Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Hard 'n' Heavy

Looks familiar yet not...

Hard 'n' Heavy follows on from Giana Sisters in true sequel fashion to offer more Mario-esque levels to run and jump through. However, the official commercial release was very poor with awful flip-screen scrolling that ultimately ruined what might have been a great conversion. Sure, flip might work well with some platformers, for example, Jet Set Willy, which would have been horrendous with scrolling. Ugh, just imagine... but Hard 'n' Heavy requires scrolling!!

Thankfully, that's where the bad lesson ends and the good news begins because Peter Putnik has developed a version that features smooth-as-silk scrolling thanks to the use of the Blitter co-processor lurking inside every Atari STe. And also most other earlier models (incl. later STFM models which had a Blitter or at least a hungry socket).

Hard 'n' Heavy obviously looks and feels similar to Giana Sisters, so if you didn't like that game then you may as well start looking elsewhere right now. The physics exaggerate the Giana experience to feel more like we're floating and this took me a few goes to master. It's pretty weird! Okay, there are 25 levels of shooting the baddies and destroying blocks to search for those bonuses and even access to hidden levels. Also available is a two-player feature, with various game types.

Wow, this is superb and I'm sure any Giana Sisters fan will love what is basically more of the same with a few extra bells and whistles. Peter has done well to transform that pathetic commercial conversion into something it should have been all along. Just make sure you play it on a real computer to experience the silky-smooth movement.

Overall, I prefer Giana Sisters, but this Hard & Heavy upgrade is downright marvelous. Highly recommended!!

- Download Hard 'n' Heavy -


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