Well, the graphics and all are really nice, but I'm afraid this title is lacking a bit in the control department The collision is really bad. I had no idea whether or not I was hitting an object. I could be hitting a wall and be a few inches on the screen away from it! It controls way too loosely. Even when sped up. it moves pretty darn slow. This game is just way too hard for the average player. Can't say I didn't warn them.
It's got pretty graphics and the texture-mapped levels look nice. OK, now that we've got the best part of the game out of the way, let's go into the annoying details. First, the cinemas, although cool looking, are extremely blocky. The music during each level doesn't fit the theme The most aggravating part is hitting the walls, floors, and ceilings when you know you're nowhere near them. This one is tough.
At first glance, Total Eclipse seems more like a science fiction film than a video game. The specially rendered graphics are good enough to tool players into think ing they're real. The music from the CD is great, yet at times, doesn't match the areas you run through. I didn't quite agree with ! the flight controls, as they were a bit too sensitive and your ship would sway one way too fast. Still worth the price of admission.
An eagerly anticipated title thal sadly doesn't deliver. Oh it looks great, but it renlly takes a nosedive where actual play mechanics are concerned. I he control was very 'touchy' causing the faintest of movements to come off like major ones. The qraphics are truly top notch, as is the music (the latter, howevei, is truly irrelevant for some of the stages, though). Not bad for an early 3DO shooter title.
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Every new video game system needs a good outer-space shooter. Now 3DO has one. Total Eclipse paints a pretty picture over familiar but fearsome space ways.
A-Hunting They Will Go
The dreaded Drak-sai are a ruthless extraterrestrial race of hunters. They go after only the most formidable prey. Unfortunately, Earthlings .qualify. What's more, the Draks have moved their star-killing Sun Dagger cannon into the solar system.
Earth's only hope, of course, is you! You pilot a formidable spacecraft called the FireWing via a typical behind-the-ship, forward-scrolling perspective. The lengthy war against the Drak-sai covers five planets, each consisting of four killer rounds and a morale-busting close encounter with a boss. Veteran star fighters will feel right at home, and newcomers are in for an exciting learning experience.
If you're familiar with StarFox for the SNES then you'll recognize Total Eclipse. The game looks and plays like last year's top 16-bit flyer, but with cool pix pasted on the polygons. In addition, two types of flying are involved here. Irially you zoom over and through various surface terrains, seeking out Drak-saf gun emplacements and interceptors. Survive topside and you drop inside the planet for a wild tunnel tumble.
During surface battles you can take various paths past different Drak-sai fortifications. However, you can't fly just "anywhere," because your altitude and lateral movement are limited. Sometimes the overall feeling is that you're flying inside an invisible box-it's a big box, but a box just the same.
The controls are crisp and capable, but it takes time to develop a feeftor the flying. You can pull killer 360-degree for example, but mintil you'r FireWing ace you'll find burself plastered wisttjjfside of a mountain than not. It's especially hard at first to judge how high or low you can fly, because the rapid forwajfi-scrolling graphics bombard your eyes with visuals to'near-lethal distraction. This causes mucho body-scraping along the ground or inside the planet tunnels. And, unfortunately, every collision sa the vital Shield strength on which your sirvival depends.
Stay focused, because the Drak-sai have zeroed in on you! Your main opponents are deter mined horseshoe-shaped spacefighters, but they're supported by murderous ground fire from various anti-FireWing installations. By the time you reach the vicioue round bosses, you're pretty well softened up.
Your offense consists of a blaster, which you can juice to three levels with three types of power-ups. Nothing special here, but all the blasts are effective and cool-looking. Your aces-in-the-hole are Pulse Bombs, whichtlear Drak-sai off the screen with an awesome-looking, rolling bomb burst that spreads straight out in front of your ship.
A Visual Assault
The 3DO graphics are a knockout. The planet-side terrain features eye-catching texture-mapped graphics that scroll beautifully as you fly through canyons, dip into valleys, and zip between mountains. The claustrophobic interior tunnels take on a psychedelic appearance as weird wall designs, massive metal obstacles, and assorted machines shoot past you.
The sounds won't prime your adrenaline pumps, but they swing when they need to. The music pumps above-average rock background sounds - they're worth medium volume settings, anyway. The sound effects are minimal, but effective.
This is a worthy first-time 3DO sci-fi battle. Space aces will get their planet-rocking, missilelocking fix, and new 3DO owners can feel satisfied with their investment. Total Eclipse is totally cool!
- You can avoid most Drak-sai surface fire if you hug the ground and fly through canyons.
- Watch out for red blasts. One hit and you're toast.
- Watch it when you bank left orright - mountainsides can come out of nojnrhere.
- Pulse Bomb blasts do not stop enemy shots.
- Use Pulse Bombs often during early rounds, when there are plenty of Pulse icons to find.
- Inside the tunnels, fire your guns to judge heights. Watch where the blasts burst.
- Always grab Shield power-ups.
- You can "swing" shots wide, left and right, by quickly pressing Left or Right and jpune-diately hitting the Fire button.
- Blast everything in sight! Any Drak-sai equipment you destroy increases your Shield strength.
- It's much better to concentrate on powering up one-weapon than it is to fly indiscriminately through weapon icons.
- You need as many Pulse Bombs and other special weapons as you can carry to beat the end bosses.
Normally a solar eclipse is nothing to fear. A few fanatics might predict the end of the world, but otherwise there's no reason to worry. Unless, that is, you're an archaeologist who has discovered an ancient prophecy of doom.
On an expedition to Egypt, you've recovered some hidden scrolls from the tomb of Hahmid III. One of the scrolls promises that anything coming between the sun and his tomb will be destroyed. Since all of Hahmid Ill's other prophecies eventually came true, this one can't be discounted. What's so ominous about this prophecy, however, is that a total eclipse of the sun is about to occur over Cairo. If Hahmid Ill's curse holds true, the moon will be destroyed when it passes between the Earth and the sun. And if the moon is destroyed, the disruption on Earth will be cataclysmic.
Your mission, then, is to destroy Hahmid Ill's tomb. If you do so before 10 a.m. (when the eclipse reaches totality), the curse may be averted. You have two hours to complete the task, equipped with only a watch, a water bottle, a compass, and a gun. You'll also need some luck, because once you're inside the pyramid, weird things start to happen.
Total Eclipse uses the game system first introduced in Epyx's Space Station Oblivion. Known as Freescape, this system gives you a straight-ahead view of the scene in front of you. You can look up, down, and sideways, and move in various directions by pressing the appropriate key. To pick up objects, simply walk into them.
As good as this system is, though, it is somewhat frustrating to play. For one thing, the changes of view are too slow. It feels as if you're crawling through the tomb, and jerkily at that. Because of this, sometimes you press keys you shouldn't have pressed, and you end up doing something you hadn't intended.
The other problem is the view itself. There is virtually no peripheral vision, so you can't take in a whole room in one glance. In a way, the game's laudable attempt at realism works against itself.
Eventually, however, you can adjust to these difficulties until the movements become second nature. At that point, Total Eclipse becomes good, solid fun — not a great game, but a good one.