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DYSTORIA from Tri-Coastal Games for the PC via Steam

  

An eerie green light screams from the sky and lands in a small industrial area. Spotted by one teenager the light drops and glows and settles by a dark shadowed wall.

The young lad investigates the light and finds it is illuminating an old style arcade games machine. As he approaches what he now sees is a game named Dystoria the
green light swirls around him and whisks him off high into the sky, through Earth's atmosphere on a dart-shaped spacecraft towards a fiery planet. Before long the craft
docks on a massive wheel where hundreds of similar craft are berthed.

Then you, the young lad, are in what appears to be some kind of space hotel room with a desk and computer, a cocoon style bed, a large glass window through which
can be seen the outside universe and another games console, arcade style of course.

  

Using the computer brings you a message of welcome and an apology for the means of your selection as a visitor. It seems you are renown as an arcade player of note and your skills are about to be tested.

Use the console and away you go ................

Like the majority of race and combat games you are given a vehicle or perhaps a choice from two vehicles, both of which you have no real knowledge and so do not know which is best - always go with the first one the game designer has selected for you until you know what you are doing is my motto. Accept the ship and its arms,
you haven't any credit to update it yet so you may as well take it for a spin.

The course is an assembled construction of line art boxes lit by Red, Green, Blue and Yellow formed as an optical illusion like a Penrose Triangle or otherwise impossible shape. Your craft zips along the surface controlled by the WASD keys and the mouse gathering up yellow crystals in manic Pac Man style. As you twist of the path so you join it again on the next side and so on, collecting crystals, dodging laser fire and speeding at ... hold on did someone say Laser Fire ?  Yes, there are Red, fiery laser cannon situated along the route ready to blast you into smithereens, but only within the game, not really you (or your avatar), you just lose the game and have to begin again.

It's freakishly fast, it's eye-blindingly visually in your face, the thin Green and Blue lines actually appear to come out of your screen after a while but that's another optical illusion brought on by staring as black space and luminous light lines for too long.

  

With options for Easy/Normal/Hard or Insanity I went with Easy and soon found I had completed my first mission with ease. I headed back to the hotel room, went to the console and fired it up, this time changing my ship and whatever else I could do.Brimming with new found confidence I shot back into space and found myself on the same or very similar mission field. Gobble gobble I collected the crystals, Zap! Bam! Wham! I took incoming laser fire. I shot back and destroyed a cannon to my left, the one to the right though was relentlessly firing and I soon exploded - oops!

Straight back into the fray I again took out a laser cannon and again fell foul of its brother across the way.

  

Of course I geared up and went at it again but this time my eyes were still seeing dotted lights from the prolonged darkness and flashes of gunfire, perhaps this new mission wasn't such a good idea? I believe I took out two cannon this run but this plays at such pace, even on Easy, that I couldn't control myself and with the Shield Critical message looming in bright red above my head I limped towards what I hoped was the end of the run, but my craft exploded before I made it to safety.

  

I haven't got far and I don't think I'll be going much further. It hurts my eyes too much. I can see that better arcade players than I, and they aren't hard to find, will soon be playing DYSTORIA on many amazing levels. I can only guess at what the game has in store by the superb vector graphics I have already experienced. It can only get faster and more dangerous and as such more fun.

It's not a game that I would play too often. It's not my style and it's not a genre that I really get in to. Having said that I have only good things to say about it as far as loading, visuals and action go, it is easy and quick to install, runs really smoothly and is faster than I can handle.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015