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Game info
Amiga

Starglider 2

Starglider 2

GenreSci-Fi Sim
Developer / PublisherArgonaut Software / Rainbird
Released1988
Media1 x disk
Rating
Graphics:8.0
Sound:7.5
Gameplay:8.5
Overall:8.0
Reviewed byndial
Starglider 2 is full 3D space flight sim shooter and being the successor of the famous Starglider from Rainbird. Here the action hangs together extremely well. Unlike the original, it isn't a straightforward shoot em up, but a combination of exploration and blasting! It's been well thought out and is full of superb touches that raised it out of the ordinary back then. Released on the Atari ST, Commodore Amiga, PC (MS-DOS), Apple Macintosh and ZX Spectrum.
 
Review
Starglider 2Novenia star system is under threat again from pesky Egrons. The whole story is related in another novella by James Follet. Egrons have hatched another dastardly plot to destroy the planet. Everything takes place in the Solice star system, which consists of five planets, some with moons. You begin on the planet Apogee. The planet surfaces are chequer-boards and each planet's surface is in different colors. The view operates the similar way as its predecessor. But this time, thrusting away from the surface will eventually take you clear of the planet's atmosphere. You then be able to see the star-field, the rest of the planets, moons and the sun. Your mission is to rocket around outer space at top speed, fighting and blowing things up, until you've accumulated the skills and equipment needed to dispatch the dreaded Ergons. Initially you are armed with just a laser but can pickup missiles, bouncing bombs, energy cuboids and neutron bombs. Each planet surface has different types of defenses and features (players from the original game will recognize most of the defenses such as gun-turrets, walkers, tanks and a variety of flying craft. Note that there are several space-pirates waiting for you to destroy you too. Controlling your ship its similar to the original Starglider title: use your mouse and monitor craft's vital signs by means of an agreeably gimmicky instrument panel that features nifty pseudo-holographic gauges.
There are several supply depots located in underground tunnel networks found on some of the planets. Fly into surface portals in order to reach them, and once inside the ship is safe any Egron attack. The hangars in which you can exchange items can also contain weapon supplies too.
Just keep an eye on the three most important gauges (fuel, shield and lasers) as running out of them will prove fatal and defenseless... A great game, unique for its age!

The Amiga version is fast (a bit faster on the ST though but with a few glitches in frame-rate when too many 3d models on-screen), but curiously this doesn't actually improve the gameplay when compared to its predecessor. All 3D models look infinitely better now and are filled with colors (in contrast to its predecessor), moving quite smooth and fast. Graphically there's hardly any differences at all between the ST, Amiga and MS-DOS versions.
The sound effects are very nice hare, offering several sampled SFX which really add to the game's atmosphere (in costrast to the ST versions, which is rather noisy, much like Starglider 1). Note that, the game strongest point is its spectacular audio package! Beautifully rendered sounds emanate from most of the hundred-odd objects in the game. Rainbird also included an audio cassette (!) with an extended version of the theme music, leaving the Atari ST and Amiga all sound channels available to serve up the fearsome boom and roar central to this form of entertainment!
 
Screenshots
  • Starglider 2
  • Starglider 2
  • Starglider 2
  • Starglider 2
  • Starglider 2
  • Starglider 2
 
Sounds
Intro/Menu music:  In-game music sample:
 
Gameplay sample
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
 
Comparable platforms
Atari ST
PC MS-DOS
Commodore Amiga OCS/ECS
 
Hardware information

Amiga 500/500+

Amiga 500/500+CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz
MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM.
GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once).
SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs
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The Amiga 500/500+ (default) color palette
12bit RGB 4096-colors palette
(32 to 4096 colors on screen)
 
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