too old for this shit.
Through myriad shooters, puzzlers,
adventures and every other genre you can drag from a categorisation
machine, no game has ever made us feel past it. Until now. Yeah,
cheers then Jeff Minter.
If the name isn’t familiar, that
classic ’80s movie quote back there was kind of apt, as he hit the
game scene early in that decade, renowned for a proclivity for
hooved animals as well as pumping out an array of wondrously
out-there arcade experiences involving everything from mutant camels
and space sheep to lawnmowers. But perhaps his biggest success was
Tempest 2000 for Atari’s stillborn Jaguar in the ’90s.
TxK is an evolution of that.
In turn, they’re both
evolutions of a classic vector-drawn (that’s direct point-to-point
lines, not pixels) arcade shmup Tempest from the early days
of coin gobblers. Between Minter’s skill and the Vita’s
scrummylicious OLED screen, TxK is a neongasmic feast for
the eyes – and manna for those who market blood pressure medication.
In keeping with its classic arcade heritage, TxK is an
utter – erm, is very challenging. You’re represented by golden space
horns, dash-crabbing your way left and right on various vector-based
objects which, ladies and gentlemen, are floating in space.
Greeblies of assorted lethality try to climb your wireframe, so you
try to shoot them down. Simple, right? Well, in theory.
levels into the 100 on offer things become more frenetic, as pace
amps with more and more invaders invading, the awesome ambientechno
soundtrack doofing away and levels wiggling about like lager-fuelled
Mexican waves. Urgh.
With various modes to tackle, bonus
interludes, power-ups aplenty and bangin’ catchphrases that’d have
Dr Alex Patterson blissing along agreeably, TxK is an ace
assault on the senses. Just don’t expect it to be easy.
Still, if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything...