Z-Out is the obvious sequel to X-Out but looks and plays more like a follow up to R-Type. An excellent 2D horizontal-scrolling shooter with impressive at times visuals and sound, released only for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST computers.
The HQ of the Earth's defense thought everything was safe after the first victory in X-Out. But it appears that enemy activity is growing and once again you are called into action although this time you do not need to be alone, someone else brave enough can join you. Thousands of hostile organic enemies threaten the safety of your planet again, and they must be destroyed over the course of six (huge) levels. There are power-ups available, but the game is less centered around these than some are. Z-Out is a classic R-Type clone, that features same weapons like the force device, the extra weapons, the drones, the charge beam! The six levels contain hundreds of varied aliens and host of scenic targets and gun emplacements. You'll also encounter two huge guardians per level and a series of moving pillars which must be avoided. You can tell that the Advantec Software team has played their share of Japanese-style shooters. There's no trace of the many minor flaws usually found in western-crafted shooters.
The quality of the graphics on Amiga (and the ST) varies a lot throughout the game. Levels one and three look very good, although parts of levels two and four look a bit out of designer's imagination. Levels five and six, however, are absolutely astonishing (designed by a different artist). The Amiga version uses an impressive number of up to 86 colors (the ST version up to 47 which is rather impressive for its hardware), having also more details mostly at the backdrops! But both versions look good. The main difference between the two versions is on the sound. The sound on the Amiga uses impressively composed tunes (written by Rudolf Stember) and crisp sampled SFX that suit the game perfectly well. The introductory tune is awesome and is written by the all known Chris Hülsbeck, the great composer of the Turrican series. Sonically I would have give it a perfect 10 here...
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