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"The glory of the PC arcade shooter is back!"
In the shadows you
successfully inflitrate the Pekkantov base and steal the weapons files
necessary to build weapons of mass destruction. You must take these plans
before they are used to trigger a war of great magnitude and potential
for many casualties. But to ensure that the plans are taken, you must bring
them back home...
Hopping on a jet plane,
you literally must battle your way through six levels of non-stop arcade
shooting action. Take down the armies and blow up everything you see. Take
care of the awesome level bosses. And discover the potential of your deadly
triple shot attack. But above all, you must survive...
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|The game's high point. First of all, the
sprites are well done and rendered very thoroughly, to the point
that screenshots of Percussor have a sort of commercial-quality aura about
them. Part of that is to the credit of graphics artist TM, who really did
his homework in drawing every enemy frame. The backgrounds are also well-prepared.
The jungles in the game look lush, and the buildings and explosions are
at least up to par with the QB standard.
But that's really just part of the credit.
The other half of TMB consists of programmer AM, who did everything in
his power to combine the Enhanced Creations XMS routines with QB. The results
are subtle, but very impressive. The game handles shadowing, scrolling
backgrounds, and multiple enemies and bullets while maintaining a very
healthy framerate. The most obvious illustration of this is in the game's
end bosses, which usually fire a stream of bullets, without causing an
inch of slowdown. You won't see anything nearly as graphic-intense as a
commercial arcade game though, as your own weapons aren't too powerful.
But, considering what TMB has accomplished here, Percussor is simply a
great looking game.
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|Awesome, original music and muffled sound
effects make up the good and the bad of Percussor's audio repoitre. Although
the game plays like Apogee's PC classic Raptor, the music sounds more like
it came from Sega Genesis classics like Sonic the Hedgehog and Streets
of Rage. It all blends very well and the music really adds to the game,
amplifying the action that's taking place.
What you won't get in Percussor is the
bombastic explosion and weapon sounds that you do get from other QB shooters
like Shell Shock or Dynamic Beta. Percussor strays from that, giving you
excellent hard rock style music to pull you into the dogfight. So, if you
prefer music over sound, Percussor's four original tracks will make you
happy. But, if you're into sound effects more than music, Percussor might
not suit your fancy in this department. The music is significantly louder
than the sound effects in the game, making it difficult to hear the explosions
or the rapid-fire sounds from your jet's turrets.
|Gameplay (n.)The precision of control
and involvement of character within its universe
|Good. Percussor is your typical, run-of-the-mill
shooter with all the polishing necessary to make the gameplay solid. The
game has six levels, with at least one boss at each level to try to deter
you from finishing the game. In each level, you'll have to dodge ground-to-air
fire while shooting down enemy aircraft. You can blow up most of the objects
and buildings on the ground too for additional points, but some of the
more dangerous ground enemies are invulnerable to your ammo. You have to
do some evasive manuvuers to survive.
One highlight of Percussor is the use of
power-ups. There are five weapons scattered through the game's levels.
Once you pick a weapon up, you can switch to that weapon and use it continuously
without fear of losing ammo. There's also the Invincibility shield, which
allows to you take as much damage for free as you want for a limited number
The one down-side to Percussor is the types
of weapons used. There isn't much variation other than speed and power
for each weapon, and every weapon you collect goes straight and in no other
direction. This makes the Triple shot weapon the only real useful weapon
in the game, since it's clearly the most efficient and powerful for the
speed you receive. So that aspect sort of taints the whole weapon selection
system. But other than that, TMB did a good job with the gameplay.
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|The story itself is simple enough; it's
a give-and-take relationship. You have to take some plans from the enemy
and give everything you've got to escape before your jet gets blown away.
But what truly makes this story charming is the fact that the game comes
with the typical TMB intro and ending sequences. The story is articulated
nicely through graphic demos with text included, so the game quickly pulls
you in. Best of all, if you're sick of seeing the Intro you can press any
button to skip to the game menu. It's a subtle touch, but it helps the
replay value of Percussor a lot.
|Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience
can be repeated again and again
|Shooting action like this nowadays is
hard to come by. Ever since Starfox came out for the SNES, videogame developers
have been hesitant to release a top-down, weapon shooter like Percussor.
Raptor was probably the last big hurrah for this type of shooter, except
for a couple of Dreamcast games. Appropriately, TMB is quoted as saying
that Raptor is their inspiration for Percussor.
Usually, it's fair to compare Percussor
to other games like it in QB, the closest being Jeremy Hammond's Shell
Shock. But Percussor captures Raptor and the PC-type game so successfully
that the comparison is more appropriate there. That being said, Percussor
is just one small step behind Apogee's Raptor game. The graphics are certainly
up to par, the sound is as intense, but the game's ship doesn't have the
raw firepower that a Deathray has in the Apogee game. Maybe there wasn't
enough memory to make the good weapons in Percussor great.
Still, Percussor is a very replayable game.
Percussor manages to capture most of the fine aspects of Raptor while still
developing a sense of individuality. A big part of that is the fact that
the weapons are original, and the enemy flying patterns are somewhat unique.
The top-notch graphics don't hurt the replay value either. This game is
just great to look at and is always easy on the eyes.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|If you're seasoned at arcade-shooter type
games, then the bulk of the challenge won't come from the levels themselves.
Although enemies swarm from every conceivable direction, there really isn't
an incentive (other than trying to top your own high score) to face the
enemies head on. More frequently, it's a lot easier to just dodge the enemies
by hiding in the far-left and far-right middle sections of the screen.
If you can at least maintain control of the front, you won't have to worry
so much about enemy fire coming from the back. Plus, once you get the Triple
shot in the later levels of the game, fragging most of the enemies will
Your true challenge comes in the form of
the level bosses at the end of each level. The first few bosses are really
just jokes from TMB to fool you into thinking that every boss will have
an easy pattern that can be mastered. By the time you reach Level 6, you'll
discover that this isn't the case. I wish you good luck especially in the
final, final boss of the game, which took me the majority of the time in
beating this game. Even with the best firepower this game has to offer,
you will need every skill and reflex you've mustered from years of play
to beat the boss. And don't even think about trying a kamikaze mission
on the end-boss to solve the game. It just won't work.
|Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|Good. TMB usually promises high-quality
games unlike ever before with every game they've released. After trying
some of their projects and seeing some bugs here and there, I've learned
to turn the other cheek. But Percussor is the sort of retribution a group
like TMB needs. This shooter is free of bugs and it fact capitalizes with
it's high-calibur graphics, music, and play value. And because there are
many enemies and bosses to shoot at, the fun factor can pick up in a self-pacing,
addictive kind of way. In short, don't let TMB fool you with the impression
that their QB platformer Around the World is the best game they've ever
made. I've played that game before, and while it's a good effort it didn't
quite pass the hurdle into greatness. In difference, Percussor adds to
the QB gaming library with a game that matches the level set by some of
the great 2-D arcade games. Shooter fans will find Percussor to be an instant,
Percussor Reviewed by Vance Velez
||Genre: Arcade/Shooting Game
||To solve: 2 hours Final Rating: 25/35
To download this game, click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
play Percussor, run "SETUP.EXE" to change the game's sound settings, then
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