Another title in the long line of playable arcade games for the ZX Spectrum that exuded playability, quality and polish.
This classic game was released for our favourite 8-bit machine just as the transition to the more powerful 16-bit machines was gathering pace.
The year was 1988. The publisher was Gremlin Graphics. The game was Dark Fusion.
The result was a formidable shoot em up that proved there was still plenty of life in the good old Speccy...
|Dark Fusion on the ZX Spectrum
The whole story to the game was based around battling invading aliens through three phases of tests devised by the dramatically named 'Corps of Guardian Warriors'.
The real meaning of this was that each level of the game was divided into three zones;The combat zone, the alien zone, and the flight zone.
To enter a zone you had to first find a fusion pod which was displayed on screen by a funky pulsating beacon.
To complete the combat zone the player had to enter two alien zones and destroy the aliens lurking inside. After taking care of these nasties it was time to make your way to the flight zone fusion pod and fly carefully through to the next level.
The different levels presented you with differing forms of gameplay; sometimes you were walking around platform laden screens and sometimes you were flying through cavernous levels dodging obstacles and creatures.
|This is Dark Fusion - and not a Hewson game!
To be fair the whole thing was packaged very nicely indeed. As the game loaded up you were greeted by an excellent menu screen accompanied by a fantastic piece of music by Ben Daglish.
The in-game graphics were nicely animated and all of the scrolling was well up to par and as smooth as me on a night out.
Gameplay was challenging and rewarding, yet Dark Fusion just lacked that certain something to make it a true 'must have' title...
The excellent theme tune to Dark Fusion by the legendary Ben Daglish:
This game was met with a lot of positive feedback when it was released. Crash Magazine awarded it a good overall score of 80% which was just about right in my book. The only real negative about Dark Fusion was that it left you feeling like you had 'seen it all before'. Kickin' theme tune though.
The test of time:
You know what? This game still plays quite well. The scrolling and keyboard response is fast enough and there is enough variety in the levels and weapons power-ups to hold your interest for a little while. Whilst never a classic there is enough in this game to warrant a re-visit. My reflexes don't seem to be what they used to either....
GENRE: Arcade Game
RELEASE DATE: Late 1988
RELEASED BY: Gremlin Graphics
DEVELOPER(S): John O'Brien, Berni, Ben Daglish
PRICE: £7.99 - UK
Classic Gaming Courtesy of RZX Archive:
Classic Games and Arcade Games