Tempest X3 (PlayStation) review
"An excellent update to one of the most popular Atari Jaguar games"
If you've found this review and are taking time to read it then you've probably played at least one version of Tempest in the past. If you've haven't and you love retro games then I wil start by saying that you're missing out on one of the most fast paced and enjoyable classic games to ever be released.
Tempest X3 is an updated port of Tempest 2000 released on the Atari Jaguar, ifself a sequel to the early 80's arcade game Tempest. It is a shooter where you control a ship on the edge of a series of webs which take many different shapes. The arcade original uses a paddle controller to move your ship along the edge of the webs while you shoot at an endless onslaught of enemies.
The Jaguar sequel was a brilliant update to the original and is pure eye candy to those who remember it. Unfortunately the Jaguar release catered to a limited audience as not too many owned a Jaguar in the day due to the poor sales of the console. Interplay tried to remedy this by releasing updated ports of Tempest 2000 for the Playstation, Saturn and PC but also saw limited success on that front as the game didn't seem to sell in great numbers and its pretty uncommon to find any of the three versions in the wild today. If you find a copy do yourself a favor and buy it and play it especially if you have any love for vintage arcade gaming.
The game play is fast and frenzied and really gets your blood flowing with its amazing graphics and music. The graphics received a nice update and look better than the Jaguar version. The webs look amazing as they have a psychedelic wave to them that swirls back and forth and really give the game its eye candy. When you power your cannon up it ripples back and forth and also looks amazing and has a nice smooth blur that looks like a laser. Even the bonus stages are more fluid in appearance as well. The enemies look pretty much the same as before but there are more, and they are more varied adding to the intensity of the game play.
The music is unfortunately not nearly as up to par as the graphics and is better on the Jaguar in every possible way Despite being on CD and on a more advanced game console. Every track is present from Tempest 2000 but X3 sounds like it uses a weaker sound chip and lacks the kick that 2000 had. The bonus stages sound a bit more hollow than they did on the Jaguar and even the sound effects aren’t quite as good either though they are close. The cannon doesn’t sound as intense as it should and sounds muffled. I think the cannon fire was what added to the adrenaline rush of Tempest 2000 and it doesn’t give quite the same experience here.
Tempest X3 is a great game and one that you should look out for as it's just fast paced and frantic action and sounds great hooked up to a stereo. If you're able to play the Jaguar version then that's the one to go after but if not then this one will still offer great gaming experience and one that you won't soon forget!
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