Spectrum 2.0

Review of 'Rex'

Rating:5 User: dm_boozefreek

If Willy's Mansion was in space, and was in fact a huge tower situated on top of a mine, and all the enemies were humans, and Willy was a humanoid Dinosaur creature with a bloody big gun, it'd be a great game, but still not as good as Rex.

Rex actually is all the above, and more, although to be fair is absolutely nothing to do with Jet Set Willy. Rex is a mercenary who has travelled to Planet Zenith to destroy all the humans basically, and the great tower, and that's basically the story, and that's about all you need really.

Rex starts in the caves at the mine entrance, and from here you advance through the mine killing, or wrecking everything that gets in your way, until you reach the Great Tower, and then continue to do pretty much the same until your encounter with "im' upstairs", erm? No wrong game, I mean "The Big Squidgy thing".

One thing you'll notice when playing Rex is the use of colour, the game is very colourful, and this is because it's a flick screen platformer, but don't let that put you off, this game is every bit as good as a game that scrolls. Sprites are all one colour, but this isn't a problem at all. The sprites are small, but fantastically detailed. looking at still screens you may think to yourself well the humans look like nothing more than stick men in space suits, and you'd be half right, but it's the animation that makes them so charming, the animation on the humans is superbly charismatic, you'll love watching them walk about. However you won't love them blowing your brains out too much, so shoot first if you can. The mine is teaming with life, trains transport ore and minerals along tracks, humans guard and patrol in sequence, and others chase after you.

One thing you'll notice is whilst playing, this game is not a cake walk, no this game is hard. The humans aren't your only problem, laser, and machine gun placements riddle the mine. Some of these can be shot quite easily, others may require the use of a smart bomb. Also when the going gets tough, and Rex finds himself mobbed, which can happen more than you'd imagine, you have a limited amount of shields that can be used to defend yourself. Humans walking into your shield will also go splat! Muahahahahaha!

Don't worry about the difficulty too much though, this game has a pretty fair learning curve. You will get a little further each time you play, and multiple routes are available through the mine, so a little experimentation can often be rewarded.

Controls are tight, responsive, and very good, you'll find that after playing this for a while, you justly will not be able to blame them for your own crapness, no matter how much you want to.

Sounds like a great game so far eh? Well this is only the first part, the game was so big and colourful, and awesome they had to make it 2 loads. After completing the mine, you get the code for the Great Tower which you can then load in and enter the code from the mine to play it.

The Great Tower is a lot more linear than the mine, multiple routes are not available to the player, but increased difficulty and absolute chaos are. The mine was basically just a training program for the Great Tower. However though if you actually make it through the Tower and survive your encounter with the Big Squishy Thing, you can safely pat yourself on the back and say well done.

Rex is a bloody great game that was worth every penny of the £8.99 of it's original asking price. Possibly my fave game of 1988, definitely the best platformer released that year, by miles. I'd have said the £14.99 for the disk was OK, but really it was a bit pointless, most people with a disk drive also had a tape deck, and most people with a +3 also had a tape deck. There's no multi-load as such. The only perk of that extra 6 quid is being able to go straight to the tower after the mine I Suppose. I'd have preferred the tape version, and 3 Mastertronic titles personally.

A well deserved 5/5 this game is Ace Skillo, or as Codemasters would say "Absolutely Brilliant!" (But it actually was).