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Review: Sonic Ring Power
An installer is used for this game, and it's made all the more irritating by the fact that you can't change the destination directory from "c:\Program Files\Sonic Ring Power\". Now, this might be more of a problem for some people with partitioned or multiple hard disks (one for Windows, other for everything else), however if you're as disorganised as myself then that's not the case. However, I don't like using the "Program Files" directory for anything other than system programs or utilities - perhaps abnormal, and it might even be the 'right' place for some users. Anyway, the point is that the user should get to decide where the program installs to.
After perhaps the longest paragraph on the installer that I've written, time for the actual game. The basic idea - and, as ideas go, it's pretty basic - is to collect all the rings before you're impaled by the nasty-looking spikes descending from the ceiling. More accurately, in each level you have to control a Click-platform-movement Sonic and attempt to grab nine Bouncing Ball rings to save his furry head from the impending Spikes of Doom (possibly put there by Doctor Robotnik, I don't know).
This is made difficult because of the limitations of the controls - you slow down too much after a jump and you can't vary the height of them either, so you can't jump without dying once the spikes are more than about halfway down the screen. The best tactic seems to be getting up speed by tapping Left and Right rapidly then tearing along the bottom of the screen gathering rings as they drift by.
All music is taken (all right, ripped) from Sonic, as are most of the graphics. The classic "Collect the Blue Spheres Without Running Into the Red Ones Bonus Level" is there, along with "Nauseating Pseudo-3D Race Bonus Level" and of course "Hideous Carnival Night Zone Music". The only original graphics that I could see - the spikes - were pretty well drawn, so the author could do more than this.
I didn't get to put my name in the High Score table after playing, funnily enough. Oh well. The game comes with a genuine .HLP help file, though to be honest it's not very helpful as the game is so simple, and it's full of errors. It also includes the credits written in a barely readable blue 3d font - in the game itself they're on a blue background as well. I'm sure you can see the problem.
This is perhaps a nice enough idea for a mini-game, but it has to be improved to make it more worthwhile (getting rid of the default movement for a start). This review was brought to you by the random number 2255 and the letters WCB.
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David Newton (DavidN)