|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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"It takes Eight Hours and only One Man to take
down a Cyborg Army!"
Recipient of the V Planet
Silver Star Award for Graphics
Project "Lebensraum" is a classified military
project based on bio-mech weapons and cyborg soldiers. Once headed by Dr.
R. Klostermeyer and Professor Timo Garben, Garben assumed complete control
over the assignment after Klostermeyer withdrew from the project. Since
then Garben has transformed the project into a plot to take over the world.
To prevent the destruction of the human race
and to stop the military from dropping a neutronium bomb into Garben's
complex (thus killing thousands of civilians while taking out Garben),
you've been hired by the CIA to infiltrate Garben's stronghold and wipe
out as many of the cyborg army as possible. Take out Garben and the planet
will be saved...
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
in QBasic, the raycasting and graphical effects in MUX were redone in C
in favor of pumping up the game to a playable framerate. The result is
extraordinary: the game's realistic-looking, unique tilesets are enhanced
by lighting-effects, floors, ceilings, explosions, and original, detailed
character models that are as high in quality as possible without having
to use polygon-based models. This combination of originality and execution
makes MUX worthy of being the first QB game to earn the Silver Star Award,
even if a verdict like this is likely to make the purest of QB coders cringe.
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
does not disappoint in the sound/music category, serving up an original
MIDI soundtrack for the game. Those fortunate enough to get the conventional
memory settings optimized for the game will hear several FPS-worthy tunes
made by Mark A. Klem, Pauli Merilainen, Bjorn Lynne, and Sig (all in-house
talents at PieSlice.)
Sometimes MUX will
still run without music, but with sound effects. The sound effects for
MUX fit the game's mood, but during intense battles the game's sound effects
are poorly buffered. For example, when shooting down an enemy with a chaingun,
the enemy will not scream in pain until the chaingun stops firing, sometimes
causing enemies to cry out long after they've been blown to bits.
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|MUX is a level-by-level
first person shooter, most similar in gameplay to Wolfenstein 3D. The object
of each level is to reach the exit, which is generally done by walking
into a door, defeating all the enemies in the immediate area, picking up
all the items and weapons, then proceeding into the next area. Reach the
level, defeat the last boss, and the game is beaten.
MUX is also only
the second QB first-person shooter to combine the keyboard and mouse. The
controls take a little bit to get used to; the mouse buttons are used to
shoot bullets as well as strafe, while the keyboard is used to walk around
and open doors. The setup takes a little more to get used to, and throughout
the game there's no need to look up or down.
As each level is
beaten, new enemies and weapons are introduced. The newest weapons are
usually the best weapons to use against the newest enemies, and through
each addition each game level is designed to provide a new type of challenge.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|The game's low point.
While offering an introduction and ending, Pieslice Production's presentation
of the game's story relies far too much on story text. As much of two pages
of verbose, difficult to read storyline are introduced and the beginning
of the game, and the story element of MUX isn't introduced until the very
end of the game.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|Very good. The high
replay value in MUX is due mostly to the versatile MUXOS. Accessed by pressing
the "F1" key, the MUXOS is a great backdoor for gamers who'd like to cheat
a little by skipping a level, receiving full ammo, or switching to invulnerability
mode. The MUXOS also serves those who've already played the game the whole
way through, allowing them easy access to all twenty levels, listen to
game tunes, and adjust graphic details.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|Sure, there might
be some puzzle elements here and there (like when a button needs to be
pushed to open a secret passage hidden somewhere in some of the levels).
But with all twenty levels teeming with dozens of enemy cyborgs and genetic
monsters, combat is the main reason MUX is so engaging.
a steady pace, markmanship, and good ammunitions management are the three
elements needed to survive. Once the enemy grunts are in the air, the best
course of action is to hunt down potential threats before it's possible
to get ambushed or vastly outnumbered. Mastery of all the weapons is also
important since some levels only offer refills for certain weapons.
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
MUX's graphics are the absolute best in QB, whether compared to pure QB
games or QB games powered up by any other combination of external libraries
or C support. And with the attention paid to lighting and other effects,
it's highly unlikely to see any other QB game have a chance of matching
MUX unless the coding group tried incredibly hard to push the limits of
But with that comes
the devil's advocate response to games that have some of the best graphics,
that great graphics don't matter if the gameplay isn't any good. While
above average, the overall entertainment value of MUX is not nearly as
mind-blowing as it's graphics. Does that mean that MUX won't offer an entertaining
experience for FPS fans and casual gamers alike? Of course not. There's
a lot to love about this game, and MUX is a more than brilliant step from
the young QBFPS genre. However, somebody looking for breath-taking gameplay
analogous to what Perfect Dark was for the N64, Doom was for the PC, or
Halo for the XBox should be a little more patient and forgiving.
One of the big races
for the QB language is to reach a point where all the top games can battle
readily against the best that the early 90s PC, 16-bit and even the PSX
generation can offer. This is no easy task for any genre, and considering
bottlenecks first-person shooters ought to be the last place to try. Pieslice
Productions actually pulls off an FPS that can compare, and even surpasses
these heavyweights is some respects. That's proof, given some ingenuity,
that the impossible can be done.
MUX Reviewed by
Arcade/First Person Shooter
||To solve: 6-12 hours Final Rating:
download MUX (2.00MB), click here.
game is mouse-compatible. Make sure it is hooked up when playing this game.
change the game's sound settings, run "SETUP.EXE".
changing the sound settings, run "MUX.EXE" to play MUX.
Back to Arcade
out of 35 points
Highs: Unbelievable graphics, twenty levels,
and original tilesets and music destroy the myth that QB can't be used
to make commercial quality FPSes.
Lows: Some doors are hard to find, as
they can blend readily into the scenery.
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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