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Date Posted: 22:11:43 11/11/04 Thu
Author: Darryl B.
Subject: Re: Vecmania - Birds of Prey
In reply to: -- 's message, "Vecmania - Birds of Prey" on 16:09:20 12/12/99 Sun

Rather than just limiting his games to being versions of vector arcade games, Dondzila also does vector versions of raster scan games, this one being Phoenix.

This is a bit more challenging than the original, as the birds on the first two waves move faster and can unexpectedly kill you really quick as you try to shoot them. Even though the famous Phoenix music is absent, you'll be too busy to really miss it, but at least Dondzila fixed the glitch where you could die on the original, yet you still hear your shield being activated (duh!).

Waves three and four on the original had big birds that start out as eggs, then they grow, and they could be wounded by having their wings shot off if you don't hit them right in the center...here they start off as tiny birds, then grow to full-sized ones, although on the initial time you reach this stage they don't divebomb you even half as much as on the original. Unfortunately, no wing hits here, these birds are indestructable unless you hit them right in the middle, which can be hard to do. I'm surprised at there being no slowdown or flicker with all the birds onscreen though!

The last stage (before the game starts over on stage one again, but at a harder setting) also plays different, strategy-wise, than the original, as an alien in the center of a mother ship must have it's protected belt and underbelly of it's ship chipped away until you can destroy it, here the ship's indestructable except for a trench up the middle. The birds from the first two stages are also present, and there's a lot more shooting towards your blaster than on the original, making this stage a bit tough at times.

If you want an exact copy of the original Phoenix, you're not gonna get it, but this is still really fun. I think it's specifically designed to be tougher than the original so you can keep on coming back to it again and again, and with five stages on here, makes it Space Invaders or Galaxian on speed, which is a pretty good thing.

8 out of 10

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