Protector/YASI
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9  |  Protector / Y*A*S*I
ArugulaZ , 9/30/2004 6:53:35 PM
If a nearly arcade perfect conversion of Defender wasn't enough to convince you to buy Protector for the Vectrex, then maybe an equally exceptional port of another arcade classic will be enough to seal the deal!

Protector/Y*A*S*I offers two games on a single Vectrex cartridge. The first, Protector, was released on its own by programmer Alex Herbert a year ago, but the other title, Y*A*S*I, is brand new. It's a conversion of Space Invaders that's among the best I've seen on a classic game system... the only game that rivals its quality is Eduardo Mello's Space Invaders Collection on the ColecoVision.

The graphics in Y*A*S*I are shockingly close to the Space Invaders coin-op. Designer Alex Herbert has managed to do what no other hobbyist programmer could do on the Vectrex, using cleverly positioned lines to create a simulated raster scan display. In English, that means the invaders are drawn with pixels, so they look exactly like they did in the arcade version of Space Invaders. Even the gameplay benefits from Alex Herbert's daring artistic direction... past Space Invaders clones on the Vectrex were plagued with slowdown, but this ones plays perfectly no matter how many invaders are onscreen at once. You can even drill through the barriers with your shots and use them for cover while firing at the alien armada, something that just wasn't possible in John Dondzila's Vector Vaders.

We can't forget about Protector, can we? It's a great Vectrex conversion of Defender, the arcade game that humiliated millions in the early 1980's. Twenty years later, it's still going to throw your gonads in a vice and turn the crank until you scream for mercy. Because the aliens are so bloodthirsty and the controls are so convoluted, it'll take a lot of skill and practice just to reach a six figure score. Protector is a difficult game... but thankfully, it's also a fun and exciting one. It translates extremely well to the Vectrex, because color never played a major factor in the arcade version of Defender, and the graphics weren't exactly state of the art either. In fact, some of the characters, particularly the humanoids on the planet's surface, look MORE realistic than they did in the coin-op!

On their own, either Protector or Y*A*S*I would be an easy game to recommend. Together, they're impossible to resist! If you own a Vectrex, pencil this cartridge in as your next purchase. At $11.50, it's so cheap that your only regret will be not sending the manufacturer more money for these two great games!

JR

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