Battle Sport Review

While I’m not the biggest fan of sports games, these “sports of the future” titles always spike my interest. Usually they turn out to be meaner basketball or football games that toss people around. However, Battlesport is different, offering the one-on-one thrill of a sporting competition with the vague rules of most sports; grab a ball and score points.

However, scoring isn’t through human interaction. You pilot massive hover vehicles with little receptacles to grab the ball, head for the goal, and give it your best shot! And in defense, you have more moves than just getting in the way of your opponent. You have a huge array of weapons including missiles, lasers, and machine guns.

Another great feature is the “shop” where, after raking in some money by winning games, you can buy upgraded parts to make your vehicle handle better, give it more firepower and weapons. With only five vehicles selectable, the “shop” is a great way to customize to your liking. Graphically, the game could be better. Floors are flat shaded and arenas have only a few walls and obstacles, all similarly textured, with different colors between them.

Fighting the same five vehicles over and over again becomes a bit repetitive, but the game is still a ton of fun with exhibition and single-game modes to diversify the game and keep you playing that much longer. While it could stand a little more diversity and enhanced graphics, Battlesport is a furiously fun “future sport” title that sport fans and action fans can both enjoy. If you fall under either category, check out this game.

Graphics

The repetitive textures, flat shaded arenas, and limited vehicles get old quick.

Sound

Decent effects and a standard techno/rock soundtrack that is more ambient than memorable.

Enjoyment

Losing marks for lack of diversity, the game is still a blast to play, and the two-player mode is even more fun!

Replay Value

The computer gets devilishly smart at times, making the game long and challenging, while the two-player mode offers a great reason to come back.

Documentation

A helpful manual describes the conventions of Battle Sport.

Space Ace MAC-1994 Review

Similar to Dragon’s Lair is Space Ace, both by the Bluth Group. In each, you get to play a hero, racing to rescue a beautiful maiden. In action and adventure, though, Space Ace comes off as weak compared to the better and earlier Dragon’s Lair.

In Space Ace, the evil Commander Borf is out to conquer the Earth, using his “Infanto Ray” that can turn ordinary adults into infants. Borf is a less-than-credible villain, appearing as a jazzed-up, sci-fi version of Bluto from Popeye. Even the beard is pretty much the same. And it’s got a similar dynamic, as the muscled, heroic Ace gets hit by the Infanto Ray and turned into the weak and nerdy teenage Dexter.

As Dexter comes into being, Borf abducts Kimberly, Ace’s partner and–we suppose–his girlfriend. Dexter must transverse some pretty strange places to get her back and save the Earth once more.

Each of the approximately 15 scenes can be played as Dexter or Ace once you energize. Dexter must avoid creatures more than Ace as he simply doesn’t have the bulk or muscles to fight them effectively, while Ace gets to blast things more. What’s interesting is that these scenes change depending on which character you are playing.

One of my favorite scenes has you face off against your double, which involves lots of dodging no matter which character you are playing. It is obvious that the designers had lots of fun with this game, as some of the scenes are quite funny, such as the motorcycle chase, or the scene with the roller-skates, where you avoid holes on the way to your destination. There is a scene on an alien trash heap where you try to avoid becoming recycled by trash compactors, and a planet with alien dogs trying to eat you.

At the end, Dexter/Ace faces off against Borf in hand-to-hand combat to rescue Kimberly. Once he does, Borf returns, trying to blast Ace with the Infanto Ray. If you get hit here, you become a baby in diapers and you lose the game. Otherwise, you save the earth and are treated to a cute ending.

This game seems rather contrived in parts, but has a genuine sense of fun beneath the surface. Whether or not you played it in the arcade, it’s worth a replay on the Mac.

Graphics

Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair were the first and, so far, only games originally produced on laserdisc. This means their graphics are far ahead of their times, and still appear superior today.

Sound

Sound is equally good. The whole game is like a Saturday morning cartoon. In fact, I think they did adapt the story for one.

Enjoyment

Once you get past the hokey exterior, there is a genuine sense of fun in this game. You’ll chuckle at the game even as you try to stay alive.

Replay Value

This is an exceptionally hard game to master. The movements required to win must be learned slowly, by trial and error. You may wish to replay the game once or twice, but once you have won once, it’s pretty much over.

Documentation

An extensive manual, covering all the scenes in the game and giving backstory and hints.

National Lampoon’s Blind Date Synopsis

This point-and-click dating sim is built of interactive movies and branching dialogue choices. Players take the role of a young man seeking female companionship. Thanks to an organization known as “D.U.D.S,” (“Dates Unlimited for Desperate Schmucks”), he’s been matched with the attractive Sandi. The goal is to convince her that he is worthy of her affection.

Nothing worthwhile is ever easy, though, and Sandi is as clever and independent as she is good-looking. Some might even call her “mean.” It will take witty, sensitive conversation to coax her to a tender moment.

In National Lampoon style, the story is presented with a good deal of innuendo and an emphasis on humor. While definitely aimed at a mature audience, the tone is more often suggestive than explicit. As in the Leisure Suit Larry series (and some might suggest, real life), gameplay is all about the chase; the process of winning Sandi’s heart is, for the most part, its own reward.