has to be considered one of the more controversial Jaguar games. Either you love
it or you hate it, but either way it seems like everyone has a strong opinion about this
game. Many people say it's too hard, and that an auto-fire ability should have been
included. Another typical complaint is that Zero 5
suffers because the game is split up
into three different modes of gameplay. In other words, because Caspian spent so much time
working on three separate games, the overall quality of each game is less than it would be if
they had just focused on one. But what does this reviewer think?
In terms of pushing polygons, this is one of the most impressive games in the Jag library.
Although certainly nothing amazing by today's standards, the game still holds up with a great
framerate and sharp looking shaded ships with some texture mapping. The game has
a lot of visual character, very distinct designs for the ships and enemies. The explosions are
impressive, reminding me of Battlesphere
with how many ships break apart piece by piece before
they finally burst. The intros before each level and the menus all help add to the polished
graphical presentation of Zero 5
Sound & Music: 95%
The soundtrack is also among the best on the Jaguar. The style is, you guessed it, techno, and
it fits the fast paced action of the game perfectly. A good selection of fast, driving songs
feeds you as you blast your way through level after level. The sound effects and voice samples
are also top notch in Zero 5
. The announcer tells you to "Take Control!" at the beginning of
each level and will yell out "YES!" when you make an important kill. The laser blasts and
explosion sound effects are well done. In some levels the sounds even become essential in the
gameplay. In the Hit Pak mode you'll have to listen closely to know when an enemy warps into
firing range, and in Trench mode the sound your lasers make when they hit an unbreakable wall
is an important signal that you need to get the heck out of the way.
Not quite perfect, the control isn't as tight as it could be in some parts.
On a whole you'll be able to have a very good sense of control after a while, but
now and then your ship will still get out of hand. Of course this varies from one gameplay
mode to another. Hit Pak mode shouldn't give you much trouble with the controls, Trench mode
feels like it should be a little more responsive, and Bam-Bam will probably give you the most
trouble because it gets difficult to point your ship in the right direction at times. The
controls for each mode are pretty easy to get the hang of after a few games regardless of any
small problems. There are some nice touches to make up for any troubles, like the ability to
put the control on fast or slow in Hit Pack mode. You can also customize the
controls in case you never did feel that the up button should dive.
There are 3 different play modes, Bam-Bam (3D on rails), Hit Pack
(Missile Command 3D style shooting), and Trench (Star Wars style shooting). My favorite is Trench mode, and man is it FAST!
Bam-Bam would come in a close second, with some intense shooting action. Hit Pack is good as
well, but just not my favorite type of shooter. One thing I like about each mode of
gameplay is that they all capture a very fast paced arcade feel. While the game is
definitely hard, it's not too hard, especially in comparison to some of the Jaguar's
other great games. Of the 15 levels any experienced gamer should be able to get at least 3/4
of the way through in a week or two of playing. After that... hmmm, maybe you should try and
find those cheat codes...
If the gameplay had been tweaked a little bit I think it could have been perfect.
At times you don't really have a good sense of depth in Bam-Bam mode and the game will
make you lose instead of your lack of skill. The more you play though, the less and less
this happens. This game is intense, pure adrenaline pumping action straight through.
Personally I think an auto-fire button would have ruined it. Half of the fun is the
desperation you have as you smash your thumb into the fire button over and over again
while your shields are nearly gone and you're facing a boss.
Some people are going to strongly disagree with me on this one, but I think this is the Jaguar's best game. While the game certainly has it's flaws, I play
and enjoy Zero 5 more consistently than any other game in my library (and it's a big library).
I hate to think what would have happened if Telegames had not released
Zero 5 after the Jag's demise. If only the game had been released while our cat was alive and kicking, I think it
would have gone a long way with the magazines. As it is now the game won't entice any new
gamers to buy a Jaguar (what will?), but we should all be very glad this gem of a lost game was
released by Telegames. With three great modes of shooting action, I have a hard time
understanding how any Jaguar owner doesn't love this game.
I completely disagree with this comment from the review: "Of the 15 levels any experienced gamer should be able to get at least 3/4 of the way through in a week or two of playing."
No way! I'm an experienced gamer, and I find even the first levels are brutally, horrendously difficult. Did the programmers actually have any playtesters come in cold and check this game out? Beautiful graphics, nice presentation - but even skilled gamers get slaughtered right away, and never have a chance to make any progress.
Just came across this, I was the owner of Caspian Software, it was many years ago now, the game is very stuff, but that's how we wanted it, we all came from an arcade background, and wanted to make a buttom bashing, heart pumping game. We did play through the whole game 3 times in our offices, but no more :) It was tough, and the guys often got finger cramp. Happy days!
Try playing the game using a projector in a dark room, that's how the game is meant to be played :)
So who made the decision to have the ship shoot outward from the middle of the screen? I think that's something that hurts the game. It's a unique perspective, but it's extremely hard to aim from that angle.
Also, why is the game so different from the Atari ST version?
I like the graphics and the 3D look, I just wish it wasn't so HARD! (Or maybe I just suck at it!)