Stellar 7 logo

Was Anfang der 80er Jahre einen C64 Besitzer noch in Staunen versetzte, ist heute des Amigianers täglich Brot: Games mit Vektorgrafik. Jetzt gibt es ein Wiedersehen mit einem der allerersten Vertreter dieser Gattung - Grund zur Freude?

Wir haben es hier also mit einem Pionierwerk der Softwaregeschichte zu tun, genauer gesagt mit der Amiga-Umsetzung von dessen aufgepeppter PC-Version. Auf der "MS-Dose" kam der Veteran denn auch ganz gut an, aber sooo viel hat das nicht zu besagen - dort sind Actionspiele ja eiher Mangelware. Und daß es sich bei Stellar 7 um ein solches handelt, merkt man schon an der Vorgeschichte: 1982, auf dem C64 wurde die Erde von Gir Draxon und seiner Flotte bedroht; tja, und 1991 droht er halt immer noch...

Der Spieler hält dagegen, indem er sich mit einer futuristischen Kampfmaschine namens Raven durch insgesamt sieben "Systeme" ballert. Gesteuert wird mit Joystick oder Maus, die verschiedenen Zusatzwaffen aktiviert man mit dem Keyboard. Feinde gibt es reichlich (dazu besonders dicke Endgegner), gottlob aber auch einen Radarschirm, um zumindest vor Überraschungsangriffen sicher zu sein.

Die knallbunte Grafik ist selbst auf der detailrichsten Stufe annehmbar schnell, dazu gibt es teilweise ganz nette Zwischenbilder. Vom Sound darf man sich dagegen keine Wunderdinge erwarten, er wird trotz Sprachausgabe bald langweilig. Die Steuerung funktioniert gut, sie könnte nur etwas mehr Möglichkeiten bieten. Aber das Gamedesign ist halt von vorgestern: Aliens abschießen bis keine mehr da sind, das hatten wir in den vergangenen zehn Jahren nun wirklich oft genug... (mm)


Stellar 7 logo

Ah yes, I remember it well. Stellar 7 was one of those classic American C64 titles released a good few years back, in the days when wire-frame 3D vector graphics seemed like a really neat idea. Now, for some reason known only to them, Dynamix have snapped up the rights to produce a version for the new computer generation. But does Stellar 7 really belong in this decade? Well, that kind of depends on which way you look at it.

'How can you expect people to pay £25 for an ancient Battlezone clone?' cried one person. I can see their point of view (that's right, Mr Comedian, the first person perspective one). Plus, I have to admit that after my first go I was ready to write the whole thing off as a very big software disaster. Despite the claims of ultra-fast solid 3D graphics like never before', the program seemed unforgivably sluggish, and something was definitely absent. What it lacked was the adrenalin surge of other Battlezone- influenced blasts - this month's Encounter, for one.

Then I discovered this neat little slider bar to reduce the level of graphic detail. With trepidation, I knocked it down to half way. Wow, almost no loss of detail, but a definite improvement in the speed department. It's at this point that I really found myself warming to it. It may have caught me in a good mood, but there's something endearing about Stellar 7's single-mindedness.

Hey, It's not often you get a Battlezone-clone with power-ups, extra equipment (including a jump facility!), and end-of-level baddies. I've run out of excuses. I don't know why, I just like it. Having said that, I wouldn't really recommend anybody to put this at the top of their shopping list. Let's just say owning one is nothing to feel embarrassed about. By the way, is there a Battlezone revival on right now, or what?


Stellar 7 logo

Dynamix/Sierra/£25.53/Out now

Amiga review Paul: Dynamix produces such high quality, high realism sims that it ought to be able to knock out a fairly simple sci-fi shoot 'em up in its sleep. Well, the beginning of Stellar 7 was certainly promising - a nice intro, complete with Darth Vaderish digitised speech. But it was downhill from then on.

In the great tradition of shoot 'em ups, Stellar 7 requires you to blast your way across various planets to foil the evil invaders. It's all pretty standard fare with radar, power-ups and a range of deadly baddies. The graphics are quite attractive in a Resolution 101 sort of way, and they're certainly very smooth. The sound, though limited, is occasionally effective. Combat is challenging since the bad guys don't sit tight and wait to be shot - it's a case of anticipate, aim, fire... and miss.

The problem with Stellar 7 is the lack of pace - maybe Dynamix did program it in its sleep after all. It might've been classic on the PC, but on the Amiga Stellar 7 is distinctly run of the mill.