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Project-X

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Released: 1992

Genre: Shoot-'em-up

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Team 17

Developer: Team 17

The Amiga press held Project-X in high regard upon release, and it’s not hard to see why. Slick presentation and pounding intro music set a great first impression, and when you get into the game, the visuals are very nice indeed. It’s very clearly inspired by Gradius, with the destruction of enemy waves awarding power-up tokens, which can be cashed in for various upgrades. The game even offers a unique spin on the power-up system, as upgrades add to the weight and inertia of your ship.

There’s just one slight problem, really: it’s easier to chew through a diamond than finish Project-X. If you can’t arm yourself sufficiently by the time you’ve reached the first level’s asteroid belt, you may as well forget about it. In fact, even though you don’t quite lose everything upon death, you still have your firepower so drastically reduced that if you die at all, you’re unlikely to be able to destroy a wave in order to regain any semblance of a chance. This is a game that delights in punishing players, and you’ll likely tire of it long before you finish a stage.

It’s a real shame, because there’s a lot to like about Project-X. So if you want to pick this one up, heed our advice: pick up Project-X: Special Edition, which has some much-needed difficulty adjustments to make the game a little easier. Even then, you might want to think twice about it if you’re prone to difficulty-related fits of anger…