITY
PLAYABILITY
61%
78%
72%
65%
The game that should have been so much more. Disappointing platformer.
OVERALL: 64%