The NL - Volume 3 Issue 4 (Use to be the April Fool's Issue)

Inside: White Tiger Column, Hyperware News, NL NeWz - Top Ten Design Sins, Company Updates, CRiTiqueX MZX, The Critic Corner MZX

Authored By: Various
Published: Apr 30, 1996
Part of Series: NL

             
	     
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             โ–Œ -- โ–Œ             April 1996          โ–Œ v โ–Œ ^ โ–Œ
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	     โ–Œ      โ–Œ   \ โ–Œ  โ–Œ      โ–Œ  โ–Œ       The Year of  โ–Œ
	     โ–Œ      โ–Œ    \โ–Œ  โ–Œ      โ–Œ  โ–Œ        MEGAZEUX!   โ–Œ
	     โ–Œ      โ–Œ  โ–Œ\    โ–Œ      โ–Œ  โ–Œ                    โ–Œ
	     โ–Œ      โ–Œ  โ–Œ \   โ–Œ +-+  โ–Œ  +----+ +-+           โ–Œ
	     โ–Œ      +--+  +--+ +-+  +-------+ +-+           โ–Œ
	     โ–Œ     --------------------------------         โ–Œ
	     โ–Œ                                              โ–Œ
	     โ–Œ        Volume 3 "Stylin' Profilin"           โ–Œ
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ZZT-MZX Newsletter                Issue 4 (Use to be the April Fool's Issue)
Head Of Staff:  E. CyberBRO
THE STAFF: ChrisK2018, DeadPhrog, Owcp, and welcome STRIKESOFT
Hidden text: 1
Hint: "End and the End"
---------------------------

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			  โ–Œ PACK-IN'S include โ–Œ
	+---------------------------------------------------------+    
          *None*
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E. CyberBRO: "I was planning to create an April Fool's issue, but I haven't
the time to mess with it."

THKirk's White Tiger Column
Ahhh, It's good to be back.  Now that I'm working on takeover again it's 
moving along nicely.  Empire Part II: Expedition is on hold for a while, but
I'll start on that later in april.  White Tiger Games has a new member.  Jim
Heuberger has joined and is working on a very interesting game, watch for
Goobers sometime in may.  Goobers is a side/top view arcade type game.  
Mostly shooting slime blobs, but there is more. Omega-D has begun.  This is
a Super Metroid look-alike.  It's just got much much more!  20 Levels of
blasting and dashing.  laser cannons with tons of upgrades, missiles, bombs,
ect.  Empire I ver 1.5 will be released shortly.  This will correct many of
the mistakes of ver 1.0  If you have found a bug, tell me, I may have missed
it.  Finnaly, If you have a great idea for a game, or just want to comment
one already made, write me at THKirk@AOL.com.

Hyperware news:
Having just re-aquired my MZX (thanks to modifing Janson's suggested Boot 
disk), I have started work on a new game. Not much will be released about 
this new game, but the big hint I'm giving is it's a cross between 
Battletech, Doom and Super Mario Brothers. The Title?
BLASTOR!!

             โ•”โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•คโ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•คโ•โ•โ•โ•คโ•โ•โ•โ•คโ•โ•โ•โ•—
             โ•‘ NL โ”‚       Nl NeWz NuMbEr FiVe   โ”‚ _ โ”‚ โ–  โ”‚ X โ•‘
             โ•Ÿโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”ดโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”ดโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”ดโ”€โ”€โ”€โ”ดโ”€โ”€โ”€โ•ข
             โ•‘     โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”  โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”      โ”Œโ”€โ”€โ”  as always truely   โ•‘
             โ•‘     โ”‚   \ โ”‚  โ”‚      โ”‚  โ”‚ fer Windows '95     โ•‘
             โ•‘     โ”‚    \โ”‚  โ”‚      โ”‚  โ”‚ (Kinda.)            โ•‘
             โ•‘ JOy!โ”‚  โ”‚\    โ”‚      โ”‚  โ”‚    Zzt/Mzx reports  โ•‘
	     โ•‘     โ”‚  โ”‚ \   โ”‚ โ”Œโ”€โ”  โ”‚  โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ” โ”Œโ”€โ” & updates  โ•‘
             โ•‘     โ””โ”€โ”€โ”˜  โ””โ”€โ”€โ”˜ โ””โ”€โ”˜  โ””โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”˜ โ””โ”€โ”˜   an' stuffโ•‘
	     โ•‘   โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€โ”€           โ•‘
             โ•‘     NL NeWz     Newz that trys real hard     โ•‘
             โ•‘ Special April Edition.    not to bore you....โ•‘
             โ•‘  By DeadPhrog of                             โ•‘
             โ•‘ SHATTERED PERSPECTIVES GAMES                 โ•‘
             โ•‘(I still don't know why it's a special issue!)โ•‘
             โ•šโ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•โ•

Welcome to the latest in ZZT/MZX news that doesn't dry you out like other
news does.  (It also has wings.  :) )  Anyhoo, I sat there, wondering what
the topic for this month's Nl NeWz should be, when it occured to me that I
couldn't think of a thing that happened except that everyone fought everyone
else.  That isn't very related to ZZT/MZX so that would've been a crappy 
topic.  Then, I thought, wait, something did happen, Z/Z, Helios, and a bunch
of other guys merged to become Game Horizons.  But then it occured to me that
people have already done that, so that, too, is a crappy topic.  (Filterware
ring a bell?)  So I thought, and I thought, and I thought, and it occured to
me that maybe I could write about games in general instead of just ZZT/MZX.
Then I found the perfect thing, I read an article in a game developers mag
(commercial, glossy paper, not .txt files. :)) about the top ten design sins.
Basically what makes crappy games crappy games.  (Subtle hint reminding 
people of Mimic Pub, Evan Darrow, and others.)  So, I thought, perfect!  I'll
just take the basic idea of the article and throw my own twist into it.  
Actually, a lot of it is my own ideas.  I have also changed a good deal of 
what I left of the origonal to fit the ZZT/MZX world.  This isn't really like
the origonal much.  So maybe this will actually help us all become better 
game creators.  So here it is:
			THE TOP TEN DESIGN SINS:
1.  The first design sin that I am going to talk about is boring levels.  You
know the type.  Same thing over and over.  You kill ruffians.  You kill 
ruffians.  You kill ruffians.  What joy.  (reminds me of the Fantastic 4 ZZT
game.)  Also, the game's too linear.  You walk through a straight corridor
and kill ruffians.  You walk through another straight corridor, and kill 
ruffians.  Your character never learns new attacks, gets new weapons, etc..
Like, you shoot ruffians with a gun as you walk down a straight corridor.
You walk throught another straight corrider and shoot more ruffians with a 
gun.  A action game that has crappy levels is a crappy game.  but a puzzle 
game with crappy action can still be a good puzzle game.
2.  The sin of repition.
For action games, the entire game has the same backrounds (if any) and the 
same weapons, and the same enemies.  (ruffians, ruffians, ruffians!  As you 
may have guessed, I'm picking on ZZT games right now.  I pick on MZX games
later.)  The same friggin attacks work over and over and over, and over....
(Here's where I pick on MZX games.)  You shoot the dumb preprogrammed enemies
with yer stupid magic wand (i.e. Lord of Atlantis (MZX))  And once in a while
there's a *orgional* enemy (like a boss) that is the same size as all the 
other chars, and still dies easy with yer dumb wand, the only diff is he 
says "I will kill you." and when he dies he blows up.  (Standard little MZX
explosion.)  When you die you have to start over at the beginning, and can't 
skip back to where you where.  You die, and you're too bored to go all the
way back there again.  
For Strategy and RPGs:
You have no menu structure, and the programmer just expects you to write down
or remember some down key things.  Like "L" for removing lava.  (Once again
picking on Lord of Atlantis.)  Or like other single key presses for spells.
(SpellWeavre) Or, (back to picking on ZZT games) stupid tasks that the player
doesn't feel a reason to do.  Like finding a key.  Over and over and over.
Personally, I am SO sick of finding keys.  Or maybee the quest is to find a
guy named Bill.  Over and over and over.  No one cares.  I delete those games
REAL quick.  
3.   Not Entertaining (enough)
Who's the one who's supposed to enjoy the game, the programmer, the computer,
or the player?  The programmer did if the games is tricky in a cheap way.  
The computer does is too much happens off screen.  The goal of the programmer
should be to make it fun for the player.  People don't play games to make 
their computers happy!  It really sux if the game does nothing new, or 
doesn't do anything not found in other games.  It gets people wondering (now
I am picking on Helios' PDS games.) "Is this really any better than the ZZT
version?"  Also, if it's an action game, people want action!  If you can do 
only one thing, it sux.  Aaannnnnddd... when you win, you still don't win!!!
These games have stupid endings.  (An entire screen filled with an ASCII "You
won.")  Also, this is horrible in an RPG.  Bad endings ruin the plot line, 
which is one of the most vital points of an RPG.  Say your goal is to free
the Tiddely Tride from the wraith of the Demon Winks, (if anyone uses that in
a game I want you to know you will be totally made fun of and laughed at...)
and you kill the big ol end boss, annnnnnnnnddddd...  You see a screen that
says "You Won.  The End."  That successfully ruins your game.  You never find
out what happens to the characters in the game, you feel robbed.  The goal of
an RPG programmer should be to try and pull the player into the story, and 
make the feel sorry when the game is finally over.  Make them dying for a 
sequel!!
4.   Production Value
"Great explosion.  How come there's no noise?"  "This game has such kewl 
graphics, why is there no music?"  With ZZT you can get away with this, 
because ZZT sound and music really blows.  But with MZX, you better have 
music and sound.  For example, the sounds is really annoying, and could have
easily come from ZZT.  The sounds bug you so much you shut them off.  Or, the
stupid sam voice clip is used over and over.  Say in this game you collect 
toe nails.  And every time you get a toe nail there's a "Good Job!" sound
played.  That's fine.  But if you get a magic shoe that makes you move much
faster, and when you get the shoes they also play "Good Job!"  It begins to
annoy.
5.   Conflicting... umm... I don't know what this sin was really supposed to 
mean, so  I'll say "When the peices of the game don't match."
The music doesn't fit the mood.  If you are in a dark macabre mood, where
vampires are lurking in the shadows, waiting to comsume your blood, you have
"Happy Happy, Joy, Joy!" blaring in the backround.  Avoid this.  Artwork 
doesn't match the target audience.  You have vicious psycho killers in a 
kiddy game called "Johnny Bunny Goes To Work."  Not good.  
6.  The next sin in the origonal article was about licenses.  Since most 
ZZT/MZXers don't care about this, I thought I'd skip it.  (Glances toward
the Link and Yoshi games by ChrisK2018, and ECyberbro)  Most companies that
own the licenses wouldn't care if they saw a ZZT/MZX game with their char...
-----------------------------
E. CyberBRO: *Wondering why he even brought it up*
-----------------------------
7.  Counter-Intuitive Weapons and Special Moves
Powerful attacks are too similar in effect or gameplay, and such attacks are
too rare, too common, or too hard or easy to execute.  There's not much
else to say here.  
8.  Difficulty
Finding the right difficulty level is pretty hard.  If it's too easy the 
player gets bored and quits.  If it's too hard the player gets ticked off,
and again quits.  Optimal strategies exist and are very obvious.  A shot
to the head of a monster kills it right out.  Oh, joy.  The difficulty level
doesn't change to meet the player.  It should start out easier and slowly
get harder as the player gets more expirianced.  Not easy in level 1, REALLY
hard in level 2, easy in level three etc.  Bosses.  They are missing, too
easy, or too hard.  Enemies that can't be hurt like the player can be hurt
suck.  Be careful that you don't make things like hits the player HAS to take
no matter what kind of skill level they have, damage that can't be escaped 
at any skill level, even if it doesn't kill the player.  "Trying to lull the
player into a false sense of insecurity is a no-no."
9.  Execution
If you aren't able to create the next standard in game execution, you should
have at least the current standard in your game.  That means in ZZT, you 
use STK.  No question about it.  Currently, in MZX you'd better have animated
chars, or it looks sucky.  If you can't handle animated chars (that would be
scarey...  Although some people can't...  No pointing fingers) you'd better 
at least have the face change as you turn direction.  (Especially since 
this is programmed in MZX 2.*)  And for a side scrolling game, the char
better change as he walks...
----------------------------------
E. CyberBRO again: "9 1/2.  Relying on animation to carry your game is not
recommended" :-)
----------------------------------
10.  Low replay value.
Unlike books or movies, a game player should be able to revisit scenes from
new angles.  Linear games give the player no reason to do it all over again.
(Gosh golly, I done killed that ruffian.  He died.  I think I'll do it again.
What joy!)  Also, you should be able to override those dang cinemas if you
want to!  Don't bore the player!  If they wanna skip it, let them!!!!
What TO do:
(this next part is quoted from the origonal article, because I couldn't think
anything better to say.  Except for the occasional comment.)
1. Boring Levels
Make demands on the players.  You must know their capabilites, which isn't 
always easy.
2. Repetitiveness
Don't stint on the preparation of a great storyline.  Treat the game more as
a novel, rather than a short story repeated over and over- (there's that 
ruffian again!)  or as a movie, not a music video.  If everyone thinks they
can make a video game (they do.  Look at Evan Darrow and Mimic Pub!)  show 
them why they are wrong.
3. Entertainment
Give good value.
Dare.
Lead, as opposed to manage.
4. Production Value
Have a production concept that somehow fits on the back of your buisiness 
card (what buisiness card?  I think the mean that fits into your sig at the
end of your email.) and still serves as a yardstick against which every
development decision can be measured.
5. Prodection Coherence
Manage the development process.  (that's about it.  The rest doesn't fit into
the ZZT/MZX world.)
6. Licensing (All you people like ChrisK2018 and ECyberbro that do games from
already created chars listen up!  :))
Build a game from the license up; don't just plug and ship your game.
Know, define, and insist on making central to gameplay the specific appeal
of your licensed property.  If the license has any value at all, playing to
its strengths is a recipe for success.
----------------------------------------
E. CyberBRO: "Uhh...If I just plugged and shipped my game I whould have did
that in the month of April '95.  Also studies (mine) shows that most games
that people create on their own original idea won't stand out cause
of the gameplay (review some of those sins).  STRIKESOFT's games stand out
because It's different and definately original.  And the public pretty much
want's a good game they've heard before otherwise there isn't much luck.
I've been in this position and I wouldn't even be here if it wasn't for the
Yoshi series (Believe it or not).
-----------------------------------------
7. Special Moves
Extend the metaphors in your game.  You cannot tell the player they are 
having fun.  They have fun by being fully engaged.  They will only be fully
engaged if they acknowledge and accomodate differences you define.  Make the 
players input and the resulting game outputs consequentail to your game.  
The soul of video gaming is the epiphany (Pa, that there's a big word!) of 
acts of desperation that become intention.  In a fighting game, it's a joy
stick slap or (in out case in the world of ZZT/MZXers) a button combination-
born of a splip second's agonized frustration-that miraculously looses the
perfect mid air counter throw.  Like math, it makes "of course!" sense after
you've done it.
8. Difficulty
Defy passivity (the player hates it when the game plays itself!) at every 
turn.
Surprise, but play fair.
9. Execution
Optimize the inevitable compromises feature by weighing benefit against 
benefit in play value.  Use maketing (ads, ads, ads!  i.e. in places like
MZXtra, (they have adds, NL doesn't, (I think.)  Right ECyberbro?) not in
games!  It drives me crazy to suffer trough ads in a game!  I wanna play!!!
Oh, and test your games!  Have other people test your games!  Get out the 
bugs!!!
---------------------------
E. CyberBRO: "Let me jump in again.  See, one of the reasons the NL was
canceled sometime last year was because of lack of articles.  Articles
can include ads."  (Yes, even in "Your" mini-newsletter here)
---------------------------
10.  Replay value
Roll at least three (if not five, or even seventeen) into one.  Star Trek and
Star Wars appealed to children, teens, and adults through spectacle, action,
and ethical components.  Three types of people could enjoy them, and anyone
can still enjoy them on three or more levels.
Voila!  Go now and create good games!  
I just want everyone to know that I'm not just telling you what to do, I am
offereing advice.  (So was the guy who wrote the origonal.)  I, too, have 
made some of the mistakes here.  Now, the part thats always in Nl NeWz, even
if there's no news,
Company updates:
SHATTERED PERSPECTIVES GAME update by DeadPhrog, (that's me!)
Umm...  Lessee...  We are still working on ZZT Shorts, a bunch of little ZZT
games thrown into one.  Capsule continues to be worked on.  And IAC is doing
great.  (That's Immortal Animal Combat.)  It will suprise you all....
!nsane-X goes well, and Paranoia and ZZTorture are still being worked on.
Comthought (another member of SP) is working on a side view MZX game, called
ICE!.  In this game you are a spy, working for a secret government agency,
S.N.O.B..  You are placed in Alaska, (or is it antartica, I think it's Alaska
though....) and decked out to look like the natives.  You are wearing an 
Eskimo type coat, etc.  This promises to be a great side scroller!
Nothing else terribly new...  That's about it.
Game Horizons update by ZZTurbo:  (Note:  GH is the new co name for all of 
those companies banded together!)
Known companies forming GH:
ZZTurbo/ZPower Productions
Helios
ZScope
ZZTPheonix
Orb of Oblivion (()()()) is about 90% complete.  Created by ZScope.
Published by Game Horizons.  Should be out in a month or two.
Dragon's Eye is about 3% complete.  ZScope, GH.
Clash of Magic is moving along as sceduled, made with C++, should be out in
several years.  ZScope, GH.
.-=ZZTurbo=-.
What?  No more updates?!  I feel gipped!  :)
Now here's an editorial (I think) on Coolness bye Spectrum12 <clap!> <clap!>
(Oh, yah, I wrote this!  (me, being DeadPhrog :)))
Guess what?  I finally DLed Coolness for ZZT.  Let me tell you something, if
you haven't DLed this ZZT masterpeice yet, do it now!  Coolness has the most
beautiful ANSI graphics I have ever seen.  This game is truly cool.  It is 
one of the last great ZZT games.  It is of a dying breed.  FTP on over to
users.aol.com/svzzt now!!  Not only does it have Coolness, it has many other
ZZT masterpeices!  If for some reason you don't have Code Red 1-3, Mission:
Enigma, or Coolness go there now!!  Spectrum12, ya done good kid.  Let me 
tell you something else, I am almost ashamed of Survival.  But you have to 
understand that I wrote most of the almost two years ago!  At the time I was
writing Survival, I had no one else in the ZZT/MZX world.  I barely had 
access to AOL!  I had to use my stepdad's account on AOL, (CZissman), and I
was only allowed to use it for a half an hour every week.  I spent my entire
time online downloading ZZT games!  Anyhoo, enough griping.  I want you to go
enjoy Coolness now!  :)

                             /\/\โ–‘CRiTiqueXโ–‘/\/\
                             /\/\/โ–‘โ–’โ–“MZXโ–“โ–’โ–‘\/\/\
The MZX Critic
Issue 2
By Brian Palmer
Strikesoft@aol.com
โ–‘โ–’โ–“I love to tear apart the "perfect" gamesโ–“โ–’โ–‘
Welcome to CRiTiqueX MZX, by me, Brian Palmer.
This is where you can find out what's good, what's bad, and what's plain
scary in Megazeux.  If you have a game to review, tell me where to find
it or send it to me.  I'm fair and impartial, so don't get mad at any
ratings.  I tried to make these as informational as possible, but not to
too long.  See the ratings format below.
   STRIKESOFT           On America OnLine
   STRIKESOFT@AOL.COM   On the I-net
Note that unless the game is very obviously very bad, I beat it at 
least 3 times before I write the review.  This helps me judge just how 
good the game is, and helps me find bugs.  So yes, all reviewed games 
ARE beatable.  Except sometimes the ones with a Z rating or lower.
Or unless I say otherwise.
A debatable topic: I decided NOT to review my own games.  I am very fair
when I do such, but I figure no matter how unbiased I am, some hothead
will say that I'm giving MY games high ratings.  And I probably would,
because I never upload a game that I don't personally like.  But I love
to tear apart ANY game, including mine, so the ratings WOULD be fair.
If you would like to see me review my own games in the future, just drop
me a quick note at the above address.  If I get more than one or two
of you supporting the idea, I'll give it a try.
\/\/\Okay, an explanation of the ratings format:/\/\/
Game - The name of the game
The author and the company
The type of game
Freeware, Shareware, or Commercial
   Where you can find the game
\/\Here's where I rip it apart. (and tell the story)/\/
Note - All ratings are from 0 to 10 stars
Graphics: The quality of the ANSI art and animation
Sound: The quality of the music and sound fx
Control: How easy it is to control your character and learn how to play
Beta Testing: How much time did they spend getting rid of bugs?
Fun Factor: More importantly, how FUN is this thing?
Technology: Did they introduce many new, kewl features?
      Note- The following three are to help you decide whether the game is
      at your skill level
   Brains: From Darrow to Einstein, how much thinking goes on while playing?
   Brawn: How good is your dexterity?  This rates how much you'll use it
   Difficulty: How hard is this thing?
Overall rating: From A+ to F-, and then the deadly Z, this rates the
game combining all areas and the general impression it leaves on the player.
Game - August v1.1
SayNoMore & X-Wolf Soft
Adventure Game
Freeware   
   PC Gaming Forum
\/\Ugh.  The author states that he fixed "most of the bugs" from version
1.0.  Well, considering how many bugs that was, he did.  Problem is that
there's still the other ten thousand bugs.  Besides, he obviously took
many shortcuts while making this game.  Just look at the town near the
start of the game.  The store: closed.  The bar: can't buy anything.
And so many empty boards.  This one doesn't even beg for a complete
overhaul.  It begs to be scrapped.  The plot is very sketchy, I think
you're trying to save some king who died in a rockslide.  I'm not sure,
though.  Maybe you ARE the guy who died in the rockslide.  Clue us in,
X-wolf?/\/
Graphics: *** 3
Sound: 0
Control: *** 3
Beta Testing: * 1
Fun Factor: 0
Technology: 0
   Brains: 0
   Brawn: 0
   Difficulty: 0
Overall Rating: Zzzzzz......
Game - Cerebrus the Aadvark
NZenic
Adventure Game/Magazine
Freeware
   PC Gaming Forum
\/\The author got a little confused here, deciding whether this was
a game or a magazine.  There actually IS a LITTLE talent here, though
if much at all he must have spent almost no time on it.  But at least
he knows a few commands and realizes what the overlay is.  There's not
really much plot here either.  It starts out sounding like this is
some kind of magazine, him referring to issues and features and stuff,
but then you start to play the "game", as he calls it.  A word of
correction, though: he states that it's the first MZX game to change
the alphabet characters.  More like the 5,000th.  Come on, guys, if you're
gonna brag, at least get your facts straight.  There's a LOT of games
out there that edit their character set alphabet.  It's not like it's
hard or anything.
P.S.- For those few who are waiting for the sequel, use this password:
47C (or 47A if you're a novice)/\/
Graphics: ** 2
Sound: 0
Control: *** 3
Beta Testing: ******** 8
Fun Factor: ** 2
Technology: ** 2
   Brains: * 1
   Brawn: 0
   Difficulty: How do you type a half star?
Overall Rating: F-
Game - Mech Man Z - MegaMan Parody
Djs Shareware and ZZTech
Action/Arcade Game
Shareware
   PC Gaming Forum
\/\Yeah.  Right.  Only thing remotely like MegaMan is the level
selection.  This game sucks, basically.  Here's a hint as to how
brilliant the author(s) must be: One of the characters, White Man,
is stated (truthfully) to only work in Version 1 of Megazeux.  But
then, the author(s), using large amounts of gray matter, decide to
convert the game to Version 2.  Tell me why you see a problem here.
Needless to say, I could not beat the game.  It would be a simple
matter, however (hey, Djs & ZZTech, this is a tip, okay?) to make
a robot and use the TELEPORT PLAYER command to fix this elementary
board design bug.  Heck, or just read the section in help (Press F1)
that describes the passage theory./\/
Graphics: **** 4
Sound: 0
Control: *** 3
Beta Testing: ** 2
Fun Factor: * 1
Technology: * 1
   Brains: 0
   Brawn: * 1
   Difficulty: * 1
Overall Rating: F
Game - Purple Knight 2
Author apparently too embarassed to admit it
Adventure Game
Shareware
   PC Gaming Forum
\/\Not much to say here.  It sucks.  Period.  Oh, and there's a bug
that makes it unbeatable.  Besides, it's hard./\/
Graphics: ** 2
Sound: 0
Control: *** 3
Beta Testing: * 1
Fun Factor: 0
Technology: * 1
   Brains: 0
   Brawn: ******** 8
   Difficulty: ******* 7
Overall Rating: ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ
Game - King Rat III
Barney9651
Platform Game
Freeware
   PC Gaming Forum
\/\Not bad.  But the controls ruin it.  A game is no fun if it's too
hard to control what you're doing.  And WHY in the HECK would anybody
want to use the delete key to jump?  Hard enough for you?/\/
Graphics: ***** 5
Sound: ** 2
Control: 0
Beta Testing: **** 4
Fun Factor: *** 3
Technology: **** 4
   Brains: * 1
   Brawn: ****** 6
   Difficulty: **** 4
Overall Rating: C
Game - The Most Meaningless Game in the World Part V
JDEWBRE
Adventure Game
Freeware
   PC Gaming Forum
\/\The Meaningless series continues with its worst installment yet.
The author obviously has no knowledge of Megazeux commands.  Even
though the earlier installments were ZZT, I'd rather play them anyday.
There's also a bug that keeps you from beating it.  Another great
series goes kaput./\/
Graphics: ** 2
Sound: ** 2
Control: *** 3
Beta Testing: ** 2
Fun Factor: *** 3
Technology: 0
   Brains: * 1
   Brawn: ** 2
   Difficulty: ** 2
Overall Rating: C-
So here's the top three games for this issue:
Yeah, right.  Maybe if there were some good games, I'd include a top
three list.
For instructions to get to the MZX/ZZT Online forum, run the included
MZXZZT.COM file.
BEYOND MZX: For those with a life beyond ANSI.
1. Tempest 2000 PC from Atari
2. Duke Nukem 3D from Apogee Software WARNING-R RATED MATERIAL, VULGAR LANG.
3. Seek & Destroy from Safari Software
End of CRiTiqueX MZX for April '96.  Cya Later.

                            The Critic Corner MZX
                            ---------------------
                                 E. CyberBRO
The stuff I'm reviewing is basically the same as STRIKESOFT's View of the
games, Now here's what I think about the following games he mentioned:
        Sorry I just threw these together, In May's Issue, they'll
        be better than ever.
        I've changed my style of reviewing, check it out.
-----------------
NAME: King Rat III
GRADE: C+
-----------------
The Plus side:
        1. Good graphics.
        2. Nice use of overlay to display status.
The Minus side:
        1. STRIKESOFT's right.  This game has terrible gameplay.
        2. The first stage is a doozy.
        3. Small platforms and the fact that you have to go up
           ruins the want for more.
        4. Errr....how do you play this game??? (A first time player will
           ask that question)
-----------------
NAME: Mecha Man Z
GRADE: C-
-----------------
The Plus side:
        1. This guy isn't asking for money if I can remember.
The Minus side:
        1. How and why the H#ll would you want to go backwards.
        2. There is a thing called updating the game.
        3. Every level is just thrown together of guns and enemies.
        4. If it was called Mega Man X, Capcom would have sued the pants
           off of him for ruining their game. <g>
-----------------
NAME: August v1.1
GRADE: C
-----------------
The Plus side:
        1. Another game for Megazeux.
The Minus side:
        1. <sigh> Yet another game for Megazeux.
        2. This is as plain as plain can get.
        3. This guy better be working on an August v2.0.
------------------
NAME: Meaningless 5
GRADE: C+
------------------
The Plus side:
        1. More Meaningless mayhem.
The Minus side:
        1. And yet, more meaningless mayhem.
        2. How this guy got far with a meaningless game is beyond me.

Sorry about this, I'll have a better and larger critic corner as the games
come in the library.
That's it for this issue of the NL.  Until next month.  (Sorry, no April
Fool's Easter Eggs tricks.  This Issue ain't special afterall.)                                                                                  (I SAID NO EASTER EGG TRICKS!!!)  *But you found the hidden text though.*

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