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Phelios Review

‘Phelios’ is a top-down shoot-em-up from the arcade legends Namco. The game has a simple plot; Artemis, the goddess of the Moon has been kidnapped by the evil ruler Typhon. It is up to you, Apollo to save Artemis from Typhon whilst battling through 7 stages.

Like all Namco, arcade-style shoot-em-ups you can expect the following; power ups, tonnes of enemies to destroy and your typical end-of-level bosses. ‘Phelios’ complies with all the previous features without being repetitive and still manages to be an enjoyable game.

But ‘Phelios’ is an early Mega Drive title and it really does show throughout the game. The graphics do look a little dated. The scenery is very bland and the textures are awfully repetitive. The multi-layered use of paralax-scrolling backgrounds does make the scenery a little more bearable but it’s nothing special. Another problem with the game is the use of actual sound-clips. Because the Mega Drive is a 16 bit console, audio clips get horribly distorted if they are longer than a simple exclamation. At the end of the first stage the heroine, Artemis recites a very long line which is so distorted you can hardly hear what she’s saying. Thank God for subtitles!

The major downside with ‘Phelios’ is the shooting system. Tap the B button to fire small bullets that inflict little damage but hold the B button to charge up the sword on the side of the screen to fire larger energy bolts which inflict more damage. This makes the game a lot more difficult to play because if you haven’t got time to charge your sword you remain open to attack. Okay, yes you can just shoot the little bullets but in areas with lots of powerful enemies you still remain vulnerable.

For those of you out there that enjoy a good top-down shoot-em-up then ‘Phelios’ is a game for you. Once you’ve got your head around the shooting system then you’ll soon get the hang of the game and enjoy it for its’ simple yet effective gameplay. Just ignore the horrible sound-clips and repetitive backgrounds and you’ll be fine (a large proportion of sarcasm was used in that last sentence)!


Written by Sonic Yoda on 17/3/06

Box Artwork


Instruction Manual


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