Mega Apocalypse
Commodore 64
Simon Nicol
Have you had your fill of space-based shoot'em-ups? Yawn every time an unfeasibly gigantic space hulk fills the screen at the end of yet another sci-fi-inspired scrolling level populated by futuristic spacecraft/bio-mechanoid thingies? Then why not up the ante and go for something a little more grand? Or, as Martech's blurb says, 'Find strange and exciting new worlds....then blast them to pieces!!!!'.

Yes indeed, forget all that flying across unchartered alien planets destroying previously undiscovered lifeforms malarkey, Mega Apocalypse gives you the chance to blow up entire planets (in a planet-sized ship presumably), wiping out complete civilisations in one go! Whoopee! (cue maniacal laughter) ...

Mega Apocalypse is the sequel to Crazy Comets, a much-loved blaster 'inspired by' (ahem) the fairly obscure Gottlieb coin-op Mad Planets. OK, it's actually a straight rip-off, but it's a good rip-off. So that's fine.

The aim is simply to survive for as long as possible against wave after wave of increasingly aggressive planets and comets - strangely hellbent on your detruction - hopefully racking up a huge score in the process. Power-ups are thrown into the play area regularly and include speed-ups, extra lives, homing missiles and autofire (which allows you to rotate your ship by holding the fire button).

Apart from the inclusion of two new two-player modes (dual allies and dual enemies - both allowing simultaneous two-player action), the gameplay in this sequel hasn't changed a great deal, and is pretty much an amplified version of the original. The planets are bigger, faster and more numerous, there are more comets to deal with, more pick-ups, more speech ("Get ready!"), a new Rob Hubbard soundtrack and overall the gameplay is even more fast and furious than before.

Such a bad name, Mega Apocalypse ...

This is one game where nobody can complain that the enemies are too small to see

Those comets are annoying buggers, zipping around the screen trying to sabotage your efforts ...

Fans of Crazy Comets will absolutely love Mega Apocalypse. It's as though Simon Nicol has taken the original and multiplied everything by five. If you thought blasting action couldn't get more frantic than Crazy Comets, wait until you try this, especially in two-player mode - it's bonkers in the nut! Being chased around the screen, fully powered-up, by a massive spinning planet and two speeding comets is a truly exhilarating experience, and is enough to test the mettle of even the most skillful of videogamers. Graphically, Mega Apocalypse has more of a refined look than that of its predecessor and is technically more impressive - watch out for the huge planets and the amazing starfield effect. Sound is about as raucous as it gets on the C64 (unfortunately at the cost of overpowering Rob Hubbard's superb reworking of the Crazy Comets theme) with samples all over the place and a near-constant barrage of ear-splitting effects. All of this of course would be meaningless if Mega Apocalypse wasn't such an enjoyable blast. A good thing then that Mega Apocalypse offers some of the most tense and stimulating blasting action available anywhere, placing it easily at the top of the C64 shoot'em-up pile.

Graphics: 90%

Sound: 96%

Gameplay: 93%

Overall: 92%
Excellent. Huge, well-defined sprites zip about all over the place while the amazing spinning starfield does its thing at the same time. Very slick and technically impressive. Rob Hubbard hits the spot once again with a remix of the Crazy Comets tune. Tons of quality sampled sound effects. Mad, bonkers, crazy. One of the most manic shoot'em-up experiences on any platform. Two-player mode is especially nice. A truly earth-shattering blast fest :)
R E C O M M E N D E D   A L T E R N A T I V E S
Crazy Comets • P.O.D

O T H E R   F O R M A T S
Mad Planets (Arcade)

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