Retail Price: £7.95
Author: P Owens, M Jones
Those sneaky Durrs from the distant planet Suna have set up a secret base on Earth, where they begin their terrible plan to take control of the world's weather conditions by building a huge atmosphere processing plant.
If the Durrs succeed in initiating a new Ice Age, the resulting chaos would provide the ideal situation for the aliens to overthrow the human race. The Durrs must be stopped at all costs.
Lance Gryzor has been chosen to enter the alien processing plant, and find and destroy its control room and the alien mother ship. To accomplish this he must force his way through two scrolling sections of enemy outposts before blasting a hole in the wall of the processing plant and moving inside.
Once in the complex, a map becomes available which Gryzor can follow to lead him through the labyrinth of tunnels as he makes his way through the plant. However, passage is continually hampered by force fields, automatic weapons systems and alien guards which threaten to remove one of Lance's six lives.
Gryzor protects himself by using his rifle which can be topped up with extra ammunition by collecting weapon capsules. These become available on the destruction of the alien's weapon stores and carriers.
Joysticks: Cursor, Kempston, Sinclair
Graphics: poorly drawn and animated
Sound: inviting 128K title tune; poor in-game effects
Gryzor is a very poor game graphically, but it's surprisingly addictive. This is due to the amount of action that has been crammed into this shoot-'em-up: jumping off cliffs and bridges into enemy infested waterways, somersaulting over the various alien assassins and then blowing them to bits, infiltrating their base and then destroying it! The speed that your character is capable of is quite surprising: you can perform many different moves very quickly, which makes the action hectic and satisfying. Unfortunately the addictive nature of the game is outweighed by the rubbish graphics and sound, poor presentation and high price.
Gryzor isn't a bad game overall: it has a fair challenge to work through, is slightly addictive and requires some skill on later screens. Colour is neatly used with only the odd clash occurring during the game, but it doesn't really contain any wonderful graphics that set it apart from the norm. Ocean have made a reasonable attempt at the conversion and with a bit more to get your teeth into they would have had a real winner.
It's not really the month of good conversions, is it? The funky 128k tune on the title screen is bearable but unfortunately the game doesn't come anywhere near in terms of playability. The multiload is strangely annoying: in games like Out Run, I could put up with it, but for some reason Gryzor's system really got on my nerves. The graphics are poor and badly coloured with appalling animation, and the whole game style becomes extremely annoying. Gryzor is poor, bad value, and a game I don't like it at all.
The Hit Squad
In the not too distant future, it would seem that a race of aliens calling themselves the Durrs (they sound a bit spoddy to) will land on the Earth and, in a remote spot, build an atmosphere processing plant. With this they plan to bring about another Ice Age and thus destroy the human race. How unpleasant.
A-ha! But not if Lance Gryzor (ie, you) has anything to do with it! Lance (crap hero's name, that) is a member of Federation for Earth's Defence who has to infiltrate the five levels of blasting action and reach the Durr stronghold before they have the chance to switch their machine on.
Aliens are not to be taken lightly, though - they send in plenty of henchmen stop our square-jawed hero. Though his weaponry is limited at the start, there are collectable weapons along the way.
As scrolly blasting games go Gryzor isn't too bad, although the monochrome sprites are almost invisible against some of the garishly coloured backgrounds (very irritating). Be prepared to apply for your Spectrum's pilot's licence: the enemy hordes are pretty vicious and take a lot of practice to get past and will have you chucking your Speccy out the window in frustration. In short, Gryzor is probably for people with milder temperaments than mine.
Reviewer: Jonathan Davies
Yes it's arcade conversion time, usually that part of the day when you load up with hopes high, only to be dashed on the rocks of crummy programming. Oh, and the fact that the original game wasn't much cop in the first place. But not this time. No, no, Nanette. Gryzor's a be of all right.
Okay, picture this. The Durrs from the planet Suna have infiltrated the Earth's defences and set up a base which contains an atmosphere processing plant. With tis they plan to start another ice age and take over the Earth in the ensuing chaos. I can think of better ways of doing it myself (the mind-control techniques of the alien known as 'Paul Daniels' being a case in point), but that's the plan.
Luckily, the people in charge of Earth's defences have got wind of this (oo-er) and have decided to send in everything they have to stop them. His name's Lance Gryzor and he's got enormous muscles and a trendy black headband. Why they didn't just call in the Marines (or a few Leeds supporters) isn't entirely clear, but we're lumbered with ol' Lance.
Still, you're not writing the plot - you just follow orders. So before you can shut down the atmospheric thingumy you'll have to smash through five main types of enemy defence.
The first part's probably the best. It's a sort of Green Beret lookalike, in which you must negotiate a horizontally scrolling landscape riddled with alien guards, gun emplacements and heaven knows worrelse. Shoot supply dumps and you can pick up loads of extra rinky weapons. Make sure you get your fave weapon while you can, 'cos you'll be stuck with it for the rest of the game.
When you've made it to the end of part one, blast a hole in the door and you're onto the second bit, a series of 3D tunnels. Shoot the target at the end of each corridor to move onto the next. Then blow your way through the main entrance, dodging the defences, and you're in...
...Part three. You're getting closer here, but first there's the side of a gorge to climb up. Watch out for falling boulders and rather short-looking aliens.
Next is the first stationary sequence, where you must knock out the zappers and blasters before they zap or blast you. Hard, but challenging. You'll then fight through variations of all these basic formats before reaching the final confrontation with the Alien. Shoot the alien heart for the amazing (hmmm) end-effect.
Graphics are well up to scratch all through the various parts, with some deliciously smooth scrolling, and I'm reliably informed that apart from the omission of the odd exploding bridge or two, Gryzor's about as accurate a conversion as you can get. And with all the different sections to fight through, you certainly get your money's worth.
But what really makes Gryzor stand out from the millions of other conversions of scrolling arcade games with silly names that seem to be pouring forth at the moment, is that this one actually feels like an arcade game. The 128K sound FX and music certainly help to create an atmosphere of fag smoke, fruit machines and leather jackets, something almost unheard of before on a Spectrum.
I don't normally go in for the pumping-lead type of game, but they had to resort to crowbars to drag me away from this one and back into my straitjacket.
RICH PELLEY goes dizzy over the latest batch of Codies games and JON PILLAR has quite a bit of trouble getting a word in edgeways.
Reviewer: Rich Pelley
Gryzor might very well sound like the noise you make when you're trying to go to the toilet (or is that just me?), but it is in truth a rather large multipart (and multiload) scrolling kill-'em-up. It's a coin-up conversion as well, and despite the fact that it's an ex- YS Megagame from way back in 1989, and that (at first appearance) the graphics look rather shoddy, it still plays surprisingly well and is rather addictive. There's some stupid plot to do with aliens invading Earth again, but what you really want to know is what the game itself is all about. Well, whilst interacting with the scenery (such as choosing to run along the ground or wade through the water) you run along, kill people, shoot gun turrets and upgrade your gun to bigger and better things. At least, you do on the first level (and a few other ones later on), as Level 2 is completely different. Here, you have to negotiate your way through a 3D maze, which is done by standing at the bottom of each corridor, blasting aliens at the top, avoiding nasty zaps of electricity and turning either left or right. It may sound like a bit of a 'sub level', but it's a lot trickier (and more fun) than it may first appear.
Level 3 is more blasting as you climb up this cliff-face, avoiding falling boulders as you go. and Level 4 is a strange sort of firing range type level. Apparently, after this the levels sort of 'repeat' themselves, but are all changed for added excitement.
The only problem is that there've been stacks of this type of game before (they always seem to work well on the Speccy), and the ones that appeared after Gryzor did have proved far better. But since none of these better ones have been released on budget yet then I'm afraid you're stuck with this one. Don't worry - it's still pretty good, just ever-so-slightly dated.
Author: Paul Owens
Reviewer: Jim Douglas
Deep in an uncharted tropical jungle somewhere on Earth, a secret war is racing beneath the creepers. The might of an alien force, currently at work on a fiendish plan to lake over the world, is being fought by one man - Lance Gryzor.
Okay, so plot wise we're not talking James Joyce, but when you've got a game so full of high speed frenetic action, who gives a damn?
Armed with a big rifle of varying specifications (more on that later), a pair of camouflage troulies and a vest top, Lance - bit of a nancy boy name; no wonder he's used to being ganged up on - must battle his way through untold levels of unspeakably dastardly aliens.
His goal is the enormous Atmosphere Processing Plant which the aliens are constructing. Once it's finished, they'll be able to affect the weather conditions all over the world, and take power. So you've got to destroy that plant. And everything that gets in your way en route, naturally.
Gryzor like many of the more recent Ocean releases - is a multi-load. It's not surprising when you bear in mind that there are about three totally different stages to the game, each highly complicated code wise.
The first style of section you'll run into is the right left scrolling shoot out. Here, you get to run along across the landscape (jungle/ice/ducting depending on how far into the game you get) shooting at the soldiers, gun emplacements and trucks which all appear with alarming frequency. The first thing you'll notice is the smoothness of the scrolling, certainly the smoothest I've seen. It was developed using some of the techniques used in Cobra, and the two games are similar in some respects. The graphics in these sections are a little simplified. The backgrounds aren't terribly detailed and the characters have a fairly limited amount of, er, character.
This is easily explained by the scrolling technique. You can only have a fairly small number of different graphics on the screen at any one time. While you don't really have much chance to look around at the scenery - it would have been nice to have a little more detail - but I guess that's the price to pay for better gameplay.
In this first section the action is fast and furious, the aliens come on to the screen in gangs, and you'll often have to fire in various directions (you can fire up and diagonally, as well as left and right) as they run toward you along elevated walkways. Gun emplacements can be vigorously blown up to get hold of the better weapons held inside. The four types of gun you can choose allow you normal, rapid, tri-directional and circular fire. It's quite important that you learn which weapon will come from which emplacement, in order to equip yourself with the right gear for the next level.
After you make your way to the entrance of the plant, the screen changes completely, and you'll be presented with a head-on view of a maze. In the top section of the screen a plan is presented You've got to work your way down the tunnels. At the back of each room in the maze is a security installation from which bullets and explosive barrels appear. Troops will attack you as well, and you'll have to move around a great deal just to stay alive. The graphics in this area are more exciting than those before and it's only when you reach this stage that you realise Gryzor has a little more depth than many coin-ops at the moment.
Also presented in the same smart fashion are the static screens which are further into the game. Here you have to face similar problems to those in the maze. But the target on these screens is tougher, and you don't go rushing off to fight in a different place. In the maze, you have to deal with five or six rooms at a time.
In between some sections you'll encounter a large - and very well animated - robot monster who will throw cybernetic discs at you. This guy, like the trucks and rocket bases will take more than one shot to destroy. So you'll have to get yourself into a safe place and keep plugging away.
The next section comes nearer to the end of the game. Here the screen scrolls vertically - like in the coin-op - and you have to somersault across from one elevating platform to another, shooting like crazy all the way. The graphics here are the best in the game, and the feeling of similarity to the original is very strong indeed.
The final section involves going deeper into the piping areas mentioned earlier and confronting the heart of the complex...
Graphically, Gryzor on computer couldn't really be expected to match the original. But it's still better than most games around at the moment. Gameplay wise, however, it stands up very well. It's fast, well-animated and exciting. The multi-load is an irritant, but one that is compensated for by the quality of the game as a whole. Buy it.
Label: Hit Squad
Price: £2.99 Tape, N/A Disk
Reviewer: Alan Dykes
When you've just had your planet invaded and there's nothing you can do about it because of a bad cold, the risk of missing an episode of Home and Away, or a pressing dinner engagement at McDonalds, there's only one person you know you can turn to; Lance Gryzor, just about the toughest soldier the world has seen since John Wayne turned Vietnam into the wild west in "The Green Berets".
Like all real tough guys Gryzor is known only by his surname and anyone calling him anything else gets a Fifty Caliber salvo for their trouble. This is apparently what the invading alien Durrs have done, apart from threatening the entire eco-system of the planet by assembling an Atmosphere Processing Plant to control the weather, and Gryz's angrier than a pitbull terrier with a tick on it's bum and just rootin' for a fight.
To defeat these dastardly Durrs Gryzor must fight his way through five levels of combat hell armed with a vicious looking ping pong gun. Those not keen on table top sports will be delighted to know that this weapon can be upgraded by knocking off the various weapons installations you come across during the skirmish. The first level is horizontal scrolling and is challenging from the start. Duck and dive like Frank Bruno 'cos those enemy soldiers are fast and accurate, 'Arry. Don't be afraid of the water if things are getting tough because Lance is a good swimmer and life is a lot cooler down there.
The second and fourth levels consist of 3D Mazes and the object is to blast at anything that moves or looks remotely out of place. In both Mazes you must find the entrance to the next level and blow it and it guards away. There aren't as many obvious aliens to destroy as in the 2D sections but there are plenty of targets. The vertical scrolling platform third level is dangerous stuff, moving upwards, keeping your gun locked and loaded, with plenty of aliens to make Gryzor's life miserable. The fifth and final level pits poor exhausted Gryzor against the powerful alien defenses and the tough Alien central control. The Heart.
Gameplay is pretty good, firing in all directions can be rather comical because control is a little loose, but this is better than no response at all. Gryzor is very agile, shooting, jumping and crouching quickly, though turning is a little slow. Soldiers are easy to kill, larger aliens are not, the big G himself is also killed easily but has plenty of back up lives and there is an option to continue. Graphics on the horizontal and vertical scrolling screens are quite colourful and backgrounds are filled in, the characters are a little faceless though. The 3D screens are more sparsely populated but the required effect is created.
Gryzor is not a game for wimps, though I think that serious toughies may find him a bit of a matchstick man underneath his khaki Crocodile Dundee exterior. It is however a game that will entice you to see the mission through, and it does have variety of game scenarios to titillate and mutilate.
Ocean £7.95cs, £12.95dk
Amstrad version reviewed Issue 5 - ACE Rating 771
The game's multi-load on the Speccy. but at least you can work at each level until you've completed it. No shields to pick up either - just shoot the gun emplacements and you've got the extras. The Amstrad 'explosion' as you die is very convincing and resembles a true arcade effect - on the Spectrum, though, it looks like a soap bubble. Still, it's an enjoyable game that should keep you going for a while.
MACHINES: Amstrad/Spectrum/CBM 64
PRICE: Spectrum (£7.95/£14.95 Plus 3 disk)/Amstrad (£9.95 cass/£14.95 disc)/CBM 64 (£8.95 cass/£14.95 disc
VERSIONS TESTED: Amstrad/Spectrum
Welcome Lance Gryzor, straight from the Arnie S. clone zone, all muscles, murder and mayhem. And get a load of his weapons! All of them designed to take an alien's head off with ease.
Coin-op fans will already know what's in store with this Konami conversion - Action with a capital A.
And to be honest I haven't enjoyed a straight a shoot 'em up so much since Elite's Ikari Warriors.
So let's get down and get with it.
Alien creatures called the Durrs from the planet Suna have somehow infiltrated the earth's defences and set up their HO and created an APP - Atmosphere Processing Plant. This fiendish device is capable of controlling the weather and the idea is to bring about another ice age.
Step forward man mountain Gryzor. His mission is to put the heat on the Durrs and stop the big freeze. And to do that he must infiltrate the complex, collect weapons, destroying guards until -or rather if manages to reach the centre of mischief.
The game play is split into three sections, each of which is loaded automatically when a level is completed.
The first section consists of three scenes, in which Gryzor, initially equipped with a machine gun, blasts his way along a three tier-scrolling landscape, avoiding the guards, taking out machine gun, nests and hopefully collecting extra weapons. The first scene ends with you blasting through a wall. The next section involves threading your way through tunnels to a control room. The final bit of this section is the destruction of the control room.
The middle phase of the game is virtually a repeat of the first, only more difficult.
Finally, Gryzor reaches the APP. This final part of the game comes in two sections. First a battle through the APP to the aliens' mother-ship. And finally into the ship and then destroy it.
The weapons Gryzor can find - watch out for "weapon eagles" - are rapid fire machine gun, scatter gun with three-directional fire (I found this the most useful of weapons), laser gun and barrier which gives temporary invulnerability.
At first I thought the colourful Amstrad graphics were rather garish with everything blurring into one but this was hasty judgement and I soon got used to it. The Spectrum version is okay but suffers in comparison with the Amstrad, but it is still very playable.
This game is highly recommended. Why not start the New Year grappling with Gryzor?
Spectrum 48/128 Cassette: £7.95
Commodore 64/128 Cassette: £8.95, Diskette: £14.95
Amstrad CPC Cassette: £8.95, Diskette: £14.95
SAVE THE LAST LANCE FOR ME
Konami's colourful, popular coin-op has taken Ocean's programming teams several months to assimilate the graphics and pack them into 8-bit machines - a job difficult to succeed in well, and one likely to be a bit of a curate's egg. Maestro David Whittaker has written the music, code by Paul Owens (Spectrum) and John Brandwood (Amstrad), Mark Jones did the graphics for both versions, and Colin Porch did the Commodore coding and Steve Wahid the graphics.
The name's Gryzor, Lance Gryzor, Lance?! What kind of a name is that for a soldier of fortune, a lone killer and a rather gutsy Konami coin-op conversion? As Oceans second major New Year licence (Platoon being the other), Gryzor has fared very well on the Amstrad (less so on the Spectrum) where it produces a challenge to test fast reactions and manages to contain considerable depth.
A bunch of slimy aliens have set up base in an uncharted part of Earth from where they plan to control the weather, eventually to bring about a new Ice Age and in its freezing wake, take control of the planet. Gryzor plays over three sections, each with a series of scenes, and, unless you are using a 128K machine, the game is a multi-load - one load per section.
Beginning in the heart of a horizontally scrolling jungle infested by the alien army of bullet-pumping Rambos, the first objective is to race along across the scenery, making use of platforms, to destroy the entrance to a tunnel maze. The 3-D maze - displayed graphically in proper vanishing-point perspective - negotiated one screen. To get through wall targets must be destroyed which breaks down the force field blocking your path. Alien troops roam the tunnels intent on killing you by firing well-aimed bullets and rolling canisters down the alleyways - any collision proves fatal.
Having cleared the four-screen maze Gryzor plunges into a vertically scrolling Gorge, complete with more troops. Careful precision when jumping is essential if you are to make it through to the inner Maze - a more difficult version of the first.
The final conquest of the aliens themselves takes place along a long horizontally scrolling backdrop - additional fire power which may have been collected along the way will be of use - the aliens here are no wimps. And that's all there is to it...
The compendium of actions and skills required to play through the different sections are not going to be quick to learn, and on the Amstrad at least, Gryzor is just as tough and exhilarating as the arcade original, but the inlay provides some useful tips - first: keep moving, and second shoot everything.
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