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Mindless blasting on CD-i in Atlantis: The Last Resort (c)

>> Thursday, December 6, 2007

As a tribute to the loss of the CD-i Collective, Interactive Dreams puts up some reviews courtesy of Gir Draxa which are not available anymore at this time of writing (labeled with '(c)' of the CD-i Collective). Today, we start with the excellent Atlantis: The Last Resort. Atlantis was the codename and eventually commercial title for this very unique CD-i game first announced by the President of Philips Media Games, Dave McElhatten in Issue 16 of the UK based CDi Magazine in February 1996. The Atlantis project was described as a realtime 3D engine, it was the byproduct of some powerful debugging software developed by Philips Redhill. It's the one and only realtime first person shooter on CD-i, and something that a lot of people considered to be impossible to run on CD-i. Legendary Philips ADS proved the opposite, and Gir tells you why.

Oh man, its time to go on vacation. Where should we choose? Jurassic Park? No. Westworld? Nah. Spooky Island? Hmm... close.. but no. Hey, how about ATLANTIS? What could be better? Well, turns out almost anything would have been better. Monsters and robots have taken over the resort, and you're there to clean up the mess. Makes that Carn-evil place sound ok now don't it?

Most people thought the CD-i would never have gotten a first person shooter. In moves ATLANTIS: THE LAST RESORT. Trying, as many others did, to capitalize on the craze started by Doom and Castlewolfenstein, Atlantis tries to bring FPS gaming to CD-i. The result is one of mixed results.

One must give kudos to PHILIPS RESEARCH for bringing this to the CD-i as a full game. The engine that it runs on originaly appeared in the European Web-i update disc "CD-ONLINE #2" as RAM RAID with a few sample levels to play. Surprizingly very stable, despite running within the limited confines of the CD-i's memory. Still, the inital 'shock & awe' aside, this game has left ALOT to be desired.

This title boasts alot of 'ideas' that PRI was testing to see how they'd go over. The neatest was the ability to remove the game CD once the level was loaded and put in your favorite audio CD. A really nice bonus, but also can be a real drag as you need to switch back to the game disc if you complete a level.

However, since the in game music is VERY grating on some levels, it's almost a must to either change the CD, or mute the sound. Mute is probably the best option for long term gameplay. Don't worry if you mute it, the sparse creature sounds, and generic gunfire and death sound effects are NOTHING you'll miss.

Graphicly, this game tries its best to shovel in all it can, and still keep a reasonable frame-rate. Since the new CD sound technique was used in this one, everything had to be loaded into the limited memory of the CD-i (with DV cart memory), the result isn't what one would call great. Adaquate is about the best I'd say for it. Room textures and creatures done with a software 3-D rendering that really is pushed hard to do what it does... but what it shows is really low-res. Most enemies, even at a distance, start to pixel out badly. By the time they're up close, they're so badly pixelated that they're un-recognizable. Also, if you get more than a couple enemies on-screen at once, framerate starts dropping quick.

Mostly the graphics brought back memories of the Genesis title ZERO TOLLERANCE, another good game with good intentions, but ultimately disappointing visually due to the limitations imposed by the machine.

When it comes right down to it though, graphics and sound aside... gameplay is where you'll ultimately hit or miss. And this one misses by a mile. In an attempt to push every possible option in a FPS on to the 2 button CD-i controler, things got so muddled that often times, you're getting killed just by trying to side step, and suddenly you're firing a missle, or spinning around. If the hero were really this clumsy, he'd deserve to die.

To summarize, this game was a good start, but needed ALOT of refinement to get it to the level of real fun. The lack of alot of good enemies, the slowdown, frame-rate jitter and all the rest really sum up to a less than spectacular bit of fluff. Best as a showcase for what (with refinement) could have been in the next generation of FPS on CD-i.

Thanks to and credits by: Gir Draxa of the lost CD-i Collective (December 2007)

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Games 0-F

3rd Degree - PF Magic
7th Guest, The - Philips Freeland Studios
Accelerator - SPC/Vision
Adventure of the Space Ship Beagle, The - Denshi Media Services
Affaire Morlov, L' - Titus
Alfapet - Adatek
Alice in Wonderland - Spinnaker
Alien Gate - SPC Vision
Alien Odyssee - Argonaut
Aliens Interactive CD-i - Dark Vision Interactive
Ange et le Demon, L' - Smart Move
Apprentice, The - SPC Vision
Apprentice 2, The - Marvin's Revenge - SPC Vision
Arcade Classics - Philips ADS / Namco
Asterix - Caesar’s Challenge - Infogrames
Atlantis - The Last Resort - PRL Redhill (Philips ADS)
Axis and Allies - CapDisc
Backgammon - CapDisc
Battle Chess - Accent Media (for Interplay)
Battleship - CapDisc
Big Bang Show - Infogrames
BMP Puzzle - Circle (for ZYX)
Brain Dead 13 - Readysoft
Burn:Cycle - Trip Media
Caesar's World of Boxing - Philips POV
Caesar's World of Gambling - CD-I Systems
Cartoon Academy - Bits Corporation
CD-i mit der Maus - SPC Vision
CD Shoot - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Change Angels Kick-off - HMO
Chaos Control - Infogrames
Christmas Country - Creative Media
Christmas Country - The Lost Levels - Creative Media
Christmas Crisis - DIMA
Clue - 3T Productions
Clue 2 - The mysteries continue - 3T Productions
Connect Four - CapDisc
Creature Shock - Argonaut (for Virgin)
Crime Patrol - CapDisc
Crow, The - Philips POV
Cyber Soldier Sharaku - Japan Interactive media
Dame was Loaded, The - Beam Software
Dark Castle - Philips POV
Dead End - Cryo
Defender of the Crown - Philips POV
Deja Vu - Icom Simulations
Deja Vu 2: Lost in Las Vegas - Icom Simulations
Demolition Man - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Demon Driver - Haiku Studios
Discworld - Teeny Weeny Games
Dimo's Quest - SPC Vision
Domino - Wigant Interactive Media
Down in the Dumps - Haiku Studios
Dragon's Lair - Superclub / INTL CDI
Dragon's Lair 2- Time Warp - Superclub / INTL CDI
Drug wars - Crime Patrol II - CapDisc
Dungeons & Dragons - PF Magic
Earth Command - Visionary Media
Effacer - CapDisc
Escape from Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Evidence - Microids
Falco & Donjon & The Sword of Inoxybur - BMi / Zephyr Studio
Family Games I - DIMA
Family Games II - Junk Food Jive - DIMA
Felix the Cat - Philips Sidewalk Studio
Flashback - Delphine/Tiertex (for US Gold)
Flinstones Wacky Inventions - Philips Funhouse
Fort Boyard: The Challenge - Microids
Frog Feast - Rastersoft

CD-i Games Index G-M

Go - CapDisc
Golden Oldies - SPC Vision
Golden Oldies II - SPC Vision
Golgo 13 - Japan Interactive Media
Great day at the races, A - CD-I Racing, Dove Films, Total Vision
Guignols de l'Info, Les - Canal+ Multimedia / INTL CDI
Heart of Darkness - Amazing Studio (for Virgin)
Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The - Philips Kaleidoscope
Holland Casino CD-i - HMO
Hotel Mario - Philips Fantasy Factory
Inca - Coktel Vision
Inca 2 - Coktel Vision
International Tennis Open - Infogrames
Jack Sprite vs. The Crimson Ghost - PF Magic
Jeopardy - Accent Media
Jigsaw - Novalogic
Joe Guard - DIMA
John Dark: Psychic Eye - CapDisc
Joker's Wild!, The - Accent Media
Joker's Wild Jr., The - Accent Media
Kether - Infogrames
Kingdom - The far reaches - CapDisc
Kingdom 2 - Shadoan - CapDisc
Labyrinth of Crete - Philips Funhouse
Laser Lords - Spinnaker
Last Bounty Hunter, The - CapDisc
Legend of the Fort - Microids
Lemmings - DMA Design / Psygnosis
Lettergreep - Wigant Interactive Media
Lingo - SPC Vision
Link - The faces of evil - Animation Magic
Lion King, The - Virgin Interactive Entertainment
Litil Divil - Gremlin Graphics
Litil Divil 2: Limbo Years - Gremlin Graphics
Lords of the rising sun - Philips POV
Lost Eden - Cryo (for Virgin)
Lost Ride, The - Formula (Lost Boys)
Lucky Luke - The video game - SPC Vision
Mad Dog McCree - CapDisc
Mad Dog McCree II: The lost gold - CapDisc
Magic Eraser - Circle (for ZYX)
Mah-Jong - Japan Interactive Media
Making the Grade - 3T Productions
Man Before Man - Cryo
Marco Polo - Infogrames
Mario Takes America - CIGAM
Master Labyrinth - AVM AG/HQ
Mega Maze - CapDisc
Memory Works, The - Compact Disc Incorporated
Merlin's Apprentice - Philips Funhouse
Microcosm - Philips Freeland Studios
Micro Machines - Codemasters
Monty Python's Invasion from the Planet Skyron - Daedalus CD-i Productions
Mutant Rampage - Body Slam - Animation Magic
Myst - Sunsoft (for Cyan)
Mystic Midway - Rest in pieces - Philips POV
Mystic Midway 2 - Phantom Express - Philips POV

Compact Disc Interactive

Compact Disc Interactive

Games N-Z

Name that tune - Philips Fantasy Factory
New Day - Bits Corporation
NFL Hall of Fame Football - Philips POV
Othello - HMO
Pac Panic - Philips ADS / Namco
Palm Springs Open - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Pool - SPC Vision
Pinball - CapDisc
Plunderball - ISG Productions
Power Hitter - ABC Sports / Fathom Pictures
Power Match - Two's Company
Pursue - BEPL
Pyramid Adventures - Compact Disc Incorporated
RAMRaid - PRL Redhill
Return To Cybercity - Fathom Pictures
Riddle of the Maze, The - Fathom Pictures
Riqa - Bits Corporation
Rise of the Robots - Mirage Technologies
Sargon Chess - Spinnaker
Scotland Yard Interactive - AVM AG/HQ
Secret Mission - Microids
Secret Name of Ra, The
Shaolin's Road - Infogrames
Skate Dude - Viridis
Smurfen, De - De Telesmurf - Infogrames
Solar Crusade - Infogrames
Solitaire - BEPL
Space Ace - Superclub / INTL CDI
Space Ranger - Studio Interactive
Special Operations Squadron - SPC Vision
Sport Freaks - SPC Vision
Star Trek - Philips POV
Star Wars: Rebel Assault - LucasArts
Steel Machine - SPC Vision
Striker Pro - Rage
Strip Poker Live - Greenpig Production
Strip Poker Pro - Interactive Pictures
Super Fighter - The Super Fighter Team / C&E
Super Mario's Wacky Worlds - NovaLogic
Surf City - Philips Sidewalk Studios
Tangram - Eaglevision Interactive Productions
Taco's Toyroom Troopers - Creative Media
Tankdoodle - Creative Media
Tetris - Philips POV
Tetsuo Gaiden - Creative Media
Text Tiles
Thieves' World - Electronic Arts
Tic-tac-toe - BEPL
Tox Runner - ISG Productions
Treasures of Oz - Philips Kaleidoscope
Ultra CD-i Soccer - Krisalis
Uncover featuring Tatjana - SPC Vision
Uninvited - Icom Simulations
Video Speedway - ISG Productions
Vinnie the Pinguin - Pandemonium Labs
Voyeur - Philips POV
Voyeur 2 - Philips POV
Whack-a-Bubble - Creative Media
What's it worth - Marshall Cavendish Multimedia / Spice
Who shot Johnny Rock? - CapDisc
Wordplay - BEPL
World Cup Golf - US Gold
Zaak Sam, De - Toneelschool NL
Zelda - The wand of Gamelon - Animation Magic
Zelda's Adventure - Viridis
Zenith - Radarsoft
Zombie Dinos From The Planet Zeltoid - Philips POV

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