Review by D. Dodge Silver

Reviewed: 02/22/03 | Updated: 02/22/03

Outstanding shooter with few flaws

I'll admit, when I first powered up Bomb's ''Assault'' cartridge, I was prepared to hate it. After discovering that it has a quirky control system that required you to push the joystick up to shoot, I was prepared to really burn it in this review. When I saw that the enemies looked just like the ones in Imagic's ''Demon Attack'', only drawn with a dull crayon, I was prepared to give it a 3 at best.

Then, I actually played the game.

''Assault'' is ''Demon Attack'' with some new elements that really improve the game. These enemies aren't content to fire single projectiles at you as you pick them out of the sky. ''Assault'''s baddies have a plethora (well, OK, 4) of different weapons to fire at you, including fireballs that will pursue your cannon horizontally across the playfield.

Another improvement to the ''Demon Attack'' formula is the fact that your cannon can overheat if you don't watch your temperature gauge. Initially, I thought this feature to be useless, as I was completing rounds with the gauge nowhere near being overheated. Later, I found myself being pursued by fireballs across the screen, praying that my cannon would cool down for that one crucial shot.

Your cannon has the ability to fire straight up, or side to side (done by holding down the button while moving the joystick left or right.) The play control, once you're gotten used to it, is fairly decent for this sort of game.

The sound on this game is fair. It doesn't grate on your nerves, but it's nothing spectacular either. A journeyman effort from the folks at Bomb.

''Assault'''s most major flaw is the graphics. They are really very poor, and it's painfully obvious that they are intended to be an ''homage'' to ''Demon Attack''. This really worked against them in this case, as the enemies really look horrible. Another graphical flaw is this ''phasing'' graphic the enemies use when changing playfield levels. Nothing wrong with that, but it's the exact same graphic used for ''enemy destroyed''. This can cause confusion in the later, quicker rounds.

That having been said, ''Assault'' rises above it's graphical flaws and delivers a outstanding gaming experience. I can honestly say that I will be playing ''Assault'' long after I write this review. For those of you looking for a classic gaming experience that goes beyond ''Space Invaders'' or ''Pitfall'', give ''Assault'' a chance. You won't regret it.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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