Shoot ‘em up in the mould of, well, a shoot ‘em up.
Horizontal Scrolling arcade action.
Your Sinclair review (Recovered) courtesy of the YS Rock 'n' Roll Years YS83
Parallax (SAM) FRED £11.99 Nov 1992
Still waiting for a decent shoot-'em-up to appear on the Coupe? Don't blame you. We've had Sphera (giggle) and, erm, that's about it. But wait! Here comes Parallax - a twelve-level horizontally-scrolling MODE 4 (ie 16 colour) blaster with multiple attack waves, end-of-level guardians, power-ups and just about everything else the ancient Speccy game Sidewize had. Oops... yup, Parallax is, in fact, a Sidewize-alike (except with a dinky spaceship instead of the suited space blokey). It suffers from exactly the same problems as that venerable game - it's ridiculously difficult, being more a test of memory than anything else (you have to know the safe spots on-screen for each of the attack waves); you only get a power-up when you destroy an entire wave; and you lose all your power-ups when you die.
The game also throws in some new hassles of its own. Okay, a multiload is nothing new, but this one's so slow you get an embarrassed loading counter. And when you finally battle through to a guardian and defeat it, there's no big rewarding explosion, just a bit of screen flash. And the parallax scrolling of the title is a mite disconcerting - whenever you change direction, it does too. Makes a fellow quite queasy. (Ulp.)
Right, let's move onto the good points. I loved Sidewize to death (I still think it's one of the Speccy's best ever shoot-'em-ups) and I had a fairly good time playing Parallax. It's a tough test of the old reflexes, and there's a clever option at the beginning whereby you choose the power-ups you're going to collect in the game. The graphics are small but neat, bursting with colour and very smooth, and the music is repetitively passable: a fine backdrop to an instantly playable but un-addictive game.
The trouble is, with all its bells and whistles, Parallax has neither the style nor the variety of Sidewize - the waves get very samey and there are far too many of 'em before you reach a guardian. Before ever so long, you're reaching for dear Mr Reset Button and giving him a firm press. In the short term, it's fun. In the long term, you'll still be waiting for a decent shoot-'em-up to appear on the Coupe.
Disc Protection by Simon Cooke included some hidden demos unknown to the publisher.
There was a bug that caused a crash when some of the later levels were loaded, this was fixed with a patch issued on Fred 25 which also had the effect of disabling the hidden demos.
However, even with the patch applied the following message exists in the code : “HERE, USED TO BE SOME ENTROPY DEMOS - AND YOU CAN STILL GET TO THEM IF YOU POKE THE JUMP JUST ABOVE WITH 16607… COOKIE!”
FRED Magazine reported that this game was originally going to span over three whole disks, but Cookie’s clever algorithms managed to squeeze it onto only one.
To access the hidden demo (if not patched), you’re apparently supposed to hold down keys P, U, R, G and E at the title screen. Purge: No Way Back II was the name of an earlier but unfinished BASIC shoot ‘em up (Demo on Fred 11) as a sequel to ‘No Way Back’ on Fred 8.
I fact I never managed to get this to work. My disk is dated 1995, so maybe the publisher removed it from later copies. Ironically, even if you can find a disk with it included, it will probably never work in SimCoupe since most modern keyboards can’t register five keypresses at the same time.
In the ‘Hidden Demo’ it suggests pressing ‘E’ ‘D’ ‘G’ and INV.