Area 64 Reviews


Review by Randy Femrite

After five years of development, hype and anticipation the Jaguar's Messiah, BATTLESPHERE, has arrived. Was it worth the delays, the fear(death of ATARI) and all the hoopla? As T2K would say, yes, Yes, YES!. This game has it all; graphics, music, gameplay, special effects and more. It even has an original intro and five unique play modes from which to choose.

If you liked STAR RAIDERS you are going to love ALONE AGAINST The EMPIRE (1 console). In this classic game mode the universe is divided into 64 sectors complete with enemy forces, friendly forces, you and the Starbases you have sworn to protect. (Of note here: the manual says RED indicates enemy forces and GREEN indicates friendly forces but the opposite is true.) One cool aspect of this mode is watching your guys engaged in battle with the enemy before you are within firing range.

In GAUNTLET mode (1-2 consoles) you must protect your Starbases from wave after wave of enemy attacks until all your Starbases (up to 6) have been destroyed. This mode is not for someone with a heart condition.

The FREE-FOR-ALL mode (1-16 consoles) is just that; every man (or SE'BAB) for himself. This mode really shows off the Jaguar's power, especially when you get caught between the enemy's crossfire. The laser fire is realistic to the point where you almost feel its intensity as it crosses in front of you narrowly missing your ship. 64-bits at its finest.

In the BATTLESPHERE mode (2 consoles) two combatants enter a sector with the objective of capturing the opponent's Starbase. You must accumulate kills in order to upgrade your ship. The player to conquer all the Starbases is the winner.

As exciting as these modes are you will fail miserably unless you know how to command your ship. For this reason 4PLAY provided a PILOT TRAINING mode (1console). You will notice the manual is rather small for a game of this magnitude. There is no substitute for hands on experience and this mode (20 levels) will provide it for you.

The only downside to BATTLESPHERE is there aren't enough cartridges for everybody, but don't despair. ScatoLOGIC promises to make a second run of carts soon. Networking can be a problem due to the unavailability of Catboxes. Again, don't despair, two Jaguars can be hooked up via the JagLink.

All in all Battlesphere delivers. It may be difficult to get your hands on a copy but well worth the effort. If more quality titles like this were made for the Jaguar in '94/95 one can't help but wonder where ATARI would be today.

Rating out of 10:
Graphics: 10
Sound: 10
Control: 10
Game Play: 10
Overall: 10