|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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Commander Keen 7
"Billy Blaze says Goodbye Galaxy in QB!"
When Commander Keen intercepts a message
from the Shikadi race involving the destruction of the galaxy, he decides
to take his pogo-stick and spaceship along for an whole new adventure!
In Commander Keen 7, your mission is to
save the Ancients. It's Keen's hunch that these Keepers of the Oracle are
the key to discovering more about the Shikadi. Little does Billy Blaze
know just how close his hunch is to the truth...
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Keen 7 is technologically
brilliant, featuring smooth scrolling, layering and plenty of animated
items. You fly behind clouds, and behind, and even through some ledges.
In the background the anthropomorphized trees will blink, and the fires
lighting the enormous slug shrine are animated. Everything looks excellent
and the engine does no injustice to Goodbye Galaxy.
Although there are
no original graphics (they are pulled directly from the original), the
sprites used some of the finest even today. At first glance, you may not
even notice that they are constructed using only the 16 color standard
EGA palette (even though the game is in 13h VGA). Colorful and detailed,
these sprites were drawn quite professionally and used an isometric platform
style that would be perfected 5 years later in "Metal Slug." However, the
lack of any new or original graphics keep Commander Keen 7 from achieving
more than an average graphics score.
New to build 13
is a much more complete tile set, feature graphics from multiple levels.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
else in the game, sounds and music are ripped from the original game and
replicated using MP3s and DS4QB. While using MP3s to replicate synthesized
is a bit extreme method, it is accurate and compresses well, the music
being so simple. While the music and sounds stay true, they are only capable
of getting an average score for the same reason as the graphics. Other
than extra songs, nothing has changed in this version.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|Keen 7 is close
to having all of the original elements of gameplay from Goodbye Galaxy.
The gem-locked doors, switchable platforms are all new to build 13, while
Build 15 offers the Keen menu, and the ability to encounter ancients. Other
Keen-ian gameplay elements include the ray gun (which can be shot in different
directions), the pogo-stick, grabbing on to ledges, items, friendly and
enemy NPCs, poles, secrets and more were already in the game by build 12.
Again, this is a technological masterpiece. Everything is fluid and complete.
The gameplay is so incredibly close to the original I found myself immersed
into the game.
However, there was
nothing notably new: I even found secrets I remembered from the original.
If you've played Keen 4 through, you're not missing much. It would've been
nice to see new levels and puzzles, but this game does as much as it can
to emulate the original. While V Planet's review policy does sadly punish
lack of originality, however it gets an extra point for including the level
editor, allowing players to create new levels.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
is a build in progress, and none of the wacky story elements from the original
appear in this clone as of yet.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|While this clone
is nothing short of fun, it is nothing close to new. The original Keen
4, in which Keen 7 attempts to clone in every way, had great replay value,
with multiple passages and secrets, as does this game if youve never played
a Keen game, but it has been over 10 years since the release of Commander
Keen 4. I, along with many others, have played through the classic. Keen
7 offers nothing new in terms of gameplay, and therefore nothing new in
replay value, as the two are closely tied.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|If you've never
played Commander Keen, its jumping puzzles and item finding are more than
enough to keep even a veteran from breezing through the game. With the
exception of the fact that stunned enemies do not come back to life, this
kind of gameplay is copied perfectly. The multiple paths almost always
offer a an easy route and a challenging route, so depending on your skill
level you can take the one that suits you. However, all of the levels are
not yet integrated in this build, so the game does seem shorter than it
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|Commander Keen IV
is of the most professionally done platformers in video game history, nonetheless
PC history. Nearly every aspect of the gameplay is preserved perfectly
in this excellent clone, and the attention to detail is incredible. The
graphics, the physics, the gameplay elements and the sound are so precise
and complete that it crosses the thin invisible barrier of QB games that
leaves gamers ignoring details, glitches and methodology of the coding
and just having fun. This kind of combination is just incredibly fun and
Keen style games
are not original in concept. Billy has a ray gun, collect items and have
one or two defining gadgets. But what makes Commander Keen special is in
the extra layer of polish and presentation in both the original and QB
version of the game. Its combination of excellent elements make it more
fun, at least to me, than any other QB platformer yet. The only problem,
mentioned several times already, is the lack of originality, as it is a
clone. Had there been new levels, or levels different enough to distinguish
itself from the original game, Commander Keen 7 may have pogo-jumped its
way to the top of the platformer list.
7 Build 15 Reviewed by Toonski
||To solve: 3-4 hours Final Rating:
download Commander Keen 7 Build 15 (529KB), click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
play Commander Keen 7, unzip the file and run "KEEN7.EXE".
Back to Platform
out of 35 points
Highs: Some of the most solid gameplay
mechanics in a QB platform game to date, based on one of the most popular
platforming games of all time.
Lows: Since it's an exact clone, Commander
Keen 7 doesn't offer any surprises for platform game veterans.
V Planet! Archive
This is an archive of V Planet, circa November 2004, when the site was last active. This is read-only, and preserved here as part of the QB Zines Archive at Pete's QB Site.
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