Jim Power In Mutant Planet is one of the latest games for the 16bits era, offering great visuals and sound! The Amiga and ST versions were developed in 1992 and a few months later the game was developed for the SNES and MS-DOS as Jim Power: In Lost Dimensions 3D which offered more advanced visuals with 3D-like effects and a few different stages. Note that the game was also released for the 8bit Amstrad CPC.
STORY / GAMEPLAY Jim Power is a prime example of an action shoot 'em up (and platform) game that rarely fails to grant the player with great times of action as well as stunning visuals and sound (much like the Turrican games)! The story takes place somewhere in the future where you play the part of a secret agent (and an avid shooter) from the Special Warfare Unit, on a mission to rescue the President's daughter who's been kidnapped by an evil creature named Vulkhor and taken as a prisoner to a beautiful -but also hostile- planet called Mutant. The main goal on each level is to run and shoot before the time runs out, taking out hordes of mutants (like zombies, beasts and other human-like creatures that wander around), as well as to avoid a variety of deadly traps like spikes, dripping acids or moving platforms! The quest seems hard enough! You must also note that the hero does not have an energy bar except of just some lives, so any contact (or any misstep) with anyone or anything of the aforementioned hazards, will result to instant death! Your weaponry consists of a rapid fire gun and a bunch of smart bombs (that look like fire-saws). The truth is that the 16bit versions of the game are far more playable than the 8bit CPC since the Amstrad version is extremely hard and you can lose a life easily. And the worst part? If you lose a life, the game takes you back at the beginning! Also, another main difference between the CPC and the 16 bit Amiga version is that the enemies on the CPC spawn behind you (which is very bad for the gameplay...and your nerves).
GRAPHICS / SOUND The CPC version shows decent graphics but the animation does not help at all, making the game very "jerky" and frustrating! Also, the game's sound is rather poor (for the CPC standards) and offers only an intro tune plus a few (very few) sound effects during gameplay. I was expecting more from the CPC version but it seems that its sound is poor due to the insufficient RAM of the system.
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Amiga (original version)
Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128
CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards) GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.