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Project X logo

Endlich eine neue Horizontal-Knallerei! Was heisst da "bah, wie langweilig"? Das haben wir bei "Alien Breed", dem letzten Action-Streich von Team 17, zunächst auch gesagt - und dann war's ein starkes Stück Soft! Also nur keine voreiligen Schüsse, ah Schlüsse...

Project X Verständlich sind gewisse Vorbehalte natürlich schön, denn Ballerspiele fur den Amiga gibt's wie Monster im Dungeon - und die meisten sind die Disk nicht wert, auf die sie gepresst wurden. Bei Projekt-X liegt die Sache aber gottlob anders, auch wenn man das bei der erschreckend einfallslosen Vorgeschichte um mutierte Droiden, die einen Planeten besetzt halten, gar nicht vermuten wurde. Anderseits, wer braucht schon eine Vorgeschichte?

Schreiten wir also zur Action, alleine oder auch zu zweit hintereinander. Es stehen nicht nur drei verschiedene Raumgleiter zur Verfügung, sondern einiges mehr: Ihr möchtet automatisches Dauerfeuer? Oder im Titelbild lieber sanftem Weltraumgedudel lauschen anstatt des Techno/Rave-Mix? Kein Problem, selbst die Startlevel ist einstellbar, falls man vorher entsprechend weit gespielt hat. Ist man erstmal im All, geht auch gleich die Post ab: ihre Kreise, Meteoriten rauschen in Massen vorbei, der Zwischengegner lässt einen wahren Kugelhagel vom Stapel - man ist stets in Gesellschaft von zumindest einem Dützend Sprites! Umso erstaunlicher, dass Project-X den Spieler mit unfairen Stellen belästigt, das Game bleibt wirklich von vorne bis hinten spiel- und schaffbar. Ware ja auch zu schade, wenn man die imposanten Endgegner, die wunderschonen Lava-Welten oder die "R-Type"-station nie kennen lernen wurde! Auch die Bonuslevel sind durchaus einen Blick wert, hier wird in einer Temp-Tunnelpassage das Punktekonto aufgebessert.

Das Extrawaffensystem erinnert an "Apidya": Man sammelt Symbole auf, um so an leckere Speed-Ups, Schützschilde oder diverse Laser-Kanonen zu kommen, die sich (falls vorhanden) auch über einen zweiten Feuerknopf aktivieren lassen. Aber aufgepasst, nach jeden neu angebauten Extra reagiert der Raumer ein Stück träger auf die Joystick-Kommandos! OK, das nimmt man in Kauf, wenn die Extrapower so imposant aussieht wie hier. Imposant ist aber auch der Rest der Grafik, die ruckelfrei und farbenfroh von rechts nach links (bzw. ein wenig nach oben und unten) vorbeiscrollt. Die Ohren kommen während des Spiels ebenfalls nicht zu kurz, zwar gibt es da keine Musik, aber dafur reichlich FX und Sprachausgabe zu horen.

Zu bemangeln findet man hier wenig, vielleicht dass die Sprites gelegentlich etwas holprig animiert sind, die Feindformationen nicht ewig Spass machen und wirklich ausgiebig nachgeladen wird - letzteres ist bei satten vier Disks jedoch kein Wunder. Unter dem Strich kommt Project-X also nicht ganz an die Ballerkrone von "Apidya" heran, aber "Agony" muss um seinen Vizetitel zittern...(rl)

Amiga Joker, May 1992, p.73

Der Amiga Joker meint:
Project-X - endlich wieder Baller-Action, die ihr Geld wert ist!

Amiga Joker
Grafik: 79%
Sound: 78%
Handhabung: 78%
Spielidee: 61%
Dauerspaß: 77%
Preis/Leistung: 80%

Red. Urteil: 78%
Preis: ca 79,- DM
Hersteller: Team 17
Genre: Action
Spezialitat: Lauft auf allen Amigas mit 1MB RAM, Pausefunktion, Highscores werden gespeichert, Poster anbei.

Project X logo

After Team 17’s tremendous cover demo on last month’s issue of AMIGA POWER, the world at large was expecting Project X to wipe out the competition. Sometimes though, life is just a bit unpredictable (and more than a touch disappointing).

Game: Project X
Publisher: Team 17
Author: Andreas Tadis
Price: £25.99
Release: Out now

O Project X kay. Here's a little dilemma for all you budding game reviewers out there. You see a preview of a new game. It looks absolutely wonderful. You rave about it and tell everyone to go out and buy the game the second it appears in the shops. Some time later, the real thing shows up. Its not nearly as good as you'd been hoping for. Do you bite the bullet and admit you got it wrong, or do you brazen it out, rely on breathless enthusiasm to sell your earlier impression and hope nobody notices? Well, as a wise man once said. 'Admitting you were mistaken in the past is in fact no more than saying that you are now a wiser man than you used to be', and that's good enough for me. Which is something I'm afraid I can't really say about Project X.

There's a forceful argument that says something that's NEARLY brilliant is often a far, far worse thing than that which is simply mediocre. The principle being that when you're just a whisker from perfection, the flaws which stop you from attaining it suddenly become drastically more important, simply because they ARE standing in the way of that perfection. They can seem to loom so large, like a particularly ugly oil refinery in the middle of an otherwise breathtaking landscape, that they overshadow the whatever-it-is's numerous good points completely and make you hate it, although objectively it is, of course, nearly perfect. You know what's coming now, don't you?

Yup, Project X is nearly brilliant, which is to say that it's one of the most irritating and infuriating games you'll ever play in your life. You may be wondering why this review only includes screenshots from the first two levels. The reason is that, after three days of solid play by the entire AMIGA POWER team, not one of us got further than about halfway through level two, and that only twice. (In fact, I was the only one who made it off level one at all). This is a game so incredibly mean- spirited that if you haven't finished R-Type without cheating. I wouldn't suggest that you even try it. More than any other shoot- 'em-up I've seen, Project X is completely power-up-centred, to the extent that if you lose a life (and with it, the vast majority of your power-ups - lose two lives in a row and you're back to the weediest weaponry there is, no matter how hard you were before), you're as well to hit the abort button and start again, such is the miniscule magnitude of your chance of getting any further. This is compounded to an uncomfortable degree by two things.

Firstly and less importantly, the game seems prone to an occasional bug that plays havoc with the power-up system - sometimes collecting a token can. Instead of making the weapons bar progress to the next add-on, inexplicably make it return to the first icon (speed-up). Secondly, the method of selecting a power-up is to either hit space (necessitating a lunge away from the keyboard which is ill- affordable in a game of non-stop high-speed action like this one) or to waggle the joystick rapidly back and forth Xenon-style. This is fine in theory but, as in Xenon, it proves disconcertingly easy to do it by mistake and select a weapon which you really didn't want. Switch inadvertently from an eight-times- enhanced plasma beam weapon to a poxy double-shot gun in the middle of a heavy attack wave on level two (as I did) and you might as well wave bye-bye to the whole game, all the effort expended on getting that far completely wasted.

The game does offer you a 'Rookie' skill setting, but it only lets you play the first two levels (like, thanks all to pieces), and a level select which lets you start (power-up-less) on the last level you reached, but only up to and including the third level of the game's six. Big deal. There's more, but hang on, it's nearly summer, let's try and be positive.

Project X isn't short on good points. You can select one of three ships of differing characteristics for your mission, allowing you to tailor your tactics a particular way. The weapons and ship interact imaginatively, with powerful weapons both detracting from the other weapons and hampering the handling of your craft. The speech samples are atmospheric and helpful. The graphics are stunning (see for yourself), and Team 17 have listened admirably to criticism of their earlier Alien Breed, which said it was too easy to complete. Unfortunately, they've gone hurtling off in the opposite direction and made a game that only a superhuman's going to see the end (or even the second half) of, Project X doesn't even apparently have a cheat mode, so unless you're the kind of person who found R-Type II just all too easy, forget about this forever.

I'm depressed now.

D oes Project X the insectide to Apidya, or is it Kaiko’s game that has the sting in its tail? Let us see...

Apidya 9 – Project X 8
Both games are beautiful, but Apidya scores here for detail, colour and variation. The backdrops are gorgeous and some of the enemies are utterly disgusting - Project X suffers from characterlessness.

Apidya 9 – Project X 7
Project X has nice zappy FX and the speech adds quite a lot to the atmosphere, but Apidya’s spanky music and jingles are way out in front of it. The ‘Techno Party 1’ tune in particular stomps all over Project X’s much-touted intro music by itself and it has got an in-game tune (with FX at the same time) into the bargain.

Apidya 9 – Project X 8
Not much of a contest here, to be honest. The effect of inertia on the various ships in Project X as you pile on weaponry is clever and ‘realistic’, but as we have said before at some length, arcade gamesa re no place for realism. Also, in Project X, if you lose a life anywhere past about the middle of level one, you might as well abort the game and start again.

Apidya 9 – Project X 8
Of course, the very frustrating nature of Project X makes it addictive in the short term, but eventually you just get fed up with it. On the other hand, Apidya takes the approach of making you feel that the next bit is going to be really worth seeing – just as effective and a lot friendlier.

Apidya 10 – Project X 7
Apidya is the way things should be done, really. Auto power-up selection (optional), catering for 2-button joysticks, lots of skill levels including a novel practice mode and a choice of when you get extra lives (very clever), the chance to listen to any of the game’s music from the start screen, imaginative 2-players-at-once game, unobstrusive intro, enough continues to give you just a chance, I could go on and on. Project X, on the other hand has the 2-button joystick capability and a software autofire and that is about it.

Apidya 46 – Project X 36 ‘Nuff said.

Amiga Power, Issue 13, May 1992, p.p.56-57

"Project X is nearly brilliant."

"More of a gauntlet than a game to enjoy."

Upper UPPERS Well, you can't say it's not challenging, and it looks beautiful. The five most talented arcade gamers in the country will love it, for certain.
Downer DOWNERS The insane, unfair difficulty level makes for one of the most frustrating games we've seen in ages, and the bugs and control quirks push it to the wrong side of intolerably annoying.

More of a thrown gauntlet than a game to actually enjoy, at least this is something you'll get a lot of life of, as long as your own doesn't end in a high-blood-pressure- inducing heart attack first. With no cheat mode, though, I fear most people won't ever see even half of it.


Project X logo

We've found a system, a brand new system, and a secret ingredient called Project X. Chief scientist Michael 'Work Experience' Squire takes Team 17's newbie down to the ZERO lab to put it through its paces.

Project X Those darn scientists, just who do they think they are? (Er... scientists, actually. Ed.)
Well, they've only gorn and done it again - they've accidently brought the world to the brink of destruction. The mad-cap chaps have created massive, mutated droids, which for some reason bear an uncanny resemblance to insects.

These beauties are all byproducts of a series of biomechanical experiments using powerful x-rays. Due to their volatile nature, the droids were then dumped on the planet Ryxx (named after the celebrated star of British farce, Brian). The droids not only survived and flourished on the hostile planet, but also acquired the habit of dropping their trousers and saying "Oh sorry vicar" at every available opportunity. Now their powerful intelligence circuits are telling them to seek revenge on their creators and the whole of civilisation as we know it.

Understandably, the Federaton is starting to get a little hot under the collar about the prospect of annoyed droids, and is forced into action. Surprise, surprise - this is were you come in (rather like Cilla Black). Your mission is to fly to Ryxx, right into the heart of the station, and wreak your revenge on the state of British comedy by blowing the planet sky high.

Zero, June 1992, p.46







Amiga review Mike: Project X - well, what can I say? For starters, it's a great game which is destined to become one of the bestsellers this year in the shoot'em up stakes. (Blimey! steady on! Ed.) One of the first things that struck me was how similar in playability it ws to Rainbow Arts' Z-out. It may be slightly too tricky for beginners, but hardened games players will have little trouble fighting off the alien basts. However, if you do have a problem you can always turn on the rather handy rookie mode, which makes the overall game much easier. Here the aliens are a cinch to blast, and you don't lose any of your weapons when you lose a life. The disadvantage is that you're only offered access to the first two levels. Well, waddya expect? Look, the best course of action is to use this mode as a sort of training ground, before you progress to the hard stuff. You also have the opportunity to change the so-called 'rave' music to 'old timers music' - a sort of flute tune music, which is all right but nothing out of the ordinary. The high score table features a stirring rendition of Tchaikovsky's 1812 overture and spectacular exploding firework graphics.
You'll get to choose which craft you want to use from three different types of ship, all of which boast their own personal positive and negative attributes. It goes without saying that you'll be able to soup this baby up into a Carlos Fandango mutha-ship that's bristling with ordinance. Simply annihilate a wave of aliens and you'll collect a token. These tokens will move your power bar at the bottom of the screen up the scale. Choose to use, for the current boost, or save up for a better one. The digitised speech will constantly remind you which power-up is currently on offer, by the way.
As for the game's graphics, well they're pretty good actually, with rather stunning backgrounds. The sprites vary in size, but are well drawn and nicely animated.
My main whinge is that once you've learnt the pattern of alien attacks, the game becomes quite easy, but this has the advantage that at least every time you play the game you always seem to get further. (You mean it's got a rather nice learning curve. Ed.) Er... yes. And oh, the meteoroids on the first level look really realistic. Best of all is the speed at which this horizontal scroller moves - it makes it such great fun to play.

Project X... logo - Enhanced Version  CU Amiga Screen Star

TEAM 17 OUT NOW £12.99

Project X Enhanced Version Q uality is a nebulous concept. What's one man's meat is another's poison. And nowhere is this more true than in the prodigious world of Amiga shoot'em ups. Everyone's got an option concerning which game is the ultimate blast. My favourite is Team 17's Project-X, a silky smooth blast with arcade quailty graphics and electrifying gameplay. Once you've picked this up, you'll never want to put it down.

Unfortunately, the original version was also quite hard, and some people found it almost impossible to get very far without getting totalled. Admittedly, I've never managed to get past level four, but that certainly hasn't kept me from trying. The lack of a cheat was a bit of an oversight (until CU provided one on its December '92 coverdisk!), but the game did provide a tremendous challenge for those willing to invest time and effort. I should know, I'm still playing it even now!

To help out those who couldn't even complete the first level, Team 17 have tweaked the gameplay to make things slightly easier. Unlike the Alien Breed Special Edition, though, Team 17 haven't added any extra levels ot included any new aliens to slaughter - they've merely listened to some criticisms of the gameplay.

Sadly, they've gone too far the other way, and things are now too easy. Without losing a life, I managed to reach the start of the third level and didn't even break out into a sweat. In this new version you begin the game bristling with weapons, making the first few attack waves crumble beneath your overwhelming firepower. As you acquire more power-ups, things become skewed in your favour. Instead of losing 25 per cent of your weapons when a ship gets destroyed, you only lose one level of power-up, so you're soon back to where you started after you've scooped up the next power capsule.

And that's it. There's nothing else that's new with this version of the game except that it comes on three disks instead of four. Oh, and the fact that it now costs half as much as the original at a bargain-busting £12.99.
Dan Slingsby

CU Amiga, August 1993, p.74


If you've never heard of Project-X before, hold on to your hats, as here's a whistlestop guide to its essential features. For starters, it's a shoot em up, pure and simple. Aim your on-screen craft in the right direction, stab the fire button, and blast all and sundry into so much intergalactic space dust. Of course, as in any selfrespecting game from the genre, there are power-ups aplenty and it's possible to bestow your craft with all manner of weapons such as plasma bolts, sideshots, heat-seeking missiles, lasers and a nifty stealth facility ro render your craft virtually undestructable for a certain length of time. Up against you are ranged a deadly collection of bio-mechanical beasts, the results of a series of failed scientific experiments. These evil creations, dumped on the planet Ryxx, now pose a threat to the rest of the galaxy. Your job as intergalactic flyboy is to power down to the planet's surface and blow the whole shooting match sky high. Set over five levels, and featuring some of the best graphics ever seen in an Amiga game, the action comes thick and fast and you need all your reflexes to stay alive.