Thursday, 22 September 2011

Lionheart (Amiga)

I'm getting a bit of a 'fantasy' vibe from this one.

Past a large ornate wooden door and at the end of a dark hallway, this mysterious naked guy approaches a box.

Inside he finds...

Clothes! Well, it's a start anyway.

I guess this guy is some kind of human/lion hybrid then. Maybe a werelion.

Okay, that looks cool.

The graphics in this are done by pixel artist Henk Neiborg, who also did the art for another Thalion game called Ghost Battle, which I played a while back. I wasn't very impressed with the art in that one, but this just looks awesome.

But suddenly, an airship arrives and catches his dragon in a net. Out hero (who's looking a lot like He-Man right now), jumps clear and lands without a scratch.

I guess there's no falling damage in this then.

Swamps? Looks more like a forest level to me.

Damn... parallax scrolling, animated transparent water, multiple levels of clouds blowing across the sky and over a hundred colours on screen on a machine generally only capable of 32 at once. It all moves smoothly too.

The hero moves smoothly too, but his walk cycle is a little weird. I think he could do with looking say... 20% more heroic.

It's up to jump and I need to hold fire and pull in a direction to attack. It's not that awkward, but it does means I have to stop and wait for enemies to come to me. Well I could try attacking them mid-jump, but I think I'll play it safe for now.

It'd be nice if my sword had a bit more range to it through, so I didn't have to get right up close to kill anything.

Look at them, they're laughing at me. This is just embarrassing.

I heroically leap from platform to platform up into the tree tops. Then I slip, fall off, and do it again. And again.

I'm sure it's more my fault than the game's. I'm still getting used to how far he jumps.

Okay I'm up, where do I go now? There doesn't seem to be any way to move the camera down and there's no trail of pick ups leading me to a safe landing.

I guess I just jump off and hope there isn't a bottomless chasm or pit of spikes down there. Great.

I'd prefer not having to make leaps of faith, but at least none of them have killed me yet. There's plenty of places to fall and die, but so far they've all been pretty obvious.

I still don't get why there'd be spikes in this swamp, though this place looks nasty and alien enough for them to have grown there naturally. Razor-sharp spike weed. It isn't any weirder than naturally spinning leaf platforms.

I've found the exit! I'm finally out of these damn swamps.

There's definitely some trick going on with the colours in the level art. It's like they've drawn everything in grey, then tinted it with a gradient afterwards. However they've done it, it looks awesome to me.

Oh shit, I think I'd rather be back outside. This thing spits stuff at me, leaps at me, and has little baby things crawling out of it.

It wouldn't be so bad except I have to stand still to attack, and the thing will often leap at me just when a little bug is crawling across on the ground. So I have to stop, duck, attack low, then immediately attack up.

That damn mother bug cost me one of my lives! I killed her eventually, but now I've got a level full of baby bugs to deal with.

It wouldn't be so bad if they came to me, but they've got their own places to be. They like to patrol areas, or stand motionless until I get too close. It means I have to run into their path then duck and attack before they hit me.

Huh? The next level is the swamp again? But I'm bored of swamp now!

Uh, I guess I'm riding this bug then. These things seem to work as moving platforms. Very narrow moving platforms.

I'm just glad I got all that jumping practice on those trees earlier.

Awesome, a health potion! I'll grab that on the way down. With my feet.

This is a very H.R. Giger looking zip line. I'm not even going to try to figure out how something like this ever grew naturally.

Moving spikes! It's one of those 'learn the timing' puzzles, fortunately without an instant death penalty for failure.

That bloody plant's shooting me as I'm climbing across. I guess I was supposed to have found a way to kill it before climbing across.

I can dodge plant bullets, or monsters, but not both.

I'm on my last life now. Fortunately the game didn't send me too far back when I died because I really do not feel like replaying this entire level again. Because it's huge. All the outside levels in this game have been pretty big so far.

Well I ain't going to be kicking this thing to death. One last thing to try... jumping attack.
Well... fuck. Spikes aren't instakill but man eating plants are. The sad thing is, I DID actually kill the plant, I just went flying through the rope on the way down.

Six credits. It seems a lot, but infinite would have been a lot more. After playing the Castlevania games I just don't see the point of credits any more. Those games let you retry as much as you want and no one ever accused them of being too easy.


There, I finally pull off a jumping attack without getting myself killed. Then I tried it again on a pair of enemies, bouncing off the first one but colliding with the second and taking damage. It seems I have to jump attack them one at a time.

Surprise spike death! I'm gonna say that this one isn't my fault. There's no way I could have been expected to see that before it shot out of the ground.


The next level... is more bug caves? They're more colourful this time though.

I can't be sure, but it seems that this creature takes more hits to kill than the ones I killed in the other cave. Or maybe I'm just getting worse as I go. Either's plausible.

1up! I guess these caves aren't all bad.

I'm glad these flying things only take one hit to kill or else I'd be in real trouble. I can't move while attacking, and these platforms sink while I'm standing on them.

Destructible walls. There's enough of this stuff to make me think I should be careful about the path I cut. There's probably a way to reach a secret area if get this right.

 Well, I screwed that up. No health potion for me.

This game really does like its blind jumps. To be fair it still hasn't dropped me anywhere lethal though.

Son of a bitch. Next time I try to jump on a bug platform, I should stop and watch how it moves. I thought it was coming right it across, but it took a sudden turn upwards instead. Well at least now I know that Valdyn never learned to swim.

One life left now.

What the fuck? How was I... how could I...

Aw fuck it, I'm not replaying that entire level again from the start. Game over.

Despite the flaws this is actually a pretty slick and well made platformer. The biggest problem I had with the game was actually having to replay levels from the start after using a continue. Because the levels feel bloody huge. It deserves a gold star for the awesome graphics alone, but I'm not going to give it one because I'm mean. Next game.

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