THE first time we see the Amiga doing the biz with a game, we surely think: "Cor, well I never did!" Or words to that effect. Sound and graphics to make a grown man weep, and with initial impressions not far short of the illegal. But then we go: "Hmmm, what's the game like?" That, my friends, could well be another story.
Titan just oozes French style. Even the disc manages to exude Gallic flair and still fit in the drive OK, so maybe Titan has you charging about with a bat after a ball, but there's plenty of scope in that scenario.
You're thinking that you've seen them all - Arkanoid, Giganoid, Veranoid - they're everywhere, and they're all the same. Titan isn't.
First of all, you can charge about in four directions. Secondly, the ball can't disappear off the bottom of the screen. Now there's a turnip for the books.
The thing is, we're in the future here - 2114 to be precise - in a cute little multi-
Mr Hibrys, an analytic conceptor by trade, suggests a new leisure dimension where people can compete against (un)natural forces. The prize for coming out the other side is 1,000 Kronurs - loads of dosh in Vegapolean terms.
Hopefully, enough people will be lured into trying their luck, but not enough will be able to complete it to win the money. Even in the future, City Hall policies remain the same.
So we've got our multi-
White ones are plain nasty and do for anything, bat or ball. Green ones - mould I presume - do for the ball but are a rather nice line in munchies for the bat. What are these Titus guys on? Where can I get some of it?
The first couple of screens don't have skulls, so basically your job is waiting till those screens are over Twiddle your thumbs too much though and you lose one of your myriad lives.
In later screens your job is almost purely to stop the ball hitting the nasties, occasionally giving it a dunt just to stop it getting bored.
There are various types of blocks which appear, disappear, allow one-way traffic, get in the way, confound, confuse...
Energiser blocks are a bit cunning - they allow you to alternate places with the ball, along with a melodic little sample which sounds almost totally unlike the odd bit in the Star Trek theme. This allows real strategic play, or is great just for the hell of hearing the wee noise. And you thought reviewers were at least semi-
All this action is conducted on a scrolling, overscanned playing field which, if you use the mouse, increases the viability of an ongoing vomit situation. They would insist in having a patterned background, wouldn't they? A manic gladiator beats hammers away in the background, and most of the other FX are sort of drummish.
Like most Titus games, loading is accompanied by a sampled tune. This time it's quite adequate and is actually not off key All the nice watery effects on the title screen and mammoth high-score table are pretty, but serve little purpose beyond initial Wow! Value.
The promise of 80 levels may be daunting, but the game can be saved and restarted with the full number of lives so it is more of a test of patience than anything else.
Since all you do is supervise the ball - it's too fast to follow - the game is really rather dull. There is nothing to force you to keep playing, let alone stay awake. So there might have been many man years of work put into this - the skill's there, the will's there, the gameplay isn't.