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Game info
AmstradCPC

Comando Tracer

Comando Tracer
GenreArcade Adventure
DeveloperZeus Software
PublisherDinamic Software
Released1988
Rating
Graphics:8.0
Sound:7.0
Gameplay:8.0
Overall:8.0
Reviewed byndial
Comando Tracer (a.k.a. The Last Commando) is a horizontal scrolling shoot 'em up, in which you fly through dangerous planets and combat deadly artificial intelligence species. The game is packed with detailed graphics and challenging tasks to try. Comando Tracer was released for the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and MSX home computers.
 
Review
Comando TracerSTORY / GAMEPLAY
The year is 2046 and the Intelligent Android Industry (M.O.X.A.T.) created a revolutionary artificial intelligence device based on human thoughts(!) But the new system was going to prove a catastrophe for mankind as it spread throughout the XATOR confederation of (three) planets, sowing death and desolation to their inhabitants. Fortunately, M.O.X.A.T. hid high-power explosive charges in five specific spots on each planet and now the time has come to detonate them and get rid of those deadly, intelligent machines, once and for all. Your mission is to fly with your spaceship onto these planets, search for scattered ionic batteries (colored in green, red, white) and place them in a specific order to those detonators so that to trigger the explosive charges. When all the devices are activated, you must find the exit platform (hint: it is a launch platform actually) before they explode! The mission is not easy though, as there are plenty of nasties swarming the screen and there is no attack pattern to memorize as those deadly machines will attack you in different numbers and forms, from any direction. But this is quite common in Dynamics' games, isn't it? Also, time matters as there is a specific time limit to do the job, otherwise you will be destroyed and the game will be over. Fortunately there are a few clocks to be collected that will pause time as well as some energy pods to replenish your health. The controls are satisfactory, although the speed of the game and the small gameplay area make things quite a challenge. Other than that, Comando Tracer is a joy to play as long as you master weapon handling and avoid the enemy projectiles.

GRAPHICS / SOUND
The graphics are, without a doubt, the most impressive part of the game for the CPC. Apart from being amazingly colorful, with 16 colors on-screen, and intricately detailed, they're also superbly fast and smooth. Each of the three planets has its own settings (actually, this is realized with a different static backdrop setting) and gameplay scrolls only on the foreground to give you the sense of speed which is actually quite fast and smooth. The sound and music are similarly good with some solid gunshots and explosions fulfilling their purpose, while there is also a nicely composed main-menu tune.
 
Screenshots
  • Comando Tracer
  • Comando Tracer
  • Comando Tracer
  • Comando Tracer
  • Comando Tracer
  • Comando Tracer
  • Comando Tracer
 
Gameplay sample
 
Hardware information

Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128

Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128CPU: ZiLOG Z80 4MHZ
MEMORY: 64 KB or 128 KB of RAM depending on the model (capable of being expanded to 512k using memory extension boards)
GRAPHICS: Motorola 6845 address generator, Mode 0: 160x200 / 16 colors, Mode 1: 320x200 / 4 colors, Mode 2: 640x200 / 2 colors, A colour palette of 27 colors was supported
SOUND: The CPC used the General Instrument AY-3-8912 sound chip, providing 3 channels Mono Sound (via internal speaker) but capable to offer Stereo Sound provided through a 3.5 mm headphones jack (with pretty impressive outcome!). Also, it is possible to play back digital sound samples at a resolution of approximately 5bit. This technique is very processor-intensive though.
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The Amstrad CPC 464/664/6128 (default) color palette
RGB 27-colors palette (16 on screen)
 
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