Steel Talons

Atari Lynx

Review by Matt Paprocki



Graphics: 5

Sound: 4

Gameplay: 6.5

Overall: 6

Call me weird, but occasionally, late at night, I begin thinking. Thinking about what it would be like to be a video game console. No, not what it would be like to be in the game, but to actually be the console. Recently, I began thinking about what it would be like to be the Atari Lynx while playing Steel Talons. I can imagine myself in constant state of tiredness, hardly able to breathe in air. I simply wasn't meant to be pushing polygons.

On the surface, Steel Talons (a port of a kick ass sit down arcade game) is your basic, bare bones arcade style helicopter game packed with tons of squares and triangles representing the landscape. Yes, the Lynx can handle scaling, rotation, and all of the other goodies that come along with the magic of mode-7. One thing it should never be doing is trying to push polygons. The frame rate never rises above 10 fps ruining any sense of actually flying an attack chopper.

The missions are pretty much standard fare, run and gunning style. You'll be taking on missile silos, planes, tanks, and other assorted mechanical nasties. There's a time limit to each of these tasks, but your allowed to continue on most missions if you go over. Each of these missions is introduced with a whole bunch of grainy digitized voice, and excellent touch that gives it that retro arcade feel. Unfortunately, that's the extent of the sounds aside from generic gunfire and helicopter blades turning. Nope, no music during the missions.

Thanks mostly to that frame rate, the controls respond much slower than they should be for a game in this genre. Thankfully, most of the aiming is pretty much done automatically once your locked on to your next victim, but some of the airborne targets can get quite frustrating. An on-screen radar would also be extremely welcome, but you need to hold down option 1 in order to access it.

If you love polygons and your dying to see some on the Lynx, then by all means, go for it. There's a very playable game that can be picked up and played for marathon sessions or just a quick time killer. Honestly, if it wasn't for the frame rate issues, this would be a killer-app for the too-short lived Lynx. If your desperate for flight on the go, dig up Blue Lightning first.


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Last updated: Wednesday, December 10, 2003 02:32 PM