|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
Link to Us
"Your Death is Unofficial but the Experience is
The smell of blood is in the air. And in
this game there can be no survivors. In this Unofficial Tournament, the
rules are to kill or to be killed, only to reincarnate again until the
tournament has ended!
Choose from several characters based on
the speed and range of their weapons. Pummel up to eight bots in twenty-five
levels of deathmatch-style action. Then, when you have the guts, challenge
a friend on one computer or through network play!.
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|Joe has clearly
put some effort into the sprites, as every one of the ten selectable characters
has a different 8x8 sprite. While it may only be skin and shirt color that
changes, it's enough to distinguish the opponents from each other. The
walking animations are also done to high standards.
The game's many projectiles
are excellent. They show up clearly against the levels, so you can easily
see if you're about to be splattered against the wall. Only one death animation
is used, but it's still entertaining even after repeated play. Even with
many dozens of projectiles on-screen, there is no slowdown or flicker.
However, the level
tiles are where the graphics fall apart. The floor is a single repeated
tile which causes the levels to look quite plain, especially those with
large open spaces. Trees and bricks decorate some maps, but these are only
average, and on the whole the levels look drab and flat. The other tiles
are simple and not at all seamless, so you can really see the rigid grid-based
format of the game.
The menus and option
screens are text-based, but functional, clear, and concise. Whenever the
deathmatch ends, the game flicks back to text again to display the results
at a higher, sharper resolution.
Another nice feature
is the map preview - before selecting your map, you can see a smaller image
of it. This is an excellent touch that prevents a lot of wasted time remembering
which levels are fun and which are boring to play.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Tournament doesn't have any music or sound at all. This is a shame, as
a game like this would benefit greatly from a techno soundtrack and some
sound effects for explosions, rocket firing and so forth.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|UT scores well in
the gameplay department. While simplistic, it's really easy to pick up
and play. Just pick a map, number of opponents and your character, and
you'll play a match. Only five keys need to be used - the arrows to move,
and Control to fire - and your weapon is always the same.
This, however, is
one of UT's downfalls. The weapons are pre-selected according to which
character you choose (along with the speed of movement). Whilst this brings
an element of strategy to the game, it also becomes a hassle. You can't
choose the right weapon for the situation - you're forced to adapt to the
one you've got. If you're pinned against a corner, your slow-moving Rubiks
cube won't help when the enemy can just shoot a few arrows at you and run
Joe also added several
powerups. Although enemies don't seem to pick them up, they really add
to the game. If you can't seem to kill people with your normal weapon,
firing in all four directions at double speed should do the trick. Overall,
the game is well-executed, smooth and full of features. Even the options
menu is packed with settings to tweak as you wish.
Aside from weapon
and powerups, the AI is quite poor. Enemies will often wander around doing
nothing in particular, or fail to dodge your bullets like a human. Of course,
Joe can't make his bots perfect, but you can't help feeling that the bots
are based more on random numbers than their environment. This holds true
in levels with many obstacles or paths, as bots will get 'stuck' trying
to navigate the paths and become easy prey for your weapons.
Another feature I
would like is a frag counter for each player, so you can see how you are
doing. Currently the game encourages you to shoot as many people as possible
until the game flicks to the results screen. Seeing if people are ahead
of you would be ideal. A time counter would also be good as the level is
time based - once the limit is reached, the match ends.
These qualms aside,
the controls are responsive and the fast-paced gameplay makes for frantic,
enjoyable action. With eight players in the level, the amount of projectiles
on the screen mind-boggling, and the action furious, you can still dodge
and weave around bullets whilst sending a few of your own out. At times,
you can't see yourself when respawning, but Joe included a flashing box
around the player (temporary invincibility) when he respawns, so you can
get back to fragging straight away.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
||While UT is full
of chaos and killing, there's no story to justify it. The premise is simply
to kill as many people as you can, and it's enough for me ;)
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
offers up 25 different maps, and you can play with any combination of options
or characters. The game difficulty can even be changed as you get better.
with the features the replay value suffers as the game is too straightforward.
Although killing and dodging is fun for a while, the excitement fades and
the simplicity rears its ugly head. There is only one, non-changeable weapon,
and the opponents all look more or less identical (although they sport
different skin and shirt colours).
Although 25 maps
are included (and you can make more with the included editor in .bas format),
the repetitive graphics mean that the maps, too, look the same, and that
only a few of the included maps actually add to the game.
In general, you will
get bored of this game fairly quickly. It hasn't much to offer you without
a 'career' mode. I found a series of deathmatches to be unfulfilling -
perhaps the inclusion of other modes, like Capture the Flag or team matches,
would add more variety.
Also, the game only
ends when the time limit is reached. I think that a frag limit option should
also be included, as it is sometimes more fun to play. The serial link-up
option, however, adds to the game brilliantly, with co-op play being especially
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|Although a deathmatch
in UT plays out quite quickly, there are plenty of settings available to
change how hard it is. You'll have your fingers tied in knots trying to
out-strafe, out-wit and out-fight your opponents, whether human or computer.
The bots, while prone to getting stuck or wandering, are fairly lethal
when they're on form, and will not hesitate to wipe the floor with you
if you don't fight back.
If you find the game
too easy or too hard, you can set the difficulty in the options menu, from
easy to unfair. The number of opponents heavily effects the game as well
- if you're up for a challenge, include eight of them and try to survive
for more than five seconds. If you're interested in skill, play one on
ones. The game's challenge can be transformed totally by choosing certain
weapon/player setups, and certain maps.
Finally, if you're
really having trouble or find the game too easy, connect two PCs with the
serial cable. You can then play co-op or versus deathmatches with your
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|UT is, overall,
a whole load of fun. It's a blast to fight against 6 or 7 bots in an arena
and see if you can be the best player before the time runs out. The variety
of weapons and distinction between characters (movement speeds and so on)
is superb. With lots of characters and action, the game is frantic - as
the game itself says, "Let the chaos begin!"
On the other hand,
the chaos might be too much! Playing with the full 8 bots is often a bad
idea, especially on smaller arenas, as you're likely to get fragged within
three seconds of loosing your temporary invincibility. This is both confusing
and fustrating when you never have a chance to fight back. The one hit
kill system for most weapons keeps the pace up but is often aggravating.
The ammo is infinite
in UT, which again keeps the pace up (no need to collect ammo crates or
run out) but also allows users of certain weapons, like the darts or nitrogen
gun, to keep the fire button held down all through the match. This detracts
from the enjoyment to be had - the fire rate should be reduced.
The bonus items are
a fun addition that increase the game's variety. More touches like those
would have made the game much better. It's a shame that UT was made as
a "simple shoot-em-up" between friends, when it could have been so much
more. Still, it excels as a quick time-waster, and it's fun for a while.
Unofficial Tournament has its merits and is great to play, but it lacks
the polish needed to go up against the latest QB arcade games.
Reviewed by Richard Harris
||To solve: N/A Final Rating: 12/35
download Unofficial Tournament (145KB), click here.
play Unofficial Tournament, unzip the file and run "UTRUN.EXE".
Back to Arcade
out of 35 points
Highs: Fun, frantic action with original
Lows: Gets repetitive and fustrating over
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.
2004 QB Gaming Gold Awards Almost Set To Begin!
Get ready for this year's Gaming Golds! After a long hiatus, this year promises to be one of the biggest galas in the history of the QB world. Who will take home the gold this year?
Pete's QBasic Site
The original king of QB reviews is back with
a vengeance! Check out the new and improved version of his website and don't forget to upload your latest QB projects
to Pete's new download section!