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Dynamic: Colonization of Jupiter
"Your one-man armada must protect the planet at
Gaming Gold Award Winner for Best Arcade Game
You find yourself
stationed atop the colony ship, awaiting commands from your high officer.
You glance to the left and to the front of your ship, staring at the beautiful
planet you were sworn to protect. You look to the aft at the colony ship
you promised to defend. And now, your skills are ready to be tested.
Your fellow pilots
don't see it, but your ship's sensors indicate a meteor shower headed directly
toward the colony ship. But your eyes can see even further into the distance,
and you see a wave of enemy ships behind the shower ready to ambush you
and your friends. No time to warn the colony ship... it's time to take
down this ambush with a frontal assault!
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Well, the screenshots don't lie. Thanks
to Future Software's hi-resolution Future.Library and one very talented
graphics artist, Dynamic Beta is one of the most beautiful games made on
QB yet. The graphics are a mix of heavily detailed enemy ships and laser-effects
similar to Space Duel and some other classic Atari spaceshooters from days
go by. But the level of quality never drops; in fact, as you go on the
graphics in the game get better. This is highly unusual for a video game.
This latest and final version of Dynamic
comes with five new levels, with graphics never seen before and enemies
more detailed and notorious than the last four levels. It isn't until the
very last levels on Difficult mode (level 8 in particular) where you find
out just how many ships Sasha can squeeze into the game without causing
a hint of slowdown. The graphics are really fast-paced.
There are many subtle animations within
the realm of Dynamic. While your ship and the enemy ships do not have that
many frames, a lot of action happens in the background. You get to see
the stars drift by, and you even get to see the vibrant explosions whenever
a ship gets hit by your laser fire. All this without a flicker? Excellent!
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|If your sound card is compatible and you
can hear all the sound effects, it really improves on the overall feel
of Dynamic. The laser sound doesn't sound too sci-fi, and while the explosion
sound is very good it really is the standard when it comes to your expectations
of a good spaceshooter.
There's no music though, and the sound
effects in Dynamic isn't fully compatible unless you have a 100% Sound
Blaster compatible card. Dynamic needs sound badly because you control
the ship with a mouse. If you play the game without the explosions and
the laser fire, Dynamic ends up feeling too much like a click-and-drag
adventure. In short, if you don't have a 100% Sound Blaster compatible
card, buy one. It will be worth it.
|Gameplay (n.)The precision of control
and involvement of character within its universe
|This is what I like most about Dynamic,
which takes a more modern approach to its gameplay format. Instead of the
standard "fly through stage, shoot down boss" layout that spaceshooters
tend to fall into, Dynamic uses a mission objective mode in its game. This
departure from the standard formula doesn't always work; Dynamic pulls
it off just fine.
For example, in the first level you have
to defend the colony ship from an asteroid field. This poses as double
jeopardy because you have to take down the asteroids before they hit the
colony ship while conserving your own energy and shields. But the next
level will offer a whole new objective and so forth. There are even some
levels where you get to fly with a computer-operated partner, and you protect
each other from the bad guys as sort of a 2D Starfox. Level 5, where you
have to dodge your way through an enemy flagship, can be a real thrill.
Perhaps the strangest part about Dynamic
is it's choice of controller. To play the game, you need to have a mouse
to operate your ship. This allows you to have more control over the ship's
speed, and opens up even more interesting gameplay options. In some of
the levels you can dance around with the mouse to prevent enemy waves.
In other levels you have to be a little more sensitive, making sure you
don't crash into an asteroid belt or the back of a giant mothership. It's
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|Average. The bulk of the story in Dynamic
lies in the level transitions. There's a logical flow to your mission briefings,
from protecting the colony ship to taking out the enemy forces to securing
the planet's perimeter. You even get to see a tiny transition between one
level and the next every now and then. This is a nice touch and is reminiscent
of Sonic 3 back in the Genesis days, when Knuckles the Echidna would occasionally
stop by and make life miserable for Sonic.
|Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience
can be repeated again and again
|Before I commented that Dynamic was a
relaxing game, that you could casually relax after each enemy wave that
arrives and then recharge for the next wave. This is still true for the
first four game levels, but afterwards Sasha Vukelich really threw a monkey
wrench into the game by making it increasingly and increasingly difficult!
The big wake-up call comes quickly especially when you crash into a mass
of metal that comes screaming down from above. This time, the enemy's in
for the kill.
There's a big learning curve in Dynamic.
Trying to beat Level 1 on Easy mode is very different from beating
Level 6 on Difficult mode. Another plus to the replay value is the ability
to choose your starting level. You might think it's a good idea to set
the mode in Difficult and just select the last stage so you can tell your
friends that you beat the game in Difficult mode. Go ahead and try. You
won't get very far.
Overall, the combination of a generous
level select system, a tough game, and the precise mouse control make the
challenge level of this game adjustable enough so you can always come back,
whether your reflexes are sharp or if you've come back from a long day's
work. In this sense Dynamic sends out perfect replay value.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|To beat all of Dynamic's levels from the
beginning, even in Normal mode, you would have to be possessed with amazing
2D shooter skills. Dynamic plays like an arcade shooter back in the days
when Capcom ruled the skies and every game was top-down view. And that
means tons of enemy fire and unexpected surprises between each level. Just
when you think you have the four waves of each level figured out, something
happens. You'll either encounter a boss that covers the top half of the
screen. Or maybe a long wave of enemy ships will come down and smother
you. It's hard and it's unpredictable. If you want the worst of it, set
the game on DIfficult and hold on tight.
There are two good tricks you need to learn
to be a good pilot at Dynamic. The first trick is to be persistent in taking
out enemy waves when you know you have the firepower to take them down.
The second trick is to know when to swing your mouse violently to make
sure you can dodge the enemy swarms when you know you don't have the firepower
to take them down. Combine these two tricks and you'll be able to make
it far in Dynamic. And even if you can't keep up with the game's challenge,
Dynamic's Stage Select mode will let you continue where you left off.
|Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|With twenty-nine total points, this beta
of Dynamic surpasses the score we've given the father of all QB spaceshooters,
the incredible Monospace! Not an easy task for any QB spaceshooter, as
Monospace set up some hefty standards! But what I like about Dynamic is
that it is a totally different spaceshooter from Monospace. Whereas Monospace
reminded me of a charming Gradius/Sky Shark hybrid, Dynamic Beta is a birds-eye
view game that has the addiction factor of a Star Soldier and the graphic
details of Raptor. Instead of trying to make excellent level layout as
in Monospace, Dynamic used original concepts to make the game more fun.
I'm glad that both of these noteworthy QB spaceshooters are different and
entertaining, but in the end only one game can be ranked higher than the
other in the Top Arcade Game List. And as far as I'm concerned, this round
goes to Dynamic Beta.
The twenty-nine point verdict also puts
Dynamic on a near-tie with fellow arcade game Wetspot 2. Neither game has
broken the nearly unbreakable 30-point barrier, but both games clearly
tried their hardest. In one hand, you have Wetspot 2, the mother of the
first generation of QB games and a victory by Angelo Mottola. On the other
hand, you have Dynamic Beta, the premiere spaceshooter in QB fueled by
Future Library. While the makers of Wetspot 2 have long since retired from
QB, Sasha Vukelich is still here.
The point? It's hard to come by a game
that's comparable to the most popular first-generation QB arcade games
out there, that being Monospace and Wetspot 2. With Future Software hosting
their project and the promise of a Dynamic 2 in the distance, maybe there
will be a day when the Dynamic franchise can break that 30-point barrier.
That fact alone makes any game in the Dynamic series a must-download.
||Genre: Arcade/Space Shooting
||To solve: 3-6 hours Final Rating: 29/35
To download this game, click here.
play this game, you need to have a mouse.
play Dynamic Beta, unzip the file and run "DYNAMIC.BAT".
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