Defenders Of The Earth
"THE HEROES OF THE PAST ARE HERE TO SAVE THE FUTURE"
Direct from the hit T.V. series, the Defenders are here in an all action ARCADE blast that will have your fire button melting!
Featuring FLASH GORDON and his friends MANDRAKE THE MAGICIAN, LOTHAR and THE PHANTOM against the evil MING THE MERCILESS and his attempt to rule the world. Kidnapping the Defender's children, he issues a dire warning - interfere and your children die!
Control FLASH as he searches for the children in the mysterious FORTRESS OF EVIL. The action is fast and furious. The danger unending. You will often need to call on your team members for help. Negotiate the Intruder Detection System, avoid Ming's killers, meet the gigantic robot OCTON and Ming's pet serpent MONGOR. Survive them and enter the final confrontation with the evil MING himself!
Featuring the music from the original T.V. series.
THE FUTURE DEPENDS ON YOU!!
Crash Issue 79 review, courtesy of spectrumcomputing.co.uk
Review by Graham Goring from the Sam Coupé Scrapbook
Defenders Of The Earth is a platformer based upon the succesful cartoon adventures of about 4 superhero's not good enough to get their own series'.
The plot is completely dispensable, being something about something going missing or somebody being kidnapped, I couldn't really care less as it adds nothing to the game. Unfortunatley. (It was the brats - Tim)
It's a real pity, that aside from great sound FX, a lovely tune, superb graphics and a pretty good difficulty curve, this game is so standard. It has nothing that grabs you and makes you want to play it more and more. It has been slickly programmed enough, everything moves at a good rate of speed, and the collision detected isn't dodgy at all. It's just I supposed that there is no variation in gameplay.
All that is involved is jumping along platforms, collecting the occasional bonus, and pressing the 'help' key when a situation looks impassable (ie. a wide gap, a force-field or a strong door). It's all very linear too, there is no sense of exploration, you gradually work your way to the guardian for that level (there are only 3, but they are tough). A little variation in the way the guardians fight would have been nice, but no. They all just spew dangerous spheres at you whilst you pump endless bullets into them.
This game had the chance to be something special. But I guess they couldn't stray from the original versions too much, because of licencing agreements.
Again, a pity.
|Graphics||88%||Impressive throughout. Good use of colour.|
|Addictivity||72%||Nothing special, pretty average I'm afraid.|
|Instant Appeal||77%||The simple gameplay means that it's easy to get into.|
|Sound||85%||Great tunes by Sean Conran.|
|Overall||74%||File under 'okay'|
Your Sinclair review, (Recovered) courtesy of the YS Rock 'n' Roll Years YS58
Defenders Of The Earth (SAM) Enigma Variations £11.99/14.99 Oct 1990
The first 'proper' SAM game and it's stunning. Perhaps lacking in long-term appeal though.
Hurrah! At last we've got the YS SAM up and running (it took cannibalised parts from two Coupe's to do it!) which means we've been able to take a (belated) look at Enigma's Defenders Of The Earth, the first, and so far only, arcade game to take full advantage of the machine's rather stunning graphical capabilities.
(To be honest this is hardly a 'first look' - we've had our copy of SAM Defenders lying around the office for ages waiting for a functioning Coupe - but it's worth a gander nonetheless. After all, most of us have never properly seen what the Coupe is really capable of as a games machine).
So what's it like? Well, looks-wise, as you'd expect, it's excellent. The graphics are considerably more subtle and less blocky than the best that the Amstrad CPC (the most colourful of the 8-bits) is capable of, though (hand on heart) it isn't really up to current 16-bit standards. It's not as far off as all that though (try imagining a budget ST game) and who knows what could be done (or should that read 'could have been done'?) with the Coupe in time. It's also fast - a lot faster than other versions of the game I've played, which doesn't help matters for a devout Mr Crap like myself. All versions of Defenders were tricky, but this one is ludicrously hard, with many of the opponents almost impossible to dodge, and the speed with which the SAM whizzes everything around the screen is a major reason why. (If you want to know more about the actual gameplay - a rather simplistic shoot-'em-up based on a Saturday morning TV show - check out the Speccy version review in YS 54.)
And so, to sum up. There're just two points to make really. For a start, well done, Enigma, for both supporting the Coupe and coming up with such a visually stunning demonstration of what it can achieve. I still think the actual game itself is a pretty average one really, but I'm going to bung the SAM version much higher marks than the Speccy one got simply because a) there's nothing to compare it with and b) you bothered getting off your butts and doing it. If you want a copy and can't find it in the shops, send a cheque for £11.99 cass/£14.99 disk to Enigma Variations [address snipped - NickH]. (And look out for other SAM things from them - apparently a pack of SAM-specific puzzle games is available now too.)
The other point is a pretty obvious one, but I'm going to say it anyway. It's a real shame what's happened to the Coupe, but until I saw this game I hadn't quite realised how much of a shame. Let's just hope something can be salvaged, eh?
Life Expectancy: 65
Instant Appeal: 88
Ratings given by other magazines
CRASH 7/10 Sinclair User 7/10
Code is based in the ZX Spectrum version by Andy Swann.
The music is mono and comes from the left channel only due to the short time Sean Conran and Rob Holman had to cobble together the SAA1099 player code.
For music in both channels, change the loader line:
LOAD "DOE3" CODE
MERGE "DOE3" CODE POKE &14700,&CD,&00,&2C POKE &14709,&CD,&00,&2C POKE &14712,&CD,&00,&2C POKE &16C00,&E6,&0F,&4F,&87,&87,&87,&87,&B1,&0E,&FF,&ED,&79,&04,&C9 CALL 16522
Or use the attached boot disk image.
According to Graham Goring upon completing Defenders Of The Earth, Enigma Variations phoned up MGT to give them the good news. The answerphone picked up and played a message telling them that MGT had just gone into liquidation.
Enter your name as '....ORB' in the high score table, and you'll get infinite lives in the next game.