Stingray, stingray, diddle der der der dah. Possible the best theme tune of all time, I'm sure you'll agree. And not a bad programme, either, when you think about it. Admittedly, it was just Thunderbirds with a fishy tang, but it was still a right royal stonker of a programme.
The latest game fro the Psygies has a distinctly fishy tang as well. And there's good news and bad news.
The good news is that another of those pesky nuclear holocaust things has devastated the planet, as nuclear holocausts tend to do.
The remnants of mankind have taken to hiding under the sea in colonies, linked by under-
The bad news is that the Spurcians have got their beady eyes on Earth and have taken over all the colonies, infested all the tunnels and stolen all the beer. The last remnants of the human race flee into space and start plotting how they can get rid of the Spurcians. Now, as any great tactician would tell you, the best way to defeat an alien invasion force is to send out a solitary ship with the puniest weapons imaginable. So that's what mankind does.
And in true arcade story-line style, no sooner has our lone hero blasted off than the spacecraft containing the last people alive explodes and leaves him all alone. So, he scowls, sears and sets off on a mission of vengeance. Yowsers.
It's a sort of 3D shoot-'em-up. A bit like Afterburner meets Starglider, but it somehow manages to avoid the good points of both. It's lacking the simplicity of Afterburner, and the depth of Starglider, lurking instead in a no man's land between the two.
"The game of the decade" proclaims the box. Fib Central, kids. Aquaventura has been in development for years. Yonks and yonks! And yet with all that time, the game still manages to be a horribly shallow, disappointingly tiny little thing.
But first, let's look on the bright side and pick up on the good points. Unsurprisingly, it's got all the usual Psygnosis frills and shiny bits. Smooth and fast 3D graphics, great tunes and FX and the best intro since Beast 2. It's just a pity that the game doesn't quite match up to the standards set by the presentation.
For a start, there are only eight main levels and they're all the same. In each level you've got to shoot all the solar panels before you can attack a pyramid which leads on to the next level. The only difference is that the higher the level, the more solar panels you have to shoot.
Each level is linked by the undersea tunnels, which are shown in wireframe 3D and are totally confusing. They're fairly pointless, other than to pad out the game a bit.
At the end of each level, you get re-fueled, your missiles are restocked, you get your energy back and an extra weapon is installed.
Your extra weapons are activated by pressing the space-bar, but I'd advise you not to. For ages, I kept running out of energy, and dying without anything hitting me.
I finally figured out that it was my extra weapon that was draining my energy, a fact mysteriously missing from the manual. Oh, and you only get one life. Much crapola, senor.
Given the amount of time that this game has been in production, it's ridiculously weak. On my fifth go, I reached level four - that's half-way through the game, fact fans - and was getting fairly sick of playing the same level over and over.
And so would you be, especially after paying full price for it. Watch this one sink without a trace. Very poor indeed.