Price: £11.99 Tape
Reviewer: Big Al Dykes
We all live in a fantasy world sometimes but it would appear that Codemasters' fantasy world is Big Al's nightmare. You see the big guy hates eggs with a vengeance. He can't stand the sight or smell of them and the only thing he'll eat containing eggs are cakes! That's why the rest of us made him review Crystal Kingdom Dizzy... He's not eggs-actly biased is he?
Bluuch! Egg-land! Ok, Dizzy may be cute, he may be popular, he may even be a nice guy but lets face it he's an egg. In this adventure he's got to save Dizzyland from a flood of biblical proportions which is threatening to engulf the land of animated poultry produce because of the legend of the Ice Palace.
The legend of the Ice Palace, as written in the scrolls of the Yolkfolk, claims that if the treasures of the prophet Zeffar are ever removed from their home then the Palace will start to melt and good old Dizzyland will make like Atlantis and disappear under water (hopefully not boiling water or we all know what would happen!).
And so the game begins. The first thing you have to do is actually get Grand Dizzy to cough up the story and this takes place in the Yolkfolk village. There you must reconcile your differences with Daisy, help Dora cook some cakes, satisfy CJ's appetite and help Dylan and Denzil in various ways. In fact it's business as usual in Yolkville as Dizzy plays the part of repair man, policeman, Samaritan, judge, jury and meals on wheels deliverer.
In the second level there's some jolly sea japes as Dizzy gets bed and board upon a pirate ship bound in the general direction of the ice palace. Unfortunately Captain Blackheart is as nasty as his name suggests and after all Dizzy's efforts to repair the dastardly devil's ship he dumps the poor lad on a desert island to rot in solitude. But Dizzy is no rotten egg as we all know and if you're lucky (and smart) you'll pick up some treasure here and find some means of getting off the island and on to the Ice Palace. Once there the fun really begins!
Dizzy VII is a delightful game. You get to interact with almost every character you meet and this means virtually every Dizzy character to date (ok, minus one or two!) Each character has a story to tell and each level has plenty of places to explore, some interesting - like the Surf Shack - some run of the mill - like Dora kitchen. As usual attention to detail and humour have been applied vigorously and you'll always want to get the job done because it's rewarding.
Graphically Crystal Kingdom is the equal of any other Dizzy adventure game. I was hoping for an improvement but a reasonably high standard had been achieved for previous games so I suppose Codies decided to stick to a working formula. The soundtrack is actually one of the best I've heard on a Dizzy game yet, much better in my opinion to the 16 bit machines' soundtrack which seems a little disjointed from gameplay.
I must admit I was also hoping for a more manoeuverable main sprite but Dizzy's bouncy controls also remain essentially unchanged. This can lead to somewhat frustrating gameplay, but only occasionally, usually when you're moving too fast or are too careless. In general control is good and picking up or putting down objects is easily carried out.
In the final analysis, playing and enjoying this game is not about whether you like eggs or - not it's really about whether you like this particular little egg. Dizzy VII will definitely appeal to collectors and people who have enjoyed all his past escapades. For these people I probably don't even need to recommend it, they'll buy it anyway. If you do fall into this category but are wondering about the high comparative price, let me tell you it's worth it. However if you're not a fan then don't go spending all this money on something which is essentially the same as all the rest, albeit larger, longer and more modern.
A little long in the tooth but tremendous fun nonetheless. There are plenty of traditional puzzles and this game appears to be longer and more detailed than previous Dizzy offerings.
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