[editor’s note: this is part of a series by Tim. Intro here: http://www.tastywhale.com/?p=2489 ]
The first game that I pulled from my backlog pile was Dynowarz – The Destruction of Spondylus. Dynowarz is a side scrolling action game published by Bandai in 1989. Throughout the game you play as the Professor Proteus, the mastermind behind the Robosaur Project as well as the man-made Spondylus Solar System. Your former partner, Dr. Branius has been up to no good and has been attacking all the planets with giant computerized dinosaurs and sabotaging the life system computers. Unlucky for Branius, you have secretly been working on a ultimate robosaur, the Cyborasaurus! As Proteus, you must enter Artificial Intelligence Compounds and deactivate the viruses infecting the computers. To get to these compounds, you must hop into your Cyborasaurus and travel across the planet fighting robotic dinosaurs as you go!
The first impression you always have of a game is by looking at the box art. The cover art of this game has a 3 pterodactyl 3 moon combo. So far I have made the conclusion that this is a pretty awesome game. Somewhere after playing about 20 minutes however, I think I changed my mind.
You go throughout the game switching between playing as Proteus and trouncing around as the Cyborasaurus. Starting as Proteus, you abruptly appear in a room with 3 moving platforms, 2 “Flying Hounds of Destruction” and spikes everywhere! According to the instruction booklet by the way, this is his laboratory… So I guess that is fine… A professor has to keep his laboratory secure. But I do have a question for the professor; why do you have to have moving platforms and spikes in your laboratory when your jumping action is so BAD?! Proteus essentially will kneel down, and then jump straight up. It was extremely annoying to me especially when trying to jump to moving platforms. I could not adjust to it very well throughout my playing time. Once you make it through to the end of you laboratory, you jump into you giant Cyborasaurus! Sweet! Well, kind of sweet!
Playing as the Cyborasaurus has its own frustrations, but it mostly has to do with the weapons. I found almost every single weapon to be more trouble than it is was helpful. How the weapon system works is that there is a decent percentage chance that the Robosaurs that you defeat will drop one of 4 weapons. All of these weapons except for the Fireball ended up screwing me over. The Launch Fist boomerangs in a large loop, the bomb lobs a grenade a predefined distance away, and the “Lazer Beam” will fire a slow short beam, which can only be on the screen one at a time. These 3 items allow all sorts of Robosaurs to run up to you and punch your face in while you try to find a way to get them away. Walking over the same item will upgrade the item, but with the high frequency of the weapon drops and the level of face humping that can possibly occur, you usually end up just walking over a different one. That or a weapon drops on the other side of the cliff, and you have no choice but to grab it or drop to your death.
Once you reach your destination, you will play as Proteus once again and will try to reach the AI Compound Computer to shut it down. like your laboratory, there multiple moving “Platforms of Deception”, “wall cannons” and “Flying Hounds of Destruction” which you pass through before you reach your destination. The difficulty of these compounds were never that hard, but the frustration would come in due to the jumping mechanics and the tendency to sometimes clip through the Platforms and fall to my death.
And when you complete that mission, you have another 6 to complete… just like that one…
After my 60 minutes were up playing the game I turned it off. I found myself quite bored of the game after completing the first few stages. I also found myself annoyed at the same repetitive music file. After that hour of playtime, I did not get the chance to stop the wicked Dr. Branius and his Robosaurs and I don’t believe that I ever plan on trying to again.