Sunday, April 26, 2015

Fire And Brimstone



Tough as nails!

It's a well-known fact that games were harder back in the day. Perhaps our generation where made of tougher stuff and today's kids are wimps? Hmm, I'd say that sounds right, and I think we have a game to prove it!

Fire And Brimstone was released in 1990 by Firebird and is one of the most visually stunning platformers I have ever seen. Your adventure takes place within a fantasy world of Norse mythology as the mighty Thor who must battle with the forces of Hel. She has escaped and spread her lust for evil over the once peaceful Nordic lands with her minions creating much havoc so it's up to us to clean up this hellish infestation and get home in time for tea.

Check out this screenshot of the first puzzle (which makes no sense ironically). Gorgeous visuals...



This game blows you away from the start with an oddly puzzling demon who always wakes up!


We are the mighty Thor!

We sure are. And there are four worlds to explore with each being a puzzle in itself that requires careful thought before you attempt to foolishly plunder through. Even the first screen can confuse many with the solution making little sense... This style of trickery is a constant, and one you will soon get used to.

Each level can only be completed once all the fragments from a key have been found. This means each screen should be searched for hidden objects before you leave otherwise you might end up being punished only to revisit older screens. Which can be an agonising moment!

Thor doesn't only carry an axe but two individual weapons which you can flip between. Power-ups are available to collect and will help to improve your abilities against the hoards of baddies who come in all shapes and sizes - with each one possessing a cunning yet humorous personality. Everything is often difficult to kill, from magic-throwing witches to goblins, old bats and things hiding in trees. It's impossible not to love this game's awesome charisma and I especially love the ghosts and creepy witches who fly by on their broomsticks.



Watch out for all kinds of freaky monsters. Oh look, it's the mother-in-law on her broom!


Aesthetics

Fire And Brimstone offers an exceptional visual treat with astounding attention to detail and an artistic flair that perfectly complements the medieval atmosphere. Characters look amazing and are superbly animated with scenic settings that are always beautiful and a jaw-dropping example of extraordinary 16-bit pixel art.

Title music is a thumping sample tune by none other than David Whittaker. It's brilliant and the quality is superb but I must admit to preferring his chiptunes over this if I'm honest. In-game sound effects are great for all the usual effects but they obviously cannot come close to the majestic grade of the lush and detailed graphics.




The CryptO'pinion?

Fire And Brimstone is one of the most difficult platformers I've played with mechanics that are so unforgiving. But, give it plenty of time and learn how each screen functions, and you will make progress. It's still difficult after lots of practice and I'd rate this as one of the most irritating games there is. Hardly a glowing report?

Ignoring my painful progress, this game is massively entertaining so potentially very rewarding for a determined player. I love how each screen is its own mini-adventure which ultimately provides natural longevity by its design. For all its faults, I love it!! However, I fear only the brave should enter into this fantasy world of torment.


Brave warriors can download this for
either floppy or install it onto a hard drive.

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the HD version, Patari!

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    Replies
    1. Agreed. Peter has done/is doing so much for the ST community.

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