Z-Out is the obvious sequel to X-Out but looks and plays more like a R-Type style game. It is a good 2D horizontal-scrolling shoot 'em up with impressive visuals and sound. The game was released only for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST home computers.
STORY / GAMEPLAY
The HQ of the Earth's Defense thought everything was safe after their first victory against the alien forces in X-Out. But it appears that enemy activity is growing and once again you are called to action although this time you do not need to be alone as another brave enough can join you. Thousands of hostile organic enemies threaten the safety of your planet again and they must be destroyed over the course of six (huge) levels. There are power-ups available, but this game is less centered around these than others of the genre. Z-Out is a classic R-Type clone that features similar weapons like the force device, drones and charge beam! The six levels contain hundreds of varied aliens and host scenic targets and mounted guns. You'll also encounter two huge guardians per level and a series of moving pillars that must be avoided at all costs. Advantec Software made a great job, inspired by the Japanese shooters.
GRAPHICS / SOUND The quality of the graphics on Amiga varies a lot throughout the game. For example, levels one and three look very good, although parts on levels two and four seem to lack imagination. The Amiga version has an impressive number of 53 to 86 colors on-screen. Comparably, the ST version has up to 47 which is rather impressive for its default. The Amiga version has flawless and fast scrolling while the backgrounds are far more detailed than the ST counterpart. Actually, the scrolling is too fast, so it makes this version too tough to handle. The sound on the Amiga includes impressive stereo tunes (composed by Rudolf Stember) and crisp sampled sound effects that suit the game perfectly. Also, there's an awesome intro tune composed by the great Chris Hülsbeck of the Turrican series.
On our video below you may watch both the Atari ST and Amiga OCS versions of the game.
CPU: Motorola MC68000 7.16 MHz MEMORY: 512KB of Chip RAM (OCS chipset - A500), 512 KB of Slow RAM or Trapdoor RAM can be added via the trapdoor expansion, up to 8 MB of Fast RAM or a Hard drive can be added via the side expansion slot. The ECS chipset (A500+) offered 1MB on board to 2MB (extended) of Chip RAM. GRAPHICS: The OCS chipset (Amiga 500) features planar graphics (codename Denise custom chip), with up to 5 bit-planes (4 in hires), allowing 2, 4, 8, 16 and 32 color screens, from a 12bit RGB palette of 4096 colors. Resolutions varied from 320x256 (PAL, non-interlaced, up to 4096 colors) to 640x512 (interlace, up to 4 colors). Two special graphics modes where also included: Extra Half Bright with 64 colors and HAM with all 4096 colors on-screen. The ECS chipset models (Amiga 500+) offered same features but also extra high resolution screens up to 1280x512 pixels (4 colors at once). SOUND: (Paula) 4 hardware-mixed channels of 8-bit sound at up to 28 kHz. The hardware channels had independent volumes (65 levels) and sampling rates, and mixed down to two fully left and fully right stereo outputs