So.. ya’ think ya’ got the alien invaders beat? Ya’ think you’ve outwitted the diving kamikaze hordes? Ya’ think their strategy is flawed? For a time maybe, however after a brief respite the marauding aliens are back ..
‘Defender’, a classic which appeared back in the early 80’s in a time of fruit munching and alien invasion, this game changed the very dynamics of what we now call ‘shoot em’ up.’
With a ground breaking yet complicated control method, Defender flipped the battle on its axis, turning the action into a sideways, left to right, scrolling onslaught of alien landers, intent on abducting humans to re-program them into joining their desire to take the Earth.
Flying through the rocky canyons below, your interceptor is the only thing that stands between total domination, armed with a laser cannon and smart bombs, this will be the fight of your life! Smart bombs, a weapon new to the arcade scene, whereby you would hit the button, catching all aliens on the screen with one devastating explosion, an essential addition in the fight because this game was to be the most frantic, fastest and most ferocious shooters in history. One wrong blink and its over, as enemy gunfire and swarms of creatures hone in on your ship, intent on blowing you out the sky to carry on with their mission.
Alarms sound as humans are carried off into the night sky, inciting sheer panic as you rush to their aid, which if not saved quick enough become hybrids intent on hunting you down. If ten humans are taken the whole backdrop vanishes, transporting you to outer space, throwing you at the elite of the armada until your destroyed, so the onus here is on speed and and rescue, as such clearing a wave is accomplished by saving as many humans as possible and defeating the wave. Another weapon in the arsenal is a hyperspace function, which can be used to transport your vessel to a random location in the scenario, however use wisely or you could end up in front of a missile or tiny automated mines which litter the sky after destroying and fragmenting the enemy.
As with any shooter things get progressively more difficult as the fleet gets more varied in terms of what it throws at you, so you really need your wits and the reflexes of a Jedi if any sort of success is to be achieved, which is why only the brave need only apply for the job of hero. Eyes bleeding and lightening speed, this is a classic which will test the skills of any veteran gamer out there… and their lies the reason you’ll keep coming back for more.
Lets hear it for one of the deadliest games that was ever made! So don’t sit back, never relax, turn up the volume and hold on tight!
Review by Rob Joy.