Zjyswav Hero of the Galaxy 3D

Title           Zjyswav Hero of the Galaxy 3D
Original Title  Zdzislaw Bohater Galaktyki 3D (ZBG-3D)
Publisher       Deck Six (freeware) , 1997
Author          Tomasz Rogacewicz
Game Type       3D Action
Compatibility   All Amigas with 2mb chip and 8mb fast Ram
HD Installable  Yes, 47.3 Mb needed.
Aminet Path     aminet/game/shoot/ z0.lha - z8.lha
Submission      Joachim Froholt Profiled Reviewer

Bad guys threathen the universe, and the nice people in it are in dire
need of a hero. Not just any hero, but THE hero. Zdzislaw, the hero of the
galaxy. Well, at least that's my impression of things, although I can't
really say for sure. The game comes with a long rendered intro, which
feature two men talking to each other (one seems to be a general or
something, and the other is probably Zdzislaw himself) in an alien
language (it could also be Polish, of course....), which I don't
understand. I assume they are talking about how to dispense of the bad
guys, though.

After the introduction sequence, the player is met with the title screen.
The background graphics of this screen consists of a decent 3D animation
of a person (Zdzislaw, presumably) standing in the middle of a room, while
the camera flies around him. There's also an interesting piece of music in
the background - Polish hard-rock, it seems, with some really weird
vocals. This is not a game which takes itself seriously.

After choosing the difficulty level, it's off to the game. The genre is
pretty rare on the Amiga - it's a pre-rendered first person shoot'em'up,
which plays like Sega's House of the Dead. The simple gameplay works like
this: You aim your weapon with the mouse. Walking is automatic; the camera
moves through the pre-rendered landscape when there's nothing much
happening, but when there is an enemy to be killed, it stops. All you then
have to do is to quickly point the crosshairs at the enemy, and blast him
away. When you're out of ammo, press the right mouse button to reload.

As the entire game is pre-rendered, it looks pretty nice, and the
framerate is very high. The 3D models and textures are a bit simple,
though. The sound is okay; the game is accompanied by loads of digitized
speech (in Polish..), and gunfire, of course. There's also a decent music
module playing in the background.

The first level is pretty easy, there's only a couple of enemies, and you
get enough time to shoot each of them. The next couple of levels are
really hard, however. It says in the docs that 25 percent of the
playtesters managed to play through the game, and those 25 percent must
have had lightning fast reactions, and a flawless mouse. I can't say that
I have played the game particularly often, but I think it is fair to say
that I am pretty much unable to finish the game, even on the easiest
setting (the difference between the three difficulty settings is simply
that you can get shot a different number of times before you die). The
enemies start shooting just after they've appeared, and they continue to
blast away at you until you kill them or they kill you. This means that
one enemy can render you completely lifeless within a very few seconds.
The later parts of the game sort of feel like a reaction test instead of
a shooter, and the player end up doing the same areas over and over again,
knowing exactly where the enemies are, but struggling to kill them fast

Still, the game is pretty fun for a while. Since you get to see an
entirely new part of the level every time you get one step further, it can
be pretty hard to quit playing, at least until it becomes too difficult,
and too evident that you're just not going to make it any further, unless
you're really, really good. Which I'm not, unfortunately. I've only seen
three levels - there might be more, but judging by the difficulty setting
of the third level, I sort of doubt it.

As I've said, all speech in the game is in Polish. This isn't a problem,
as nobody says anything neccessary (I hope.....), but it doesn't exactly
help create a scary atmosphere for those of us who do not understand a
word of the language (I'm sure Norwegian would sound equally silly to
someone who doesn't understand it).

I can't really advise anyone to download ZBG-3D if they've got a slow
internet connection. The download is just too large, and the game is just
not worth the wait (or internet bill). But with a fast connection, this is
a must download, if only because of its novelty. It's fun, but don't
expect it to last very long.

This game can be downloaded from the aminet, at the above path. The game
can also be found on the cover CD of the August 1998 issue of Amiga
Format. It can be played directly from the CD, which is good for those of
us who still think that 47 Mb is a lot of HD space.

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