Frenetic is a 1991 vertical shoot 'em up game from Core Design, that offers some intense gameplay, great graphics and sound.
STORY / GAMEPLAY 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 ST version looks similar to the Amiga (in colors and details) though the Atari's scrolling suffers when many objects occupy the screen! Also, the ST version does not include the Amiga's cinematic intro sequence. The game's levels look pretty much like Wings of Death, a 1990s shoot 'em up developed by Eclipse Software! The alien spaceships do not vary too much but they move fast on-screen. Frenetic offers up to 16 colors in both Atari ST/STE and Amiga versions which means that the latter is obviously a direct port from the Atari ST. The ST sound is decent, offering a nice music score in both main menu and gameplay, though I would personally personally expect a sampled soundtrack at least on the main menu! The action sound effects are adequate (and not sampled) with the usual explosion and laser firing chip sounds! Note that these sound effects are too loud and sometimes they can become frustrating.
CPU: Motorola 68000 16/32bit at 8mhz. 16 bit data bus/32 bit internal/24-bit address bus. MEMORY: RAM 512KB (1MB for the 1040ST models) / ROM 192KB GRAPHICS: Digital-to-Analog Converter of 3-bits, eight levels per RGB channel, featuring a 9-bit RGB palette (512 colors), 320x200 (16 color), 640x200 (4 color), 640x400 (monochrome). With special programming techniques could display 512 colors on screen in static images. SOUND: Yamaha YM2149F PSG "Programmable Sound Generator" chip provided 3-voice sound synthesis, plus 1-voice white noise mono PSG. It also has two MIDI ports, and support mixed YM2149 sfx and MIDI music in gaming (there are several games supported this).