Frenetic is a 1991 vertical shoot 'em up game from Core Design, that offers some intense gameplay, great graphics and sound.
STORY / GRAPHICS Frenetic is a shoot 'em up so the story is quite predictable. Mother Earth is once more threatened by a savage alien species that come from the other side of the universe. You are a pilot and control a technologically advanced fighter with which you have to destroy the enemy squadrons that invade your planet. The game is split into eight (8) different levels of fast shooting action. The screen scrolls down in a vertical manner and the aliens swarm your screen and attack from everywhere. As usual, your spaceship is armed with a super laser weapon that can be upgraded via power-ups like side shots, rear shots etc! These power-ups can be collected by shooting certain ships (much like in almost all kind of shoot 'em ups) or via weapon carrying pods. Shields can also be collected along with a few other extras during the really frenetic action. The aliens are large and powerful and the action is so rapid that sometimes becomes frustrating! At the end of each stage there is (as always) a big mother-ship, waiting for you! These guardians are tough to battle and you have to learn their patterns and defensive-offensive systems by "trial and error"! The game is surely not a walk in the park and fortunately it features a two-players mode, which might help you go further! The game is what it is: a decent shoot 'em up that follows the usual formula of this very category, so it doesn't offer anything you haven't seen before. Nevertheless, it looks and plays good, so you should give it a try! At least once!
GRAPHICS / SOUND The Amiga version sports nice visuals, though the scrolling seems a bit "blurred" when the animation is fairly fast (a rather awkward detail for an Amiga game!) The sprites are nicely done, but nothing to impress overall. Note that the game's levels look like Wings of Death (a 1990s shoot 'em up developed by Eclipse Software). The Aliens do not vary that much but they move well and smooth. Frenetic offers up to 16 colors on screen on the Amiga version (quite odd) and the visuals look almost identical to the ST/STE (except of the fact that the backgrounds move smoother on the Amiga). Obviously the Amiga version looks like a direct port from the Atari ST and, unfortunately, this game cannot showcase the Amiga's advanced hardware sprites and palette capabilities to enhance the overall visuals and playability! The opening cinematic style intro is great though (and missing from the ST version). Frenetic's sound is really cool and adds a lot to the game's sci-fi atmosphere (thanks to the Amiga's sound prowess) with plenty of guitar soundtracks backed up by extremely solid, sampled sound effects.
In-game music sample:
Some videos belong to retroshowcase.com (indicated); others not
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