Project X is a 1992 side scrolling shoot 'em up that follows the R-Type gameplay formula and is based on a quite simple story. The game was developed by Team 7 and is probably one of the best titles for the Commodore Amiga home computers!
STORY / GAMEPLAY You fly to planet Ryxx on a mission to locate the main stronghold and destroy all the alien forces. Your mission ends in success if you destroy the alien planet for good. All you have to do is to get into your spacecraft and blast your way through numerous squadrons of alien ships. By the time you break out of hyper-drive, you must reach the planet's surface and destroy everything that attacks you, including deadly asteroid belts and large, powerful, motherships. After accomplishing this part, you dive with you spaceship into the hazy upper atmosphere of the planet, navigating dangerously close to its sculptured mountains, breaking through its lethal storm activity and shooting down aliens of any size and power. Your are afterwards driven into the planet's inner sanctum and enter inside its volcanic caverns, finding out that the volcanic activity serves to melt Ryxx's icy core, creating a large subterranean lake, in which you fight against Hybrid mutants and the like. On the next sector, you go through a large airlock in the cave's depths (which is the enemy's lair actually) where all aliens are gathered! The central reactor of the alien's stronghold must be destroyed but their automated defense units and force fields make your journey even more hazardous! By blasting each and every enemy in your path, you collect a variety of power ups and bonuses that make your guns stronger and your spaceship faster. At the end of each sector, you are called to confront a big boss, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. All you need here is some strategy as well as to memorize the patterns with which the larger enemies move. The difficulty level is set pretty high, so no matter how powerful you become, your ship seems always overpowered by the enemy and when you lose a life, unfortunately your firing power is reduced and the gameplay becomes as tough as hell! Team17 realized that Project X was far too difficult for the players so a year later (in 1993) they released Project-X SE, a special edition with the difficulty toned down a bit and a few additions such as the feature to choose a spacecraft among three available, each one with its own special capabilities (speed, firepower etc). Other than these features, Project X SE is virtually identical to the original title. Though it's tough, Project X is one of my personal favorites and one of the best shoot 'em up games ever appeared on the Amiga OCS, ECS and AGA systems and in general on the 16bit generation.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The graphics and the details of this game are fantastic, with dozens of colors (up to 64) on-screen, smooth scrolling, detailed backgrounds and lots of pre-rendered sprites that move like charm and attack as fast as hell. During each level's loading screen the game presents some beautiful stills of the upcoming scenery. Project X is really a visuals masterpiece and its sound is no less than that! The game's sound fills your monitor's speakers with a variety of high quality sampled sound effects along with a robotic voice that warns you of your status or informs you of your weapon selection. The absence of in-game music can surely be considered as a minus, but the quality of the sampled effects makes Project X equally good to a more powerful coin-op of its time. The only in-game music available are some drum-loops during each boss-stage battle. Additionally, among the most impressive features of this game is its introductory music, which is a techno-style soundtrack composed by Alister Brimble (Team 7's talented programmer and musician) and is among the best intro tunes ever composed on any Commodore Amiga game!
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