Sunday, January 18, 2015

Menace


Menace was released back in 1988 by Psygnosis and is a game that often makes Atari ST owners cringe with embarrassment and I literally do not know why. People are often quick to blame the computer for a poor title but if the programmers weren't capable then that is where the finger of blame should be directed. Horizontally scrolling shooters are plentiful on the Atari ST, yet they aren't usually as smooth to scroll compared to their vertical cousins. This is because the earlier ST's had no hardware scrolling and thus relied upon the talents of a committed programmer and I personally find Menace fits nicely into this category with its beautiful scrolling, without slow down.

It also looks great with huge enemies and colourful backdrops with a tune that instantly gets you tapping your feet. Overall, I think they did a splendid job with a 16-colour palette, however, I must object to the yellow ship and I've often wondered over the years just what they were thinking! The controls are perfect to feel responsive and precise. I love all the level designs and the baddies are varied and an enjoyable kill. Menace is thrilling and addictive, I love it.

LINKS

- Atari ST Gamer magazine features an interview with Brian Watson (I thought he was too harsh on himself!)
- AtariMania has Menace within their ST database.
- Klaz's Hideaway has a download which can be installed to hard drive or floppy disk!
- My video recording which is pretty much a long-play, for me!