Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Ork


[ recorded using a Mega STe running at 16Mhz ]

Ork is a scrolling platform shoot 'em up by Psygnosis that involves a rather angry looking dude with a big gun. Yep sounds good to me already, but Psygnosis has never been a favourite company of mine - it's obvious where their preference lay. Thankfully, they did make a few decent Atari ST games so I'm hoping this is one of them...

Okay, we are Ku-Kabul, a wannabe space captain who needlessly has to suffer a series of tests which take place on an alien-infested word. After a nice intro, with images in that famous Psygnosis-style and nice (albeit fuzzy STfm) title music, Ork bares its soul for all to see. It's gorgeous with well-defined graphics that smoothly scroll in all four directions whilst accompanied by colourful backgrounds. The sound effects are made up from crunchy samples and these certainly add a punch of attitude as you run around on your alien killing spree.

Oddly, I'm reminded a little of Shadow Of The Beast and Leander with (hmm) maybe a slice of Killing Gameshow too. This is probably because of the look plus also the gameplay style that consists of solving puzzles and killing lots (and lots) of baddies. Thankfully, we are supplied with a cool laser cannon and a jet booster to defend ourselves.

 
This is pretty cool considering no Blitter or HW Scrolling is used... I wish the STe was utilised!

The puzzles aren't overbearing and the required tasks are pretty easy. Progression to the next level won't be allowed until solved because each has a guardian who won't let you pass until you cross his palm with silver, thus providing us with a little puzzle element. However, it's the action which I enjoyed the most, and it is certainly fun blasting those trippy aliens that frantically race around the screen just asking to be blown up!

Ork is a great mix of platformer, puzzler and shoot 'em up but I do feel an extra nip of speed would have made things perfect. Perhaps if they had used chip sounds rather than samples? Or even use the hardware of the Atari STe? That would have been nice, so I feel like Ork could easily have been far better. Perhaps a missed opportunity? (see below if you have a faster Atari). However, the lack of speed is my only gripe because I have enjoyed playing Ork.

I highly recommend this to all action fans who love platforms and guns!

LINKS

 - Download Ork from 8BitChip especially if you have a faster computer because it supports the extra speed!!
 - Anyone needing those floppy disks should use Fuzion #185 thanks to Stonish.
 - Here is a MOD file of the Ork theme which is very nice - especially played on the STe using these players!

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