WHAT really matters when you slip the latest arcade conversion into DF0? Is it how good the original was, how good the Amiga version is or how faithful the conversion is to the money munching machine?
One theory states that any game which makes it to the arcade is going to be pretty hot. If it cuts the ice there, it should make a very playable game at home.
There is another theory that a game you want to spend 20 minutes playing in an arcade is not the same kind of things you want to take home with you.
And there is a third theory. This theory, which is mine, claims that a good game for a home computer would be one which was perhaps a little too complex for the arcades.
Xybots is that game. There is a lot of depth to the plot built on the age-old 3D maze. You run around a complex of corridors picking up coins, extra weapons and energy. A friend can join you wandering around the same maze with a separate 3D view.
While teamwork is the best way to take out the robotic monsters, especially if one of you uses a stun weapon, there is a race to the finish which will yield a bonus coin.
Money makes the game go round. At the end of each level you visit a shop. Here teamwork is really important. There are loads of accessories for sale. Some - like a higher level of energy, stronger shields and better weapons - only help one play. Others - like keys, and sensors which add detail to a plan-view map of the maze - help both sides. You can share and enjoy by giving coins to your comrade in arms.
Xybots was great in the arcades but there are things which thousands of pounds worth of dedicated hardware can do which an Amiga cannot. So something has to be sacrificed to effect the conversion. In the case of Xybots this is not very much. The game retains a high degree of accuracy, paying the price with speed. A lot of action on the screen slows things down, particularly when both players can see each other.
The attract screen animation has been retained but the scenes in the shop where one player waits for the other to finish have been cut. It is cute but no real loss.
More of a problem is the inability to turn and fire, imposed by having to use a standard joystick instead of the wacko arcade controls.
In the balancing act between playability and authenticity Tengen has scored a perfect 10.