At some point in the early 1990s, my Spectrum +2 was mostly retired and I had instead a Sega Master System for which I only ever had a handful of games - going from £2.99 to £14.99 was a bit of a jump! Action Fighter was however one of the games I did get - what I didn't realise until recently was that Action Fighter was released on the ZX Spectrum in 1989.
Released in 1986 Action Fighter is a fast-moving overhead motor vehicle combat game - you drive along collecting parts to upgrade your vehicle. You start on a motorbike with simple bullets, plopping yourself into the back of a Sega lorry whilst on the ground will upgrade your weapons - if you crash you lose them though! In the air upgrades are floating around for you to collect.
There are 5 stages, all of which follow a similar formula: you do some ground based shooty shooty stuff and some air based shooty shooty stuff. You are awarded extra lives when your score gets to various marks (starting at 10,000 for your first) which you will need as the game can throw quite a bit at you in various places!
My memories of the Master System version are of a fun, fast-paced but quite difficult game and with that in mind for the first time I shall take a look at the Speccy version and see how it holds up!
First off, the graphics. Now you'd think that the Speccy isn't going to do all that well here, and you would be wrong! Opting for a monochrome play area, the sprites are big and sharp and the whole thing moves really quickly and smooth aswell - you never seem to lose track of what's going on. The info section of the screen has a good selection of colours.
Sound effects are pretty standard, and you get menu screen music which is a pimped up version of what you get on the Master System, but sadly no in-game tunes to be heard of. If you're a keyboard user, there's also no Redefine Keys option. There's nothing missing, all of the enemy sprites are there and this is a completely faithful port.
The game is very playable, and I actually prefer the Spectrum version to the Master System - it might lack in-game music and some colour but it "feels" faster and smoother to me.
If you've never played Action Fighter before I would definitely recommend grabbing it.
Download Action Fighter from World Of Spectrum.