Tyrian 2000 (PC)
MSRP: $19.99
Number of Players: 1-2
Developer: Stealth Productions/Eclipse Games
Publisher: XSIV Games

out of

Back in the days before 3D-accelerated games, PC gamers were playing VGA-powered games that put more emphasis on gameplay than graphics. In 1994, before the Internet became the main method of distributing shareware and demos, one of the hottest such titles was a little game called Tyrian.

Tyrian was a top-down shooter that was very reminiscent of arcade games like Raiden and 1943. The object was simple: shoot everything that came at you and collect power-ups that appeared every so often. It was simple, but highly addictive. Since the game didn't require a tricked out mega-computer to run, the game was accessible to a wide audience.

Fast forward to the present-day. XSIV Games have decided that what the world needs now is an update to the classic Tyrian experience. Enter Tyrian 2000, their re-vamped version of the original game. It doesn't attempt to re-invent the game at all. It simply adds more stuff and gives the game a shot at a gaining a new audience that may not have even heard of the original game.

Tyrian 2000 throws you into a weapons-heavy spaceship and asks you to shoot everything that you possibly can. There are some variations to the game but, essentially, the object remains the same.

In the one player "full game," destroying enemies gets you coins that you can use to upgrade your ship's weapons and armor. In the one player "arcade game," you must grab power-ups that appear as you kill enemies to upgrade your ship. A "timed battle mode" asks you to battle through one of three levels to get on the high score board. Additional points are given based on your time and the number of ships you have left.

Tyrian 2000 also allows you to edit your own ships with the Ship Editor. The ships are actually constructed in a paint program capable of creating PCX format graphics files. The editor then allows you to change the look of the ship so it maintains the proper perspective when you turn and move around in the game.

To be honest, Tyrian 2000 is nothing to look at. The graphics have not been updated at all since the original game was released six years ago. In fact, the game looks exactly the same as it did in 1994. It plays exactly the same as it did in 1994. Actually, other than making it Windows compatible, I'm not sure of exactly what advantages this game has over the original at all. Sure, the game has a new mode that requires you to buy your power-ups rather than collect them during gameplay, but that's more of a hassle than fun in this reviewer's opinion.

The sound and music, like the graphics, don't seem to have moved too far from the original game either. A jukebox option allows you to listen to all 25 music selections from the game. It's an interesting nostalgic touch, if nothing else.

Tyrian 2000 still possesses the original's twitch-inducing gameplay and still requires a good deal of luck as well as skill to get through the onslaught of enemies. Thankfully, the game does control well and I had no trouble moving and dodging the enemies as I blasted them. The ability to alter the speed of the game to your liking is a nice touch and helps open the game to less-skilled players.

The main problem with the game is that it's too repetitive and, frankly, boring. You simply blast everything that comes your way. If that sounds like your idea of a good time, this is a game you should be playing. I do realize that there may be some people hankering for a big slice of repetitive shooter action. I'm just not one of them.

I was interested in playing this game because I was such a big fan of the original Tyrian. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with Tyrian 2000. It wasn't the slightest bit entertaining or fun. Either my tastes have really changed, or a circa-1994 shooter just doesn't cut it in the year 2000.

Requirements: Pentium 133 MHz, 16 MB RAM, 25 MB HD space, Dual speed CD-ROM drive, Windows compatible sound card, and Windows 95/98.

Tested on: Pentium II 233 MHz, 64 MB RAM, 32X CD-ROM drive, Best Data Voodoo 2 12 MB accelerator, Saitek X6-32M gamepad, Logitech MouseMan mouse, and Windows 98.