Now that I have the iPad, I might as well try a proper blog entry and we’ll start off with another “Retro Reminiscence” – this time of that Team 17 classic, Project X.

Once I played alien breed to death, I quickly followed up by looking through magazines to see what else Team 17 (from good old Wakefield) had coughed up and I wasn’t disappointed. In the shops was Project X, a side scrolling shooter much in the same vein as Transbot on the Sega Master System or even Star Ranger on the Commodore 64.

Anyway, in a plot not too dissimilar to Alien Breed, Project X involved a your typical mutants gone rogue plot and it is up to your one man craft to single handedly thwart an alien invasion, over five levels of fast, frantic action.

What Project X offered like many of the early 16 Bit games was a chance to first choose a ship from a small selection (usual deal of choosing speed over upgradability) and the ships could collect power ups to increase their overall firepower. There were several options to choose from which increased the number of options had and replay ability of the game.

The player is then thrust into the action fending off wave after wave of alien attack attempting to get ever closer to the core of the planet and defeat the… Head Mutant. Sounds simple doesn’t it and it is. But for some reason I could never leave the game alone. True, it was simple but still with a challenge which was finely balanced enough to reward the player and keep them coming back for more. One of the major memories for me was the excellent sound track composed by Bjorn Lynne which I could easily sit down and listen to again and again. There were only two tracks to the soundtrack but each one lasted approximately 7 minutes was very proto- trance for want of another term. There’s a brilliant remix set to Psycho on Remix Amiga which is worth a listen.

The graphics, whilst not stunning were utterly perfunctory and there was no problem with the parallax; the game scrolled beautifully. Project X also was the first of the Amiga games that I can remember which make use of two buttons on a joystick or joy pad. One button would be used by the weapons the other button could be used to power up the ship. Whilst console owners had been enjoying three or four buttons for some years this was a first for a home computer market outside of a mouse.

Unfortunately I have never seen a remix of Project X but I’m sure there is one out there somewhere. However, I don’t think I would want my memories of the original to be ruined or potentially spoiled by an imperfect or incomplete remix. Still if Alien Breed can be re-mixed or remade on the Xbox then I don’t see why Project X couldn’t be dragged into the 21st century.

After Project X X, the next games from Team 17 that I can remember are Body Blows and Superfrog;two very different games attempting to break into the beat ’em up and platform game market. Maybe I’ll revisit those some day but not today -today it’s back to Alien Breed.

You know I think I could grow to like this iPad blog entry business. The microphone option alone makes this a very simple and facile process.

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