Agent X II

by John P. Tatlock, Steven Tatlock, Tim Follin
Mastertronic Ltd
Crash Issue 48, Jan 1988   page(s) 170

Producer: Mastertronic
Retail Price: £1.99
Author: Software Creations

Bothersome spots can spring up on even the finest skin, and that's just what the mad professor intends. Equipped with his awesome Zit-Ray, the loony don is out to ruin the laces of thousands of people with ineradicable acne. (He's slightly less ambitious than the mad professor of Mastertronic's original Agent X (85% Overall in Issue 37), who thought starting World War III would do fiendishly.)

Agent X is the only man who can stop this spotty caper. But to do that he must leave this planet, travel to the moon, and overcome the professor's traps to find the horrid old man himself.

With a jet pack strapped to his back, X takes a scroll across the surface of the moon, where wave after wave of attacking energy blobs and missiles come at him, sometimes fooling the unwary player by unpredictably changing direction.

But to defend himself against orbs and missiles, X carries a blaster. When he destroys an attack by a group of aliens, a capsule appears which increases the power of his blaster.

If our operative survives this mayhem, he finds himself in an underground environment of eight vertically-scrolling screens. Now X must leap from platform to platform gathering four floating parts of an electronic code. When he has the codes he needs, our agent inputs them into computer terminals.

That's all very well in principle; but some terrifying elephant-noses and energy globs are there to stop him, and there's only the blaster to rely on.

If our hero survives this hazard, he progresses to the next (it would probably be simpler to buy some cream at Boots). Here he must manipulate a horizontally movable bat, using a ball to knock down the wall behind which the mad professor hides. (Otherwise everyone's skin will Breakout, we suppose.)

X's task is complicated by the deranged professor's own bat - which moves horizontally on a higher plane! But if he has energy and patience enough when all the bricks are destroyed, the mad professor can be defeated and everyone saves their face.


Joysticks: Kempston, Sinclair, Cursor
Graphics: colourful areas on all stages
Sound: superb tune on the first level, sampled title tune
Options: definable keys

Despite decent graphics, Agent X II is a real disappointment after the fun and frolics of its predecessor. Still, the title screen is neat, with billions of different colours per attribute square, and the many tunes add something to a dull and unplayable game.
MIKE [44%]

Slick title screens and average graphics don't make a game. Here the graphics are detailed and the animation attractive, but colour clash is a problem. And there's very little to do in Agent X II - in parts very like Firebird's Sidewize (50% Issue 44) - so it's a disappointing follow-up.
NICK [56%]

Presentation: 77%
Graphics: 60%
Playability: 50%
Addictive Qualities: 48%
Overall: 56%

Summary: General Rating: A disappointing sequel, with each section derivative of a different style.

Transcript by Chris Bourne

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