Greetings Retro heads, welcome to Monday 10th August, it’s time for a new review. Schools are back in a few weeks ( YAY! ) just thought I would throw that in for no reason whatsoever! So what am I reviewing for your retro delight today?
Soulless on the Commodore 64!
Here’s the plot, I know you are all begging for the info, so here it is!
A powerful warrior King, tired of constant battle and the smell of blood declares peace on the land he rules … But his generals crave war and plan to overthrow the King. Enlisting the help of an evil wizard the King is cursed using unholy magic. His human body is twisted and deformed into a beastly form, his human soul is stolen! Locked away in a tomb the cursed King is all but forgotten while an unending war rages on for a thousand years … Until one day a great quake shakes the land and smashes the wall of the Tomb holding the beast. Now he is FREE and is determined to reclaim his human soul and once again bring peace to the land.
And there you have it. Soulless is a brand new game released earlier this year in fact via my good friend Jason “Kenz” Mackenzie under his very own Software label www.psytronik.net . So why am I reviewing something that has been released in 2012? Why not? it runs on a Commodore 64 and that’s good enough for me.
From the moment you step into the game you are treated to goodies instantly, the intro has some very sleek animations and uses the colour palette very well indeed and tells the story of how your character becomes a beast and must reclaim his soul to become whole once more. It’s rare to see an intro so lovingly put together in any retro console/computer game, the attention to detail is fantastic, colour me impressed!
Now into the game. As you step into the game, your attention is grabbed immediately by yet again the attention to details in the room you begin in. Bricks adorn the walls, giving a sense of grim oppression, enemy sprites patrol the room, these come in a variety of shapes and sizes to add to the challenge of the game. Platforms have been placed in the rooms in which you can ascend to reach the next room. It’s refreshing to see a game not using the scrolling method and reverting to a platform game affair. Your character can run left and right, jump and crouch, all of which are needed to survive the onslaught of progressively aggressive enemies. You have a health bar that will deteriorate after any contact with an enemy, one you are on your last health bar your character will flash to indicate that you cannot get hit again. The thing that grabbed me straight away was the quality of the screens and animations of everything on the screen that can move, very smooth indeed. Throughout the game you will find various treasures to examine, which is represented by a bar under your character, within the treasures you will find spirit shards, gems and coins which will increase your score. I think there is huge nod to Shadow of the Beast being shown here too, which is no bad thing, it certainly ranks up there in my book!
The game has a sense of sheer size about it, each screen is a good size to navigate around, using timing to get to the next screen safely. It’s hard to indicate through words just how good this game is, it really has to be played. The game comes on Cartridge, disk and cassette and also digital download, so any way you choose to play, there is an option for everyone.
Graphics:- A real highlight of what can be achieved on the humble Commodore 64, smooth animations and a great colour scheme throughout the game. Backgrounds have been thought out and object art looks great, again complemented by a very well used palette. Fantastic job all around, very impressed.
Sound:- From the intro to in-game, the music is atmospheric and tells a story within itself, the dark music of the intro really sets the scene for the main game. In-game sounds are not quite up to par but the music takes your mind away from a lot of the other sound that is present. What is there, is good though.
Overall:- Soulless hits the spot on so many levels, and goes to show the Commodore 64 is not down and out by any means, if anything it shows that given the right set of developers working together can bring the C64 straight back to life as if it was still being sold over the counter, a fantastic game that deserves to be played by any C64 enthusiast.