|The First 100% QuickBasic Game Review Magazine
Updated November 20, 2004
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Rocket Fuel Mayhem
"Combat From the Farthest Planets to the Brightest
The First Intergalactic War was a dark time
for the entire universe, as colonies were either destroyed or completely
eradicated. These dark times forced a second offensive from the Xaoonixxu
against the Human and Antari federation forces of Earth.
This great war, called the "Rage of Pridromeus",
ended with the death of all Xaoonixxu. But with that taste of divine victory,
warriors hungered for more battles. The Galactic Space League heeded that
call by forming an annual tournament against the remaining, most powerful
ships in the galaxy...
use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
|The graphics category
is where Kentauri's latest space combat game really shines, but it takes
more than screenshots to see just how far Kentauri has evolved when it
comes to graphical detail. The main ship are rotated and well-animated,
placed upon a dynamic background that sometimes features objects in the
background and the foreground of the arena. If enabled, power-ups will
fly around the screen. With all this on-screen action happening simultaneously,
the result ought to look disorganized, but thanks to wise palette choices
and a lot of technical polish all the graphics work fluidly without a hitch.
The subtle touches
don't stop between games either. The menus in Rocket Fuel Mayhem are vibrant
and well-detailed, and during battle the pilots to the right of the screen
change facial expressions according to how each round in the tournament
is progressing. There's even a brightness setting for gamers with different
smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
|Kentauri does a
good job of creditting the music that plays in the background of Rocket
Fuel Mayhem, whose credits include tunes from Battle Star Galactica and
Blade Runner. The music is well-selected, but sometimes does not load fully,
causing some notes in the tracks to be missing. This isn't a major problem,
though; the game certainly isn't the same without the soundtrack and the
tunes are relatively uncommon enough to make Rocket Fuel Mayhem's atmosphere
precision of control and involvement of character within its universe
|Rocket Fuel Mayhem's
gameplay is closest to Atari's Asteroids, Space Duel, or Sami Kyostila's
QB game Star Wrek. You play the pilot of a ship, whose options are to turn
left, turn right, use weapons, or to move forward. To win each round, you
must destroy all enemy ships as they show up in the arena before they shoot
You'll soon realize,
however, that blowing up enemy ships is not as straightforward as aiming
and shooting. Each vehicle type in Rocket Fuel Weapon comes equipped with
a primary and secondary weapon, with the latter often requiring strategy
to use effectively. You can also deal damage to your enemy or yourself
by picking up random power-ups as they drift across the screen. This becomes
tricky since your ship relies on gravity to move downward. Therefore, good
positioning so that you can dodge enemy fire, grab incoming power-ups,
and develop an offense of your own is essential to victory.
creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
|Good. In perhaps
the most deliberate attempt to rack up points in V Planet's Story category,
Kentauri includes both an instruction manual and a large encyclopedia of
the Rocket Fuel Mayhem universe, including an illustrated, detailed science
fiction explanation of the wars that eventually led to the birth of RFM
as a sport. The execution is just right; the text is there for people to
read, and if elaborate demos were mixed with the in-game action it might
just feel awkward.
|Replay Value (n.)
timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated
again and again
|With a mixture of
challenging and casual single-player modes, Rocket Fuel Mayhem is a joy
to play alone. The satisfaction of winning the first tournament is very
relieving, but trying to win the tournament again using a different ship
offers a very different learning experience. The lump mode is also a nice
way to vent out frustrations when tournaments don't end up with victories.
What's even better
about Rocket Fuel Mayhem is taking the knowledge from single-player mode
and applying it to multi-player combat. There's a fairly tight learning
curve in Rocket Fuel Mayhem that really shows if you find an innocent,
inexperienced QB buddy willing to challenge you in the Galactic Space League.
There is room for improvement though-- a tournament tree mode for more
than two players would have really rocked.
strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and
|The heart of Rocket
Fuel Mayhem is the game's single-player tournament mode, and Kentauri gives
no mercy in terms of how tight the enemy AI attacks. Each enemy craft will
do it's best to capitalize on it's strengths, which in effect takes away
from your own advantages. Faster aircraft like Zoomers will use evasive
manuvuers, while stronger aircraft like Deviators will use it's hull to
crush you. There's no single strategy, regardless of ship, that's completely
safe against every possible opponent.
The best strategy
to get far in the GSL tournaments is to look at the game's database immediately,
and find out which of the game's aircraft has the best stats for your attack
style. Each ship has it's strength, whether it's range, hull strength,
weapon power, speed, or balance. Every ship will have it's mismatch-- Kentauri
had the most success in tournaments using the Dou Pai and the Tomcat, but
other ships like the Deviator also have a good chance of winning tournaments,
with the right amount of practice.
|Fun Factor (n.)
overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
|Maybe it's unintentional,
but ever since Dark Quest Kentauri has been taking risks by expanding on
game ideas first established in the Atari days; Kentauri's Pong Worz is
a progression from Pong, Kentauri's Another World Memory is Atari Concentration
with a twist, and now Asteroid/Space Duel has evolved into Rocket Fuel
Mayhem. Regardless of the number of new gameplay ideas implemented into
one of these updates, there's only so many ways to dress up an old game
idea without making the game somewhat stale.
However, it's with
this practice of resuscitating old favorites that Kentauri that has brought
about their best game so far. No particular feature in Rocket Fuel Mayhem
is outright spectacular, but there is a good mixture of challenges (tournament
mode), bonus rounds (lumps), and two-player simultaneous action. You'll
be hard pressed to find a better jack-of-all-trades from any QB game, regardless
Rocket Fuel Mayhem
||To solve: 6-8 hours Final Rating:
download Rocket Fuel Mayhem (302KB), click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, use the -d option.
play Rocket Fuel Mayhem with sound, unzip the file and run "RFMSB.BAT".
Otherwise, run "RFM.EXE".
Back to Arcade
out of 35 points
Highs: The number of gameplay options
tapped by the Extra Modes menu provide great single or multi-player fun.
Lows: Entering a tournament without shopping
around for the ship that best fits your fighting style is like walking
into a battle without any ammunition.
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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