ROGER THE AVENGER
Oki Roger isn't really an avenger but the name sounds soooo old fashion in
French that it couldn't be worse adding a subtitle :) Anyway, unlike its name,
this is a game that doesn't play nor seem ridiculous at all but let's rewind a
Once upon a time (or better said 10 years ago :) there were many games on
the ST. While Genesis and NES had a mascot, respectively being Sonic and Mario
computer games hardly managed to impose a single hero. Sure we had Turrican or
rick Dangerous, to name a few, but no real hero we could find again in another
episode (god bless game producers for releasing Tomb Raider years later ! :).
At some point, famous UK company GREMLIN gave it a try with ZOOL. Zool was erm
a wicked combination born from an orgy between ants and aliens or something :p
The game played fast, at least on Amiga, and was even ported to STe while a
Falcon based version was in the pipeline too if I remember well. Of course the
Falcon game never saw the light of day...
As for the STe it wasn't so bad and played with a smooth scrolling... until
you met ennemies (I can tell you for sure since I have played it again before
writing this review). Anyway let's try not to get too distracted here ! ROGER
clearly is inspired by ZOOL and was originally released as a shareware back in
1994 (tho I confess I never heard of it before).
Now, that is 10 years later, its creator TOBE decided to make it freeware
and so the news was spread on some French Atari forum. Thanks are sent to
Cooper for giving me a tip here :) Btw you can find the game in DBUG #180 that
was released some weeks ago. A harddrive friendly version would be cool, and
not one given away as an MSA please :)
The story so far
Since all instructions are written in French, here's a little summary :
Roger is intensively in love with Georgette (same name as my Gran'ma to give
you an idea of the sexiness of the name :) but he needs money to get to her
heart (evil women ! :). Now why he goes jumping on bubbles and how he gets
money from the blue tokens he collects, that I didn't get :p
But as the author underlines, it's a video game, so what the hell are you
doing here, looking for some plot ??? All you need is a 1Mb STe and a working
joystick. Fortunately mine still works so let's go !
You should keep in mind that the game was coded in GFA Basic ! Hey don't
run away, indeed it's smoother than a lot of other games. It comes with five
worlds (bathroom, library and the common playgrounds), each of them divided
into 5 levels. I didn't find any password nor save option so that I'm suddenly
wondering who will be crazy enough to play the game straight from A to Z...
Anyway, once the not-so-bad title screen displayed, you quickly press
'space' to enter the game as no menu nor options are offered either :( And
there you go (snapshot needed :) your character being reduced to a kind of pill
with arms and legs that strongly reminds of long time forgotten SPOT mascot
from a famous drink brand I cannot remember either.
Your goal is quite clear : within limited time, you have to collect 100
tokens naturally scattered over a non linear level, meaning that you'll need to
jump higher and higher to find all of them. And that's where the good idea pops
in ! As soon as your pillboy collides with a bubble, he is instantly lifted to
higher platforms. Of course you are encouraged to avoid the many spikes that
will cost you some life :)
Our hero is nicely animated and runs like hell ! So far I've only reached
level 3 and it still looks a bit empty with mostly a green textured background
and few elements, namely platforms, bubbles and spikes as well as some extra
time or life powerups. The game comes with nice fx being samples of blowing
bubbles and so on while the ingame music is a very known tune I cannot name :)
Enough to bring a more than decent atmosphere anyway.
Soon enough you find yourself running, jumping and trying to get all the
damn tokens and it proves fun enough for some time (saved game missing :(.
Above all the game is really smooth thanks to tortured GFA routs according to
Cooper who got them and declared it was the work of a madman :) Small but nice
transitions are used when starting or ending a level giving very little wait
before you start another level/game.
The game shows very few flaws indeed : oki gfx aren't top and surely if
someone like Exocet has painted it, then it would look a lot better, still the
game's looks good enough to me. What I don't understand is the lack of password
or maybe I missed it ? Starting from scratch every time will surely kill all
interest in the end :( Having to boot from floppy isn't a real problem tho
since loadings are fast enough, in other words only the password things lowers
the whole thing. But there's no doubt it's a good game with a nice idea and a
smooth animation and cool sampled fx !
Not a sky rocket but surely a pretty surprise that will keep Atari gamers
busy until Reservoir Gods gets us addicted to Faery Lands ! The unexplainable
absence of passwords will turn busy people away from the game though. Who has
enough time these days to play it for hours ? Not me sorry and I'd rather spend
two minutes trying to beat some records at Fzero GX on my Gamecube :) Still I
suggest you give the game a try, it's overall quality will amaze you !