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Switchblade 2

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Released: 1991

Genre: Platformer

Format reviewed: Amiga 500

Publisher: Gremlin Graphics

Developer: George Allan / Paul Gregory / Barry Leitch

Submitted by: Paul Driscoll

On starting the game the first thing that strikes you is how polished the game is, with graphics that rival anything the Japanese console games have to offer (an obvious inspiration). The game itself borrows lots of ideas from lots classic games (Metroid and Turrican spings to mind) and mixes it with the best bits of the original game to make an absolute corker of a game.
In game controls have been well thought out and tweaked to perfection and it is testament to the developers that the host of movements available to you, is all from the single joystick and one fire button (the crouch and then jump to go higher is a pretty essential one and often stumps people who don’t have the game instructions).

The game itself is huge with six massive levels to conquer. Each of these levels are completely different planets and so each have a totally different look and feel to it. Also the levels are stacked full of multiple routes and secrets dotted around meaning that you will want to keep coming back to it to learn all the games hidden secrets.
For weaponry your hero is armed at the beginning of the game with a laser blaster and sword which you can use for up close attacks. But as the game progresses you collect credits left by killed foes you and eventually stumble across a portal to a shop. Here not only can you buy health but further enhancements for your gun such as bigger laser blasters, flame throwers and missiles.

The game does have its annoying elements such as dying by unseen traps or things off screen and so often you can only play through a level when you have memorized all of a levels layout. Ladders are also a pain as you are totally vulnerable and can’t get off the damn things unless you are at the top or bottom.
But in the main this is a fantastic game all the more special for coming out on the Amiga and showing the console world that the Amiga could also give them a run for their money.