COPTER 271

Publisher : Loriciel
Release date : 1992
Genre : Shoot 'Em Up
Players : 2
Screenshots...
Game description...
"The first arcade game that is exclusively designed for the GX 4000 and CPC+. You will be dazzled by its speed, its graphism and its stereophonic soundtrack. Multi-directional scrolling, 37 displayed colours, for one or two player simultaneously. Four different sites with 164 screens and the various bonuses make this game a reference for the GX 4000."
Programming :
  Olivier Richez & Christophe Delmaere
Graphics :
  Ivan Gaidon
Music/Sounds :
  Michel Winogradoff
Downloads...


Download ROM


Download Manual
Editors review...
Was this the last ever official cart game released? It appeared to be - Amstrad Action never even got a review copy. A French project, and given the countries latter day releases on the machine showed that they damn well knew how to produce some stunning graphics - so at the time all we had were screen shots which looked lovely! And the promise it will fully use all the new features of the Plus models... expectations were high, but I think everyone in the UK had near enough given up. Well it got a release in France eventually by Loriciels, and now thanks to the wonders of emulation and Ebay we can finally experience it...

And man... what a let down. Essentially a vertical scrolling shoot 'em up in the style of 1942 and Xevious both released in the early 80's if that gives you any indication... however those games were fast simple addictive fun. What we ended up with here is a slow, bloated, and dull tedious plod of a game. The levels seem to go on forever and by level 3 it looks like nothings changed at all... just lots and lots of sea and a few islands here and there. Maybe it changes later on? But me and probably every other GX fan hasn't bothered to get that far.

So what of all the boasts of the GX features being fully used? Lets take a look at the blurb that was on the back of the box...

"The first arcade game that is exclusively designed for the GX 4000 and CPC+."

Ok but err what about Tennis Cup 2 (from the same company!!), Pang, Robocop2, Switchblade (only later released on tape/disk), World Of Sports, etc??

"You will be dazzled by its speed,"

You're joking right?

"its graphism"

Yes err 'graphism' [sic]? Well it does look pretty...

"and its stereophonic soundtrack."

Ok so one poor title tune? They could have tried to use the DMA chip...

"Multi-directional scrolling, 37 displayed colours,"

Ok granted, pretty good...

"for one or two player simultaneously."

Now it gets interesting... 2 players simultaneously? Yep! Top stuff surely? Ahhh ...but what about the horrendous slow down that then occurs...shame.

"Four different sites with 164 screens and the various bonuses"

The weapon power ups are pretty good, but you lose them when you die making the game unnecessarily tough as what you start with is pretty weak. As for the different sites, I've yet to experience anything but bloody blue sea and the odd island...

"make this game a reference for the GX 4000."

Dear god... if this was the reference point for 'the' game to try on the machine no wonder it failed.

So what else is wrong? Oh yea I hate the fact that enemy fire scrolls *with* you as you move left and right!! OK right... its not that terrible but considering it would have cost you 30 at the time you would have been very er....annoyed. And indeed today, prices on Ebay for this game have been rediculous. Once it sold with a 'buy it now' of 400! That seller must have been laughing all the way to the bank. The only value of the game is that its very rare and needed if you want a complete collection. So be warned ... but if you get it cheap (like a loose cart) you might have some play value out of it, but you'll bore easily.

Graphics
  Credit where it's due, it looks lovely. Well, if you take a still screenshot you would think so... but the enemies are pretty cheaply designed, and the backgrounds get dull very quickly as you'll get forever is just blue sea! Although the sea does look nice as it shimmers... tough one, but some care has been taken - your chopper does look ace with the rotor spinning, explosions are pretty good, and a nice intro screen...
Music
Average title tune, not bad - not good. No in game music.
Sounds
Nice chopper/rotor sound, cool explosions, bleeps and warning noises from your console about approaching enemies, and decent sound of your gun firing... pretty good actually.
Presentation
Cool opening screen, an intro story for you to read, and nice bright colourful graphics (your chopper does look cool)... not bad all round actually.
Programming
Have they actually used hardware scrolling and sprites here? I think they have, but it all just plods and chugs along. If a lot happens on screen (especially in 2 player mode) it really slows down, and the fact that bullets scroll *with* you is unforgivable. I think they tried hard, but it was just too much for them...
Playability
Vertically scrolling shooters in the mold of 1942, Xevious, etc all games that appeared in the early 80s... should be fast, zippy fun. This is a slow turgid plod that without super weapons which you lose when you get hit it fast becomes an impossible bore.
Lastability
See above. Will last a couple of goes before its either put on the shelf to gather dust and sold on Ebay for a fortune...
Concept
Something about an alien invasion. *yawn* Just an excuse to design cheap and crappy looking sprites that can claim to be 'alien' I reckon.
AI & Challenge
I don't think there's much AI going on except for when certain enemies shoot. They all seem to follow an exact pattern or just random one.
GX4000 Features
Well, kudos here for trying to use all the features like the extra colours and hardware scrolling/sprites... but the programmers bit off more than they can chew here. No DMA music/sound though.
Summary A crushing bore and disappointment. Programmers get top marks for effort, but bad marks for execution. A real shame.
Final Score 56%
Cheats...
Multiface:
  255 lives - &818F : ?? -> &FF

Codes:
  CALM
  TENACITY
  LUCIDITY
  SPEED
  CLEVER
  DEXTERITY
  VIVACITY
  EFFICACE
  COURAGE
  HEROISM
  PERFECTION
YouTube video...



Further more...
  Amstrad Action final score : %
  GX4000.CO.UK game ranking : #
  Game value (boxed + instructions) : £80 - £200

Credits...
Manuals and some sleeve scans by mochilote at cpcmania.com

ROMS taken from NVG FTP Site maintained by Nich Campbell, see his other site - CPC Game Reviews

Cheats (various) taken from CPC Zone contributed by Hermol, cpc4eva, Malc and others

Inspiration generally taken from John King's PCW King GX4000 site



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