Rastan, ZX Spectrum

This ZX Spectrum conversion of the 1987 scrolling hack and slash arcade game from Taito was developed by Icon Design and published by Imagine Software in 1988. And it’s not bad, but it’s not great either.

The aim of the game is to make your way through six different levels, fighting mythical monsters and eventually reaching a boss at the end of each stage. Beat the boss and you’re treated to… a period of loading, because each level loads in separately. That is: unless you’re playing the enhanced 128K version of the game, which is a single load and also features some enhanced AY-based music.

The graphics are okay, and the scrolling is fast and reasonably smooth. The main issue I have with it, though, is that the backdrops are too busy which makes it difficult to actually see the enemies and the main character as you’re playing. Rastan himself is arguably a bit too big as well, which means that you’ve got very little time to react as enemies come at you. Also: if you can actually do the upward and downward attacks that Rastan was able to do in the arcade game then I couldn’t get them to work in this conversion. Which makes getting past certain sections of the game very difficult.

Overall: Rastan is an okay arcade conversion on the Spectrum. It could have been better had the developers been a bit more subtle with the backgrounds and made the up/down attacks easier to activate. It’s also quite difficult, but maybe not quite as tough as the arcade original.

More: Rastan on Wikipedia
More: Rastan on World of Spectrum

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